There’s al­ways an im­age in an is­sue that lingers with me. This time it’s the pic­ture of Lilla Oehm feed­ing her chick­ens on page 49 by pho­tog­ra­pher Abbie Melle. I think it’s be­cause it brought back

Country Style - - A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR - Vic­to­ria Carey

mem­o­ries of the hours I used to spend when I was her age mak­ing sure the eggs still hatched when one of my hens grew tired of sit­ting on them. A night un­der a read­ing lamp on my desk usu­ally was enough and then I’d rush to the chook shed to gen­tly put the chicks back un­der their mother. Af­ter hav­ing a child­hood like that my­self, I can un­der­stand why Lilla’s fa­ther Scott wanted a coun­try up­bring­ing for the nine-year-old and her brother Jack, 12, and made the move to May­field, a 2000-hectare prop­erty in the foothills of NSW’S War­rum­bun­gle Range that has been in the Oehm fam­ily since 1911. An­other won­der­ful fam­ily home fea­tured this month is the mag­nif­i­cent blue­stone de­signed by prom­i­nent ar­chi­tect Charles Webb and built in 1861 at Mount Mitchell on page 52. With a four-hectare gar­den and a ball­room among the 14 rooms of the main house, the once derelict build­ing is now home to Kate Tol and her fam­ily. “We live in all the rooms; it’s not a mu­seum, and we don’t want it to be pre­cious,” she says. Our Mel­bourne edi­tor Vir­ginia Imhoff’s story about brumbies, on page 18, is one very close to her heart for she has four of them in her pad­dock at home. A lit­tle dark mare called Matilda and Banjo, a grey wean­ling foal, have re­cently ar­rived af­ter nar­rowly es­cap­ing end­ing up as dog meat — sadly a fate many of our brumbies face. “It was touch-and-go for Banjo dur­ing his first week here, as he was so trau­ma­tised and sick from his cap­ture and sep­a­ra­tion from his mother. He is strong and healthy now and to see the trust he has in me when I ask some­thing new of him, is the most amaz­ing and re­ward­ing feel­ing,” she says. Life in the coun­try has its chal­lenges at times, but in the end it’s those chal­lenges that make it even more re­ward­ing. I hope you en­joy the is­sue,

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