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I must ad­mit, Coun­try Style is the one indulgence I’ve al­lowed my­self dur­ing this aw­ful drought, al­beit still with a touch of guilt. My heart goes out to all the farm­ers, like us, at the com­plete mercy of what­ever Mother Na­ture has in store. It’s come to a crit­i­cal point where it doesn’t mat­ter how well pre­pared we are or how well we’ve man­aged our land, wa­ter and an­i­mals — we’re still do­ing all we can just to sim­ply cope and make it through. Thank you to the won­der­ful pub­lic who’ve been so sup­port­ive dur­ing this time. And thank you Coun­try Style for let­ting me es­cape. If only for a few brief mo­ments, I can gaze through your pages over a cup of dam-wa­ter tea, con­sume the beau­ti­ful colours and el­e­gant styling, and let them take me to an­other world. It’ll rain again one day, and our hearts and our gar­dens will sing. Amy Gunn, CONDOBOLIN, NSW


Drought-rav­aged as our land is, it still abounds with beauty. As a child grow­ing up on a farm, I re­mem­ber the smell of rain as it hit the dry earth af­ter a drought and the re­gen­er­a­tion that en­sued. Re­cently, my hus­band and I me­an­dered around Viet­nam. As we took a train trip along the coast, the vast dif­fer­ence of farm­ing there was a sober­ing re­minder of the beauty of our dry land. Viet­nam was wet and mostly rice pad­dies. At each stop, a lo­cal would alight the train to sell dried fish or great pots of pho made by lo­cal farm­ers. I pon­dered how farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties are fun­da­men­tal to our sur­vival. Liv­ing in the city makes me want to re­lo­cate back there. I miss the dis­tinct sea­sons that be­come blurred when you live and work in con­trolled-tem­per­a­ture en­vi­ron­ments. Coun­try life is spe­cial. Noe­lene Wil­son, RHODES, NSW


I re­ceived my Coun­try Style in the mail just as we were think­ing of re­lo­cat­ing from our beau­ti­ful macadamia farm in the North­ern Rivers down to Cen­tral NSW. It was then that I re­alised this magazine has been with me through a lot of de­ci­sions in my life. Firstly when I was liv­ing in the city and long­ing for a coun­try life, it sus­tained me un­til our dream fi­nally came true. I didn’t bat an eye­lid when I changed my name af­ter a fan­tas­tic wed­ding in our gar­den and now, af­ter try­ing to de­cide whether to make a big change, it was there again like an old friend, con­stant in its ar­rival each month to sup­port our ru­ral goal. Thanks so much for the in­spi­ra­tion to keep our dreams alive. Karen Lan­caster, CORNDALE, NSW


Be­ing an avid gar­dener and cook, I ea­gerly await each month’s is­sue of Coun­try Style to see what will en­tice me out­side or into the kitchen. Your Septem­ber is­sue was of great in­ter­est, as Tam­sin Car­van has re­cently opened a café and food store in my lo­cal area and I can’t wait to visit and taste some of her de­li­cious food. The recipes in this lat­est is­sue sound very en­tic­ing. Karen Fi­dler, LEONGATHA, VIC­TO­RIA


For about two decades, I’ve looked forward to read­ing your magazine each month with its won­der­ful sto­ries of sea and tree changes. With our cities be­com­ing in­creas­ingly sti­fled with traf­fic con­ges­tion and crowded liv­ing, I long for the day when I, too, can es­cape to a more re­laxed, un­crowded ex­is­tence. I read with envy and

ad­mi­ra­tion about peo­ple suc­ceed­ing on the land against all the ob­sta­cles thrown at them; about flower pro­duc­ers and floral artists; pro­duce grow­ers and won­der­ful home-style cooks and chefs; and, lastly, where I hope my niche will be, with artists, pot­ters, pho­tog­ra­phers and other cre­atives thriv­ing in re­gional ar­eas. Thank you for feed­ing the in­sa­tiable ap­petite that ex­ists in peo­ple long­ing for a ru­ral or re­gional es­cape. With each month, your sto­ries in­spire and mo­ti­vate peo­ple to take that leap of faith into the great Aus­tralian coun­try lifestyle. Sue Shearer, BRAD­BURY, NSW


The coun­try way of life seemed like a dis­tant dream to a townie like me caught up in the fast lane and chaos of city life. But my hus­band and I bought a car­a­van five years ago and then be­gan a new era of my life. I’ve trav­elled the length and breadth of this vast land of Aus­tralia, mar­vel­ling at the coun­try­side in its colours, gorges, seascapes and the re­silience of the peo­ple who in­habit it. No longer do I read your magazine and think of how it might be — for now I’m liv­ing it! I read the sto­ries of the peo­ple who make this coun­try and now feel part of it. I see the drought, the amaz­ing beaches and the green of the rain­for­est and know that I have a home wher­ever we set up camp. And Coun­try Style magazine is al­ways with me as we travel to the next town. Julie Humphreys, GEE­LONG, VIC­TO­RIA



I’m sit­ting on a bus from Can­berra to the coast, a large pane of glass fram­ing the dry, drought-af­fected land­scape. Still beau­ti­ful in its diver­sity with graz­ing sheep, lambs by their side, the oc­ca­sional farmer tend­ing to their land, the buds and signs of green start­ing on the naked trees of win­ter. Spring is in the air, but sadly no sign of rain. I’ve just be­come a grand­mother. My el­dest daugh­ter and her beau­ti­ful baby girl, Lotte, had stayed at our fam­ily home in Pam­bula. I trav­elled back to Can­berra with them to be there along the way if needed. So now on the bus, I’m re­flect­ing on such a won­der­ful time while flick­ing through the Septem­ber is­sue of Coun­try Style, tak­ing in the sur­round­ings and go­ing home to a busy life on three acres un­til the next time my fam­ily re­turns. Through this magazine, I shall teach Lotte the joy of each sea­son and read in­spir­ing sto­ries to her of like­minded peo­ple. If I knew hav­ing grand­chil­dren was this much fun, I would’ve had them first. Thank you for such a beau­ti­ful magazine. Caro­line Carl­son, BALD HILLS, NSW

Our Septem­ber cover was shot in the gar­dens of Mount Mitchell, a prop­erty at Lex­ton in cen­tral­west Vic­to­ria, where Kate and Simon Tol have turned a grand house into a com­fort­able home. (The fam­ily of five eat din­ner in the for­mer ball­room!) Along with in­spir­ing homes, the is­sue had ad­vice from @an­thia_ koul­louros_­natur­opath on clear­ing the mind. Plus, we had a Fa­ther’s Day fash­ion spe­cial where @dar­ren­robert­son­food of @three­blue­ducks, Tim Hansen of Mandagery Creek Veni­son and Mat­teo Car­boni of @casacar­boni shared their style se­crets. Photography by @marniehaw­son Styling by @lee_blay­lock

IN­STA­GRAM This post high­lighted how much we all love a light-filled hall­way. It’s amaz­ing how a coat of white paint can brighten and re­fresh a room in­stantly. @sal­ly­oehm used Du­lux Nat­u­ral White in the hall­way of her fam­ily farm­house. Photography by @ab­bie_melle Fol­low us on In­sta­gram @coun­trystylemag

These beau­ti­ful brumbies are just two of the 500 horses res­cued by Colleen and David O’brien since they started the Vic­to­rian Brumby As­so­ci­a­tion in 2007. Their story in the Septem­ber is­sue res­onated with our read­ers. Photography by @marniehaw­son

Roses played an ap­pro­pri­ate star­ring role in our story on Sandy Mckin­ley’s home, @acre­ofroses, fea­tured in our Septem­ber is­sue and lo­cated in the pretty village of Tren­tham, a mere 95 kilo­me­tres north-west of Mel­bourne. Photography by @marniehaw­son

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