Random: The Barefoot Bogan

30 Apr

Two months ago I made the grand voyage….y’know, moving from your parents house into the city. Mind you, I used to live only twenty-five minutes outside of the city. But trust me….it has made a big difference! The thing is, I think my upbringing has had a significant effect on how I set up my place, which I have realised does not correlate to the way the majority of city-dwellers reside! Hence, I have quietly entitled myself, ‘The Barefoot Bogan’, which is how I imagine my fellow apartment neighbours would refer to me!

The Barefoot Bogan

I grew up with my parents on a farm in the market-garden region of Werribee South.

I was surrounded by broccoli, iceberg lettuce and cauliflower.

‘Walking the dog’ meant trudging in gumboots through the sludgy red earth on the farm.

We didn’t have pools, we turned on the sprinkler.

Farm-cycles meant chicken manure smells normal to me.

I killed time sitting under the apple tree and watching clouds.

The moral of the story is, that sort of upbringing means that if you put me outside, I know how to entertain myself. Being in the city now, I do crave a bit of greenery. Since moving in I have gone about the process of establishing my own herb garden and some pretty succulents.

My rooster, lemon tree, basil plus more


When I do get time to go home, one thing I always do is go for a walk with my ma around her extensive orto (vegetable garden) where she pretty much loads me up with a basket full of produce to take back to the city. Before my housemate knew me, she must’ve thought I was very strange, bringing back filthy, rustic carrots, huge marrows, cloves of garlic and bags full of rocket, chillies and herbs. I doubt she’d ever seen so many home-grown vegetables all at once!

Back in the city in my own concreted courtyard, I tend to still imagine that I’m back at home, and walk around barefoot, getting my feet wet as I water my plants. Apart from my plants, the other factor which clearly sets me apart from my neighbours is my worm farm. A month and a half ago I also purchased 1000 worms and a plastic, oh-so-sophisticated ‘Worm Cafe’ from Ceres Community Park. From being these tiny, thin compost worms at their inception into my worm farm environment, they are now fatty boomba’s and reproducing like mad! I tend to lift the horse-hair cover each morning to check how they’re going, finding less food in their home accompanied by more worms having sex amongst it all!

The apartment complex I live in is pretty multicultural. You have my Indian neighbours above, then my Chinese neighbours to my left, a Vietnamese lady to my right, and some English couple behind. And the Barefoot Bogan at the epicentre of it all, having my backyard behaviour watched on from all who care to perve. Good thing I don’t care what they think of my naked feet antics!


On a side note, here is a wine I tried yesterday:

CRAIGLEE Chardonnay 2007

Sunbury, Victoria

Craiglee are a fantastic small producer in the Sunbury region of Victoria. Rightly so their Shiraz is one of the best coming out of the region. The small parcels of fruit that come through there mean that there is less consistency between vintages, but that’s what makes wine interesting, doesn’t it? The 2007 vintage was pretty much the peak of the everlasting Australian drought. Fortunately this wine is not looking tired or overtly tropical…and yet…for me there is a hint of something that correlates this wine to its hot vintage conditions…


Huh?! Sunscreen?

This wine has had over three years of ageing which has allowed the original flavours (types of melon and cashew) to intensify. It is pretty clear this Chardonnay was barrel fermented as it screams of having a decent stint with oak with a whack of sweet vanilla on the nose. Extended lees contact means the wine is mouth-coatingly textural on the palate, slightly waxy, but the clever touch of preventing malolactic fermentation means it does not seem too rich and oily. Yet, as you’re finishing this wine in the mouth you suddenly begin daydreaming about sunbathing in the Caribbean with yourself drizzled in coconut oil. Not drizzled actually, slathered is more like it! Then you realise that you’ve ultimately been left with a sunscreen/coconut flavour to the finish, which was the only off-putting point about this wine. I love the smell of that coconut oil (my sister coats herself in it in summer, but I can never actually use it on myself)…but it’s not really the flavour I want to come across in my Chardonnay.

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