- I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
It is day one of my health and fitness goal: To have a smokin' hot body in 12 weeks (well my version of it being smokin' hot anyway)...
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Just quickly, I found this site selling wall words and I think I like it!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Top - Helen Brown, middle - Wil Anderson, bottom Mia Freedman
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Well first things first...
Monday, September 21, 2009
(Foreword: A couple of years ago when I first moved from City to Country and fell in love with a Cowboy I did what I would have thought IMPOSSIBLE in my previous urban life; worked on the farm for about a month with him.
Just so you know, I was a little bit of an urban stiletto wearing office girl prior so this experience was totally out of the comfort zone- but totally one for the memoirs... )
...Respect for the Cowboy’s tenacity to work in unbearable conditions was beginning to grow. I literally felt the need to ‘take my hat off’ to him, however that could have resulted in severe sunburn.
Day four working on the farm. Cowboy told me I could choose one of his working dogs to accompany us on our adventure of tip trucking wire. I walked over to DogTown where there was a line up of kelpies chained to posts begging to be released. How was I to choose? They all desperately wanted to unleash their energy – to run ,to jump ,to play.
I let them all off.
Rusty, Jack and Sam. And boy were they happy for it!
Getting to know the working dog has been a new experience for me. Back home we have an overweight daschund for whom no luxury is spared. Complete from having her own “little bed,” a massive yard that she guards and full access to food including fruit , veggies, and meat. In fact, there are so many bones buried in our backyard I would not be surprised if we copped a haunting from the deceased cows and sheep that are resting in pieces.
The Working Dog does not have it so good.
Tied up to conserve energy for mustering sheep. Their physiques are athletic and streamlined for pelting around a farmyard.
We could learn a lot about working in the ‘right field’ from the sheep dog. They were definitely born to work with sheep. You can see the passion in their eyes when a flock of sheep is in eye shot. They live to chase the dim wooly creatures. They are definitely fulfilling their souls mission.
Photos: Taken by Cowboy
1. Me and the sheep stuck in the grid. Incredibly funny
2. One of Cowboy's pics of the sheepish creatures
Living in Sydney for eight years I was aware that my counterparts back home in the Country were experiencing a drought. To me, this was just a boring, ongoing news item and I had better things to worry about. Flash to day one ‘truck driving’ and first hand I was witnessing land that had been victim to the drought. Something I never thought would play any part in my life.
The land on the property is hard, flat and dry. Saltbush, flies interspersed with the odd skull of a deceased Ram were the sights I was taking in. The occasional gang of Emus did a mad dash past us in the truck, and evidence of snakes was rampant. The snakes obviously had not applied their SPS 30+ as their sometimes 5 ft long skins were seen amongst the tin and rubble on the property.
The views of the sky on the property are dramatic. On flat country you can see where the sky almost curves into the shape of the world. The clouds look like fluffy pillows, or perhaps like fluffy sheep – staying close to each other. The clouds flock together mirroring the sheep below.
In the distance I could see a sandy mound which reminded me of the Grand Canyon, but what was actually a dried up dam in the middle of the paddock.
This was the hangout for the heram of ewes all vying for the attention of daddy Ram. Chilling out by the dried out dam the sheep were happiest in company of each other. Sheep really have awoken me to the importance of being in company of likeminded souls. Their fear of being separated is something I had not witnessed before. “All for one and one for all,” is their motto.
Perhaps their wooly coat worked as reverse cycle air-conditioning. I hoped so. I could not help for feel for the wooly creatures in the arid dry land all day. The heat to me was unbearable. I hope that they are cool.
After asking Cowboy a heap of questions relating to Sheep including “Do you ever warm to one of them and want to keep them as a pet?” “ Do you feel sorry for them when you have to stick them on a truck,” and other animal activists type questions I was a little put back when he explained to me that sympathy was difficult for the creatures as they have no minds of their own and are frustratingly stupid.
Even so, I thought, isn’t that kind of cute?
My introduction to the lack of commonsense the sheep has was one I found quite humorous.
In between the paddocks on the farm there were grids. As we ventured towards a flock of sheep that required shifting into a different paddock I was in stitches to witness a sheep gridlock.
At least five sheep had attempted crossing paddocks themselves and had fallen down the grid.
Imprisoned in the grid the sheep helplessly, and cluelessly stood trapped in the grid.
Not learning from their trapped mates other sheep followed them to a similar destiny more and more falling into the trap.
Photos: Taken by the Cowboy
Staying out “On the Farm: during the day while Cowboy did whatever he did, I decided to try my hand at becoming a Domestic Goddess.
How very ‘country’. The Cowboy at work while I dusted, vacuumed, and perhaps cooked a batch of scones.
Hell, I was unemployed - unable to drive myself into town and this would be a bit of fun and a way to keep my mind occupied.
I began with the dishes. A simple task to switch the head into cleaning mode.
With the best of U2 pIaying full pelt on the stereo while I scrubbed away the remnants of Chicken Pad Thai from a plate . It made me nostalgic for that yummy dinner we enjoyed, hmm three weeks ago.
Cleansing the dishes felt strangely therapeutic. Perhaps metaphoric for cleansing of my own.
I started dreaming of turning Cowboy’s Bachelor Pad into an orderly homestead with a feminine touch. Flowers in a vase where the pile of cowboy hats once sat, a coffee table where the newspapers once piled… a lamp on the bedside table next to the freshly made bed, complete with hospital corners and folded down top sheet…. I was reminded of the guy from the Castle with his description “ This is not a house, it’s a home,” I wanted to create this little pad into a “farmstay” with a difference.
What a way to make the day fly. After scrubbing, mopping, doing load upon load of washing and reorganizing the bedroom to allow for better Feng Shui – I glanced at the time and it was nearing 5.30pm.
I quickly whipped up cruskits with avocado, swiss cheese, Spanish onion and ham and filled a glass with lime cordial ready for the return of the Cowboy. He arrived home sweaty and dirty from work to greet me post a hefty metamorphisis during the day from an unemployed snail barely peeping from my shell to a butterfly colourfully polishing the house.
I was very proud of my efforts and was excited to surprise the Cowboy with the transformation of his house and pleading with him to try lying on his bed now safely facing the window to allow a good flow of Chi.
I felt smug, and I could see the transformation pleased him. Perhaps this could be my life from now on, I thought, domestic goddess and writer out on a farm. I would not need any human contact during the day, I would be inspired by my environment and I would live to serve the Cowboy and write stories in between washing loads.
My fantasy was quickly taken from me. As Cowboy glanced around at the kitchen benchtops shimmering from Spray and Wipe he turned to me and said, “I’ve good news for you - I spoke to the Boss and he has lots of work you can do, starting tomorrow.”
I felt a lump form in my throat. It was not because I was upset that my days being filled with cleaning were about to disappear but because I knew “work” meant farm work.
Hey, I was born and bred in a country town but I’m a journalist, an indoor girl – a thinker, a writer… who is intimidated by a gear stick and finds opening gates around the property more of a challenge than if I were asked to attempt studying rocket science.
It was not “work’ that I was afraid of, it was a comfort zone thing. A questioning of my capabilities in the physical realm . My idea of work up until that moment was talking to people and writing in an air-conditioned office where my ideas and words held the key to increasing my bank balance.
Grateful that Cowboy had found work for me I tried not to let my fear show.
“Oh wow,” I said “Thank-you, what sort of work will I be doing?”
“There’s a fair bit, but you will start by driving the truck around the property and picking up bits of wire from old fences.”
“ A TRUCK?”
All sorts of crazy thoughts ran through my head.