Today was an interesting example of the quiet life.
The phone rang so hot I had to carry it around with me, as I am no longer doing my best times in the sprint from one end of the house to the other. A new seed drill arriving, fertiliser spreading happening, talk of heifers going to Russia (they probably won’t but they might), feedback from a CSIRO scientist who did some work on the place, emails to and from agents and government bodies, drench and salt to order, baby shower to plan and so on.
Load after load of washing went on – far more than seems natural for a family of three. Neurotic about clothes from childhood, I still need about four outfits a day to feel sane. James and Joe are not so far behind. We are all guilty of wearing our “best” in the paddock (morale boosting) and dressing down to go to town (moth eaten, faded and cattle stained). Grunge dies hard, even when now we know better. Joe is showing unsettling signs of street style. I think we’d all secretly like to see each other in the neatly pressed, cotton shirt RB Sellars australian country life uniform but nobody wants to take the plunge. Joe saw his first iron when he was about four -What’s that Mum? – I was pressing digital photos of patched overalls in close-up onto grinder-burnt tshirts at the time.
Blue Dog, our newest puppy and great black and white hope, needed to be collected from the vet. A 50km round trip. He learnt a tough lesson about vehicles about eight weeks ago, and has had problems with his back leg ever since. Lumps, bumps, stitches, a pin, tablets galore and an operation…his recovery has been controversial. The neighbours call him the million dollar dog. Just before his last trip to the vet he broke into the house, hit the much abused white carpet that runs down the hall, took a right into the nursery I had just finished clearing and broke the drought right in the middle of the room. He topped off his act by running back outside and rolling in something dead. I had a few errands to do in Walwa today. The town was ringing with the sound of his croaky barking.
Also: sorted a mountain of mail (Australia post keep sending “update your address” notices and yellow stickers, complete with wrong address scrawled on by the mail contractor – both to us and the lady that they imagine lives here (she died two years ago and lived her whole 90 years about 50km upstream); planned my carefully worded response to Australia post; pruned three little bushes into what I hope are “bourgeois box balls”; contemplated the olives that should be picked and the windows that should be washed, fed James steak sandwiches for smoko and spaghetti for lunch; lectured on the importance of basic manners and boot removal on entry to the domestic space (blame the hormones); cut out a few raw silk pieces for rough bunting to decorate the baby shower; lobbied to get the bloody broken dishwasher removed from the bloody back verandah; and FINALLY fixed the broken spring on the fly wire door that has been flapping away all summer.
By seven o’clock it was time for a date. With my husband, four gates, five animals in a tree plot and a big mob of cattle on the road. The tree plot is one of the more established ones on the place. It’s been recently widened so we can get a vehicle in to push stray animals out. I am no expert, but I like the medium density planting and the grassiness on the creek banks. Burrowye has the southernmost colony of the rare Borrolong Frog, so when we think about creeks we think about habitat. Interestingly, the frogs prefer less grass and more water over cobble, so they prefer the horribly degraded Burrowye Creek to places like this grassy little stream. In the second photo you can see how dry the hills are, and how fencing out has protected and encouraged a lush green space. Stay tuned for more about tree plots – it’s 6.30am and my day is about to start again.