Burrowye Station Express

Arts, Agriculture,Community,Country

Month: May, 2014

Friends of the Friends

It’s 5.32am and i’ve been up since 11.30pm with baby Dora – nourished by beesting pastries left by our kindly agent from Elders. It’s a funny, lovely surreal time. The whole family is sleeping in different patterns, we are charged up and inspired and “ticking things off the list” at a rate of knots. The farm is a great green explosion, warm rains continue and it only takes a minute or two to watch the grass grow under our feet. Our fondness for analysis is also in overdrive, and we question what we are doing and why we are doing it. In all the “business” we are feeling the need to protect family time and to make time for the things that nourish spirituality. We don’t go to church, but once a month or so, meeting with the Friends of Murray Mountains feels like church. It’s a chance to connect with the land and connect with people who feel similarly. Part working bee, part meeting, part social gathering it’s so much more relaxing than the other room-bound community meetings – you can take a walk, plant a shrub, collect seeds, fortify the tree guards (our last lot were too new and people stole them), or just watch the billy boil on the fire. James, as he usually does, raised a few tangents at the last meeting. Why not plant edible native plants? (Because it’s illegal to pick anything from the park) Why not build a canoe and visit the Friends of Woomargama State Park across river? (The president has a large Canadian canoe but its full of holes). Last week, we were invited across to Woomargama. I would have loved to have gone, but it was a long way from baby land. Something to look forward to.

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The Lady Who Came to Dinner

 

 

 

The locals like to debate about where Burrowye actually it.  Here is where the sign is.  I have been researching the meaning. Wye is a triangular intersection - we have one of those, where the Guy's Forest Road turns off The Murray River Road. We call it the triangle and it's the axis about which we move our stock.  A "Barrow" is a large rounded burial mound, according to celtic mythology.  Just above the very round triangle is Paul's Hill. Very barrow like in appearance, but a monolith, so possibly not a burial place.  This is not a conventional meaning. It's a hunch....

The locals like to debate about where Burrowye actually is. Here is where the sign is. I have been researching the meaning. Wye is a triangular intersection – we have one of those, where the Guy’s Forest Road turns off The Murray River Road. We call it the triangle and it’s the axis about which we move our stock. A “Barrow” is a large rounded burial mound, according to celtic mythology. Just above the very round triangle is Paul’s Hill. Very barrow like in appearance, but a monolith, so possibly not a burial place. This is not a conventional meaning. It’s a hunch….

 

CLick on the link below to find out who turned up on Easter Sunday.  We were so excited to meet her.

http://meganevansartist.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/dust-storm-booroomugga-from-burrowye-to.html

 

They Said we’d never make it:

1.Autumn Silage – The neighbours said we’d be baling up water out of the lucerne paddock and that we were a bloody waste of the contractor’s time.

The fourth crop of lucerne silage was saved a couple of weeks back.  We had a couple of sunny days between rains...in this amazing mild season it's growing back very nicely.

The fourth crop of lucerne silage was saved a couple of weeks back. We had a couple of sunny days between rains…in this amazing mild season it’s growing back very nicely.

2.Our number one daughter – The IVF clinic reckoned my eggs weren’t worth harvesting. Thank god for the homeopathic auntie who reminded us to hold onto a story of our choice.  And the friends mother who said “If you can bear the losses you can play the odds.”

James often reminds me to trust, but even he was nervous about Dora's first path.  So much of of one element, so little of her. i felt something similar when I sat with her in front of a blazing fireplace. She loved the bath and so did her Dad.

James often reminds me to trust, but even he was nervous about Dora’s first bath. So much of of one element, so little of her. i felt something similar when I sat with her in front of a blazing fireplace. She loved the bath and so did her Dad.

3.Marrying each other – In my late thirties I told a woman that I had just about given up hope of finding a husband and children. She snorted in my face and said: “Well hello, you live in the middle of nowhere and there’s no-one even on the horizon. Time to wake up to the facts.”

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She suggested dove grey. We went with warm white and crimson.

She suggested dove grey. We went with warm white and crimson.

4.Carrying a child with a risk of heart defect – Thank god for the limitations of scanning technology. Yes there was surgery but yes, we have Joe.

We have a big camp out on the Australia Day long weekend. Mud is always a part of it. Joe is first on left. he's playing his second season of football this year.

We have a big camp out on the Australia Day long weekend. Mud is always a part of it. Joe is first on left. he’s playing his second season of football this year.

5.Living happily in the big house – It’s cold, it’s run down and yes, last winter  I moved out to a cottage with a gas heater. But the  lads were here today with the underfloor insulation and we have the fires burning to tickle up that thermal mass and the sense of dread that I used to get in autumn has been superseded by joy at the autumn blaze.

You say leaf blower, i say permaculutre,

You say leaf blower, i say permaculutre,

James went to see Arnie Schwarzeneger last year. Not something he’d normally do, but there were extenuating circumstances. The secrets to Arnie’s success – work like crazy, have a goal, don’t listen to naysayers.  It seems the art of identifying the difference between a naysayer and a soothsayer is skill that improves with age. Likewise, the ability to identify the sticky, pesky things known as “other people’s issues”.  I’ve had some pretty deep chats with my mum over the past week, and we talked about how many people in our family are “on-the-spectrum”.  People who are highly intelligent, super sensitive and not particularly considerate.  We wondered if this high intelligence lead to a bit of a super ego state, with a world view that says: “Everything that is done in the world is my fault and and everything people do is done to me”.  Whilst it may be a shot in the dark towards the unity of life the universe and everything, and a Jesus-like sense of suffering the sins of all for the good of all, it also makes “people like us” kind of tricky to get along with. Beware the victim states my friends.  I’ve had some extreme lurches on this little new baby roller coaster…deep thinking as little Dora Bella practises the art of deep drinking. Mother and Baby doing well.

We think this may be the site of the Burrowye pub. It is also where elders from Aracun in Cape York performed a cool fire burn. Vegetation seems different there now....

We think this may be the site of the Burrowye pub. It is also where elders from Aracun in Cape York performed a cool fire burn. Vegetation seems different there now….The bright green paddock is the one we call The Ridge – steep, wooded in parts, mined with wombat holes, and shaped so that the cattle can double back at the drop of a hat, mustering that one is always fun.

Thursday Plate Off: Jean

Jean started it. I’ve been following her exploits for a while, but she waited until I was in maternity ward to post that steak I just re-blogged.  We love steak-on-a-plate cooking here, but the freezer is a bit hollow at the moment and it’s been a while since experiences like the one Jean just described. I could almost taste the thing.  I am reeling with baby hormones and could quite easily grab the family and jump on a plan to anywhere – Patagonia, Manchester, Fujinomiya City, New York….and Jean’s house for dinner.    Thus emboldened I challenged Jean to a plate off.

 

But what seems perfectly do-able at 4.00am on hospital check out day can look pretty shaky when you find your husband driving the 100km home at 60kph in his mothers specially requisitioned mercedes 4wd because you are looking “like you need to take things easy”.

 

Of course, the lamb I was boasting about was in hard lumps in the freezer.  Thank you to our Danny who rescued the body from it’s wire cage at the back of the wood shed, to neighbour Gordon who stored it in his cool room and to Danny again who chopped it up for us.  We love having an ex-slaughterman about the place. The venison was also….I shut the freezer, grabbed the baby and headed for the river. Milk is coming in, feet and legs elephantine, head full of good advice, some kind of toxicity from two days under fluro lights in air con on lino. The river is a pretty private place on a weekday, so I could happily strip down and wade through the autumn leaves, the warm sand and the icy shallows.  We will always remember this season – for our baby’s birth and for the “double spring”. It’s a mind blowing year for grass and so exciting to see the property looking so fine.  But a lot of the plants are confused, dropping leaves and blossoming at the same time.  There is a special Japanese words for this, which reminds me that I must have experienced double spring before. Were there heavy snows that year? Two tapping rocks came to me out of the water and  I followed James advice to stop singing in english, trying to solve the world with word analysis, and to start singing the songs that the country composes.

All this does not necessarily lead to our plate off, but this is what we ate last night:

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Slow Shanks with homegrown parsnip and carrots (and those parsnips really did their magic), milky mild garlic potatoes (enough to heal with but not enough to taint the milk), some basil and lettuce from the *bouquet* james bought me to green up the labour ward food. (The hospital food by the way was very good – more about that later).  Lettuce and lamb shanks is not an obvious choice, but we were all too shagged to cook up greens. So how did I get from primal river chanting to this, with office work and a nap to boot?

Should I confess?

Would you enjoy this plate Jean Curtis of France?

 

It’s A Job

Brat Like Me

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Had to try a sirloin tonight for dinner.  ( Sigh.  Sirloin again?  ) We were looking for flavor and texture and overall beefy-ness.  Will I remember this steak?  Will I want to suck the beefy yum-yum just before I’m done chewing and ready to swallow?  Am I chewing too much?  While I’m chewing, does my butt look big in this steak?  We scrutinize our beef.   Cue veg and baked potato ( with butter and crème fraîche ), is this a nice dinner?

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For me, yes.  The sirloin held up to the challenge of my steaky desires.  Brent is working out the rest of the variables.

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Window licking

 

James and Dora's de-brief

James and Dora’s de-brief

The selfie is the only way to get a good Madonna shot – learnt this when our son was born and my head was cut off in every photo – the transition from person to piece of baby furniture can be amazingly rapid.
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imageIt’s been a while between posts. I have fallen into the bloggers trap of saving up all the exciting things to put into massive article….then getting bowled over by more exciting things and just not getting to the screen. This is the view from my window tonight. A fabulously furry has just scaled the bin, dived and emerged again. There is a light rain falling outside. How I wish I could sit on the cold curb, pat that black cat and stick my tongue out for rain drops. How I miss the green pastures of Burrowye. Home tomorrow. And taking with us. Drumroll. Miss Burrowye 2014….brand new black haired Miss Dora Bella Houston. Born 2.37am on Monday 19th of May.

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