It’s amazing how life can change so quickly in just a few days. With seeding finished in Coorow on Farm 2, last Sunday we said yet more goodbye’s, this time to Mr and Mrs Farmer 2 and the United Nations and packed up our ever increasing load of “Temporary All Our Worldly Goods” and set off for a relatively short journey of 125kms to a farm just south of Moora later discovering to our delight we are an easy 1.5hours drive north of Perth and joy of joy’s, a shopping mall.
It seems the Kiwi has landed on his feet with his new job on Farm 3 which is owned and run by a very nice couple with two little boys. This is a beautiful place with softly rolling hills and amazing views for miles. To say it was looking green would be an understatement. I know the green doesn’t last for long and the cooler temperatures will soon be a distant memory but I laughed to myself when I heard two old ducks in the IGA supermarket in Moora yesterday moaning how cold it was (it was infact a lovely, still, sunny day and all I had on was a thin jersey – they don’t know what cold is!).
Farm 3 is a mixed farm of arable and several thousands sheep. We’ve arrived in the middle of lambing and I have been on a steep learning curve these past few days. The Kiwi’s first morning on the job saw him acting as midwife to at least three ewe’s, matron of Sheep A&E and a whole host of other duties, it was rather like a sheep version of “Call the Midwife” so much so that for this episode of my blog I will rename him “Chummy”. Me? Well, I think I identify more with Sister Monica Joan, the slightly dotty, eccentric one with a fondness for cake.
I soon became a surrogate mother to an orphaned lamb who I’ve named Sprocket. He did have a mate called Flange but sadly Flange was just too small and weak to make it. My day now revolves around this bleating bundle of wool and consists of six feeds a day and do I know it if I’m at all late with his bottle which is a teat strapped to an old fizzy water bottle. I think I might upgrade him tomorrow to a redundant Carlton Mid beer bottle. I’ll drink it tonight to toast our new Prime Minister, or perhaps we’re in for Prime Ministers (plural?).
Talking of politics and I know I shouldn’t as I promised myself that I wouldn’t bring the state of the world’s current affairs into my musings but I’d be untrue to myself because I do think about what’s going on all the time, especially at home. David Dimbleby’s Brexit Night Special was on all day in the caravan and I was completely glued to the box, it was riveting viewing and throughout my phone was ringing red hot with all our Australian friends asking what I thought about the whole sorry mess. My answer is this: Cameron had not done enough market research amongst his electorate and should have asked a third question “Should we stay in the EU but a reformed one, taking our membership back to what it was originally, a free trade agreement”. End of.
Nurse Chummy and I attended our first Australian Fox Hunt today and it was real hunting not the pretend version we have in Blighty. Foxes here are a real problem preying on lambing ewes and will take young lambs often before they are old enough to get to their feet! We often see them out in broad daylight boldly eyeing up lunch. The meet was a wonderfully chaotic occasion but with a definite and dignified resemblance to what we knew at home. There were several pink coats, hunting horns, generous amounts of stirrup cup and an immaculately turned out field of about sixteen. Along with several other ute’s we trundled off to watch them draw their first cover and by the time we got there we had two falls and one loose horse. With a Tally-ho, the hounds bayed and off they went and almost immediately picked up a scent and took off at a swift lollop after a kangaroo. In hot pursuit were the Whips drawing them back into the job in hand. Margot and Daphne were in the back of our ute absolutely riveted and would have joined in too if we’d let them out. Unfortunately we were unable to follow for the duration as Nurse Chummy still had some ward rounds to do.
Mr and Mrs Farmer 3 have now left on a well deserved 4 day break on Rottnest Island leaving us in charge of their 6000 acre farm. Gulp. So far this afternoon I’ve already had to come to the rescue to Nurse Chummy as he got bogged in a creek going a new way to check the lambing ewes and had to be pulled out.
I’m sure we’ll be just fine but I’m not so sure I’ll be able to face roast lamb for a while.