For those who know me and for those who are about to find out, a good pair of Welly’s are fundamental to my equilibrium. After just one and half winter’s my Hunter wellies sprang a leak. Knowing that there was no chance of replacing them with the same, I visited George Taylor’s requisite store in Hamilton and purchased some super strength duck tape which professed to be waterproof to 100mph. “I don’t think I’ll be going quite that quickly but I’ll give it a go” I said to the rather bemused shop attendant. Well, it worked for a week or so, but forced to give in, I revisited George Taylor’s and bought my first non-Hunter welly’s in forty years. They are a rather fetching red (haven’t had a pair of red wellies for even longer) and go by the unfortunate brand name of “Bogs”. Nevertheless seems I am the envy of all the other female Bog wearers in the district as I got several admiring glances at Sheepvention last week – none of the other girls had quite such kinky Bogs as mine and they’ve got neoprene lining too!
What’s Sheepvention you may ask? It’s Hamilton’s pride and joy and is possibly the largest agricultural show specialising in everything sheep in the Southern Hemisphere , certainly in Australia. The Kiwi and I both secured a day off from our respective employers and were one of the first through the gates at 8.30am. We spent the whole day inspecting every kind of sheep handler and lambie gizmo you can imagine. There is so much out there to make a shepherd’s day less arduous and the Kiwi was like a kid (scuse the pun) in a sweet shop. We came home armed with piles of brochures and all sorts of ideas for the future.
Since my last blog I have celebrated yet another birthday. Not a milestone one I hasten to add but it was my second only winter birthday. I had all sorts of thoughts of a nice lunch by the sea but the weather was foul and all the seaside restaurants are closed for the season. Nevermind, birthday present shopping was the order of the day and I came home with an electric pasta machine and Sthil chainsaw. I know my place in life! OMG you might think but I’m thrilled with my new toys. Pasta making is a doddle and I have acquired a new skill of lumberjacking.
About an hour’s drive from us is the port town of Warrnambool. It’s where we do our “big shops” and has most things we need including a Dan Murphy’s which is a huge off-licence. We buy all our wine there and of course I have a loyalty card which doesn’t mean much, it just makes you buy more because you think you’re getting a good deal. A trip there isn’t quite as much fun as a booze cruise to France but it’s compensated by something we find rather extraordinary. At this time of year Southern Right Whales come to visit Logan’s Beach a very short distance from Dan’s. These huge mammals entertain us playing in the surf with their new born calves whilst us plebs go bananas equipped with the longest lenses you’ve ever seen. Mine isn’t very long and this is the best I could do.
We’ve recently been connected to satellite broadband and I can’t tell you the seventh heaven we’ve found ourselves in! We can now Facetime friends and family with the greatest of ease and no longer do we have to suffer distorted pictures, and endless shouts of “What, are you there? Hello, hello? I’ll move to the kitchen” There is further deep joy with the return of Netflix to our household. Except we’ve binged watched ourselves to the extent we almost became squared eyed and sofa shaped and used up all our data allowance for the month but I must admit it was bliss being able to watch telly without the endless repetitive Australian adverts.
Our lambs have mushroomed in size and we’re now trying to wean the larger ones. This morning I penned up the gang of four in a small enclosure with an old drawer filled with lamb pellets and hay with a crunchy topping of crushed lupins. They protest noisily with pitiful baa-ing but I’ve just got to be cruel to be kind and try and ignore them which is difficult when they bleat every time they see me at the kitchen window. In the meantime Phil continues to come for walks with us and I’m convinced he thinks he’s a dog.
The bird life here is amazing with all sorts of parrots and other birds I’m gradually getting to know. We’ve got a small resident flock of Crimson Rosella’s and I’ve tried and tried to get a photo of them but so far I’ve failed. Here’s one I wish I had taken…
I expect you’re all wondering what the news of Margot is. I’m afraid it’s disappointment all round. We took her to the vet for a scan where she had her tummy shaved and had to lie in a very undignified fashion on her back with her legs in the air while the vet spread cold gel on the shaved area. Three vets, two veterinary nurses and me poured over the screen trying to find a pup. Sadly we couldn’t find anything so we won’t be hearing the patter of tiny paws this year. We’ll have another go next time but I must admit I was just so sad and I truly believe Margot was too.