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Oct 20 2012

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Back at the farm – and back in the hammock

Sun shining through the yellow blossoms on the pine tree as seen from my hammockI’m lying in my hammock looking up at the sun through the blossoms on the pine tree. And watching the air dance with yellow pollen blown on the wind. It’s a spectacular sight, and I wish I was poetic enough to capture it in words.

When I’ve got my eyes open that is.

We’re back on the farm.

We arrived yesterday – during the day for the first time in ages. Usually we leave home after work of an evening, so eager to get here that Doc’s prepared to pack up and drive the 4 hours even after a long day at work. Of course, we arrive in the dark, and it’s only when we leave during the day that we get to say goodbye. But this time we had Doc’s 6 year old at night, so we waited until the morning to drive down here.

When I say morning, I mean lunchtime. By the time we got out of bed (we are on holidays after all), and packed up the car it was noon.  After a stop for fuel for the Hilux and the mower, it was late afternoon by the time we got here, but still light enough to say hello to the familiar sights on the way through. And being able to see the sights increased the anticipation of getting closer.

The largest flock of white cockies and galahs I've ever seen taking offFirst the highway turned into a country road, then we drove through the bends and got our first glimpse of the Murrumbidgee, still mighty from all the recent rains. Then across the one lane bridge and I felt like we were on the final stretch. Past the tree where we saw the largest flock of white cockies and galahs that I’ve ever seen (and magically got to photograph), past the paddocks of neighbouring farms with young calves and lambs, and through the final bends until there it was – our farm.

Through the gate and we really were on the final stretch. But first a stop to say hello to the farm manager and watch the cows being released from the yards and herded (or mooooved as I said to Doc and made myself laugh) into a new paddock.

The rodeo bogged again - it should be a Toyota!Once again, we got bogged – at exactly the same place we got bogged last time. At least this time it wasn’t midnight and very cold. And it wasn’t so bad that Doc had to get out and spend an hour and a half trying unsuccessfully to dig us out before deciding to walk the last 500m to the farmhouse and get the Hilux to pull us out. This time Doc’s very good driving skills got us out – and of course the fact that we weren’t bogged as bad – and we made it the rest of the way without incident.

There are always things to do when we first arrive. Unpack the car and whatever major load we have brought with us. This time the 6 year old’s single bed (he’s decided he’d rather sleep in Joel’s ‘big bed’ now that Joel’s moved out), and a new gas stove. And of course we need to mow the grass around the house and install a new water tank.

But more importantly we need to stop and relax. Take a deep breath and let that farm air fill our blood as well as our lungs. Then cough because we forgot about the sheep in the next paddock, and replace the sheep smell with a glass of good Hunter Valley Semillon.

Life’s good!

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