Off we go

In anticipation for our long trip again, we are preparing like crazy. We found a good house sitter for the time we will be away,  to look after all our animals. This is the hardest part. So many things to think about and to put in place. It is so exciting and at the same time a flory of preparations.

The cows and their calves have found a new home with our next door neighbour who will take them with his herd. That is so nice of him to do so.  He will also put our cows in calf so that when we get back they will be ready to deliver the next set of babies.

Our dog has familiarised herself with her new keeper last week as she came to have lunch with us and get acquainted with everyone. The chickens are going to miss out on all the goodies that they are being served everyday. Bits of meat and left overs. Our house sitter is vegetarian, so not being bits left for them. But I am sure they will be well. I stocked up on grains for them and bought packs of dog food for our scavenging insatiable labrador. She will also be missing out on treats from time to time.

The vegie garden will have also to be looked after. But being winter here, not a great deal needs to be done. I have already planted some peas and lettuces, beans, broccoli. But Magalie will enjoy all these treats as well as all the citrus that are producing abundantly this year.

The car papers have been put in place and all insurances paid. All would have been out of registration by then. Money has been transfered to Europe and suitcases are almost done.

Then, there are all the instructions of what to do in the house. A big list is being compiled with further do’s and don’t.

Gosh! I hope I have not forgotten anything. Presents for the family are packed. Everyone had a special request. Sulma wanted some house items and tea tree oil and not to forget Vita Weats, his special crackers. In Bangkok, tho everything can be obtained some are obviously not there. Always a pleasure to do so. Jaime, will get some local coffee and maybe home made marmalade. Oh! and all the grog duty free for the others. Gee! what else?

Then, a very good friend will be taking us to the airport and some other friends will be picking us up. The airport is so far away and there is no public transport to Brisbane. It is so lucky  that we live in such fabulous community.

Our trip will take us to Bangkok, London, France and back the same way we came from. It is also very convenient that our boys are well placed. One in Thailand and the other in London, while the rest of our friends and relatives will be in South of France.

The excitement is palpable. Everyday we wonder what is that we have forgotten to pack, to write down or to mention. But even if we did, it will be too late. In the anticipation of going we have forgotten twice to roll the rubbish bins onto the road and we had to take it to the tip…a real chore. This morning early, around 5am, I hear the recycling truck roaring down the road…warm in bed I did not feel like getting up. But just a little later  around 7AM, another one passed and Peter jumped out of bed, got dressed in a hurry and ran down the drive at full speed dragging the bin. OOPS! too late, we missed it says he as he got back up puffing. I know I said. You did not run fast enough, outraged…what? I did, but too late. The neighbour told him that second truck was the rubbish truck, the recycling went by at 5AM. Haha! that was the one I did not feel like getting up for and tried to chase it down the drive….gosh 100m in the freezing cold, no way. So I chuckled. Not for me. As I had to take the car for a check up, I took a plastic bag and filled it with some recycling stuff and dumped it in the village….not on the road you may have thought…but in the bins for recycling. So at least some of it got disposed of.

That is what happens when your brain does not work in the usual way. Distraction from the routines and too much feverishness about the trip make you forget the most mundane chores. Anyway, not a big deal after all.

I just hope that everything is in place and even then if they are not, we’ll have to take as it is. Just hope that the dog won’t get too fat, the fish won’t be forgotten and the chickens will go on laying even without all the goodies that Peter provides them every day. The cows will be happy on Ron’s paddock with his herd.

Fish pond

Maybe if I feel so inclined I might write a little when we are away.

Till next time.

The dog and the lady

Just a couple of days ago, a friend of the lady who rent our cabine up the hill arrived. EM, our tenant, asked us if it was ok by us to have a friend staying for a few days. She had a dog with her but this dog was pretty well behaved . Of course we said, it should not be any problems. Em’s dog is sweet and a real little gem and she gets on so well with our black pudding of a labrador.

Black pudding

After, having taken J to the airport for his flight back to Melbourne, we arrived  back at home. Our cows were bellowing their head off for their 4 o’clock feed. I jumped out of the car, got the wheelbarrow and walked to the hay stack where I fetched 3 arms full of top lucerne hay. On my way to the paddock, I see this brown dog running full speed towards the fence. It got zapped by the electric wire separating the paddocks. That did not stop it. He went back a second time and charged the cows down the hill. The four cows including the 2 calves were galloping at full speed roaring with fright, they did not know where to run, they huddled against a clump of bamboo together. It did not stop, it went at them biting at the heels of the 2 little calves. They were wailing with terror not knowing what was suddenly happening to them at feed time. They kept stampeding  in all directions the dog being more agile and more nimble catching up with them. Their cries could be heard for miles away. I was totally taken aback.

The owner, kept on calling the dog but it would not come, desperate Em, ran down the drive to fetch the dog calling all the time to no avail. Finally, after what seemed an eternity out of sheer despair and fear, I screamed to the owner to do something. She was totally inept. The dog arrived back up the drive not wanting to obey and sheepishly made an attempt to go to its owner who did not do a thing.

She told us that she had never seen it behave in that way. He loved cows and in fact was scared of them. She had photos to prove it. I was totally dismayed by her reply. NOW,  you are seeing what your dog is capable of doing on a farm and from now on your dog must be kept on a lead at all times. No, she said, I could not do that. Really, you come as a guest here, and you lay down the rules, that is really incredible I thought. This is not how it works here. I reiterated my point, but she carried on telling me that her dog NEVER behaved that way. I don’t care what happened before, what matters is what is happening now here, let it be a lesson to you and your visit on a farm. She still would not take my point and insisted that her dog would not go on a leash and so on.

One of the calf

The next day, after having her dog finally tied all night she asked Em, if the dog could be left off the lead, absolutely no said Em, I do not want to risk another episode like yesterday. The woman was not going to take it that way. Em, told her to go as she was not going to take responsibility for her unruly mutt. She asked her to leave and she moved on.

My husband rang me at the Gallery and told me the ending of the dog and the lady. I breathed a sigh of relief, I was fearing that she had seriously intended to let her dog off the lead and both of us were going to kick her out in a very unpleasant way. My husband did not rest all night at the thought that she might not have heeded our request. But all is well and end well.

The cows are just getting back to normal still a little weary as they are checking around around to see if the horrible mutt was still around and today at 4o’clock they came by the fence and started their usual demands…maybe insisting for a little extra for the troubles they went through the other day. I was not going to give in this time…maybe tomorrow.

Till next time.