Sunday, May 11, 2008

Unexpected guests for breakfast...

Another Sunday evening and feeling tired from a weekend at the block. We went for an overnight stay this weekend with Luke, Chris and Sue, adding to the lengthening list of family member visitors to our place.

Dom, Luke and I got off to a great start leaving the coast at 6:00am and with a couple of junk food stops on the way got to the block mid morning to set up camp.

We noticed the region was a lot drier than on any of our previous visits, but still dramatically beautiful. A comparison below shows the Anduramba Hall now and on our last visit:

Driving up to our gate we could see a few strange lumps scattered across the long grass. On closer inspection these turned out to be four confused cows and two curious horses! Our neighbor Tom's stock were set in for a weekend of their own on our land and had been rudely disturbed by our arrival! For a self confessed horse and cow phobic this presented a new challenge! Watched closely by the stock, we opened the gate and Luke navigated his way around bovine and horse alike to drive up to the shed.

Then came yet another comic attempt at animal wrangling as Dom and Luke confidently harahed and waved hands to move the animals back down the slope to Tom's place and the security of a fenced field. I stumbled about keeping a safe distance (100 metres or so seemed good to me!). The horses figured out the plan pretty quickly and did what they were told. The cows had different ideas (or more likely, no ideas at all!) and scattered one way and then another with their herd-brain in synch, and at no time looked to be heading for home.

Eagle eyes will spot the tiny-Dom demonstrating long-distance cow wrangling.

So in the end we settled for them being not where we wanted to pitch the tents and that was that. I should note; however, that prior to the wrangling, I did manage a minor breakthrough of touching the nose on the bolder horse ever so gently!

We set to erecting our tents, got the camp kitchen set up and the fire stocked.

After a grand tour for Luke it was time for some snoozing and relaxing and further wood gathering. By mid afternoon we headed into town to check out the annual Crows Nest show. The $12.00 entry fee was a bit steep, but who can complain when the money will go towards the community. We wandered about the pavilion checking out local art works, prize winning vegetables and even a prize winning bucket of wheat! We stopped by the poultry shed and checked out some beautiful and some strange poultry and bumped into a beautiful placid great dane who was feeling a little down after not winning the day.

There was a small sideshow alley and the required wood chopping zone.

Preparations were in place for the night's events which were going to include a lawn mower grand prix! It was decided that only a pluto pup could round off our country show experience and searched and searched to no avail! Who could have predicted, not a deep fried, batter wrapped sausage to be found. So we left the show grounds and went into town to await the arrival of Chris and Sue. Dom ducked into the local cheap shop to pick up a couple of pillows (inconveniently forgotten by us in our pre-dawn packing!) and we sat in the town square to wait.

Soaring interest rates are forcing young people to live on park benches with cheap shop pillows as their only comfort.

The undisputed rock golf champion of Crows Nest.

A phone call to Sue revealed that they would not arrive for another hour, so a quick trip out to Lake Perseverence filled the time, driving past the local model airplane club dogfighting their way above a field.

We met Chris and Sue at the local caravan park where they had rented a cabin and decided a night of fire gazing was called for, so popped into the local fisho to grab some dinner and then headed out to the block. It was well into dusk when we arrived so a quick glance about was all that our latest visitors had time for before we settled into our fish and chips and an evening of discussion and planning and wine and beer! Chris and Sue headed home, while the younger generation kept the fire company (and the beer from freezing) into the night.

After a restless, cold night we awoke to find we had unexpected guests for breakfast. The horses had returned, right to the middle of our camp and the cows were loitering around the edges!

Celebrity chef - Anduramba style.

The horses seemed very interested in our morning coffee brew and whatever it was that we were preparing for our first breakfast, so we generously gave them an apple each in the hope they would be satisfied. They weren't of course, and added to their intruding behaviours the cruel trick of walking up behind a horse-o-phobe as she sat peacefully reading in the morning sun and snuffling in her ear!

After a stern word or two, they got the point and wandered off to greener, less human dominated pastures.

Chris and Sue arrived just as the boys were launching operation 'dig-a-hole' the goal of which was to figure out the make up of our sub soil. Good news apparently, they hit clay after only a few inches and with a mini-dam water test, confirmed that our land may be suitable for the creation of a stable dam in the future.

We cooked up a delicious breakfast and enjoyed the serenity for a while.

Chris and Sue were taken on the grand tour and were satisfyingly impressed! Then it was all hands on deck to pack up camp and we returned to town to check out Salts (this has become a habit!)

We were having a lovely time wandering around the store and Chris was explaining the ins and outs of recognising a quality piece, when the grumpy shop-keep (not the usual jovial host) approached us and insinuated that we were damaging his stock. Not a pleasant experience for any customer, so we withdrew our custom and thus ended the visit on a slightly sour note. My advice now would be to peer in the window before entering and if you spot a jovial brit brandishing his hands as he entertains his customers with tales then enter, but if you see a grumpy grandpa scowling down from his lofty perch, then leave him be.

So home again now, and we are more convinced than ever that the right plan would be to convert the on-site shed (with the addition of a caravan?) for living, until we are certain of what we want in a house and where we want it. I will have to contact the council soon to determine if this will be possible. It seems the logical choice!

Note: some of the images in this post must be attributed to this photographer. As he is a Software Engineer we cannot show his face.


Nicola on May 13, 2008 at 8:20 PM said...

Hey there you two happy campers……. I am totally enthralled in reading about your journey so far, what a liberating way to spend your weekends and the sooner you are living your dream the better………Woooo Hooooo you two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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