Friday, December 24, 2010


fb drum

“When all the doors on my Advent calendar have opened, then it will start to snow! Then it will be Christmas! After I go to bed, there will be the clip-clop of hooves on the roof if you listen closely. Then the thud thud thud of boots. And Father Christmas will slide down the North Pole, and come out the fireplace- and he won’t get stuck because his sack is TOO BIG, because he’d be careful. He will walk down the hallway- clomp clomp clomp and the noise that he makes is Ho Ho Ho! And he’ll fill up my stocking with PRESENTS and fill up Kate’s stocking too, and he’ll put more presents under my Christmas tree. He’ll eat up his biscuits and drink his milk and take the carrot for his reindeer. Then he’ll fly away around the world!”
Farmboy, 2010

Have a wonderful Christmas, and may your stocking be as full!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What a week!

What a week…

hill scene


A week of warriors…

fb dam

A week of wounds…

(Bad Bill!)fb scratch

A week of wallies…

(namely Muddy, who finally met his match in the White Dam gate, which grabbed his back leg as he leapt over it, dislocating his hip. A month of crate rest for your sins, Muddy!)mud crate 

A week of wonder…

(Father Christmas at daycare!)fb santa gb doll

A week of walking…

(almost- cruising, anyway)gb lawn 2 

A week of waiting…

(patiently behind field bins, that always seem to be heading to the exact same place we are)field bin 1

“Oversize”. Just in case we hadn’t noticed…field bin 2


A week of wheat…

wheatheader 1header 2Watch out behind!header turnschaser bin 

A week of work…

(The apprenticeship of Farmboy is underway)r fbmoving field binfb dr crouchfb wheatwheat hand

Ginger Biscuit enjoys the end product  gb bun

gb sleep

What next, I wonder?

Monday, November 29, 2010

That’s more like it!

Feeling a bit on the grumpy side?


You probably need one of these:lick

Try this one!fb spot

Or perhaps this: blaze   

Nothing like a kid, pup and visitor-packed week to cheer me up. Perthites passing through, unexpected family drop-ins, trialling friends and puppy picking people, local mates x 7, a happy houseful of small people and animals. To top it all off, I mastered not one but three CWA cookbook classics! And people ate them! And survived!

Fred-Queani version 3.0 (Split girl)split bitessplit

v3.1 (Meg II)meg bitesmeg

v3.2- Specklespeck

v3.3, Arrow:bitey 

v3.4, Blazeblaze 2

  v3.something- maybe Ziggy (Dark girl) or Plain Boynang - Copy

And v3.7, the token fluffy, found in every F-Q litter, Spot:spot bath

spot cuddles


Another F-Q token fluffy, Maverick (v2.1) dropped in for a long hard look at our sheep, and give us a preview of how this litter might turn out (in Mav’s case, a stronger version of Queani with more eye)mav 

And he brought his friend Selby, who had her first up close and woolly experience.selby 1

Selby is, rather fascinatingly, a seal colour, which I haven’t seen before in the flesh. selby head       gb pups

That’s better, isn’t it, Ginger Biscuit?bath1

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Neverending story

bale hook

So we finally finished shearing last Wednesday. Weeks of waiting for that magical time “when shearing’s finished”- we’ll mow the lawns, we’ll take the kids riding, we’ll finish the dog kennels, we’ll build that chook pen. When shearing’s finished. And then, suddenly, shearing finished, at 1pm on Wednesday.

Last of the lot- the cull lambs:lamb
rowshearer 1

Littlest rouseabout:fb sweeps         stencilling stencils fb hook
shearer 2 

lamb shorn

At 1.30pm on Wednesday, we started harvesting. Fan-bloody-tastic.

And so, in my new and ill-fitting “harvest widow” role, I’m going to have a whinge.

hay oats

Farming is bloody hard.

I don’t mean recreational farming, where you might run a few hundred sheep as a hobby and pay the real bills with your day job. Of course that can be hard too- fencing and crutching and pulling lambs doesn’t get cushier just because it isn’t your primary income source. But actually relying on the land and the stock and the crops for your livelihood is a heartbreaking business. Farmers work their guts out yet have little control over how this affects their income. The weather and global markets have them by the short and curlies and there’s bugger all they can do about it.

This year has been an absolute shocker in WA, the worst season in a century for most areas. When you’re in the city, that might mean dry gardens and yellowed park lawns. When you’re farming, it might mean losing your job, your home and much of what you own, and your lifestyle. Everything, literally everything, can hinge on “next season”. And if that good season doesn’t eventuate…

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the brave faces when you know people are struggling, I’m sick of watching people fall to pieces when their chins can’t hold up anymore (and I’m not even back behind my desk yet!), I’m sick of the agronomists and their positive spins, I’m sick of carting drinking water, I’m sick of high fuel prices and limited groceries, I’m sick of pisspoor health services and education choices, I’m sick of missing family and friends and missing out on mobile phone coverage and digital TV and paying exorbitant prices for piddling internet downloads. I’m especially sick of hearing about the brilliant season in the East, reading the five page spread in the Weekend Australian celebrating the end of the drought, crowing about huge yields and high prices while desperate machinery dealers fly cashed-up East coast farmers over to shop on the machinery WA farmers can’t afford to keep and nearly a million sheep (the most profitable part of most WA farms at present) are trucked East this year purely because WA farmers can’t afford to feed them. Gaaahhh!

So next time you roll your eyes at a “Thank a farmer for your next meal” bumper sticker, or moan on Facebook about “Rorts for Regions” or the regional fund sinkhole, think about it. Then watch out, because I might just be on my way around to have a word. And I feel like kicking someone’s arse.