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Thank you to everybody who has shared this blog. Sharing is the way these things work, otherwise I'm justing talking to myself. If you like what you read please tweet, Facebook or email it to your mates. The more people outside our agricultural circle we can reach the better. Don't forget to have a look at the other blogs I'm following too. Everyone has a story to tell.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dry Heat

 It's getting to that time of year again, and now with our added venture of tourism, this little poem written for a competition I never entered seems apt.

Dry Heat

They came from the burbs, this family of Perth
Seeking holiday fun, amongst the red earth
‘We’ll go prospecting all day,’ grinned Dad with delight
But at the mention of camping, they all turned quite white.

Mum was concerned at Dad’s plans for a break
She talked to her friends, who all said ‘Mistake!
No phones, no service, or toilet with seat
It’s the middle of Feb, what about all the heat?’

Dad just laughed as he packed up the gear
‘Don’t worry love, can’t be much hotter than here
It’s the coastal humidity we struggle to beat
And luckily out there, it’s a sort of dry heat.’

So off they all trundled, to a town called Yalgoo
What they were in for, they hadn’t a clue
“Here we are kids, this is gonna be sweet!
 The car says it’s forty, but at least its dry heat.’

Car doors flew open, and they stepped into the oven
Mother near fainted, she’d never left the Great Southern
Thongs began melting, and stuck to their feet.
Bitumen tends to get hot, even in the dry heat

Monday, 3 November 2014

Doof Doof In Ze Shed

Last year we had the pleasure of hosting Thibuat (Teebo) and Thierry for three months. These two French boys embraced station life like no other and have become firm friends. The last time they visited was to be Thierry's last, as his Visa was due to expire and he was unable to stay. Just a few of the fun times we had with them follow....

Two Frenchmen arrived, outback adventures they seek
Fresh from a viewing of the infamous Wolf Creek
Greeted by a lady with her rifle on shoulder slung
At that point they wondered what they had done
The boys considered if they should not have just fled
But instead made their way up to the massive steel shed

They stopped at the house and there met all of us
Of their encounter with our guest they made quite a fuss
‘’We did not know if we should stay or should go!’’
And that was our first laugh with Thierry and Thibaut
We showed them around, and they both shook their head
In awe at the scale of things, especially our new shed

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Where is everybody?

So since April I’ve been working off farm as a relief utility for ESS, the company that provides catering and cleaning to a lot of the mines. Up until today I’m on my fourth site. I’ve been to Karratha, near Onslow at Wheatstone, way out whoop-whoop at Telfer playing with dingos (that’s a WHOLE new post in itself) and now I’m at Mooka, near Port Hedland.
Being relief means you get dropped in to help out the permanents at each site, either covering someone who’s sick, on holidays, or providing a temporary boost in numbers during busy times like shutdowns. As a result you meet so many people, all from different backgrounds, cultures, ages and religions. It’s great. And being new, the general first conversations go something like this.
Them: ‘So, where you from?’
Me: ‘Yalgoo.’
Them ‘What goo?’
Me: ‘Yalgoo. Couple hundred clicks in from Geraldton. Out in the scrub, in sheep station country.’
Them: ‘Oh. You live out there?’
Me: ‘Yeah, on our sheep station, Gabyon with my wife Gemma and her parents.’
Them: ‘You own a sheep station? How big? How many sheep do you have?’
Me: ‘Well, the bank owns it at the moment, but it’s 670 000 acres. It’s a big place. And about eight to ten thousand sheep.’

It’s at this point they usually take a minute to recover, especially the people of Asian background. To many of them, any one who owns land is extremely wealthy, so to own that much means I’m obviously a squillionare who is slumming it, bank mortgage or not. Then the inevitable question follows.
‘What are you doing here?’

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Goats on the Hill

  Goats are bastards. Mad as cut snakes, they can make the most experienced mustering team look like a mob of amatuers. One minute they'll be trotting along happily, then the next second it's like someone's lobbed a hand grenade at them and fifty race off in fifty different directions, leaving the five motorbike and two dogs to try and halt the flood.

 On Gabyon sits Courin Hill, a large granite outcrop that a mob of around two hundred call home. Each morning driving past we see them trotting down for a drink and a feed, and each evening driving back we see them again, trotting up once more for the night.

 They are cunning sods. As soons as they hear the bikes or plane they refuse to come down of the hill. The following is based on a few attempts to muster them, with mixed results.

Apologies to Slim.

Rounding up goats is much harder than sheep.
But the feral little buggers need to pay for their keep,
Cos the bank’s back on the phone and a callin’ me.

A few new hands are astride the two wheels.
Racing through the sand as the plane above peels.
But the goats on top o’ the hill are avoiding me.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Fee For Fi Fo Fun

‘Okay, that’s pre-start finished, now everyone outside to do our warm-up stretches.’
I’m sorry, our what?!? I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto…..
Definitely not Kansas. Karratha to be more correct, at the Karratha Gas Plant (KGP) on my first day as a utility for ESS, the company that does the cleaning and catering on this site, and many many others. It’s a whole new world for me, one that we’ve had to explore in order to stay doing what we love at Gabyon.
Gap Ridge Camp
Back in December I started looking for FIFO work. A casual tweet saying I was joining the Hi-Vis crowd led to attending an information and signup session for ESS in Perth, where they basically spent half an hour telling the crowd of forty or so how shit FIFO life is. I guess they get sick of people thinking they can work in these remote sites and then realising it’s not for them. The presenter lady was saying its hot, dry, dusty, there’s flies, snakes, big lizards, there’s no phone service sometimes, the internet’s shit, the work’s repetitive, it’s long days and little breaks. All I could think was that it sounded just like home. Only with a pay cheque at the end of it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Good Mob of Words

 This blog has been neglected of late, and for that I apologise.
 The second Hadagutful rally was a great success. It’s very rare the sequel tops the original and this was no exception, but we did ourselves proud and once I finish downloading the emails with some footage from others I’ll get another video together. With Gabyon’s net speed it should only a few more months.
 I’m sad to say the sale of our Geraldton farms hasn’t made much difference to our business position except the numbers are just are little smaller. Hopefully we can get out of the hole we find ourselves in, but it’s going to be very hard from here. So I find it difficult to write something cheery and funny while worrying what lays ahead.
However, this is not the only reason I’ve written very little for this page in the last few months.