Monday, 8 November 2021

Farmhand


enjoying a ginger beer

There I am lobbing into the Mapleton Pub in my raggedy t-shirt, old jeans and Blundstones. And it feels good. It’s good because I have been helping my daughter with making vegetable beds: selecting logs for edging from the pile on the flat paddock, loading them into her Prado, and bringing them up the hill to her house yard. There’s been a bit of mattock work too and it’s time for me to stop the hard yakka before my back starts to complain. Besides I’m hungry and a hot pub lunch sounds just the ticket. 
 
Fortunately, Mapleton Pub—with its breath-taking views over the hinterland and out to the ocean—is just a few minutes away, and we are soon sipping on a ginger beer (on tap) and tucking into their beef pie. After lunch, there’s just a little more work arranging the logs in
the vege patch, and then I head off home for a power nap. 

Times like this are one of the perks of retirement! 

I delight in my daughter being only 30 mins away. And I absolutely love her small property: 20 acres with fenced paddocks, a creek, and a patch of rainforest. Oh, how lovely to have your own patch of rainforest you might say … but there’s a downside—leeches! Those sneaky little worms just love sucking my blood and are highly skilled at finding a way to do it. But they are relatively harmless, and I have learnt that a thorough spray of insect repellent before venturing forth scares them off. And the snakes? There are at least two who regard M’s home yard as their territory and sunbake along the branches of her frangipanni tree but, then again, a brown snake was sunning itself in a corner of my tiny suburban garden the other day. It’s an Aussie summer thing isn’t it. Though country-style living does present extra challenges. 

Take tank water for instance. You might think that rainwater gathered in your tank would be pure and crystal clear. Not necessarily. Nasty bacteria can find a home there. I recall finding a decomposing possum in the house tank when I was living country style. So, M and I did some tank maintenance the other day; although she was not really happy about me being up a ladder … apparently, it’s a no-no for oldies. (Don’t you just love being lectured to by your children!)

 Being at M’s place does take me back to my days on a small property. It was demanding but immensely satisfying. Nature is so giving. Sure, it’s harsh but there’s nothing quite like the company of a tree or two, the brilliance of a night sky in an open space, the conversations of birds, watching a bee at work, the list goes on … There’s also the satisfaction of completing a job that takes a bit of grunt. This is particularly relevant for me now. Sure, I can do some shovelling and hacking—but only some. I like being my daughter’s casual farmhand but I also like saying, see you next time darling, and driving home to my bloke and our little beach house.

Fiz

1 comment:

Adele said...

Good on you, Fiz. Great that you can help your daughter while at the same time enjoying yourself.