We have all started late this morning, feeling the effects of the weather and Lamb marking – we have done over 500 in total with Ronnie, my cousins husband. Sitting around our kitchen table talking and laughing over coffe and iced water. I cooked a typical big breakfast for them this morning, bacon, eggs & tomatoes. Chris is talking about the scratches he has on his stomach from the constant kicking – he was in charge of rings on tails & testicles, I have bruising on my arms from being kicked after injecting and ear tagging, Ronnie forgot his back brace – he had to pick all the lambs up and move them into the cradle so he is “only slightly sore” in his back. No more work for him today. It is cooler and we can all laugh, Lamb marking is such a performance and some of the language would make the faint hearted people’s hair curl. We all ignore each other’s outburst when they happen as it is pure frustration at the circumstances rather than the people.
Ronnie doesn’t consider this work, he is willing to help as he loves the outdoors and the challenge, Chris & I both know that it is work, it’s hard manual labor. It is only made easier as we can ignore the swearing, the kicking, the dogs barking, the dust, the heat and at the end of the day it prepares our lambs for sale. He doesn’t ask for payment, he collect things from us i.e. wood for his pizza oven he built himself and makes the best pizzas ever (we have had meals there). Today he will be leaving with a ‘dressed lamb’, a couple of dozen free range eggs and an old TV which he wants for his children’s play area. We try to give him product in kind and we think this is the least we can do once loaded up he will then begin his 3 1/2 hour journey home. He comes expecting nothing but hard work and some ‘man & nature time”. He has a wonderful friendship – dare I say ‘bromance’ with Chris. They are kindered spirits, cheeky boys that have grown into men that wish they could get away with things as adults that they did as teenagers & single men.
Did we rest this week end? one of Chris favourite sayings is “weekends and public holidays are only for the general public, farming is 24/7”. This is true, we have to check waters daily or twice daily in this heat cattle can drink over 50 gallons each per day, as we have approx 900 head, if they break the trough and are out of water they perish very quickly. Sheep also drink approx 1 gallon each in the heat, we have approx 1500 sheep so there is a lot of troughs that need checking. This can take up to an hour, if there is problems it needs to be fixed instantly so it can take up to 3 hours, sometimes I am required to drive the tractor to lift it and replace them, so is today a sunday of rest?
I have plans to continue creating my new office, filing letters, writing letters to people who have sent me letters of support for the Keith Hospital (strangers who have never met me) doing my book work and getting ready for tomorrow, Monday. Where I will travel into my business and reopen for the year, Keith is quiet in January as many travel to the surrounding beaches for family holidays, so I was able to shut up shop and leave it, but I still have father christmas as my window display. I need to order goods & stock and create an advertising campaign for this year.
Even if you have an event planned for today at some stage will you come home, do washing, fold clothes, iron, cook, prepare lunch boxes for children returning to school, finish off that proposal or assignment for work or study you are doing that needs to be ready for Monday? Do we consider that part of our sunday was a day of rest or are these things that require you to do work or prepare for the week considered work? Do these things invade your thoughts till you begin them?
Good luck for the begining of the school year, if you have changed employment or if you have worked today and have an RDO tomorrow enjoy what it is that makes you happy, whether that be work or rest. I must go I have vacumming to do we have walked the dirt through the house and it feels terrible under my feet. So begins my working week.