Life after Alice

22 Nov

Due to exceptionally rubbish internet connections, me forgetting the little cable that connects my phone to my computer and other things, I haven’t been able to post for a while so I think a condensed version of the last two months is probably due. For those of you on facebook, you may have seen some of these pictures but now I’ve got lovely wi-fi I can put them up on here too.

The baby calves (we ended up with three in the end – Barley followed shortly after – had to be rescued from a demonic Brahman cow who had ‘adopted’ a calf but was dry so couldn’t feed it but spent her time fiercely trying to bite anyone who came near it) although were a little dehydrated so next time I went into town I picked up some sachets from the vet (who was a bit bemused to be asked about calves as she usually dealt in the smaller variety of animal…most farmers round here just leave the calves to die and don’t bother about trying to save them. But how could you resist this little face?

He was a happy little thing, skipping around and headbutting the other calves. The two girls escaped one day but Brian stayed in his pen, deciding the outside world was just too scary. The girls ran down through the farm to the yard where wild cows come to have a drink of water in the evening, and joined their group. They all shuffled off to wherever they decided to sleep, calves in tow, but we hoped they’d be back the next day. Luckily the training I’d been doing with them paid off and they came when they were called for their milk. We eventually managed to recapture them and put them back with Brian, who’d been looking very lonely by himself.

We got quite good at calf-wrestling in the end – this is one who escaped through the crush so we leapt on it (the way all cattle were handled before yards were mechanical!) and sensitively posed for a photo before branding. In all the excitment we forgot to do its ears, oops.

I got to sit with Kathleen, an 82 year old from Uptopia, whilst she painted at the farm. Her and her daughter come quite regularly to paint at the station

She’s nearly blind so you have to help her by turning the canvas around and telling her what colours she’s painting with, but the end result was still lovely

That time of year came round again and it was my birthday all too soon. Craig forgot it (!) so I drove to town as normal and prepared to stay there and come back the next day once the ute had been fixed. No sooner had I checked into the hostel, the boss rang to say I’d better get back here because he’d heard it was my birthday…so turned round, drove 300 km back to the station to find Craig had got out all the Christmas decorations and made me a banner, got flowers for the table, been to the nearest shop (90 km round trip and little more than a newsagents!), bought pizza for everyone, cake, birthday candles and made me a leather bookmark with patterns and a note stamped into the leather with Don’s leathermaking tools. Not bad considering he had about 3 hours’ notice and was miles away from anywhere! He’d also got the boss’s son to buy me some books when he was in town, Bridget had also made me a cake and Don got some rum out and gave me a painting by one of the local artists :)

But all good things have to come to an end and we decided that on balance, as much as we enjoyed working on the station, Craig doing 100 hours a week for the equivalent of $7 per hour just didn’t make sense…getting up at 5 am, getting in at 8 pm and both of us working flat out in between was not sustainable and we decided that a change of scene was necessary. We thought maybe going to another station would be a good plan as it was likely to be better run, with more staff (we’d got 4 plus the boss to run 750,000 acres). The other two girls we’d spent the last two months with were also leaving, so before our arms and legs fell off, we left our lovely calvies, Boris, Buster and the station and drove into Alice Springs for the last time. Luckily we left just before station life changed us too much

We will definitely miss this place but looking forward to getting clean and seeing the bright lights of Alice (ahem).

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3 Responses to “Life after Alice”

  1. nomadyouth 13 January 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Your blogs is one of the few travel blogs which have brought back such strong traveling feelings. I loved, loved, LOVED the pictures above… keep up the excellent work. :) So lovely.

    • toaustraliathelongway 13 January 2013 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it and the piccies :)

      • nomadyouth 13 January 2013 at 7:43 am #

        Your welcome. :) I will be checking back often.

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