The Man from Ellenborough River

There is light at the end of the tunnel!  Team solar turned up on Monday with the new hot water system. They dashed my hopes about hot water on Monday when they didn’t get the install finished but by Tuesday night I was luxuriating in a deep, hot bath (still green!).  Oh well, since the latest beauty fad for fashionistas in London is Nightingale poo face packs, I am sure that my green river water bath is actually very youthifying – although maybe not judging by the wrinkles my skin had acquired by the time I finally left my warm, wet paradise.

I still seem to be either shopping for renovation essentials or back in the Telstra vortex as I return their little wireless widget and while away the hours as they try and dream up new solutions for me.  Got a new lawnmower that is green, sturdy, fearless and invincible.  It’s true blue, dinky di – it’s a Victa and I have a feeling we are going to get along!

Went to see one of my neighbours who has a sawmill.  He has recently retired but agreed to cut the timber for the big beams and kitchen, laundry and bathroom surfaces for me.  He seems nice but boasts about how much water he uses to clean his teeth!  It is a sad fact that rural Australians who live on water and have unlimited access to it, waste it more than most!   They don’t have rainwater tanks, they don’t keep it, cherish it, store it, they just use it in the same way that city folk do . . . bizarre!

And the farm has come into its own this week with the arrival of 75 calfs to grow fat on the land.  Which brings me to George.  What a character!  George is 70 odd, he was ‘rared’ here (as the locals say).  He owned all this land – thousands of acres and George has sold it off bit by bit.  He’s a wiry, strong, lined and thin lipped Man from Snowy River type.  His Akubra is ancient, his RM’s battered and bruised and his horse’s bridle is more baling twine than leather.  He wields a chainsaw like a virtuoso violinist makes music with his bow.  His blue eyes can be steely or twinkle with humour.  He tells me he got in deep trouble with the drink and that’s when he found God and began to make sense of it all with the bible.  He’s a Seventh Day Adventist so he doesn’t drink or smoke or sin and he’s a vegetarian so we have something in common!  I tell him all my dreams for the place and he think them through.  He has his own clear picture in his head of what the land should be like and though he wouldnt even begin to know what I mean, his work is done with perfect zen.  The cattle are his and the deal is that he swaps the farm work for the agistment.  He’s a crafty old bugger – we always talked about 40 head and he turns up with 75 and a good story about how he always meant 40 mothers and calfs, so 75 little heifers is the same thing in principle . . . !!

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