Right, it's finally time for me to be able to give you a update, we've come into town for at least one night! I can't quite belive that it's already been 2 weeeks since I strated this job; it's definitely been good fun and quite an experience, but I'm also glad we've made it here to see some civilization and prove that the rest of the world still exist, it is getting pretty lonely here!
After a lot of effort to get up here, I eventually met the some of the family whebn they flagged the bus down at the side of the road, as it was running so late and there was still a long way to go to the farm. I had been told that the nearest town was called Jericho, and had (somewhat foolishly) assumed that it might be say a maximum of half an hour away. However it is actually over an hours drive along some pretty rough dirt tracks! So, if you want to see where I am working, search for a town called Jericho in Queensland, then look about 80km north of there!
Bruce, the new boss, is nice. He's very typically Australian, he has a thick accent and has been opn farms all his life so I will definitely learn a lot from him! I've yet to meet 4 out of the5 of their children, but I think that most of them will be coming back from boarding school/uni over Easter.
The drive up to the farm was nice, going through the outback with the sun setting and roos bouncing along beside the 4wd, but it's fair to say that I was definitely feeling a bit daunted by then! The first morning was a bit of a shock to the system as well; I woke up covered in mozzie bites (literally a ridiculous number for one person- and I react quite badly to them!), then first thing after brekfast we got into the ute, me and Nat, one of their sons, in the back along with about 8 working dogs, then drove off into one of the paddocks. At one point we stopped quite suddenly and they pointed out some roos in the distance. Bruce then got out his rifle (!) and shot (!!) 3 of them down. That was a bit of a shock, but I guess it's fair enough as they are pests and the meat gets fed to the dogs. Still, it was a bit strange to see one of Australias most known symbols getting butchered at the side of the road to say the least!
As for the work I've been doing, it hasnt been too difficult so far, just pretty tough physically at some ponts, especially when the days are around 32 degrees in the blazing sun! I get up at 6, start work pretty soon after and finish as it starts to get dark around 6pm, with around an hours break at lunch. So far what I've been doing include driving the 4wd hilux around, building a new shed for the water pump, mixing up concrete, using power tools, feeding the dogs and goats, spraying herbicide along fencelines and much more! Slightly disappointingly we still havent done any riding. That's because before we can go mustering, the fences in all the paddocks along the way need to be checked, but the ground is too wet to get around in a vehicle, a fact I didn't belive until we got bogged the other day and had to walk home! Hopefully *fingers crossed* we'll get to do some mustering soon, as it's what I've been looking forward to the most!
The beginning of last week wasn't too bad work-wise, as a big cyclone passed over, so it was far roo stormy for a couple of days to do anything much. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do to amuse myself -I've already read 3 out of the 7 books I bought with me, along with some of Bruces agricultural ones, but I don't want to run out too soon. The radio also leaves a bit to be desired, it's basically filled with discussion of cattle prices, agricultural issues, weather reports for a vast number of places, rugby matches and some very annoying country music! It's been a very exciting highlight for me the few times they've played a song by Elton, the Beatles, Paolo Nutini or Jonny Cash! Now I never would have been that excited by them at home! I'm also very glad to have my mp3 player here, I listen to it for the hour or so I have free each day, I think I'd go crazy without it!
The wildlife here has been pretty excting so far, I've seen a couple of snakes, but only little carpet pythons and tree snakes. Some of the spiders are ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE, but to be honest those arent too bad as you can see them a mile off! The ones I'm most scared of are called Redbacks. They're deceptively inconspicous, only about an onch across, but they're actually one of the worlds most venemous spiders and could kill you pretty quick. I'm definitely sterring well clear of them!
Right my internet time is about to run out. I am feeling pretty lonely out here but am having a great time otherwise, sorry for writing such an essay! If anyone wants to contact me, the address is
Queensland (or just QLD)
It would make my week to get a letter, I'm trying to send some out at the moment! You could also phone and I'll ring you back as I've got a cheap phonecard. The number is +61746514272. It be best if you rang between about half 6 and 9 in the evening my time, so half 8 to 11 in the morning for you (or perhaps not now that the clocks are changing!) If no one picks up, just leave a message and I'll ring you back.
I hope everyone is well, I miss you all and Engalnd a lot!