okay so I have officially finished my time working out in oz and I feel as though there is sosososo much stuff to talk about that writing it all down could take several hours, although I guess thats quite a good thing when I am stuck in rockhampton all day until my flight leaves a 6 o'clock this evening. it doesnt help however that I wrote my entire time down up until a few weeks ago and then successfully deleted an hours worth of typing without knowing what I even pressed.. I was not so happy!!! I will try and write everything down in the correct order as I remember it =)
so backtracking all the way back to the may day bank holiday weekend it was the night of the blackwater rodeo so me, marion and matthew headed off down there for an evening of bucking bulls, beer and music, what more could you possiblyy ask for?! it has to be one of the best things I have ever seen as we watched men try and stay on bulls and horses for 8 seconds without falling off (8 secs is the time they had to stay on to get a score, the animal and the person are then scored individually depending on how good they were and the winner is then decided). I have some amazing videos of people being thrown off horses bucking ridiculously high into the air!!! this was also the night I discovered my love for the garth brooks song rodeo- its amazing so download it!!!!
the following day was may day and there was a big fair held near the high school with rides and different stalls during the day. we went on the dodgems and I swear I will never get in a car with a french driver ever again.. marion could not drive the dodgem car and we kept being bumped by loads of little kids, it was not very fun. especially not when I had a huuuggeeee bruise on my hip for over a week!!! in the evening there was a boxing tent where locals could volunteer to go up against trained boxers in whilst everyone watched.. so basically they volunteered to get beaten up in front of all their friends,.,it doesnt sound much fun to me although it was pretty entertaining to watch!! we then stayed to watch the fireworks and the band although no drinking was allowed as we had to muster the bull paddock in the morning and I swear I have never been so scared as when I had to stand in the yard with all the bulls that were fighting and charging each other.. never mind that if they got cranky they would have no problem with charging us!! as soon as that day was over I was delighted!!
plenty of mustering followed as we mustered the whole of longdale in order to brand the calves and inject the cows against lepto. my job whilst branding was to chase the calves in the chute, shut teh slide and then inject them with 5 in 1 whilst everyone else did all the other jobs.
the most exciting time when we were at longdale was the day of the helicoptor muster as colin made sure that me and marion both got a chance to have a ride in the helicopter before we went out mustering, and as it was my first time in a helicopter it was pretty exciting!!! at the end of the day we have around 400 cattle in the yards that needed drafting, it took a long time!!!
another highlight of my time working was when me and marion got to go and watching colin and matthew compete at the dingo campdraft which was brilliant to watch having spent time at home training the horses. colin even got through to the final of the open on pattern before losing his beast going round the first peg in the final, so they didnt bring any ribbons home that weekend.
marion left for darwin 2 weeks ago and I have genuinally missed sharing a house with her as I have had to live by myself for 2 weeks, although it hasnt been as bad as I thought it was going to be and I have been able to do a lot more which has been fun. we have spent the last week at st helens which is another one of their properties near emerald where we went out mustering just the 3 of us and didnt have any problems which was brilliant considering we did a couple of tricky paddocks. once in the yard I was in the drafting yard letting out the calves and weaners, and I even got a chance to have a go at ear marking, branding and catching the calves in teh cradle, all of which are good fun and I have had a brilliant couple of weeks to end on, so now I am sad to be leaving =(
we did have one scary moment though the other night when I was driving an old ute that lives at st helens into the supermarket car park and one of the wheels fell clean off, imagine if that had happened on the highway.. I could have died!!! it was pretty scary.. but made even worse by the fact that we think the crazy people that used to live in the house at st helens (before they gto asked to leave and they didnt want to go) may well have loosened the tyre nuts keepng the tyre on before they left as revenge for being kicked out... we guess hoping that the tyre would fall off when the ute was being drivin round the paddocks and whoever was driving wopuld have to walk kilometers to get home... horrible people!!!
I must say that my final weekend did end on a high and we finished work early on saturday and me and matthew went to emerald flood fest 2011, where we went on the dodgems and didnt get bruised this time!!! and then managed to get in the front row for a concert by that band 'the cat empire' who are apparently massive in oz and some european countries... not that I had ever heard of them! Although they have sold 2 double platinum albums and have been around for 10 years. So that was good fun dancing at the front with all the die hard fans singing and dancing behind us!!! there’s something extra good about being right in the middle at the front as well and Matthew made sure his friends found out as they have previously paid to go see them and we rocked up at a free concert and were at the front =)
Overall I feel that I have learnt a lot in my time working as a jillaroo on a cattle property... I have learnt how to ride properly, how to climb up fences really quickly to get away from cranky cattle, I have learnt that frogs and mice arent that bad, even when they live in your bathroom. I have learnt I can make pretty good cakes without a recipe, I know when it is appropriate to say fair dinkum! I have seen dingos and kangaroos and bush turkeys and various snakes! I have learnt how to dig holes with a crowbar and shovel, I have learnt how to measure, cut and weld steel. This experience has taught me a lot and I am happy that this was what I decided to do.
Now its time for the really exciting bit as I begin my travels with becca coming out to join me in the beginning of July in cairns. So bring on the hostels and rubbish food of the next 3 months, I can’t wait to get started =D xxx