Blog - Page 18 of 18 - Margôt Tesch, Writer
February 22, 2008

Why am I doing this?

Monday – Unexpected pleasure

Continued to progress the 3.5 kilometre boundary fence a long way from the house. This day I learnt how to use the jackhammer by leaning on it to ram in the pins used to secure the fence stays. This job was actually quite enjoyable, not as hard as you would think.

Tuesday – Why am I here?

As the fence neared completion, it was time to roll out, strain up and tie on the BARBED WIRE! I walked over twice the length of the fence to ensure no tangles and the right tension. But the real challenge came when it was time to tie it on to the tops of the star pickets. By lunchtime I was ready to throw the towel in as my arms were cut and punctured from scratches and bites from those tough old barbs! Then Christopher showed me how to change my technique slightly, and the rest of the afternoon was incident free. Sigh…. do I really want to be an ace fencer? Not sure…

Wednesday – The end at last

This was the toughest day of all, as we had to put the droppers on. These are positioned between each star picket to hold the wires secure. It is a tough job as the clips are hard to apply and the tie wire is also harsh on hands – especially soft ladies hands (fast becoming fencing hands – that nail polish just doesn’t look quite right anymore!). But what a feeling when we came to the end about 11 hours later! The only thing missing were the cold beers on the truck for relief & celebration. What an achievement. Every member of the crew was stiff, sore and glad to see the end.

But the day was topped off by the ride home in the back of the ute (Nissan brakes and wheel still under repair) with a magnificent sunset, the wind in my hair and the perfect temperature, coupled with a great sense of satisfaction of a job well done…mmm… maybe it is worthwhile? Still pondering that one…

Thursday – Friday

Apart from recovery, some odd jobs and a trip to town, plans start for the next fence. At least the next one is shorter (only 1 km long) and close to the house. This means we can have a cappuccino for morning team. Yaaaeee!!!! I’m getting really good at making them now so don’t be worried about missing some city comforts when you come to visit. They go really well with fresh scones with jam and cream, Anzac biccies not to mention the jam drops!

February 15, 2008

First Week as Jillaroo

Sunday

Arrived at Spring Creek for a quiet Sunday afternoon. (Needed Saturday to recover from Friday night!) Unfortunately a number of the cows had stepped over the fence into the neighbours. This meant an urgent repair job was required. Not a good start. However the intrusion into our leisure time was happily interrupted by the discovery of a cow with a calf born that morning. It was neat to watch the little fellow trying to stand up – all wobbly and cute – with the mother keeping a watchful eye at a comfortable distance.

Monday

Monday was a very profitable day as we managed to sell 40 steers from the paddock. This is a lucrative way to sell as it avoids the volatility of the fat sale and transport and yard fees. The steers were our best pick and in great health with very shiny coats. They fetched an average of $515 each and we got to experience our first negotiation process with the stock agent. They were transported out that day with the last truck arriving at 9:30 that night.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

I spent three days up the very back paddock (about 20 kms from the house) to progress the new boundary fence (3 kms long). This was a challenging few days learning new skills and trying to develop enough muscle to bang in star pickets with a sledgehammer! It rained all day Tuesday – only light drizzle but constant. We even sat and ate our lunch in the rain. We worked through until about 3 pm when I declared I had had enough, as I was drenched through. It then became apparent that all three of the men wanted to go too but were too stubborn to be the first to pull up! I’m glad I’m a woman!!!!
Thursday got off to a bad start with the brakes and wheel bearings failing on the Nissan on arriving at the work site. This meant to get home I had to either drive the tractor towing the trailer (fear and trepidation!) or drive a four-wheel drive vehicle with no brakes and a wobbly wheel through rough terrain across creeks and gullies. I would have much preferred to take neither! The trip back was further compounded by nightfall along an unfamiliar track.
I had known I needed to learn how to drive the tractor as it would be required in emergency situations but wasn’t expecting to be challenged to this level so early! I wanted to get off that tractor and give up quite a few times. Sigh – baptism of fire into being a grazier’s wife!

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