What am I good at now?
Instead of persuading executives and coworkers to change their perceptions and work differently, I’m now pretty good at persuading cattle to go where I want them.
I’m great at zooming around the countryside on the Quad bike and love it. There isn’t a creek I can’t cross (though I might have to search for a bit to find a place I’m prepared to tackle). Even the hills are easier on my new quad bike.
I’ve also learnt to read the cattle and understand where I need to position myself to get them to move in the right direction. I’m more alert when one is about to charge off in the wrong direction. I can anticipate them somewhat. I also know the naughty ones by sight.
When we first started, the cows would always bunch up in the corner as we struggled to get them moving through yards. Now, somehow our expectations have changed so that doesn’t really happen. There is only the odd recalcitrant that needs a sterner voice.
I can work a fence line confidently. I have a set of tasks that are well within my capability, so no more standing around waiting for something to do or just watching. It is great exercise and very satisfying to look back along the fence as it is erected. I’m even good a sighting in the posts – a very responsible job. The fence just has to be dead straight!
What am I still working on?
I still don’t like being in the yards with the Brahmans. They charge and snort at you. I don’t like them. They make me nervous.
Coping with the isolation is ongoing but the internet helps a lot as do frequent visits to town.
My tennis game is still sadly lacking. The district has a monthly tennis day. It is a great social event and has really helped us integrate. They all love a drink, well lots of drinks actually, so they are always memorable events. I just wish I could hit the ball into the right place a little more frequently.
The anxiety when we are waiting for rain is tiring. It is such a relief when it does rain but the waiting is frustrating and saps your energy. We seem to be waiting a lot.
We were out mustering the other day and came across a family of wild pigs. The sow had a big litter – about 12. Chris ran them down and managed to catch three. We brought them home on the bike. They are so cute. We called them Greasy, Pork and Chop. This is to make sure we don’t get too attached to them before we eat them. We will grow them out for about six months. They are getting fatter already. So we have pigs as well as cows to look after now.