Business as Usual

Well thanks for that Brie.  In a single blog entry you managed to convey more information than I’ll probably manage to in posts up to 2015.   And a reader might now even have a sense of exactly what is going on here out in the ‘doit.  Back now to the unfortunate business of writing about nothing much…

It was a beautiful day today.  Everyone in the neighbourhood (indeed, the whole of Victoria it seems) is done with winter.  It has been a long, wet, cold one with very few sunlight hours.  Today the spring sun shone and I busied myself with leather gloves, mattock and wheelbarrow.  It seems clear to me now that I returned to Australia after some decent years serving (& sipping) Cristal on private yachts only to dig dirt and get a farmer’s tan.

Receiving Top-secret Tanning Tips from Farmer Ross

[I’m looking pretty happy here because Ross is handing me my first ever envelope-full of farm income – cattle agistment fee.  39 cows @ $3 a head for 5 weeks.  They kept my grass down and I got their poo!]

The vegie beds are done – dug, edged, paths mulched.  I can’t stop looking at them.

Vegie Beds Sorted

Today I dug 34 holes along a perimeter fence.  There are no photos of these holes as by the time I finished it was dark and I needed to get the hell out of there and take my screaming muscles to a hot bath.

So, upon returning to my comfortable borrowed house I turned the bath on, poured a glass of red, fed the dogs, emptied the fire of ashes, prepped the pumpkin soup and set the timer to 30 minutes.  I usually can’t manage more than 15 minutes in a bath but I knew today’s needed to be a 30 minute soaking event.  Slid into the kitchen at the 15 minute interval to attend to the soup (ever stirred soup naked? feels silly) and raced back into the bath to think about what to write in my blog entry.  And that’s how you get this kind of quality material.

And so to the holes.  I am starting to think seriously about planting and while the soil is relatively soft and it’s not too hot I’m prepping soil for something to screen the estate (ha) from the road.  I’ve got about 20 more holes to do tomorrow.  And then I’ll think about what to plant.  Which, for gardeners, is like choosing which lollies to put in the pick & mix – it is just damn good fun (more fun, say, than digging).

The vegetable selection is underway.  Yesterday I helped Pep put market-garden quantities of seeds in trays in his greenhouse for his upcoming busy summer season.  In exchange for that small bit of labour, he’s going to supply me with seedlings for the vegie beds – enough to feed me, B and visitors.

But first I’ll need to do some exhuming to make space.

Workers’ Strike

When I got to the land this morning I saw these lovely little crosses on two of the vegie beds.  Someone’s got a sense of humour, but who?  I thought immediately of artist Gerhard, who has displayed his abilities with signage elsewhere in the neighbourhood (something along the lines of “No exit road, do not enter” on a perfectly exitable road going annoyingly past his house.)  Same nice neat handwriting.  But no.

Turns out it’s Langley with some spare time and a good line in sly workplace safety commentary (time to renegotiate wages).  Even better, he said he was finishing up early today to go play bagpipes at a funeral.  Bagpipers seem to secure a wide range of gigs.  When I came around a corner and saw him crouched by his ute, midway in a change into long white socks and a kilt I knew he wasn’t fibbing.

Langley on the Pipes

Langley needed to tune his bagpipes before racing to the funeral.  He gave it a couple of goes.  This first clip tells you a lot about a dog’s relationship with bagpipes – Zali’s ears perk up, then deflate, then she makes a quick exit stage left at the first ill squeak.


Having removed themselves a safe distance, the dogs settle in for a far more impressive Tuning II.  How he does this on a pack of rollies a week I’ll never know.


We made an outing of it and filed in a little procession down to the freshly dug graves.

Raising Pep

The dogs didn’t much care for it judging by the howling, but I have rarely enjoyed bagpipes more.

9 thoughts on “Business as Usual

  1. Brilliant Bring on the pipers !!!
    I have just prepared 2 small garden beds at Albany NZ Cannot get near them yet. It has rained for days and the ground is a mud bath Strawberries still sitting in a box waiting waiting.
    So i need some bagpipes to music in the spring vibes.


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