It has been suggested that we start a blog as we embark on our trek around Australia....so here it is. Chapter 1, Page 1.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away the author got writer's block. She also discovered that her laptop battery lasted approx 35 mins before expiring. On the 'to do' list is 1. buy a new battery, 2. buy a generator.
Summary of travels to date: a week in Sydney catching up with friends, pointing excitedly at the Opera House, getting sunburned and eating to excess. Stayed with Mary & Nick ( vets from London ) and their 2 kids- they have bought a veterinary practice in the Sydney suburbs. Nick has already treated 2 koalas and several possums ( I got to see my first possum as a patient, cute little demons they are too).
There is a massive outbreak of equine flu in NSW, and I have registered to work as anyone with a vet degree and a pulse welcome, regardless of whether they know their way around a horse or not. Have not volunteered as yet, but may end up by some weird twist of fate doing some large animal work......too scary to contemplate!
Sourced a large Winnebago, which cost as much as a modest 5 bedroom house over here, sprung the dog from quarantine, and made our first trip in said 23 foot Leviathan straight over the Blue Mountains. A white knuckle ride until we realised that yelling 'get out of my way I am bigger than you' helped enormously.
So, here we are in Mudgee. James ( vet from London ) and his wife Georgie ( from Sydney) and the sproglets Felix and Emily bought a 150 acre farm 3 months ago, and are starting up a free range pig farm . You have to love people who decide to start this sort of venture on land which is suffering the worst droughts for several decades, constant risk of bush fires, and the cost of pork is at its lowest. The sort of friends we seem to attract I guess.
To date the Berkshires include McGuire the boar, Bev and her 7 piglets, Gloria the gilt, and Rosie the heavily pregnant sow. Dora the goat and her 2 kids, and several Australorps ( the Aussie version of the Buff Orpington chicken ). Not to mention the goslings, and baby chickens.
J & G went off to market yesterday to buy more pigs....Australia. it appears, is rather large, so this involves an overnight stop leaving the uninitiated in charge. Fortunately Grandma has arrived to take care of the children, so all our charges are non-human. We were up at crack of dawn feeding and watering, taking the goat out to forage, attending to the neonatal poultry and watering the 50 olive trees we planted last week. Vanessa has created a vegetable patch, and is digging away as I write this.
The farm is a piece of Paradise- stunning views of the Blue Mountains, dams for the dogs to swim in, fabulous weather......and flies. Well, flies and cockroaches, and crickets as big as airships, and huntsman spiders larger than plates, and venomous snakes, and Hampton Court sized ant's nests with inhabitants to match. Did I say Paradise? Saint Patrick should have come here first. The campervan is packed with snake bite items.....antihistamines, adrenaline, steroids, i/v canulae, drip bags and giving sets ( all for the dog ) and when we go up country there will be a $1,000 vial of anti-venom in the fridge.
Will update this when I find out how to ad pics and generally brighten it up for the vast readership.