Tuesday, December 23, 2008

festive ponderings

We have had a busy few days in Sydney socialising and catching up with friends- I think we spent too long alone together in the van and developed mild social agoraphobia because sitting at at table of 20 diners in a busy restaurant was almost overwhelming! Great to catch up though and the new pimpmobile made the trip with no dramas.

Back in Mudgee today helping with the last minute organisation as large numbers of Georgie's family descend. We are making ice cream and stocking up with wine, not a difficult assignment.The weather here is rather wet so fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow.

Obviously, after the Pope's Christmas message yesterday, we have no right to be taking part in this christian celebration. Good old Benedict XVI has pointed out that 'saving' humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is as important as environmental issues such as saving the rain forests.

One is tempted to point out that our number of moral and social deviants on the whole refrain from breeding and are actively saving the planet from overpopulation thereby helping the rain forests somewhat more actively than a religion that condemns birth control. Benedict should shove his bigoted, hatred mongering views back up his pious frock. This sort of comment is shrouded with menace- history shows that such intolerance can insidiously lead to ethnic cleansing and holocaust.

My soapbox has now been shoved back into its closet....all that remains is to wish all of you:


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

....the run up to christmas

It has been a busy few days.I have been back at the Mudgee Vet hospital doing some honest graft and Ness has been child minding and farm work as at least there is some cash returning to the depleted bank balances.

On the home front the last week has been extremely stressful as my mother has been in hospital having aortic aneurysm surgery but thankfully she is back home and all appears to have gone well.I was persuaded by the family not to dash back to the UK but it was difficult dealing with the worry when so far away so working was a welcome distraction.

Off to Sydney at the weekend to catch up with friends then we will return to Mudgee on Christmas Eve for the festivities. The pig farmers are being sticklers for tradition ( UK style ) so the organic free range turkey has been ordered and should be amazing with Ormiston festive chestnut chipolatas.

Only problem is when/where/how we will fit in our Christmas shopping. Some things never change.

At the weekend Em was a Christmas tree at the local dance class annual show....how cute is she?

From trek phase 4

From trek phase 4

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

second hand car dealers and estate agents

We have spent the last 2 days looking at second hand cars. It looks like we are going to be here for a few months and decided that Geoffrey needs a well earned rest in the orchard, so we went in search of a 4WD or a ute. I do not think you can truly call yourself Australian without owning a ute, it is yet another rite of passage.

Choice in Mudgee is limited, and we are the impatient types who, once a potential acquisition decision has been made, want in NOW. A Toyota Hilux ute was on the shortlist but we have been old farts and stuck with what we know so the Toyota RAV 4 will be collected on Friday. It is a splendid machine in shiny, window tinted black and looks like it would be ideal for filling the glove box with crystal meth or loading up the rifle for a little light drive-by shooting. We are the proud owners of a pimpmobile.

We have also snuck into a few real estate agents and collected information on several inappropriate over-budget houses in the area so we are now being bombarded with calls from agents desperate to sell to innocents from overseas who may not have noticed that we are on the brink of an overwhelming global recession.

Why is it that after a day spent in the company of car salesmen and real estate agents you feel a strong urge to dash home and scrub yourself clean?

Meanwhile I have signed up for some locum work at the lovely local practice, so I will be back in harness on Friday which will feel extremely peculiar.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

back in mudgee

We have come full circle and are back in Mudgee- and it feels like home. The feet did not touch the ground before I was off to Sydney peddling premium Ormiston pork products at the Pyrmont market and Ness was back home at the ranch tending to the pigs in the proprietor's absence.

It is amazing how in the last 8 months the free range pig farm has escalated from a dream to a reality and a viable business proposition, and this week the article in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald transformed the demand at the Pyrmont market. People were clamouring to buy the produce, making the 4am start well worth the effort. In fact by 8am half the produce delivered by refrigerated van from Mudgee had sold out. By 10 am we had nothing left to sell and it was all PR and encouraging pre-orders for the next market in a month.

Read the article in the Sydney Morning Herald

It was such a pleasure spending time with customers who are on the same wavelength regarding animal welfare and very excited about the product. Being a salesperson when you are so wholeheartedly behind the ethics and methods involved in free range slowly reared local food was a doddle.

Also being back in Sydney was a joy.....although after 3 days it was a fantastic feeling to drive back west to the amazing scenery this side of the Blue Mountains.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the story of sturt's desert pea

From trek phase 4
Long, long ago, a pretty young girl fell in love with a handsome young warrior from a neighbouring tribe. Unfortunately she had been given in marriage to a mean, jealous old man. One night, having learned of her fate, she ran off with her warrior.

They were happy together living beside a lake of clear, sweet water.

One day the jealous old man found out where they were living. He gathered loyal members of his tribe to attack the people who had taken them in. Everyone living by the clear, sweet lake was killed.

Next season the jealous old man returned to gloat over his enemies' bleached bones. Instead, he found carpets of Sturt's desert pea. The petals were the colour of the blood that had been spilled, and each also had an ebony eye.

The jealous old man turned to flee, but the spirits were angry and a spear from a cloud above struck him down. The tears of the spirits fell into the lake, turning the sweet water salty and fragments of spear turned to pebbles along the shore.