Sold – and how do you pack a bowerbird?

G’Day Mob,

So this is it, the very last post from Rocky Springs Rambles.

Thanks for being part of the adventure dear Mob.

You have been with me through drought and rains.

You have seen animals born and animals lost.

You may have smiled or laughed or cried – I know I have.

Only one of you ever offered to take two fox terribles off my hands (though I suspect that was only to replace them with something equally sinister).

You now know what a tractor pull is about – and a hangi.

You have been there when I have visited New Zealand and outback Queensland, talked me out of buying 285,000 acres and not talked me out of buying an opal mine.

We’ve been fencing and droving and mustering cattle. We tried to get fat Manfred up a race. We’ve been kicked in the cattle yards, and left Brian stranded up a tree. We turned Rocky Springs into a brewery one month, and a winery a few months later.

We’ve ridden horses, fallen off horses and said goodbye.

We’ve had too many dogs.

You’ve met the wonderful folk of Coolatai – and their panther.

On our days off we have been fishing, paddled a canoe, jumped fox terribles at the Warialda Show and been to the local races. We might have enjoyed a beer or two at the Wallaroo. And you can’t forget that the Aussies beat the Kiwis in the dog trials. We will not talk about rugby union.

We’ve had plenty of visitors, including, touched as we still are, Chester the Wonder Whippet.

And now it’s over. We have packed and moved out. On my last day I retrieved 121 stainless steel nuts from the bowerbird’s bower. I thought about shoving him in a box as well, but why should I deprive the new owners of his thieving antics.

Farewell Mob – it’s been my pleasure.

173 end

Going Twice

G’Day Mob,

You may have thought buying an opal mine was big enough news for one year …. but wait: there’s more.

We have bought another farm.

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Going Once

G’Day Mob,

You would be forgiven for thinking Rocky Springs and all associated bovines, equines, canines and homo sapiens had fallen off the edge of the planet. Well, not quite, though it has been an eventful few months since I last posted way back in April.

Let me share the news with you gradually. Firstly – we have bought an opal mine!

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Headers and Horses

G’Day Mob,

Sometimes we do things differently here in Coolatai. Remember Al from A Dinner Invitation who pestered Brian until he arranged a consignment of fresh abalone to Rocky Springs? Well not long after that Al had another idea.

That idea led to a paddock of oats on Al and Lis’ property. Standing proudly, ready for the harvest, was a week-old John Deere S670 header with a 35 foot draper front. Standing next to the shiny header was a bloke called Peter, three Clydesdales and an 1860s stripper and winnower. Peter had bought the stripper and winnower for $350 thirty years ago. Needless to say the header cost considerably more than $350.

169 Horses and Headers

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Where There’s A Will

G’Day Mob,

Take a good look at this photo.

168 puppies 1

Now I bet the first thing you noticed was cute puppies and you all went “aahh”, but what I really want you to see is the mesh the cute puppies are poking their heads through.

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Polar Party

G’Day Mob,

Well, what a night! Wasn’t it fantastic? Snow falling, reindeer parading, igloos, a menu to die for and friends from around the globe.

What? What do you mean you don’t remember? Oh, well you were enjoying yourself. I mean all that dancing on tables and such – I’m not really surprised. Let me recap our night for you …….

167 party

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Pre-Dinner Drinks

G’Day Mob,

Crikeys – where did February go?

Organising a dinner party – that’s where. Who’s crazy idea was this anyway?

I’ve had a few hold ups with the venue (trust me), latecomers and a very busy chef, but never fear we will soon be partying.

In the meantime why not enjoy a few pre-dinner drinks on the hill overlooking Rocky Springs?

165 Lookout

Talk again soon,


International Dinner Party

G’Day Mob,

We’re going to party!!!

I’ve come up with this crazy idea. We’re all invited to an international dinner party. You’re going to provide me with ingredients. I’m going to choose the venue and this mysterious world-famous chef is going to design our menu (by chef I mean the bloke on the left; the girl on the right still can’t cook).

165 Jamie

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A Dinner Invitation

G’Day Mob,

In keeping with the ocean theme of the last few weeks I thought I would dig out this tale from a couple of years ago, but firstly you need to meet a few more of the Coolatai characters.

144 Coolatai Panther sign

Col you have already come across as he stumbled down the dungeon with us. Then there is Reg who builds small planes (, which we may, or may not, have referred to as flying lawn-mowers in the past.  And then there are Al and Lis, who run one of the finest properties in the district.

Ever since Al found out Brian used to be an abalone diver he has been nagging. What’s an abalone? What do they look like? What do you they taste like? I’ve never tried one. I want to try one, Brian. All this delivered with incessant clapping of the hands and an increasing volume of voice.

So Brian relented.

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