13th October 2007
Brian and I have been at Rocky Springs for almost six months now and the Coolatai community is making us feel most welcome. Every few weeks we amble down 5kms of dirt road and 2kms of potholed bitumen to the Wallaroo Hotel. Here you can get a cold beer, a hot meal and all the local gossip. Considering there are only about thirty people living in the village I figure in another couple of months we should know everyone in the pub. Brian has made a lasting impression already by leaving the pub, walking across the road to a party and being tipped into the bonfire by a reversing vehicle – no damage thankfully (to vehicle or man).
We have been joining in other social occasions as well. There was a farewell party for a couple who have been in the area for 40 years and although invited we felt a bit unsure about going – but nup, if you are part of the community, you are part of the community; so we went along and stayed till stumps. Then the next weekend we found ourselves helping at their clearing sale…… and joining in another farewell party afterwards. We scored well at the clearing sale too. Brian bought a chainsaw for $450 and we got 12 dining chairs for the grand total of $20.
Coolatai is also raising money for cancer research. Unfortunately their fundraising technique is to get the men to grow beards. This has been going on for nearly three months and hopefully will finish at the end of October. Most of the blokes have got a mo, or a nice trimmed beard, but there is one who is letting it all grow wild and woolly (along with his hair) – yep, they all reckon Brian is winning the competition.
Back on the farm and I am enjoying exploring this bit of dirt on horseback. Desley, as usual, is the horse of choice for cattle work, but when I want to liven things up I jump on my beloved Bandit. The Spring Racing Carnival is in full swing which means Bandit, the ex-racehorse, goes faster. He used to go faster after screenings of “The Man From Snowy River” too but that was until I had him on a gallop one evening when a roo jumped out in front of us. Bandit swerved to the right while I continued straight ahead. Bandit ran home. I walked.
Brian has had the Black Fiend out a couple of times to see if he can buck on black soil. He can.
Now to round out this ramble, how about the Rugby World Cup? Brian, the Kiwi, and I have been enjoying trans-Tasman rivalry since the days in Broome, WA, when he would drag me to the Kiwi pubs to watch the Bledisloe Cup. Those were the days when the Wallabies were giving the All Blacks a flogging so I quickly became a rugby fan. There is plenty of banter in this house come rugby season and usually one of us is smirking smugly at the other. We were, therefore, both in mourning last Sunday with both the New Zealanders and Australians crashing out of the World Cup in the quarter finals (oh George – to England of all teams). Anyway as the TV add puts it, there is only one thing left to say – “Go France”.