It was a strange feeling, coming back to Koramba cotton farm.
It was a little like a homecoming, even though we’d only been here for about seven weeks last time.
A lot of the crew that we had got to know last time have moved on. This was due to a prolonged period of rain which ground the farm’s operations to a halt for a few weeks meaning that there was no work. No work equals no pay so there was a bit of an exodus.
It wasn’t long before a new batch of workers arrived. The new lot are pretty much the same type of characters as the last, predominately young backpackers but with a few Aussies amongst them and there’s still a good smattering of Irishman. As we met the new bunch it was apparent that they were all easy going and friendly and we knew we would have no worries fitting back in.
Some of the old faces remain. Soong, the young Korean is still here as are Terry, and Steve, the truckies. They’re still driving the old Mack truck 24/7 hauling the harvested cotton bales from the paddocks, where they were left by the pickers, to the gin for processing. There are 10,000 bales to be moved and so far they have only moved 3,000. The truckies alternate between day and night shifts, a fortnight of each.
Sleepy is still here as are Peter and Cliff.
We’ve committed ourselves to at least three months here, primarily so that I can make a full on – all out attempt to get all our programs onto the cloud and finish the outstanding work I have. To accomplish this I need about three months of concentration and effort as well as mains power, a decent setup for the computer, internet, phone and quiet surroundings with few distractions.
Also Kerrie needs something so that she’s not sitting in the van sensitive to every noise that might distract my concentration. She needs to be active and to have conversations with people and to have projects that she can excel herself in.
This job fits the bill perfectly.
Kerrie works in the kitchen and around the camp for four days a week. This entails some food prep, cleaning, mowing and looking after the offices down at the weighbridge and “The Pad” where all the machinery is kept and where the daily meetings take place at 7:00am prior to work starting.
I’ll do the mowing and whipper snipping and cook for the camp on the 1 ½ days that the cook is off each week.
After the 3 months is up we will at least know for sure if I’m smart enough to master the complexity of designing internet based applications – thus fulfilling the original dream of being able to operate the business from anywhere, including the caravan.
If not we’ll know that we’ll need to look elsewhere for a future income.
The caravan is now set up perfectly.
It’s become a beautifully quiet and peaceful office with only the abundant birdlife and the occasional sound of a truck or tractor in the distance. We bought part of our desk back from Brisbane as well as the office chair, secondary monitor and lamps.
Since there is no one on the camp at all for most of the day I have this wonderful distraction free environment so there’ll be no excuse for not succeeding at this task. I’ll give it my very best shot.
The camp itself is clean and tidy and so is the kitchen and we slotted back into the routine easily.
We met all the new workers which caused Kerrie to have a blonde moment that would have made our precious blonde daughter in law, Lacey, proud.
At dinner, with everyone present, in walks a very pleasant, personable new chum that we’d not yet met. “‘Ello, mam’selle,” he says to Kerrie in his distinct continental accent, “I am René, but everyone calls me Frenchy”. Kerrie replies, “Hello Frenchy, I’m Kerrie, are you Italian?” This had the place in fits as some wit yells, “No he’s bloody Scandinavian.” My poor darling! She’s lost her credibility as the quick thinking smart one forever.
Comment From Kerrie:
(I would just like to say that I had heard he spoke Italian to one of the boys who is from Italy so that is why I asked if he was Italian. I know – a classic “Blond moment”)
Martyn, our boss came out and it was great to see him again. We’re so happy to be working with this man again and we hope we can contribute to ensure that, at least from our part, things will run free from worry for him.
We cooked our first meal on Tuesday evening (I’ll do the cooking Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays). The meal was Lamb Cutlets in Homemade BBQ sauce, Pasta Carbonara, Sautéed potatoes, Fresh Broccoli (which we used from the garden we planted before we left and is now producing), Sweet Potato and a dessert of Banana and Strawberry Matchsticks.
The power in the area went out about midday and was out for 10 hours meaning we had to finish preparing the meal and serving up in darkness with headlamps and torches. Even so the meal was incredibly well received and we got many great compliments. It was nice.
Wednesday morning started at 4:30am with clearing up after the power blackout (power was restored about 11:00pm) and prepping breakfast. It was then on to creating dinner and baking fresh banana cake for dessert and for the Thursday lunches. We slotted back into the routine very easily and after serving the evening meal of Chicken in Plum Sauce, Homemade Cottage Pie, Dollar Potatoes, Cauliflower Au Gratin (again from our garden), Honey Carrots and freshly baked Banana Cake with Banana & Caramel Cream we settled down to an evening in the Aussie Wide – warm as toast and thoroughly content.
PS. The reason for so many Banana recipes was we were using up the bananas that their skins going black and you know NO ONE ever eats those, even though they are nice inside.