A New Kid on the Block

Lauren was hired to do the cooking in the weekends until our new cook is appointed and starts work.

Lauren has a smile even when the temperature is way above what she is use too.

Lauren has a smile even when the temperature is way above what she is used too.

This gives me a break from the seven day per week cooking.

There’s a danger with the never ending routine of cooking every day without a break, Breakfast at 5:00am – Dinner at 7:00pm.

The job that can and should be quite enjoyable can easily turn into a relentless drudgery, a daily slog from which it’s hard to maintain the good attitude which is necessary if you are to continue to do the job well.

This young 19 year old is the girlfriend of one of the farm workers, Philip, and she did a good job for the four days we were away in Brisbane last week leaving us no hesitation in going away again and leaving her in charge.

She’s been keen and enthusiastic, even with the heat, dust and flies of the last couple of weeks.

Kerrie has a deep liking for Lauren

Kerrie has taken Lauren under her wing so to speak. She never talks about her without exuding an obvious affection.

I’m not sure if this is because Lauren is the only other female on the camp or if it’s just Kerrie’s motherly instinct, or if it’s because she admires this young lady’s gutsy demeanour that seems to cause her to be almost always smiling and to have absolutely no qualms about mixing it with the men.

This attitude seems to have commanded a respectfulness from the blokes on camp as well. Everyone from the oldest to the youngest seems to like her and the way she is able to maintain a high degree of self confidence and remain totally feminine in what is very much a male domain, and a fairly tough one at that.

Lauren does some “prettying up”.

Lauren is also quite happy to paint parts of the camp.

This means we can give her some extra paid hours painting some of the rooms that have recently been renovated and the exterior of the Dongers (accommodation blocks).

She emerges from the room she is currently painting covered in paint from head to toe but still retains a smile.

Lauren has gone through more clothes painting than anybody we have every met.

Lauren has gone through more clothes painting than anybody we’ve ever met.

Luckily most of the paint reaches the walls and ceiling.

Luckily most of the paint reaches the walls and ceiling.

About the only thing that bothers her are spiders. She hates them and every spider seems to be, “Really, really huge!”

Since Kerrie hates mice they’ve made a pact that Lauren handles the mice and Kerrie the spiders.

Neither of them has a fear of snakes of which there are plenty although we’ve seen none around the camp of late.

Junior Loves Lauren

Junior the “puppy”, (who’s growing huge), follows Lauren everywhere and now, instead of sleeping in our caravan annexe, sleeps on a chair outside Lauren’s room, even though he’s too big to fit in it comfortably.

This is what you get when you mix a puppy,water and dirt.

This is what you get when you mix a puppy,water and dirt.

The hole Junior dug while the sprinkler was going.

The hole Junior dug while the sprinkler was going.

We need to hose off both of them.

We need to hose both of them off.

To the utter amusement of the farmers, she even got him some flea powder on one of our trips to Moree, diligently rubbing it into the dog’s coat in a seemingly futile attempt to dissipate the flea colony residing therein.

A Full camp keeps us busy

We’ve got a full house at the moment with five laser levelling contractors in camp and six spraying contractors along with the usual bunch.

One of our favourites, Clint, left us this week. He was an amiable Irishman who never stopped smiling and always greets us with a cherry “Ullo Lads”, and farewelled us every night with a “Thanks Lads.” He left with another pleasant and likeable Irishman, Jarrod. We’re very sorry to see these two great blokes go.

It’s one of the downsides of getting to know the camp’s inhabitants. You always know it’s very temporary.

We enjoy it when the camp is full though, especially the banter at meal times, and of course Kerrie loves to fuss around everyone.

A Weekend off for the boys

The boys had last weekend off and they decided to take Kieran’s car into Moree for repairs.

They used a car trailer to transport the imobile vehicle and what great entertainment it was watching them trying to marry car with trailer.

Who eventually came to the rescue?

Shannon, the “always get it done” mechanic.

Over he drives in his Land Cruiser, like some huge white knight coming to the rescue of some unfortunates.

He drops down under the car with a length of chain and proceeds to organise the event, hardly uttering a word, watched by the boys with Phillip “Supervising” as usual and two car loads of pig shooters looking on from their utes as if mesmerised by the out of the ordinary activity.

Philip and Lorcom supervising while Shannon secures the car. Kieran in the back of the ute tiding up. Lauren is wondering if she will ever get to Moree.

Philip and Lorcan supervising while Shannon secures the car. Kieran is in the back of the ute tiding up. Lauren is wondering if she’ll ever get to Moree.

Of course Shannon’s the only one that can see a solution and effortlessly proceeds to have the car dragged up on the trailer while he lies underneath holding up the exhaust pipe.

The car making it's way on to the trailer while Shannon holds up the muffler.

The car making it’s way on to the trailer while Shannon holds up the muffler.

Ten minutes later the job is done and Shannon is on his Quad bike with his trusty old Bing, the pig dog, on the back as they both ride off into the heat and dust to do battle with a few pigs.

A new Cook/Manager on trial

There’ve been a number of replies to the ads Martyn has placed for a Cook Manager and we’re giving one person a trial for a week beginning next Monday.

If he works out he’ll work a ten day on four day off fortnight. We’ve high hopes that he will work out as it’ll be good to move out of the cooking again and get back to the programmes which are so sadly neglected.

In some ways the weekend breaks of the last two weeks have increased the desire to find someone quickly. We’re both looking forward to cooking just four days per fortnight with Kerrie doing her 38 hours per week cleaning over four days of the week.

We’ll be here till January

We’ve committed to do this four days cooking per fortnight and Kerrie’s 38 hours per week until January when Lacey and David’s baby is born after which we’ll move on again. At this stage we’ll be heading for the Ayr Peninsular and then across the Nullarbor to Western Australia.

A “Working” Grey Nomad Couple wanted

It would be nice to find another Grey Nomad couple like ourselves who would do our job for three months or so and swap with us. A sort of three or four months on and three or four months off arrangement that will allow both of us to go on the road. Ideally we’d love to find someone who would be interested in this arrangement and everyone associated with the farm as well as Martyn has given the thumbs up to this.

For now though, it’s a matter of getting the new cook started and locking me away to work.

2 replies
  1. lynne
    lynne says:

    Hi, Lynne here, Lauren’s mum.
    Thanks for the lovely blog about Lauren – she has told us how she loves the farm and how fond she is of you and Kerrie but it is nice to get someone else’s view on how she’s doing. It was a huge wrench when she first left to go to Australia, only 18 at the time, but both her dad and I wanted her to see new places and try new things and she’s certainly doing that! Glad to hear she’s working hard – at least I’ll gain a cook and a decorator by the time she comes home!
    xx

    • Jonesy
      Jonesy says:

      Hi Lynne,
      It’s so nice to meet you even if only by notes.
      Yes you can be very proud of your young lady. You have obviously done a great job in developing her attidudes and her standards.
      Be assured we’ll look after her as best we can while we’re here and she’ll always have us if there’s anything she needs.
      Our best regards to you
      Chris

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