We arrived back at Belah Park after having two and a half weeks off over Christmas, only to have it rain the very same night we arrived back causing the job to be shut down everyone stood down again.
We opted to stay out here as unlike the others, our home is where we are.
The men eventually came back to work and got another week and a half in before another storm put the whole job on hold again.
This time we were told we’d probably not be needed again as they’d be sending a couple of guys back to finish off the job.
The scrapers compact the ground too much if it has been wet which is not good for the fields so – no machines – no blokes needed to drive them.
So we packed everything up and headed back to Koramba.
The feelings of being back after four and a half months were amazing. It felt like we’d come home.
The van again went under the shade awning and we’d forgotten how much this makes a difference to the temperature inside through the day.
The smell of fresh bread was soon wafting through the place from the bread maker, and our “Office” was set back up in one of the spare dongers, making plenty of room in the van once again.
The thing we missed most while out at Belah Park was that experience of never knowing what the day would bring.
At Koramba, this really meant, you never knew what Shannon would be up to or what he would show us.
There was always something happening outside the window and it wasn’t long after setting up the van that we heard the sound of hooves trotting past the caravan window.
Shannon had started rounding up Topsy (our cow), his steer that “refused” to get on the truck with the others to go to Emmaville, and a calf that belonged to friends.
They’d been grazing freely around the camp and workshop as there was more grass for them there after the rains but Shannon had decided the time was right to sell the steer as cattle prices had firmed up considerably.
To be able to get the steer in the truck (he had taken all his fencing and ramps to Emmaville) he had to get the cows down to one of the stockyards about 8 kilometres away.
The calf refused to oblige so we watched on as Shannon rounded up with the quad bike, Jack (Shannon’s dog) nipped at hooves and a little game of “Who’s Boss” from Topsy (she always did think she owned the camp) the cattle eventually figured out it was easier to do what Shannon wanted and trot to the cattle pens.
Topsy had to learn what a fence was for as she hadn’t really cottoned on to this yet, preferring to just walk through fences that she didn’t like. and needed to learn a thing or two about fences.
Had I told you about the story of when she decided to walk out of the paddock near Shannon’s?
Shannon first learnt of it when Jack was barking at 3.00am one morning and Shannon come out to investigate only to be licked up the back of his leg with a large wet tongue from Topsy.
Topsy had decided she wanted to camp at the bottom of Shannon’s steps on the verandah for the night. This was of course all done in the dark, pity we didn’t see the action taking place, it would have been quite a sight. We heard about it when he saw us and started the conversation with “Your Daughter!!”
I wonder where she learnt that from hmmmmm!
I caught up with the girls at the weighbridge which was wonderful.
Having a conversation with other women was a thrill I hadn’t had for awhile. Being surrounded by men all the time would excite some women, but I missed the art of just chatter, (you have to be a women to understand this).
Kim and Stretch dropped by for a visit and of course we were greeted enthusiastically by Jack every day.
Jack would be over for breakfast, stay awhile until he heard Shannon’s ute and then he would disappear to other adventures.
The only down side of coming back was learning that Shannon was moving on from Koramba.
He had a position in Glen Innes working for a company that operated cattle trucks.
This would enable him to be closer to his property at Emmaville and his cattle. He had been at Koramba for 6 years and it was both sad and exciting to hear he was moving on.
Sad from a purely selfish angle – he wouldn’t be around – exciting that he was going to learn and add to his already impressive knowledge.
I’m hoping he might meet some nice girl in a town that’s bigger than Boomi…but don’t tell him that.
While at Koramba we had decided to pull down the green house and the shade house and pack these away. If Gore Earthmoving wanted us to work again we might be a bit further away and it would become a hassle coming back to check on the plants and watering system.
It was great to get back into the large garden, do the mowing and eat from our grape vines.
Remember how we had built the garden at Koramba and realised it was too big and needed so much water, well we had cut down on the veggies in the garden but had kept all the fruit trees and of course our grape vines from home.
Last year we lost a lot of the grapes to the wildlife but not this year. I had purchased netting on-line and we covered the grapes so this year we have a bumper crop.
About a week into our new routine we met up with the Supervisor from Gore’s while at Talwood voting for the state election and he was shocked to find we had left. “No, no, no, be back there Monday”, He said.
So it was once again back on the road with our home to Belah Park.
We ended up staying at Belah Park for another two and half weeks before the main part of the work finished. Only three men are left to finish off laying pipes and laser bucketing some fields and these can cook for themselves.
So as I’m writing this blog we’re back at Koramba.
We were going to head away travelling a bit and visit the family but with cyclone Marcia bearing down on the coast we thought we would stay away from it all. We probably got under 10 mm of rain at Koramba around the quarters, where as Maroochydore got over 300 mm. and of course Yeppoon and other areas were hit quite badly.
We did pick up the mower from Goondiwindi where we had taken it for a service and Chris proceeded to mow the grass in the rain in case the rain got heavier. We were hopeful for the farm but it wasn’t to be. Not long after, the rain cleared. If the farms out here don’t get rain soon there won’t be another crop in next year as well. The gin is only expecting to run for three weeks this year compared with five to six months it normally does.
We spent last night with Shannon, his brother Zac and Zac’s parter Morgan laughing over dinner while reliving some of the “experiences” Shannon had shown us. Telling Zac and Morgan how much Shannon had kept his patience trying to teach a couple of old city folks about living in the bush.
I think Shannon still has nightmares about the time rounding up the neighbours cattle and one cranky old cow charging at the boys while being forced into the cattle pen. Shannon was up the fence in no time but looked back to see Chris still in the pen with one foot on the bottom rung and no chance of making it out. We wrote about it here.
We never would have seen as much as we did without that young man taking us under his wing. We’ll miss his cherry disposition, huge grin and the excitement he brought into our lives.
Zac and Morgan had come to Koramba to help Shannon packed up his last load.
Shannon had already done about six truck loads to his Boomi property and to his property at Emmaville. Zac couldn’t help give Shannon heaps about how much “Stuff” he had. Zac said they even needed to use the fork lift to push the doors shut on the truck.
Today Shannon’s place looks rather lonely and is of course quieter now that he’s gone.
No cattle in the yard, no Jack racing over to greet us.
It does make you wonder where the next chapter in our life will take us?