Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Its rather liberating to be no longer the secretary or admin support for the local campdraft. Which is a good thing too, the amount of time and energy that is required to transport and strap horses for the girls! Georgie decided that she would like to have a go at campdrafting, and much thought went into choosing which of the three horses she might ride in her first ever campdraft.

Red we decided might get too excited, Chester we decided might be too excitable and distracted and so it was left to Old Ben to carry the load. Very much feeling his age and the dry weather, we started feeding him a special potion in order to help with his arthritis.

We rocked up the to campdraft and saddled up.  Little friend gathered around and off they went to “warm up”.


The two kids on foot at this point suddenly realised that perhaps a horse might have been fun (and in the boys case, knowing how to ride would have been handy as well)

Three hours later (slight change to programme) the horses were WELL and truly warmed up, or in Ben’s case, nearly worn out.

Mum was quite nervous for the jockey. Handed the camera over to the person standing next to me and said TAKE PHOTOS.


I realised after the fact that she was riding far too short on this horse (but needs to ride at this length on Redman normally). She got a “full” outside score – 17/32/2 which is a pretty good score for her first time out. Poor old Benny looked like he needed some go go juice but he only goes as fast as the rider so guess she was happy!

The next day we went back in for the horse sports which I was helping coordinate. No photos. Ben was left in the paddock for a spell, Georgie on Redman and Kate her first time on Chester (sink or swim girl). Angus on foot again was wondering if this horse business might actually be fun.

And then we went home and were exhausted!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The girls

You see your kids every day. You yell at them, laugh at them, tell them to do their chores, pick up their stuff, to stop being mean to their brother or sister. They are with you for nearly every task or journey.

Then you take a photo and realise suddenly that they are half way grown up. How DID that happen so fast?


Monday, August 18, 2014


Netball is a sport only recently (term two) taken up by my kids. Not a sport that I played other than during PE at boarding school, they went to the fun/sign on day, and then begged to continue. There went my Tuesday afternoons for two full terms…

So we dutifully attend practice every Tuesday afternoon. Due to clashing events, my kids didn’t get to attend two out of town tournaments, but we had one at home recently. Unfortunately the teams from the other town decided not to come at the last minute (rude!)  but there were enough kids to make up three teams and they had a great time playing against each other.
















Angus loved playing. Took a hard ball to the face and was very wounded for a moment with tears however the coaches didn’t let him hang around sooking to mum (just quietly I think the town mums are a bit different to our small schools/distance ed mums…)

































Georgie also took a ball to the side of the head (a few tears) then back into it. After all this was their first competitive game! They really loved being in the uniform (the biggest girl doing lots of swirly turns in her dress).

















I can’t even remember what team won at the end; a sausage sizzle lunch was made and fed to the kids, then much to my dismay they wanted to have a mums V kids game.  I have no issues with throwing a ball but my knowledge of netball rules extends to no travel with the ball.  I was constantly out of my area and too close to the opposing players. But the kids had fun even if dear lord, my knees felt hammered the next day.(I did end up on the floor after tripping over and trying to avoid landing on my child…that is NOT a soft surface, rather is just painted concrete) Now I completely understand why netball players have bung knees.

Now…how long til the end of term?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

the tour

It came around again, the annual Tour de Prairie, whilst the real riders biked around the hills of France.  Costume deciding was weeks in the planning (as of course, our bike ride was FANCY DRESS). Mum layed down the rules: must be kept SIMPLE.


Georgie originally had other plans (of which I have forgotten) but embraced my Huck Finn suggestion with gusto (we did have to google some images though, as she hadn’t heard of him before!) Kate wanted to be a rock star, along with her little mate Grace, so they hatched plans to be matching rock stars. Angus, recycling his Where’s Wally glasses, was of course Harry Potter with the addition of a borrowed cape (and use of eyeliner pencil on his forehead).




The dress up theme was embraced by the school and community. Really the bike ride itself (a 14km round trip) is just an excuse.




This one is of Wally NOT TOUCHING THE BABY (if he doesn’t look at her and his butt touches her arm it doesn’t count) Baby is my niece Violet.



A sausage sizzle was enjoyed by all and recovery on the lawn. Then they had to ride back again….some deciding to catch a ride half way.

Kids slept well that night.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Sally, daughter of the infamous Lena (a talented dog that could almost speak, and one that could be sent to get the milkers in solo each day, including any new calves) and Buddy, a determined kelpie collie cross that was equally happy about heading or heeling, came to live at our house in around October 2005. A black wriggly bundle of fur, as I went looking for photos evidencing her part in our family, I discovered there was very few.

That’s a little sad, for as part of our family for so long, she greeted numerous visitors at the front gate, saw many other dogs and cats and chooks and ducks come and go, but had been the one constant. One black loopy, from time to time tartish, happy dog that had no talent at rounding up bovines but was never happier when rounding up a cat or two. (and on one occasion, and only ever the once with one particular horse, worked that horse until it chased her, then repeat).







The reason for the walk down pictorial lane… our loyal old mate is no more. We knew her time was limited when, after a few (always unplanned) litters of puppies, in recent times she started to develop lumps in her udder. Her mother Lena also went the same way, with canine breast cancer.  But for the longest time she remained happy and shiny and healthy, seemingly unaffected, but clearly starting to feel her age (needing a boost up into the back of the ute). Always a skinny sort of dog, she became a little more portly in her advanced years but maintained a super shiny glossy black coat.

Sally loved nothing better than a ute or car or bike ride with anyone, but preferably the family. She used to bark at Trevor when he came home from work – would hear the truck or ute coming from around 500 metres up the road and would lie in wait to escort/chase him into the shed.  She barked at any visitors (occasionally  at an intrusive tourist who parked too close to my front gate). Became a little deaf in the past 18 months or so; having a run in with a big shiny truck one day when she just didn’t hear it.  (we thought she’d used up all of her lives on that occasion but she recovered). \

She never chased the chooks (that I can remember, although I may have applied early lessons as a pup) or poddies. She was extremely trainable (even though my dog training skills are somewhat lacking) and would sit but had great difficulty with the stay command especially if it was more than two or three metres away from me. She liked to be CLOSE, touching close. Georgie taught her to shake hands, which Sally thought was awesome as it meant MORE TOUCHING>MORE ATTENTION!

We knew the time had come one Monday of the school holidays when she was let go out of the dog run and just wasn’t herself. She’d had a little episode a few months earlier but had come good, but I knew this time that our time was nearly at an end.  Kate went and sat in a warm spot with her for awhile, just patting her.
















We made her some new sleeping quarters in an old pallet crate, with a windblock wall and comfortable bedding, so she could stay warm and stretch out. She got special extra just because rides in the buggy.  She rallied. Still not quite herself but brighter.  No one wanted to do the job, to take her on that last little walk down the paddock.

We had to go to Mareeba for the 90th celebrations so we shipped her off to my mums place whilst we were away.  Mum rang on the Sunday morning.  Sally regressed again on the Saturday, my dad was willing to take that walk with her and planned to do it the next day. She beat him to it, they found she’d passed away during the night.

She was a good dog, Sally. May you be rounding up cats and riding in the back of utes withe the wind in your face forever more old girl.

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