We had a lot to do this weekend and I was rather determined not to let it stress me out. We had sent Ben off to friends for a sleepover Friday night, the rest of us were off to Bega for a Scything day and deliver some pigs to a friend. There was no way I was going to load the pigs Friday night, it was too cold for them to spend a night in the trailer and I wasn’t going to load them in the dark either. So we got things going early Saturday morning, calmly loaded the pigs, and set off for our first stop in Cooma. The Cook had made a lovely Humming bird cake that morning and we happily settled in for the trip. I needed to stop in Cooma to pick up a couple of essentials, we pulled up under some oak trees and Harry feed the pigs acorns whilst I stepped into the hardware store.
In no time we were on our way. Now, the drive to Bega involves the adventurous, not for the faint hearted, or sain, drive down Browns Mountain. So with a dozen pigs in tow we beetled on down towards the drop off. Just before we started our decent I pulled over to let a couple of cars pass, we would be slow so I didn’t want to hold people up at the start. When we pulled over I noticed a strange sound coming from the engine bay of the Jeep. It was one of those really good sounds – you know the one it’s a grating, crunching, bearing gnawing, fingers on a chalk board sound. I figured it ment trouble – but I’d gone too far to go back and Bega was closer then anywhere else now. So we continued down the mountain.
We had made it abut half way when I noticed that the brakes had pretty much gone, and the comments form the Cook about smelling something burning weren’t helping the stress levels either. So, we pulled over, glad I didn’t get out. Smoke begun billowing from the front of the car, the brakes must have been really hot. We waited for a while, started the car, still making it’s horrible noise and ventured on. We finally found the turnoff to our destination and I managed to heave the car around to head down a single lane dirt road heading off into the distant hills. I decided if we were leaving the highway I’d better check out the car first, I got out and lifted the bonnet – holy crap – not a pretty sight.
We had blown the bearings in the power steering pump and there was power steering fluid everywhere, the fly wheel was squealing and the fan belt was on it’s last legs – but I’ve seen worse. It was only a few kilometres to the farm so by unanimous declaration (mine) we drove on.
Luckily we made it to the farm and unloaded the pigs, took five minutes to gather our thoughts and sat down to enjoy some lovely Pumpkin Soup – thanks Liz. I called the NRMA and settled in for the next hour and half to await the tow truck. Thankfully he was half an hour early and I abandoned the Cook and Harry and set off for Pambula – 60km down the track. We arrived at the NRMA depot in the dark, luckily they had a car for me and I set off back pick up the Cook – I wasn’t making dinner, not after everything that had happened so far.
I did get a little geographically embarrassed on my way back in the dark – but I eventually got there. I picked up the Cook and Harry and we headed home – they slept and I drove.
On Sunday I was picking up feed, I’d ordered a double load because of the cold and so we had some spare if the feed man couldn’t deliver again in the near future. Without the Jeep it took numerous trips in the small car towing the little trailer, that was Sunday shot as well – and the Cook had sent Harry into town to see a mate so I was left to unload everything on my own. My shoulders are still sore.
What else have we been doing?? I would tell you about me having to lance an abscess on the angry Barrows arse – but it still makes me gag just thinking about it. Archer spent the day at the pub on Monday – neither the Cook or I remembered to tie him up before we went to bed, and as usual there was a message on the answering machine when we got home.
We had over 50mm of rain as well. All in the one weekend, flooded out everything form the pigs to the feed shed and the chooks. We never get good steady rain, it always just happens in one great big event and then everything dries off beyond any use. I did manage to move the pump at 4:30am one morning before the river rose, I hjaven’t been down to see what he water hole is like yet after the flood either.
So, anyway, good things do happen as well. Youngest Ben received three awards at School last week. He got the Kool Kid award for being the coolest kid in Stage 3, we received a note from his teacher in the mail about his good work on the School Radio Program and he won third place in the RSL Essay writing competition from the Cooma RSL Sub Branch (we had to ring somebody up to find out what his one was for) – maybe he can write the Blog. He also did very well in his sports carnival.
I have finally replaced the gate on the chook pen – for which the Cook is very grateful. It’s steel mesh with a steel frame – hopefully pig proof. It even has a great latch on it that the Cook herself picked out. The latch is strategically placed so you can’t open it from the inside, you know - so the chooks can’t get out. Unfortunately I didn’t realise Ben couldn’t get out either, until he failed to turn up for dinner one night.