Category Archives: me

Thursday

I haven’t written a post for a month (though I keep meaning to); I’m housesitting my sister’s place while she and her husband are on holidays (for two more weeks); I have to walk their dog twice a day on the beach, which probably should be fun but really really isn’t; and I should be feeling lucky I have somewhere nice to stay on my own for a while but instead I waft about all day feeling sorry for myself.

The dogs who chased Mister the rooster are back on the road.

While my parents were overseas and I was looking after their cattle, said cattle escaped so many times in the first week I had to put them all (or all I could round up) into the house/creek paddock, which did not have enough grass to support them. I’ve almost forgotten all the problems now, but there were many, and I worried every day for six weeks.

It’s winter, a season I usually love, but this year I just feel cold. The sun is already going down later each day, which seems sad. (I don’t love winter, but also don’t want it to end, which is stupid.)

I drive out to the farm each day to put the chickens in and out and let them wander around, and that’s what I should be doing right now, at 09:45, but instead I’m sitting here in my sister’s house, putting it off. I’m so so sick of driving. I hate everybody else on the road. And now that I’m in this house I have to use a part of the highway that has a 110km/hr section, and the speed just scares me witless.

Notes

This morning Baby the chicken stood up tall, stretched out her neck, puffed out her chest, then crowed like a rooster. Five times, too; it wasn’t a one-off. I couldn’t believe it! From the first crow I just stood and stared at her, thinking something along the lines of “What the hell?!” I’ve never previously had any reason to wonder if she’s male; not once, not ever. But then suddenly she’s crowing loudly – sounding like a rooster, even looking like a rooster.

I don’t know what’s going on. I still think she’s probably female, but it was such a convincing crowing performance that now I’m not sure. And she hasn’t laid an egg yet, either, and she’d be about eight months old, or maybe even nine, which is presumably really really late. So, I just don’t know.

It’d be a disaster if she’s male. One rooster will be bad enough. I’d much prefer none at all, but Mr is such a sweet bird I couldn’t bring myself to have him killed. And the same thing would happen if Baby is a boy – how could I have her killed? She’s been my favourite all along and most of the reason I’ve kept the chickens at all.

I just hope she’s a girl, that’s all – a girl who crows like a rooster.

*****

I’ve learned some things about myself:
– I like driving at 70 kilometres an hour. It’s the perfect speed on the open road: relaxed and spacious.
– I like sitting in the dark. I’m still living in my parents’ house, and while they’re away on holidays I’ve been leaving most of the lights off in the kitchen and living room because there are no curtains in those rooms and they have a ridiculous expanse of windows. It feels too exposed to be lit up at night – the neighbours’ houses are only metres away, and also there’s a busy public road down the hill. I hate feeling like I’m on view all the time, so instead I leave the lights off and creep around in the dark, lit only by the stairwell light and the streetlights outside. And tonight I realised that I really like doing that. There’s a cosy feel about being in the near-dark. I think I would like being a little creature who lives under a rock and peers out.
– With my weight loss continuing, I’ve been wondering what it would be like to be dying, and I think it would be okay. It would solve a lot of problems for me, which makes me laugh, but seriously, it would. I wouldn’t need to find somewhere to live or something to do; I wouldn’t need to find anything at all, because I wouldn’t need anything: I’d be dead and gone. This is theoretical, and probably death by disease would be horrible – slow and painful. But the idea of dying soon and getting it over with, that part that appeals.
– I really can’t stand people, even the nice ones. I miss my old hermit life. I used to be able to go for weeks without seeing another person, but now I’m lucky to get through even one day quietly. The people are everywhere.

*****

I can’t remember what I’ve previously said about the cows (they were getting out, into neighbours’ properties) but the other day 13 of them were found on yet another neighbour’s place, and then I spent much of the next day walking them back to where they’re supposed to be. I’m spending all the hours between putting the chickens into their day-pens and letting them out again to walk along the farm fences, patching them – putting in star pickets, attaching droppers to the wires, tightening wires, whatever I can manage to try to keep the cows in. It’s such a worry I feel sick when waking up. There’s probably not going to be enough grass. I’m probably not going to be able to get the fences into order (the creek paddock is about 20 hectares, and one boundary fence is literally falling down in places, and I have to carry all the supplies because it’s too steep and muddy to drive the tractor). It’s just a disaster.

Morning notes

– Fluffy the chicken has a wound on her side and a patch of featherless skin around it, with other feathers above it broken off. I think something must have attacked her the other afternoon, even though I was nearby getting the chickens’ night houses ready – well within hearing distance – and didn’t hear a thing. Yesterday I managed to pour some Betadine (antiseptic liquid) over the wound and cover it with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) hoping it will help keep out nasties like dirt or flies. Fluffy actually stayed still for the duration I was holding her, which is unprecedented, so I suspect she’s been scared by whatever happened.

– Yesterday morning I watched over all three chickens for an hour to make sure nothing attacked them, and to make sure Mr the cockerel didn’t jump on Fluffy (as he continually tries to do). It’s possible (though I think unlikely) that she was wounded by a rooster, and if Mr jumps on her while the wound is new it would make things worse. He was behaving himself for a whole hour, though, so I moved away to get their day pens set up. But when they came over to get in the pens and were within two metres of me, that’s when he jumped on her. I was so angry I could have killed him, but couldn’t get to him quickly enough to grab him and smash his body against something hard and inflexible.

– I still haven’t found a way to get the cows back from across the creek next to the agistment property (some of the cows I was worried about the other day). There are five cows and four calves. Three of the calves are very young and will have trouble walking across the creek because it’s rocky and thus slippery.

– Of the cows mentioned in that link above who are back in the farm’s paddock after continually escaping from the agistment property, yesterday four cows and three calves had escaped into the immediately-neighbouring property. It didn’t seem like an emergency, though, because:
(a) they can’t get out on the public road, or at least not easily;
(b) they can’t get back to the macadamia farmer’s property and resume ruining his harvest (probably); and
(c) 19 of other-people’s cows and calves agisted on the immediately-neighbouring property have been breaking into our coffee paddock for the last week, so our group seemed small in comparison.

Yesterday with some help from other people I got our cows/calves back into the farm paddock. They might get out again because I don’t know where they got through the fence the first time. But the immediate problem is to make a fence to keep the neighbouring cows out of the coffee paddock. There are clear paths from the neighbour’s lawn into the paddock, so I need to make a 50 metre fence to close off that corner. Yesterday I put in some star pickets and today I’ll put up the wire.

– I have no idea why the cattle are moving around so much; it makes NO SENSE. I walked around the farm’s creek paddock two days ago to check the fences (but have only checked one so far, and it’s terrible). The grass situation is surprisingly good for this time of year. Normally in winter the grass stops growing, but this year there’s still a bit of growth. It’s possible we might get the cattle through until Dad gets home from his holiday, but it will be touch-and-go. (What does that mean, though? “Touch-and-go”?) If we have to buy supplementary feed that will be too expensive. I worked it out the other day and it would cost about $100 per day just for hay alone. When Dad gets back it’s likely he’ll sell the whole herd, and cattle prices are so low at the moment that he’d lose a lot financially if we’d fed them hay for weeks beforehand. (Selling the whole herd is so sad I won’t let myself think about it.)

– I’ve lost 9 kilos since last December and don’t know why. It’s a good thing, not bad; walking up hills is so much easier now. I feel fitter, but it’s probably just that I’m not carrying so much weight, making the task easier. But such a big weight loss so quickly is a bit strange. I don’t think I’m eating fewer kilojoules, and I don’t think I’m using up more of them, so I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe I just forget to eat sometimes, or I have a nutritional deficiency, or cancer. I have the BMI of a person my age in Bangladesh; that much I do know. (If you want to check your own, the BBC’s Global Fat Scale will tell you.)

– I don’t know what the point is: every day, trudging on. What’s the point? But that’s probably a Stupid Human question. There probably isn’t any point. We’re just here. We keep on going till we’re not here any more, and that’s all there is to it. Keep going. No point, just do it. But that’s not much motivation, hey? I don’t get it.

Saturday afternoon

Most days I walk around writing blog posts in my head. Then at night when I get back to the computer I can only be bothered reading through my feed-reader; the posts never get written.

Anyway, here are some notes:

– My days consist of chickens (morning and afternoon) and driving (there and back), day after day after day. It feels like I’ll never get out of this pattern. I’ve now been at my parents’ place for three months, and we all wish it would end, I know. Two days a week I still do the mowing at the farm, and sometimes there is other farm work, but that’s it for income-producing activities, and meanwhile all dollars are flying out on expenses as usual, except more so than before because now I’m paying for all the petrol for all the driving. The entire situation is ridiculous.

– I miss being alone. During the week I saw a TV program about a wildlife carer who said he has the body of a human but the spirit of a kangaroo (or something like that), and now I think maybe I have the spirit of a tree or a rock or a cloud or something. I sure don’t feel human.

– I detest people: most other humans. Every day in every way I dislike you more and more, Humanity.

– Except, the only things I seem to be interested in are the things made by humans: ideas, say, or writing, or television.

– Writing this whingeing post has made me feel negative, and if you’ve read this far I bet it hasn’t done a lot for you either, Reader. But if I could just make myself write posts more often I suspect this whining would run out of puff and might then be replaced by something less self-centred. I’ll leave it here as a record to look back on later: my life and times, current state, Easter 2013.

Progress report

I have to be out of this house in less than two weeks and I haven’t found anywhere to go. Also, I haven’t found a job, or even decided what to look for, or done anything at all about it. Also, I haven’t made a chook pen. Also, I haven’t made a shirt or a foundation pattern and I’m still wearing the one shirt patched up with duct tape every time I go out (though yesterday when sorting out old clothes I found a shirt I used to wear years ago – I dislike it and it’s pretty ugly, but at least it doesn’t require patching and it fits okay and it’s comfortable, so yay). I’m about halfway through packing up the house, most of the stuff here belonging to other people, two of whom are overseas and won’t be back until the 20th of December – a day before I move out.

On the good side, every time I look at the chickens I feel happier, so I look at the chickens a lot, and check on them, and think about them, and write blog posts about them, and last night I spent a few hours making a cardboard model of a chook shed – a design which has turned out to be too complicated and to have too many parts (it needs to remain lightweight so I can move it), so the model-making process was a useful thing to do.

Another good thing: the weather has been unusually good for a summer here: the air is dry and relatively cool and so far we haven’t had a bad storm, or even many storms at all. (There was one destructive storm not far away, but it was a small cell confined to a tiny area.) There was a heatwave recently, but even that wasn’t too bad: the sea-breeze that blows across here from the coast every summer afternoon eased the heat, and anyway, the air was still dry. And the grass has started to grow again despite the unusually dry spring, so even though we could do with some more rain – well, dry air! It’s much easier to live with.

And I’m probably living in denial (very likely; I’m good at that), but, apart from dissolving into tears about ten times a day, I’m not panicking or feeling too despairing. Things are not going well, but at least I’m still going, mostly, and that’s both surprising and encouraging. Yay.

And in other news, I don’t know why this blog is hyphenating words at the end of lines (so one part carries over to the next line). I think it started when I changed to the new theme some time ago. It’s annoying.