Big Love

Published: May 31st 2012
Edit Blog Post

Only at WoodstockOnly at WoodstockOnly at Woodstock

Woodstock Like their Big boys toys, this is most probably over 40ft Long, its Roberts John Deere 8330 with Dual rear wheels, towing the air seeder and the mixer unit. I know I am short, but look at me against the size of the rear wheel, oh and look at that sky
Big Love.

Hi Bloggers, we must apologise for the lack of activity on Kangaroojacks blog, but time has just run away with us, so being mindfully aware of this I thought I would do a roundup of what has been happening since our last blog at Easter.

This in not going to be produced in date order, I will just type this from the hip as it comes in to my mind.

This weekend we have been to our favourite farm “Woodstock” near Nangus to see Helen and Robert, we arrived at about 5.10 and parked the truck adjacent to a refrigerated trailer as I remember that they were killing some animals and they were most probably hanging in the reefer unit.

We walked in to the homestead and found nobody home, so we clicked the kettle on, put some logs on the fire and settled into the chairs, the living room was nice and cosy and warm, it was a filthy wet and windy evening outside.

Twenty minutes later, Helen appeared and asked how long we had been there, it became apparent that she had been working in the refrigerated trailer with the butchers preparing the meat.

Helen said that she needed to go back and carry on making rissoles, so we offered to help and within the blink of an eye, I was standing in the reefer with Helen and the two butchers rolling cricket ball size rissoles that had been hand rolled by the butcher in to a breadcrumb spice mix and stacking them in to aluminium trays and when full Caroline would take the full trays to the freezers.

Just picture this, Helen said to us that they started, with 200 Kilos of mince to be made in to sausages and rissoles, the production line of Rissoles seemed to work really well, Helen was slacking a bit but we soon showed her how to do it properly.

Twenty two sheep had been butchered, I don’t know if they were all Woodstock lambs, I forgot to ask, but I do know, there were friends and neighbours on the list to have, what we call “Prime” Woodstock lamb, and as always when we are here there is the feeling of the sense of community.
Ram Chop's New HatRam Chop's New HatRam Chop's New Hat

Even Ram Chop,has to keep up with fashion.

The Olympic rissoles and relay team were finished by about 7.00pm and soon we were all sitting in the warm kitchen, whilst Helen produced our evening meal. Robert was in from his long hard day and the girls had dived headlong in to a bottle of plonk.

Sitting in the chairs in the warmth after dinner, the filthy weather outside, indoors the fire crackling, we were sat in front of the TV it was bliss and felt great to be back, chatting with Robert and Helen we realise it was January since we were here last. By 9.00 my eyes were drooping and I felt so tired, I excused myself to hit the hay, the good thing was that I had put the electric blanket on earlier so it was nice and warm when I slid under the sheets.

I was transported back 40 years with a memory when I was a little boy, when I used to sleep over at my grandparents house, and most my vivid memories where just how big the bed was and how heavy the bed sheets were, and the experience of getting under the Woodstock sheets again, gave me that feeling, it was magic.

Throughout the night, in my deep sleep I’m sure I heard the dogs in the doggie Hilton barking, disturbed by a rabbit or something else taunting them, it’s a sound I love to hear and in a way somewhat comforting.

We woke to a very cold morning, but a least it was dry, we had a sit around in the morning talking to Helen, whilst Robert was out doing his farmy stuff, we did manage to do a couple of minor chores for Helen, by taking some meat down to Pip and James farm in the afternoon and then we had to get ready as we were going out to dinner at the Poets Recall Restaurant in Gundagai.

With us all ready, we jumped in to Robert and Helens car and were driven in to Gundy, which is about 35 K’s away, we have not been to this restaurant before and were looking forward to it.

Poets Recall so called because when Gundagai was first settled there were 13 streets named after poets, however in 1852 one of the greatest
Yes, Another Shot of the CruiserYes, Another Shot of the CruiserYes, Another Shot of the Cruiser

We just thought this was a nice frame with the back ground of Rural Australia,honestly
natural disasters to hit Australia occurred and devastated Gundagai. The Murrumbidgee River burst it’s banks, nearly 100 people drowned (approximately 50% of the townsfolk). The town was rebuilt further up the mountain and many of the old streets were lost, new roads were named without literary themes and therefore no longer graced Gundagai.

When the motel was built the owner decided to name the Motel “The Poets Recall Motel” in honour of the long lost poets and thus revived the history of the town. If you go into the restaurant you will find portraits of many famous poets painted on slate tablets mined from the local area.

Helen did make me laugh, earlier in the day, with the processing of 22 sheep which included chops, shanks, racks, shoulders, steaks and not forgetting the 200 Kilo’s of lamb mince, Helen said, she was looking forward to dinner and would eat anything as long as it was not lamb.

We had a great evening and it was a restaurant that we would definitely recommend good food and pleasant atmosphere but as always the evening has to come to an end and Robert drove us home, and soon we were sitting in the warm sitting room at Woodstock as the evening finally ebbed away.

Just before bed, I asked Robert what was planned for Sunday and he said that they would be weighing sheep ready to go to market and that Ross from Landmark was coming along to watch over proceedings.

Ross is a guy who we first met way back nearly 3 ½ years ago when we first came to Woodstock and we really wanted to say hello again. So Helen suggested we went down to the sheep pen at about 08.30 as Ross would be there and they would be ready to weigh the sheep.

When we went down the dogs were in full swing, pens were full of sheep and the new automatic weighing machine was working away, weighing each creature then sending them on its way in to a designated pen.

We chatted with Ross it seemed that it was only 5 minutes since we last seen him. Wally, Trixie and Sam busied themselves around us and there is a new member of the team, one of the puppies from Kimba’s last litter, the ones that we watched being born on Boxing Day last Christmas, Hoover and so called because he Hoover’s up his food, we think this will be one big dog as he has paws like dinner plates. Hoover is tied up on the fence, he was working this morning but his over enthusiasm go the better of him so he had to be tied up, he will learn.

When the dogs didn’t have any work to do, they have to come over for their fuss, Wally, Trixie and Sam hopped the fences and came over and soon Caroline and myself were covered in muddy paw prints, Caroline looking down at her fleece seemingly claiming many more paw prints than I did, and saying it was her who got the ‘Big Love’ this time.

We had promised to do a couple of chores for Helen whilst she was working in the sheep yard, Sunday morning was the most beautiful day, and we had the doggy Hilton to clean out.

The working dogs are integral parts of Woodstock, and like any piece of equipment, it needs looking after and general maintenance, and with the work dogs’ maintenance, this is cleaning out their kennels as they do not do themselves.

It was poor old Toby who was the only dog in residence in the doggy Hilton, as Toby is a bit of a thug, that is he is not very good when it comes to “yard work” and would stir the sheep up, rather than effectively do his job, so Helen and Robert are careful what duties they give him.

Armed with a pigs ear and Toby’s lead hidden in my pocket, we went and carefully bribed Toby by waving the pigs ear around whilst clipping his lead to his collar, then tying him to the nearest 40ft sea container, so we could wash all the dog pens out with wetting poor Toby who was whimpering and crying like a baby, Toby is a big dog and we had visions of seeing the sea container slowly being dragged along the paddock behind a big brute of a dog.

That job was done and Toby was back in the doggy Hilton, it was soon time to leave Woodstock again, we had had a fantastic weekend but had to be back in Canberra as I had work in the morning and we also had plans for an early dinner with some friends.

Another thing we have done since Easter, after much deliberating was to order “The new Wendy House MK II” to replace the original trailer that we dragged for 60,000 Kilometres around Australia, which was also our home for nearly 16 months, we have ordered a new unit that we will pick up on the 6th October this year when it is ready.

It was our decision to have the new camper trailer, so late in the year, as on Friday, it’s the first day of winter and we won’t be doing much travelling until October/November and it would just be sitting around in storage until then, plus it will give us time to organise our finances.

We have booked our tickets to travel to the UK, as it has been nearly 4 years since we left England and I have not been home, so it’s time to see my family and Caroline can see hers, though Caroline did return back in 2010. Also as it is late September when we get back this is also the reason why we do not pick up the new Camper trailer until early October. We have produced a UK itinerary and it’s looking very busy, but we want to see as many people as we can.

A couple of weekends ago we went up into the Brindabella Ranges to try and get to Mount Franklin but the road was closed until June, so we hope to try again soon. Worth mentioning that in the early years of Canberra’s history Mount Franklin was a very popular skiing area for Canberrans nowadays they all head down to Thredbo and Perisher.

Not being defeated by road closures we headed down to the Brindabella Valley where we hoped to have lunch, but there was another road closure and the evidence of the damage done by the major floods in recent months was very evident.

Looking at the damage I cannot get my head around how deep the water was and how fast the water must have flowed, our friends who have a property not so very far away were very lucky not to have lost their house, the water went up to the front door which is set quite far back from the river’s edge, but they did lose all the fences, some of which may not go back up and some of the access roads to the property were washed away making access very tricky indeed.

At the end of April we spent a long weekend in Sydney with our friends Jan and Ted, whom some of you may remember we met on our travels in early 2009. We caught up with the rest of the family and just want to mention that Jan and Ted’s son in law Justin recently rode in the Tour De Cure which is a cycling foundation committed to finding a cure for cancer. We sponsored Justin to do the ride from Brisbane to Mission Beach in Queensland, unfortunately only 10km out of Townsville Justin hit something in the road and came off his bike, breaking his shoulder and this was just 2 days off finishing the ride.

We were exceptionally disappointed for Justin, but rest assured he will be back on the bike again for next year’s ride, albeit a new bike as the fall actually broke the frame and was not repairable, but we figure that the bike may be jinxed as it is the same bike that Mark Beretta was knocked off by a kangaroo last year. We wish Justin a speedy recovery.

We also attended the dawn service on Anzac Day this year, it was at the War Memorial in Canberra, it was a very cold morning but we wrapped up warm to join everyone else to pay their respects.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, so until next time!


31st May 2012

love oz
31st May 2012

Nice to have you back online. Have missed you. Always nice to hear about your visits to Woodstock. You are so at home, and just pitch in and do what is necessary. So, you neglected to mention the make of your new 'Wendy House'. Can't wait to hear about it and check it out online. Take Care and keep blogging
1st June 2012

Hi There
Hi Gary, I have to say its been 4 months since we were at Woodstock last and it was lovely to be back,no reason really apart we have been so busy. We purposly didn't put the manufacturer of the new Wendy house up, as its a bit of a fun secret,but as its you guys I will send it over privatly, so you can look it up,bit only because its you. Thanks for your support. Andy

Tot: 1.995s; Tpl: 0.063s; cc: 27; qc: 201; dbt: 0.1229s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 2mb