The Arrival of Ramchop

Published: January 22nd 2012
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Robert and HelenRobert and HelenRobert and Helen

Open their Christmas Present
Firstly I will start off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, though we didn’t blog, you were in our thoughts. Sorry we have not been blogging, everything just exploded last year and we just had to put our hands up and say we just cannot do everything.

As I type this it is 17 January 2012 and we are well and truly back at work and in the thick of it again. I am going to have to do my best and recap the whole of December and some of November since we did the last blog.

I will say a big thank you to certain people who made an effort to contact us and ask if everything was OK as we weren’t blogging, that is really good of you to be so concerned.

There will be no order to this blog I will just type it as I remember it.

Just before Christmas we caught up with Keith and Jan who had returned after their 8 month expedition, they both looked really well and enjoyed every minute of their trip and are already planning the next one!

Christmas: we broke up at midday on
This is Ram ChopThis is Ram ChopThis is Ram Chop

Woodstocks finest is trying to get a reaction out of Ram chop
the 23rd December, raced home packed the truck with everything we needed, clothes, presents, pigs ears and headed for the farm, where we had been so graciously invited for Christmas by Helen and Robert. As soon as we arrived, we just felt like falling in a big heap after such a busy year.

It was great to be back at Woodstock, the farm of farms, and home to Ram Chop, Woodstock’s most obedient Ram, but back to that later. We consider Woodstock as our spiritual home, (I’m sure Helen and Robert, don’t want us to think of it that way, but we do, it was great to be back with all the familiarity it holds, Helen and Robert both looked really well and the farm was in tip top shape).

The Riverina area looked so green and Woodstock was just overflowing with water, sadly, this years harvest was not good as it was to wet and the crop had sprung, so prices for wheat this year were down, though Robert and Helen were there usual calm selves about it.

We had a great Christmas Day, it must be the same all over the world, we ate too

The Christmas Table, Robert hiding.
much and did very little which was nice, our Woodstock Dinner was awesome, Robert and Helen, James and Bree, Caroline and I all had a splendid day.

All the dogs were good, Kimba was pregnant and produced her litter on Boxing Day which was great, she had 5, but sadly one needed to go to doggy heaven.

Whilst the weather was generally very good and lovely and warm there were a few storms hanging around for the duration of Christmas, again they were spectacular to watch, but one minute we would be enjoying the weather and then Helen would tell us to go and put the truck in to the machinery shed because a storm was coming and the prediction was for hail and as we have found out in recent months being caught in a hailstorm in golf ball size hailstones is not fun! The weather is pretty mixed at the moment for summer time, even the locals are complaining that it has been cold, but most days have been up around 35 degree’s which is what we like.

As per normal at times of celebration there were plenty of visitors coming to the farm and
The Christmas FairyThe Christmas FairyThe Christmas Fairy

At the gates to Woodstock
we would sit on the veranda to eat, drink and watch the lightening in the distance, quite spectacular.

Unfortunately the day after Boxing Day we had to leave the farm, we were on call and needed to be in Canberra, so headed back into town.

As soon as we came off call, we threw the swag on the truck, put the fridge in and headed off in to the Brindabella Ranges for some quiet again, well almost quiet, some friends of ours have a large property and we were invited to spend a few days with them and some other friends, it was beautiful, the grass was a lush green, we pitched the swag right on the edge of the Goodrabidgee which was far from a meandering river and we are told that for the time of the year it is running quite fast and very deep, so deep that the river crossing near the property is too deep to be driven across, so anyone heading out this way has to come in from the other side.

We had a day out doing some 4 wheel driving across some of the power line tracks in Kosciusko National Park. They were still quite wet and one of the group got stuck, he did not have high enough clearance to tackle this particularly bad patch of mud. We all stop, and a few help decide how to get the vehicle out, trouble is when one gets out, the rest of us have to make our way through, one other vehicle got stuck and impressively was pulled out by a tiny little Suzuki.

When we all had stopped to watch th spectacle of the lead vehicle getting bogged, we all got out and I grabbed my camera.

When It was Andy’s turned to make the difficult transition across the healthily boggy area, he skilfully brought the truck across the difficult terrain, and as he went past below me I managed to get some good shots, the Sound of the V8 working hard was terrific.

Not only did this Suzuki rescue a vehicle much bigger, it also made very light work of this mud patch and came straight through it as if it were on tarmac. Everyone else came through with not too much of a problem, though some did find an easy route round. It was exciting
Christmas CreativityChristmas CreativityChristmas Creativity

Making paper snow flakes

We head toward Long Plains, where Andy and I have camped on a previous visit, the scenery was lush and green with some areas dotted with wild flowers, on the way we visited some of the old homesteads that are now historic landmarks in this beautiful environment. Description boards explain the conditions that families lived in during their time, it makes me think how easy we have it, it gets cold in Canberra in the winter but it must surely have been very cold hard winters up in the mountains, especially when the snow was thick on the ground.

Again Canberra beckoned and on New Year’s Eve we headed back into town, as we had a party to go to. We came through the mountain roads back home and on the way spotted some other friends of ours camping on the edge of another stretch of the Goodrabidgee, we stopped to say hello and whilst we were chatting heard a hissing sound, we both turned and looked at each other, then at the wheel of the truck and sure enough it was looking quite flat.

Sometimes things are just meant to be and perhaps we were meant to stop and find the puncture before we head back up the other side of the mountain track. Whilst I set to it and as Caroline was chatting to Kim, they wandered off and left me and Bob to work it all out.

Eventually when Caroline returned with Kim, miraculously the truck was proudly sporting the spare tyre, the flat was already attached to the rear, so we said our goodbyes and hit the track again as time would be against us if we stayed any longer.

Like most people we returned back to work on the 3rd of January, Christmas went in a blink of an eye and has quickly become another distant memory.

Though we do not make resolutions, our New Year Promise to ourselves was to get out and about as much as possible, using the truck and exploring Canberra and sleeping out in the swag. Last weekend we stayed out at Honeysuckle Creek, but we both had a shocking night’s sleep nonetheless we enjoyed our small break out of town.

This forth coming Saturday we are going “Wombatting” in the Brindabella’s which should be fun.

Something that made me giggle
At UlmurraAt UlmurraAt Ulmurra

Th truck parked at John and Cheryl's just befor new year in the Brindabella Valley
(in the nicest possible way), on the news over the Christmas break was a little boy, playing in the garage at home, was attempted to be eaten by a very large Python. Fortunately his mother was quick to realise and went out into the street for help, a neighbour came to the rescue, despite being bitten himself managed to rescue the little boy.

All is good with the truck, the solar panel is installed now and as I type this is outside in the sunshine, having its batteries top up free of charge.

We had our 4 wheel drive Christmas Party in Bournda National Park, a 100 of us descended on Bournda for a long weekend, we went down early and had 5 days we had a blast, which brings me to a point that we made earlier in the story.

We dropped into the Bega cheese factory for a tour, in the café / shop, we noticed this awesome metal sheep and as soon as we spied it we both thought, “Woodstock” and how cool it would look on the front lawn. We could not purchase it fast enough, boy he is quite big and heavy
Follow the leaderFollow the leaderFollow the leader

Our Club president, just before he got stuck
as he is made out of these metal swirls made to look like a wool coat.

We took him back to camp Christmas party and everyone took to him, so he stood there for a couple of days guarding the T-Van. The sheep was made by a local artist, and we named him “Hugh the Ewe” but have since renamed him Ramchop. You should have seen the Woodstock dog’s reaction when they met Ramchop on the lawn and tried to round him up. It wasn’t long before they realised he wasn’t real so went about their normal business.

We will try and get back on the blogging band wagon, our cr*p Dell laptop has failed again and today I am waiting for a Dell engineer to come and fix it, as soon as it is done we will recover the last bit of data from it, then chuck it in the bin and go and buy something else.

All the best and Happy New Year.


Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 25


Mac and the pumpMac and the pump
Mac and the pump

Mac, waiting for the pump to be started
Crazy MacCrazy Mac
Crazy Mac

John and Cheryl's dog 'Mac' loves water,and will do anything to get wet, he loves the sprinkler
Blowing up a 'widow maker'Blowing up a 'widow maker'
Blowing up a 'widow maker'

Yes that is what I said,blowing a tree up with plastic explosive
Eat my dustEat my dust
Eat my dust

The Finlayboys sure did kick uo some dust
Wild BrumbiesWild Brumbies
Wild Brumbies

Wild Brumbies, are famous in Koziosko NationalPark
One of our gangOne of our gang
One of our gang

Glad I don't have to wash this
Blowing up the widow makerBlowing up the widow maker
Blowing up the widow maker

Jesus, this tree justwould not go,the bank was enourmous.
Woodstocks FinestWoodstocks Finest
Woodstocks Finest

Wally trying to 'round up' Ramchop
Best 'in show'Best 'in show'
Best 'in show'

Ram chop,with his best in show ribbons

22nd January 2012

Happy New Year to you also
It is good to read your blogs again. That Christmas pudding looks good. Loved the photos of your friend being stuck. Yes, a car wash is in need.
22nd January 2012

Wow what a great post. I fell happy to view this pictures. Thanks for more sharing.......... Vinny's Towing
23rd January 2012

Happy New Year
Glad you had such a good time over Christmas. It looks as though Sylvia and I might be starting our round-Australia trip earlier than planned. I have been made redundant from 1st March. Got my picture in the Sunday Telegraph this week along with an article about my employer replacing its employees with "off-shore" resources. At least it will give me some free time to bring my blog up-to-date. Need to get the camper-trailer sorted out. It has been sitting in the backyard for 6 months. Probably full of ants!

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