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Published: March 30th 2008
Yay, clouds cleared, almost
Fun day on the farm, seen some things no human should ever have to see, the back end of a cow about to flow being a major one.
Millked a hundred or so cows, had a play on a quad bike, learned a bit more about rugby and spent the afternoon helping the police with their enquiries.
Went across to visit extended family in Opunake, enjoyed the luxury of being welcomed in a family home, proper family meals, entertaining company, should have planned it better so could have been there a week. Think Jean may have got sick of me by then.
Had a full day on the farm. Few fun jobs, rounding cows up (well following the farmers attempting to control quad bike without crashing) searching for cows in a ditch, milking the cows. Few intensely gross jobs. Collecting up dead cows. Usually 2 dead cows a year, stupid animals eat too much and fall over, or try and scratch themselves on the electric fence and haven't enough use of their limb to stand up again, that sort of thing. I just got lucky and found 2 dead waiting to be collected. Sitting on the tractor while the dead
cows head lolls around dripping blood is an image I'm desperate to get rid of. Yuck. Milking the cows was also pretty gross. When I'd got used to it, wasn't too slow, the other 2 managed 4 while I did 1, but at least I tried. (hoping I wasn't too much of a hindrence) Until they kicked me anyway, then I ran away like a scared child. Cows big and scary, wasn't too keen on them before they all wanted to stamp on me. Plus, can't find a polite way to put it, there was the horror of the continuous streams of crap. had hat on, but other than small part of head, got covered in it. Yuck. Never looked forward to a shower more in my life.
Next day was much more civilised. Tour of the town. Nice little town. Great community spirit. Not seen anything like it beofre, particularly not in the larger towns and cities. Large number of buildings that came under the banner of "we did that" and "the community runs that". Else where, we just expect things to happen and don't get involved till it's too late to complain. but then I have lived
in big cities most of my life where you don't know your next door neightbour. It wasn't until a car got flipped (can't remember exactly how) in my old street in Sheffield, mother and 2 children stuck in the car, that I met any of the people I'd been living next to for years. Half the neighbourhood came out to help. (We managed to lift the car and free them before the ambulance arrived) Met more people out here from my old neighbourhood than had had up to that point. Too many antisocial students and idle maths teachers.
Where was I, oh yes, nice neighbourhood, full of criminals. Opunake that is. On admiring a beach from a distance, my eagle eyed host noticed a couple of police cars. Obviously had to go and make sure the police were coping ok. A boat had just been dragged from the water and the police were admiring it and it's contents slowly. Notebooks out, they were concentrating too hard to notice the bloke they'd just let pop to the loo sprinting up the steps away from the beach. Headed off to the next look out and who should appear, but the fat
Wonderfuly unspoilt coastline
git himself. Took a couple of shots of the few, one that just happened to mostly include him, clutching the green t-shirt he'd been wearing as he bolted minutes earlier. Took camera to the police who seemed a little uninterested. Knew who he was, not to fussed. Carried on in to he mountains. Half way up the rather impressive one in the photo. When returned home, the police had called, would actually rather like a closer look at the photo. Popped in again and this time they actually look a copy. Would quite like to talk to him. Hoping for news of what they were caught doing. For no other reason than being nosey, which is pretty much how it all started in the first place.
Sadly, I also have to report a major loss. My fluffy blue fleece jumper. They asked us to change buses at the last minute, and I hadn't regained full conciousness after 3 hours staring into space. Left it behind. Still mornings it's loss. Lost an umbrella within 2 days on buying it, but this jumper was special. in part because it was still fluffy, warm and very cuddly. But also as it was
a present from my old collegues at Ant. (technically I brought it from the tokens they gave me for my birthday) To be fair, due to their generosity, I also have trousers to wear, another 3 tops, a couple of funky t-shirts from Oz, a first aid kit and a stuffed Koala, but that's not the point. Irritating when you lose presents and me think of all the people I left behind. Miss them all.
Still waiting for inspiration on the perfect job for me, Excel monkey wasn't close - doing quite a good job of avoiding the serious issues. So far only thing that looks tempting is travel writer, but the chance of making a living from that is so slim, will have to give proper jobs a bit more thought. Maybe next week.
Arrived in Taupo today. Looks nice enough, another tourist town. Not sure there's huge amounts to do if you're not bungy jumping or sky diving. Being a bit of a cheapskate for a few days. Weather not great anyway. Tongariro Alpine Crossing may be cancelled. No point going if you can't see owt. Got new book so will sit in bus shelter by the
beach and admire the lake. With Meat Loaf on to ensure true bliss. 😊
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