Wednesday, March 28, 2012

up a flipping mountain

I am constantly being told off
when I say I'm going
up to Central Otago.
Central is south of here,
south of most places really
but Central Otago is up in the mountains.
So I say UP.

Saturday was busy at Nessie and Ben's house.
Good busy though.
My idea of a good holiday is to be hummingly busy
with jobs that are all care and no responsibility
and that's what Nessie organised for me all day.

First there was lambies to move across the road to greener pastures.
So we wandered over to the paddocks with the 900 lambies
I wandered, Ben and Ness walked purposefully
with working dogs in tow.

Then Ben gave me instructions
which included puzzled looks from him when I asked
why I needed to stand in a meadow.

Once he explained there was a bridge (on the left)
and the 900 lambs would come down the little hill (on the right)
and my job was to make sure they don't stray/stampede on to the meadow.

900 lambs don't look like that many really.
But this is what happened to the few that didn't follow instructions
from the dogs,
who didn't follow the instructions from Ness.

They all got out
mostly with Nessie's help,
some exhausted.
Bugger lifting lambs out of the stream though.
That's super human.
My job was to bring over the ute
to drive the tired lambs over the way.

We took them across the road.
My job was to slow the 100 kms per hour vehicles down
so they could not plough into the sheep
and put every one's hard work to naught
(I include myself in the everyone there).

Across the road,
over the shaky bridge,

up the dirt road,
hang a left,

along the farm track,
that's Ben in the distance leading the way,
with Nessie whistling directing the dogs,
and me rolling along in the ute supa slow
with the tired lambies on the back
now standing up and looking much more perky
after their wool has dried out a little
and their snozzhes have emptied of the water they inhaled.

Then into the fresh, green grass
to get good and fat for the winter.
Ben's mum was telling me she reckons they'll have
six foot deep snow soon enough.

It's a big sky in Manuherikia Valley
lots of land to cover with six feet deep of snow.
This is all Ben and Nessie's land
and that's just the other side of the river.

This is their backyard with the shearing shed
aka emergency party palace.
It's surrounded with stone walls just like in Scotland
where the Hore's came from a hundred and fifty or so years ago.
The canny bastards were miners who got themselves a couple of grazing leases
and have turned that into thriving farms
across the South Island.
There's lots of Hores down here and up there.
Ben and Ness own up to the top of the range
and along even more.
The Hore's have worked hard for generations to build Blackstone Hill Station.

 After sheep shifting Ness and I spent the rest of the day
in the kitchen.
Only I was barefoot and neither of us, pregnant.

We celebrated Ness's 30th birthday
alongside Ben's brother Steve's 30th too.
The party was in an old stone cookhouse,
with a huge fireplace,
a merino lamb on a spit and
lots of family and friends.

I had a good time talking with Bevan,
catching up with his romance (going well)
and his business (winding up-ish).
Ben and I discussed the isolating damage facebook
does to our young rural people.
And why I'm not married,
That was a long discussion.

I had a great weekend.
Enough rest, enough work, enough friends.

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