Monday, 4 January 2016

The first three days

Hi everyone,

It's been a reasonably packed start to 2016 here in my world.

Former Brother In Law (FBIL) and I spent a large whack of New Years Day back up on the roof of the shearing shed screwing it all down.  We had to take a break from it in the morning to scurry over to FBIL's place at Violet Town to get some straying cattle back into their proper paddock.

The Parental Units went over to Costerfield for lunch that day with some of their friends, and FBIL and I finished off the roof.  The afternoon wasn't exactly cool, but it was less hot than it had been.  I took the opportunity for a run and surprised myself: I'd originally planned on about 8-10 kilometres, and then I adjusted the route to 14 kiometres.  Eventually I found I'd travelled no less than 16 kilometres (out through Miepoll), which I felt was a really good run.

The weather has been tending to hot recently, and the dams are suffering.  For the first time that I've seen, the big dam in the middle paddock has become a mud puddle.  This didn't stop the dog trying to swim in it, until he realised that he was close to getting stuck in the sticky mud and wallowed his way out again

When it's hot I take the dog down to one of the healthier dams so he can swim and cool off.  He'll actually paddle up and back in a single line until he's had enough.  He's the only dog I've ever seen swim laps!

January 2nd was a fairly disheartening day, with Dad complaining about how he has to work all the time, and wants to be able to be a "couch cockroach" (I prefer not to wonder who that barb was aimed at; it will make me angry if I do).  Exasperatingly, he then declined an offers of help (which he usually does, unless the offer comes from someone like FBIL).  This is most tedious.  With a touch of frustration I kept myself busy sweeping out the shearing shed.

The weather was getting humid in the afternoon of that day and a band of wind and rain swept over Shepparton, which led to three callouts.  I was up a ladder at each of them, doing makeshift repairs with corflutes and plastic sheet.  The second one was a bit hair raising, as Madison and I were just getting ready to go up on the roof when lightning started up and our controller directed that all roof activities were to cease.  As we couldn't go up to replace the tiles and otherwise patch the roof, we towed a sheet of plastic up attached to long ropes and fastened it in place with sandbags.  Not a great repair but it did the job for the balance of the night.

Yesterday was the quietest day of the break.  I spent most of my time cleaning and throwing things out, save for a trip into Shepparton with the old boy who wanted to buy a soldering iron.  A storm warning came through while we were out, and all afternoon the clouds brewed up like something big was going to happen.  In the end, there was some wind but only a single millimetre of rain.  Heartbreaking or what?  Costerfield got drenched.  Tragically, Seymour got smashed with one chap drowning despite the efforts of an SES crew to save him.  I hope the crew who went out are doing OK.  That sort of thing has to rattle you.

The only callout we had was to go back to the house in Shepparton over which we had dragged the sheet of plastic the previous night.  I'm not sure why we were called back, as it didn't appear any more tiles had come loose.  It was, in any case, academic: when we got there it turned a passing roofer had volunteered to go up and make repairs himself.  He was just finishing when we arrived.  I wouldn't have minded but it would have been nice if the homeowner had thought to cancel the emergency call when it was clear there was nothing for us to do.

Today I've been back at work and as busy as ever.  Meaning, I had most of my work done by midday and then found time to write some more first aid materials (which will go live over the next few days.
Not much more to note.  Hope you're all doing OK.  Hopefully I have reason to write more later this evening!

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