Thursday, 24 May 2012

Away Days

I'm sitting in the car next to the Emerald saleyards, chased here by the misty rain.   Waiting for the sound of the rambling auctioneer in the distance to fade, for Matthew to check off and for us to hit the road for home.

After a weekend starting with a day of preg-testing

and ending with three pigs converted to hams, chops, bacon and sausages, we headed west to Alpha on Monday.

Judging duties beckoned at the local Alpha Show, Matthew presiding over the commercial cattle section, and me the stud cattle and junior sections.  Unfortunately, running so soon after Beef Week, stud numbers were rather limited, not so the youngsters who turned up for the Junior Judging competition in droves.  So rewarding to be involved in helping to train this next generation of beef producers.  The competition involves the juniors placing four head of cattle in order of what they think is best to worst and then speaking to the audience about why they placed the animals as they did.  As over-judge I also judge the cattle, the children are allocated points on how close their placings are to mine, and then I score them on their ability to speak and justify their choices.  Very entertaining.  The youngest competitor was four.  Four!  His name was Jack, he wore Harry Potter glasses and he placed the animals in exactly the same order I did.  Unfortunately Jack found the whole microphone experience rather daunting, but next time he'll be a little better, and by the time he's 24 he'll be judging Beef 2030.  Good stuff.  Most disappointing, my camera remained in the car the whole time we were there and no photos were taken.

Jess ran in the district cross country competition yesterday,

claiming 8th place from a field of 63.  We unathletic types are in awe.

Not to be outdone, Sarah placed 3rd in a State of Origin dress-up competition last night at school.  If I knew how to transfer images from phone to computer, I would.

By comparison, Wallace and Sally's weeks have been rather dull, the highlight of Sally's week being a day off school with belly-ache.  Obviously better able to pull the wool over the neighbour's eyes than Mum's.

Looking forward to returning home and staying put until 2015.


  1. Oh Fiona! You never fail to amuse with your snippets. I had to take my arm out of its sling to comment! Thanks again for informing me more about country life - it's all new to this city girl ☺. And go Jess! J x

  2. heh heh, smart kid that Sally. Busy times, why does everything have to happen at once rather than spread nicely over the year. Its all ramping up around these parts too, Show next week and then the week after, a hens night (in townsville) working bee to prepare for sports day, The Sports Day, packing up to go away (not quite as simple as it sounds with farming out of numerous critters included in that packin) driving to Blackall, helping set up for a wedding and then and witnessing the marriage of brother. All within seven days. who said there was nothing to do in the country.
    I think I am with you about staying home until 2015.

  3. I am such a homebody. It's nice to go away, but I'd much rather be tucked up at home! Hermit, Um yes!

  4. Loved reading about your judging duties, doing your part in developing those beef producers of the future1

  5. Bah! I have been reading your blog forEVER, and now you're judging cattle at the Alpha show?! My husband and I are jackaroo/governessing on a property just north of Alpha on our around Australia honeymoon. We missed the stud cattle but came in for the Wednesday night, heard that numbers were down due to Beef.

  6. Go little Jack!!!! You ARE a woman of many talents Fiona - how far from Alpha to your place? A lot of kms under your belts, I'm guessing. I know the sentiment about staying home... I am ensconced and desperate to stay that way (won't happen, but a girl can dream),.

  7. Great to read Fiona, the interest of the young in rural areas in future duties and the work involved. You and your "other half" can hold your heads high.
    Just pray and wish that all this would transfer down to the city/suburbia lot.
    I had today, and it really wasn't necessary to call out to a group of 15 year olds or around about that age, who were waiting for a train, that the next train on the station concerned would be at 5.00am Monday. The young here NEVER read signs or listen to announcements, head phones on and playing with their mobiles.
    They sure moved up ramps quickly as the train was approaching the station - naturally no thanks forthcoming.
    Great report as usual.



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