A quick stop at my Auntie Ann and Uncle Eric’s Bororen property for our second night.
In the late seventies, when I was a young sprog, we’d come here for holidays occasionally to ‘help’ with the cattle.
Although I’m really not sure how being terrified of imaginary snakes in the long grass or disgusted with cow patties or falling off horses or retching because the dogs were eating the testies the men were cutting of the young cows was useful.
Still, a lot of good memories here.
Plus the cow’s ball thing probably explains why I always had my hand down the front of my pants through my teens – just checking they were still attached.
Ann and Eric’s driveway, which comes off a gravel road, is two kilometres long and includes a creek crossing. I’ve now decided it’s easy to take bitumen for granted. We owned a big-ass 4WD for ten years which didn’t see as much ‘off-road’ as this bus has already.
I have to say, Tracey did a top notch job of guiding me through gates and over grills and across the creek. She doesn’t even need to use her hands – I can tell how close I am to fenceposts by her facial expressions.
Finally, after thundering along the driveway at single digit breakneck speeds, we arrived at the homestead and the kids got to have a swim and meet some new family members.
And step in some cow poo.
“I like your Uncle and Auntie,” Master11 told me after dinner. “They’re really good at conversations.”
That was always my experience as a kid too. Maybe because out here your neighbours are so far away when you see them you have to make the most of it and get as many words in as you can.
Finally, after a delicious country home cooked meal, the night was over and we waved off their neighbour, Mrs Elphinstone (whose kids we used to play with when we’d come up for a visit), and Tanya, my cousin Ben’s wife (do I call her cousin too now? I never know), and their cute little son, Jackson.
“Oh, look!” said Auntie Ann as the headlights of the leaving cars lit up an old wooden shed. “A little carpet snake.”
Worryingly, she said it like it was the most natural thing in the world.
The only reason I didn’t panic was she included the breed in her sentence. That, and I was twenty feet from where she was pointing.
“You want to go get Tracey and the kids to show them?” she asked. Country folk are strange – they run the wrong way when they see a snake.
“Too late,” said Uncle Eric. “It’s gone.”
Excellent. Imaginary snakes are my favourite.
“Tracey!” I called out. “Bring the kids! Come and see the snake!”
“But it’s gone,” repeated Auntie Ann.
“That’s okay,” I said. “They don’t know that.”
All I need now is to push them off a horse and feed a dog a cow’s nad and they’ll have a real grasp of what it was like for me growing up in the seventies.
NOTE: I know cow’s are females and females generally don’t have testicles, but all cows are just cows to me – or more specifically, beef.
Raising a family on little more than laughs