Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skye Cam

Oh...the puns just get worse...Finally a few photos.
2.6kg (5 pound 13 ounces), 52cm long
Yes, she is a little jaundiced.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Sean & Kirk set yabby traps in the dam last night and this morning reaped their huge haul! 2 yabbies. Oh well - they still tasted good - laid on a bed of smoked salmon, cheese and lettuce. (Cue "poor people" cliche).

Kirk is learning that babies cry and has been trying to keep Skye's dummy in place.
"She keeps spitting it out!"
"She doesn't HAVE to suck on it."
"But when she spits it out she cries!"

This Cheezburger cartoon says it all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Skye Channel

Tuning in again for another update?

Today we reached a maximum of 36.7 and a low of 36.3.
High pressure systems in the bladder and bowels created plenty of wet and dirty nappies and the occassional squall. A low in the great Australian bite ensured the continuation of sore nipples.
And while the UV (Ultra Visitation) rating today was very high, creating great conditions for games like Pass the Baby, the sun only emerged a few times during the day - mostly during feeding hours.

Expect a similar pattern tomorrow and for the the next month.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Skye's Progress

All is well. Skye wishes no more than to eat and sleep and cries only when she is hungry or wet.
Mum says this is all I did as a baby but while she may have my early habits I appear to have lucked-out genetically once again. Currently she has a fine tonsure of dark hair, muddy blue eyes and long spindly limbs. Oh well...there'll never be any question of paternity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Midsummer's Child

Our daughter, Skye Kelly, was born an hour before the summer solstice, 4:57pm 21st December. She is very small but healthy and let's hope she thrives.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A signifcant fall has finally arrived. This should get the grass growing and hopefully there will be sufficient follow up next week to keep it growing. We shall have to destock next year to allow the paddocks to recover.

My mum also arrived with the rain, bearing gifts which have made Kirk a very happy boy. She has also spoiled us with far too many presents! She will be here for a few days and will return home for xmas with my brother's family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh I wish I'd looked after my feet

With apologies to Pam Ayres

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me feet,
And spotted the skin cracks beneath,
All my nails unhued,
And the open-toed shoes,
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me feet.

I wish I'd been that much more willin'
When rough around I was runnin '
To pass up barefootin,
From respect to me cloppers
And to buy proper shoes with me dollars.

When I think of the rocks I kicked,
And the foot creams unslicked,
Salt water, deep and shallow,
All those rough paths of gravel,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My Father he told me no end,
"Shoes and sox are a foot's best friend. "
I was young then, and careless,
My footsies were shoeless,
I never had much money to spend.

Oh I showed them the scourer all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But scrapin' and scrubbin'
And pokin' and fussin'
Didn't seem worth the time... I could fight!

If I'd known I was paving the way,
To cracks, shame, and decay,
The murder of feeling
That uric-acid peeling
I'd have thrown all me thongs away.

So I lay in the pedicurist's chair,
And I gaze at her expression of despair,
And her sharp-bladed hoof knife,
Carves off those heels of strife,
While unbelieveing onlookers stare.

How I laughed at my Father's hard feet,
As he sanded them with relief,
But now comes the reckonin'
It's me they are beckonin'
Oh, I wish I'd looked after me feet.


Normally I would wear shoes and sox to work but this 40 degree summer brought a new fashion; elegant plastic sandals which I could wash beneath the hose. Moreover Kurgen conspired with the Callous Gods to eat every pair of house thongs forcing me into the moon-dust-on-baked-terracotta-yard barefoot HENCE my shamefull situation.

My sister could not stand their sight. She pushed $40 and a brochure into my hands crying, "Get thee to a pedicurist!".

The pedicurist was horrified for such feet are found only on farmers' shanks. I apologised profusely and she bravely activated the massage chair, filled the foot bath with water, grimly scoured and filed the nails, picked clean the cuticles, washed, massaged, carved, pummiced and moisturised the feet and THEN she painted my tonails!

It is a constant surprise to see clean, electric-blue toenails winking at me and reasonably smooth heels. They're not perfect yet but at least maintenance has begun.

Note to self: buy a hoof knife....

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I really should do something useful while I wait for the tomato salsa to reduce. 10 green bottles...

Friday, December 11, 2009

A good day

I hit lucky. We had an intelligent, well behaved bunch of kids turn up for the last day which was a long way from my expectations which I previously mentioned. They did a great job with the science and then we enjoyed movies, internet games and spider drinks. Finally we topped the day with a water bomb fight - which was just great in 40 degree heat. Nobody needed to card wool today!

Tomato season

My neighbour, Mickey, works at an orchard/drying factory. Yesterday he brought home a pallet-sized crate full of tomatoes. The cows are going to be very grateful to have a change from dry hay an we'll be eating a lot of pasta in the coming months.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The last day of school

I was hoping to have finished school but I can't resist scoring the last day because it means I can do whatever I like with the kids who turn up. Last year 15 came and I made the mistake of making it far too fun. So this time I plan to make them work all day on science and anyone who refuses to join in can pick and card greasy, daggy wool (I intend to make them sorry for turning up).

This is what we're doing...a few months ago Anita, tongue-in-cheek, emailed me one of those pseudoscience articles about all the things you can do with cucumbers (apart from the obvious ones). So over the last two days I have turned it into a series of 13 experiments to prove or disprove the claims.  Here is the original article, which is not surprisingly on Snopes (DO read some of the more creative emails further down the page). Email me if you want a copy of the experiments. Remember they are aimed at a low science-literacy level to be attempted within a limited time by poorly behaved children.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mangos anyone?

Ow! Ow! Ow! ANOTHER B-Double bit the dust tonight at Gin Gin. We heard the wheels jump the gutter then the banging as it took out the railings, an electricity pole ripped off its bodyshell as it rolled and the first mangos of the season spilled everywhere.

The driver got out quickly and wandered around dazed once he determined there was no fuel leaking. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the police were having their xmas party at the pub on that corner and attended immediately. (Un) Surprisingly the driver lost his job almost as quickly. 

I showed the truck to Kirk and explained that this is what happens when you drive too fast. He seemed to be quite shaken so I hope I have not frightened a little boy who is already very cautious by nature.

There are 2 or 3 truck rollovers annually there. A couple of years ago a driver and his son were burned to death but how many accidents and petitions will it take before the government fixes the corner instead of just promises to fix it?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Last night I saw on the  road a dead echidna but there is something about them I really like so I hauled the car around and collected him. I did not want to see him mashed into the bitumen and I thought Kirk could have a close look as they are shy and nocturnal. Why do I like echidnas so much? They're very tough and strong for their size. They mind their own business yet have a very determined personality. Keeping an echidna is very difficult - I knew a wild life carer who discovered her fridge had been shifted across the floor by an escapee. And of course there is always Dad's story about a night out shooting when they discovered 2 echidnas having sex. He tells me the echidna penis is very long and is used with great caution (see NewScientist article). A pity the National Geographic video has been removed - I'm sure it would be very educational. Note also my grandfather, Gordon Cartwright, and the the local people regard gubbi gubbi as a delicacy - I am told it is fatty and a little like pork. Mmm...tempting. Nevertheless, this afternoon Sean buried him with Sammy so he will make great fertiliser for the coffee trees and bird of paradise.

New Toys!

Dad visited this week and brought up a massage table and a smoker. I'm delighted with both as they seem to be of good quality in spite of their very cheap price from Aldi. I christened the table this week with one of my clients who happily helped me unwrap and construct it. The smoker will wait until next week when I do my final shop of the year. I think I will buy some chicken and fish to try out first, then perhaps a little piggy...

This little piggy went to market,
this little piggy got smoked,
this little piggy begat rolled roast,
and this little piggy was well done,
and THIS little piggy went wee wee wee
all the way home because
we're fattening him for later ....[evil grin]

On Tuesday night Josh told Michelle he needed a beret by Thursday 6pm for his school concert. The recycle shops yielded nothing so at 2pm Thursday I made one from a black woolen jumper that someone accidently felted. I was fairly pleased with the results and later will give it a better head band so it can be worn with Tudor garb. While looking for a beret pattern I discovered some great felting lessons and have decided I will will give that a go with the wool from Michelle's sheep.

BTW I fiddled with the settings and comments are now working effectively.