It’s dark and the sound of light snoring drifts through the old stone house. Every now and then a sleeping bag rustles as a body shifts. The rain has eased but the wind is up and the percussion on the tin roof continues. I guess its about 5 o’clock and get up and go for a walk. It’s a fresh breeze blowing out of the north east for which I am thankful – from the south and it would be a much cooler story. Rod has set up some LED lights in the outhouses so my visit there is less an adventure in the dark than some in the past.
The rain stops and the dawn lifts to reveal low scudding cloud, a deep blue and Confederate grey. The world is damp silent. No bird song twitter. No dogs barking. Its Sunday and all is at rest.
The night was surprisingly mild so getting the team moving this morning was no real problem. Porridge, cream and brown sugar to get some of us started, rice bubbles for the rest. Then a drive down to an old derelict house where the debris of fine china, broken coloured glass, filigree steel ornaments and expert craftsmanship in the woodwork tell of someone’s dreams long ruined. Even kid’s toys, lying out in the desert for a century tell their own poignant story. The rain catches us as we finish our prowl around so we leap for a crutching shed and wait it out, the rain hammering on the corrugated iron and sluicing in drains around the foundations, sliding away into the dam below us. The gang amuse themselves without prompting, inventing a jumping competition down a sheep race and one pretending to be a sheep until his bleating drove the rest nuts and he was “crutched”.
The rain steps up its tempo then eases off, repeating the cycle a few times before ceasing altogether and giving way to blue sky. We pile into the back of the ute and slide up the track, sometimes sideways, back to the quarters. Time for a bowl of pasta followed by some date scones. Also hot. Yum.
Franko and Bec and their kids join us after lunch along with Ben, Dan and Philip, three lads from Quorn who may well wonder at the madness they have landed in. We have an easy afternoon of it. We tour the team down to the main dams, an opportunity to get a sense of how big this property is as well as an opportunity to throw the ute through a couple of donuts, play some music very loudly and take Lizze the kelpie for a ride with us – and dress her in a bonnet much to every one’s amusement.
Philip, Daniel and Ben joined us from Quorn and we are pleased to have them with us. We are looking forward to getting to know them more but we hope they are not too perturbed by our madness. Our rather unique humour can be a barrier if we are not careful.
The day has closed as it should. I am parked in the lounge with the fire going and two others sitting with me, one mesmerised by the flames and the other reading. Outside a campfire is burning and a whole lot of hilarity can be heard echoing from around it. I think I hear Dylan most of the time. We did not work them at all today so they are all still full of beans. We have different plans for them tomorrow – plans which include sheds being reorganised, manure shoveled, cactus killed and some woodwork jobs around the house. Oh, and some painting thrown in if the rain holds off and we can guarantee no one is going to slip off the roof.