Saturday, 11 July 2015


Unlike normal I've had myself a rather busy week, where I feel like I've swapped places with Andrew by being out helping with a fencing job. It's another job for a lifestyler, but this time it's quite a big job - just under a kilometre of 7 wire battened. Lovely work in the icy cold weather we've been having, sorta like getting really hot pulling out these long stretches of wire, which is even harder once you add in all the corners, but you don't want to pull off the jersey because it's just so chilly. Brilliant, no?
So we haven't been having any snow (lucky us!) but this morning I think we had a record frost and everyone who I've spoken to about it seems to agree. All the waterlines outside were frozen, meaning when I went out to milk this morning I couldn't blast the ice from my windscreen with the hose because it just wouldn't work! What's this? After milking I had yet more ice to break on my car (poor Ali!) and I the good old hands weren't too keen on working either after dealing with the water while hosing down.
Then, blow me down, if I get home to find the heatpump has frozen. That was how I knew it was definitely cold! lol

The fencing has been good though, it's an easy way to get long hours and good money, hard work, but it definitely pays off - especially currently when I'm only getting a mere eight hours work a week. There's also the bonus of finally being taught a few things, as I'm keen on entering the Young Farmers District competition this year, and the fencing competition with my brother. So why not take the opportunity to learn as much as I can while I've got the chance?
So, end tie offs - Dad makes them look so easy, flick that wire round, twist, pull, curl, done with what seems a slight flick of the wrist. I tried, and woah, that's actually really hard! Just the gripping onto the wire, and not creating a memory in it, otherwise you can't fix it easily, keeping the whole thing tight and yeah. Not easy! This is going to take a while to master, but heck, I'm keen!

I'd also like to add a tip when it comes to fencing - I've been helping do it for quite a long time, but there are some basics to it, however every so often you forget.
Don't line up a staple on a post, regain your grip on the hammer, quickly stick your finger underneath one prong of the staple and then hit it hard - it hurts. And you also get blood everywhere and you don't want to be getting blood on a client's nice fence ;)


  1. I must say, dragging fence wire is one joy I have never had the privilege of experiencing. I've heard all about it though... :P

    haha, tying off is pretty hard to master. Same with breaking the wire, bend it, twist it back and snap, cleanly broken wire with no sharp ends. Looks really good to watch, but really hard to master that one too... :P

    Ouch about the finger. Must say, I've never mastered that one, but one good tip is to always hit the staple and never under any circumstance miss the staple and squash a tiny piece of skin between the hammer and batten. Doing the rest of the fence with a blood blister is no fun. Unless your staples are barbed, in which case the barb might be sharp enough to piece the skin and release the pressure... :P

    1. Hold up, you've never hauled wire....? You've got to be kidding! Lol I've been having to do it since I was a kid! Of course these days I'm a heck of a lot stronger than back then, so now I have to do the harder work, AKA heaps of corners to pull it around, holding onto the pliers with both hands, leaning back as far as I can manage, yet still the wire only inches along...
      We're gonna have to change that, get you up here to do some slave labour haha

      Yeah it's all well and good when you have one of theirs to copy, but when you're starting from scratch it's not easy to do. And then breaking the wire, but having to do it in a way to not uncurl it accidentally...They reckon I need to squeeze one of those stress balls to strengthen my hands up some more...

      hehe to prevent that one happening, you just use a staple gun. But don't make the mistake of thinking, "oh, the battery or gas is run out, maybe I'll just give it one more shot..." so you don't quite line it up properly, and the poor girl who has the job of holding the battens from the other side suddenly has a staple jammed into her hi-viz vest because the staple has shot out at remarkable speed and somehow missed the batten..... Dad thought it was a huge joke, I thought, gee, lucky it got the vest and not my leg.... o.O

    2. Haha, yup, never hauled wire. dad taught me to carry the roll and drop it off, evenly from each side, so that it doesn't tangle, but yeah, I've never actually "built" a fence as such, only done repairs. So if you were to ask me to build a fence from scratch, I wouldn't actually be able to do it. No, correct that. I'd probably be able to figure it out, as I know the theory, but I wouldn't be able to do it as quickly and efficiently. Yeah, Hey, I'll come up when I can. Probably going to have to wait for tertiary holidays, but will hopefully squeak it in by then. In the Air Force, I'll have a chance to be based near Auckland for awhile, so figure what that one means... :P
      Haha, yeah, strong hands help alright. But once you get used to it...
      Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat??? He thought that funny? What a great dad you have... Although, it does show the standard of your guys' work, that you lot get some other poor sod to hold the battens. :P

    3. Ah, so you guys wouldn't own a spinning jenny then in that case?
      Sweet, we'll train you how to milk and you can be our relief milker in the weekends :P Sounds good, lol

      Oh yeah, he thought it was hilarious - a little concerned for like, a split second then next minute, huge joke. I couldn't help laughing myself, on how ridiculous and crazy it was. He's great all right, you guys and my brother would probably get along like a house on fire... which is a scary thought to be honest...

      Poor sod to hold the battens, AKA Me. Pretty much, but it hurts the hands, holding a batten steady while seven staples get shot into it...lucky there's no photos, but I imagine I look quite ridiculous wearing safety glasses, a hi-viz vest, bright yellow earmuffs and gloves that are too big. Add to that my newest accessory, but I'll chuck that in another post :P

    4. Nope, don't own a spinning jenny. I know what they are and have seen them, but not ever used them. Actually saw my first tractor-mounted one the other day... :P
      Haha, sadly, I'd be likely to be working weekends, getting some GA experience somewhere. But still, that might not be every weekend, I could do a bit of relief milking... But then you wouldn't have a job anymore, so you wouldn't like that. :P

      Haha, yeah, I imagine I would get on well with them. Maybe I shouldn't come up too soon... :P

      Haha, yeah, well, round here, we hold our own battens. But we also use a hammer, not sure how easy it is to do that with a gun, I've never used one.
      lol, that must be pretty funny really, anyone who saw you lot would probably think you're one of them government employee thingies, not just rural NZ farmers!!! :P

    5. They used to hold their own battens, then they bought the actual batten holders. But that took far too long, so using a gun and having good old Kayger hold them makes it that much more efficient. Especially at jobs with 7-800 battens, like this one :P

      Lol, the probably do actually... o.O

    6. Haha, I've never actually seen a batten holder aye... Other than the floppy things at the end of me arms, that is... :P
      How easy would it be to stand behind the batten and reach over with the gun, or stand in front and reach behind with your other hand?

    7. The batten holders are weird, they somehow thread around the batten and wires and hold it all together somehow, probably easier to hammer and all, but I imagine you waste a lot of time lining it all up...and if you use the gun by yourself, you'd do it from the front and hold around the back - same as how you'd do it manually?

      Lol, this is an interesting conversation haha

    8. Okay, you'll have to show me one... :P I vary when holding battens, because I'm generally just putting staples back in, and do very few entirely new battens, so I normally just stand in front and hold behind. But when building a fence from scratch, I think it's quite common to go along and do the top 4 or 5 staples on each batten from behind, then once you've done maybe 20, go back and do the bottom 2 or 3. But not everyone uses that method, I don't think.

      haha, yeah. Interesting knowing how the other side lives, actually... :P

    9. Yep, it sure is interesting!