It's been a whole year since my Pippa arrived! So, I sorta celebrated her birthday today, actually well yes and no. I didn't wrap her up in a birthday suit, but I gave her a little more attention than normal.
Actually I wandered out to the compost bin today, via the garden and discovered a good handful of beautifully red strawberries - honestly I would say they're the best looking ones we've had all season. Then turned around and realised how many tomatoes were ready, I kid you not, the tomato plants basically died and we pretty much gave up on them. Now we're inundated with these massive tomatoes of a few different varieties, so much so that without my neighbour Sam, knowing, I dropped some off at his house on my way to work the other week - then texted him to say they were there. So I kinda didn't give him the opportunity to say no, lol, the tomatoes needed a home!!
It's funny really, tomatoes are the one thing in our garden that I eat and always have eaten, without a second thought. So long as they're red, I'll chuck 'em on anything. Everything else I'm concerned about bugs and slugs being inside them somewhere....lol. Yeah I'm kinda living off tomatoes at the moment, there are worse things to be eating!
Anyway, we've also got a whole heap of buttercup pumpkins growing, another lot of seedlings that we left in their pots and never got around to planting them out properly, until one day I kinda went a little mental and said it's ridiculous growing things if we're not gonna actually give them a fighting chance. (It was more the fact that the garden was already overburdened and we didn't really know where to put them!) So into a garden they went, and I had the brilliant idea of putting the lawn clippings around them to keep them moist, well, now they're going ballistic and are known as "Kayger's buttercups" haha. I keep pulling off the unnecessary flowers but today I realised how many massive bumble bees were in there, so I grabbed my phone and took heaps of photos. The Young Farmer Grand Final contest includes a photography section in the awards, among other things where you can put your club and region out there a bit more in front of the nation, so I'm gonna enter a few categories and see what happens. Zooming in on bumble bees inside massive yellow flowers is pretty fun!
But Pippa was helping me so I got some of her too....and then she and her buddy Jackson chilled out under the barbeque.
Life is, pretty basic these days. They say we'll get hit with a cyclone...maybe. They say the humidity will pass, lol that's a Tui ad! I got nicely tanned up again yesterday while I helped Dad and Nick with some fencing, I'm very lucky (touch wood) to have not gotten overly burnt this year - just a nice, crisp brown. The weather is painfully hot at midday, which is typically when you want to be out of the sun, but that's when we're working in it. Lovely. And milking in this heat certainly isn't pleasant either, what with the heat, humidity and a few hundred massive cows crammed into a concreted area with concrete walls surrounding you, plenty of sun gets through (especially with that skylight plastic roofing) but hardly any air-flow, yep, it's great.
But I'm not complaining, the work is good. It's taken me a bit to get back into the swing of it, but these days it's easy to get up just after 4am, as once I'm up I'm generally awake. If I have the odd sleep in here and there I wake up at the same time anyway, go back to sleep and wake up after 7 feeling worse. Fantastic! No, work is good.
Trying to get my assignments done is more of a problem, as these days I'm filling myself up on antihistamines to stop the sneezing, which then makes me sleepy, which then makes reading particularly difficult. I really shouldn't do this to myself, leave most of my study to the last month and a half, but it's painfully boring!!
What's worse is that this is my last lot of the course, thus needing to be finalised by end of February. One assignment completed and sent away, one lot of reading material almost finished and one assignment half completed which is now at a standstill as they missed out a heap of information in the reading material (quite literally, half a sentence and then a blank page) which is needed in the assessment and I've absolutely no clue how to do it. Waiting for them to get back to me. Ha!
I've also recently discovered that the next course I plan to do - Agribusiness Management Level 5, is in fact just another "certificate" qualification, not the Diploma I thought it was, and it's basically a lead in teaching on being self employed. Which, I dunno. I kinda feel the need to keep on studying while I'm young, but then I also don't want to spend $700 on another year long course (I admit, it's cheap really) if it's not what I want to learn and will I get anything out of it anyway? Argh, decisions. I don't want to look like one of those people who spends a lot of time and money doing things that might come in handy, when really on a C.V. it just shows that I'm one of those people who has no clue what to do and has the potential to be yet another 'career changer'. Meh, no clue, whatsoever.
In saying that, I'm going to apply for an exchange trip to Scotland for June/July in 2017. The Young Farmers organise the exchange for one accepted Young Farmer member, and (so far) provide $500 towards the costs and farming host families in Scotland cover your accommodation expenses. Well I don't know all that much about it, other than the fact it's a 6 week exchange trip where you meet with heaps of other young farmers in that general area, you get hosted on farms and you get to learn about their ways, and such forth. Scotland is somewhere I've always wanted to go, so I'm determined to apply and hopefully meet the criteria as best I can - with the intention of getting over there before I'm 25 (if I don't get accepted in the first couple years of applying). I looked at one of the previous years' applications of the guy who was accepted and he seemed to be a real industry 'big-wig', I guess is the best way to describe him (out of admiration, rather than being judgmental).
He had worked his way up in his farming career, heaps of qualifications and within the Young Farmers club and region he was involved in, he'd had a lot of roles in the executive committee, and such. So I figured, okay, looks like you have to be pretty awesome to be given the opportunity, thus I started planning.
We had our young farmers regional AGM on Tuesday night, where all the new executive committee members are elected for our region, I had previously been put up for Secretary but unfortunately didn't get enough votes. I thought, if I can go up in the roles each year and prove myself as a willing, hard working, fully involved member then it will increase my chances. But I did get my Publicity Officer role back again partly I think, because it's one of those roles where nobody else wants to do it, and partly because I showed last year that I was more than capable of getting things done well in a timely fashion. So, yeah ok, kinda bummed that I was beaten to the post of secretary again, but hey - sitting typing minutes and not really being part of a meeting is kinda lame anyway!
However, Duncan, a guy from the national Head Office was there on the night, he mentioned the exchange trip (mostly because a Scottish lass or lad will be coming over here and will need to bunnyhop between member's farms across the country for 6 weeks), so I asked him about it later on. Apparently, so it seems, in a good year only three (yes, 3) people apply for the trip. THREE?! WHAT?! So my chances of getting in are exceptionally high, not only but also, the criteria is simply to be a good member of young farmers - heard straight from the horses' mouth. Like, huh? Duncan basically said to just get in and apply, definitely. But perhaps give it a couple years as he was working on the young farmer big wigs to provide more money, such as to cover the airfares at least.
I mean, wow OK. Here I was thinking I needed to push, push, push, get good work references and look good in the club and all that. Now here is something to definitely look forward to!