We've got this, I dunno, concrete patio I guess you could call it. It's out the back of our house, probably 8 by 10 metres - or, something like that. But it's great, we've got a retaining wall and a nice lawn about a metre and a half above it. The lawn slopes down on one side of the concrete, as does the retaining with some 6 by 2 boards on top, therefore making a brilliant little spot for me to sit on!
I don't like sitting on the outside chairs, as they've got a bad habit of providing a bed and breakfast arrangement for spiders, so finding me sitting on one of them would be a seriously uncommon occurrence.
Anyway, this is where I'm sitting now, convenient having a laptop, I just go into the office, finally manage to hook up to the wifi, load this page and then come out here and type. I don't usually bring said laptop out here as I'm hardly using it these days. But this little posse is perfect when Jackson is running around outside, chasing or being chased by Pippa. Except for the problem is that Pippa will launch herself off the retaining and Jackson often nearly follows - this is fine, except if he were to jump he would just as quickly break his little legs. It's a bit of a game we all play now, he thinks it's jolly great, I on the other hand, do not.
It's funny, with the change over from February to March, the weather has suddenly done a 180. It's like, 7:45 ish, at the moment and by 8:30 it'll be pitch black, it's chilly too. I used to sit out here until about 10pm some nights, mostly just to get some time by myself but also to cool down a bit from the humidity. Summer this year was blimmen weird!
But now, I'm thinking my fingers better hurry up and get this written because I'm starting to get cold. Winter will be icy this year, me thinks :)
I've two more milkings tomorrow, then finally I'm getting three days off from Wednesday. I've been going straight for two weeks or so now, which is OK, but I'm getting bored of leaving the house prior to 5am, all I want is to sleep past 6! lol. That was my dream last Tuesday morning when I woke up, knowing I would have last Wednesday and Thursday to myself, thinking that all I wanted to do was get a slightly longer sleep. AND then, that night, the eve of my "weekend off", the phone rang. My neighbour is sick, so could I cover for him on the farm he works on? It's not a bad shed, it's quite pleasant milking there actually and I don't often get the pleasure of going there, so I was fine with it. The joke, 6am cups on, hallelujah I can sleep past 5!! Haha
They called again on Wednesday night so I covered for him Thursday morning too, bye-bye sleep in for another week, but he's my neighbour and the farmers are nice people, I don't mind helping them all out a bit.
Fingers crossed, there is no repeat though, I really, really am getting tired. And the issue is that my body clock will wake me nice and early on Wednesday morning. It's a shame, really...
Thursday was the start of the Northland Fieldays, held annually in Dargaville. It's a decent drive for us, but we try to go most years. I didn't even look around this year, I just walked my way through the "streets" and found the northern young farmers site and helped out there for two or three hours. The weather was pretty blimmen perfect, you couldn't have asked for a better day to be quite honest. And it had rained a few days prior, so there wasn't as much dust as usual - thankfully.
The young farmers, that was a fun time. One of our more engineer based members, built a dunk-tank, just for the occasion. I'll add some pictures once I get some internet soon. Basically, it's an old calf milk vat, with a seat for someone to sit on. People throw balls at the target on a massive board (it's really hard to hit it, believe me, I tried!), and when they do hit said target - to say it lightly, the seat tips forward and the victim (hehe) falls in and gets drenched.
Punters think it's awesome when one of our members fall in, and the crowds it was pulling in was phenomenal! Suddenly there were massive groups of people watching in awe as balls fly through the air, I dunno it was just a massive attraction that the fieldays has never seen before. When I was a kid, the most exciting thing I could do was run around with Nick getting freebies. There was nothing majorly exciting like that! And these days there are no freebies.
A couple of us would shout out "One Free Throw", but we were getting seriously tongue-tied and said one three frow most of the time, I don't think anyone noticed. Some people sorta stopped and stared, but they weren't keen on having a try, but as more and more punters go into it, these onlookers suddenly got the urge to try it too. Then they would want another go, and we would disappoint them and state that they had to now pay - $2 for one more throw or $5 for five more throws. On the first day, we made about $250 from the dunk tank.
However there were a couple mishaps, especially when there was a slight language barrier between an Asian guy and I. He was older, and a little excited. I said, "Throw it at the target". "Where?!?! At her?" (pointing at Meredith who was on the tank at the time) At the target! "huh?" The flying pig on the board! Suddenly he threw the ball, at Meredith. I was gobsmacked, she ducked thankfully and looked horrified, looking at me like, what the HECK just happened?!? He just did the typical "oh, oh, oh, no english" sort of stutter and off he went giggling away, he knew exactly what he had done. There were also a couple little kids who were out of control. We would let them stand about a metre away from the board to have a go - adults were about three metres away -, but one kid grabbed the ball off me and just let loose aye. I have not a clue what to do when that happens lol, he ran up to the board and forced the ball against the target and released poor Will who was up there at the time. He might've been about 4? 5? Little tyke had an evil grin on his face and his mother was mortified, as was Will but he just sorta laughed it off, as you do.
It worked out, over the entire three days of fieldays we pulled in about $1000 more or less and now YF Head Office have asked to hire the dunk tank for the National Fieldays this year. We could make so much money off it, totally make all the other regions jealous of our brilliant creation, make a whole heap of victim members freeze to death in the middle of winter, and provide a heck load of entertainment for the punters. If the want to see people get wet in summer, they'll definitely want people to get wet in winter. Humans are evil creatures, haha.
The funny thing was that good old Winston Peters was walking the streets with another politcal person, of sorts. We managed to pull him over, make him throw the ball and then got a picture of him with us too. I don't believe that he really was that interested, but I guess he realised he didn't have much of a choice since he is part of the Government and all that, he has to give people time from his day if they ask. So that was pretty funny. I never ended up asking him what flag he was going to vote for though, bit of a bummer, that.