Day 4

Day 4.

 

Good afternoon.

 

Getting my blog post done a bit earlier than midnight today.

Three quotes have stood out for me today, and prompted my writing. Also the card that I drew before I started writing was another prod and I wanted to shove that bloody thing back in the box and pick something else. But here we are.

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The first one is : and it was different. Yes fly in fly (fifo) out was different for the guy in the photo and I. We have been married for 15 years this year, and for two and a bit of those we were a (fifo) family.  Meaning for 21 days a month he worked 700km’s away.  Before he started fifo we had never been apart for more than a couple of days.  Fly out day I would cry and I would lay low and take a day to be sad and then pull up my lace knickers and get on with the rest of the month until I could go and pick him up from the airport again.  Fly in day’s were my absolute favourite day of the month, it was like Christmas day when I was a kid, butterflies in my belly and nothing could upset me on fly in day (Well a late plane would). It would always work out that I could take the kids to school and then head straight to the airport, pick him up and we would have a lunch date and do school pick up together.  Every fly in day was like a first date, lots of talking and excitement at having him home again. I didn’t ever really get used to fifo, it was an acceptance that at the time it was what suited us and paid the bills.

The 11th December 2015, was the last day of fifo for us, we were fine with that. Eight months on and the next quote that stood out for me today: “anger is the bodyguard of sadness” is what we are working through.  FIFO changed both of us immensely when he was home it was great, romantic, perfectly happy family. When he was at work I just got on with life at home on my own, it made me incredibly independent and resourceful. He also changed in a lot of ways and over the two and a bit years he saw me grow and change into a woman that was embracing interests that I had a passion for but had never pursued (writing and studying). So where does the quote come in? cause all of this growth and pursing passions sounds so exciting. Well the hang over from being apart for so long, the massive changes that we went through has finally caught up with us.  It was fabulous to all be together again and know that there would be no more fly out days that we would all be in the one house again.  But the reality, is well reality. There are no more fly in day lunch dates, there are no more heightened romantic – distance makes the heart grow fonder moments.  No, there is what to cook for dinner, school drop off, juggling of shift work and trying to find a common ground for each of us. There is the awareness I need to have of, actually discussing all of the above and a million other decisions, instead of me just going ahead and making decisions on my own, because I am not here on my own anymore.  There is the acceptance for him that I have changed and have new interests and passions and with these new interests I also have changed and or broader opinions. And with all of this change comes the pain of change. Change that has caused anger because change, for people that are stuck in their ways and have a certain way of thinking how a relationship should be causes sadness that can’t be expressed and then comes out in anger.

The last quote for today is “live to the point of tears”. Last Monday he asked on a date. Initially I felt uncomfortable and wanted to say no. There have been many angry words and tears over the last few months. My sadness was coming out as a raging bitch of hell, who would have been comfortable as the wife of Satan.  It was a text message he sent me saying: “Hi Melinda, it’s Scott remember me? Well there’s a nice restaurant that I found and was wondering if you would check it out with me?” That had me crying happy and angry tears at the same time.   It’s a very mindful situation to be in when you are literally having a first date with your husband. Well this is how I approached it, the last few months have been horrendous and in my heart and mind we needed to start again. This quote is what I am vaguely following at the moment, and its has been refreshing and effing hard to show so much emotion about issues that we need to work out, instead of bottling everything up and then letting it explode all over the place.

 

End of day 4.

Well its only 1.44pm so not really end of day.

We had lunch together outside in the sun.

He has offered to do school pick up in the horrendous traffic.

Every family needs a farmer

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This picture was posted on Instagram this morning and it inspired this post.

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Early this year 80% of Queensland was declared in drought, with early stages of el Nino meaning drought breaking rain in winter and spring were highly unlikely.

One particular lady always says when I ask if the skies have blessed her property yet. – “We are one day closer to rain.”

I want to talk today about the stewards of the land that contributes to owning, caring and managing 61% of Australia’s land mass. Ninety four percent of these custodians actively use natural resource management. These people live through this el Nino phenomenon, as well floods and fires and are bonded together as communities because of these events that contribute to life on the land.

From what I have experienced as a soft city slicker, life on the land is as unforgiving as the weather and not for the faint hearted. These men and women that raise cattle, grow crops and provide nourishment for their city cousins have chosen this life and what a life.

I have visited this place when the air has been so dry and hot you would think you were baking in an oven, so much so that your lungs burn and I got sun burnt from hanging washing on the line for 5 minutes. Smashing lips together so that you don’t accidentally swallow 1 million flies, wind and red dust sting and burn your eyes if not wearing sunnies. The ground feels baked under your feet and the heat can be seen shimmering just above the ground.

Wind blowing through the 6 layers of clothes that I tried to wiggle into, while lying in the warmth of the bed with flannel sheets, two blankets and a doona, nose and eyes running from the freezing air. See soft city slicker – who is on the long road back to Brisbane after a maximum of 5 days. Despite my little whinge here, I truly treasure the time spent at the end of a dirt road, where the closest corner store is 45 minutes away and the local hospital is over an 1hr away.

Bushies are generous, open and welcoming they make anybody present feel like a close friend, big-hearted in always offering a meal or a drink. Wonderful funny and interesting conversation is always involved when hangin out with this lot. Picture a place where you know all of your neighbours, and these neighbours are kilometers away, but your friends with them. A place where on the day that the Bathurst 1000 is raced you channel the celebrity drivers speed and intensity and race around a fire that’s straight from the depths of hell and 20 of your neighbours and friends help you while it burns hot and ferocious and fire balls claim thousands of acres of your land. Where you buy 8 seater cars so that you can take turns in carpooling to school, swimming, grocery shopping, home from boarding school or Brisbane. A place where your neighbour will call in to drop off your mail, which usually consists of groceries and anything that can be ordered on the internet, and leave hours later after helping you pull a calf from its mother’s womb, or grabs a wine or beer and helps you do the rounds of your property checking water or feeding drought ravaged cattle or doesn’t leave until the roar of the tractor engine finally is music to your ears. A place where after a dust covered day’s work, you load the kids into the back of the 8 seater car and head to the biggest dam in the community where all your neighbours and friends are to share a beer, a swim , go for a ski. A location where mobile service is limited and when you come together with your friends, you actually talk and communicate with each and enjoy the visit.

When the flooding creek traps you on your own little island for days on end with no outside communication, dust covered boats are launched into the flood waters to check on neighbours and friends and make sure everyone is safe and feed. A place where parents are happy to drive hours for their kids to participate in sport and extra-curricular activities. Drive an hour, one Thursday night a month to reach the local book club where a good book, wine and more friends await, one night after having to deal with a cow in the side of your car.

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Now I am only talking about 1 tiny community of the 134,000 farm businesses in Australia, 99 percent of which are family owned and operated, that supply 93% of Australian families food. I have shown a very small slice of the estimated 35,100 women who live on farms and work outside of the home, not to mention the 16,500 women that work exclusively next to their husbands.

I haven’t touched on the fact that farmers with a tertiary degree has increased 6 fold since 1981.

I also failed to talk about the stats that in farming communities there is such a great sense of community that 39% of people in the bush are volunteers compared to their city cousins at 19% and these figures don’t include non-registered volunteering.

While I have portrayed a community that supports each other and is connected, this is not the case in every community. Stats show that agriculture / farm workers are 1.6 times more likely to commit suicide and that there is a farmer every 4 days taking their own lives.

Six hours south west of Brisbane, in the shire of the Maranoa is a fabulous community of people who I have grown to love and respect over the past 11 years that my sister has lived there. I hope that I have shown a small part of their lives justice in this piece.

Learn something new everyday.

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“Blogging”, lets learn some interesting facts about blogging.

The word “Blog” is a combination of web and log.

Blogging was thought to have started in the early nineties, by an American college student. Initially blogs were a platform that people used as an online diary. That has expanded now and there are some people who are able to make a living out of blogging as professional bloggers. It is thought that some professional bloggers have up to four blog sites.

This seems to make sense as it is thought that in 1999 there were about 23 blogs and know there are about 1.3 billion. WordPress and BlogSpot are the most popular blog sites with about 40% of people preferring WordPress.

Views can increase up to 94% with the use of images on your blog.

Most people read blogs in the morning between 7.00am and 10.00am

People are thought to have more trust, connection, and perceive the business as healthy and thriving if they have a blog.

Approximately a third of bloggers are mums with children under 18.

Over 80% of blogs are written in English.

Blogging has made such an impact on mainstream media, that they acknowledged that blogging and social media is changing the face of news. Richard Sambrook, the director of the BBC Global News Division, spoke at Oxford Social Media Convention, saying that, citizen journalism is something that needs to be taken into account. That this new media is delivered with transparency and that is what builds trust with consumers. He went on to say that news has to be delivered accurately and fairly and that consumers need reliable source of where the information has come from. Journalists are no longer gatekeepers of information but are having to share it in a public space.

Have fun blogging everyone.