The tattoo no one knew about.

30th November my last day of 30 days of blogging.

I really didn’t have faith in myself on 1st November that I would actually make the 30 days. I am so glad that I did though, it has been a fun but confronting and scary challenge for me. I have found it incredibly nerve wracking to post my writing on a public page and let others read it. I have had hundreds of likes on my page and I have gained 44 followers in one month of writing. I have had fun learning about blogging, I have read some really fabulous posts from other bloggers in the challenge, and I have revealed little bits about me On my last day of daily blogging, (maybe, I haven’t really decided if I will continue to blog daily, weekly, monthly or ever again) I thought I would tell a little, very personal story about me.

My poor heart is pounding out of my chest and my fingers are shaking and I keep missing the keys while I am writing this. There is maybe a handful of people that know about this and really only one other person that knows most of the story and I wasn’t going to tell anyone else until it was finished, but this seems like a good time and place.

Just over 1 year ago, I made contact with a lady and asked her to help me with something that she specialises in, we talked and communicated with each other for a few weeks mostly on Facebook. She set up everything that was needed and I went and spent 4 hours with her one afternoon. I hadn’t even told my husband about this appointment. He called me just to say hi and have a chat on the morning of my appointment and he knew straight away that something was going on with me. He was flying in the next day and me in my stupidity thought I would talk to him then. That didn’t happen and in my nervous chatter told him what was happening that day, he was shocked speechless and told me about one thousand times to text him or call him to let him know what was happening.

For me it was a surreal experience, I walked into where I had to meet the lady, I wasn’t nervous, or scared, and I had this weird calmness about me.

She got me all set up and I was lying face up on a massage table, staring at the ceiling that needed painting and a fan that needed cleaning. Just as I was starting to get a bit nervous, my phone beeped with a text, it was a girlfriend that I had called and asked her to meet me here in my freak out as I drove to the appointment. She was texting to say that she couldn’t make it – I was actually glad and was relieved to be doing this on my own. I felt incredibly rude texting while lying on the table and apologised to the lady, she laughed told me to do what I want, listen to music, text, call people whatever.

There is no way in the world that I could have talked, texted or listened to music, while this lady scratched away at my skin with her tattoo gun. YES. That is right I have a big ol’ tattoo across my left side. A big one. I thought long and hard and there was A LOT of Pinterest pictures involved in how I wanted it to look. It is the birth flowers of my husband, my two sons, my mum and my dad, I have 3 butterflies that represent me and my two sisters, I have a hidden tea cup (representing my friends), a stack of books (I love books, learning and a good story), and lady doing a tree pose in yoga (I love yoga) (kinda where’s wally style, you have to stare at the tattoo to find them).

 

20151208_094639-1

Let me tell you about the place I went to and the experience of getting a tatt.

The lady that did it was a kind, gentle and truly lovely lady, with great skill. She was COVERED head to toe in tatts (she really was, she had them on her face and she told me the first one she ever got was when she was 15 and it is on her bum). When I walked into this place, I nearly laughed out loud at the absurdity of me being in a place that was quiet obviously a biker tatt shop, seriously, the dude on the front counter had about 3 phones that he was using and only one of them looked legit, I am positive the rest were throw a ways. He was polite enough offered me a drink, seat, a smoke. (I mean it was hilarious, me the straighty one eighty school mum, that has never tried a cigarette, only drinks occasionally, has had the same guy since I was 18, and gets stressed if we don’t eat dinner by 6pm).

There was me in the shop, the same time I was getting prepped to get my HUGE tattoo, there was a football player on the table next to me getting a deer head tattooed on his foot. (This guy must have been a front rower because he was HUGE, and he yelled and cried out for the tattoo dude to stop every 5 minutes. He was there nearly as long as I was. At one point the tattoo dude, stopped what he was doing pointed at me with his tattoo gun, in my trance like state, staring at the ceiling and said “look at this petite, little, tiny, chick she hasn’t fuckin moved or stopped once, and you, you big brute are being a baby, man the fuck up.) There also seemed to be a constant stream of walk-ins, at one stage there was two eighteen year old girls came into to get best friend tattoos (that seems like bad karma to me).

I found it a bizarre experience, I was on my back most of the time and a one stage I was on my belly for a little while. I apologised profusely to the lady that I hadn’t been chatting to her. I was in the kind of daze where I literally just stared at the ceiling, my feet or glared at the baby footballers head, willing him to shut up. I was there for four hours straight, the scraping and scratching of the gun I found quiet soothing ( I was definitely in one of my darker places, and when I am feeling this way I seem to go a bit numb. This has increased since we have done fifo, I think I go a bit numb with emotions when my husband is away so much, because it is a bit of coping mechanism.) So to actually have no choice but to feel, felt like a release. The buzzing and vibrating over the bottom section of my ribs made me want to vomit and towards the end when she was shading and going over and over the same spot, I felt like I had really bad sunburn and someone was scratching the needles directly onto the burn. Just before she finished, the baby footballer limped passed me, gave me a high five and told me I was one tough chick. When she did finish, I felt high and quiet alert and my nerves seemed to be heightened, I could see how people get addicted to the feeling.

After I got the tat, I expected to have a feeling of wanting to show it off to everyone. But in fact I have almost guarded it and protected it and kept it very private. There is only a few people know that I have got it and that includes my husband and children. It is not finished yet, I still have to get the colour done, and I expect that it will be even more special to me when that is done.

2015-11-30 08.24.35

Merry Christmas

20151128_200641.jpgSaturday 28th November.

Merry Christmas, yes today my side of the family celebrated Christmas. We won’t all be together for the 25th December 2015, and this weekend was the only weekend that we were all going to be in the same vicinity, (except my sister who had to drive 6hrs to be with us).

Everyone knows of the pressure around Christmas with families and everyone coming together for one day that is supposed to be this perfect day of family time filled with family, food, and presents. There is usually the family member that can’t make it or is late ( which annoys everyone cause then lunch is late) or the family that has that one drunk auntie or uncle that decides that Jesus birthday is the perfect day to drink too much alcohol and tell the rest of the family what they think of them, or the family that has the bratty kids and the kids don’t eat duck or trifle or are far too interested in their new screen of some sort so they stay with their head buried in the device for the day. Today for our family there was no expectation, none of the usual Christmas hype and pressure of a magical day, full of perfect family moments that then fall short of what you aspired to for the day.

But I feel that is what we had, a magical time full of perfect family moments. Can I say that everyone should celebrate Jesus birthday whenever the hell they want. We had a dinner full of laughter, cuddles with babies, kids laughing and playing, cricket on the tv, amazing conversation and catching up with everyone, learning family stories and who we have come from including my Grandma telling the story of how her and my Papa meet, scrumptious Christmas food, champagne, lots of family, decorating the tree. This was the very best version of Christmas.

 

 

Todays people

It made me think of my husband’s Pa. This was one of his favourite quotes. He was a wise old farmer, who had lived and worked on the land all of his life, he was blessed with a large family of 8 kids. My husband’s favourite childhood memories are from spending time at the farm and Evans Head with his Nanna and Pa.  From riding on tractors, to swimming in creeks, selling water melons on the side of the road, eating wild rabbits, home grown chooks, and ducks.  I remember going to the farm many times and enjoying a chat with Pa over a cuppa tea, and a milk arrowroot bickie. He was always nice to me.  I remember when I first meet him and we were leaving to drive the 3hrs back to Brisbane, he patted my shoulder and looked me in the eye and said “you’re a good girl” (I think he was glad that Scott had taken me to meet them).  Another time when we took our first born to the farm for the first time, I went and sat in the lounge room to breastfeed my boy, and when I came back outside to where everyone else was sitting, he very quietly said “never hide away to feed your child you are doing the most important job in the world”. I also remember at his funeral, when a few of us from his family of over 80 people were sitting around reflecting and talking about memories of Pa, this quote kept coming up time and again for what words of wisdom Pa would be remembered for.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

White Ribbon Day

https://smjt2014.wordpress.com

 

All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence. – This is the vision for Originating in Canada in 1991, the all-male led initiative aims to end male violence against women. November 25 – White Ribbon day is the start of 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10). Awareness for this cause and primary prevention initiative involves education programs thru schools, workplaces and the broader community.

As a Mumma of two gorgeous boys I wanted to talk about this issue and what I am hopefully doing for future generations of women.

I am trying to give my boys a fabulous education, education is so important, in keeping minds open. I encourage team sports ( yes I am spending my 30’s at copious amount of cricket but that’s ok)

I have always taught my boys to use manners – (NOTHING happens in our house without please and thank you).

I am very honest with the boys – (sometimes to  a extreme, and I have always told them it hurts your heart most when you don’t tell the truth)

The boys have always been asked to help around the house and with Scott away working, it’s important that the boys pull their weight. I had this conversation at a coffee shop with another Mum a few weeks ago, I think she thinks I am running a slave camp.

The boy’s jobs are:

Make bed and clean room

Take out bins

Feed dog and chooks

Set table

ALWAYS put dirty washing in the washing basket (yes one of my sons has gone to school in a dirty uniform because he didn’t put it in the wash, and was having a particularly bad day and yelled to me “you’re the mother why can’t you pick it up”, hence going to school in a dirty uniform. He has never done that again.)

And helping out if asked.

Eg carrying groceries, opening the doors. etc

I am trying to show them that we all live here, we all need to help. Just because I am the Mumma, I am not a slave.

I want to show the boys that women do contribute and not just in doing house work. I have always worked since having had children (mostly part-time), but that is fine I want the boys to see and respect that women can work, or study, or be a stay at home Mumma. The boys are very fortunate that they have great, strong women role models in their life for all of the above. They have 3 of their Great-Grandmothers still alive, both of their Grandmothers, 4 aunties, and we have an abundance of wonderful female friends.

The boys have always been taught to always kiss the women in their life hello and goodbye, always tell these same women I love you before parting ways. (I may have used a scare tac-tic on another particular day when there had been a fiery argument and there was no lovin’ or kissin’ going on. I may have said, “what if one of us dies and never see each other again, we must always part-ways with a kiss and an I love you”. It worked even now at the drop off area of the high school I always get a kiss and an I love you, sometimes it is thru clenched teeth for both of us but always happens.) We always every single night, say goodnight and love you. I still tuck the boys in every single night, and every single night, they yell out – usually after I have made my cuppa tea and just want peace and quiet. Love you Mum, Love you Dad (yes even when he is not here), Love you Tom, Love you Jack, Love you Bully (the dog).

They have heard over the years their father tell me that, “I look beautiful today” or “you look pretty today babe”. YES they say it and it completely melts my heart. I always return the favour, my thing with them is to grab them by the face and say “I love your face”.

I have from the moment my boys were toddlers, been active in teaching my boys manners, respect, acceptance, and patience. (Bloody hell I sound like the perfect mother). Trust me when I say that there has definitely been some throw down, drag em out fights and arguments when absolutely none of the above have applied. HOWEVER when all is calm again and I try and educate them on being a good human. I TRY and get the point across that there will always be arguments here or there because, well their just will be. But don’t say mean things or cruel names because like Pearl Jam sang about “Once something is said it can’t be taken back”.

This role of Mumma to two boys, is a bloody tough gig, and it would be much easier and a lot less stressful to have free – range kids. BUT hopefully all of this hard work and being a conscious Mumma will pay off and there will be no need for White Ribbon day.

be kind

 

Getting to work like a lady

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

Worked today. Being conscious of my skinny fat situation, I parked in the furthest car park from the office that I have access to (so NOT me, I usually seek out the car park closest to the door – hence skinny fat). Dressed in my work uniform of synthetic top, charcoal tailored knee length skirt that is lined, $13 a pair stockings that make anyone’s legs look like a supermodels and my high heel work shoes, I set off on the walk from the car park to the office. Summer is making it self-known the last few days and today is no different. I pace across the car park at a speed faster than usual – because it’s hot and I want air-con and a coffee. Get to the base of the first hill and already my shirt is sticking to my back and the stockings are making themselves known.
There is a couple of nurses in front of me taking up the whole path and I don’t know if it’s the heat or that they are in no hurry, but they couldn’t walk any slower if they tried. I can’t go around cause there is more people coming in the other direction and we will not all fit. Getting annoyed with the two slow pokes, I go to step on to the road and overtake them, just as a lights and sirens Ambulance comes flying around the corner. That was a nice wake up call at 8.30am. Slow poke 1 and 2 finally go left as I go right, buy now my makeup is feeling less glamorous than when I left the house and my shirt is sweaty and gross. I take another path that has gorgeous native gardens along the left hand side and a grove of gum trees to walk under. Thank god for the trees and their shade. While I am enjoying a short reprieve from the sun and the heat, I get swooped by a bloody magpie, TWICE. If any of the patients would have looked outside of their windows, they would have laughed their asses off at the crazy lady waving her handbag above her head to get rid of the freaking birds. I mean honestly how hard is it to get to work today!
Just before I cross the road to walk into the building and after the slow pokes up the hill, nearly walking in front of an ambulance and getting swooped by a magpie TWICE, a blue tongue lizard runs across the path in front of me, nearly toppling me over on my high heels in fright. Seriously get me inside the safety of this building. Of course on one of the two days that I work, there is a maintenance crew working on the lifts that deliver me directly outside my office door. I smile at the security lady outside the lift and point, she smiles back and points to the other end of the hospital and says “Sorry Melinda, you will need to take the other ones and then walk back to this end of the hospital”. Oh for god sakes. I turn down a staff entrance and start the climb of 3 flights of stairs in my high heels. When I eventually reach the tea room, I am ready to rip off my sweaty, disgusting shirt, the lining of my skirt is sticking to my now sweaty and uncomfortable stockings that feel like they are suffocating my legs, and high heels are not what you wear when trying to add an extra 3000 steps to your day.
I was extremely tempted this afternoon when I left work, to try and find my inner drunk girl at the races and rip off my stockings and high heels and walk bare feet to the car, taking an alternate route than this morning. Thought better of it though and toughed it out, like a lady.

Lifer

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

In my first post of the month NaBloPoMo, I wrote about how nervous I was at starting a blog, I was freaking the hell out in case someone read the blog, in case someone didn’t read the blog, I mean gosh what if someone commented or liked it.

In the last 22 days a very minimal amount of people knew that I had started writing. I mean I don’t know how on earth I am going to get another 999,985 people to follow me, so that I can have brands throw their products at me (read about that story here)  when I am such a nervous Nellie about people finding my blog.

My worst fear came last night when a message popped up on the ME blog Facebook account. The private message was from one of my oldest and most cherished friends.  I was putting my phone on charge and saw the message pop up, I dropped  that smart little piece of technology like it was on fire. I think I have a bruise on my ribs from my heart pounding on them so hard.  I had a million questions running through my panicked head. First one was – How did she find it, second one was what does she think.

I have known this gorgeous woman since we were 13.  She was my very best friend, from the moment I meet her in our year 9 form class. So many funny memories with this gorgeous chick. I cheated off her in a Japanese exam and I got the better mark, she tried to teach me how to use roller blades and I took every bit of skin off my knees, we watched Maverick and Goose fly the skies in fighter jets hundreds of times, most Friday nights we would get all dressed up in our finery and hit the local under-age blue light disco, I remember getting what felt like 3rd degree sunburn after a Sunday of jet skiing, I went into mourning the day she told me she was leaving school,I had a huge argument with a nurse on the maternity ward where she had her first born, because the Nazi like Florence Nightingale wouldn’t let me in to see my bestie 5 minutes early. I remember many trips out and about in her first car which was a little light blue Toyota Corolla. She was a surprise guest at my wedding and can’t even describe how ecstatic I was that she was able to be there.   This lady is one of those types of friends that no matter if it has been 2 months or 2 days since we have seen each other, we pick up where we left off. We have this cool connection, where we will text each other at the same time, or suggest coffee or wine or catch up on the same day.

I love the saying that people are in your life for a reason, a season or your life.  She is a lifer.

So when I saw her message on my phone I freaked, I went to bed without reading the message because I was to nervous. This is what I found on the message, this morning when I read through nervous but happy tears .

I spied a blog that somebody has been keeping quite. I am so envious. Have been wanting to start one for so long but I am scared….as you know I always have so much to say but people will think I am nuts. Plus I have no idea how to start one. I am so god damn proud of you. I love you xxx

I love you too xx

I love, love, love the featured image. Made us both smile one day x

saggy boobs

Todays people

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

Person one from today.

A homeless guy was brought into work today, he didn’t want to be there, he wanted to be discharged, go find his friends and drink some metho. He was brought in because he was found unconscious on the floor of a toilet in a local shopping centre. He said he was fine, he has no intention of detoxing and pretty much wants to be left alone. He couldn’t remember the last time he had a shower, he thought maybe 12 months, he wasn’t bothered. The smell coming off this man combined with the lice, open sores, grime and dirt was literally making the rest of us want to be sick. He told the lady looking after him, that he couldn’t understand why his daughter wouldn’t let him see her newborn baby.

 

Person two from today.

I worked today, my youngest boy played cricket, and while he was there meet a young intellectually impaired boy. My youngest thought he was about 14 or 15, he had been in a major car accident, acquired brain damage and lost his mum. He was hanging out with my boys, throwing and hitting the cricket ball for a while and having a chat. He told my boys that he used to be a great cricketer, until his mum died. My youngest boy showed me a waving motion that this boy makes in front of his closed eyes, he said it makes his mum appear in his mind. My boy said to me “I hate that this boys Mum died, he misses her so much, and he talked about his mum the whole time he was playing with us. I don’t think he will get over that mum.” (no I don’t think he will).

Blogging and feeling like the ugly kid

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

 

 

Today I melted my brain on an assignment, for the unit I am studying at the moment Engaging Media via Curtin Uni.

It was based heavily on blogging…….

I am participating in theNaBloPoMo.

I have also signed up to the blogging course Ready, Set Blog with Kate from Secret Bloggers Business, so I am drowning up to my eye balls in everything to do with blogs.

I thought that when I started this 30 days of writing blog posts that I would be stuck for ideas, but so far the ideas are rushing at me and I am finding I am having to shelve a few ideas for now.

I have become a bit of a tragic when it comes to learning about links, SEO, tags, and stats (love the stats, I get excited when I see how many people have viewed my writing.)

One of Kate’s tasks for this week was to find blogs that you like or that you were inspired by, to see what they are up to and how the blog is set up.

I have found this really intimidating Kate. Some of the blogs that I have looked at are:

Michelle Carden

A few good women

The gratitude project

Barefoot blonde

The writing, the professional setup, and images on these blogs is freaking gorgeous!!!!! Makes this new blogger feel like the ugly, new kid in high school, compared to the gorgeous popular girls.

I also stalked there Instagram accounts, talk about blown away with the images, branding and the amount of followers some of these women have. (barefootblonde 1 MILLION, 1 MILLION followers), I find it absolutely fascinating that 1 million people follow one person. Can you imagine every image you post 1 MILLION people see it, this woman must seriously have brands throwing their products at her. I would love to get to sit down with a wine or a coffee and chat to this woman.

In the 20 days that I have been doing this blog challenge, 15 gorgeous people have started following my blog, 999,985 to go before I have brands throwing products at me.

Yoga

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

Dancer-Yoga-Pose

(One of my favourite poses – this is not me)

Sitting at the red light in traffic, with every other harried Mumma at 8.15am, I glance over at the Bootcamp/PT gym that I drive past every day. Push-ups by 4 fluro covered women is going on in one area, another 4 women in equally bright boy leg shorts are boxing and another couple are running out the door (this is what I would want to do) no I think they are doing laps. This bought me back to my post from earlier in the week about skinny vs fat. These types of gyms, well any gym actually – makes me break out in nervous hives. I guess that is why I am skinny fat. I have however always enjoyed yoga, Birkam yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa. I love the breathing, the flow of the poses, the stretch, with Bikram I hate the sweat but love the challenge. I enjoy all of these but don’t know much about the benefits. So if I am going to practice yoga as part of my skinny fit challenge I thought I should know if it is helping at all.

 

Bikram yoga – 26 poses, 2 breathing exercise, in a 38 degree rooms, for 90 minutes. This practise is scientifically designed to systemically cleanse and work your whole body, (ahh yeah it is, because from the second you walk into the studio you want to run far, far away). From massaging of organs, to strengthening muscles (yes because twisting and turning and standing on one leg while sweat drips from EVERY single part of your body is a sane persons way of working out), working the cardiovascular system, toning and stretching, most of all it is a mental work out ( yes the feeling of your heart pounding out of your chest and your brain short circuiting is awesome, my first Bikram class I think I laughed and cried most of the time, thank god for the sweat) . Short term benefits are better sleep patterns, more energetic, toned and stretched. Long term more flexibility and less injure prone with a strong mind. (I can give a running commentary on my experience this was my workout of choice for 2 years)

 

Hatha yoga – through breathing, asanas (series of postures) hatha yoga helps to align muscles, skin and bones, it calms body and mind and its spiritual benefits can change your life. Hatha yoga increases strength, flexibility and range of motion. (This is the yoga that I practice when I am feeling frazzled and need to calm down my favourite pose is Camel.)

 

Vinyasa Yoga – Vinyasa can be translated into (arranging something in a special way). So the breathing and yoga poses are a special arrangement, of flowing from one to the other makes for a dynamic work out. Vinyasa is great for building core and upper body strength, improves out posture and helps build and maintain metabolic rate. (I love doing a good, hard vinyasa flow in the mornings to get your heart pumping)

 

 

 

Every family needs a farmer

https://smjt2014.files.wordpress.com

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

IMG_3650

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.

IMG_1366.jpg

IMG_0910.jpg

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.