Saturday, February 2, 2013

Holidays with the Farm Family

Over the long weekend we headed to Quairading for a farm holiday and old school friends' catchup. The Farm Family consists of Farm Mum S, Farm Dad B, Farm Girl P (3 years) and Farm Boy A (18 months). Also there were our other school friend J, her husband A, and their son J (12 months). With six adults and four kids it was one full house! Thank you S&B for being brave enough to host us all at the same time.

The Farm is about a 2.5 hour drive from Perth - just long enough to feel like you have gone somewhere but short enough not to be too trying on small folk and those who must share a car with them. We stopped at York, which is about the half-way point.

The four children turned out to be one of the nicest parts of the weekend. It is definitely our first experience of more children being less trouble. E&P played together beautifully and the two smaller boys trundled along after them, sometimes being included, sometimes not. It was lovely to see E&P playing a game that involved hiding under the blankets, putting the teddies to bed then waking them up again. (We discovered later that this game also included smushing copious amounts of crackers into the carpet, but you take what you can get).

I have been to farms before but not such a real, working farm as this one is. The Farm Family are lucky to be part of an extended farming family that has managed to buy up quite extensive amounts of land in the area and thus be able to take advantage of economies of scale. It makes sense when you learn that one piece of machinery costs $200,000. The result is that you can drive for kilometres without leaving the extended family's land. We had a great time on Saturday going out in the ute with the dogs to move sheep from one paddock to another. I'm sure this is quite routine for people on a sheep farm but for us it was interesting.

Sheep-watching out the window
I vary between thinking that the country in this part of the world is desolate and finding the starkness beautiful.

 I became a bit obsessed with the harvesting patterns in the crop stubble and took about six squillion photos of them:

Probably the best bit was making the sheep run.

Run, sheepies, run!
And then driving home along a gravel road in the late afternoon shadows.

Upon getting home, feeding and bathing and putting to bed of small people was required. But once it was done, the grown ups sat on the verandah and enjoyed the sunset.

The next day the three (grown-up) boys went off to be manly and engage in Proper Farm Work, pulling down 1.5km of old wire fence so a new fence can go up. At lunch time the rest of us took a picnic and went to meet them.

After lunch some running and climbing of nearby rocks was necessary.

I wanted to add some photos of the picnic and rock-climbing but Blogger is refusing to cooperate for some reason.

It was a great weekend and one we hope to repeat.

The other thing the weekend involved was a bit of sewing time in S's fancy new sewing room. She runs a little internet based sewing business called Hunting for Ladybugs. Stay tuned as I will tell you all about it soon!

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