Today is the last day of release week, the end of this series of memories. After putting myself out there, constantly talking about the book and coming up with things to share and ways to post about it that are different, my brain has almost dried up.
I wrestled with the idea of skipping today’s post because I simply couldn’t think of something to share. And I never did think of any one thing. But…
There was the time I inadvertently walked into the middle of a mob of wild pigs out behind the kitchen. Thoroughly scared the life out of me, and my appearing out of nowhere chased the pigs away. The men on the station were all disappointed that they’d missed some fun.
Oh, yeah, that happened at something like ten o’clock at night. In the dark. I didn’t have any kind of light with me, so the only warning I got were a few grunts, then squeals as they took off under the fence. (This story makes a very, very abbreviated appearance in the book.)
Or there was the time I went out to run the waters. I was going places I’d never been before and even though Dad gave me pretty clear instructions, I missed the turnoff. By the time I realized I’d gone too far, I figured I’d just keep going and turn around when I came to the bore I knew was at the end of the road. However, being an inexperienced driver, when I came to a rather wide, dry sandy creek before I got to the bore…
I got bogged in the sand. (Of course.)
Too far from the house to radio for help, the only way out was to get myself unstuck… somehow. After fruitlessly rocking the ute back and forth and going nowhere, I ended up spending ages jacking the ute up one wheel at a time and laying sticks and branches under the wheels and across the rest of the creek. I got myself out, only to have to turn around and cross back over the same creek to get back the way I’d come. That time, knowing the creek was there, I got a really good run for it and made it across okay.
The spook-factor of this event was heightened by an avid imagination and a kind of creepy feeling. That bore was one of a handful of places on the station that people didn’t go to very often.
Another place we didn’t go to often had an old hut that was once used for mustering that, when I worked there, no one was allowed to set foot in. I still don’t know why the boss made that rule. We were around that area more than the last bore I mentioned and never saw a reason not to go inside. We just didn’t though, because he said not to.
I was there alone once and while there, a couple of brumbies came in for a drink. They weren’t afraid of me at all. In fact, they were prancing around and getting a wee bit too close. Being alone and only having an old dirt bike for (non) shelter, I hung around the windmill until they were gone.
Dirt bikes were used for transportation a lot. One of the very few times I ever wore a helmet ended up being not long after the wet season. The road through the property was a main access road and after all the rain, the surface of the road was a mess of tire tracks left behind after people drove through in the mud. I rode across that stretch going too fast, hit the tracks, lost control, and wrecked. I’m glad I was wearing the helmet because I ended up sliding along the road face down.
I was close enough to home to radio for help. Dad and my brother came and threw the bike (not damaged) in the back of the ute, and gave me (gravel rashed arms and a bit shaken up) a ride back to the house.
Wildlife was plentiful on the property. There was one dam on the property where pelicans hung out. Tons of them. They were interesting to watch. In another area there were flocks of black cockatoos. Flocks of galahs would swoop in and land along the side of the road leading up to the homestead, coming and going in a cloud of pink and gray anytime something spooked them. And the mango tree behind the house was always populated by hundreds of rainbow lorikeets.
Did you know if a lorikeet eats too much rotten mango it can get drunk and stumble about? Me neither… until I saw them wobbling around unable to walk.
It was there that my youngest brother and I came across an odd-looking piece of something sticking out of the ground. We spent ages that afternoon digging to see what that thing was and ended up unearthing an old pottery jar when we were supposed to be bringing the cows in so we could lock the calves up for the night. We ended up doing that, but also ended up carrying the pottery jar back to the house. As far I know, Mum still has it. She used to keep a dried flower arrangement in it.
The next time we went to look around the area where we’d found the jar, we couldn’t find exactly where we’d dug it up. The grass had grown up. I have a feeling what we found was the site of an old dump, which might have netted us other interesting antiques, but we had other things to do to keep us busy and never got around to doing anymore digging.
I learned how to milk a cow by hand while working there, and like Anne in Persuade Me it was my job to do the milking. Summer or winter. Those cows were out milk supply. They also supplied milk to any poddy calves that were brought in.
Most of these calves were pretty wild and while they’d go in and out of the milking yard, they weren’t particularly friendly. But there were two calves in particular, Cinders and Beast, that ended up being very tame. Mum and I raised them by hand to start with, because they were too young to be let out with the cows. By the time we could let them out, Beast would come when I called. He was still pretty quiet for a long time, but ended up going out with the other steers and after a while we lost track of him.
There is more I could say, but my mind keeps drawing a blank (or wandering off) so I’m going to say goodbye for now and go enjoy my coffee. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and hope that you are able to read the book (and enjoy it too). For one last giveaway continue reading.
More about the book
One horrible misunderstanding. Two heartbroken people.
For seven long years, Anne Elliot of Kellynch Station quietly mourned the loss of her first love. Now that she’s finally over Fred for good, her sister offers the perfect escape: Uppercross.
This move, from one cattle station to another, offers new friends, new responsibilities, and now that she’s out from under her father’s domineering thumb, a whole new world of possibilities.
The sky is the limit.
Or maybe the sky is the perfect place for helicopter mustering pilot Fred Wentworth to spend his days. It took a while for him to regroup after their breakup, but now he’s back, he’s successful, and he’s put the past so far behind him he doesn’t even think about Anne more than a couple dozen times a day.
Life is good.
Or it was until he quite literally runs into the one person he hoped to never see again. After that, what’s a bloke to do other than rethink every lie he’d convinced himself was the truth?
Although they both seem willing to admit they were wrong all those years ago, when things take a bad turn, Anne is left to wonder… Is it too late for a reconciliation?
Persuade Me: Austen’s Persuasion meets the rugged Australian bush—plus dingoes.
The last Giveaway
For one last chance to win an ebook copy of Persuade Me, leave a comment below and tell me something about your self.