Remember when....

We milked a house cow out in the paddock sitting on an old wooden stool using a stainless steel bucket jammed between our knees.

And when walk-through cowsheds had that special smell and we cleaned up the yard by scooping the muck up with a square mouth shovel into a "konaki" and then swilled the yard clear with buckets of water scooped out of the trough.

We had small tractors, towing big implements with a steel seat and no roof over or air conditioning. They had dodgy brakes and low horsepower. That tractor was started at 7am in the morning and worked all day to be put away at 6pm to do the same the next day.

Remember when we worked all day on those tractors with no shirt or hat in the beating sun and we went black!

And, the swish swash noise of the old Davies pump usually run by a washing machine electric motor as it pumped water day and night down the farm.

And, hot scones, ladled with butter and bright red jam for morning tea with scalding hot black cuppa tea.

We paid the bills neatly with a cheque book and folded the papers and put them in an envelope, licked the stamps and placed them in the mail box with the flag up to go to the various suppliers.

When we would go out and call the horses, brush them, saddle them up, let the smelly dogs off and spend all day sitting in the skinny saddle as the horse picked its way around the hill faces while we dreamed away and checked on the sheep and cattle, and the water supply.

Getting the thermos of black tea out of the saddlebag along with a pack of sandwiches packed in grease proof paper. Finding a spot to sit and contemplate life and eat.

The hot dusty roads that went on for miles as we cooked in the baking hot car with no air conditioning or the freezing cold days with no heater in the car and the swish pause swish of the vacuum powered windscreen wipers struggling to give us clear vision.

And, when it was town day and we got into our best clobber and excitedly went into the local town, chatted to various suppliers, went to the stock firm to be greeted by our first name. There were very few people around and finally going to the "tea rooms" for a well earned cuppa and cake. Then to travel back out to the farm in the hot car with the boot and often the trailer overloaded with goods necessary to run the farm and house.

And, when we had hot steaming porridge smothered with fresh cream or milk from the house cow, with brown sugar spread over it, which was followed by lamb chops and eggs and toast and jam and hot black tea for breakfast.

Lunch at the house was often mutton sandwiches with relish and tomatoes jammed between thick pieces of fresh bread cut on a bread board with a large serrated knife.

Tea was roast hogget with steaming hot potatoes and fresh greens from the garden followed by desert which usually included bottled fruit from the orchard.

Ahh, the walk-through cowsheds where every cow had a name, and we knew which bale she would go into. And, the "swish swash" as the slide pulsators let the air in and out over the top of the radio at full blast. There were flies everywhere and the bang as we closed the door after every cow as she ambled out to the paddock.

Carrying scalding hot buckets of detergent filled water to dump the cups in to clean them after milking, and the steam going out through the vacuum pump which made it rattle loudly and the big oily mess out the back of the shed where the vacuum pump blew its oily breath.

Remember being allowed to watch an hour of fuzzy black and white TV, then falling beneath the sheets exhausted, ready to get up to the rattle of the wind-up luminous alarm clock and to go and do it all again.

And, those were the days ...


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