I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely Christmas break and a relaxing start to 2013. We had a great holiday at Paradise Beach, catching up with friends and family for early celebrations before coming home to very high temperatures and quite a few bush fires.
With temperatures in the 40s, Nigel did very well to survive a couple of hours in a Santa suit for the school’s presentation day and apart from one non-believer (“Thanks Nigel”) his first stint at undercover work went pretty well.
Enngonia is 97 kilometres north of Bourke and around 40 kilometres south of the Queensland border. Our residence is on the Mitchell Highway and, this time of year, we get to jealously watch the grey nomads venturing up the road to Mount Isa and beyond. As our bedroom is at the front of the house, we also get to listen to the trucks driving past at speeds in excess of the 50kph speed signs either end of town (every truckie knows when the boys have knocked off work).
When we first arrived in Enngonia, one thing that struck me as strange was that, apart from the Oasis Hotel, there were no other business premises in town and yet they had their own race track – complete with grandstands, yards, kitchen areas, toilet blocks and all the other paraphernalia needed to hold a race meeting. http://enngoniaraces.wixsite.com/enngonia-race-club
Someone in Ivanhoe once pointed out to me that there really is only one ‘bad’ season in the outback – which is very true. While spring and autumn days enjoy perfect temperatures, winter days are also sunny with blue skies. Of course, night time is freezing but most houses have fireplaces, which make them comfy and warm – if not eco friendly. Summer, on the other hand, can be downright exhausting with temperatures in the high forties and sometimes even soaring into the 50s.
So while Jeremy is languishing in a pool somewhere in Singapore, Maris is floating down the Danube and Jed is in France, celebrating his birthday with vin rouge and vin blanc, Nigel, Bear and I are preparing for another summer of blow flies, snakes and air conditioning bills.
We seem to have gone from fire place to fan overnight, with temperatures in the 30s, which isn’t bad for the last days of winter! In fact, the other day I came across a bunch of tea light candles, all totally melted in a cupboard, even though they haven’t been used yet!
Yesterday I spent the day at Enngonia Public School, which had become Enngonia Polling Place where I was the OIC. Having spent Friday evening setting up one of the classrooms with voting screens (think Ikea but with cardboard), tables, chairs etc aided by one very patient husband, I awoke at 6 am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to prepare for Polling Day Enngonia-style.
While it seemed that Summer had started in August – complete with high temperatures and snakes, we’ve now gone back to milder conditions – complete with low temperatures and snakes – as well as all things Spring.
This includes the recent and unexpected birth of twin lambs, Whipper and Snipper about a week ago. Apparently Harley was gelded rather late and, while we did sometimes wonder at the full udder and even contemplated a false pregnancy, neither of us seriously considered that Rose might, in fact, be pregnant. So it was a bit of a shock when Nigel walked out into the yard last week to discover two tiny black-headed Dorpers.
Sadly, Snipper only survived for a couple of days but Whipper seems to be going strong. I guess only time will tell.
Strangely, the Bear who has always been somewhat of a snob when it came to ‘lesser’ animals, is absolutely delighted with the addition and is constantly following Whipper around the yard, tail-wagging and smiling. In fact, despite Rose’s glares of protest, he has even taken it on himself to stand guard when Mum is busy.