Well it's been a few days since I updated the blog as not much has happened! However...
Saturday I attended the Narrabri markets and had a small stall that cost $22. I sold $31 worth of stuff, not very good, considering it probably cost $6 in fuel to get there. But the guy in the stall next door said it was a very dead market and explained that in this part of NSW they get an extra week's school holidays so a lot of people would not be back from holidays yet and also he reckons people have maxed out their credit cards over christmas and don't have a lot of spare money. Well I don't know, maybe yes maybe no to those two things. I am sure my stuff is not overpriced, so maybe a busier market might yield different results. Let's see what happens next time.
Anyway we were talking about my travels and he asked me what sort of mileage I get out of the Patrol (20L/100K) and he suggested that that could be improved and also the blowing of black smoke could be improved if I sent to see a particular mechanic. So I'm going to talk to this guy, whose name is Snow Paulie, hopefully today. I called into see him on my way home yesterday but he was out delivering a car. Two previous mechanics have said "oh yes, all the GU Patrols blow black smoke" so I don't know.
Last week I met Terry Kelly who is variously a mail man, farm machinery operator and god knows what else. He used to the the OIC at the Electricity Commission for 27 years plus has been involved in farm work for longer than that. He does a lot of work for Darrel and Jenni whose house I am looking after. He does a mail run three times a week that takes him way out west, about 70 addresses in all but obviously not all are visited every run. He offered to take me out so on Monday he picked me up at 7.45 and off we went to Belatta Post Office that is on the highway about 10 minutes north of Edgeroi. The post mistress there is an 83-year-old called Pat who has been there for 28 years and has no plans to retire yet. Terry sorted his mail then we had a cup of tea and a bun before setting off at about 8.30am. We got back to Edgeroi at about 1pm after driving some 300k on the route. At one point we stopped to have morning tea at one of the homesteads (he does that every time) where the farmer is a grazier who breeds Hereford cattle. When I told him that I was house sitting for Darrel and Jenni (whom he knows, well everyone knows everyone here) he asked if I could house sit his place in July when the family goes to England for a wedding. Well I don't know where I will be in July so I couldn't commit to that. Anyway I was telling him and Terry about this guy called Snow the mechanic, and would you believe that he was the farmer's cousin! Far out!
Well the mail run was incredibly interesting, what Terry doesn't know isn't worth knowing, not just about the farming of every conceivable crop, but who is married to whom and who ran off with whom. He also explained how not one drop of water is wasted through the use of the various dams and channels and the fact that the land is graded in such a way that the runoff is sent exactly where it has to go in order to be caught and reused. You will see in the videos one of a cotton plantation. I've never seen a cotton bush before and when you do see them, say on tv, they are just sticks with cotton bolls. Apparently they spray the crop with a defoliant then the machine goes through and strips off the bolls once the leaves have dropped off.
The whole trip was fascinating. I took a few short videos, most of them with no commentary but you can see what they are about.
Monday I spent in the van cleaning. Floor, benches, bathroom, cupboards. Washed the curtains, pillows, sheets and pillowcases. Took all day.
On Wednesday I went into town to get my hair trimmed and coloured after the perm I had last week. Not much to report there, except that when we went to the cash register, the girl (apprentice) said "I can't find the calculator". I said "oh, what do you need to know?" She said "what's half of $66.50?" Uh..huh.. Guess that's why she's working...etc, etc.
After that I went to the RSL for lunch but wasn't impressed, the salad was full of that awful dark lettuce stuff, with 1/4 tomato and bit of shredded carrot, and the chicken schnitzel was overcooked.
Today (Thursday) I've rehung the curtains in the van and done a bit of repacking stuff.
Tomorrow I take the car into Snow to see what he thinks. Then I am going to visit Sawn Rocks, where the rocks are shaped like those hexagonal rocks you see in lots of places,and I'll see what else is around there.
I have two weeks to go here and still lots to see.
Bye for now.