The Climb Uphill

The Climb Uphill

I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why?
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why?
I don’t like, I don’t like, I don’t like Mondays.

I want to shoot
The whole day down”.

(Bob Geldof)

Many people hate Mondays. It’s the first day of the week, work looms endlessly before them until the next weekend, the Monday blues sit heavily upon their shoulders… But me? I love them. Mondays are Great (yes, they even deserve a capital G). Because every Monday is ‘My Day’. My day, that is, to do all those things I can’t do every other day, when I am attached to one or two children (I mean, as much as I might like to, it simply isn’t practical to fix electric fences with a four year old holding the metal pliers, but what a great way to teach them not to touch the wires).

So when I say My Day, I’m not referring to sitting down with a good book or watching a bit of daytime TV (yes, I believe even after all these years Days of Our Lives IS still being made, although I hasten to add I only know that anecdotally – I have not got past children’s day TV scheduling in almost 5 years). My Day consists of a very long, generally highly unachievable, list of things I really need to do around the place. Mondays are like a beacon of light in an ‘I’ve got no time to do anything’ week. They are made possible by Beautiful Sarah, a creature of flowing dresses, bare feet, infinite patience and creativity who came into our lives thanks to a friend and her little boy Eddie. Beautiful Sarah devotes every Monday to looking after Eddie and James’ every whim – one week our house, one week Eddie’s house. Thomas, meanwhile, is at pre-school, which means… on Mondays, I am childfree!

Subsequently, on Mondays, every minute is precious. Every second is valued. And it’s really hard not to panic when I can feel it all ticking past, heading towards the inevitable pickup time… “Tick tick tick. Oh my god quick look at the list, make a start. Don’t hyperventilate, what do you mean maybe it’s too hot to go outside? This is it, there won’t be another opportunity for 7 days, GET OUTSIDE NOW… TAKE SOME WATER!!!!”

The psychiatric impacts of living away from family supports are… interesting, aren’t they?

So out I trot, brush-cutter in hand, water bottle dangling off my belt, squashed hat on my head, all thoughts of snakes and ticks deliberately pushed to the back of my mind.

You would never know to look at our farm, but I actually love doing farmwork. I love throwing myself into the physical nature of it, and then standing back and looking at what I’ve achieved, and thinking – hey, I did that. Motherhood, by contrast, has challenged me on that front, as every day I face re-doing exactly what I did the day before. Whilst no doubt important, it’s a very elusive sense of achievement, compared with fixing a fence, moving the cattle, drilling in a screw, or digging a hole for, well, for something.

So last Monday, the house empty, I consulted my list and set to work, almost at a run. My first task – preparing a paddock for the steers to move into. So I walk the perimeter – or at least, the bit of paddock I wasn’t scared to walk through – leaving the section with long high weeds unexplored for fear of snakes. Then I drag a large steel post – probably weighing 30kgs – up the hill where I want to put in a fence. Then I decide that I should put the fence down the bottom after all – so I drag it back down. Walk back up to the house to get the digging implements. Then, back down. Next, I dig a hole for a fence post, the rhythmic nature of the pick lulling me into a false sense of peace. Hmm, on my own, I can’t secure the fence post into place, which means I can’t re-attach the fencing around it. All right – move on Bec. Don’t waste time on something you can’t do. What next. Ah yes, drill and attach the irrigation system into that old trough. No, scrap that. It has a hole. No use putting water into that. Move another old bath into place? No, can’t do that either – my muscles aren’t quite up to it. Add body building to the list.

Maybe I could dig the channel for the pipe in preparation? No, don’t know where to put it now (can you sense the panic settling in?). OK – back up to the house. Abandon paddock preparation on list. Try something else.

How to plant a native tree

How to plant a native tree

Thank goodness for field days!

Thank goodness for field days!

Aha! Go and brushcut around those 100 trees I planted (with much help – thank you!!) three days before I went into labour with Heath. Where’s that petrol? Up to the shed and back. Fill the brushcutter with petrol, then walk back down that hill, dragging the brushcutter behind me.

Have I mentioned it must be at least 32 degrees outside?

Get down to the bottom where the trees are growing, turn on the choke, pull the rope to get the engine started. Nothing. Again. Nothing. And again and again and again and again and again.

F*(^*&$^%*(*K A DUCK!!!!!!” (expletives, no doubt loud enough for neighbours 1km away to hear).

Back up the hill, dragging brush cutter behind me again. Found everyone back at home. And that was My Day.

At least I dug a hole.

NB: to my friend who once asked what on earth do I do up here all day – here is your answer.

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About Bec C

I made the tree-change move from Sydney to my husband 'Dougal's' old family property on the mid-north coast several years ago, but only since the birth of my first son have I really lived here. In between raising 2 young sons, I am trying my hand at sustainable farm management... 'Trying' being the important word. Whilst the ability to pat my steers gives me much satisfaction, I love the fact that every morning I awake to space and open sky... even if it is 5am.

5 thoughts on “Mondays

  1. Bec, we have often laughed about frustrating days such as this, but when I read your blog it brought a tear to my eye (well a few actually), as I have all too often experienced that sort of day and understood how you where feeling. Funnily enough only on the weekend did a friend ask me “what are you doing now”, I answered “farming”, she said “yes but what are you doing with all your time”. I left the second question unanswered. Now I know how to tackle the question if it ever raises it’s head again!

  2. Hey… That sounds like quite a day. I did a bit of research online and it took some digging…. But apparently… Remember you cant always trust what you read on the web… But apparently if you turn the brush cutter to the ‘on’ position. You could have more luck with it starting. 🙂
    Love the post by the way… And watch out for them eastern brown hissers…
    Big-ish D

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