Tag Archives: Australian bush

Locals night. Lots of meat.

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Someone to watch over meat.

It’s taken me months to put this post together.  Actually, I tell a lie.  It’s taken —days.  Strike that.  Hours –  across many days.  (It’s taken some time for me to come to grips with my feelings, ok!?)

But.  I had to tell someone out there in the universe about this episode in my life, at some point.  Someone… outside the rest of this town.  (Let me tell you: the townspeople know).

So.  This is a story about meat.  (Consider yourself: warned).

Just as well the tenuous grip that I had on the roof-racks that looked like a freight train headed to Vegetarianism… slipped a little while ago.

Technically: this meat came in the form of a meat tray.  Of the kind you win when you participate in a meat raffle.  (That type of event spectacular that unfolds with a high degree of frequency all around the plenty and many pubs, clubs and variety shows that have infiltrated Australian culture).  If we’re taking a good long hard look in the streaky mirror of honesty here, we (us, all of us,) would surely have to confirm that the meat tray is as much a dominant Australian sub-culture as 30/40somethings fangirling Khe Sanh (or anyone who sings it) each time it makes an appearance at a similar venue.

I digress.  (Well, that’s… new?)

The meat tray wasn’t actually won by me.  Technically.  That’s what SOMEONE would have you believe.

But.

The money that was handed over to the two nervous youngsters selling the raffle tickets did come out of my broken down purse.  The purse that was on my person, people.  (Inside my broken down, red-wine stained WSDPP handbag – cos Fair is Fair).

Sure, that money may not have been hard-earned by me.  Figuratively speaking.

Still.

What goes around comes back to my purse and therefore me, I say.  I am not keeping a ledger that clearly shows the balance of probability that the money belongs to one side of the equation or the other.

Enough of the petty penny counting though.

This meat tray was there to be won, and I was party to winning it.

I would like to insert some MeTube footage here to show you what happened when the winning took place.  This is a thing that cannot be happening though.  There is no footage.  None.  (It’s not like Mike Moore – cool kid – finds my life interesting enough to follow me.  Despite the persistent fan-mail I address to him and his greatness).

I will describe it though.  (Because I would like you to feel like you’ve had your eyes gouged out every day for the past two weeks).

Ah, feelings.  One of my top 10 favourite things that exist (existentially or otherwise).

I felt:

Overjoyed.  Surprised.  I also felt like the Gods of the land of Good Lady Luck Land had finally…. finally… taken a good long hard stare-face at me (and the other party who was party to winning) and thought:  “Let us amuse ourselves here for at least a good ten seconds”.  (I am only remotely amusing on a few pints of Bulmers.  No more, no less.  No doubt you’ll agree).

Cut to scene setting:

The Farmer’s Arms Hotel, Daylesford.  (A fabulous place with fabulous hosts and a fabulous menu).  A cluster of volleyball medals hang around the neck of a stuffed stag which hangs upon the wall above us.  We (someone who I know fairly well and I) sit at the bar chatting to new acquaintances Alison and Paul (part-time residents).  They are to our right.  To our left are new friends Marty and Geoff (we know them through Sal, who we met through The Farmers Arms gals).

Surrounded by all of us, we are led to believe, are a swarm of locals.  (And I reckon that could be correct, because some of them are starting to look pretty familiar, people.  Pret-ty fam-i-li-ar).

A number of these locals, including us, are here to be competitive about the meat raffle.  (Maybe other stuff too.  That’s not the point though.  Is it, now?)  The thing is: I was amongst those of the locals that rushed there just that little bit too quickly at 5.30pm sharp to get bar seats.  (Or the dress circle as I like to call it.  Best seats in the house to watch the raffle go down).

I can’t totally remember what the raffle was in aid of.  It’s the pints of Bulmers, you see.  It could’ve been for the benefit of Daylesford & District Municipal Band Inc.  (I hope so.  Otherwise my non-hard-earned $10 has gone to a couple of kids with a sneaky sense of humour).

Whatever, whatever.  There are 3 facts important to your vocabulary and memory with regard to what on Lady Luck Land happened for the meat tray to be won and taken back to the house of Hepburn that I live in.

1)      Add em up:  The 2 hours and $10 plus $80 odd spent at the bar on Bulmers and an astonishing looking/tasting tasting plate played a big part in earning le household a whole-lotta-meat.

Value is the watchword here.  (This value extends to the notable fact that the tickets were only $1 each.  I mean, what else can one get for 100 cents these days?  Not a lot, right?  Not a lot.  And, not even only that fact.  When anyone threw 10 bucks at the youngsters, they gave you the eleventh ticket FREE!  Caaa-ching!  And since SOMEONE’s own personal lucky number is eleven/11… well… I think the term is:  Sold! To the lady with the star on her back…and the over-eager one sitting next to her).

2)      Some things are certain in life:  We (the co-winners) were convinced we were going to be winners.  There is good, solid evidence for this.  Don’t try and tell me there wasn’t.  You weren’t there.  Were you?

This evidence would hold up in any court of legal stuff.

Example: Just one week before this particular event we were seated so close to the winner (of the meat of that week) that we could practically touch it.  Not that I did.  That would be weird.  Right?

Well.  It was right there.  And I’m from the school of thought that says: a brush with destiny is not good enough.  You’ve got to go back and get it for yourself.

So.  We did.

We had no questions in our head asking:  “Do you really think you’ll be a winner tonight?”

No.  Our inside voices were merely saying: “Can’t wait until we take that meat tray home tonight”.

High fives to Plato, dudes.  Appetite, Spirit, Reason: those guys were all on the same page in my mental faculties for once.

3)      It was time:  You know what I’m talking about here, right?

It was time to put our mark on this local, this town, these people.

(This is what winning a meat tray can do for you).

I mean:  Whatever, whatever.  I guess I could go gangbusters about the place with other making marks options:  clever street art, tireless volunteerism or soap-box protesting right outside Coles spring to mind.

But.

Those aren’t really things that capture the essence and spirit of me being able to convey my emotions and feelings amongst a large group of people who are congregated together for the mere sake of –

Well, sake of: being together (and together with their pints and hopes of winning the meat tray).

Anyway, anyway.

To cut an even longer story short:

Barrel draw, winners of 6-packs, cheap bubbles and what not.  Those things went down.  Then comes the meat.  And…wait for it…

Our names were not on those tickets. Apparently.

(What?  What??)

But.

Turns out winner winner chicken dinner was actually someone who does not own a fridge in this town (read: out-of-towner).

So.

Amidst shouts of redraw, redraw! We knew that fate, destiny and Good Lady Luck were finally, finally in-da- house.  Yeah, yeah.  Our time had come.

(The situation was perhaps most eloquently stated by friend Crispen Pants as “the Steve Bradbury of the Meat Tray World”.  Thanks to Facebook: We like that one).

A squeal from me (and I can be loud – I’ve done it before).  Yelps from the co-winner.  Cheers from the crowd.  Jealous gasps from new friends.  Arms flailing about by all of us.  All the while of course, the stag stared down at us in – well, probably in wonder.  After all, this was joy in its most overwhelmingly delighted state of affairs.

Suffice to say (and to wrap the story up): Winners are grinners.  We got lots of offers.  We could have made our life-time quota of friends right there and then (it’s something we seem to be trawling for regularly on Friday nights).

Such a shame the BBQ didn’t fit in the U-haul.

Anyway, anyway.  Instead of taking up offers and inviting all-comers back to the house of Hepburn for some ribs and snags, we settled for feeding ourselves for the week.  Lots of meat.  Local style.

——–

Epilogue:

To make up for the lack of hospitality we vibed the locals that night, we promptly hurled about dinner party invites over some days that followed.  This.  This you will hear about across multiple episodes.  Spoiler alert: We really need to go panning out in them there hills for some etiquette, I say.

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80 dead flies.

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Dead on: 80 dead fly creatures.  In the kitchen alone (together).  We could be talking Guinness Book here (someone get on that, please?)   Insane!  I counted ‘em.  (More insanity!)  80 is a lot, right?  I mean, this could be one of the few times anyone ever has even bothered to count that far towards 100.  It’s a LOT of gross is what I am mainly saying.  Scale of 1 to gross?  Pretty-damned-gross, people.

As for photographic evidence: ugh, don’t make me do that to you.  ‘Cos I will.  Yep, I would go there.  THAT is how I feel about proving points.

To compound this terrible, terrible, shocking reality: another member of this household (who shall remain nameless at this point because of the shame of this situation in general terms) – is absurdly furious about the whole thing.  And not just furious about the flies – furious about the fact that I don’t spend all of my day, every day, getting the situation under control.  (Especially, now that I have some time to get situations under control).  Like, it’s MY fault?

I mean, really?  Seriously?  It’s not like I’ve put word out on the street: Yo, flyguys, come fly with me and be all at this house we live in.

This, THIS, is a naturally occurring phe-nom-e-non.  At least on par with Mammatus clouds, that’s what this situation is.  (Not that I’ve ever really seen existence of said cloud activity, but you can kill some time at http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Clouds_Mammatus.html if you, like me, have some time on your hands).

X-Files, be damned.  Mythbusters get on this.  Phenomenon is happening right in this house.  Every day.  The chosen ones:  that is what we are.

Ok, ok, so we does live back in the bushy parts of Australia now – and bush=fly, hot bush=lots of fly.  And right now there is a lot of hot bush surrounding us (do not, I said…do not, go there).  Creeps.

And ok, ok, kitchen room was in a horrible, mean mood-state this morning after a very big night (more on that tomorrow perhaps when the red wine induced haze has cleared).  But, it has nothing – or at least not…. that much – to do with that.

Just… let’s not think about that… because this problem is an occurrence independent of that problem… often.

So, now (that we’re clear):  Let’s get back to the whole-lotta-fly-in-a-single-room-short-space-of-time problem at hand.

These particular creeps… or grown up maggots as I have started calling them today, were in place before the big hand hit half the day gone.  And, putting my feelings of bewildered wonderment aside, sometime around abouts 2pm I was counting them.  (I’m serious people; I have some time on my hands for some moments.  That is just a factual statement).

Directors Cut aside, let’s fast forward the boring bits: fly spray – check.  flyscreens – landlord doesn’t believe in them.  Close all the doors and windows  – are you kidding me?  I suspect I suffer lack of oxygen to the brain as it is.

So, you are thinking, (actually, probably I am alone by myself in solitary confinement on this one): What does a girl do in a situation like this?  Well, correct me if I’m being inappropriate or misguided, but this is what I think my sensible options could be after having thought about it (a little, not a lot):

1)     Delegate:  Give Evie and Augie (they are dogs – so don’t get crane your neck too far to examine what I may be capable of inflicting on tiny people) a treat every time they catch the fly that dares to fly itself in the door (obviously hell bent in taking advantage of the proximity of the kitchen room).  Anyways, these dogs (that are kind of like children anyway) seem to get a kick out of catching flies when their attention is not focused elsewhere, so it’s not that stupid to think it could be possible.  (You heard it here first: I ain’t stupid).

Except: No way in the history of nasty supermarket superpowers is there ever enough of the doggy smack that is Schmackos (they don’t call it that for no good reason) this side of Bendigo to make this a really, plausible and viable option.

2)     Involves my own capacities:  Research methods of how-to-keep-a-fly-at-bay until I have bled Google dry and am offered (because of my inevitable awesome expertise) an interview on The Project (talk to the hand ACA: I’m not interested in your gutters).  (BTW, I refuse to appear on The Project on a night Steve Price is on.  I do want Charlie Pickering to be there though.  Shut up.  I am not being a diva.  Not asking for fruit platters with sides of steak in my dressing room here.  Just putting it out there and up front so we are all clear about who I think the cool kids are.  Anyways, generally speaking, I am flexible with my contracting).

Except:  I have the attention span of a gnat at the moment – and Research: I’m sorry honey – I thought we were “taking a break”.  We need time and space man, I’ll see you in Feb.

3)     Turn to those who really care: Get some sound and solid direction from the good ladies of CWA.  (That’s Country Women’s Association for those of you not hip to the early-acronym-lingo…or you know, not up with Australian icons).

See, I knew talking through this problem would be a help.  Talking about problems is not over-rated after all (looks like I may not regret going down the Social Work path after all).  Because…

Number 3, is I think, not a bad idea.  Even for me.  Think about it gang.  CWA is all of the following, and much (much) more:

  • From the Country – and we all know Country people are good people (well, with the exception of idiots, a.k.a. Bob Katter and the like).
  • Are women – and women are tops (probably a few exceptions here too, but I’m hoping you’re happy to generalise.  Visualisation helps.  Think..um.. Jane Addams, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, … or one of those other I’ll-just-go-save-the-world-quietly Nobel Peace Prize Winning lady peoples).
  • Are a group of women – and women who get their heads together are a powerful force, an agent of change, for the greater good. See how I’m leaning here?  Whistling to myself.  Example: CWA

Bringing me back to point.  A good old fashioned letter posted with a stamp and all should get me some of what I’m after.

(Dear CWA ladies,

I have a real issue with flies.  I have seen many of your missionaries at work on other matters.  Scones and cakes mainly.  There is a reason I know how good you are, is all I’m saying.

Now, about these flies….

Etc. etc.

Pretty please with jam on top,

Darls from Daylesford

Ps. Do you think Maggie Beer and Margaret Fulton are as downright cute as I do?

Pps. Would really love it if that CWA lady who guest-starred on Masterchef were to hit reply, personally.  To my letter here.)

I have some collateral too.  If they have secrets about solutions for this stuff, they are especially going to find it hard to resist me if I tell them I am a lady from the country just like them, now, are they?!  I WILL have my way with them.  You’ll see.

Oh, and whilst I’m at it, I’m going to throw in a santa sack of other things that are causing me anxiety type emotions on a daily basis:

What will leave the granite benchtop shiny streak-free clean? What will get the red wine stain off the carpet that SOMEBODY (nameless) in this household caused last night?  What will get the bleachy mark from either dog pee, or my inept attempt to fix it, off the same carpet?  And, the big one: What will cure the big, ugly, burn streak that is etched on (my soul, and) bathroom number one timber bench top.  (I have some problems with the amount I like incense and candles, ok?)

Members of this household: we have been here not much more than 80 days.  Now, I know that’s a LOT in fly terms – but go tell that to the real estate industry.  I mean, we probably haven’t even maxed the cooling off.

Ok, woah up before you all make me panic some more.  I’m already feeling anxious with all the painful memories this is causing (will need a bex and a good lie down before sharing feelings regarding a landlord-experience from recent history).

This letter to those CWA ladies needs to be written.  STAT.