Never two days the same

With the finishing up of the Gore earthmoving job at Belah Park station it was back to our beloved Koramba for a while.

The Weir River at the entrance to Belah Park.

The Weir River at the entrance to Belah Park.

The job at Gore’s was initially for an 8 week period and ended up being a 5 month stint.
One of our last communications with the company as the job ended was when they asked us if we’d like to do another job for them.

They couldn’t tell us exactly where it was as they’re quite understandably very tight lipped on future jobs especially before they’re not fully signed off and “in the bag”. They did however say that it was “no further from Gundy than this one”. Belah Park was about 150 kilometres west of Goondiwindi near Mungindi.

We said we’d be happy to do another job when it came up providing it was still under the same arrangement with Martyn Morrissey, our boss.

By the end of the Belah Park job we were really looking forward to a “Coastal Fix”.

The heat had been relentless for weeks as had the flies and dust and although we enjoyed the job we began to look forward to a break.
So it was with much joy that we hooked up and headed to Koramba yet again where we wanted to get the grounds around the camp looking as smart as we could in the drought conditions.

We wanted to take the ride on mower into Gundy for a service and just make sure everything was spic and span.

We’d previously learned that Shannon, our young friend and teacher of all things rural from Koramba, had decided to move on.
He got a job with a stock transport company in Glen Innes which allowed him to live up at his property at Emmaville and commute daily.

Would Koramba be the same for us without his presence?

He’d been such a huge part of everyday life for us for nearly 3 years. It was both sad and exciting for us to see him move on. Sad from a purely selfish point of view – we wouldn’t have him around – but excited that he’s exploring other avenues and opportunities.
At 25 he has such a massive store of knowledge and yet we can’t help but wonder how this’ll be added to and honed over the next phase of his life.

After getting Koramba ship shape and harvesting the massive haul of delicious grapes from the vines we’d planted 3 years before, we hooked up the Aussie wide and headed to Brisbane for a Kids, Grandkids and ocean change.

It was a great feeling to have the Nissan humming along, easily towing the Aussie Wide again.

Just before leaving Koramba we got a call from Jason at Gore earthmoving.
The new job would start in two to three weeks.

This meant a shortened trip as we wanted to swing around Emmaville and stay a few days with Shannon before starting.
We still didn’t know where the new job was but there were strong hints that it was much closer to Gundy than either Belah Park or Koramba. This was very exciting!
There was even talk of the camp being set up in the Gore yard IN Gundy.

The prospect of being “Townies” for a while was a thrill as we love Goondiwindi.
Kerrie began running through all the possibilities of being able to get to town just for a coffee, a chat and a look round the shops.

So it was with the backdrop of this prospect that would once again change the direction of our daily lives, that we parked up at David and Lacey’s place on the Sunshine Coast and relaxed and caught up with everyone.

I must say it was quite a thrill to be woken in the morning with a little girl’s voice coming from inside the house, “Nanna, Grandpa”!

It was a wonderful stay and it was a thrill to see the Grandkids, (Elliana, Riley and Charlotte), all growing so fast and happy and healthy.

Elliana does Little Kickers once a week. It improves their motor skills, colour recognition and sportsmanship.

Elliana does Little Kickers once a week. It improves their motor skills, colour recognition and sportsmanship.

It was a whirlwind of outings with the Netball Girls, talks with Ash, playing with Riley and Charlotte, dinners with Emily, shopping with Lacey, walks with Elliana, catching up with Barry & Christine and, of course, fishing with David.

This is always a highlight for me and this time we were rewarded with a great haul of Tuna, Snapper, Grassy Emperor and Sweetlip.

Fishing with David is great but even better when we catch something.

Fishing with David is great but even better when we catch something.

I must say it was a bit hard packing up and leaving this time and as we hit the road again, pointed toward Glenn Innes on the coast road; it caused us to have a long discussion about what we wanted for the future.

On the one hand there was the thrill of life on the road – seeing new places and meeting new people – and we’ve loved every minute of it.
On the other hand there’s a desire to have our own place again – but where?

After the quality of life we’ve enjoyed, especially at Koramba, would we be contented with a small house or a unit back in the city?
Country life has rather captured us and yet we still love the sea and the close proximity to Kids and Grand kiddies.

On a weekend trip up to Shannon’s land at Emmaville a few months previously we’d been captivated by the breathtaking views, peace and quietness of his 250 acres.
We could easily imagine a small house up there and perhaps a small unit on the Sunny Coast where we could enjoy the best of both worlds.

Of course the foundation of it all is the Management Programme that we’re building that’s nearing completion.

There’s the possibility of us touring the country shows and Agfests to present the software to farmers. This would allow us to still spend time on the road in the Aussie Wide as well!

So after hours of these discussions we camped the night in a small free camping area somewhere in the ranges north of Coffs Harbour and enjoyed a great sleep.

You know how sometimes you go to a place and really enjoy it, even fall in love with it but on returning it’s not the same?
Well we wondered if this would be the case with Emmaville.

Would this be just an idea we’d come up with that on the next visit would prove impractical, unattractive or impossible?

We drove up through the New England ranges and stopped at Point Lookout, made a coffee, had a chat with some other travellers and marvelled at the magnificent scenery which spread before us.

Point Lookout New England By Andrea Schaffer ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Point Lookout New England By Andrea Schaffer ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Through the town of Emmaville we drove and up on to Shannon’s land where we were once again presented with the breathtaking views stretching for miles over the New England ranges.

We set the Aussie Wide up next to the little shack where Shannon temporarily lives and wandered around the place waiting for him to come home from work.

Looking down to his temporary residence. You can see the van parked at the back.

Looking down to his temporary residence. You can see the van parked at the back.

Last time we were there was in winter and although the nights were cold the days were lovely.

This was in the middle of summer and temperatures had soared. Koramba was hitting the 40 degree mark daily but here, although hot, it was pleasant and very bearable and there were no flies!
Kerrie loved the place all over again.

Shannon came home and took us for a drive up to where he’d carved out his future house pad with his excavator.
The three of us climbed on the cab of the digger and looked at the view that Shannon would be greeted with every morning.
It was utterly beautiful!

The view from Shannon's selected house block.

The view from Shannon’s selected house block.

From any angle the view is impressive.

From any angle the view is impressive.

The camera never captures the whole experience.

The camera never captures the whole experience.

Down in his valley was a blue water dam and a small 4 or 5 acre paddock that he’d planted some oats in. His cows, getting so big now on the abundance of feed, wandered peacefully over the valley and then we spotted our Topsy.
She’d formed an alliance with the little calf, Lulu, and it was lovely to see her wandering around fully contented.

We talked into the night with Shannon outside the caravan with the moon casting a magnificent silver glow over the surrounding hills and the air crisp and cool with no insects.
We could have easily just stayed there.

Jack, Shannon’s cattle dog refused to go with him to work the next morning and instead just sat next to the caravan. He spent the day with us as we drove around the countryside and spotted a few properties that we could easily have lived on.

No… the feelings and the idea of living up here had not subsided, in fact this visit seemed to further cement the idea into our thinking.

After a truly wonderful three days we once again headed back to Koramba where we’d await the call from Gore Earthmoving to start work.

Here one minute gone the next:


We arrived back at Belah Park after having two and a half weeks off over Christmas, only to have it rain the very same night we arrived back causing the job to be shut down everyone stood down again.
We opted to stay out here as unlike the others, our home is where we are.


The men eventually came back to work and got another week and a half in before another storm put the whole job on hold again.
This time we were told we’d probably not be needed again as they’d be sending a couple of guys back to finish off the job.

The scrapers compact the ground too much if it has been wet which is not good for the fields so – no machines – no blokes needed to drive them.

So we packed everything up and headed back to Koramba.

The feelings of being back after four and a half months were amazing. It felt like we’d come home.
The van again went under the shade awning and we’d forgotten how much this makes a difference to the temperature inside through the day.
The smell of fresh bread was soon wafting through the place from the bread maker, and our “Office” was set back up in one of the spare dongers, making plenty of room in the van once again.

The van once again under the awning.

The van once again under the awning.

The thing we missed most while out at Belah Park was that experience of never knowing what the day would bring.

At Koramba, this really meant, you never knew what Shannon would be up to or what he would show us.

There was always something happening outside the window and it wasn’t long after setting up the van that we heard the sound of hooves trotting past the caravan window.
Shannon had started rounding up Topsy (our cow), his steer that “refused” to get on the truck with the others to go to Emmaville, and a calf that belonged to friends.

They’d been grazing freely around the camp and workshop as there was more grass for them there after the rains but Shannon had decided the time was right to sell the steer as cattle prices had firmed up considerably.

To be able to get the steer in the truck (he had taken all his fencing and ramps to Emmaville) he had to get the cows down to one of the stockyards about 8 kilometres away.

The calf refused to oblige so we watched on as Shannon rounded up with the quad bike, Jack (Shannon’s dog) nipped at hooves and a little game of “Who’s Boss” from Topsy (she always did think she owned the camp) the cattle eventually figured out it was easier to do what Shannon wanted and trot to the cattle pens.

Topsy had to learn what a fence was for as she hadn’t really cottoned on to this yet, preferring to just walk through fences that she didn’t like. and needed to learn a thing or two about fences.

Had I told you about the story of when she decided to walk out of the paddock near Shannon’s?
Shannon first learnt of it when Jack was barking at 3.00am one morning and Shannon come out to investigate only to be licked up the back of his leg with a large wet tongue from Topsy.
Topsy had decided she wanted to camp at the bottom of Shannon’s steps on the verandah for the night. This was of course all done in the dark, pity we didn’t see the action taking place, it would have been quite a sight. We heard about it when he saw us and started the conversation with “Your Daughter!!”
I wonder where she learnt that from hmmmmm!

I wonder where Topsy learnt to sleep on the verandah.

I wonder where Topsy learnt to sleep on the verandah.

I caught up with the girls at the weighbridge which was wonderful.

Having a conversation with other women was a thrill I hadn’t had for awhile. Being surrounded by men all the time would excite some women, but I missed the art of just chatter, (you have to be a women to understand this).

Kim and Stretch dropped by for a visit and of course we were greeted enthusiastically by Jack every day.
Jack would be over for breakfast, stay awhile until he heard Shannon’s ute and then he would disappear to other adventures.

The only down side of coming back was learning that Shannon was moving on from Koramba.

He had a position in Glen Innes working for a company that operated cattle trucks.
This would enable him to be closer to his property at Emmaville and his cattle. He had been at Koramba for 6 years and it was both sad and exciting to hear he was moving on.

Sad from a purely selfish angle – he wouldn’t be around – exciting that he was going to learn and add to his already impressive knowledge.
I’m hoping he might meet some nice girl in a town that’s bigger than Boomi…but don’t tell him that.

While at Koramba we had decided to pull down the green house and the shade house and pack these away. If Gore Earthmoving wanted us to work again we might be a bit further away and it would become a hassle coming back to check on the plants and watering system.

It was great to get back into the large garden, do the mowing and eat from our grape vines.

Remember how we had built the garden at Koramba and realised it was too big and needed so much water, well we had cut down on the veggies in the garden but had kept all the fruit trees and of course our grape vines from home.

Last year we lost a lot of the grapes to the wildlife but not this year. I had purchased netting on-line and we covered the grapes so this year we have a bumper crop.


About a week into our new routine we met up with the Supervisor from Gore’s while at Talwood voting for the state election and he was shocked to find we had left. “No, no, no, be back there Monday”, He said.
So it was once again back on the road with our home to Belah Park.

We ended up staying at Belah Park for another two and half weeks before the main part of the work finished. Only three men are left to finish off laying pipes and laser bucketing some fields and these can cook for themselves.

So as I’m writing this blog we’re back at Koramba.

We were going to head away travelling a bit and visit the family but with cyclone Marcia bearing down on the coast we thought we would stay away from it all. We probably got under 10 mm of rain at Koramba around the quarters, where as Maroochydore got over 300 mm. and of course Yeppoon and other areas were hit quite badly.

We did pick up the mower from Goondiwindi where we had taken it for a service and Chris proceeded to mow the grass in the rain in case the rain got heavier. We were hopeful for the farm but it wasn’t to be. Not long after, the rain cleared. If the farms out here don’t get rain soon there won’t be another crop in next year as well. The gin is only expecting to run for three weeks this year compared with five to six months it normally does.

We spent last night with Shannon, his brother Zac and Zac’s parter Morgan laughing over dinner while reliving some of the “experiences” Shannon had shown us. Telling Zac and Morgan how much Shannon had kept his patience trying to teach a couple of old city folks about living in the bush.

I think Shannon still has nightmares about the time rounding up the neighbours cattle and one cranky old cow charging at the boys while being forced into the cattle pen. Shannon was up the fence in no time but looked back to see Chris still in the pen with one foot on the bottom rung and no chance of making it out. We wrote about it here.

We never would have seen as much as we did without that young man taking us under his wing. We’ll miss his cherry disposition, huge grin and the excitement he brought into our lives.

Some of the exciting thing we did with Shannon.

Some of the exciting thing we did with Shannon.

Zac and Morgan had come to Koramba to help Shannon packed up his last load.

Shannon had already done about six truck loads to his Boomi property and to his property at Emmaville. Zac couldn’t help give Shannon heaps about how much “Stuff” he had. Zac said they even needed to use the fork lift to push the doors shut on the truck.

Today Shannon’s place looks rather lonely and is of course quieter now that he’s gone.

No cattle in the yard, no Jack racing over to greet us.

It does make you wonder where the next chapter in our life will take us?

Dust, fly’s and heat:

Well the harvesting is over at Koramba!

The balers, however are still working stacking the high density hay bales onto the head ditches at the end of the fields to be collected by the trucks.

Harvesting the barley at Koramba with the bales in the background.

Harvesting the barley at Koramba with the bales in the background.

The young contractors working this part of the process have had a lot of trouble with their gear.

First, running out of fuel while driving the tractor to Koramba, then being stuck on the side of the road for two weeks with a blown transmission.

They eventually got the tractor to Koramba but as of writing this post they’ve still not had their mechanic look at it.

The tractor they’re using to stack has no rear lights working so they are unable to work 24/7 choosing instead to work one day each and have the next day off while the other works. The other contractor, John who was doing the actual baling, left last Saturday driving his tractor back to Condamine from where he came.

So, for the last week and a half I’ve been driving to Koramba from Belah Park, (a 120 km daily round trip) to cook and clean up after them. I can’t  buy food that will be wasted as once these boys leave, the kitchen and quarters will once again be shut down. Since these guys keep telling me every day that they will be gone in two days I can’t go all the way into Gundy just for food for two people for two days but these two days have now been pushed out to 2 weeks! If I’d known that we would have gone to Gundy for supplies and I would have stayed at Koramba to save the daily drive and associated wear on the car etc. At the moment it feels like they’ll NEVER get the job done!

We DO miss Koramba and it’s facilities!

Chris has come over on occasions and helped me cook up cakes or dessert and you forget how easy it is working in a commercial kitchen. The oven fits more than two trays and things like stainless steel bowls, trays and utensils all within easy reach of the cook. I’ve already said in the last blog I got the better deal on kitchens.

Chris is doing a great job out at Belah Park, at the moment we’re not only feeding a full camp with the guys from Gore Earthmoving but the farm workers who’ve come from another farm to harvest the wheat crop on this property.

The other night Chris Collins (we have four Chris’s out here including my Chris) made the comment that there had been no complaints regarding the food. We said if there was, we would happily move on as we don’t stay we’re we are not wanted. Chris Collins looked at the other guys around the table and said “You wouldn’t hear about it before we would sort it out”

I thought that was rather nice…scary, but nice.

The earth moving company is having their annual Christmas party next week and the workers will be off for the weekend, so Chris and I have decided to take an extra day and go to the Sunshine Coast to stay in the unit at Maroochydore. Because it’s such a short break and because it’s now only 5 weeks till we head to the coast for Christmas, we’re not going to be travelling to Brisbane to try to catch up with everyone this time round.

We hope that at least some family and friends will make the trip to the coast for a catch up.

It will be ten weeks since we’ve had a day off and that 4.30 am alarm is starting to get very tiring. So we’re looking forward to blue water, green grass and being high enough off the ground that the flies and other bugs aren’t covering the walls, our backs, faces and  food.


This is the window in the kitchen 10 min after it had already been sprayed.


As you can see from this photo which was taken from the kitchen window, the bugs have taken over. And this is DAYLIGHT, wait until dusk you can feel them as you walk through them, Screens don’t stop them as they are small enough to get through. We leave off as many lights as we can in the kitchen, even changing the fluro to a a yellow bulb, but as they guys come in and out to go to their rooms, have showers or get a beer the bugs pour in.  I have to admit the bugs are sending us spare!

At Koramba I put up signs telling whoever was last in the mess room to turn off the lights because if they didn’t I would literally sweep up 2 mm  of bugs across the entire floor before I could start work.

And then we have flies!

With your back always covered, you are constantly doing the Aussie salute and don’t get me started on the ones that get under your glasses. At least the mozzie’s haven’t started yet maybe we won’t have mozzie’s due to the drought….let’s hope so. Don’t you just love this time of year.

We’ve an early heatwave out here with temperatures in the high 30 to 40 deg + and it’s not even summer yet! Saturday’s temperature is forecast for 45 deg!!!!

Watching the rivers and weirs dry up around here is a very disturbing scene. Add the empty reservoirs on the farms and again our hats go off to the country folk who go on with their lives making a living out here as best as they can with no fuss, a smile and cherry word to anyone around them.

We moved Chris’s “office” into the caravan as it just got impossible to work out in the annex in this heat.

We think it turned out pretty good and he can still have his three screens up and not be in the way and the air con in the Aussie wide is coping with the 40 deg heat extremely well and even in the worst heat of the day keeps the van cool and easy to work in.

We should have thought about this when we were having the van built but thought just the table would be OK. That was the best part of the “Old Girl” how we had the desk for both of us and the leaf table for eating.

Now even when we go home at Christmas and stay at David and Lacey’s place Chris will have somewhere comfortable to work.

The "Office" now set up in the caravan. A lot cooler with the air conditioner and not covered in dust.

The “Office” now set up in the caravan. A lot cooler with the air conditioner and not covered in dust.

The farm at Belah Park is similar to Koramba in the sense that everything is Big. Big Machinery, big earthworks, big fields etc.

They’ve recently acquired the new Case Quad Trac tractor  which has awesome pulling power and they say is incredibly comfortable to operate.


Belah Park’s new Case Quad Trac


Yesterday Kevin,one of the guys from the camp had to clear away secondary growth from  the levy banks around the camp and Chris captured it on his camera.

These machine make short work of gardening. I have been trying to dig out a few weeds around the camp with a shovel and it takes me 10 min to remove one weed, I want one of these!!!

Kev reckons the trees in this video don’t count as the Caterpillar D9T doesn’t even feel them. He says trees the thickness of our caravan are more the go.


Life with the Earthmovers:

With the alarm clock once again set for 4.30 am the new day started.

Chris had prepared some of the breakfast in our van as he did not want to wake the men up working in the kitchen. Once we get started Chris is always a meal in front with preparation. Breakfast is prepared the night before, not cooked, just ready. Scrambled egg mix ready in a bowl, tins of baked beans opened and put into a microwave dish etc., but for this the first meal we needed to wing it a bit.

As there were already 7 people trying to get breakfast and lunch organised in the small area I didn’t venture over until everyone had gone to work.
Now Chris will tell the story that I just stayed in bed but we know the truth!

After watching how the men tried getting breakfast while making their lunches all together at the same table, we knew the system needed a little refining with some of Chris’s organisational skills, so after everyone left for work we rearranged and cleaned everything, cupboards, shelving, benches, range hood and bathroom.

The bench has now been cleared of the electric grill plate (seldom if ever used), electric jug and other bits and pieces. If we want to cook off steaks we’ll do it on our Weber Baby Q outside. Those grill plates are good but take so much more work cleaning and valuable bench space. We set up an unused urn on one of our little tables and placed all the tea and coffee makings and cups there.

This will also be good to use for washing up water. We have a rain water tap coming into the kitchen which is great, but the clarifier which cleans the river water needs attention meaning the water is out a bit muddy.
I remember when Koramba had a problem with theirs and we would have a layer of mud in the bottom of the bain  marie each day.
Once Toby knew about it the plumbers were out and now it is the cleanest of water. I would have been aghast at this a couple of years ago but it’s just a way of life now. It’s no use wearing white clothes as they come out of the wash brown so it’s out with the dark colours again.

Now that Chris has changed the kitchen around breakfast and lunch making is much easier.
Some are sitting at the table eating breakfast while others are prepping lunches and Chris is able to wash up the dishes without men trying to get to the jug or toaster.

The camp numbers have quickly swelled to 10 men.

On returning from days off one of the guys asked “What’s the difference in the morning? We’re all sitting here ready not racing around late and it’s only 5.40 am.”

Another replied “We’re organised!”

Yes Chris has done it again.

We’ve found the men are very proud of what they are doing out here and happily tell us all about the new reservoir they’re building and all about the machinery that’s being employed. We asked if we could go out and visit the job site and after meeting the farm manager Maurice Pierce and obtaining his permission we went out to explore.

We easily found where the guys are working after following the directions of, “Just follow the road” , from the supervisor Jeff . He told us to stick to the top of the reservoir or we might be run over.


Three scrapers and a laser level removing the dirt from the center of the new reservoir.

Three scrapers and a laser level removing the dirt from the center of the new reservoir.

These guys are not like the backpackers in the tractors where once you had your wheels in the paddock furrows you didn’t have to do anything until you got to the other end of the field. This is constant, full on action where a slip up could mean costly delays or perhaps even a disaster.

These machines move twelve cubic meters of dirt at a time.

These machines move twelve cubic meters of dirt at a time.

Moving the dirt to build the walls

Moving the dirt to build the walls

Wall gone

Two scrapers "Push Pulling"

Two scrapers “Push Pulling”

These guys move fast and efficiently and are constantly thinking of what needs to be done next.
There are 5 scrapers, a D9 bulldozer, a grader and a laser leveler among about four utes and various fuel tankers and equipment.

We watched as they removed the dirt from the bottom of the newly formed reservoir to be placed on the sides. We’ve been told getting the sides of the reservoir right is critical or the whole thing will leak!  This is done by forming a core first out of material that has a high clay content. After this core is compacted then the rest of the soil from the reservoir floor is packed either side of it.

The whole job revolves around finding the correct types of soils from the various sections of the reservoir floor and from other places on the farm. Any silt or sand is “mixed” in with other soils to avoid future leakage.

Even in the few days we’ve been here we can see the huge amount of work being done.

The old reservoir wall is coming down and that dirt is being put into raising the old sides an extra four meters.

This will result in one huge reservoir that is water tight and able to store the staggering 6,000 megalitres of water .

Go West young man, go west:

We met with our new client, Mick Gore from Gore Earth Moving on Monday afternoon on our way home from Brisbane.
Mick gave us the directions to the farm, Belah Park that his company us currently working on.

They’re extending the current water reservoir to be able to store 6000 mega litres.

The farm is 56 km west of Koramba and 32 km east of Mungindi.

We took a run out on Tuesday to have a look at the site that will be our new home for approximately eight weeks.

There are two caravans on site that house two of the supervisors and one of their sons use, and an ATCO accommodation unit.
This consists of two bedrooms, one at each end of the unit, a laundry/toilet room and a mess room and kitchen in the middle.
Four workers use the two beds in each of the two rooms in this “donger”.

A typical work roster for these blokes runs fourteen days on and four days off although this changes for some who live further afield. They start work at 6:00 am and finish at 6:00 pm every day of their time on the job.

The set up at Balah Park Cotton Farm

The set up at Balah Park Cotton Farm

We first met Bruce who has been filling in doing the cooking as the company has had difficulty finding cooks.

Bruce would come home early, shower and then cook and clean up for six to seven men.

He did a great job and the place was extremely clean but with the cooking added to his day’s driving heavy machinery  it turned out a long day for him.

Wednesday was packing up and moving day.

Remember the days when we could do this within 20 minutes? Not now!

Chris worked on the office packing up the three computer screens, his laptops, hard drives, printer and pulling apart his deck, keyboard trays and collecting his paper work.
He then started on my two screens, laptop and my desk.

I packed up the caravan, sorted out the green house, sprayed some more weeds around the camp and then did a rubbish run.
I checked on Topsy and the other steer to ensure they had water and food as Shannon is away this week.
We also saw Stanley and Stretch to see if they could check on Topsy until Shannon returns.

We definitely are not as mobile anymore.

We then had to get our office chairs into the van and anything else we needed and I also wanted to take our food trolley as there isn’t much bench space in the new kitchen.

We got away before lunch and then did the whole procedure in reverse unpacking at our new site.

All set up

All set up

Chris has three screen now working on the program

Chris has three screens now working on the program

My office

My office

By the end of the day all we wanted to do was collapse into bed with a drink in our hand but we also needed to see how Bruce ran the kitchen as Chris was taking over the next morning.

The workers return home at 6.15 pm after working their twelve hour day. They then have showers, of which there is only one, get any washing in the machine and chat around the fire outside while waiting for dinner at 7:30 pm.

They are a great bunch of guys. They all get on well together and are happy and very polite.

We left them to their night and happily climbed into our comfortable bed knowing it was going to be a pleasure working here with them.