Would the Gore Earthmoving job at South Callandoon start or would it be delayed again after huge 80mm rainfall over Easter?
We doubted very much there would be a start, however, since we hadn’t heard anything we decided to proceed as planned and move and if the job was delayed again it would at least give us a chance to get set up properly.
It took us a couple of hours or so to pack up the Aussie Wide and hook up as this time we were taking desks, all computers, 4 large monitors and even a few hydroponics for fresh garden herbs.
A bit of a concern sprung up when a squeaking noise appeared from somewhere down near the water pump of the Nissan so we were prepared for a bit of drama on the drive between farms which thankfully didn’t eventuate.
We arrived at the gates of South Callandoon and met Jim a grain cleaning contractor and James the farm manager.
They were a bit surprised to see us as, due to the rain, they couldn’t see the job starting within the next week.
James was happy for us to get set up though and was most helpful and welcoming.
We decided to set up next to the grain silos where the two Gore caravans were already set up because the live-in farm hand, Andrew, had meticulously cleared and sown grass seed around the camp and that, coupled with the soft ground after the rain, made us decide we didn’t want to start our relationship off by digging up the yard getting the caravan in.
So after hours of work we had set up and were completely done in.
Poor Kerrie was howling for painkillers and I felt like I’d expended the last bit of physical strength I had left.
What a sight it must have been, these oldies setting up!
There was a pile of pellets nearby and James the Manager said we were welcome to use them as we wanted to make a floor under the annex to prevent the floor getting wet if it rained again.
This would be our office for the next 3 months or so and we needed to protect our valuable computers.
Well here we were, Kerrie on one side and me on the other dragging these pallets (pallets are bloody heavy).
We must’ve looked like a couple of old Draught horses on the last job before the knackers yard!
After meticulously placing these pallets and manouvering them in place and placing the mat over them it soon became apparent we’d need to go into Gundy the following day and get some timber sheeting or we were going to have a serious accident when the wheels of the office chairs met with the empty space between the pallets.
This didn’t stop us setting up the computers and finally all was made ready enough for us to knock off for the day.
After washing down some painkillers with a couple of scotches I was ready for bed and Kerrie looked completely over it. It was funny because the whole thing didn’t really FEEL right!
I suppose it didn’t help that when we went to take a shower. The water we’d plugged into (from a quite old tap we found) had a strong smell. Now Kerrie can put up with most things and she has since we’ve been on the road but she really likes to have a nice shower at the end of the day. This one wasn’t so nice.
Also earlier when we were looking for the best place to set up we walked over a cattle grid. Kerrie was behind me and as she put her foot on the grid a large Red Belly Black snake slithered away just under where her foot was. Needless to say she failed to complete the journey over the grid!
To top it all off there was NO INTERNET! Nooooo! We can’t have NO Internet! Part of the attraction with these jobs is being able to work on the programs through the day.
Were we supposed to be here?
Did we make an error of judgement?
These questions beset us as we drifted into a pain wracked sleep.
We were awakened at midnight by the sound of thunder and we realised we’d left the annex flaps open so as I threw on a dressing gown and dashed outside the heavens opened and freezing rain bucketed down over me as I fought against the wind which was howling like a banshee and was threatening to blow the annexe clean away.
Kerrie rushed to get the computers inside and that’s how we spent the first day and night at South Callandoon.
A rethink was necessary!
In the morning Jason, the Gore Earthmoving project manager and James the Farm Manager turned up and made the decision that they would look at the job on Friday and make a decision about starting but that nothing would happen before then.
The Gore workers had been temporarily stood down.
We were told we were welcome to stay and move anywhere we liked so we decided to go back to the original plan of parking the van next to the accommodation block.
Of course this meant packing the whole deal up again and moving. We tested the internet over at the accommodation block and found that although it was quite poor it was better than where we were.
The large steel silos we were next to may’ve been distorting the signal.
Also the water at the camp was great with no smell.
It would also be easier to get to work at 4:30am in the mornings as we’d be right there. We weighed up the benefits against the effort and decided to do it, just bite the bullet, tear it all down again and move.
It must have once again been amusing to all on the farm as we had all our stuff piled outside while we hooked up and moved. Andrew the young farmhand took pity on us and moved the 8 heavy pellets with the forks on a nearby tractor and then he helped me lay them in place.
He was a Godsend.
We took off to Gundy to get some timber sheeting for the floor and a few other things and then moved the van. It took all that day to get sorted and we were still not finished when tiredness and pain once again caused us to collapse into bed.
At least we got a wonderful hot shower with no smell. The next day saw us finish off the whole deal and by the time we were able to stand back and look at it we had to admit we did the right thing!
There’s heaps of room for the computers, the floor is stable with no gaps and the view from our “office” is awesome!
We cooked a roast dinner and invited Andrew to thank him for his help and ended a much better and rewarding day.
Even the satellite dish is picking up 80 TV channels – something we couldn’t get at Koramba or Belah Park. The best news was when the boss phoned us to see how we were getting on. The rain over the last few days had ignited a renewed hope throughout the whole area and he’d been on the phone all day arranging workers for farms.
There was understandably a bit of a negative feeling in the town as things got dryer and dryer and it was great to see how quickly these tough people bounced back at just a small hint of change.
This morning we awoke to a cool but magnificent morning and after throwing back the flaps on the annexe I was able to get to work overlooking a magic view in a wonderfully comfortable office.
The office and the van are filled with the aroma of Kerrie’s fresh bread being baked again and a routine has already begun to evolve. Yes we did do the right thing, South Callandoon is a great place!