© Copyright Chris and Kerrie Jones 2018 All rights reserved
Now don’t jump to the wrong conclusion – Chris and I are living apart for the next three to four weeks because it’s harvest time at Koramba.
Chris is staying over at Belah Park feeding the earth movers on the Gore Earthmoving job while I have returned to Koramba to feed the harvesters.
We’ve now been living apart for nine days and we’ve seen each other four times, (we don’t do separation well).
I’m living in one of the dongers at Koramba. For those unfamiliar with remote living quarters, a “donger” is a transportable unit with cubicles for bedrooms and/or showers and toilets.
I had the choice of every donger in the place so I picked Kristjan’s and Merlin’s old room, the two Estonian backpackers we have often written about in the past.
Kristjan and Merlin didn’t smoke and they’d bought a few items of furniture so add a computer screen to play movies from the hard drive, a doona cover that was left behind and my room has come up quite cosy.
But it doesn’t have Chris in it!
For all my complaining about Chris snoring, I miss the noise when it’s not there.
Now anybody who knows me would be a little bit worried about the fact that I’m cooking!
The boys often joke about how they were scarred for life by my cooking when they were young, especially Ben who says he’s never been able to eat Chinese food since his childhood as it causes nightmares of the endless jars of Kanton that he was made to eat as a kid.
But..Don’t worry, Chris is giving me lots of instructions over the phone and I’ve even amazed myself at how much I remember what to do from our catering jobs over the years.
Over the fourteen years we’ve been cooking together we have a bit of a routine going.
Some things I do better and some things Chris does better and we make a good team when those things are bought together.
Now we each have to do the lot ourselves.
I used to turn up in the kitchen and clean up, finish off desserts, make sure drinks were in the fridge, cut up all the lunch stuff, and do the sweeping and mopping.
I never worried about getting out the meat for the next night, choosing a dessert and cooking cakes or biscuits, and visa versa for Chris.
Now I’m searching recipe books for something new each day for breakfast.
The endless rows of Barley to harvest. It’s very pretty to watch the colours especially as the sun is setting as it turns to a golden colour.
It’s a good thing I don’t have fussy customers, the guys here are great.
The same harvesters that were here last year are back again.
We have John the ex-farmer from Cropper Creek and his friend Dave from New Zealand. We also have “Dipper” another mate from Moree who owns a Timber and Hardware store.
There’s supposed to be another harvester and a fourth header arriving but they’ve not turned up yet.it never gets underway exactly when you want.
Because the barley was a little green to start off with the Balers, who were going to be here last Sunday, haven’t started yet either.
So you never know if you are cooking for twelve or five.
I’m also cooking for some of the Koramba staff who are driving the chaser bins, taking the barley from the headers to the trucks, and the trucks which take the grain to the grain board in Talwood.
Martyn, our Boss, has loaned me his Ute, so when the meal is ready I pack it up in eskies and drive it out to the paddocks where they’re all working.
Either Stretch, one of the supervisors, texts me the field number or I use the UHF radio to find them.
A quick 10 mins in the morning during breakfast and another 20 mins at dinner time, otherwise I’m on my own without talking to anyone. As you all know how I love to talk you’ll understand my dilemma. If I didn’t have work to go on with for the programs and websites I’d go insane.
But I’m not complaining, I think I got the better deal out of Chris and me.
I have an air-conditioned room, an air-conditioned office to work in and a great kitchen with plenty of freezer space and a walk-in fridge.
Chris might have our home and oh-so-comfy bed but, as the temperature is climbing (they say 40 degrees this Sunday) his office out in the caravan annex is not the easiest place to work.
Lately, it’s been blowing a gale and with no grass or crops to stop the dust it gets dusty and very hot in the annex.
I do feel sorry for him in my temperature-controlled rooms 🙂