With mum away this week, David and I headed over to the main homestead last night for a slow-cooked lamb roast with my dad and brother. After years of being the lone sibling on-farm it is strange having another family member back. Scott is having a break from his own business down south and is spending about three weeks out of every five with us. From a work load perspective I’ve love to tell you that I’m less busy but it hasn’t happened. There is just not the need to have crew on the whole time at the moment with Scott back. He’s basically taken one guy’s place.

Bush dinners are always great affairs. We sit around the oak dining table that’s been the scene of many a meal, and argument over the last one hundred and twenty plus years and talk about the days and weeks events. David is a week out from cotton picking and we’re a week out from beginning to sow our winter crop yet it wasn’t all tractors and weather dilemma’s – can you believe it, we need more rain!

Flicking through the latest Elders property catalogue (Turn to the page where the property is located at Quilpie) Dad spied a property for sale near Quilpie in Queensland. It was owned by one of the great pastoral family’s way back when … and is mentioned in Mary Durack’s famous pastoral memoir, ‘Kings In Grass Castles.’ 

What followed was an account of who owned what rural holdings and when and how big they were. Of course we’ve heard some of these yarns before but it sure makes a difference when your own father either knew the people concerned, and/or their descendents and has either brought or sold stock with them or been on their vast holdings.

For once neither David nor Scott had much to say. We all listened spell-bound as the red wine was poured and the anecdotes continued. One of my favourite yarns is about a dog who lost his leg in a rabbit trap and still managed to hobble the twenty miles back to his master who was droving cattle from Brunette Downs to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.  I have actually heard that story before and I decided to resurrect ‘Tripod’ in Absolution Creek. This morning I admit to waking up tired and with a head ache, and what was meant to be a big writing day has not eventuated. And you know, I don’t mind at all.