I really enjoy a decent trip in the car when I am entirely on my own. Mainly because it is something that happens so rarely these days. I listen to the ABC (more about my obsession with ABC Radio another day) and the kilometres seem to pass quickly.
I was thinking today about driving in general. I will be honest when I say that I am not a mechanical person and my spatial awareness has not always been spot on. This is a nice way to say that I wasn't a very good driver early in my driving career. Particularly of heavy machinery. Now there are some farmer's wives out there that are brilliant at driving trucks, tractors and the like. I would really hate anyone to think I am like that. I'm not.
In the first year I was on the farm The Farmer tried to teach me to drive various bits of farm equipment. Within fairly quick succession I drove the Header into a ditch, my own car into a tree and would have hit the side of the shearing shed with our old Dodge truck if The Farmer hadn't interceded in the nick of time. Interceded is a nice way of saying wrenching the steering wheel to one side whilst yelling words that sound like truck but start with a different letter.
Anyway the upshot of all this is that The Farmer then gave up. He bought me a large 4WD with lots of airbags and an industrial strength bull/roo bar thingy. Since then my own car, or a farm ute, is all I have been allowed to drive. I am at peace with this decision - I never really saw myself as a hard core trucker type girl anyway. I have gained lots of experience of gravel tracks and general 4WD type skills. My approach to boggy ground is to check I am in 4WD and go through at 15km/h and to never, ever stop. This has stood me in good stead over the years. It helps to have The Farmchildren in the back yelling
"Go Mummy, go Mummy, Don't stop."
I have taught them to do that in boggy situations in case I get to a critical moment, panic and forget my plan.
Here are some photos of the sort of gear I am not allowed to drive.
|Self Propelled Sprayer, Bogged (Not My Fault)|
|Tractor and Hay Baler (Not Bogged)|
The other area in which I have struggled is that of the motorbike. I don't have the natural balance or nerve to ride a two wheeler. I do love our four wheeler motorbikes though. They are great fun. I have the dubious honour of being one of the few people on The Farm who has fallen off one. I fell off the back one day and landed flat on my back in a muddy, smelly bog. Fortunately for me it was a squishy, muddy, smelly bog and I did not hurt myself. I managed to leave a very impressive person shaped indentation in the mud. I was literally two tone when I got up. The whole back of my body was brown and muddy and then there was a discrete line down my sides where the mud stopped. I swear you could hear a sucking, squelching noise when The Farmer pulled me up. He was obviously very fearful for my welfare. I am sure his hysterical laughter was a manifestation of his huge shock and concern.
Today I had a nice easy trip to the city in my own car. We are close enough to the city that a day trip is possible, but it is a fairly long day. The shopping gods were definitely smiling on me as I came home with everything I needed. Yay.