During the week of Monday 29 June to Sunday 5 July 2020 we ran out of rainwater. With all the COVID-19 dramas, we’d forgotten that we’ve still got all the other things happening. Such as climate change and the resulting lack of rainfall. Still I got some work done.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 527: A reminder of the drought, plus productivity”
My week of Monday 21 to Sunday 27 October included a lovely trip down to Canberra, flying this time rather than taking the train as has been my wont. Spring continues to be very warm in eastern Australia. It’s still a drought, in fact.Continue reading “Weekly Wrap 491: Cybers in Canberra as the drought continues”
One core issue affected everything while we were living on our farm at Mount Compass: we were poor.
I suspect my father’s enthusiasm to have his own patch of land blinded him to the economic realities of trying to run this property as a dairy farm. He presumably bought it cheap after the drought of 1961, but I’m told the bank manager was sceptical — even though he still approved the loan.
The facilities were basic. The milking shed was a simple cement brick rectangle with a corrugated iron roof. The dams and concrete water tank were only constructed later, and initially the sole water source was the bore and its unreliable pump.
One image that stays with me is my father in the middle distance, striding through the overgrown bracken over to the pumphouse, often in heavy rain or even a storm, to get that damn pump working again.
The house was basic too, but more about that another time. And I’ll talk about the effects of being poor later too.
Today, though, the three factors that caused the farm’s continual financial struggles, and an explanation of that photo.
As my Australia Day tribute, I’ll completely contradict what I said in my post about Australian of the Year and give you a photograph. A photograph of rural Australia.
Actually, this picture was taken only a short way out of Melbourne as ’Pong and I were about land at Tullamarine. The date is 17 December 2002, and the drought is in full effect. For me, these colour tones say “Australia” more than anything else.