Stories from the past – Two

Little Rivers – 2004

Today started like any other day. Husband got up and fed the sheep, but for a change I didn’t help. I decided as it was a public holiday I would remain in bed and have a lie in, until at least 8am……it was wonderful.

I have one problem with this public holiday thing……when you are a farmer you don’t have them…so that is where the problem lies. Whereas most families would spend it together doing something, or just hanging out, when you are a farming family the word HOLIDAY is non-existent.
So today Husband trudged off to begin re-roofing the shearing shed down at his brother’s place.
I finally crawled out of bed, the kids were already up watching kids TV. I threw on a load of washing and started to do some much needed dusting.

Now when you think of dusting you have this image of lightly running your beautiful pink feather dust over a tiny bits of dust and VOWLAH…….the dust is gone. Obviously if you have this image stuck in your head about this place, the image is highly distorted.

First when approaching dusting out here you must first get out your safety gear and jack hammer…because that is how thick the damn stuff is………especially after that dust storm last Thursday.
Ok, so maybe not a jack hammer, but you definitely need lots of water and a decent cloth. Each area requires at least three wipes to get all of the dust off.
Once I had finished scraping half the Simpson Desert off my furniture, I thought it would be nice if myself and the kids went for a walk up one of the dry creek beds.

We packed a backpack with water and off we went.

It was fun exploring all the rocks and finding animals sleeping spots hidden away in the trees.
On the way back to the house we passed by the sheep maintenance lots. I noticed a small river running down through the yards. I sent the kids back to the house while I went and investigated where the water was coming from.

I went in through one of the yards, climbed my way over fences until I got to the water trough that was overflowing. It was number 4. Now these troughs are about 1.5m in diameter they have a float arm extending into them. The float is made of hard plastic, the arm of brass. This is then connected to a valve which releases the water. The water flow is stopped by the water pressing upwards on the float.

Now somehow those tricky sheep wrenched the float arm from out of the valve area, breaking it off completely leaving the whole arm and float floating around the water trough. There was nothing to stop the water flow, which is why we had the miniature river running through the yard.

I turned off the water at the tap, each trough having their own tap. I then trudged up to the house to call Husband on the radio and let him know what had happened.

I got Husband on the radio and he said “no worries”, leave it and he would fix it when he got home around 5pm.

That got my mind ticking………..stuff it I thought…it wouldn’t be that hard to fix…….actually it wouldn’t be hard at all.
All I had to do was replace the whole valve and put a new arm and float on. Easy!!

Well that’s what I thought until I had to find the parts in the workshop.

Now if I had kitchen cupboards set up like my husbands workshop I would be in strife. You would never in a blue fit find a thing, you would end up starving. According to my Husband he knows where everything is 🙂

I started searching. First thing I found was some tape, that was easy. Then the search was on to find the fittings.

I found fittings for plumbing right in with the 7698 spare tractor parts, next to the 4 empty CB radio boxes, stored behind the old oil tins, wedged against the 497 cans of nuts and bolts (You never know when you might need one.)
Wouldn’t you know it….wrong parts, to small…keep looking.

I started searching in another part of the shed. I looked past the welding rods, more empty boxes, more plumbing parts but still the wrong ones, hessian bags, nuts, bolts, bits of off-cut metal and there it was…low and behold…….the part I was looking for….. thrown up against the old stove that is used for heating things, what things I will never know, but there was the part…. so who cares what was being heated or not.

Lucky for me it had the arm and float already attached so my search was over.

Once again I trudged out into the maintenance-lot and was confronted with………………ANOTHER RIVER!!!!

It was in the pen up from the one where the float was broken off, pen 3. The silly buggers, in their thirsty rage had bent the float arm right up and out of the water, so now the water was overflowing.

Luckily this one wasn’t broken, it just needed to be twisted back into position.

What had happened was that when the water trough in pen 4 had overflowed, the other troughs had not filled, as trough 4 was taking all the flow. So the sheep were thirsty…I think all 400 of them in pen 3 decided to have a drink all at once and pushed and bent the float arm out of place.

I suppose its a bit like sale day at Myer? All in!

After fixing that one I climbed back over the fence and stated to work on pen 4’s trough. I removed the old valve and placed it aside. I put the tape onto the new valve the screwed the whole lot back onto the pipe and TAR DAR…fixed…….that was it…..easy! No more rivers (well for now anyway!).

One thought on “Stories from the past – Two

  1. From one farmer’s wife to another, may I applaud your bravery in even approaching your husband’s workshed? I don’t attempt it without a pair of rubber gloves and a face-mask! Everything seems so oily, including the tools.

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