Cockatoos and Coal

Rain is predicted so we set off for a drive north.

A white cloud of cockatoos rise up as we pass. They have been feasting on the left over hay and at least are not ripping my trees apart.

The highway is adulterated with signs nailed to trees, promoting a couple of candidates who are standing in our Upper Hunter by election, which will be all about coal versus agriculture.

We check out a couple of slashers at a local equipment business and find we have a connection with the owner…small world in the country. Can’t go past Bunnings so we call in and buy a small fire pit which the grand-kids will love. There we run into an old neighbour who sold up and moved to Tamworth.

As we drive on to Gunnedah, the rain begins and we give thanks as it will be a boost to our newly planted oats.

We slosh around in the native nursery and the new owner is stranded with a moon boot on her foot.

My husband, the tree planter, loads up a trolley of eucalypts to replace the ones that did not survive our long drought.We stack them in the car and the air is full of pungent citriodora lemon essence

We grab a quick lunch in the town and as we sit outside, a small mouse skitters up and down and under our table. Clearly the plague is still up here too.

Driving back we pass the silos at Breeza painted with signs, Farms not coal. This community has been fighting for more than 10 years against the Chinese owned company Shenhua and last week they won. Shenhua will be paid out and will leave. My friends have been drained and exhausted by the long fight and will now be able to plan and farm without the anxiety.

We are pleased to see puddles on the road as we drive home.

Tomorrow will be a baking day! I will whip up an apple cake especially for our visiting bank manager.

It’s old fashioned country service; he drives hundreds of kilometres regularly to make sure we are OK.

Happy to share a cuppa with him.