If you had told me a year ago I would be hanging up my office wear for overalls and wellies, living out in the wilderness of bogan Australia learning how to drive a tractor – I would have probably laughed and idealized the thought of living a random lifestyle temporarily.
But in reality, it was far from that- except of course in retrospect and in those moments of insanity where you can only laugh not to cry.
And so to revel in my misfortunes, I have put together all of my ‘Farm Failures’. I never thought becoming a tractor driver, or living out in the sticks would exactly come naturally to me, but I didn’t expect to fail so much…….
1. The day I thought I had taken all precautions to turn the electric fence off. I hardheartedly got hold of the gate to close, and as I wrapped my hands around the fence panels to pull it shut – I literally jolted in the air and felt the current stun my entire body. When I told the farmer about trauma, he simply told me that electricity was good for the heart. I spent every day forward wincing in anticipation for a fear of it happening again.
2. Breeding season. Stick a randy Bull in with a herd of virginal Cows and you get a whole lot of fear. Especially for me, because not only am I terrified of Bulls but I had to feed the whole paddock, and that’s something else Bulls get excited about. I’m driving across the field, trying to wear out the animals chasing me so that I don’t have to get too close to them. But they weren’t tiring today, they wanted their feed. I stepped out of the tractor and walked around to the trailer where I had to cut the plastic away from the hay in order to churn it out. Sometimes the plastic gets caught underneath the trailer and so you have to crawl underneath to untangle it. I went to lean down to do so and my stomach collapsed at the sight of a Bull raging right towards me. I’m pretty sure I ran faster than Usain Bolt back into that tractor where I burst into tears and called Simon to come and rescue me. In hindsight, I probably could have handled it better.
3. Another time I was driving down the road in my tractor, probably singing Shakira or something. Unbeknown to me, I had incidentally cut up a truck who with very little space on the road was forced off onto the drain. I literally held my breath as the driver somehow managed to stop it from tipping. A huge Cowboy got out of his truck absolutely livid. Turns out he was a contractor on the farm and he threatened to get me sacked. After he saw how terrified and inexperienced I was, he agreed to ‘keep it our little secret’. I had to put up with his pervy comments from that day forward.
4. Finding your way around a 700 thousand acre farm is not easy. Especially with a basic map and an expectancy for you to pick it up straight away. It wasn’t exactly a rarity for me to get lost, but this particular day I really thought I had it in the bag. I had driven across a couple of paddocks and believed to be heading in the right direction. Spotting a gate I assumed to be the entrance – I drove on in and up the pathway. It wasn’t long before i was teetering over the edge of a massive hole, with four or five cow faces looking up at me. I had in fact driven into what they call the dead pit – full animals at various stages of decomposition. Being up high up in the tractor gave me 360 views. Not an image or smell I’m going to forget in a hurry.
5. I was actually quite content in my first couple of hours collecting firewood. I wasn’t thinking about what could be living in the wood or surroundings, just simply picking up logs and piling them up to be chopped. So there I am, peacefully picking up logs, getting lost in the rhythm of my routine when I pick up the next and a family of huntsmen spiders came running out, it all happened in such quick succession and then one JUMPED on my chest. I literally screamed the farm down and jumped up and down up and down oh my god I had the heemie – jieebes for days. I never done much firewood collecting after that.