Farewell Lulu

Trip Start Oct 12, 2005
Trip End May 04, 2006

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Howdy Folks. Well, it's a sad day ... I'm finally leaving Rakaia. It's been a fabulous three weeks here with the sheep and baby cow but I must keep on keep'in on I suppose. My trip is quickly coming to and end I'm affraid .... 5 weeks to go!!

I'll be boarding a bus later today heading for Dunedin. Sounds like a nice little city ... steep streets, nice train rides .... we'll see. It will be a quick trip I think, work my way around the bottom of the island (the weather will determine if I head right down to the tip or not ... it's getting frigging cold here!!). The plan is to loop around to Greymouth and then take a train through the Mountains (Aurthor's Pass) back to Christchurch and then fly back to Australia.

Well, what has happended on the farm since I last wrote?? Lulu is still doing fine. She's a bit of a rambunxious little calf. Last week Margaret and Jim moved her and her mom Daisy across the road into a different paddock. Later that day I was sitting in the wool room bagging some wool for Margaret when I see this little tail. My first thought "must be a stray dog". Nope, Lulu managed to escape from the paddock, run across the busy road and come home! Pretty smart for being only a week old!! She was so happy, running and jumping around probably pretty proud of herself thinking she's all sneaky. Margaret and Jim were out when that happened, but their insurance guy was there waiting for them to come back ... so me and the suit chased her into the gated part of the yarn till they got home. Doesn't sound exciting I know, but it was at the time.

That was my happy cow news ... but there is also sad cow news. One of the other cows, whose name we won't mention cause it doesn't deserve to be mentioned cause she's a stupid bitch cow ... well she was preggers (by the same bull as Daisy ... slut!). I was really hoping that she would calf before I left and that maybe I would get to watch (Lulu was born in the middle of the night). So the other day Margaret and I look over into the cow paddock and sure enough the heffer is walking all bow legged and her utters look like they're going to pop. Margaret says "looks like she's going to have the calf today", I imediately run and get my camera ready. Later that day I go over and she's on the ground mooing andmoving around all uncomfortable like. A little later on she's walking around, with a leg sticking out of her butt ... so exciting!!! but the process is slow so I leave her be. Later on still, I check her again. She's on the ground again, not mooing, just sitting casually .... the bull however is standing over her mooing like mad ... he doesn't usually moo. I see no calf. I tell Margaret and about 15 minutes later she gets the quad and we go into the paddock to check it out. We arrive to find a limp calf laying at her butt still in it's birth sack. Margaret jumps off the quad and starts cursing at the cow .."get up you lazy bitch and lick your calf!!!". The cow follows her orders and gets up. Margaret lifts the calf. It's suffocated to death. The stupid bitch cow gave birth and couldn't even be bothered to get off her fat cow ass to lick the bag off the calf so it could breath. If only I had watched more closely ..... I hate that cow. The calf was a bull and I wanted to name him, and I wanted him and Lulu to be friends ..... But that's farm life as Margaret says.

Went to my first agrocultural fair on the weekend. WAs great, sheep and wool competitions (Margaret and Jim entered 23 sheep and seven fleeces) and sheering competitions. There were also pig races and horse stuff .... and alpacas!! I want an alpaca ... my birhtday is coming up .... hint hint!! Was a fun day. I helped work the "Black and Colored Sheep Association of New Zealand" booth. Was awesome.

The next day I went with Andrew (one of Margaret and Jim's sons') and drove through the Rakaia river. Fun stuff!! the river was lower than I had hoped, so it wasn't like we were driving through water that was up to the windshield or anything (he had a snorkel on the car so that would have actually been possible) but it was still fun. WAs a beatiful day, mountains all around ... all snow capped ... sooooo peacful. Andy is a pretty cool guy. Has a mountain hut up in the hills somewhere and he hunts mountain goats. I wanted to go up and see the hut but didn't get a chance ... next time. He's also pretty handy and made me a ring out of stainless steel as a momento. Seriously, these people are soo nice!!

As for my wool accomplishments, I come away from my time here with a sweater I knit using wool I spun myself and a hat to match, a woven bag (I wove myself), a felted merino scarf (I felted myself) and a felted hat (I felted, you guessed it! MYSELF!). Everything I wanted to learn how to do I managed to accomplish in this little nothing of a town on a little farm. Funny how things work out.

Anyways, I'll put up a few pics .. havn't got any of my wool accomplishments I'm affraid ... will put those up later.
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