Saturday, April 28, 2007

Milk Maiden and Crepe Chef

I can now officially tick off yet another of my 101 Things to Do Before I Die. Number 36 - MILK A COW, eludes me no longer. Yes, that's right folks, I finally got my hands milky thanks to Jetty, the beautiful Jersey cow that likes to have her hay and eat it too. I've been at Janine's Place for nine days now - a bit longer than planned, but that seems to be the norm with HelpXing on tihs particular trip. Anyways, at around Day 3 talk at the dinner/cigarette smoking table on the verandah turned to Fraser Island. Julia and Tina, the wonderful and funny German girls that have been staying at Janine's for a few weeks now, were both very keen to go to the sand bar and Janine, who hasn't really left this place in 2 years was easily talked into the idea.

And that is basically how I found myself staying longer than planned and milking Jetty twice a day. Janine was keen to have someone stay and look after the animals and, well, there I was. So it's Saturday night and I am 'FARM ALONE' with the company of many animals to keep me sane - 4 dogs, 3 llamas, 1 horse, 1 cow, and a lot of chickens. I am getting damn good at milking the Jersey if I do say so myself. And yes, in case you are wondering, it's all done by hand. It's all very photoworthy actually - every morning I gather up some hay, a metal bucket and a bucket with some soapy water. I go down to the feeding area, spread the hay out for Jetty, who is always waiting with a cute, innocent cow look on her face. Then I set up my milking stool (a plaastic bucket), wash her teats with a sponge then start the milking process. At first it was really really hard- there's a technique to the milking and for each person it's different. Once I got the hang of it though (on the 3rd day) all was good - except one always has to watch out for a stray hoof that might end up stepping in teh milk bucket. At the moment, Jetty is giving about 4 litres a day.

Anyways, my time at Janine's Place has been fantastic, namely due to the company. I guess I didn't realise it, but I was in dire need of being around other people if only to save myself from my own thoughts/obsessions (namely about my weight) And these three women turned out to be absolutely fabulous and funny. I only knew them for a week, but now that they've all gone to Fraser Island I miss their energy and insights. Perhaps I also miss the distraction from my all-consuming thoughts.

So, although I don't hold them responsible, I would say..if it weren't for my visit to Janine's place I would have been able to keep my resolution regarding chocolate and candy restriction mostly intact. As it was, however, the girls just LOVED their candy and Cadbury's and so I broke under the pressure. Ah, what the heck, it's not like my plan to lose weight by avoiding sugar and alcohol was actually working anyways...

In addition to eating a lot of chocolate, I may also have made a couple of chocolate cakes and volunteered to make crepes on two seperate occassions. In my defense, one of the cakes was for a birthday and one crepe meal was savoury. It seems I am becoming much more interested in presentation and experimentation with my cooking now - I blame it on Jamie Oliver.
I was told on more than one occassion over the week that I should open a restaurant/bakery.

Phew. Less than a week from now I'll be back in Sydney and 3 weeks from now I'll be in the States. I can't believe it. This time last year I was living it up in Miami with Schemida and Ko. Crazy how time flies and things at home actualy change while you're away. New jobs, engagements, new appearances, new names (Rowan Thunder).

I feel like I should do some sort of trip wrap-up post even though I've yet to hit up Byron Bay and I reckon that with be a HIGHlight. I am too tired tonight though - milking cows, chasing escapee horses and trying to tucker out three dogs that are all under two years old has wiped me of any energy I might have had at some point during the day. Next time.

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