Rude Railway Men and Roasted Chickens in the Heat

In the blog world there are no days.  Time has lost meaning as I write. People read my words and navigate their way around my site while I sleep. When the flag counter says yesterday the date is today.  I file as people are rising from their beds and I rest in yesterdays night planning tomorrows morning.   It really is quite an extraordinary thing.  When my mother died, she sent letters in envelopes with stamps and had her milk delivered to the gate in glass bottles.  She died when I was a young woman but she could never in a million years imagine that her daughter would be able to show pictures and have her words read simultaneously in countries that she had never even hard of.

I can file work here at noon and within seconds Senior Son can be reading it on an IPad – very early in his morning waiting for his car to warm up before he trundles off to work in New Zealand. And at the exact same time Beautiful Daughter is checking it out on her phone, in the early evening light right there in the center of  London. Eldest son reads it while he eats his lunch on top of a mountain in yet another country. Soon I am going to get a dozen clocks and put them on my wall with the name of a city under them just like they have on the big hotels, to anchor me as I slide further and further into the blurry fuzzy timeless space of the internet groggy bloggy world.

Well, I wrote that little piece at 5.30 this morning, I was feeling contemplative and a little sleep deprived.  As usual it was already hot and humid. 78F/25C and 84% humidity at 5.30 am. Except for that one rainy day, it has reached a hundred almost every day for AGES.    But,”what do you expect,”  Our John says,” it IS summer!”

Anyway this morning I went out to the corn field as I usually do to chop down a ute load of corn stalks for the farm family. I took the white truck.  Wearing whatever I was wearing, which was one small step up from a nightie.  It is usually quite deserted out there. I became a little apprehensive as we drove up, when I saw a Great Big Locomotive idling on the railway lines that run through the field.  About 20 feet from where I was to work.  Its motor was running and ticking.   I mean I was wearing the afore mentioned short skirt, the really short one (well It was HOT and I never wear it in public!) But there is lots of bending to chop and throw and lift  and .. well you know what I am getting at.  I don’t want to appear uncouth.  TonTon and I stood and stared at the train engine for a wee bit to check for inhabitants  there was no-one around and we saw no movement.  It was just parked or moored or whatever you call a locomotive left to sit. They do that sometimes in the season.

We were reassured. So I began to work.  Started chopping. At one point the engine let off steam with such a loud woosh that TonTon took off through the field and leapt straight back into the truck through the open passenger window. Coward. I must teach him to ride on the deck.  So I worked and bent over and  hauled and worked and dragged and sweated.  All alone out there in the field. Very hot by then and sometimes I would lift the hem of  my singlet  to wipe the glow off my face, watching the locomotive occasionally for signs of movement.  No movement.  I was working with my back to the train and once I heard voices and turned but then realised that it was just the train radio talking to itself.

I kind of day-dreamt to myself that any minute now a whole stream of clean lean handsome railway workers would stream out with cold drinks and and an umbrella to protect my complexion,  take the machete from my hand all courteous and gallant.  They  would fill the truck up in seconds,  then see me off down the road with a wave and maybe a rousing chorus from Oklahoma or something.  But no. It was hot. I was alone.  So I chopped and hauled and chopped and hauled. Gradually getting filthier and filthier.  The bed of the truck getting fuller and fuller.  Finally I  threw my machete on top of the last load and wiped my face on my T-Shirt one more time  ( thinking when would I remember to bring a towel and some water) turned to get in and there at the window of the locomotive was a MAN WATCHING ME!.  With a railways cap on his head!  I gasped.  (as you would) Where had he come from? Is there a downstairs or something in those engines?  I watched him back for a minute.  We were close enough for him to see me raise my eyebrow at him, (well really) which made him turn and look out the OTHER window so he could see me drive off.  Which I did. I tried to do a squealy when I hit the road but I have never been any  good at those so my exit was just a bit wobbly and dusty, not quite as indignant as I had hoped.  WELL of all the cheek. How Rude!  I should write a letter. That nasty little man had been WATCHING me work.  I hate people watching me work especially when.. well ..(splutter splutter) .. especially this morning.! Can you imagine?!  Chivalry is DEAD!

Anyway, just quickly to get everyone up to date. and our minds off that dull little man. Farm stuff. . .

Daisy, The miserable Hairy McLairy , and the two Murphys care a Flerd (flock and herd).  I am considering sheep therapy for Hairy, he is always miserable. I have never seen a smile on that sheep’s face.  But his ewes have multiple births so we cannot just let him run with the girls willy nilly (willy being the operative word,  I am not even sure I know what nilly means).  I need to plan that kind of thing.

Murphys.  You will remember that any lamb we raise for the freezer is called a Murphy. Unfortunately these Murphys are eternally cheerful and optimistic sheep which might make it difficult to eat them, but maybe not.  They have taken to sleeping in the root cellar in the heat of the day. I wish we could get Hairy down there. I am sure he would be happier in a cool dark concrete cell under the ground!  In fact it is probably the perfect place for him. He is such a miserable sheep.

Mama and Mia are together in the salad bar field.  I have planted everything in there, all the left over seed goes in there. Squash,  lettuce, borage, lemon balm,  onions, chives,  chicory and mint.  Poor mama is so hot.   That little field has a lot of shade too but she is really not doing well with the heat.  In that big wooly coat, that she has to keep because she will need it in the winter.

Queenie and The Baby Bobby are out in the 2 acre meadow, quite lost out there in the long dry grass.  But doing nicely.

So there you are.. everyone where they should be. Bees still humming along. I am looking forward to what we find on Sunday.   And I am hoping that I have some good shots of The Loop for you for next week.  Back soon. Have fun. c

11 Comments on “Rude Railway Men and Roasted Chickens in the Heat

  1. Cecilia, please tell me you have seen the classic move, Cool Hand Luke, with Paul Newman! This post on the Rude Railway Man so reminds me on the famous scene in that movie where the convicts are ogling the girl who is washing a car in the flimsiest of dresses. It’s a great scene, and the movie is great too. A must see! Di

  2. This Internet. This spanning the world in seconds. This walking into and out of so many lives. It can boggle the mind of someone who worked in television when EVERYTHING was live. It blows me away to stroll back and forth through your blogs. You words conjure up wonderful images. I am fascinated with your photographs. For a brief moment I’ve entered your universe. Virginia

  3. You should read Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, it will bring balance to your perspective of men who work for the railroad. Lloyd with two L’s is super cool and a railroad man, the book is all round fantastic.

  4. It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally got it… your “miserable Hairy McLairy” reminds me of an Englishman I am acquainted with, who constantly has a grumpy demeanor but is an understated charmer and quite a hit with the ladies… 🙂

  5. I’m in South Eastern Ontario, Canada… yes we have more than one time zone in this province alone! hehe. So when I get up anywhere between 5-7am, have my breakfast and coffee, I come in and sit down to my e-mails, where your blog is sent, and you always have your new post up by then. I know we are at different times, but it still amazes me how much you have already accomplished in the day, when most of my family aren’t even up getting ready for work yet!

    • I love that you read every morning, honestly it is you guys who do that, who keep me going! you are my little energy source! c

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