It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last blog, so long in fact that I can’t even remember what parts of the annual farming cycle I have neglected to write about. I know I missed harvest (which was a good one) and shearing (which by all accounts went well) however I can’t remember if my last literary meanderings covered off on last year’s ram sale which was by far and away the best Mulga Springs has ever had.
Regardless of the farming focal points that have passed me by during my “bloggers block” one of the plus sides of farming is that you can absolutely guarantee everything will happen again next year. Indeed there is a comforting if not somewhat annoying regularity when it comes to farming as regardless of what might be happening elsewhere in the world there are elements of the agrarian life that surpass the inflexibility of Trump’s policy on North Korea.
I will touch more on this year’s seeding program (sowing program if you reside in the East) later however in the meantime I would like to point out the new and far more user friendly Mulga Springs website that you have navigated around to locate this comeback blog.
Something else that has been a new discovery to Wifey and myself recently is ASH’s apparent theatrical talent as since I last posted ASH has been cast and will be very soon performing the part of Gretl Von Trapp in a production of The Sound of Music. While it is still a mystery where this recently unearthed talent has emerged from it is highly unlikely ASH’s penchant for the arts stemmed from either of her parents. Wifey is undoubtedly a very talented woman however having heard my beloved singing to herself in the shower on occasion I can safely say her somewhat impressive
skill set does not and likely never will include the ability to sing.
While prone to modesty on most occasions in this instance it would be somewhat remiss of me not to mention the two musicals I starred in at the tender age of 10. While never likely to be classed as unmissable my performances as Fagin in Oliver and the lead role of Hans Christian Anderson in the East Hamersley Primary School production of the same name were quite well reviewed by the 23 or so people in attendance and could well be the catalyst for ASH’s burgeoning talent….
Sticking with the children theme but adding a decidedly agricultural flavour I wanted to spend a little bit of time on the ever topical “Nature versus Nuture” debate as it relates to ASH, ZCP and their respective views on farming and gender roles in today’s society.
Our good friends at Wikipedia provided me with this description to get the ball rolling: The nature versus nurture debate involves whether human behaviour is determined by the environment, either prenatal or during a person’s life, or by a person’s genes.
Now the first time it occurred to me that perhaps our children have a different perspective to their contemporaries when it comes to what tasks Mums and Dads normally carry out was when I found myself changing a flat tyre on the Au pair mobile one random Saturday afternoon.
ZCP and ASH were both with me when I received the phone call from the “Montana Marvel” (Our current au pair) to say she had a flat tyre and could I help her change it. ASH’s initial response was something a long the lines of “Why didn’t she call Mum?” I initially laughed at this up until the point I had begun changing the tyre and ASH insisted that this was something Mum should do. Having assured my eldest offspring there was a reasonable chance I could complete the task at hand ASH enthusiastically assisted me in any way possible while ZCP sat in my car watching Ryan’s Toy Review on YouTube for Kids.
Quaffing my way through a half decent bottle of Shiraz later that night it occurred to me that perhaps I should be a bit concerned that my son had showed absolutely no interest at all in helping change the flat tyre. In stark contrast ASH had demonstrated some skills that wouldn’t have been out of place on an Formula One pit crew and similarly shouldn’t I be concerned about that also?
The conclusion I came to with the aid of two more glasses of Shiraz and Wikipedia was that my respective children’s reactions to the situation were perfectly normal based on the environment they have been nurtured in. The fact that ZASH are used to seeing their Mum change out tractor tyres and reverse heavy machinery on a regular basis contributes to their belief that it is the norm for women to be more proficient in those types of tasks.
Reinforcing these beliefs are examples of where their Dad has struggled changing light bulbs and on one infamous occasion was unable to reverse the belt buckle on his two toned leather belt.
Another example of “nuture at work” is ASH’s genuine interest in spending as much time as she can with her Mum at Mulga Springs doing sheep work and helping with seeding. While ASH does have Kissa and KK to show her that men do work on farms for the moment our little ASH no doubt believes a man’s place in the workforce mostly consists of wearing suits while sitting in airport lounges firing off emails.
I could write so much more about this topic and no doubt will in the coming years however for now I am going to sign off and relegate my planned seeding soliloquy to my next post other than leaving you with this video.