Sunday, 23 October 2011

Please, Please, Please Flood Me In

Every weekend that I drive out to Providence I pray for rain, thunder and lightening. I spend the weekends doing jobs. This Saturday was spent looking for an old coot of a horse that wouldn't be found and last Sunday was spent oiling the decking on the front verandah. This Sunday though was spent doing a very relaxing nothing.
We woke to the sound of rain pattering down on the lean-to at about 4am. A little bit of thunder adding to the serenity. As the sun rose we got out of bed. I'd never heard the rain on our roof yet and it was a bit loud to try and sleep to. It was lovely to look out the front windows and see the grass soaking up the rain, the poddies with their glistening backs feeding on the green pick that last weeks scuds had brought about. It rained then drizzled till about 10am. I measured the rain guage at 28.5mm and the prospect of me being flooded in had made me uncharacteristically ecstatic.
On the other hand, Little Donny, our only small poddy was not so happy with the cold rain. The other bigger poddies had abandoned him in the cooler paddock and left him on his own, too cold to move. Damian's binoculars weren't good enough for us to realize that it was him out there all alone in the middle of the paddock till my curiousity got the better of me and off I went to inspect. Poor Donny, so cold that his attempt at him running away from me (he is not a milk poddy by the way so therefore distrusts humans and is normally so spritely it would be difficult to catch him two times a day to feed him anyway) was met by him falling into a heap. Perfect time to grab him and throw him on the front of the quad bike for a bit of TLC at the house. He wouldn't eat the pellets I gave him but eventually he started moving about. The warmer it got and the more he dried out the more to his normal self he became.
My 1yo former milk poddy, Capone, did the big brother thing and came up to the backyard. Damian opened the gate and as Capone walked up the fence, Donny followed till he was out in the paddock with him enjoying a drink at the trough side by side. They even walked back to the others together with Capone stopping to check that Donny was still following every now and then.
The sudden change in feed is doing wonders for the bigger poddies (aside from the usual mild diarreah) but not so much for Donny. It has been harsh on his guts and as a result he has severe scours. Next week I will bring out a treatment called Scourban for him from the vets. I suppose then I will have to spend the whole weekend trying to catch him to give it to him.
After my adventures with Donny, the weather lulled me into sleep where I stayed until mid-afternoon, only waking to read a bit more of my book. Then the time came to leave and head back to town.
As usual, my Landcruiser had decided it didn't want to start. Damian had to push start me with the station Landcruiser. With the front wheels in lock I headed down the driveway with Damian following behind as insurance. I was devastated when we got to the Buntine Highway. I didn't want to have made it that far! The part of the driveway I was relying on to become bogged was only mildly soft. This means that I have to go to work on Monday and pour more bloody concrete. I am so over concrete!
For the last week it's been 4:30am starts everyday. I'd have to take power naps on the side of the road because I was falling asleep behind the wheel. I worked a 13hr day Monday with no lunch break and Thursday was much the same except worse even if I did knock off a couple of hours earlier. One of the concrete jobs I had to deliver to took over an hour and a half to pour. The concrete was going hard in the bowl no matter how much water I added. I queried over the phone to my work colleague who had batched it to ask if he had put in any retarder to stop the concrete from drying out so quick. Was the retarder line blocked again? Every now and then he would do things that he secretly hoped would make me look incompetent. I wouldn't have been surprised if this was one of them. I returned to the concrete yard drenched for the second time that day and still had one more load to take out. I batched it myself this time and made it to dry, when I got to the site I had to get a garden hose into the concrete bowl to wet it up more because I had forgotten to fill my onboard water tank (see what stress and frustration does to me?), then the truck stalled and wouldn't start again. I fiddled around with a few levers and eventually it started and stayed running but not before I rang my colleague again to wonder why my truck decided to crap itself all of a sudden. Finally I could knock off, go home and pass out after a shower.
I get so sick of either having no concrete to pour or having a crap time pouring it. Alot of concreters are hard to please and are terrible at communicating. I drove off with 1 cubic metre of concrete still in the truck because their instructions weren't directly to me and were unclear anyway. I got a phone call 20km down the road because they were wondering where their concrete was. They had caused me to run out of water (using it all up to wash their gumboots, wheel barrows and shovels as well as constantly adding it to the concrete mix) and it turned out there was no retarder in the concrete to stop it from drying out so quick (which is the main reason why I didn't think they wanted it anymore because once it starts to dry out that is it, it becomes extremely difficult to work with), something I didn't know till 3 days later thanks to the same colleague (the retarder line was blocked and he discovered that only 5 minutes after I left, never called me to turn around and come back so we could put some in, noooo, just let me keep going so the concrete would turn to shit). That day was a late knock off too and created tensions that didn't need to be there. Luckily on Monday during a return pour the concreter and I cleared the air but ever since then I was very wary of my colleague.
With those major examples of why I hate concrete truck driving it can be understood why every weekend I pray for rain, thunder and lightening. Rain in the hopes that I get flooded or bogged in. Thunder simply because I like the sound and for my heart to skip a beat occassionally. Lightening for the fire it could possibly cause because there is not a chance in hell that I would leave Providence burning with Damian alone to fight it by himself.
So here's a little prayer. This weekend just gone Lord, I got the rain I have been praying for (not just for getting flooded in but for pasture rejuvenation too) but next Saturday night/ Sunday morning may I please get double or even triple that? Amen.

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