Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Two Zero One Four

One day out from New Years Eve I wonder where the hell the year went. It seemed to go so fast. And it seems to be pretty quick to sum up too.

-          I went from casual to full time with a four year contract in my NTG job.

-          I’ve moved three times.

-          I started the year with three dogs: Roy, Monty and Kip. Roy went off to a station to work and after much mix up and frustration he’s now on a different station with more caring people and is doing quite well. Monty hung himself on a fence playing with a water leak and passed away. Despite him being nicknamed “Arsehole” by a friend of mine he was making good progress in the behavioural department. Kip is still by my side, loyal and loving.

-          There were many people myself, my family and friends have said goodbye to throughout the latter part of the year. I lost three friends to cancer and a distant family member to old age.

-          While three friends lost their battle with cancer a family member has just begun hers.

-          Despite thinking that I was going to fail a second subject in my law degree, and had I have done so I would have thrown in the towel, I miraculously passed. I will now continue my studies with added focus.

-          I bought a second car, a Prado. The windows are electric, it’s air conditioned, it has a long range fuel tank, I look after it slightly better than the Landcruiser and up until I went down the Gundegai Road one too many times I had a fully functioning stereo. The rough road killed the CD player so now I am limited to just the radio.

-          The latter half of the year has seen me caretake four different properties, at one point 3 at once.

-          The seriously dry conditions of the year saw Ruby lose weight for the first time in the three years I’ve known her and Charger lost so much weight he got turned out into a paddock that was growing hay under a pivot. Chargers weight regain was slow. As soon as the rain started Ruby stacked it on again.

-          I bought a bare back pad for riding early on in the year. Using it on Charger resulted in me hitting the dirt in a rather dramatic manner. The bare back pad never got used after that.

-          With the bare back pad being a flop (literally) I bit the bullet and put a deposit down on a hand crafted Geoff Newton saddle that I am steadily paying off. I have been without my own saddle since a bad fall in early 2011.

-          The bank account went ouch in vet bills for the first time since I lost Chief in 2010. Charger had a series of treatments for malignant sarcoids. A condition still not fully treated and probably won’t be due to its nature. Ruby was treated for laminitis in one of her front legs. X-rays showed nothing and there has been no other clear cause but the lame area was narrowed down to around her fetlock. The lameness often reoccurs, sometimes conveniently after being caught for whatever reason!

-          I had a good year with my cattle this year but unfortunately I didn’t get to see them as often as I would have like to due to one of my caretaking jobs. I sold two heifers and one steer for a good price to the Indonesian export market. Capone’s first progeny landed on the ground this year with the calving rate meeting the industry standard.

-          After being a nomad since arriving in the NT 12 years ago I have finally decided to put some roots down and am now making a serious effort to save a deposit for a block of land north of Katherine. Failing that, I will buy back home on KI instead.

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