Friday, May 13, 2011

Some Things I Know...

Because I can, I want to share some interesting conversations I had this week, which kind of sum up parts of my life very nicely. The first is a story about my present situation. How incredibly lucky and privileged I am when it comes to things I take for granted... like not having to buy meat. The second story is about my earlier life. The happy little bubble I lived in before I learned that life existed outside of Brisbane. Hope you enjoy!

Yesterday I had to walk into a butcher and BUY meat. This is significant because my husband is a sheep and cattle farmer. Buying meat is not something we really ever do. It's kind of a given that it will always be in my freezer. So when I organised a barbeque and realised we wouldn't have enough meat for everyone, I made an executive decision to just go and buy some. Here's what happened.

Butcher: Hello Mam. Can I help you?

Me: Ummm... yeah you could lower the price of lamb and beef by about $10 a kilo for a starters... (I should add that I was smiling, so he knew I was trying to be funny.)

Butcher: Yeah... you must be a farmer's wife?

Me: That obvious? I'm actually trying not to pass out or vomit at the moment. Are you kidding me? Is this how much meat seriously costs? Actually, we run sheep and cattle, so I don't do this very often... this is really hurting me!

Butcher: (laughing)

Me: Okay then... I'll take some of your overpriced porterhouse steak, and some of those lamb chops that surely must be laced with diamonds...

Okay, so maybe the conversation didn't go EXACTLY like that... but that was definitely the tone of it. And now that the meat is at home, I'm not sure if I want to eat it, or frame it?

It's kind of been a week for sharing completely irrelevant stories like this about my life. Earlier this week at work I had a discussion with a colleague about how on earth I ended up out here. The gist of it is as follows.

About eleven years ago, I received a phonecall from District Office (for non-teacher people, this is the group of people who hire teachers and put them into specific jobs). The conversation went something like this...

D.O: Hi, we'd like to offer you a teaching position in St George.

Me: Uhhhh... how can you offer me a job in Sydney, if I trained in QLD?

D.O: I think you might be mistaken. I mean St George, western QLD. Ever heard of it?

Me: No.

D.O: What about Roma?

Me: Uh-uh. No.

D.O: Toowoomba?

Me: I've heard of it before, I think.

In retrospect (and this will only really make sense to anyone who either knows ANY of these towns and their locations well enough to see any humour in that conversation at all, or who just checked an atlas to see what just happened) the poor lady on the phone at District Office probably rolled her eyes 175 times over the duration of a 5 minute phone call. Toowoomba (for those not in the know) is an hour drive from Brisbane. Having lived out here for over 10 years now, I find that when I am driving to Brisbane, and reach Toowoomba, I already feel like I am 'there'. So it is pretty funny to think that once upon a time, I considered Toowoomba to be the 'sticks'.

Everything changes when you live out here. Your perception of distance. Your understanding of just how small Australia is. The actual amount of money you are prepared to spend on red meat. Whatever it is, I have had my mind opened. I appreciate the vast difference between city and country. I can even laugh about it.

These are just some things I know.


  1. I have had to buy meat recently because the boys are busy to kill!! It does hurt and agree it is an eye opener. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  2. I am starting to feel the same way even if I am still living in the city. With having my own sheep,Only 11 atm lol one 2 yr old wether ready to be slaughtered very soon and lots of meat chooks who need the butcher. Maybe just for a pork roast ... can't wait to get to the sticks

  3. Like what you write. I too had the issue when we moved from cattle station to major centre without cows.

    My first bush teaching possie was Tennant Creek in the NT. I will enjoy following your blog.

  4. We live south of Toowoomba so we must be really remote, right?! Am here from A Farmers Wife and off to read more! gxo

  5. When I lived in Mt Isa I always dreamed of living in Oakey. On every trip to Brisbane I couldn't wait to get to Oakey - and grass!!

    You're right about the price of meat. It comes as a real shock when you are accustomed to 'home kill'.


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