Last week I wrote about the ten essential items that a girl should bring with her on her journey into the outback, if she finds herself heading there for a bloke. It got me thinking… what things would be considered ‘essential’ knowledge for any guy bringing a girl to live on the farm with him?
In no particular order:
1. You will need to turn a blind eye to the high number of packages now gracing the mailbox due to the influx of online shopping. You may also need to learn not to question the mad dash to the mailbox on mail days by the new female addition, as she races to hide the extent of online shopping addiction. Also, ‘it was on sale’, and ‘that old thing’ signal the end of a discussion.
2. Closely linked to Number 1; provide sympathy (usually in the form of wine or chocolate) when internet access fails miserably in accordance with the new female’s high expectations of anticipated internet access. This will become more obvious when above mentioned online purchases cannot be made as a result of internet disappointments. Also stock your fridge with chocolate and wine. Seriously.
3. Be mindful of the fact that the new female is not your mother or your grandmother. Her cooking may not live up to the high standards set by generations of bush women before her. There is every conceivable chance your smoko could be served out of the packet, and not the oven. (To be honest, I have made friends with the oven over the years, so this may change down the track). Also her cleaning skills may not be what you are used to either, but just ‘smile and wave’ in spite of this. You will make her day if she thinks you appreciate the effort.
4. Teaching the new female to change a tyre would be giving her an invaluable life skill. It is a skill that she will definitely need over the years and that will see her out of many difficult situations. Of course there is every conceivable chance that she won’t listen. Like me. And thankfully country chivalry has paid off… so remember your country chivalry when you see a lady in distress on the side of the road; you know, just in case she doesn’t listen either.
5. Provide the new female with appropriate headgear, footwear and clothing until she can adequately provide her own. I turned up out here with a small selection of caps (no wide brimmed, serious sun protection headgear), an array of synthetic clothing (only a small selection of which were practical for anything other than classroom teaching), and a large collection of sandals and flip-flop thongs. Thankfully I was able to borrow from The Farmer’s sister and mother until I was serious about sticking around, and purchased my own farm gear.
I started writing this piece with ten items in mind, but as it continued I found that the male species led much simpler lives than females and only ‘five things to remember’ would be essential. And after writing my last piece I realised that I could easily have written about the twenty most essential items a girl could bring with a farm to her. Us females are funny like that, unlike our male counterparts it would seem.