She's Country?

When I was a girl I used to ride in the bush on my horse. One particular day, my Dad, my uncle & I found all our cattle in 1,000 acres of bush in the rain. I like thinking about those things here where I live. I must say that the trees are not the same, though I expected them to be. I like feeling the connection to my Grandfather who was a bushie, it was his job, via the celebration of bush culture here. One particular time the hardware shop did a window display of a bush hut living room I think, I loved it. I think the council was encouraging the shops to do that for a particular occasion.

I don't like thinking of the farm and being reminded of it when I go driving particularly to the other house, the new one. Why? It took me 15 years to adjust to leaving the farm. I remember in the house we lived in first as a married couple the buses that I used to go on to the farm would drive by the next street and that was a comforting sound. Not nice to admit, but there is an awful feeling that you can't just go walking through a paddock, when you are used to walking around 2,000 acres.

The farming now is not what I remember. We didn't have semitrailers parked in the paddocks come harvest time, but then it was more small time where we lived. I expect those glorious shearing sheds in New South Wales to sometimes have signs of life around them. Some buildings, plants etc. seem almost like museum pieces. I will keep watching and learning, I am sure I have the wrong end of the stick so to speak.

During our seachange practise year I remember helping the farmer out and walking back to the sheds and seeing one lonely sheep skin in what used to be the sheep skin drying rack room. Yes, there were such things. That brought back memories. We had such a shed on our farm. It was a partitioned off piece of a larger shed, but it was like a shed in itself from the inside, just as the other one is. I think I would have been welcome to and I think he thought I did do that, but I didn't walk around the farm at the rented farmhouse much, because I thought it was his farm. But I did see some of it occasionally. It certainly was nice there, though a little windy.

Here is a bit of an example of a farmer girl, who stayed on the farm and didn't leave as a teenager as I did. I may have known others like the lady portrayed but still teenage, in the larger area where I lived as a girl though was slightly different. I never did get to B&S balls that sort of thing. I got a taste of it by listening, luckily our parties were very well supervised and I could keep away from the main action whatever it was. I heard the boys stories about the drinking and being silly part. Actually they were gentleman, and the ones I had more trouble with were while I was still a child. I am Victorian, it is not so serious there. Being exposed now to the wide open New South Wales, it encourages that side (not the party side) to come out, at least the bits I like. I didn't get much attention from boys when I was a teenager, only nice everyday attention which was great, it kept me happy. But the other is stuff for nightmares. Fancy having nightmares about not getting enough attention from boys? This was post the farm though. Maybe I am saying the ones I wanted attention from where the ones that didn't give it to me lol. I may have not been from the same country cloth. I know having a certain background didn't help, ie the circumstances of leaving the farm, but that is conjecture.

Here are the lyrics:

She was born out in the sticks
In the drought of '76
Pulled the wings of bugs for kicks
She's country

Learned to drive in beat up hack
Shotgun and an old bashed hat
Chasin' roos and razorback
She's country

She'll look you in the eye
Work all day and dance all night
Drink the whole bar dry

Hot day's you can find her there
Lying by the lake and she don't care
Wearin' nothin' but her long dark hair
She's country

She's country certified
Country 'till the day she dies
She's country born and bred
She's country as it gets

Grew up fast in '89
Helped her Ma keep the farm alive
The year her Daddy died

Put a roof on the old hay shed
Fixed the truck when it blew a head
Hung in when she was over it
She's country

She was born out in the sticks
In the drought of '76
She'll never call it quits

76, well no. Bugs, never. Beat up hack. Hmm, hard to remember, but I did drive some early on. Razor back, a little too rich for my blood I'd say. Maybe I would have worked up to it. My husband may have taught me this if we had the opportunity. I can hang around shotguns, but I don't carry them. Bashed hat, no. (Actually I don't like wearing hats.) Look you in the eye, I partly lost that ability. Work, don't know; I'm not the one to ask. Dancing all night, I probably have done that. Not all night, but have driven around all night. Have you ever watched the sun come up over a range of hills? Bar, what bar. Ladies didn't go into bars then, that I know of. Over it? Over the country? I don't get when people say that. When we left the farm my Mum went to work in a factory.

I knew everything about our cars, what parts we put in, but I forget now. The will is there, but that is about it. I did spend a lot of time with Dad in the machinery shed. If only you can keep your country title until you die, I'd like that. I remember our kids saying either I or they weren't country when we first came here. No, it didn't bother me particularly.

Yes, I am dark, forget the rest (too prudish), and I did drink but never was drunk. I like the taste, (beer forget it), but I drink tea now. Love it. I don't like that part of the video, but it does illustrate some of the difficulties if you are from an urban area. I was actually taught to drink at a young age, so now I don't. That brings up the subject of netball. I played when a teenager, didn't get the opportunity again. My daughter plays but away from the football, also so we don't have to travel, and to spare the time.

I love the haybale carrying, love doing that. I get the opportunity to life a bale of hay or straw out of my 4x4 sometimes. Love carrying a saddle. I am not a jealous type but seeing a horse saddled up in a stockyard while driving past was a challenge once. It was some variation of that anyway.

Why is there grass in that yard? Love Adam's holey shirt. Lifting that bag, that is how I see myself. I was devastated recently to realise, that men can really lift heaps more. Well I knew that, but didn't realise how much less I can do. I saw the Chrisco delivery guy, who is small carry quite a few boxes of groceries on top of each other into the house without a trolley!! I suppose maybe I can lift more than some women?? What happens where you think like that is that one day you lift too much and actually make yourself weaker. Stupid. Adam Brand's philosophy at the start of the video, yes, I love that.

I loved splitting wood, backing cars, I remember to keep horses away from rabbit holes, I used to wear my husband's boots, we wear the same size. Love the tractor. I love hearing tractors in spring. That is what life is about I think lol. Jeans, yep.

When my Dad died nearly 2 months ago, they brought out his stockwhip as part of showing who he is. I hadn't seen much of my Dad during the time since. His new family and my family on his side were his life and this was noticeable. There was discussion from the people from the district we are from. 30 years was mentioned by someone else, 30 years of water under the bridge. I took this on board, being fair and all that. However, my memories are probably very irrelevant and out to date and I apologise for that. Vintage junk if you use the decluttering philosophy. If I throw those memories out though, it didn't bear thinking about. I can't even describe it.

My husband said that even though my Dad taught me country things, or however I learnt them, if I wasn't interested it wouldn't have had any effect. I wonder if farming heritage plays a part too?

So the answer is that I am a little bit of this and that. We once were told that the people from the towns along the railway track were the same as each other. So I would be part that, part corporate, part Christian, wife of professional, Mum, that is probably about it. There is a lot of things you can add in, so many it doesn't matter, like your ancestors country of origin. But I have been through that, I am a treechanger, with a slight background and understanding of where some of the locals are coming from.

To tell you the truth, it hasn't helped in any conversations I have had. I haven't had a lot. I remember once when discussing staying or going, and we were offered a little bit of advice. The advice was to stay away from the agressive people. So a little bit of avoidance is called for. I do think my background is more relevant where I food shop as I have mentioned before.

I think a relevant song at this stage is The New Bush.

I love the smell of diesel, and these lyrics I like:

"she's on a mission handed down from father to son,
She knows the country, respects the old ways, she'll kick it in and get the job done.
In these changing times, she holds the line.


The sun still burns, and the land still aches, the mob still turns, and a new day breaks."

That is very comforting.

Another country song I can relate to is by John Williamson called Farming Game. I spent a little time finding the exact name of it lately. Another that made me cry several times is A Bushman Can't Survive.

"He tried to please his woman the lady of his life
He's standing at a party with a plate
She finds him on the balcony staring at the moon
An old familiar face he can relate

No a bushman can't survive on city lights
Opera rock and roll and height of heights
His moon shines on the silver brigalow
Shimmers down the inland river flow
Out there where the yellow belly bites"


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