We'll start with Murphy's Law shall we?

Murphy's Law definition: Murphy's law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

The setting for this saga of less than 24 hours ago.......

One Mad Bush Farm consisting of 12 acres, turned to mudhole by persistent winter rain, cold temperatures and Murphy's law.

It started something like this. Go out for the day with mother, have a nice cappuccino and a chicken, brie and cranberry quiche down at a lovely cafe in Snell's Beach shopping center. Early afternoon head back over the course of an hour knowing little, very little about what was occurring back at the Mad Bush Farm. Chaos.

What we didn't know was that way down the back of the farm the Horned Horror (not our darned cow) which I've had to carry for some time, and that our neighbour was supposed to collect some time back had broken through a fence, demolishing it totally, to slip into our neighbours, along with River and the Terrorist. Being cows, and being what they are the first thing they did was head for the orchard, the well tended gardens and start on a spree of wantan destruction. Neighbour hacked off (I don't blame him!) rings, no-one is home of course, leaves annoyed sounding message on answer phone and goes to work. His wife is left on vigil after cows were chased out of their formerly, once beautiful garden, now turned into a version of a battle site.

Meantime at 2pm, we get home, unaware of the drama unfolding next door. Sit down, have a coffee, think about going to start doing something around the farm, now the girls morning out is over,and an hour later the phone rings. The story is told. An unhappy story about the Jersey Cow Mafia moving in on the turf. Bah! I said lighting a smoke (even though I had vowed I would cut down to zero proportions). Apologised profusely to my long suffering (and very decent) neighbour then thought how the heck am I going to get them out of there! I had one teenage helper on deck, but I needed the other who wasn't going to be back until 4pm. Oh heck darn, blast, and oh my aching back. Yes that hadn't helped being bent for almost three weeks. With only just straightening up properly, now the Jersey Mafia had ruined my day. And ten minutes later, the phone rings, again.

This time it's my mother. She tells me that the horses are all over her lawn. *sigh* The darned electric fence as usual decided it was going to have a short and not work . Wonderful..NOT!. Choice to make. Get horses or go and get cows. Well the cows had be got back, it was getting late and being winter, dark comes at 5.30pm. So it was go get middle daughter from her return of having a nice time at the hot pools in Parakai. Get some insulators at RD1 store and sort out portable electric fence, standards, electric tape, a bucket of feed (to con the Jersey Mafia Leader with), gumboots, brains and the car. Loaded up, drove up the road, with kids, junk and foul temper by then to stop by the boundary fence.

Unload car, kids, foul temper, junk and somehow lurch one's way over the fence, to end knee deep in a muddy bog that used to be pasture once ..somewhere long ago as I recall. Inaya and Michelle get over helping to lump all the junk required to retrieve, then contain said jersey mafia fugiitives from again engaging in less than acceptable activities namely destruction of neighbour's property. After a big debate, over 'where' said cows were getting out.  It was decided to trudge through the bush, aka native bog hole and check down the back corner. Oh gee guess what awaited one utterly destroyed fence *mutters*.

Inaya goes after the cows, Michelle is doing heck knows what, while Mum is trying to sort out the mangled mess so we can get said bovine fugitives back home. It took a lot of yelling, swearing and Inaya's temper fraying to get the cows moving. In the end I had to go up there, because the only one head mafia cow follows is me. So we got them back. Sorted out the fence and by then it was pitch black.

There we are stuck down the back of the farm, no torch, grumpy, tired and all three of us hacked off with the entire situation. I wired up the fence, didn't move quick enough and got walloped in the eye with a fence batten. Well the words I used were in the *censored* category. It hurt! I got a cut and nice bruise to show for it. Anyway um where were we? Oh yes stuck in the bush in the dark and all we wanted to do is get back to the car, go home and have dinner.

I hate being frustrated, tired and having a sore eye with a whopping headache stuck in the dark in a boghole of a darkened, scary lot of trees. Lucky for me Inayay in her calm, cool collected logic guided all three of us through holes filled with mud, tree branches,muddy streams, more bog holes and finally at last the saga was over. There you go. Murphy, and his law are now on notice. I see Murphy and his laws near my place anytime soon, I'll be out with a shotgun, the buckshot and a lot of censored words.

Yes we had to laugh because it's so insane it's just too funny not to laugh about. So there you go, let Murphy know I'm looking for him....


A farm story (more becoming a saga) still in the process of invention but heck read it anyway...

It needs refining, it needs tweaking, but right now, I'm doing this just for the fun of it. One bit of the more to come. That's what I do when I feel a bit down, and a bit put upon. It's been like that for a day or so. So what do I do? I write. Good therapy for the soul.

In the back of the way out of the way, in the rather strange rural district of Mad Bush, a rebellion was going on.

It started, with a character going by the name of Russell. Just that name. No other name. Wherever chaos arose, Russell was sure to be the one behind it all.

A year or two ago perhaps more, in a charming old farmhouse, there little Billy lived with his dad Patrick, his mum June, and a thousand or so rather thick brained sheep. About the only sheep there, with any brains, was a ram with pedigree lines, and a pedigree name too long to write down. So, they just called him Dan the Ram.

Dan the Ram was now a bit long in the tooth. The trip to the works was getting nearer day by day. Dan the Ram’s days were numbered on that peaceful farm, in the lush green valley, where nothing much ever really happened. Until the day Russell came, that was, and Dan the Ram’s fate was changed forever.

Christmas time had come. Much to little Billy’s delight, the tennis racket he waited all year to unwrap, at last, was his. Out into the sunshine, with his shiny new racket he went, to spend all afternoon bouncing a tennis ball off the back wall of the old woolshed to perfect his swing. He wanted to be a tennis pro when he grew up, he had told his mum and dad. A tennis pro he would be, no matter what.

When the shadows grew long in the early evening, finally Billy decided to go back up to the old farmhouse where Grandma and Grandpa now waited to sit down with all of the family for a special Christmas dinner. Turkey in the oven, lamb in the roasting dish with all of the trimmings to match. Well into the evening they celebrated, unaware of a small dark hairy shadow creeping slowly up the verandah stairs…

As for the prized tennis racket? It was left on the verandah, lent against the wall, ready for the next day’s tennis practice session. The small hairy shadow slowly, but steadily inched its way up the steps, nearer, nearer. With one quick movement, a paw shot out, grabbed the tennis racket with well practiced stealthy silence, before it, and the hairy shadow vanished back into the night......to be continued........


One foot in the bathtub not one foot in the grave?

I have heard the term "One foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin" but this is nuts! How do we explain this one then. One foot in the bathtub, while I raid the hay I stole from under the electric fence. An entire bale of hay dragged over the house and scoffed! Just look at the little Terrorist toad. Oh soo innocent NOT! She knows I can't do a darned thing about it either. Crooked back seen to that one. Bah!

I suppose feeding the Terrorist to the Funky Fish there isn't an option either. I took this last Friday at Baylys Beach just out of Dargaville. The surf was right up and getting down to the beach wasn't really an option  that day.

In winter the sea gets very rough on what is really called Ripiro Beach. It's also the site of a 19th century French shipwreck. They've put a memorial up to the crew of the ship that was wrecked. I wrote a blog post about it some years back after I visited the Dargaville Museum. Check it out here.

And since I mentioned graves...here's a shot I took last Thursday at the historic Tokatoka Cemetery. It's an interesting cemetery to visit. Sadly it's also been very badly neglected and left to go to ruin. I was really appalled at the lack of care taken. It has several historically significant grave sites. I was given a hand drawn map by the Kaipara District Council. It turns out that effectively is the burial register.

This is the grave of a little girl named Esme Burdett. She was only 3 years old when she died in 1900. The headstone is wooden and hand carved. It's slowly rotting away and eventually it will be lost.  At least a photo will still record that it was there long after it's gone.

And this is the view you get from the Tokatoka Cemetery that lies just below the great volcanic peak of the same name. The river is the Northern Wairoa, once a highway for ships that carried away most of the Kauri forests durning the boom years of the Kauri timber trade. I read in a book called "Historical Aspects of the Northern Wairoa" that there were over 119 sawmills at the height of the trade. That's a lot of sawmills. Now all that has gone and so has the township that used to sit at the base of the mountain.

              Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19010809-7-2
The photo above was taken in 1901. Now all you see where the township used to be is paddocks and a bit of native bush. Well that's enough of my rabbiting on about having a foot in the bathtub. Til next time.