Monthly Archives: April 2014

In which the human lizard ends her career in farming

At 5pm last Thursday I finished my last day of ‘regional work’. I celebrated with a fist pump followed by a triumphant three-hour drive home from Gippsland. I feel like I should be sharing some reflections on the whole experience but really it can be summed up by saying that some of it was fun… and a lot of it wasn’t. Instead, I will share some selfies from my last farm. 

Human lizard and Triple B the ram

Human lizard and Triple B the ram

Human lizard and Hereford cows

Human lizard and Hereford cows

Human lizard and Baboss the Maremma, my best friend in Gippsland

Human lizard and Baboss the Maremma, my best friend in Gippsland

Thanks for reading about my adventures in regional Australia, I do hope you’ve enjoyed the cute animal photos if nothing else. We now return to regularly scheduled programming, whatever that is.

Regional work part 3: Gippsland

First things first, if you missed it on Facebook, do take a look at this little video I put together as my time on Bruny Island was coming to an end. Video production is not a natural talent of mine but this film does have piglets, ducklings, goats and, more importantly, my face. Enjoy.

My accommodation: basically a garage

But what of my new farm? Well, I’m now in Gippsland, about a two and half hour drive from Melbourne. I’ve traded pigs for sheep and have swapped damp caravan with no power for cold garage with no power.

The farm is incredibly picturesque with rolling fields for the sheep to frolic on and mountains off in the distance. Unfortunately my ability to appreciate it has been somewhat dampened because I am super tired from being woken up every night by various loud and annoying noises. When the rain stops hammering on the tin roof, the dogs that protect the sheep start barking at something they’ve seen. When the dogs stop, the rooster starts up. Dude, it’s 3am, pipe down.

Selfie of the human lizard on the new farm

The exciting part, however, is that the end is sight and I have just nine more days of regional work to plough through before I can go home and get back to real life.*

* The other exciting part is that the first job for tomorrow is to feed the eagles. That’s just not something you often get asked to do when you work in an office. 

In which the human lizard tells you about Bruny Island (because you were itching to know, right?)

It didn’t take living on an island to make me realise that I never want to live on an island. Despite growing up in the countryside – or perhaps because of it – I’m a city girl through and through. Nevertheless, Bruny Island is stunning and my time here is giving me an interesting glimpse into island life.

The human lizard with Bruny Island Neck behind

Bruny Island is about 100km from top to bottom. It’s made up of North Bruny and South Bruny, which are connected by a thin strip called ‘The Neck’. Bruny is a real island, ie there are none of those newfangled bridges connecting it to civilisation. Oh no, getting there means taking a good old fashioned ferry. The novelty of this wears off really quickly and it’s often quite the pain in the arse.* Also, a lot of the roads, including stretches of ‘Main Road’, are unsealed and a bit of nightmare to drive without a 4×4.

The human lizard and other WWOOFers walking out to see at low tide at Great Bay, Bruny Island

The tourists, most of them Tasmanians, come for the walking tracks, the beaches and the wildlife. Being an island, Bruny obviously has a lot of beaches and they are quite lovely. Some are all about the surfing, others involve a 2km walk to get the water above your knees at low tide.

Bruny has only 600-ish residents, meaning that everyone knows everyone else, and their business. There’s one policeman, one pub, one off-licence, one place to get petrol. It’s the kind of place where everybody helps each other out. So, a local might travel back to Bruny as a foot passenger, knowing that they’ll find someone they know on the ferry who can give them a lift home. And the guy from the nearby cafe leaves loaves of bread in our letterbox at the end of the day.

Island life. It’s different.

* Especially when you miss the ferry by about two minutes and have to wait over an hour for the next one. And the cafe has closed** so you have to wait outside in the rain. Yep, it’s raining at this point. Of course.

** Why does everything in Tasmania close at 4pm? Not cool Tassie, not cool.