Friday, February 19, 2010

Monterey Deep Thinker


Last week Roger attended a bull sale and bought a Murray Grey bull to add some new genetics to our cattle herd. The bull is called Monterey Deep Thinker, which prompted me to suggest that he had better do more than just think about it. Otherwise the name Sophie came up with might be more appropriate - Monterey Deep Freezer.
Yesterday the bull arrived on a very big truck which was on the way to somewhere else.

This is my first view of the new bull.

There were some friends to greet him in the yard.

Odette, Bonnie and Stephanie ( from France) watched the bull arrive.

Roger with the paper work.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Always in France

While we were in France in 2008, I was excited to see the Google car with cameras recording images for the Google street view feature in the streets of Sainte Marie d'Alloix. I wrote about it here. I thought it would be a long time before we had Google street view of our place in Australia, but in fact we were on street view before Sainte Marie d'Alloix was. Street view is available for the town of Darkan, and for much of Gibbs Road. It doesn't come right to our front gate, but to within about 5kms of our farm. Not many people drive past our front gate, and I guess for the same reason that the street view cameras didn't.
Some time last month Sophie found out that the Sainte Marie d'Alloix street view is now functional, and as I suggested at the time, Hugh's little bike is parked at the top of the cul-de-sac at 9 montée des vignes. It was fascinating to compare the photo I had taken with the street view image.

The photo I took with Hugh's bike near the mail box.

The Street View picture with Hugh's bike.

What I hadn't predicted was that WE are also visible in the street view. You can see that our faces have been blurred, apart from Hugh and Odette, who are smaller and are wearing hats, so the software probably didn't recognise them as faces. (You can click the photo to zoom in.)

Me with Hugh and Odette (in pram) with Sophie and Bonnie behind, screen shot from Google street view.

So now we will always be in the street in Montée des Vignes whenever anyone browses the Google maps street view of Sainte Marie d'Alloix!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Boarding School

Sophie has gone to the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School and Matthew has gone to the Agricultural College at Harvey. They both started on Monday, and Bonnie and Odette had their first day back at Darkan Primary School on Monday too. So it was a very busy day! Thankfully we have two helpXchange helpers here to help us out, so they put Bonnie and Odette on the school bus and picked them up again in the afternoon. And they minded Hugh during the day.
Roger, Sophie and I left early enough to make the one and a half hour trip to Bunbury and get there between 8:30 and 9:00am. The car was loaded down with suitcases and bags containing everything that Sophie will need for the boarding house and the classroom. Except the guitar for guitar lessons - which we forgot.
We unloaded all the luggage and carried it to her new home, then Roger left to meet Matthew and his Mother on the highway. They travelled to Harvey to settle Matthew into the Agricultural College. Matthew had organised a king single sized bed to accommodate his 185cm and 85kgs. That didn't leave much room in the cubicle! They were provided with lunch before the parents left Matthew to his new surroundings and I met Roger back in Bunbury. We did a few chores before going back to BCGS to see how Sophie's day had gone.
Apart from one mistake the day seemed to go smoothly. Apparently Sophie and another girl went to the auditorium with the rest of the year sevens, but didn't realise that they were supposed to go back to the year seven centre. So they stayed there, all through a boring session explaining year 8 and 10 options! They felt like noodles when they realised! But there are bound to be a few mistakes when getting used to new routines.
After Sophie was all unpacked and we had her room looking lovely with her new bed linen and things, we joined the rest of the boarders and their parents for an early barbecue tea.
And then it was time for us to leave.
And that is when Sophie's eyes started to get watery and she didn't want to let go of me. I was very glad that one of our friends, who has a son in the same situation, took Sophie to sit with them and we walked off. Just had to go!
On the way home I texted Sophie and she sent back a colon and a closing bracket :)
I also texted Matthew, but he didn't send anything back.
Then this afternoon I had THREE calls from Sophie. First she was bored - she didn't know what to do and she couldn't play with her sisters like she usually does after school. And her room mate was doing laundry! Sophie assured me that she wouldn't do her own laundry when there is a laundry service provided at the school. Then, she rang to ask about me going to visit on the weekend and reminded me that I had to ring the boarding master. Then finally, after dinner she rang to say goodnight, and she said the food was so nice that she ate too much and had a sore tummy.
Sleep well Sophie.