After their mammoth trip to Broken Hill and back (they drove the entire length of the UK in a day) K and Scottish Alex were given the day off. German Alex gave himself the day off as he was going to check out a dairy farm down the road to see about another job. So I was left all on my tod (well, with Noel) and boy what a treat did I have in store. My first water run.
Instead of paying for water delivery like the majority of locals Farmer Chris likes to get it himself. The have a 1000l tank with antique hoses that they fill and empty and fill and empty etc. First things first we had to put the empty tank on the back of the ute. No Biggie. Then we drive for 25mins or so over to Koondrook, the farm where Chris lives. Then we drive for about 20 bumpy minutes through the farm to an irrigation channel at the very far end of it. I was aware our tap water was less than sanitary but seeing it in situ. Well. I would never even consider applying toothpaste to my tooth brush, dipping in this channel, brushing my teeth and then rinsing my toothbrush in this channel but alas, apparently this is pretty much what I had been doing. One pipe was placed in the muddy stream and the other into the tank. This is when Noel produced some overalls which I foolishly thought we might have to put on. Instead it was to put over the pipe as it 'leaks a bit'. I think we pumped 1000litres for the tank and 1000litres for me and the grass. We then bumped back to the farm and reversed the process, pumping the water into Chris' water tank, me and the surrounding ground. This was repeated 3 times but on the final unload I was in for a special treat. It was time for me to meet Walter. Walter the 1 tonne bull (apparently he's now only 900kgs as he's lost a bit of weight. He was still the size of a truck). Walter is currently contained in a small pen. Walter's water trough(s) were running low. And lucky old me had to climb into the very small pen with the very large bull to fill the troughs up. I was assured he was harmless but to be wary as he could crush me without meaning to. Gulp. Obviously as I'm now writing this I'm pleased to report that I am still in one piece and Walter is hydrated. Wearing a red shirt did nothing to settle my nerves.
When I eventually returned to Murrabit the sun had very much set and my fellow co workers had enjoyed an entire bottle of whiskey and a few sundry cans of XXXX. I'll admit that I was jealous they'd been having a fun day as I bumped around pumping water. Chris came round with a few groceries and was less than impressed by the drinking, but as I sat on the floor sober and playing jenga with German Alex something magical happened...Chris smiled. Yes. Smiled. At me! And he was clearly desperate to join in the jenga game. Maybe my mission to make him talkative (read: normal social skills) could be back on.