Nostalgic Memories

Been awhile since I’ve put pen to paper and a lot has happened during that time but I have been to busy with farm work, cutting firewood and catching up with family and friends after my six months on the mainland (Australia) I am now back in Tasmania, have been back since November 2016.

It takes something special to fire up the brain cells and start putting words to paper and write about a subject that moves you from the couch to the computer and today whilst listening to some Slim Dusty country music, it inspired me to write about a mate who passed away just last week.

Slim Dusty and his music has been part of my life since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and his songs of the Aussie landscape, the outback and the country people have given me great pleasure and a true sense of belonging to our Australian way of life.

There is a lot going on in the land down under and things are not the same anymore (a title of one of Slim Dusty songs) there are many changes in the political circle and times are tough for many people. Immigration is causing all sorts of problems and unfortunately they are not going to be fixed any time soon, that is another story for another day.

Right, back to my great mate who I lost recently, we have been mates for over thirty years and have shared many fun times and lots of adventures, his name is Johnny Triffett, I called him JR. He was 84 years old and he would often say to me, “you know Kev, we have lived through the best time and I wouldn’t like to be around in 10 years time” he went on to say;  “I’ve had a good productive life and I wouldn’t change it for anything”

Now Slim Dusty I have met twice, both times at concerts and I remember a special time at one of his concerts, my son Darren “who sadly passed away” was Down syndrome  and we took him back stage to meet Slim and the great man gave him a cuddle and shook his hand and signed his record and tape for Darren. Darren was over joyed and so excited he wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks.

Johnny and I both loved country music and especially Slim Dusty songs. I think Slim has a great way with words and his poetry/song writing is unique and special and this is borne out by his popularity years after he passed away.

img_0795      IMG_0692.JPG

Johnny and I also had a passion and love of horse riding and horses in general, he owned two-part Arab’s Kato and Scotty and I owned quite a few horses as I used to break them in and also do farrier work for mine and other horses. My main riding horses were Breeze, Toby and Sahm. Sahm was full blood Arab and the other two were part Arab/stock horse.

Johnny could belt out a good rendition of Slim Dusty’s songs, he could play the guitar and many a night camped in the bush by a roaring fire or in his cellar under the house we would have sing alongs and knock back a few beers. Mind you Johnny was no Caruso and I wasn’t much better but we would belt out with gusto Slim’s country songs.

Songs like, You’ve Done Us Proud, When The Rain Tumbles Down In July, Trumby, Pub With No Beer, Waltz Sing Matilda and many others, often Johnny would invite other mates and our partners would also roll up with lots of food.

What these two blokes have in common is their love of Australia and its way of life and the great country music. Sadly both have passed on but I remember the good times I had with Johnny and I will always enjoy playing Slim Dusty and his wonderful music that so embossed and stamps the bush and its harsh unwilding climate and of course the people who endure and fight every day to make a crust.

I myself class my self as a typical country bloke who can turn their hands to do anything with the motto of, have ago.

Many of Slim’s songs I can relate to and his clear and concise words portray a typical Aussie battler trying to turn a dollar, the songs of the bush, the land, the outback, the truck drivers, the Aboriginals, the farmers with their cattle and sheep, the flora and fauna unique to Australia and of course the many small rural communities and its people.

Songs like; A Natural High and I’d Sooner Be A has Been Than a Never Was At All or the very moving; How Good Is Life, these songs and many more I play just about every day. The songs are on my iPhone, iPod and computer.

Every time I play Slim Dusty songs I will be reminded of my mate Johnny, it will stir up emotions and reflections of our time past. when I play The Man From Snowy River the song about a mountain born and bred stockman who rode a mountain bred pony, sure-footed and the stamina of an Elephant, it will remind me of the time Johnny and I rode down the old school track, from the upper swamp to Lachlan. The track was set in the mountains above Lachlan village, was steep, with many twists and turns and in some places overgrown. We raced down that mountain track with no fear and like a torrent of water surging down a hill we never drew bridal till a barbed wire fence came into view. We pulled our horses up, standing in the stirrups and leaning way back, as the horse slowed and skidded on their rump with their back legs under their belly.

We breathed a sigh of relief as we managed to stop just feet from the barbed fence, looking at one and other with smiles on our faces, we dodged the bullet that day, it was a close call.

We found a way round the fence and continued down the track a fair bit slower until we reached the main Lachlan road.

The many other classic songs of Slim Dusty were based on the famous poets, Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson and many other talented writers throughout Australia. Who would not remember The Pub With No Beer and The Rain Tumbles Down In July.

They remind me of the time, Johnny and I rode the Lachlan/Crabtree ride down Jefferys Track, we were rugged up with our Drizabone coats and Akubra hats as the forecast of wet and windy weather was to hit us throughout the ride. The sky opened and the cold southerly wind hit us like a sledge-hammer, we reached into our saddle bags pulling out bottles of Green Ginger wine to ward off the cold but the rain and at hail was relentless, the wind went straight through us, chilling our bones to the core.

A fast gallop from the open country to a bit of shelter amongst the trees, was in order and we galloped our horses for a couple of miles before resting under the trees. A few more swallows of Green Ginger and we headed off down the mountain to Crabtree. A roaring fire was built after the horse were yarded and we settled down for a night of booze and country music. A great memory of Johnny that ride.

Another classic song of Slim’s was Tall Dark Man In the Saddle, this reminded me of the way Johnny used to ride, he would never sit straight in the saddle, he always seemed to be leaning out to the left and this would make the horse drift to the right causing problems with other riders. This habit of leaning in the saddle bought Johnny undone on a ride at Gretna. There were about 20 riders and we were galloping down a gravel road with lots of sharp corners, I was out in front of Johnny on my Arab, Sahm and we came up to this hairpin corner at a fast pace, I managed to get Sahm round the corner and I looked back at Johnny and his horse Kato, I could see him try to slow down and noticed that he was leaning way out to the left, next thing he was under the horses belly, the synch strap had broken and he fell off underneath the horse. Thank our lucky stars that Kato stopped straight away and old Johnny ended up with a red face and a few scratches and he gave us his classic saying,” yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa, that was close” We all had a good laugh, fixed up his girth on the saddle and continued on our way.

Johnny had another close shave that could have killed him, we were coming back from one of the many Crabtree rides, I was back from Johnny, in a group of riders and we noticed that once again old Johnny was leaning out to the left on his horse, there was a very steep drop off on the left all the way down the track and Johnny horse seemed to be getting closer and closer to the edge. Then all of a sudden he was gone, horse and rider were over the edge, we all raced to where he went over, jumped off our horses to see the damage.

Johnny was under the horse, a large log had stopped horse and rider going all the way to the bottom. We managed to calm the horse down and get her back on her feet without doing any damage to Johnny. We got the horse back up on the track with a lot of effort and then concentrated on getting Johnny checked over and getting him out from under the log.

He had some scratches a sore shoulder, some bruising and a very sore knee, we bandaged the knee and put him in one of the support vehicles to be taken to town and a doctor. We found out later that his knee was busted and that he, Johnny was in hospital.

This incident could have been a lot worse and Johnny was always thankful that log certainly saved his life.

I certainly feel the loss of Johnny and I will look with fondness on the many moments of our friendship that have been such a part of my life. Johnny spent some time with my son Darren, who passed away a few years back. Darren was also a great fan of Slim Dusty and being born with Downs syndrome did not hinder his love of country music and his love for Slim.

The time of Darrens 45th birthday was especially a tear jerker for the whole family, when Johnny sat down with Darren and played his guitar and sang some of Slim’s songs, Darren pretended he had a mike and sang along with Johnny, bringing a tear to everyone’s eye, it was awesome.

Johnny always had a smile and a cheeky way about him, he fancied himself as a bit of a ladies man, he would greet his many lady friends with a smile and open arms saying ; ” hallo darling, you lovely thing”. With the blokes it was ; “hallo Kev, you lovely chap” and he would very often in a conversation answer back with a “yeaaaaaaaaaaaa”. He loved his flower garden, especially the roses and could be seen most days tending his garden or doing improvements around the house.

Would spend weeks before Christmas decorating his house with all sorts of coloured and blinking lights. “for the kids” he would say.

I can remember the spot lighting nights the hunting trips to the high country, all the trail rides, his Toyota Landcruiser station wagon, 4wd,  that he would polish and clean everyday. I used to rib him about his fancy Toyota, tell him it was a luxury and all its life had never been off the bitium, he would just laugh and say “yeaaaaaaaaaaa”

Johnny’s  partner of 23 years Valda kept him on good tucker and he never wanted for anything, old Johnny was not a cook that’s for sure, he couldn’t boil water but he was definitely spoilt by Valda’s cooking and many time’s I would share a meal at his home and then spend the rest of the playing and singing country music.

Johnny like Slim has gone to a better place, he endured a short illness but has left a life time of memories and I will always think of my mate when ever I play Slim Dusty.

May they both rest in peace and forever play their guitars and sing country songs.

 

Slack Arse

Well here it is, nearly the end of January in the year 2017 and I have not added to my blog.

A slack arse or a very busy person with too much to do and not enough time to do it but hey, at least I’m at the keyboard and on my blog.

Big question now is what do I write about, a lot of water has passed down river since my last crack at the keyboard and there have been many changes to me and the world around my little neck of the woods and globally! Well what can one say, the word on everyone lips is TRUMP and his election as president of the USA. Massive changes are in the wind which will affect not only the USA but the rest of the free world. There has been so much written and spoken about Trump and I’m not going to add to that except to say, that Donald Trump will be impeached and he will not be in the job his full term.

Returning to Tasmania in November from the mainland (Australia) I came back to a different scene from when I left in late May 2016. Just before I left the flood gates had opened and the rain tumbled down, the drought of 2 years had finally slipped into history.

The pain of the drought was still there but farmers and the Hydro Power Management could see that the dams were filling. The power company dodged the bullet of imposing power restrictions.

When I arrived back in Tasmania in November, I disembarked the boat and headed south and it was amazing to see the change in the landscape, everything was green and flourishing, it was shaping up to be a bumper season, for hay, silage and vegetable crops.

Arriving in the Derwent Valley I could see the results of the abundance of rain that fell during winter and now the spring grass was leaping ahead and I would actually be able to cut hay in late December. Lambing had finished and the lambs and their mothers were doing well on the lush grass.

We marked and drenched the lambs and ewes in early December and put them out in the fresh sown paddocks with grass now 8 inches high.

Then it was hay time and the day before Christmas the hay was ready to be baled after being cut down 2 days before. The weather was warm to hot with lots of sunshine.

We baled 350 square bales, carted them to the barn and stacked them up nearly filling the shed. Bit of downtime over Christmas visiting families and friends then it was back into hay carting for the neighbours until all the hay in the area was cut and baled. Everyone was happy that all the barns were full and if the grass dried off over summer, we could feed the stock with the freshly cut hay.

The weather stayed quite mild and there were patches of rain that kept the grass growing and green to the end of January but now into February the grass has all turned brown and we are hand feeding some of the stock. The lambs are still with their mothers and are doing well, the ewes are slowly drying off their milk but the lambs have had a good start and will grow into nice fat lambs, worth over $100 each.

I will close this chapter and post, then wait for something to prompt me back to the keyboard.

 

Frustrated to say the least

When you have to head to the hills to one, gain a decent signal and two, to download heaps of files and programs, you can understand why I am frustrated. You pay good money to protect your computer from viruses and bugs and when they don’t protect your computer from hackers who have nothing better to do in life but to create trouble for innocent people who are just going about their daily lives.

To spend time and money not to mention the trip up to the top of the hill on a rough and rugged 4wd track to get your personnel PC up and running again it beggar’s belief that there are so many thoughtless people with twisted minds and a agenda to cause havoc to online users. Their agenda is not all about making money but to cause as much havoc as possible for their own egotistical being, so sad and thoughtless you have to wonder why they were born.

Islam

ISLAM

by

Kevin L Fairbrother

Islam ideology twisted and turned to

Portray a mind set by dischanted men and women

Who turn the teaching of Islam on it’s head

An envious betrayal against western nations

For the few misguided indifferent Islamists

Their doctrine of hate far removed from the norm

Will pay a price that may well end their lives

Scarring and tearing apart the Quaran teachings

I  Idealistic

S    Sadism

L   Licentious

A   Abominable

M   Misguided

The few who do an injustice to the Islam religion                

I had a dream

I Had A Dream

by

Kevin L Fairbrother

 

My paid working life as come to a end

Not rich… Not Poor… On a pension

With a lifetime of memories to recall

I am rich in experience that I will pass on

I had a dream that when I retired

I would work less and enjoy life more

But that dream did not become reality

As I am working more and relaxing less

Maybe the cause is my management of time

With family and friends taking up my waking hours

Or it may be because I don’t get out of bed till 9am

And half the day has gone and I’m not even dressed

There is always something to do, or somewhere to go

And there is never enough hours to do what I’ve set myself

But deep down I don’t mind as it occupies my day

As I just cant recollect where my time was spent

The words above I just wrote in the last hour

After cutting and splitting 4 ton of firewood

I felt the need to justify my time by writing this poem

For my new dream is to become a writer of poetry

perfect day for fishing

Perfect day for fishing

by

Kevin L Fairbrother

Not a cloud in the sky

not a ripple on the sea

A good day to go fishing

Lets launch the boat and see

Out in the bay at a fast pace

To a place we know we will catch a feed

Hooks baited, rods at the ready

We drop our lines to the bottom

No sooner the line hits the bottom

The fish bite like crazy, must be hungry

We reel them in till we catch our limit

Then back to shore to gut and fillet

A fresh caught fish straight from the sea

Seasoned and covered with plain flour

Into the pan it sizzles and curls

A quick turnover, on the plate and into our mouths

A perfect day weather wise

A productive day fish wise

Caught fresh and eaten fresh

With a side salad and beer and wine

upon the shelf

Upon the Shelf

by

Kevin L Fairbrother

 

I spied it sitting on the shelf

A pretty shape and so smooth

It set my pulses racing

And my eyes bulged in my head

I picked it up with gentle touch

And caressed the smooth skin

My fingers explored the bottom

Then ran up to the head

I put my face against the skin

Was bowelled over by the aroma

So I kissed it on the head

Then bit it on the shoulder

The juices flowed I sucked them up

And peeled the skin from the flesh

Caressed the body so round and smooth

Which made more juices flow

The flesh so sweet.. oh so sweet

I was drunk with ecstasy

All gone now.. just lingering sweet taste

Which makes me want to

Pick another Orange off the shelf

 

Inspired just now whilst eating an orange

A place we call Home

A place we call Home

By

Kevin L Fairbrother

The cold westerly winds rolls down the hills and across the plains

The frost on the ground as thick as a man’s hand

The air drawn in chills the body to the bone

This is the Central Plateau, the place we call home

Living here you need to be strong and resilient

Prepared to take what- ever Mother Nature brings

Wake to a snow blanket or biting winds and freezing rain

Or just maybe experience a hot sunny day

Life is hard for the high country people

Work to be done what-ever the weather

Wood to cut to keep the home fires burning

Feeding out or mustering or maybe a hunt

Keeps meat on the table and the dogs with a full gut

We choose to live and work in the high country

For the place is special, gives us a natural high

No place for the hustle and bustle of towns and cities

This place so peaceful, serine and quite

A visit to the high country an experience you will never forget

The extremes of weather, the rolling plains and the craggy mountains

The glistening waters of the streams, the rivers and lakes

The majestic Cider Gum, the snow gums and mountain heath

For the Central Plateau is like nowhere else on earth

For the dream time of old, the pristine wilderness

The night sky glistening and sparkling so very close

I love the high country, the place I call home

Name Blanks

As I grow older, I tend to remember less and less

Especially peoples names, which I always forget

Their faces I recall in my brain somewhere

But for the love of me, I can’t remember their name

………………………………………………

I have  come up with a remedy to fix this problem

and it seems to work , for every-one answers

Though some with a worried look on their brow

As I just call everyone Harry or Harriet

………………………………………………

But my name is not Harry or Harriet they say

And I say you tell me your name and I’ll forget

It’s so easy for me  to call you Harry or Harriet

As my brain and hearing is not the best

…………………………………………….

So don’t  be offended I mean no disrespect

It’s just my way of putting a name to a face

For sticks and stones will break your bones

But names like Harry or Harriet will  not hurt you.

 

Composed by way2gokev     9/11/2014

A few weeks back at a camp at Reeves beach I met up with fellow campers Rob and Lorraine and Rob just happened to be a bit of a poet like me.

Anyway he must have got sick of me calling him Harry for before he left he wrote me a poem, I love it.

OLD MATE

by Robert Bradfield alias Harry

I’ve travelled round Australia

Seen lot’s of different places

I’ve met a lot of people

With different names and faces

……….

But when we camped at Reeves Beach

At a place called 90 mile

There we met a fella

From down the Apple Isle

……..

He pulls a great big caravan

and takes it nice and slow

He tows it with a Nissan

I said that’s the “WAY2GO”

……

He came across as a happy bloke

Whose vibes just seemed to carry

No matter what your name was

He just called you Harry

……

When we left we wished him the best

and you may not think this true

I’d forgotten what his name was

So I just called him Blue!

 

In Australia a lot of people especially men call their friends not by their proper names. Popular names like Mate, Cobber, Bloke, Blue and many others, now there is another to add to the many “HARRY”