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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Challenges of Farming - 3. CoF Ch 3

I had bought a telephone system that has two portable phones with rechargers, so that I had the main phone in the office, one portable phone in the kitchen, and I took one out to the shed’s maintenance area, and I was pleased that the coverage was still good from the house.

I had bought a dozen six packs of beer while in Albany, and I handed a pack over to each of the men who helped me today, and thanked them very much for their great help. When they had all gone with just Loretta and Malcolm left, I handed over a six pack of beer to them.

“We have a little house warming gift for you,” Loretta stated, as Malcolm accepted the beer and walked over to his vehicle, and when he opened the door, a young Kelpie dog jumped out and rans straight to me, and I squatted down to meet and pat him, and I received a lick on the face in return, which made me laugh.

“His name is Jack, and he is two years old and fully trained, both in the house and out in the paddock,” Malcolm announced to me. “Wow, this is so great, I was considering getting a dog in the near future, but I have been so busy,” I responded, as I wrapped my arms around Jack. “I bought some supplies for you, from Denmark, since you were not expecting him, come with me to my vehicle,” Malcolm said to me.

In the back of his vehicle was a large cushion bed, a large feed bowl and water bowl, a carton of cans of dog food and a bag of dog biscuits. He already had a collar on, which I was pleased to see. “Wow, this is way too much, I don’t know how to…” I said as I started to tear up, and I felt a dog nose nudge my hand, as I squatted down and hugged him

“It is ok Jack, I am just very happy,” I said to my new dog, and I leaned my head against him for a few moments before standing up again. Once all the supplies were brought into the house, I thanked Loretta and Malcolm again before they set off home, which I didn’t exactly know where that is.

I placed the feed and water bowls in the laundry and filled them with water a biscuits, before calling Jack, and we headed out to the vehicle, where Jack jumped in and sat down on the front passenger seat. When we arrived at the yards to do the milking, Jack stayed at my side, without me saying anything.

Jack watched carefully, as I brought the two cows into the shed, and open the gate into the yards, so the kids and calves can get to their drink trough, when I have finished, and once I had milked the cows and fed the little ones, I let them out into the respective paddocks.

When I began to hose down the milking shed, Jack lay down on the ground just out of the shed and watched me. When that was done, I headed over to the chicken pen, and collected the eggs, checked the feeder, before closing the gate, now that the chickens were inside.

As soon as I opened my vehicle door, Jack jumped in and settled in on the passenger seat, while I placed the container of eggs on the floor below him, and we made our way back to the house, after doing a U turn on Redmond West Road, when I started to head north towards the cottage, instead of south towards the house, until I remembered that all of my food was still at the cottage, so I did an about turn once more, and ten minutes later we arrived at the cottage.

I let Jack follow me inside, and he lay down in the kitchen, and stayed there while I went in search of my large esky, and a number of boxes, to as to transport all the food in.

Once the pantry and fridge were empty, I turned off the fridge and left the door open, before starting to carry the boxes to the vehicle placing the colder items on the seat, and the dry items on the floor.

With Jack in his usual place, we headed back to the house, where I carried everything inside from the back door, and put all the frozen and cold food away in the fridge and freeze, and all the dry foods into the pantry. With all of that done, I walked around the whole house twice, with Jack following me, so he gets to know where everything is, and ending the tour at the office.

I picked up the boxes off the floor and began stacking them on the lower book shelves, which are a lot deeper than usual. Once that was done, I leaned on the book case and it moved slightly, before I heard a click.

This go me a little puzzled, as I grabbed the side of the bookshelf and tried to move it, and it didn’t budge. Looking closer at the book case, I could not see any screws in the back of it, to indicate that it is secured to the wall, but some how it is.

I knocked on the wall beside the book case and it sounded solid like bricks, so I was a little confused, as I bent down and pulled out the boxes at each end of the lower shelf, to have a closer look, and on the right hand side, barely visible was a small button, which I reached in and pressed it, and with a click, the bookcase moved slightly towards me.

I put the two boxes back on the lower shelf, before standing and grabbing the side of the bookcase I pulled, and just that one end of the bookcase, swung open and there was already a light on, which revealed a spiral staircase. After telling Jack to stay, I headed down the stairs, swatting away the numerous cobwebs on the way down, and at the bottom which I was sure was well underground, I came across a closed steel door.

I found a light switch near the door frame, which I discovered switched off the lights in the area, so I switched it back on, and pushed the door lever down, and the steel door opened. Although it was rather musty smelling, it was very cool temperature, and I could see a hint of daylight coming from the ceiling.

Feeling around, I found a light switch and I flicked it on, and discovered that I was inside a large wine cellar, and that there was three rows of shelving, one in the centre and one on each of the side walls.

As I walked down one aisle, I came across a dust covered leather lounge chair, with a coffee table in front and a tallboy cabinet at each end.

Although the centre shelving was empty, but each of the side shelving are filled with bottles, and I walked back down the aisle, and saw hundreds of bottles and stopping, I carefully pulled out one bottle and it was a red wine, dated five years ago. Going down the other aisle, I found just as many bottles, and they were all white wines.

Going back to the leather lounge, I looked at the two cabinets, which were locked, with the keys in place, and I unlocked it and carefully opened it, to reveal about three dozen bottles of whiskey, vodka and gin. While the other cabinet contained three dozen bottles of brandy, cognac and rum.

Closing the doors and locking both cabinets, I kept hold of the two keys, and as I approached the door, I noticed that it had a key too, so I turned off the lights, closed and locked the door, and headed back upstairs, closing the bookcase firmly behind me until I heard the click.

I was not sure where, but I had to keep these keys in a safe place, that what was down there was very expensive by my guess.

Both the lounge room and the office, have a fireplace, with both of them having cast iron wood heaters in them, so I carefully looked up into the chimney in the office, and noticed a slight ledge about two feet up, which would be perfect hiding place, all I needed now was a tin box to place the keys in.

With it now getting dark, I stepped into the hallway, and flicked on the light switch, before going down to the kitchen, turning on the light switch there, and going to the fridge, I pulled out the two steaks that I had left out of the freezer for tonight’s dinner, one for me and one for Jack.

While eating dinner, I noticed that it was a little chilly, so I managed to locate my torch, and with Jack following, we headed over to the shed, where I recall seeing a pile of fire wood, stacked in the back corner of the shed, along with a wheel burrow.

Once the burrow was full, I pushed it to the front verandah, and after three trips, I had piles of wood and kindling in the lounge and the office. I decided that I would try having just one wood heater fire, so I stacked the paper and kindling into the lounge room fire and lit it.

Soon I had a good fire going, and I could already feel the warmth from it, as I grabbed Jack’s dog bed from the chair and placed it on the floor, about two metres from the fireplace, and he went over to it and lay down and was soon snoozing away, which made me smile.

The next morning, Jack was at my side as we headed outside and jumped into the vehicle and set off to the milking shed, and once again, Jack lay just outside of the shed and watched as I got to work.

When I had finished everything, Jack and I headed back to the house for some breakfast, and I had just finished eating when I heard a vehicle, and I remembered that I was getting vehicles serviced today.

When I introduced myself to the mobile mechanic, whose name is Tom Baxter, I showed him to the shed, and asked if he could service the quad bike first, and could he service my vehicle, as well as the ride on lawn mower and the tractor, which he was happy to do.

Once he had the quad bike operational, I called Jack, and he jumped onto the seat behind me, with his paws on the on my shoulder, “Clever boy,” I said to him as I scratched behind his ears, before we set off to check the cattle, and make sure that the wind mill and water tank are all ok.

I have mostly dams on the property to provide all of the water for the stock, but I do have the windmill and tank to provide fresh drinkable water to service all of the buildings, after discovering that the aerial map at the back of the main farm map indicates water pipes leading to all of the main buildings, including the house at the vineyard property and all sheds on the east side of the river.

Once I was happy with the fresh water supply, I headed back to the house, to check on how the servicing of the vehicles was going. “All complete, the tractor is purring like a kitten and your vehicle just needed an oil change, everything else is fine,” the mobile mechanic said to me as I approached him at the shed.

“Do you send me an invoice or do you want a cheque now,” I asked, “I have an invoice written up, if you can transfer the money into my account by the end of the week, that would be great thanks,” the mechanic said, as he put the last of his tools away on the tray of his vehicle and wiped his oily hands on a rag, before retrieving the invoice from inside his vehicle.

Once the mechanic had left, I opened the door to my vehicle and Jack jumped right in, and a few minutes later we arrived at the shed on the small block on the corner of Hunwick and Redmond West Roads, where I was in search of a couple of gates that I recall seeing here.

I found three farm gates, one that is large, and two smaller ones, and I loaded all three onto the back of my vehicle and we headed up the road to where the driveway is to where the milking sheds, orchard and veggie garden are located, and borders with the leased property with the vineyards.

Twenty metres in from the main road is the boundary fence, which is where I stopped, and after measuring the space between the gate posts, I checked the size of the large gate, which was an almost perfect match, so I pulled it off the back, and stood it up in place.

The gate hinges were already attached, as was the two attachments in the fence post, and after a bit of fiddling around, I managed to get the gate into place. I had to adjust the hinge rods, so as to get the gate at the correct level, and once that was done, I put the latch into place to secure the gate in a closed position.

Happy that I now had this driveway closed off, I headed back to the main shed, to locate some more tools, some strands of wire, and also a chain and padlock. “With just the wire and pliers, I headed back to the gate, and wrapped two strands at two levels of the gate hinge and around the post, so that the gate can hot be lifted off the hinge to get access.

I also put a strand around the gate and post at the other end, until I can get into town to buy some chain and padlocks. With that job done, I headed up to the main part of the farm, where the entrance gateway is just over 100 metres off the road, and the two smaller gates would fit across the driveway.

It didn’t take me too long to get the two gates on the hinge, and once again I wrapped around the gate and the post so that the gate cannot be lifted off, and I wired the two gates together, until I can get the chain and lock. Pleased that I now had secured two of the main entry points onto the farm, I headed back to the main shed near the house, where I would keep my vehicle parked when not in use.

Behind the shed, I managed to locate two more gates, which I loaded onto the vehicle and took them down to the front entry to the farm, and I leaned them against the fence, and decided that I needed to go into town now, to get those supplies, and a few other items, so leaving the gates at I placed them, I headed for Denmark, which is just a twenty minute drive away.

When I arrived at the hardware store I searched for and located heavy duty chain, six heavy duty padlocks. While looking around the store, I saw some farm security motion camera, and picking up an information brochure, I had a read of it, and decided that I should get a few of these, to monitor some of the buildings on the farm, especially at night time, so I ended up purchasing four of them.

Once back at home, I swung the two gates at the front of my property on the south end, once again putting wire around the gate and post, so they cannot be lifted off, and I closed the gates behind my vehicle and placed a new chain and padlock on. With that done, I looked around at the surrounding trees and there was a large jarrah tree just ten metres in from the gates.

Copyright May 2021 All Rights Reserved, Preston Wigglesworth
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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🤔 Always nice to find a hidden room stocked with alcohol. Jack is a smart & good dog…but steak?! That’s what I call living the good life. 😂 

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Well, if it is the right kind of wine and especially cognac; it could be worth a fortune, although five years old isn't that much for wine.  You would think that Mitch would be more interested in who put the stuff there and how come no one mentioned it...  Some things are not adding up about some of this; I smell a mystery...

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