Things have improved considerably, having changed from ‘I don’t want to stay here for 2 months’ to ‘I don’t mind if we have to stay longer’. Several factors have contributed to this. Tracy’s relaxed attitude has eased the feeling of always getting ‘it’ wrong, being thick or being too lowly. Access to her truck and then Gaylene’s mustang gave us some freedom and opportunities to explore the area before we leave. Being given permission to ride whenever it suits us and until recently, not having to share Dunner has been an enormouse boost, not just the riding itself but enabling us to prepare for the next ranch and hopefully being able to get more out of that place.
This ranch being sold has taken the pressure off Gaylene, who is less stressed, but also we do not have to do emergency clearups and facelifts when there may be a viewing at relatively short notice. Ben (her son) has a purpose as he is managing the new property and coupled with the 2 new guys, seems to have made him much more friendly and communicative. We have also repeated some jobs so now know how she likes them done and where all the equipment is kept and can even make useful suggestions, which seem to be appreciated. There have also been periods when we have been left ‘in charge’ of the place which enabled us to realise just how lovely and peaceful it is and how lucky we have actually been.
Having the cabin to ourselves made me realise how much I valued our privacy and independance. Arnaud was a lovely chap and here before us but it is nice not to have to share the living environment; not sure how that’s going to work in other places. Gaylene was kind enough to put the 2 new Italian guys in the basement of the log house (not too shabby for them!) so as to continue to allow us our privacy, just cooking for them as well in an evening. Mattia and Vittorio arrived last week, 19 and 18 year olds from near Bologna. They are a nice pair but spend the day with Ben at the new ranch so we see little of them.
Gaylene has kindly suggested that we move into what she called (for the first time!) the honeymoon suite in the log house for our final weekend. It is the top floor so we will have a full storey between us and the boys! It was a lovely offer although we are quite happy in the cabin. The one main advantage is that it has a huge sunken bath in which we can soak our aching muscles and joints. The precipitating factor is that another new workawayer arrives on Friday, Kate, so she will be in the other bedroom in the cabin (when I’ve finished cleaning it and it has some furniture!) She will be here for 4 months whilst also working as a lecturer at one of the local colleges. She will be able to settle in for a couple of weeks before Isa returns mid-sept into the room we will vacate. These 2, Tracy and Gaylene will manage this site whilst other help will be diverted to the new ranch or Dawson Creek. 4 single, middle aged, peri-menopausal women on one site! Glad we will be gone although I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall!
Gaylene wanted to give us something as a leaving present but knew that we don’t have any room in the backpacks as well as no abode to enjoy an object. She is planning a farewell and welcome (to Kate) meal on Friday but also wanted to take some photos of us around the ranch and with Dunner etc. Yesterday evening was beautiful so we had an hour’s notice to do the evening feed, shower and make ourselves presentable for a photoshoot. On arrival at the barn the boys had collected groomed and brushed Dunner and Gaylene sorted us all out into her best Stetsons (although none would fit over Vittorio’s dreadlocks!)
She came armed with 2 backpacks full of camera equipment as it had been a keen interest and we used the golf buggy to whizz around the estate searching for the best light. Dunner was, as ever, very patient and has obviously posed for the camera many times before. We took him down to the log house where Sammy joined in, much to our pleasure. Next stop was Miss G’s pen where even she obliged. We feel very lucky that she given us her trust as she was very wary initally and still is with many people (and the strimmer!). Gaylene has promised to send me a photo of the foal when she is delivered of Lokota and Rocker’s baby, which will look quite odd next to her surrogate mummy. She’s practising now by standing next to Tinkerbell the mini, who is currently in the pen next door and barely reaches her knees.
Our final stage was with Meg and Angel but having finally got Angel to stay away from us when we are working in their paddock she was reluctant to come and be fussed for the camera although did for a short while. We have probably totally confused her now!