Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back on the Farm

Views from the house

On Saturday morning my two younger and less attractive brothers and I jumped in the car and headed over the Blue Mountains to our grandparents farm. The sheep and cattle farm is near a small country town called Rylstone. We were heading back to a family lunch; a celebration of my return. Usually people celebrate when I leave so it was nice to have a celebration for my arrival :)

Views from the house

Most of the family was there, with the notable exclusion of my Grandmother, Delia, who was in hospital nursing terrible pains in her back. A small bone had broken off from her spine, pushing into her nerve and causing excruciating pain. She was bed ridden and taken to hospital waiting for an appointment with a specialist. I went to see her in the hospital, which is only 5 or so kilometers from the farm, and the first thing she said was sorry she hadn't mown the lawn. As you can imagine, after a year away, returning home to find your dear Grandmother in an unbearable pain; it would be utter devastation to find that the lawn was not mown. I mean, how rude is that. I told her so too.

Lunch including two younger yet terribly unattractive brothers

We had a great roast lunch, each taking turns to ferry different parts of the meal to the hospital so Delia (nickname I gave her) could, at least partly, join in the celebrations. It was good to catch up with everyone, share some stories of Vietnam and catch up on what was happening in their lives.

Random bear enjoying lunch

I am staying on the farm for the majority of the time I am in Australia and the weather is a bitter change from Hanoi. The past few days have had temperatures around 5-10 degrees. The days are usually sunny and if you stay in the sun it is crisp but pleasant. Inside we have the fire burning all day and night and have electric blankets going at night on the beds. It is definitely a change from Hanoi where I spend most of my days sweating or washing off the sweat and dirt and pollution my body accumulates when I am outside. The pace, obviously, is much slower here and it is a welcome break from the busy, noisy and polluted street of Hanoi.

Keeping the sheep out

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