Thursday, January 10, 2019

SHEARING AT STONEHENGE AND MORE WITH BILLY KINGHORN ~ 3

"Hey Yorky, are those Merinos hard to shear? I've never shorn any.", asked Steve.
"It depends how many wrinkles are on 'em. Some of 'em, I'm flat out shearing 110 in a day."
"Jesus mate, I probably would be able to shear 50 a day in 'em."
"Ya gotta' get used to 'em first mate. It's a different style of shearing."
     Just then, Bill walked in the Lounge and said with a big smile,
"Yorky mate, did you get my missus drunk tonight?"
"No fucking way mate. She didn't need any help, she did it all on her own. We just bought the drinks for her. Is she alright?"
"Yeah, she flaked out on the couch. She couldn't make it upstairs."
"Are ya upset mate?"
"No fucking way Yorky. She was too drunk to nag at me. That's a good thing."
"Ya want a drink Bill?"
"Yeah, a lager and a whiskey chaser but I'm buying Yorky. I'm gonna' have a peaceful night tonight thanks to you. How much do I owe you for Shirleys' drinks?"
"Get fucked Billy!"

>>>>>>>>

     The following week, Bill got himself a new wool roller. His name was Bruce and he came from Brisbane. He never had much to do with shearing sheds in his life. He was what we called a city bloke.
     In Australia, Once the fleece is off the sheeps' back, it gets thrown onto the table and then 'skirted' to remove any 'dags'. It's then put in a bin, ready for the presser to press it into a large bale. In England, all they do is roll the fleece up and put it into a big hessian sack.
     Bill showed Bruce how to roll up the fleeces and how to tie them. Along with rolling fleeces, Bruce also had to drag the sheep out of a pen, onto the shearing stand which was, admittedly, not the easiest job.
     It didn't take long for me to realize that Bruce was a lazy bastard and a bit of a con man. On this particular day, we were shearing on the Salsbury Plain in Wiltshire. Billy had told Bruce to drag sheep for me that day. I made sure that I kept him working flat out.

     In those days, I could shear most English sheep in under a minute. Bruce had a hard time keeping up with me. The field we were shearing in had a huge monument in it called STONEHENGE. At smoke time, myself and mi shearing mates sat in the Stonehenge circle with out backs to some of the stones, drinking a beer and eating our sandwiches that Shirley had made for us.
     It wasn't until years later that I heard that Stonehenge was, supposedly, a mystical place that the Druids used for their ceremonies. As I sat there, eating mi smoko, Bruce came up to me and said,
"Hey Yorky, you've gotta' slow down mate. I'm fucked! I can't keep this up all day."
"So why don't ya fucking quit mate? Ya don't tell a shearer to slow down. That's how I know ya bullshitted Kinghorn when ya said ya worked in the sheds in Queensland."
"Well I did work in my Uncles' shed for a couple of hours, one time."
"Hey Bruce, I shore at quite a few sheds in Queensland so I know what I'm talking about mate. You wouldn't last two fucking minutes in a shed out back a' Quilpy. Those fucking shearers out there would eat ya for fucking dinner!"

     After smoko, we had our heads down and our arses up, going flat out as we had a lot of sheep to get through that day as Bill didn't want to come back next day just for a couple of sheep. Bruce was slacking off, standing around laughing and joking with some of the local women that Bill employed every year to roll wool.
     When my hand-piece wasn't cutting wool, I wasn't making money. I said to Bill,
"Ya gotta' give me another bloke to drag sheep for me. That Bruce is is a lazy fucking bastard. He wouldn't work in an iron fucking lung! Why did ya give the bastard a job anyway?"
"It's hard to find wool-rollers at this time of year Yorky. He assured me he'd been in the sheds before."
"Yeah well, he's a bullshit artist mate. Give him to Warren, he's the slowest shearer. He might be able to keep up with him."
"Alright Yorky mate, I'll get ya a better man to drag 'em out for ya."
"Oh and by the way Bill, I'd keep a good eye on the bastard if he's camping out at your place or he'll be after ya missus."
"Ya think so mate?"
"No mate, I know so. Every time I look up, he's bullshittin' those local women."

     That evening we all decided to drink at the Manor as Steve said he had noticed the same cop car parked at the end of Bills' driveway with their lights out. They were obviously still pissed off that I'd got away from them.
     Towards the end of the evening, Steve walked back across the road to Bills' place to get some more money as he had run out. When he got back to the bar he said to me, in an excited voice,
"Yorky mate, you're not gonna' believe what I just saw!"
"What are ya on about mate?"
"Bruce Yorky. Him and Shirley are drinking in the front room. They're sat on the couch, real close, laughing and joking together. I think he's trying to get a root out of her. Ya think we should tell Bill?"
"No mate. It's none of our business what she does. She's a grown woman. I can tell ya from experience mate, never stick ya nose into a situation like that or you'll end up getting covered in shit ya self."
     It was only a short time later that Billy walked up to me at the bar, with panic in his voice and said,
"Yorky mate, come outside with me will ya? You're not gonna' believe this!"
"What's the matter Billy? Have ya seen a ghost of something?"
"No, it's much worse than that."
     Once we were outside he said,
"Let's walk down this way a bit so we can't be seen."
"Where are we going mate? Who are we hiding from?"
"I'll show ya."
     We walked across the road to the wall at the end of Bills' house as he said,
"Don't make a sound!"
"Alright mate, but what's going on?"
     We snuck up the side of the wall until we got to the window of the lounge room. Billy peeped in the side of the window and then said to me,
"Take a look mate."
"All right mate, move outa' the way so I can see."
     Being careful not to be seen, I looked in the window. There was Bruce and Shirley laid out on the couch, kissing each other. Bruce had his hand up Shirleys' skirt.
"Fucking hell Bill! The bastards trying to shag ya missus. How did ya find out without being seen?"
"I was thinking about what ya said today about not trusting the fucker so I dropped the girlfriend off early tonight and instead of going into the house, I snuck around to the front here just to see what Shirley was doing. What d'ya think I should do Yorky?"
"Well if I was you mate, I'd sneak into the house and catch 'em in the act. I'm off back into the Manor."
     Once I was back at the bar, Steve said to me,
"What's going on Yorky? Bill looked real worried. Did he get caught drinking and driving?"
"No mate, he just caught Bruce on the couch with his hand up Shirleys skirt."
"Ya fucking kidding me mate."
"I kid you not Steve."
"So what's Billy doing? Is he pissed?"
"I don't know mate. I didn't want to get involved so I left him to it."
"Jesus Christ, I knew they were up to something when I went back to the house to get mi money."
     Half an hour later, Bruce walked up to the bar with a half-smile smirk on his face and ordered a pint.
"What are you fucking smiling at Bruce?", I asked.
"Bill just caught me trying to root Shirley."
"So you think that's something to smile about mate?"
"Yeah it was funny. Ya won't think it's funny if he knocks ya arse over head mate."
"He's not gonna' do that or he'd have already done it. He just told me to get out a' the house and then he started yelling at Shirley."
"Yeah, well ya know what Bruce, fuck off and drink somewhere else mate. Bill's our mate and we don't like bastards like you."
"Yeah, go drink in the other room Bruce or I might job ya miself.", said Warren
     A short time later, Billy walked back into the bar.
"Ya wanna' beer Bill?", asked Sarah.
Yeah, a pint of lager and a whisky chaser."
     Once Sarah had put the drinks on the bar, Bill said to me,
"Can I talk to ya in private Yorky?"
"Sure mate. Let's go sit at one of those tables."
     Bill downed half of the lager in a couple of gulps and then said,
"I'm fucking stunned Yorky! I can't believe Shirley would fuck around on me like that, especially with that fucking loser, Bruce."
"What can I tell ya mate, shit happens."
"Yeah, but we've been married for 10 years mate. How can I ever trust the bitch again?"
"Have ya ever heard if 'what goes around' Bill?"
"Course I have but this is different! It's Shirley, mi missus!"
"Hey Billy, I love ya and all that and I feel for ya mate but haven't ya been shagging that girlfriend of yours for months?", I said.
"What's that gotta' do with anything? I'm a bloke.That's what we do."
"Maybe Shirley thinks what's good for the goose is good for the gander?"
"Not in my fucking house Yorky. She's the mother of mi kids!"
"Then, I don't know what to tell ya Bill. What about Bruce? Why didn't ya knock that slimy bastard arse over?"
"I can't really do that Yorky, I'm short of wool rollers. If I do that and he quits on me, I'll be in the shit."
"Well if ya gonna keep the bastard on the payroll the least ya can do is make him sleep outside in one of the caravans when we're local shearing and don't let him in the house for breakfast. Feed him outside with the fucking dogs."
"What a good idea Yorky."
"I think so mate. Go over to where he's sitting and tell him the good news. That'll wipe the smile off his face."
     Billy finished his pint, downed his whiskey chaser in one hit and said,
"I can't stand women who cheat on me!"
>>>>>>
   
     Wargret Manor was only 15 yards way from Kinghorns' back door. Myself and my 2 Kiwi shearing mates, Steve and Warren had no legitimate complaints, apart from the prices. I really enjoyed spending my evenings there as the customers were 'Up-scale Drunks'.
     One evening, Sarah the owner, said to me,
"Yorky, Kinghorn tole me you're pretty good on the guitar, is that right?"
"I'm not bad Sarah. Why? What do you have in mind, a party?"
"Well, sort of.  I've got a group of older ladies in our big room. It's their annual diner and I thought you might consider entertaining them for half an hour or so."
"Yeah Sarah, no worries love. that could be good fun."
"I should warn you first Yorky, the youngest one's about 70. They're a pretty raunchy crowd."
"That won't worry me. I've been known to get a bit raunchy miself at times."
"Give me another pint of lager and a couple for mi mates and I'll head across to Bills' place and get the guitar."
'This is gonna' be a good night.', I thought as I headed over to Bills' place. This will put me in good with Sarah. Who knows, there may be a bit of a root in it for me at the end of the evening. She seems to like me quite a bit.

"Yorky, What are you doing back so early?", asked Shirley as I walked into the house.
"I just came to get the guitar. They're having a bit of a party at the Manor. Why don't you come across for a while and have a drink? It'll do you good."
"I'd like to Yorky but I don't have a baby sitter for Alister."
"Is he asleep?"
"Yeah, for now."
"Well, you can pop back every half hour and check on him."
"You know what Yorky, I might just do that. Is Billy over there?"
"No love, he took off somewhere. He said he'd be back soon."
"Yeah, like 'early in the morning' soon."
     Guitar in hand, I headed out the door and said,
"See ya over there Shirl."
"I gotta' get dressed first. I'll be there in half an hour."

     Back in Wargret Manor, my pint of lager was waiting for me on the bar.
"Hey Yorky mate.", said Steve. "Are we having a party?"
"It sure looks like it Steve-O."
"That's great. It'll remind me of all the wild Maori parties back home in Kiwi land."
"Yeah, I know what ya mean. I've been to a lot of 'em miself. I never met a Maori yet who couldn't sing and play a guitar. I liked it best when they sang their cultural songs in Maori."
"Me too Yorky."
"Ya know, I spent a Xmas in the North Island with an old shearing mate of mine called Boy Peck. It was one of the best times I've ever had. They put down this massive Hungi and had 10 kegs of beer. The party lasted for seven fucking days. No one went home, they just crashed wherever they could and when they woke up they just carried on partying."

"Have you to the guitar Yorky?", asked Sarah as she came back in the lounge bar.
"I sure have. It's tuned up and ready to go."
"I'll just get this couple their drinks and then we'll go into the other room and I'll introduce you to Warehams' Senior Ladies Club."
     Once we were in the dining room, Sarah hit the side of a beer glass with a spoon and said,
"Ladies, Ladies, quiet please. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Yorky. He's from Australia and he's very kindly agreed to entertain you with his guitar, so let's give him a Wargret Manor welcome with some clapping."
"It's all yours Yorky.", said Sarah as she put the empty beer glass and spoon on the table.
     Now, I gotta' tell ya, this group of around 30 ladies were not your ordinary conservative elderly old ladies. Every single one of them were wearing their Sunday best and were as drunk as monkeys.
     As soon as I strummed the first chord, they started to hoot and holler. The first song I played and sang was Tom Jones' Green Green Grass of Home. As  soon as I finished they clapped and hotted even louder. The next song I sang was an old Elvis song, The Wonder of You. Half-way through the song, Sarah brought me in another pint of larger and sat it on the table and said,
"Thanks Yorky, they're loving it."
     Once the Elvis song was finished, one of the ladies shouted out,
"Can you play something more lively?"
"Sure love, what would you like to hear?"
     Another older lady shouted out,
"Can you play any dirty ditties?"
"I can, but there's a lot of swearing in them and they're pretty raunchy."
"That's what we want to hear!", shouted another old girl. "We're all spinsters here tonight and we need a bit of raunchy stuff to remind us of when we were young."
     I was a bit apprehensive at first but then I thought,
'Oh well, fuck it. If you get offended, you asked for it.'
     My first song was Maggie May. There's a line in the song about those old red tattered drawers that Maggie wore. When I got to the line about how they were wet all down the front from the dripping of her cunt, I missed out the word 'cunt'. To my surprise, a roomful of old girls shouted out at the top of their voices, 'CUNT!" From that point on, it was all systems go. The more foul language that I sang, the more they loved it. Halfway through one of the baudy ballads, one of them go up on the table and removed her 'granny knickers' and swung them round and round her head. At that point, the whole room started clapping and cheering the old girl who was so drunk and happy as a pig in shit! At the end of the ballad I shouted out to her,
"You must have been a bit of a goer in your youth!"
"I still am!", she shouted back. "Look what you've done to me. Ya sang the bloomers off me."
     Once I'd run out of songs, which took a half-hour or so, I thanked my audience of old girls and went back to the lounge bar.
"Yorky, that was absolutely fantastic and so generous of you.", said Sarah. "Those old ladies will remember this night for the rest of their lives."

"Are you behaving yourself Yorky?", said a female voice behind me.
     When I turned around, there was Bills' missus. She had done her hair, applied some makeup and wore a pretty that showed a bit of cleavage.
"Shirl, how are ya mi love? What can I get you to drink?"
"Vodka and orange sounds good Yorky, if ya don't mind."
"Course I don't mind Shirl, why would I?"
"Well Wargret Manor is known for its' prices."
"Oh fuck that Shirley, who cares. We're making money a ton of money shearing. Besides, it's a working holiday."
     Both Warren and Steve, who were by this time quite drunk, chimed in and said,
"Yeah, fuck the expense Shirley. It's our shout. You cook our meals and wash our greasy dungarees so you're not allowed to buy any drinks tonight. Order whatever you like, we're paying."
"That's very sweet of you boys. It's lovely to be appreciated for a change."
"No worries Shirley.", I said. "Here ya go love, One large vodka and orange. Have as many as you like."

     The night progressed along well and everyone, including Billys' missus, were having a great time. At one point, Shirley who was a little bit on the drunk side started to tell me her marriage problems which made it a bit awkward.
     After a while, I said,
"Shirl, Billy's mi shearing and although I feel for ya, what can I say love? I gotta' stay neutral cause I'm good friends with both of ya so let's change the subject eh."
"You're absolutely right Yorky.", she said with a bit of a slur in her speech. "I shouldn't have put you in that position. That wasn't fair."
"No worries Shirl, forget about it."

     A short time later,  I saw her talking to Steve. By the look on his face I could tell what they were discussing.
"Let me get you another Lager Yorky.", said Sarah.
"Good on ya Sarah.", I said and emptied my glass.
     While I was sat at the bar talking to warren about New Zealand, a bloke who had been sat at the bar for a couple of hours tipping them back, said to me,
"So you blokes are shearing for Kinghorn are ya?"
"Yeah, that's right mate."
     He looked older than me and was roughly about my size.
"Ya think you're a smart bastard don't ya, just because you can shear sheep and make a ton of money."
"Why do ya say that mate? I don't remember saying anything wrong to you sport?"
"Ya haven't", he replied.
"So why would ya say something like that? Ya don't even know me."
"Cause I don't fucking like you."
"Well that's alright mate. Nobody says you have to like me. That's up to you."
     Warren, who had been listening to the bloke mouthing off said,
"Hey mate, leave us alone. Were not bothering you are we?"
"Yeah you are, as a matter of fact."
"Forget about him Warren, have another Lager. Give us your glass mate, I'll buy ya one.", I said.
     Five minutes later, the bloke started again and said to me,
"You think you're a big shot don't you? Buying drinks for every one."
"Listen mate, I don't know who the fuck you are and what your problems are but if you keep running ya bullshit on me, I'll fucking knock ya arse over head! Do you understand what I'm telling ya sport?"
"Fuck you, you bastard. I'd like to see you try!"
     By this time, the few people who were left in the Lounge had noticed what was happening and the nose level had dropped a few decibels.
"Would you like to say that again mate? Why do you think I can't? Just go home mate."
"Fuck you, don't tell me what to do!"
     That was it! It was obvious to me that this bloke, whoever he was, had every intention of ruining a great night out. I drank the last dregs of Lager, then put the glass on the bar. I turned around fully to face the bloke and said,
"Last warning mate, Fuck Off home while ya still in one piece."
"Fuck you! Are you going to make me?"
"Yeah.", I said. "I am!"
     Without any further warning, I drove a well-aimed right at the bridge of his nose and splattered it across his face. The bridge of his nose was now reshaped flat as he went flying backwards off the stool. Blood was pissing out all over the floor. The bloke was laid out on the floor, not knowing what hit him.
"Give me a hand Warren."
"Sure Yorky, anything mate."
"Help me drag this loud mouthed bastard out the back."
     Once we had him out back, I said to Warren,
"Lay the bastard on the lawn so he doesn't bleed all over the concrete path."
     The bloke started to moan as he came to. The last words I had with him were,
"I fucking warned ya not to fuck with me mate but ya wouldn't listen. if ya come back inside and bother me or any of my mates, I'll give ya another fucking dose. Now go home like I told ya!"
     This time no 'fuck you' came out of him. He was too busy moaning,
"Ya broke my nose, ya broke my nose."
     That was the last I ever saw of the bloke.

     Back inside, Sarahs' brother, Raymond, was still mopping up the blood from where the bloke had hit the deck.
"Thanks for that Yorky. He's been bothering some of my other customers ever since he walked in. I was wondering how I was going to get rid of him, without getting hurt."
"You're welcome Raymond, anytime mate."
     As I sat back down on mi stool, Sarah placed another lager in front of me and said,
"Thank you. He's been asking for that all  night. He got abusive with me, once I told him I wasn't going to serve him anymore."
"Oh well, he won't be abusing anyone else for a while, that's for sure."
     Bills' missus wobbled up to me with a shocked look on her face and a large drink in her hand and said,
"Are you all right Yorky?"
"Yeah, I'm good Shirl. How're you going?"
"Oh my goodness, I've never seen like that in my life. I think you broke his nose."
"I'll be disappointed if I didn't Shirl."
"Why did he start picking on you for no reason?"
"I have no idea love but he's probably still out back if ya want to ask him."
"Oh no, I'm not comfortable around people like that."
"Neither am I Shirl. I grew up in the Outback and no matter how much grog a man drinks, it's no excuse to disrespect another man. That is, unless ya want a smack in the chops. Drink up love, I'll buy ya another drink."
"No way Yorky. Thanks for offering. I can hardly stand up as it is. I'd better go after I finish this one or I'll be so hung over in the morning I won't be able to make breakfast."

"Fucking shit.", said Steve as soon as Shirley had gone to find a seat. "What a fucking punch Yorky mate! Did ya see that blokes' nose splatter and the blood that came out?"
"That's what I aimed for mate. I wasn't gonna' mess up mi good clothes rolling around the floor with that fucking yobo."
"How did it start mate?"
"He just started disrespecting me for no reason at all."
"I guess he didn't need a reason. Did it bother ya, hitting him that hard?"
"Not one fucking bit mate."
"It must be a tough life in the Outback of Australia, is it?"
"Well, it's not fucking easy mate but life's not too fucking easy no matter where ya live, is it?", I said.
"No, I suppose not Yorky."












   




Friday, December 7, 2018

YORKY TO THE RESCUE ~ 6

     Most of the shearing was left to Billy, Jerry his brother and the Kiwis. On evening, miself and Kerry were partying at the Kildonan when Bill and a new girlfriend of his walked in.
"Bill!, I yelled out. "Come and join us mate. Where've ya been? Ya missing out on all the fun."
"I'm in the shit Yorky."
"Why? What's the matter mate?"
"I was driving home late last night from Lamlash and I smashed up the front end of mi new Peugeot."
"How the fuck did ya do that mate? Were ya pissed?"
"Not really Yorky. I'd had a few but I was perfectly capable of driving."
"So, what happened?"
"I was doing about about 40 round a corner and right out of the blue, a fucking cow decided to cross the road. I hit the bastard in the rear end and broke both its' legs."
"Ya fucking kidding. What's gonna happen?"
"I drove back to mi mothers' place and called the cops. I told them there was a cow laid out in the middle of the road on a blind corner."
"Did ya tell 'em you'd hit it?"
"No fucking way. I said some one else must have hit it first."
"How much damage did ya do to the Ute?"
"Probably 7 or 8 hundred quids worth."
"Fuck me dead Bill, you'll have to shear a few sheep to pay for that."
"Yeah. Jerry isn't too fucking happy either. We've only had it a couple of months and it's a company car."
"Well, at least ya weren't hurt mate, which is more than I can say for the cow. What's gonna' happen to the cow?"
"I told the cops to take the vet with them as they're gonna' need him."

>>>>>>>>

     It was a Thursday afternoon and I'd just found out that there was a disco night at a place called Shiskin. The night was billed as 'Shisky Disky'. I told mi Kiwi mates about it and they were quite excited about the prospect of going. Even Bill and Jerry said they were going as it was supposed to be a big event. Most of the young people on the Island would be there. I drove the two Kiwis over to Shiskin in my car and Kerry took his own.
     We arrived around 10 as that was the time the action was going to happen. The big event was held in an oversized Nisson hut which was already packed. Every young girl who worked in a hotel on the Island must have been there. The place looked like at least 3 to 1 in favor of girls.
     By the end of the evening, everyone had hooked up with a decent looking woman. I made arrangements for the Kiwis to get a ride back to the caravan with Jerry as I wanted a bit of privacy with my young sheila. We'd already done some heavy petting in mi car before the disco closed. I knew for sure that it was 'Jackpot night'!
     Everyone at the disco had been drinking which meant a lot of people would be driving home drunk. As we drove off, across the Island, I was super careful not to drive too fast. Not because I wasn't capable of driving but Billy had already pranged up his Ute and that was not going to happen to me.

     Halfway home, I spotted a young girl stood at the side of the road, frantically waving her arms. I pulled up to give her a ride home.
'What's a young girl doing out here in the middle of nowhere', I thought. 'Maybe she wouldn't cock it up so the boyfriend told her to get out and walk home.'
     As she walked towards the front of the car, I could see, from the headlights, that she had blood on her face and was hysterical.
"Help me! Help me!", she yelled.
     I immediately jumped out of the car and walked towards her.
"What's happened?", I said as I couldn't see any signs of a car. "Did someone beat ya' up?"
"No! No!  There's been a bad accident."
"What d'ya mean? I don't see any cars."
"They're down there.", she said, pointing down to a really steep gully.
     Fortunately it was quite light out due to the full moon. I looked over the edge of the road into the gully and there was the car. It looked like it was half-wrapped around a tree at the bottom. The young woman who I was with was now was out of my car, trying to calm down the girl who was probably no more than 18.
"Are you hurt?", I asked
"No, I'm just bruised but my friends are still in the car and they can't  move."
     In an instant, the effects of the nights' drinking were gone and  I sprang into action!
"You stay here with my friend while I climb down there to see what's happening."
"Please save them. One of them is my boyfriend the other 2 are my brother and his girlfriend. My brother was drinking all night and he ran off the road.
"Don't worry love, everything will be all right. I'll get 'em out of there."
     Looking down the gully again, I could see that it was really steep.  There were large rocks, soft dirt and small brush. If I tried to get down the gully directly, up from the car and I dislodged some of the boulders, they would go rolling down the gully and smash into their car.
     I walked about 10 feet up from the car and started to go down the gully. I estimated it was about 50 0r 60 feet to where their car came to an abrupt halt. As I descended  down the gully, small and medium-sized rocks rolled down in front of me. They missed the car as they bounced down the hill. I had to be really careful miself because if I missed mi footing and fell on mi arse, I could have skidded down the gully past the car and would have landed at the bottom and possibly broken something of mi own.

     Once I got level with the wrecked car, I stuck  mi head in the broken side window to see what the damage was inside.
"How is everyone? Has anyone got anything broken or bleeding badly?"
     All three of them were in shock. The girl in the front was crying.
"I think my arm's broken, I can't move it! Can you please go and get help for us. I don't want to die down here."
"Don't panic love. No one's gonna' die. I'm gonna' get ya all out of here and take ya to the hospital.", I told her.
"How are you mate?", I said to the driver.
     He was in so much shock he could only moan. The bloke in the back seat was wedged on the floor up against the back of the front seats.
"Mate, can ya hear me? Can ya move at all?"
"No," he moaned. I think mi leg's broken. I can't move it."
"All right, now listen carefully. This is what I'm gonna' do. I'm gonna' get ya all out of here, one by one. I'm gonna' get you to the top first love, then I'll come back down for you blokes."
     Luckily, both side doors had sprung open from the impact of hitting the tree.
     Marrie, the woman who I had picked up at the disco, called down the hill to me.
"Is anyone dead?"
"No, but I think there are broken bones."
"Let's drive into the first place that has a hospital for help.
"It's miles away. It'll take too long.", I said
" How're ya gonna' get 'me out?", she asked.
"I'm gonna' carry 'em up the hill, one at a time."

     Once I got the young woman out of the front seat and balanced her against the car, I said,
"If I hold ya good hand do you think ya can make it up the gully?"
"I'll try but I've only got one arm and the pain in mi other one is unbearable."
"We walked a few feet away from the car and I picked out a spot where I thought it would be the easiest way to get back up to the road. As soon as she had gone about 10 feet, she slipped and started to slide back down. Fortunatley, I was behind her so she didn't go the rest of the way. Now, she started to cry again saying,
"Mi dad's gonna kill me when I get home."
"Don't cry love. You're gonna' get home alright after I get you to a hospital."
     There was only one course of action that I could see. I would have to carry her up the gully on mi back. To make matters worse, all I had on mi feet were a pair of thongs that were causing me to slip on the loose dirt and rocks. I took 'em off and threw 'em towards the car.

"Alright Sweetheart, this is what we're gonna' do. Now, I'm warning ya, before we start, this is probably gonna' hurt ya a lot. You're gonna' have to be really tough!. I'm gonna' put ya over my shoulder like a sack of spuds and carry you up to the gully. Is that all right with you?"
     Between sobs she said,
"All right."
"Once we start, I won't be able to stop or we'll probably slide back down and that will be even more painful."
     I stood her up in position and then picked her up in a half-arsed Firemans' lift.
"Now, grab my belt with ya good hand and hang on best ya can."
     As soon as we made the first few steps up, she started crying really loud. I had to harden my heart so I could get her out of there.
      I lodged my bare feet in the soft dirt and found foot-holds in the bigger rocks. It was a good job I had been shearing bare-foot for a couple of months and my feet were really tough. I grabbed hold of the stronger bushes and pushed with my feet and pulled with my hands. I, more or less, went up that gully on mi hands and knees.
"Stop! Stop!", she cried. "I can't go any further. My arm hurts so bad."
     I had no time to give her any sweet talk so I said,
"Shut the fuck up will ya or we'll end up at the bottom. Is that what ya want?"
"No.", she cried and the loud crying became a bit softer.
     Eventually, after tearing the knees out of mi good Levis and scratching the fuck out of mi arms and elbows, I got her onto the road. Marrie was at the top waiting to give her some comfort and a shoulder to cry on. Then she helped her into the back of mi car.
"What about mi brother?", she cried. "You're not gonna' leave him down there are ya?"
"No love, I'm not. I'm going back down for him now."
"I don't believe this.", said Marrie. "This is like something out of a nightmare.
"You'd better believe it. Nightmare or not, I've got two blokes to get outa' that car."

     Once I got back down to the car, I said the bloke in the back,
"Your turn now mate. I'm gonna' get ya out'a here."
     I wrenched open the back door of the car and helped the bloke get himself up on the seat.
"I'm sure my fucking leg's broken. There's no way I'm getting out of this Gully."
     The kid was about 20 and quite thin so I knew I could get him up the hill no matter what it took. For some reason, his negativity clashed with my commitment to get him out.
     I said to him,
"You're going up this hill to my car even if I have to drag you every inch of the fucking way and if ya don't stop ya fucking wingin' mate, I'll knock ya out with a fucking rock and drag ya up there with ya broken fucking leg. Now, let's get ya out of the car first."
     Once I had him out and stood on one leg, I put him across my shoulders the same way as I carried the girl. Once we got going back up the gully, the young bloke was crying and swearing.
"Put me down ya fucking bastard. The pain's too much. I can't stand it!"
     Then he tried to get off mi shoulder.
"Keep still ya Scottish fucking cunt or we'll both end up at the bottom and then you'll have 2 broken legs. That girl has more guts than you, ya mongrel cunt! She got a broken arm and never made a sound!"
     That little bit of bullshit went a long way. The kid stopped complaining but kept on crying.
"One more to go.", I said to Marrie as I sat him on the side of the road.
"Maybe ya could say some soft, kind words to him. I had to be a bit brutal to him or he would have given up on me."
     The last bloke was stood next to the car when I got down the gully again.
"How're ya doing mate? Anything broken?"
"I think I might have broken some ribs. I've got a lot of pain in mi chest when I breathe. What's your name?", said the young bloke.
"Yorky, what's yours?"
"Jimmy. I don't know what we would have done if you hadn't come by. How do I thank you for getting us out of here?"
"Ya don't have to mate. Save ya strength for gettin' up this fucking gully. So, this is how we're gonna' do it. You're gonna grab my arm in a firemans' grip like this and I'm gonna pull ya up behind me. Do ya best to help with ya other hand and watch out for this loose dirt and rocks. I don't want one to hit ya in the head. Are ya ready to go?"
"Ready as I'll ever be. If I start complaining about the pain in mi chest just ignore me and keep going."
"Good on ya mate. I'll take it slowly alright?"

     It was much easier to get this young man out of the gully as he wasn't hurt as badly as the others. Also, he could help me by hanging onto rocks and bushes. At long last, I had all four people in mi car. The next job was to get them to a hospital.
     Once we found the hospital, Marrie went inside to get some help. Pretty soon nurses and orderlies were outside loading up the young people into wheel chairs and stretchers. A nurse said to me,
"Sir, we'll need you to come inside and give us your name and address for when we inform the police."
"No worries love, I'll be there shortly. As soon as she had disappeared inside, I said to Marrie,
"Hop in the car, we're out a here."
" What about giving all your details to the hospital?"
"Fuck that for a joke. I like my privacy too much."
"But they'll probably want to give you some recognition for saving their lives?"
"I'm not interested. I don't need recognition for doing the right thing."
   
     As we drove back to where Marrie was living, I started to think about the root I was expecting to get. When I pulled up outside her door she said,
"I'm going to go straight to  bed now Yorky."
"Me too love. I'll be right there once I park the car."
"On my own Yorky. I'm far too traumatized to think about sex tonight but pick me up tomorrow night after work and you're on.  By the way, what you did tonight for those people, you deserve a medal."
"I'd rather have a shag. Ya can keep the medal."
"Tomorrow night Yorky, I promise. Good night."

     On the drive back to the caravan, my 26 year old heart was happy that I could help the young kids but my 26 year old mind was pissed off because it cost me a good fuck.
     When I got back to the caravan in the early hours of the morning, all the lights were out. When I got inside I discovered I had the whole place to miself and no woman to share it with. Mi shearing mates were probably sleeping off a nights' partying and shaggin'.
     Here I am in an old caravan on mi own. As the famous Aussie Bush Ranger Ned Kelly said just before they hung him in Melbourne jail. "Such is life!"

     Around lunch time the next morning, Kinghorn stopped by the caravan on his way to Kildonan.
"Yorky mate.", he said as he walked in the caravan, "I hear you're a bit of a hero."
"How come?"
"Ya know that news travels fast on the Island and everybody's talking about one of my shearers saving four young peoples' lives last night. I guessed it was you."
"It could have been the Kiwis.", I said.
"Nah mate. No chance of that. They're good blokes and all that but they haven't got that kind of guts. They're not mature enough. Anyway, how come you're on ya own? What happened to that young lass I saw ya with last night? She was all over ya."
"The accident put the kibosh on that bit of pussy. She said she was too traumatized for sex."
"Typical woman mate. It doesn't take too much to put 'em off sex Yorky. Now, take me for example, I could be half fucking dead and still want a root."
"Yeah, right Billy. That's because you're the Isle of Arrons number one gigolo!"
"I wouldn't say that Yorky, but I'm doin' my best."

     We joked around for a few minutes then Billy said,
"Well, are you getting out of that fart sack or not? Let's go to one of the hotels and I'll buy ya a liquid lunch."
"How about a feed to go with it?
"You're on Yorky. Let's go mate. We can't keep the ladies waiting can we?"












Saturday, September 1, 2018

AN EXCERPT FROM CHARLEVILLE STORY

Shearers don't always shear..when it rains they are forced to do other kinds of work or travel hundreds of miles to find a shed where it isn't raining..
This is an excerpt from a story..The theme is 'MATESMANSHIP'
>>>>>>>>>>

"Ya want another beer Yorky?", said Jeff.
"Might as well. We're not going anywhere till this storm eases up a bit."

     That evening, after the hotel closed, Jeff and miself camped out in our vehicles. I put the back sear down on mi station wagon and Jeff slept on the back sear of his Falcon sedan.
     In the morning, when I looked out of the window of my car, the whole area looked looked like a lake. After waking up Jeff with a few loud bangs on the roof of his car, he finally woke up. Once the  window of his old car was was halfway down, he said in a groggy voice.
"Jesus mate, what time is it?"
"6:30 mate. Ya gittin' up or not?"
"Yeah, I suppose I better."
     Once he was up and around he said,
"I feel a bit crook from the grog last nigh and mi mouth tastes like a mob of Galahs took a shit in it! Ya got any XXXX in the back of your car?"
"Yeah, I got the remains of that 6-pack we bought at closing time"
"Good on ya Yorky mate. Ya think ya could find 'em and crack a couple for us? I'm not firing on all six yet."
"No worries mate. I know where they are."
     After we'd finished off a couple of tinnies, I said to Jeff,
"Let's have a look around and see if we can find a Dago shop. I need a hot cuppa' and something to eat. all we had to eat last night was potato chips and salted peanuts, washed down with one-too-many beers."
"I supposes a bit of tucker wouldn't go astray."
     Once we had our breakfast, it was decided that we'd head off to Charleville as the rain had now slowed down somewhat.
     When we arrived in Charleville, we headed to the hotel that Jeff did most of his drinking at the previous year. After a couple of rounds I said,
"Ya gonna' give that contractor a rind and see what he's got going?"
"No worries Yorky. I'll do it now before I get too pissed."
"What about tonight, ya got any idea where we're gonna' camp?", I asked
"I sure have mate. Soon as I get done calling the contractor, we'll book into this caravan park where I camped last year. It's not much and it's a bit rough but it beats sleeping on the back seat of mi car."
"Get another round in Yorky, I'll be back shortly."
"How d'ya go Jeff? Was the contractor home?"
"Yeah, no worries mate. We got a start at a station called Wonbin. It's somewhere between here and Quilpy. Now all we gotta' do is sit out his fucking rain and wait for the sheep to dry out."

     The hotel bar we were drinking in had a television on the wall. Every hour or so the weather report came on. It had started raining heavy again and the report showed all the flooded areas surrounding Charleville. It wasn't long before the report said that Charleville was now cut off from all the main roads due to flash flooding.
"This fucking weather's not looking too good Yorky. We may be stuck here for a couple of weeks."
"I fucking hope not Jeff. At this rate we're going, I'll be out a' money in 3 or 4 days."
"No worries  mate, I've got enough to keep us going for maybe a week. It depends on how hard we hit the grog."
"Maybe we ought to slow down a bit then."
"Fuck that for a joke Yorky. What else are we gonna' do if we don't drink? Sit in that tin can they call a caravan, staring at the walls?"

     That evening, after closing time, we were sat on a bench outside the hotel eating a hamburger and drinking some beer. We hadn't been there for long before a broken down ute round the corner on two wheels and came to an abrupt halt, right in front of us. On the  back of the ute was a metal crate with half-a-dozen blokes waving shotguns around.
"G'day.", said a big, fat yobo. He had a face full of stubble. In his hand was a double-barrel shotgun and in his other hand was a tinnie. He wore a ratty old singlet and pair of stubbies. His gut, which was covered in hair, stuck out like dogs' balls.
"G'day.", said Jeff. "How are ya?"
"Pretty good.", said the yobo.
"What's the spotlight and double-barrels for? Ya going pig shootin'?"
"We're huntin' 'bungs' tonight. We're chasing a couple a' coons in an old Holden. Did they drive past ya?"
"Nah mate.", said Jeff. "We've been here for the past half hour. We haven't seen any abbos in a Holden."
"Where are you blokes from and what ya doin' in our town?"
"We're shearers from New South.", I said.
"No worries then mate. We don't mind shearers, long as ya not coon lovers."
"Not us.", said Jeff. "We're just minding our own business, eating a burger and having a quiet beer."
"No worries then sport. Do us a favor and let us know if they drive down this street. We'll be back around here in an hour or so."
"Ya fair dinkum about shootin' 'em?", asked Jeff.
"Fucking oath mate. There's too many of the back bastards around Charleville for my linking. Besides, this town belongs to us white fellas' not those fucking bungs. See ya around.", said the yobo as they drove off up the street, shining the 12 volt spotlight up and down.
"Fuck me dead! Ya think they're fair dinkum Jeff?"
"Fucking oath mate, let's head off before the inbred bastards come back. I don't wanna get on the wrong side of those retards!"

     The wet weather was showing no sign of slowing down. Flash flooding was still in progress. All roads out of town were flooded so there was no way out. The weather channel was showing clips of helicopters air-lifting cattle off of small marooned islands. The whole situation was looking pretty bleak.
     My situation was as bleak as the weather. I was down to a full middy, a packet of Drum and papers and 78 cents change in mi pocket. With a doubt, full-blown panic had set in as I sat on a bar stool asking Jeff is he had any ideas what we were going to do for money. At one point, I said to him,
"Ya think ya family could wire us some money Jeff?"
"No mate, I don't get along with mi old man. I'm too proud to ask him."
"Doesn't he have a farm in Victoria?"
"Yeah, he does mate. That's the problem."
"What d'ya mean?"
"He's pissed off, big time, because he wants me to stay at home and help him work on the farm instead of cruising around all over the Outback as a shearer. We had a stinking row the last time I was home so now we're not speaking to each other."
     It was now obvious that no money was going to come from Jeffs' side of the fence. My side was was as dry as a gumboot in the desert.

     As I sat at the bar, finishing off my last middy, my mind was re-running past situations where I'd been in similar circumstances. The negative voices were in full command, telling me that I was going to starve to death in Charleville unless I sold my station wagon which to me was not acceptable.
     A shearer, in the Outback, without a vehicle would be dependent on other shearers which would not work out too well as most shearers were not dependable.

     As I sat there, in one of my darkest moments, I heard a voice say,
"Yorky, ya bastard, how are ya mate?"
     When I turned to see who it was, I was stunned to see one of mi good shearing mates, Darryl. We had shorn together around Guyra, on many occasions, in the past.
"Jesus H. Christ Darryl! Am I fucking glad to see you!"
"How are ya Yorky? I didn't expect to see you sat at the bar in Charleville!"
"Where the fuck did you come from Darryl?"
"I've been shearing at a shed about a 100 miles from here but they 'declared' it due to wet sheep."
"Ya got any money Darryl?"
"Fucking oath mate, I've been knocking out some good tallies for the last three weeks."
"Ya got enough to lend me a few bucks? I'm fucking broke mate. I've got 78 cents to mi name!"
"No worries mate, I'm rolling in it. How much d'ya want $50 -$100?"
"Can ya spare a hundred?"
"For you Yorky mate,  no worries."
     At that point, I had to swallow a big lump in mi throat or would have probably cried.
"How come ya so fucking wet and covered in mud? D'ya get bogged?"
"Yeah, a couple of times. This black soil up here is a bastard when it's wet."
"I take it ya got it out."
"Yeah, eventually. I thought it was gonna be a clear run into Charleville, till I got to the river."
"So how d'ya get the car across?"
"I didn't mate. I had to leave it on the other side with all mi gear."
"How d'ya get across then?"
"I fucking swam."
"Ya fucking kidding."
"No way mate. I stuffed a few things in the back-pack, then I wrapped mi money in a plastic bag. I wasn't gonna' sit on the other side of the river when the hotel's on this side."
"Weren't ya worried about gettin' swept away?"
"Fucking oath I was. I walked up and down to find a narrow spot, then I waded in and swam like fuck. I ended up about half-a-mile down from where I went in."
"Was it scary?"
'Too fucking right mate. There were a lot of dead branches and logs being swept down. Finish ya beer Yorky, it's my shout."
     After introducing Darryl to Jeff, we sat there having a good old natter about days gone by. Darryls' round was finished and he said,
"Oh Jesus, I was so happy to see ya Yorky, I almost forgot. Here's a $100. If ya need anymore let me know."
"Good on ya Darryl, you're a fucking great mate."
"No worries Yorky, you'd do the same for me mate."
"Yeah, I would Darryl, any day."
     Once Darryl had downed a couple more beers he said,
"Yorky mate, I'll catch up with ya later on tonight. I'm gonna' book a room. I need a hot shower and a couple of hours sleep."
"Ya got any dry clothes?", I asked him.
"I'm not sure. I stuffed 'em in a plastic bag in the back-pack."
"Well, if ya need any let me know. You're about the same size as me so they should fit."
"Good on ya mate."
     Once Darryl was gone, I said to Jeff,
"We're flush again! Ya need some money?"
"Not yet Yorky. I've still got a few bucks left. I'll get some off ya later. What ya think about the caravan  mate?"
"What about it?"
"I don't like it mate. It's as cold as camping in mi car and those vinyl mattresses are the same as mi back seat. I might camp in mi car from now on. "
"I don't mind, I can camp in mi station wagon, no worries. I got a bit of a foam mattress I can roll out once the back seat's down. The only thing that worries me mate is, it may not be too safe with those fucking yobos driving around of a night time."
"Don't ya have a rifle mate?"
"Too fucking right!c I've got a 308 with a 7 X 50 Bushnell scope on it."
"Jesus mate, that would blow a hole in of of those yobos so fucking big ya'd be able to see daylight through him."
"You got a rifle Jeff?"
"Yeah mate, it's not as good as yours but it's pretty effective. It's an old ex-army 303. She's a bit beat up looking but she still shoots straight as a dye."
"Where d'ya think we ought to park up for the night Jeff?"
"Not sure yet mate but we'll find somewhere as safe as possible. I know mi mate Darryl will lend us his room key and as long as we're not spotted we can have showers upstairs."
"Sounds good to me Yorky. The best part is we'll have extra money for grog since we won't be renting that fucking old caravan.
   
     That evening, Jeff, Darryl and miself had a good, old session on the grog, the same as most shearers would do on a a Saturday night. In the shed, young shearers mostly skite about how many sheilas they've rooted and in the bar room they brag about how many sheep they can shear. True to form, the more beer shearers drink, the higher the shearing tally creeps up until it becomes obvious at the end of the night that everyone is full of grog and bullshit. Our conversations were no different. We followed the tradition to the letter.

     The Publican called last orders and once we'd finished our middies Darryl said,
"That's it for me fellas. I'm headin' off upstairs for a sleep. What with gettin' bogged a couple of times and swimmin' a fuckin' river, I'm rooted. Not too mention, I'm as full as a boot!"
"No worries Darryl, we'll catch up with ya tomorrow mate."
"So what are we gonna do Jeff?", I asked.
"Let's buy a six-pack and a flagon. I usually keep a few cans in the boot but I seem to remember I  couldn't find any last time I looked. I must have drunk 'em all."
   







   

Sunday, June 10, 2018

OFF TO THE ISLE OF ARRAN BUT NOT BEFORE SEEING MI DAD~ 4

     The shearing season in England was just about over when Billy made the announcement that we'd be heading North to the Isle of Arran in the next few days. This was the time we had all been waiting for because of the stories Bill had told us from his previous years of shearing on the Island.
     Those stories consisted of mainly wine, women and making money.  Supposedly, there were 5 young girls to every man which, if correct,  would be a shearers' paradise.
     My good Aussie mate Kerry and miself had a lot in common as he was born in Dorset but moved to Australia when he was 19. He spent most of his time in the Outback of Queensland while I on the other had spent most of my time in the Outback of New South Wales.
"Hey Yorky mate", said Kerry. "Are ya driving ya Cortina up to Arran?"
"Yeah, I'm thinking about it. What do you reckon?"
"I would mate. I'm driving up there. You'll have a much better time with a vehicle. Ya won't have to rely on Kinghorn to get around the Island. There's parties every night and a disco once a week but they're scattered all over the place so a car is necessary."
"Billy told me he was hauling his biggest caravan up there and parking it on a headland.", I said.
"Yeah, he did that last year. It's a great idea for us as we won't have to pay rent anywhere. That means more money for partying!"
"Sounds good to me Kerry."
"We can follow each other all the way up there if ya like Yorky just in case we have car trouble."
"That's a good idea mate. There is one thing I'd like to do on the way. Mi dad lives at a small village called Rippendon. It's off the main motorway, once we hit Yorkshire."
"No worries Yorky. It'll be good to meet him."
"Yeah, he's an old bloke now. He was in the trenches of WW1."
"Jesus Christ Yorky mate, he must be a tough old bastard to have survived that fucking nightmare."
"He is mate. I once complained about not liking a lump of tripe that was on my plate for dinner and he said to me,
"The trouble with you lad, is ya too well-fed. I saw mi mates in the trenches trying to eath their own shit and drink their own piss! And you complain about a good pice of tripe? Give the bloody thing here."
"He took it off mi plate and told me to bugger off from the table. You'll get fed tomorrow!"
"Fuck me Rome Yorky! I thought I was hard done by at times but I had it good compared to you mate."
"Yeah, that's what it's like being brought up in a poor peasant family"

     The following morning we met at Kinghorns farm house. Once everything was loaded up and the caravan was hooked onto Bills' ute, we headed out of Worgret Manor in a small convoy.
     Getting out of the big cities was quite hectic for me as I wasn't used to driving in them. Kerry, on the other hand, had driven in England before and got us on the motorway without getting lost.
     Once we got up to Yorkshire, we left the motorway and made our way to 36 Jubilee Terrace,  mi dads' house. It didn't take long for mi dad to come to the door and when he opened it he had a surprised look on his face and said,
"Jesus Christ Almighty! Where the bloody hell did you come from? I thought you were in Australia?"
"Hello dad, how are ya?"
"Come in lad, don't just stand there."
     Once we got inside he said,
"Do you want a cuppa' tea lad?"
"No thanks dad. I came to take ya out for a few beers. I thought we could go to the White Heart, across from Baitings dam."
"It sounds alright to me lad but I had to pay all mi bills this week so I don't have much money left. Ya know mi bloody pension doesn't go far these days since the price of things is gaining through the bloody roof."
"Don't worry about money dad, I've got plenty. I just finished shearing in England so it's my treat. Ya can drink as much as ya like."
"It's alright for you to say that lad but I'm not a bloody moocher. I like to pay mi own way, ya know."
"Yeah, I know that Dad. You can buy one round and I'll take care of the rest. How's that sound?"
"I'ye, I can live with that lad. So when d'ya wanna' go?"
"How about now?"
"I'ye, you'll have to give me time to have a bit of a wash and put mi good suit on."
"No worries dad. We've got plenty of time. Do ya mind if me shearing mate comes in while ya getting ready? He's waiting in his car, outside."
"No, I don't mind at all lad. Tell him to come in."
     Once Kerry was inside, I introduced him to mi dad.
"Hey dad, this is mi shearing mate Kerry. This is mi old dad George."
"G'day George. good to meet ya."
"I'ye, likewise. Less of the bloody 'old' caper. I've still got a few more years left in me yet."
"Ya got a good place here George. Is it yours?, asked Kerry.
"Not bloody likely. I've been renting it for years. I could have bought the bloody place ten times over, the amount of rent I've paid. Don't worry about the mess, I'm due to clean up tomorrow. I never get any visitors so there's only me to look at it."
"Don't ya have a cleaning woman George?"
"Do I buggery!" Once I got rid of mi lads' mother that was the last bloody wench that I let in my place."
     Kerry had a bit of a laugh at what mi dad said.
"I take it ya don't have much time for women George?", asked Kerry.
"Time? I wouldn't give 'em the time of day!"
"They must have some use George?"
"I'ye, well if they do and you find out what use they are, let me know will ya?", said George.

     Once mi dad was dressed, he locked up his place and we got in mi car and headed off to the pub. Kerry left his old car parked in the street as it was no use driving two cars, there and back.
"This is Rippenden.", said mi dad to Kerry as we drove through the village. "It's where I do most of mi shopping."
     It didn't take long to get to the White Heart. Once we parked, I said to mi dad,
"Why don't ya show Kerry where we lived Dad?"
"I'ye, if he's interested."
"Course I'm interested George. I'm always open to a bit of education."
     Looking out across the dam, mi dad pointed to a few trees on the other side of the dam and said,
"Right there was where our farm house was. It never cost me a penny in went. I would never have moved but once the damn was finished and started to fill with water, it flooded the old place. I helped build this bloody wall. I worked on it for four years. I was a heavy timber construction engineer."
"So you had a skilled trade George."
"I was some bloody use in those days. All I do now is eat, shit and sit next to the bloody fire, watching mi old Tele."
"Oh well, at least ya built this dam George."
"I built another one in Bakeup too."
"Isn't that where ya met mi mother, Dad?"
"I'ye, sorriest day in my bloody life. Why did ya have to mention that old cow. I don't want a good night out ruining before it gets started!"
     This gave Kerry a great big laugh.
"Are we going in for a pint or are we going to stand here like those old wenches, chewing the fat?", said mi dad.
"Alright then dad, let's go."
     Once we got inside, I ordered 2 pints of lager and a pint of Best for mi dad.
"I'll be back in a minute lad, I'm off to water the horse. The old bladder's not what it used to be."
"Hey Kerry, when it's mi dads' turn to buy a round, I'll pay for him as he doesn't have a lot of money."
"Na, fuck that mate. We'll take turn about buying the beers. I like ya dad, he's a funny man."
"Good on ya mate."

     We all had a good time at the pub, especially mi dad. By the end of the night, he had quite a few beers on board. So much so, that at one point he fell off the bar stool. Luckily for him Kerry and myself were stood behind him and caught him before he hit the deck.

     It was around 9 now, and we still had a long drive ahead of us till we reached Glasgow where we would catch the Ferry to Arron. I said to mi dad,
"Drink up dad, we've gotta' go. It's getting late."
"I'ye, alright lad. I knew I'd had enough when I fell off the bar stool!"

     Once we got back to mi dads' house, he was so drunk, Kerry and miself had to help him upstairs as he couldn't make it on his own. The last thing I wanted was for him to fall and hurt himself. When we finally got him onto his bed, I said,
"Are ya all right now dad?"
"I'ye, I will be when ya get me enamel bucket from out of the bathroom."
"What d'ya want that for? In case ya puke?"
"Don't be bloody silly, I never puke on beer. I need it for a piss bucket. I couldn't get up the bloody stairs on mi own so I've got buckleys bloody chance of getting down 'em, to the toilet in the middle of the night. There's two spare rooms with beds in 'em if ya want to stay over?"
"No thanks dad, we've gotta' get going or we'll run into traffic in the morning. Maybe I'll be able to stop in on the way back down."
"I'ye, all right then. Thanks for the night out lad. You too Kerry. Old George Swindells had a bloody good time.
>>>>>>>>

     That was the last time I saw mi dad. He died of bowel cancer in Halifax Infirmary in 1975. The last time I spoke to him was by phone. I received a letter from mi sister, telling me he was in hospital so I called him from a place called Guyra, in Australia, where I was shearing with Kerry. The hospital had him pumped full of drugs so I'm not sure he knew it was me on the phone. The last thing he said to me was,
"This bloody bloke who washes me down every day takes 5 minutes to wash mi body and 10 minutes to wash mi dick. He's a bloody shirt-lifting pufta!"
     Even to this day, I really miss mi dad. I'm 70 years old miself now and would love to sit in 36 Jubilee Terrace and tell him how much I love him and miss him. 
     He survived the trenches of WW1 and 11 years of living with mi mother. He dropped his body at 91. As far as I am concerned, he is the greatest man I ever met. There is an old saying in Yorkshire,
'You'll never know how much you love someone till they're gone.'
     I've roamed  all over this world, in my time, and I can testify that for me, that is the truth.


   




Sunday, June 3, 2018

OLD LADIES AND DIRTY DITTIES ~ 2

     Wargret Manor was only 15 yards way from Kinghorns' back door. Myself and my 2 Kiwi shearing mates, Steve and Warren had no legitimate complaints, apart from the prices. I really enjoyed spending my evenings there as the customers were 'Up-scale Drunks'.
     One evening, Sarah the owner, said to me,
"Yorky, Kinghorn tole me you're pretty good on the guitar, is that right?"
"I'm not bad Sarah. Why? What do you have in mind, a party?"
"Well, sort of.  I've got a group of older ladies in our big room. It's their annual diner and I thought you might consider entertaining them for half an hour or so."
"Yeah Sarah, no worries love. that could be good fun."
"I should warn you first Yorky, the youngest one's about 70. They're a pretty raunchy crowd."
"That won't worry me. I've been known to get a bit raunchy miself at times."
"Give me another pint of lager and a couple for mi mates and I'll head across to Bills' place and get the guitar."
'This is gonna' be a good night.', I thought as I headed over to Bills' place. This will put me in good with Sarah. Who knows, there may be a bit of a root in it for me at the end of the evening. She seems to like me quite a bit.

"Yorky, What are you doing back so early?", asked Shirley as I walked into the house.
"I just came to get the guitar. They're having a bit of a party at the Manor. Why dond't you come across for a while and have a drink? It'll do you good."
"I'd like to Yorky but I don't have a baby sitter for Alister."
"Is he asleep?"
"Yeah, for now."
"Well, you can pop back every half hour and check on him."
"You know what Yorky, I might just do that. Is Billy over there?"
"No love, he took off somewhere. He said he'd be back soon."
"Yeah, like 'early in the morning' soon."
     Guitar in hand, I headed out the door and said,
"See ya over there Shirl."
"I gotta' get dressed first. I'll be there in half an hour."

     Back in Wargret Manor, my pint of lager was waiting for me on the bar.
"Hey Yorky mate.", said Steve. "Are we having a party?"
"It sure looks like it Steve-O."
"That's great. It'll remind me of all the wild Maori parties back home in Kiwi land."
"Yeah, I know what ya mean. I've been to a lot of 'em miself. I never met a Maori yet who couldn't sing and play a guitar. I liked it best when they sang their cultural songs in Maori."
"Me too Yorky."
"Ya know, I spent a Xmas in the North Island with an old shearing mate of mine called Boy Peck. It was one of the best times I've ever had. They put down this massive Hungi and had 10 kegs of beer. The party lasted for seven fucking days. No one went home, they just crashed wherever they could and when they woke up they just carried on partying."

"Have you to the guitar Yorky?", asked Sarah as she came back in the lounge bar.
"I sure have. It's tuned up and ready to go."
"I'll just get this couple their drinks and then we'll go into the other room and I'll introduce you to Warehams' Senior Ladies Club."
     Once we were in the dining room, Sarah hit the side of a beer glass with a spoon and said,
"Ladies, Ladies, quiet please. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Yorky. He's from Australia and he's very kindly agreed to entertain you with his guitar, so let's give him a Wargret Manor welcome with some clapping."
"It's all yours Yorky.", said Sarah as she put the empty beer glass and spoon on the table.
     Now, I gotta' tell ya, this group of around 30 ladies were not your ordinary conservative elderly old ladies. Every single one of them were wearing their Sunday best and were as drunk as monkeys.
     As soon as I strummed the first chord, they started to hoot and holler. The first song I played and sang was Tom Jones' Green Green Grass of Home. As  soon as I finished they clapped and hotted even louder. The next song I sang was an old Elvis song, The Wonder of You. Half-way through the song, Sarah brought me in another pint of larger and sat it on the table and said,
"Thanks Yorky, they're loving it."
     Once the Elvis song was finished, one of the ladies shouted out,
"Can you play something more lively?"
"Sure love, what would you like to hear?"
     Another older lady shouted out,
"Can you play any dirty ditties?"
"I can, but there's a lot of swearing in them and they're pretty raunchy."
"That's what we want to hear!", shouted another old girl. "We're all spinsters here tonight and we need a bit of raunchy stuff to remind us of when we were young."
     I was a bit apprehensive at first but then I thought,
'Oh well, fuck it. If you get offended, you asked for it.'
     My first song was Maggie May. There's a line in the song about those old red tattered drawers that Maggie wore. When I got to the line about how they were wet all down the front from the dripping of her cunt, I missed out the word 'cunt'. To my surprise, a roomful of old girls shouted out at the top of their voices, 'CUNT!" From that point on, it was all systems go. The more foul language that I sang, the more they loved it. Halfway through one of the baudy ballads, one of them go up on the table and removed her 'granny knickers' and swung them round and round her head. At that point, the whole room started clapping and cheering the old girl who was so drunk and happy as a pig in shit! At the end of the ballad I shouted out to her,
"You must have been a bit of a goer in your youth!"
"I still am!", she shouted back. "Look what you've done to me. Ya sang the bloomers off me."
     Once I'd run out of songs, which took a half-hour or so, I thanked my audience of old girls and went back to the lounge bar.
"Yorky, that was absolutely fantastic and so generous of you.", said Sarah. "Those old ladies will remember this night for the rest of their lives."

"Are you behaving yourself Yorky?", said a female voice behind me.
     When I turned around, there was Bills' missus. She had done her hair, applied some makeup and wore a pretty that showed a bit of cleavage.
"Shirl, how are ya mi love? What can I get you to drink?"
"Vodka and orange sounds good Yorky, if ya don't mind."
"Course I don't mind Shirl, why would I?"
"Well Wargret Manor is known for its' prices."
"Oh fuck that Shirley, who cares. We're making money a ton of money shearing. Besides, it's a working holiday."
     Both Warren and Steve, who were by this time quite drunk, chimed in and said,
"Yeah, fuck the expense Shirley. It's our shout. You cook our meals and wash our greasy dungarees so you're not allowed to buy any drinks tonight. Order whatever you like, we're paying."
"That's very sweet of you boys. It's lovely to be appreciated for a change."
"No worries Shirley.", I said. "Here ya go love, One large vodka and orange. Have as many as you like."

     The night progressed along well and everyone, including Billys' missus, were having a great time. At one point, Shirley who was a little bit on the drunk side started to tell me her marriage problems which made it a bit awkward.
     After a while, I said,
"Shirl, Billy's mi shearing and although I feel for ya, what can I say love? I gotta' stay neutral cause I'm good friends with both of ya so let's change the subject eh."
"You're absolutely right Yorky.", she said with a bit of a slur in her speech. "I shouldn't have put you in that position. That wasn't fair."
"No worries Shirl, forget about it."

     A short time later,  I saw her talking to Steve. By the look on his face I could tell what they were discussing.
"Let me get you another Lager Yorky.", said Sarah.
"Good on ya Sarah.", I said and emptied my glass.
     While I was sat at the bar talking to warren about New Zealand, a bloke who had been sat at the bar for a couple of hours tipping them back, said to me,
"So you blokes are shearing for Kinghorn are ya?"
"Yeah, that's right mate."
     He looked older than me and was roughly about my size.
"Ya think you're a smart bastard don't ya, just because you can shear sheep and make a ton of money."
"Why do ya say that mate? I don't remember saying anything wrong to you sport?"
"Ya haven't", he replied.
"So why would ya say something like that? Ya don't even know me."
"Cause I don't fucking like you."
"Well that's alright mate. Nobody says you have to like me. That's up to you."
     Warren, who had been listening to the bloke mouthing off said,
"Hey mate, leave us alone. Were not bothering you are we?"
"Yeah you are, as a matter of fact."
"Forget about him Warren, have another Lager. Give us your glass mate, I'll buy ya one.", I said.
     Five minutes later, the bloke started again and said to me,
"You think you're a big shot don't you? Buying drinks for every one."
"Listen mate, I don't know who the fuck you are and what your problems are but if you keep running ya bullshit on me, I'll fucking knock ya arse over head! Do you understand what I'm telling ya sport?"
"Fuck you, you bastard. I'd like to see you try!"
     By this time, the few people who were left in the Lounge had noticed what was happening and the nose level had dropped a few decibels.
"Would you like to say that again mate? Why do you think I can't? Just go home mate."
"Fuck you, don't tell me what to do!"
     That was it! It was obvious to me that this bloke, whoever he was, had every intention of ruining a great night out. I drank the last dregs of Lager, then put the glass on the bar. I turned around fully to face the bloke and said,
"Last warning mate, Fuck Off home while ya still in one piece."
"Fuck you! Are you going to make me?"
"Yeah.", I said. "I am!"
     Without any further warning, I drove a well-aimed right at the bridge of his nose and splattered it across his face. The bridge of his nose was now reshaped flat as he went flying backwards off the stool. Blood was pissing out all over the floor. The bloke was laid out on the floor, not knowing what hit him.
"Give me a hand Warren."
"Sure Yorky, anything mate."
"Help me drag this loud mouthed bastard out the back."
     Once we had him out back, I said to Warren,
"Lay the bastard on the lawn so he doesn't bleed all over the concrete path."
     The bloke started to moan as he came to. The last words I had with him were,
"I fucking warned ya not to fuck with me mate but ya wouldn't listen. if ya come back inside and bother me or any of my mates, I'll give ya another fucking dose. Now go home like I told ya!"
     This time no 'fuck you' came out of him. He was too busy moaning,
"Ya broke my nose, ya broke my nose."
     That was the last I ever saw of the bloke.

     Back inside, Sarahs' brother, Raymond, was still mopping up the blood from where the bloke had hit the deck.
"Thanks for that Yorky. He's been bothering some of my other customers ever since he walked in. I was wondering how I was going to get rid of him, without getting hurt."
"You're welcome Raymond, anytime mate."
     As I sat back down on mi stool, Sarah placed another lager in front of me and said,
"Thank you. He's been asking for that all  night. He got abusive with me, once I told him I wasn't going to serve him anymore."
"Oh well, he won't be abusing anyone else for a while, that's for sure."
     Bills' missus wobbled up to me with a shocked look on her face and a large drink in her hand and said,
"Are you all right Yorky?"
"Yeah, I'm good Shirl. How're you going?"
"Oh my goodness, I've never seen like that in my life. I think you broke his nose."
"I'll be disappointed if I didn't Shirl."
"Why did he start picking on you for no reason?"
"I have no idea love but he's probably still out back if ya want to ask him."
"Oh no, I'm not comfortable around people like that."
"Neither am I Shirl. I grew up in the Outback and no matter how much grog a man drinks, it's no excuse to disrespect another man. That is, unless ya want a smack in the chops. Drink up love, I'll buy ya another drink."
"No way Yorky. Thanks for offering. I can hardly stand up as it is. I'd better go after I finish this one or I'll be so hung over in the morning I won't be able to make breakfast."

"Fucking shit.", said Steve as soon as Shirley had gone to find a seat. "What a fucking punch Yorky mate! Did ya see that blokes' nose splatter and the blood that came out?"
"That's what I aimed for mate. I wasn't gonna' mess up mi good clothes rolling around the floor with that fucking yobo."
"How did it start mate?"
"He just started disrespecting me for no reason at all."
"I guess he didn't need a reason. Did it bother ya, hitting him that hard?"
"Not one fucking bit mate."
"It must be a tough life in the Outback of Australia, is it?"
"Well, it's not fucking easy mate but life's not too fucking easy no matter where ya live, is it?"
"No, I suppose not Yorky."











Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ON TO FREEDOM ~ SHEEP & BILLY KINGHORN ~ PART 1

ON TO FREEDOM ~ SHEEP & BILLY KINGHORN 

 For the first time in 4 years, I was my own man again. Although I had been called Richard by friends and family who had known me for most of my life, at the first opportunity I had, I re-introduced Yorky the Shearer to the world again, which felt bloody fantastic.
     As soon as the Ferry cast off, the bar lounge opened and myself and a couple of Danes were the first to be served. Once I'd 'wet mi whistle' with a couple of bottles of Turborg, I decided to go for a feed at the restaurant, not the cafeteria. I treated myself to a rump steak, eggs and chips with a glass of red wine. As I waited for my meal to arrive, I sipped on the glass of wine and casually glanced around the room at the other diners. These people were not pool, illiterate Danish people like Jonnas' family were. They were well-dressed, intelligent looking people.  A middle-aged couple caught my eye and gave me a warm friendly smile which restored some of my faith in Danish people.
     Pretty soon my meal arrived. I ordered another glass of red wine. the steak was cooked to a T, not burned and no blood in the center, the eggs had soft yolk in them and the chips weren't greasy. It was the best meal I'd had in a long time. Once I'd finished the meal, I lit up a cigarette and relaxed back in the comfortable chair. The meal I had ordered was one of the most expensive on the menu which was out of character for me. As I sat there with all those beautiful people , I thought to myself,
'Fuck the expense Yorky mate! It's about time you started to treat yourself to some of the finer things in life. Just because you were born poor doesn't mean you have to stay that way. You've got a few thousand pounds in ya pocket and pretty soon you're going to make a few thousand more. You're a single man again so make the best of it mate!'

     By the end of the evening, I was ready for a good rest. I had a few more beers and I was happy and relaxed. I had put all thoughts of Jonna out of my mind and started to think about what the next stage of life had in store for me.
     One of the Pursers gave me a warm blanket and I joined a group of young people who were sleeping outside in deck chairs. It wasn't the warmest nights' rest I'd ever had.  The freedom I was experiencing well and truly made up for it.

>>>>>
 
     Here I was again, standing on Kings Cross Station waiting for the train to arrive which would take me to my new-old life as a shearer. I only had one medium-sized bag now which made traveling much more comfortable.
     The first thing I did when I got to Kings Cross Station was to call Billy Kinghorn and let him know what time my train would arrive at Wareham, Dorset. The train ride down South to Dorset was an enjoyable trip as I sat in a comfortable seat looking out of the window at the ever-changing scenery. I loved looking at the different farm houses, surrounded by lush green fields, inhabited with Fresian dairy cows and sheep. This was the kind of country-side I thrived in. Nature at its' finest. England would have to be one of the most beautiful countries there is with New Zealand running a close second.
     It only took a few hours to reach Wareham. As pre-arranged, Billy Kinghorn picked me up at the station.
"G'day Billy.", I said as I walked towards his Ute.
"Yorky Mate, how are ya?", he said with a big smile on his face. "Am I fucking glad to see you mate. You're a life saver. I thought I was gonna' be up shit creek without a paddle, till you called!"
     I shook his hand and said,
"The pleasure's all mind mate, more than you could possible imagine."
     I threw my bag in the back of his Ute and we took off to his place. I instantly liked this bloke at first sight. He was a few years older than my 25 and his height was like mine, 5'10". He was as down to earth as myself.
"Ya mentioned you were living in Denmark when ya first called. What was that like?"
"Not too fucking good mate.  I was living with this Danish Sheila who guarded the gates of hell in her spare time. If she had another brain it would be fucking lonely."
     Billy had a good laugh about his little joke of mine as we drove through Wareham township, which was an interesting looking place.
"Ya wanna' go for a quick pint before we head off home Yorky?"
"Sounds good to me mnate."
"I'll take you to this great little pub where I do most of mi drinking. The publican is a good friend of mine. She takes real good care of me, I think you'll like her."
"I'm sure I will mate. I get on with most people I meet as long as they're respectful.
"I'll introduce you to my long-term girlfriend. She's the head barmaid."
"So, you're a single bloke like me eh?"
"I fucking wish Yorky. No, I've got a missus and three kids but we don't see eye to eye anymore Yorky. We were married as teenagers 'cause I got her in the family way so I had to do the right thing, ya know."
"I sure do mate."
"Her names Shirley and she's a real good lass. She looks after mi kids real well. We just grew apart over the years. Anyway, here we are mate.", said Billy, as he parked the Ute around the back of the pub. "I always park round the back Yorky. That way, when the cops drive past the pub they don't see mi Ute parked out front. They're bastards these cops around here.they know my vehicle and they know I like a few pints so I've gotta' be pretty careful."
"That's a good idea mate. Ya don't wanna' lose your license or you'd be fucked, right?"
"I sure would. I'd lose mi business overnight."

"Two pints sweetheart.", said Billy as we sat on a couple of stools at the bar.
"What are you doing here at this time of day? Aren't ya supposed to be working Billy?", asked the barmaid.
"I am. I just picked Yorky up from the station. He's gonna' be shearing for me this season. He came over from Denmark early to help me out with the lambing. Yorky, meet Pam. Isn't she a beauty."
"G'day Pam, lovely to meet you."
"You too Yorky. Don't listen to Billy. He's always flattering me."
"That's cause I love ya babe!", said Billy.
"Behave yourself Billy, you're embarrassing me."
'You don't have much of a Danish accent Yorky. Is that where you're from or were you just working there?"
"No love, I was visiting friends."
     Under normal circumstances, I don't like lying. I'm a very private bloke when it comes to my life.
"Where's Margret today?", asked Billy.
"She's behind the bar tonight so she's probably resting in her room. She hasn't been well the last couple of days.We'll have to fix her up with Yorky here. That'll perk her up a bit."
"Who's Margret Billy?"
"She's Pams' friend. She just broke up with a long-time boyfriend so she needs some cheering up."
"I don't think she needs the type of cheering up you've got in mind Billy Kinghorn! She's still hurting from the breakup."
"Where do you usually live Yorky?", asked Pam.
"Australia. Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales. It's where I grew up as a boy."
     Just then, an older, well-dressed woman appeared behind the bar. Billy, who was obviously a ladies man said,
"Here she is! The love of  my life but she won't marry me. How are ya Laura?"
"Billy Kinghorn, here again are you. What would I do without you. You make an old lady feel young again."
"This is Yorky, Laura. He's from Australia. He's gonna' be shearing for me this season."
"Hello Yorky, lovely to meet you. Now, don't let his flirtatious Scotsman from the Isle of Aran lead you astray. He's a naught boy this one. He's already got a wife and my young barmaid and he's always trying to get me to join his stable of fillies."
"That's true Laura but you won't give me a chance."
"That's because I'm old enough to be your mother Billy. Anyway, you'd soon get disenchanted with me and then you'd be looking for a younger model."
"That's not true Laura. I'd be as faithful to you as an old dog."
"A likely story.", she said. Then she turned to me and said,
"You're welcome in my pub anytime you like Yorky."
"Well, thank you Laura. I'll take you up on the invitation."
     Pam refilled our empty glasses and said to Billy,
"I've got to bring a few bottles in from outside. Give us a shout when you're ready for another."
     Billy and I spent a couple of hours at the bar. He gave me the rundown on his contracting business.
"Once the lambings over, we take a couple of weeks off but I can keep you in work fixing up the shearing gear and portable stands if ya like."
"Sounds good mate."
"I've probably got three months shearing in England for ya and then we head up to the borders of Scotland for a week or so. Then it's off to the Isle of Aran, where I'm from. Mi mother and step-father have a small farm on the Island and there's about a months shearing there. Aran's my favorite place. There's a lot of Hotels on the Island they're all looked after by young girls from Glasgow. It's a shearers paradise Yorky! There's about 5 girls for every bloke so ya know we have a good time there. I never take girlfriends or the wife up there. It would cramp mi style too much."
"Well Billy, I'm fucking glad I gave ya a call mate. This is gonna' suit me down to the ground. It's gonna' make up for a lot of lost time."

     Billy lived in an old farm house a mile or so from the outskirts of Wareham.
Jesus mate, this is a great old place ya' got here. Do you own it?”
I wish Yorky. No, I've got a a deal with the farmer. I do a lot of work for him over the year and the house is part of the deal.”

“What's this place on the left?", I asked as we drove down his dirt track driveway.
"Oh, that's Worgret Manor. An Earl used to live there, years ago. It's been turned into a high-class hotel and restaurant. I'll take ya over there for a beer later on and introduce ya to the people who own it now. A couple of young people run it, a brother and sister but their parents own the place."
"They must be pretty well off, are they?"
"Yeah, they had a high-flying business in London before they moved down here and bought this place."

    Parking the Ute in the back garden area, which was pretty big, he said,
"Come on in Yorky and meet the missus. You can stay at my place for a couple of nights and then I'll take ya out to where you'll be helping David with the lambing. Oh, and by the way, don't let on about the girl-friend will ya? I'm in enough shit already with the wife."
"No worries mate, that's your business, not mine."
"Thanks York.", he said as we made our way to the back door.
"Where have you been?", said Billy's missus, as soon as we walked in. "Ya know I've got to go into Wareham and I need you to watch Alister for an hour or so."
"I went to pick up Yorky and we had a couple of beers on the way home. This is my wife, Shirley", said Billy. "And this is Yorky, Shirley."
"Hello, nice to meet you Yorky. You're here to help us with the lambing and shearing are you?"
"Yeah, that's right. Pleasure to meet ya.", I said.
"I wish you'd tell me when you're gonna' be late Billy. I'll have to re-arrange my whole schedule now."
"Sorry about that love. Ya know how it is."
"No, I don't. After all these years of being married to you, you'd think I would. You're just hopeless at being on time Billy Kinghorn. You couldn't be on time if your life depended on it. I'm leaving now. Alisters' asleep so don't make too much nosie. He's been a bit miserable today. I think he's coming down with a cold. Anyway, I'm off. Nice to meet you Yorky."
"Yeah, you too Shirley.", I said.

     Billys' wife was a very decent looking woman. About 30 years old, long hair down to her shoulders and full makeup. She was dressed in trendy clothes. To say she had three children, she still had a fine figure.

"There's a few beers in the fridge Yorky. Grab a couple will ya while I go upstairs and check on Alister."
     Once Billy was back downstairs, I handed him the bottle of beer. 
"Thanks Yorky, let's go into the back garden and I'll show ya around. These are mi portable stands. They'll need cleaning up. The down-tubes will need greasing up before the season starts. We'll need to knock up a couple more portable boards 'cause I've got three more shearers coming over from New Zealand later on. Actually, one of them is from your part of the world. I think he's from Queensland."
"What d'ya use the caravans for mate?"
"Come on and I'll show ya. I do a lot of contracting in different areas, so the one's that are miles away from here, I tow one of the caravans out to the farm. It saves a lot of time traveling back and forth. They look pretty old on the outside but they're neat and tidy inside and they don't leak."
"What do you do for power?"
"I use a portable generator when there's no hook up available. Same with the shearing stands, when we're out in the middle of a field somewhere. She's a bit of a rough life-style at shearing time but I fucking love it."
"Yeah, me too Billy. that's why I took up shearing."
"So, how many a day can ya do Yorky?"
"Depends on what they're like. 250 to 300 a day."
"Jesus mate, I'll be flat outkeeping up with ya. My problem is I don't get enough practice. Our seasons' only about three months. By the time I get going the season's over."
"Yeah well, I wouldn't worry about that mate. I haven't picked up a handpiece for the past few years so it ewill take a while o get mi body fit again."
"Yeah, me too Yorky. My back always kills me at the beginning of the season. This caravans the best one Yorky. Ya can camp in here for a couple of nights. it's plugged into the power and its got a good electric heater in it so ya should be alright. It gets fucking cold of a night at this time of year. They say it's supposed to snow this week."
"Ya kidding mate? Snow in the South of England?"
"Yeah and that's not gonna make the lambing easier cause we'll be taking turns outside in it, through the night."
"What's david, ya shepherd like? Is he a good bloke?"
"Oh yeah, he does my contract lambing every year and he's the best shepherd for miles around. Between you and me Yorky, he's got cancer but don't say anything to him about it unless he tells ya himself."
"No worries mate. Is he gonna' have it operated on?"
"Last he told me, it's terminal but who knows. He'll probably tell ya himself once he gets to know ya."

     That evening, after dinner, Billy said to his missus,
"I'm going out to the farm to check on the sheep. I'll probably be back late so don't wait up."
"So what's new Billy. Do you expect me to sit up worrying about you at this stage of the game?"
"No love, I'm just letting you know, that's all."
     Before we left the house, Shirley said to me, loud enough so Billy could hear,
"Have fun doing a pub crawl at all his favorite pubs Yorky. Don't get too drunk."
     I wasn't sure what to say so I made a speedy exit and said,
"Thanks for a great meal Shirley."
"You're welcome Yorky."
     Once we were in the Ute, Billy said,
"I'm just gonna' park the Ute outside of our driveway where Shirley can't see it. We'll walk back to Wargret Manor and have a pint there before we take off."
"Doesn't the missus like ya drinking mate?"
"Does any woman like a man drinking mate?"
"Right mate, bit of a dumb question eh."
     We walked through the kitchen into Wargret Manor as it was the shortest way. All the kitchen staff spoke and smiled at Billy like he was one of the family. Once we got to the restaurant bar, Billy ordered a couple of pints for us.
"How are ya Sarah? Pretty busy tonight?", he asked.
"A bit more than usual. We've got a Lions Club meeting in the other room."
"This is Yorky, Sarah. He's from Australia. He's gonna' be shearing for me this season."
"Hello Yorky, lovely to meet you. I've always wanted to visit Australia. It seems like a lovely country."
"It is Sarah, once you get out of the city."
"Oh, you don't like cities."
"Not really, I prefer the Outback. It's more peaceful."
"Too many spiders and snakes out there for me, isn't there?"
"I suppose there is, if you don't like 'em."
     Sarah had a bit of a chuckle to herself and then went to serve another customer.
"Not a bad looking lass, is she? She's the sister I was telling you about.", said Billy.
"Yeah, she's not bad mate. Little bit on the hefty side but she's got a decent face on her."
"Ya wanna get in there Yorky mate. Her family's rolling in it. Ya could end up part owner of the place."
"Yeah, I'd probably end up drinking all the profits away."

     Well, Shirley was right. After we left Wargret Manor, we visited all of Billys' favorite pubs and ended up at the pub where his girlfriend was a barmaid. At closing time, Billy said to me,
"I'll run ya back to my place Yorky, then I'm gonna come back here to mi girlfriends place for a couple of hours."
"Won't ya missus hear us come back in the Ute?"
"No mate, I'm gonna drop ya off at the top of the driveway. She normally goes to bed around 10 but is she does happen to see yah just say that I've gone back out to the farm."
"No worries mate. I know the game."
>>>>>>>>>

     Laid on a single bed in Bills' caravan with the heater going full blast, I rolled a smoke and contemplated everything that had happened over the past couple of days since I'd left Denmark. 
    
 >>>>>>>>>>

     The following morning, I was up early which was my long-time habit. I heard a vehicle pull up in the back yard so I went out to see who it was.
"Morning Yorky.". said Billy. "Was the caravan warm enough?"
"Sure was mate. Comfortable too."
"Come on in, I'll get Shirley to knock us up some breakfast."
"Ya must have gone out pretty early this morning. I didn't hear ya go."
"No mate, I just got home."
"So what's the nissus gonna' say?"
"Not much, while you're around Yorky but I'll get a bloody earful when you're gone. So stick close to me."
"What's your excuse gonna' be, just so I know?"
"I'll just tell her that sheep started lambing early so I stayed in the caravan at the farm."

     Once we'd finished breakfast, Billy said to Shirley,
"I'm taking Yorky out to where David's lambing this morning so I may not be back till late."
"Are you stopping of at your girlfriends' place on the way home?"
"What girlfriend?", said Billy with a straight face.'
"The girlfriend I'm not supposed to know about."
"Where did ya get that wild idea from Shirl?"
"Come on Billy, don't add insult to injury. I'm not stupid."
     Shirley turned to me and said,
"I apologize for the domestic Yorky. I'll see you when you get back from lambing. It was lovely to meet you.", and with that she said, she walked out of the kitchen.
"Grab ya gear Yorky and chuck it in the Ute. Let's get going before she comes back!"
    
     Once we got outside, we loaded up blocks of salt licks, magnesium bullets and various other medicines that David would be waiting for. As soon as the list in Billys' hand was complete we took off up the driveway, out onto the road. As we drove along, I rolled a smoke for miself and was just about to light it up when Billy said,
"Can ya roll me one of those Yorky? I'm out of smokes. I'll have to stop in at a pub on the way and get a couple more packs."
"No worries mate. Take this one. I noticed ya missus wasn't in too good a mood this morning."
"Yeah, it wasn't too hard to miss, was it."
"No, not really."
"Ya ever been married Yorky?"
"Well, sort of mate. That's what I was doing in Denmark. I took the bitch back home to her mothers' place. I'd had enough."
"Jesus, I wish I could do that."
"Why don't ya?"
" 'Cause my mother-in-law only lives two miles down the road from place and when I wanted to see mi kids, I'd have to see the mother-in-law and she's a replica of the missus."
     We both had a good laugh at that. For the rest of the trip we laughed about our relationships with women and I told him some of my bush jokes. At one point he was laughing so much he said,
"That's enough Yorky. Don't tell me any more jokes. My fucking bottom jaw is aching like hell."
     Before we got to the farm where David the Shepherd was lambing, we stopped for a pint in a small village. Billy bought his smokes and a dozen bottles of beer.
"What's the bottles for mate?"
"I bought 'em for you Yorky. This lambing work can be pretty stressful at times and it's long hours so you'll need them."
"How thoughtful of you mate. Good on ya."
"There's a tobacconist down the street. You'd better pick up some rolling tobacco for ya self. Ya won't be able to leave the farm once I drop ya off.