Saturday, May 19, 2007

Awww Monkeys. Farm dreams too.

Kudos to this blogger for the cute pic

These are twin Pygmy Marmoset monkeys. They grow to a maximum of 13cms and and weigh not more than 170 grams and are found in the Amazon. I love monkeys of all sorts (one is a main character in my Thai childrens storybook - except he's not exactly a monkey, he's a Gibbon, found in Thailand amongst other places) so often I can be found searching Google images for sweet monkey pics or reading about them if I get a minute to spare.

As much as I ask him, Scott just won't let me have one (and I guess, neither would our Tasmanian government, although I've not checked). Spoilt sports.

I'm a little obsessed with an idea that floats around in my head and has done for years. Scott and I intend to, eventually, own a good few acres. On those many acres I'd dearly love to have a barn just for my animals to live in. All sorts of animals - alpacas ... sheep ... monkeys! (yeah right) ... chickens ... my Havanese puppy ... old homeless cats from the pound ... a cow or two ... all hand-reared and living in harmony ... (sigh) ... yes, I know I sound like a loony but nevertheless how much FUN would our child have growing up with lots of animals around to love and care for.

I was bought up in a city. My extended family, most of them anyhow, live on the Darling Downs in western Queensland, in places like Dalby and Toowoomba and Roma so regularly throughout the year we would spend a bit of time with them. In particular when I was early teens I would spend weeks of my school holidays out with my Grandma on her farm an hour outside of Injune, Queensland - just Grandma and Poppy and I. I remember when I eventually came home, I'd cry and cry for days cause I missed her and the farm so much. Mum didn't know what to do with me. It would happen *every* time I came home. I'm sure she wondered how she'd ended up with this sooky child who wanted to live with her Grandma in the country.

Grandma showed me how to milk cows (I'm sure I couldn't do it now and I'm not even sure I got the hang of it then either), she'd cut the head of a chicken and let it run around the yard to show me how they can live even with their heads chopped off (funny at the time, cruel in retrospect) then she'd kill them and have me participate in taking their yellow, fatty guts out (no guesses why I'm a vegetarian now hey) before cooking them for our dinner.

I'd ride the little motorbike up and down the dirt roads for miles around their property, snuffing it regularly in the middle of nowhere and wondering how the heck to get it started again. I'd walk the dirt roads for over an hour from Grandma's house to my great Aunt's place to visit, stopping in at the waterhole to swing from the rope over the river (never had the guts to let go though). My great Aunt and Uncle had, and still have, thousands and thousands of head of Brahman bulls on their massive property and my second cousins, Trevor and Denis, would take me out on the back of their motorbikes to go see everything and we'd go build fences (boring: especially when you are 13 yrs old and have zero strength to do anything useful) and herd the cattle here and there.

The neatest thing was that my Great Aunt rode the motorbikes and herded cattle just like the men did and she still does that to this day. Imagine that hey!

Anyhow, I guess all of this in it's way has shaped my move to Tasmania, our move down to the country outside of Hobart and our future dream of having a farm of our own. Scott is a country boy anyhow, grew up in the middle of nowhere in a mining camp with country, mountains, rivers and adventure all around him, he camped with his brother-in-law (who was quite a bit older than Scott as he was growing up). So he knows all of the practical stuff about living the country - useful!

How did I start with monkeys and end up with farms?