It’s been a while since I last updated you on life and lots has happened like moving to a new home, Springvale Station. I’m not sure what it is but I can’t quite seem to draw myself away from The Kimberley’s in Western Australia, despite spending the most part of last year unable to settle.
I found it hard to spend more than a few nights in each place during my travels through South East Asia, too eager to explore somewhere new. I guess things change. I suppose I’m ever-so-slightly older now, looking for different things, no longer running away from the rat race.
Springvale Station is one of a handful of cattle stations owned by Yeeda Pastoral and is located some 60km North East of Halls Creek which is approximately 300km from where I was last based in Fitzroy Crossing.
It isn’t as hot here as at Fitzroy, (we’re talking mid-30’s) yey, but it certainly is more remote which means a weekly trip to civilisation, as I call it, is few and far between. It’s ok though, ice cream is part of the weekly grocery order and there’s as much fruit and veg to feed the five thousand – yippee!
Comprising of Alice Downs Station, Texas Downs Station and Mabel Downs Station, Springvale Station is much larger than Brooking Springs Station, where I was previously, which means there’s plenty more bulls to be caught with over 40,000 cattle covering two million acres.
During my first week on the station I was lucky enough to accompany Dave in the bull catching buggy. I had a rough idea what bull catching was all about as I had seen it plenty of times but I’d never had the chance to get some of the action myself.
I had a whale of a time despite just being a passenger so I can’t say that any of the four bulls we caught that day were down to me. Bull catching takes place during or after a muster to round up any stubborn bulls that refused to walk with the mob.
It may sound like a harsh activity but bull catching causes little distress and it’s essential to sell cattle, your burgers have to come from somewhere!
As our cook, quite literally, has a bun in the oven, I offered to take over whilst a replacement was found. I done a fair share of cooking at my last station despite never cooking anything more technical that a veggie stir fry back in the UK and really grew to love it so I didn’t mind one bit.
As time went on I felt like I was missing out on many of the daily ‘knock off beers’ as I would still be hard at work in the kitchen which bothered me more than I thought. I enjoy being around people so being alone in the kitchen often made me cranky especially if things weren’t going to plan.
The good thing about my time at Springvale, so far, is that I’ve had the chance to get involved in everything. From cooking and cleaning, to building panel yards, running bores, botching, bang-tailing, drafting, ear tagging, preg-testing, branding, the lot.
There hasn’t been anything I’ve been unable to try which can often happen in jobs, and has happened, because I am a woman. I even learnt how to fix a plug on a socket, something I’m pretty sure my father would struggle with.
So thanks to Springvale and Brooking Springs too, I now know more man-things than my father, have baked more bread than my mother and can do just about everything better than my brother…like all sisters can! 😉
Talking of family, it’s only a couple of months before I visit the UK for my friend’s Kate and Sam’s wedding in York which I have to say, I’m pretty nervous about after hearing all these stories about the upcoming “coldest UK winter in half a century” meh.
I’m seriously looking forward to some time off after working 12-14 hour days, nearly every day for the past six months – and I thought I had it bad in that London office! I’ve been lucky enough to have a few days off during my time at Springvale Station which I spent exploring the local area.
The girls and I went to picture perfect Palm Springs (45km from Halls Creek) one afternoon for a quick dip and a sunset cider which we enjoyed on top of a hill overlooking The Kimberley’s.
The other day we spent soaking up the sun, again with beer, at one of the many gorges on the station followed by a lazy afternoon nap at Fish Hole which is also on the station.
Even though we rarely get a chance to enjoy it, there are so many amazing places on Springvale which is why I love living on a place like this. I still smile every time a big red kangaroo hops past or when I see the sun setting over the many hills, or I see a unique rock formation or a new flower I haven’t come across before. Nothing quite beats The Kimberley.
Living life, loving life in The Kimberley,