Oh I get by with a little help from my friends, mmm gonna try with a little help from my friends ...
Those lyrics are very true. I have been going through a very hard time and to be honest it has been getting to me. Try as I might to shake it off, having my contract cut short inexplicably and the scramble to get another job followed by the spectre of another big expensive move literally makes my stomach turn. I treat stress as a positive thing, something that makes you get up in the morning, but distress is a different story.
Just the mere thought of having to pack everything up again and move seemed like an insurmountable problem. Captain Transporter moved my equipment last time but I drove my ute from Taranaki to Whangamata in a convoy with some mates.
I told Captain Transporter that probably the ute would have to go on the truck this time but unless I sell one of my caravans quickly there is unlikely to be any space. Also transporting the ute on the truck naturally incurred extra cost. But I can't drive the ute to Kaitaia by myself unless I want to catch the bus home and really, I don't want to do that.
One of my things with farming is I hate asking anyone for help with anything, anytime, ever. I don't want to be seen as weak or a burden to anyone and 9.9 times out of 10 I can solve most challenges by myself. Stubborn, independent, call it what you will but there comes a time when you have to bite the bullet and admit, "I can't do this please, someone help me out".
So I turned to my good mates in South Taranaki, Sally and Dave: "I hate asking you this but could you guys take some time off and help me drive the ute up to Kaitaia – that's only 900 kilometres one way?" It was so awesome.
They never hesitated, arranged a relief milker and Sally got holiday time off work. When they mentioned it to some other friends from Manatahi they came on board and even offered accommodation at their family bach in Whatuwhiwhi.
You have no idea how much better I felt about the whole thing now some action was happening.
I hired the biggest truck I could drive without an HT licence, threw Stevie in the passenger's seat, chucked the dogs into a boarding kennel and away we went with a big load of worthless gear with which I run my business. Dave, Sally, Boyd and Ali are hard core because they drove from Taranaki to Northland in one day – Dave and Sally via Whangamata.
It was a huge trip.
Whatuwhiwhi turned out to be a beautiful, hospitable, one-in-a-million place to visit. I took the opportunity to milk at my new farm near Ahipara beach.
Ben and Delphine, the couple who are running the place at the moment, couldn't have been more kind or more informative so I left Kaitaia feeling much more positive and upbeat than I have for ages.
I came back to Opoutere with an action plan and so far it is all falling into place. I have 20 young empty cows that I wanted to milk through. An ad in the Northland paper secured a place for these. I have also been advised to direct drill an annual ryegrass into mulched Kikuyu to guarantee some spring growth for my early calving herd. A phone call to a consultant and a contractor got the ball rolling on that even in my absence.
So things are looking up. Thanks everyone.