Monday, 12 November 2012


Can you believe it, the middle of November is here. Where did the year go?

This year Claremont is hosting Christmas lunch again there will be about 20 family members and guests attending this year.

The theme for Christmas 2012 is Handmade. Everyone is making handmade gifts instead of expensive store bought items.

I thought I would share some of the recipes that would be served for Christmas lunch Australian style.

First - Lia's Potato Salad.

1.       1.5 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
2.       250 grams  rind less bacon rashers, chopped
3.       6 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
4.       3/4 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
5.       6 gherkins, finely chopped
6.       4 shallots, thinly sliced
1.      Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Cool down with cold water and drain.
2.      Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Place in a large bowl
3.       Add potato, egg, shallots and gherkin.
4.       Add mayonnaise to potato mixture. Toss to combine.
In the next post I will share what I am making for Handmade Christmas.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sheep Weather Alert

We were advised earlier in the week that a cold snap was going to occur on Wednesday and Thursday. No one expexted snow in the middle of October.  We have not seen snow that stayed on the ground since 2004 and that was in the middle of winter. The weather is predicted to improve by the weekend. Bring on the warm days please!

Big flakes of snow

We were out first thing to check all the lambs. They looked cold but OK

This is the hous across the road from Claremont

Jessica's car
Snow in Bywong.
Snow at Bywong about 20 kms away

The paddocks
Tricycle snowed under in Wamboin this morning - take it easy on the roads!
Snow at Womboin about 20 kms away

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Fox Control

Foxes are a big problem in our area and we often encourage licence shooters to see if the numbers can be reduced.
On Saturday whilst enjoying a quiet afternoon Cameron, Jeff and Kim spotted two large foxes strolling through the paddock. Cameron was the lookout keeping an eye on the foxes while Kim and Jeff headed to the gun cupboard for the riffles. By the time the guns were loaded the foxes had disappeared.

The boys decided backup was required and called Cameron's brother in-law David. He has hunted a few times at Claremont and been successful on a previous occasion.

Dave arrived about an hour later. The plan was for Kim and Jeff to dive to the dam while Dave and Cameron were ready in the bush above the dam to ambush the fox. The plan worked and there is one less fox to attack lambs. Dave is a good shot and killed the animal quickly and humanely.

Kim and Jeff ready for action

The prize a large male

The fence is over a metre high gives you idea of the size of this boy

The sheep in the paddock decided to come and have a close look at Dave while he was looking for another fox

There are many lambs on the ground at the moment. One less fox is a good thing

Sunday, 19 August 2012

New Toy or Tool

We ordered a new quad bike a few weeks ago as the buggy we had been using to round up the sheep was very tired. The buggy has clocked up over 5,000 miles on our 200 acres it has been repaired and will be kept as a backup. Kim and I realised that something more heavy-duty was required. I never wanted a quad bike because of safety reasons. The buggy had a roll bar and seat belts and that really appealed to me. Farm machinery has to be treated with respect. I found that out the hard way.

A few years ago my 80 year old Dad tried to kill me with the buggy by ramming me into a gate – twice.  We laugh at the whole scenario now but I could have been really hurt. Here is the story.

Dad and I were travelling together to check sheep while Kim was away with work. Dad was the passenger and I was driving. At the first gate I got out to open it and at that moment Dad stuck his foot from the passenger side onto the accelerator and drove through the gate. I couldn't believe he did that so I seriously told him off. At the next gate he did the same thing again, the man doesn't listen. We reach the paddock I got out to walk down the hill to check the sheep. Next thing I can hear the buggy taking off. I quickly ran back to the top of the hill and here is Dad still in the passenger seat driving the thing looking for me WTF. I was really angry and told him not to do that again. We finished checking the sheep and started to drive back where I stopped at the first gate and I left the buggy to open it. The gate got caught on a thatch of grass and as I went to lift the gate over the thatch dad put his foot on the accelerator again and rammed into me pinning me against the gate. Then, instead of reverse he hit the accelerator again and rammed me into the gate for a second time.  I was black and blue with tread mark bruises all over my legs and back. Dad has not been in the buggy since that day and it was his choice.

On Saturday we made the trip to Sydney to collect the bike. The bike has a passenger seat behind the driver so on Sunday Kim took me for a drive and managed to frighten the shit out of me. I could be heard screaming up hill and down dale. Kim, Cameron and Skye though it was hilarious.

250cc SS Hammerhead Twister Supersport Go Cart Dune Buggy
This is like the buggy we used to round up the sheep.

This is the new machine

Kim securing the new toy - I mean machine to the trailor

Thursday, 16 August 2012


It has been a while since there has been heavy snow at Claremont. Kim sent these pictures of the blizzard like conditions today. Although the flakes are large it is too wet for snow to settle on the ground. A good day to stay inside.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


On the 3rd of August I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my nephew Harrison (also known as Harry) and his lovely bride Samantha (also known as Sammy or Sam). The ceremony was held at the Ballina lighthouse, an absolutely stunning setting overlooking the ocean.

It was a great family get together with family travelling from far and wide to attend. Kim and I travelled to Lismore and stayed with my sister Maureen on Wednesday the 1st August (we made it from Gundaroo to Lismore in 12 hours). It was a long drive and we were tired but so excited to see our family!

It is becoming an unspoken family tradition to have a party before the party and this time was no different! Maureen, my niece Tamarah and I were enjoying each others company and we managed to polish off more than a few bottles of sparkling wine and poor Tam suffered badly the next day. Naughty Aunties!

Thursday was spent organising bits and pieces, we also had to decorate the reception room which we only finished a couple of hours before the ceremony. We managed to get everything done and the reception venue looked gorgeous!

What a beautiful wedding followed by a fantastic time at the reception!

Harrison and Sammy. Harrison made the most wonderful speech to Sammy it brought tears to my eyes.

Signing the register

My Dad in the chair as he had hurt his back

Harry, Sam and Dad

My Family

The room we finished  decorating at the last minute

Jess Cameron did a wonderful job on the wedding cakes

Kim and Robert enjoying a dance

The reception
The View from Maureen and Lynton's deck

Very happy sisters on the way to the reception

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dorper School Results

After an anxious wait the course results are back. Much to the relief of Eileen, Sarah, Jess and myself  we all passed. My pass mark was 74% just above the class average of 73%. Wicus Cronje the South African Judge and inspector will be very satisfied with 19 out of 20 students passing the course.

The happy but tired students

After leading three courses for over 60 people and conducting a number of inspections throughout NSW, Wicus spent a week in Western Australia inspecting various dorper flocks before returning to South Africa.  Prior to his departure, Wicus completed marking the Senior Exams.

Of the 20 Senior Course participants, all passed the theory portion of the exam and all but one passed the combined theory and practical exam.  To pass the exam, candidates must earn at least 50% of the maximum points in each of the four sections (one theory section and three practical sections) and at least 60% of the maximum total points.