18/11/88

FINE & COOL.  We got up at 5 and made hot milk and Weet-Bix¹ for brekkie then went up to the shed.  I got a ride round to the orchard with Terry and got the tractor going then drove up and down the road delivering ladders, lugs and advice.  I was joined at 8 by a brat called Craig who works here and is a mealy-mouthed sniveling little wimp. Everyone knocked off at about 12 as the cherries weren’t ripe enough and I went round by myself picking up the last of the lugs.  Went back to the shed and Sean and I spent an hour and a half washing down tractors then Terry and I went out and boxed² some trees. We all went into the Cri³ for Happy Hour – 18 schooners* in 2 rounds!! – then tried to get into the disco but couldn’t.

¹Crispy wheat biscuits, a New Zealand and Australian breakfst staple.
² ie left a pile of empty lugs under each tree ready for the next day’s picking.
³The Criterian Pub in Young.
*A schooner is a beer glass which holds 425ml (15 fl. oz) of beer. The other type of Australian beer glass is the smaller middy which holds 285ml (1o fl. oz.)

17/11/88

CLEARING & RAIN  I woke up at 6 and I looked out find cloudy skies and a cold wind.  So we snuggled down and went back to sleep. At about 8 o’clock the Cherry Head (Joe!)¹ came around to tell us we were working so we all rugged up and drove out to the orchard. It was knee deep in mud!!  Johnny (brainless one) and I were put on collecting lugs with a 4WD tractor and trailer, but when Sean and Luc came and took him and the tractor, I got to drive the old 2 wheel drive tractor round while Kerry Scanlan picked up the lugs. It was a pretty miserable place and the old tractor wasn’t too good in the mud.

¹The orchard foreman, Joe, was a nasty, creepy little man.

16/11/88

After lunch we started playing Yahtzee…

RAIN. Woke up at about 8 and it was very cold and wet.  We got up and mucked around then went into town. Posted a few more Christmas cards and shopped around for a game to play.  Ended up buying Yahtzee. Went back to camp with a takeaway lunch from the Hen Pen and ate it in our tent. After lunch we started playing Yahtzee with Luc, Sean, Thierry and Killera in our tent, all bundled under sleeping bags.  At about 6 o’clock we all jumped into the car and went into into Pizza Paradise. We had a large and medium pizza between the 5 of us then went home. Cold wet night.

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Tent Yahtzee on a cold, wet day. Clockwise from bottom left: Luc, Thierry, Linda, Sean.

15/11/88

“…listening to the jukebox and yahooing.”

COLD  As we had been told no picking we slept in till about 8:30 and got up and showered etc then mucked around for a while.  Linda, Sean, Luc, Gavin and I all went into town. Linda and I went to the Post Office and posted Christmas mail and there was a letter from Joe there.  We all went to the pub for lunch and spent about 4 hours there listening to the jukebox and yahooing. We went to Woolies and got a few groceries then went home.

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Friends around the campfire, Cherry Hill Farm, Young, NSW.

We cooked up chops and spuds for tea then went up to the other camp for a few wines then we all moved down to our camp for more wines round a huge fire.  Went to bed at about 11 and it was bitterly cold.

14/11/88

CHANGEABLE  Got up at 5 and cooked brekkie then went to work.  We had just started picking when Luc came over and asked me if I wanted to drive the truck for the day in Sean’s place.  So I spent the day doing that at $6-70 an hour. We were picking up from the orchard called The School where all the gun pickers are and some of them are absolute scum.  But man can they pick cherries!! Some of them got up to 33 lugs! It came in and rained in the late arvo just after we had walked home to get petrol for the truck which had run out.  A bunch of us went to the pub after work and Linda and I got takeaway for tea.

13/11/88

V HOT  Woke up at 5 and got up and made hot Weet-Bix for brekkie while Linda dozed.  We drove down to the picking area and picked on two trees all morning. We got 7 lugs off them.  Finished up at about 12 and came back to camp.

We went into town at about one and spent all afternoon at the pool swimming and watching the twitty Ockers¹ and their posing.

Had a shandy at the Tavern on the way home.  Sean had a spider bite so we took him to the hospital in the late evening to be checked out.

¹Ocker is a disrespectful slang expression for an Australian.

12/11/88

FINE &  WARM. No work today so we slept in till about 8:30.  Linda did the washing then we had breakfast at Titti’s¹ along with Chi, Sean, Luke and Terry.  I took a car load into town and dropped them off at Woolies and went and got some petrol. Sean, Luc, Thierry and I walked up the street and watched some shearing² exhibition then we went back to camp.  Had sammies for lunch and showed Theirry our photos then we all went into town for a swim. Took young Stefan and a little Indian girl with us and we spent about 3 hours there. Luc eyed up every girl!!

¹Titelia, one of the Fijian fruit pickers.
²Sheep shearing.