SHEARING We spent the morning on another tiki tour of the lambing mobs and mucked around in the farmyard at Marden Farm. Matt Daly1 had rung earlier to ask Ali to shear a few sheep for him so at 12:30 a girl called Charlotte, who is a rousey2, arrived to pick us up. So, we spent the afternoon out at a set of yards with two portable shearing machines set up on a cover in the corner of the field beside the yards. Linda and I rousied along with Charlotte and I even managed to knock the wool off 5 ewes!

After we’d cut out3 we packed the whole shebang onto the pickup truck and drove to Pulborough where Ali lives along with an assortment of farmers, shearers, fencers and shepherds. Chopper was there along with John Singleton, a bloke who was in my class at Lincoln.4  

That night, after a huge feed, we tied a big one on5 at the local pub.

1Matt and I had gone to school together. He had married an English girl and now worked as a farm manager for a landowner called Duncan Branch.

2A rousey is someone who picks up the wool after a shearer has finished shearing it off the sheep.

3 The “cut out” is when all the sheep on a farm are shorn and is usually followed by a cutout shout in which the farmer provides beer for the shearers.

4The agricultural college I attended in 1983.

5To “tie a big one on” is New Zealand slang for getting horrendously drunk.

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