Part One in the series
OLD McLARSEN HAD SOME FARMS
Today’s shearers have been apprenticed and achieved all the required book learning and degrees. Some will even have had some ‘hands-on’ experience in mock shearing sheds and maybe some out in the real world. But yesterday’s Shearers received their qualifications, skills and incredible speeds in the School of Hard Knocks – and this is just one of the first-hand stories that could be told about two basic ‘true blues’ of the last century.
“The shearers’ll be starting end of next week,” our friend and boss, Barry said one day. “You’ll do the cooking for them, right Chris?”
I nod and think to myself, ‘…this should be great! Rumour is they walk off the job if they don’t like the cook. Hmm – I might walk off the job before they do!‘ I mean, I’m a good cook, but meals on the dot – AND a cooked breakfast? On my woodstove? The one I have to fire up an hour earlier to be able to cook on top? In a previous lifetime, I had been the original ‘two coffees before she wakes up’ type. Once in a while, I even consumed a piece of toast – usually just to be sociable with overnight guests (and usually following a ‘big’ night).