Today we visited Todd and Verena who live at the bottom of the road. While the rest of us tinker with gardening and bee-keeping and possibly a horse or two, this couple is the real deal. They farm. They grow hay, routinely cutting and baling cops between midnight and dawn, returning to the paddocks after a few hours sleep to rake the remnants and clean up. They also have about sixty head of cattle, many with names, which Todd reluctantly sells when he has to. Sometimes the beasts spend a few weeks at our place, keeping the grass down and upping our pastoral cache. And there’s more. In their spare time this couple run a crane business. Todd drives and Verena often acts as his dogger. His what? You heard me. Oh, and Verena’s a vet.
This mixed-business lifestyle means they own a lot of vehicles. The neighbourhood boys all covet Todd’s tractor collection. He and Verena also have big motorbikes (for fun) and a big truck (to deliver hay). And then there’s the cranes. They have three. It’s quiet this time of year so today Todd fixed the accelerator cable on one of his babies, fashioning new struts himself with his welder.
As for the tiny tot he’s riding here, it’s a lawn mower he picked up through Gumtree during a rare beach break. “That weekend away cost us a lot more than I’d planned,” Verena says. Coincidentally, it’s also the vehicle that tossed Phil into a fence, breaking his leg and slowing him down over Christmas. I bet Phil wishes Todd had stuck with farming and left mowing to the weekend warriors like us.