I've talked about this thing called an Internal Compass before. Some readers will already know that I don't posses one. At all.... I first realised I didn't have an internal compass when I was old enough to sit in the front seat with my dad on trips to Melbourne. I remember panicking, saying "aren't we going in the wrong direction?" when we would leave our service station or stop and continue on our way (this being of course back when the road wasn't divided). Dad would smile, and say it was ok, and occasionally laugh about my confusion. Of course he never once drove off in the wrong direction.
These days I do a lot of highway driving, quite a bit being on my own. I still have to think carefully about which way to set off when I'm driving along single carriageway roads and I have a break, or when I am leaving certain farms. I'm fine at Arrowfield and Vinery. They are easy. However when I leave Coolmore Australia at Jerry's Plains I become confused everytime. When Angela has accompanied with me, because she has an internal compass, she laughs at the momentary flash of panic that crossed my face, and would gently say tell me which way to turn. I think I remember someone doing the same when we left Darley's Seymour Stud, Northwood Park, when I couldn't remember which way to turn to head back to Nagambie. When this happens, I feel a little bit like I've had a blindfold on, and have been spun around. It's a bit disorienting.
Yesterday I was on the road for about 9 hours. I was tired when I arrived here at Willow Park which is about 20 mins past Murrurundi, and it was almost dark. I'm in a really nice place, with a lovely room, but I slept absolutely terribly. The New England highway just rattles all day and night with semi-trailers. I am not used to the noise. I was overtired and it was a hot night. I think I finally fell into a fitful sleep, filled with appallingly bad dreams, waking up with a fright when my alarm went off at 5am.
It wasn't terribly light when I got in to Dan and set off for the farm in the rain, thinking with what a waste it was to get up so early in weather so appalling. After going a short distance, I passed a sign and thought "I didn't know Gunnedah was this way", while also thinking vaguely that I hadn't noticed the sign on the way in to town last night. I kept going for about 10 minutes, every now and again thinking the road felt unfamiliar, when I should have been retracing my steps back to Emirates Park. It fianlly dawned, slowly, on me that I'd just kept going up the highway the same direction Dan had been parked. I slowed down, thinking 'had I gone the wrong way', at which point I realised I wasn't heading back towards Scone and Murrurundi, but that I was actually heading to Tamworth. I cursed, and swung Dan off the road. We did a U-Turn and headed back the way we'd come. Except now that I was late, and feeling foolish as well as tired, and the clouds were creeping lower and darker, with the rain was falling harder. Mostly I get it right, but this time, I didn't. Alas and woe... funny????
The weather didn't want to play the game today. I couldn't start shooting until after 9am because it was raining cats and dogs. The sun did finally come out when we set off to have a look about in a break in the weather, but the wind was strong. Subsequently today all I worked on was general farm and foals. I haven't been near the stallion barn, and have a lot of ground to cover tomorrow.
I've just made a cup of tea, using my new Jeremy Boot bird mug. This one is a kingfisher I think. I get one on every trip to the Hunter Valley and had special reason to this trip, seeing as there were no tea cups. Going to bed without a cup of tea and getting up at 5am without a cup of tea is a bit rough.
I had my first look at some of Dream Ahead's first foal crop today. They are smashing! Really athletic too, I liked them a lot.