Host: Gallipoli Station
Written by Jacki Bishop – Overseer, Gallipoli Station.
Before I get started, allow me to give you a quick rundown on who I am.
My name is Jacki Bishop, wife and mother of three children, native to Victoria. Yes, I can all hear you say ‘Oh a Mexican’, and you would be right. My maiden name was Hodge and once upon a time my ancestors had a fairly good foothold farming Hereford cattle in the Snowy Mountain country, so I guess you could say this kind of life was in my blood to begin with. I had a passion for horses from a young age, driving my parents mad galloping around our small farm.
When I ventured north I thought I could ride but in reality I knew how to sit on a horse but had no idea of how to really work a horse. I went north and was exposed to the art of working with cattle and horses and although now, with the addition of three beautiful children and the most wonderful husband whom I’m sure I drive quite mad at times, my time spent doing this is on hold for a pinch but my passion for this art form is very much alive and well. My husband and I share the love of Station life and that is one of the many reasons why we are lucky enough to be where we are. I could rattle on about this for hours but I’m getting off track. I thought I would share some snippets of our first year Overseeing Gallipoli so far. I hope you enjoy.
Gallipoli Station is an outstation of Alexandria Station and for those of you who wonder about the names, Alexandria and the Soudan outstation were named after military conflicts in Egypt in the 1880’s. Additional land was purchased in 1918, so the owners continued with the military theme, naming it Gallipoli because of the campaign occurring at that time. Owned by North Australian Pastoral Company (NAP Co) we transferred here from one of their channel country properties in the April school holidays and have not stopped learning since.
Lesson 1: Moving house with three small children is at the top of my list of things I do not want to do again anytime soon.
We arrived at Gallipoli like Gypsies, with our caravan and poor Nissan Patrol loaded to the hilt, my husband and I, Chloe (our Governess), our three kidlings, and two dogs. We unfolded out of our car, happy to have finally arrived at our destination.
Lesson 2: Do not let husband and stock camp unload moving boxes and furniture unsupervised.
In hubby’s defense he had an almost impossible time limit and had to fit in a very brief tour of quite a large property at the same time, so I just had to wear the aftermath. Unpacking started the next day, our brave Govie (Chloe) setting up the classroom and myself trying to find the bunk beds in amongst the mountains of things I thought were useful at our previous home (which was somewhat larger than the house at Gallipoli) to a ‘heap of useless profanity’ that was severely culled to the shed outside for ‘dealing with later’, and the kids taking the job of getting to know the place very seriously.
My eldest son Lauchy was the next to discover the third lesson. He is a very active boy, I was going out to the caravan to get a particular book for bedtime stories, and as boys do (and being first to any destination is an extremely important thing for an eight year old) he raced past me down the stairs as I’m yelling at him “You’d want to be careful there are no snakes out there, you don’t have a torch or shoes on!”, and no sooner had the words came out of my mouth he was executing some half turn pike with a backward flip as there, at the bottom of the caravan stairs was a six foot something king brown snake. Well! I thought the exit out of the house was quick but the re-entry was really impressive!
Lesson 3: Don’t go outside at night without a torch . . . really . . . I’m not kidding. God will punish you if you do not listen to your mother! (Well . . . that’s what I told my kids anyway).
So then the trick was to try to convince the kids into believing that Gallipoli was a really cool place to move to, but as far as they were concerned we had just moved to a serpent’s paradise and to be fair to them, just between you and me, I really think we might have. Personally I really don’t mind snakes, in fact I understand the importance of balance in mother nature and love to observe them but I am a mother first and that means doing what I need to, to protect my children and staff, so I have become very good at ‘relocating’ them. So far the record is eight foot long but that story I will save for tomorrow’s blog.
Until then, cheers for now.