The past few days have been very successful.
Yesterday, at last, I fixed the water pipe feeding water to the stock tanks in the nick of time before the animals went thirsty, a mammoth job for this long-time office worker (!).
The pipe is an old galvanized steel pipe, laid when this was a working farm, well before it became a pine forest. An ancient Lister diesel engine and piston pump sends water in two directions, either to the house tanks or to the stock tanks.
The house line was fine, luckily but the stock line wasn't, and evidently hadn't been maintained in a long time. Just getting to the start of the line across the stream was a mission with a 60 degree muddy incline going up about 8m, then a strip of native bush, then the pines ... which had been toppled by a cyclone back in April.
What would once have been just forest is now a forest clearing with a few hundred near full-sized trees laying on the ground, toppled like the matchsticks some of them were destined to become.
Spurred on by the falling firs, the vicious NZ bramble seized the opportunity to flourish in the Spring sunshine, forming man-eating bramble patches a few metres high and several metres across the hillside. Here's the easy bit at the bottom of the hill after a day or two's clambering, de-brambling and chainsawing ...
It has taken several days spread over several weeks to cut back the brambles to locate the pipeline as it climbs out of the gulley where the stream flows, chainsaw the fallen firs off the line, then replace the munted (broken) bits of pipe with modern high-density polythene pressure pipe and fittings. Last evening, I was elated to hear the sound of water flowing into the stock tanks above the paddocks where the now-thirsty sheep and cattle live.
Don't tell anyone, but I did a little dance.
On Saturday I took a motorbike training course, for which I received a pin badge and certificate that will hopefully reduce the cost of my bike insurance. I guess I can put "GCR" after my name too!
So now it's back to the office, replacing physical with mental effort as we crack on with the next awareness module, covering social engineering. More on that tomorrow.