While working at the Roadhouse in Queensland, I spotted a lot of people who were travelling with their dogs. Over six months, I only met one woman who was travelling with her cat. As of today, that number has doubled. Our newest kiwi pickers, Norma and Bertrand have come from France…and brought their precious 9-month old kitty called Lily with them!
Not a cheap decision – its $2k to bring her over and another $1k for quarantine, but they insist she’s their baby and leaving her behind wasn’t an option. Thankfully, she also happens to be the sweetest most well behaved cat in the world – doesn’t make a peep and lives quite happily in their van with them.
We met the two of them for the first time today. It’s also the first time I’ll be in charge of directions – an additional responsibility I really don’t want. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I can get lost going in a straight line. Even with step-by-step instructions on my phone I’m not confident about this. Especially since Caitlin and Savannah, still without work, are following our car.
It goes about as well as you’d expect. My phone doesn’t tell me what way to go on a roundabout and we get off one turn too soon. Then we start heading down the road we normally go down, only to realise we were meant to stay on the road. By the time we find the orchard a 12-minute trip has taken us close to 25…Thankfully, we left ten minutes early and so still made it with plenty of time for everyone to find a decent bag and figure out the basics.
Not looking forward today – Boss warned us in the morning that it was yet another specialty pick. I LOATHE these things, and expressed my frustrations at most of the backpackers this morning. However, it was a really weird one – we basically had to pick half the fruit – preferably the biggest half. So, so many of us had trouble with this. We’re so used to sweeping and making sure we don’t leave anything behind that we were perpetually behind everyone while we worked. Not great for the new guys, and really frustrating for us.
We’re struggling along, but come lunch time there’s another problem. It’s a really hot day and Norma and Bertrand are a little worried about Lily being in the van. It’s not as hot as the other cars but it could get worse. The solution? They have a carry case that works like a backpack – take her with us!
I wish to god I’d had a camera on the orchard today. Lily in that case while everyone worked just brightened up the afternoon. By the end of the day every single person in the orchard was besotted with her, and since they couldn’t get distracted by picking they all came to see her at the end of the day. She’s going to rule the orchard by the end of the season…