Taking a line from The Boss

Blair Smith has found himself facing a mid-life crisis.

In Home Block5 Minutes
It’s a long cold winter up in the Newhaven hill block for the Fossil Creek cows.

Blair Smith has found himself facing a mid-life crisis.

UNLIKE MY WIFE, I’M NOT ONE FOR quotes but here I was shearing hoggets yesterday with the wireless on and this line in a song from “the boss” (Springsteen, not Ardern) hit me harder than a GHG tax… “we took a wrong turn and we just kept going”.

Holy shite I thought on the long blow (which now takes longer than it used to) – this is exactly what we have done as a country. Wrong turn, kept going. Engine light is flashing, the gasket is about to blow, kept going. Rome is burning, heading towards a future as a second-world country and here we are, out visiting the villages to rebrand their broken health care system in te reo.

We had some Australian farmers call us the other day to ask how the hell they can help their Kiwi Anzacs across the ditch. The Aussies have been dealt some tremendous blows with floods, fire, rodent plagues and a decade of drought – yet they said they’d rather face mother nature than mother Jacinda any day.

So while the country is in crisis, my mid-life crisis has also kicked off – sadly not in the sports car that I was hoping for, and cheaper than finding a secretary to run away with.

I’ve recently been upgraded from the more PC mixed hockey grade to the men’s only grade (surprised that they are allowed to still call it that) – and by hell it’s a mission to drag my ageing, balding carcase around the fast-paced turf for an hour. I did suggest we move the game back to the grassy fields of yesteryear to slow things down a bit but the Labour/Greens feminists have banned all sweaty middle-age white guys from using open public spaces.

Back on the farm, it’s been a wet, snowy cold winter in North Otago – with more rain in August than we usually get in six months, but it sets us up for a long overdue good spring. The 350 stud Fossil Creek Angus cows are due to start calving on the hillblock any day and then come late September, Jane will have 2500 stud lambs to tag up in the tussocks. While I enter the lambing data into the phone app in the Hilux with the heater on, she yells tag numbers and other things at me from across the gully – perks of being the boss.

In my defence, I do tag all of the 350 stud calves which sounds cruisy but not so on a snowy spring day wading through shoulder-height tussocks trying to find a calf to tag and weigh while looking over your shoulder to see where Mum is. You usually find her pretty damn quickly when you tag her calf.

I’m coming back in the next life as a bureaucrat (or bureaucrap as Jane fondly calls them). Paper shuffling, finger-pointing, empty excuses and no accountability. Sounds good to me. Reality is that these inglorious bastards are turning farmers and other evil business owners into office-bound wonders – where audits and paper shuffling could easily take up most of our days but don’t add a single bloody dollar to exports.

As a footnote, my fifth form English teacher would happily inform you that I’m not much of a reader but I read an article the other day and misquoted it to Jane when I said I needed to work on my ‘work:wife’ balance over the next couple of weeks as we’ve been spending too much time together at work.

“Fantastic idea – I was thinking the same thing,” she replied. “The return on investment on spending any time with grumpy, ageing cryptorchids doesn’t stack up anyway, so I’ve made the spare bed up for you”.

Definitely an own-goal. I wonder if the Nats have a spot for me.