The juxtapositions between then and now are so distinct that I sometimes struggle to comprehend what life can become even when you’re doing everything right. This hunter’s life has had two vastly different chapters in the last few years. In 2009 my world was a perfect place…
Our eldest child was not yet up to independent movement, she was a beautifully chubby little girl with whom we’d developed some primal communication, mostly to do with her appetite and the state of her nappy. She was a kind of oversized paperweight; we carried her everywhere, put her down somewhere convenient then picker her up on the way through. Our youngest was still in her mother’s womb – she was hardly any trouble at all. Of course I can’t state enough what a joy the birth of our second daughter was for us in January 2010. Regardless of the stress and drama that has been a constant wingman these past two years, my two little girls make every day a good day.
Our personal debt was at an all time low. We were owners of our domain. We could be as extravagant as we pleased. We had dreams of moving the family to a nice house in a nice suburb – a big trophy room – not too far from the office where I seem to spend an increasing amount of my time.
We were happy to be so fortunate with our lot in life. Life wasn’t perfect; we had estranged family, loads of work to do, difficult colleagues and stupid vandals to deal with, but on the whole, I’d rate it a 9/10. That’s good scoring.
And in the shadows of T.R.’s 1909 sojourn, we had planned the safari to end all safaris. Lots of important load development took place and with that came a “genuine need” to test full power Cape Buffalo medicine on lots of pigs! And there were lots of pigs.
On the back of all of this preparation came seven magical weeks on the Dark Continent. Ten days hunting North West, tend days hunting Limpopo, ten days stalking the Mopani Woodlands of the Matetsi and a couple of weeks adventuring in Namibia. How can you top that? You just can’t.
Fast forward to today and things have changed…
Our two princesses are warring factions of a confused Mediterranean and Great British ancestry. Angry young ladies at times – they climb furniture like monkeys and taunt each other with the toys we don’t have two of and they consider any food as a potential projectile. They always seem to want the thing you offered them just after it’s no longer available.
The word debt is taboo. I’ve dropped it from my vocabulary all together; I plain don’t like it. In 2010, we sold our castle and made a handsome profit that we invested in a parcel of land so deep in bushland and so city-central that it was nothing short of a miracle!
As 2011 draws to a close, the development saga continues as we live in the second of what may become a string of asbestos-clad 1950’s rentals while we wait for other people to decide what we can and can’t do. All of this while on the precipice of what will be the largest financial hole I’ve ever had the bad sense to drop us into…
Following a bout of bad health for three of our four-strong team, we have endured endless trips to doctors and specialists and extended visits to the hospital. Not fun at all.
In 2011, there are even more pigs than before. Swarms of swine roam my favourite hunting grounds and I’ll have my third opportunity to get amongst them in the coming days. Genuine whack ‘em and stack ‘em affairs. My feral pigs reach out and touch someone program has achieved efficiencies of 1.4 bullets per pig – that’s streets ahead of the chopper shooters. If only I had wings.
I had a few very cold hunts this winter with limited success. Clay Pope, all the way from Texas got fogged out. Sup3rf1uid got blown over and snap frozen while Lulwut enjoyed some success. Best results were had when my three-year-old and I headed out together with the light.
No safari in 2011, though plans have been hatched and commitments made for the ultimate in old-world big game hunting available to the modern nimrod. More on that later.
So as the year draws to a close, I hope that the tribe is happy and healthy in 2012. We’re working towards getting the bureaucracy to limit their meddling and let us get on with our lives. Hopefully the office front will tone down a notch as an improved team helps us to grow and improve.
And with Christmas looming and our annual shutdown almost upon us, it is with more than a little anticipation that I start preparing for quite a few trips over the next month, from the central tablelands of NSW to the burning plains of southwest Queensland and then the gorges of the northern tablelands – I’m excited about the adventure and the hunting and sharing my stories on the DaggaBoy blog; so let the good times roll in the run up to 2012!