I WISH I could blame the wine for this outrageous brain fart: “Are you marrying the right guy?” I asked my sister, just before her big day.
What was I thinking? He was perfection, they were in love and she is my favourite human who gets to choose who she shares a toothbrush with.
But I wasn’t worried about him; I was worried about his package. (Not THAT package, you pack of 16-year-old boys). His LIFESTYLE package.
She was a city chick. He was a farmer. If she was going to marry him she’d have to move six hours away to a small country town called Gilgandra in NSW and help him run the farm.
She’d have to trade her espresso martinis for VB and her favourite Kate Spade blue velvet ballet flats for steel cap boots. Her numberplate would say “Home of the Cooee” for god’s sake. She would become one of those guys we see on Landline who wears a giant sweat stained Akubra and talks about the weather, a lot.
This “change” looks fun on Farmer Wants A Wife. Those ladies start off ecstatic saying “I love the fresh air and the farm animals are SO cute”.
Fast forward two months and they realise “those sheep needed to be fed EVERY day” and they’re outta there.
The reality is, moving to the country and becoming a farmer is HARD. BLOODY. WORK.
You think your biggest career hurdle is whether you’ll pip Jane in sales for the next promotion? Try surviving a drought.
Her fiance owns a 6500ha crop of wheat and chickpeas. Mornings are spent on the four-wheeler with the working dogs; checking crops, looking at the radar to see what and when the next weather event is and putting processes in place to protect your livelihood.
A little different to lounging in our Peter Alexander PJ’s, googling the nearest eggs Benedict.
She would be operating machinery three times the value of her car and servicing them herself. You can’t have those tractors breaking down, you lose half a day’s work. Everything is tweaked and maintained on-site so you better add “mechanic” to the CV, Sis.
Oh, and she’d have to learn how to operate a gun. You’re on a property now.
I thought it was too much of a change and too much pressure.
But Nikke saw it as an adventure and is now as happy as one of her pigs in mud. Farmer found his wife, they married in February and their Maid of Honour (you know who) cried like a baby.
Life is simpler with them. The air smells cleaner. You know everyone (literally, there’s like 2000 people in the town) and man does Gilgandra nail Chinese cuisine.
You’d hope so; the town of two pubs and three restaurants only serve Chinese. That’s one condition when she comes to visit me in the city, any cuisine other than Chinese. She’s had enough sweet and sour pork to feed a small army.
There are no traffic jams for her. Well, except when the cows stand and have a chat on the driveway. She called me hysterical one morning because she thought a cow had died on her driveway and didn’t know what to do. I started my “it’s a natural life event” pep talk when it got up. It was asleep.
Key learning: Love wins. As a big sister it’s your job to say what you’re thinking but also celebrate it when you get it spectacularly wrong. *Puts on party hat and pours punch*