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Making Hay While the Sun Shines

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The summer of 1976 during the school holidays in Paremoremo, New Zealand.


Note: a billy is a jug, pot, or kettle. Hard yakka is hard work. Cock was one of my mates who had a reputation for being a mad bastard behind the wheel. Percy was a local farmer who we did some work for. He had a muscle car called a Valiant Charger RT (pictured above) which he entrusted to one of the boys (Cock, beacause he was the only one with a license) to drive a bunch of us home one day under strict conditions and threat of physical harm. Let's just say it didn't end well!


Sun is rising, birds are cooing,
and I am up...up and doing,
the billy's on, tea is brewing 
              in younger days waking!
So I'd grab my torn gloves to wear
as old man Walmsley's truck I'd hear
in the warm summer morning air
               on the road haymaking

To load up the truck and pack her,
I was a lifter and stacker;
it was hot - it was hard yakka
            from field to shed taking!
But on every cut hill and dale
with each counted and lifted bale
at day's end we all drank an ale
               on the road haymaking 

From Kaukap' home thru Dairy Flat
Percy's Charger purred like a cat
till Cock drops the clutch to the mat -
              his hands guilty shaking!
Reckless doing a hundred clicks
it would be his ar$e Percy kicks -
the spider gears he had to fix
                on the road haymaking

And that day on collision course
among a load of hay and gorse
when under the wheels fell a horse -
               its last breath forsaking!
Sadly there was no place to hide
but in my shock I surely tried
when at my trembling feet it died
                on the road haymaking

We were fit and strong and mad keen,
young and foolhardy - just fifteen -
now with many years in between
         those early dawns breaking!
But I remember long ago
summers in Paremoremo
when off on Walmsley's truck I'd go
               on the road haymaking

                July 2016

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016

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Date: 7/13/2016 12:56:00 AM
Great, Keith, very descriptive and a wonderful sense of place, plus youthful mayhem. Would make a great song. A #7 from me, regards, Viv
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 7/13/2016 4:26:00 AM
Hi there, Viv. It was my first real job and I loved it even though it was hard work. If I tried it now I'd probably drop dead! Cheers mate.