Time slips by with so much to ex­plore

AgLife - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

For some of us who have made the an­nual pil­grim­age to the Wim­mera Machin­ery Field Days for most of their work­ing lives, the sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences from the event are many and var­ied.

What has al­ways been a con­stant for the three-day event is the op­por­tu­nity it presents to help some­one find that cru­cial some­thing, whether it be for work or play.

One ex­pe­ri­ence that quickly springs to mind comes from sev­eral years ago when a cou­ple of mates caught up, one who had com­pleted his jour­nal­is­tic du­ties in cov­er­ing the event, the other a farmer’s son. While both were sim­ply en­joy­ing a break to have a wan­der through the Lon­gerenong site, they were also on a mis­sion – one armed with a map and un­der in­struc­tion to find some sort of unique part for a header, the other search­ing for, of all things, a de­cent hat.

Af­ter ini­tial dis­cus­sions at the gate, the gen­eral con­sen­sus was the two as­sign­ments wouldn’t take any more than half an hour.

The trou­ble was, hunt­ing for that machin­ery part and that elusive hat ex­panded into a long af­ter­noon across sev­eral hours.

Was it be­cause it was hard to find both items? Not at all. In fact, while the hat, which had to be highly func­tional but stylish enough to wear to sig­nif­i­cant events, took a lit­tle while to source, the machin­ery part was se­cured from a help­ful dealer in only a few min­utes.

The prob­lem was, there were count­less other things that con­stantly caught the duo’s eye and com­bined with bump­ing into peo­ple they knew, which al­ways led to great con­ver­sa­tions about ‘the world’, time quickly dis­ap­peared.

At the end of the day, as site-hold­ers were pack­ing up for the evening and pa­trons were grad­u­ally mak­ing their way to­wards the gate, the pair joked about how many prod­uct and pro­mo­tional bags they were car­ry­ing in each hand.

In one bag there was a bot­tle of wine tin­gling against a whiz-bang univer­sal tool and an in­ge­nious wa­ter-ir­ri­ga­tion tim­ing sys­tem.

In another was a codlin-moth trap for a fruit tree, a pack of new-look ‘no-fail’ mouse traps and a se­lec­tion of fish­ing lures. And of course there were bags full of count­less brochures and in­for­ma­tion sheets.

But hang on a minute! As the pair wearily reached the car, un­locked the doors and started un­load­ing their col­lec­tions, there was a dread­ful mo­ment of rev­e­la­tion.

Where was that rip­per hat? It wasn’t on the head, where it had spent much of the af­ter­noon, and it wasn’t in a bag. Groan. Time to re­trace the steps.

Sure enough, af­ter much swear­ing, curs­ing and spend­ing another hour re­vis­it­ing many of places they had been dur­ing the day, there it fi­nally was, sit­ting on the front of a ride-on lawn­mower.

That’s right, the pair had stopped for a chat with a mate and the one with the hat had re­moved it to brag about it’s qual­ity – only to then leave it be­hind.

For the record, the hat was last seen head­ing south to­wards Lady Ju­lia Percy Is­land af­ter be­ing blown off a head into the sea at the Crags near Port Fairy.

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