2010 in review

It’s fitting that my 2010 year in review is being written on day three of 2011 – it’s been that kind of year.
Both hectic and challenging, 2010 often left me feeling a few steps behind the pace.
We had a stressful start to 2010 when our youngest son, James, then 2, stopped walking. We gained an intimate and forgettable knowledge of the Queensland Health system.
Finally after numerous trips to doctors, x-ray clinics and busy accident & emergency wards we were told our formerly adventurous larrikin had an infection in the heel bone – osteo mylytis.
Treatment was an operation to clean out the infection and powerful antibiotics delivered intravenously for as long as we could keep a drip in our poor darling. We made it to day four and in that time I gained a new-found appreciation for all the wonderful doctors and nurses who treat sick little people every day.
James was sent home with a three-month supply of antibiotics and slowly he began to walk again, but not before he reacted to the medicine and developed hives all over his body.
Welcome to 2010 – the only way is up.
By Feb James was back to his usual self, jumping off tall things at dangerous speeds and doing all of those crazy things that boys love to do.
Mr Bean, aka Richard, was focused on having a great vegetable season to make up for the horror of 2009.
Part of the prep was to take a relaxing family holiday to regroup, refocus and relax – Fiji here we come.
Friends recommended Castaways and we were not disappointed. The boys loved the Kid’s Club – we loved the Kid’s Club. It was 10-days of total relaxation except for the boys’ (big and small) high-speed jet ski sessions (breathe deep, relax, they will survive). We returned home ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
Mr Bean ain’t one to take life lying down so as well as turning his farming business around he decided we should embark on a building project – two new houses, designed by my architect father, spearheaded by Mr Bean, project-managed by me.
Talk about learning curve – I gained a crash course in all things construction and the builders came to understand my very un-technical descriptions of what I was trying to achieve. I’ve never been a numbers girl but I quickly came to realise that accuracy and numbers are everything in the building world.
All things considered it went pretty smoothly and the houses are now complete – check them out here. Despite Mr Bean’s best-laid plans, the 2010 vegetable season was not going to travel smoothly – success would only come after much hard work and determination.
Unseasonably high rainfalls regularly threatened to thwart all of his hard work. The drought had apparently ended.
Mr Bean focused on getting his crops across the line through organization, persistence and some bloody hard work.
Farming’s a tough game (I often wonder why anyone would take it on) and in 2010 many vegetable farmers learned just how tough it can be.
Crops throughout the state succumbed to the wet conditions, pushing up market prices. One man’s loss is another man’s gain … as Mr Bean discovered.
His crops survived and fetched good money, allowing him to claw back the losses of the previous year and finish in a good position to face the challenges of 2011.
All was once again good in the world of onions and carrots. He also added a new vegetable to the mix – pumpkin – which is proving to be a valuable inclusion in the cropping mix.
The wet weather meant most of the machine harvesters were redundant and instead Mr Bean had to call on a small army of handpickers. It’s hot, dirty, tiring work and subsequently attracts an eclectic bunch of people. There were many challenging days in the ‘office’ for Mr Bean during harvest time as he negotiated with picking crews and bin hire companies to ensure it all went smoothly.
The year ended with floods. The damage at the farms around the Fassifern was not too great but the farm at Wallaville near Bundaberg was affected by what now appears to be the worst flood in the town’s history.
The farm managers – Peter and Trish – gained a sudden and significant water view from the lounge room of their house as the Burnet River rose and rose and rose. The property is called Lagoon Park and the Lagoon soon grew into an ocean as water inundated large parts of the property. Thankfully many of the crops had been picked just days earlier – although there are now some high-priced pumpkins floating down the river – and the losses were not large. The clean-up job however is significant.
As with all years the pace of life slows down from Christmas onwards and as I write this my three boys are asleep on the couch enjoying an afternoon nap.
It’s been a peaceful, happy end to a challenging year. Thankfully we are all in good health and look forward to the excitement that 2011 will bring – starting with Alex’s first day at school – but not before we take a long overdue holiday!