IT'S starting to fell like Christmas, but the festive season is going to be a lot quieter for many families as cost of living, much higher interest rates and the general downturn will cause a quieter time.
Farming families are feeling the serious fall in sheep, lamb and cattle prices and the serious rise in all input costs.
To leave the serious side, we have to thank Bathurst Regional council for again providing the brightly-decorated Christmas Tree in Kings Parade, as well as festive lights on the civic centre building.
Across Australia, we see lots of country churches being closed and sold, but we still claim to be a Christian country that needs to celebrate the birth of Christ some 2023 years ago.
A time to celebrate
BATHURST Merino Association is joining the celebrations with a Christmas party for members and friends on Saturday, December 2 at a venue near Bathurst.
Time and place details are on the BMA flyer and any questions go to Kirby on 0401 402 351.
Mother knows best
THE Weekly Times recently ran a story with photos of a four-year-old Angus cow that gave birth to triplet black calves on a property at Monomeith, Victoria.
The owner describes how careful the mother is to make sure that all three of the young calves go with mum and no one is left behind.
Mothering ability is a great trait in every animal, especially at midnight on a snowy night.
IN the same newspaper are details of a part-time shearer who saw the very real problem of shearers getting the wool off 150-kilogram rams of a variety of breeds.
The dangers of serious injury to the shearer when dragging a big ram that is sedated and half asleep are obvious.
This young shearer bought a ram shearing machine from Byrnes at Peak Hill and offers a one person shearing operation at $18 per head.
There is no need for a sedation needle and the ram is released slowly, on his feet. No one likes ram shearing and maybe this is a prospect for a capable shearer to offer, perhaps on a weekend.
Taking on the record
HILL End shearer Jeanine Kimm will attempt the World Women's Merino record for an eight-hour shearing of Merino ewes early in 2024.
There is huge support for Jeanine, who has built a great reputation for her ability and her work ethic.
A terrible loss
THE fatality that occurred at the broadacre Walgett bushfire last week took away a fire captain from Taree who has given many years of volunteer service to the fire service.
His death shows us the high risks that every bushfire volunteer takes every time that they leave their home and family to help their mates who are in trouble.
There are only a limited number of people who live in areas such as Walgett, Brewarrina and Come By Chance, and a bushfire can destroy many hectares of crop and grazing country before helpers come from faraway places.
Quality cattle sale
DISTRICT agents Bowyer and Livermore may have picked a winner with Friday's special store female cattle sale at CTLX Carcoar.
The agents have advertised some 1800 quality female cattle with excellent breeding, including Rennylea, Te Mania and Bannaby Angus, as well as Black Simmentals.
This sale is run in conjunction with the WDC working dog trials and dog auction and the day will be of real interest to country people.
The cattle market has turned in favour of this sale and quotes of $200 per head plus are recorded from Roma, Leongatha and Bendigo and mention "values not seen for months".
THE colony of flying foxes (fruit bats, perhaps) that have set up camp in Machattie Park, Bathurst is causing a lot of problems and the park is closed for cleanliness and health reasons.
The staff and students at the nearby Cathedral School must hope that the bats will soon be moved on, but there doesn't seem any urgency for action to be taken.
They could be referred to as "Albobats", as they take flight about every nine hours.
WITH an offering of 38,447 bales Australia-wide and a much stronger AUD/USD rate, the wool market performed very well for the week with the EMI lifting 23ac/kg and a very robust movement of nearly 3.5 per cent in USD terms as the world wanted our wool.
Initially, there was some apprehension as the AUD was far stronger than the previous week, however, the orders flowed and by the end of the week all micron indicators had lifted by up to 40ac/kg.
Chinese operators certainly showed the way.
Crossbred wools were unchanged for the week.
Week 21 has an early estimated offering of around 44,000 bales.
Richard Butcher, Nutrien Wool
GEORGE asked the chemist if she had anything for hiccups.
The lady promptly slapped him soundly on his back and asked, "Did that help?"
George said, "I don't know. I'll ask the missus; she's hiccupping out in the car."
DAD was worried by chest pains and had an ECG at the heart specialists.
He asked the nurse how the result looked and she told him: "You must ask the doctor; all I know is if there's a flat line we are in trouble."