Just before Christmas, The Farmer announced he would host an impromptu Sage Words. The whole Sage Words thing had been put on hold as we entered birthday/Christmas season (it was that or collectively go up another jeans size), however Princess Nikita had spotted some pretty Christmas cookies on Pinterest and that seemed as good a reason as any. The cookies ended up looking absolutely wonderful but tasting average at best, which is often the way with those things, but his chosen quote has been gracing the Homestead walls ever since. It helps us make sense of 2016 and gives us strength to plod on.
There have been a few toll gates to negotiate on the road this week. This is not a good thing as we would be the first to tell you that, as a group, we are decidedly soft commercially and generally undervalue what we have and end up shelling out a monarch’s ransom for that we hanker. However, as they say, confession is good for the soul and knowing your weaknesses is your greatest strength. While Messrs Murdoch and Trump need not look over their shoulders in fear, we’re feeling pretty proud we came out the other end of this week with both our wallets and pride intact.
Booking for The Trip (it deserves title caps now) continued this week with the purchase of our return airfares. We’d shopped around, perused the options, taken into consideration The Farmer’s obsession with Ultimate Airport Dubai and the final decision had been made. We’re going to do it! The seemingly unending questions had been answered, the boxes ticked, the spelling checked, The Milk Maid’s (who was at the keyboard) name re-entered correctly (whoops), the appropriate card details inputted, the usually very staunch Goat Herd in her customary post behind the lounge curtain (she likes to hide from the big money decisions), and the button was…it was at this point that somewhere in the World Wide Web there was a giant hiccup and everything went blank. Bedlam ensued. The voice of reason aka The Bean Counter finally made itself heard: We sleep on it and check our coffers in the morning. Investigation showed that we had been billed for travel protection but no travel. So onto the phone we went, into the bowels call-centre surreality we descended, and one of our number became very well acquainted with Ottmar Leibert. We’re not ashamed to say that, at times, we came close to kissing goodbye to the $450; the Homestead triumph is we didn’t. Rome, Dubai, Sydney, Christchurch…locked and loaded with only one lot of travel protection and just under two hours on the phone.
This was on top of Friday’s afternoon being given over to obtaining travel insurance quotes for the journey which interestingly revealed it was cheaper to pay for the entire time away with our usual insurer than it was to take advantage of a credit card option of forty days free and the remaining fourteen days with their insurance company. Another financial hoop jumped through.
And in the middle of all this wheeling and dealing we negotiated the upcoming departure of our goatie blokes. We’d named a price for one and a discounted price for them both; no surprise this is well under the recommended price. The gentleman came to inspect and the boys behaved beautifully: capering, cuddling and behaving like the perfect cross-bred goat specimens they are. Yes please, he said, and would we be able to deliver? Of course! A quick Homestead conflab and a very fair price was pronounced. “No discount?” We were asked. We wavered. “Can’t you do better?”
No. No, we couldn’t. And with that, we turned and strode off down the difficult road to our beautiful destination. We may be soft, we muttered to each other, but we’re not stupid.
The goat boys take up residence on the gentleman’s lifestyle block in mid-February; a grand example of what happens when Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained meets Strength in Knowing your Weaknesses.