New Year started with a bang… Actually, it was more like a dull thump.

The kangaroo hit my mother’s car with a force strong enough to make an impressive dent along the front panel. Nothing a like bit of road kill to see in 2006. Not to mention a fair dose of trauma for my roo loving mum.

I wish I could say the rest of New Year’s Eve progressed well. Unfortunately that would be a big fat lie… and ‘reduced exaggeration’ is on my New Year resolution list so I won’t even go there darlings.

What’s the big deal with counting down to twelve o’clock anyway? Next year I plan to boycott the whole painful procedure. In the past I’ve trekked to Paris and central London in the search of a unique and exciting night out. I was met with extortionate entry fees, never-ending line ups and arsey bouncers. Public transport ground to a halt on both miserable occasions (I hear it happened again in London – poor sods). I’ve even made an overseas trip to the remote Kangaroo Island. There, I saw in 2000 with cheap beer, rowdy rural folk and a snog with a mystery Canadian called ‘Shell’. Need I say more?

This year I did the family thing – no one can say I’m not a dutiful daughter. In truth, an expired driver’s licence has rendered me totally dependent on my folks. A fine concept I’m sure… unless you’re 26 kilometres from civilisation. Which I might note, I am.

Luckily the aforementioned parents are the epitome of cool. I was quite happy stuffing myself with seafood, chatting about the weather in London and watching my Dad and his mates get progressively drunk. Some of the best memories are made at home. Next year however, I’ll brave the crowds.

In the meantime, the unthinkable has happened. Despite a vow not to work in the dairy (been there, done that – thank you VERY much) the dreaded call came yesterday.

“Kate, someone’s called in sick – can you milk tonight?”

How could I say no? The reality was, I couldn’t. Not without enduring never-ending guilt trips for the remainder of my holiday. My little sister Sal has been roped in too – so as a supportive big sis I have to be there to take my share of the manure shower.

Before you even start shaking your heads at me – consider this: Are you warm right now? Are you dry? Are there flies buzzing around you in a poop-fuelled frenzy – attracted to the manure that covers your torso? I thought not.

And you thought they just pumped it out and into your cartons didn’t you?! It’s not a matter of grabbing a teat and giving it a hefty squirt. The process, like every other on this farm is technical. Our cows each have a micro-chip in their ear, scanned by a computer as they walk onto the milking platform. They’re tech savvy bovines this lot!

Needless to say, it’s been a long time between dairy stints and I’m not as agile as I used to be. There’s not much more than a mili-second between the lift of a tail and… SQUIRT!

Thank your lucky city-dwelling stars guys – and think of me when you next down a glass of milk. It’s pain I tell you… PAIN!

To be honest, I’m more traumatized by the fact that I just caught myself singing along to an entire Hanson album – each and every word. Now THAT’S a childhood memory best left alone. I guess some things just never leave you.

“Mmm bop, da-ba doo bop…”