Thought I’d share my weird gear for tackling the gorse on our bush project. Here I am on 4 December 2010 heading off in ridiculous heat to have a go at the gorse. Thick vinyl pants are necessary to deflect gorse prickles but are like a sauna inside. I come back not just dripping but running with sweat. Why it doesn’t help take off weight is a mystery. Maybe because the work makes you think you deserve a good hearty meal and some glasses of wine for dinner.
Long gloves serve the same purpose of detering prickles. The 6 litre tank contains Grazon and Pulse penetrant. The hood on the spray wand is fantastic for stopping spray drift, especially as where we work on the coast, there is often a coastal breeze even on a still day. Pouch on belt contains a bottle of water, Vigilant gel for painting stumps, and a few tissues to wipe away sweat that runs into the eyes, bringing with it stinging sun tan lotion. Better still would have been a tennis sweat band but I forgot it.
The saw was a birthday present and is fantastic for cutting large gorse. The safety glasses are necessary to stop damage to the eyes from gorse. I have had 3 corneal abrasions and one puncture from gorse which tends to lash about when you are cutting it. Irritatingly, the glasses mist up as you get hot and sweaty or if it rains – then it gets very hard to se what you are doing . I have spent a lot of time trying to get “no-mist” glasses from safety shops that really are no-mist. Taking glasses on and off to wipe the eyes is a real pain, but I have learned the hard way, as the moment you start working without them, an eye injury becomes a dead cert.
The cap is for trying to keep gorse out of your hair, or pulling at it. This costume has been built up over 16 years of gorse cutting. The old shirt, that came from designer store Remo in Sydney, is ideal for the job - long sleeved, but thin enough to keep you cool, weave tough enough to keep gorse at bay. It’s given many years of service.
What’s missing here are my tough long-handled loppers for cutting smaller gorse, but that wasn’t on the agenda that day.