Having been given the week before Easter off work I saw an opportunity to whisk the Kiwi off to the seaside (again). We had finally cleared the caravan of all our (temporary) worldly goods and unloaded about two thirds of our treasured possession from the UK into the farm cottage. Sleeping in a proper bed in a proper house, dozing on a proper comfy Multiyork sofa was completely wonderful but we both needed a couple of days of R&R.
The Kiwi had been given Good Friday and Easter Saturday off so I packed up the caravan ready for our departure on Thursday afternoon setting off for a caravan park in Port Fairy. We were terribly excited and had stowed onboard a considerable quantity of culinary delights together with some good old bottles of plonk and all four dogs were invited too. Unfortunately upon arrival at the caravan park it appeared that half the population of Western Victoria had the same idea and also descended upon same said caravan park and we found ourselves very hugga mugga with alot of other people which was something to which we were not accustomed. To give them their due our fellow Grockells were largely, with one exception well behaved and our canine friends were stood down and not called upon to fend off the marauding hoards.
In fact we ended up having a lovely time and the dogs had a ball on the beach. We walked for miles and miles along the sandy bays and then mozeying through the town eating delicious ice cream from the famous Poco ice cream parlour.
The Kiwi and I had a little book running on how many steps we could do each day – I managed 20,000 one day but he beat me hands down with 28,000.
On one of our walks along the river we came across a crowd of people animatedly peering into the murky water. It was the second time we’d seen this gathering and we wondered what on earth was going on. We discovered a couple of fishermen gutting a huge tuna on a table beside the water and they were throwing the stinky, fishy debris into the water where a hugely obese sea lion along with his along with his flappy winged stingray mate were gorging themselves stupid. It was quite a sight!
Our sujourn came to end all too quickly and we returned to endless cardboard boxes back at the farm on Easter Sunday. When we got home we couldn’t find Daphne for ages but we eventually found her asleep in the caravan. Was she trying to hint that she wanted to go on holiday again?
To our delight one of the boxes gave up its secrets of a squirrelled hoard of a few tins of Foie Gras one of which we had for lunch with a crisp bottle of NZ Sav Blanc.
Our zoo has grown again and we now have six young hens. They were barely in feather when we got them but they’ve now grown into splendid fowls and are gradually beginning to lay us some lovely eggs.
I must admit it’s been great unpacking all the boxes and finding all sorts of things that we’ve been missing for all this time. We’re also wondering why on earth we bought certain things out with us to Australia, for instance this morning a I found a large lump of flint that the Kiwi had picked up from a ploughed field in Suffolk. Why on earth had he bought that with us but he claims it is the best doorstop you could ever wish for. But it has memories and I don’t expect we’ll find anything like it here. We’ve also unpacked all our electrical appliances, lamps and gizmos all of which came out here still wired with their reassuringly robust UK three pin plugs. I’ve lost count of the amount of plugs I’ve rewired and I’ve cleared out Bunnings twice purchasing numerous flimsy Aussie versions.
The early morning routine has altered considerably now that I am gainfully employed and every weekday I have to drag myself out of the sack at 6.15am when it’s still dark outside. The girls get a half hour walk in the early dawn.
Once I’ve made my sandwich lunch I set off for the commute to Hamilton. It’s a very easy drive and I hardly ever meet another vehicle – infact gridlock constitutes a tractor turning into a paddock with a ute coming in the other direction. I set my cruise control to 105kms p/h and it takes me precisely 35 minutes to reach work by 8.30am.
My job as an Admin Officer at a day care centre for adults with disabilities is going ok. I have a huge amount to learn and different methodologies to grasp (I’m had to relearn how to send a fax the other day) but I think I’m gradually getting to grips with it. My working day finishes at 3.30pm which is quite civilised and means that I can get a few domestic things done before the Kiwi returns from his day on the farm.
Hamilton has been agog with excitement as the town was chosen to be the venue of a roving, bi-annual steam engine and vintage tractor rally. Two years ago it was held in Perth but this time it was our turn. The weather rather inconveniently dumped a large amount of rain on the show ground during the set up days and the whole area turned into a muddy quagmire. The show was too important to cancel and carried on regardless. The Kiwi was in seventh heaven watching the tractors, steam engines and an enormous gathering of spluttering, hissing, burping stationary engines. There were thousands of people there from every walk of life, from wizend old farmers from Darwin who were feeling the cold to old ladies with huge collections of old kitchen hand whisks (why?) and of course us with our golden girls who spent the whole afternoon feasting on squished chips.
I found an old Fiat 126, which was my first car and had lots of fun telling the Kiwi stories of having bits fall off it on the A12 motorway and having to start it by bashing a certain part of the engine with a hammer. This example wasn’t nearly as smart as mine – mine was red with a black Starsky & Hutch stripe to make it go faster !
That’s about it for now except when I went to put my boots on to walk the girls this morning I found something nasty lurking inside one of them!