Saturday, 7 January 2012
Holiday in Suburbia
My first day with the family after my friends had left Perth I slept in and it was fabulous. Having had a lovely long lie I got up had breakfast in my pj’s and then had a leisurely shower before putting on my shorts and a top and setting myself up at the kitchen table. The weather was lovely outside but I had been outside for over a week and I relished the chance to send a day indoors. I can’t even tell you what I did that day of the few following them. I spent time on facebook, I e-mailed friends and family, updated my CV, caught up on some of my blogs and edited and started going through the many photos I had accumulated over the last two months. It wasn’t exciting but it was fun. I loved having some time off being a tourist to catch up and remember my time being a tourist. On the Wednesday night I did join one of the family for a mini pub crawl and meet her work mates which was great fun especially as we discovered a fabulous little whisky bar at the end of the night where I finished the evening with a cocktail called 'Blood and Sand' that was far tastier than it sounds! At the weekend we took a trip to a winery where there was the possibility of some farm work stopping at a gallery and a bigger winery on the way. Though the work turned out not to be what I was looking for the smaller Avondale winery had some lovely wines and we purchased a few bottles to take home with us.
The following week was very much the same as the week before with the main difference being that I ventured outside more and even managed to fit in a swim or two as we had a few days where the temperature was over thirty degrees Celsius. As lovely as the heat was for me for the community of and surrounding Margret River it was bad news. A bush fire stated and soon got out of control due to adverse weather conditions. After a few days they got the blaze under control and thankfully though many homes were damaged no lives were lost. It was horrific to watch and brought home to me what a fabulous boring country the UK is. Ok we get some annoying snow but there are not fires, hurricane, earth quakes or anything like that. A sever gale force wind makes the news and though they can cause damage and be dangerous it’s nothing compared to what a lot of countries deal with on a regular basis.
As well as being concerned for the people caught in the fires I did have the concern that it would mean farm work would become scarcer. Fortunately for me I was to remain unaffected by the fires. My second weekend staying with the family we spent a day in Fremantle. Two of us stopped to speak to a very helpful lady at the Camera House shop there (if I had a spare $1400 she would have had it) and finding the perfect camera which I could in no way afford and being told of some free software editing programmes that will hopefully help me make improve my photos. After I had finished drooling at the pretty cameras we met up with the rest of our friends who were finishing their coffee when some of their friends stopped to say hello. By the time we had left the shop I had the number of a farmer in Manjimup who often hired backpackers looking for work towards their second year visa. The next day we gave him a call and he had work available, yay! I arranged to be at the local hostel by the end of the month and he said that I should book in to the Manji Hostel and that the manager there would sort me out a room and transport to the farm. I could have offered to be there a few days sooner but I had a very important prior arrangement. I had been offered the chance to work at the Foo Fighters gig on the Monday night. I had to work through all the support acts but as soon as the Foo’s came on the crowd cleared and not long after I was set free to enjoy the gig. It was amazing and awesome and oh so very cool. They really are great live and I left loving them more than ever. It was completely unexpected, I didn’t even know they were touring but it turned out to be one of the most amazing nights in an Australian city so far.
The day following the gig we headed south to Busselton, listening to the Foo Fighters as we went of course. One of my friends had been at the gig but as she had paid for tickets she had been right at the front and we were both still on a high from the amazing gig, even if I was jealous of how close she got to be to Dave. We arrived in Busselton late in the afternoon and met up with my friends’ dad and his friends. He was down there for the week doing some sheep shearing and they were glad of the opportunity to catch up and hear about the dramas that had been going on including a truck going on fire earlier that day which had thankfully been put put without anyone being injured. During our catch up we also collected the keys for the house we would be spending the night in so that was our next stop. The house was lovely and we soon sorted out our sleeping arrangements, I dropped my bag in one of the rooms claiming it for me and the other female member of our group leaving the guys to fight over the remaining beds and couches amongst themselves.
There isn’t much to do in Busselton but we managed to have an enjoyable evening. It started with some delicious Indian food followed by visiting two nearby pubs on the way home. The next day we headed up to the farm to see how the sheep shearing was progressing and lost one of our group as he was required to stay behind and help. The remainder of our groups then headed south to Margret River for a leisurely lunch before moving on to Manjimup. We found the town and hostel easily and my friends dropped me off before starting on the long drive back to Perth. A quick phone call from me to the manager and less than an hour later I was settled in to my room with an all important bottom bunk and instructions to be at the bus in the car park at 7:45am the next morning for my first working day in Manjimup.