It's just past dusk on a Friday night; rain is smattering the pavers outside the window of the office. Nothing but the dull drone of AFL commentary wafting from the TV and my little cat to keep me company. Life is oddly perfect.
Welcome to the first weekly instalment of my new life in Dowerin, Western Australia.
I arrived last Saturday night, earlier than expected but still very welcome. Jan and Graham are the most gracious of hosts and I was made a part of the family straight away. The farm, as I have taken to calling my home-on-loan, is ridiculously gorgeous. I adore the garden, the farmland scenery, the fireplace and my 91 year old neighbour Trudy.
Dowerin itself is tiny. Yesterday afternoon I ran a circuit around the edge of the town and was all done in 20 minutes. 1km x 1km. Population is 350 people, give or take. An IGA, hairdresser, roadhouse, Mitre 10, school, post office, butcher and bakery make up the guts of the main street.
Of the 1km square that is not residential, the rest is mostly taken up by the field days site and the football oval.
I have already been to Perth twice since Saturday- and already I am so glad to be out of the city for a while. The horizons out here just go forever.
|Dawn over the side fence|
|Looking down the driveway as the sun creeps up|
True to form, I have already secured work. I start at the roadhouse as a cook/cleaner/checkout chick on Monday. I was handed three black and orange polo shirts with Dowerin Roadhouse embroidered on the right breast after a 2 minute interview this morning. Not having any black pants to wear, I headed in to neighbouring Goomalling to browse the op shop. A neat pair of size 10 black pants were the first thing I spied. A heavy green knit jumper, stripy Ben Sherman jumper and a lovely coat were soon added to my try-on pile. The pants were a bit of a squeeze, but do-able. Deciding to take all four items, I headed to the counter and awaited a price. $8. Total. I couldn't decide what was the better bargain that day - the clothes or the sensational haircut Peter had given me for $30 an hour beforehand.
Life for me is looking up. Elmo, on the other hand, is only just coming to terms with his new surroundings. After 6 days in the car, he was in no mood to explore anything but the underside of the pillows on my bed.
He stayed like that until about Wednesday.
Eventually he felt up to taking a few selfies.
Right now he is under the desk, in the bed that belonged to Jan's dearly beloved (and sadly departed) chocolate labrador Tammy. He looks like a toddler in his parents' king size bed.
Elmo is by far the more popular of Dowerin's two new residents. Trudy, Jan's mum and my new neighbour, snuck in to the house when I was in Perth and fed him gourmet cat soup. I didn't even know cat soup was a thing. So far Trudy has not brought any gourmet person soup over for me. Elmo is definitely the favourite.
Luckily, Jan and Graham's friends are great cooks and have invited me to drink and eat with them every Thursday. They all descended on the farm Tuesday night to farewell the travellers and meet me - the stand in.
|Look at all the fooood!|
|This is Trudy, my new neighbour. She is 91 and ridiculously fun.|
Tomorrow, I go to the local football. AFL of course. No other type of football exists out here. I may just wear my brand new op shop coat.
Until next Friday my friends,