No longer in Shepparton, no longer on the farm. Suddenly there's no more trees and no more work..
Last week, everything came to a sudden stop. The trees were no longer needing our attention and our work was done. Because the weather is slowly starting to warm up, it means the "tree-grafting season" is also ending. I knew it was on the cards at some stage but thought it would be the end of this month. Instead, on Wednesday night we found out that Thursday morning we would be finishing up.. For now anyhow. So that's when the big question popped up.. What to do next?
And that was quite a big question indeed. I hadn't a notion what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. Jason had some other jobs lined-up and wanted me to keep on working for him. He's actually got work for me, tieing trees on different farms around Victoria and Adelaide, from the end of October until March or April, if I want it - But that's a long way off yet, for me to be making any decisions that far down the line.. Until the end of October though, so another 3 weeks, there's no work for either of us. We were at a loose end all of a sudden. But still have the van, still have our "home" so there really isn't a problem.
Since finishing on Thursday morning, we've been camping with the manager of the Shepparton farm and his wife, James and Dell, in the forest on the Murray river for a few nights. We've been fishing, hanging out, having bbq's, paddling around in canoes and just chilling before hitting the road. Because, even though we didn't know what to do with ourselves, we definitely knew that it was time to leave the farm and Shepparton behind. 6 weeks of being there was enough. We said our goodbyes last night, to the farm and to James and Dell, to the trees, to the deer, to our campsite, to our "kitchen", to our bushshower (we managed to get our hands on a portable shower, that's great to use out in the bush..fill a bag with hot water, tie it to a tree, and with the hose you can have the quickest shower in the world..and hope nobody drives past (!!!)). Our time on the farm was an experience, to say the least. I've never lived in such an intense environment before, with regards to space, isolation, work and the general monotony of the whole lifestyle.. But it was one I'm so grateful to have had. So it was a little sad to say goodbye. And James and Dell were so good to us during our stay. They invited us into their home, cooked us a few dinners.. Let us watch some of his telly (!!!) and they were delighted to have us on their farm. What a great bunch of people! So glad to have met them.
However, after 6 weeks we did both need a change of scenery. And we're getting it right now.. I'm sitting in the library in Swan Hill. It's Monday afternoon, and we got here this morning. The reason we've headed up this way is because Jason needs to find out when his next job starts. It also gives us a chance to catch up with some friends, just like the last time. The last time we were here, we stayed with our friend John, but we'll probably be camping in the forest this time. That was nearly 3months ago. It was chilly back then and Jason and I were just finishing our roadtrip. Now, after a month in Cairns, and nearly 7 weeks on the farm, we're back in this so familiar town, with familiar faces, contacts, places to go and with much nicer weather. It's mid-twenties at the moment, coming into Summer -much warmer than Shepparton, which is around 5 degrees colder at the moment (more southern, and nearer to Melbourne). It's a nice change and it almost feels as though we're on a mini roadtrip again. We're not sure if we'll be staying here, until work starts, or if we'll be heading off to Adelaide maybe. It's a little uncertain just yet. I've no definite plans, but when plans are made definite things can so easily so belly-up. But then again, making plans is the only way to get things done.. And the Ozzie mentality doesn't really do "certainty" all too well. So going with the flow is what I'll be doing for now.. and I'll be enjoying the time-off and the nice weather.
If the plans take me anywhere else, you'll be the first to know!