We have now moved into our little house in Morawa. Not that it's so little. 3 bedrooms, lounge, kitchen/diner, utility roon, bathroom, fully furnished and, most importantly, air conditioning!
Morawa is probably about the same size as Three Springs, perhaps slightly bigger. It has a population of 500 in the town and another 450 in the shire. It's predominantly wheat farming country like Three Springs but there is also an iron ore mine nearby where lots of the locals work. Andy has got himself a job driving a loading shovel, a 70 ton excavator and a 70 ton dump truck at a nearby blue metal quarry which is used for road surfacing. He will work 14 days on and have 7 off. Luckily they all have AC as temps will be 40+ for most of the time we're here!
I start work Monday and he starts Wednesday. As neither of us have worked for 8 months, you can imagine how much we're looking forward to it!
Do you think they'll let us have an afternoon nap??
In order to supplement our "Oh No! The mast has fallen down" fund, we need to work for the Northern Hemisphere winter which, luckily, is the southern hemisphere summer so we head back to Australia for our third summer in a row. I had planned to get some nursing work in a rural/remote area of Western Australia where the pay is higher and where Andy can get some truck driving work. He has always had a truck licence and, because we knew we would need to earn some money when not sailing, gave up his sales manager job last year and has been driving a concrete truck to gain some experience.
Since we left, Mel and Darren, our friends in Perth, have moved with their family to Three Springs where Darren is a policeman and Mel is works as a nurse in the hospital. Three Springs is a little town 3 and a half hours north of Perth and an hour inland from Dongara. I had wanted to spend some time a bit nearer to them so when a job came up in Morawa, about 30 km away from Three Springs, I jumped at it. I will be working in the Emergency Dept and covering the 12 beds in the hospital which are mostly elderly or respite beds.
After a quick 21 hour flight, we landed at Perth airport and by 6 pm Mel had us in Little Creatures in Fremantle drinking Pale Ale and eating pizza. It's great to be back in Australia particularly as, while we are home, we will be attending our Citizenship Ceremony having been granted citizenship just before we left.
Three Springs is quite different to anywhere I have ever lived. It is mainly sheep and wheat farming country but they also grow canola which has already been harvested. They are now harvesting the wheat which will take until Christmas, working day and night. It has a population of around 800. There is one pub, one school, a small hospital and a supermarket. However, because it needs to attract people to work in the talc mine (who knew they mined talc??) and farming, it has a swimming pool and a sports club with a bowling green and four tennis courts and there is quite an active social life. Hence we found ourselves watching Escape from Planet Earth last night, sitting in deckchairs with an ice cream, in front of the huge wheat bin which acted as the screen! Fabulous if slightly surreal!
I was hoping to start work tomorrow but haven't been able to sort out all the paperwork. We will, however, be able to move into our house in Morawa which we have been given at a nominal rent. Another bonus of working remotely. Most remote workers get free or cheap housing as an added benefit.
We usually try to not outstay our welcome when visiting people, three days being about right, five at a push, but Mel and Darren and William and Ruby, their 7 and 3 year olds, will have put up with us for 10 days and will, I'm sure be delighted to get the house back to themselves. Thanks so much to all of you for having us. It's been lovely and really helped us to get sorted out. We're really looking forward to being around for the next 5 or so months and spending time with you. Christmas at yours??!
07/11/2013, Three Springs, WA
We are now back in Australia having had a cracking few days in the UK on the way. They had had some good weather prior to our arrival but, of course, we were there when 90 mph winds were forecast and everyone was told to batten down the hatches and prepare for devastation. In London, where we were, we got away with a few broken trees but 4000 homes were without power and a few houses were damaged. Luckily only two fatalities. At the same time, fires were raging in NSW, heavy snow was forecast in Toronto and Mt Etna was erupting!
It was a bit of a shock to be back in cold weather but meant that our Christmas dinner with Richard and Sheila, my brother and sister-in-law, was perfect! Thank you so much for doing that for us, you two. It was sensational and I have brought a Heston Blumenthal Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding back with us to have here. It will probably be 45C but we'll have it with ice cream!