On the bus from Hobart to my new home for a couple of months I’m very excited to see the farm and get to work. The scenery all around me is just stunning, every few kms is another glimpse of the magnificent coast. Its kilometres here folks, not miles. Riding along listening to a local guy talk about fixing up his car to the bus driver in what words I could make out with his quick drawl I’m already getting a taste of the local farmers. As soon as we are getting close to my drop off point I’m desperately looking out for the big strawberry that my new farmer friend told me I couldn’t miss on the way along the Tasman Highway. The highway being what us English folk would call a country road. Eventually I see a sign for ice cream and think this must be it…the owner boasts of the best ice cream in Tasmania and I must say its pretty darn tasty! The bus driver pulls up alongside of the road and all I see is this shack and I’m like is this it? Is this even big enough to house me and the farmers family? Where are all the animals? My heart sinks a little.
I roll my holdall on wheels up to the entrance and from behind the fly screen I hear a loud voice…”G’day how ya going Claire?” Minus my name this is pretty much how he welcomes everyone. After introductions and a load of information about the place I’m just observing the day to day business, holiday makers wandering in and out mmm’ing at the ice cream and other things like the blackberry liqueur which is my personal fave. So 3 hours after I arrive in walks this grey haired fella in vest, jeans and boots and sporting a black cowboy type hat with the crocodile teeth around the base of it. Tanned and youthful looking and very quick witted he seems to know my new farmer friend. He stands in the doorway weight shifted onto one leg, hand tucked into his belt right beside his knife and starts talking about his ute and his chooks. This guy is who I’m here to meet! He’s 78 years old and still runs his own farm and rides horses. He told us how earlier a bus full of “Japs” were all shouting “Hey Mick” at him and snapping pics. He turned round to them and said “Nah mate I’m his twin brother Dick Dundee,” Dick being his actual name. I’m not sure if my describing this to you is anywhere near experiencing the situation but I was highly amused the whole time he was here. He owns the kind of farm I was hoping for with dogs and horses and he grows all his own vegetables etc. He did say he needed some help so I’m considering asking if I can spend a couple of weeks there too, I reckon he would even teach me to ride!
The farmer says to me go for a walk around the grounds, just behind there is Apsley River. Oh my gosh, I’m living on the river!! This is a pretty good consolation for no animals and the dog next door comes to visit though its a butch little thing, not quite a farm dog! As I walk down past all the long grass the sound it makes blowing together gives the impression there’s something rustling around in it so I’m looking for small mammals but alas it’s just the grass rustling together. The river is great, it’s slow and steady and surrounded by reeds, trees and grass. I really want to swim in it, it’s quite deep apparently but there’s no way for me to get past the muddy banks and reeds though there are plans to build a jetty.
After an exciting day I sink into the middle of my obviously well used bed and fall asleep to the sound of crickets and nothing else.
****I really want to add photos to these blog posts but its not gonna happen while I’m stuck using an iPad. There are some major flaws to Apple products!