It seemed as though we slid into our first day at Tracey's like a diver splashes into a pool. Her place was just an hour north of Ewan's, in a small town called Noonamah.
For three days our job was to cut through the huge mass of weeds and unwanted trees circling Tracy's house. We had a sawzaw, a handsaw and a pair of clippers to get the job done. Once the waste was cut away we were to paint RoundUp on the stumps and carry the dead limbs off to the rubbish pile using a trailor behind a four-wheeler. It was simple yet envigorating work.
Fiona quickly found her speed using the handsaw and Matthew and David were keen on cutting as well. That left me to switch back and forth between painting roundup on stubble and driving limbs to the rubbish pile.
After a few hours of work Tracy served us a lovely morning tea of scones and coffee. Afterwards we were back at it cutting and poisoning. Before I knew it Tracy was back announcing lunch was ready. We had delicious ham and cheese toasties and for the third time that day, tea and coffee. I enjoyed the tea. It made me feel more proper and British than I actually was.
Lunchtime conversation took a very interesting topic. We discussed the technology age before us and how it will only get crazier in the years to come. David explained that his parents were investment advisors for a man who had created a robot that found weeds in pastures and sprayed them individually without having to be told to do so. I found this fascinating. The boys went off to imagine what it will be like when humans no longer have to do any work at all, only to sit in a recliner and let robots take over. We then decided natural selection would come into play and all the fat and lazy people would die off, leaving a stronger, harder-working class.
When we went back to work after lunch we realised the bush had been cut back so much that I now needed to back the trailor into the trees. I was hesitant but Matthew told me I could try it. The first time was shaky but on the second and third try I seemed to have it down pretty good. I was proud of myself and thought excitedly at how proud my father would be when I showed up on our own farm, able to demonstrate such skills.
Midway through the afternoon I received a few phone calls. One was from Leonie, a woman in Noonamah offering chainsaw work. She had seen my ad on a volunteer site and was keen on taking us in for a week. She even said she could take on Maggie as well. This was wonderful news, meaning we didn't have to waste any money on accomodation for the three days we'd be in Darwin.
Later that day, when Matthew and I were still stressing about what we would do for our remaining three weeks before Jacob and Patricia arrived, we found our solution. David, who had been working with us, overheard us and suggested we give his parents a call. I did as I was told and sure enough his family had a grape farm on the east coast in need of some help for a few weeks. Alas, we had a plan through September! I could finally relax and stop searching so hard for work and shelter. After tomorrow we would be off to pick up Maggie and begin work at a new location once more.