September was coming by too quickly, soon enough it was time to pack everything up and head to a friend’s house in Surry Hills for a few days before spending a week in Manly to then drive down the south coast towards a small country town called Narooma to begin my next adventure. The last few weeks working for the Waterhouse’s was somewhat difficult. Not difficult because of them more so because we all knew the time was coming for me to leave and the anticipation to start my next adventure was spine tingling. That time to go was coming closer and closer each day and the need to go and begin the next journey was nagging at me. That family was incredible to me, words can’t even describe as to how much everything they did; it was appreciated immensely. With my granddad passing away and then two very personal/ private matters happening within a couple of weeks of the passing, not being able to make it home for the funeral and then another personal matter came up a week before leaving them. The support coming from two people who I’d only met 4 and a half months ago was tremendous. For them to letting a complete stranger into their home to look after their two little boys is an enormous decision and a massive risk, but for them, to of welcomed me with open arms is beyond words. Despite the rough times, those first 5 months of being in Australia will never be forgotten and all that is left to say to them is thank you.
The final week with them is a blur, to be honest, goodbyes were said, presents were exchanged and meals were had. After 5 months you grow attached to the kids, as much as you try not to show it, you do love them and the family. Leaving was hard; starting the next adventure was even harder. In order to get my 2nd-year visa the requirements are that in order to apply for that visa 88, days worth of rural work (aka farm work) needs to be done. So my CV went out to numerous of cattle farms, fruit picking farms and the one that was wanted the most was working on an Oyster farm. Before starting the farm work a couple of day adventures happened. The first being was a bbq at Coogee beach with Adam and a bunch of strangers all part of Aussie day trips. It was actually a pretty good day/night out. A day was spent hanging out at Bondi Beach for the wind festival and then came staying in Manly at another strangers house for a week, this stranger was my old bosses, bosses friend Hamish who very kindly put me up. Whilst being at his, due to not working for the past couple of weeks they asked me to do some cleaning at this site he was working on earning myself a little bit of cash before heading to a friend’s house Thursday night for him to bring to kindly drive us both down the coast. It made perfect sense as this friend had plans to stay in Batemans Bay for the weekend.
Friday came along and instead of driving straight down it was decided it would be nice to stop off here and there too see a few of the little country coastal towns; first stop was Kiama where fish and chips were grabbed for lunch. The next stop was a little town called Milton. Driving through there was this toy shop which sits right on the corner, after a slight and quick discussion our minds were made up that a quick stop was in order to see what goods were hidden behind those doors. Inside was full of old-fashioned toys; for example Ken from Barbie and those creepy looking china dolls that give you chills when walking around at night, you feel as if their eyes are following you. This shop had all of those old toys that you didn’t even know existed anymore. It was rather interesting to walk around and have look. The owner is probably sitting on thousands of dollars worth. Next stop after that was Batemans Bay. Then onto Mogo; getting out to look at all the cliché antique shops along the strip, which is pretty fascinating. Nothing beats the European markets but looking at some of this stuff makes you feel like your back in Europe somewhere. Last but not least was the final stop at Narooma; Snoop was waiting outside for us to pull up. Grabbing the stuff out of the car and wheeling the suitcase’s into that room felt awkward yet relieving. Heading onto the porch Snoop grabbed us a couple of beers and for an hour or so he and that friend chatted away before he had to drive back to Bateman’s Bay.
Being left alone at a complete stranger’s house is always awkward and in this case pretty creepy considering he has deer skulls scattered all over the place. You never know what kind of situation you’ve gotten yourself into until it’s too late. Luckily this guy turned out to be pretty alright. For the past three months ‘2 Forsters Bay Road’ became home; intertwining our lives with each other became pretty easy and before you know there was this daily routine going on. Working on the farm was second nature it feels as if I’ve always worked there. My main job nowadays is culling the oysters; most afternoons are spent up the river, fixing the runners, putting the trays out and picking them up. If we’re not on the river were back in the shed either culling (grading the oysters which has become my responsibility) fixing the broken trays, re-meshing, dismantling old worn out trays, sorting out the slacks (this is where they go up to Moruya to collect them. This is the beginning of oysters. Like an egg almost they attach themselves to the slacks and slowly grow, within 6 months or so the slacks get picked up and brought back to the shed where we whack them all off). Once all the slacks are cleared of oysters you have to do them back up again. Thirteen across and two slacks on either edge lengthways, you do this until it’s six high. Once the grading is done, the dead shells go on the floor, the small oysters get racked back onto the trays and the decent sized ones go into a crate to then be washed to then be bagged up and sent away. It sounds pretty easy most of it but honestly, it’s rather physically demanding. The trays themselves are pretty heavy, and working on the river is nowhere easy especially when it’s windy or the tide hasn’t fully gone out. We work in any weather; work has to be done no matter what. As of late, they don’t need me up the river that much, which is actually preferred as grading is rather therapeutic.
Back at the beginning of October, a friend introduced me to this incredible guy; the following day we went out to Mogo zoo, and then for lunch in Bateman’s Bay. Since then we’ve been stuck with each other and as of a couple of weeks ago moved in together. As much as it has moved way to fast, it feels right in a strange way. He’s extremely patient with me which is hard to believe as I’m terrible to be around most of the time especially when he teaches me to drive. Things have changed again for better or worse time will only tell; plans that were planned have been put on halt but still in the back of the mind to one day complete; one can only hope for the better.