Where was I….? Hmmm…? Tamworth – that’s right stuck in Tamworth! The hellhole that is Tamworth. Chicken farmers. Foreigners. More chicken farmers. A big guitar. Nothing else. Nothing. I no longer had hopes. No longer had dreams. No longer had money. No longer had faith in mankind. I suppose I was alive and I should at least be grateful for that but Tamworth doesn’t exactly make you feel very glad-to-be-aliveish…
I spent the morning job hunting and trying to find direction then grabbed my bags and headed out to the highway. I was going in whichever direction the first car was going. I knew I needed to get away from that place! I raised my thumb to the hitch when the german receptionist ran out after me. “I have job for you. Come quick. Okay?” I followed her back into the hostel and she passed me the phone.
“Well, I need someone to help me with my kids and horses” said the friendly lady on the other end of the phone. “Do you have any experience with children?” I went into details of the years of random childcare my life’s accumulated and I heard her smile. I don’t know exactly how you hear someone smile, but she did. “And what about horses?” “Well… I owned a horse for 8 or 9 days once…”
|Duke, my favouritest of the horses|
Within the hour Renee arrived and I was off to a little town in some other nowhere land and I became a horserearing nanny lady. That was Wednesday. By Friday I was quite settled and was all packed and ready for the weekend’s camping horse show when I decided I’d probably better check my mail quickly and let mum know I wasn’t dead (She worries sometimes). I scanned through the spam and found a “no subject” one that began “Hi, Thank you for your application. I would like to invite you to our induction week commencing on Monday 18th April (next Monday) at 07h30 sharp.”
I’d briefly met an English girl back in Bellengen who worked at a bush camp (whatever that is). It sounded fascinating so I scribbled the name of the place down on a scrap of paper and stuffed it into my pack. Stuck in Tamworth I’d stumbled upon it, googled it and found that applications for new staff had closed just a week earlier. I sent them a CV anyway… This was their response.
Now came the dilema: I’d just started on the horse farm and the family was lovely and and and… but this Bush Camp induction sounded way more exciting; even if the email didn’t even include my name and was a little general – let’s be honest, it’s just an induction; hundreds of people might be invited.
I stared at the computer for hours (probably only 3 and a half minutes in real world time) and then went looking for Renee – she was busy strapping the kids into the car – they were all set for camping. I gulped. And then gulped again louder. I just mentioned the Bushcamp and the kids were cheering so loud from their memories of the camp that Renee marched me inside and made my mind up for me.
We tried to call the camp. Answering machine. It was almost 5pm. It was a Friday. I returned an email “See you Monday”.
I unpacked my belongings from the car and bid the kids farewell. Renee left me with their house and their ute and their horses and organised me a lift to the highway for dawn-o’clock Sunday morning and then they were out of there.
Before I knew it I was unemployed again and hitching back into the unknown, headed for a little town called Tea Gardens.
|Harry… the dog who thought he was a horse.|