Our East Coast and Outback escapades with Jenny the ever-thirsty fuel guzzler had rapidly dissolved our finances and we were now in desperate need of work and a steady income. Matty and I decided to upload a couple’s advertisement requesting work using the old reliable Gumtree, a well-reputed website in Australia where, unlike the UK, you can find more than just a tattered old sofa for sale at £50 but instead branches and branches (excuse the pun) of employers, jobseekers, rentable rooms, houses etc. Within a few days of posting the advert, we received an email from Georgina at Allandy Station, an enormous cattle and sheep farm tucked away in the middle of outback New South Wales, almost 300km north of Broken Hill. Georgina explained that she and her husband Terry were searching for a couple to assist on their 85,000 acre sheep farm to support them with general maintenance and farm care. They were also looking for an au pair to help with their two children, Emmett and Violet.
The job entailed an epic list of enticing man-duties that practically had Matt drooling on the phone. Such included blasting around the red, dusty soil on the back of 250cc motorbike, mustering livestock during the times of crutching and shearing, pumping up those man muscles with mechanical, laborious tasks that I can’t really understand or begin to explain, cruising around the farm behind the wheel of a John Deer tractor and much to his sheer delight, making use of the copious supply of dangerous tools that lived in the shed. Comparably, my job was to care primarily for the family’s two adorable munchkins and ensure they were safe, healthy and happy. We chatted to the family on the phone a number of times before we started, agreeing on a weekly wage and gratefully accepting their offer of private accommodation in a newly refurbished cottage that stood across the yard. We had truly landed on our feet, and naturally we didn’t hesitate a moment.
It was time to drive Jenny, our notorious but loveable Land Rover into the wild heart of the country again and settle for a few months at Allandy station. A Landy in Allandy. It was as though it was meant to be, as a path written in the outback stars.