Monday, November 1

farewell to the farm


I am lost in the pages of Merry Go Round in the Sea, an Western Australian classic, set in Geraldton and the mid-west at the time of WWII.  The poetic prose captures the changing seasons,  evokes the familiar and a vague sense of homesickness.


It is hard to believe that Aquaman grew up inland, far from the beach and surf, on the cusp of the great sandy nothingness.  A childhood of red dirt, doublegees, and cubbies in the bush.  The farm stayed in the family until earlier this year, when a clearing sale was held and the last of the McAuliffes left the land.




We drove the 8 hours from Busselton to Mullewa to say goodbye and pick up a few treasures from behind the shearing shed.   First stop was Moora and the best coffee on the Great Northern Highway.  Opposite the train station, the cafe used to be an art gallery and still displays an eclectic collection.  It has an excellent magazine selection and the owner remembered our order from when we passed through town last year!



I love that there is still an original art deco shop front in town that says "tea rooms".  The flutter of chintz tablecloths and lace curtains and the clink of a fine tea cup on a saucer long forgotten in the age of espresso.


First thing when we arrived at the old house was a dip in the pool that kept Tom and his siblings entertained and cool through many hot summers. Our niece Alice led the way.


Tom has never lived down the narcissistic graffiti on the brick wall.



On the morning of the sale prospective bidders and tire kickers arrived early to pick through the lots and consider the price they are willing to pay.  You have to take everything that is in each lot, even if you are really only interested in one item.  Most people are here for the social aspect, the chance to catch up after harvest, have a few beers and farewell the outgoing cocky.

 



What do I get for a selection of chairs, rolls of wire and a mulesing table?  I can see a garden sculpture...


Who'll start me on this plough? Do I hear $1000?


Tom's dad Kerry is happy Lorraine didn't want the mulesing table.


This is not bare foot country, no matter how tough you think you are.  Doublegees spread, watch your tread.


Shearer's singlets, King Gee shorts and Akubra hats are the clearing sale uniform, with the odd B&S Ball tag or Bundy Rum logo to advertise your drinking prowess.




Inside the shearing we found a keepsake, an old wooden desk from the convent.  Lorraine scored a gate and we combed the tip for rusty auger bits, plough discs and an enamel washing machine tub.  We raised a few eyebrows when we parked on the Leederville cafe strip on our way back through Perth.



Farewell Cambrai

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