The time came for our family holiday. Two weeks in my parents' holiday home at Bremer Bay on the south coast.
But shearing was just finishing and harvest was under way. So there was no way that The Farmer could just pack up and go away on holidays. The kids on the other hand were champing at the bit and NO WAY were they going to miss their holiday. The fact is that we have never had two weeks summer holiday even though every year it is marked on the calendar. There is always farm work to do, and especially so when shearing is scheduled for January.
This year we decided that I would go with the kids for the first week and then Roger would join us once harvest was finished and he had drenched sheep to put into the stubble paddocks, and tidied up loose ends after shearing. My parents were going to come to stay at the farm and look after things while he went on holiday during the second week.
You would have noticed that I said "were going to" in that last paragraph, and you would have heard the saying that starts "the best laid plans..." so I don't have to tell you that my parents didn't get down to the farm. In fact my father spent several days in hospital suffering form food poisoning. I was glad it happened while they were in Perth and not while they were at the farm, and so far away from a hospital (although of course I'm sorry it had to happen at all.)
With Roger stuck at the farm I turned to www.helpxchange.org and contacted a young French backpacker who was available to help me with the kids. Estelle caught the bus to Jerramungup and we drove 100kms to pick her up, and then she spent a wonderful week with myself and the kids at Bremer Bay.