|11 Jul 2021|
I’m writing to you from Western Australia where I have lived for the past 54+ years.
For this past year living here has been a blessing as we have suffered very little disruption to our lives from the Covid 19 virus.
There has been very little community spread of the virus mostly because of geography and our location in respect to the rest of the World, including the rest of Australia.
We have had a few short “lockdowns”, nothing like those experienced in the UK.
Some restrictions applied to travel between the Western Australian Regions. I have not been able to travel to a consultancy job I have that is within an adjoining Region.
What has been of value is the simple fact that we are separated from the Eastern States by the Nullarbor Plain. This is usually a nuisance but has been an asset recently because the State Government has found it easy to close our State off from the remainder of the Country. The net result is that our exposure to the virus has only been through returning travellers who have been quarantined upon arrival and not returned to the community until clear of any virus.
On a personal level, I retired from my farm and Fencing Contracting business about three years ago and moved to a Halls Head ( a Metropolitan type, seaside environment). I began some volunteer work for an organisation that serves older residents who want to remain in their own homes and also people with disabilities. After a few months the company offered me a paid position and so now I work two days a week as a gardener. This work has been considered to be an essential service and so I have been working throughout the exposure to Covid 19 and continue to do so. I also do a day a week as a volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau; this organisation did close down for several months.
Living in a City is very different to the manner in which I have lived over the years; there are services available to people that I didn’t know existed, life’s pretty easy when most things are done for you and facilities are close at hand (very different from living on a farm and doing everything oneself).
Looking back at my school days - I was at Walhampton back in the days of JB, PL and Gordo, along with the company of my two younger brothers - so we had Jeffery 1, 2 and 3! I enjoyed camping trips in Scotland and JB lead Gipsy Caravan treks about the New Forest. In those days Hordle House was one of the schools against which we played sports; I lead our rugby team against them and others. We didn’t have girls either! Didn’t learn much about them until I left school at about 18; sudden learning curve! Fishing in the lakes was a great pastime, that I really enjoyed.
I found a baby Tawny Owl under a tree and was permitted to keep “Wally” in the Art Room. Since I was, at the time trapping moles in an attempt at keeping them from trespassing along just under the surface of the playing fields, I was able to provide the owl with food. He did grow and was eventually released.
I feel for you all back in the UK (where three of my siblings still live) and sincerely hope that normality, in some tangible form, returns soon.
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