Host: Miss Chardy
I am not your typical outback chick. I often think about all of my fabulous friends up here and have no idea how they do it all. They can ride horses like it is nobodies business, they are so damned competent and could probably turn their hands to almost anything. I swear nothing scares them. Me on the other hand . . . well lets just say I am more of an indoor cat (well that’s what Mr Chardy calls me and it has kind of stuck). The thought of getting out, riding horses, and all that jazz seems like a great idea when I am watching McLeod’s Daughters re-runs and I really do think “yeah . . . I could do that – they make it look so easy” but then reality sets in and let’s be honest – I have no desire to ride a horse. So it is probably best that I leave it to my wonderful friends, I will just stick to organising their social lives, cooking, sewing, and tapping away on this little computer of mine. Sounds like a thrill a minute doesn’t it?
So why do I love it so much out here? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It is such a unique way of life . . . so here goes..
Yep, you heard right – community. We may live at bum truck nowhere and our neighbours may be a two hour drive away through the paddock. The closest town, Camooweal in QLD, may be a three hour drive away but by golly there is a great community up here and I just love being a part of it. A lot of us live a long way from our families, we are basically Outback Expats. This means that our friends are our family. Mr and Mrs Savvy B from next door are our family, Mrs SB is just like my sister actually so it works out well. Everyone becomes really close. Look, here she is, isn’t she lovely – look at that smile . . .
Oh and did I mention how bloody easy going everyone is out here? Nothing phases anyone. No one offends easily. We would all bend over backwards to help each other out, doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or where you come from, everyone just gets in and gets on with it.
Whenever there is a party, gathering or social function it isn’t like your average town gig where you get ready, find a babysitter, trot off for a great night, and then find your way home again. Oh no – a social gathering up here usually involves getting ready, packing bags for the whole family, fuelling up the car, sorting out snacks to eat in the car and then driving anywhere from one, two, three or four hours just to get to said social gathering . . . sometimes seven hours, yep we are dedicated when it comes to mixing it up.
So then of course we have to stay the night at said event, party or function. Kids tag along and get to play with their friends. Then we all pack up the next morning and head home . . . the long drive home, hoping and praying that we don’t get a flat tyre. Nobody really feels like changing a tyre after a night out. It is always so good to catch up with everyone, nothing beats sipping wine with my friends. Like a giant sleep over really.
I think that is another reason why everyone becomes so close, we don’t just meet up, say hi and then say goodbye, we usually stay the night. Just like you would with family . . . or maybe you wouldn’t??
Such a unique way of life and what a great way to bring up children. There are no bullies (apart from the Jackaroo’s, ha ha ha), no school uniforms, no polished shoes, no school lunch boxes to pack, no school drop off, no racing around to after school sports activities and their backyard is 1.7 million acres.
My boys do School of the Air, so they have their own school room and their own Governess who teaches them. In fact, the new Govie is arriving today. They have one on one help with their school work.
I used to think that everyone would want to live up here in the middle of nowhere. It has taken me over 10 years to realise that NO – not everyone wants to live up here and that perhaps it does take a special kind of person to be able to live five hours from the shops. It just becomes the norm when you live up here, it is no big deal to travel for three hours just to visit someone or to check a road. Nothing is a big deal, it is all just part and parcel of living where we do.
Life here on the station keeps you very busy. It is definitely not lonely and during the season we can have any number of people here from 15 – 25, give or take a few. Visitors start rolling in during the colder months. There are always people coming and going – truck drivers, contractors, friends, family . . . you get to meet people from all walks of life up here, it really opens your eyes and makes you a lot more accepting of people. It has made me realise that people are just people, no matter where they come from, how much money they have or who they are, they are generally all just lovely human beings.
So there you have it . . . the reasons why I love it up here so much. Sometimes I really do wonder why a girl like me loves it so much, but I just do.