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quokka

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quokka last won the day on January 16 2020

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  1. If you are angry because of me abandoning my latest story, all I can say is too bad mate, that is life.

  2. quokka

    Volc Ch 1

    Yes, it is all explained in my most recent comments on my profile.
  3. I have come to a decision that my followers will not like.

    While Gay Authors continues to insist that we give up more personal information about us as Authors, I have put a hold on all future stories, until this demand by GA is overturned. The age requirement I am in support of, it is the other stuff I’m annoyed about.

    I don’t know if others on GA agree with my stance on this GA decision, I just hope that my readers will support my decision, and make their own mind up on this ridiculous and intrusive GA demand.

    Preston

    aka Quokka.

    1. Show previous comments  12 more
    2. quokka

      quokka

      MYR, if your update request says as follows… 

      After that you can choose to "Skip the step" or "Skip profile completion for now".  If you ignore this you will end up on an endless loop until you stop ignoring it.

      How can it be optional with that statement…

      I respectfully suggest that you keep the age requirement and delete the rest.

    3. Myr

      Myr

      The posted instructions, which you keep ignoring and leaving parts out of, have plenty of images of what this means.

      https://gayauthors.org/announcement/445-profile-completion-prompts/

      As the announcement very clearly shows, complete with images no less, that the statement you are complaining about applies to the first screen that explains the process, there is no reason to remove it. 

    4. Cia

      Cia

      Basically, Quokka, the instructions show that members must share their age, which has always been a requirement, and then gives instructions on how avoid sharing anything else. We've tried to explain that in the plainest language. If you choose not to accept that, or post content on GA based on this format IP board has created for sharing profile information, you've made that choice. But you cannot say it's because we're requiring you to give up personal information, however. 

  4. quokka

    Volc Ch 1

    Although I was born, and spent my first three years in Western Australia, before our family had moved to near Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, when our Dad was promoted, to regional manager for a mining company. Two years later, before my younger brother, Kit was born; Mum and I travelled to Perth for the last three months of her pregnancy, staying at her sister’s place while there.
  5. Currently writing a book three of an old story…

    Q

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. tagwolf
    3. chris191070

      chris191070

      @tagwolf Circumnavigation isn't by Quokka.

    4. tagwolf

      tagwolf

      Oh oops sorry quokka well that made me look smart didn’t it

  6. quokka

    CoF Ch 10

    Thankyou too all who have read and commented on my latest story. A brand new story to coming soon. Q
  7. The following day, I made sure that I had completed all of my chores, and that the house was ready for Myles to arrive, which included a quick trip into town to do some added shopping, and to collect the two bikes from the mechanics. I had also bought a new front door lock set to replace the current one, since I was expecting June would soon be arrested for her involvement with the breaking into my property, as well as the attempting to break into my computer in the study. On the way back home I left the front gate closed but unlocked, so Loretta can get in and drive to the house, and the first thing I did was to replace the front door lock, so June can no longer get into the house. I had also left an envelope in their roadside mailbox, with the last payment for cleaning, as well as a note notifying her that her services as a cleaner were no longer required. I was just doing a check of everything on the tractor, when I heard a vehicle approaching, and recognised Loretta’s car, as it pulled up near the shed. I watched as Myles stepped out, he was looking a little pale, and he was going slowly as he climbed out and walked over to the shed with Loretta. “Hey mate, it is good to see you back on your feet again, no doubt Ms Loretta informed you about the cottage, and that all your belongings are safe and sitting in the guest bedroom of my home, where you are welcome to stay,” I said to the lad. “Thanks boss, I was a bit shocked when I heard that the cottage had burnt down. Do the police know who did it?” Myles responded, “They have an idea, but I have a very strong suspicion on who organised it, but that is up to the police to prove,” I replied. “Right, I will let you get this young man settled, and the doctors said he is to have total rest for at least one more week,” Loretta informed me. “I was planning to make sure of that anyway, thanks for collecting him Loretta,” I replied, “Not a problem; will I see you at the markets on Saturday?” Loretta asked, “Not sure, with everything happening, and with your visitors still here, I am reluctant to go anywhere just yet. Can you let your husband know that I would like a meeting with him at the earliest possible convenience,” I answered. “I will do that, bye,” Loretta replied. Grabbing Myles’ backpack, I helped him to walk over to the house at a slow pace, and once inside, I showed him his room and the bathroom next door, and I let him get settled, while I prepared some lunch. For the rest of the day, I kept close to the house, not going any further than the milking shed to milk the cow and feed the goats and poddy calves. Soon after getting back to the house, my mobile rang with Malcolm calling. “Hello Malcolm, how may I help you?” I said answering the call. “Hello Mitchell, you could come and unlock the gate so I can come to the house to speak to you,” Malcolm replied. I laughed, “On my way,” I replied before ending the call, “Just going to let Malcolm in the front gate,” I called out to Myles before leaving the house, and jumping onto the quad bike at the shed, to ride down to the front gate, and after letting him in, I locked the gate, and followed Malcolm back to the shed. “I was not expecting a personal visit, but since you are here, I wanted to speak to you about some ideas in regards to the farm. With everything happening lately, I have made a decision. I want to lease out the rest of the farm, except for the 54 acre paddock that contains my home and shed. This means putting the plans for holiday cabins on the riverbank on hold, as well as putting a stop to my plans fort he cheese making project,” I announced to Malcolm. “I see, in a way I think it is a very good idea, so I am presuming that this would mean that you would removing all of the security cameras located around the farm?” Malcolm responded, “Yes, all except the ones that are monitoring this part of the farm. So would you be able to organise the leasing of the farm land that does not include my home paddock?” I asked. “Yes, I will be happy to do that for you, and I can inform you that you have plenty of income coming from the lease of the other farms to keep you living fairly comfortably,” Malcolm replied. “That is good to know, as I am not sure what I want to do in the immediate future, but you can be assured that I will also be taking good care of our your friend, so he has no problems about been homeless at all, as I plan to offer him a permanent home here,” I said to Malcolm. “I am sure that Loretta will be very pleased to hear that,” Malcolm replied. “The old part of the farm is 1,184 acres, the corner block is 32 acres, and the land between that and my home paddock is 136 acres, so it is a total of 1,352 acres,” I said to Malcolm, who agreed to organise the leasing of the land. When my mobile rang with a private number, I nearly directed it to voicemail, but changed my mind, “Hello, Mitchell speaking,” I said as I answered the phone, and I indicated to Malcolm to stay. “Mr Watkins, this is Sam speaking, I am terribly sorry, I had no idea that my wife was involved in all of this terrible stuff,” the caller said to me, and I moved closer to Malcolm so he could listen. “Ok, what terrible stuff are you talking about?” I responded. “She… she organised a gang to do all of those terrible things that have happened on your place, the cutting of the fences, the shooting of the stock, and the burning down of the cottage next door to my place. It was all of her doing… I had no idea that she was so… spiteful, she has been ranting on and off for the past few months, and I had no idea that she would take any action on her words… I understand if you don’t want to allow me to renew my lease,” Sam said to me. I looked towards Sam, and he shrugged his shoulders, “I would too if it was someone else, but I am not that revengeful, you can renew your lease, but there will be one condition, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is with her legal troubles. The moment the lease is renewed, your wife is banned from entering any part of my land, including your home and vineyards, and I will be seeking a court order to that effect,” I said to Sam, “That is understandable, and I agree with this condition, as I feel so hurt by her actions, so much so, that I have no feelings for her any more, even after so many years of marriage,” Sam replied. “I am sorry that it has come to that, but that is up to you to sort out. Now one last thing, I am about to have the remainder of my farm, not including the 54 acres that is my home base, which totals 1, 1352 acres, and I am giving you the first option if you are interested,” I announced to Sam. “Yes, I would be very pleased to take up the lease of that land,” Sam said to me, “Good; I have Malcolm here with me, and he has heard everything we have just discussed, go to his office next week and he will sort out the lease agreement,” I responded. After the phone call, Malcolm and I had a bit of a chat, before he headed back to town, and I went and opened and closed the gate for him, before heading back to the house, where I briefed Myles on what has been decided. “So what will I do now that there is no farm work to do?” Myles asked me. “Until I sell the stock that is on the farm, we will continue as normal, and after that I was thinking of you joining me for a holiday, and after that we will look into you attending college somewhere so you can get a better education,” I replied, “Wow, that sounds fantastic, thanks for that,” Myles replied. A month later, with all of the leases renewed, and having relocated all of the cameras from the original part of the farm and the entry points to that farm and the corner block, to all along the boundary of the home paddock, as well as all around the shed and the house, Myles and I set off to Perth, where we will stay for a few days, with Loretta giving us a lift to the Albany airport. “Your didn’t say where exactly that we are going for our holiday, except that it is overseas,” Myles said to me as we finished checking in our luggage at the Perth airport a few days later, and I smiled. “Hold on to your hat my young friend, as we are off to see the world, on a agriculture tour of many nations,” I replied. “Wow, awesome, that is absolutely perfect,” Myles replied excitedly, “Yes it is, and I will need you to take heaps of photos and write plenty of notes for me,” I said, “But I…” Myles didn’t finish his question as I revealed a brand new laptop computer and a digital camera from the extra bag that I was carrying. Over the next three months we travelled to man countries all over the world, Including Canada, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and a few others, where we saw lots of different kinds of farming operations. Each night in our hotel rooms, Myles would type up a detailed report on what we had seen at each farm, with plenty of photos included, and we had a wonderful time exploring all of the tourist sights on the way. By the time we arrived back in Western Australia, we were both happy to be back home. We managed to catch a lift with some backpacker tourists, who were at the airport to collect some newly arrived friends, and they dropped us off on at the Hay River Bridge on the South Coast Highway, just a short 3 kilometre walk away from home, which we didn’t mind considering all of the walking we had done in the Swiss Alps and the Scottish Highlands. Four days later, while I was in the office looking at the accounting books, Myles entered with a big smile on his face, and he placed a huge stack of A4 pages in front of me. I could see that it was at least 2000 pages or more, by the thickness of the stack. “What on earth is this?” I asked, “Your full report on our farming tour, in total 3728 pages, including photos,” Myles replied. “Wow, I didn’t thick that it would be this big, it is going to take me a while to get through it all, and maybe we can present it to the local district branch of the WA Farmer’s Federation,” I replied. “That is fine by me boss, I actually found it quite rewarding, and enjoyed producing it, and the trip has made me want to be a farmer as my career,” Myles replied before he returned to the lounge room. I smiled as I watched Myles leave the office, and I stared at the stack of papers in front of me, pleased that I had made a small difference in the young man’s life, and hopefully he will have a bright and rewarding career in farming. The End.
  8. Once I was back on the west fence of the triangular paddock, I went through the northern gate and along the line of trees on the north side of the home paddock, and I started to plough bigger fire breaks around the trees that are close to the house and main shed, as well as towards the milking shed and my fruit trees and vegetable patch, and that is when I came across a dead milking cow, and after some looking around, I found a dead calf and two goats. The cause of their death was fairly clear, with the sizable bullet holes in them, and I was feeling very sad as well as very angry at what I had discovered, as I headed back to the main shed. I jumped in fright when two figures came into view as I was parking the tractor near the shed, which I would need later to bury the carcasses. I relaxed when I saw that the two men were police officers, “Mr Watkins, you called about gunshots, and we arrive to find that you have a bush fire too,” one of the officers said to me, “Yeah, not a good night for me, I have just finished making some firebreaks, and come across a dead cow, calf and two goats, all of them shot, and the fire started at the small cottage, where my worker was assaulted the other night,” I replied. “Wow, that is a lot to happen in one night, would you care to show us where the dead stock are?” the second officer asked, “Yes, jump into my orange Ute, and I will take you there,” I replied, as I headed towards my vehicle, and before I could say anything, Jack commandeered the front passenger seat. “Sorry, he is the second boss around here, you will have to take the back seats,” I commented to the officers smiling, as I climbed into the driver seat. Once everyone was inside, I drove through the paddock to where I found the dead stock, and with the spotlights on, the officers are able to take some detailed photographs, and take some notes. “I will get the local vet to come out and take a look at these first thing, if you can let him onto the property, as we need to determine the calibre of the fire arm used to kill these stock. Now let’s go and see about the cottage and the fire,” the first officer said, and we climbed back into the vehicle and I drove along the boundary fence line, towards the remains of the small cottage. When we arrived there, two fire crews were putting out spot fires in the bush near the cottage, as well as dousing the cottage in water to put the fire out properly, as I parked around the front of the cottage, close to the tree where the camera is located. The two police officers had a good look around, took some photos and made notes, while I watched from near my vehicle. “Well Mr Watkins, it definitely looks like that the fire was lit on purpose, so our report will be that it is arson, but finding evidence to prove it, and who done it, is another thing,” the senior officer said, as I noticed Loretta approaching us. “That may not be the case officers, as my good friend Mitchell Watkins here, is very security conscious, as you may have discovered, when you couldn’t get into his front gate, but if you look up on the other side of the vehicle, you will see a security camera secured to the tree,” Loretta said smiling. I just laughed, as the officers searched for the camera, which was barely visible, because it was still dark, let me help you,” I said, as I adjusted my spotlights, and shone it up the tree. “We would like to review the camera footage please Mr Watkins,” the officer said to me. Certainly, I will bring it into town later today about noon, once I have done all of my farm chores and disposed of the carcasses,” I replied. “Mrs Danby, isn’t it? Do you know how to contact the local Veterinarian?” the junior officer asked. “I can do one better than tell you his contact details… Jeremy, the police here want to speak to you,” Loretta called out loudly, “Righto, be right there,” came a response as Loretta smiled. A few minutes later Jeremy Harrison the local vet was discussing doing an autopsy on the stock that I had found shot, so as to retrieve any bullet fragments that may be found. Thanks to a good back burn, the fire was now mostly out, with the fire crews putting out any small spot fires, and any hot spots in tree stumps and shrubs. I drove the officers back to their police vehicle parked at my front gate, and turned back to go and check the rest of my boundary gates, which I had not completed checking because of the fire. When I came to the gate to the oldest part of the farm, the gate was open, so I drove in and headed for the cottage, where I came across the friends of Loretta and Malcolm, who I had not met yet. “G’day, my name is Mitchell Wilkins the owner of this property, just letting you know that the fire is under control and mostly out,” I said to the man who was approaching. “We heard gunshots last night too, which scared my children,” the man said to me, “Yes, and I apologise for that, we had trespassing shooters last night, and they killed some of my stock. The police are looking into it as well as the fire, I suggest that you close and lock the front gates each time you go out or return from a day trip,” I replied. “We have been usually, its just last nights events, got us a little spooked so we left it open for a quick exit if need be,” the man said to me. “That is understandable; I will close and lock the gates on my way out, I’m sorry if this has ruined your holiday in any way,” I responded. “Now that we know what is happening, I am sure that the rest of it will be great, thanks for letting us know,” the man said, before I turned and headed back to the farm vehicle. As I was heading back towards my place, I stopped at the gate to the track leading to the milking shed. I opened the gate and drove through, closing and locking the gate behind me, and I walked a few metres down the track and looked up at the tree where the first camera is located and frowned. The camera was pointing upwards towards the sky, instead of a downwards angle towards the gate, walking back to the Ute, I drove it to the tree and climbing up, I took down the camera, and I backed towards the gate and stopped just before it, and climbing up onto the roof of the Ute, I repositioned the camera, just two metres from the gate, but at a higher position, and adjusted the angle, so the camera can capture the gate, and anything approaching it. Once I had done that, I checked my mobile, and discovered that the notifications has been turned off, so I turned them back on and went back to look at footage of that camera, where it showed a little bit of movement on the far side of the camera, as it is angled upwards, but nothing to identify the person doing it or the vehicle involved. I drove up to the second camera on this road, and immediately received a notification of movement, which was me, and looking up at the camera, it was just as I left it, when I set it up. Checking back on this camera, I had clear footage of a dark coloured four wheel drive vehicle, including its rego plate, and I could see two people inside, and the passenger was holding a rifle. With the gate locked when I arrived, I drove back to the gate and climbed out, telling Jack to stay, and from the gate, I carefully checked the fence lines, and it was not long before I found a poorly retied up fence line, with all five wires, barely staying together. I took some photos of the fence wires, as well as some tyre tracks in the sand, coming from the next door property. I continued down the track and stopped at the gate just after the small amount of bush, and I saw fresh tyre tracks park in front of the gate, and after a bit of searching I located half a dozen shell casings that look like are from a 303 rifle, and using my phone, I took photos of the tyre tracks and of the used casings, and stepping back two paces I took another photo to show the location of the casings, in front of the gate. Using my handkerchief, I carefully picked up the casings and finding an empty water bottle in the vehicle, I placed the casings in it and secured the lid, and using a pen I wrote the date and time, and location onto the bottle label and took a photo of it, before putting it into the Ute and I made my way back home via the milking shed, where I milked the remaining one cow, before feeding the calves and goats, Back at the house, I had a shower and dressed, before getting into my private vehicle along with Jack and the container of shell casings, and headed for town, and I went directly to the police station, where I informed the officers what I had discovered. I showed them the photos, as well as the shell casings, as well as telling them that the illegal vehicle came in the direction of the vineyard property next door. After I had given my statement on what I had seen and heard overnight, Jack and I headed to a café for some lunch, and Loretta walked in just as we were about to leave. “Hey you two, how are things going after last night,” Loretta asked as she approached and sat down at our table, where Jack was sitting on a chair. “I am tired, and I still have so much to do, including digging a hole to bury the carcasses,” I replied. “I have good news in regards to Myles, he is been discharged from hospital tomorrow, and I have arranged for him to be flown to the Albany Airport, where I will collect him,” Loretta said to me, “Well, that is great news, I had decided that after his injury that he would stay at my place, and I had collected all of his belongings. So none of it was destroyed in the cottage and bush fire, just bring him directly to my place. I haven’t checked yet, but I am hoping that his bike and my quad bike are all fixed and ready to go home,” I responded. “I will do that, and I am glad that you managed to grab all of Myles’ belongings. Is there anything else we can do to help you?” Loretta asked. “Can you tell me a bit more about Sam and June Higgins?” I asked softly so others in the café could not hear us, “Oh, why do you ask?” Loretta asked in shock, “I have a few worries about them, so… can you tell me some more about them?” I responded. “Well, they have been in the district for about 18 years, and all but two and a bit years of that has been on the vineyard property. June, whose full name is Junette, comes from a strict Italian family. “Oh, I just thought of something, are you asking if they have something to do with the burning down of the cottage and surrounding bushfire?” Loretta asked me. “Yes, I had a conversation with them before the incident, and that now has brought up some questions from me. As well as that conversation, I also have physical proof of someone cutting the fence line from my access track into the neighbouring property, as well as unknown tyre tracks, coming onto the access track from the other property, which leads me to suspect that the neighbours had knowledge of the illegal entry, since they would need to drive past the house to get to my property,” I stated. “Oh, ok I see what you are saying; you think that Sam and June are responsible for letting people onto their property to gain access to your property?” Loretta asked, “Yes, and I have also recovered a number of shell casings, that are most likely the bullets that killed my stock on the same night as the fire,” I replied. “That is some very serious stuff, are you really sure that it is possibly them?” Loretta asked, “Not just me, but the police too, plus I have security footage, from the second camera, that catches the trespassers coming onto the property, that includes a description and rego plate number of their vehicle,” I replied. “Wait, earlier today, I saw Sam coming into town with one of the locals, and he looked a little tired and when I asked him why, he said that he had been in Perth for a three day conference, and he caught the early morning flight down to Albany this morning, so Sam was not even in the area at the time of the fire,” Loretta said. “I see, I wondered why he didn’t come out of the house when I did the fire breaks. Ok, so if it isn’t Sam, then it must be June, or someone that she knows,” I commented. “What have the police said about it all?” Loretta asked me, “they have accepted the evidence and they have made up a report and they will make some enquiries. So I just have to wait and see what comes of it,” I replied. After the conversation at the café, Jack and I headed home, and did a check of all of the outer gates to the property, and found them all locked, including the one to more former home cottage, which I was pleased to see. With just one cow left to milk now, and with less goats and a calf, the afternoon chores were done a lot quicker, and with less milk, I took it over to the cheese shed and put it in the fridge to cool. Back at the house, I was pleased to see that the house was clean, as it was the day that June cleans and cooks a meal for me and Jack. After a quick cup of tea, we headed over to the shed, where I gathered all of the fencing repair gear, and in the farm Ute, we headed over to the front gate to the milking shed, so as to repair the fence wires. Once I had completed that we headed back to the shed to swap over to the tractor, so as to dig a hole and bury the carcasses. When we arrived back at home, I looked around the house, and I noticed that my laptop computer had been moved, so I opened it up and entered the twelve letter and number password, and I did a check on the history of the computer, and found nothing unusual, to indicate that the password had been over ridden, and any checks had been made, which I was pleased about. The last security camera that I had purchased I had decided to place inside the house, so as to keep an eye on any possible break ins or unauthorised snooping, and I had placed it in my study in the corner above the doorway, looking towards my desk, where I keep my computer. This camera, I had disabled the notifications, but now I opened up the programme and clicked on the study camera, which showed one recording, that was made earlier in the afternoon, and it was of June cleaning, as well as trying to get access to my laptop computer and failing. I saved this recording and opening up a new email, I attached the recording of the study as well as the extra ones of the vehicle breaking into my property by cutting the fence line, and I sent it to the police at Denmark, with a cover note to explain each of the recordings.
  9. Only one chapter posted this week, hopefully I will have more time next week to post more chapters...

    Q

  10. Once Loretta had made the call to Ambulance headquarters in Perth, requesting the rescue chopper, and received confirmation, that it was on its way, with an eta of about 40 minutes, I followed Loretta and the gurney back into the cottage. I decided that I would not be of much use, so I jumped into my vehicle and raced back to the main shed, where I looked for and found some bright orange spray paint, that I recalled seeing before, and with that in hand, I headed to the paddock gate down the road, where I unlocked it and swung it open, before driving out into the paddock, where I stopped near the centre. Standing on the tray of the farm ute, I looked around and decided that it was close to the centre of the paddock, and jumping down, I started to spray a giant letter ‘H’ on the ground, that is about ten metres in size. Happy with that, I returned to the gate, where I sprayed the top five centimetres of the gate post with the paint, as a marker for the ambulance, before I checked my mobile, to get exact coordinates of the paddock, which I wrote down. Back at the cottage, I gave the coordinates to Loretta, and told her about the giant ‘H’ that I painted in the middle of the paddock, and she passed that all onto headquarters, so they could relay them to the rescue chopper. Myles was already loaded into the ambulance, with the ambulance officer taking care of him. “I have marked the gate post with orange paint on Hunwick road, heading towards my front gate, to where the chopper marker is located in the middle of the paddock,” I said to Loretta, as she climbed into the driver seat of the ambulance, and I jumped into my Ute, and led the way out of the property, and down the road. I stopped just past the gate, and indicated to Loretta to turn off the road here, which she did very slowly and carefully, and she stopped just after the line of trees about twenty metres in, and turned on the flashing lights, to indicate to the chopper the location of the paddock. After what seemed to be a very long time, but was only ten more minutes, we heard the approaching chopper, and with the police car now parked next to the ambulance, also with its flashing lights on, I watched as the chopper came closer and after circling the paddock as it descended to the ground, getting louder and windier as is arrived. Once the chopper had landed and the blades started to slow down, Loretta drove closer to the chopper, stopping well before the blades, and she opened the back door, and helped to lower the gurney, just as a man in blue overalls with the word ‘Doctor’ on his back approached, and the paramedic started to tell him all the information needed. I watched from near the gate, as Myles was loaded into the helicopter, and the chopper to start up again, as Loretta moved the ambulance away, and it eventually took off, and headed north. The police officer informed me that they had finished processing the cottage, and its surrounds. I informed them that Myles was a new employee, who had moved away from home, where his family were only just tolerating him, and he was studying at Ag College and working part time on the farm. I also mentioned that the damaged quad bike was farm property, and that when I last saw it last night after dinner, it was in perfect working order, when Myles rode it back to the cottage. After locking the gate to the cottage and shed on the corner block, I headed back to the house, locking the gate behind me, and I looked back at the security footage from both my front gate and the gate to the cottage, and found nothing. I called Matt the local hardware store owner, and asked him if he had any more of the security cameras with the sensors, and he informed me that he had only two left. I asked him to keep them aside for me, as I would be into town in the next day or so. As I ended the call, my mobile rang, which made me jump a little. “Hello Mitchell speaking,” I said into the phone, as I didn’t know who was calling. “Hi Mitchell, this is Sam speaking, I just wondered if you knew about the big yellow chopper that landed in one of your paddocks,” the caller said. “Hi Sam, yes I did know, I painted a giant ‘H’ on the ground for the spot where it could safely land. My farm hand was badly assaulted last night, and I discovered him, this morning. The ambos decided he needed to go to Perth, so the rescue chopper was called,” I explained. “I see, well I hope that he recovers well from his cuts and bruises and what ever,” Sam said to me, before ending the call, and I stared at the phone for a few moments, thinking, how the hell did he know what injuries Myles had received. I jumped again, when my phone rang again, this time the caller ID said it was Loretta. “Hello dear, I just wanted to let you know that the rescue chopper was taking Myles to RPH High Dependency Unit, and we also received feedback from the chopper pilot, informing us that the farmer who marked the paddock, did a great job of it,” Oh good, I have heard that it is the best place for him to be, and thanks for the input news. “Before you called, I had a very strange call from Sam, the guy who leases the vineyards down the road. He enquired about the chopper landing in one of my paddocks, and at the end of the conversation, after I mentioned that my farm hand had been badly assaulted last night, he said he hopes that he recovers from his cuts and bruises, like he knew what had happened,” I said to Loretta. “That does sound strange, I suggest you call the police and tell them about that phone call,” Loretta responded, “I was going too, but you rang me first. By any chance, do you know if they are Catholics?” I asked, “Why yes, I think they are, why do you say that?” Loretta asked. “Because Myles’ family are Catholics, so I was thinking maybe it is related incident to the family situation. Do you know if Malcolm has renewed the lease with Sam?” I asked, “Not sure dear, why do you ask?” Loretta replied, “Never mind, I am planning to come into town and collect the two extra field cameras, and also to bring in my quad bike to be fixed, and have the moped bike checked over, so I will see if I can catch up with Malcolm then,” I said. “Ok, I see what you are getting at… By the way, our visiting friends, are absolutely loving the cottage that they are staying in, and enjoying the kayak on the river too. So thankyou for allowing that to happen; I may see you in town then, bye for now,” Loretta said before ending the call. After hitching up the trailer to my own vehicle, and with Jack lying down on the back seat, we drove down the farm track to the cottage, where I loaded up the quad bike and the moped bike, and strapped them down. After a quick look around the cottage, I spotted the still unpacked suitcase, which I picked up and after I checked all the windows and locked the doors, I drove to the gate, closing and locking it behind me, and I headed for town. After I had unloaded the two bikes to get repaired, I headed to the police station to make a report on the telephone conversation that I had with the neighbour who leases some of my land, and I was informed, that unless I had more proof, there was very little that can be done. Feeling a bit disheartened by that, I left the police station and headed to the hardware store, where I collected and paid for the two cameras, then I headed over to Malcolm’s office, but he was out on a customer call out, so I went to the bakery to buy myself and Jack a treat. With nothing else to do in town, we headed back home, and we went directly to the corner block, unlocking the gate to get in and closing and locking it behind me, as I would take the farm track to get back home. I parked near a tree opposite the front of the cottage, where I secured the first new camera, so it had a clear view of the front and part of the side of the cottage. Once I was happy that it was working, I moved the Ute closer to the cottage, where I unlocked it, and I spent the next twenty minutes collecting all of the boxes and belongings of Myles’ as I had decided that he would be staying at the main house for a while. Back at the main house, I carried all of Myles’ belongings into one of the guest bedrooms at the front of the house, and I made the bed, and placed a fresh towel on the top, before I had some lunch, and I decided to just relax for a bit of the afternoon. I enjoyed spending a few hours on my patio reading a book, and when it was almost time to go and so the afternoon chores, Jack and I headed to the ute and drove down to the shed, with the cows gathered at the gate waiting for me to let them out of the paddock, and like usual, they made their way to the shed to be milked. After dinner, I spent some time in my office doing some work in there, before showering and heading to bed. When I woke to the sound of Jack growling, as he stood near the window looking out, I called him to the bed to calm him down, and moments later I heard high powered gunshots, which made me roll out of bead. Hitting the floor hard, as I wanted to keep my head down, as the shots sounded very close, I crawled out of the bedroom and down the hallway to the kitchen, with Jack doing the same, which I found quite funny to see that he was copying me. Once I had the phone in my hand I dialled the number for the local police. “Hello, this is Mitchell Watkins speaking, I have a property on Hunwick and Redmond West Roads, I wish to report high powered gun shots been fired on or near my property,” I said when the call was answered. “Are you the Mr Watkins who had a medical emergency on your property with the rescue helicopter came?” was the response, “Yes that is correct. I am Old Man Watkins grandson, and I also had some unknown people attempting to break into the property a few days earlier. The main house is at No 1 Hunwick Road, on the corner of Keith Road,” I replied, “Ok, we will send out a patrol car to your location, but it will be at least an hour,” the police officer informed me. When I ended the call, I noticed that there was no more shooting happening, but I would wait for a while before doing anything, and in the mean time I walked back to my bedroom and dressed, and it was then that I saw that it was nearly 4 am in the morning, which made me groan. I decided that it would be safer to drive around on the main road, instead of cutting through the paddocks, and I took my personal vehicle, because of the spotlights it has on it, and although I wanted Jack to stay at the house, he refused to leave my side, so I let him jump into my vehicle. After exiting through the main gate, I closed and locked it behind me, and drove along Hunwick Road, stopping at the gate with the orange paint on the post to make sure that the gate was still locked, which is was, but as I approached the corner, I began to smell smoke. Stopping on the roadside, I climbed up onto the back of the vehicle to look around from a high vantage point and I could see an orange glow coming from the direction of the corner property. Jumping down I retrieved my mobile from inside and dialled a familiar number. “Fire, on the corner block, possibly the cottage,” I said when the call was answered, “Honey, it is for you, our friendly young farmer, he says there is a fire at the corner block,” I heard Malcolm relay to Loretta in a sleepy voice, “Hello Mitchell, can you unlock the gates but stay away from the fire, we will send out a fire unit as fast as possible,” Loretta said to me before ending the call. Instead of going towards the fire, I turned back and headed for home, where I locked the gate behind me, and raced to the shed, where I drove out the farm ute, and connected it to the fire unit trailer, which already has a full tank of water in it. I checked that the fuel tank was full and cranked it to start to make sure it was working properly, before shutting it off. I told jack to stay in my vehicle, as I closed and locked the shed, and I raced down the farm track towards the corner property, with some of the surrounding bush now alight, with the wind coming from the south east, which was not good, as there was lot of bush next to the corner block. By the time I had passed through the final open gate, into the corner block, I could see that there was a lot of the bush burning, just north of the big shed, which is still empty, with the fire having jumped the paddock fire break and was now in the neighbouring paddock, burning in a north west direction, almost directly towards my home. Following the track, I could now see the smouldering remains of the cottage, and I was glad that I had taken out all of Myles’ belonging yesterday, as I drove past it and headed to the gate, which I unlocked and swung open, before I turned around and headed back in, stopping near the cottage, where I glanced up to see the surveillance camera still in place. I got to work to start putting some water onto the cottage, to stop the smouldering, before going to the large water tank near the shed, and topping up the tanker. Once I had done that I headed back the way I came, through the bottom corner gate, and along the fire break, to get around in front of the fire, to try and dampen down the bush, but I could see that I should have really brought the tractor and the plough to make fire breaks to try and slow down the fire. I made my way back towards home, and with the next gateway, being the one with the orange marker, I decided to unlock and open that gate too for better access for the fire fighters, as I noticed the fire smoke getting darker, meaning that it has reached the swamp country. Once I was back at the main shed, and I had let a very anxious Jack out of my vehicle, I pulled out the tractor from the shed, with Jack in the cab, where he remained while I connected up the plough, and once done, I headed back down the boundary track towards the fire. Once I had passed through the gate out the east side of the triangle paddock, I immediately began ploughing along the western fence line, then the northern fence line, and as the fire was fairly close to me, while I was doing the northern fence, I turned around to make a double width break, and I came across two vehicles, with fire units on the back, who were starting a back burn along my freshly made fire break, to try and control the fire.
  11. quokka

    The Farm

    Great story, I can see this been expanded on, with more chapters or a different story with the two main characters included. Q
  12. quokka

    The Farm

    Great story. Well done mate. Q
  13. I have put the current story on temporary hold, as I am in the process of moving house, so I need to concentrate on that, so I will be back in two weeks. Preston.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. chris191070

      chris191070

      Good luck on your move, hope all goes well.

    3. jamesm

      jamesm

      Good luck,  I hope you have plenty of help at both ends.  It makes things go easier and faster.

    4. tagwolf

      tagwolf

      Hope the move isn’t too stressful for you 

  14. I had a few ideas about the farm that I wanted to discuss with Malcolm, so I headed into town with Jack coming with me, and he even followed me out of the vehicle once I had parked, and I decided to let him come with me into Malcolm’s office. “Hello Mitch, and you brought Jack with you too, my how he has grown in such a short time,” Malcolm said when he saw us enter the outer office, and indicated for us to follow him. I want to be able to diversify a bit so as to be able to cope with any downwards trends in farming. I know that cattle prices can often drop down low, and so I want to be able to have a continual income not matter what happens,” I said to my accountant. “Well I think you are already fairly protected with the income that you get from the four blocks of land that you lease out, as well as having the cattle plus your small and growing enterprise in fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs and now your cheeses, which Loretta and I are very much looking forward to tasting when they are ready,” Malcolm replied. “It is your visitors that are staying for the week that had me thinking, that if I have enough money to pay for it, I would like to have two cabins built and located on a two acre patch of land directly behind the milking shed and cheese shed, right along side the river. I want to have one cabin at each end of that block, so they are at least eighty metres apart, and there is already a sandy beach area at the point of the river bend, and a walking track leading to it, where I would like to place a small landing for kayaks and canoes,” I suggested. “Well your investment account is going strongly, since that is the account that has all of lease payments put into, so I think that it would be a good investment to have tourism on the farm, but you will need to have some regular cleaners to clean the cottage and the two cabins, and maybe your big home as well,” Malcolm replied. “Yes I was thinking about what to do about that, I really do need a house keeper to keep the place clean” I said, “What about June Higgins on the Vineyard property, I believe she does some part time cleaning in town, maybe she would be able to clean your house for you once or twice a week,” Malcolm suggested. “I will call in and see them both a bit later, thanks for that tip,” I replied, and after a few more minutes of general chatter, I said goodbye, and we set off to do some shopping, since I will be feeding an extra person as of tomorrow, with Myles moving into the small cottage on the corner block. By the time I was back home from my trip into town, it was almost time to go and do the milking and feeding, after calling in to see Sam and June, and I was happy that June had agreed to clean for me twice a week, and also cook to evening meals, which would put a lot less pressure on me, with Myles moving in tomorrow afternoon. I was able to relax alot easier with Jack in the house with me, and with it being another busy day tomorrow, I made some dinner for the both of us, before having a shower and heading to bed. In the morning after I had done my morning chores and eaten breakfast, I did a bit of a tidy up, so it wasn’t to messy when June comes to do the cleaning just after lunch time today, and once that was done, I headed to the office to do a bit of office work, as I had been a bit slack these last few days. Just before lunch time, Jack and I walked down to the front gate, where I unlocked it, but left it closed, and we walked back to the shed, where I did a few checks on both the farm vehicle as well as my own private vehicle, before heading over to the house for some lunch. This afternoon, I had plans to do a drive around the paddocks to check on fences, check all the dams, check the small herd of cattle that I have, and also all of the security cameras, located at each main access point onto the farm and around the main buildings. I was loading up the farm vehicle with some tools, plus some plain and barbed wire, when a vehicle came up the driveway, and stopped near the shed where I was, and it was June climbing out of her sporty Mazda car. “Hi June, the house is unlocked, and you will find everything you need in the pantry or storage cupboard. Jack and I are off to do some checks around the farm, and we will be back by about 4 pm. Can you lock the front gate padlock on your way out afterwards please,” I said to June as she approached. “Sure that is not a problem, thanks for thinking of me for this work, the extra hours will be very useful,” June replied. “Saving up for a holiday are you?” I asked, and June laughed, “I wish, no we need some more money to put in more sprinklers as we are going to planting some more vines this season,” June replied. “Ok, well I will see you again on Saturday, if that will be ok with you?” I said to June. “Yes that is all good,” June replied, as she climbed back into her car and drove the short distance to the house, while I locked up the shed, and we climbed into the farm Ute and set off down the farm track. It was about 3 pm when I looked at my watch and suddenly remembered that Myles and Malcolm would be arriving at the cottage in less than an hour, so I packed up the tools, and we made the short trip back to the main shed. Parking the Ute into the shed, we walked over to the house, where there is the smell of a nice cooked meal inside, and I could hardly wait to taste June’s cooking. “Pot Casserole in the oven, just heat it up and it will be ready to serve,” was the note left on the kitchen bench, and I smiled. Telling Jack to stay, I walked back over to the shed, where I rode out the quad bike, and locked the shed before making the two kilometre trip across the paddocks following the fence line, and leaving the gates open, till I arrived at the front of the cottage. Malcolm and Myles had not arrived yet, so I walked around the cottage, to make sure that it is reasonably tidy, which it is, and I arrived back at the front, just as I heard a vehicle approaching, as I recognised Malcolm’s vehicle, and I gave a short wave of hello. “Welcome to your new pad Myles, I haven’t seen inside since you and Loretta cleaned it, so I am hoping that it will be suitable for you,” I commented, as I shook his hand and then I helped Malcolm to unload the bike from the back of his vehicle, and I wheeled it around to the back of the cottage. “I didn’t see any tracks on the road. Did you come across the paddocks?” Myles asked me from the back door of the cottage, “Yes I did, I will get Malcolm to take me back home, so that you have the quad bike to come over to the house for dinner, just leave a bit before dusk, so you don’t get lost,” I replied. I followed Myles into the cottage from the back door, and I was amazed at the transformation of the place, which now has nice curtains on each window, decorative light covers for the overhead lights, a large rug on the floor in the dining area under the table and another in the lounge area, and there was even some pictures on the walls. “Wow, Loretta did a great job of making the place homely,” I commented, “Yeah, I like it too,” Myles commented, as Malcolm carried in another box of belongings for Myles. “I will catch a ride back to my front gate if you don’t mind, as I am leaving the quad bike here for Myles to use to get to and from my house and the main shed for work,” I said to Malcolm. Once all of Myles’ belongings were out of the vehicle and inside, we headed back to the front gate, and I thanked Malcolm for all that he has done to help Myles out, before I walked down the driveway to the house, where I collected Jack, before getting into the farm ute, and heading over to the milking shed. I had just got the cows into the yards when I heard a vehicle approaching and soon realised that it was Myles on the quad bike, and he was now in work clothes. “Hey, you found the milking shed. Do you want to start learning right away?” I said to Myles, “You bet I do, boss,” Myles replied smiling so we got to work to milk the cows, feed all of the poddy calms and goats, and collecting the eggs from the chicken run. Once that was all done, I carried the one canister of milk over to the cheese shed, and I showed Myles how I go about making the cheese, without actually doing any, as it takes a few hours to do, and it would be one of my jobs after milking tomorrow. After a visit to the vegetable patch to get a lettuce, two carrots, some tomatoes and a cucumber, I climbed into the Ute after Jack had jumped in, and we headed back to the main shed, with Myles following on the quad bike. “There is no stock in the lower paddocks between here and your cottage, so you can leave those gates open, to make it easy for you. Just make sure that you take the key out of the quad bike and lock up the cottage and the front gate each morning on your way out to college,” I said to Myles, “Sure thing boss, that is not a problem,” he replied smiling, as I put the Ute into the shed and locked the large sliding door once it was closed, and as I walked over to the house, Myles followed on the quad bike. After washing up, I turned on the oven to heat up the meal, while I started preparing a tossed salad, and Myles sat in the lounge and watched the ABC news. After dinner, I washed the dishes, and Myles dried them and put them away, once I showed him where everything belongs. That box over there is all of your breakfast supplies, I just need to give you a bottle of milk to add to the box,” I said to Myles. “Thanks boss, that is great,” the lad replied smiling. “You will also find a work hour’s record book, to keep track of your hours, be sure to add today’s two hours to it. I hope that you have a great first night in your new home,” I added, “I sure will thanks Mitchell, and I really appreciate this work and new place to live, I think it is awesome,” Myles responded. Once he had left on the quad bike back to the cottage, I made myself a cup of tea and sat out on the balcony, where I noticed that it was starting to get chilly at night, and once I had finished my drink, Jack and I headed indoors, and I had a shower and went to bed. I was up at my usual time, and I had just finished doing all of the chores, when I looked at my watch, which ready 6.30 am, so I decided to get to work on my cheese making, and have a later breakfast than usual. By the time I had completed the newest batch of cheese, and checked on the first three batches, turning them over and checking how they are going, it was close to 8.30 am. I checked my mobile, and there was no sign of a notification from the gate camera where the small cottage is located, and I frowned, wondering if Myles had slept in or that the camera didn’t pick up his departure this morning, so I decided to go and check to the camera first. Moments after I pulled up at the gate, a notification on my phone said that there was movement at the gate, which was me arriving, so I knew that the camera was working as it should be, so I went over to the cottage to check on Myles, to see if he had left for college or not. When I saw the moped bike on its side and the back tyres of the quad bike slashed, I began to get really worried, as I went to the front door and knocked. There was no answer, so I knocked a second time, “Myles, are you home, it is Mitch,” called out. “Come in Mitchell, the door is unlocked,” I heard Myles reply in a hurt tone, and I opened the door and found that the cottage had been trashed, and Myles was laying on the couch, with some huge black eyes, cuts and bruises everywhere. “What the hell happened, are you ok?” I asked concerned, “I had some visitors last night, and they were not very friendly as you can see from the mess,” Myles replied, “Don’t move, I will get an ambulance, you are going to hospital to be checked out, and I will not take no for an answer,” I said. I called the local Ambulance centre, and gave directions on how to find the place, once that was done, I called the police to report the incident, and then I decided to call Loretta. “Hey Mitch, I am on my way out there now, I am a volunteer Ambulance driver, so I got the call,” Loretta said to me, “Ok, well I don’t need to worry about the ambulance having troubles finding the place then. Myles has been assaulted, it happened some time last night after he left my place, his bike is on its side and the quad bike has two slashed tyres. Myles is just as bad, with two black eyes, cuts and bruises,” I replied. “Ok, as him if it hurts when he breathes?” Loretta asked, and with the phone on speaker Myles heard the question and nodded yes, “Especially when I take in a big breath,” Myles said. “Ok, sounds like he has broken ribs too, get him too gently to lie on his injured side, don’t give him any fluids, and we are about fifteen to twenty minutes out from there,” Loretta said to us. I drove down to unlock and open the gate, and when I returned, I parked just past the cottage, in the middle of the track, just before the bend in the track, before heading back inside, and it was just ten minutes later that a police car arrived. I was giving them the details of what I knew so far of what had happened, when the ambulance arrived about five minutes later, and Loretta was in dark green overalls. It was a good five minutes later when Loretta came out of the cottage, and she had a worried look on her face, “We are calling the Rescue chopper, he is in a serious condition, where is the best place to land the chopper?” Loretta asked, as she walked towards the ambulance with me following. “There is the triangular front paddock, about 900 metres from my front gate and 500 metres west of here that has gate access to Hunwick Road, it is an open flat paddock, that would be the best option,” I replied. “Ok, but we will have to do it nice and slowly, as Myles is in a hell of a lot of pain,” Loretta replied, as she opened the back doors and pulled out the gurney, with its legs dropping down and locking into place.
  15. “I have no idea where that is, so how close is it to my farm?” I asked, “That we do not know at the moment, we just have to wait till they get some aircraft in the air to assess it, we will have to wait,” Malcolm replied. “Well once I have done the milking and feeding, I am going to jump into my tractor and with the harrows that I found, I am going to grade all of my northern boundary fences,” I commented. “That is a very good idea. How about you leave the milking to me, and you can get onto that right away, and I am sure my husband here is capable of cleaning gutters,” Loretta said to me, and I looked to Malcolm, who frowned then smiled. “Yes, off you go now, we will be able to deal with all of this,” Malcolm said to me. I handed over the keys for the sheds and gates, before going into the shed, and I jumped in with Jack following me in, and after attaching the harrows, I set off down the driveway to the gate, where I would start along the southern inside boundary fence, and followed along the eastern boundary. Without asking the lease owners, I graded the boundary around the vineyards, before continuing on northwards to the northern boundary of the original farm, which I did twice, to make sure it was clear of any burnable material. While I was doing this, I called Malcolm, and asked him to make a trip into the city, and to go to the irrigation and pump company, and purchase a portable water pump, a 50 metre long pump hose, a 100 metre long pump hose, all the connectors required, and a heavy duty large sprinkler. I also asked him to buy am inverter generator that has 24 volt and three phase outlets along with a ten metre three phase cable, and two 10 litre red fuel containers of petrol to keep it running. By the time I had finished running a firebreak along the river side of the properties, I was happy that I had done my best to protect my land. When we arrived back at the main shed, there were a number of vehicles parked at the shed and I could see Loretta speaking to the visitors. “Here he is at last, Mitchell, these gentlemen are the farmers on the other side of the river, who lease your land,” Loretta said as I climbed out, and when Jack jumped down, I told him to sit. Once I had been introduced to the four three men, I was asked what plans I have in regards to protecting their lease properties, which caught me by surprise, that they were expecting me to do the work for them. “Do you have ploughs or harrows?” I asked and all three shook their heads no. “Do you have tractors?” I asked, and one farmer said no, while the other two said yes, with one of them adding that he had a grass slasher, that he uses for slashing the pasture for hay and I knew that it would be of no use. “I suggest that you load up my harrows, and use them to run along their inside boundaries, and to return the harrows in one piece and if damaged I expected them to be repaired. Once they had left, I let out a loud groan in annoyance and Loretta laughed, “I thought I was a basic farmer, that lot have no clue at all,” I commented, which Loretta nodded in agreement, just as her mobile rang. “Hello… yes I will pass that on to the farmers around the Hay River region, as that is where I am at the moment helping a friend… ok thanks Bev, bye,” I heard Loretta say. “Is that good news about the fire” I asked in hope, and Loretta smiled, “Yes, for now anyway, the wind has changed, so the fire is heading westwards away from here, and the fire as running along the north side of the Mitchell River Fire Break, which is a lot closer than we had originally thought? It is only about six kilometres from the northern boundary of your land on the other side of the river. Apparently they have started a back burn from the fire break now that the wind has changed, so that if it does change direction again, the fire will just run into already burnt bush,” Loretta announced. “Well I am very pleased about that, but does it put other property owners at risk?” I replied. “As far as I can gather, the fire fighters will be back burning, as it continues westwards, following the fire break, which goes to the Denmark Barker road, and continues west through into the Mount Frankland National Park which will protect all farmland to the south of the National Parks,” Loretta said. “Wow that is fairly risky isn’t it?” I asked, “Not if it is done properly, it all depends on the wind direction mostly, so as to burn away from the fire break, thus creating a bigger fire break with burnt ground,” Loretta replied. “Sounds like you know a bit about this sort of thing” I asked Loretta, who smiled, “I should, I am the honourary secretary of the local volunteer fire brigade,” Loretta replied. “That is good to know,” I commented, as we headed over to the house, to wait and see how the fire travels. When Malcolm returned from the city, we tested out all of the new equipment, to make sure that it all worked well, before Malcolm and I started to work out a way of having it on the back of my vehicle, which is a little more modern than the farm vehicle, which is a ten year old 4 x 4 single cab Toyota Land Cruiser. The vehicle I bought before moving to the farm is a three year old Burnt Orange 4 x 4 twin cab Holden Colorado, which I bought at an auction, and works perfectly after spending three months working on all of the problems that it had. After some thought, I decided to follow Malcolm and Loretta back into town, so I could collect a few more items from town, and also do some food shopping. When I arrived in town, Malcolm was already speaking to the store owner of the local hardware store, and I joined them, while Loretta went somewhere else. “G’day again Matt, I seem to be coming to your store a bit more often now,” I said to the store owner as we shook hands, “That is not a problem, I am happy to help you get what ever you need,” Matt replied smiling and I chuckled at this comment. “I have been helping out Mitch out at his place with this fire emergency that we have at the moment, and he has recently bought a water pump, hoses and an inverter generator, which Mitch is thinking of setting up on the back of this vehicle, as his farm vehicle will be towing the farms fire fighting tanker and pump,” Malcolm explained. “I see, so are you thinking of maybe having it set up on the back, so it can be easily removed when not in use?” Matt asked me, “Yes, that is about right, I also have a couple of those stumpy 20 litre fuel containers which I need to be able to store safely, and after some thought, I may have an idea on that, with using one of those poly plastic cooler boxes,” I replied. “Well I can tell you that the bright orange Frost Bite brand is one of the best, and as it happens it matches the colour of your vehicle, come inside and I will show you,” Matt said to me, as we walked inside and down the aisle where the cooler boxes are located. Less than half an hour later, I had a 75 litre ice box and a low and flat 100 litre ice box on the back of my Ute, and I had also bought a 10 litre yellow fuel container, in case I need to have diesel fuel, especially since my vehicle is a diesel powered vehicle, and using that container as a measure, I worked out that I can fit all three fuel containers into the cooler box, which is what I wanted. My vehicle already has a UHF two way radio, a roof rack with spotlights, snorkel, roll bars, tinted windows, side steps, front bull bar, front winch, tow bar, heavy duty suspension, under body protection plate, as well as a sports cargo lid. Matt suggested that I should get a recovery kit that should include a set of wheel boards, with the main kit containing the straps shackles, chains and protection straps, when using trees as an anchor. I said that I would consider them in the future, but for now, I needed to concentrate more on the safety of my farm from an out of control bush fire. For three days, I worried about the bush fire, which was still running wild, and had changed directions a number of times, but once it had crossed over the Denmark Barker Road, I started to relax a little, knowing that there was a extremely small chance that my farm would be affected by this fire. Loretta came to collect the keys from me, which I had an extra set cut, so she and the lad could clean the two cottages, but I was too busy working on the farm and the fire to think about the guests coming early next week, and when she returned with the keys, I paid her the money for the lad and her for the cleaning they did, which took them all morning to complete. It was well after they had left that I remembered that I should have asked if the lad liked the small cottage, and I made a mental note to call Loretta once I have finished the afternoon chores. When I parked the farm Ute in the main shed after finishing the chores, I could hear the home phone ringing, but I didn’t bother to rush to get it, instead, I grabbed the basket of eggs and the canister of milk and walked out of the shed, locking it behind me before making my way to the house. The phone began to ring again just as I had served Jack’s dinner, and I walked over to answer the phone. “Hello, Mitchell and Jack’s house,” I said into the phone and I saw Jack lift his head when he heard his name, while there was laughter on the other end of the line. “Nice intro Mitchell, was Jack there to hear it?” Loretta asked, “Yes, he is and he raised his head from his feed bowl when I did, I am glad you called, I was going to give you a call when I got in,” I replied. “About Myles I am presuming? He is a very hard working lad, I was very impressed with his work today,” Loretta commented. “That is good too hear, did he say anything about the cottages, while he was working with you?” I asked, “He did actually, he asked me why the cottages were been cleaned up, and I told him that the larger cottage was been leased for holiday guests, and I said that I was not sure about the smaller cottage. That is when he stated that he wished he could have a place like that to live in, and I nearly said something about your plans, but managed to keep my mouth shut,” Loretta answered, and I laughed at this comment. “How does he get around and about?” I asked, “He bought a scooter, which Malcolm helped to fix for him, and we helped him to get his licence for it,” Loretta said. “That is very good of you both, ok so if he can get to town and back on his scooter, then he will be ok to live in the cottage then?” I asked. “Yes, I am sure he will be fine, and I am sure that he will really enjoy living on a farm,” Loretta said, “Ok then; can you bring him here after college tomorrow for a chat, if he isn’t at his other job?” I asked, “Yes, that will be fine, I don’t have anything on in the afternoon, so we will be able to get there by 3.45,” Loretta replied. The following day, I made sure that I was back at the house in plenty of time to clean up a little and to go and unlock the front gate, which I left open for Loretta, and I had just returned to the shed, when I heard her vehicle approaching. “Myles Archer, this is Mitchell Wilkins the owner of this farm, which includes the cottages that we cleaned yesterday,” Loretta said making the introductions, “Nice to me you again sir,” Myles said nervously before accepting my hand shake, and I saw Loretta smiling. “I have been reliably informed that you are looking for some part time work, when not attending agriculture college in Denmark,” I said to the lad, “Yes sir, anything that will get me out of my family situation,” Myles said, and his eyes went wide when he said that. “Relax, it is alright, like Malcolm and Loretta I am very open about different lifestyles and relationships, so you are in good company, and in a safe environment,” I said and I saw him instantly relax. “How would you like to work for me, and live in that small cottage that you cleaned yesterday. You can have your evening meals with me at my place, which is the house just behind us, and I can pay you $12 an hour for starters, plus you can refuel your scooter here, so you can get to and from college each week day,” I said to Myles who smiled broadly. “I accept with heartfelt thanks sir, it will be awesome to live and work on a farm,” Myles replied, “My name is Mitchell not sir, and on week day afternoons, I will get you to help with the milking of the cows, collecting the eggs and feeding the poddy calves. I will give you plenty of fresh milk, eggs as well as bread, preserves, cereal and bacon to keep you well fed each morning, before you go you college, as well as making your lunch. On the weekends we can work out a timetable for you,” I informed Myles. “That will be awesome thanks… Mitchell, when can I move in?” Myles replied happily. “Well I have some guests arriving tomorrow, so how about Wednesday after college,” I suggested, and I saw a flash of disappointment, before he smiled, “That will be great thanks,” Myles said to me. “I will get my husband to come and collect you from college along with your moped bike,” Loretta said to Myles, who smiled and nodded his head in acceptance. “Here is a set of keys to the cottage and gate for your family arriving tomorrow,” I said to Loretta as I handed over the keys, and this set of keys is for your cottage, and front gate,” I said to Myles as I handed him a different set of keys. Myles handed them to Loretta for safe keeping, and she added them to her collection, before they both said farewell, and after locking the gate behind them, I headed over to the milking shed, to do the afternoon chores, with Jack at my side as usual. The following morning, as I finished off my morning chores, I looked to the north west, where there is still a lot of smoke from the bush fire, which is still burning fast in some very rugged bush country, and I was worried that it would change directions again, and come back towards the farms or directly towards the Denmark township.
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