Feature Photo: It’s 5pm on Boxing Day and still 38C, time for a swim at Silver Sands beach, Mandurah, Western Australia.
31/12/2021, By Will.
“Hi Charlie welcome to the world.”
G’day Crew, it’s been awhile, sorry about that but after the Aus Pandemic Tour we sunk into a bit of despair. Don’t panic we will recover because one of our primary mottos is to “never give up, ever” !
Life continues, we came home, eventually both of us got double juiced up, though with hindsight I personally have my doubts as to the effectiveness but we decided to take it for Team Australia.
Federal/State Governments you had better come through on your promise, at the moment the world thinks the Aussie population are a bunch of gutless sheeple but if the build up of protests through the second half of 2021 is anything to go by then 2022 will be absolute mayhem if you spin us all BS and give us a repeat of 2020/21.
Enough about the slightly scary bug that barely kills anyone it infects. Lots has happened to team wiljen since our return from our 91 day vehicle/camper tour back in September. To keep this post short and concise I’ll give you the quick version of the last quarter of 2021. The Travel Home Base (THB) was in good condition upon our return but the gardens and lawn were struggling. Jenny and I got stuck into the yard and it was back to normal with the veggie garden coming on stream and lawn looking lush within 6 weeks.
Once again I had signed up for the annual grain harvest. This was going to become the mother of all harvests with nearly double yields per hectare and 70% more selling price on the grain. For example in 2020 canola was selling for $600aud per tonne and this year it was $1000 per tonne. Wheat was hitting $450aud per tonne this year, to say the farmers are happy is an understatement. (Don’t forget inflation is hitting and next years inputs will be double the normal cost).
Overall I did 6 and a half weeks on the harvest at Wagin this year. My final day being the 22nd of December, a nice little earn. Half the crew were there from last year but lots of new people for me to meet including new site bosses, Scotty the new RPO IC and Tyron the RPO 2IC. I did a combination of driving the old family bunky Ford Focus (2006) across to Wagin a 2.5 hour drive, about 220kms. During the middle section when I had a couple of days off I rode the big Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 out there and back. The main reason for taking the Ford Focus was to carry more (cheaper) food and extra equipment for comfort.
Now that I mentioned the 2006 Ford Focus it has had a checkered 15 year history, Jenny and I bought it new from Lane Ford Mandurah where Jenny was working as an office assistant at the cost of $20000 drive away. It became my commuter work vehicle up to Kwinana and return for a few years (a daily 2 hour commute in heavy traffic). Then all 3 of our kids learned to drive in it and often borrowed it during their final high school year as “P Platers”. With the exception of Olivia who finished High School in year 11. Olivia bought it off us cheap and it was in her possession for about 7 years. Then it was on sold to her brother at family rates, Hayden and partner Kirsty had it for about a year but accidentally allowed the registration to lapse.
When we sold the “wiljen” 105 series Landcruiser to Hayden he left the Focus with us. This was the second time I had to get it re-registered in 2 years. The first time it cost me $1250 to get it back on the road for Olivia and this time it set us back $950. After a few other repairs like broken engine mount, 2 new tyres, repair air conditioner and a service it owed Jenny and I about $3500. We had planned to sell the Focus but doubt anyone would be willing to part with up to $4000 for a high mileage (260000kms) dinged up 4 cylinder, hatch back. For now it’s the team wiljen town runabout, shopping trolley, beach buggy, dog taxi and anything else required of it like sitting in the blazing sun & grain dust at CBH Wagin.
While I’m out at Wagin Jenny initiated the renting of our Air BnB near Fremantle. She made it live and payed the price. It went off immediately, so lots of managing and cleaning up after guests. Jenny has a past life as a “housemaid” (that term is so un PC these days) at five star resorts like The Cable Beach Club Broome and Diamond Beach Casino Darwin. Jenny knows how to clean and present a place, she also has a Cert IV with computers so getting it to all come together goes quite smoothly.
We rent the small 2 bedroom unit out for $100 per night plus a one off $50 cleaning fee, minimum stay is 2 nights. It is all legitimate as we have a short term rental license from the Fremantle City Council. So if you’re interested in a place to stay when visiting Fremantle and Perth send us a message.
The big news for the end of 2021 is that between Christmas and New Year we have once again become grandparents, yippee ! Olivia and Jake have been busy becoming a family and we now have a grandson called Charlie. Welcome to the world little Charlie, “Nanna” Jenny and I are looking forward to watching you grow and learn all about it.
So if you’re reading this you have survived 2021, I have no idea what 2022 has installed for us but no doubt it will be a roller coaster ride. Just do your best to be kind to each other, remain sceptical of what the Government and Media report to you. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into their hysteria and try hard to not judge people that you don’t know and have never met for decisions they may or may not have made. It’s easier to control us Australian’s if they can keep us in the dark and keep us divided. Being “safe and healthy” isn’t of much use when you have no freedoms left.
Make your own informed decisions in 2022. That’s what Jenny and Will are planning to do, thanks for reading and we will see you on the road.