Another year ends leaving me wondering what this new year will bring. The festive season was all the more enjoyable for most of us who live here in Western Australia as we recognised that the rest of Australia is entering crisis point with the Omicron variety of Covid running rampant.
Whist we’ve enjoyed nearly two years of relative freedom here in WA, we know that’s on the cusp of ending. Our borders are scheduled to open no later than 5 February, but possibly even before that if Omicron manages to escape the tight hotel quarantine measures in place to try and keep it contained. As everyone knows though Omicron is extremely contagious, and as I type this it looks as though it has managed to jump free of containment via one of the hotel quarantine guards. If it takes off, as I suspect it’s going to do, I guess there will no point in keeping the tight border controls in place to try and keep us resident West Australians safe. So, I suspect 2022 is going to be the year that Western Australians, including me, are finally going to face the reality of living in a Covid dominated world. I’m dreading it!
We made the most of the last of our freedom over the festive season. I hosted my first ever high tea a few days before Christmas. That was fun.
Paul surprised me with the best ever Christmas present, a wheel cover for the caravan. When we’re travelling up the Great Northern Highway we try to be considerate to all the mining trucks on the road and, using the two way, we offer to make it easy for them if they’re wanting to overtake. In turn they return the favour should their speed be drastically reduced on a long up hill section of road with us stuck behind them and they will get in touch with us on the two way and let us know when it’s safe to overtake. I’ve wanted to name our caravan, Tilly’s Den, for a long time with the name printed on the rear of our caravan. That way when I get on the two way I can say, ”this is Chris from Tilly’s Den, in front of you”. It’ll be so much easier to introduce ourselves with our van named. Paul did better than just naming our van. He also had my website address printed on the spare wheel cover, along with the cutest ever photo of Mr Tilly.
Our plan on Christmas day was to go our daughter’s in Perth and to stay a few days catching up with friends. However, the weather together with a power outage ended those plans. We left Busselton after breakfast on Christmas morning, arriving in Perth around midday on a 43 degree day. With the air conditioning turned up full bore we enjoyed a lovely afternoon, mainly indoors, but occasionally venturing outside for a dip in the pool. The oven was on with a traditional Christmas dinner cooking to be ready for around 8pm. The table was set up under the trees outdoors, and the plan was that hopefully by around 8pm the evening would have cooled down enough for us to enjoy the hot, festive dinner. Just as the finishing touches were being added to bring the dinner together, bang! Out went the power. The main fuse on the power pole had blown. It wasn’t a suburb outages, just their house. A call to Western Power indicated their were lots of outages and it could be hours, or even days, before they would get to us.
We lit candles around the buffet table, and on the outdoor dinner table and pulled the dinner together as quickly as possible. It was all hot and cooked to perfection. My son-in-laws mother had contributed the Christmas pudding, and as she had only travelled from just around the corner, she drove home and re-heated that in her microwave and brought it back for us to enjoy later in the evening. We enjoyed the evening until around 11.30pm, had a last dip in the pool and headed to bed hoping to manage to sleep on a very hot night, and hoping the power would be returned sometime as we slept.
Sleep was fitful – it was very, very hot, and the power hadn’t been returned by morning. With no lights the night before and no hot water, we had left the dishes virtually were they were, and not wanting to open the fridge to often, it had only been opened long enough to try and safely get the remainder of the turkey stowed inside to try and save it. Heating pans of water on the gas rings to clean up the dishes the following morning wasn’t on the agenda – a 44 degree day was expected and adding to the heat with gas rings burning furiously wasn’t something anyone wanted. A call to Western Power indicated it could be days before they managed to get to us. Paul and I decided we would be best returning home earlier to our own air conditioned house, thus freeing up the opportunity for our daughter and family to seek refuge from the heat in someone else’s air conditioned house to wait out the return of their power. And so ended our 2021 Christmas – enjoyable and memorable, even more than usual because of the extreme heat and the power outage, we won’t forget that any time soon!
We then saw out the New Year with friends dancing the night away at the New Years Eve dance put on in our village to see the year out. We hadn’t seen in the New Year since the millennium, so to stay up till after midnight to usher in a new year was rather novel.
And now we’re in 2022. This is going to be a year like no other……. I’m afraid!