First photo of the day:
"Has anyone seen my tiara?"
Maizie's wand must have had some bizarre malfunction when she cast a spell on me this morning. Within an hour I was sitting shotgun with a perfect stranger doing donuts in a mudpit.
That vehicle is a 1972 Torana Ute. Here's Shane, the driver, who also built the car.
Us Yanks might compare a Ute to an El Camino, but we would be grossly underestimating their significance. Here in Australia, Utes are not just utility vehicles with extra room in the back, they are a subculture and a lifestyle.
People drive from all over the country traveling to Ute Musters where they can race through the bush and burn out in the mud. It so happens that the first annual Busselton Ute Muster is this weekend, just a few minutes from the farm. So Brother Brown dropped me off to have a look while he checked on his cows.
Truly I don't know how to string this series of events into something coherent for you, so I'll just tell you what happened.
I spent a couple of hours chatting with guys like Paul, pictured above, who drove with two mates from Perth, Shane, who took me for the spin in the mudpit, and members of the Rebels Motorcycle Club who put on the event. All the races and action were a bit delayed due to some heavy tension between the bikers and the police, so I took a family beach break midday.
There's Sara with the babes and the Indian Ocean. She took them for a walk while Doug recovered from a jellyfish attack that made mine yesterday look like a mosquito bite.
On the way home we took a small detour to go for a kangaroo hunt. Bella and Maizie thought it was silly I'd never seen one.
I have now. Here are three standing at attention in the paddock. We got a bit lost in bush, but after half an hour of bumping through the outback we found our way back to the road.
While Bella and Maizie had a bath and Sara made dinner I headed back to see how things were shaping up at the Ute Muster.
The cops had left and happy hour was warming up nicely.
Shane was back in the bullring showing off for the young bucks on the haybales.
I stayed to watch the sunset and circle work, which is what they call donuts here, and made it home in time for dinner and easter egg filling.
It seems exploring rural Australia may bring adventures similar to the New Zealand chronicles, in terms of sheer randomness. (Remember the day Mr. Universe turned up?)
It's just another day in the outback: fairies, mudpits, bikers, jellyfish, kangaroos and easter eggs. Who knows what the next tap from Maizie's magic wand will bring...