“We might head up north to Exmouth for a week, to do some exploring, that way you can concentrate on your studies, without any twin disruptions” Seb said with a big smile and I chuckled at his comment, it is nice up there, remember that it is summer time so it gets very hot up that way, stay well covered, drink lots of water, and have plenty of water and food supplies if going away from any main towns” I said to Sebastian.
“Sounds like a dangerous place” Seb commented, “It is, and can be deadly, I am serious about this Seb, don’t take things lightly when you are up north, things can go wrong very quickly, and doctors are not always readily available, if you can, carry a satellite phone with you, so you can call for help if you get stranded” I added, “Ok cousin, I understand, I will do as I am told” Seb replied.
“So what are your plans, do you have a man in your life back home in Switzerland, someone to cuddle up to at night?” I asked Sebastian, who immediately began to blush, and I chuckled at the sight. “No I don’t, unfortunately, everyone who I have dated has jsut wanted my money and luxurious lifestyle, so I have kept the relationships short, so as not to affect my and the twins fortune” Sebastian replied, “Oh man that is terrible, hopefully someone will come along that is perfect for you” I replied.
At the Ferry jetty in Fremantle, I said goodbye to Seb and the twins, and I drove off eastwards back to Toodyay, having had an enjoyable day with Sebastian and his twin brothers. By the time I arrived back at the rectory, I was tired and ready for a shower, dinner and an early night too bed. “Hi Kyle, where is the Rev?” I said as I entered the house, and not seeing Annette around, “she had to go out, an emergency call out, we have to have take out tonight, how was the day out at Rottnest?” Kyle replied.
“Really good actually, things went better than I expected” I replied, as I made my way to my room to grab some fresh clothes and I went to have a shower, when I came back into the kitchen, Kyle was dishing out slices of pizza onto two large plates, and he handed one to me. “Smells nice, I will only have two slices, then I am off to bed, as I need to get some sleep” I said as I accepted a plate.
“Mum said to tell you, that the insurance assessor will be at the farm at 10am, so be sure you are out of bed, fed and ready to leave by 9.30am” Kyle said to me as he sat down in the lounge, and I elected to sit at the dining table. “Time to eat, Amen” Kyle said, and I chuckled at his shortened version of grace before eating, as I watched him woof down the first slice of pizza.
“You are going to get heart burn if you keep eating that fast” I commented before taking a bit of the pizza. Once I had eaten two slices, I palced my empty plate in the dish washer, said goodnight to Kyle and headed to my bedroom, falling asleep almost right away, I didn’t hear Annette arrive home or her heating up some pizza for dinner. I woke up when I heard knocking on the bedroom door the next morning.
“Wake up sleepy head, its 9am, time to get a move on” Kyle said to me, as he turned on the main light and closed the door, before the pillow I threw reached him. I groaned as I struggled out of bed, went to the bathroom, and came back to my room to dress, then into the kitchen for some breakfast. “Looks like, someone got a little bit too much sunshine yesterday” Annette commented, as she placce a plate of toast in front of me, followed by a cup of tea.
I made sure Seb and the twins kept up the sun lotion, I just forgot to do the same for me, and boy am I feeling it now, and don’t you dare touch my sunburn Kyle or you will get a knuckle sandwich” I warned Kyle, who backed away from me and sat down to have some breakfast also.
“You can start on doing laundry, while Huon and I are at the farm, then the veranda’s need sweeping, and you can empty the clean dishes from the dish washer, and put them away” Annette said to Kyle, who didn’t like hearing all this work. With Annette driving, we arrived at the farm, and seeing the burnt pasture and destroyed fences, made me get very upset, and when we reached the homestead paddock, I had tears flowing down my cheeks.
The sheds where a pile of burnt ruins, and the house walls were still standing, but there was no windows doors or roof, looking over to the distance, there was no sign of the orchard or the vineyard. I didn’t want to step out of the vehicle, it was getting to much, but when another vehicle arrived, I had no choice but to step out and face reality.
I let Annette do most of the talking, and I spoke only when it was real nessesary. Once the assessor had done his work and left, I took one last look around before we left the property to return to town, which I was relieved about, I didn’t want to go back until there was very little sign of the fire remaining.
Back at the rectory, I retreated to my bedroom, laying on my bed and eventually falling asleep from emotional exhaustion. I woke up when I heard a knock on the door, and the door opened a little. “Hi, just checking in, to see if you are ok” Annette said to me, “What time is it?” I asked groggily, “Time for some lunch, once you have freshened up, come and join us” Annette said before leaving. A few minutes later after a stop at the bathroom, I walked into the dining room and sat down to eat. For the rest of the day, I sat in the loungeroom, and stared at the television, not really taking notice on what was on.
The following morning, I struggled out of bed for breakfast, and it was halfway through breakfast that I remembered my plan, so I quickly ate, showered and changed into my best clothes, ready for church. After the service, Kyle and I followed the parishoners over to the hall for morning tea, and I seeked out and found two of the senior members of the parish, and I manouvered them to a quiet corner.
“Sorry to abduct you both like this, but I have a very special mission, and I need your help, do you know how much time off Reverend Davies has had since she has been here?” I said to the two ladies. “We were thinking the same thing the other day” one of the ladies stated, “She has only been away one in the past four years, she took a week off to travel to Darwin for a conference, and she took Kyle with her” the other lady said.
“Ladies I have a plan that I am setting up, to give Reverend Davies two weeks holidays over the Christmas break, do you know Reverend Allenby, the semi retired minister, who does weekly services at Rottnest? I said, ‘Yes we do actually, he has visited here a number of times” the first lady said, “I met him recently, and I am hoping to convince him to fill in with services here while Reverend Davies is away” I explained.
Just as I finished saying this my mobile rang, “Hello this is Huon speaking” I said answering the call, “This is Reverend Allenby, I found your note, how can I help you?” the caller replied. “Sir, I was wondering if you could help me, I am with two ladies from the Toodyay parish, and I was jsut telling them of my plan to get Reverend davies some time off during Christmas, and I wanted to ask if you could fill in during her absence” I stated.
“I would be happy to oblige, I like St Stephens, it is a nice church there in Toodyay, I presume Annette has no idea about this?” Reverend Allenby said, “No sir she dooesn’t, it is a surprise for her and Kyle, I have someone, who is prepared to donate all her holiday expenses for two weeks, what I am not sure about, is if they have passports or not” I replied, “Well you can count me in to fill in at St Stephens for two weeks, bye for now” Reverend Allenby said as he ended the call.
“Well that gets that part of the plan sorted, all we need to do now is sort out passports” I said to the two ladies, “Maybe we can see if there is a weekend conference somewhere overseas, that she can attend” the second lady sugegsted. When Annette arrived, we seperated quickly, and I headed over to the kitchen to get a cup of tea and some cake. “Kyle is looking for you” Annette said to me when she arrived at the kitchen soon afterwards, “Ok, thanks Rev, I will just finish this” I said as casually as possible.
About twenty minutes later, as Kyle and I were wandering around town, I decided to casually ask Kyle something, “Have you or your mum every been out of Australia?” I asked, “We have actually, about a year before we came here to Toodyay, we went to Kula Lumpur for a conference” Kyle replied, “So if you are coming with me to New Zealand in the mid year holidays, we don’t need to renew your passports?” I asked casually.
“I don’t think so, they have another five years before they expire” Kyle replied, and I smiled broadly knowing that I didn’t need to worry about passports any more, as we continued to walk around, and we returned to the rectory in time for lunch. “I better start getting organised for a new year at university”, I stated as we ate do you have everything you need?” Annette asked me.
“Actually no I don’t, I lost everything from the past year in the fire, including my laptop computer” I said when I remembered that I had stored all my text books and notes from last year in the store room at the house. “Well you better get that sorted as quickly as you can in the morning, are you returning to the student accommodation this afternoon or tomorrow?” Annette asked me. “I might make it tomorrow now, since I need to some supplies, which I will do on the way, I also need to find out the timetable for classes for this semester” I replied.
The rest of the afternoon was spent packing the clothes that I had brought back with me from FI, which Annette had washed as soon as I had arrived back. When I arrived back at the student accommodation at the university, I settled into my assisgned room, in a three bedroom apartment, and set off to the bookstore to get the text books that I needed for the year, and I went to student services to get my lecture timetable for this semester, expecting to have lecture this afternoon on my first day, but I was pleasently surprised to find that my first lecture wasn’t until tomorrow morning.
This gave me time to go and buy a new lap top computer for my studies, as I had left my other laptop at the cottage at Douglas, so I headed into the city to find a good computer. When I returned to the university, I returned to my room, and set up my new laptop, and the new printer/scanner, so it was all ready for the start of my second year of studies, and I taped my semester timetable to the back of the door, for easy reference. Once this was done, I just relaxed for the rest of the day, so I was well rested for the start of lectures tomorrow.
Two weeks after I had resumed studies, I headed to Toodyay for a weekend break, and I had let Annette know that I was coming up, and I arrived just in time for dinner. “There is a folder on the bench regarding your insurance, there is a cheque in there for everything that you lost including your laptop computer, and I have arranged a local company to clear away all of the fire damaged buildings.
I have a few boxes of stuff that was found in amongst the ruins of the house, and everything has been cleared, so there is just the walls and chimney remaining, and work is already on the way to repair all of the damaged fences” Annette informed me as we ate. Just as Kyle and I were clearing away after dinner, the house phone rang, and Kyle answered it, and he listened for a moment before holding the phone out towards me.
“It’s two kids talking in Italian, I can’t understand a word of it” Kyle said to me and I rushed to the phone, worried that something has happened. “ciao, cosa è successo?” I said, “questo è Louis, Seb è in ospedale, mentre è caduto e ha rotto la caviglia” I heard Louis say, “I am fine, I just lost my footing and I fell, and now I have a plaster on my foot” I heard Sebastian say in the background.
“Passare il telefono a Seb per favore”, I said asking Louis to pass the phone to his brother, “I am fine, and I will be out of here in about half an hour, we will be flying back to Perth once I have organised tickets, probably tomorrow some time” Sebastian said to me. “Ok, so you and the boys are fine?” I asked, “Yes, we are fine thankyou, now stop worrying cousin” Sebastian replied.
I enjoyed a relaxing weekend in Toodyay, and I managed to have another chat with the two ladies, after the Sunday morning service, and in the late afternoon, I made the journey back to the city, to prepare for another week of university, unaware that Sebastian had spoken to Annette, by phone soon after I had left Toodyay. As I arrived back at my university accommodation, Sebastian and the twins were checking into a motel family suite, in Toodyay, and I had no idea what Sebastian was planning.
Just over a month later, with the Easter long weekend approaching, I let Annette know that I would be coming up for the long weekend, and Annette informed me that she would be away on an Anglican Ministers retreat on that weekend, and that a visiting minister would be filling in, while she is away. Feeling a little dissapointed that I couldn’t spend the weekend with friends, I felt a little lost, so I dialled Sebastian’s mobile number.
“Hello, Seb, Louis and Joachim, can’t come to the phone right now, as we are travelling and not in mobile range, please leave a message and we will get back to you” I heard a recorded message say, and “This is Huon, I was just wondering what you guys are doing for Easter, I would like to spend some family time with you guys, call me when you get this message” I said and ended the call.
With four days till Good Friday, I was a little surprised that suddenly I would not be spending time with family or friends, and I was a little shaken up by this fact. After dinner that evening, I called the Douglas main house number, to talk to Tom and Margaret, but there was no answer, so I had a shower and went to bed early. For the next few days, I concentrated on my studies, and I tried again to contact both Annette and the Douglas farm, and both times I had a no answer.
I didn’t really want to spend Easter on my own at the student accommodation, so I made some enquiries about accommodation at Rottnest island, I was pleased to secure a room at Rottnest Lodge, after a cancellation, so I packed my backpack for four days, leaving my laptop, wallet and mobile behind carrying enough cash for the trip, and after my last lecture on Thursday, I drove down to Fremantle, and caught the evening ferry over to the island.
Once I had checked into my hotel room, I went for a walk around the settlement before going to the restaurant for dinner, and I retired to bed early. In the morning, I hired a bike and set off for a morning of riding around the island, and it was a pleasant Autumn day for riding, with no wind and a clear day. During the 4 days of Easter, I explored vertually the whole island by bike and on foot, and taking lots of photos.
On the morning of my last day on the island, I decided to take a final walk along the cliff tops in the north east corner of the islands, and suddenly I lost my footing, and I fell down towards the ocean and some rocks below us, and I fell unconcious, wet, injured, and in extreme pain, and all alone.
Copyright August 2017 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights are Reserved