To me the lead up to a covid-19 induced lock down felt slow, never really truly believing it would happen. Sure you hear about other countries one by one closing their doors and retreating inside, but it all felt so far away. It was super easy for me to remove myself from this threat. Until it happened. One week I was a bridesmaid insterstate at my best friends wedding, the next weekend our shop was closed and being outside your home for over 30 minutes a day was unthinkable. Having closed our shop and lost my part time bar job I decided pretty quickly that being holed up in town with no job was not an option. So when Billy suggested I come and stay with him on the property he worked on – it was a no brainer. Being so isolated on the farm meant some of these restrictions were a little more relaxed and with agriculture work deemed ‘essential’ there was also the prospect of finding some work.

I expected to stay here a week, maybe two. Pushing six weeks later I had no idea how much I needed this space. I have no phone service on the farm so that means I am unable to constantly check facebook, snap chat, instagram etc. until Billy is home in the evening and can hotspot me. My first few days I am almost embarrassed to say this was a source of anxiety for me. The thought of not being able go ‘online’ when I wanted to made me feel really uneasy. They do say phones are an addiction. Now six weeks down the track, even when I do get service I have no where near the same desire to check my socials, I just cant be bothered. Don’t get me wrong it is nice to see snaps from my friends and keep in contact but I don’t mindlessly scroll like I used to, literally wasting hours of my day looking at a tiny screen. Without phone service I have re found my love for reading novels, every spare chance I have I am devouring the words as fast as I can – a book worm as Billy has dubbed me.

Devastatingly the bushfires came through the property on New Years Eve. Kilometres of fences were burnt therefore they need to be pulled down and re built. Three weeks into chilling out and playing housewife (and low key loving it) they asked if I wanted to help with the fencing – tying on the droppers. If you asked me a mere two months ago if I’d be living 50km from the nearest town and working with the fencing contractors, I would have told you you were mad. It’s not a job I want to do forever (too many callouses on my hands) but for the most part I am enjoying the hours on my own in the fresh air and the challenge – plus if you need a podcast suggestion I am your girl. This change has reminded me what I am capable of and also reminded me of the things I find most important.

It’s been a pleasure living with Billy. Spending time with the dogs, running, cooking good food, sharing music and ideas and just hanging out. Lock down with a sibling, as with anyone really, could have gone one of two ways – we could have driven each other crazy or alternatively we could have made the most of an extremely uncertain time and filmed way too many hilarious Tik-Toks. Luckily for us it was the latter and luckily for us I prefer to cook where he prefers to do the dishes.

For me jumping headfirst into this scary situation was how I could get through it, we don’t know if lock down restrictions will ease tomorrow or if it will be weeks before we return to ‘normal’ all I know is that I am looking forward to bringing with me these new things I have learnt about myself and even more than that I am looking forward to a beer (or multiple) at the pub with my friends. Until then you can catch me in the top paddock, apparently those droppers don’t tie themselves.