These older, conservative, born-and-bred country Australians have followed the traditional path of blue collar work, mortgage, big family and retirement. With the house paid off, Country Conservatives are now living off pension funds and moderating their expenditure. To these old-school farmers and labourers, Australia is going to the dogs, as ignorant city-living policy-makers undermine fundamental rural values without the foggiest idea what life’s like in the heartland. Environmental policies trumping the needs of country communities, immigrants taking jobs from their kids, gays demoralising what it means to be a proper, long-term couple and parent: what’s the world coming to?
Walk with Me
Never understood how anyone could sleep in past six. I’ve been a wheat farmer since I was a teenager, like my old man was. Done everything from operating the combine, driving the trucks and running the stores to about four or five years as a crop overseer on a 5000 hectare property out past Parkes, which set me up with enough to pay off the mortgage. I still call up for some work during the summer months when it’s available, but I guess I’m pretty much retired now. The whole industry’s on the downslide now anyway, thanks to the government.
My wife Cheryl is a good cook and has more patience than I could ever muster. We’ve had three kids, and they’ve all got little ones of their own now. They‘ve stayed close by, which keeps Cheryl happy. Every time the grandkids are over it takes her a good hour to move all her porcelain knickknacks up out of reach and another hour to put them back once they’re gone. Why she doesn’t just leave them all tucked away I don’t know, especially when her arthritis is playing up. She has me doing most of the chopping now, but turns out I don’t mind it so much. Sort of relaxing, having a VB and dicing carrots.
The kids are always on me to quit smoking, but I’m too old to change. We’ve had the same numbers in the lotto draw for twenty-something years—I reckon the week we cark it, out they’ll come.