Posted on September 30th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I was really fortunate to be able to grow up on a little farm in Albany. Although I ain’t a farmer, I do love being on a farm and pretending I know what I am talking about. One of the brotherhood, Steve, has folks who live on a farm just outside of the hometown and so for a few months now we have planned to go down to set up camp in the bottom paddock.

Three couples (Steve & Leanne, Muz & Katie, Libs and I), one baby (Muz & Katie’s Asher), one fetus (Steve & Leanne’s ‘No Name’), camping gear and farm boots headed down on Friday arvo to Albany ready to escape the comforts of civilization. Sometimes you just need to strip everything back to the bare essentials to appreciate life – no electricity, no showers, no flushing toilet, no tv, no phones – just people and paddock.

We got down pretty late Friday night, so the Pyles (our camp parents and hosts) had kindly set up beds in the farmhouse for us all. Superb! After hot drinks, catching up and getting settled into our camping experience, we headed to bed.

Woke up to Muz’s Birthday, and so we all went into town for supplies (except Muz, who kindly babysat). The nation stops around the end of September for the Aussie Rules Grand Final. When I say the nation stops, me and a few other non-sport-watching Australians usually have the rest of the nation to ourselves for 3 hours while supporters tune in to the game. So being Grand Final day, the television took care of the afternoon and I was able to get whatever else done.

The rest of the day was dedicated to setting up tents, meeting cows, preparing meals and having communication breakdowns. The rain was always going to be threatening the weekend, but it ended up being a perfected first night in the great outdoors. Much to the delight of the women, we gentlemen spoke with Russian accents the whole weekend. As expected, the novelty never wore off and I know that our wives are disappointed we men are no longer feeding off each other’s comments.

In the moment.

I told my usual Ghost Horses story, which is actually a true story. Those of you reading whom I worked with in the summer of 97 in the Blue Ridge will know what I am talking about.

The bottom paddock campsite.

Cowboy Asher

That was the only night we really camped. I guess the combination of possible rain and a warm farmhouse just made it clear it was the right thing to do. Thanks Ma & Pa Pyle!

(l-r)Steve, Leanne (and No Name), Diane, Asher, Muz, Katie, Colin, Libs, Cam.

Apologies to hometown locals who we didn’t get to catch up with. Looking forward to seeing you around the new year though when we are down with time to do so.

It has been another special time of marking the beginning of this next stage of life. I live in constant amazement at the friends and families I have the privilege of walking the same patch of earth with at different times in life. The battle to get through this sickness is not a battle to keep my body in a world that I know – but to keep it with the people I know. This is when it becomes the fiercest battle of all. If everything I have experienced in the last year only got me to this weekend, I would have done it smiling, wondering what to pack.


Leanne Pyle

Comment on September 30th, 2008.

Cam – through tears I am typing this to say it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to spend the farming weekend with you, and to share in such a memorable time with everyone. I can tell that even No Name had a great time. Thanks for the new memories! And as we march onwards to a new phase of life, I also want you to know there is no need to lament the end of the Russian spin on things – I’ve just finished speaking to Steven on the phone at work, who was continuing to speak in a Russian accent … I don’t think he can stop ….


Comment on September 30th, 2008.

Spasiba bolshoye.
Is good how husband talk. He make happy face on me.

Ma and Pa Harris

Comment on September 30th, 2008.

‘Ma and Pa Pyle’ ~ absolute treasures.
Profoundly grateful for our ‘farmocology’ years together.
You blessed us out of our socks…and still do.
Huge love and appreciation…


Comment on September 30th, 2008.

Is it even possible to be happy in this world without having relationships with other people? Smiling for your farm experience!


Comment on October 2nd, 2008.

Murray is still trying to think of a Russian comment to add of appropriate silliness so while he deliberates (and yes continues to speak Russian at home Lea, I think Asher will grow up with an accent) I shall add my two bits and say I am very glad to know you all, and be known by you. In every sense of love and friendship.

Asher's G'ma

Comment on October 2nd, 2008.

So glad I read this blog – just realised I had missed son-in-law’s b’day!! Oooops!
Thrilled with the “all clear” news.


Comment on October 7th, 2008.

dude i so remember u telling that story at skool, if i rember rite it was just before a camp and that whole time i thought of that story, gets me every time i think about it, i get my lisence soon. would love to come down and visit you and libs if that ok and when your free.

give my love to libs and i miss you heaps ‘
love franny -jo

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