Monday, 31 March 2014

I Live in A Mining Town { Could You? }



Could you live here?

Before moving here, I would have answered no. No bloody way. In fact I did discount ever living in a mining town in a handful of particularly heated conversations with my husband. But now I find myself living here so I can't quite say that anymore.

March marks nine months of living in Newman for us. And it has gone surprisingly quick. I won't lie, living here has been an adjustment. There are some BIG things I really miss about the outside world. And occasionally, you might just find me suffering a case of the Newman Blues. A slump that seems to infiltrate slowly into your psyche, leaving you feeling down and questioning what the hell you're doing living in such a place.

But ultimately, you have to make the most of your situation. And while perhaps sounding a little too similar to some older members of my family, ultimately, you just have to get on with things and make the most of what you have and where you find yourself.

             
Source Pinterest ie. I have no idea. Apologies if it's yours.

So where am I attempting to bloom? Newman, a place where there isn't nearly enough rain for most of the year (which can sometimes make blooming difficult). A 12 hour drive from Perth, and just over 4 hours drive from the coast. We're not near anything really (if you don't count some lovely national parks). We're in mining country. It's ridiculously hot for too long a part of the year, and it's a little red dirt dusty.

So what changed my adamant I never want to live in a mining town mind, and brought us to living in such a place, far from home? Family. My exhausted self who was tired of looking after two children on her own every second week while her husband was away working. And the fact that financially we needed me to be back at work, at least part-time, and I simply wasn't ready or willing to go back there just yet and leave our girls in daycare.

So this was the compromise. Two years in a mining town. Our rent paid for us. Utilities paid for us. A huge change in our lifestyle that allows me to continue being a stay at home Mum. While also having my husband home every night to help out with the night waking and 5pm cooking tea everybody is tired and messy hour.

It was a big choice, and one which we've chosen to look on as an adventure. We've had our down moments, but have never truly regretted moving here. While the day to day of living in such an isolated place can be difficult at times, the different experiences we've had, and the chance to bond as a family unit on an everyday basis, and for the first time, have all made this decision to move here the right one.

So what is here? Well there isn't too much in the way of shopping, eating out or any of those sorts of things in Newman. It is certainly expensive to get out of town as often as you might want to or need to for your own sanity, (if you thought Perth was expensive then you should accommodate yourself with Pilbara prices). And in all honesty there's not much to really occupy yourself with as an adult here (you either occupy yourself with your children, the gym or the pub after work hours, unless you're doing distance study or have a blog!)

But what has kept me sane, and made my days both bearable and  enjoyable has been the friends I've made since moving here. The Mum's and children who we catch up with for playdates, run into at Kindermusik, at our dancing lessons and playgroup. Who help fill the hours in our day. While some might talk of cliqueness, I've personally experienced nothing but friendliness and support since living here.

Mostly we're all in the same boat. Missing family. Missing civilisation. Sometimes not at all. Sometimes a lot. There are times you just need to have a big whinge to get over it and move on already. I'm lucky enough to be able to say that I have people I can whinge to openly, and not be judged for it. That's a good friend right there.

I know that there will be a part of me relieved to leave this town. But the longer I am here the more I realise how much I might just miss living here too. It will leave an indelible imprint on me as a person. An enjoyment of being in the outdoors (by that I don't mean our backyard or the park), and a taste for 4WD'ing and the simpler things that come with that, which weren't ever a part of who I was before moving here.

The red dirt really does start seeping it's way into your blood. It is a different land up here to the Australia that I knew previously. You can't describe it until you've been here and travelled it's gorges, rockpools and stunning coastlines.  It's undeniable, living here can be harsh and brings with it some difficulties, but it is a beautiful part of our country. In some ways, the true spirit of Australia can be felt here, more than it can in any other place I've lived or visited. While some cities might have buzz and energy, travelling this part of Australia shows you it's true heart.

I know that when we do come to leave here, that I will take many fond memories of our time here with me. Of the experiences that we shared as a family. The adventures that we had, the places we explored and the friends that we have met.

If you move here, don't spend your time sitting on the couch, in your backyard or driving around town. Get yourself a 4WD and get out there and enjoy it (never thought I'd find myself writing that in a sentence!)

We definitely won't regret our time spent living and exploring this part of the world.


























Think you could live here?

23 comments:

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that we can bloom wherever we are planted. I could live in Newman for sure. As long as I gave my husbie and my kids, like you I am happy. Friendships that last forever are forged in places like Newman. In so many ways, your adventure is a lucky one for sure. x

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    1. Thanks for your comment Bron. I think in the overall scheme of our life our time up here will always be remembered as a positive choice x

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  2. I have this wild fantasy about living in the outback away from all the hassles of life, but I expect that I would last oh, a good 30 or 40 seconds!! So I admire you for making this move for the good of your family as it must have been a very tough decision, but it sounds as though you are making the most of it and grasping the opportunities with both hands. I hope that you do miss it when you leave as that will mean that you had good times and made some good memories. xx

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    1. You might yourself and love it Amy!!! x

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  3. We definitely aren't as remote as you but this "The red dirt really does start seeping it's way into your blood" really reminds me of where we live!

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    1. It's funny how that feeling creeps up on you Lila!! x

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  4. My thoughts exactly! xx Vanessa

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    1. Hello Vanessa! Thanks for your comment x

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  5. I just had to google where in Aussie you are and yeah, that's pretty remote! I'm from NZ. Good on you for just making it work despite how hard it can be sometimes :) Deb x

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    1. Thanks Deb, we are a little bit in the sticks aren't we. Thank goodness for google or nobody would find us!!

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  6. I lived in Port Hedland (we nicknamed it the Poo Hole!) pre children, the car we were travelling around Australia in needed a new engine so we aimed to get to Port Hedland to get jobs and save enough for a new engine. We stayed 4 months and saved enough for a deposit on house as well as engine then kept going. Was a tough and very hot few months but lots of memories now I look back. So stay strong, it'll all be worth it. : )

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  7. Also meant to say I love reading about all your outback adventures to lovely watering holes and I remember the red dust getting in to everything!

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    1. Thanks Kerrie for commenting. I think memories from living here will never leave you as they're so different to all our other experiences. Port Hedland Poo Hole, I've heard people say worse about the place lol!!! It still has a bit of a rough reputation! x

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  8. I find the idea of living far out quite appealing actually. I get tired of the zillions of choices we face in the city, for example we have 4 large supermarkets competing in our neighbourhood and I would imagine you would have less of that where you live. Maybe I am wrong. I imagine focusing on the family more with the gained time. Cx

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    1. no you are totally right, we definitely don't have a lot of choices up here when it comes to shopping. Online shopping is very popular here. It is nice though, as you said being able to focus on family time and also everything in town is only a 2 minute drive away, which is really handy with young children at times xx

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  9. I don't know about a mining town but Mr.Rugby has applied for a job in Mildura...and I used to live in the omani desert. You just have to find the best in places

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  10. If it was only for a short term then maybe, but I know I would miss my family so much and I would feel sad that my Mum would miss out on seeing my girls growing up. But the adventure would also be awesome too!

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head Kylie, being so far from family is definitely a huge negative x

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  11. You've described it oh so well Carla xo

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    1. Thanks Em. As you can see my mood has improved since we last caught up and I offloaded my mood onto you lol!!! Ahhh the ups and downs of such a place!

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  12. i so enjoyed this thought ful post. late to it, but still wantes to tell you it's made me ponder a lot of things.
    i like the 'bloom where you are planted' i may have to print that out for the office wall.

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  13. Hi Carla. Wow. I grew up in Newman. I arrived at 2 with my mum dad and older brother and left 16 years later... It holds a special place in my heart and although I haven't lived there for many years, I think the red dirt still courses through my veins. It was the best place in the world to grow up in the seventies. I made lifelong friends there & still have good friends that live there after all these years. It is a unique, beautiful and yes isolated part of the world but it holds wonderful memories for me.

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