(In which Jack spend two weeks in Isolation and gets some bad news from Jersey.)
I threw my bags on the floor and slumped down on the bed and I watched television for about half an hour. I knew I was going to go mad, so I rang one of my nephews who lives about ten kilometres north of the hotel to see if he could get me a reasonable laptop so that I can do a bit of research and get emails. I really can’t use the iPad because the screen is too small. He wasn’t allowed to come into the hotel but the security staff delivered it. That was day three. I can’t remember anything else about those three days. I probably slept most of the time to recover from the trip.
I rang Clarrie and we discussed the situation. It is so strange that he is only an hour and a half away and I can’t go and see him. I went online and looked at his website. This was valuable and I found out just how wrong I had been about Lois. Since they’d taken over Margany Station she had upgraded the website and she gave me the password so that I could get right in and see what was what. I could see the ages of all the young steers and their optimum selling dates and the different stocking rates on each of the main paddocks. Clarrie had also updated the irrigation to some of the smaller inside paddocks, the ones closest to the homestead. He’d also had another, much more efficient artesian bore put down and the water flow rates for every bore on the property were recorded. This was going to make my job a lot easier.
I initially thought he was carrying too many head of fattening stock but when I looked at the information on rotating numbers – moving cattle off irrigated pasture and onto dry paddocks and back again – I realised he had things right.
Day four was, I think now looking back, the worst day of them all. I got an email from Molly and another one from William.
The children miss you already. I haven’t had time to miss you yet. Bad news. The adoption of the little baby girl has struck a snag and won’t go ahead. Annie is too devastated to write to you but William said he would send you an email later this evening.
We all love you
PS What’s it like in Isolation? Annie is not coping.
She reckons Annie is devastated. I am. After everything that girl has been through and now this! And I wondered how William is coping himself. I sat in front of the computer and kept refreshing my mail inbox. That didn’t hurry anything up but eventually William’s letter came through.
I imagine Molly has told you our bad news. We can’t have the baby. Everything was going along so well and now this. The poor girl who got Covid and died was from Poland and when that happened one of her friends told the girl’s mother that she had died and that there was a little baby. The baby’s grandmother said that she hoped someone would find a good mother for the baby. Anyway, a week ago, while you were flying to Australia, the Polish Grandmother was on her way to Jersey. When she got here she said she had come to take the baby home. According to the law she has every right. So yesterday the little girl was bundled up and is now in Poland. I spoke to my lawyer and he said we might have objected because the little girl had been registered at birth and would therefore be a Jersey citizen. But Annie said ‘no’ to that. She said that she didn’t want to come between the baby and her Grandmother.
I was very proud of my wife for being so strong in that regard. At first she was devastated and withdrew into herself but that only lasted about twenty-four hours. I asked her if she was going to write to you and she said ‘I will only write good things to Jack. So he will have to wait until good things happen’. She said Katie would have taken it on the chin after she got over the first shock. Tell Jack. He will understand.
Our kindest regards to you Jack
You have made a great difference to our lives even if at the moment things are very dark. But the relationship between Annie and myself has never been better and you can take the blame for that.
What terrible bad luck! But I am so proud of Annie. I don’t think I can take all the blame, as William describes it, for the improvement in their relations. There is nothing I can do from over here. I sent an email to William and Annie and I won’t say what I said but I did wish them well. Except I did tell Annie that Katie would be proud of her. We will need to wait and see what pans out.
Meanwhile I have a cattle station to run.
…..to be continued.