Posted by: Gregoryno6 | January 4, 2021

4 January 2021: 6 is now 60.

Happy Birthday to me!
I have now spent more than half my life within the borders of Western Australia. That wasn’t the plan when I was preparing to leave Melbourne in 1990. Drive across the Nullarbor in my big white Ford

spend a year or two in Perth

(Image source: Rob Dose)
and then go full circle around The Great South Land to return home. I didn’t realise until very shortly before I left Melbourne that I’d been keeping a secret from myself. I didn’t intend to return. Whatever waited for me in Perth, I was moving westward permanently.

Looking ahead into the next thirty years, it’s hard to get beyond the immediate future. Humans certainly seem to need a crisis every so often. And no situation is improved by a government determined to do something and look good while doing it. Let’s hire a security firm because they’re socially inclusive! What can possibly go wrong?

There’s the ongoing conflict over the Presidential election in the United States. I’m trying to keep my head above the ever rising tide of hypotheses, predictions, guesses, and trolling sneers, but it’s not easy. I do believe that massive election fraud was attempted by President Trump’s foes. I hope that he will be vindicated and take a second term. But whether it’s Trump or The Foggy Groper who takes the Oval Office, America is in for a rough ride through ’21 and ’22. And it will take the rest of us along a good part of the way.

While the global outlook is cloudy, I feel uncharacteristically optimistic for myself on several levels. I hit a major target in 2020, completing a Certificate course in Recordkeeping that I began back in 2012. Back in May, with five out of eleven units completed, I vowed that I would have it all done by year’s end. I submitted my final assessment on Dec 30, and got so fired up that I went on a home handyman binge. I tightened down loose metal sheets on the garage roof, fixed a window that wouldn’t close properly, put new netting in screens for two other windows, and started a patch up job in the bathroom. All very satisfying.

As for work, I crossed another frontier back in July when I was selected from a talent pool for a job in a government department. Contractual employment has spread even into the the public service. However, I did get a Christmas surprise three weeks ago when my contract was extended to the middle of the year. This is the first time since 2017 when I’m walking into a new year with a job.

The current role may expire at the end of June; or maybe I’ll find something in another department that takes my fancy. I may spend the closing years of my working life filling temporary roles around Perth. Sounds good to me. Back in 1990 I arrived in Perth just five minutes behind a major recession. Full time work was impossible to find, but I hooked up with a labour hire firm and spent a few years handling everything from car parts to gold nuggets to pet food. I’ve been a man for hire before, and I’m sure I can do it again.

My prospects are as open in 2021 as they were in 1991. The difference is that today I’m confident I can deal with anything that comes along.

I may have spent too much time trawling the internet, but the last thirty years haven’t been a total loss.



  1. Happy Birthday! Sounds like 2021 is starting out well down under!

    • So far, so good. First day back at work, but most of the companies we deal with are still away for another week. So I can sort of ease back into it.

  2. What a gorgeous skyline!

    I’m delighted to learn that things are going your way. Happy birthday!

    • Considering the hassles that beset so many others, I am feeling very fortunate right now. Thanks, Paco.

  3. You sound a flexible, pragmatic kind of guy Greg.Glad the job extension can pay the bills! I think 2021 will suit you fine.

    • Thanks Kev. Flexible and pragmatic – that’s a fair assessment. When I first arrived in Perth I hoped to find work in a bookstore – I had some experience in that field, but Perth is not a book-oriented city like Melbourne, so I took whatever job I could get. That turned out to be on a processing line in a chicken factory. Flexible enough?

  4. Bending but not breaking, spanning poultry to literature.

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