The Plumber Arrives
Harry always said that Jeff had a heart as big as Western Australia, and for the first time in his life, Jeff was physically finding out just how big WA was. Never all that keen on flying, Jeff has taken the train from Sydney to Perth. It had taken forever, but he’d enjoyed the changing scenery. Staying in the city just long enough to pick up a decent set of wheels, he’d set off for the long drive up the coast to Port Auckland.
As he drove, he wondered why an old Aussie whaling village was named after a city in the land of the flightless bird.
Jeff had answered an ad in the trade papers for a resident plumber in the new community that was Port Auckland. Sydney held nothing for Jeff anymore since he’d lost Harry, so he saw no reason not to give it a go, although he was a bit surprised that the employer was advertising in the Sydney trades for a job on the other side of the country.
He sailed through his interview, and within a week he’d been told the job was his, if he wanted it. His new boss, who he’d yet to meet, paid his travel expenses, even though he thought it odd that Jeff wouldn’t fly, and had offered to pay for his new Ute. Jeff declined that offer. He’d been left a bit in Harry’s will, and the house had been sold, giving him more than enough for the Ute, and perhaps even enough to get him a modest place to live if he decided to stay.
There had been a note with his travel documents telling him that there was a good pub in Little Timor that had rooms to rent. His new boss had booked one for him until he decided if he wanted to stay. After the long drive up from Perth, he needed somewhere to rest his head.
The next morning, refreshed after a good sleep and a slap up brekkie, Jeff headed out for Port Auckland. The landlord had pointed him in the right direction telling him that he'd soon know if he missed it, as he's be in the ocean. It was just a short drive, and Jeff soon saw why a plumber was needed in the village. Could he really call the tumbledown wrecks of cottages a village? There was a lovely traditional stone cottage right by the little quay that looked both new and like it had been there forever. Jeff pulled up by the garden gate and got out of the Ute.
The front door opened, and a lovely young lady stepped out. "G'Day, you must be Jeff."
"I guess I must," Jeff smiled in reply.
"I'm Georgina. Please come in and meet Gerard."
Jeff followed her inside the cottage and was greeted by a tall, handsome man who was drying his hands on a towel.
"G'Day, Jeff. I see you've met Georgie. I'm Jurd Campbell, your new boss. How was your trip?"
Jeff shook Jurd's hand and grinned.
"What?" Jurd enquired.
"All the way from Sydney, I've been wondering about the name of this place. After meeting you, I now know. You're a Kiwi aren't you?"
"Sure am, is that a problem, mate?"
"Not unless you barrack for The Warriors," Jeff laughed in reply.
"No, mate, you're safe. I was brought up with union, so the Blacks are my first love, but living in Sydney gave me the chance to switch codes. I'm a born again Souths man now."
"Aw, good onya, mate. Looks like we'll get on great. I was looking at your stonework by the way. Just how think are these walls?"
"18 inches, Jeff. It keeps the place cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I stayed with a mate in Yorkshire for a while and his place was built like this, generations old, but cosy. I thought I'd give it a go out here."
"This is a big work in progress, Jurd. Will all the properties be like this one?"
"Don't know, Jeff. I'm offering plots for sale, and also building some rental places, for either holiday lets or for people who don't want to commit to buy. I'm offering my services as architect free of charge to anyone who buys a plot, but it will be up to them what kind of design they want. I just hope they will want to keep it traditional rather than futuristic. One things for sure, each house will need your plumbing skills."
"I'm pleased to hear that, Jurd. I may even by looking at maybe renting or even buying a small plot, if the price is right."
"No worries, Jeff, you'll get employee's discount, mate. Shall we have a chat over a cuppa?"
"Ripper," Jeff smiled, as he followed Jurd into the rustic kitchen.