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Quarterly wrap: 1/4/23

“Do you work for Rabobank now?”

“Have you moved to Sydney?” “You kept those awards on the downlow you sneaky devil!”

Thanks to a few stories on Facebook and Insta without too much explanation, these are all questions/statements we’ve heard in the last week, so we decided the best way to clear the confusion was by putting up a bit of a quarterly wrap about what we’ve both been up to so far in 2023. For those who loved our Weekly Wraps last year, we hope you’re travelling along just fine despite the lack of endless Keith Urban tags, West Coast Eagles hoodie appearances and praise for Kate’s spag bol.

We kicked off 2023 without actually kicking our heels up at all, both having enjoyed a bit of a break from the dancing, and of course, each other. 2022 was a lot of fun, but also a lot of the Nutbush, a lot of last minute phone note dancelist creations, a lot of PetrolSpy app usage, a lot of Claire eating very slowly, and a lot of Kate speaking in her ‘farm voice’, aka very loudly. So come 2023, the fact that the trip was over, really was okay. It was quite the year, and we did all we set out to do and met amazing people, but the return to more normal lives was something which was awfully exciting for both of us.

However, having hit ‘restart’ rather than ‘pause’ on our jobs and place of residency, it wasn’t as easy as slotting seamlessly back into a non-nomadic, non-bootscooting way of life. Kate started the new year renovating an old farmhouse on her parents’ Clifton property. The end result was satisfying, however a large portion of Kate’s clothes are now covered in paint, and she’s had to exercise a huge amount of restraint to not pull up carpets everywhere she goes. Heading up to Rocky to start a new job for CQU in their agri-tech education and extension team, she’s working to develop programs to teach school students about ag, which requires a lot of travel round the country… yes, she is well practiced at that bit…

Claire and Alex had decided last year that Melbourne would be the way to go for them in 2023, but upon getting there, realised that they didn’t love turmeric lattes, traffic or graffiti enough to make them stay. Eliminating places too cold, too busy, or too far away from Qld (but not Qld itself, yet 😉) led Adelaide to be the winning option, so back to the Festival State it was, just in time for the Fringe Festival. 30 rental inspections later (how fun), they snagged a place to call home, and have enjoyed snapping up Marketplace deals across the city since moving in. Claire’s continuing her freelance writing, and has a fair few other projects on the boil, all centred around writing, dancing, or ag.

Things we have both learned, while adjusting back to normality:

  • Unpacking clothes which have been packed up for more than a year is a great way to feel like you’re having Christmas all over again.

  • Phrases like ‘my room is Birdsvilled’ and ‘the clothes situation is a bit Yunta’ are not yet universally known terms

  • Refiguring out what to cook each night takes some adjusting (Claire), and doing the dishes is not fun (Kate)

  • Waking up in the same place each day, is really, really, good.

As for Hoedowns For Country Towns itself, what’s been happening? While the trip was mainly a one-year venture, we agreed that if we were specifically headhunted to teach line dancing at any future events, and we could make it, we would. This led us to Sydney last week, where we were honoured to speak and dance at Rabobank’s Grow2gether Summit, whereby 1600 Rabo employees from all across Aus and NZ were present. Considering our biggest crowd to date had been 104 people (yes Westbury, give yourselves a pat on the back), and we had danced with 2800 people in total last year, an extra 1600 people really threw the stats out, in the best of ways. Moral of the story – bankers are not boring. We had an absolute blast, and are grateful to Rabo for asking us to be involved in the event and looking after us while we were there – staying in the Hyatt was certainly a far cry fancier than staying in the Prado (which we have since sold).

In recent news, we have also been named as a finalist in the 7News Qld Young Achiever of the Year award, in the Connecting Communities category. The overall winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Brissy on 19th May. We’ve also started putting together notes for a book on the trip and will keep you posted on that in due course. And lastly, the Backroads episode on us will air mid-year – we aren’t sure of the exact date yet, but will let you all know when we do! Get ready to see the mighty Taswegians cutting some rugs on the dance floor as part of the episode…

That’s about it from us for now. The relaxation of posting this wrap without worrying service will drop out halfway through is a welcome change, although does take a bit of the fun out of it. Turns out, service in cities isn’t ‘a bit Litchfield’, or ‘a bit Marree’. That’s right, we’ll persevere with our niche bootscooting lingo for some time yet!

Yours in bootscooting,

Kate and Claire.

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