Mayfield Ute

My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were farmers.

Growing up, on long family trips through the West Australian landscape, I listened to my parents chatter about the farms we passed, noting the condition of the crops and livestock. Their disapproval of messy farms always struck me — paddocks littered with car bodies, rusted wired and corrugated iron, and other "rubbish" was akin to dirty clothes knee-deep on a bedroom floor.

So many years later, I catch myself seeing through their eyes, criticising the "messiness" as I drive around the Yass Valley or travel with my husband. Yet, at the same time, I revel in the "junk" — it's a photographer's delight, not to mention nostaglic to see the wrecks of cars that were the mainstay on the roads of my childhood or derelict buildings that must have been built when my grandfather was a child.

I snapped this ute at Mayfield, a local farm on which my friend Judy was caretaker until recently. Grafitti-covered and roughly treated, it's just the kind of vehicle that farm kids learned to drive in, and spend their weekends tearing about in.

It might now be sitting idle in a paddock by the shearing shed, but I bet it still works.

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