This morning when the girls and I arrived home from singing lessons, we were greeted by the sight of an old white ute sitting on the driveway. Callum, the very proud owner of the ute, was standing next to it.

“What do you think, Mum?” asked Callum , eager to give me a guided tour of his new vehicle.

“Well…It's... big... and... is that rust?”

“Only surface rust, Mum,” he reassured me. “Look at the bull bar. It’s bigger than the one on your van.”

“I bet that ute has been used to hunt kangaroos. That could be the reason for the bull bar,” I said.

“Or pig hunting,” said Callum.

“That ute has probably been to a number of bachelor and spinster balls, and rodeos too. You’ll have to get yourself an akubra and some cowboy boots.”

“No way!”

“How old is it?”


“It makes my van look new,” I remarked, as I walked past my 24 year old vehicle, and into the house.

Callum followed me. His eyes were sparkling as he continued to tell me about his new vehicle and all the plans he had for it.

“You sound like a happy boy with a new toy.”

“I am!” Callum grinned.

Then Andy arrived home, with the girls who’d been swimming. Callum had to give him the grand tour too.

“How did you get it home?” Andy asked. The ute is a manual. Callum has only ever driven automatic cars before.

“I drove it. I didn’t stall it as often or kangaroo hop, like I did the other day when I took it for a test drive.  On the whole I didn’t do too badly. I admit I almost ran over Mr and Mrs B at the shopping centre because I couldn’t find the right gear.”

“Did they realise it was you who was driving?”

“I think they did. They waved at me.” I hope it was a wave and not a shake of the fist.

“ And I had a bit of a misunderstanding with another pedestrian at a junction. I put my arm out of the window to indicate right, and she didn’t realise that meant I was about to make a right hand turn.”

“She probably thought you were waving hello,” I said.

“Why didn’t you use the indicator?” asked Andy.

“The right indicator stick is missing. At the moment, I can only go left… unless I indicate right with my arm. Wasn’t it lucky it is the right one and not the left one that is missing? I wouldn’t be able to put my left arm out the window.  I guess I’ll need to get that fixed .

“I’d make that a priority,” advised Andy.

Callum nodded. “I’ve already priced a new indicator stick up.” 

"So what else needs fixing?"

"There's no inside door handle on the passenger side, so you can't open the door from the inside. I could always climb through the window though... Did you see the sun visor? All it needs is screwing back in position."

"Sun visor? Not many cars have sun visors! Didn't they go out of fashion?" I added,  "It seems to me, you've got a lot of work ahead of you."

“I admit the ute doesn't look very good at the moment, Mum,” said Callum, "but when I’ve restored it, it will be worth a lot of money. Holden Kingswood utes are classic cars.”

A little later, Callum said, “I didn’t know what you’d say about the car, Mum. I was a bit nervous. You took that much better than I thought.”

“What did you expect me to do, Callum? Jump up and down and say, ‘Why on earth did you buy that?’”

“Well, no. You aren’t the sort of person who does things like that.”

“It’s your life and your money, Callum. As long as you realise you're only allowed to park two cars on our driveway…”

“Yes, Mum! I’ve got another idea about how to sell my Commodore…”

What do I think about Callum’s new ute? Not much really in its current state. But if he restores it… I just might ask him if I can take it for a drive.

What do I think about Callum? I don’t understand his passion for cars. If I had his money I'd spend it differently... but I do admire the way he accepts challenges, his sense of adventure, his willingness to try new things. I doubt many people would take a manual car out for a test drive and then drive it home alone, when they’ve never driven one before. Callum never worries about making mistakes and appearing foolish: “I’ll give it a go. I’ll soon learn.” That seems to be his motto. He should go far.

"That's the very last car I will ever buy, Mum!"

Somehow I don't really believe that. I wonder why.

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  1. Your Callum sounds a bit like a male Pippi, at least their mottoes are alike: "That sounds fun. I never did that before, I'm sure I can do it". For me a car is a thing on four wheels which - like our own old 10-persons model - takes you from where you are to where you want to be without too much trouble in between. ;) BUt I realize it is a passion for some. MY husband is totally indofferent, he does not even drive, and my sons seems asyet totally uninterested in cars. The only one who so far has been able to tell a VW from a Mercedes was my daugther ;)

    1. Uglemor,

      I could just see Callum setting on adventures like Pippi!

      I am like you. A car is something that gets me from A to B. I'd prefer a reliable vehicle, and if it is economical on fuel that is a bonus. My van is 24 years old and runs well. A new car would be nice but I don't yearn after one. As Callum seems to like old cars, maybe he'll buy my van off me when I no longer need it!

      God bless!

  2. This was fun to read, Sue :-)

    I wrote a long post before and lost it. Now I can't remember what I said! I think it was something along the lines of: it takes me back to my uni days when my friends had cars like this. That was before they were all sold to pay off debts or were ordered off the road. Then, everyone took to the buses:-(

    God bless, Sue:-)

    1. Vicky,

      I'm sorry your first comment disappeared. That must have been very frustrating. I'm happy you didn't give up, and wrote a second. Aren't I a lucky sister?

      I guess we were all young once and not quite as sensible as we are now. I try and remember that when Callum does something like buy an old pig hunter's ute!

      Thank you for reading the boring bits as well as my proper posts. I had this crazy idea last night: create a blog just for my boring bits. Then I told myself not to be so silly (did I just say something about growing up and becoming sensible?). I'll just add ATBBits in amongst the usual stuff, and hope no one notices.

      God bless!

  3. I was quite confused at first that he was happy it was the right indicator stick that was missing until I realised that you are driving on the left :)

    1. Miu,

      I never even thought about the differences between driving customs in different countries! Yes, you are right. We drive on the left hand side of the road, like in Britain. I guess I wouldn't do a very good job if I drove in Germany. I would probably forget which side of the road I was meant to be on!

      Thank you for your comment. I always love hearing from you.

      God bless!

  4. Very cute post, right turn signal, no handle on the door :) My kids spend their money on their passions too and I don't always understand. My oldest buys computer related items. He just bought a circuit board and wants to make his own computer like he saw on the Internet. Someone made a homemade computer in some sort of plastic box. Then my second oldest likes pets. Every birthday or Christmas or when he has money saved up, he wants more hamsters and fish and little animals for his room. I guess for me, it is books :) Our library has a used bookstore so I figure if a book doesn't work out, it only cost me 50 cents or a dollar so no biggee -Gina

    1. Gina,

      I have been thinking about your comment. It seems our children have passions and that is good! While they are spending money and fiddling around with their cars, computers, pets... they are learning. Actually I think playing around with something that interests you is the best way to learn. I could never fix or modify a car so, although I sometimes smile at Callum's fixation with cars, I am in awe of what he can actually do. Passions are good!

      Like you, my passions don't cost much money. I tend to use the computer and write. Then again I like Kindle books too. I usually share those with the girls though. Occasionally I spend money on fabric or wool so I can make clothes for the girls, but I tell myself that is practical. Everyone needs clothes!

      It's always good to chat.

      God bless!

  5. “I’ll give it a go. I’ll soon learn.”

    I love Callum's motto. That kind of attitude will take him far in life for sure. : )

    1. Stephanie,

      Yes, it's certainly a good motto for life. The only problem is Callum's girlfriend isn't so keen to travel in the ute while he is at the 'I'll give it a go' stage. She is very sensible and wants to wait until Callum has actually learnt how to drive the vehicle properly!

  6. Hi Sue,
    Okay, I'm going to ask what may very well sound like a dumb question but I've never seen a truck quite like this:

    What exactly is a "bull bar" for? (Assuming that the backwards bench looking thingy on the front is the bull bar.) Is it there in case you hit a large animal? Yes, I'm serious :) And what does it have to do with hunting kangaroos?

    You can probably tell we don't have these up here! Maybe down in Texas but I'm thousands of miles away from there.

    1. Mary,

      It's not a dumb question at all! There are so many differences between life in Australia, America, Britain, Denmark, Germany... Those are the things I find really interesting.

      Yes, the bull bar is that large metal bit on the front of the ute. And you are quite right: it's there to protect the vehicle from damage by animals. Kangaroos are very strong. They can do enormous damage if a car hits one. Andy had a collision with a kangaroo, a year or so ago, and his car was written off: It had so much damage it wasn't worth fixing. The kangaroo wasn't even that large. It just jumped out onto the road in front of Andy when he was driving at 80 km/hr and there was nothing he could do to avoid it.

      Kangaroos don't always move in the direction you expect them to. We came across one, not so long ago, as we were driving along the road that leads into our village. The kangaroo was in the sandstone cutting, where the road is bordered on both sides by tall walls of rock. Andy had to drive very slowly, herding the animal along the cutting until it came out onto a section of road where it could escape into the bush. All the time we were very aware the kangaroo could have darted towards us instead of away. I guess the same thing could happen on a kangaroo hunt. I have no experience though, never having hunted kangaroos or even feral pigs!

      God bless!

    2. Hi Sue,
      Thanks for the information! We could really use bull bars up here because people hit deer and moose all the time. I don't know why there aren't any.

      Squirrels can't make up their minds either :) Of course, kangaroos are much larger!

      God bless you too!

    3. Mary,

      Moose, deer and squirrels? Now I am thinking that kangaroos sound rather commonplace. I'd love to see a moose, but not on the road!

      God bless.

  7. Hi Sue, I think it's great you're supportive of our son's decision. If he has a passion for restoring cars, then he should do it! If it turns out to be too much work or too expensive then he'll know that at least he tried it. I've never heard of a Ute or a bull rider. Thanks for the scoop! God bless!

    1. Noreen,

      I think you are quite right: We should support our children in their passions. Passions can lead to other things. Callum is talking about doing a car mechanic's course. I would love him to be able to earn money from doing something he really enjoys.

      Each country seems to have a language of its own. Kari was teaching me all about purses and cell phones the other day. I find these things very fascinating. I am guessing you might call a ute a pickup truck.

      God bless!


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