4.30am, my alarm yelled, to wake me from a deep, delicious, not wanting to be disturbed sleep. I groggily weighed up the possibilities of not showing up and going back to sleep, over against the new experience of meeting heaps of people, getting out of my introverted shell and communicating with my words. Somehow, the thrill of a misadventure lured me out of bed, into Earthtrack uniform and out into the cold dark morning. Once I was on the highway, I used my Nissan Patrol’s EarthLight spotties to keep my seedy eyes awake and focused on the bumpy rutted road ahead. There’s something about the silence of traveling alone in the dark, with a brilliantly lit road and the uncertainty of approaching a day of meeting strangers.
Once out of the city and driving in the country, the sun began to rise gently, yet brilliantly. I faced the fact that I no longer need to use my beloved spotties, but I was also thrilled to watch the sun creep up and turn the canola fields into a golden blaze. I sighed, happy with life, content to sit behind caravans and trucks travelling so slow just to enjoy the intangible moment of a sunrise and a Macca’s filled tummy.
Arriving at the field day entrance, tiny butterflies started inside as I contemplated everything that could go wrong. Maybe my ticket wouldn’t work, maybe my blinkers on the Patrol wouldn’t work, maybe the patrol itself will conk out (it wouldn’t be the first time). Thankfully the gate lady was a legend, I got waved in without losing a hair. I cheerfully drove my beastie all the way to the Earthtrack tent, ready to park up on display and start Earthtrack trading for the day.
The tent set up was all already there (set up the night before by the Earthtrack team). It was a little bit damp from the mist that crept in the tent during the night. However, Earthtrack lights are tractor tough, so the mist was essentially just the tears of joy from the earth, because it was able to host such fantastic lights for the night. I stood with baited coffee breath, waiting to greet the first customer, practicing my smile, my facts and figures, and bracing for a lot of traffic. Around 8.15 people started drifting by. Meandering around our tent, I kept looking outside with a little pride at our display cars. It slightly concerned me that the raptor coating on my car kept getting patted by a lot of people walking by. My Patz was getting more pats and affection than she’s ever received in her life! Finally, people came in to find me, the owner of the car. Here’s my chance to sell them lights, I thought to myself, but… the only question they asked was “What is that paint job, I just love it!”. My LED-selling saleswoman heart dropped to my toes. I dutifully answered raptor related questions, whilst putting out a hopeful “Did you see the lights though, aren’t they great?”.
Eventually I thought I’d leave my Patrol to her pats, and I hid in behind the sales desks because I wasn’t at Dowerin to sell Raptor coating. With side curtains of the tent open people started noticing we had highbay lights and flood lights on display on the hay bales. Yes, finally relevant conversations began to start. We were recommending Harry to put the 200W highbays in his 10m high workshop, telling Larry that the Sabre Curve 220W light bar would work insanely well on a tractor, and yes, Gary, IP68 is both water and dust resistant, therefore it’s made for the outside conditions.
The joys of speaking to strangers that wanted to speak to me kept sneaking up on me, and giving me little thrills of delight. These people wanted lighting solutions and we literally had lights that were perfect for their application. Of course, being Dowerin, we couldn’t go there without the red-hot Dowerin deals. The deal brokers were out bright and early hunting down the tantalizing bargains, setting up their workshops with flood lights, magnetic work lamps and highbay lighting. All EarthLight LED lit; warranty endorsed, low wattage, high lumen, quality product. As the day wore on, my 4.30 wake-up started to creep up on me. I caught myself doing my very best to encourage a consumer to buy 150W floods lights, however I could no longer speak the queens English. Having someone look at you like your nuts is humbling. Especially when you tell them that a “150W flood light, was actually a highbay pumping out 2100 lumens, a fantastic light fitting!”, and then realizing your sleepy brain left off the necessary 0. It was 21,000 lumens not 2,100. It’s a floodlight, not a highbay! I was never so thankful that the gentleman was excessively patient with my lack of speech skills and still bought the flood light.
Finally, the droves of humanity thinned out a little come lunch time as they found the necessary water holes and various food delicacies to satisfy their cravings and needs. My heart rate did not drop back down. No. There was a radio announcement I had to gear up for. I took my sister out the front of our tent and got her to grill me with pre-presumed radio questions. Once I was satisfied with the practice, we headed to the triple M station, and discussed various lighting aspects and Earthtrack facts with Terry from Triple M. Terry did his best to ensure I felt at ease as we discussed Earthtrack smoothly. It wasn’t until we went on air that I realized that speaking to the people is harder than it sounds and words that leave the brain don’t always come out the mouth. LED lighting is a highly interesting talking point for me, but second guessing myself, I started the typical human self-doubt and worry with some mistakes I spoke, but just rolled with it, living and breathing lighting in the present.
Once leaving the radio station, I felt like the entire weight of the station was taken off my shoulders. I was now well and truly able to chill and enjoy the marching bagpipe bands, savor a bite to eat and take pleasure in selling more lights for the afternoon.
All through the afternoon legends kept walking into our tent. They wanted spotties, they wanted lightbars, they wanted a chat and above everything they wanted a magnetic torch. My favourite moment was when I witnessed an elderly gentleman sell himself a magnetic work lamp. He had already purchased one years before, clearly it had been working faultlessly for him for a long time. He was in our tent with his mate, he knew all the differences between all our models, and told his friend about all the benefits of them. How they had a tilting head, how you can charge your phone off them, how they stick to metal surfaces, how they’re rechargeable. Eventually he told his friend, “Look, I’ll buy you one, you’ll need it”. I was grinning and nodding along with the entire selling spiel, thinking we should employ him, because he’d make a fantastic rep. I let him buy the work lamp for his friend, thanked him for his purchase and submitted his name into the raffle draw.
As the day was ending, the farmers in their humming V8 Landcruiser’s and Hilux’s were pulling up at the front of our tent, picking up their lighting bargains and heading off into the night. We were both satisfied with the deals and the assurance that we put another lumen in somebody’s life.
As 5.30 came around we were off the clock. We closed the tent for the night, jumped in our handsome display vehicles and did the turtle crawl towards the gate, hazards on, ready to take on the night with our Earth Light Fireblade spotties. A 2-hour drive home was made so much shorter with a Macca’s run through Northam, good company, good music and general good mood.
Honestly, Dowerin was thrilling. The people were genuine, lovely, and enjoyable to talk to. Not only that, the vibe of the place is relaxed, but at the same time charged with the thrill of discovering new things and sheer enjoyment of entertainment, good food, great company.
Will I do it again? Yes, without a second thought!