Sunday, February 3, 2013

RURAL LOVE STORIES - Part 1 - Annaleis Topham

2012 was the year I shared my own rural romance. 2013 is time for other people to share theirs! Once a month I will try to publish other people's stories.

First cab of the rank is Annaleis Topham, who some of you will know better as the lady behind the blog, 'Teapots and Tractors'. Annaleis hails from a small farming community in Western Australia, and this is her story!
Our ‘Messenger’ Love Story

I still have the very first email I sent my now Husband Richard. It wasn’t particularly nice. He had searched through online profiles on Hotmail looking for country girls in Western Australia. He tells me he contacted 3 girls that day. He picked my profile because it said I worked at CBH – a grain handling facility. (So maybe I was a ‘country’ chick!) He only looked in the ‘a’ section luckily Annaleis started with an ‘a’!

A couple of things had to line up for us to even get into contact. I was teaching by then and hadn’t updated my profile information – I worked at CBH during Harvest so I could go to University. And that first email that he sent me went to my junk folder, which I never checked.

I would’ve deleted it except that the name was “blokeWA”. That made me curious. So I emailed him this.

“May I please first ask if this is a bulk mailing, if not where you got my email from...”

His reply

“Hello ....this is not bulk emailing.I was looking through msn and came
across your profile.U seemed a nice person so i thought i would add u.U
can add me to your messeger if u want.Sorry if i have wasted your
time........take care rich”

So after thinking about it for a couple of days I added him on messenger – remember how everyone used to chat?

We chatted for a couple of months. It always came so easily. Rich then came to visit Geraldton where I was teaching. We met in a Petrol Station. (I know classy hey!) Luckily we clicked in real life like we did online. That was one of the best weekends I have ever had. Quick side note – When I met him he was in his work clothes – should’ve known then that he ALWAYS wears work clothes!
Before we could see each other again harvest started and end of year reports needed to be written. It would take us 6 months to see each other again. We didn’t let it go that long again. Every fortnight one of us would make the 3 hour drive to visit the other.
I decided to take a chance and transferred with my 11 year old daughter to teach in the next town to his. It was a big risk moving my daughter, selling my home and leaving the comfort of the town I grew up in just when I was offered a Merit Select teaching position.

It wasn’t easy. All the things my daughter did after school in Geraldton weren’t available in Moora. We lived in a tiny teachers flat that even her cat didn’t like. It was hard to make friends. However over time, moving two more times to our own home things did get easier. I will say that in the first 3 years I really did wonder many times if it was worth it and nearly packed up and went home. I may not have been as comfortable in the ‘country’ as my profile led Rich to believe.

But as you see I did stick it out and we were married in Geraldton in 2008 and have two more gorgeous kids and 4 chooks. I have some wonderful friends, I still relief teach and find that by blogging I’m building a bigger community than what I have to rely on here.

Best thing I ever did was answering that email in my junk folder! I’m pretty sure Rich thinks the same.

Lastly not everyone that is part of our lives knows how we met. Rich’s parents don’t like online dating – not that we did the whole dating site thing. And I’m not even sure what Rich told them. However people meet if you’re ready to take a chance on love I think go for it. Life is too short and right now where I live there is only one single female! Sometimes you have to make your own love story come true.

I live in a very small town in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. I stay at home and look after my two youngest children. I also do a little relief teaching when I can get a sitter and I blog at I love to craft, read, and play netball, tennis and golf. I also love to get involved – the best way to make friends in a small community.


  1. Aww lovely. Glad things worked out well for you. It is nice to know more about you. Thanks

  2. What a great story and it sounds similar to mine although I am only part way through. You are right being involved is how you become part of the community. I love how you and Rich made your own love story come true.


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