Friday, July 28, 2006


One of the less-romantic things about Hayden and me as a couple is that we function really well as a team. Come on, it’s got to be more romantic to be passionate yet dysfunctional, don’t you think? Teamwork just makes everything manageable. For example, Hayden is really good at cooking dinner and I am happy to do a fair amount of washing up. Also, he’s really good at earning a living while I am content to potter around the house all day in my jammies. Perfect teamwork.

Unfortunately, the last couple of days we’ve both been off sick. It was my fault, because I brought home the most disgusting flu from the mine; by the time I came home I had I lost my voice completely and Hayden couldn’t hear me whispering to him to STAY AWAY from me.. so of course he has come down with the same thing, and it has really mucked up our teamwork arrangement. Basically, I’ve had to do everything for myself. It’s been exhausting.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another Day

Same walk, same long meditation past sparkly blue ocean and the same absent breeze. The sameness of the warmth and light and muted sounds remind me of a school day, skived off sick.

The same troupe of new mums power-push their strollers and gossip to whittle baby weight. These same mums, later, must be back at work cos then it’s grandma’s turn to take the kids in her crinkly hands and go down to the beach. There’s nobody school-age or work-age but me.

A skydiver wheels down to land, incredibly, on the same thin lick of sand. Nobody has looked up though. It happens every other day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sun days

At home again, and alone during the day with nothing to do but think up ways to appease Hayden for my going away so long. I wandered up and down the beach today, thinking perhaps that I could impress him with a winter pudding? Because if now is not mid-winter, then I don’t know when is. The beach was strewn with deck chairs and sun hats and the smell of coconut oil wafted up from warm limbs .. occasionally we talk very unspecifically about one day moving to the South Island of New Zealand - Hayden has a thing for his old university town and I have a thing for new places - but I secretly wonder if we haven’t been just a little bit spoilt for that. Still, there’s ice-cream in the freezer. It’s dying to get out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Home again

I’ve got laryngitis. I've lost my voice.

That’s why it's gone all quiet on this blog.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I love slang. One of the reasons why I love travelling and trying out different jobs in different industries is that I get to learn a whole batch of new slang each time.

Here are a couple from my recent time on the mine:

1. Parked up

When a truck or a bulldozer breaks down it gets parked up on the side of the road, waiting for maintenance. What I love is when this term gets spread around to include larger bits of machinery for example when, a couple of days ago, the whole rock-crushing facility here (the size of a factory) was parked up for an afternoon.

Even better is when it gets applied to people. The following is an example of real-life mine dialogue:

Supervisor: Where's Goose? Is he coming in today?
Operator: No boss, he crook. He parked up at home.

2. "He's got a brand new smile"

If you get into a fight in the bar and you rock up to work the next day with a tooth missing, that's what everyone's going to be saying about you.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I had thought that by not bringing a camera with me on this trip to the mine, I would force myself to sit down and describe in words what's been going on.

Eh, but it's just work.

I like it, though, how on Saturdays and Sundays the mine somehow maintains an air of 'weekend', even though we're all working our usual long day. Something to do, I think, with the fact that the upper-bosses aren't around to generate stress for us minions.

Today is our first sunny day after a couple of rain. The rain was beautiful shining on the gum trees up at the camp, but down in the mine it just made mud. A lot of slippery mud.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Less Said in Haste

Our street is one of many in Townsville that are covered with pink flowers at the moment. It's just like it was almost a year ago when we first came here on a flying visit.

I thought about that a bit (not too much) this morning as I took a walk along the shore to Rowes Bay. I wanted to get some snaps of the water to take with me when I go back to the mine at Lawn Hill. I'm putting one here mainly for myself, to look at when I'm shut up in that donger of an office in the shade of a massive pile of dirt, for twelve hours a day. (I am looking forward to going back, truly. But I do admit that I can't really understand why).

Another thing I want to take with me this time is an ipod or similar. Off to purchase that now.


I reckon I was right to get all sentimental about leaving Melbourne in the midst of spring last year. Regardless of the pink profusion above, I knew that I was going to miss the 'in between' seasons.

I was browsing through the atlas this morning (don't worry, I'm not going anywhere) and I came accross two specimens of delicate spring flowers that I had tucked away near Canada and the arctic circle at the back of the book. The smaller of the flowers looks particularly pathetic, it was squished between the pages in an inelegant way. There was no way they were going to survive the harshness of Queensland.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Italy V. The Rest of the World

I am still 'jetlagged'. Every morning I wake up like a lamp at around 4:30am, in a way that I never did when I was out at the mine. This morning at least I made good use of it and got up to watch part of the Italy/Germany game.

The Italians are my favourite footballers because of the floppiness of their hair - I have a weakness for such hair, and in the past have been blinded to some pretty serious character flaws because of it - and the drama with which they fall to the ground at the slightest provocation. They do those two things better than anyone else. In fact, they do them so well that I can't believe that they manage to be good footballers as well. I'm backing them to win.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Visiting Toomulla

Yesterday we visited the home of some friends in a beachside village to the north of here. It was one of those times when I got a glimpse of what life could be like if I was somehow freed from my innate inability to settle down in one place: a house facing the beach, a beautiful garden, all matching utensils and plates ...

Later, I took a quick look at Marny's exhaustive itinerary and I knew with a sinking feeling what it was that I really want.