Sunday, October 29, 2006


I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a country girl. Actually, I don’t think I would have much fun living in regional Queensland without a few key props from urban life: books, CDs & movies, face cream, coffee beans and the particular multivitamins I like I have sent up especially from Brisbane and Melbourne. But I don’t like to give myself a hard time about it; I spent a good six months when we first arrived here, testing out the products that are available in the local shops, before I gave in and decided that it would be easier and better for everyone if I acknowledged that Townsvillians’ tastes run differently to mine, and that I should just order in what I like.

When it came to bathers, it was pretty obvious that what was on sale in the local shops would not do (totally trashy, cheap and ill-fitting to boot). My current costume was clearly not up to a punishing third season, so the only thing was drive to Cairns for a shopping trip.

It was a lovely trip. One hundred-percent-successful, and the best part was christening my new togs at The Boulders (at Babinda just south of Cairns) on the way home.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Big Night

All is abuzz at work today. Cars are being washed down, ratty old garden beds are being weeded and all the dust is being blown out of the carpark, because the CEFO is coming to visit. That’s the C-E-Fuckin-O. Last time we had some hob-nobs from the big city to stay, the mine managers decided that it would be nice for them to have sunset drinks at the edge of the pit. The day before the visitors were due to arrive, dozers were brought in to build a special platform and a marquee was put up upon it. Unfortunately, later in the day, the wind got up under the marquee and blew it over the edge and down into the bottom of the pit. Damn. So down they drove, picked up the tent, dusted it off and tried again.

This time they’re going for a simpler look. They're still going to have drinks at the edge of the pit at sundown, and this time they’re serving dinner for the special guests while the operators continue on into night shift. But they’re not putting up no flappy marquee. They’ve parked up a massive Komatsu 830E dumptruck as a windbreak. That’ll do the trick.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Barbie

My birthday present to Hayden has taken us a step closer to the ultimate Townsville lifestyle. I got him a barbie. I decided on it after a long brainstorming session with a couple of the blokes from work. It went something along these lines:
"Get him voucher for BCF, he'll love ya!"
"Nah... get him a jetski. If a girl got me a jetski, I'd know she was truly committed to the relationship."

After that, a barbie seemed a fair compromise.

What with me being away at work for so long, and a couple of nights earlier in the week being tempered with a bit of wind and rain, it was not until last night that we inaugurated the thing, with a couple of kangaroo steaks and harmless chilli peppers. They were delicious.

Even so, I’m not going to do any more - at present - to propel us further towards the ultimate Townsville lifestyle. I’m shying away from saying the words, because I know that many people from other countries don’t understand how Australians can allow animals from their coat of arms to be farmed and butchered and sold in the shops … let alone actually going out and shooting the roos themselves. Don’t worry everyone, we’ll stop way before we get to that.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Whingers

Rule number one of blogging is: don’t whinge about work. The previous post notwithstanding, I’m trying my best here to comply with the rule.

I have been working some long hours and some long stints all through September and into October, and so you might surmise (and you’d be right) that I have collected up a good number of niggles, complaints and issues. Just appreciate my self-restraint as I whinge about only one of them.

The sad fact is that I’m not going to get my permanent part time job. It’s not that they have retracted the offer of the job. It’s that they are no longer offering it to me in the form in which it was initially offered. You might say I have been gypped. Apparently, there are no part-time jobs in the mining industry, and apparently there never will be.

I’m not too bitter about it though, actually I’m not that bitter at all. A job that is 50% filing lost, is a whole-lot-of-hours-spent-not-filing gained. I’ve still got a couple of stints to go, before I finish up working for the mine entirely. And now that I know that I definitely won’t be asked to work over Christmas and New Year, I feel I have a lot less to complain about straight up.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mine Fog

Lovely sunrise this morning. The dry and the dust and the smoke from the bushfires that are headed our way really bring out the colours as the sun peeks over the horizon, and I love the new east-facing window through which I get to see it.

I’m trying not to tell you what I was up to while I was watching the sunrise this morning, Sunday morning. I’d rather you thought I had been out drinking and dancing all night, or perhaps up early for a camping trip or a long drive … but no, I was filing. My new job is extremely heavy on the paperwork, and I was filing before the sun was up.

Just you think yourself lucky.