Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I’m really enjoying my Book Group book for this month: Affection by Ian Townsend. It’s a real pleasure to read, and I didn’t even understand that phrase (surely reading is always a pleasure?) until I had waded through the last five or six bland book group books before this one. No offence to the people at CAE Bookgroups, but why did you send us such bland books? (Thoroughly Decent People, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Mansfield Park and I can’t remember any of the others). And then why did you bang every skerrick of fun out of them with those humourless question-and-answer group discussion booklets?

Affection is set in Townsville in 1900, during a plague scare. Partially it’s fun just reading a book set where you live (I loved the Tasmanian Babes Fiasco for the same reason. In the climax scene, the ‘heroes’ tore down the street where I was living in Paddington, past our front room so to speak, in hot pursuit and with Ride of the Valkyries blasting from speakers mounted on the roof of their milk truck. That was cool.) In this book, the protagonists are constantly dashing from the hospital (which is just down the road from us, and at this moment being converted into art deco ocean-view apartments) out to the beachside suburb of Pallarenda, where they quarantined the plague victims back in the day. I never understood before this, why Pallarenda was so far out of town on its own.

I recommend this book if you want to know what life was like in Townsville in 1900. If you’re wondering what Townsville is like these days, just substitute those galloping horses and carts for hotted-up holdens and fords.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yeah mate

One thing you southern city folks need to understand is that up here in the North, we don’t need a special day to be Australian. We don’t need a special day get out and drive around in our utes and proudly display the flags – the Australian flag, the Eureka flag and the Bundy rum flag. It’s not just one day of the year that we go down to the local pool, cos christ it's hot, and let our tattoos and our guts hang out while we sit on the lane ropes in the deep end and yell at our loved ones to bring us a cigga. Not just one day that we take the kids to the park for a barbie, and while they run around and scream like maniacs we jam our hats down hard on our heads and crack a couple of tinnies.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s always Australia Day up here. We really don’t need any further encouragement.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

That awkward in-between stage

Hayden has applied for the job (his boss’s job) that he has been acting in for a while now. I have applied for a permanent job out at the zinc mine. We are both waiting to find out what we’ve got before we set a date for our wedding and really get started on the organising of it. In the meantime I’m at home alone during the day, trying to imagine what I will wish I had done with my free time beforehand, if I do end up getting the job I have applied for. Will I wish I had spent the days reading in bed? Will I wish I had gone to more yoga classes or aquarobics? Unfortunately, I am quite superstitious about these things and even though I know that what I spend my time doing this week has absolutely no bearing on whether or not the HR Department decides to give me the job, I’m still pretty sketchy about behaving as though I have already been given it. What to do?

In the meantime, the wet season has started. After about ten months of continuous fine-and-sunny, Townsville is at a sopping standstill once again. Our lounge room is crammed with dripping washing, the stormwater drains are overflowing and our front garden has transformed into a big pond.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I was so bored sitting at the bottom of that beautiful waterfall in New Zealand. Hayden has trained me not to expect to hang around too long at any one spot when we are travelling, and plus it was nearly lunchtime so why were we still there?


Ohh... cos he was getting the guts up to ask me to marry him.

I said yes, of course.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Back from NZ, and back to work at the zinc mine.

I am working in a different office temporarily, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. When I went to get my cheese and biccies snack from the office fridge, I saw there was a sign on the door: Fridge Pickers Wear Big Nickers.

Not cool.

I will be back here again soon, to tell you of our Christmas adventures.