THURSDAY 19 JUNE ADELS GROVE
I was on tents. John on amenities/yard work. By the end of the day, he was complaining of sore feet. It was a while since he’d had to walk around so much.
F broke John’s canoe takings record – by 90 cents. There was those strange cent amounts again.
It was a pleasantly paced day for me. There were only two tents to service, clean and wash linen for. I spruced up some other tents – in the back row area – that had not been used to date, this season. They would be needed for the coming palaeontologists visit. I darned a couple of small holes in sheets. Helped B fix the plastic window pane on a tent, by super glueing a piece cut from an old tent, over the hole.
Managed to get my washing done too, since there wasn’t much tent linen to do.
There had been a card for me in yesterday’s mail bag, from Australia Post. It said they were holding a parcel addressed to me, because it was $3 short on postage. It would be returned to sender if I did not collect it within 5 working days! This seemed rather a contradiction to me – wouldn’t it therefore cost more to return it to sender, than the postage that was owed?
Apart from that theoretical issue, this also posed some practical problems for me. I had no idea who the parcel was from. Nor what it might contain. Or its importance.
I phoned the number given on the card. Much rigmarole ensued. I tried to explain that I was too far from the post office to go in and pay the debt. It was then suggested that I write a cheque and mail it, forthwith. I said that the mail plane only came once a week, a that was yesterday, so by the time my cheque reached the post office, the parcel would have gone.
I had assumed that I was speaking to someone at the Mt Isa Post Office, but it soon became clear that it was to some minion in a large city, who had never been bush and knew nothing of life beyond the metropolis. She refused, initially, to believe that my mail came by plane. Or that anyone could actually be 400kms from a post office! I was accused of trying to pull her leg. I don’t know if I actually managed to convince her of my reality, but in the end it was agreed that the office lady from the tour company in Isa, could collect the damn thing – after I had faxed an authorization through. Poor K was always having to run messages for Adels !
The parcel in question eventually arrived, via K, with the next company tour group. It turned out to be a bag of mail from home, earlier than per our set routine. House sitter had gotten her weeks out of kilter. As well as her postage rates!
The whole episode on the phone had provided some entertainment for the boss, who was working in the office area at the back of reception, and V, who was on reception, who could hear my end of the conversation, and the increasingly exasperated tone of voice. “Yes, the mail really does come on a plane” “No, the plane lands on our airstrip…” (I think she thought I was suggesting the letters were dropped out of the plane window, or something!) “It comes in a big bag……” and so on.
Our staff numbers had been augmented by the arrival of another couple, who would be here for several weeks, over the busy period – they hail from Victoria too – J and D. Also with “old F” – someone’s relative, who would do some odd jobs about the place, mostly canoe repairs, in return for keep. The canoe repairing was almost a full time job in itself.
The weekly supply truck drove in at 7pm. Boss decreed that we’d unload in the morning. The truck had to run its generators all night, of course. It really was noisy. Next morning, there were complaints from tourists, again.