THURSDAY 20 JULY TO MONDAY 24 JULY LITCHFIELD
On Thursday, boss 1 ordered John to clean out the grease trap outside the kitchen – by plunging his bare hands into it and hauling out all the accumulated gunk. John refused to do it, if he could not use tools and gloves to do the job. Boss berated John for being squeamish, but backed himself into a corner by doing so, because he then had to do it himself, that way. It was an absolutely revolting job.
After that, it was a usual sort of weekend period.
Told the bosses we were going to leave. Did not tell boss 1 the real reason – that we could not work continuously with him – but did hint at that to the other boss. The latter was not happy, of course – well, neither of them were, though boss 1 wouldn’t show it. But we had already lasted a couple of months longer than any other employees they’d ever had, a telling fact in itself.
However, I had also managed to present them with a solution to the cook problem, for the time boss 2 was planning to be away. I had been in touch by email with H, who I had worked with at Adels in earlier times. She and husband D had been travelling in WA and were now not too far away from here. They were interested in topping up their funds. They knew the place and the men from working nearby last year – it was H who put us on to this job in the first place. So, they were prepared to come and replace us.
I only had one reservation about this arrangement. Felt that H did not know the real boss 1 – she had told us he was a charming man – and it would be a real surprise for her, if he revealed the self we had been working with. Could only hope he would control himself, in the light of really needing the help.
Boss 1 was really happy with the solution and substitution. He knew of D’s abilities from last year and said he would get him to help build some needed structures. In particular, he wanted to fit a coolroom container outside, opening through the window wall of the kitchen, so there would be no more need for the daily trek to fetch goods from the school down the road. This modification would, however, reduce the already limited bench and prep space. Not my problem!
M would leave a few days before us, planning to meet up with friends who were travelling up that way, before catching up with us again in Darwin, where we planned to go after here.
French John, one of the WOOFERS, who had been here for some time, was leaving at the weekend. On his last night, a group partied on in the cafe, after closing time, to farewell him – led by boss 2. The other boss was in Darwin, but due back next day. M went to the party for a while, but then left them to it. We had been too tired to go at all.
When M turned up to work next morning, she found a body out on the lawn! French John! It gave her a big fright. He was out cold, but still breathing. She managed to slightly rouse him and help him over to his tent at the safari camp, to finish sleeping off his indulgences.
Then, she found chaos in the cafe. They had apparently been playing indoor cricket – with fruit, mostly oranges, which had not proved to be very durable cricket balls. Red wine had somehow been spilled on some of the window curtains. She cleaned up, and washed the curtains. Later, she thought up an excuse for B as to why she’d suddenly decided to wash curtains.
By the time I started work, the cafe was pretty much back in order again. But boss 2 was very late turning up to work and was not a happy man – he had a huge hangover.
Monday night J and M went to Batchelor to bowls. John took some letters I’d written, to mail there. He put 20 litres of fuel in Truck, in Batchelor, at $1.56cpl.
At bowls, M and John committed themselves – and maybe me – to play in the Rum Jungle bowls team at an annual grudge match against Humpty Doo, called the Rumble in the Jungle! It would be held at Humpty Doo in August or September. So that kind of committed us to staying in the area until then.