FRIDAY 25 MAY ALICE SPRINGS
The plus side of the cold Central Australian nights at this time of year is beautiful sunny days.
John spent time downloading emails and dealing with them. It had been a while so this took some time.
I phoned son’s home and connected with daughter in law. Hadn’t been able to get through to either of them last night and wondered briefly if all was well. So it was a relief to speak to her today. I really wanted to find out if grandsons’s parcel, sent from Broken Hill, had arrived. Yes, it had been delivered.
M and I hit the park laundry, early on. We both had loads of grotty clothes bearing some of the Old Ghan Track with them.
After breakfast, drove back into the town centre. M needed to try to track a parcel she’d sent to a friend that had not arrived at its destination, so it was to the PO for her. Later in the day, friend phoned: parcel found. The postie had put it in the meter box!
We drove out to the Head Office of the construction company we’d recently worked for. I met in person several of the people who had only been names on emails, or phone voices, whilst I was Site Clerk over in the Pilbara. It was good to meet up in person. Big Boss was there and we had a chat – mostly about the aftermath of the destructive Cyclone George. Obviously, enquiries were ongoing about that and he said some of the company’s staff had already been questioned. I wondered to myself if we would become embroiled in that, seeing as we were on site virtually throughout the project? BB said that Village 1 was being rebuilt, by a different company. He was adamant that the place had been supposed to be evacuated in the event of a cyclone, and that was why no cyclone shelter had been included in the original plans. He also mentioned that there was a video circulating on the internet, showing men at the camp having a drunken cyclone party – with the walls shaking behind them. It was pleasant to catch up again, even under these rather subdued circumstances.
We had been having issues with the working of the CB radio for much of the trip to date. It was useful to be able to communicate with M, as we were driving, on that. We went to the outlet of the firm that did the comms at the Villages. The boss, who we’d worked with there, was out, so we didn’t get to see him but John bought a new aerial, to see if that fixed the problem.
Our mail was in. John went to collect it, whilst I went to the public toilet nearby. An unpleasant experience, despite the 50c charge to users: the money did not appear to go into cleaning and upkeep!
We all had a Subway lunch, then John insisted that we all go and practice bowls. That made my Achilles start complaining again. John did not do well with his almost new, bright orange bowls. He did better for a few ends after I persuaded him to use mine, light though they were and several sizes smaller. M was rather erratic. She had not been playing the game for long at all.
Fuelled up Truck at Woolworth’s fuel outlet – $1.39 cpl. That did not hurt so much!
There was nothing of note in the mail bag, except for notification that I would receive the $1500 superannuation bonus payment this year. Due to recent Budget measures, that would be doubled. All very good!
I cooked fish for tea – of the frozen packet variety. M and John went off to buy chips to go with that.
There was a flurry then, because John could not find the mobile phone. He had taken it when he went to the PO this morning, but couldn’t remember what he’d done with it after that. There was much hunting, high and low. I had visions of a massive bill being racked up by some opportunist! Eventually, M prevailed upon St Anthony, the patron saint of lost items, and John found the errant item – in his bowls bag! He got very grumpy after all that. I guess we did give him a hard time about it! Glasses, keys, wallet, phone – what next?
It was a really cold night, so I went to bed very early. My heel was very painful through the night, and its matching knee joined the party. Eventually I had to get up and take pain killers.
John played computer games until the early hours.
I did not sleep well!