This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2007 Travels February 8


After a very early breakfast, it was back into the bus and off to Hedland airport, where we were booked on the 9am flight to Perth.

This time we really were leaving the Rail Villages for good! I’d had enough of the heat, and poor John really needed to get home and rest.

We left the bus keys on top of the wheel, as usual.

Checked our bags in, hoping they would be properly transferred in Perth and make it back to Melbourne. We each were carrying a  laptop and small day pack. We had to take off our steel capped boots, which we were wearing because we had only taken fairly small cases with us, and there wasn’t room to pack them. Bad planning initially!  John was told to take off his belt to go through the metal detector, so at the other side he was clutching daypack, laptop, boots  – and his pants fell down around his ankles! The man has no hips at all. He had the same problem in Perth.

Our flights were uneventful. Had to spend a couple of hours hanging about Perth Airport, waiting for the connecting flight.

We got into Melbourne at 7pm, their time. It was a very long day – but we were being paid for ten hours of travel, so that was some recompense. Son picked us up and drove us home.

Melbourne in summer seemed cold by comparison with where we had been.

We sat up late, talking with M and drinking wine.

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2007 Travels January 18


Two more SPQ units arrived. Of course, having buildings trucked in again meant that the traffic controllers had needed to be re-activated, to sit at the corner all day, waiting……

Traffic contollers would sit all day looking out on this…..

Two of our workers went to RV1 to do repairs of assorted faults there.

Other workers were digging up and removing the wrongly placed cement spurs in Pod 3.

John took the other Acco load of rubbish to Hedland. I set up a new Variation Order for the tip trips – thought I’d seen the end of that, last year.

One of the workers decided not to return after his break. He’d found the heat too much.

Whilst FMG may have received Heritage approval to dig rubbish pits, they did not have an excavation permit to dig one at RV2. The pit dug at RV1 was shut down because it was not fenced. Talk about red tape.

I was well into a routine here, now. Early to bed, of course, because of the early start in the mornings. Up at 5am, into the work gear, over to the mess for breakfast. I usually had some fruit, then toast and marmalade. The toast was DIY, on the big rotating toasting machine. John often had a cooked breakfast, but that was not for me. After a cup or two of coffee, I would pack my lunch crib – salads, cheese, sometimes a piece of frittata or quiche with that, or some cold meat. Then, to work at the office at 6am. Fire up the genset if one of the men had not already done it, hoping that someone had filled it!!

Do needed reports and other paperwork in peace for about three hours – until it was business hours in any places I needed to contact, and especially it was when Head Office fired up, and the first of what would usually be several emails and faxes per day, hit the desk.

I usually ate my lunch at my desk. It was too hot to venture out to my room, most of the time, and I only had half an hour anyway. I did have to trek back to my room if I needed to use the toilet though, and it was a fair way between office and room, although not as far as it had been at RV1.

Work finished at 6.30pm. Back to room. Shower. Put on casual clothes. Replace heavy work boots with sandals. To the mess for dinner. Back to the room. Wrote diary, read, wrote letters on the laptop. Drink  a scotch and water night cap. Bed by 9pm.