193. Sunday 29th May 2011. A week in Bucasia. No photos this week…

Monday 23rd May

As the title says, there are no photos this week.

Have I been too busy?

Have I been slack?

Have I forgotten to keep the camera handy?

Have I just not found anything that takes my photographic fancy?

Choose one of the above.

In fact during my walking around on my work days I see many things I would like to photograph but carrying a camera along with all the other stuff I carry would be just too much.

I carry, letters, clipboard, pen, sunglasses, hat, mobile phone, blue tooth earpiece for said mobile phone, money, pedimeter and a big bunch of keys.

What a miserable misty wet day. It was not cold, just miserably misty wet.

Did I mention miserable?

I spent some time between showers of rain, installing the ShurFlo Town Water Regulator Inlet. The device works but the fitting on the hose attachment leaks…badly.

The fitting on the hose at the Y fitting also leaks. In that case I turned off the water and will buy new brass fittings in the hope they seal better.

At least we are now on town water, albeit with reduced pressure. When we turn on the tap there is no longer a pump noise just a nice quiet steady stream of water.

Donnis and I took a walk along the beach in the early evening in the misty rain. Quite interesting really, following the edge of the tide, walking up to knees in mud in the gathering gloom. We have never done that before and it was just fun.

Tuesday 24th May

Another work day for Frankieg. We have now been placed on a regular schedule. My days are Tuesdays and Sundays. For some reason I enjoy just delivering the letters on Tuesday and enjoy picking up the completed surveys on Sundays.

Today was brilliantly sunny with a light breeze from the south. My work area allotted today was Lamberts Beach at Slade Point. I could not have wished for a better location. Brampton and Carlisle Islands were so clear it was as if they had moved 12 klms closer to the mainland overnight.

I could see the coal loading terminals at Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay an hours drive south of Mackay. I counted twenty ships, anchored offshore, waiting for their load of coal. That’s not bad considering coal from the mines was held up for a couple of months during the rain and floods earlier this year. In years past I have counted over 50 ships anchored offshore.

I enjoy walking in the sunlight and seeing parts of suburbs I would not see unless I got out of the car and explored. As an added bonus I get paid to enjoy my walk.

Up to a point…

…Dogs.

What is it with dog owners?

Today I met the most bad tempered dog guarding a house. That’s OK, dogs generally guard houses. Except, this dog was on the footpath, outside the gate and very threatening. The Lamberts Beach area seems to have more dogs per capita than any other area I have worked in. Most dogs were safely behind fences or doors and most barked or yapped. A few snarled or growled. It seems though that some dogs just bark all day at nothing in particular. Of course all the dog shit I see on the footpaths makes ya gotta wonder if dog owners have any control over their animals. It seems very few clean up after their K9, as required by local by-laws.

On our way home we stopped at Bunnings and bought brass hose fittings. A bit expensive but they work and will not deteriorate in the sunlight. We now have town water connected instead of pumping from our tanks.

I have not watched any of the episodes of Survivor since last year. I knew there was a series touting the grudge match up between super villains Russel against another villain (huh?) Boston Rob. I thought the series was finished and I had no idea who won. While channel surfing I found the final three episodes were being aired tonight. I discovered bad guy Russel was eliminated on day eight and Rob was still in the running for $1,000,000. Rob may be considered a villain, although I have no idea why. However I like Boston Rob and believe he is a 100% competitor. This was Robs fourth Survivor as well as being in two series of Amazing Race along with his wife Amber. He met Amber on Survivor All Stars in which Amber won $1,000,000. Their wedding was also a TV show. (did you know Amber was voted 50th in the worlds top 100 most beautiful women in 2005 and 73rd two years later?)

Long story short, Rob was the sole survivor last night and won the million dollars. Congratulations to Rob. Amber was on hand with their two children, the most recent being born in December 2010, to congratulate Rob.

Hmmm. I got to bed at 11.30 and slept all the way through.

Wednesday 25th May.

State of Origin.

State against state.

Mate against mate.

The hardest, toughest, fastest game of Rugby League in the world.

For our International followers I will not try to explain Rugby League. There are local competitions and there is a national league. State of Origin is a step above the elite national league where the best players are selected to represent the state of origin where they commenced their professional playing career. NOT the state of origin of their birth.

The two states involved are New South Wales and Queensland. The result is decided by the best of three matches commencing late May and each two weeks thereafter. The only other elite game is to be selected to play for Australia. Generally the players from State of Origin are most likely to be selected to play for Australia.

Queensland has won the last five encounters. Tonight they won round one which is always a good psychological advantage and only have to win one more round to make a record six annual encounters.

Donnis also stayed awake long enough to watch the game.

It is a two blanket night as well as a smaller blanket over Donnis legs as they were particularly cold.

Thursday 26th May

Our neighbour, Maria was talking with me this morning and asked what I was cooking last night as it smelled delicious. It was. I cooked chicken thighs plus tomato paste, herbs and spices, stock, veggies and a couple of handfuls of spirali pasta in the pressure cooker. It also had one more ingredient which I have not eaten since I was a kid. We called them swedes while others called them parsnips. Maria, it tasted every bit as good as it smelled.

I received a call from a job application I made on the weekend. The job is taking urine and or saliva specimens in the workplace, generally mine sites. They are looking for a permanent casual to be on tap on three hours’ notice. I just cannot commit to that sort of schedule as we only have one car.

Awww shucks. That might have been interesting.

The office called this afternoon. Could I come in on Saturday as a couple of people called in who could not work. That means I work all weekend instead of just Sunday. Oh well the money will be handy and the job only has another three weeks to run.

Friday 27th May.

My mobile phone has been doing a “beep beep” every thirty minutes. All day all night. I have no tasks set up and can find nothing in settings which would account for the beeping. I thought it may be because I have blue tooth activated but both devices, one ear piece and a hands free for the car, are both turned off. I have no doubt I will figure it out – eventually.

Today was just a glorious sunny day, little cloud cover and with a cool breeze blowing. Just delightful for sitting in the sun, out of the breeze and reading a book which I did for a little while but started to feel guilty about doing nuthin.

When in doubt or feeling guilty, go for a walk on the beach. Besides, my hip was painful today and I needed painkillers and an anti-inflammatory. While on the walk and as I approached the creek, it was at the bottom or near bottom, of the tide. I sat on a sandbank some 5 metres above the creek level. Later when the tide comes in where I was sitting would be well and truly underwater. I watched the shore birds and one out of place eagle (this one really is an eagle but as yet I am unsure which type) flying in circles above me. It dropped something from its talons then swooped onto the object on the beach and while holding it down with a talon, started tearing at it with its beak. It then picked it up flew around a bit and dropped it again and repeated the holding down and tearing process. I could not see what it was but the seagulls were staying close so I guess it was some largish fish.

I cooked a Tandoori style chicken in the Weber tonight. It was slow cooked for about 90 minutes and was crispy on the outside and tender moist on the inside. The bird was split in two halves. I thought we would eat one half tonight and the other half tomorrow. Hmmm! We had a bit of an appetite tonight as there was just enough left over for lunch. Besides, it was only a small chook. The taste and smell lingered enticingly for hours.

Love those Tandoori spices and the Weber barbecue. It was the first time I have used it this year.

Saturday 28th May

Another glorious sunny day.

Today my work was delivering Survey Packs to households and the location start was only 500 mtrs from the office. However I still walked more than 9 klms today. Late in the afternoon the supervisor asked me to call in. I had delivered about 75% of the packs. He asked if I would take on a second delivery area in the morning as the other worker only managed to start the job before calling in ill. His services have been terminated as he has done this several times. I expect Sunday will be a long and tiring day. We cannot even start early as we cannot start knocking doors until 10am. That means I have at least another 100% delivery schedule, normally done over Saturday & Sunday, to be completed on Sunday alone.

Sigh!

Sunday 29th May

Sigh! A glorious sunny day. It was wet and miserable on Monday and has been fine since. In fact without reading back over each day, I could not recall it rained at the beginning of the week.

Let me give some background to what follows.

Both times when we were at Carmilla Beach for a few days last month, we met a man called David. He is 92 in the shade and lives in his Gazal Caravan towed by his Subaru. He stays at Carmilla for a week and moves away for a few days and then comes back to Carmilla. His needs are simple and he is happy with his life. He is active and aware of the world and uses a mobile phone but not a computer.

Last Sunday on the Macca on Sunday programme, a man called in to say he was camped at Carmilla with his family and mentioned a 92 year old man called David camped beside him. Wow! David got mentioned on national radio.

Last night I received an email from John H who has been travelling this year, in the outback, in his Sunliner motorhome. He has hit the coast and travelling home to Casino NSW. He sent a few photos of his campsite at…drum roll…Carmilla Beach. From his photos I can see he is camped next to David so sent back an email asking him to say hello.

What a small world. Is that weird or not?

It was a long workday today.

I walked 13 klms.

Part of that walking was up a hill allegedly the steepest in Mackay. In fact a resident told me it was the steepest residential street in Oz and the 2nd steepest in the world. The steepest is in NZ.

Hmmm! A Google search shows the NZ street title is disputed and there is no mention of this Oz street in Mackay being in the record books. I will go with steepest in Mackay.

I had to walk it to deliver survey packs to four houses. Views from the top are spectacular. In fact there is a lookout at the end of the street and the coastline is laid out below. Walking back down was a challenge as I always felt I would fall and slide all the way down.

I am writing this post at 2am Monday morning as I was too tired to finish it last night. I woke not feeling well. I had a headache, shakey stomach and trembling legs. I decided to walk to the outside toilet as the cold night air would clear my head.

What the…!

At 2am you do not expect to see anybody else awake in camp. There must be about 50 campsites with an average of two persons per site. In the distance, near the pool there is an all night light and I saw two shadowy figures walking. Then somebody stepped out of a darkened caravan, dressed only in shorts and walked to the ensuite toilet I was heading for. On my way back our neighbours dog started barking and the neighbours woke.

Then Donnis woke wanting to know what was going on.

Sheesh. Guess I was lucky the whole camp did not wake up.

There will be photos next week.

Promise.

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