225. Sunday 20th November 2011. Another week of painting at North Mackay and the countdown to our departure begins…

Monday 14th November

Painting gives me a sense of “get me outta here”.

It is boring.

The only enjoyment is when it is all over and you can look back and say “I did that”.

Today the biggest event of the day was the walk around the GP observing my fellow walkers/runners. Some are regulars and I see them every morning. Some smile and say “gidday” or “good morning” and I feel they mean it. They look happy and comfortable within themselves. Then there are the runners, intent upon their running and oblivious to everybody around them. They wear their iPod ear pieces and as they bounce along their eyes suddenly look down or sideways, anywhere but at you. They do this so they do not have to acknowledge you are there. Yeah. I know. It’s a pain saying “good morning” to everybody, sometimes twice but I only encounter about 25 people at the max, so saying “good morning” is no hardship. There is one tall thin woman who turns her whole head to avoid acknowledging other people. She is tall and stooped at the shoulders and she has a beaked nose. I imagined her as a South American bird of prey, the Condor.

See? I toldja painting was boring. I get my enjoyment out of watching other people.

Sigh!

We will not be here much longer. Another two weeks at most – unless someone puts a “Spaniard in the Works”. If you do not know what that means, have a look at, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Spaniard_in_the_Works

Tuesday 15th November.

Another day, much like any other. these last couple of weeks. I walked the GP and painted.

Wednesday 16th

I was up and walking the GP a half hour earlier than normal.

Earlier this year, around March, I mentioned I was going on a diet. It is a low carb diet. Not a no carbs diet, just low carbs. There are days when I slip into old ways and have some potato. For the most part the diet was reduce intake of potato, rice, pasta, bread, biscuits, pastries, pies, crackers, potato chips, corn chips and so on. Things like corn, pumpkin, carrots, are also carbs. Sugar, is converted to carbs. What the body cannot use it stores – as fat. My weight has been reducing slowly, as planned and as the CO-PILOT has recently finished her diet, she has also slipped backwards, so both our weights remain pretty constant. I have used some features of her diet such as small serving of protein and one vegetable, preferably leafy green. I also increased my salad intake and often had a fruit salad for lunch. Although high in sugar it is also high in fibre. Anyway to cut to the chase…today…Ta Da…I broke the 70Kg barrier. My weight which has hovered around 71, 72 Kgs for weeks has reduced steadily each day until this morning it was 69.8Kg. My trade mark “belly” is reducing in size and already my trousers and shorts no longer fit. According to sources my weight should be between 58 to 72 Kg.

Hmmm. Perhaps I can afford to lose just a little more weight?

Tonight we dined with my sister Sandra and her man, Dave at their favourite Indian restaurant in Mackay. The food was good but I suspect I will pay for eating it. Pay for it in the sense that my stomach will grumble and growl in protest at the richness and all those carbs. We also said our goodbyes for the second time in a year.

Thursday 17th November.

Woke at 4am with my stomach growling, and music going around in my head. ( I have had the iPod playing on loop while we work during the day and when I walk around the GP. One of the songs I really enjoy, but not on continuous loop in my mind at 4am, is Neil Murray’s “There’s Good Light in Broome … http://www.neilmurray.com.au/pages/lyrics_the_wondering_kind.html OR  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLQB0EzE50w ) I was also dreaming of painting.

Soooo. I sat in the house carport, in the dark, checking emails, reading blogs and listened to the drizzle of a light shower and waited until the dawn arrived.

As the first smudge of colour arrived in the eastern sky the birds woke up, calling to each other as they greet the new day.

Another tiring day, cleaning, painting, repairing, wiring, plumbing and everything else involved in doing a renovation on an old house I have had it up to the eyeballs. Please do not let me ever try to buy an old house and “do it up”.

Apart from the work the noise in the suburb is quite aggravating. The noisiest cars and motorcycles treat this street as a dragway and or speedway. As well we are on the flight path to the Mackay airport. Less than two weeks before we leave.

I received a 240 volt electric shock tonight. The CO-PILOT was replacing a blown lightbulb in the house and came to me to show me how the globe had become detached from the base. After checking the power was off I grabbed a pair of long nose pliers with the intention of slowly twisting out the brass lightbulb base. With one hand clutching the pliers ready to grab the base, I reached out to hold the lightfitting cowling to steady it. Once I touched the cowling I received a heavy dose of electrical shock. It scared me and left my left arm and hand numb for some time afterwards.

Hmmm! I am guessing the fitting is incorrectly wired as although the power is off, it seems the metal of the cowling is still “live”.  It probably explains why the bulb broke away from the base as the glue has become “cooked” as has the screw in fitting itself. The entire fitting will need to be replaced and professionally fitted.

Friday 18th November

Just a tidy up day today. Painting has been put on hold. The Real estate lady came around to take photos in preparation for listing the house for rental. At 3pm …I know I know, that is when school lets out and traffic would be horrendous, it was … we left the house for a weekend away in WWWGO. We were off to join our friends from the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, Mackay Sugarloafers Chapter annual Christmas Dinner at the Retreat Hotel near Nebo,

At the free campground at the Retreat Hotel.

about 90 Klms from Mackay. We arrived late in the afternoon and set up camp and socialised with friends.

In September 2010 when we last travelled this road, I commented on the number of signs marking where accidents occurred beside the road.  It seems there are more signs this year in line with huge volumes of traffic caused by the opening of many new coal mines in the Bowen Basin. Much of the workforce is now classed as FIFO – Fly In Fly Out. The workforce is usually bussed to Mackay at the end of their rostered days on. Many of course live in Mackay and choose to drive themselves and this is where the troubles begin. After completing a 12 hour shift after up to seven days straight, many workers jump in their cars and drive to Mackay, in some cases two and a half hours away. Instead of showering and getting some sleep they drive tired. Add to the mix where many stop for a “couple of beers”, add darkness and a heavy foot as well as using a mobile phone. Add also the unpredictability of cattle and kangaroos suddenly jumping onto the road and it soon becomes apparent why there are so many accidents on this one stretch of road with the highest number of accidents.

Saturday 19th November

A great day of talking, socialising, helping other members with their computer problems and being helped with my electrical problems. . The co-pilot and I walked barefoot along the sandy Denison Creek and relaxed in the coolness away from the heat just above the high creek banks. Christmas dinner at the Retreat Hotel near Nebo was the worst we have ever encountered. Not worth the $25 a head the hotel was charging. I think the chapter will be looking at a new venue next year. For some reason I was struggling to stay awake despite the efforts of tuneless, talentless revellers a few metres from my bed. I fell asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

Sunday 20th November

After the monthly meeting and a long morning tea and socialising and saying our goodbyes again we left the Retreat to head back to North Mackay. Along the way we stopped at Palmyra Go Kart Track to see the last race of the State Titles and to catch up with sister Sandra and Dave. Then a trip to visit daughter, Averyl to end a relaxing but tiring weekend.

A break away from working on the house was most welcome.

We also blew our diets this weekend where we ate not only too much but ate all the things we do not normally eat. It was all for a good cause – catching up with old friends.

Tomorrow I start painting again.

Tomorrow we start our diets again.

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