Shiraz, Sunburn and Soil that is Red.

Ok, yes, I am alive. It was debatable as to whether I’d make it for a while there when I staggered off the plane at Perth Airport. Lovely Pilot told us passengers an hour before we arrived in Perth that we would be experiencing some turbulence but ‘nothing to be worried about.’ On hearing this, I not so discreetly scrambled around in my makeup bag like a junkie, for the four Temazepam my mother had kindly wrapped up in cling film and given to me hours before. Yes I hate flying. But after one of those darlings I was anyones. I waited at the baggage carousel in Perth for a good half hour for my suitcase which I vaguely knew was already on it’s way to my final destination – Karratha. I could hardly speak, let alone stand up. What a joke. Anyway, thank the lord for drugs and alcohol.

So this most welcome ‘off my head-ness’ allowed me to embark on the final leg of my journey to Karratha in a quite lovely haze of limp arms and cloudy thoughts. Before I knew it I was sat at the window seat (unheard of) munching on pastrami sandwiches and admiring the vast redness of ‘straya. I even took a photo to show everyone how ‘in the middle of butt fuck nowhere’ I was.

I have nothing really insightful to say about Karratha yet as I have spent most of my time reading, drinking and organising paperwork for this job I will hopefully be starting very soon. I did however go along with my Aunty, Uncle and cousin to a sausage sizzle on Saturday in Dampier where my gorgeous family volunteered and I spent most of my time holding down my very appropriate leopard print dress against the Western wind and sinking back vodka.

Lesson number one: Do not wear dresses in Karratha that are above the knee. The wind is a fucker.
Lesson number two: Sunbathing in Karratha for 30 minutes is equivalent to about two hours in the Gold Coast – wear sunscreen to avoid lobster head.

The 5 AM starts and hard grafting are imminent, however I’ve used these days to catch up with my gorgeous Aunt, Uncle and cousin. And also to write, read and think. A lot.

So … this is where I am. An easy 5, 486 KM drive from Gold Coast- pop over for a wine anytime!

Karratha is in the Pilbara region and Karratha in the local Aboriginal language means ‘Sacred Earth’ or ‘Gods Country.’ So not all bad news. In fact Karratha isn’t as bad as it may seem being so far away from everything. 35 degrees now, I haven’t seen a cloud in the sky since I’ve ben here, the beach isn’t too far away although I haven’t even been yet; it’s been a struggle to rise early after the gallons of wine I’ve been gulping down at night catching up with my beautiful Aunty. I’m very alike her in many ways which has meant lots of laughing and crying through the fog of expensive cigarettes and WA cleanskins Shiraz.

My paperwork is in for this job, I’m just waiting for the thumbs up; 60 hour weeks here I come. It’s quite the joke in the household at the moment as to how I will cope with these early starts. The last time I was up at 5 AM was last week because I hadn’t gone to bed.

Finished DBC Pierre’s Lights out in Wonderland – It’s some fast paced allegorical stuff. Hilarious at times: a cocaine and alcohol soused narrative reminding us of the decadent excesses of modern capitalism. The denouement? A fucked up Trimalchian banquet of unethical, illegal cuisine and general debauchery. Enjoyed it thoroughly, his writing style is enviable. And I’m not just saying that because I met him in Bali and think he has very sexy eyes. Interesting interview with him from last August with The Guardian if you click here; he talks about his other books and his mad life in general.

Finished Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day last night too. I don’t know if it was the transition from Pierre’s frantic odyssey to Ishiguro’s slow moving subtlety symbolic of main character ‘Stevens’ but it took me a while to get going with it. Ultimately it was a sad love story, employing WWI and WWII as the political framework revealing the implications of duty and loyalty and how they often become the reason we miss out on love, in hindsight. My favourite line is where he assumes we have all the time in the world to sort our shit out, but in reality we don’t. We become so blasé until it’s too late –

‘one had available a never-ending number of days, months, years in which to sort out the vagaries of one’s relationship with Miss Kenton; an infinite number of further opportunities in which to remedy the effect of this or that misunderstanding’

He then goes on to say he was too presumptuous and now everything is ‘forever irredeemable.’ He left it too late.

So go forth my friends and say or do that something you keep putting off! I’m about to do the same. My roots are fading and the hair dye awaits; it may be the difference between acquiring a rich miner husband tonight at the Tambray or not.

I think i just heard Virginia Woolf turn over in her grave.


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