hard hats, hard goodbyes and a bali finale.

‘Oh, oh-oh … I got a love that keeps me waiting … Oh, oh-oh, I got a love that keeps me waiting, I’m a lonely boy’ –

Gosh, the episodes that are lust, work and hormones. I find myself drowsy on red and drunk on reassurance all too often;

Me: So it does get better? thought wise? … thought process wise? general fucking sensibility wise? We get better, yeah? We cope better right? We finally get it, yeah? … YEAH?

Older, wiser companion (basking in the glow of experience and my own inexperience, cracking jokes about tiny violins):
Of course! You’ll see! – you total twat.

Ha! How funny it will be when I can sit back, swirling the dregs of a decent Margaret River, with that ‘Oh to be young again,’ crinkled newspaper smile, whilst a twenty-something drama queen barely closes her motor-mouth between 700 Marlboro Reds and desperate gulps of Stella.

But the adventure is, I must say, always quite marvelous.

So. A new adventure is imminent. It’s been a while I know, but please understand alcohol monitoring, 4AM starts and a totally fucking surreal lifestyle has prohibited creativity, popular culture commentary and general life analysis quite dramatically. Especially when you are reduced to wearing this every day –

 

Yes, I look happy in the photograph but you get over it when you greet dawn with a pair of steel-capped toe boots and safety glasses on instead of a joker-esque, merlot mouth and a kebab in your handbag. Like normal people.

 

 

 

 

My life in the Pilbara has been a remarkable journey; what have I learnt?

Never, EVER complain about the heat to people that don’t actually work in an air-conditioned office.
The Scottish aren’t actually stingy (just the ones I’ve dated).
FIFO doesn’t mean Fly In Fly Out, it means Fit In or Fuck Off.
I like Germans, a lot.
Five pints of Stella is enough, whether you have to blow into a breath tester in the morning or not.
Tax is a mother fucker.
The phonetic alphabet.

Foxtrot uniform charlie kilo indigo november golf, oscar alpha tango hotel!

A few shots of MY Pilbara life:

 

Groundhog day when it comes to sunsets – in the best possible way …

 

 

 

 

Nikey, the refugee pup; lover and destroyer of Calvin Klein bras and Havianas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My day of climbing scaffolding and crawling under insulation pipes at ridiculous heights to take pictures for a brochure, aka: constant shitting of pants … but a lovely view.

 

 

 

At the local church/pub having our last supper/piss up before majority of staff left to go back to the homeland. Sad but happy times!

 

 

 

I’ve been three months with the one company on the Pluto LNG Project and it has been an experience and quite a wonderful one in many respects, if you can say that about working in construction.
I never thought I would be the fire-retardant wearing, safety glass adorning type but it is very self assuring when you can plonk yourself in a foreign situation and be more than OK with it. Yeah, I’ve learnt how to use Excel (properly) and how to write contractual letters and use boring systems and input data and blah blah but I’ve learnt, more than anything, how adaptable I can be and why challenging myself constantly is the best fucking way to go about things.

This sounds like Jerry Springer’s ‘After thought’ I know. But seriously. Cheers to the challenge!

Anyway, like I said, another one awaits! I have been offered a new job and a new, lovely, pay rise. But before that, YES –

I’m going to Bali tomorrow!

 

 

Hello old lover …

 

 

 

 

‘But I came to love you –
Any old time you keep me waiting, waiting, waiting …’

 

holy pants, fantasia and fairies.

Fuck, I love sinking back wines till 5AM on my own, smoking myself into a throaty wheeze and climbing into bed at dawn, in total love with the world. At least I must, that’s what I’ve been doing every night.
I should be starting work on Monday. Had my medical yesterday.
Drug/Alcohol test – perfect.
Lungs – perfect.
Eyesight – perfect.
Hearing – not so perfect. I was ten decibels under on one level, in my right ear, but I’ve put it down to the many gigs and festivals I’ve been to. Or the time my ex boyfriend found me asleep on the dance floor at the Rolling Rock in Noosa, with my head against the speaker.

So yes, medical was fine until Doc asked me to lie down on the bed so he could feel my spleen etc. Vile.
Doc: And I have to actually feel your stomach so I’ll just have to pull up your dress …  (goes to do so)
Me: NOO! Oh, sorry, I mean … Um, I have … um … a big HOLE in my knickers! I have holy knickers (start giggle-snorting, vainly clutching dress over groin )
Doc: (Splendid attempt at remaining professional but awkwardly laughing) Oh, ha! Sorry. Um …
Me: S’alright I’ll just pull me top down.

Jesus wept.

OK so I haven’t been my own best drinking partner every night. Every other night maybe, however Saturday was quite the adventure. Went fundraising for SAFE – Saving Animals From Euthanasia. Aunty is a dedicated volunteer and employed me as a fellow SAFE Fairy to go on a charity pub crawl around all of the three bars in Karratha selling SAFE stubbie holders and collecting gold coin donations. This is what I had to wear:

never say you don’t believe in fairies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOWEVER, we did make over a thousand dollars and strange new friends along the way. One young fellow named Garth thought he could pat Aunty Fairy’s head as if she were an abandoned dog from SAFE. Another friendly punter most earnestly proposed Fairy Prostitution with him as the Fairy Pimp, guaranteeing us plenty of funds for the poor little puppies and kittys and only half an hours work. Top fella.
We hitched a Fairy lift with a local journo after she asked for a photo; she assured us we will be in the Pilbara Echo this week. On the way back to the Tambray, we jumped in the back of a Commodore with some local Indigenous blokes – one of them didn’t speak at all and the other one wouldn’t stop but he had his eyes closed the entire time. Very kind of them to chauffeur anyhow.

After we had done as much fundraising as we could, we had a few bevs. Well, we had been drinking throughout but by this time we could rest our wings, have a chat, have a dance and talk to the 750 million men that were there. Then there was an after-party. Then there was the date on Sunday with the extremely tall, large Albanian I met at the after-party. Then there was a ride home on a sparkly silver scooter. Then there’s been the writing.

I’ve been writing. A lot. My new in-progress novella is titled: ‘So wise so young, they say do never live long’ (Shakespeare quote from Richard III). Here is a tiny excerpt –

My strike song? Fuck off. It isn’t just about Amos or Mina or my mother for that fact. Something has jolted, moved, tectonically shifted in the meaty plains of my skull. I’m sick of being smiles and loud laughter. I’m tired of Amos or David or Greg pumping my cunt, bellies out, shoulders back whilst I finger flick my clit trying to time my orgasm with theirs. I need a reprieve, a white flag.

 

 

I’ve finished Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. Wondrous speculative fiction. Read it and follow Margaret on Twitter – @Margaret Atwood

 

 

 

 

 

Out at 1980’s throwback pub ‘The Mermaid’ on Friday night with my new mate Hayley and her crowd. Or maybe I’ll go to Albania.
Oh and if you’ve never gotten pissed on your own and watched Fantasia, it is my utmost recommendation. You can watch it on YouTube for free!

The centaurs get me going every time. http://youtu.be/XChxLGnIwCU

Sad bitch.


rock art and rocking the canteen at primary school.

First report: I have scored myself a job on the gas plant here in the red plains of Karratha.

I had an interview on Monday and was offered the job – the interview was in the gorgeous carpark view cafe at Karratha Centro; it’s all class here.
I then celebrated until my lips were stained joker-esque red and my makeup and lampshade were still on in the morning. This is because I was offered tenfold per annum of what I have been making as a poor tuna pasta salad eating Griffith University bum.
However, paperwork and blah blah has to all happen and I have to have a medical and an induction and get a bloody license to even get on the site. Which is good. The site is enormous and ’tis great that health and safety are utmost. Disadvantage that I ponder presently whilst sucking on my marlboro: the smoking rule on site …
10-10.30am you can smoke on site. AND THAT IS IT. I really don’t want to be a bitch in my first week there so I’m considering a full nicotine-patch costume/suit under my sexy yellow and blue high-vis overalls and steel-cap toe boots. Don’t worry, I’ll provide pictures but I may be scowling in them.

So have been practising the early starts this week. My gorgeous Aunt manages the school canteen at her son’s school (my darling eleven-year old cousin) So Monday was a write-off because Sunday was a BBQ/party at the family household which my aunty arranged as a ‘Welcome to Karratha’ party for me. This meant bizarre conversations about circumcision and me drugged out of my face on codeine and sparkling wine (I had a bad back) which lead to Meatloaf ‘paradise by the dashboard lights’ being played on youtube whilst I shamelessly sang all the words in a vain air-guitar pose, which then lead to me being the last one standing and husbands returning to take their wives home (husbands disappeared quite quickly after the circumcision chat) and me singing Al Green songs to myself till the early hours.
Anyhow, Tuesday saw me up at 5AM! I know. Helped my aunty in the canteen from about 9-2PM at the primary school in Dampier. Hilarious. I was serving Slushies and making sandwiches and I could have taken every single darling home. They were all ‘yes please’ and ‘thank you.’ Jesus wept – I loved them all. You know, those cute little year ones and twos that mumble their words and have cute little voices and no knowledge of how their faces looks when they haven’t pre-ordered a Slushie and can’t have one. Oh!

OK, I don’t want kids but just maybe hundreds of nieces and nephews that I can gush over … for twenty minutes.

Saturday saw us at the school fete. My aunty had a fairy stall and was costumed appropriately! My lovely Uncle ventured that we might visit the local tavern for a beer whilst my aunty minded the stall – which we did. So we entered the early 1980’s at the ‘Mermaid’ (low ceilinged wooden shed) I soon figured out I was one of four women in the place and it was an ocean of high-vis overalls and testosterone. After a couple of Heinekens we arrived back at the stall and whilst my Fairy aunty went for a Fairy fag, I minded the stall and without much business began writing in my notebook. This is what I wrote:

Karratha School Fete –
Foam covered children
Stopmping Scottish power tripping Glenda – P&C president tigress with a purpose amidst suburbian foilage of stalls selling over priced iphone covers and hand-made jewellery from the ‘sacred earth’ that is Karratha.
Sausage sizzles and 80’s songs for the kids to bounce to –
Sweating parents and sugar-fuelled children
Target-styled mothers intent on spending their coin on useless shit, making kids smile for a day, or two hours before the sun goes down; the spectacular setting drowned out by tantrums and sleep deprived year 6’s.
Broome brewed beer and baby weight bellies. Hand made crafts and jars and cupcake holders and boxes and nylon flowers and prams and straps and fathers with new borns, clutching their existence. 

OK so far – and I’ve been here two weeks tomorrow – I miss my ever gorgeous housemates Kitty and Tony and MoMo. They’ve been sending me pictures of fucking Christmas decorations they’ve done at our house in Gold Coast and I’m sadly not a part of the festive spirit at my adopted family home, however I am here in Wup Wup for a reason, and that is dollar. Aloe Blacc is my anthem at the minute.

I also miss:
east coast beaches – my espresso machine – not having to buy two pairs of flip-flops in a week because the puppy chewed them – not having to wash my hands seventeen times because the puppy pissed on them – fast internet connection – a breeze that doesn’t feel like a hairdryer – cans of sweetcorn that aren’t ten dollars and of course my darling, sweetie sweetie, darling friends.

Anyhow, after a beautiful bayside walk this morning (I think I had five flies in each ear at one point) my aunt took me to the Burrup Peninsula. This place is a red rock haven and teeming with history, ancient history. My aunt told me as we skipped, hopped and stumbled over boulders that she had been taken there before by an environmental guy from the gas plant, well versed in Aboriginal history. Anyway. Oh my god. We walked on what used to be a river bed for about five minutes and soon we were in the middle of a tiny gorge. Apparently the environmental guy John said some of the Aboriginal petroglyphs we were looking at are 5-6000 years old.
I was all materialistically tired, low on caffeine, needed a fag etc but this put me on edge. I was in total awe.

 I couldn’t spot any of it at first but as I got used to the brickish terracotta that surrounded us I could see. (The rock with the faint white on it has an animal etching but as aunty told me, some of the animals depicted may be long extinct so we can never know what it is).
I could see the etchings of animals and plants that had been cut into the rocks and boulders so long ago it’s unfathomable. Because my aunt had been shown by this guy who had a good idea of what they meant; she showed me the etched symbols of birds, emus, kangaroos etc. We didn’t walk so far because it was getting on 10AM and the flies were stuck to our faces like we were shit but she said John had shown her a petroglyph of a man with a hat on which apparently depicted the times of the first settlers and so experts can discern the period between some parts of the rock art and others.
But of course, good old colonisation/imperialism wiped the Jaburara people out so we will never know what they all really mean. But god, it is remarkable. I found myself looking at etchings of emus and kangaroos that were drawn thousands of years ago. It makes me remember how insignificant I am, in time.

The white markings on the biggest rock in this picture are birds. Etchings of birds. In November 2007 the Aboriginal rock art of the Burrup peninsula -exactly where I was today – was listed among the ten most ‘at risk’ places in Australia.
This place is unreal. And you can just walk through it. There are no museum red ropes or preservation areas. Which in one one way is unbelievable but in another, so bizarre. Why not? If these rock arts are thousands of years old? But today, that was what made it beautiful. We were there in the persistent heat and the unbearable flies and I kept thinking they did this, they walked where I am walking, in the same heat with the flies sticking to their faces.

Walking the riverbed to the big carved out rock that signified water, we stood over the Shell Middens where they would eat and commune and camp. There are so many shells and apparently these are the shells of the limpets etc they used to eat. Incredible.

So that was my adventure today. Now my adventure is two bottles of cleanskins Shiraz and too many expensive cigarettes, so I must end my tale. But just a reminder, if you are feeling lonely, these are my new best friends, Nikey and Rubey …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I know. I need a shag.