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Day 10 “Rain” (Saturday 16th March 2013)

As the alarm went off this morning again at about 6:20am I really didn’t want to work a second day labouring, I still ached and I was tired, but regardless I knew it had to be done and dragged myself out of bed. I put on the same now dirty clothes, made a packed lunch, this time including a ham, cheese and lettuce sandwich, the spring roll and chocolate cake I mentioned yesterday as well as a fruit and oats bar… I wanted a bigger lunch to get me through but still took my 4 bottles of water! I then had some weet bix for breakfast, grabbed the sun cream and went out to wait for Mick, I also walked down the road today but didn’t make it as far and he saw me this time!

As we arrive about 7:00am, the weather looked ominously like it was going to rain but Mick and I sat tight and waited for Paul, when he arrived I heard both him and Mick say how much they didn’t want to work today, I wasn’t alone it seemed to be the general feeling maybe it was because its Saturday. By the time we all braved the start it was probably about 7:30am, it was quite cool and felt like there was moisture in the air, after about 10 minutes a neighbor came over the road saying we can’t start til 9am but we insisted we would be quieter than yesterday because we weren’t breaking down the wall… however his comments annoyed us and we googled it to see if he was telling the truth, turns out its 7am Monday to Friday, 8am Saturday and 9am Sunday. By now the time was close to 8am so we continued without making much noise but were going to turn on the mixer at 8am and start properly then, all we were doing until then was gathering rocks to use. (nice flat sided ones, I was really starting to find my eye and loved it when I found a perfect stone) When 8:30 rolled round I went to make a mix of cement, sand and water but a light drizzle started to fall so we waited it out hoping it would stop or else we would be rained off. (This is due to the rocks not absorbing the water so it just sits or rolls down them meaning the muck doesn’t hold and new parts can fall down) After a while of eating part of our lunch, the drizzle stopped and I quickly got the muck for the boys to use before any other rain fell, I also continued to get rocks as the lads did what they could considering the weather and how they were feeling. As time passed and the drizzle returned and then turned into rain so we decided to call it a day, half of me thinks the weather was only part of the reason and because we had all worked so hard and long yesterday we didn’t feel up to the job today. Being rained off meant that although I had woken up early and worked through to about 10:30 (by the time we cleaned up and packed away) that I wouldn’t get paid, this was gutting but a true reflection of how Mick and Paul have to get by.

Rain falling in Diamond Creek

Rain falling in Diamond Creek

As Paul headed home, Mick again drove me back and I decided to catch up on my diary, it seems that I’m always behind which anyone reading will notice! I have even got to the stage where to catch up I just wrote notes for each day so I could then write them up at a later day. It seems to take a really long time to make any progress with it.. I really need to cut down what I write but for some reason I just want to share the entire day! As I continued to update my diary, Hollie (Avril and Peters daughter) and Harrison (Hollie’s little boy and Avril and Peters grandchild) arrived an hour earlier than expected, Hollie was going to the filming of the Australian “Deal or No Deal” in the hope of being a contestant this coming Monday. Hollie was using her Mum’s as a base camp due to the fact she lives 2 hours from Diamond Creek which isn’t far from Melbourne where the studio was and the filming starts early in the morning around 7 or 8am because they film multiply episodes a day and don’t always air each one. The was the second time I had meet Harry, the first time being at Neale and Jenny’s wedding in England last September and only about the 3rd time I had meet Hollie, but Harry was scared of me at first and kept running back to mummy! Avril told me to “get down and dirty with Harry” by this she meant get to his level on the floor and play with him and all the toys he had at Avril’s house- He is a very lucky and spoilt boy due to being the first grandchild Avril and Peter have. After a while of playing with Harry and speaking to Hollie, she was going to the shops to pick up a few bits so I said I’d come and would drive (this was the first time I would be driving in Australia and it was an automatic so it was the first time for driving one of those too) I was then given a pair of  thongs (Flip-Flops to us English folk, thongs are something completely different to me!) by Avril (yet another present and sign of kindness) so I decided to join in with Australia and wear them to go with Hollie.

As I got in the car and Hollie showed me the basics of the automatic car I started up the car and tested the “drive” mode and brakes… Kangerooing seems the most appropriate word here as I was bouncing everywhere but nevertheless I started to drive to the shops and we ‘slightly’ getting better. As I pulled into the car park space the ongoing rain decided to pour even harder so we dashed into the Coles (the most popular supermarket chain I’ve seen over here) we picked up a few bits and bobs and returned to the car where again I was driving. By now thongs and feet very wet I reversed out of the space and began driving back, with my driving still not great and not being used to the indicator on the right hand side of the wheel or the fact there is no clutch, I felt sorry for Hollie who must of been praying for her life as she sat next to me. I had also notice the thongs slipping off during both journey’s and felt that could have also played a part in my erratic driving style, but safely back home we returned inside to speak of my bad time driving in the rain- I was also due to drive to Mick’s soon for the evening but it was decided I would be dropped off instead, due to my driving and wanting to practice easier routes in the dry with better shoes first.

Avril and Peter were also going out tonight and Avril was cooking again, this time she was preparing fried rice to take with them, it’s made using white and brown rice with bacon, eggs, onions and capsicum (peppers to the English!) and because Avril made so much I was able to take some to Mick’s tonight, but having just a little sample before I left was dangerous because it was so nice I could have eaten it all. Once Avril, Peter and I were ready, we left to take me to Micks before Avril and Peter headed on to their evening plans, this left Hollie at home with Harry but she planned to have a couple of friends over.

As I arrived at Mick both him and Hannah were there and Paul hoped to be there later (although as he was feeling ill and may not come) so we sat talking for a bit before Mick said we needed to head out for some alcohol and barbeque food. Hannah was feeling cold so decided to stay back and have a shower to warm up while Mick and I did the shopping… Mick drove us to the local town and we went to the supermarket and picked up some chicken breasts, wedges, cookies, lollies (sweets to the English not the same as the lollies we know back in the UK) and then afterwards got some booze. (Alcohol is sold in the equivalent of off licences to us but this is even the case in supermarkets and there is usually an add on/ separate room within the supermarket building) When back at Micks he went down to start cooking the food on the BBQ as Paul arrived so I stayed upstairs with Hannah cooking the wedges in the oven while Mick and Paul were outside cooking the chicken using a Nando’s sauce. While chatting to Hannah I realised we had a lot of mutual friends and our paths may have crossed a few years ago without even knowing it. I liked speaking to Hannah and sharing stories of our friends in common but soon the boys were back in so we explained to them we had friends in common but they seemed more interested in eating. The dinner was shredded chicken with a Nando’s hot sauce marinade, Avrils fried rice and spicy wedges… It was a pucker meal that was really tasty and very filling (probably due to all the carbs!) After dinner the four of us watched the film ‘Ill Manors’ featuring Plan B, it was OK but plot centred around all the negatives in London. This left you feeling bad about humanity and what other less fortunate people go through. (Although it didn’t say it was based on real life you could easily imagine it was) Paul left and went home at the end of the film, while Mick, Hannah and I all decided to call it a night and went to bed… Mick and Hannah shared a bed in Mick’s room (which they normally did so I didn’t feel bad as I hadn’t kicked Hannah out of the extra room) which meant I got to sleep in the spare room which included a double bed. 🙂


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