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Day 13 “Finishing Work” (Tuesday 19th March 2013)

I was woken by my alarm clock on my phone at about 6:20am and started to get prepare myself for the day ahead. (In my naivety I had thought that we would be finished by midday as that’s what I was lead to believe from Paul) I got together my lunch, which was actually pretty big just in case, with my tuna and salad sandwich, banana, grapes, mini cheddars and chocolate M&M’s. Then with my water as well I went outside to wait for Mick, this time I didn’t bother walking down the road in case he missed me again.

The wall was taking shape but the second I saw it in the morning I realised there was still a lot of work to be done. We started by gathering flat faced rocks and finding yet more board so we could have the cement muck placed at both ends of the wall meaning Mick and Paul could work on different parts. My main jobs over the courses of these days working was really to get the materials together for Mick and Paul to make the wall. This meant today I was constantly making muck, wheeling it round and unloading it for the guys, then every other load I would collect some good rocks to bring round. The owner and his son had been through the rock pile yesterday making some rocks smaller and finding other small ones towards the bottom of the pile- this made bring rocks back to Mick and Paul a bit easier today and I was starting to find some nice flat faced rocks again.

Work was tough and at about 10:30am with the wall only about half done (but most of the base was in place which was the hard part) we stopped for some food, I began to realise that finishing at midday wasn’t gonna happen. (although that had dawned on me when I saw the wall when we arrived this morning) After a quick bite to eat and getting some energy back we started work on the extra part of the wall that the owner had asked us to make. First a pole was put into the ground and string tied across the middle and top of it to the other line already in place, this give Mick and Paul lines to work towards when building up the wall. (The other lines where put in on our first days work but I’m not sure I mentioned it) With the string up Paul and I went to get some big yet flat sided rocks to act as the base and keep the wall firm. Some of the rocks we collected weighed what felt like a ton but the two of us got them round and then Mick and Paul got them in place. With rocks collected I was back to making muck and I just had to keep bringing it round, parts of the load were even being used to back fill the wall giving it extra strength. Mick was working on the slope part of the wall at the opposite end so making sure they both had enough mix was hard work and again I could feel the sweat running off me.

After a good few loads of mix we stopped again just before 2pm for some more food and the wall was starting to look good but the talk of another day crept up but Paul really wanted to push on today so it wouldn’t be a big job tomorrow if anything and they wouldn’t need me. Having eaten lunch but pretty low on energy for the hard day so far we battled on with each passing hour I thought maybe we’ll leave soon. In all fairness the wall did start to take great shape in the final session of the day but it was hard work the boys needed a lot of muck and rocks and being the legs I was was the one getting them. Paul finally decided to call it a day at 5:30pm… It had been a long hard day and pushing ourselves faster than we had before.

Before we left for that day the owners came round to check out the wall and seemed impressed (they weren’t living in there house yet as it still wasn’t built) they were waiting for the wall to be put in place so them they could have scaffolding put up to start building the upstairs of there place) they also paid Paul who gave me and Mick our money. I hoped for a little bonus money due to the extra effort put in and the fact that because of what I’d done today, Mick and Paul could go back tomorrow without me to finish up including touching up the wall. Also I thought I might get a little extra because of the Saturday morning we had worked, but it wasn’t to be, that said i still got $600 over the 3 and a half long days! With the owners satisfied, they offered us a beer, which we accepted (no wonder tradies get drunk, they get beer all day instead of tea/ coffee which it would be back in the UK… It also explains why they have rush hour booze buses- where a police bus blocks the road to breathalysed people driving past) while we cleaned up and tidied away the tools. I also managed to get a couple of pictures of Mick and Paul by the wall before Mick drove me back to Avril’s.

Photo

Back home Mick, Paul and I joined a group viber so we could all message each other, it was agreed that because of our hard work today and the fact that I had finished my stint working we would go out for a drink and some food tonight. (It also helped that it was Tuesday and some people here call that Tight Arse Tuesdays which means the price of things like drinks, food and cinema is lower than usual, some bars and restaurants even advertise it to attract business) I was feeling so knacked but had a shower and was given a bit of a second wind ready to have a drink and some grub tonight. Now around 7pm I decided to undergo my first proper drive with the correct shoes this time and sat nav so that I could get to Mick’s. I found the automatic car driving a lot easier in the correct foot ware but still found myself trying to use a clutch that wasn’t there and I flicked the wind screen wipers instead of flashing my lights. (as the two sticks either side of the steering wheel are the opposite of what I’m used to (indicators are on the right stick and wipers on the left) Speaking of lights I didn’t know how to turn them on but luckily arrived (even though Mick gave me the wrong address I just recognised the street having been there a couple of times) before I would need them on, it was getting dusky though. Overall I would say it was quite a successful first proper dive and no sooner than I arrived Mick said he would drive us to the bar in his motor as he had just argued with Hannah and wanted to go now.

The bar was upstairs in what looked like a leisure centre, it had glass around so you could look at but the view was really only of the car park! Paul was already there when Mick and I turned up so he waved at us through the window. Once inside Mick and I ordered a pint of beer (we had had the other day a liked) and some food, while Paul already had a drink and just ordered food. There was a pool table beside the sofas we were sitting at so we played a couple of games of pool, but living up to his name Paul won against me and Mick. When the food arrived we took a break from pool and I ate my ‘tight arse Tuesday’ chicken parma (which is a chicken escalope with cheese ham and tomato sauce on the top) which was great and won’t be the last one I have while I’m here if I can help it. Unfortunately the beer wasn’t so good and tasted of soil, this confused me because it was nice the other day but I put it down to the fact it was cheapo beer being a Tuesday! Mick got another drink in for me and him though and the 3 of us were talking about music and films for a bit. At one point we thought we’d go to the cinema tonight because it was cheaper as well but as there was nothing good on and we all felt pretty tired anyway so decided not to bother. At around 9:30pm, all feeling worn out we made a move, Paul drive himself home while Mick said I could say round his again tonight and drove us back to his.

On the way out of the car park I noticed a drive through off licence of bottle shop as they sometimes call them here. I found the very idea of drive through alcohol crazy because you can’t drink and drive but I sort of understood it was useful if you wanted to buy some drink for the evening on the way home from work for example. (most people I’ve hung out with here drink every night and the Oz drinking culture seems to be more about drinking daily because people enjoy it, rather than to binge which seems to be the more English drinking culture) Back at Micks with Hannah there, the 3 of us watched TV for a bit before we decided to call it a day, although Mick and Paul had work tomorrow they agreed to start a bit later than normal because there wasn’t much to do. I therefore asked Mick to wake me up just before he went to work so I could get home and give Peter’s car back to him at a reasonable time. 🙂

I again was woken by my alarm
Packed lunch
Worked – all day 7- 5:30 stopped twice for food
Didn’t finish but won’t need me tomorrow
So knacked
Dropped back – shower gives a second wind
3 of us Paul, Mick and I all wanted to go out to celebrate my effort at work and the progress we made today plus its Tuesdays which in a lot of places can lower prices – such as the cinema or pubs with their food and drink. And is know by many as tight arse Tuesdays!
Played pool
Had chicken parma and a beer that tasted like soil
We were all tired so called it a night at about 9:30
Saw a drive through off licence on way home
Got back to Micks and slept the night there

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