The working week was slow. Unbeleivably slow! Our average was 2 loads of concrete a day. But Friday I got to drive the new water truck to the weighbridge. Wasn't that scary! It was an automatic. Still had to put the clutch in to take off and stop but not to change gears. Every gear change could be felt and heard like someone was really changing the gears themself but it was all the trucks doing! It was like it had a ghost changing gears and I was sitting in HIS drivers seat steering. Even going down gears it gave that little rev to get the gears synchronised!
Friday evening was spent having dinner at the RSL with the woman I live with turning all heads in the bistro while showing off her new heels. I met some interesting new people one of which had the sorry job of welding concrete bowls together back in England before he migrated to Australia. The other an extremely tall Canadian that couldn't understand a word any of us said. I suppose the Territory Scrawl could be hard to understand sometimes! An old friend who I hadn't seen in two years also appeared and we had a good chat after his absence from the area. Our conversation regarding the gift of a dog got everyone thinking that we were talking about something pornographic and me having a massive giggling fit may have confirmed that. But no, the topic was of a dog. Just thought I might clear that up.
I tried to spend Saturday lazing around but no, it was time to get ready for the party. We shopped for food and arranged furniture in the backyard. I got creative and decorated the garage area with party lights. I made up little, colourful signs that each had a translation of the word 'toilet' and stuck them all over the outside bathroom door. And made a few more around the record player for the word 'music'. Well, it is International Night after all. Got to get into the spirit of things.
Mary arrived in the afternoon and while cooking her traditional dish of 'Sop Sop' from the Torres Straight Islands we sat chatting in the kitchen while smell of coconut permeated around the house. Velda had already made Spaghetti Bolognaise and when Kerrie arrived, she got started on Chocolate Fondue for dessert. By the time everyone arrived and sat down to eat we had mini meat party pies (Australia), fried rice and fried noodles (the Philipines), an Indian dip with Papadams, potato bake, salads, pork. Oh, if you went hungry you were an idiot! Dessert was of course Fondue, Scottish Mint Custard, Pavlova, Custard Ginger Pears, Fruit Salad. Time to undo the top button I think and bloat!
Rose brang round her karoke machine and a brave few stepped up to the mike. I sang 'Achy Breaky Heart' really badly with a giggling fit half way through because Mary made me hold the microphone. Yes, that's all it takes! I also sang 'Proud Mary' with her which didn't seem to go too badly but to get through it I needed a Pina Colada... so I stole Mary's... till I poured my own. Only a handful of others got up to sing, some very reluctantly. I guess that's what happens when the machine is set up right by the door. No passing till you've sung a song.
As the evening wore on and people began to leave we noticed something had gone horribly wrong. One of the dogs had at some point buggered off into the night. So we all went out there searching for her. Calling her name, checking the house again and again. I got in my car and drove around the corner into the next street up and there she was, scampering across the road in my headlights. I managed to catch her, the outside world making her wary of every object and everything that moved and chucked her in the back seat till I had her back home and the gates shut! Cheeky thing. She has never in her life done that before. But as much as I loved the party and the company, I almost couldn't wait for everyone to leave and go home so I could go to bed. I'm turning into a Nanna!
But my social weekend wasn't all met with happiness. Damian was ropable that I had decided due to lack of funds that I couldn't afford to come home as usual for the weekend. We broke out into an argument over the phone with me in the middle of the supermarket over the price of a brake caliper and my interest in knowing exactly how much rain we had out there. After swearing and carrying on at each other I hung up. A few hours later he rang to tell me one of my chooks had died from a feral cat attack and also that we had 4mm at home (I win). Another few hours later he rang to ask how to cook rib bones in the oven. All emotional war wounds healed. At least next weekend I will be home for its entirity but not sure how he is going to take the news about the weekend after...