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04.01.2007 – Thursday 4 January – Mum flies home
- • Mum and I caught a train to the city, from where I headed in to work early, and Mum headed off to the airport on her way home.
05.01.2007 – Friday 5 January – Tulani
- • I still feel terrible—no better, worse if anything. If I work today, I won’t be able to work tomorrow, so I called in sick.
- • I met Tulani in the city. We caught a City Cat to UQ, had a short walk around uni, then headed to Elena’s work.
12.02.2007 – Monday 12 February – New Flatmates
- • I’m sad, because I had a sad dream.
- • Lucienne came and picked up her laptop.
- • One of my new flatmates came and signed her lease, and we had a forty-five minute philosophical religious discussion. This could be interesting.
- • It rained. Actual raindrops fell from the sky, like in the stories the old folk tell. Wow, now there’s lightning. It’s almost like proper weather. I’m working three to eleven at EB, which I proceeded to do.
14.02.2007 – Wednesday 14 February – Valentine’s Day
- • The first flatmate is moving in today, and has been bringing her things over. I’m working as usual.
21.02.2007 – Wednesday 21 February – Bronwen Moves
- • Working.
- • Maz dropped by, followed shortly after by Bill, Benji, Bronwen, and her parents. We packed things into Bill and Bronwen’s Dad’s cars and a trailer, drove to Bronwen’s place, and had dinner at her new house. She’s now officially moved out, and a distinct chapter in my life has closed. It will be interesting to see what the future holds. I’m still living the uni-student lifestyle—living in cheap shared accommodation with no commitments, but at some point soon, this stage of my life is going to have to end, to make way for the next stage, which I’m guessing will be expensive. Bronwen has now moved to that stage. I still want to travel first, but to maintain a life without commitments is probably more difficult than committing. It’s a large commitment to remain uncommitted, ironically.
24.02.2007 – Saturday 24 February – Glow Worms
- • Today was my sleep-in day, where I recover from a week of early shifts. But instead, I walk to Tomato Brothers, where I meet Cam, and drive back here. Things are packed, and driven to Bronwen’s. Things are unpacked. Things are eaten. I get a lift home.
- • Clint, Maz, and I drove to a glow-worm cave at Natural Bridge, via Bronwen’s place to pick her up. We were fortunate to arrive between organised tours, and got to have a look at an impressively glow-worm-lit cave with a waterfall flowing through it, shortly before hundreds of Asians arrived.
03.03.2007 – Saturday 3 March – Cairns, Tulani, & Silas
- • I caught a Virgin Blue flight to Cairns. Tulani picked me up from the airport and we had breakfast at a coffee plantation near Mareeba.
- • I had lunch at Tulani’s place, and went and saw “The Illusionist” with her at Cairns City Cinemas, which turned out to be an unexpectedly good movie, and an expectedly uncomfortable cinema.
- • I had a pleasant dinner at an Indian place with Tulani, before heading to Silas’s, where I spent the night.
05.03.2007 – Monday 5 March – Cooktown
- • Tulani drove me to General Aviation, from where I flew to Cooktown in a small eight-seater Cessna Titan. Dad and Mum picked me up from the airport, and I spent the day in town with them.
09.03.2007 – Friday 9 March – Cairns & Kebabs
- • I was very tired when I left Brisbane, from working late shifts combined with staying at the Gold Coast, and I haven’t had much sleep since, so I’m now spastically tired. I had a nice lunch with my family, drove out to the airport picking Sarah up from work, and flew to Cairns in a 32- or 36-seater Dash . We all waited at the aerodrome for quite a while, wondering why the hostess hadn’t called us out to the plane, only to find when we were out there, that they’d been waiting in the plane wondering why the ground staff hadn’t sent us out to the plane. All the seats on one side of the plane seemed to have been allocated to two people, and none of the seats on the other side.
- • Tulani picked me up from the airport, and we bought kebabs for dinner at the Esplanade, and watched emergency crews recover someone who had fallen off the esplanade onto some mangrove and mud covered rocks.
12.03.2007 – Monday 12 March – Brisbane & Virgin Hilarity
- • I spent most of the day with Tulani—Shan and Silas being at work—doing some shopping at Cairns Central and trying not to move too much because of the heat. She dropped me off at the airport in the afternoon, from where I caught a flight back to Brisbane.
- • The flight back was interesting. The plane itself was blue, and had people’s names alphabetically printed all over the inside—Virgin Blue’s special fiftieth plane, apparently. Ironically, I’d had a conversation just prior to leaving about hostesses, and how Virgin’s hostesses are more attractive than Jetstar’s, only to find that this flight had three male hosts, one of whom was in his forties, and a single female hostess—and it was her first day.
It doesn’t sound quite as funny after the event—you really had to be there—but it was the funniest flight I’ve ever been on. It began by the older host telling us that this was a special flight and a special crew, as he was flying with his wife—the young female hostess on her first day. He then said that the second male host was her ex-husband, and that the way she’d been looking at the third host, he was likely to be her next husband. At this, all the male hosts couldn’t stop laughing, preventing them from performing the safety announcements.
A rough transcript of the normally comprehensive and boring pre-flight safety announcements was “There is a serious side to flying [pause for laughter]. We have life jackets, doesn’t [the female hostess] like them? [Points to the female hostess and breaks into uncontrollable laughter] And they have whistles [male host performs an impromptu ditty on his life-jacket whistle, followed by most of the aircraft laughing]. You can blow in here, and [a pause for more laughter], and there’s exits, if you see me running and screaming, exit after me”. Almost everyone in the plane was laughing, and while it was probably illegally brief, it was by far the best pre-flight safety announcement I’ve ever had.
- • I arrived back in Brisbane, to find it wasn’t anywhere near as hot and humid as Cairns, and was in fact somewhat overcast. A slow train journey later, and I was home—very sleepy, somewhat traumatised, emotional, sentimental, stressed, and generally worn out, as per most relaxing family holidays.
19.03.2007 – Monday 19 March – Pop Unwell
- • It turns out it wasn’t crocodiles. It was lzx32.sys. It’s apparently a root-kit known as Backdoor.Rustock.B, which no doubt tries to do bad things, and results in the computer dying. I’m not sure how it’s being installed, but turns out it’s easy enough to remove. I then put some photos on my the-i.org site, ordered a new torch, and caught a bus into the city. I tried to pick up Maz and my photos from Harvey Norman, but they’re not ready yet. I then bought a Canon 75–300mm f/4– lens, which must be about their second cheapest lens at a guess. It’s listed at $249, but with a $100 off deal, cost me $149. It’s not as crappy and plastic as I was expecting either.
- • I’m the only one in the fishbowl tonight. Mina is sick. I got an email that Pop has been to the doctor and isn’t well, which, at his age, is not what one wants to hear.
20.03.2007 – Tuesday 20 March – New Torch
- • It seems I still have lzx32.sys. I suppose I’ll have to figure out how to entirely remove it at some stage, but that sounds like a lot of effort. In other news, it’s hot and my torch, a Fenix L1D CE, has arrived. It’s a bit hard to say when it’s not dark, but it seems it’ll satisfy my peculiar torch craving for a while—it’s over twice as bright on its brightest setting as my current torch, and lasts over twice as long on its dimmest setting, which isn’t much dimmer than my current torch. In other words, it’s over twice as efficient. It’s amazing how far torches have come really—this will run on a single rechargeable AA battery for nearly twenty-four hours at a brightness that’s better than a mini-Maglite, or burn away phenomenally brightly for an hour and a half. It’s also got a strobe setting, which isn’t particularly useful but might be fun—and all in something half the size of a mini-Maglite.
- • Bus to near Harvey Norman, up 2 escalators, collect Maz and my photos, down 3 escalators to the eatery, vanilla milkshake, punnet of potato bake and pumpkin pasta, punnet of dhal and curry, up one escalator, walk across road, catch bus to work. Work. Chocolate, milk, biscuits from Woolworths. Walk contemplatively home.
- • Quite humid out. Walking home results in sweat. Just cooling down now, before bed. Greatly impressed with new torch—very bright. Low setting could be a bit lower, but is better than my other Fenix. Funny how strongly attached to certain music memories—and their associated emotions—can be. Rammstein’s “Du Hast” reminds me of “Pulse FM”—a local Cooktown radio station—a few specific incidents there, and that period of my life in general. Almost all of Metallica’s earlier work reminds me of the numerous nights I spent out in the Mary Valley with Aaron, camping in a caravan in the corner of his parent’s small farm, getting up to crazy pyrotechnic things and running around the bush in the dark. I still think Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is one of my favourite songs (along with a myriad other).
24.03.2007 – Saturday 24 March – Coomera Gorge
- • I got up at five o’clock, and was ready shortly after half past. Clint arrived a little after six, having already picked everyone else up, and we drove a couple of hours south. Our walk started easily enough—Clint, Maz, Eddie, Bronwen and I walking down a well-marked track, but we soon left this, bashing our way through the wait-a-while and stinging trees. Maz, Clint and I managed to get stung. As the sides of the creek we were approaching began to get steeper, it became increasingly difficult to claw our way through the prickles, so we made our way to the creek and began to walk up the gorge. Once we’d got used to the feel of walking in the water, it was actually quite refreshing—it sure beat the normally dry, hot and sweaty clamber up some death-defying rock.
Roughly four hours of sliding up the creek on rocks later, and we arrived at the base of the falls, where we could see, far above us, the lookout easily attainable by an hours walk on a marked track. An icy swim later, and we headed back down the creek, spending another four or so hours pinching our feet between concealed rocks and trying not to fall in the water, destroying thousands of dollars of camera equipment. The hour or so walk back up the steep, but marked, track to the road was probably the hardest of all, on tired legs.
All up, it was a very enjoyable walk—I much prefer rainforest to the drier “Australian” bush—and I managed to stay less injured than the rest, only getting two leeches, falling only a few times and not badly, and getting stung by one stinging tree. My jungle-skills from up north prevented me from becoming stuck in the wait-a-whiles that attacked everyone else, and even though very sleepy, I’m more used to navigating rocks.
- • Too exhausted to even consider making dinner, I had Thai from the nearest Thai place, and fell into bed.
01.04.2007 – Sunday 1 April – Zombies
- • Ned had a pleasant sleep-in.
- • Ned and Maz and caught a bus to South Bank, and walked back to the Roma Street Parklands, where many zombies were gathering for their annual walk, through the city, past Queen Street Mall, and on to the botanical gardens. The police were out, ostensibly to keep traffic out of the way of the zombies, but overall it was a well-organised collection of, well… zombies. Maz had one zombie bite his ear, and I had one throw a bottle at me, but I also took 551 photos—getting to well and truly test my new 75–300mm lens—and had a great time.
- • Ned dropped past Maz’s, managing to get to bed with enough time to sleep for nearly six hours. Dreams of zombies not permitted.
08.04.2007 – Sunday 8 April – Perth
- Very Early
- • I got up and caught a train to the airport, arriving late, bypassing the queue, and going straight to boarding. Qantas really is better. No waiting. No missing the flight.
- • A Boeing 767-300 (2-3-2) flew me to Perth, uneventfully. I was planning to sleep, but accidentally got engrossed in the movies—“The Holiday” and “The Pursuit of Happyness”—a silly romantic movie followed by a feel-good movie, which really wasn’t what I needed in my current sleep-deprived and emotionally traumatised state. The movies, as crappy as they were, passed the time well, and combined with what wasn’t a bad breakfast and the lack of hard sell, made flying Qantas much more pleasant than Jetstar or Virginblue.
- • I arrive in Perth, where I’m picked up by Lois. It’s quite nippy. For some reason, I always think Perth is roughly the same latitude as Brisbane, but of course, it’s more in line with Sydney, so much cooler. The lack of humidity is very nice too—no sweat. It seems Yellow Cabs and Black and White Taxis have lost out over here—they have Tri-Colour Cabs. It also seems that everyone here has personalised number plates, and those that don’t have random ones—there must be at least twenty different standard templates, including town- and sporting-team-specific plates. I meet Laurie and Jill at Lois’s place.
- • Lois and I go to hospital to see Pop, who looks unexpectedly healthy to me, but is a bit vague. Once back at Lois’s, I meet Bryce, and we drive to the airport to pick up Dad, who only just made it due to his Cairns to Adelaide flight being delayed due to an aircraft swap.
10.04.2007 – Tuesday 10 April – Pop’s Surgery
- • Lois and Shirley go to see Pop. The hospital doesn’t want visitors at this time of day so no one else goes.
- • Pop has his operation.
- • Laurie and I drive to Lisa’s, so I can check for email from work, and then on to Centro Galleria—the largest shopping centre in the Southern hemisphere when it was built. Lisa and one of her sons, along with Bryce, Dad, Laurie, Jill, and after a while, Lois, are now at Lois’s, nervously filling in time.
- • I walked down to the Galleria, and caught a bus into Perth. They have the smart-card based tickets here that Brisbane has been trying to implement, and they seem to be working well. I wander around Perth, ending up at King’s Park, finding lots of steps, and an internet café, where I again check my email. I had forgotten how sandy Perth is—what they call “soil”, we’d call “sand”.
- • I head back to Lois’s, where Lisa and her husband, along with their kids, are.
11.04.2007 – Wednesday 11 April – Brisbane
- • Dad, Laurie and I drive to Fremantle, via Dad’s childhood house, for a bit of sightseeing, before dropping me at the airport.
- • I fly to Adelaide on a Boeing 737-800 (3-3). It’s an uneventful flight. I have mushroom ravioli for dinner. The movie is again “The Pursuit of Happyness”, so I don’t watch that, watching instead some of the finalists from this year’s Sony Tropfest.
- • I arrive in Adelaide, where, unlike Brisbane or Perth, they recommend not drinking water from the toilet bowl. At least they’re not pumping it back into the dams, as Brisbane is going to, I suppose.
- • I emplane another Boeing 737-800, this time to Brisbane. Once again, it’s an uneventful flight, though this time I have a specially ordered Indian meal for dinner, complete with four pappadums.
- • I deplane back in Brisbane, where it appears not much has changed. I catch a taxi home, and listen to the driver complain about how the school holidays are going to ruin him, along with the tolls, and the stupidity of the new cross-city tunnel they’re constructing.
- • I go to bed.
28.04.2007 – Saturday 28 April – Bronwen’s House Warming
- • I had a quiet morning.
- • I attended Bronwen’s house warming, where a pleasant night was had.
01.05.2007 – Tuesday 1 May – Ned’s House for Homeless Vegetarians
- • My place has been a little chaotic recently. A girlfriend of one of the girls needed a place to stay while finding another place, so she moved in for a few days, and is now in Melbourne for a week’s holiday. Nandini was down in Port Macquarie doing modelling photo shoots, trying to become a model. Krish was spending the weekend at a girlfriend’s place, and I was out for the night. So, with no one home, I get a late night call from Brinda—another girlfriend of one of the girls—who had recently moved into share accommodation with a guy she didn’t know, and had her food drugged and needed to get out of her place immediately. I guided her over the phone to the hidden spare key, and now she’s staying here until she can find another place. I suspect the girl in Melbourne will arrive back while this new girl is still here, as it is difficult to find rental accommodation at the moment. And they’re all vegetarian.
If nothing else, it’s not boring.
13.05.2007 – Sunday 13 May – Carindale Billycart Races
- • I attended the Carindale Billycart Races. It wasn’t at all what I expected. They’d billed it as “Brisbane’s Biggest Billycart Races”, which is probably true. I’d naively coupled this with Cooktown’s June Weekend billycart races, and figured it’d be bigger, harder, more dangerous, more daring, more Crusty Demons of Dirt style. I mean, people used to travel up from down south with fibre-carbon carts, and Cooktown hasn’t been able to get public liability insurance for theirs, ever since a few blokes entered a beer-powered power pole as their billycart. An entire power pole—the things that hold up the powerlines—with car wheels. It must have weighed half a tonne. The hill they race down isn’t small, and it’s lined with people, and halfway down they got up the wobbles, nearly wiping out several hundred people, before thundering through the hay bales at the end, narrowly missing the police car, on down the street, through the mangrove swamp, and into the crocodile infested river.
The Carindale Billycart Races were more of a subdued family affair—the average age of the carters was somewhere around seven. It was, however, absolutely hilarious—and everything was free. I went to buy chocolate milk, and was given it. A man was walking around with a freshly squeezed orange juice dispenser, giving out free drinks. An ice cream man was wandering around offering people ice creams. I was impressed. There was also a huge orange walking around, who later managed to crash his cart. The funniest part was when they loaded a turtle into a cart, and raced him. He managed to flip onto his back, as turtles do, and couldn’t get up. Then they raced a ten pin, versus Crazy John. The ten pin’s neck bent backwards in the most hilarious way, and as he couldn’t see a thing, he managed to skittle himself quite well—also unable to get up without help. It really was funny. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but the hilarity made up for that. They even had cheerleaders.
- • I met Maz in the city, and we wandered around, eventually ending up back at Rosalie, where we had curry from the fantastic Indian place, along with Bronwen.
22.05.2007 – Tuesday 22 May – Building a Computer
- • I’m working seven to three in the valley, and am now mostly only congested and coughing—my sore throat is, thankfully, mostly gone.
- • I rushed from work to Umart and picked up new computer parts. For the geeky, and future record should I ever be interested, I bought a Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 P965 motherboard for $140.08; a gigabyte of DDR3 PC6400 800 MHz RAM for $56.65; a Gigabyte GF7100GS 512MB DVI-I HDTV PCIEx16 graphics card for $69.01; an Intel ATX E6320 CORE 2 DUO 1.86GHz/4MB CACHE/1066FSB/LGA775 processor for $232.78; and an Asus TA881 300NP1.3E Silver/Black case for $60.77 (all including a credit card charge). This wasn’t money I’d wanted to spend right now, but it turns out I’m rather reliant on having a computer at the moment. Life without one is a bit like an ice cream cone without the ice cream.
- • I put the computer together, installed XP, visited Maz to get a floppy drive and some floppy disks, and tried flashing the BIOS in the old computer with various floppy-disk based methods, none of which worked.
10.06.2007 – Sunday 10 June – Spiderman, Spiderman, Spiderman
- • Who knows what I did this morning. After tonight, I’m lucky if I can cross the road without getting run over, let alone remember the past. No, wait... it’s coming back. I worked this morning. I got up horribly early and went to work. I got very little sleep last night and worked all morning. That’s why I can’t remember anything after staying up all night tonight, and working again tomorrow morning.
- • Bronwen and I enjoyed a fantastic curry from the always-fantastic curry place, which seems to be getting busier and busier.
- • Bronwen and I rush to the local supermarket, where we buy a bag of bananas—synthetic, naturally—a bag of liquorice allsorts, and a bag of “orange rollers”—which are identical to jaffas in all but name, and two litres of Pepsi. We then catch a bus to Indooroopilly Megaplex, which is full of young women, all made-up to go out, but wearing pyjamas. There’s two huge queues waiting for the two other movie marathons, and a couple of what appear to be hardcore cartoon fanatics waiting for our marathon—Spiderman one, two and three. We sit in the very middle of the front row, surrounded by our junk food.
- • I’m not sure why people sit down the back. Even in the busiest sold-out movie sessions, the last place to fill is the middle of the front row—yet it’s clearly the best seat in the cinema. People complain that it would hurt their eyes, or their neck—but I’ve just sat through eight hours of action movie, in the front row, and apart being fully immersed in a near-wraparound cinematic experience while the folk up the back had to peer at a small screen down the front, having unlimited leg room, and being able to lay on the floor when I got sick of the seats, it was fine—my neck and eyes are as attractive, deep and soulful, as ever. What isn’t too good though, is that I need to be at work in an hour.
24.06.2007 – Sunday 24 June – Harry Potter & a Change of Girls
- • Woke up late, Maz came around, went and got pizza for breakfast cum lunch, followed by a Cold Rock milkshake.
- • Krish is moving out tomorrow, and Brinda is moving in today (despite having already been staying here for some time now). Signing lease and things soon.
- • Got, and am watching, Harry Potter 1. Also got fresh pasta and yummy pasta sauce.
25.06.2007 – Monday 25 June – Car!
- • Caught Train. Met David at Northgate. Test drive car. Drive back home. Get money. Drive back to Northgate. Mess around for hours. Get to work late. Drive home from work in lots of rain. Find demister. Though, looking on the bright side, I now own a ’99 AU Falcon, which cost me a very reasonable $3400.
08.07.2007 – Sunday 8 July – Amamoor
- • Bought breakfast from a bakery near here, and then drove to Amamoor to have a look at where I used to live. Bumped into Annette while up there, so dropped in on her place and had a chat.
22.07.2007 – Sunday 22 July – MP3 Players
- • Bronwen and I walked to the city, where we had a look at MP3 players at JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman’s, between a milkshake and rum truffle. We bought the last two GHT 4 gigabyte MP3 players they had, and managed to get them for $90 each. Happy with this, we celebrated with lunch at Hungry Jack’s.
- • Back at my place, Bronwen noticed that her MP3 player was broken. We’re guessing it was returned as broken, as it was missing a USB lead when we got it. After a call to JB Hi-Fi at Indooroopilly to confirm they had stock, we drove there and swapped it for a new one.
- • Bronwen had forgotten several things, so we drove back to her place to get them, before dropping her at the airport.
- • After spending ages putting music onto my new MP3 player—because Winamp somehow manages to transfer songs over ten times slower than just copying them—I went for a walk to the IGA to get some pasta sauce, and took the MP3 player along. When I got to the store, I put it in my pocket on pause, and when I got out of the store, it had turned off, and wouldn’t turn back on. Once back home, I plugged it into my computer, and it worked, but still wouldn’t turn on. I put some water on to make pasta, plugged it into my computer again, unplugged it again, and it did turn on. I’ve left it running for over half an hour now, and it hasn’t stopped.
04.08.2007 – Saturday 4 August – Upper Portals, Mount Barney
- • I went walking with Clint and Bronwen. We walked to the Upper Portals, Mount Barney. The water was extremely cold, but the walk easy, and enjoyable.
09.08.2007 – Thursday 9 August – Car Accident, Towed
- • I drove to work. While looking for parking, I was run into by a girl reversing her car, the wrong way, down the wrong side of the road, who then turned and reversed into me, while I was driving normally along in my lane. Fortunately I saw it coming, and managed to mostly get out of the way, and she only ran into my tyre, depositing lots of plastic from her car into my brakes. This made me late for work.
- • Work is hectic. Work is stressful.
- • I found my car gone. It has been towed. It costs $180 to retrieve. I get a taxi to the tow place, having found out from a nearby service station their number, as it’s not advertised anywhere. This made me late for Amanda’s. Today has not been a very good day.
- • I spent the night at Amanda’s.
28.08.2007 – Tuesday 28 August – Pittsworth & The Lunar Eclipse
- • After almost exactly two hours sleep, I got up, got ready for work, drove to work, and worked. Fortunately I was rostered on with some fun people, so the day went well, if a little insanely.
- • I drove to Bronwen’s work, got Bronwen, drove to Bronwen’s place, got her things, drove to her parent’s place, picked up some mattresses, drove to my place, got most of my things, drove to Maz’s place, drove back to my place to get the things I’d forgot to get, drove back to Maz’s place, and followed Clint and him in his mother’s car, out to Pittsworth.
- • We got some chips from Pittsworth, and spent most of the night chatting around a bonfire and watching the lunar eclipse.
08.09.2007 – Saturday 8 September – Crime Scenes, Explosions, & Lunch
- • After a sleepless night, I “woke” to find the place covered in press and police. The entire street was full of police cars. The park was full of police. I asked them what was wrong, they said “nothing, we’re just having a picnic, feel free to join us”. Lots of smoke was billowing up from down south, so I drove down Oxley way and found a huge warehouse that had exploded. This was interesting until the police moved me on, and shut down all the roads, due to an asbestos risk. This made driving home very difficult and slow. When I got home, I found the police had been supplemented by a whole pile of SES. They’ve searched through the garden, made me move my car so they could look underneath, looking for a weapon. I found some reporters and cameramen and they told me there’d been a sexual assault around three o’clock last night, and that they had a man in custody, but were searching for evidence. I remember hearing a siren last night, I suppose that was it.
14.09.2007 – Friday 14 September – Work & The Valley Fiesta
- • I made the mistake yesterday, of agreeing with my backup that I’d be at work today for sure, so he could attend a concert last night and take today off. Then I came down with the deathly throat-and-brainstem plague, and this morning I feel “somewhat less than optimal”, but have had to come to work anyway, and it’s fortunate I did, because the backup for the backup NOC is also away, so there wouldn’t have been anyone to take my position had I not come in.
- • Drive to Valley Fiesta. Meet Bronwen. Meet Stella. Take photos. In fact, I took my 10,000th photo with my new camera. I need some new lenses, but the lenses I need are going to cost over five grand, which I can’t justify. Wander around. Witness fight. Listen to music. Drive to Kangaroo Point. Sleep.
18.10.2007 – Thursday 18 October – Sick, Expensive Glass & Michael Clayton
- • Called in sick again. A man came to look at the hole in Nandini’s wall. Maz and I bought some camera lenses—I got a rather expensive Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which should be nice.
- • Bronwen caught bus to city, ran from city as had forgot phone so couldn’t tell me was late, we drove to South Bank, saw “Michael Clayton”, then had dinner at Hungry Jack’s.
19.10.2007 – Friday 19 October – The War on TNT
- • Drive early to mechanic’s, leaving car there. Train home. Help Brinda move out. Advised by TNT that lenses not coming until Monday. Threaten to cancel order. Decide not to cancel. Pick up car probably after lunch tomorrow. Not happy.
- • I catch the bus to work, and begin my fight against TNT. They advise that, due to their freight delays, my “overnight” order from Sydney won’t arrive until Monday. I advise the camera place that I require a full refund, as the lenses were bought conditional on delivery prior to Sunday. The camera place advises that TNT Sydney advised them they’d be delivered by the afternoon. I contact TNT Brisbane, who advises me that they are unlikely to be delivered before Monday. Repeat several times, until I’m thoroughly sick of TNT, at which point the camera place agrees to refund my full purchase if it doesn’t arrive, and TNT agree to find my package and send it to their next-day pickup counter at the airport, where I can pick it up between nine and four on Saturday.
Unfortunately, this takes them until five o’clock to do, at which point TNT Brisbane closes. I contact TNT Sydney for further details, and am advised that TNT Brisbane will not open until Monday morning, and that there’s no way anyone can find my package. This doesn’t really impress me. I demand to speak to a manager, who isn’t very helpful, and then their manager, who does her best to tell me there’s no possible way anyone can access my package in a closed depot until it reopens Monday morning. After threatening TNT with everything possible, I finally manage to get my lens delivered to Maz’s door, free of charge, just after 9 PM. It shouldn’t take twenty phone calls and two managers to get something overnight from Sydney.
- • I met Maz and Smeagol at Kangaroo Point, drove back to Maz’s, picked up my lens and UV filter, and walked home. Carrying a tripod, camera, and obviously large lens past the Regatta just as it closes is not something I’d recommend, in retrospect.
05.11.2007 – Monday 5 November – Resignation
- • Working 9 to 5 for a rare change.
- • I resigned.
- • Helped Stella move some things into her room, had a kebab, and watched “Across the Universe” at Indooroopilly.
10.11.2007 – Saturday 10 November – Dularcha National Park
- • Slept in a bit, then drove to Dularcha National Park rail tunnel, then on to Ewen Maddock Dam, and the Glasshouse mountains, with Bronwen, Maz, and myself.
- • Eated Curry. Much good.
11.11.2007 – Sunday 11 November – Rain, Leeches & Coomera Circuit
- • Drove down south to walk and photograph the Coomera Circuit with Maz and Bronwen, but it rained, there were thousands of leeches, and it was too wet for photos. Abandoned attempt a couple of hours in.
18.11.2007 – Sunday 18 November – Stella moves in
- • I slept in. Stella officially moved in today.
- • Drove to Garden City with Bronwen and Stella.
- • Had nachos from the Calypso bar.
- • Had planned to go to Gold Class at Indooroopilly and see “Elizabeth—The Golden Age”, but this did not work out due to Stella losing her phone while out, and suddenly having to buy tickets for Dad to Perth.
21.11.2007 – Wednesday 21 November – TPG Internet
- • Woke up to no internet. Put in the TPG details, and they work. Seems they churned me sometime around 6 AM this morning.
28.11.2007 – Wednesday 28 November – Working
- • My last day of work. Everyone is nicely impressed by my last-day-of-work email, which I stayed up late-ish last night making. Leaving is tinged with sadness, but I’m really too busy to notice—worked nine to five, went home, slept.
01.12.2007 – Saturday 1 December – Tasmania
- • Bronwen had already packed for Tasmania, but me being myself, I hadn’t, so packed now. Then, with everything neatly packed away ready to go, it occurred to us to weigh the bags, and they came out far too heavy. A quick re-pack, moving everything possible into cabin baggage, or not taking it at all, got the weight down a little.
- • I drove up to the train station, dumped Bronwen and the luggage there, drove home, and walked back to the station, catching the train to Roma Street, changing for the airtrain, and catching that to the airport. Thus began our Tasmanian holiday.
- • Jetstar’s Airbus A320 departed roughly on time, with Bronwen and I seated in seats 1E and 1F—I asked for extra legroom—but not before we’d had to pay $35 excess baggage, which was actually lenient, it should have been around $50.
- • We arrived in Hobart. My first impression was that the airport is very small, and catching the $12.50 bus into the city, that Hobart itself is also very small. Bronwen had prebooked a $60 room at the Hollydene Inn. We went for a short wander around the city, and then slept.
21.12.2007 – Friday 21 December – Brisbane
- • Bronwen and I woke up, gave our surplus camping gear to some fellow German travellers, and drove to the airport. We dropped the car and its keys off, and managed to board our flight with roughly the same amount of excess luggage as when we flew down—but without being charged for it. The flight was uneventful, and we arrived back in Brisbane, to be picked up by Bronwen’s parents. It feels like we’ve been away for quite a while. It’s been an odd trip, as it felt like the sort of thing I’d have done with my parents, except this is the first time I’ve done it without them.
26.12.2007 – Wednesday 26 December – Woodford
- • I drive to Woodford, which is a bit of a drama as Bronwen and I had both forgot our tickets, requiring a detour via Bronwen’s grandfather’s place to print new ones. This is further complicated by Bronwen having lost her wallet, including her required identification. Fortunately our volunteer status lets us into Woodford without identification for Bronwen, where we manage to find one of the last remaining spots on Cloud Nine, and pitch our tent, along with my birthday present from Bronwen’s parents—its new centre pole.
- • We attend our volunteer training, and wander around the folk festival. It looks rainy. It is rainy. Not good.