Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Keep on Truck'n
If I had any lingering thoughts of one day becoming a truck driver, they were well and truly quashed after last Saturday. Aff and I faced up to what was arguably the biggest pre-marital task of them all - moving out of our house. Well, strictly speaking, we didn't move out, we just re-distributed all our belongings for 8 months. This is the 6th time I have moved. It doesn't get any easier. Every time you think it will be easier, because you convince yourself that this time you are all the wiser, and know what to do. For the first couple of hours, you may even still believe this to be true... then it happens .. the wall hits,. This is usually marked by some irrational argument with one's partner about the quality of box they chose to pack your beloved PlayStation ..not this time however. This time it was marked by my complete inability to drive the truck we had hired to do the move.
Nothing quite gets the blood flowing like realising your truck has no hand brake. Equally, nothing quite gets the blood flowing like trying to reverse a truck on a steep drive way with no more than two metres between the front of the truck, and a parked car, and no ability to perform a handbrake start. Any inkling of thought about me one day ditching my research career and becoming a Truckee was instantly lost in that moment. Never have I longed to be in front of a computer as much as I did on that steep drive way. You will be pleased to know that I did manage to reverse the truck without incident .. though not without a very impressive string of expletives.
The other interesting phase of the move was our tip run. Aff and I were as brutal as ever about throwing out stuff. When we moved to Canberra, we did what I thought at the time to be a pretty comprehensive clean house. Well, that was nothing on this one. To be honest, I suspect I will regret a few decisions made in my tip frenzy. To make decisions in the days leading up to a big move is always a dangerous thing, because most decisions are clouded by the fact that you really don't want to lug around more than you have to. On the other hand, it really is incredible how much crap one can accumulate in a couple of years, and how hard it can be to throw some of this stuff out, despite how inconsequential some of this stuff is to your life.
As Aff and I cleared the back of the truck into the pit area at the tip, ready for the crusher, I did have a moment of doubt as I looked out at all the stuff we had decided to rid ourselves of. Old shelves, books, a computer .. a lot of stuff that did hold some value, and probably still had some use. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a moments doubt as I stared at all this stuff piled up. Almost perfectly on cue, however, the tip bulldozer entered from stage right, and quite literally, in the blink of an eye, all our belongings were swept away. It really was the rubbish tip equivalent of ripping off the band aid. There was nothing left behind ... including any doubt about what we had chucked out. The fact that I can barely remember what we threw out probably adds further support to the reason why we threw the stuff out.
So here we are, with nothing more than our sleeping mats, some clothes, and an esky. Suddenly everything is starting to feel a lot more real.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Burning up the Bowlo
The marital count down has officially begun, and what better way to mark the occasion than with the ceremonial burning of the BBQ. To say this was not an entirely planned event would be an understatement. Aff and I did plan on having a BBQ to celebrate our wedding, and our OS trip with all our Canberra mates (most of which we couldn't invite to the the wedding), however, we did not expect to provide quite the floor show we did. Apparently the Turner Bowls club doesn't have too many BBQs. Or, perhaps they have too many. In any case, what they certainly don't do often enough is clean the fat tray at the bottom of the BBQ. If you've ever wondered what happens if you don't clean the fat tray, wonder no more .. it combusts.
Despite a few lost sausages, we still managed to salvage most of the meat, and had a great night. The only other mishap of the day happened a few hours earlier when I managed to cut myself quite badly on a piece of glass in the Bowls club Car park. I was wearing thongs, but that wasn't enough to stop a fragment a broken bottle finding its way through, causing quite a bloody scene. My immediate reaction was to pull the piece of glass out and ignore it (believing it wasn't that bad). It didn't take more than a few more steps for me to realise that the cut may be a little deeper than first thought. Not wanting to let people see the mess below my foot, I made a bee-line for the bar and asked for a first aid kit. I have to say, what the Turner Bowls club lacks in BBQ preparedness, and car park safety, they more than make up for with their extensive range of first aid products. With some very knowledgeable friends on hand to help, I was quickly bandaged up, and even had a beer in hand while the first aid was applied.
Unfortunately the freak storm that took out my office, also caused significant damage to the Turner Bowls club greens, so we were unable to bowl. This was a bit disappointing as Aff and I had originally planned to do the whole bowls thing. Perhaps on our return in 8 months time ... which should hopefully give the bowls club plenty of time to clean out the fat tray in the BBQ.