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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Road Works and Noisy Jets and Saved by Chocolate Biscuits

It has been a very noisy day. This morning I woke to a low humming sound that I assumed to be the water pump. I was totally wrong. There are trillions of miles of road around here but road workers have set up camp on the closest piece of road to my bedroom. As I look outside I see a man in a yellow jacket holding a road sign standing by my letterbox and as close as it is possible to get to the house. I briefly contemplate the possibility that he is spying on me. It seems so unlikely that he would choose the exact spot that is closest to my peaceful country hideaway


There are only two properties on this road and it isn’t even sealed, so I can’t believe the trucks and yellow graders have chosen today to vibrate the house with their incessant rolling back and forth past the property.

Then I had to call Telstra about an error on my account. Twice. The first time I got that annoying machine you have to speak to, and it passed me on to another annoying machine until I got lost in the system and had to call back. When I finally got through to a person he was the usual robot voiced foreigner that seems to be reading from a script. It took half an hour for what should have been a simple request.

In the afternoon I went out to ride to town to post some mail, buy some groceries and use the Internet at the information centre. It is about 5km’s to town and all up and down hills. By the first hill I was already tired and within 5 minutes I was off the bike and walking. It was like some sort of bizarre triathlon where the downhill is a bike ride and the uphill is a slow walk up the hill. Thirty minutes later I was hot, tired and, although I didn’t know it at the time, stressed and wound up.

Even though I called ahead getting my computer online proved tricky for the two ladies at the info centre who thought that if I plugged my laptop in, it might overload their system and blow it up. After some discussion I finally settled into the middle seat of the computer desk.

I was looking forward to time to catch up on about 130 emails that had arrived since I was last online and to the other work that I usually have all day to do. Then one of the two ladies came over and started to chat. She was a lovely friendly country woman, so I was happy to talk for a bit. Then the second lady came and did some photocopying on the machine on the other side of me and they began to talk across me.

Then a teenage boy replaced the first woman and started chatting with his mum, who was still noisily photocopying right next to my ear. Again I was piggy in the middle as the mother kept telling him how much he smelled and should buy deodorant. It was all a bit much and I told the lady I wasn’t worried about any smell when the noise of the photocopier was bothering me more.

I didn’t notice the woman leave until the man came over to tell me that when staff needed to use the photocopier, they had priority. I was embarrassed and annoyed and I acted in my usual calm and collected manner and insisted I had never meant for her to stop and then dissolved into tears of frustration.

The man was apologetic and the women were concerned. I tried to insist I was okay but it was quite obvious I wasn’t, so I got to use the computer alone while the staff huddled in the office for safety and probably wondered which loony bin I had escaped from. At least it kept the noisy woman away while I did the most urgent things I needed to, and after a bit of PR work and apologies all around I left feeling that it would be okay to come back again.

At the grocery store I was still feeling very sorry for myself. I had very little money but I made good use of it. I bought green vegetables for health and well being and chocolate biscuits and sarsaparilla for my soul.

I am so thankful that I have a bike to ride, but my bottom hurts, my legs are tired and my hands are sore. In addition I don’t look good on a too big boy’s bike and wearing a helmet that looks like a horse helmet in army green. I tell myself all the way back that at least I have a bike, …… over and over again.

For a poor non domestic type single woman, dinner was very good. I had my vegetables with chicken, and followed it with a home made apple crumble I had made earlier in the day. I also had the complete packet of chocolate biscuits and two glasses of fizzy. After all that I was feeling much better, at least until I spoke to Phil and found out he had peanut butter on toast for dinner. Now I feel guilty again. I thought I got over that when I turned 40 but I guess it is always there ready to pop up its little green head in times of stress. I wish I was there to make him dinner.

The day ended as it began with noisy machines, as an unusually loud jet passed overhead back and forth for a bit. Phil says there is an air force base near here; so much for the peace and quiet of the country.

I hope tomorrow is less stressful. I can’t afford to use the chocolate biscuit prescription too often.

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