To Deliver … Or Not …

Ok, so I don’t know why, but this issue really has gotten under my skin.  I’m not usually one to get on the band wagon of community debate or issues or even really have much of an opinion about things … but the Postie Pandemonium has certainly touched a nerve with me.

I guess I can’t understand what all the fuss is about … just go to the Post Office and get your mail … it’s what people with Post Office Boxes have been doing for, well, ever since they were invented!  And we aren’t the only town without street delivery service … Broome has a population of around 11,500 people, a lot more than Newman, and they don’t have street delivery.  And yes, they only have one Post Office.  Lots of small towns in the South West don’t have street delivery service … can you hear them complaining?  No really, can you?   Just because we are a mining town, does that make us special?  I think we have enough privileges … boom town or not … it’s not going to hurt us to have a temporary lapse in our mail delivery service.  And yes yes, I can hear you scoffing at the privledge comment … I know we don’t have a dentist … but I’m not talking about that … this is in no way in the same league as our non existent dental care.

Which brings me to another point … it’s not like it’s a permanent thing … chances are that someone will put their hand up to be the new postie … surely!?!  And the street delivery service hasn’t even ceased yet … so imagine the who har that’s going to go on next week.  Think I’ll have to leave town … or I might just bite the end of my tongue off trying to keep my mouth shut.

Now, let’s all do something constructive and start looking at some issues of importance … um, I don’t know … like the fact that each night there are over 100,000 people who are homeless (yes, ok I watched The Block last night) or the fact that because I’m going out for dinner tonight I’m going to miss Packed to the Rafters … or even better … put your hand up and be the new postie … let me know if you need a hand choosing the colour of your mohawk for your helmet.

Until next time …

pp xx

Postie Pandemonium!

Today something caught my eye that made me think … hmmm I must start writing my blog again … I’ve had a few attempts at getting back into things but was still not “feeling it” … but today a little issue has built a burning fire inside of me that has made my fingers hit the key board … and no it wasn’t that my little puppy ate chillies and burnt his bottom … that lit a burning fire inside of him … not me.

Today all residents of Newman got a notification in their letter box informing them that as of 14th May we will no longer get mail delivered to our letter boxes.  Instead, people will need to go to the post office and collect their mail from the hatch.  Wow, by the sounds of things, the world is ending and life as we know it will not go on.

As most small towns do, we have several “moan and groan” type pages on Facebook … and well, hasn’t this little doozie caused a stir!  People are up in arms about having to go to the Post Office to collect their mail.  Now, since I’ve lived here, I’ve had a PO Box, so I go to the Post Office every day to collect my mail … sometime twice a day if I’m waiting for something particularly exciting!  Gee the calories I must burn exerting this energy to make the perhaps 2 km journey.  You would think I’d be skinnier than I am lol.

For me, having a PO Box means that my mail never gets wet, stolen or blown away and I’m always able to pick up parcels when I go into the Post Office.  When I go away I don’t have to worry about someone “collecting my mail”.  And yes it costs a huge $90 a year (don’t quote me, but it’s not over $100) … and really if you work it out that’s like a huge $0.24c per day.  Really, it’s not going to break the bank!

Several people have brought up things like, well why should I pay for a PO Box when now everyone’s mail gets held at the Post Office (well having a PO Box means you can check your mail any time of the day or night).  And why don’t we call our local Member for Parliament and Shire Councillors … yes because they are really going to care about something so trivial … they aren’t saying we aren’t going to get our mail at all, just that you’ll have to go to the Post Office to get it.

Why don’t we spare a thought for the poor ladies that run the Post Office – they are now going to be inundated (more than they already are) with people demanding their mail.  And do you really think they get paid the big bucks?  I’m sure they’d much rather have a higher paid job … but as the saying goes … someone’s gotta do it.  Or I guess NOT in this case.  What would everyone do if there was no one to man the actually post office?  Now that, I admit, might be something to moan about.

And why are we no longer having a mail service you might ask?  Because no one is willing to take on the contract to do it.  Because obviously it doesn’t pay enough and doesn’t come with housing.  And really who would want to do it with everyone constantly whinging about the services in town on FB?

But seriously people, suck it up.  … sooooo sick of the whinging and whining about what we don’t have in this town … seriously if you don’t like it … leave … or better still become a postie!!! Broome doesn’t have a mail delivery service … big whoop … get a PO Box and start worrying about the bigger things in life!!!

Gee whiz, surely I’m not a Princess anymore huh!

pp xx

High Vis Princess

It wasn’t so long ago that I arrived in sunny Newman (and yes I am saying that in a sarcastic tone) … with my acrylic nails, stilettos, face full of makeup … I would never be seen without my pink designer bag … or make up for that matter.  Well, fast forward 9 months and check me out now!  Thought I’d share a few photos that I took at work last week …

This is me at work ... just hanging out ...

I’ve replaced my stilettos with a pair of super comfy steel caps (accompanied by Mr. W.’s socks of course!).

just in case you missed it the first time ...

And back to that “sunny” thing for just a minute … can you believe that when I got in my 4×4 (yep, there’s no “car” anymore) this afternoon it said 50 degrees on the temperature gauge … can’t talk … melting!!!

pp xx

PP Gets a PT …

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog … to be perfectly honest, life has become majorly hectic up here … early starts, late finishes … working full time and running a business … and that’s not to mention looking after Mr W. 😉  I’ve been racking my brains for some inspiration on what to write about … and then I decided to get fit … and here we go … instant blog!

So let me paint the picture … I’m not the fittest person in the world, in fact I’m probably one of the least fit.  And to make things even better, I’m really not into exercise.  Yep, I’ll walk the dogs if Mr W. whinges enough and occasionally I’ll walk to work … but apart from that, well, I get all the fitness I need from raising my glass of cask wine to my lips.  Enough said.

And so, after meeting with my new Personal Trainer once to discuss a few things, I rocked up to the gym for my fitness test.  I felt like a fish out of water … a smelly boxing gym in the middle of no where, it was like a relic from the 70s that time forgot.  But my PT is so energetic and enthusiastic … not to mention FIT, it’s almost impossible not to feel pumped.  We cranked up the tunes and off we went …

And so the Fitness Test consisted of 10 “one minute” tests including things like step ups, sit ups, push ups, running starts, star jumps.  The aim … to do as many as you can in one minute.  I did pretty well, I wasn’t breathless, my legs burned a little, but nothing too harsh … nothing I couldn’t get through … or so I thought …

Well we got to the last “minute” test, and up until that moment I was feeling fine, a little puffed, but as I said to my PT, I can talk underwater with a mouthful of marbles, so I don’t get out of breath or show signs of being puffed.  But all of a sudden I was feeling nauseous.  Thinking it was just because I was tired, I  mean I’d been up since 4.30am and by this stage it was 8.20pm … but 10 seconds later I was out the front of the boxing gym throwing up behind a tree.  Oh yeah.  That’s so hardcore.

I was so embarrassed, not only was I really, really unfit … I had vomit coming out of my nose due to the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing at my predicament.  And this was only the fitness test, not the training … ho hum.

And so, I’ve arrived home and had a cup of sweet black tea … this will apparently stop the shaking I’m experiencing.  I can’t wait until I’m so sore I can’t dress myself.  This will apparently happen on Saturday.  Yay!

And as for my Personal Training sessions … I’m not going to give up, I’m going to get fit, even if it means starting from the bottom.  And so, next Monday  I’m heading back for another session.  But not to the gym … ha ha I’m not fit enough for that yet … I’m heading to the local oval.   I’ll let you know how I go.  One thing’s for sure, I’ll be taking my sick bag lol 😉

pp xx

Saturday Morning in Newman …

After having a week of feeling like I had lost my blogging mojo … a morning of boredem in Newman seems to have brought it back.  Mr W., being the hard working soul that he is, has just finished his 3rd night of night shift this morning.   For those of you with partners that work nights, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be when you have to live in the same house … and be quiet.  It’s great when I’m working, I get up and get ready for work, Mr W. comes home, jumps into bed and falls asleep.  But what happens when it’s my day off?  Well, I thought I’d share with you what night shift means for me when the morning after falls on a Saturday …

It means I have to be organised.  If I want to shower once Mr W. has gone to bed, I need to have all my stuff transferred to the other bathroom.  I know Mr W. says that once he’s asleep he can’t hear anything, but I would feel just awful if I woke him (remember the smoke alarm incident).  And so, night shift almost renders me homeless for a few hours as I search for things to do in this sleepy town …

6.15am alarm goes off, I remember that Mr W. will be home in about 20 minutes.  I get up, quickly gather bathroom paraphernalia, clothes, shoes and dump it on the kitchen table.  Jump back into bed.

6.40am Mr W. arrives home, I pretend to be asleep … have a conversation I can’t remember …

9.13am awoken by text message from my mum (oops, I must have fallen back to sleep) … Mr W. stirs a little, but I manage to sneak out of the bedroom without waking him.

9.45am after a shower in the spare bathroom, I take the dogs for a walk through the bush.

10.30am race home, put the dogs back in the yard, grab handbag and race to the gym for Pump … oops got the times mixed up, it started at 9.50, not 10.50 … ho hum.

10.40am head to hotel to buy a take away coffee … $5 (yes yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you).

10.45am head to the shopping mecca of Newman to waste some time … surely there is something to look at?  Go to Woolworths, buy three magazines I don’t need and 4 mandarins that seem fresh and tasty.  One magazine had a free ModelCo Lip Balm … bargain.  Cost … $24.

10.55am walk back to car … which I have purposely parked on the other side of the car park so that it takes longer.  Call mum and talk to her in the car park.

11.10am do a lap around town, see who’s about.  no one to see.  return to shopping centre.

11.15am go to Tyre Shop to pick up spare tyre which has been repaired after my flat tyre yesterday.

11.25am go to newsagents to see what junk I can purchase … result = 3 scratchies, a birthday card, The West Australian Newspaper, Fridge Magnet, Blank Card … total $25.

11.35am do another lap around town … still no one about, no one to see, nothing to do.

11.50am decide to drive to Tropic of Capricorn.  This may seem strange, but try not going above 60km per hour for a month and see how you feel.  The lure of a 110km speed limit (if only for 15 km) is just too tempting.  Put on 80’s radio station, listen to Cher “If I Could Turn Back Time”.  Drive to Tropic of Capricorn sign, take photos, get back in the car, drive home.

12.10pm (yes I made it past lunch time) … arrive back in town, seeing as it’s after 12pm I head to the bottlo (you can’t buy wine here before 12pm remember).  Choose 3 bottles of white and a cask of red (yes I know, but it reminds me of my fabulous holiday lol).  Get told by the lady behind the counter that one cannot purchase cask wine on a Saturday, only a Mon or Tues.  Feel incredibly embarrassed.  Put cask back on the shelf and choose a bottle of red.  Gee it’s hard when you’re forced to be classy.  Pay for my wine and head back to the car.  Total $70.

12.20pm Consider sitting in the park and drinking my wine.  Decide to get Subway instead.

12.45pm Waited in line at Subway for about 15 mins but was actually happy with this, as it pushed my time out of the house out even further.  Total $9 (come on, I had to buy a couple of cookies too!).

1pm Returned home with above purchases.  Turned out to be an expensive morning.  Have snuck into the office and locked myself in so I can blog quietly.

So as you can see, I just love night shift.  It really makes my weekend.  Now where’s that wine???

pp xx

Red Dirt Romance …

What does romance mean to you?  Have you ever thought about what it really means when you tell someone to “be romantic”?  I have been pondering the true meaning of romance for a while now and decided to share my findings with you …

I thought a good place to start would be the dictionary.  And so I consulted to see what it had to say on the hot topic of romance.  I was told that romance could be “a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting” or “a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention“.  How interesting … I had never thought of romance as being “baseless”.

Another source described it as “ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love“.

Six months ago romance to me meant flowers, chilled champagne cocktails at my favourite restaurant, dancing, someone whispering sweet nothings in my ear, maybe a love note here and there, or a well chosen gift, dinner at a fancy restaurant, being told how beautiful I looked, or how much my eyes sparkled.

My how Newman has changed my perception of romance.  I have thought a lot about this in the past few months and it’s only now that I’ve changed my way of thinking.  You see, for the past few months I have really nagged Mr W. about not being romantic … especially seeing as we only celebrated 4 months yesterday!  The Pilbara is by no means conducive to a “romantic courtship” … there are no florists, no gift shops, no fancy restaurants … and no sandy white beaches with amazing sunsets … and there no “marvelous deeds” or “romantic exploits” … or so I thought.

You see, it’s funny how sometimes we reflect on things and see things through a different light.  I’ve decided that Mr W. is very romantic, it’s just a different style of romance … I think we’ll call it “red dirt romance”.

Who needs jewellery when you have a man who gives you his Surfer Joe’s to walk across a mangrove crawling with spider crabs, rather than have you walk barefoot?  Remember, you can see though diamonds, well white ones anyway.  Jury is still out on the pink Argyle ones …

And who needs a fancy dinner when you have a man who will not only make you a bacon and egg sandwich with a runny egg, but also give you advice such as, “honey, if you turn the other way, the wind will blow your hair back and you won’t get runny egg in it” … oh Mr W. … bless those so called unromantic bones of yours.

He will also take you to the most beautiful beach in the world to watch the most amazing sunset you’ve ever seen … but be warned … there will be no holding of hands or eye-gazing.  He will have a quick fish instead.  But you know what, he will still be there next to you … well down the beach a bit anyway.

He will teach you to drive a manual without yelling at you and a few months later when you drive him to work he’ll tell you how proud he is of how much your driving has improved.  He will tell you that your hair doesn’t look all that bad when some hairdresser in a town you visit makes you look like a five year old hacked at your fringe … and then a few weeks later when your fringe has grown back he’ll tell you that actually, it was terrible.  He knows that timing is everything.  He will always make you a coffee and put your toast on before you go to work.  He will let you write a blog about your life together … and just when you thought he couldn’t get any better, he’ll write a blog on his point of view …

These are definitely heroic and marvelous deeds in my eyes …

pp xx

ps … just a little note for Mr W. … just in case he reads this … even though I’ve come around to the whole “red dirt romance” idea … any forms of previously held notions of romance are still very welcome.  And even though you can see through diamonds, like I said, the jury is still out on the pink ones.  Oh, and pearls, you can’t see through them.  Thank you xx

I think I’ve grown fish scales …

Yes it’s true, I think I’ve grown fish scales …despite the fact that I’ve never lived so far from the ocean!  (you know the ones I’m talking about … they drive you nuts with itchiness and have that white flakey skin going on!!!  yummy)  I thought I would share with you a tale of my “Pilbara Makeover” …

Most of the time we have make overs to make us look more appealing … change our make up, hair colour or style, wear trendier clothes.  Well, in this case I would say that I have done the  complete  opposite (although I have to say that Mr W. is more than happy with the results, aren’t you honey?)

It all started with the fish scales … a direct result of  all the calcium in the  water here  (there’s enough calcium in the water to grow another arm or leg … just ask my shower screen) … but also the fact that it’s actually cold at night  ( and you know, there is no one to keep me warm coz Mr W. isn’t the most cuddly person in the world, well, unless … well you know!!!)  and so you have boiling hot showers and then when you get out of the shower you’re soooo cold that you can’t be bothered to moisturise … let me tell you this is a vicious cycle with to no end … in fact the only end is the fish scale effect!!!  And don’t get me started on the effect that it has on your feet … I mean, we are talking cracks you can put 20c pieces into … like I said, I really think that Mr W. is more than happy with my Pilbara Makeover, he just can’t keep his hands off me …

My daily make up routine has been somewhat reduced … once a smoky eye kinda gal … I now get by with just the basics, foundation and mascara … cos I mean ,  who needs blush when you have red dirt everywhere, all the time.  (and they say theres no dust in Newman – feel free to bring your white gloves and do the Michael Jackson test at my place)  I mean you are literally covered with it.  It gives you that healthy, just been on holidays  in Bali glow … not !!!!!

White is totally out of the question.  I found this out the hard way.  My crisp white singlet suddenly turned pink…… literally before my eyes).  And not even nappy san can resurrect those stains.  Oh and that’s not to mention my white sneakers … which are now a beautiful shade of, you guessed, pink.  At least I can prove that I do exercise up here … well I did once or twice anyway lol.

My corporate wardrobe has had a huge makeover.  I’ve gone from skirts and stilettos to fluro orange high vis shirts, jeans and steel capped boots (I’ve steered clear of the camel  / tan coloured suede favoured by most and gone with a more fashion forward black … lace up to the ankle … come on peeps, ankle boots are so hot right now  but on the bright side the heels don’t get caught in anything ).

Actually talking about boots … I’ve actually lost a few inches … no seriously … my stilettos have been banned  (I think Mr W. is a little embarrassed to be seen in public on a Saturday morning with me while I’m wearing them actually) … and in their place I have thongs … not just one pair … a “crap” pair for around the house (these thongs are well worn, about 3 years old and very very comfy).  And a “good” pair.   These ones are for “going out  for a night on the town (can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) … and feature a little diamonte on each one … despite the fact that they too are well worn, about 3 years old and very very comfy.  Gosh … I could write a whole post on thongs … hmmm watch this space …

in a while crocodile
pp xx

Cheeseburger Trafficker

How far would you drive for a big mac?  a cheese burger?  What about a bucket of KFC?  You’d be surprised what you would do when you haven’t had it for a few weeks.  While my withdrawal symptoms have settled down now, it was touch and go there for a while.  Seriously … was my gorgeous new man worth a lifetime sans whoppers with cheese?

Those that know me will tell you that I would have faded away to shadow had it not been for me living less than 1km from McDonalds (this is really quite handy when you get home from a boozy night with a serious hankering for a Big Mac … you can walk less than a kilometre when you’re drunk if there is food at the end of the path).  Well, I’ve been in Newman for over 4 weeks now and in this time have not even had a whiff of anything greasy (oh ok ok, I have stood out the front of Chicken Treat and breathed really deeply, but I haven’t actually been in).

And so, when one of our friends said she was heading to Geraldton for a few days and would I like anything from there … I didn’t hesitate in asking for a few frozen Bacon Deluxes.  It seems whenever you head down to Perth, or Geraldton, there are always numerous requests for the couriering of fast food.  HJs in Geralton are so used to this that they double wrap their whoppers.  KFC on Great Eastern Highway in Perth will sell you a “travel pack” for $10 which allows you to put your KFC in the hold below the plane … so as not to drive fellow air travellors wild with the morish smell all the way home.

Actually, having half a dozen whoppers in the freezer makes me feel a whole lot more comfortable about potential cooking disasters … although, in my experience you really need to defrost the whopper before nuking it … salad really doesn’t freeze all that well.

Last time Mr W. flew from Perth to Newman … without me :-(, we pulled up at McDonalds and ordered 23 cheeseburgers (we really only needed 20, but you try driving 20km with a bag of cheeseburgers in the car and not eating any … so we had to account for temptation).  I have to tell you that we really confused the drive thru girl … she ended up calling her manager to speak to us and confirm our order … clearly thought it was a hoax.  Anyway, we loaded up a cooly bag with our 20 cheeseburgers and proceeded to the airport … and even though the bag was sealed, the smell still wafted out.  The security man pissed himself laughing at the site of 20 cheeseburgers going through an x-ray machine, but you can’t tell me he hasn’t seen worse.  I dared Mr W. to wait half way through the flight before ripping one out and devouring it in front of all his fellow passengers … popular man he would not have been.  Although then there was my other suggestion of selling them off at $20 a pop … come on, quickest $400 he’s ever made!  Well to cut a long story short, after about 3 hours in that bag, they were just as hot as when they went in … clearly we all need one of these bags … especially if we are going  into the trafficking business … trafficking McDonalds that is.

Just in case you ever need to know these things I am going to share some Fast Food Trafficking Wisdom with you.  In my experience McDonalds freezes way better than Hungry Jacks (Homer was onto something when he penned the lyrics of “you don’t make friends with salad).  And if you’re ever asked to courier some KFC, it really does travel well, so I’m told.

So, if you are ever coming to visit me … please call me first … you never know what I will want you to bring me from the greasy lands far far away.

pp xx

Just like an automatic …

I’d always heard stories about the road trains (RT) up here, but never really thought about how big they really were … until I had to overtake one.  Now you may not think this is really that big a deal … and it probably isn’t to a normal person … but as you have probably realised, I’m really not the definition of normal.  Far from it actually.  Just ask the poor bloke who had to spend 17  hours in a car with me (this poor bloke will now be known as Mr W … xx).

So why was overtaking a RT so BIG for me?  Firstly, I haven’t driven a manual car, let alone dirty great big four-wheel drive, since I got my licence (and sadly that was over 10 years ago now).  So you can imagine the fear that set in when I was told … “ok, it’s your turn now” … pardon me, what???  The horror of learning to drive the first time around was all of sudden very real again … the fact that I could never quite get that clutch/accelerator thingy right … and the fact that I failed my first driving test … it was all flashing before my eyes.  But praise where praise is due, I had the best teacher … patience of a saint that man.  He didn’t bat an eyelid when I forgot to take the hand brake off, meaning I stalled it before I’d even left the side of the road … and didn’t flinch when I accidentally put it into 5th gear … instead of 3rd.  God love him.

And so, after my “Dummies Guide to Driving a Stick” Driving Lesson, along the road we went, me thinking, gee this isn’t that hard … once you get into fifth gear it’s just like driving an automatic (this has been quoted back to me by Mr W. on several occasions, apparently this really isn’t the case).   And so, Mr W. decided he would have a little nap (god knows how he drifted off, I certainly wouldn’t have been sleeping with me at the wheel).  Anyway … there I was cruising along … when all of a sudden I was behind a RT … yes yes I know, it’s not like I hadn’t seen one before … however … you don’t realise how huge they are until you have to overtake one on a skinny road where you really can’t see that far in front of you!!  So I slowed down, thinking, this is ok, I’ll just sit behind him for the next like 10 hours, all good.  But oh no, next thing I know, Mr RT driver put his indicator on, letting me know that it was safe to pass.  And there was my old friend fear.  But after a couple of deep breaths, and some reassuring words from Mr W. (who had woken up to see the ass end of Mr RT) .. I put the pedal to the metal (and in 5th gear just like an automatic) I overtook my first RT … woop woop … one of my proudest Pilbara Princess moments to date.  Mr RT was probably wondering why the hell some woman was waving at him like her life depended on it … I was THAT excited.

I took some photos (while I was a passenger … I might be able to eat/drink/talk while driving an automatic, but a manual is a whole different ball game, even in 5th gear) … so you can see just how big the RT really are.  And some of these are on the mini side … the further North you go, the bigger they get.

3 Trailer Road Train ... same as the one I over took!

RT stopped at Meekatharra ... we overtook this one ...

RT Cab ... apologies for my finger lol.

And if you ever find yourself driving through the Pilbara and happen to have a two-way on board … my tip is tune in and have a listen to the RT drivers chatting to each other … it’s some of the funniest stuff you will ever hear.  Another tip … try not to get involved in their conversations too much … ha ha ha they really don’t take kindly to that lol.

Stay tuned for my next post … Life Lessons of  a Pilbara Princess …

pp xx