The TV man

July 1, 2010

Blog-readers,

Forget ‘Bieber Fever’! This is ‘Aubrey Fever’!

www.bargara.biz/jim

I found this man playing my guitar while he was supposed to be installing a booster on my antenna…he mentioned his website that his neighbour created for him and told me about how he records his songs in one take and that he doesnt like buggering around!

I felt it was worthy of sharing with you all 🙂

Officer Dixon

Advertisements

Pressed for Words

June 23, 2010

Mungindites,

As I sit in this God forsaken town, my fellow cyberspace bloggers maintain their blogs with the utmost professionalism. It has come to my attention that there are blogs popping up out of nowhere right before my eyes!

Dad has his blog about their Eurotrip, Erica blogs about her culinary skills, Tanya Freeman blogs about her life or something and of course there is the hilarious and often intense ‘Stuck in Chuch’ blog by Mark Serrels.

How can I keep up with these incredible bits of literature? I thought about this long and hard and suddenly realised that I need to do a quick, to the point and astute recap of the past fortnight, or so, in Mung-hole to keep my readers interested and then open a ‘wordpress.com’ blog site to continue ‘Mungin-diaries’ in a more professional manner. WordPress.com coming soon….

So here we go…

Since my car accident, a lot of time has gone into heated conversations with dodgy car dealers and private car sellers who won’t budge on their prices.  Car salesmen are nearly the lowest form of humanity. They are right up there with parking inspectors and the staff at the cinemas who ask you to take your feet off the seat in front of you. Before heading home, I had secured a car with a refundable deposit that means they will hold the car til I could go and see it. Unfortunately, after catching a train to Gosford and walking the 5km to see the car, it turned out to be in very poor condition and horribly overpriced. I got my money back and caught the train home.

Still in Mungindi and getting over my sore head/bruised ego, I waited for Kai had to arrive home from his 16 days off. It was a long two weeks without him but I managed to fill my days with various activities to pass the time. It rained consistently for about 10 days, (let’s call it the ‘big wet’) so fishing, yabbying and general tom-foolery was not an option.

During the ‘big wet’, the local Camp Draft was held at the showground. For those of you who may not be familiar with what a Camp Draft is, I’ll take a minute to explain. The aim of the draft is to ‘cut’ an obstinate cow/bull from the pack of approx. 6 whilst on horseback and hold them up against gate for a few seconds. This first stage of the draft is held in a small holding yard and provides a score on the horseman’s control over their horse and the beast. After the horseman has held the cow on the gate for the necessary amount of time (generally 3-4 seconds) they shout for the gate to be opened to the rest of the showground and naturally the cow bolts for the open yard, thus commencing the second stage of the draft. The Horseman is then required to guide the beast through a series of gates formed in a figure of 8 and through the finish line for a total score and time.

There are some great drafters and there are some woeful drafters. Some can’t even manage to cut the bull from the pack and this ensures a snigger from the crowd. Talk about pressure!

Due to the volume of rain we had, I felt my chooks deserved the chance to get out and scratch around for worms that were no doubt coming up for some air. Unfortunately the next door neighbour’s dogs decided that they would also do some scratching around but instead of chasing worms they liked the look of my chooks more. I had one confirmed KIA and one MIA. I was shattered. I had their blood on my hands for I had let them down as their caretaker and provider. 

As I was flipping my tyre, I heard the familiar ‘cluck’, ‘cluck’ of one of my beloved hens. The little brown poked her head out from under the water tank and had a cautious look both ways before proceeding towards the pile of pellets I had left out to try and lure her home. I felt like a proud father.

Finally the rain cleared up and my days of sitting and watching DVD’s, reading books and arguing with myself whether I should check my email or play ‘Harbour Master’ came to an end. With Kai’s return and the ground drying out, we rediscovered our old activities like fishing, yabbying and fortifying our chook pens. I will post some photos of Kai’s new chook hotel soon.

As my 21 shifts straight came to an end, I had the pleasure of hosting my Nan and Pop for 3 days before leaving to come home. They arrived on the Friday morning in their bright red Hyundai and we have spent the days eating REALLY well, sightseeing (we managed to do one sight a day and spin it out a little) and generally relaxing together. They came home only recently from their epic 8 week cruise through Europe and then decided they needed to ground themselves a bit by coming to Mungindi.

Throughout all the drama of the ‘big wet’, the Camp Draft, the loss of one of my chooks and having Nan and Pop come to visit, I applied for and was appointed to ‘Coolah Station’. This is a very exciting proposition for me as it is only 4 hours from home with a much better roster. I’ll be able to get home easier and more often , once I move, which I think is considerably ‘Cooler’ than Mungindi.  Haha. I don’t make the move until mid-August so there should be a few more ‘Mungin-diaries’ before now and then.

Flying home with Nan and Pop was great and getting home was even better. Unfortunately, I had the pressing issue of buying a car throughout my week at home and after the first disappointment things didn’t get much better. Every car I saw was either in bad condition, too expensive or a bit dodgy. I drove back to Mungin-death in Mum’s car and will have to drive back before she gets home.

Arriving back here has been fairly uneventful. I think knowing I have a release date has made me appreciate the experience more.

That is all for now. Not much happening here but hopefully some work and new material soon!

Keep in touch!

Officer Dixon

Lee vs. Tree

June 9, 2010

Mung-venturers,

As some of you may know, I was involved in an unfortunate mishap a few days ago involving me, my beloved car, a dirt road and a tree. This was never going to end well.

I was returning back to Mungindi from Byron Bay where Guy and I had met up to surf for a few days that we both had off. The return journey had been fairly uneventful and seeing as though I had travelled the same route two days prior, I was confident I knew the road and its limits. First mistake.

It had started to spit as I turned onto the Boomi Rd. Unfortunately, the Boomi is more of a track than a road and is fairly notorious. Locals rarely use it due to its poor quality and remote location. I saw the lightning up ahead but figured I would have made it to Mungindi before the storm really hit. Second Mistake.

As I continued along the Boomi Rd, I noticed the weather was starting to set in and the rain was getting heavier. The dirt roads out here create a funny optical illusion when they are wet. They actually look bone dry. I figure it has something to do with the colour of the dirt which is a really light sandy brown and the fact that there isnt necessarily a worn track that helps distinguish the wet parts from the dry parts. As I looked at the road to assess the dangers ahead, I fell for this illusion 100% and pushed on maintaining my speed to try and make it to the other side before the storm really hit. Third Mistake.

As I was travelling down the track at about 100km/h I felt my front right wheel hit a particularly soft spot and reef the wheel away from my control. I immediately counter steered to try and compensate for the sudden movement to the right but in doing so over-steered and started a fairly significant fishtail.

At this point, I wondered whether I could wrestle the car to a stop while keeping it on the road but I soon realised the surface was far too slippery and my braking effort was doing nothing. My speed was still around the 100km/h mark and I was sliding off to the right side of the road at the same time as spinning a full 180 degrees.

I think I knew deep down that I was going to feel the full impact of a tree sooner or later but as I slid into the scrub and started felling numerous smaller trees I held out hope that I might stop before that big sucker that was going to do the damage. No such luck.

Without wiping off much speed at all, I heard a sickening crunch and felt a bone jarring impact in the rear of the car. The first impact spun me a full 270 degrees and threw me into another tree a few metres further into the bush. I was now facing the road wedged between two trees, one of which was laying completely across the windscreen.

I remember hitting my head on the drivers side roll bar. I remember waking up from a momentary loss of consciousness. I remember the radio going from ABC to fuzz. I remember the windscreen wipers still wiping despite the buckled windscreen. I remember scrambling for my phone that ended up on the dash from the console. I remember the steam from the engine. I remember feeling the blood run down the side of my face and seeing it on my fingers as I gingerly checked the wound on my head. I remember being shaken beyond belief. I remember being scared.

I opened the door and pushed away the branch, stepped out and made my way towards the road. Turns out that ‘dry’ road was wet enough for me to being ankle deep in mud. I dialled ‘000’ and couldnt help notice the irony that I was going to be a patient this time. To my dismay there was zero signal and I suddenly felt very isolated. There was little I could do but try and move the car from where it was buried 15 metres into the bush and get it moving towards Mungindi.

After much ‘forward’, ‘reverse’, ‘forward’, ‘reverse’, the car fell out of the jam it was in and made its way through the scrub. The noise was awful. Things were hanging off and dragging and the back window was gone. The rain had really set in now and I knew it would be a tough making the rest of the 30km to town. What choice did I have?

Somehow the car made it the distance. It really shouldnt have. I truly believe God was looking out for me. The rain was heavy, I felt dizzy, I was shaking and bleeding. I finally found mobile signal and called Brooke and then Erica. I felt a desperate need to let them know I was ok despite them having no reason to suspect anything different. I rolled into my carport and turned the car off. I immediately tried to restart her but she didnt even make the slightest attempt to turn on.

I walked inside and picked up the phone and called Mark my ambo mate on duty that night.

From that point forward the night just blurs into one. I spent the night in hospital just in case the knock to my head had any serious side effects but luckily I was discharged the next morning without much to report.

The car is a mess and is currently being assessed by AAMI to see whether she’ll be written off. The mechanic seems to think so. I think the fact that my car is gone just adds insult to injury! I loved that car. Thank goodness for insurance.

So thats that. No serious injuries and no major financial defecit. Just my pride and insurance premium that have been damaged.

Thanks to everyone who called, txted, facebooked or emailed. Was really nice to hear from you all despite the circumstances!

Hope everyone is well. I promise the next update will include things less serious and scary like the runaway yabbie for example!

Til next time!

Officer Dixon.

Mungin-readers,

It has been a while since I have updated you all on the happenings of Mungindi. I know you are all probably hanging out for the next instalment and I thank you for not sending too many abusive messages demanding the latest…

for those who couldn’t care less what happens in this tiny country town, you have permission to navigate away from this page.

Ok if you’re still reading…it’s too late. You’re stuck. You must read on. Do not worry tho…a lot has happened over the last couple of weeks!

I’ll start at the beginning.

After doing two jobs on my first shift back to work since being home, there was a solid 11 days without doing anything. You might wonder how we fill our time on station every day for 8 hours when there is very little to do in the way of ambulancing. I was wondering the same thing and while I was able to fill my after work hours full of flipping tyres, walking the goat and baking, the same couldn’t be said for during work.

Luckily, Kai had the insight to buy some yabbie traps and research the art of catching yabbies. Turns out it’s not a great science. We first put a bar of soap in each trap and waited in anticipation. The soap worked to some degree and we caught a few little ones but nothing too exciting (not sure who told him to use soap but I think it was probably a joke). We moved on to a tin of sardines with a few holes punched in the top. The oil drained out into the water and the yabbies came crawling in. We managed to catch a few nice sized nippers and cooked them up in a paella that night. Tasty. Still haven’t been able to catch a fish tho.

Once you have been sent bush by the Ambulance service, they require you to attend a training course or ‘orientation course’ if you will. This involves driving 5 hours to Gilgandra, stay the night, get up and drive to Dubbo, visit the control centre, talk about OH&S, drive back to Gil and then learn how to change a tyre the next day. It was actually pretty fun.

We arrived in Gil after a long 5 hour trip involving many dirt roads, much road kill and a few pit stops including lunch at Cafe 64 which was run by a Saint of a woman and a bunch of folks from the local home for disabled and disadvantaged people. We stumbled across the local Gilgandra Show which like many country shows had big machinery, wood chopping, bumper cars and fairy floss. We were in uniform so I had to dissuade Kai from lining up for the bumper cars much to his dismay but we did make the most of the little old lady handing out free fudge samples!

We met up with a few of my classmates who were going to the same course and spent the weekend attending the sessions and eating out at the local ex-services club. I shouldn’t have had that Mornay Oyster but my Chicken Shnitty was to die for.

The weekend came and went and it was time to pack up and leave. Before we did though there was one last order of business. Pick up our chooks. After mentioning that we wouldn’t mind getting back to nature by working a bit of livestock on our properties, we were promised by the motel owner that we could have his flamin’ chooks if we could catch them…it was on.

The little bastards were harder to catch than we thought. There were 5 in total; 2 for me, 2 for Kai and 1 for another officer who wanted to add to her collection. After seeing the chooks and how they kicked, scratched, flew and squawked she decided that she has enough chooks and that we could have them all. Thanks?

Finally we caught them and after much running, screaming, diving and squawking we had them in boxes with blankets ready to make the return journey. Stupid birds.

The trip home was much more entertaining than the trip down. We decided to take a small detour through the Warrumbungle National Park. This amazing piece of landscape juts out of the earth with no warning and stands tall and proud. A mountain range in the midst of rolling plains. We drove right through the middle of them and visited the observatory which is a pretty serious looking place. This is no backyard enthusiast’s telescope…this thing was for watching stars die and planets implode and stuff!

After more dirt roads and a quick stop in at Baradine we were home in time to do on-call duties and watch the footy. I popped the chooks in the outback dunny and set about making plans for their chook pen.

This brings us to our final activity. The activity that has been our Achilles Heal. I say ‘we’ because both Kai and I had sub-standard chook pens to start with…mine being an old vege patch with a shade cloth roof and his was a small cupboard like room off the back of his house. He made the mistake of letting his roam free before he built his coop and subsequently had to pay a few Aboriginal kids to catch them for him. On the other hand, I treated mine like battery hens until I built my coop but they managed to escape on 3 occasions anyway!

We spent much blood, sweat and tears not to mention time and money building these coops but who knew chooks could be so crafty?! I was sitting in my lounge room and could hear the chooks clucking about in their pen. I thought ‘how nice…my chooks are roosting’, and decided to go and spy on them through the window. To my dismay the little bastards were running out the front gate!

Turns out they can fly really well. There was a small gap at the top of my pen where the walls meet the roof. When I ran out the door to stop them crossing the road (pun intended) the spotted one took off like a fighter jet and flew towards the pen. With its wings tucked back it flew straight back through the little hole and into the roost. The other one wasn’t so keen to relinquish her freedom. She decided to fly up the tree and spent the next 12 hours up there despite me getting the hose on her and poking her with the broom. Stubborn. I finally climbed up when it was light again and she flew like a bird of prey back into the coop. It’s safe to say that those chooks started in the Four Seasons but are now in the Alcatraz of chook pens.

So yabbie hunting, road-trips and devil chooks…who by the way still haven’t laid any damn eggs…It has been an eventful few weeks out here in Mungas.

Since last time I wrote, I have been home for a week and caught up with friends and family, surfed a lot and watched Mon and Kate run into the history books! It was so nice to be home and the trip back was a depressing one. Never the less, it isn’t so bad once you get back into the swing of things and start counting down the days til you go home again June 14!

For now though it’s back to the day to day routine of the simple life. Another jam packed adventure update will come shortly filled with the never ending excitement that we wade through daily.

Til then devoted readers!

Peace.

Officer Dixon.

Kickin’ It Oldschool

June 9, 2010

Mungin-diarers.

Remember the days when you had to make your own fun. I’ll admit that I was on the cusp of the generation that had to ‘play’ for fun and use our ‘imagination’ but really by the time I was 10, there was plenty to entertain me without me having to use much effort. For example my Playstation 1 with Tony Hawk 2, T.V., the internet and the move from VCR to DVD.

I have had two jobs this week which has doubled my strike rate for last week. They were both in the same day, one a transfer to Moree and the other a Nana-down across the road at 0400. Doing so few jobs, I feel the move out to sunny mungy has forced me to claw back my imagination and use my adaptation skills to make life a little more interesting. It has been a challenge but like I said, it has been completely necessary!

As you may have read in my previous entry, Myself and a colleague decided to pay what seemed like a huge sum of money for not a lot of gym. Regardless, we were excited and we were getting stuck in, pretty well, to the routine. Our muscles were aching and we were feeling good. One day at work the phone rang…assuming it wasn’t going to be a job (our work phone rings a lot and it is rarely used for its intended purpose) I picked it up and was greeted by the owner of the Gym on the other end. It was odd that he would have the number for the station because when the application to the gym asked for my work number I had put ‘000’…who knows…small town?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the phone call was to inform us that the gym was to be shut down due to the lack of membership and interest. It took a lot of self control not to yell down the phone, “No wonder…you’re charging $100 a month for a treadmill and a rowing machine!” but I managed to refrain.
So in one fell swoop, our afternoon activity was destroyed…along with a fair amount of station morale.

Lucky for me, I managed to draw back on my childhood ingenuity and realise that I had a whole gym right in my own backyard!

I saw the old, gigantic tractor tyre and realised I could get a great work out flipping it over, running around it and flipping it back. It might look a bit funny to the neighbours and even Herb the old goat was bemused by the activity but let me tell you…it really works the glutes!

I saw the large pile of dirt off in the corner of the yard and realised I could work the upper body by shoveling it from one pile to another and then back…I was really working up a sweat but my hands were starting to hurt.

Finally, I picked up an old Besser Block and by lifting it up and down I was pretty much curling a set of dumbells!

As you can see, the child in me was working overtime trying to find anything that could be used in place of what is so often readily available elsewhere.

A famous past time for many is taking the dog for a walk. I dont have a dog, but I do have a goat. It was time to unleash Herb on the town of Mungin-dizzay. The poor thing was always cooped up in the one pen. He is always looking longingly towards the grass on the other side of the fence…not to mention the lady goats over the road! So, we thought it might be a good idea to let him get a bit of fresh air and go for a stroll over to mow another lawn.

Now a bit of a side note to this story is that Herb isn’t the most friendly goat in the world. He has a tendency to butt people when they aren’t watching and ofcourse he was in fine form when it came to walk time.

Despite having to keep our distance from Herb’s fairly sizeable horns, the walk was fairly un-eventful. In saying that, the support car spooked him, (the support car was the ambulance because ofcourse we must be able to respond with or without our goat), we ran into approx 6 dogs along the way which did not fly with Herb and he wanted to sample every patch of grass the whole way to our destination.

We finally made it and dropped him off at Kai’s place to give the lawn a good trim. Unfortunately for Kai, the Agapanthus in the front garden looked way tastier than the boring old grass he was supposed to eat. We came back to pick him up and found 10 well pruned plants and Herb with a long green leaf hanging from one side of his mouth.

Again, the child within was not only substituting a goat for a dog to create entertainment but also making silly decisions that would not make mum happy…

Boredom is a funny thing…it makes us do things we would never normally do. I would not have considered baking an ‘activity’ before I moved west but now I do! The only reason I helped mum bake as a kid was so I could lick the bowl and make a mess. As boredom sets in, the child emerges and the cycle is complete… now I bake so I can lick the bowl and make a mess! Turns out the brownies I made were delish and and the kitchen was left a total mess.

So thats it…the makeshift gym, the makeshift dog and the makeshift…well no, I suppose the brownies were real, but you get the point…
Boredom isn’t so bad if you can harness the kid inside and create the fun yourself.
Who am I kidding…Im so bored it isn’t funny! Keep the comments coming because you’re not just making observations or asking questions…you’re saving a life!

Just before I go, Happy Birthday to my mum who is living it up in Italy and also happy Anniversary to Mum and Dad for last week.

I hope you are all well and not having too much fun without me!

Regards,

Officer Dixon.

The Return

June 9, 2010

Good members of Mungin-diaries…

As I sit down on my borrowed couch, in front of my old scratchy tele, with my ice cold non-alcoholic beer…I have suddenly arrived once again, back in Mungindi. The centre of my universe for now.

Last time I spoke of how Brooke and I set me up here and did what we could with the little I have. Nothing much has changed in that department. This was a stark realisation I came to as I opened my door, walked into my little house and flopped on the couch after a week back home.

Let’s take a few steps back…

Before coming home, I spent a week ‘working’ and performing ‘on-call’ duties which means taking the ambulance home for the night and waiting eagerly for the phone to ring. Unfortunately, it was a full 6 days before the phone rang and gave us a job. Finally!! We were instructed to go to the local Mungindi hospital to pick up a little bloke who hurt himself and transport him down to Moree airport to fly north for surgical consult. Fortunately for him, his injuries were far less serious than first thought…UN-forunately for us, this meant we were unable to do much other than buckle him up, take his blood pressure and then play a game of pictionary where he would tell me which animal to draw and I would proceed to draw endless embarrasing pictures which even a 10yr old thought were hilarious. When I suggested he draw a couple he insisted his arm hurt too much and thought it was best for me to continue to look like a fool. Smart kid.

Apart from our one job, there was plenty going on in Mungas this week that kept me entertained.

One of the other guys on station and I joined the local gym. I use the term ‘gym’ liberally. It is more of a barn with a treadmill, rowing machine and a few weights/medicine balls. Regardless, we decided to pay the extortionate amount of $100 for the month. ‘$100?’ we asked thinking surely that was for the year long membership not just the month. “yeah…? thats what them ‘first fitness’ places in sydney are chargin’ right?”. We both let out an audible groan and thought about letting old mate know that them ‘first fitness places’ are multi-story buildings with thousands of members and plasmas in front of every treadmill…so wasnt worth it. After doing a quick mental check whether there was a better way to spend our money in Mungindi we decided to bite the bullet and sign up…just cos.

The next day as I was buying a few groceries, (including the ice cream that when I got home and opened it up I realised there were two distinct finger holes in it), I noticed behind the register there were fishing reels and hooks. I figured if there was a river there had to be some fish right? I bought the reel and the hooks and because the servo was out of bait i picked up some smoked oysters to drop in and see if they got a bite. Unfortunately, no such luck. I was sure those Carp would enjoy a nice smoked oyster. Maybe I’ll try smoked mussels next time. Unless the servo has more prawns in. Doubt it.

Having joined the gym and after giving fishing a quick shot the week seemed pretty fulfilled. I had had my share of excitement and I really didn’t deserve much more. I suppose Herb thought otherwise.

I went out to my car one night to grab something in the pitch black. As I opened the boot of my car and the light flicked on, I was somewhat startled when ol’ Herb was sitting there at my feet, between me and the car, peering upwards as if to say, “can I help you?”. It would be a fair understatement to say I was suprised. Scared mindless would be more accurate. The goat seemed unfazed by my obvious terror and slowly got up and moved to a new spot where I suppose he thought he might get more peace and quiet. I think my maori colleague is contemplating putting him in a Hungi (traditional underground oven) when he gets the chance after Herb gave him the old horn up the backside. At least that would give us something to do?

So finally the week came to an end. As luck would have it, the roster worked out so I would get a week back home after only such a short time working. I wasn’t complaining!

Wednesday rolled around and I worked an early shift (0700-1500) so I could get organised and ready to drive to Moree and fly home. I don’t think I have to paint too much of a picture to let you know how excited I was to be coming home. Mum and Dad had been held back from their around the world adventures by the ash cloud (no such bad luck on the Moree to Sydney flight) so I was excited that I was able to see them before they left. I locked up the pad and stowed the few valuables I had in the station for safe keeping before hitting the road to dodge roos all the way to Moree.

Despite all the excitement about being home…I was also feeling a certain uneasiness.
I was going home…but would I love it so much that I would have to go through the whole leaving home thing again? This is typical Lee ideology however it was a real concern for me. Turns out I had a great week at home with a few surfs thrown in, a few great nights out with friends, hanging out with the fam and the girl and celebrating her birthday…I didnt have time to worry about leaving all that again.

So when it did roll around that I would have to make the trip to the airport and fly back to the ass-end of the world I was too preoccupied with the weeks events that I suppose it hardly felt real that I would be missing out. Suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real disorder but I felt that packing the week full of the things I miss when I’m gone helps to combat that!

I touched down on the tarmac lined with red dust, hopped off the twin prop that ferries me to and fro and made my way towards home. Home? or where I stay when I work? I’m still undecided on that one. Either way I had to dodge roos all the way while listening to 702 ABC because thats all I get out here.

I start again tomorrow over the fence and who knows maybe we’ll get a job over the next few days? I have two weeks to the day before coming home again so really I can’t complain too much. It was pretty cloudy coming in so perhaps some rain is on the cards? who knows…its always a new exciting day in Mungindi!!

Thanks again to all those who are keeping my sane and calling, texting or leaving comments. Particularly Mick who called me and kept me company for a good 20 minutes while he was doing his grocery shopping.

Happy Birthday Brooky 🙂 Hope you had a great day and like your prezzie!

That is all for now…its been real.

Officer Dixon.

Bizzle Dizzay

June 9, 2010

Good Evening Mungin-dites,

Firstly, happy birthday to my Dad! Turns out we were born on the same day so spose i should mention that before going too much further.

Having your birthday in a place like Mungindi is a bit of a non-event. Only two people in the whole town knew it was my big day and the bbq that I had planned was foiled because the butcher plays golf on Sundays rather than selling meat. In saying that, I have been overwhelmed with the txts, facebook comments, emails and phone calls that I received today. so thankyou!

lets back it up a few days and go back to the start of my time here…

Minutes before the truck pulled up at 44 St. George St, Mungindizzle, Brooke and I were invited by old Kev (the station manager) to come over the fence and have a ‘Welcome to Mungas’ BBQ. We were flattered to say the least however we were aware of the truck pulling in at any minute. We decided to wait and unload first.

We finally jumped the fence to join the party and gave Herb a wide birth. He has a tendency to take the fact that he is tethered for most of the day out on unsuspecting new ambos. Unfortunately the party had ended quite abruptly and we were left to snatch a cool steak sanga and bail. Meeting the guys put my mind to ease. Realising they were pretty cool reassured me that I wasnt flying completely solo duing my time here.

Brooke and I spent a full 36 hours pain stakingly setting up my house. She has a real gift when it comes to organising the layout of a house. From functionality to making it look pretty…its pimp. It didnt all go to plan though. my internet decided to play up and it took nearly 2 days to get it organised. Hours on the phone to Telstra, hours on the phone to Bigpond and various heated conversations with employees of a wide range of ethnicity and finally the little speech bubble popped up and told me i was online. After a sizeable sigh of relief, I logged on and realised I was now back in contact with the world. A massive step forward!

The second set back was my tele. I only had the ABC which was scratchy at best and despite all my best efforts, no amount of banging the side of the tele was going to fix the broken antenna cable. I decided to let it slide and figure it out later. Afterall…who needs the idiot box when you have so many exciting things surrounding you?

Despite the difficulties I faced early on, the adventure was still rolling on at full speed.

I put Brooke on a plane out of Moree on wednesday evening. It was a sad occasion because my companion who held my hand through a pretty rapid and unsettling transition was flying home and back to her life on the coast. somewhere I was desperate to be. We managed to say our goodbyes with little emotion because we were hardened country folk by then but deep down we were still a little upset by Brooke’s departure. Shes home safe now and we do a pretty good job of staying in touch despite the distance.

Since then….

Work is dull. Work isnt really work. It’s called work but its not like we do much work. I havent dont a job yet. its been 4 days and not a wheel has been turned. In sydney I would have done up around the 30-40 mark but here…? no such luck. So how do you keep busy when no one is sick? well…you wash the cars, check the drugs, do some self directed learning, watch T.V., read a book or throw stuff at Herb…endless opportunities.

Night times have the potential to be lonely but thanks to my friends, family and B-Fiz, I am kept busy on the phone and catching up with email/facebooking. I watch T.V. now that i got the box fixed and sometimes indulge in a movie that Tom hooked me up with. Last night was a little different tho. I was invited out to the pub (the jolly jumbuck) to have a meal with the new R.N. in town, the other hospital staff and some coppers. I was served the biggest hunk of meat I have ever seen in my life and managed to eat it but only because my pride was on the line. I sipped my pub squash while the upstanding public servants I was dining with slammed back the jack and cokes and managed to end up under the table before crawling home to the nurses res and the police quarters.

So thats life at the moment. still going and still enjoying myself. slowly getting sick of not being able to do what I am trained to do but I think that is part of the challenge. to stay up to date, to stay passionate, to stay ready for that call at any minute despite how long it may be between times.

Thanks for all the support over the last week. Im loving the enthusiasm over ‘Mungin-diaries’ and the hundreds of ‘Mungin-words’ that can be created…whats that called tom? Its so much easier being in the middle of nowhere when you feel completely at home on your couch with the computer 🙂

I hope you are all well and that this wasn’t too boring. I have a lot of time on my hands and I am fully aware that you may not! still…i hope you enjoyed this entry and to keep you abreast of upcoming issues in Mungin-death I will be sure to write again soon.

Officer Dixon.

The Move

June 9, 2010

Hello mungin-dites,

I figured that a fitting start to Mungin-diaries would be a little story about the big move up to this mungin-riffic place.

On monday the 12th of April, the truck arrived. the truck that was going to cart my very few goods 10 hours north-west towards the great unknown. there was a sense of uncertainty in the air as the truck backed up the driveway towards my small pile of stuff. ‘Watch the grass if you can…’ i heard myself say as the bloke backed it up…if only i knew how little i would care about the grass on the other end.

Once packed Brooke and I waited around to say goodbye to the fam and then made a start on our journey. We missed the F3 debacle by about 20 minutes which would have severely delayed our arrival! instead we wound our way up the ‘old pacific’ in all its glory.

The km’s ticked away and so did my confidence. The land became flatter and so did my enthusiasm. the sun began to set and so did my mind on the fact that i was clearly not going in the direction I wanted to go. despite all this, the countryside was actually quite beautiful. Musswellbrook, Scone, Murrurrundi, Merriwa all came and went and so did their ambulance stations that i realised with a great heaviness that i was not going to.

As you might be able to tell I was not feeling entirely confident in the move. I think i also speak for my co-pilot ‘b-fiz’ (brooke) who was also perhaps realising the weight of the situation as we journeyed deeper and deeper towards the border. we had moments of immense happiness that we were on an adventure together, moments of excitement that we were moving into a new chapter, moments of apprehension over the fact we had no idea what to expect and moments of panic when we recounted horror stories about the town and others just like it. emotions were going nuts.

A few quick pee stops later we were rolling into Gunnedah for dinner. I think it was around here that we hit rock bottom. this was really happening and neither of us were ready for it. I decided in my head at that moment to let it go and make the most out of what was served to me.

A new attitude, a belly full of food and boot full of groceries and we were on the home stretch. road kill was plentiful, road trains were ever-present and brooke was driving! i think she took on the hardest part of the journey! we managed to get there safely despite the adverse conditions and after a quick refuel in Moree we finally pulled into St. George St, Mungindi.

‘Is this it?’ we said to eachother. ‘Must be’ we replied. i think thats a pretty common Q and A sesh when pulling into a town like mungas. its kind of like a question of hope when you realise you really want the answer to be ‘No this is far too small to be a real town’.

Realising in fact this was the right place we found the house and silently crossed the threshold into my new yard. I thought we had been rather silent however we managed to wake every dog in the whole of mungindi and therefore the neighbours decided to come out and see what was going on. they were nice enough and had a decent ‘teeth to tattoo’ ratio so we took the ‘proceed with caution’ approach and discovered that old kev (station manager) had locked the keys inside the house. instead of leaving the door unlocked, he left it open and it blew shut with the keys inside. genious.

After this slight mishap we managed to break in (not giving me any confidence on the security of the place) and set up our bed for the night. we had a long drive and were buggered to say the least. a blow up on a dusty floor was perfect.

The next day the journey was complete. after a morning filled with furious cleaning, meeting the other officers on station and a quick ‘welcome to Mungas’ bbq, the truck arrived. as it backed down the driveway i didnt feel a sense of impending doom that i had the last time i saw that truck, i didnt try and pretend this wasnt happening and i certainly didnt care about the grass.

I was in mungindi now and here i was for a while. Massive thanks to my girl brooke. it would be a very different set up (not as good by any stretch) if she hadnt come to help. shout outs to all those who are commenting on pics and updates that keep me smiling 🙂 home again soon and lots of stories to tell.

Til the next installment keep in touch and look forward to seeing you all out here at some stage to share in living the mungin-dream! peace.

Officer Dixon