Day 197 – 29th July 2018 – Darwin, Frogs in the ensuite

Lazy day for Col and I today.  We slept in, worked on the blog and videos and Col put up a new outside light that isn’t so bright as the van light.  He also picked one that you can switch to a yellow light to minimise the insects.  There actually hasn’t been too many insects up here other than the mosquitoes and midgies.  I seem to get bitten a fair bit and Col likes to tell me every day how he gets bitten but they just don’t react on him or cause him to itch.  It is only slightly annoying at this stage, I have about a dozen bites on the go at any one time, but that is manageable.  I am hoping they don’t get too much worse as the wet season build up starts, will see how it goes. Continue reading “Day 197 – 29th July 2018 – Darwin, Frogs in the ensuite”

Day 196 – 28th July 2018 – Darwin, Woolies

Today is our Grandson, Connor’s second birthday.  We miss him very much and are sad to miss his birthday.  Wish we could bring everyone we love on the trip!  Thankful for Facetime calls and Social media which helps to feel closer to home.

Today was my first induction shift at Woolies, 10.30 to 2.30.  All went well and I was working with a really nice person, Christina.  Looking after the Health and Beauty aisle and the Baby aisle.  Nightfill people fill up the cages with the overflow products to be put out on the shelf.  You go and collect the cages from out the back then scan each product, find it on the shelf and re-stock if there is space.  At some point they will also train me on the checkouts but for now it is re-stocking the shelves.  The most challenging part is being asked every few minutes where items are in the store and that is tricky on day 1!  I will need to study this.  It is also amazing how stressed people get when shopping.  All in all it was a good first shift and I am mirroring the shifts of the person I am working with while getting trained.  So working Monday, Thursday and Sunday next week.

I am enjoying doing physical work for a change and being active while at work.  I used to enjoy that about nursing too, it is not good for your body to be sitting at a desk all day I don’t think.  It is also nice to finish your shift and walk out and that be the end of your working day.  Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed aspects of every role I have done, I am just appreciating these parts of my current role.

There is a fair bit to learn with using the product scanner and locating items.  Moving the cages around, using the cardboard bailer, monitoring and registering damaged and stolen stock are other components of the role.  It is funny learning something completely different, I do enjoy that.  I don’t like feeling like a novice though, it is good when you start to get the hang of it and feel comfortable and confident.  But it is great just to do something new, meet new people and experience a completely different work environment.

I do have ‘Woolies the Fresh Food People’ stuck in my head and I randomly sing it to Col in an annoying voice.  I don’t think he appreciates it very much, hahahaha.  Hopefully it is now stuck in your head too.

Day 195 – 27th July 2018 – Darwin, Fishing Dundee Beach

Today is a public holiday in the NT so Col had the day off.  We decided to take the boat out and go fishing at Dundee Beach which is about an hour and a half drive from here.  We would have gone away camping this weekend but unfortunately my first Woolies shift happens to be on a Saturday, so no camping for us this weekend.  Still excited to get the boat in the water.

Unfortunately the trailer tyre locked up when Col was putting the boat in the water on the boat ramp and the car got a bit bogged trying to pull it out.  I had to stand and hold the the rope and was very aware that there are warning signs for crocs at this beach and felt quite nervous waiting for Col to return.  As it was a long weekend, this place was very busy and people were fairly snappy.  When the tyre locked up on the trailer, Col was trying to free the brake by smashing it with a wrench when someone else was coming down the ramp.  They were yelling at Col to move the car and just drag the trailer up with the locked wheel.  It was pretty stressful.  This place is busy at the best of times but throw in a long weekend and it was manic.

We finally got underway and the fishing was fantastic.  Col managed to find a couple of reefs to fish at and we caught some awesome eating fish which included a Cod, a Golden Snapper (Fingermark Bream) and a few Javelinfish.  Apparently the best eating fish is the Golden Snapper and we are looking forward to both trying this one.  All in all it was a fantastic day out on the water and we headed back late in the afternoon to bring the boat in.

We hadn’t really though this part through.  There were people everywhere, about 50 people sitting on the bank watching, about 6 boats in the water waiting to get out, cars lined up at the top to put their trailers in and bring the boats out, a serious production line.  Two cars at a time next to each other on the ramp.  There was a bit of a swell that was making it difficult for people to get dropped off out of the boat to run up to get the cars and Col dropped me off to get the car.  I was feeling sick, this scenario is waaaaaaaaaaay out of my skill set.  I have not backed a trailer down a boat ramp on my own ever, let alone in this sort of environment.  I was seriously panicking.  I got the car and lined up and pulled into a parking area opposite the ramp when I realised this is seriously not something I feel capable of attempting under these circumstances, so I got out of the car and walked back down the ramp, waved Col over and explained the situation.  You can imagine how impressed he was :)  I offered to hold the boat in the croc infested waters with the swell but it was too difficult.  Other boats were getting in trouble just dropping people off.  So we were in a pickle.  Luckily someone asked Col what was happening and a very kind man offered to back the trailer down for me and I was very, very, very grateful.  I am happy to back the boat down a boat ramp, but I would like to do it at least once on my own without and audience and not under that kind of pressure and not next to another car already on the ramp.  Anyway, I totally choked and Col handled it really well.  There was a lovely lady up the top who said she had been in the same situation and had tried three times to back the trailer down.  She said that people come out to sit and watch and film any disasters for entertainment.  A seriously intimidating place, especially on a long weekend.  I said to Col I am happy to go practice putting the boat in before next time.  But we need a plan B next time in case I freeze again.

We were not organised with photos or video of the trip today, so I downloaded this picture of the Dundee boat ramp off to give you a visual.  Just picture it with a million people, cars and boats around!

Dundee Boat Ramp, Dundee Beach NT
Dundee Boat Ramp, Dundee Beach NT

Here is a photo of our catch for the day.  Looking forward to trying the Golden Snapper and the Javelinfish, I already know that the Cod is fantastic.

Our catch from Dundee Beach NT
Our catch from Dundee Beach NT

Day 192 – 24th July 2018 – Darwin, last shift at the Resort

Today I worked with someone different and felt totally heartbroken by her story, to the point that I was nearly in tears for her at one stage as she shared some of what she has been through.  She has had an incredibly traumatic life and I admire her strength to survive and her attitude.  She works hard and is really good at her job.  She calls a spade a spade and doesn’t hold back telling you her opinion, which puts a lot of people off.  I actually enjoyed it and learnt a lot from her, sharing tips and tricks as the day went on.  At the end of the day I told her that I had enjoyed working with her and she actually looked shocked and I was worried I had said something wrong.  She said that no-one had ever told her that before and it was like she wasn’t quite sure what to do with this information.  It was such an interesting reaction it has made me chuckle every time I picture her face at the compliment.  It was sincerely said and I did enjoy my last day working with her.  I will definitely miss aspects of this place and this role.  I have learnt so much and am so much fitter and stronger than when I arrived.  I really did enjoy the experience and just learning new skills.  What will the next chapter bring?

Day 191 – 23rd July 2018 – Darwin

Back to work.  When I got there I was told that the person I was working with was caught up training someone over at Reception and to just start on my own and she would join me.  It was interesting to work on your own and I managed to get one full apartment done in an hour so that wasn’t a bad effort as I had to get all the linen and trolley ready and definitely noticed the difference doing it all on my own.  Eventually the new girl that was being trained was sent over to help me and we did pretty well working together.

I managed to speak with Woolies during my lunch break today and found out that I did get the job :)  My first induction shift will be on Saturday 28th July and I am looking forward to it.  I let my Housekeeping supervisor know but said I was happy to do my shift on Tuesday as I knew they were busy.  So tomorrow will be my last Housekeeping shift at the resort.

I feel a bit sad about leaving this job as I have grown to enjoy it, although it is still physically challenging.  I have worked with some great people who make the time fly keeping me laughing all day.  The only issue is the fact that there is no set roster and they want me there full time and that isn’t what I am looking for.  Col and I can’t plan weekends away and it feels like we are both just working all the time.  Woolies will let me do three shifts a week and a set roster with every second weekend off and that is more in line with what I am interested in doing while in Darwin.  I may pick up another day at the Resort once I have settled in, or even thinking about doing some short courses to experience some other things while I am here.  Will see how it goes.  Woolies is happy to give me extra shifts there too if I want them.

So one more shift at the Resort and then a new start at Woolies on Saturday.

Day 190 – 22nd July 2018 – Fishing at East Point

Today we went fishing at East Point with Kat and Angry.  We are not having any luck in Darwin when it comes to fishing though and today wasn’t any different.  This doesn’t bother Col or me very much as we both enjoy being out there and fishing, but Kat is beginning to get a bit bored with it without catching something, so the pressure is on.

It was still a great day, we had a picnic lunch and tried a couple of different spots in East Point which is only 15 minutes from home.  We were fishing off the rocks which were very slippery and you had to keep a close eye on the water as the tide moves pretty quickly here.  You also had to keep your eyes peeled for Crocs, although they are not seen at the beach too often, but can be lurking there.

Day 189 – 21st July 2018 – Darwin

So nice having an unexpected day off.  Col and I got the first sleep in today, I can’t even remember in how long.  We both find it hard to sleep in these days (I can hear the expressions of disbelief coming from the Obnoxious camping crew), but it is true.  Most days we are awake before 7am.  We had such a great and relaxing day just hanging out together.  We couldn’t be bothered cooking dinner in the evening so walked over to the Resort Restaurant again.  The day at home was just what we both needed I think.  Maybe it was good not to know it was coming because we would have organised to do something, and just being able to chill out was great.