Day In The Life Of Us
5:50am Wake up. Smoke everywhere.
6:00am Queue for the loo. Mustering camp here, 20 people in 2 loos, Yay!
6:50am Breakfast (coconut yoghurt and roasted almonds)
7:00am Start painting.
8:30am Backpackers have to rake and blow leaves off roof and gutters, fires are coming. Leaf debris and dirt falling on my wet white gloss skirting paint.
9:00am Boiled egg on the go for smoko.
10:00am Off up to the homestead to measure up for air cons and to frame in and also fix leak on roof before the wet season starts. Manager says the fire is on its way and will be here in 2-3 hours.
11:00am Smoke is everywhere. Ash falling and drifting through white kitchen. Staff on the Station filling up all the water tanks on the trucks. The grader driver is back burning. Take washing off line so it doesn’t smell too smoky. Horses grazing outside caravan and camp kitchen, which is nice. Organising madly to get as many orders on the freight truck as I can. $1,300 a delivery, so need to fill the load as much as possible. Backpacker still not back from smoko. He is vomiting, he may have heat stroke from getting all the leaves off the roof and away from the buildings this morning.
11:26am Start second coat of top coat, for the skirts, doors and trims. Richard phoning about specs to sheet metal and glass company.
12:03pm Have to stop painting, black ash drifting on to my wet top coat. The heat and the dry wind makes the paint skin off the moment it’s painted on the timber. Fire is changing the colour of the daylight. Station is deserted; with all the staff off fighting fires accept us. Start to No More Gap instead. Fires on three sides, two older fires still going and this new one today.
1:00pm Lunch (rosemary and lamb sausages on salad with a green smoothie)
2:00pm Email and drawings to sheet metal company for flu and oven splashback. Email to glass company for quotes for flyscreens. Email to head office re stone floor and buying arborists gear. Drive up to homestead to send off emails.
3:00pm Plumber still not arrived. Richard still getting wall framing and door frames in ready for first fix with plumber. Everyone has red, stinging eyes from smoke.
4:00pm Plumber arriving shortly, just leaving the bitumen and driving all equipment on the corrugated dirt road from an indigenous community an hour away.
6:00pm Plumber still not arrived. Rang his wife and found out he is helping out at a truck fatality on the road between our Station and the neighbours. Poor fellow run over by his own truck while changing a tyre. He will stay until the police arrive from another indigenous community about an hour away.
The sunset is red from the fire and smoke.
8:30pm Might have to drive dinner out to the plumbers. Men on the Station still fighting fires.
9:00pm Plumbers arrive and have tea and settle in for the night. Hopefully tomorrow there might be hot water showers and functioning toilets!!!!
11:30pm Staff on the Station still out fighting fires. Smoke everywhere. Off to bed for another day. With the lights all out you can see fires glowing all over the escarpment.