Diverting to Darwin
Wednesday 1st May
He made it! Paul was waiting at the airport when we arrived. He took one look, shook his head and muttered ‘I can’t believe my parents are Hippies!’ He took us home anyway – what a good boy - and has installed us in his room.
He has the house looking really nice and has hung some of the things I sent up when we sold our house.
He has the day off from work today and he and Ron have been out and bought supplies.
Just as well they had the groceries because as they went out to go to Harvey Normans, Paul was called into work. What a pain.
Thursday 2nd May
Paul finally arrived back home in the wee small hours, had his five minutes sleep and headed back to work.
Ron and I went and bought a few more necessities like a second pillow for Ron which he is testing right now. I’m watching the Midday Movie and about to do some more knitting.
I finished reading my e-book on the plane up here so I will peruse the catalogue and see what else I can find.
Paul came home, got changed and went back to work for ‘compulsory fun’. (They had a bar-b-que for the Task Force).
Friday 3rd May
We had a quiet day at home; Paul had a busy day at work.
Friday night we were all back to normal with Ron and Paul yelling at the footy on TV and me amusing myself with other stuff.
Saturday 4th May
The big day, the reason we are here, the parade for ATF-2 / 2 Cav Task Group. Oh dear! I do hope they have better organisation when they go away. Paul had told us we would just have to get our names marked off the list and go straight to the Parade Ground. I found a soldier with a list and of course our names weren’t on it so we were directed to join the other twenty or thirty milling civilians who obviously weren’t on the list either and to fill out appropriate forms and show relevant ID and we would be granted Day Passes and admission. Upon realising that the parade would be over before the passes were issued, they dispensed with much of the formality and we were just added to ‘the list’!
I would have circled Paul but once again, I couldn’t find him.
But as per usual, we found ourselves with the naughty group (the one’s who make the comments on the commentary etc) I hasten to point out that some comments were warranted especially when it was announced that the oldest soldier going was 57 and the youngest 22. One mother in our group exclaimed with due outrage ‘but my son is only 20’. This was quickly followed by another who said ‘so is mine’. Ron attempted to diffuse the situation by stating ‘but the Army does age you’.
While we were there, we were accosted by the Channel 2 News Team and asked for comments. Everyone else fled and I was left to say the appropriate things. It is really difficult to speak and bite your tongue at the same time. I figured it didn’t matter because I always end up on the cutting room floor anyway.
Afterwards we went home and during the afternoon, Paul’s old boss rang to say he had seen me on the telly.
Paul cooked up a fabulous bar-be-que dinner for we invited guests and of course Tom (who also lives in the house) and his girlfriend. We tuned into the ABC news at seven but alas, I had been relegated to the cutting room floor by then so I never got to see myself as a TV mega star. In spite of this, we all had a lovely evening and I consumed copious quantities of wine.
Sunday 5th May
It has come to pass that Ron and I will probably not have to return to Darwin now after all. Paul is able to put everything in storage and we will have no house to mind. In light of this, we decided to play tourist and head out to Mindil Beach Markets.
It was the first Sunday they were opened since they closed down for the wet season so it was incredibly crowded. It does have a lovely party atmosphere to it and people bring their tables and chairs
Ron bought himself some more fisherman’s pants and I bought two long frocks so all in all a successful expedition.
Monday 6th May
Paul and Tom had all good intentions to organise the house (go to the Real Estate agent) and organise uplifts with Toll etc. only to find out it was a Public Holiday for Labour Day.
So Paul, Ron and I went to the Casino instead. We had a really good day. It’s lovely to see Paul so happy. We didn’t win big but we had fun trying!
Tuesday 7th May
Tom moved out today, so Paul has turfed us out of his room so he can move back and we are moving to Tom’s room.
I e-mailed the ABC to see if they could send me a copy of the Parade News item with my interview. Murray McLaughlin (news editor) promptly replied and left a DVD with everything on it (including all the out-takes) at reception for us to pick up. It was good to see what I looked like and hear what I said. (It makes it much clearer to see why I end up on cutting room floors!) I even managed to see Paul in a part of the footage. Great to see the tax payer’s money being put to good use – made me feel like I was getting a refund!!!!!
Wednesday 8th May
We went out for breakfast this morning. The restaurant is called Pulp Kitchen and the food was to die for. They also had the most amazing milkshakes. Just as well our Paul is macho enough for pink.
Just as well we went for breakfast too because Paul got called back into work again at 11.00am. So much for being on leave.
We spent some time this afternoon packing for the flight back to Sydney at 1.40am tomorrow.
Paul came home later in the afternoon and presented me with a lovely silver pendant for Mother’s Day.
Then we went to Outback Jack’s for dinner. What is it with my children taking me to Steak Houses? But, yet again I was able to find a thoroughly delicious meal. Ron ordered ‘All You Can Eat Ribs and Chicken Wings’. They arrived on a huge platter and as we puzzled over how they would establish ‘All You Can Eat’ I decided that if that is all they give you then it follows that that IS all you can eat!!!!!!! (he he he).
We have had a fabulous time with Paul. He is really happy and it has been so good to see him before he heads off to Afghanistan.