Sunday, 11 October 2015

A weekend in orange

Hi everyone,
And at last, a catchup post on my life!
Where I left off, it was Thursday night and I’d been to an SES callout.  The next morning I’d needed to be up early to get to work before 8am.  Do you suppose this was because –
(a) I was required to attend some whiz-bang piece of training?
(b) I’ve been assigned a super-interesting and valuable piece of work?
(c) My boss wanted me to take his car to Shepparton to get a wheel alignment done?
If you answered (c), pour yourself a drink.  It was a moment to bite my tongue, smile, and remember how much I need this job.
The plus side was having some time to kill in Shepparton.  It used to be that Melbourne was a big city and Shepparton felt like a small town.  I must have been working in Tatura for a while, because now Shepparton feels like a huge bustling metropolis!  Well, a metropolis where you’ll see stickers up promoting the Country Alliance Party, the latest conservative agrarian political grouping.  But a metropolis nonetheless.
I picked up the newspapers and went to Gloria Jeans for a coffee and a read.  I followed this up with a trip to the opp shop and by then the car was ready to collect.
Friday was otherwise unremarkable apart from a trip to the Murchison Rail Trail discussed here.  Well, except that I blew a whole $1.50 buying books at the opp shop -
- and I saw a sandwich board that made me laugh -
To me, this billboard implies that on the other days the fish are starting to smell bad!
Saturday brought the assessment most of Tatura SES Unit has been preparing for: The General Rescue Skills day.  I met the rest of the team at Murchison and we went down from there.  They kept us on the go most of the day, which is why there are no photos.  I’m proud to say that we did pretty well.  The group I was in got its Z-rig pulley system set up in record time and we manage the ladder- and casualty-handling tasks pretty skilfully.  And, we all remembered the required knots, thank God!  I’m dead pleased by that, and even more so that now we can move on to the Road Crash Rescue and Boat Crew courses.  I’m sure you can understand that I slept well that night!
Sunday was a cooler day, and the clouds spent the morning making promises of rain they didn’t honour.  I lent Mum a hand with housework in the morning and in the afternoon got out for a 45 minute ride: it would have been longer but a storm warning had been issued and the clouds were building up again.
Ultimately the heavens opened just on dusk with a narrow swathe of storm-damage and flooding through Mooroopna and Shepparton.  My pager went off about 5 times in 10 minutes and all available members were summoned to the LHQ at Tatura.  I had to come from the farm, and two of our other members (as it happened, two that I’m pretty close to) came from Echuca, so we were the last to arrive.  The rest of the Unit left us the Patrol and we caught up with them at their second job.  It was a leaking roof and, awesomely, a chance for  Madison and I to apply our rooftop safety and storm damage skills – for the second time in my case and the first in hers, AND to do it without having a more experienced member up on the roof breathing down our necks.  I don’t know how she was feeling, but I was equal parts excitement and nerves and REALLY not wanting to screw it up (by, say, falling through the roof or something … don’t laugh, it’s happened!).  We did well!  The crew got the system set up skilfully and efficiently, and up on the roof went she and I.  We isolated the cause of the leak – loose chunk of tile-cement, exacerbated by the buildup of Mentos-sized hailstones while had stopped water from draining.

We effected emergency repairs with plastic and a sandbag to stop further water leakage and came down off the roof.  We probably weren’t completely by-the-book, and in hindsight I think the repair could have been done better in a different way, but it’s all a learning exercise.  I’m really proud of what we did. 
I should say that pretty well everyone had to mobilise in the middle of dinner.  I don’t think McDonalds has ever tasted so good!
So, a rewarding weekend.  There’s nothing better than doing something you love, except when you can do it with your friends.
Today has been another dead quiet day at work.  The highlight has been slipping out at lunch and going to Sacred Heart church here in town.  It was the first time actually gone into the church proper.  I’ll surely be going back: it’s a lovely church – beautiful but not overpowering.
Not much more to add.  I’ll head for the farm shortly.  Hopefully I’ll be inspired to write something further!

No comments:

Post a Comment