Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Is it getting hot in here?

Darwin is on the cusp of becoming an industrialized Gas processing 'hub' and is already swarming with opportunists and mercenaries in fluro green and orange shirts. Hoards of blokes getting paid too much to aid the last hoorah... despite the warnings of global warming our Government is overjoyed at the prospect of converting what remains of the planet's safely stored carbon into CO2 for our pleasure and comfort and their profit. Profits will overflow from the booming Fossil Fool industry which, apparently is good for the economy but for those who live where the money is being made the prices are going up up up... With so much money around we've all gotta pay! An escalated price of living at the centre of the next boom means if you're not riding the gravy train you'd better get off their tracks!

Darwin changes all the time! Who are we who came so recently to demand that it remains the way we liked it? ...I've only been here 16 years! When I got here people would say "The Town's not what she used to be..." Well... In another five years will anyone even remember any of those old places we used to know? They knocked the Darwin Hotel down in the middle of the night and within a couple of weeks it may as well never have existed at all. One by one the elevated fibro houses on stilts with louvered walls and cypress floors were carted away, another 50 soulless sarcophagus slivers take their place... more military, more cashed up construction workers, gas workers, no families no homes.
Will any of them stay long enough to feel the goose bumps rise on their skin when the Mills family stand together one more time and sing Arafura Pearl? Has that time already passed? No more black fellas on Mitchel Street... Just franchised replicas of English bars, police dressed like SWAT thugs in intimidating blue, bars open all hours down at the Broken Jaw, drunken white tourists, shaved heads and muscles, half empty schooners, abusive losers, two pot screamers no room for dreamers! Takers, wasters, demanding more beer and one last shot it's time for Hunnypot! Oh dear I think I've lost the Plot...

Yacht (that got away)

Now I forgotten what I was posting about...
Oh yeh. So the rent is going up and the domestic lifestyle has had me against the ropes so for the past few months (well since last year actually) I've been looking for an alternative way to live. The romantic fantasy that's been following me around since... Well I can't remember how long actually,  has reared it's head again. I went out last week in search of a boat. There was an unreserved auction to be held on Saturday so I made arrangements to check out the boat. A 40 ft Steel hulled yacht. It was pretty close to what I thought I was looking for but I had no idea what I should actually be 'looking for' when it comes to sea worthiness. I had a rough idea of what it would be worth (if in reasonable condition) but I couldn't tell if it was actually any good below the waterline and what do you do with a diesel engine that won't start? After a lot of deliberating I decided I'd have to be mad to just go out and blow all our savings on such a whim so I baulked. I went along to the auction and it sold for a bit more than I thought it would. When it had sold I felt relieved but then I felt a deep regret. Ha! Well I'll just have to suffer and keep on looking!

As I was leaving the marina I had a chat with the Lochmaster who reminded me that marinas are places full of broken dreams. Every yacht has got a story and every owner will have paid a pretty high price for the privilege. At the time I was comforted but as I consider the life I am living ashore, more and more something is gnawing at me and demanding that I persist with this crazy idea! Besides, pretty soon ashore will no longer be an option!

Bean garden
Failing to completely drop out I decided I would at least take this week off. I mean compared to committing my life to the sea, a week of gardening and fixing my bikes is pretty tame isn't it! So On the weekend I climbed to the top of a ladder and cut the top off a carpentaria palm with a machete and a hatchet... The tree fell without the usual warning signs and I had to leap off the ladder and run for my life!  I've strung up some bamboo to use as a trellis between the stump and the tree next to it and will hopefully grow some snake beans and winged beans.

Transport wise I've gone to the dogs! With my best bikes off the road for the past couple of weeks and and excess vehicles just sitting around at work I've weakened and have been driving a dirty big stinking gas guzzling car to and from work every day! This really pisses me off because it's so easy to do! Jump in the car, there's aircon, I can play my CD's and just sit in a comfortable capsule, insulated from the world while I drive to work, or work related places like that... There are many things I hate about it and I'm not being a martyr! Consumption of fosill fuels costs money! There are also hidden costs like the speeding fines I've received! (How can I be righteous behind the wheel of a large automobile?) I am also getting fat.

Derailleur and wheel

So now that I'm off work for a while I've decided to try and fix the long bike one last time before ditching the old bike it's attached to. I managed to grab a pretty decent steel rim and a very nice derailleur from the tip shop for under $10. If I can get a long gear cable tomorrow I could actually have the bike back on the road ready to use for the rest of the week. Hallelujah!

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