Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week 24

Mon. Sept 10    Wittenoom
Not a great deal has happened since Wed, just work, sleep, and eat.
I must admit that things are not as rough as I thought they would be. About the only day’s work I have done was on Sun. in the mill. That is where the asbestos fibres are separated from the rock bands either side of them.
The process involves the material passing through a series of crushers and vibrating screens. Down at the bottom of the mill the pale blue fibres emerge from the last screen and are bagged and stacked ready for transport to Roebourne on the coast.
The mill is a shocking place to work in, as the level of dust in the air has to be seen to be believed. Apart from Sunday, I have just been acting the goat since I arrived here.
There are a few people here who have done the overland trip in one form or another.
Stan, the storekeeper did it in an old Austin, which was apparently quite an epic. Terry, one of the other fitters, did it in a V.W. while Allan Strachey hitch-hiked.
They are all up here with the same idea ― make a pile as quickly as possible and then depart.
The blokes in the next cabin to mine have not been sober one night this week. Noisy sods! They must be spending all their pay on booze.
Went for a walk this afternoon and climbed a small hill to get a few photos of the Gorge and the township. It was very quiet up there, as nobody else seems to have similar ideas of fun as I do.
Today has been a paid holiday-race w/end. The guy next door had his radio stolen last night and another chap had a rifle taken, probably by one of the hordes who have all come into town for the races.
I have decided to just write the diary up every 5 or 6 days.

Fri. Sept 14    Wittenoom
I have spent all week in the machine shop and am finding my feet well now. This is a really lazy job with at least half the time spent doing nothing at all.
On Wed. I moved from the camp to Steve Dykstra’s home. Another 2 pounds a week but it is well worth it. I now get all my washing done, a good lunch box, and first-rate meals. I also have a bed with sheets on―an unheard of luxury.
Old Steve is 62 and one of the fittest men of his age that I have ever seen. It is nice to be in a home again.
I received the news that Isobel and Roy Wood are to be married. Quite a shock.
The weather is starting to get warmer now, though the nights and early mornings are still cool. I received pay for one week today - 28 pounds clear, which is not bad. I will open a bank account after next payday.