Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Good and Bad of life in Busselton

Ah the joys of sleeping in on the weekend! I reckon more people would go to church if it started later and they didn't have to get up early on a Sunday morning. I've got no proof, it's just a theory, but I'm pretty confident about it.

After my leisurely rising I turned on the radio and heard some very sad news. Two young people from Busselton were killed in a car crash last night. They were standing up in the back of a ute which rolled over. Alcohol is suspected to have been an influence. No names had been released at that stage so I rode into town to see what I could find out, fearing the worst, that they were kids from school. Finally the grapevine started to work and one of the kids from school rang me to let me know who the victims were. I didn't know the kids but I do know the driver as he was at the high school when I started there. Favourite Daughter knows him as they were at school together.
It is a terrible tragedy and another reminder, as if we needed any, that young people cars and alcohol are a deadly cocktail and the Superman Syndrome, the mistaken belief kids have that they are invincible, is just as prevalent as ever.
There will be at least three devastated families in the town and the shock waves will reverberate for a long time. Another girl who was in the car has serious injuries and is in hospital in Perth.

The rest of the day was much brighter, with a number of interesting vignettes.

As I rode through the McDonalds carpark this morning, three young girls asked for my help. Their bikes were all locked together and the key wouldn't work. Closer inspection revealed that the lock had, to use the technical term, crapped itself, and was no longer serviceable. I borrowed a pair of what turned out to be well past their use by date bolt cutters from the tyre business across the road and after a good deal of effort was able to cut through the lock and release the kid's bikes. My good deed for the day done, I continued my mission for information about the crash.

I stopped a couple of girls I know from the school to ask if they'd heard anything and was then verbally accosted by a bloke sitting on a park bench who was intent on me asking him for whatever help I might need and when I declined his "offer" he continued a stream of low-level invective in my direction. When the girls walked away and I explained what I was doing he settled down and apologised.

Then I ran into Graeme, the principal at Fashion Boy's school and told him we weren't happy with their school policy and it's insistence that he have matching piercings in each ear which had resulted in him being excluded from a lesson yesterday. Consider the strange logic wherein a conservative Christian school insists that one of it's students gets their ear pierced, in order to match the other ear! He was both bemused and diplomatic. While I was talking to him Carolyn arrived, which got me into trouble because she had told me to stay out of it and she would talk to the school on Monday because she didn't want me to get mad at them! I was very measured and polite! Nothing for her to worry about at all!

At 1.00 o'clock I headed down to the gallery to do my rostered shift on the desk, only to find Sharon, the manager, there because she thought my name had been crossed off so she was going to cover the desk. I decided to stay, allowing her to paint in a back room while I painted at the front desk. It's a good way to pass a few hours while "on duty" and I was encouraged by the news that another one of my paintings had sold during the week, a large picture I called "Google Earth", for $350! It still amazes me when people like my paintings enough to want to buy them. I called Carolyn and asked her to bring down another one to hang in it's place. May as well strike while the palette is hot!!

I sometimes ask visitors as they leave if they'd seen anything they liked and was chuffed to get a response from one little girl today who was there with her parents when she said she had liked the one with the green squares. "I did that one" I said proudly but even when I offered her a discount she wouldn't part with her pocket money! It was a fun exchange and reminded me of how enjoyable repartee and customer service can be. I wouldn't like to be a salesman but I have thought at times a job in customer relations could be fun.

The Heir and Favourite Daughter surprised us all this afternoon by cleaning and tidying the patio! They were very industrious, sweeping and raking and cleaning and blowing and rearranging and by the time they were finished it looked so good we decided to get fish and chips for dinner and eat out there! The only sour note was when they lifted Sport Boy up so he could stomp down the sweepings in the bin and banged his head on one of the rafters! He was not happy and took a good bit of consoling and snuggling before he regained his normal good humour. He is nursing an egg on the top of his head.

This evening BB the Accountant and his daughter Aimee arrived to stay for the night. Aimee is clocking up hours on her log book for phase two of her driver's license so a 4 hour drive to Busselton and back tomorrow will give her a good chunk of what she needs, as well as valuable experience on the roads.
BB brought our tax returns down for signing so he can submit them next week, a service he provides for which I am deeply indebted and appreciative. There was a nice bit of serendipity with mine.
Prior to going away on my LSL trip I had worked hard to save as much money as I could to pay for all the airfares, hire cars, accommodation, theme parks, football tickets and associated costs incurred in 6 weeks away from home. By the time we got home the balance in the holiday savings account was down to $507.
While I usually get a tax refund, this year because of the taxi driving I knew I would get a tax bill, I just didn't know how much. I had put money away for it, in the holiday savings account!
When BB gave me my papers to sign they revealed that my expected tax bill is $505!

We finished the night with a game of cards. Our standard family card game is midnight and I managed something I don't ever remember doing before; going through all ten rounds without busting! A "perfect score" so to speak.

We played musical beds tonight. BB is on the fold-out sofa bed. Aimee is in Sport Boy's bed. Sport Boy is on the other couch. Favourite Daughter was not feeling well so she's asleep in my bed, next to Carolyn, who I'm glad to say has finally shaken the migraine which has severly afflicted her for the last three days. All of which which means I've been relegated to sleeping in Fashion Boy's room, with all the olfactory risks that entails! Somehow in all the rearranging and accommodating, the Heir managed to retain his own, double, bed.

Last word goes to the Australian Netball team who this afternoon defeated arch rivals the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the final of the World Netball Championships and managed to get me excited about watching women's sport. I don't mean to be sexist, but it is rare for any women's sporting event to get my pulse rate going. I'm glad to say this afternoon's netball game achieved it.


Anonymous said...

Even I thought the netball was exciting.
Been thinking of you this weekend with the car accident. Although upper school probably gone I hope there is not to much fall out for you.
Will be thiking of you tommorrow.
Dave at Bunbury Senior High

Zaac said...

rules of shotgun, i called my own bed and therefore i got it!
i'm not really following why that bloke had a go at you, got the gist that he did and sort of why but you got a tad wordy and tricksy with swapping emphasises and so on, care to translate your no doubt carefully constructed web of confusing grammar?
i;m definitely with you on the church starting later thing, it starts at 10.30 in england, i'd even push it to 11 and throw in some kind of lunch, that would really get people there!