Tuesday, August 31, 2004


It's three thirty in the morning when a sound intrudes on my dreams, a
surging, a rumble, a sound long forgotten. Then my conscience kicks in,
brain on full alert. Firewater pumps!
When I stumble out of my room the hallway carpets are already soaked and
water is pouring out from underneath the door to the fire escape. I
gingerly push it open. Water sprays everywhere the sprinkler system is
obviously doing it's job but there is no fire.
Fire has a buzz to it, a sub audible hum, a life all of it's own, that
most of us instantly perceive.
Now other people have woken up and I take the elevator down to the
lobby. Not the wisest thing to do under the circumstance but I don't
want to get wet.
Interior drainage was obviously not foremost on the architects mind when
he designed the building. The water here is ankle deep and rising, the
apartment dwellers at this level are frantic. The one person missing
from all this is Reg, the building manager, attempts to wake him by
banging on his door and ringing him on his telephone prove fruitless.
I assess the situation decide there is no apparent danger and go back to
What a night.


Brisbane's river festival goes of with a bang tonight. It's time for
River Fire, a massive fireworks display more or less synchronised to
music. We are at Alf's place, the lucky bugger has an apartment next to
the story bridge overlooking the river and all of down town Brisbane.
The firework was indeed spectacular. Starting with an F111 fighter plane
screaming overhead and with fireworks attached to the river bridges as
well as on various barges parked in the middle of the river then for the
climax two fighter planes doing a "dump and burn" where they burn off
excess fuel behind their craft.
A good time was definitely had by all and it was close to midnight
before I got home

Monday, August 30, 2004


Sitting in the train from Toowong to Brisbane.
A mother and her young son get on board.
The boy climbs on the seat next to me, puts a hand on my shoulder and
looks, he has the reflexive outlook of an autist savant, a lonely view
of the world different to others. He rhythmically pushes my shoulder. I
give him a smile. He climbs of his seat, stands in front of me and put
his arms around my neck, we hug. I am missing Daniel he is missing all
of humanity.
When I leave the train I say goodbye and wave at him.
He reacts not.

Friday, August 27, 2004

A project at last?

The buzz in the office this morning is that the landowner agreement for
North West Moran has been signed. This would mean that construction can
commence and I should be of to PNG shortly. I somehow think my next
discussion will be about how shortly. I would like to go on the Tuesday
after I have been home but I am sure there will be some diverging
opinions on that from all and sundry.
I'll keep you posted but it looks good.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Nothing new

Thought I better let everyone know that nothing has changed on the work front. We still can't get land access, so I am staying in Brisbane for the time being. I will make a quick dash across the Tasman to NZ next weekend to see the family and after that unless there is a major change back here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

More photos.

Almost forgot, I put some more photos of Brisbane and the railway museum at Ipswich up over the weekend. I also gave the main photo page a bit of a revamp. Have a look for your self.

Cold and rainy.

The weather has changed and it's cold and rainy indeed. The Brisbanites are quite happy with this as apperently it hasn't rained in three months. I can't wait for it to clear up again though.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Ipswich Railway Museum

After a sleep in I decided that avisit to the Railway Museum might be an interesting thing to do. An hour on the train and ten minutes on the bus brought me to North Ipswich where once the largest railway workshops in Queensland were located. Like everywhere else they are now simply a pointer to the age of steam but unlike most others they are actually still operating and being used partly to restore old steamers and partly as a museum. I joined two of the tours through the workshops and they were both fascinating. Conducted by actual employees of the workshop during the week they are fitters and boilermakers and during the weekends they are rostered on as tour guides. The result is that you get things explained by people that actually know what they are talking about.
For me it was also nostalgic as most of the work they demonstrated I have in a smaller form at one time or an other done at school. So for any one interested in railways I can heartlily recommend it.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Ditch that last message.

Well it's never a dull day when you're in my line of work and today was no exception. This afternoon I was told that they wanted me to stay for another week or so in Brisbane. So cancel the flights, change the hotel bookings and see what tomorrow will bring

Thursday, August 12, 2004

PNG at last.

I must have upset enough people in the office, not the least with pointing out the error of their ways to the corporate accountants, that John the Projects Manager told me to get on a plane on Monday and sort out some of the problems that have cropped up in PNG.
So now we are back to the airfare rigmarole and I guess with only tomorrow left I should be able to just finalize the Monthly Report.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

PNG Pictures

I have uploaded the first PNG pictures and wondering when I get to go there again.

Monday, August 09, 2004

New photos.

I have added some pictures I took yesterday at the show to the Australia photo page.

About data and custard.

Well I had a right royal Monday and am further behind in my work now then where I finished last Saturday. Somehow I managed to quite literally push the wrong button and in an instant my data for the Monthly report turned to custard. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had noticed it straight away but of course I didn't blink to what had happened till midday. So now I am fixing up the budget allocations in every package on the project. Don't think I'll be finished before tomorrow night. Yak.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


The Royal Queensland show better known as the EKKA is Brisbane's variation on the agricultural shows that are being held every year all over Australia and New Zealand. In Brisbane they go for the bigger and better variety though with an expected six hundred thousand visitors an official public holiday, next Wednesday is Brisbane show day, and more attractions then you can comfortably visit in a day. Needless to say I had to go and investigate.
Now I don't really care about cattle and produce other then what a restaurant can make from them so I gave the price baking and award winning cattle a miss in favor of side show alley where they have some fantastic rides that took me right back to my childhood. As long as I can recall I have enjoyed the atmosphere that comes with people having a good time enjoying scary rides and eating all the junk food that is on offer.
Part of shows in Australia is the "show bag" a phenomena that I haven't encountered else where. Basically it's a bag of goodies around a single theme. So for Daniel I bought a Thomas the Tank Engine bag and I hope he likes the Thomas stickers, Thomas cup, Thomas pencils and Thomas backpack etc that are in it.
For me I had a good time, took lots of pictures, which I will post in the next few days and have worn out my feet so I should have a good nights sleep.

A week at work.

Well a week is gone already and little has changed in the landowner saga. I am still in Brisbane where life is pleasant enough, but the real work in PNG is taking a turn for the farcical. Last Friday we reached an agreement with the landowners at South East Mananda, a project for which we haven't got official management sanction to proceed while for North West Moran we do have the financial go ahead but no land owner agreement. Anyway we are hopeful that all will be resolved next week. In the mean time I keep plugging away at the monthly report and at least have the satisfaction of getting an indepth knowledge of the NWM finances.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Back in Brisbane

In spite of the delays and badly booked airfares that seem to dodge me I got to Brisbane again and am currently trying to get on top of what has happened in the week and a half since I left PNG. One thing is for sure still no site access

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Brisbane tomorrow.

After a lovely week at home in Whangarei I am off again and as earlier predicted I will be at least for most of next week in Brisbane. While it's a little disappointing not be going to PNG I can't really complain about it. Brisbane is lovely this time of the year, I have plenty of friends out there and don't have to be worried about getting bored socially or work wise.