What a shock to the system it was to have to get up at 5am for work! However, once I had got dressed, had some breakfast and we were on the road, it felt really good to be up so early. There was not a lot of traffic although surprisingly more than in the UK at 5.40 in the morning.
It took us half an hour to get to the yard and once there, as no one was gong to be in that could give me an induction, it was decided I would go and work with Mat for the day and also Dave.
The first job was pretty quick and easy. All we had to do was fell a small tree and chuck the wood on the truck. However, I didn’t have any gloves or long sleeves and had a few nasty shocks when my hand felt something slimy that turned out to be a big fat slug. By the time we had finished I was very dirty and felt a stinging on my arms. I didn’t think anything of it until Dave heard me mention it and said “Oh yeah, that’ll be the stinging caterpillars”. I must have squashed one or two against my arm as I had been lifting the branches and they had come up as white patches of raised skin like when you get stung by stinging nettles. Dave said they were harmless and gave me some Stingose cream to put on. Within an hour I couldn’t even feel it – Cool though – my first war wound lol!
The second job was a lot tougher. Fortunately for me, as I was yet to be issued with a company shirt and only had a vest, it was in a jungle of a back garden so nice and shady. It was here that the wildlife was fantastic â€“ Cockatoos kept flying over, there were lots of lorikeets in the trees and plenty of raucous crows too (they are much louder and vocal than English crows and never seem to shut up). I also kept hearing a new noise that sounded to me like a chimpanzee in the trees. It was so distinctive and when I asked Dave what it was he said it was a kookaburra. It took a while but we finally managed to sight one up on a telegraph pole for a short while before it got lost in the trees again – Fantastic!
Once we got stuck in the day went really quickly and by 3.30pm we were finished so me and Mat drove straight back to Parramatta. This was not so pleasant as the morning drive due to lots more heavy traffic on the road and took us just under an hour. I shall look forward to getting a place of our own closer to work. Not only will we not have as far to go, therefore not have to get up so early and get home quicker, but also because, if all goes to plan, we will be right next to the beach and be able to go for a much deserved swim before going home for a shower and tea.