Saturday, December 03, 2005

Margaret's, Moonshine and Music

So what started out as a two day job is actually a 5-6 day job, but there could be worse places to be than the picturesque wine country of Margaret River. Gup and I drove down together and two apprentices followed in their car. Billy brought up the rear with the flatbed truck loaded down with a couple tons of gyprock and such.

We arrived in the drizzly morning and had a peek at the main break. It was sort of small by Margaret’s standards. It was still a solid six foot though. Then Gup had to talk the apprentices to the worksite because they were lost. I think they may have a half of a brain between them. We had to wait for the rain to let up before we could completely unload the sheets of gyprock, but it wasn’t long before we got started.

We got a fair bit done, but the highlight of the day was provided by the owner’s parents. (The names have been changed to protect the innocent.) After work Tom and Toni treated us to a nice little sitdown. Toni had made up a snack tray and Tom brought out his moonshine. Really great stuff! Bourbons and whiskeys that put the big companies to shame. I’m spoiled now and don’t think I’ll ever be able to drink that mass produced swill ever again after sampling Tom’s creations. It can be done quicker, but it takes him about 3 weeks to make a batch due to the extra filtering. And it’s well worth the wait. I have to get a hold of a still. The difference really is like night and day. So shortly before we started seeing double we took our leave and went to check in to the Prevely Caravan Park, our home for the week. It was an OK cottage with a kitchen, bath and three bedrooms. The boys had the bunks in one room, Gup had a comfortable double bed in another room and I got the chilly outer room on a very chilly evening. There was an electric heater which I commandeered, but the power went out for the evening shortly after I went to bed so it was no help. Oh well, at least the cafĂ© next door served up a lovely pizza.

Continued plugging away the next day, but things got a bit frustrating when the boys were having problems getting the measurements and cuts right on a tricky pyramid shaped ceiling with crossbeams to complicate matters. On the bright side Tom and Toni saved the day again providing snacks and homemade booze to cap off the day.

We arrived the next morning at 6:30am to make up for some lost time. After yesterday’s overpriced and mediocre breakfast took way to long to arrive, we decided to forgo breakfast, but Tom & Toni made us some coffees and breakfast sandwiches. So we worked through lunch fueled on that because it was taking too much time to finish the garage. In the end it turned out to be a 12 hour day with barely a break, but it went quickly and once again Tom & Toni came through with after work treats.

The next morning Pete came down to give us a hand flushing the rooms and we just made our 3pm deadline for finishing up. All that was left to do is the sanding and that can wait till Monday. So we packed up and I got a sandwich for the rainy ride back to Bunbury. Arrived at the workshop and joined the crew for some Bali Bingtangs. I was upset to see that they knocked out a wall while we were gone because I was looking forward to doing some of the smashing. But the new showroom is started to take shape. In fact the transformations which have taken place in the short time that I’ve been around is really remarkable.

On Saturday Dan & Mez came down from Perth for the weekend. First we all went to the factory to pick up some gear so Dan can do a repair. He needs to fix the hole he punched in his brother’s (Snail) ceiling in the excitement of the Grand Final Footy game. By the time Gup and I arrive, Dan has already mixed up enough mud to repair the whole ceiling! Gup winds up fixing the hole for them while we play with the dogs, kids and their toys.

Gup topped of the hole and then we left to top off the cooler with a box of Coronas. We drove out to Wellington Dam because it’s really beautiful up in that area and as a bonus we heard that the dam is overflowing from all the rain we’ve been getting. Well, it was beautiful, but it wasn’t overflowing. It was close though with the water right up to the brim. On the way back we stopped over at Penny’s for a beer and some prawns. Then we all split up to get showers before going to see Gyroscope @ The Prince. Two opening bands played as the bar filled up. Then Gyroscope who are getting a lot of airplay took the stage and performed a great set. It was a really good evening until towards the end when I got some heartburn from something spicy I ate. Then on top of that I got the hic-cups which exasperated things and on top of that my neck/shoulders really started bothering me. Needless to say by the end of the show I wasn’t really keen on keeping things going, but everyone else was so we wondered over to The Flemington. They kept drinking, but I downshifted to water. When it was time to go we had to line up in a huge cue for a taxi. Dan wasn’t pleased about that and made no attempt to hold in his contempt, but eventually we commandeered a ride in a taxi van with a lone guy heading to Karry Park and made it home.

The next morning I passed whatever was giving me heartburn, but my neck was extremely stiff and killing me. Went for a morning drive with Gup for some coffees and then came back to the house. We were just chillin comfortably on the Bali bamboo patio loungers when Joe and Amy showed up. They had been drinking all morning and were pretty pissed. Gup and Penny decided to go for a surf, but I decided to rest my neck and hang with the girls. And so another week has gone by……