Author Topic: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)  (Read 266430 times)

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #150 on: January 15, 2018, 07:45:27 PM »
That was the first & only time in my entire life that I have ever been knocked unconscious.
I reckon that I was probably only out for about 15 to 20 seconds, as I came to, I was being asked by the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen , if I was ok.
As she helped me to my feet she told me that her name was Anne - Marie & she assured me that everything was ok, the attackers have fled, would you like us to take you to the ambulance, it's only a few blocks away.
Thank you very much but i'm fine, if you could just assist me to that park bench over there so that I can sit down for a few minutes to gather my thoughts.
Anne - Marie puts here arms around me & assists me to the nearby park bench.
She examines the back of my head, there is a little blood there but I don't think that you need stiches & you already have one hell of a bruise on the side of your head.
You are very lucky that we just happened to come along when we did.
We ?
Yes, my husband Gary & i were out for our regular jogging session, Gary saw what was happening, yelled for them to stop & gave chase.
Hello there young man, I'm Gary, sorry, but I couldn't catch the little bastards, I see you've met the misses.
Gary also examines the back of my head, its hard to tell with your thick hair but I don't think that you need stiches but we should still go to the ambulance to make sure & do you want to go to the police station to make a report?
Thank you both so much for coming to my assistance , I really do feel ok & don't need the ambulance & I don't have time to worry about going to police as I am already running late & all I really want to do is to get home but those bastards have stolen my wallet & my watch.
Ok, we'll walk you down to the entrance to the train station although we won't be allowed to come in with you because we are not travelling.
Here's $5, the ticket office is over there, when you buy your ticket just ask them which platform you have to go to get your train & you'll be ok.
Here is my phone number , please ring me when you get home just to let us know that you are ok.
A hug from Anne - Marie & a solid handshake from Gary sees me on my way.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 07:55:57 PM by Les303 »

Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #151 on: January 16, 2018, 06:18:08 AM »
Wonderful Good Samaritans Les :)  Am waiting now to find out what happened when you got home...
Pen

TRex

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #152 on: January 16, 2018, 10:59:32 AM »
Trex, for an American, you have a very Australian sense of humor. ;)

Perhaps my Melbourne cousin's influence!

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #153 on: January 16, 2018, 07:43:51 PM »
I manage to find the right train & remember to get of at the right station for my local bus connection & even timed the pressing of the bell on the bus so that I was dropped off directly across the street from home.
I knew that I was going to be in big trouble, I was supposed to be home by midday for lunch, it is now just after 4 pm, mum is going to be furious & then I have to explain how I got the big goose egg on the side of my head.
The front door is locked, that's unusual, normally just the screen door would be locked, no response to my tentative knocks so I go around the back & knock loudly on the back door, still no response.
I go to the garage & find the spare key in its usual hiding place, let myself in & find a note on the kitchen table.
So sorry Les but Graham & I have had to take an urgent trip to Dalby as your sister has not been well & is currently in Dalby hospital.
Your lunch is in the fridge, you just have to heat it up on the stove, we probably won't be back until the end of the week, there is some money in the big cookie jar on top of the kitchen cabinet, Barry will tell you more when he gets home from work....Love mum.
Crickey, can this day possibly get any worse?
My head is absolutely throbbing so I don't worry about heating up lunch, just go straight to the bathroom, find some pain killers & crash into my bed.
It's about 7 pm when I finally wake up & stagger into the kitchen.
Barry is there, having tea with his girlfriend ( Karen )
What in the hell happened to you?
I tell them the story.
Both Barry & Karen examine the back of my head & marvel at the size of the goose egg on the side of my head.
Barry suggests that I go & have a shower while we heat you up some tea & then i'll tell you what's going on with Diane.

You look much better after having that shower & by the way that you are scoffing down that meal,  I think your ok, we'll give you some more pain killers before you go to bed unless of course you would prefer a beer?
Well those pain killers are pretty weak, i'll have a beer thanks.
Is it ok if I use the phone, I promised Gary that I would ring him when I got home.
Anne - Marie answers & I immediately go weak at the knees, she was one of those women who had a gorgeous tone on the phone but more importantly she expressed genuine concern about my well being before handing me over to Gary.
Gary was  also sincerely happy to hear from me, he was in his late twenties so probably about twelve years older than me but we just seemed to connect.
He absolutely refused my offer to repay the $5 that he had given me but did ask if I could help him out.
He & Anne - Marie had just purchased their first home at a suburb that was only about 15 minutes from my place & he would appreciate some help with the moving.
We are already mostly moved in but if I can pick you up on Saturday & you can help me with the last couple of loads, well, that would be great.
More than happy to do what I can, Gary,  & that was the beginning of a life long friendship.

Then Barry explains the situation with Diane, your sister has not been well, she is hospital because they have been running tests.
They confirmed this morning that she has bowel cancer & it is terminal.








Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #154 on: January 17, 2018, 06:30:36 AM »
Oh Les how dreadful.  Diane can't have been very old.  Your family must have been devastated.
Please do continue.
Pen

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #155 on: January 17, 2018, 07:22:54 PM »
In the coming weeks, Di was transferred to the P.A. hospital in Brisbane for further tests.
She was not only examined by their experts but there was also a visiting specialist from Melbourne that got involved & they all agreed that her condition was indeed terminal.
If you do nothing , you will probably get 6 to 12 months however if you are prepared to undergo some radical new surgery, extensive chemotherapy & radiation treatments, there may be a slight hope but we really will not know until we operate & depending on how much bowel we have to remove & just how badly any other organs are affected, there is a very serious concern that you would not survive the operation.
Di, never hesitated, I want the operation, there is no way I am going to leave my girls without their mother.

I have never been an overly religious man but I did pray to God that night,  please God, don't take my sister, she is a good person with a generous soul who has never harmed anyone, she has a husband who loves her dearly & two beautiful little daughters who would be shattered by her loss, please God, do not take my sister, if you have to take someone you can take me, I really mean it,  take me,  I don't care, just spare my sister.
I repeated that prayer over & over in my mind as I cried myself to sleep.

John (Di's husband ) was fabulous, he was always by her side & fully supported her decision to opt for the operation.
He was also pragmatic enough to approach their life insurance company.
Their response was immediate, it is very clear that your wife's situation meets all the criteria of your contract, the supporting medical evidence has been clarified & you will be paid your full entitlement within a few days.
Little solace but at least it gave John the reassurance that he would have the money to be able to provide the necessary care for his daughters should their mother not survive.

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #156 on: January 17, 2018, 08:31:56 PM »
Geez Gary , you said a couple of trips, I reckon that we are up to about eight.
Sorry mate, I didn't realise that we had that much stuff left, we are having a house warming barbeque this arv, you are welcome to stay if you wish.
It was at that BBQ that I met a friend of Gary's who offered me a job in a tow bar factory that he managed.
I couldn't say ' yes " quick enough as anything was better than going back to school.
I was just a gopher at the factory, it was hard physical work but I enjoyed it, I was finally earning my own money & it was keeping me fit for football.

Having been uprooted from Dalby to Brisbane after grade ten, I did not know anyone in Brisbane & all of a sudden had no friends at all. (except for Gary & Anne - Marie)
So I try out for the local footy team, they have no idea how good I am, I have to prove myself all over again.
Problem is, I am a ring in, majority of this team have come through school together, they are also much bigger & faster than the competition that I was used to & for me to earn a place on the team meant that one of their mates would be shunted to the reserves so I was not readily accepted.
I persisted & finally got a start.
My first game for my new  team was probably the worst game of football that I have ever played in my life,.
A combination of nerves & just not being used to the increased pace of the game as well as any coordination with new team mates but most significantly just a lack of confidence which I had never experienced before.
Not surprisingly, I was dropped to the reserves bench for the next game.

A few months later & while I am really enjoying my work at the tow bar factory, it is becoming a bit boring & repetitive.
Graham ( the bastard stepfather ) is a foreman shunter with Q.R & out of the blue brings me home an application form to join that organisation.
I fill out the form & am accepted to sit for an apprenticeship exam.
I study my arse off & am told that if you manage to achieve 80% in this test then you will automatically receive an apprenticeship.
I score 85%... you beauty ... I've got it.
Terribly sorry, Les but due to the limited number of vacancies, we could only offer positions to the top 10 % however there is an opening for a lad porter at Brunswick St. Station.



Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #157 on: January 18, 2018, 06:32:36 AM »
Blimey Les it seems to be one step forward & 2 back. Is that the pattern for your life or do things improve when you get a little older? Can't wait for you to carry on.  Am totally enthralled.  Am very anxious to know about Diane.  Hoping to goodness the operation was a success. Pen

anonsi

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #158 on: January 18, 2018, 06:42:37 AM »
Blimey Les it seems to be one step forward & 2 back. Is that the pattern for your life or do things improve when you get a little older?

I'm wondering the same thing!

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #159 on: January 18, 2018, 06:20:02 PM »
All the nurses, doctors, specialists & surgeons are ecstatic with the success of the operation.
Diane is recovering as well as can be expected but there is still a long way to go.
We can't be sure that we have got all the cancer & she will now have to undergo intensive chemo & radiation treatment that will be very uncomfortable with some very severe side effects & even then, there is no guarantee that the cancer will not come back.

While all around her everyone was feeling sad & sorry for her, Diane had a different approach.
I survived the operation that nobody thought I would, I have a chance now to fight for my husband & my girls, there is no way that I am giving up.
Who cares if those lovely drugs that I have to take have added a few pounds & my hair is falling out, i'm still here.
Within a few days, Di was settled back into her home at Dalby where she could be with her daughters , John had taken some long service leave & was able to be there for her & the kids but of course he also had to put up with mother in law who insisted on being there to look after her daughter.
John is a pretty conservative sort of bloke so imagine our surprise when he sent us the pictures of the first day that Di arrived back home.
It was actually at the suggestion of the eldest daughter, can we please shave all our hair off so that mummy doesn't feel so bad about losing all her hair & that is exactly what they did.
Her first scan, after the op, was totally clear of any cancer, her second scan however showed a recurrence which meant yet another operation, since that second operation she has never had another recurrence.
Diane is now 64 years old, slimmer than she has ever been with a glorious head of hair, living comfortably with her husband in their retirement but still forever pandering after those two, now grown up, girls.



2dognight

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #160 on: January 18, 2018, 07:04:12 PM »


  oh Les I am glad it turned well

  Carol

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #161 on: January 18, 2018, 08:13:29 PM »
It's 1976 & my first day with QR.
I meet the boss & he introduces me to Robert.
This is our senior porter , he has been here for nearly twenty years he will show you around & then take you up to the barriers for the peak hour.
Robert was a very nice older man but fair dinkum he was as thick as a brick, I had a million questions about how the railway operated but he could barely answer any of them.
So we take up our position on the barrier, this involves, could I please check your ticket as the thousands of people enter & exit the station.
The morning peak hour was between 0630 & 0930 hrs.
After a couple of hours the novelty of being able to perve on all these good looking sorts heading off to work etc. soon wore off so I ask Robert, what else do you do.
Well at 0930hrs we report back to the station master & then begin our cleaning duties, that involves sweeping the platforms, picking up rubbish off the track & mopping out the toilets.
By midday, I've had enough & I storm into the station masters office ready to tell him that I want to quit.
Oh hello Les, I was just coming to look for you.
All reports from my staff are that you have done very well on your first day & we will be sorry to see you go but management have identified an urgent requirement for a lad porter at Bowen Hills station which is just the next station down the line so you will be required to start there at 0600hrs tomorrow.
I wasn't expecting that & didn't know what to say so I just said ok.
When I got home, I told mum about my day, what I had to do & how much I hated it.
As usual, she presented a reasonable argument, how about you go in tomorrow see out the week & if you still don't like it then you can resign.
The big three stations in Brisbane were Roma St, Central & Brunswick St.
While Bowen Hills did not have the heavy patronage of those city stations it was still an important station as it was the junction for the Ferny Grove line & also the station where all the train crews would change over.

Being a smaller station, you just had the Station Master & two porters on shift so I was thrown straight into the deep end , selling tickets , giving right a way to trains but making sure they did not have to wait for connecting services which was something that you just had to remember & eventually learning how to balance the books.
I loved it, it was full on & before too long, I was running the station, the SM was more than happy to sit back & let me run the show.
After just 12 months, I qualified in my gate accounts which allowed me to relieve at stations at all over Brisbane, an opportunity then arose for me to sit for a signalman's exam which I duly passed & that  allowed me to relieve in signal cabins throughout the state.
I progressed through the signalman's grade to reach the highest level which was a special " A " class signalman which meant that you would you work the busiest cabins in the network.

The signal cabins in those days  had mechanical interlocking that allowed the signalman to manually manipulate some very levers to clear semaphore signals, there were very little safeguards so the diligence of the signalman was vital.
We laughed when we first heard about how technology was going to take over our jobs & make us all redundant.
Sure enough ,before I know it, you can either leave the company or transfer over to an administration role.





« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 08:20:31 PM by Les303 »

Hobbit

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #162 on: January 19, 2018, 06:38:17 AM »
Les I too am so very pleased that all turned out well for Diane.  What a relief! You are a terror keeping us hanging!
I'm waiting for the next chapter...Pen

Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #163 on: January 19, 2018, 07:55:37 PM »
Sorry, Pen but I almost forgot to tell you about my very last game of football. ( by the way, great to see the poms showing us how to play one day cricket although I reckon that our selectors need to give themselves an uppercut as they are not selecting the right players. )

From the very first day that I started with the railway , I had to do shift work.
Even as a porter that involved a morning & an afternoon shift ( with a few variations ) as well as having to work every second weekend.
Football training was three nights a week & our games were always played either on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
I explained the situation to the coach, work would have to take priority & I will have to give the footy away.
He fully understood, so as this weekend will be your final game for us, I will put you in the starting team.
Day of the match & half an hour before kick off, coach tells me the good news, our captain has overcome his hamstring injury & is going to be ok to play today but unfortunately that means you are back on the bench.
I was bitterly disappointed because Gary & Anne - Marie had come along specifically to watch me play in my last game.
As I watch the game from the reserves bench, I notice a particular player in the opposition team, I think that's Charlie, it's definitely Charlie & as we make eye contact & he gives me a wry grin, I know that it is definitely Charlie...I'am  absolutely fuming.
20 minutes into the game & our team has an injury, ok Les you are on.
I was playing in the forwards & Charlie was their fullback so it was virtually impossible for me to isolate him.
As the half time siren sounded, I noticed that Charlie was one of the last to leave the leave the field so I drifted back & went for him.
It took a couple of minutes before his teammates & the officials realised what was going on & dragged me off him.
As I left the field, I was berated by the coaches from both teams & surrounded by a group of supporters on the side line,  that was disgraceful, you will never play for this club again, well I couldn't care less as I've already told the coach that this would be my last game.
Gary & Anne - Marie came to my rescue & escorted me safely from the ' mob " , as we exited the venue we walked passed Charlie who was still being treated by the ambulance officers, I gave him a wink.
Gary was not impressed, what in the hell was that all about, that's not like you at all, you gave that bloke no chance , you hit him without any warning & once he was on the ground you continued to punch the crap out of him. 

Do you remember the first time that I met you & Anne in that park at Roma St.?



Les303

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Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« Reply #164 on: January 19, 2018, 08:24:01 PM »
Not really interested in any sort of administration work but what exactly would it involve & how much would it pay?
Your new role would be in assisting passengers with time table information, you would still be located within the control room , you would be working around the clock assisting the train controllers,& station staff by communicating information when there are delays & disruptions.
This latest technology that we have allows you to make both pre - recorded & live announcements, which is vital when stations are not attended.

Let me just clarify this, my role as a signalman,  where I was responsible for the safety of track workers not to mention the travelling public is now redundant & you are offering me a higher rate of pay to basically be a messenger & pass on information, I can't kill anyone doing that so yes please, i'll give it a go.