PART434 The light house loo and a long sleep.

Tuesday, 26th, July, 2011- Wednesday, 27th, July, 2011

The light house was drafty and cold. The spiral stair case had steps of stone, gray worn in slabs. The medievil archery windows gave a slithering glimpse of the wild forest outside. A grim dense mass of trees. At the bottom of the spiral stair case a little alcove housed the loo. The strange thing about it was there was no door. just the bottom of the stair case and to the side a loo. Even more strange and sinister were the story’s surrounding this area. The faceless people who were there today told me that who ever used it befell bad luck and even death.

A tense air hung thick and menacing around the bottom of the light house. I was fearful but it was the only place to go so I resigned myself to use the cursed bowl. As soon as cheek had grazed its frigid rim I knew I had roused a violent evil. I re troued and fetching a gnarly stick which had fallen from the  tree by to the light house I took it to the back of the loo. Smashing wildly, desperately. Wishing to rid myself of this curse and curious to find out what the bowls of this thing would render to me.

Every time I smote the thing it broke a little and outside the trees rustled angrily, something rushing, something angry clawing its way towards the lighthouse. ” the sky is turning black, the trees are possesed” one of the faceless people told me as I bent to my work destroying the abomination.

Finaly I made a break into and through the porcelain, a vacuum reliesed and a rushing scream of air burst out. I hacked away and the loo crumbled away. As the dust settled an object became visible. It was a rotting skull, tendrils of flesh hanging from it. A scroll lay beside the skull. I picked it up and read hurriedly. The paper flapping wildly as whatever was making its way towards us drew closer. The scroll was unreadable apart from one part which told of a prayer which would protect the sayer from the evil which they had released. I picket the skull up and raising it high above my head and brought it crashing down on the floor, It cracked open and the forest outside  roared. I leapt out of the lighthouse and confronted the forest and watched a darkness snaking its way towards me through the tangled forest.
I filled my lungs with air and shouted out the prayer into the forest and the encroaching evil. It reeled back but made another lunge forwards, I repeated the prayer again and again untill the darkness left and the sky turned blue again.

I woke up briefly from this dream, intent on writing down the prayer, I floundered in my groggy state and unfortunately didn’t manage to get pen to paper and my prayer was lost as I sank back into the dream relm.

I woke up at 12:00 on Wednesday. A 19 hour sleep. I had such vivid dream throughout the night, such a long time line, I felt like I had lived a life time and I was unaccustomed to my waking life again.  ”you were sleep talking so much, talking about snow all night and sleep walking” Sarah told me when she came in.

I took a shower and slowly creaked to life, the last few days had severely wearied me and I lived the day in a mild stupor, having missed so much time to sleep. I helped Sarah clean the house and then we went to bed again in the evening and I slept once more.


Monday, 25th, July, 2011.

Another night of digging and watching films. We would go out and clear a set of guns then come back to HR and watch a few episodes before heading out again to work. I wondered why we didn’t just get it all done then relax properly. Khan was our supervisor tonight. He has been working day shift while he has been trained up and also while Boulton has trained us up as well.
I find Khan hard to be around. He is a bit of an oaf, loafing around rudely ordering us to do things, putting my back up where only a little curtesy would go such a long way. ” you and you, get out on the plaza and dig” he says with a half bored half angry look on his face.

Early in the morning we started up the guns, I was left to start up the guns near the chair lifts at base. After I had done so I went and waited in the liftys room which had a heater. From my golden warm vantage point I looked out into the icy darkness as the guns shot out a cloud of snow which twirled and shot in every direction. The wind was blowing it over to the restaurant and all over the other guns. I was waiting for Khan to come up and I was going to ask him if we should continue to keep them on. Khan arrived and seeing me in the booth threw his hands in the air in a ” what the fuck are you doing?” manner. I trotted out quickly and he gave me an ear full. ” there are still guns to turn on what the fuck are you doing in there?” he said angrily. I felt ashamed that I had been skiving, it wasnt intentional I was just being thoughtless, All that stop starting had put me in an unproductive work mood.
I walked down the meadow and started up the other guns a little shaken from being told off.

The rest of the night and into the morning up to 8:00 we turned on all the guns and kept digging. We had started at 5:30 the day before and now we had been going for about 14 hours. I was tired and cold and I could feel the suspension on my emotions was shot.
We clocked out and waited for transport to come and pick us up. It was a beautiful day. the sun was bright and shining, the snow was powdery and all the staff were saying that it was one of the best days they had ever seen up here. I was not concerned with the beauty, more with getting back to the BnB and working and then sleeping. We waited for an hour in which period I became irate. I was so incensed that we had been taken up the mountain so early and now when we were finished no one took us down.

I soon understood why we were not getting a lift down, it was because the bus driver had just gone off one of the cliffs and was now being rushed up the mountain to the helicopter pad to be air lifted to hospital. The helicopter arrived and I went to help in the mini medical room, I watched and worried as I saw the bus driver with a neck brace on in a stretcher, wincing and mumbling in pain as the staff tried to move him to the other bed. I helped carry him out of the medical centre and onto the helicopter. The pilots were cheerful and happy, I suppose they are used to seeing such accidents.
Along with this accident we listened on the radio and heard there were many more accidents on the road. It was 7- and the roads were trecherously slick, only a few small sections of the road actual have barriers from the cliff edge so there is so much potential for disaster. many of the staff who were traveling to get up the mountain were stuck half way down and so Hamish and Brandon volunteered to help if there was a shortage of staff. begrudgingly I went along and we were assigned to ticket checking. We waited by the chair lifts and using the electronic guns and checked people s passes. There were only a few tourists up at this point and there were also quite a lot of staff as well who had got up here just before all the crashes happened.  There where 6 of us checking tickets for only two lanes and I didn’t even have a gun to check tickets so I was just standing there getting cold. Everyone elses cheerful attitude offended me greatly. As I didn’t think I was needed I walked off and went and sat in the snow making office.

From what I could see there were plenty of staff working. I sat by the office window dozing, watching some of the more expert skiers and snow boarders taking steep routs down the mountain, jumping off small cliffs and speeding down to base. I had almost achieved sleep when Khan burst in shouting ” what the fuck are you doing here? get out there and help” ”When are we going down Khan?” I asked sleepily. ” Do you think we want to be up here as well?, what the fuck were you doing in there?” he said angrily. The disgusted look on his face enraged me. ” well you have just been up the mountain snow boarding” I retorted. ”No I havent I was parking cars he replied. ” Fine what do you want me to do then?” I gave in. ”Go and get a high viz jacket on and get in the car park to direct the traffic he said.

I stormed off to the work shop and got a jacket and walked to the car park. Khan was there shaking his head ” really Tim that was fucking piss poor don’t you think?” he kept on ” well I was helping Hamish and Brandon and there was nothing to do so I went and waited in the office” I replied. ” Didnt it occur to you that there were other things to do as half the staff was stuck down the mountain?” he said back. ” No it didn’t Khan, now what do you want me to do?” I said. I was too tired, I couldn’t even be bothered to argue ” direct the traffic into the parking spaces I am going to find out about our transport he said as we walked off.

The glare from the ice and snow, the fresh crisp air, the cars coming up and me pointing them to were they should park, their friendly smiles and waves ” its a mean day isn’t it?” some would say ” yes it is” I would reply. It was now 11:30 in the morning and we were heading past a 17 hour shift. There was a lot of dicking around even after the bus full of staff had been bought up. We finally managed to get down the mountain and we saw the carnage on the road. Expensive jeeps and four-wheel drives scatterd on either side of the road stuck in the ditches, some teetering on the edge of small cliffs. The road crew in their jeeps towing cars out of ditches and the drivers sliding all over the road when they are pulled out then accelerate wildly and wheel spining backwards and crashing into the padded front of the road crew vehical. So much of life on the surface in controlled, you control your car, what time you go to work what time you eat, to a certain extent things go the way you want them to. Its exciting and scary to witness chaos, being helpless watching dangerer infrront of you.
The traffic went all the way down the mountain and right to Ohakune, how sad that on a day like today when the skiing conditions are perfect hardly anyone can get up there.
I went home and began cleaning the rooms and clearing the dishes then I went outside to stack the mass of logs which had just been delivered. Gary came out and helped as well which I appreciated. Then one of the family’s staying at the BnB came back, they were from Serbia. The father and the two little boys came to help us stack the wood. I thanked them profusely as they chatted away with us. I was waiting for Gary to say something like ” don’t worry you dont need to help” but he never did. He never even thanked then even when it was all done, he just looked stern and mildly annoyed.
After all was done I finally had a shower and got into bed, I looked at the clock and it was now 4:00 in the afternoon. I had nearly done a 24 hour shift. This time it didn’t take much time to get to bed and I konked out quickly.

PART432 a night of watching films

Sunday, 24th, July, 2011.
tonight we did nothing. I had my lap top with me and I just watched the TV series true blood. Andy was up in the high noon return cracking the lifts. When he heard it was his job and he realised he had no films to watch and had over 12 hours to sit in a small room his face fell into worry. I lent him a book which consoled him little.
Untill about 6:00 in the morning I sat in the office watching films and eating. At about 6:00 I sat in the Bob cat with Nay and watched her as she cleared the Plaza with the plow. It was warm with the heater and the jiggling of the digger lulled me to sleep. I tried my best to stay awake but my eyes were so heavy, it was so dark and the hot air wafting around made me fall asleep. I kept hitting my head on the back window as my neck relaxed. The infuriating battle of catching my head as it falls, being jerked around out of sleep as I think I am falling. There was a cold snow blizzard raging outside. Snow churning in the air in all directions, white specks in the darkness rushing chaotically.
It took some time getting down the mountain and I arrived home just before 10:00. It had been snowing in town and for once it really felt like we were living in a ski area. As I stepped through the door into the BnB I saw Gary cleaning one of the rooms ” dont worry Gary I will get on with that after I have had a shower”, I said with a smile as I went into the room ” Its too late mate, I have already done it. It’s a case of what was done today could have been done yesterday, Carleen and I have had a day off work because we didn’t know what was going on with these rooms” Gary said. My good mood flew out the window and I engaged a false cheeriness. ” well I was cleaning here untill 1:00 yesterday and I needed to sleep after that” I said, I also knew that Sarah had told Carleen that I would continue the cleaning when I got home today. ” well we didn’t know when you were coming home” Gary said. What the fuck do you think I would do after work? I thought to my self. I felt uncomfortable but then thought that it wasnt my problem. Just because Gary cannot wait for me to come back after a 14 hour shift isn’t my concern.
I went into the living room and Carleen was there cutting one of the dogs hair, his matted hair all piled up on the sofa, the dog looked like a sorry proxy old man. ”It was too snowy today so I didn’t go to work” Carleen told me.
I finished off all the cleaning and went to bed, I thought about leaving the BnB. Although we get free accommodation and after next week we will not be so busy I still feel uncomfortable and unwelcome here.

PART431 shoveling the roof

Friday, 22nd, July, 2011.

I slept untill midday, now after this 3 day weekend I have reverted back to night time sleeping. I cleaned out a room which had just been vacated and then chopped some more wood. I spent the rest of the day catching up on blogs before going to work in the evening.
When we got up the mountain we found that the temperatures had raised greatly and there were many a dripping icicle, the ground rocky and clear in some parts. Brandon and I spent most of the night digging the snow off the HR roof. It was hellishly slippy. I was using the snow to stand on and Brandon hadn’t quite cottoned on to how to climb the roof yet. ” how did you get up there?” he said inquisitively as he stepped up on to the leathel slick incline. He slipped down fast and did a whipping fall, his legs coming up behind him and his head whip lashing down and hitting the roof and the shovel he had just dropped. There was an almighty crash and he slid down the roof a bit. After I found out he was ok I could not stop laughing.
I got to have a play in the Bob cat digger in the morning. the snow which we had shoveled off the roof was now lying on the plaza below, Naya gave me a brief lesson in how to operate the digger scoop and drive the little machine and I rumbled around jerking the scoop around scraping up the snow and piling it where the snow Cats could move it away. I was surprised at how tiring it was. All the mechanical juttering around, the noise, not feeling fully confident in this new machine all fatigued me greatly. Naya took over after an hour or so and after hurling over some abuse to Andy at the chair lifts and him throwing some back I set about clearing the little snow that was left in the plaza. Brandon who was still on the roof kept on shoveling snow down on me which would plap on my head and down my neck. I told him he would regret it and he did when at lunch time I put washing up liquid and salt in his hot chocolate. I was very surprised at how much he drank of it. He finished a good quarter of it before rasing the eye brow and viewing his styraphome cup critically.

When I got back to the BnB I cleaned and worked untill 1:00 afternoon and then tried to sleep. I got a phone call from Shaz in the afternoon saying we would start work at 5:30 in the afternoon instead of 7:00. So I got up had a shower and got myself ready.

PART430 cleaning the 80s house

Thursday, 21st, July, 2011.
Sarah worked up the mountain at the restaurant and I worked at the BnB for the morning then I spent the rest of the day eating fruit and playing zombie defence agency on mini clips game site. I even had a soak in the hot tub. I don’t feel very comfortable using it when Gary and Carleen are here as they havent really said we can use it but everyone was out today. I pilfered the ceriel and sat in the sun light feeling my battery’s slowly recover. My tired aching body finally allowed to let me know exactly how depleted it wwas.  It’s not necessarily when your working that you realise your tired, oftain I will get a boost of energy which can keep me going for day. It’s when you stop then the flood gates open and you break down.

When Carleen came home and she found that the Chinese couple had taken the collapsible bed out of their closet and used a duvet  from the linen closet in the hall way she became tight-lipped and boggle eyed ”I hate to say it but its the Chinese ones who always take advantage, they always cause proplems” she said. I actually agreed although stating that they probably don’t all take advantage. I just base my experience on the many hotels I have stayed in in China and how guests will use the hotel staff like slaves, demanding and getting all that they can. Carleen oftain complains about the guests, saying they use too much hot chocolate, their kids are annoying ” I hate kids, their little shit bags” and even when I have seen guests in the living room I can sence that she just wants them all to leave.
” its good we have so many guest, you are making money Carleen” Sarah said the other day. ”Oh but we have bills to pay” Carleen replied ”its so expensive keeping you both here and we are so poor as well”. Yes poor people have sports cars, hot tubs, running machines and sun beds dont they Carleen?

Sarah came home and we both went to the house over the road which Carleen is renting out for a friend. It is a small holiday house, with a steep high roof, ugly 80s furniture. Brown cork floors, dark brown round carpets, long orange carpets. Sickening complicated wall paper. Lots of rich oranges and browns. Dusty copys of the readers digest, books with musky smells and yellowing pages. It was a dark, oppressive house and it gave me the creeps.
We cleaned it and took the rubbish back to the BnB. I was about to get a few hours sleep before work when Shaz texted me saying that there was no work tonight. I was disappointed as I was looking forward to the money and I didn’t want to get into a relaxed mode but a part of me was very happy to get some more rest, besides I still had level 9 onwards on the Zombie defence agency to compleat.


Wednesday, 20th, July, 2011.
I was on the mountain again. In a huge square dug out of ice. my partner beside me, we lay working next to a gun. It roared as I held her.  She needed to check the gun on my other side so I turned her around and began lifting her over me, she lay straddling me. ”Tim what are you doing?” Sarah asked ”you need to get over me” I explained. ”your sleep walking darling” She replied with a smile, ”….yes” I agreed as my ice hole turned back to our bedroom and I woke up. I lifted Sarah off me and we went back to sleep, quickly my spirit went back to the mountain and I lay again is silver ice and warm powdery snow.

We woke up in the morning and spent the whole day cleaning again. The never-ending cycle of cleaning. I don’t begrudge it even though we are doing well over 20 hours a week now. It will only last for the next two-weeks over the school holidays and then it will be quiet again.
We went to bed again at 8:00 and slept into the next day.

PART428 my first try on a snow board

Tuesday, 19th, July, 2011.

The temperatures rose again tonight as did the humidity so we turned on the meadow guns. The meadow which when I first arrived at Mt Ruapehu was a dipping rock valley was now a white almost level field. Hamish had his snow board tonight and I asked if I could try it out. I was expecting it to be as natural and easy as skiing was. I started on the small slope leading down to the meadow, did up my bindings and stood up. The restricted feeling in my feet was worrying and I began to slide down. I felt so unbalanced and had no idea what to do, I slid down the slope and went off the side and fell hard on my back on the ice. temporarily winded and with a sore head I recovered. I got up again and slide down the meadow slowly and fell again hard on my coxics. the ground was icy. I got up again and repeated this boring painful trail. I managed to get half way down the meadow before I completely gave up and unstraped my feet ” fuck snow boarding, I am a skiier” I said to myself as I nursed my throbbing tail bone.

Andy and I got a sit on sled and took it for a ride down one of the children’s runs while the guns did what they should. We slid down Andy sitting me standing up behind him. It was fast and scary and exhilarating, expecting to fall off at anytime, screaming as we went over the gentle hills and drops. We checked the guns although there was no reason to, the temps were perfect.

The temperatures stayed the same all night and the guns kept on churning out a steady plume of snow into a pile which  began to rise to noticeably. By the morning all the Cats had finished their grooming up the top of the mountain and now were making their presence know in the meadow. No more sledding for us and by 6:00 other staff had begun to arrive so we had to look busy. Myself and  Bree went to the bottom pump shed and found a few large green mats which are usualy used as safety cushions to wrap around the guns on the ski runs. We lay them out and had a sleep for almost an hour.
This job it either one or the other. Your either working more than 5 days a week slogging your guts out or like tonight you hardly lift a finger, infact you have the whole mountain to yourself and you can play till your heart’s content.

We caught the bus down in the morning and when I got home Sarah was already doing the cleaning, she informed me that Carleen and Gary were unhappy again with our cleaning and they expected us to do more. Although the night had been mild and it was my day off I suddenly became very tired and decided to rest, I left Sarah to keep cleaning and I went off to bed.
I woke up briefly again in the evening and chopped a large pile of wood before going to bed with Sarah at about 8:00 and we both slept well into the next day.