EPISODE 44 – EAST OF PERTH: G’DAY ZOMBIE

I look and feel like a zombie. I’m pale, nursing a Great British cold and hugging what shadow I can find in unrelenting sunshine and 40˚C temperatures. Actually, maybe that’s more vampire than zombie. I’ll ask Noel when I call home. He’ll know.

I spent the best part of a full 24 hour day airborne, with little sleep. Not even reading and certainly not the CWM documents. Still, at least I kept off the booze. I’m feeling – I don’t know – “distracted”, perhaps. It’s unfamiliar territory. I’m usually pretty focused. At least I’m traveling alone. At one point it looked like I’d have to babysit a mining analyst. The last thing I needed.

And now, several hundred miles east of Perth and alone, I’m amongst huge, blond, tanned and freckled miners; well, the management team of CWM at least. I don’t suppose any of them has ever actually confronted a coalface with pick in hand. They’re all “mate” to one another in public but the politics are dirty. Last night’s barbeque saw all four of the senior guys take me aside for “a word”, only to take metaphorical picks to one another. So that’d be “attractively undervalued and distinctly vulnerable”, along with poorly managed.

There’s a mint to be made with this business. And a decent corporate finance fee too.

Last night’s barbeque also saw me failing to keep off the booze. I tried to keep up with the CWM boys and they’re drinking hard every night. A distinctly bad move and I’m feeling utterly grim this morning.

I return to my hotel room to prepare for the day. With several shades of iridescent blue plumage, a gorgeous bird sits on the window ledge. A wren, I’m sure, although I’m no expert. I’ll ask Noel when I call home. He’ll know. City Dad will continue next Tuesday.