Glen and Ilsa had spent five years in air-conditioned besser-block accommodation in the small town of Karratha in the north of Western Australia. They were starting to feel stir crazy. Although the life was of their choosing, the money being irrestisible, the conditions were stultifying. They received generous housing allowances, together with regular periods of leave, but felt they were losing any real world perspective. They saw the world in terms of red earth, holes in the ground and tyres the size of two storey buildings.
Since being head-hunted for a key metallurgist role with Hammersley Iron, Glen had taken his leave either in Perth, to catch up with family, or in Bali where he and Ilsa mixed with the ‘platform’ families. They dreamt of breaking this cycle by walking across the bridge in Sydney.
They grinned at each other and started up the stairs.