First day on the job – mostly about the distractions

Up in the morning and out into a new place. The first thing I find outside the compound is a tree full of egrets. I honestly didn’t know they did that. Parakeets, sure. Starlings? Well duh. But … Lanky great big egrets? Well, in Sardinia they like to hang out in trees.

I jumped in the car and headed to the tank range. In many ways, this is reminiscent of the Neom base out in Saudi. A patch of desert scrubland under a relentless sun. There are even local cud-chewing ungulates, about which the road signs warn you. In Saudi it was “beware of the camel” but here it is “beware of the cow”. There are whole families wandering freely through the tank range. They might move a bit further from the track when they start to notice the volume of traffic we generate.

The morning was spent with inflatable tents. Huge great big incredible affairs they are, that look like you’re in Dune. I learnt a fair amount about their inflation and erection. Incredible pieces of engineering.

I reckon, if everybody else on site were to suddenly go to the rapture, I might be able to get them all inflated – although likely I wouldn’t be strong enough to move them together and get the zips attached. They are big fuckers, and work much like RIBS – the boats.

We got them up. They were full of Saudi sand from when they’d been packed up. We slammed them into the ground.

Fun in the heat with pumps and mallets and pegs and rubber and sweat. I had a collared linen shirt on and a Rolex watch. I was the only man there with a shirt on. Everybody else just had highvis draped over tight abs. Manly male men and me. Honestly I need to work a bit harder on my physique. Once upon a time I had a six pack. Most of these guys are in their twenties and they still do. Dammit.

I’ve eaten well so far out here, even though I’ve gone way over the per-diems. I had a 50 euro dinner including this grilled dorado. Better than the one I had in Cornwall…

Early start again tomorrow. Feeling good… Long way to go.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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