My two worlds

Some of us live in different worlds, just like me. As some of you know, I have spent forty years in the building industry, with an overlap in the last ten years, mostly working as a running coach/fitness instructor. I grew up in the building industry, I left school at 16 and was taught how to lay bricks. Some might say it was back in the ‘good ole days’, which I agree. It was also a bit like the wild west; with my tradie mates and I, talking shootin’ and fishin’ stories at morning tea time. Sometimes if we were working in the outer suburbs, someone would pull out a rifle and we would all be taking it in turns, shooting at tin cans; these were great times. At the same time, I was also interested in the arts, which would make for controversial chat, when thrown in occasionally, with the hunting stories.

One of my good carpenter mates’ dad, even pulled up at work one day all excited. He opened up the back of the station wagon and showed us the two rabbits and two ducks that he had shot on the way to work. The rabbits were asking for it, sitting in the middle of an open paddock on the side of the Yarra Glen road. The ducks however, thought they were safe, flying low, up the centre of a main road, just out of Ringwood- a popular, built up shopping area. Our skilled hunter followed them up the road in the station wagon, hoping they would land again, which they did, in a puddle on the side of the road. All it took, was careful adjusting of the side mirror of the station wagon, to make sure no traffic was coming from behind, as our hunter, shot the two ducks swimming in the puddle, with his silenced, rifle. So even forty years ago, checking the mirror and using a silencer, outlined that safety was still a priority.  I was in the company of good men.

So now I live in two different worlds, with two different languages and even dress codes. Once I finish with my run coaching business in the morning, I need to change into my building clothes immediately. It isn’t that I feel any comfier in a pair of Blundstone boots, which I actually do, seeing I have been wearing them for forty years, but it is the respect you get, dealing with other trades and trade stores, at a different level. Don’t get me wrong here, I am happy in both of these camps, whereas, some people, might just be a bit out of place.

Sometimes it’s all in the way you present yourself.

A few weeks ago, I went with my wife and her sisters to the ballet; The Nederlands dans theatre. It was fabulous and we all enjoyed it immensely.

In the morning after running group, I changed into my building clothes as I was off to the garbage transfer station. I had a redundant mattress from my mother-in-law, which needed to be disposed of. I pulled up at the gate keepers pay station and leap out of the truck. As the Hi-Vis clad, donut carrying, Neanderthal comes out of the shed, I scratch my nuts and say “hey Shags, how they hanging?”

He scratches his, as part of the ritual, and replies ‘Nor bad mate, whadya know?’

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to tell him how I really enjoyed the fluidity of the main troupe, in the second act, at the ballet last night. How I was mesmerised when the seven of them, morphed into an organic knot at the end, that beautiful image, will stay with me forever.

He finishes eating his donut, looks me straight in the eye and says ‘$20 to dump the mattress ballet boy, it’s the bin next to the rubble’

Success again; I love these different worlds I live in