Friday, 23 January 2009

Lord Of The Flies

Anyone unfortunate enough to have lived with me during my student years would likely be aware of the "TV teen drama" I devised, called "The Creak". Now isn't the time to go into the many convoluted storylines and settings I (and others, namely Green and the deviant himself, H) came up with, but one of the primary features was owls. Over the twelve one-hour episode series, I planned for owls to appear increasingly in the foreground, so that by the second last episode there would be so many owls that it was difficult to keep up with the onscreen events (by now the funeral of the "Dr Nev" character, killed one episode earlier by a jumping blue whale, while on his yacht, all set to music). By the very final episode, owls would be so utterly flooding the screen that absolutely nothing of the story could be seen whatsoever, aside from the occasional briefest of glimpses or snatched sound. Saturation by owls would be complete, and one of the biggest cliffhangers of TV would remain unresolved because of them.

This increasing influx of owls is currently something I'm experiencing, only with flies instead. About a week ago, Glen, the long-haired Rangers-supporter that shares the unit with us started complaining about a "damn fly". I noticed it too, in between bouts of coffee - a little chap, meandering about in the air.

The next day Glen boasted of having killed him, but I noticed the cheeky chap was still there... and with a friend? Still, of no great annoyance, except to Glen, who was getting more perturbed by the pest. He killed another, and then I killed another, and surely there could be no more. One of the advantages of offshore is that flies don't usually stray so far from land.

But now, a week on, our unit is infested. It's as though for each one we kill, another two appear, like the heads of the Greek Hydra. I drink a coffee and they dive into my brew, I set a cake on the desk and they're ready to pounce. I feel my skin randomly itch and I know they're biting me, because when I piledrive one they burst into a bloody splodge. Glen arrived today with an arsenal of weaponry - oils and sprays - but to little effect (if anything, they just pushed the crowd over from his side of the unit to ours). Flies, damn flies, are the bane of my life.

However, let's not pretend life is too accursed right now. Despite some genuine hassles and stresses over the last week, often exacerbated by the blinkered arrogance of the well test engineer in charge, right now things are plodding on without too many bumps. The biggest crinkles and wrinkles have been ironed out, and the biggest worries of last week seem to be over. From my side, at least - the job itself for the rig is going pretty poorly: tons of delays and no end result. For some, the lack of efficiency is driving them crazy, but hey, I've worked for Petrobras in Brazil, so this is nothing.

So, if I can just survive the flies, hopefully the rest of the hitch can be trouble-free. About ten or so days more, I expect.

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