All Under The Place, 22 August, Mount Isa

It was my birthday today. And what better way to celebrate than waking up at 3am to catch an internal flight to an isolated mining town? Mount Isa is to be our home for the next 3 days. It’s the biggest town between Darwin on the North coast and Brisbane on the East, and is not much bigger than the town of Rustington where I grew up. In fact Rustington has more supermarkets, because it has two. That gives you some sense of how empty and deserted most of this continent is.

In the afternoon we spent an hour looking round, in borderline hysterics about the lack of anything to do. After we’d had a coffee and looked in the second hand shop, that was about it. It’s such a weird place. A huge mine with two towering chimneys sits right on the edge of town, and every single person who lives here seems to be connected to the mine in some way. I guess once they finish digging everything out of the ground all the people will leave and the town will slowly return to the desert and scrub that surrounds it.

Celebrated my birthday dinner at a surprisingly good steak restaurant where the crew presented me with a party bucket of Malteasers and a radio controlled tarantula(!), and then went to the cinema to watch Michael Douglas being fabulous in ‘Behind the Candelabra’.

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