Mr Miner gets the final word...

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Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based on the NSW Central Coast and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

This is my last column for Mining Family Matters and it feels like the end of an era. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

It’s coincidentally kind of the end of an era at home too, with Mr Miner moving to a job closer to home next month. Don’t worry though, the new job still requires him to be away from home, so we’re not going to actually live together… heaven forbid!

When I wrote my first column "Down Days and Risotto" back in 2011, I had been dating Mr Miner for less than a year. He was working and living in Orange and I was still living the backpacker life in Sydney.

I was working a temp job and drinking way over the recommended amount with my new international buddies, while trying to find a way to cope with this crazy lifestyle. I missed him a lot. Our routines clashed and we would have silent phone calls and petty arguments. That’s not to say things are perfect now, but we have found a way to have a relationship, through this lifestyle, that works for us.

Since then there’s been three different mining jobs, four different rosters, four house moves and one baby. And even as I write this I am furiously planning for our wedding in May (and by furiously planning, I obviously mean procrastinating!) I think it’s fair to say we’ve come a long way, baby!

Thinking about this column, there was a lot I wanted to say. But rather than turning into a sentimental, emotional wreck (no fun for anyone) or being a total cliché, I thought maybe it would be nice to give Mr M the last word, his right to reply at long last.

Now it’s important to note that words aren’t really his thing, and getting these answers was a little like getting blood from a stone (cue a lot of blank stares and ummming and ahhing), but I think this is a true summary of our life together.

Q: What would you advise other women whose partners are planning to go into the mines?

Make sure you have friends around and plan to do all of the things you really want to do when he’s away. It’s easier said than done, but if he can, try and get an even time roster so he’s not away so much.

Q: Do you have any tips on communication? (She asks the man who sends one-word texts…)

There’s not really anything exciting to say about work, especially after 10 years doing this, so I don’t really bother with phone calls. We usually rely on Whatsapp to check in with each other, because it’s easier and you can video call, which is better.

Q: What do you really want to do when you come home?

Relax and do nothing! I want to get take out and sit on the couch and do the jobs in the yard that have been bugging me. I really just want to stay close to home and do stuff around here.

Q: Do you miss me when you’re away?

No…. Ha, only joking, it gets pretty boring sitting there eating dinner by yourself every night.

Q: What about the kid?

I like seeing videos of him, he changes so much in a week. I like video calling him, even if he does ignore me for the whole call!

Q: What's the best and worst about thing about being in a long-distance relationship?

The best thing is going to bed alone and the worst is coming home and sharing a bed… (I asked him if he had these the wrong way around, but apparently not!)

Q: What have you learnt from reading all my blogs?

Ummmm, well I haven’t read all of them… *me giving serious side-eye there are a lot!*

The one thing I always remember is that you just want a kiss when I come home.

Me: Do you give me a kiss every time?

Him: Yes, I can’t believe you don’t notice!

Me: *Looks sceptical*

So there you have it, seven years summarised as the following: have a support circle; find a way to communicate that works for you; try to give him a break when he’s home; remember he is missing you even if he doesn’t really show it; sometimes it’s OK to enjoy the time apart (and having the bed to yourself); and finally, a little romantic gesture goes a long way... at least if you can remember it!

I couldn’t have put it better myself – but please don’t tell him that.

Don’t worry, I haven’t stopped rambling on in written form altogether, come over and visit me at for more unsolicited opinion and unreliable advice.

Our Miner's Girl also has her own website: check out her blog here at

And here's lots more from Sarah on Mining Family Matters:

If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!