Shaved legs, painted nails and sexy PJs: it's fly-in day!

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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 in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

Ask any mining partner what they love best about fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and I can almost guarantee what the answer will be. And no, it’s not the money!

It’s fly-in day! (Unless of course their partner is home and being particularly irritating, in which case it’s fly-out day! JOKING!).

Remember that rush of a first date? The feeling of nerves and excitement; your stomach has butterflies and you can’t sit still? Well that’s what fly-in day is like every time.

In fact it’s better, because you don’t have to worry that you’ll have nothing to say to each other, or he’ll be totally up himself or you’ll drink too much because of your nerves and end up falling over in your new high heels!

Even after four years (or more in the case of many of the lovely mining partners I know), fly-in day is still special. I always have more of a spring in my step and smile on my face when it rolls around.

And just like a first date, you go through that same prep routine.

I always imagine that as a plane full of blokes flies in from Perth, woman all over the country are busy shaving legs, painting toe nails and digging out the lacy, black undies from the bottom of the drawer.

There we all are, primping and preening, trying to look our best for at least the first few hours that they’re home. Yes, it’s a bit of a charade, but it’s fun and what’s more, it’s almost guaranteed not to go unnoticed!

A friend of mine who isn’t FIFO/DIDO was complaining to me that she had gone to the trouble of being all groomed and dressed up for her boyfriend, who then came home from work and completely didn’t notice. It’s not her, she’s gorgeous, but we’ve all been there! I once even threw out new lingerie because I’d been rejected in it and therefore could only associate it with that!

Now, I say "almost guaranteed" to work, because recently Mr Miner’s shift times have changed. That means he doesn’t get home until almost midnight after day shift.

I know what you’re thinking: I’ve just said fly-in day is the best bit, and now I can’t be bothered to wait up for him. In reality I have been waiting up (or at least trying) but it's tough because I get up every morning at 6am for work. My Wednesday nights still involve primping and preening, and trying to make it look casual, like I just throw on black lace every night of the week…

I shave my legs, paint my nails and put on my 'sexy' pyjamas (i.e. the ones that don’t have holes and aren't made of flannelette, possibly with a bit of lace - if he’s lucky!) and I blow-dry my hair and put on natural make up (yes, I put my make-up back on at 10pm at night) and then I arrange myself on the sofa in a position that says nonchalant, yet sexy, as if this is exactly how I relax every evening (even though we both know I relax every evening with trackies, slippers, no makeup and a Milo!).

The trouble is I never know when exactly he’ll be home. It depends whether he leaves on time, whether he’ll stop for food or fuel, what the traffic is like, etc, etc.

And so I wait.

I wait and I watch TV for a bit. But that makes me sleepy, so I think it’ll be OK if I’m nonchalantly sexy in bed, right?

So I get into bed and read my book to distract myself.

Except lacy undies aren’t very comfortable for bed, so I get up and change them and go back to my book. And after a while the straps on my nightie are digging in, so I change that too. And at the same time I notice I’ve managed to get lip gloss on the pillow, so I take that off and go back to my book, which is now making me feel really sleepy. I hope he’s home soon.

Luckily only a minute later, he’s home and walking through the bedroom door and he’s sliding into bed and his hands are on me, cold against my warm body and...


Yep, I scream in his face.

Because, you guessed it, I have fallen asleep and mistaken him for an intruder! And what’s more I now have mascara and eyeliner smudged down my face, I’m wearing granny pants and an old t-shirt and my hair is sticking up on one side where it’s got stuck to the lip gloss/drool on my pillow. Nonchalantly sexy? Nailed it!

Needless to say that fly-in day is still exciting and I’m so pleased that Mr Miner still gives me butterflies.

But for now, I’ll be tucking myself into bed early and saving the lace for after night shift instead. Let’s face it: it's four years on and these days I obviously need my beauty sleep!

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