Pam's Journal for February 2006

Wednesday 1st February
We took the laptop into Telstra and Megan set up our new email system for us. Again the service we received was excellent. After that we decided to try out the wireless connection in the internet café. It works except the sending of emails was blocked yet again by BigPond. Apparently as the café is with BigPond, any other service provider is blocked; not very friendly is it? We then did a couple more errands before heading home for happy hour. We tried our new email system out in the caravan and it works. Yippee!

Thursday 2nd February
Apart from trying to keep cool we didn’t do very much. I had a short swim in the pool which was very warm so it didn’t really cool the core temperature. I must point out that when I write in my journal, ‘we didn’t do much’ or ‘we had a lay day’ it doesn’t mean we actually did nothing. We do keep busy with the normal cleaning, minor repairs of the caravan, website updates, my craft projects, reading, crosswords or just socialising. All important things! I just didn’t want anyone to imagine we sit doing nothing. Now I have the old laptop to myself I am going to start doing the family tree again. I have the software, I just need the information. That should keep me occupied for the next decade. When the heat of the day eased, caravan doors opened and people emerged with drinks in hand. We joined our next door neighbours, Jo and Kevin, for drinks. Very pleasant it was too.

Friday 3rd February
Here, there and everywhere today. We had to go back to the computer place as we were having problems burning DVD’s. They were very helpful and set us off on the right track. We seemed to go all over town looking for suitable curtain rings for our caravan curtains. Long story - if you are at interested email me and I will tell you the boring details. Moving along, what else did we do? Bought some veggies, forgot the fruit, and then went for a drink at one of the local hotels.

Saturday 4th February
Lay day. Stayed in the air-conditioning only venturing out to do the washing.

Sunday 5th February
Not as hot today. Went to church in the morning. Met some really nice people who made me very welcome. In the afternoon we went in search of Oxley's Lookout. We didn’t find it so we went to Diggers League Club where we watched tennis on the big screen and had a drink or two, of course.

Monday 6th February
Not a lot happening today, shopping and medical appointment.
Had a really pleasant Happy Hour with our neighbours plus another couple, all West Australians.

Tuesday 7th February
Peter and I went for our blood tests (cholesterol). I emerged wrapped in bandages. I kid you not. Well I had one around one arm and one hand plus a band aid on one arm. The nurse had a lot of trouble extracting my blood. After a few errands we returned home as Peter wanted to play with his new toys.
Had Happy Hour with our neighbours, Jo and Kevin.

Wednesday 8th February
X-ray of my ‘stupid foot’ today. Apart from a final Happy Hour with Jo and Kevin, (they leave tomorrow), we didn’t really do a lot. At least the weather is cooler today.

Thursday 9th February
Washing, cleaning and not a lot else. Said goodbye to J & K. We always feel a bit flat when we say goodbye to people we like.

Friday 10th February
Collected the X-rays and did a few errands. Had Happy Hour on our own. The caravan park is practically empty. We seem to have that effect on people!

Saturday 11th February
We eventually found Oxley Lookout. The views were really good of Tamworth. From there we went to The Golden Guitar Museum. Very disappointing, they had wax models of Country Music stars but not very realistic. The Longyard Hotel was next door so we went to check that out. Gate crashed a ninetieth birthday party. We didn’t get offered any cake so we left and went to the airport. The brochure boasts a museum at the airport. All it was, was a plane inside a building (Avro Anson), Pete Mate wasn’t impressed so needless to say I was even less impressed! From there we went to The Diggers Club for a drink and a meal. Alice gave us directions to all of these places. I now understand her better - she gives instructions as a woman would. She cuts through housing estates rather than staying on main roads. All very interesting to Alice and myself as we have a good look at all the houses. Then sometimes she takes a different route to a familiar destination, again all good stuff, as we women like variety. Yes, I do think Alice reads the map upside down as well.

Sunday 12th February
Lay day today, didn’t really feel like doing much. I didn’t even have the energy to go to church. I always thought that when I gave up work I would never be tired or lack energy again. Wrong. Only difference now is you can relax rather than have to get up and go to work. We did make the decision to leave Tamworth on Wednesday.

Monday 13th February
We had to report back to the doctor for our results. My cholesterol is ‘sky high’ whereas Pete Mate’s is only ‘high’. Mine is self inflicted as I stopped taking the medication that I had been on for years, just to see if I still needed it. Yep, I guess I do! Pete Mate, well after leaving the doctor’s surgery we went shopping and bought cheese, biscuits and chocolate, nothing else to say is there. My foot has a fracture and a chipped bone, so no wonder I have been in pain. So, do I get more sympathy now? What do you think! At least Pete Mate has had the good grace to stop telling me I have a low pain tolerance. Anyway I just have to put up with the pain until it all heals.

Tuesday 14th February
It is supposed to be a get ready day today. Well we did sort of get ready then we walked into town to the Post Office and for a last drink at Diggers.

Wednesday 15th February
We managed to get ready to move by about quarter to ten, then our neighbour came over for a chat. 10.30am we finally left. We were driving into the bad weather but eventually it brightened up and we thought that was that. One should never assume. We arrived at the National Park, set up camp and then all hell let loose. Thunder lightening, strong winds and heavy rain. We didn’t venture far, I can tell you.

Thursday 16th February
The weather eventually cleared and in the afternoon we went forth to explore. We were a little reluctant to leave the caravan as the place was deserted. We went to the Observatory then a look-out, had a general look around and then hastened back to the 'van to see if all Pete Mate’s toys were intact. All is well, plus we had new neighbours dotted around the place.

Friday 17th February
We have now decided to head for Narrabeen but will have an overnight stop in a freebie camp. It was a nice enough camp for one night but a little bit noisy.

Saturday 18th February
We tried to get away fairly early but again our attempts were thwarted by friendly people wanting to chat. Now we know why some people get up at the crack of dawn, they leave before everyone else gets up and wants to chat. We eventually got on the road. The route Alice planned for us was hairy in parts and we even had to travel down some dirt roads. We eventually arrived and found the caravan park very nice and expensive. We had been warned that the nearer Sydney you get, the higher prices go. We set up camp and went for a drive around the area. Very busy and lots of traffic - we were in a state of shock for the rest of the afternoon. We went into a hotel to revive ourselves and very quickly realised we were underdressed for the yuppie area of Palm Beach.

Sunday 19th February
We went for a walk around the lake and then the rest of the day was spent cleaning and washing. In the evening we had decided to eat at a RSL club. We were contacted by one of Peter’s friends that he used to work with. We met at their home and all went together. We had a really pleasant evening, Greg and Bev are very good company.

Monday 20th February
Went for a walk first thing then we checked out the shops.

Tuesday 21st February
Went for a walk around the lake and Alice came too. We went into the city today. All I can say is I was very glad I wasn’t driving. With the help of Alice, Pete Mate managed really well. We went to the Power House Museum, which is excellent. We had the car on a timed meter so after three hours we had to leave, plus we were expected at Greg and Bev’s home for a barbecue. We had another very enjoyable evening.

Wednesday 22nd February
We went to Sydney Harbour National Park. It was lovely. From a couple of vantage points you could see some beautiful scenery and right across the Harbour. The waterways around here are certainly spectacular. The Harbour Master arranged for a lot of boats and ships to arrive and leave, all laid on for our entertainment. By now we were cursing the fact that we had left the camera at home. In the evening we met with Bev and Greg plus another ex colleague of Pete Mate’s, Bob, and a bonus of Lois, Don and Kim from Adelaide. We enjoyed a lovely evening at the local Thai restaurant.

Thursday 23rd February
Today we went back to Sydney Harbour National Park and took the camera. Yes, you have guessed, not a lot happening on the waterways today. The scenery was still spectacular though. After that we went to Bobbin Head and the National Park that surrounds it. Absolutely beautiful.

Friday 24th February
I know we went out somewhere but at this point in time I cannot remember where. It will come to me and then I will update this day. This is what happens when you don’t do your journal everyday.

Saturday 25th February
We walked around the lake to the newsagents and back again. Alice came along. Later we caught the bus into Manly and then the ferry into the city. Boy oh boy, people everywhere. We have now got used to the traffic and people a little more and are enjoying Sydney. It is a busy place with people rushing everywhere but it does have a certain charisma and vibrancy about it. All the different people and cultures meld together to give you an overall fervour. We wandered around and saw street buskers performing, boats and one huge liner. We ate lunch alfresco and then later had a drink at one of the bars overlooking the harbour. Once we collected ourselves up off the floor, Pete Mate paid. When the barman asked if we would like another he laughed at Pete Mate’s remark “No thanks the mortgage hasn’t come through yet” We wandered a little more then caught a ferry to Watson’s Bay and return as it was getting a little late now. We then caught the ferry back to Manly and the bus home. An excellent day and the transport cost Pete Mate (who has a Senior's Card) $2.50 and $15.00 for me. The bus driver was sorry he couldn’t give me a ticket for $2.50, so I remarked “never mind my turn will come”. He replied, “Yes but not for at least twenty years” What a nice man. This reminds me of another time in Tamworth we were enjoying Happy Hour with friends Jo and Kevin when Jo remarked how well I looked for someone in her sixties. She was embarrassed when I told her how old I was, but the men thought it was hilarious.

Sunday 26th February.
Lay day today. Plenty of washing to do. Missed my morning walk as I was too busy talking. Once the washing was done I walked to Woolworth’s (the other side of the lake) did the shopping and then called Pete Mate to collect me. It worked out quite well as I had the time to browse and Pete Mate had ‘time out’. Later that afternoon Bev and Greg called by for a drink. It was lovely to see them and drinks and nibbles led to a Chinese take-away plus more drinks. Very enjoyable, they are very good company.

Monday 27th February
A definite lay today. Must have been a bad glass of wine. I did a short walk without Alice or Pete Mate.

Tuesday 28th February
An early morning appointment at the hairdressers relieved me of a considerable amount of money. I really do not know how Sydney people afford to live. We caught the bus to Manly and then the ferry into the city. Next we hopped on another ferry to Parramatta, not before, I might add we paid $20 for two sandwiches and two diet cokes. We were disappointed with Parramatta. I never learn, I always believe the tourist books. We went to see old buildings and get the feel of the history of the place. Granted there were old buildings but they were pushed into insignificance by modern tat. I say tat and mean tat, the place was dirty full of graffiti and litter. Anyway, I had read there was a Rumsey Rose Garden. Now for all those not related directly to me, Rumsey is my mum’s maiden name. I wanted to go and check out this garden. I mean, to have a garden named after you, you would have to be at least a convict or pioneer. Wouldn't you? I had visions of being related to a poor peasant transported to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread but it was not to be. A couple by the name of Heather and Roy Rumsey donated the money for the garden and it opened on 26th August 1995. Ah well, all was not lost, we found the R.S.L. Club and it served us a very reasonably priced beer and wine. We decided to travel back to the city by train. We had to change trains once and then arrived back at Circular Quay in time for the ferry back to Manly. We reckon these all-day tickets are very good value.

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