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.
Lay day. Stayed in the air-conditioning only venturing out to do the
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,
Not a lot happening today, shopping and medical appointment.
Had a really pleasant Happy Hour with our neighbours plus another couple,
all West Australians.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Went for a walk first thing then we checked out the shops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A definite lay today. Must have been a bad glass of wine. I did a short
walk without Alice or Pete Mate.
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.