Pam's Journal for December 2006

Friday December 1st 2006
I went for an early morning walk as this weight problem is getting out of control. We decided last night that we are going to stay here another month and abandon our previous plans. We were going inland but the temperatures inland have been soaring (often above 35 degrees!). We have left it too late to book in anywhere else on the coast with Christmas and the school holidays approaching. We were very lucky to get an extension here as Jim (our host) is always very busy at Christmas. Later in the morning we went into Rocky to attend to some business, have lunch and do a spot of shopping. We did really well and didn’t get lost once today. We must be becoming locals! We called in at the coffee shop on the way home . . . they do make nice coffee. Before we knew it was time for Happy Hour and another very pleasant couple of hours were passed.

Saturday December 2nd 2006
We both went for a walk this morning but any benefit was cancelled out by the huge breakfast we ate at the coffee shop. Very nice it was too. We didn't do much else, just a some washing and reading. Happy Hour was a bit sad as we said goodbye to Ken and Faye but hopefully will see them again at Tamworth.

Sunday December 3rd 2006

We went for our early morning walk but this time only had coffee at the coffee shop. Happy hour started off quiet but once the 'golfers' returned it got a bit livelier. Emu Park Golf Club had a golfing event to raise money for SIDS.

Moenday December 4th 2006

We didn't feel like our walk this morning. It is now four days since I have been taking the new potion for my arthritis and I do think I am getting the same reaction as before. I will give it a couple more days and then if no better will ditch the lot. The afternoon was spent teaching a local lady some computer skills she needed. We went to Happy Hour for a short while. The concert we were to see was booked out, some people were taking their chairs and sitting outside but the weather wasn't the best so we decided to give it a miss.

Tuesday December 5th 2006
We went for our early morning walk and finished it with a coffee at the coffee shop. At Pete Mate's suggestion I am taking my potion in three lots rather than at all at once and it does seem to be working, I am not getting any of the side effects. Went into the village later in the afternoon to do some shopping. We had to go to the post office which happens to be very close to the pub. What can you do! Happy Hour was as usual very pleasant. Brother Tony's birthday today, so we had a drink for him. I cannot believe it is seven years since he died, where the time goes I don't know.

Wednesday December 6th 2006
We went as usual for our walk and cup of coffee. At Happy Hour we met Wayne, the local butcher. He has a café at Kinka Beach, the Kinka Kippa, and each Friday and Saturday he and a friend play music. We decided to go and check it out on Friday as it seems to be our kind of music.

Thursday December 7th 2006
We gave the walk a miss this morning and got ready to go into 'Rocky'. We had a few things to do there including some shopping. Once home it was time for Happy Hour.

Friday December 8th 2006

We did our usual walk and had a coffee at the coffee shop. We walked back into the village after lunch mainly to go to the post office. And, yes, you've guessed, the post office is very close to the pub. Once home it was soon time to get ready for our night out. Once we were ready we had a quick drink at Happy Hour then went on to the Kinka Kippa. It was a really good night; the food, the atmosphere and the music were all excellent. The Yeppoon Lions Club were having their Christmas bash and had virtually taken over the place but they were so friendly and nice it didn't bother us at all. In fact we had some fun with them.

Saturday December 9th 2006.
Lay day again. We did our usual walk and then went for a coffee. The weather was windy and we had some rain. Two young men were having a lot of fun with surf kites opposite the caravan. In the picture one is high out of the water but the other has gone in. Happy Hour was a little blustery but at least it was dry and warm.

Sunday December 10th 2006.
Yet another Lay Day. We went for our usual walk and had coffee at our favourite coffee shop. I wrote a lot of Christmas cards, which is a surprise to me as I thought as was sending email cards this year. Happy Hour as always.

Moenday December 11th 2006.
Usual walk but no coffee this morning as the coffee shop is closed on Moendays. We spent most of the day finishing off all the Christmas cards and presents. We then went to the Post Office to send them all off. I was actually going on my own but as soon as I said I was going to the Post Office Pete Mate's eyes lit up and he nearly fell out of the door in his haste to lick stamps! (Yes, Pete Mate, the gloves are now officially off!) The Post Office is very close to the pub, and Pete Mate dragged me in. Contrary to public belief it is not me that drags Pete Mate into these dens of iniquity, rather we scramble through the door to see who can get to the bar first. Anyway once that was out of the way we made our way home for Happy Hour. A very nice Happy Hour it was too, but I was very tired and just rested my head on the table for a moment. I was then roused by Pete Mate to go home and cook his dinner. I must have had sleep-dust still in my eyes as 'apparently' I had a bit of a dance with a palm tree. As I have no memory of it I am at the mercy of Jim and Pete Mate. God only knows who to believe!

Tuesday December 12th 2006.
We went for our usual walk this morning. The start of our walk is along a short path through the dunes to the beach.

Our first view of the beach as we emerge from the path. Beautiful isn't it?

After our walk we went for our usual coffee where Pete delighted in relaying the palm tree story to Moee and Mick. Thanks Pete Mate. After coffees we headed home to the caravan to get ready to go into Rockhampton. I was to have a couple of hours on my own whilst Pete sorted out some shackle plates for the caravan. Yes, we have another problem with Bessie. Anyway, within in an hour Peter was ringing me to say he was waiting for me at Gloria Jean's. He had to go back for the plates in an hour and a half so we had coffee and then I escaped for another hour to finish some shopping. We then went to collect the plates and did some more shopping before heading home for Happy Hour.
I won't go into detail here of what happened next as Pete Mate has already covered it. I was a little taken aback when I was told the broadcast went Australia wide. Later that night I rang my friend Jan for her birthday and when I told her we were in Emu Park she straight away knew it.
"Oh no" I exclaimed "You haven't heard the radio have you?"
She replied "No, I was going to tell you about a programme called Seachange that featured Emu Park, but never mind that now, tell what was on the radio?"
I told her and she laughed a lot.

Wednesday 13th December 2006
We went for our walk and coffee as usual. The rest of the day was spent with Pete Mate making a very loud racket replacing these blessed shackle plates. In the evening we went for Happy Hour.

Another view of what we see on our morning walk. What a way to start the day!

Thursday 14th December 2006
Walk, coffee and then back to the caravan to wait for the arrival of my Christmas present. It arrived mid morning and as we were both in the middle of our chores we didn't unpack it until the afternoon. It is a satellite dish to pick up the free-to-air channels. A chap named Shorty staying here has one and we were impressed with the quality of the pictures and the amount of channels he can pick up. Very often, whilst we have been travelling, the television reception has been woeful. The dish was half the price of the ones we had seen elsewhere so we reckon we have got a bargain. Setting it up, however, is another thing altogether. First it took us 5 minutes to open the folder with the instructions in it! We did everything according to the instructions but still didn't get a picture so in the end we gave up and rang the chap who sold it to us. I don't know what happened next; as as far as I was concerned it was a 'blue job' but we soon had an excellent picture. So now we had to decide what to do with all the wires and equipment, plus we need a new fitting for the outside cable.
At Happy Hour we were told the TV man was coming to do a job in the park tomorrow, excellent timing. In the evening we were invited by Jim to go and look at the Christmas lights. The rest of the story you know except Pete Mate missed out two vital pieces of information.
One: Whilst the two men are laughing at my demise, my nose really did hurt.
Two: When we arrived home Pete Mate decided he had better tone down the laughter and appear concerned - he likes to eat. Anyway in his effort to be 'concerned' he belted me on the nose as well. MEN!!

Friday 15th December 2006
We went for our morning walk. Part of the walk involves climbing up the hillside to the Singing Ship. The views from there are magnificent.

The view looking south from the Singing Ship Memorial to Captain Cook.

Property prices are taking off here and even the house with the rusty roof will be worth a fortune in a few years because it has million dollar views.

Looking the other way at the houses on the hillside.

After our walk we went for our usual coffees and then headed home. The TV man was due to arrive. He fixed us up in no time and everything is working just fine. We can even receive the ABC radio and television from Perth, thousands of miles away. In the evening we went again to the Kinka Kippa for dinner and the entertainment. We were met by Wayne who informed us that someone from the Department of the Environment was looking for a woman who is knocking over palm trees along the coast. Now how did he find out??? The Kinka Kippa had a huge party booked in for tonight but they cancelled at the last minute and we were the only two people there. Even so we ate excellent food and listened to beautiful music - a very enjoyable evening.

Saturday 16th December 2006.
We did our usual walk again. One of the delightful things about our morning walks is that we meet some lovely people. This morning we met a couple who lived in Rockhampton but have a holiday home here. They were very chatty and told us things we didn't know about Emu Park. We continued our walk finishing as usual at the coffee shop. We did some shopping and then returned home. At Happy Hour we were joined by a Canadian couple who are staying here for a few days. We enjoyed their company and had a pleasant time before heading home to prepare dinner. During the evening we had an electrical storm followed by some rain which resulted in the park suffering a power cut. Our lights and television continued to work from the battery so we were not aware of the cut until later. The satellite decoder went off with the power but we switched to the normal aerial and carried on watching.

Sunday 17th December 2006

We had our usual walk and coffees. It was market day in Emu Park so after our coffees we wandered through the markets. Well, I did, Pete Mate continued home as he is not a lover of markets or, for that matter, any shops at all unless they sell hardware, cameras, or car parts. The weather was still a little wild so we decided not to go to the carols in the park. I doubt it if Pete Mate wanted to go in the first place as they might have mentioned 'God'. I know this will be a shock to the system but we didn't go to Happy Hour either. Our next door neighbours, (the Canadians) invited us into their camper van for a drink. Very pleasant it was too.

Moenday 18th December 2006
We didn't go for our walk this morning, just didn't feel like it. We went into Rockhampton to do some shopping at various places. It wasn't as busy as we thought it would be. Happy Hour in the evening as usual.

Tuesday 19th December 2006
I went for a long walk this morning as Pete Mate was fixing up the extra wires in the caravan which have been hanging about the place since the satellite dish arrived. I was told to leave as it was going to be a 'blue air job'. After my walk, I called in at the coffee shop before venturing home to see if I still had a husband and caravan. Yep, both were intact. As usual Pete Mate had done an excellent job, very neat and tidy. We went to Happy Hour to say goodbye to Shorty. Tiger was on the radio again and played another wine drinking record for the people out at Emu Park. Now my 'dish' is completely set up it is wonderful, I can tune into Perth radio and ABC on the TV. I can also tune into the BBC World Service. I am very, very happy with my Christmas present.

Wednesday 20th December 2006
Pete Mate spent most of the day making a dreadful noise, he was repairing the caravan and had to keep hammering something or other. Well he said he had to make all that noise but it could have been a ploy to get rid of me again for a while. I went for a walk and to do some shopping. Happy Hour as usual.

Thursday 21st December 2006
We went for our usual walk and coffee but much later today. In the afternoon we had a trip into Yeppoon to do a little shopping. Home again for Happy Hour.

Friday 22nd December 2006
We had a late walk again today. We tend to do Sudokus whilst eating our breakfast so the time gets away from us, but at least we have exercised our brains which, believe me, they need! After our walk we went for a coffee and then did some local shopping before heading home. My day was spent knitting and Pete Mate's was spent on the computer. In the evening we went to the Kinka Kipper and enjoyed another good night of food, wine and entertainment.

Saturday 23rd December 2006
The day started off pretty much the same as yesterday with a walk, a coffee and some local shopping. Then we discovered our picture was in the paper. Celebrities yet again! If you recall, we were pictured riding a camel in a caravan magazine and now we are pictured sitting outside the caravan in our scruffy clothes talking to Jim, the manager here at the park. In the afternoon we went to the pub for a drink as we had to collect some beer from the bottle shop next door. One drink led to another and I was very glad I wasn't walking home. We went to a very quiet Happy Hour and then I returned home to cook dinner. Jim shows a movie every Saturday evening in the barbecue area and tonight's was Kenny so we returned later to watch that. It was a very funny movie and we enjoyed it, as did the sand flies as I have heaps of irritating bites.

Sunday 24th December 2006
The park is certainly a lot busier now; we have a very nice family camping next to us. The little girl is ten today, and a very mature ten year old too.
I heard two funny things this week: My brother Barry said he has a new saying, SKIF. Spend the Kids Inheritance Fast. We had heard the SKI one before but I reckon this one is better. Nic (son in Perth) said he had heard on the radio some American saying the Ten Commandments have no place in American morality. American morality? An oxymoron if ever I heard one. We went for our walk and coffees as usual. I then started on the salads for tomorrow. Happy Hour as usual.

Moenday 25th December 2006
Santa came early to Bell Park Caravan Park as the children next to us were up and opening presents at 4.30 a.m. Bless them! We enjoyed a lovely breakfast down at the barbecue area - heaps of bacon, eggs and toast. We took some champagne, orange juice and fruit. After breakfast, Pete Mate rested whilst I put the salads together to take to lunch at Jim and Sue's house. Jim and Sue, the park managers, very kindly invited us to their home for Christmas lunch. Two other couples from the park, Janet and Bill, and Leonie and Jeff, also went. It was a lovely day which we enjoyed very much. The food, company and of course the wine were all good. Once back at the caravan park we went to Happy Hour where more wine and a bottle of Baileys were consumed. I think I had an early night!

Tuesday 26th December 2006
A rest day today. I needed it, enjoying oneself is very exhausting. We went to Happy Hour and stayed to enjoy a pizza and another round of Baileys. It was Janet and Bill's wedding anniversary and they included Pete Mate and I in the invitation to join them for pizza. Very kind and very enjoyable too. We have had so many enjoyable days and evenings at Emu Park it is going to be quite a wrench to hitch up and leave.

Wednesday 27th December 2006
What a miserable day, it rained for most of the day. Happy Hour didn't happen as it was too cold and wet. It was just like a winter's day where you curl up with a good book, so that is what I did. In between showers Pete Mate washed the caravan but in the end gave up as he was getting as wet as the caravan.

Thursday 28th December 2006.
We had quite a few errands to do in 'Rocky' so we spent most of the day there. The weather was a little better than yesterday. On the way home we called in for a coffee at the Coffee Spot as we hadn't been in there for a couple of days. Mick and Moe thought we had left without saying goodbye. Once home we unpacked the shopping and went to Happy Hour.

Friday 29th December 2006.
'Get ready' day today. We went for our usual walk and then went for coffee. We said our goodbyes to Mick and Moe and then went home to start packing up. After Happy Hour we said some goodbyes and went to the Kinka Kippa for dinner.

Christmas at the 'Kinka Kippa'.
Back row: Glen (Chef), Sharon (Hostess), Phil (Wayne's brother), Me, Wayne (Owner), Keith (Guitarist)
Front row: Jenny (Assistand Chef and Waitress), Pam.

It was, as usual, a very pleasant evening with good food, music and wine. We said another round of goodbyes; this is getting all too much.

Saturday 30th December 2006.
The day had finally dawned for us to leave Emu Park. We were packed and ready to go by 8.00am and then we had another lot of goodbyes to do. Jim, Sue, Janet and Bill gave us a send off, which was really nice of them. We set off with sadness but an anticipation of what our next adventure would be. We had a good trip and arrived at Cania Gorge in time for lunch. We set up camp, had little rest, and then went to the bird feeding.

Every evening at five o'clock the owners of the park feed a huge flock of Rainbow Lorikeets. They encourage visitors to participate by placing seed in their hands, then up to three birds will land on their hand and squabble over the seeds. Nope I did not feed them, they bite! Ask Pete Mate, he will verify that. They are very noisy birds and tend to swoop down and settle on your head or any other part of your body they feel like. We were delighted to see two Australian King Parrots join the party. I don't think I have ever seen them in the wild before. Once feeding was over we went to the wine tasting. It was BYO chair and cheese platter. We paid $3.00 each and tasted seven wines plus a port. We were not impressed, I preferred my old bottle of Preece. Next on the agenda was a movie but we skipped that and went home to dinner.

Sunday 31st December 2006.
We were thinking about doing one of the walks here but it rained so that decided that. We had a lay day instead and I did a heap of washing and then had to use the dryer. Ah well, I guess we need the rain. In the evening we went along to the bird feeding again and I took some photos this time. We went back to the caravan for Happy Hour and then later went to the camp kitchen for a barbecue cooked by the owners of the park. We paid our $15.00 and enjoyed a nice meal. There was live entertainment which was okay but very loud. We spent the evening with another couple but it became impossible to chat as the music was so loud. Around 10.30 the four of us decided to call it a night and we said our goodnights and Happy New Year's before retiring to our respective caravans.

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