Monday 1st January 2007.
A Happy New Year to all and a very Happy 65th Birthday greeting to Pete
Mate. Today we had a drive out to have a look at the Cania Dam and found
the water level very low. It's situated in very pretty countryside. There
were plenty of people either in boats, water skiing, fishing, or just
having a picnic. On the way back Pete Mate drove off up this dirt track
for miles and miles, ending up in the middle of nowhere - so we came home
again. We were back in time for the bird feeding and then went home for
Tuesday 2nd January 2007.
We packed a picnic lunch and got ready for a long drive to Ubobo. We only
wanted to go there because Macca of Australia All Over fame did
one of his broadcasts from there in 2002 during which he remarked that
so few people lived there that they could do the show from the telephone
kiosk. Since that broadcast he mentions Ubobo often so we just had to
go there. We drove for miles and miles and then eventually arrived to
find a few houses, a school, two churches, a general store and, of course,
the famous phone box. They didn't even have a pub! The locals were very
friendly; we purchased some postcards as we had forgotten our cameras
and then drove all the way back to Monto to do some shopping. Are we completely
mad or what?
Wednesday 3rd January 2007.
We decided last night that this morning we would do a couple of the walks
in the National Park. Unfortunately, we discovered a water leak in the
caravan, so Pete Mate had to remove panels and find where it was coming
from. Eventually he discovered it was the water pump, we are going to
need a new part. A call to Jayco resulted in a temporary job being done
as Jayco are on holiday until the 22nd January. We were not impressed.
Anyway Pete Mate fixed it so we at least have water. Ironically, last
night we were talking to Nic in Perth as we also have a water leak in
the solar water heater at home. I think I will give boats a miss for a
while; I don't want to have another 'leak'. Pete Mate then washed Billy.
Later in the afternoon we watched the tennis.
Thursday 4th January 2007.
Get ready day today as tomorrow we off to Toowoomba. We worked hard getting
everything done including cleaning the inside of Billy. Once everything
was packed away and ready for an early start we had our happy hour. When
it started to go dark we walked over to the bird feeding area to see the
Bettongs. Our wait was rewarded with a dear little thing scurrying about
looking for left-over bird seed. By now it was cold - yes, folks, cold
in Australia in the middle of summer. I can't believe either. So we went
home for dinner and a good night's sleep.
Friday 5th January 2007
We set off about 7.30am and had a pretty good run as far as Dalby. Then
the fun started. As Pete Mate has told the story on the web page I won't
go into detail here. By the time we had set up camp we had had enough
of caravanning and wanted red wine! It tasted good, so did the next and
the next . . .
Saturday 6th January 2007
Jan and Ross arrived from Brisbane for the day. We had an excellent day
in their company; there was a lot of talking and a lot of laughter. Jan
looked absolutely wonderful having lost 20kgs, we are so proud of her.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Spotted Cow, highly recommended by the
caravan park lady and we weren't disappointed. All too soon it was time
to say goodbye. We then started packing up ready for the move tomorrow.
Sunday 7th January 2007.
We left Toowoomba around 8.30am. We were thinking we would drive to Glen
Innes and then make a decision whether to go all the way to Tamworth or
have an overnighter at GI. We decided to continue and arrived here at
4.45pm. To our body clocks it was still 3.45pm as we had crossed the state
border. We set up camp, had dinner and were to go over to the camp kitchen
for a free concert but we were just too tired so had an early night instead.
Monday 8th January 2007.
We both felt weary today after all the travelling. We went to the shops
to stock up on food. We had a walk around town to familiarise ourselves
where everything is. Apart from that we did little.
Tuesday 9th January 2007.
I woke up feeling a lot better with more energy so I did the ironing,
washing and cleaning. I had to re-iron all the clothes in the wardrobe
as the roads we travelled on were so bumpy that all the clothes had fallen
off the rail. I was given a tip by someone in a caravan park to turn all
the coat hangers the other way round. I tried it and it worked but I keep
forgetting to do it. We had lunch and then walked into town, went to Gloria
Jean's for a coffee and bought the essential of life (red wine) and walked
home again. When we arrived home, Fay and Ken, the friends we had met
at Emu Park had arrived so we enjoyed a good old Emu Park Happy Hour.
Wednesday 10th January 2007.
Another glorious day here in 'Paradise' - the park we are in is called
Paradise Tourist Park. As the sun was shining I did some more washing.
The plan was to walk into the town in the morning but our water pump changed
that plan. Pete Mate had to take it apart to photograph the offending
part, and then send it via email to a chap in Queensland so we can buy
a new part. All good fun when you own a Jayco. After lunch we sallied
forth to take our daily exercise. By now it was hot but not too hot for
us as we are tough West Aussies. We collected the mail, did some shopping
and returned home for a refreshing drink. After dinner we went to the
barbecue area to listen to a concert. It wasn't bad but we have heard
better in Tamworth. We sat with Fay and Ken plus another couple, Peter
and Pat. It was a very pleasant evening.
Thursday 11th January 2007.
We thought we would do a longer walk today so we set off for Oxley's Lookout.
We hadn't been going long when I decided to inspect the pavement at close
quarters. Which is worse, the grazed hands and knees, or feeling an absolute
fool sitting beside the road, too shaken to get up? Anyway Pete Mate helped
me to stand and we continued to walk, but this time in the direction of
Gloria Jean's! Well, I needed something for shock. The lookout walk is
on the agenda for another day. We walked back to the caravan park, on
the way stopping to look at some used cars but the salesman was so impolite
we left. Later we went up to the Toyota place to have a look at their
range. A different attitude altogether there, really nice people. Pity
they are so expensive. We will have to wait for that big lotto win. Happy
Hour was partaken inside Fay and Ken's Winnebago as it was so hot outside.
Happy Hour was extended by many hours and at 9.30pm we went home having
consumed great quantities of wine and cheese, etc. The wine was for medicinal
purposes as by now my leg was swollen and bruising quite badly.
Editor's note: This would account for her inability
Friday 12th January 2007.
My leg was quite painful so I took some painkillers and decided not to
walk today. We drove into town and did a bit of shopping. In the afternoon
our friends Dawn and Phil arrived. Just as they pulled in the heavens
opened and we had a heavy downpour. Once the rain had eased we walked
over to their site and had a happy reunion. Later we had Happy Hour and
were joined by Fay and Ken. The free concert was cancelled so after dinner
we had another Happy Hour at Dawn and Phil's caravan. It was really lovely
to see them again. We were also very touched that they came here on their
way to the Gold Coast, just to see us.
Saturday 13th January 2007.
We said our goodbyes to Phil 'n Dawn. We then walked
into Tamworth, had our usual Gloria Jean's and a wander around. We saw
Frank, the Wedgetailed Eagle man from Daly Waters - we had only been talking
about Daly Waters last night. Anyway Frank is here for the festival, busking
in Peel Street. By the time we had walked home it was really hot so it
was on with the air conditioner and ice coffee time. Later in the day
Fay and Ken called over so we decided to have a Happy Hour but Fay wasn't
well and had to go home. We rang Bob and Julie in the evening as we hadn't
heard from Bob for a while.
Sunday 14th January 2007.
We had a lazy day; we didn't even go for a walk. In the evening we went
to the free concert here in the caravan park. It was a Bush Poets and
Balladeers concert. It was okay but some of them forgot their words and
they had technical problems.
Monday 15th January 2007.
We had a few errands to do including grocery shopping. Once that was out
of the way we watched the Australian Open tennis on TV before getting
ready to go to a concert in town. We were going to walk but it rained
and there was thunder and lightning so we took Billy. It was a really
good concert and all for free.
Tuesday 16th January 2007.
We had to take Billy for a service first thing this morning. Once we left
him in the safe hands of the mechanic we walked around town and then back
to the caravan park. We watched the tennis again and then late in the
afternoon walked back into town to collect Billy. When Peter paid the
bill they gave us four free tickets for a concert tomorrow night. We had
a short happy hour with Fay and Ken and then after dinner we went over
to the barbecue area for another free concert which was excellent.
Wednesday 17th January 2007.
Lay day. My leg is giving me a few problems. I need more wine! Watched
the tennis and didn't do much else.
Thursday 18th January 2007.
Took Billy into town to do some shopping. We went to the last free concert
in the caravan park. It wasn't as good as the previous one. An Aboriginal
Country Band from Broome performed and they were very good.
Friday 19th January 2007.
Not feeling the best day today, I must have drunk some bad wine last night.
We had an early morning call from friends Greg and Bev from Sydney. They
are in Gunnedah for the weekend, which is an hour's drive from Tamworth.
So off we went to see them. We returned in plenty of time to walk into
town with Fay and Ken to watch the opening concert. It was good but our
memories tell us last year's was better.
Saturday 20th January 2007
We met up with Greg, Bev and their friends in Tamworth. We wandered around
looking and listening and then had lunch at the Services Club. Very good
value it was too. We left them there and made our way to a concert we
wanted to see, but arrived too late. We then went to Diggers and watched
Kirsty Lee Akers. Later we walked back to the caravan for dinner and a
Sunday 21st January 2007.
We walked into town to see and hear the free entertainment. Apart from
that we didn't do much.
Monday 22nd January 2007.
We had to be up early this morning to walk into town with Fay and Ken
to attend a breakfast show at 8.00am. We went early so we could eat breakfast
there. The show was great, so funny, we laughed for two hours. After the
show we had a walk around town. There is so much talent busking, many
of them very young. We had Happy Hour with Fay and Ken, a very long Happy
Tuesday 23rd January 2007.
We did some grocery and wine shopping, arrived home and dropped two bottles
of wine out of the back of the car. Not happy! What started out as a bargain
didn't end up as one. We had Happy Hour with Ken and Fay.
Wednesday 24th January 2007.
We were out early again this morning for another breakfast show, this
time over the other side of town. We collected Fay and Ken at 7.15; it
was too far to walk today. This morning's show was Bluegrass which I love,
but after two hours we had had enough. We walked outside to the Jayco
display; Peter gave him a list of all the problems we've had with our
'van. It fell on deaf ears so we left him to sell Jayco caravans to poor
unsuspecting souls. We bought a tee-shirt from the tee-shirt shop and
travelled into town. We wandered, listening to music, and then met up
with Fay and Ken to listen to another free concert. Some of the talent
was excellent; others really need to keep their singing to the shower.
After that we had had enough for the day and went home.
Thursday 25th January 2007.
We had a lay day today as we were both very tired. In the evening we walked
into town for the free Australia Day Eve concert. Lee Kernaghan was the
star of the show. As L.K. is very popular the whole park was packed. The
concert was really good with performances by Tania Kernaghan, The McClymonts,
Melinda Schneider and many more. The man himself played for about an hour
before the firework display finished the evening's entertainment.
Friday 26th January 2007.
We walked down to the Coca Cola tent in the morning. Throughout the festival
there has been non stop entertainment at the Coca Cola tent. Some were
absolutely appalling and others were great. We were there to see Michelle
Little whom we really like. She was supposed to be on at 12:00 but someone
somewhere stuffed up and she was on after 1:00. Fay and Ken met us at
the tent and we all watched the other performers before Michelle came
on. She was excellent. As it was Australia Day she sang the song 'We Are
Australian', she moved the crowd so much she had a standing ovation. I
don't think there was a dry eye in the place. The compere, Mel, took a
few moments to compose himself and then he came on stage and sang a couple
of Australian songs. After that Ken and Fay left and we stayed a little
longer and, lo and behold, our favourite lady, Kirsty Lee Akers, appeared.
Pete Mate spotted her and was outside and had his photo taken with her
before she even got into the tent. Even though Kirsty is good, no one
could top Michelle's performance today. After we left the Coca Cola tent
we called in at Diggers for a drink but couldn't get near the bar so continued
down town. It was the same story everywhere so we ended up in Gloria Jean's
for an iced coffee. We wandered home for Happy Hour with Ken and Fay.
Again the 'hour' became hours before we wandered - or staggered - home,
who knows. I can't remember.
Saturday 27th January 2007.
It was the big Cavalcade through Tamworth this morning so we walked up
Peel Street where we bumped into friends Pat and Peter, so stood with
them. After a few minutes Fay and Ken joined us. It was really great.
All the stars of country went past in their Toyota cars, including the
new Starmaker winner, Kirsty Lee Akers. There were marching bands, floats
people dressed in animal suits, big horses, little horses, Clydesdale
horses and much more. After the parade Fay, Ken, Pete Mate and I walked
into town. The other two went home. After coffees at Gloria Jean's we
made our way down to the Coca Cola tent for an hour, the entertainment
was excellent. We then went to the town hall for a concert we had purchased
tickets for. This concert also included an award presentation for the
winner of different categories, but they were all young performers. What
talent these young people have, they were amazing, it must have been so
hard for the judges to choose the winners. We also enjoyed performances
by Carter and Carter, Felicity Urquhart and Brendon Walmsley. I really
like Felicity and Brendon but I'm not fussed about the Carters. After
the concert we walked home for a short breather and then walked back into
town for the Grand Final of the Buskers competition. It was really a very
good concert such excellent talent and the compere, Greg Champion, was
also very good. Once the concert was over we walked home to bed. We'd
had a very tiring but enjoyable day.
Sunday 28th January 2007.
We started the day with the closing concert, which was excellent. After
that we drove over to Diggers to see Kirsty Lee Akers last concert of
the festival. The act before Kirsty was just finishing, their last song
was dedicated to Pauline Hanson, and believe it or not, there she was
dancing around for everyone to see. Good for her! After listening to Kirsty
for a while we went home for Happy Hour and then it was a quick change
to go out for dinner. The restaurant we went to offered a 'shank challenge'.
We were a party of six, Peter and I decided not to take up the challenge
but the other two men decided to do it. First they had to eat an entree,
so they chose chicken wings, not much meat there. Wrong, they were served
a huge serving of drumsticks. Next came the shank, we were all expecting
a lamb shank but this was a beef shank and was huge. Peter reckoned you
could feed a family of four and have enough left over for sandwiches the
next day. The two men tucked in. One of them, Ken, is very fit and works
out at the gym and had starved himself all day. The other man, Peter,
is very overweight - as in HUGE. He had been drinking wine and eating
during the day. We watched these two with interest, eating until the death.
Ken managed without too much discomfort but Peter went red in the face
and then purple. Pete Mate was concerned that he was going to have a heart
attack there and then. Anyway they both finished their meals so qualified
for a free dessert. They ate that and then were given a free cap and will
have their names engraved on the board on the wall in the restaurant.
All that for a cap and their name on a board, crazy! Pete Mate and I shared
a dessert that we didn't actually order. The young girl chatted to Pete
Mate about having a dessert, but he thought he had declined, so when it
arrived he stated he hadn't ordered a dessert. She said she knew he really
wanted one as she saw it in his eyes. I translated that as "I'll
teach you to look at my boobs when I'm talking to you". We did have
a good night out, we had a lot of fun and the rest of us had normal meals
which were very nice. Anyway, that was the last day of the festival, so
for us it was a good way to end it.
Monday 29th January 2007.
I saw Shank-eating Peter this morning and he told me he hadn't been well.
However, once he had spoken to Ken who suffered no ill effects, he changed
his story and said he also was fine. I went off to the hairdressers and
then in the afternoon we went shopping. Happy Hour soon came around and
as Ken, Fay, Pat and Peter were leaving in the morning, we all enjoyed
a barbecue as well. It was a very pleasant evening but Shank-eating Peter
still didn't look well.
Tuesday 30th January 2007.
We said our goodbyes to friends that we may meet again along the way -
we have so many friends in transit. After they had gone I washed everything
in sight and other things that weren't in sight. Then I ironed but that
was interrupted by our neighbours, John and Maureen. John wanted Peter's
help with the satellite dish and Maureen wanted my help with the computer.
Once that was all done I finished the ironing and then had a bit of a
rest. I am not feeling the best today. I think the body is saying enough
food and alcohol. So I had a AFD (Alcohol Free Day). Maureen wanted to
bring over a bottle of wine to say thank you for all the help but I declined
for today. Yes folks that how bad I felt!
Wednesday 31st January 2007.
We walked into Tamworth to do some shopping and visit Gloria Jean's. In
the afternoon I tried to catch up with my knitting which was sadly neglected
whilst the festival was on. In the evening we did have Happy Hour with
John and Maureen and it was a very enjoyable evening. We discovered that
John is the very same John from Daly Waters in the Northern Territory.
This chap was in charge of parking everyone. He'd packed us so close we
could almost touch our neighbours through the window. However, it hadn't
been for John's unique parking technique we wouldn't have met friends
Jan and Ross, Dawn and Phil and Liz and Nev.
End of January 2007.