Pam's Journal for August 2007


Wednesday 1st August 2007.
The rain pattering on the roof of the caravan woke me up. I don't feel as unwell as yesterday but now have a sore throat and earache. At least I feel like I have a little more energy than yesterday. I know there has been 'flu around in the park but we have had the 'flu jab so shouldn't get a full blown version. Here's hoping!

Thursday 2nd August 2007.

I woke up not feeling much better today than I did yesterday, but after a shower I did improve. We went to morning tea; not good for our figures but really good for meeting new people. We met a couple from Adelaide and another couple, John and Rhonda, from Port Macquarie. We enjoyed the company of the latter couple so much we joined them for Happy Hour later. During the day we did some shopping and reading. Peter did some more work on his Hayman Reese towbar, I did some more knitting. All exciting 'stuff'!

Friday 3rd August 2007.
I woke up much better today. Pete Mate didn't feel so good but that could have something to do with the amount of wine consumed. He didn't remember any arrangements he made last night. He even suggested I was making the whole thing up. What to do with him! We spent the day reading and knitting, Pete Mate did some more painting. Before we knew it, it was Happy Hour. We invited Rhonda and John over, then their son and granddaughter arrived and also joined us. It was a lovely warm evening, so after they left we continued to sit outside.

Saturday 4th August 2007.
I was up early and had all my chores done in no time. I then went to do the shopping. Jan and Ross arrived and we had coffee. Later in the day we had Happy Hour and Rhonda and John joined us. It was a good evening.

Sunday 5th August 2007.
I was up early again so I had my coffee over by the creek, sitting in the new garden. I saw quite a few turtles, the first time since arriving at Cool Waters. I then went for a walk. For the rest of the day we didn't really do much, apart from reading. In the evening we had Happy Hour but it was a short one as it was a little chilly. Pete Mate had an AFD!

Monday 6th August 2007.
We decided to go and have coffee at Lake Placid. It is a lovely, peaceful place. Afterwards we went into Cairns Central and had a wander around followed by some lunch. I then watched a fashion show. We bought a few things for tonight's barbecue then went home. We had Happy Hour and then wandered across to the camp kitchen for our barbecue. We were a party of eight and Ross did all the cooking. Pete Mate somehow managed, yet again, to convince someone else they could do the cooking better. We had a really good night which finished with coffee and chocolate biscuits at Rhonda and John's. Goodness knows how much wine we consumed, maybe it is better we don't know.

Tuesday 7th August 2007.
We both awoke feeling a little jaded this morning - we had best take it easy. So we did. We read and played on the computer and didn't do much else. We had a short Happy Hour as it was quite chilly again. Pete Mate had another AFD (Alcohol-Free Day), two in one week! I'm beginning to worry . . .

Wednesday 8th August 2007.

We had coffee with Jan and Ross. We then went in search of a birthday present for me but didn't buy anything. We saw another fashion show in Cairns Central; I timed it so Pete Mate saw the girls in their bikinis. I hope he appreciates what I do for him! We then came back to the caravan to rest a little before going to the famous Dunwoody's for the evening. The courtesy bus collected the six of us and took us into town. We had an enjoyable evening, the food, wine and company were all excellent, but we didn't see a single topless barmaid as we were a night too early. Shame about that Pete Mate. We were then returned home by the courtesy bus. Excellent service.

Thursday 9th August 2007.

I was up early doing the washing and ironing. It was then Morning Tea in the camp kitchen. I really needed scones, jam and cream like I need a hole in my head. The scales this morning were screaming, "One at a time please!". We stayed chatting, as we seem to do, and then we all went off to do our own thing. Pete Mate and I went shopping for fruit and vegetables, all exciting stuff. In the afternoon we read and I watched a DVD. Pete Mate then went under the caravan to check everything was okay for our trip on Saturday. It was then Happy Hour with Jan and Ross. Rhonda and John were busy entertaining family. We had a shower of rain in the evening which lasted well into the night.

Friday 10th August 2007.
It is still raining this morning so the washing is on hold until we get to Cooktown. We did all our chores and packed everything away. I had just settled down with my crossword and a glass of wine when the lady next door (Tricia) came over looking for Peter. Her husband, Barry, was in terrible pain and she had to get him to a medical centre. As she didn't drive, she needed help. Peter was having a shower so I sent a man into the ablution block to get him out and he drove them to the medical centre. Meanwhile the rest of us started Happy Hour without him; he later returned alone. We then got a call that Barry and Tricia were on their way to hospital in an ambulance. With Happy Hour finished, Pete Mate and I had our dinner before heading off to the hospital to see if our neighbours needed anything. We were taken to see Barry and Tricia in the Accident and Emergency Ward (after accidentally walking into the section for the mentally ill, where we felt strangely at home). Barry had a suspected kidney stone. He was full of pain killers but in good hands. There was nothing we could do so we went home and had another drink.

Saturday 11th August 2007.
We were amazed to see Barry walking about this morning, as fit as a fiddle and very chirpy. The kidney stone had passed after which he recovered almost immediately. Not so poor Tricia, who was totally exhausted. When we were ready to leave at about 8.30 a.m. we had a send off party saying goodbye to us despite the fact that we will see them all in a week's time. We arrived in Cooktown without any hassles; we occasionally stopped to check everything was okay with the caravan. We set up camp and had a rest then it was time for Happy Hour. On our own tonight.

Sunday 12th August 2007.
I did some washing and cleaning and then in the afternoon we had a drive around town. It didn't take long. We went up to the lookout, which was very windy. Once back in town we decided to check out the Top Pub. It was okay but nothing like the Purple Pub in Normanton. People weren't very friendly. Once back home I went to get the washing off the line and someone had stolen my new blouse! I was good and mad; I have only worn it twice. I reported the theft to the girl in the office and I could tell how interested she was by the number of times she yawned. I cooked dinner and then we continued Happy Hour into the night.

Monday 13th August 2007.
We had a very busy morning re-planning the rest of the year with tourist leaflets and maps, plus Ada. We now have a sort of plan to get us to Tamworth. There is only one trouble with our plans . . . we keep changing them. In the afternoon we went to the information centre at the Botanical Gardens and on to Finch Bay where we walked along the beach. It reminded us very much of Cape Hillsborough, accessed via the dunes and with the beach giving way to boulders at either end. We then checked out the R.S.L. club but were not impressed so we went next door to the Bowling Club. It was nice in there and the lady was very friendly so we booked for dinner for tomorrow. Then it was back to the caravan, calling at the supermarket on the way. A huge truck was unloading supplies so the day to shop in Cooktown must be Tuesday.

Tuesday 14th August 2007.
TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. I received lots of emails and phone calls so that was nice. We went out in the evening for dinner; it was a very pleasant meal though nothing special. It is a little hard to find something special in Cooktown. We walked into town and were supposed to get the courtesy bus back but it wasn't running, so we had to walk home again. I supposed it burnt off a few calories.


As I am now 55 I can think more about wearing purple and learning to spit.

Warning -
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Wednesday 15th August 2007.
We went for a walk in the afternoon. We found a track that was to take us alongside the water. We walked and walked but didn't spot any water until we were back on the main street heading towards the headland. Never mind we got our daily exercise. We booked a tour for tomorrow. The tour will take us out to some coloured sands and an Aboriginal reserve, plus a waterfall. We then started the walk home but didn't manage to get past the pub without calling in. We had a couple of drinks and then walked home. I went out later and picked up some fish and chips for tea. It is ages since we enjoyed that treat and they were very good too.

Thursday 16th August 2007.
Overnight we had really heavy rain and it is still pouring down this morning. The tour was cancelled so it was a day for reading, knitting, and computer work. In the afternoon we went to do some shopping. We took the shopping home and then went to the pub, this time in the car, as it is still raining.

Friday 17th August 2007.
Get-ready day today. We are off back to Cairns tomorrow. We waited for the showers to cease and then packed away our things. Our timing was perfect as it rained for most of the day. We were going to go for a walk in the afternoon but as it kept raining we went up to town in the car. No pub or happy hour today as we decided we would have an AFD.

Saturday 18th August 2007.
We were up early and away from Cooktown by 8.45am. We had a good run though without any problems. We are now hoping that the work we have had done on the caravan will have fixed all our problems. We set up camp and Jan came over to see us plus one or two other people. In the evening we had Happy Hour and celebrated my birthday with drinks, nibbles cards and presents. It was a lovely time.

Sunday 19th August 2007.
We were supposed to go to an air show today but we seem to have brought the wet weather down from Cooktown with us. It poured down all night and didn't look like it was going to clear so we decided to give the air show a miss. (We found out later that the weather did clear and it was a great day). In the evening we went to the park Pizza Night and ate and drank too much. After most people had left, Pete Mate, myself and a few others stayed on and that's when the joke telling begins. I went home around 11.00 and God knows when Pete Mate wandered home; I didn't hear him come in. Another good night.

Monday 20th August 2007.
I was up early doing the washing and cleaning. In the afternoon I did the ironing whilst watching the new James Bond movie. Not really my cup of tea. We had Happy Hour at our neighbours' place and again were last to leave. It was a good evening. Lots of laughter and wine.

Tuesday 21st August 2007.
We had to go to the doctor's today for our annual check up. I went in first and fell off the bed, hurting my hip and my dignity. From there we went to do some shopping, mainly for my birthday present, which is a digital photo frame which is really, really good. We are busy loading photos on to it and requesting photos from family and friends.


My Digital Picture Frame showing an old black and white photograph of Pete Mate's parents' wedding. In a caravan,
wall space for pictures is very limited so this device is wonderful, changing its display every fifteen seconds.

We had another very pleasant Happy Hour, even though I did not feel 100% and didn't have any alcohol at all.

Wednesday 22nd August 2007.

The hip is gave me a lot of pain today so I spent the day with a hot pack, Nurofen and a book. Pete Mate worked on the photos for my digital photo frame. I had recovered sufficiently for Happy Hour with wine tonight.

Thursday 23rd August 2007.
We went over to the camp kitchen for morning tea, like we really need scones and jam and cream!!! I am still resting my hip so I read for most of the day. It is a little hard to tell what resting is when you take our lifestyle into account. Pete Mate did the photos again. Happy Hour was good, as always.

Friday 24th August 2007.
Peter had to go to the dentist as he broke his tooth in Cooktown. (Sounds like I've only got the one!) Once that was done and we recovered from the shock of the bill, we went into Cairns Central shopping centre. We had lunch and then a wander round; I wanted a couple of things and we were looking for a present. By the time we left there I was in agony with my hip and wanted to lie down and die. We had to call at the supermarket on the way home and then it was back to the 'van, a hot pack and lots of Nurofen. Happy hour was at our place so I didn't have to walk far.

Saturday 25th August 2007.
I didn't do much as the hip was still really painful. I spent another day reading. One of our neighbours showed me how to do an exercise that would help and it did. By evening I was fit enough to walk over to Jan and Ross's for Happy Hour. Pete Mate spent the day trawling through our thousands of photos that we now have on disks. So many memories.

Sunday 26th August 2007.
The hip was a lot better today but one doesn't want to overdo things so I spent the day reading again. Happy Hour was just Jan, Ross and us. Very pleasant it was too.

Monday 27th August 2007.
I went to the hairdressers today for a haircut and decided whilst there to have some purple streaks put in my hair. I actually asked for pink but it came out purple which is even better. I love it, Pete Mate likes it and most of my friends here say they like it. The main thing is, I love it. Within five minutes of leaving the hairdressers a lady in the supermarket stopped me and said how much she like my hair. My theory is, whilst people are looking at the purple in my hair they are not noticing the size of my backside! Apart from that we did very little until Happy Hour which was again a very nice time.

Tuesday 28th August 2007.
It rained for most of the night and morning. The hip still hurts but the hair looks good. It is, however, general consensus that I need a few more purple streaks but I couldn't be bothered to go back today. No Happy Hour today as Pete Mate and I went out with Terry and Pat for dinner. It was a really good night and we enjoyed it very much. (Bloody hard life we have.)

Wednesday 29th August 2007.
05.00 our time Grandson Joe was performing his role as Manchester City's match mascot. I had a few errands to do in the morning and then we went to the airport with Ross and Jan to collect Terri Ann (their daughter) from the airport. Once back at the camp we started Happy Hour early. It was really nice to see Terri again. In the evening we all went out to dinner including Rhonda and John. It was a lovely evening but very tiring, going out two nights running makes me really tired.

Thursday 30th August 2007.
We had morning tea at the camp kitchen and then I went back to the hairdressers. She was very reluctant to put more streaks in as she said it would be too much. The finished effect looked good though and Tracey (the hairdresser) agreed the extra streaks did finish it off. We had Happy Hour with Jan, Terri and Ross and then we went home for dinner and a bit of a rest.

Friday 31st August 2007.

We were up and out early as we had a few errands to do. Jan and I had been knitting in the last few weeks for the Guardian Angel project. Pete Mate and I looked on the Internet for the nearest Guardian Angel Pharmacy to deliver the goods. It wasn't where it was supposed to be - in fact there wasn't a Guardian Pharmacy for miles and miles, so I posted the knitting and continued on with our very long list. Pete Mate had his last appointment at the dentist and was relieved of even more money. We moved Ross and Jan's car from the railway station to the Sky Rail Terminal ready for their return. They took Terri up to Kuranda on the train and returned later on the Sky Rail. In the evening we had a barbecue which was a really good night. Besides Jan, Ross, Terri and ourselves, we were joined by Pat and Terry, John and Rhonda and later, Rod. A lot of jokes and laughter later we all went home a little worse for wear.

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