Pam's Journal for October 2007

Monday 1st October 2007
I didn't feel like doing much today. I did some washing and read. Peter played on the computer. Peter put the two gnomes that arrived home with Norman on a shelf in the barbecue area where we spend each Happy Hour. We, of course, denied all knowledge of them; interesting to watch people's reactions. We enjoyed Happy Hour and then returned home to cook dinner.

Tuesday 2nd October 2007.
We went into Yeppoon to do some shopping. We arrived home in time to bring in the washing and put away the shopping before Happy Hour. Another pleasant hour spent with some very nice people.

Wednesday 3rd October 2007.

We did a few jobs in the morning and then went for a short walk in the afternoon. Our favourite coffee shop was closed so we had to visit last year's favourite coffee place. We saw Sharon (whom we met last year at the Kinka Kippa) and had a coffee and a chat before returning home. We went to Happy Hour and then to the Kinka for dinner. Very nice it was too.

Thursday 4th October 2007.
We didn't do very much - just washing cleaning and reading. Pete Mate was on the computer. We then went to Happy Hour and had a barbecue tea to celebrate Alan's 79th birthday. It was a really lovely evening. I also found out the truth about Norman's kidnapping. I had been so wrong! It wasn't the men that took Norman, it was Jude and Robyn. Just goes to show, you shouldn't always trust your friends.

All forgiven. Right to left: Robyn, Jude and myself.

Friday 5th October 2007.
We spent the morning doing some chores. Pete Mate washed Billy again. In the afternoon we went into Rockhampton. We had a Gloria Jean's coffee, the first one we have had for several weeks, I think. It is now official that GJ beats the coffee at Emu Park even though that coffee is also good. We arrived home just in time for Happy Hour.

Saturday 6th October 2007.
We went to Zilzie in the afternoon. Zilzie is the next village along the coast and the name is an anagram of Lizzie, though I forget the significance of that. We went to look at a new development there. We were impressed; the resort clubhouse was beautiful, everything being very well done. We had a drink in the bar and received the full run down on the place. After our drinks we had a walk to where the retirement village was going to be built. All very impressive though there was no construction in that area yet. We then returned home. I sorted dinner out and the washing and then we went to Happy Hour.

Sunday 7th October 2007.
We walked over to see Alan off. He had got himself into a pickle and was in great danger of taking the power pole with him. The men helped him out and soon he was on his way. I felt for him as it is stressful enough without all of us gawking at him. We then went for a walk, a bit longer today as we need the exercise. We then had coffees at the Endeavour before collecting a couple of things from the shops and returning home. In the afternoon I watched a DVD whilst doing some knitting and Pete Mate played computers. It was then time for Happy Hour.

Monday 8th October 2007.
After breakfast we went for a walk, longer than yesterday. We have been sadly amiss with our walking and have a lot of catching up to do. We then did some shopping and had coffee at the Endeavour with Jean, one of the park residents. It was home again then. I spent the afternoon watching a tape and knitting. Pete Mate was again on the computer. It was then time for Happy Hour.

Tuesday 9th October 2007.
I did some washing in the morning. We had a caravan sort out; it is amazing how things accumulate in the caravan. In the afternoon we went to Yeppoon to do some shopping. We arrived home in time for Happy Hour which again was very pleasant.

Wednesday 10th October 2007.
We did some shopping then met up with Jean for coffee. After Happy Hour about twenty of us went to the Kinka Kippa for the seafood night. It was an excellent night; I think we all enjoyed ourselves, some more than others. In other words some of us had a little too much red wine.

Thursday 11th October 2007.
I didn't feel so good today; I must have had a bad glass of wine. We went for coffee and a walk. Happy Hour soon came round and that was another day over.

Friday 12th October 2007.
We went for a walk and a coffee in the morning. At lunchtime I went out for lunch with the ladies. We had a really lovely time. In the evening we went for dinner to some friends which was an excellent night. We will be so sorry to leave Emu Park.

Saturday 13th October 2007.
We met Joanne, Mick, Michael and Christie for breakfast. We then went home and got the caravan and car ready for our trip tomorrow. We were invited into our new neighbour's truck. It is huge and very nice. I was very impressed with their kitchen. They are a nice couple, also from Perth.

The kitchen in the giant motorhome. From the window they looked right over the top of our caravan.

We enjoyed Happy Hour and then later in the evening Judy came over for one last drink.

Sunday 14th October 2007.
Peter and I both woke up with the dreaded flu bug that is going around the park. We set off for our trip to Biloela but not before we received a really good send off from all our friends. It was all very sad. We had an uneventful trip and arrived around lunchtime. We set up camp and then we both had a long lie down as we were feeling really under the weather. We were having a quiet Happy Hour sitting outside the caravan when this couple out with their dogs walked past and asked about Norman the Gnome. We got talking and it was soon discovered that Linda was from Wisbech, the U.K. town where I was born. I haven't met anyone in Australia from Wisbech before. So we agreed that we would have Happy Hour together tomorrow.

Monday 15th October 2007.

Peter seems to have shaken off the bug but I felt very much under the weather so we took it easy. Royce and Linda came over for Happy Hour. A very pleasant hour or so was enjoyed.

Tuesday 16th October 2007.
We organised ourselves very quickly this morning as we were informed that the water was being turned off at 10.00am. I did some washing; we showered and were ready to go out for the day by 10 o'clock. The water was still on when we left at 11.00am. We had a drive out to the lookout of the mine, power station and dam. It wasn't the best lookout in the world but we did get some insight into the mine workings. I haven't mentioned before but Biloela is a mining town and the caravan park where we are staying mainly accommodates miners. At 5.00am each day there is a lot of activity as the miners get ready and leave for work, plus the nightshift arrive home then at 5.00pm it all happens again. At other times the caravan park is very quiet. Anyway, after we had visited the lookout we went for a drive through the countryside. We arrived back in town for a late lunch before doing some shopping; the wine supplies were getting low. We then went home to start packing up for tomorrow. By the time we had done our chores, put the shopping away, collected the washing from the line and cooked dinner, we were pooped. Let me think - I did all that and I was pooped. Pete Mate did 'work' outside doing boy's stuff. Objection, My Lord!

Wednesday 17th October 2007.
We were ready and on the road by 9.00am. We had a good run through to Chinchilla passing through very different terrains. We passed through cattle country, crops, rocky outcrops and green rolling hills. The jacarandas are now in bloom and are as beautiful as ever. I always feel happy when I see jacarandas because a few years ago my Auntie Phyl from the U.K. came to visit Perth. We had such a lovely time together and she loved the jacarandas so much she wanted photos of them, happy memories. We arrived at Chinchilla in the afternoon; the caravan park is very nice. The ablutions are excellent and the people seem friendly enough. We set up camp and soon it was time for a glass of red. It was so hot we sat inside with the air conditioner on.

Thursday 18th October 2007.
We had a good night's sleep and didn't have to wake up at 5.00am for our mine shift. The weather is the complete opposite of yesterday - it is quite cool. We explored Chinchilla town, which isn't very big. After we had called in the information centre we had a look around the Pioneer Cemetery. We discovered that there weren't any graves prior to the 1909, which we thought was odd because the explorer, Leichhardt, travelled through the area in 1844 and the township was developed in 1877. Didn't anyone die before 1909? Well actually they did, I discovered that there are graves there from the 1800's without headstones. Amazing what you learn from reading the local newspaper whilst your husband looks at boys' stuff in a museum. We also gleaned from the headstones that from 1909 there doesn't appear to have been any mass deaths due to the Spanish 'flu of 1919 or of Diphtheria which was rampant in Australia a couple of years later. We were surprised to find a grave for a stillborn baby in 1939, which was very unusual for that period as stillborns were 'disposed of' to alleviate the grief of the parents. Thank goodness we are a little more civilised now.
Leaving the cemetery we had coffees and sandwiches sitting outside a recommended café, (no G.J.'s here). A million flies decided to join us so we ate and drank very fast. After lunch we walked through the town and back to the car. We then drove to the museum which happened to be right next to the caravan park. I had a quick look around as it was mainly boring stuff. There were one or two interesting items but generally it was old machines and boys' stuff. It was very interesting how the prickly pear was eradicated, as we had no idea that it had caused such a problem. I wandered back to the car to wait for Peter and read the local newspaper. When Peter finally came back to the car he was surprised I hadn't walked home. Duh - I had completely forgotten we were parked next door to the caravan park.
We then went home to ready ourselves for Happy Hour. We saw we had new neighbours, said hello, and discovered we knew them from Sarina. So that was that - Happy Hour was officially open and we had a very pleasant time indeed.

Friday 19th October 2007.
It was get-ready day. I decide to wash everything and clean the inside of the caravan, then I ironed everything I had washed; it seemed to take me all day. It was a very late Happy Hour and we enjoyed it by ourselves.

Saturday 20th October 2007.

We were on the road by 8.15am and had a good journey through to Stanthorpe. The last couple of trips have been really good for me as I now sip green tea and peppermint tea whilst we are travelling and so far I've had no travel sickness. We arrived at Stanthorpe around lunchtime. We set up camp and then had lunch, met our neighbours and then went off to explore the town. We called in at the Information Centre which serves extremely good coffee. We also collected information about the area and then set off home again. We enjoyed Happy Hour with our new neighbours, a very nice couple. Peter and I then went to the park 'Bistro' for dinner. It was a $10 'all you can eat' buffet. When we got there it was $12 and looked like someone's kitchen rather than a bistro. The food was awful and I won't be going back. In fact I did consider asking for my money back but I get into trouble from someone when I make a fuss so we went home to watch The Bill.

Sunday 21st October 2007.
We had a lovely day today. The weather was beautiful if a little cool at times. We went to a winery to listen to a free concert. The music was by a girls' school jazz band from Toowoomba. They were really very good and we enjoyed the music and a glass of wine. We did, however, feel a little out of place as everyone seemed to be dressed up except us. I should have worn my Mrs Bucket hat instead of my Tamworth cowgirl hat. From there we went to another winery where again they had free music. We enjoyed another glass of wine and a cheese platter whilst listening to a chap sing to a guitar. After everyone had gone we sat around chatting to the owners of the winery and discovered he was Australian but she was a Yorkshire lass. They were really nice people. When we left the winery we wandered home for Happy Hour after which we amused ourselves by watching the great debate between John Howard and Kevin Rudd. Ho-hum.

Monday 22nd October 2007.
First on our list of things to do today was to visit the lookout overlooking the town. The views were impressive and we were able to spot the caravan park. From there we had a drive around. Well, actually we took a wrong turn but we saw plenty more of the area. We found the Soldiers Memorial where we had to climb a small hillside and some steps. All good exercise. It was a memorial for the soldiers from Stanthorpe who died in all the wars and was very nicely done. Unfortunately some moron had decided to deface a little of it. If they ever find them they should send them off to war and see how they like it. From there we parked at the information centre and had a walk along Quart Pot Creek. It was a lovely walk and we enjoyed it. It was then time for coffee and the café adjoining the information centre makes a very good cup and the views are lovely. We then collected some shopping before heading home for lunch. After lunch we were off again, calling in at the Lavender Farm where we greeted by this disdainful fellow.

This fine specimen kept his beady eye on us.

The farm was very pretty to look at and the shop displayed some nice things. Peter didn't venture into the shop, he wandered around taking photos. I said it didn't count as a 'pink' time as everything was lavender. From there we went to Vincenzos at the Big Apple. This place was recommended to us in Biloela. It sells everything - well almost everything - including alcohol, cheeses, fruit, souvenirs and really anything Italian.

Vincenzos sold some enormous apples.
(The apple was, of course, on top of a pole hidden by Pam's arm. She good naturedly agreed to pose. Her face betrays how much she enjoyed standing in a car park with one hand raised. Ed.)

We tried heaps of the cheeses and bought some, tried some wine and bought some. It was a coffee shop as well as a deli and a gift shop. It was quite an experience. It was then time to return home for Happy Hour where we again were joined by our neighbours. They are a lovely couple and we enjoyed their company very much.

Tuesday 23rd October 2007.

Lay day. I didn't feel like going anywhere or doing much so I didn't. I read and did some knitting. Happy Hour was spent with our neighbours Peter and Beppy, such a lovely couple.

Wednesday 24th October 2007.
Next door to the caravan park is a museum which we had been told is really good. We walked over there intending to spend an hour or so. Peter and I tend to separate in these places as we like different things so we arranged to meet back at the caravan and then we were going out to lunch. I spent two and half hours there as it was a really good museum. Peter was already back at the van and getting ready to send out a search party. There was so much to read and look at; pioneers, wartime, tin mining, old machines, a school room complete with really old school books, dolls and a dolls house. We then enjoyed a really nice lunch out at the Lucas Estate Winery. The people there are very relaxed and friendly, plus the food and wine are excellent. We then wandered home in time for Happy Hour with neighbours Peter and Beppy which was again very enjoyable

Thursday 25th October 2007
We had some rain overnight and it looked like we might get some more. We did some grocery shopping and then amused ourselves reading, knitting and 'computering'. (My made up word). We had a short Happy Hour with Peter and Beppy before the four of us went to Whiskey Gully Wines for the folk concert and dinner. It was a great evening and we enjoyed it very much. It was especially good for us as we met Penny Davies and Roger Ilott and saw them perform; we love their music.

Friday 26th October 2007
A quiet day which ended in a not-so-quiet thunderstorm. We hung around the caravan and did a few chores. Fortunately the storm passed over at dusk so we emerged into a wet world to celebrate . . . can you guess? Yes, Happy Hour. It was a little chilly but the spectacular pyrotechnic effect of the departing lightning on the clouds made it worth sitting outside.

Saturday 27th October 2007
We did most of the packing and cleaning in the morning and then in the afternoon we attended a wine tasting event. Not, I might add, because we wanted to taste wine but because we wanted to listen to Penny and Roger sing again. We of course did taste the wine and ate some of the food but for us the highlight was to hear the music. We had a lovely afternoon and wandered home around six o'clock to enjoy another pleasant Happy Hour or two with Beppy and Peter.

Sunday 28th October 2007.

We were ready to leave around 9.00am. We said our goodbyes to Beppy and Peter and, of course, Tiki their Kelpie. (A Kelpie is an Australian sheepdog bred from the Scottish collie.) We had a short trip through to Casino and had set up camp by lunchtime. It was the quickest I have ever seen Pete Mate set up camp, I wonder if it was anything to do with the gliders flying next door. We had lunch and Pete Mate went to investigate the gliders. He wasn't away long as the people there weren't very friendly. Shame really as he had money in his pocket to spend. In the evening we went over to the barbecue area for Happy Hour. Every afternoon, just before Happy Hour, a chap called Harvey rides around the camp on his pushbike honking a horn to let everyone know that Happy Hour is due to start. It was a short Happy Hour as a storm was brewing and once the thunder and lightening started people dispersed to 'batten down the hatches'. It was quite a storm with plenty of rain and wind.

Monday 29th October 2007.
It was still raining when we awoke and around 8.00am we were treated to another bout of thunder and lightening. When the rain eased we went to investigate Casino. We managed a look around and then collected a few groceries before another storm started. We raced back to the caravan and hibernated until next morning. I thought we were supposed to be in drought mode! Actually all this rain is good news and some of it seems to be falling in the rural areas for the farmers.

Tuesday 30th October 2007.
It was hot and muggy all day. We did a few chores and prepared to travel tomorrow. We went to Happy Hour but it didn't last long as the thunder and lightning started again. This time we didn't get any rain.

Wednesday 31st October 2007.
We were away early on our journey to Grafton. We had a good run through and the weather remained dry. Once at Grafton we were greeted by Rhonda and John, our friends from Cairns. Their son and daughter-in-law own the caravan park and Rhonda and John live there when they are not travelling. The caravan park is also a ski lodge - not snow skiing but water skiing. It is a beautiful spot on the banks of the wide Clarence River. We set up camp and then wandered over to their place for Happy Hour. We hadn't been there long when a storm came in. We had the works; torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Rhonda kindly invited us to dinner so by the time we left the rain had ceased and we managed the walk home in the dry. It was a lovely evening with lovely people.



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