Hamish and Annie Say:

Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.

     

      Pam's Journal For August 2008

     
  Friday 1st August 2008  
  I awoke this morning to a glorious sunrise. The sky was full of reds, pinks and then yellow. How everything always looks better when the sun is shining. The caravan park isn’t so bad after all and the town is small but pleasant.

We walked into town which consists of one main street. There is a Post Office which is also the newsagents and sells shoes. The supermarket seems pretty well stocked and is also the liquor shop, a hardware store, a pub, a library, a café and a restaurant. There are two fuel outlets and apart from one or two plumbing type businesses that is about it. The information centre had closed for lunch so we will have to return tomorrow. We walked back along the beach and before we knew it we were home again. We are thinking we might stay awhile but haven’t decided yet. We had our happy hour outside watching the birds and the sunset. The sky was pretty but not as splendid as the sunrise.
 
  Saturday 2nd August 2008  
  Another magnificent sunrise, what a marvellous way to start the day. We walked into town to the information centre and the market. The market consisted of a sausage sizzle and half a dozen stalls of craft projects. I suspect that the stall holders were from the caravan park.

We have discovered that the park has a lot of regulars that come here for six months every year and think they own the place. One lady using the laundry found out that these regulars also think they own the laundry. She tried to do two loads of washing but before she could load the machine for a second time she was pushed aside and someone else took her machine.

We have decided to stay a while in Onslow as the place isn’t that bad. The caravan park is cheap and because we can walk into town, we save on diesel as well.
 
  Sunday 3rd August 2008
 
  We didn’t do very much today, not even a walk.
 
  Monday 4th August 2008  
  We had to make up for our lazy day yesterday and had a long walk to the wharf and back. The wharf was not as we expected, a hive of activity, but deserted even to the point the toilets were locked. We walked back into town, called at the information centre, collected some bread and milk and then returned home for lunch. A couple of hours later saw us walking again but this time to the pub and back. I don’t know if it is a good thing to have the pub within walking distance.  
  Tuesday 5th August 2008  
  Our walk today was to see the two lookouts. The war memorial one was the best and was practically part of the park. Two minutes walking and we were there. We looked and took photos and then proceeded to climb the hill to the next one. Again it wasn’t very far and not the best lookout but we needed the exercise. We then went home, did whatever we do, had some lunch, a nap and then walked into town. On the way back we just happened to walk into the pub. Funny how that happens.  
  Wednesday 6th August 2008  
  Pete Mate arose from his bed to take a photo of the sunrise, just so our readers can share it with us. How impressive is that? Not much else happened here in the metropolis of Onslow. A lazy day of reading and knitting.  
  Thursday 7th August 2008  
  Today Pete Mate took the water tank out of the caravan and discovered where it was leaking. He is going to check if someone in town can weld it or maybe we have to have a new one. We walked into town, collected a couple of things from the hardware and then walked home again. Later, much later, we walked over to the pub for Happy Hour but as the atmosphere was a little flat we returned home.  
  Friday 8th August 2008  
  A new water heater has been ordered and now we have to wait; a familiar story for us. I walked into town in the morning and then we both had a walk in the afternoon.  
  Saturday 9th August 2008  
  We walked into town to have a look at the ‘fund raiser’ to enable the local choir to attend a festival in Port Hedland. The choir wasn’t there, just lots of mums selling cakes, jams, chocolates, pies, jewellery and paintings. It was very obvious that the paintings were done by the children so I guess there are a lot of parents tonight displaying their own child’s painting. The weather is still perfect, warm during the day and cooler at night.  
  Sunday 10th August 2008  
  We seemed to be busy for most of the day doing chores inside and outside the caravan. We walked up to the pub for Happy Hour and their special of the day which was a roast dinner. Half the caravan park was there and the atmosphere was a lot friendlier. We were chatted to a couple from Brisbane. The meal was very good and as the price was reasonable we felt sure we would be eating there again.  
  Monday 11th August 2008  
  Another pleasant day in Onslow. We had to call in at the supermarket for a few things and it was very evident the weekly truck had arrived. Half the town were there and as fast as the shelves were being stocked they were emptying again. In Onslow you don’t decide what you are having for dinner until you are in the shop and find out what is left on the shelves.  
  Tuesday 12th August 2008  
  One Onslow day seems to meld into another as life is so laid back. We spend our days walking into town, calling in at the shops, doing the odd chore, fixing broken bits of our Jayco caravan, reading, writing, doing crosswords, adding to the web pages and knitting. None of it is mind boggling stuff or remotely interesting to you, our readers, though we are content enough. Anyway, by way of a change I decided to give you a snippet of a moment in time. I read this in an English magazine and as the topic of the moment is the Olympics, I thought it very apt to share it with you all.

One hundred years ago, from April 27 to October 31 1908, London became the fourth city to host the Modern Olympics.

Originally, it had been planned that Rome would hold the Games. However, when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 1906, it was clear that Rome would be unable to cope with playing host. Therefore, the task of organising and staging the Games fell to London – one of the cities (alongside Berlin and Milan) that had been rejected in the selection stages.

As the Games are held every four years, this meant that London had less than two years to prepare the grounds and stadiums for the athletes to compete. Twenty two countries entered a total of two thousand and eight athletes in the competition – and only thirty seven of these competitors were female. There was a total of one hundred and ten events ranging from archery, athletics, cycling and tennis to the slightly more unusual lacrosse, tug of war and jeu de paume (a sport from which tennis is derived). The London Olympics also so saw some remarkable achievements from a number of competitors.

William and Charlotte Dod, both archers, became the first brother and sister medallists in the Games. The oldest ever Olympic gold medallist was Oscar Swahn who, aged sixty, won the running deer shooting contest. However, the best remembered and possibly the best loved competitor at the 1908 Games was an Italian athlete named Dorando Pietri.

During the twenty 26 miles and 385 yards marathon – the distance had been increased slightly so that the royal family could get a better view of the finish line – Pietri had been lagging behind the race leader, Charles Hefferon. After Hefferon allegedly stopped to accept a glass of champagne from a well wishing spectator, Pietri overtook him for the last mile and a half of the race.

As Pietri entered the White City stadium, where the race was to be concluded, he took a wrong turning and ended up running in the opposite direction from the finishing line. It was clear Pietri was confused, so two race officials dashed over to redirect him. As they reached him, he collapsed so they helped him to his feet before pointing him in the right direction. He collapsed a further four times, each time being assisted by the well meaning officials. Eventually they helped him towards the finish line where he completed the race in first place. American athlete John Hayes came second and, when his team lodged a complaint about the assistance Pietri had received, the Italian runner was disqualified and Hayes took the gold medal.

After his plucky attempt to win the race, the public were dismayed at Pietri’s disqualification and, in order to recognise his efforts, Queen Alexandra presented him with a trophy. Almost overnight, Pietri became an international celebrity – Irving Berlin even wrote the song ‘Dorando’ about him. No doubt his story helped popularise the marathon and the Olympic Games for the audiences of the future.


Now isn’t that a nice story when these days we hear so much of the drug cheats that spoil the spirit of the Games.
 
  Wednesday 13th August 2008  
  We did all the usual things.  
  Thursday 14th August 2008  
  I enjoyed a really nice relaxing birthday. I received lots of calls, emails, texts and even a couple of cards found their way here. In the evening we walked up to the pub for dinner. We enjoyed the company of a couple we met there and the Thai curry was excellent.

As I am again 21 I thought I had better have a check up at the doctor’s so I went along and asked “Should I reduce my alcohol intake?”
He replied “No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain”.
I then asked “Is chocolate bad for me?”
He replied “Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! A vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around! “
So with that advice I went home and ate tons of chocolate and drank all the wine in the caravan.
And if you believe any of that rubbish then you must be as silly as me.
 
  Friday 15th August 2008  
  Another very pleasant day in downtown Onslow, perfect weather, perfect wine and a perfect partner, who could for any more in life? I am currently reading Pamela Stephenson’s second book about Billy Connolly. I am wondering if Pete Mate should dye his beard purple like Billy did.  
  Saturday 16th August 2008  
  I walked into town to do some shopping and Pete Mate picked me on the way back. He had the salubrious job of emptying the porta potty at the town dump point. Most caravan parks offer this facility but as I said before, this is a basic place and doesn’t have a dump point.

In the afternoon we walked the plank, well actually we walked the recently-repaired boardwalk. We didn’t think it felt too safe underfoot but we were brave little chaps and walked from the sunrise beach to the sunset beach. Along the way we stopped at the lookouts and surveyed the ocean and the gas rigs but not a lot else was happening. Once back in the caravan park we detoured around the caravan and went to the pub. It was busy, noisy and smoky so we had one drink and went home to read. Onslow pub doesn’t seem to know about the smoking bans or maybe other states have different rules. We will have to ask someone who knows.
 
  Sunday 17th August 2008  
  I did the washing, or should I say we did the washing. The washing lines here are so high Pete Mate has to help me peg it out. Later we walked into town, I wanted a newspaper and Pete Mate spent some time in the museum gathering information about the testing on the Monte Bello Islands. In the evening we walked up to the pub for Happy Hour and the roast special. We met some really nice people from Bunbury and Geraldton. Just as we were leaving Pete Mate met a chap called Trevor who lived here when the town was abuzz with atomic bomb testing so an arrangement was made to meet him in the pub the following day.  
  Monday 18th August 2008  
  We walked into town, Pete Mate to the pub and me to the post office and supermarket. After dinner we walked up to the beach to view the staircase to the moon. Before the moon appeared we could see millions of stars and we think we saw a satellite go overhead. The rising of the moon was splendid as was the reflection on the water but sadly no staircase. It was pretty chilly so we didn’t hang around too long.  
  Tuesday 19th August 2008  
  Major cleaning job today. I took everything out from under the beds, cleaned the storage area and then put everything back. It took me most of the morning. Later we walked into town to pick up our scripts from the Post Office. That still amuses us. We also checked at the Post Office to see if our new water heater had been left there. No it hadn’t. We had just returned home when Linda (Caravan Park Proprietor) and a man with a truck arrived at our door announcing that our water heater had arrived. Thank goodness for that.  
  Wednesday 20th August 2008  
  Pete Mate spent most of the day fitting the new water heater. Then, alas, we spied a drip, drip and sighed. Luckily it was only the residue of water spilt when Pete Mate was testing the pump. So now we have a new water tank and heater and no leaks. Pete Mate did a wonderful job.  
  Thursday 21st August 2008  
  I was out and about in the morning and thought what a great day it was. A cartwheel sort of day; you just feel so good, if it was physically possible one could cartwheel down the street. Sadly for me I have never been any good at cartwheeling but my older sister Angie is still good at it. When I told Pete Mate what kind of day it was he looked at me warily and replied, “Whatever you had for breakfast, I don’t think you should have it again”.

Much later I walked into town and was in the supermarket and two of the supermarket ladies were stacking shelves and singing at the top of their lungs "I’m a little teapot short and stout". So you see I was right about it being a great day for cartwheels. Pete Mate spent a lot of time taking the old water heater apart to scavenge any good parts for spares.
 
  Friday 22nd August 2008  
  It started off a reasonable sort of day then we discovered we had another water leak. Again Pete Mate had to investigate. Part of the investigating is spent cramped inside a small cupboard under the sink which makes it a most unpleasant job. Anyway, eventually he found the heater element on the new tank was faulty. Luckily he had kept the old one and was able to borrow a tool from a kind man to complete the change over.

We had a trip out to the tip with the old tank. No wonder Onslow has so many flies, it was disgusting.
 
  Saturday 23rd August 2008  
  Hurrah, no more drips. I walked up to the school in the morning to the ‘Fete’. It was more like a jumble sale but I did buy a pretty hand made bracelet for myself. Then I continued my walk around the back of the town and on to the supermarket. Then it was home again to do the usual kind of things.  
  Sunday 24th August 2008  
  Not a lot happen today, our neighbours on both sides left. One guy in particular I was very glad to see go; now I can walk to the toilet block without him dashing out of his van to talk to me.

By afternoon we had new neighbours and what a show that was, it even woke Pete Mate up from his nana nap. One side was doing terrible things to his caravan tyres against the concrete slab and ended up slight crooked but accepted that. (Pete Mate would have made me move it). The other side was so close to hitting the trees a few times it was becoming a farce. He got out of the car and yelled “I can’t hear you”. She yelled something back and they started all over again. We then noticed why he couldn’t hear her, he had his driver's window closed! Takes all sorts, but what entertainment!

In the evening we walked up to the pub for the Sunday roast. I bumped into a girl who works in the council office/library; we met her a couple of days ago as she witnessed some forms for us. She's a lovely girl with a very bubbly personality and, like most people in Onslow, is friendly. We met a nice couple called Gail and Alec who sat with us. They were staying in a tent at the other caravan park. Alec is a keen fisherman and said if he catches a crab this week he will clean it, cook it and bring it to us.
 
  Monday 25th August 2008  
  We went for a walk into town, did some shopping and that was about it.  
  Tuesday 26th August 2008  
  Same as everyday with a trip to the tip thrown in.  
  Wednesday 27th August 2008  
  I gave the caravan a spring clean and cleaned out all the cupboards. It took me all morning. Pete Mate escaped and took Billy for an oil change. He then had to go back to the garage at Happy Hour time to pay the bill. Mmmmmm. It is the happiest I have ever seen him when having to pay a bill.  
  Thursday 28th August 2008  
  We did the washing; some people have no laundry manners. I promised myself I would never get cranky about women in the laundry but that women really got my goat. Her washing had finished so I waited and waited eventually she arrives to clear the machine and puts another load in. So I leave and say I will come back in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes later, again I wait and wait for her; eventually she arrives and has another load underarm. This time I complained and she gave me the machine. Later Pete Mate and I had our usual walkabout.  
  Friday 29th August 2008  
  It poured with rain overnight and Pete Mate was up making sure everything was closed and not leaking so it was a very disturbed night, plus the rain on the roof always keeps me awake. Apart from our usual walk we didn’t really do a lot.  
  Saturday 30th August 2008  
  We cleaned and packed everything away ready for leaving tomorrow. I went for a walk in the afternoon whilst Pete Mate washed the awning trying hard not to be noticed by the owner. She doesn’t approve of washing cars and caravans on your site. He accomplished the deed without getting his ears ripped off.  
  Sunday 31st August 2008  
  We were away quite early for us and had a good journey through to Exmouth. We saw so many wildflowers in bloom which gave us great delight. We kept stopping to admire them and for Pete Mate to take photos. We arrived late afternoon to a nice, clean, well-ordered caravan park. Happy Hour around us was in full progress as we set up camp. I guess it made us work faster so that we could join them. A very friendly pleasant park.