Albert and Annie Say:
People say true friends must always hold hands,
Pam's Journal For January 2009
|Personnel Change: With much regret we said goodbye to Hamish
who retired while we were in Perth.
We would like you to welcome Albert (above left) who will take his place. Albert's role is to take you back to the previous page when you click your mouse pointer on him. Annie (above right) continues to take you to the following page - if there is one - when you click your mouse on her.
We are sure Albert will be an invaluable member of the team - and, in due course, a valuable one.
|Thursday 1st January 2009|
A new day, a new year and a birthday for Pete Mate. We didn’t start any of those very well. We must have eaten a bad piece of cheese on New Year's Eve. By the afternoon we had perked up enough to go into town with Greg and Marilyn in the hope that Gloria Jean’s was open. Hurrah, it was and the coffee was excellent.
After coffee we went in search of the road to the hilltop lookout as M & G hadn’t been there. At first we couldn’t find it but found a free nature park that claims to contain different kinds of marsupials and native birds. We didn’t see any marsupials. (Marsupials are animals with pouches, kids, like kangaroos and koala bears. They are 'nocturnal' - they mostly come out at night.) We did spy two beautiful peacocks, however, and some parrots that had brilliant red breasts.
After we left the park we found the correct road to the lookout and saw two women walking up the steep climb in the same direction. Once at the lookout on top of the hill we could see for miles and the views were quite impressive. We were just about to leave when the two women walkers arrived at the top. We had a chat with them and they weren’t even out of breath. Apparently they do this walk three times a week.
Once we left there we made our way home for Happy Hour and a barbecue in honour of Peter’s birthday. It was a pleasant evening and the men cooked a very nice barbecue under taxing circumstances as the camp barbecue they used only had one temperature setting - smoking hot. We finished the evening with a donut birthday cake as Peter is partial to a donut or two.
|Friday 2nd January 2008|
|We walked into town in the morning and called in at a couple
of job agencies. It all sounds positive but we have to go back on Monday
to actually register. We did one or two other things in town before enjoying
another Gloria Jeans coffee and then walking home.
In the afternoon M & G came over for afternoon tea and helped us to eat the rest of the donuts. Before we knew it, it was Happy Hour. We enjoyed another pleasant hour before heading indoors for dinner. I think we were all in need of an early night.
|Saturday 3rd January 2008|
We walked into town along the east bank of the Peel River
and were pleased to see it flowing well. A few weeks before we arrived
it had been right up to the top of its banks and there were still sandbags
stacked near vulnerable premises. Two years ago it had been as dry as
bone. We were told by one of the shopkeepers that the dams were full for
the first time in about ten years.
|Sunday 4th January 2009|
|We said our goodbyes to M & G, it was a bit sad as they were a lot of fun. Later I took the car into town as I wanted to do some shopping. Pete Mate walked in and met me at G.J.’s for coffee. It is now getting very warm indeed so we spent the rest of the day keeping cool. Much later we went to Happy Hour, they are a friendly crowd and we enjoyed a pleasant time.|
|Monday 5th January 2009|
|We walked into town as we had to return some forms to a couple of job agencies. The forms we have to complete are ridiculous but once they are done the data are entered onto an Australia-wide system so we don’t have to do them again. We had our usual coffee before walking home. Again we retreated from the heat into the air-conditioning of our 'van until it was time for Happy Hour.|
|Tuesday 6th January 2009|
|I went to the hairdresser then met Pete Mate in town at G.J’s. We did another tour of job agencies before heading home. Then it was time to get ready to go out to the Chinese for a meal with our new friends. Very nice it was too and very reasonable.|
|Wednesday 7th January 2009|
|We did our usual walk into town and visited Gloria’s. Once home Pete Mate had a nanna nap and then it was time for Happy Hour. One thing I learnt today was do not put something in the fry pan and then go to Happy Hour. It burns! Later, after dinner, we went to the free concert in the park. It was pretty average, they murdered a few songs but we stayed until the end. We met up with some people we met last year so we had a good chatting session and got told off for talking. Ho hum!!|
|Thursday 8th January 2009|
|During the night we were treated to a thunderstorm but by
morning it had passed. First thing I noticed when I woke up was my ganglion
has disappeared. Maybe the fairies took it in the night! It was a day of
reading, knitting and watching the tennis. No walk today as I didn’t
really feel like it. We had a short Happy Hour before we all went off to
make dinner. Then we went over to listen to the free concert in the park.
The chap was good, much better than the group the night before.
|Friday 9th January 2009|
|We walked into town as we had an appointment with a job agency. After that we walked around town, called in at a few places, enjoyed a couple of coffees and did some shopping. Once home with a few chores completed we went to Happy Hour. No free concert tonight so we watched the tennis. Well, I did until I fell asleep but Pete Mate stuck in there until the end.|
|Saturday 10th January 2009
|We were out and about in the morning doing our usual walk
into town. In the afternoon we watched a movie in the air-conditioned caravan.
This movie was called The Last Castle with Robert Redford. I had taped it
weeks ago from the TV but as per usual I didn’t get the end. Poor
old RR was shot trying to raise the flag and then nothing, very annoying.
If anyone knows the movie, we would appreciate knowing the ending.
Later we went to Happy Hour and then after dinner walked over to the barbecue area for the free concert. The singer was good but not as good as last night.
Sunday 11th January 2009
I took the car into town to do the shopping, Pete Mate walked in and met me at Gloria Jean’s. Later we walked back into town to attend a concert by Those Gals. We really enjoyed their music last year but today it wasn’t their usual performance as one of the ‘Gals’ was missing and replaced by a man.
|We later saw Those Gals, back at full strength, performing in a shopping centre. They harmonise beautifully and are lovely to listen to. All three live in Tamworth.|
|I might add this bloke did not wear a dress nor did he sing like a Gal. Anyway we were with nice company (our neighbours from the park), so we had a good time. We walked home through deserted streets and made it to the caravan just before the heavens opened and we had a really heavy downpour.|
|Monday 12th January 2009|
|We had our usual walk into town and paid a visit to GJ’s. It was really hot and I found the walk back really hard going. Everyone around us in the caravan park, including us, has been invaded by ants so the general topic of conversation is how to eradicate them. Different concoctions have been used but so far the ants are winning. Later, after Happy Hour and dinner, we went to yet another free concert in the park. Tonight’s entertainment was a lady and her husband but she was the one who got the billing. They were quite good. Their final song they had written themselves and I really enjoyed it.|
|Tuesday 13th January 2009|
We were out and about in the morning, dropping off resumes
and doing a little shopping. After lunch we went to one of the clubs to
listen to some free entertainment. Where we sat we could listen to the
music but also watch the tennis on the big screen. Leighton Hewitt won
his match - eventually. He obviously took on board all the advice we were
|Wednesday 14th January 2009|
|We were out and about again today. In the evening we attended
the Young Guns Concert. We enjoy this concert as we see and hear a lot of
good talented youngsters. This concert was the first time we saw our favourite,
Michelle Little, and she gets better and better. It was a pleasant walk
home as the temperature had cooled considerably.
|Thursday 15th January 2009|
|We walked into town and went to Gloria’s for a coffee. There were a few people about and the odd busker but nothing like it will be tomorrow. Later we enjoyed another pleasant Happy Hour.|
|Friday 16th January 2009|
|We walked into town in the afternoon and had a look around. The town is quite busy now with lots of buskers, market stalls and of course the huge Telstra tent housing all those lovely Telstra girls Pete Mate so loves to cuddle.|
|We saw this happy skittle a few times throughout the festival with his two pretty fairies.|
|We tried to see Those Gals at the Tudor but it was
impossible as it was so noisy and crowded. We escaped to the restaurant
upstairs for some peace and quiet. We enjoyed a meal whilst watching the
Afterwards we made our way to the Fitzroy to see Michelle. She performed excellently but the owner insisted she played more ‘rock’ which isn’t why we travelled all the way from the West to see her. Anyway we enjoyed ourselves and got to know her Auntie Margie better. Auntie Margie is standing in as Michelle’s ‘roadie’ as Trent hasn’t been able to make it to the festival.
|Saturday 17th January 2009|
|We wandered into town as is our habit. Michelle was performing
at the Coca Cola tent at one o'clock so we had a chance to listen to some
other acts before she arrived. Some were good, some were not so good and
some were plain shocking.
After Michelle did her stint we four (including Auntie Margie) departed to Diggers for some lunch and copious amounts of red wine. Whilst there Trent phoned; he will be able to make the festival after all. We will be pleased to see him (though not as pleased as Michelle). Later we wandered back through the town and on home for a rest before watching The Bill.
|This talented charcoal artist was sketching a nurse as we passed. Where did she find that outfit, I wonder? His sign said each sketch took four minutes and cost $25.|
|Sunday 18th January 2009|
|We didn’t do very much in the morning, later we walked into town to repeat the previous days activities. More free concerts to see and hear, buskers and the colourful street vendors all contribute to making the festival one great party. Again we saw Michelle in the evening, this time we said goodbye to Auntie Margie as she was heading home.|
|Monday 19th January 2009|
|At times our days seem to meld into one as we experience so much entertainment; after a while our minds go into overload. We had another great day enjoying all the music and people, we again saw Michelle and then had dinner with her before helping her back to her car with all her gear. We met some lovely people who were locals and played in a Scottish pipe band.|
|Tuesday 20th January 2009|
|We walked into town in the afternoon to enjoy the music of the day. So many different types of music can be heard just along the main street, never mind in the clubs and pubs.|
|And so many different instruments, too.|
|Later we went to see Michelle perform at the Fitzroy. We know the staff there now, so are welcomed in. They probably think: Here come a few more dollars! After the concert we walked home. The air was muggy and hot.|
|Wednesday 21st January 2009|
|We took the day off as we are all ‘festivaled’
out. In the evening we went to a concert at the Regent Theatre. It was Michelle
Little sings Patsy Cline. After reading about this concert in November
2008 we had decided to again attend the Tamworth Country Festival. Were
we disappointed? Not in a million years, it was absolutely fantastic. Michelle’s
performance was professional, talented and so enjoyable she brought the
house down. It was her maiden Patsy Cline concert and we feel privileged
to have been part of it, because believe me it is only the beginning of
great things to come for this young lady.
Walking back to the car afterwards we enjoyed the balmy evening with the sights and sounds of the festival going on around us. The ice cream was good too!
|Thursday 22nd January 2009|
It has been raining and we have more rain expected tomorrow. We went over to the Shopping World to see a young chap play the guitar. What we heard was excellent but as we arrived late we missed most of it. We had a wander here and there and then, late in the afternoon, I went to Happy Hour and Pete Mate went off with the men to a car auction. Secret men’s business.
The men arrived back in time for dinner, funny that! After dinner Pete
Mate and I went to the Oasis to see and hear Ryan Sampson. We enjoyed
Ryan’s performance at The Young Guns so much we bought his CD. Once
inside the Oasis it was evident that seats were in short supply, I managed
to snaffle one but Pete Mate was left propping the bar up. By this time
we had discovered whoever was on stage was not Ryan Sampson, so Pete Mate
made a polite enquiry at the bar as to when he was appearing. Not at this
venue he was told. Oops! Guess who got it wrong? I must have been having
a senior moment but we were really supposed to be at the Locomotive, so
we finished our drinks and left.
|Friday 23rd January 2009|
|The heavy rain we had experienced overnight had subsided
so we decided to walk into town as there was a particular concert I wanted
to see. Alas it wasn’t to be. Water began dripping from the roof of
the caravan so it was a case of manning the buckets. That's a slight exaggeration
as it was only dripping through but the drip was constant and onto the upholstery.
Later, after it had stopped raining for a while and the drip had subsided, we took the car into town, first calling at the bowling club to see an act that had been recommended. We were unlucky as the venue was full. What’s more the ‘lady’ on the door could do with a few lessons in manners and customer service instead of being so rude. We found a seat on the veranda and could hear the show perfectly. By all accounts we were a lot cooler than the ones packed into the hall.
Later we found our way to the Fitzroy to see Michelle Little perform yet again. She was, as always, very good except it wasn’t the music we love to hear her sing so we left early. We collected a Chinese take away on the way home which was delicious.
|Saturday 24th January 2009|
|We attended a concert at the Longyard pub where Michelle was performing amongst other acts. It was full on for two hours and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter Pratt was the last act and he sang the good old fashioned country songs, he was excellent. None of this rock stuff. After the concert we went home for a while then later in the afternoon we went to the Leagues Club to listen to Travis List. We had been told he was very good and also sang the old country music. The place was packed, hot and sticky and the music was just a loud noise. So after a couple of hours we left for home; after all, The Bill is on tonight!|
|Sunday 25th January 2009|
|Some of our Happy Hour friends left today, it is always sad
to say goodbye to the people whose company you have enjoyed.
We walked into town, saw some buskers and caught a couple of the free shows. We didn’t stay long as it was so hot and Pete Mate wanted to get home so he could get on the roof of the caravan and fix the leak before the next lot of rain comes. He spent quite a bit of time up there in the heat but feels confident he has fixed it.
|Another busker. What was this strange pipe affair?|
|Monday 26th January 2009|
We attended a concert to celebrate Australia Day and the
closing of the Festival in the morning. The first two acts were rubbish
but the Bushwhackers were great. After all the speeches were done and
the festival flag lowered, we were treated to the music of Ross Wilson
and the Urban Legends. I use the word ‘treated’ mockingly
as what happened after the first couple of numbers was a mass exodus as
patrons retreated to somewhere else where they weren’t going to
get their ear drums blasted. We, of course, were in the lead!
|Tuesday 27th January 2009|
|Sad time once again, we had to say our goodbyes to more of
our Happy Hour gang.
Later we were out and about in town. G.J’s has quietened down now and the girls look a lot more relaxed. We reckon the girls that work there are something special because at the height of the festival, when it was really busy, they still had a smile and a cheery welcome for everyone. Or was it just Pete Mate!!!!!
We then paid another visit to Bunning’s. Again we had to size up all the ladders, what this one would do versus that one and so on. An hour later we left with a ladder, thank the Lord.
Later we went to Happy Hour which will probably be our last for a while as the rest of our playmates are leaving tomorrow.
|Wednesday 28th January 2009|
|Somebody’s germs flew into our caravan during the night and I awoke in the morning with a streaming cold. Actually, when I awoke I just felt like c#@p. It was only later that it became a streaming cold. Not a good day to attend an interview, which was our main task of the day. Luckily it wasn’t until mid afternoon so I had time to really develop the red nose effect. Anyway, the interviews went well. (Oh, did I mention Pete Mate was also in the hot seat?) These jobs are 'night fill' at Coles Supermarket; hopefully we will be successful and start earning some wine money soon. The cellar is bare!|
|Thursday 29th January 2009|
|Awoke feeling really rotten. I say awoke but really I was awake most of the night coughing my poor little heart out. I stayed in or on the bed all day whilst Pete Mate kept me supplied with drinks. Whilst lying there thinking about life in general I replayed yesterday’s interview in my head. The questions that they asked are quite inappropriate for our situation; we're not looking for careers, just an income for a while.|
|Friday 30th January 2009|
What a day! I awoke after another awful night of coughing
and decided after breakfast to go back to bed. Then the phone rang, I
was invited to attend an interview for a bookkeepers job. So I dragged
myself into the shower and emerged feeling something like human. I always
said a shower made you feel better. The interview was a great success
- my biggest dread was having a coughing fit half way through. Anyway
that didn’t happen and the people seemed very nice; I got the job.
So, on Monday I rejoin the workforce, calculator in hand.
|Saturday 31st January 2009|
|I had to go and buy some appropriate office clothes today
as shorts and tee shirts are not really the go in an office. I found a very
nice assistant and explained what I needed and why. She came up with the
We did our grocery shopping and then returned home - I was ready for a lie down. It also seems that Pete Mate is coming down with it. I guess it is unavoidable, living in such close quarters.
Well January has ended on a high and low note; we are not happy to be sick but we are very happy to know we have the means to boost our bank balance a little.