Albert and Annie Say:

Anger Is The Wind That
Blows Out The Candle Of The Mind

     

      Pam's Journal For March 2009

     
  Sunday 1st March 2009  
  Another beautiful day in Tamworth. The morning was cool and fresh so I went for a half hour walk. Later we drove over to the Banalasta Winery to have lunch and listen to Matt O’Leary sing. (Banalasta is pronounced Banner-Lasta.)  
     
   
  Banalasta Winery between Tamworth and Armidale.  
     
  We first saw Matt O'Leary perform at the Paradise Caravan Park and were impressed by his talent. Not only is he a talented musician and singer but is an entertainer as well.  
     
   
  Matt O'Leary at the Banalasta Winery.  
     
  Matt interacts with his audience so you come away feeling you have had a really good time. And we did, plus the wine was good and the food excellent. We arrived home to find our friends Colleen and Rob installed next to us in the caravan park. It was good to see them again and we enjoyed a very nice Happy Hour.  
  Monday 2nd March 2009  
  Work as usual, and because I was busy the day flew by. No walk this morning as the hair had to be washed and I haven’t time to do both. I do get my priorities right, hair first, walk second. After all I am a Leo and Leos are well known for looking after their manes.

We enjoyed another Happy Hour with Colleen and Rob. Pete Mate and I occasionally muse about the ‘economic downturn’ and how it has affected our wonderful lifestyle. Really we are not doing it so tough and we still have a wonderful life.

Recently someone sent me one of those touchy feely emails that I have to send to one million people then something good will happen to me. This email has lovely sayings in it, some of which I will use in my journal further down the track, but for now I thought I would share this one with you; it made me think and appreciate.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
 
  Tuesday 3rd March 2009  
  Another nice fresh morning to do my morning walk. I do a circuit which involves walking into town up a side street and back along the highway. I did consider walking the other way as it is more rural and I guess a pleasant walk but I decided there would be a strong possibility that there would be dogs without owners on leashes so decided to give that a miss. Work was work as usual and then it was home again for Happy Hour.  
  Wednesday 4th March 2009  
  I took the car to work today as Pete Mate went off on a jaunt with Rob and Colleen to Armidale. Apparently they had a good time. I, on the other hand, worked and worked and worked. Happy Hour was very pleasant indeed.  
  Thursday 5th March 2009  
  It was decidedly chilly this morning when I walked my circuit, I must be burning calories. The reason I am walking again is that I find it improves the pain in my hip so at least I get a good night’s sleep. Work as usual, poor old Pete Mate hasn’t had any hours at Coles since last Tuesday. We shopped after work and then had a late Happy Hour.  
  Friday 6th March 2009  
  Work as usual and then home for Happy Hour. Whilst I was at work Pete Mate did a load of washing. I wrote down the instructions and he followed them to a tee. He caused a little amusement when he wore my pinny which is a peg holder. I wonder why no one took a photo!

Our friends Marilyn and Greg arrived for the weekend. It was lovely to see them again and now we were six for Happy Hour.
 
     
   
  A fairly typical Happy Hour in full swing. Left to right: Pam, Maz, Colleen, Rob and Greg.
Only the photographer is missing.
 
     
  Later we went into town for dinner with M & G and very nice it was too.  
  Saturday 7th March 2009  
  I had a bit of a lie in and then pounded the pavement before doing some washing. We later walked into town to do a few errands and have coffee, Greg and Marilyn meeting us at the coffee shop. Our shopping completed, we returned home. Pete Mate cleaned out the car while I had a nana-nap.  
  Sunday 8th March 2009  
  We enjoyed a marvellous day out with our friends Greg and Marilyn. We took them to Moonbi Lookout, Bendemeer Hotel for lunch and then the Banalaster Winery for the afternoon. We enjoyed the free entertainment but decided that the chap wasn’t as good as Matt O’Leary. We always laugh a lot when we are with M & G so the day was very enjoyable to say the least. We made it home in time for Happy Hour and were joined by Rob and Colleen.  
  Monday 9th March 2009  
  Sadly we had to say goodbye to Marilyn and Greg as they are off home to Adelaide. I then went off to work for the day. We enjoyed a very pleasant Happy Hour with Rob and Colleen.  
  Tuesday 10th March 2009  
  Today was pretty much the same as yesterday, the only difference being that I collected my pay cheque. I nearly forgot. Something different did happen today. I reversed Billy into the power pole and made a bit of a mess. Poor Billy, it was very upsetting and once at work I had to calm down a bit before I could work. Pete Mate wasn’t too happy either.  
  Wednesday 11th March 2009  
  I started the day with a walk around my circuit, it was a coolish morning but not too bad. From there on my day was about the same as any other day whereas Pete Mate and Rob went off to the Motorcycle Museum. Lucky them, I would rather be in work! They seemed to enjoy themselves, probably a lot better without having two women in tow. Once home Pete Mate had a funny turn that lasted about two hours, so he had to lie down. He was very naughty and didn’t phone me to come home. He recovered and in the evening went to work and showed no sign of being unwell. We had a short Happy Hour - nothing stops Happy Hour!  
  Thursday 12th March 2009  
  Work as usual. Pete Mate collected me and then we went to do the shopping but first we had our favourite coffee from our favourite coffee shop. Once home we unpacked everything, had dinner and then a Happy Hour that lasted until after 9:30 p.m.  
  Friday 13th March 2009  
 

No walk this morning as I stayed in bed for that extra 'ten minutes' that always turns out to be longer. I then rushed about like a mad fool to get to work on time.

Pete Mate got his afternoon phone call to say that Coles could manage without him so Colleen, Rob, Pete Mate and myself went off to the Tudor for dinner. We quite like it there as it is really reasonable and the food is always good. Pete Mate also likes going there because of the young waitresses. In fact, last night he received a hug from a very nice young lady. Amused, I asked how he managed that. His reply was he had refused to pay the bill until he got one. Lets hope he doesn’t start doing it in Coles or Woolworths otherwise we might just get banned! Once we were outside he did ask a group of young ladies could he have a hug but they all declined.

Back at the caravan we continued to enjoy a wine . . . or two  . . . or three . . . and it was after midnight when we all went to bed.

 
  Saturday 14th March 2009  
  During the night someone placed a jack hammer inside my head, and I wasn’t happy. I was even more unhappy when Pete Mate woke up without a headache and he had been drinking port like there was no tomorrow. I had to be at the optometrist's for 9:30 a.m. and the intention had been to walk there. That went out of the window - I only just made my appointment by taking the car. Afterwards we did some shopping and of course went to the Twenty-three Forty Coffee Shop for our daily fix.  
  Sunday 15th March 2009  
 

Today was a good day. Rob, Colleen and ourselves piled into Billy and set off for Moonbi where there was a car and motor cycle show. In spite of it being a 'blue' show it was quite interesting with many old cars, bikes, tractors and some even older steam traction engines displayed in the open air, several of them running.

Moonbi was only a way point on our trip to the Banalaska Winery, however. The best was yet to come. We ate lunch and drank wine on the veranda at the winery while listening to a girl with a beautiful voice sing. It was a lovely afternoon with lovely company and we took two more bottles home with us for happy hour.

 
     
   
  A motley crew! On the left is Donella Waters, a very talented singer. On the right are Colleen and Rob.  
     
   
  Donella's little son, Brock, was with her at Banalasta. She handed him the microphone
and - without a trace of shyness - he sang us a song.
 
     
  Happy HOUR? We kept going until about 11 p.m. and I can't remember going to bed. But I sure as hell remember getting up next morning!  
  Monday 16th March 2009  
  I felt wretched all day. I know, it's my own fault. I wish I hadn't had to work (or hadn't drunk so much wine) but there it is. If I was ever going to learn I would have done so before now.

I said goodbye to Rob and Colleen before leaving for work as they moved on to Port Macquarie during the day. We really miss them, they were such good fun. It was a shame Rob wasn't able to get work here.
 
  Tuesday 17th March 2009  
  Last night was the first AFD I have had in a long time and boy did the body need it. Work was very busy as usual so the day flew by. After work I collected my new glasses. Well, same frames, different lenses. I was having eye problems with the computer at work which resulted in lots of headaches by mid afternoon each day which disappeared within half an hour of leaving work. Once the glasses were collected we went home for a Happy Hour without wine. Yep another AFD took place.  
  Wednesday 18th March 2009  
  Work as usual but today I could see much better and no sign of a headache.  
  Thursday 19th March 2009  
  Work as usual then shopping in the evening. I now have four AFD’s behind me and Pete Mate three.  
  Friday 20th March 2009  
  Work as usual. In the evening we went to the West Leagues Club to hear Donella Waters sing; she was launching her new C.D. Her performance was outstanding. As a bonus a couple of her friends dropped by and they also performed. It was an excellent night, the only fly in the ointment being my meal which was pretty awful. The fish was overcooked in some parts and raw in others. To be fair to the club they were very apologetic and gave us our money back. Pete Mate’s meal was very nice.  
  Saturday 21st March 2009  
  We slept late but, once up and moving, we organised ourselves and walked into town. We popped into our ‘favourite’ coffee shop for a coffee and poor ole Pete Mate was confronted by the owner because he had put her daughter on our website without permission. [It should be noted that her daughter is an adult and half owner of the cafe. We had discussed it with her and she was quite happy about it.] He assured her he had asked permission as we always do. Anyway it left us a little miffed so we drank our coffees and left. Strike one. Then we went to do some shopping, I wanted some new trousers so we went into a well known chain store. Pete Mate joined another male sitting on some steps in the middle of the store. They were told, ever so politely, that the bench outside is for waiting husbands not the steps. Strike two. On our way out of to Coles we noticed a sign advertising for staff. Pete Mate made enquiries and was told he was too old to be a checkout chick. Strike three. We went home. In the evening Pete Mate had to work.  
  Sunday 22nd March 2009  
 

If you have been keeping up to date with this journal you will know that each Sunday we find our way to the Banalasta Winery where we drink a little vino, have a spot of lunch and listen to the free entertainment the quality of which, overall, has been very good.

Now I have to interrupt this riveting chronicle to give you some background. My dear sister and her husband have the same sense of humour as us and in recent emails between her and Pete Mate there has been discussion about underwear. Don’t ask because I ain’t going there. So my sister, to take this joke to another level, sends PM a very skimpy black thong! Thank goodness he didn’t open it at the post office. Now back to Banalasta.

There are two delightful young ladies working there, one an Aussie, one German, both have a wonderful sense of humour. Moving along, we arrive today and Pete Mate says to Lori (the Aussie), "I wanted to bring you a present today but Pam wouldn't let me."
Yep, you've guessed . . . he was talking about the thong. I started to beat him up on the spot but she wanted to know what it was all about so he told her. She roared with laughter and wasn't even fazed when he declared she would have to model it. She just looked at him and said, "In your dreams". She is a good sport and gives him a hug before we leave, calls him a 'cheeky bugger' and this week added he was also a 'dag'. Lots of good fun and the music was excellent. This week it was provided by Matt Scanlon.

 
     
   
  Matt Scanlon singing on the Banalasta Winery veranda.  
     
  Monday 23rd March 2009  
  Back to work this morning and some form of normality returned. Once home we enjoyed a quiet Happy Hour - no more AFD’s!  
  Tuesday 24th March 2009  
  Work as usual. After work we had to call at the supermarket so decided to go for a coffee as well. We found another nice coffee shop where the iced coffee was excellent.  
  Wednesday 25th March 2009  
  Work as usual and then in the evening Pete Mate had to work at Coles.  
  Thursday 26th March 2009  
  Work as usual, then home for Happy Hour.  
  Friday 27th March 2009  
  Work as usual. Pete Mate spent the day packing all our gear away because tomorrow we have to move to another caravan park. We are only allowed to stay where we are for 90 days - some council regulation. In the evening we went to the Services Club for dinner and then to watch and listen to Those Gals. Another excellent night was enjoyed, it amazes us that such exceptional talent is enjoyed by very few people. The place emptied after all the raffles were drawn. There was one man who danced the night away all on his own apart from a couple of dances when a girl joined him. It is so pleasurable to see someone having such a good time. Those Gals are not only superb singers but they also entertain.  
  Saturday 28th March 2009  
  We finished packing up and then moved the caravan to another park just outside town. We did some initial setting up, had a quick lunch and then took off into town for the Retirement Expo. It was an excellent expo, lots of good information for us to collect and some interesting people to talk to. NewTrain, where I work, had a stand right next to the bikies stand. It took Pete Mate a little while to stop drooling over the bike [A two-year-old 860 c.c. Triumph] and move along. Then when my back was turned he was off making friends with two dogs. He assures me they were beautiful, I took his word for it and went nowhere near them. We left the Expo and visited GJ’s which we haven’t done in a while. We received a friendly welcome as all the girls remember Pete Mate. Next task was the shopping which we both find boring but unless we want to eat grass we have to do it. Once home we finished setting up and then put our feet up for the night with a nice glass of red.  
  Sunday 29th March 2009  
  Our usual Sunday trek out to Banalasta took place. The food and wine were good and I am sure the music was also good, but it wasn’t our taste. I don’t think we were in the right age bracket. We were a little sad to learn it was Lori’s last day as she had resigned. The place won’t seem the same without her.  
  Monday 30th March 2009  
 

Back to work. In the afternoon Pete Mate finally saw a doctor about his 'funny turn' nineteen days ago.
"I think I had a mild stroke three weeks ago", he told the doctor.
The doctor raised his eyebrows and looked at me.
"He casually tells me that he's had a stroke," he remarked.
After asking a lot of questions and checking his blood pressure, the doctor said he thought it had been a mild stroke called a Transient Ischaemic Attack, (or T.I.A.)
"Yes, my brother diagnosed a T.I.A." Pete Mate retorted, "In fact everything you've said I have already been told by my brother, my wife or my friend Bernie. I don't really need a doctor."
The doctor is a good sort and took this in good part.
As we were about to leave Pete Mate showed the doctor a growth on his hand.
"It's just a growth caused by the sun," the Doc said, "I can freeze that off for you."
"I was going to snip it off with nail clippers," said himself.
"You'll have me out of work altogether," said the Doc.
He has ordered Pete Mate to have blood tests, a C.T. scan on his brain and an ultrasound on his neck.
Peter's only comment on leaving the surgery? "Good job there was no mention of reducing my alcohol intake."

 
  Tuesday 31st March 2009  
  More work as usual, busy, busy, busy, BUT today was pay day.

That's the end of March. Please click "Forward a Page" below.