Albert and Annie Say:

Promise yourself to be so strong that
nothing can disturb your peace of mind.


      Pam's Journal For August 2009

  Saturday 1st August 2009  
  Today was shopping day – major shopping – hopefully we will not have to go again for at least another two or three weeks. Our fridge/freezer is crammed full, as is the pantry. I have even filled the camp kitchen freezer; let’s hope no one else wants to use it. Once all the shopping was unpacked and put away we sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and read for a while. When it became too chilly we retreated into the warmth of the caravan and continued our reading.  
  Sunday 2nd August 2009  

As the day was another of blue skies and glorious sunshine, we decided - after finishing our chores - to have a drive out into the countryside for lunch. Our destination was Nundle but we stopped off at Chaffey Dam on the way. The dam was surprisingly full; the countryside looked very dry. We had a walk along the dam wall and Pete Mate took some photos. Small boats were cruising around the lake, some faster than others. Other people were just drifting with their fishing rods poised, hoping for a good catch in time for tea.

Once back at the car we drove to the town of Nundle. We had been there before but it seemed bigger and more interesting than when we were last there. We had a drive around and arrived at the pub just in time for lunch; if we had been a minute later we would have missed out. The lunch was very nice, so was the glass of red I had with it. Can’t speak for Pete Mate as he had a nasty beer.

After lunch we consulted the map and decided to head back to Tamworth along a different road, and that is what we did. During the day we saw some beautiful countryside which was surrounded by magnificent mountains and hillsides. It was a very enjoyable afternoon - just what we needed before the onslaught of the working week.

  Monday 3rd August to Thursday 6th August 2009  
  Work, work work. Pete Mate did his stint at Oxley and all is well with the Tamworth Ransons.  
  Friday 7th August 2009  
  POETS DAY. Yippee. After work we visited our usual haunt, the Oasis, for a nice dinner and a bottle of red.
POETS. Acronym. P--- Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday.
  Saturday 8th August 2009  
  I felt very tired today as the working week had been extremely busy and stressful. In the morning we went shopping for a new VCR/DVD player. We were undecided whether to upgrade to the latest digital television receiver and a DVD player with a hard drive recorder or . . . just replace what we had with similar. In the end we went with the latter, a combined VCR player and DVD.

In the afternoon I took my book and a coffee and found a warm spot in the sun - and there I stayed. Later the coffee was replaced by a glass of red and then the chill of the evening set in and I retreated into the caravan. Pete Mate joined me for some of the time but was also working on the computer. He is spending an enormous amount of hours doing a superb job working on a DVD for me.
  Sunday 9th August 2009  
  After doing a few chores we both took our books and coffees and sat in the sun reading. Again, that is where we stayed. It was bliss and so relaxing. We opened a bottle of white with lunch, yes we occasionally drink white, after which the afternoon was a continuation of the morning.  
  Monday 10th August to Thursday 13th August 2009
  Another week down the mine for me. Pete Mate was in high demand this week at the museum and Oxley. He was a very busy chap as on Monday he had to install the new DVD/Video. Not as easy as one thinks as in a caravan everything is compact and cables have to be routed out of sight. The VCR also has to link the satellite dish decoder to the television. Anyway he did an excellent job, now all we have to do is learn how to drive the thing.  
  Friday 14th August 2009  
  Today is my birthday and I am overwhelmed with the cards, messages, emails, flowers and gifts I have received. I have been very spoilt indeed. I had to go to work but even so I enjoyed a lovely day with some very nice people.

When Pete Mate collected me I walked to the car struggling with flowers and other things so he hopped out of the car to open the door for me. Out came a huge bunch of flowers in such vibrant colours, they were beautiful. When Roslyn, at work, gave me some flowers I commented it was five years since I had received flowers. Now I have two lots. But wait, there is more. When I got home some more were waiting for me from my friends, Pat and Tracey. The caravan looks wonderful with these flowers and smells beautiful; and I am absolutely thrilled with them.

We shared a bottle of red, another gift, before walking up to our usual haunt for dinner. We enjoyed a nice dinner with another bottle of red and I have to say by the end of the evening I was slightly squiffy.
  Saturday 15th August 2009  
  Pete Mate was on duty at the museum so I used the opportunity to give the inside of the caravan a good clean. It is so much easier when he is out of the way instead of having to clean around him. It took me quite a while but I was all finished by the time he arrived home for lunch. We sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and enjoyed our lunch, then Pete Mate retreated inside for a nanny nap. I soaked up the sun whilst reading. Later we sat outside for an early Happy Hour which was very pleasant indeed. All too soon the chill of the evening was upon us and we retreated inside our cosy 'van.  
  Sunday 16th August 2009  
  We enjoyed a lovely relaxing day sitting reading and doing very little else.
  Monday 17th August to Thursday 20th August 2009  
  Working, working and working.  
  Friday 21st August 2009  
  Work as usual for both of us but then tonight is pub night. We wandered up around 7ish and found Mary already fed and ready to leave but Roslyn and Alan were waiting for us to arrive. Roslyn is the lady I work directly for and Alan is her partner. We enjoyed a great night and before we knew it it was midnight and so we thought we had better call it a night and leave.  
  Saturday 22nd August 2009  
  I was up early, did a few chores and then went off to the hairdresser's. Pete Mate met me later at Gloria’s for coffee and lunch before we went shopping for exciting stuff like bed linen. Once home we put our feet up with a good book and a glass of red.  
  Sunday 23rd August 2009  
  Sunday is a day of rest, so the Lord said. I know; I heard him and obeyed.  
  Monday 24th to Thursday 27th August 2009  
  Work was just as busy as ever for both of us. At NewTrain we had a new Financial Controller start on Monday so maybe the pressure on the rest of us will ease. Tuesday we received a text message from some friends asking us what the weather was like. We replied, but thought it a little odd as they live in S.A. All was revealed on Thursday when they arrived in Tamworth for a few days. It was absolutely great to see them and we spent a very pleasant evening on Thursday catching up.  
  Friday 28th August 2009  
  Work for Pete Mate and myself whilst Jo and Gavin familiarised themselves with Tamworth. In the evening, after Happy Hour, we four walked up to the pub for dinner. Again Sue excelled herself and I was even persuaded to taste Peter’s calamari which was yummy. We enjoyed a really good evening with plenty of wine and conversation flowing.  
  Saturday 29th August 2009  
  We enjoyed a wonderful day out in the countryside with Jo and Gavin. The weather was mixed but we didn’t let a little rain get in the way of having a good time. We drove through the loveliest scenery to Chaffey Dam where Gavin cooked snags on his mobile barbecue. But wait lets step back a little . . .

When we were getting ready to leave for our day out, I asked Pete Mate to check with G & J what we needed to take. I was told it was all under control. Now fast forward 45 minutes . . .

We arrived at the dam and found a place to set up. Then, and only then, did Pete Mate suddenly remember that we should have brought the wine. Mmm - no, I won't tell what thoughts went through my head. We left Gav and Jo to set up whilst we did a quick dash into Nundle to acquire said beverages. I was elected to go into the pub. Well, Pete Mate had to turn the car around! On my arrival back at the car he asked what took me so long. I replied that, as the bar was nearly as tall as I am, so it took a while for the bar staff to notice I was there. We then did a quick dash back to the dam where Gavin had cooked up heaps of snags and we all enjoyed a lovely lunch looking at beautiful scenery.

Once replete with both food and drink we packed up and drove into Nundle. We visited the Woollen Mill - we had been before but it is always worth another look. We were glad we did as the machinery was working this time. The men were very interested in it so Jo and I decided it was a blue day and not pink.

Jo and I had a good time browsing through all the garments and wool. Once home I thought I might have a little rest before Happy Hour. One minute I was reading, the next I was asleep. I cannot believe I was LATE for Happy Hour. The other three started without me. Jo cooked a beautiful roast dinner for us which again we ate outside under the stars. I think eating outside is a form of camping so in future I will tick that off my list as 'been there, done that'.

Sunday 30th August 2009

  Well, by now you will be aware this is being written well after the event. So I am busy. Well, shoot me.

As the day was absolutely perfect I can remember it well. The only downside was that Gavin wasn’t with us. He had an opportunity to ride 'shotgun' on a B-double hauling cattle. For those that don't know what a B-double is, it's a prime mover with a trailer on its turntable and a second trailer on the first trailer's turntable. It's huge! And both trailers are full of cow sh-t. He was reluctant to go but the opportunity might not occur again so he went for it. He seemed to have a good time; I also think Pete Mate was secretly jealous. (And why wouldn't I be? My day was spent listening to hours of conversation about menus, fashions, weight loss and other totally boring subjects. P.M.) Anyway, that takes care of Gav.

We other three set off for Moonbi Lookout, Bendemeer Hotel (the Bendy) for lunch and then Banalasta for coffees.
Bendemeer. The Macdonald River looking upstream towards, and beyond, the now-defunct road bridge.
  We enjoyed a lovely day; the weather was perfect – sunny and not too cold. The food, wine and company were the best.  
The Macdonald River looking downstream. The sloping lawn of the beautifully maintained Bendy is on the left bank.
  All too soon we were back at the caravan park and doing what all good travellers do at five in the afternoon – enjoying Happy Hour.  
  Monday 31st August 2009  

Here we are again, saying goodbye to friends we are very fond of. It was really hard, as always, to say goodbye. And then I had to go to work. In a way it was good to be at work as very soon I was immersed in the day’s grind and it made it easier to cope with. Happy Hour much, much later, was a bit flat.

There it you have it. August done and dusted!