Albert and Annie Say:

'tis the Season of Goodwill.
May Santa bring you happiness, good health,
good friends ... and a winning lottery ticket.


      Pam's Journal For December 2009

  Tuesday 1st December 2009  
  Not a lot to say other than it was work for both of us. It was Pete Mate’s shopping day where he helps the old dears shop. I will let you into a secret, he doesn’t actually enjoy the Tuesday shop run so I think that make him all the more special for doing it.  
  Wednesday 2nd December 2009  
  Work for me, washing for Pete Mate, nothing else happened in our little world in sunny Tamworth. The weather is extremely pleasant right now both during the day and at night. Long may it last.  
  Thursday 3rd December 2009  
  Today would have been a good day to stay at home. Due to a technical hitch none of the staff got paid last night. To say that the 'proverbial' hit the fan would be an understatement. I, for one, was very glad to see the clock turn 4:30 p.m. We went to do some shopping and again I tried to do some Christmas shopping and again came home empty handed. One would think I had a long list instead of two or three people to buy for. I even forgot to get the gift for the Ulysses toy run that is happening in Tamworth on Saturday. Pete Mate will have the honour of choosing something tomorrow. (Ulysses is a motor cycle club. Every year, in towns all over Australia, they have a toy run where they collect toys for a charity).  
  Friday 4th December 2009  

It was a funny old day at work. As it is our fifth Nomadic Anniversary (Pete Mate’s and mine), I took in morning tea to celebrate. We have been 'on the road' for five short years; it feels like five minutes and we still have so much to see.

We all worked hard, as usual, but there seemed to be a frivolous mood in the air. Robert dressed up as an Elf and we had our photo taken. I am not sure why he was dressed as an Elf but he looked very cute.

I would not have missed the experience of working with these guys for the entire world. Eat your heart out, Credit Crunch, we Possies will never be beaten!

Pete Mate had excelled himself with his choice of toy for the Ulysses run - a helicopter. He insisted he was only going to buy a boy’s toy which worked out well as boy’s toys were in demand.

In the evening Pete Mate and I wandered up to the pub for tea which was exceptionally nice. We were just about finished when Mary (from work) arrived to join us. A very pleasant evening it was, even though Mary and I talked ‘shop’ and Pete Mate’s eyes soon glazed over.

  Saturday 5th December 2009  
  After a good night’s sleep I threw Pete Mate out of the caravan to go and do some work. Well, actually he left of his own volition as he was on duty at the Power Station Museum. I did some chores, made some phone calls and then sat at this blessed computer writing my journal.  
  Sunday 6th December 2009  
  We didn’t do much today. I think we were just happy enough to relax and rest up for the week.  
  Monday 7th December 2009  
  Work as usual. I am tired of writing how stressful work can be so from this moment on it will not appear in this journal again, then maybe it will disappear from my life!  
  Tuesday 8th December 2009  
  Our friends Jan & Ross arrived from Brisbane for a couple of days. So after work it was into Happy Hour before walking up to the pub for dinner and a good time was had by all.  
  Last chance to change my mind . . . only I need two people to help me off.  
  In my lunch break today I crossed another thing off my 'bucket list'; I was passenger on the back of a motor bike. Alan, with whom I work, took me for a spin on his Triumph. Getting on and off the bike was a feat in itself but I did enjoy it even though I found it scary. No one told me to close the visor. What visor? I didn’t even know I had one, so the wind was in my eyes a bit and seeing the road speed by without anything between me and it was nerve wracking. I think I would be good on one of those bikes Billy Connolly drives.  
  Wednesday 9th December 2009  
  I took the day off today to be with Jan and Ross. We took them out to Nundle, which is a lovely drive. It was a shame the coffee shop on the way was closed as, not only do they make good coffee, but the art and gifts are a joy to look at. We called in at Chaffey Dam and walked the wall before making our way to the Woollen Mill in Nundle. Frank Ogden was summoned to show the tourists how wool is created from the sheep to the skein. We have seen it a few times so I had a wandered amongst the finished goods to see if the prices were lower than last time. Alas they weren’t.

After the mill we walked across the road to the pub for lunch, which was very nice. Then we decided to go and have a look at Quirindi as the museums there are very good but they only open at the weekends so we went for a coffee instead. On the way home we called in at the First Fleet Memorial and had a wander amongst the gardens there. Then it was home for Happy Hour and an early night because I, for one, was bushed.
  Thursday 10th December 2009  
  We had to say goodbye to Jan and Ross before I left for work. It was lovely to see them and we enjoyed our day out with them very much.
After work we did the usual weekly shopping. I was very tired and became very grumpy. Another early night for me.
  Friday 11th December 2009  
  Work for me, AC/DC for Pete Mate. In the evening we went over to Wests for dinner and to see Donella and her band play. It was a really good night and we enjoyed it very much.  
  Saturday 12th December 2009  
  Not a lot happened today.  
  Sunday 13th December 2009  
  We were collected by Allan and Roslyn and the four of us went to Banalasta for lunch.  
  Donella was performing at Banalasta.  
  Donella was performing and again she excelled herself with her performance and personality. Lunch was nice as was the wine and the company. On the way home we were taken to look at a couple of beauty spots and I saw a snake. It was an excellent day and I was tired out so goodness knows how Allan felt as he did all the driving.  
  Monday 14th December 2009  
  Went to work then went home.  
  Tuesday 15th December 2009  
  Went to work then went home. Shopping Day for Pete Mate with his oldies. This is the last one before Christmas so some of them gave him gifts. How lovely is that?  
  Wednesday 16th December 2009  
  Went to work then went home. Exciting!  
  Thursday 17th December 2009  
  Work as usual but we escaped the shopping grind as we doing that on Saturday.  
  Friday 18th December 2009  
  Work as usual then the pub in the evening. I joined Face Book today; it is still all of a mystery to me. Pete Mate did his ACDC run for the last time. They have a month’s break now and when they return we will be heading off to Victoria. He finally learned what ACDC stands for: Aged Care Day Centre.  
  Saturday 19th December 2009  
  I went to the hairdressers and Pete Mate arranged for Billy to have new tyres. For once he spent more than me! My hair has purple highlights again; I am really pleased with it. We then did some shopping before heading home for Nanny Naps. In the evening we enjoyed a lovely meal with friends. Again we spent time with lovely people that we will miss very much when we move on.  
  An evening at "Outback Jack's" with some of my good friends from NewTrain and their partners.  
  The only stupid thing I did today was leave my camera behind in the restaurant. When Allan & Roslyn dropped us off they went back to check if it was still there. Usually it is my handbag or purse!  
  My 'daughter' Roslyn and her partner, Allan.  
  Sunday 20th December 2009  
  Today is cleaning day and getting myself organised. Ros and Allan retrieved my camera last night - I will get it back tomorrow.  
  Monday 21st December 2009  
  Work was very busy as I am only there three days this week.  
  Tuesday 22nd December 2009  
  Work was pretty much the same as yesterday. After work we went shopping. Our timing was spot on as most shops were about to close. We found parking no trouble and had our groceries bought in no time at all.  
  Wednesday 23rd December 2009  
  Last day of work this year for me, yippee. We had morning tea and Secret Santa What fun I had, handing out the presents. Work might get me down sometimes but the social side of things is great. After work we all went to Ed’s place down by the river for the Christmas party. I think we all had a good time, I know I did. We knew it was time to leave when the mozzies ignored the repellent and bit us anyway.  
  Thursday 24th December 2009  
  We were up early and got ourselves organised for our trip to Sydney. Our aim was to leave at 10.00am but that came and went and we finally got on the road at 11.00am. Alice led the way and at one point I was sure we were going to end up in Queensland, but no, Alice true to her word led us to Greg and Bev’s front door.

We only had one stop on the way which was pretty good for me. Pete Mate wanted to keep driving so we called in at MacDonald's. Nothing extraordinary about that, is there? Except I think it is about four years since I put my foot inside one of their doors and then that was only for a coffee. Anyway I queued with everyone else, looking madly for these ‘healthy options’ they advertise. Eventually it was just about my turn when this nice young man pushed in front of me. Excuse me, am I invisible?

Well, we waited and waited and no one took our order. Meanwhile the other queues were moving rapidly. I poked my head around this rude young man only to see that our till had closed. I was so mad that I walked sideways into the next queue, apologised to everyone behind me and explained I had been standing there since Easter. The woman serving had closed her till and just walked away!

Once served and out of the door I found Pete Mate looking like he had lost something. He had . . . me. I think he thought that either I'd taken a job there or Ronald McDonald had run away with me. I greeted him with the endearing words, “It's a bloody nightmare in there”.

We arrived at G & B’s around 4.30pm and received a very warm welcome followed by lots of wine and good food.
  Friday 25th December 2009  
  It finally arrived, the day for which we have all been preparing for so long. We awoke to beautiful sunshine but sadly that didn’t last long. We started our day with a yummy breakfast cooked by Greg and ate it sitting out on the patio. Bev & Greg’s neighbours called in to say Happy Christmas before Greg’s two 'children', Brent and Tahni, arrived for Christmas lunch.

Drinks in hand, we all had a present opening session which is always good fun. We then ate a beautiful lunch prepared by our hosts, again outside as it was warm though by now had begun to rain. Once we were sated the younger generation departed and we four retreated into the lounge to see what was on offer on the television.
  The fabulous Christmas of 2009 with Greg and Bev.  
  All too soon the big day was over and it was time to retire for the night. We had a really lovely day with all the right ingredients: Good company, good food and lots of wine.  
  Saturday 26th December 2009  
  Whatever Christmas Day was like, one always feels flat on Boxing Day. Why is this?

We visited G & B’s friends for lunch which was really lovely and very kind of them to include us. We met a number of young people that belonged to the household; all very pleasant and nice company.

Later, back at the B & G homestead, Bev and I watched a delightful movie whilst the two men did blue stuff with a computer. In the evening we went to the RSL club for dinner which was a little disappointing but, hey, sometimes it happens.
  Sunday 27th December 2009  
  After breakfast we walked over to the shopping mall in Warriewood. The walk took us through the estate and past some wetlands and a children’s play park. The whole area is well laid out and seems to focus on families and a community spirit; all good in this day and age. We browsed through some shops and had a coffee at Gloria Jean's before heading home again.

After a rest, Greg took Pete Mate and I to Dan Murphy’s, a huge discount liquor shop. We bought some wine to try which we did as soon as we got home. Later we went back to Dan’s to stock up on the wine we had tried. We then enjoyed a very pleasant evening at G & B’s local Chinese. Once again the food was excellent as was the wine and the company.
  Monday 28th December 2009  
  All too soon our stay was over and we had to make tracks back to Tamworth. We left around 11.00am in the rain. The rain stayed with us for most of the journey home but the trip was uneventful and there was not too much traffic. Alice had a bit of a problem exiting G & B’s estate and we had a little tour around but once she was on the open road she recovered and took us home without a problem.

We gave McDonald’s another go. This time we went into the McCafe part and found it more to our liking, plus it wasn’t as busy as Christmas Eve.

Once home we found everything intact but whereas when we left, the park was empty, now it was crowded with 'gypsies'. We call them gypsies because they do not seem to have any fixed abode; they travel around the country painting roofs. They are all inter-related and we have lost count of how many children there are. They spread out and take over the park but generally keep themselves to themselves. They are pleasant enough to talk to and the children are polite and well mannered so we have no complaints.

We unpacked, had dinner and went to bed. We were tired little bunnies.
  Tuesday 29th December 2009  
  I managed to do my walk and a load of washing before the rain returned. Once it started, though, it poured down for most of the day. We didn’t have any plans so we read and in my case slept a lot.  
  Wednesday 30th December 2009  
  It is still raining! We went into town to do some shopping at good old Dick Smith’s. A few weeks ago Pete Mate had a clear out of various cables and suchlike; he reckoned we would never use them. Well, whilst in Sydney G & B gave us a digital television set-top box that they no longer used. So what did we now need? Yes, one of the cables PM had given away, hence the trip to Dick’s. Pete Mate also purchased his birthday present, a 500 gig portable hard drive. When we'd finished at Dick’s we did the boring old grocery shopping. Once home Pete Mate set about hooking up the set top box. It works perfectly; we just have to learn how to drive the thing.  
  Thursday 31st December 2009  
  The rain has stopped. I did my walk before breakfast and Pete Mate declared he was going to cut the grass. As we have been in residence for so long it is up to us to cut the grass around the caravan. The park owners won’t come too close in case of damaging the caravan with flying stones. The gypsies had beaten him to the mower and brush cutter and were already in full swing cutting around their own 'vans. PM asked could he borrow the equipment when they had finished. The guy with the brush cutter very kindly cut the long grass for him. How jammy is that! PM then mowed all the grass in the vicinity of our 'van. We now look less like hobos and more like grey nomads. He had not long finished when the rain returned.

We were in two minds whether to walk up to the pub for dinner and the New Year’s Eve festivities but in the end decided to stay home.