Arthur Rubinstein said (And Albert and Annie Agree):

Love life and life will love you back.
Love people and they will love you back.

     

      Pam's Journal For January 2010

     
  Friday 1st January 2010  
  The first day of the new decade . . . or is it? There has been some debate about this in the media. Who cares?

Pete Mate’s birthday today. His present was a 500 gig portable hard drive.

It is still raining and we spent the day enclosed in our caravan, dry and cosy until the damn vent started dripping on me. "Not to worry, it is only a drip", my dear husband said. Yeah, right, it wasn’t dripping on him. Apart from that we had a nice relaxing day doing very little except reading, watching TV and sleeping.

I misjudged our weather as dinner tonight was to be cooked on the camp kitchen barbecue. We had to do a few dashes back and forth with the umbrella held high. Tomorrow night it will be cooked in the vicinity of the ‘van.
 
  Saturday 2nd January 2010  
  More rain, so another day similar to yesterday. We heard reports that the river in some areas of Tamworth was about to overflow. We checked the river at the back of us and we don’t have anything to worry about. Late afternoon the sun poked its head through the clouds and we were excited, then it went away again and it poured down with vengeance.  
  Sunday 3rd January 2010  
 

Our great niece, Alexa Faye, arrived into the world this day, safe and sound.

The sun is shining so we decided to drive up to Banalasta for lunch and the free entertainment. Today was one of our favourite bands, Those Gals. By the time we left the caravan park the sun had retreated and the rain returned, then . . . . the sun poked its little head out again. We arrived late and the concert was in full swing, nevertheless we received a warm welcome from Wendy (Those Gals) and Kim (owner of the winery, you may have seen a photo of her hula hooping). We enjoyed the entertainment, the food and wine. When we left the winery we did a detour out to Chaffey Dam to check the level. The water was up and overflowing into the Morning Glory Spillway. Then it was home for a rest and to get ready for work tomorrow.

 
  Monday 4th to Thursday 7th January 2010  
  Work went well this week, no stress and plenty of achievement. Pete Mate did a shift at the Museum and has informed them that we will be moving on after the festival.  
  Friday 8th January 2010  
  Another working week out of the way and the pub awaits. The caravan park is changing, the gypsies are on the move and the festival revellers are arriving. We have already met some nice people. Whilst at the pub Mary (from work) arrived with her daughter and two grand daughters. Mary is taking the week off work to have some Nanny time. They are lovely girls but I think Mary will be worn out by the end of the week.
 
  Saturday 9th January 2010  
  We had a very relaxing day catching up on chores, journals and reading.

After my morning walk I collected a newspaper which included the festival program magazine as a pull-out. As in previous years it is full of errors so we could arrive at a certain venue and not see the performer that we’d gone there to see.

The pub we frequent has a concert on tomorrow and so far I have seen three different start times advertised for it. Never mind, we will, of course, have a ball as per usual.

The Meat Loaf saga: Pete Mate has described it adequately on Page 100 of his blog so I won’t repeat it here. In his defence the two shops are quite close together. Well . . . they are both near Coles!!

It is only a matter of time before he goes for a shower and forgets to remove his clothes. You just have to love him, don’t you?

 
  Sunday 10th January 2010  
  We walked up to the Oasis for lunch and the concert. The concert was to raise money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. We were joined by an old friend, Lorraine. We first met Lorraine in Cairns and over the years have met up again a few times. It was a good afternoon with some good acts and some not so good. We stayed until the end before wandering home.  
  Monday 11th January 2010 - Thursday 14th January 2010  
  Very busy at work, plus extra stress as this is my last week at work and I want to get everything done.  
  Friday 15th January 2010  
  Last day of work. I am sad in one way but so happy in another. Before work we went to the caravan park breakfast arranged (as we thought) to celebrate the start of the Festival which was rather nice. To have a cooked breakfast is a treat but to have it cooked for you even better. In fact, the breakfast was on offer every day of the festival for just $7.

We had just finished and I was thinking about getting ready for work when two familiar faces arrived. John and Rhonda are friends we first met in Cairns several years ago. It was lovely to see them again although a rushed greeting as I had to get to work.

At work I found out that my colleagues had arranged a morning tea in my honour; I was very touched that they had gone to all that trouble for me - it was lovely. They also gave me a card and Edward (my boss) said nice things about me. A little embarrassing but much appreciated. Four thirty came around and everyone came to say goodbye. Again it was lovely of them, they made me feel very special. Pete Mate and I spent the evening out at the Golf Club, eating, drinking and listening to music. Matt O’Leary was performing and as usual was on top form.
 
  Saturday 16th January 2010  
  Our first concert of the day was to see Michelle Little perform Patsy Cline. She was brilliant - even better than last year. She also had a better band this time. The drummer didn’t drown her (and everyone else) out. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and were delighted to catch up with Michelle again, it was a shame her partner, Trent, couldn’t make it this year as it would have been nice to see him also.

We were milling around near the entrance during the break when I saw a familiar face. For a few seconds I could not place her then it clicked; it was Janet, our tax accountant from Perth. She was with her husband, Bob, in Tamworth for the festival. A small world indeed.

After the concert we four had lunch before going our separate ways. We had a look around town, spent a quick few minutes in the Coca Cola tent then went to the Tudor to see Donella perform before heading home for nanny naps.

Then we were off again, back into town for dinner with Roslyn, Allan and Rosemary. Unbeknownst to us, the young waitress Pete Mate was chatting up (as he is wont to do) was Rosemary’s daughter. With dinner over we raced (okay, we walked fast for me) over to the Town Hall where we met up with Michael and Kim for the Life Line concert. I think everyone enjoyed the concert except Pete Mate, who thought it was 'just okay'. That is the festival for you, what suits one person doesn’t necessarily suit another.
 
  Sunday 17th January 2010  
  I didn’t rise too early today as I am not used to late nights. Eventually we got ourselves together and went to see Michelle Little perform at the Fitzroy Tavern. We again had a wander around and were surprised how quiet everywhere seemed compared to previous years. We went home for our nanny naps, then had dinner before heading out again to The Oasis to enjoy the music. We met Mary there but she left long before us. Another late night.  
  Monday 18th January 2010  
  We went in to town to wander and check out a few music venues. The town seemed busier today. Later we returned home and had an early night, thank goodness.  
  Tuesday 19th January 2010  
  We spent most of the day at the Oasis and enjoyed some really good music. By 4:00pm we had had enough and retreated to our caravan where we relaxed with a glass of red before dinner.  
  Wednesday 20th January 2010  
  Our first appointment of the day was at the doctor’s. He again changed my medication and now I have to take my BP sitting, standing and lying down. What next, I ask myself?

We left there and drove into town to visit a couple of venues we had ear-marked. Then it was time to collect my last pay cheques from the Monalu agency and say goodbye to Jane.

From Monalu we raced around to the Services Club to see Donella perform. It was a really good show with a lot of variety.

After the show we had just enough time to walk to the bank in town before heading back to the car to drive out to the Golf Club to see and hear Matt O’Leary. We listened to Matt whilst we ate dinner, then it was time to make our way to the Fairway Room within the club to see another show. In previous years the "Young Guns" concert has been at the Town Hall but this year it was at the Golf Club. Apparently it is not very well attended so the venue had to be downsized. It wasn’t the best show but the young people did put their all into it.
 
  Thursday 21st January 2010  
  Another early start to the day. PM was working at Oxley in the morning and then at the Museum in the afternoon. He dropped me off at the Services Club where I enjoyed the morning’s entertainment. It was one of the best shows I had seen in a while. There were four youngish song writers performing their own work. They were not only talented singers and writers but entertaining as well.

I left there and made my way into town as I had a couple of things to do. Then I walked down to the museum, collecting lunch on the way. PM and I ate lunch then I left him to his museum duties whilst I walked back to the hub of the music. I spent a very pleasant afternoon wandering between the different sights and sounds.

It was around 5:00pm when PM finished at the Museum, so after he collected me we headed home for a good rest and - of course - a glass of red.
 
  Friday 22nd January 2010  
  Pete Mate had to be up and out again early as he was on duty on Peel Street. No, not busking, but promoting the Power Station Museum. He arrived home mid afternoon, very hot and tired.

I did some chores at home before sticking my nose into a book. As PM was tired we decided to give Country Music a miss today and stay home.
 
  Saturday 23rd January 2010  
  We attended a concert this morning that left both of us with aching sides, we had laughed so much. Darren Carr, comedian and ventriloquist, was on top form. By the time we left the concert it was mid afternoon so we had a late lunch before heading home. The idea was then to have a rest before walking up to the Oasis but we were tired so it never eventuated.  
  Sunday 24th January 2010  
  After my walk I had a relaxing if somewhat lazy day. Now the festival is over everything seems a little flat and I miss my friends at work. Work I do NOT miss, but I do miss the social side of it. If Pete Mate was truthful he also misses it, albeit second hand. He always liked to get the ‘next instalment’ of the goings on at NewTrain.

I felt very out of sorts - just plain grumpy. However, all that changed in the evening when we went to the Golf Club to watch and hear Donella sing, after which we joined her group for dinner. We had a lovely evening with some nice people. We were treated to a wonderful version of an Irish folk song, sung quietly at our table by Donella. She is so blessed to have such a beautiful voice but what makes it special is that she is such a lovely person with it.
 
  Monday 25th January 2010  
  We had role reversal today; I dropped Pete Mate off at work whilst I led the life of a retiree. PM was to do his final shift as a carer for Oxley Community Transport.

I went to the shopping centre to do the grocery shopping and who should I see there? Yes, PM in his capacity as a carer helping an 82 year old lady shop.

After I finished my shopping I went home, unpacked the shopping, did some chores, had some lunch then received the call from PM to say he was ready to be collected. Yes Sir, right away Sir. It was a sad Pete Mate that I collected as he had said his goodbyes to all his clients and the Oxley staff.
 
  Tuesday 26th January 2010 . . . AUSTRALIA DAY  
  We celebrated by going to the cinema to see Avatar. On arrival we were disappointed to find that the film wasn’t being shown in 3D but we watched it anyway. We enjoyed it very much but could understand why it should be seen in 3D. Let’s hope at some stage we get the opportunity to see it in 3D.  
  Wednesday 27th January 2010  
  In the morning I lolled around, reading, doing crosswords and not much else. I felt incredibly lazy. In the afternoon we went into town for my hearing test. My hearing has improved since April and isn’t that bad, so maybe I cannot hear properly because someone doesn’t speak clearly!  
  Thursday 28th January 2010  
  I decided this lolling around is okay occasionally but it is high time I snapped out of it. So after my morning walk I started on a list of chores. In the afternoon we went into town to visit the bank and to buy some shoes for me. We came home empty handed from both places.  
Friday 29th January 2010  
 

Usual morning walk followed by checking the emails and Face Book whilst Pete Mate was in the land of nod. Then it was a mad scramble to get showered and breakfasted before heading off for my hair appointment.

When I returned I did one or two chores then picked up my knitting which has sadly been neglected for a while now. Whilst knitting I watched Billy Elliott on DVD and then before we knew it was nearly time to go out. Again a mad scramble into the shower and we were ready in record time.

We were collected by Mary (work colleague), and taken to another work colleague's house on the pretence we were collecting her as well. When we got there we were told this was as far as we were going and it was a surprise cocktail party for us. We were stunned, so many people had gone to so much trouble just for us. I was speechless. I know that doesn’t happen often.

It was a lovely evening with some really beautiful people - never to be forgotten. Food was in abundance as were the cocktails. I don’t think I have ever had so many but I could still walk straight; well I think I could. At the end of the evening our kind chauffeur, Mary, dropped us home and we went to our beds feeling very happy and blessed.

For pictures of the evening click HERE.

 
  Saturday 30th January 2010  
  We did not rise early nor did we race around doing things. We relaxed and read our books. Late afternoon we drove over to Roslyn’s place so Pete Mate could ride Lady. I observed and took photos.  
     
   
  The Man From Snowy River?  
     
  Pete Mate enjoyed his ride and hopes to do it again sometime. I also have a new friend. She is black, called Kitty, and meows a lot.  
     
   
  My new friend, Kitty.  
  Later, after Allan arrived home from tennis, we all went out to dinner at the Golf Club which has quickly become a favourite haunt of Pete-n-Pam. We had an enjoyable evening with good food, wine and excellent company.  
  Sunday 31st January 2010  
  No excitement today, just washing, cleaning - you know, chores. Read a bit then, in the evening, watched Roger Federer beat Andy Murray to win the Australian Open. Actually, the match was exciting but we were barracking for Andy.