Bob and Pooh Say:

Add life to your days, not days to your life.

     

      Pam's Journal For February 2011

     
  Tuesday 1st February 2011  
 

Even less happened today, we just kept busy and out of the 40°C. heat.

 
     
  Wednesday 2nd February 2011  
 

After an early morning downpour the day became hot and humid so we did a rerun of yesterday. During the evening we were treated to a thunderstorm that played havoc with the digital television.

 
     
  Thursday 3rd February 2011  
  We enjoyed a short trip into town to the library, coffee shop and supermarket. Then it was home to the air conditioning once more.  
     
  Friday 4th February 2011  
 

The day started with sunshine which very quickly changed to torrential rain. About 4.30pm it stopped, the sun came out, and it was like the day never happened but that was the lull before the storm! Within the hour the heavy rain was back and along for the ride came thunder and lightning. The rain absolutely lashed down all night.

 
     
  Saturday 5th February 2011  
 

We were confined to barracks as the storm did not abate all day. By evening we had seen the last of the thunder and lightning but the rain continued. It was a very good day for reading.

 
     
  Sunday 6th February 2011  
 

The rain has ceased and the sun is shining, a perfect day. We had a look at the river as it was making a heck of a gushing noise as it went past the caravan park.

 
     
   
  It might not look much 'frozen' in a photo, but it was flowing really fast.  
     
   
  One little push now and he'd be in Mildura by lunchtime, well marinated.  
     
 

Later we drove into Bright and had a look at the Ovens from that end; Pete Mate has put his photos on the webpage to show how much the water at the weir has increased. We then went to the Brewery and enjoyed the wine and the music. A very enjoyable afternoon it was.

Once home we realised the mobile phones were running hot with messages. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, our family and friends in Perth were fighting the worst fire Perth has ever known. Nic was frantically trying to get hold of us before he had to evacuate, just to ask what we wanted saving. In the end he saved the relevant paperwork and himself. Good move, Son. I rang him and then got the whole story; Pete Mate has covered this on the special web page so I will leave it there. Yes we will be taking our phones out with us from now on!

 
     
  Monday 7th February 2011  
 

After a very restless night we awoke to another glorious day. As I mentioned in yesterday’s journal, Pete Mate has covered the unfolding events of the aftermath of the fire so there is no point in repeating it here. We went about our usual day in a complete daze as it was so hard to take in the enormity of this disaster.

 
     
  Tuesday 8th February 2011  
 

We went into town to do some shopping and have a coffee/tea at our favourite coffee shop.

 
     
  Wednesday 9th February 2011  
 

We drove up the mountain to watch paragliders from all over the world take part in a competition. On the way up there Nic rang to bring us up to date on the house situation. After he had discussed all the 'blue' stuff with Pete Mate it was my turn to talk. I told him I felt guilty enjoying myself whilst they were all there coping with such a disaster. His reply was, “Heavens above, Mum, get out there and enjoy yourself”.

So we did. It was very interesting watching the procedure of how these flimsy things are prepared for flying. I asked one pilot what the sail was made of and he said he didn’t know. I think if that was what was keeping me aloft and alive I would want to know.

 
     
   
  A pile of garbage bags? No, believe it or not, these are paragliders. They look so flimsy.  
     
 

We stayed quite a while watching the pilots take off and then float above us like little coloured insects in the sky.

 
     
   
  It looks like these two may have been tangled but they were okay.  
     
 

Once Pete Mate had had enough, we made our way down the mountainside to our favourite coffee shop for a late lunch. Once home we compared photos and soon realised between us we had taken a couple of hundred shots. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

 
     
   
  Interested spectators. Who could that old fossil be?  
     
  Thursday 10th February 2011  
 

I had washing and cleaning to do in the morning as the forecast was rain later. I got everything done and by happy hour Pete Mate was scoffing at my statement that it would rain as the day had been splendid, weather wise. An hour later the rain came and it didn’t stop all night. Could I resist saying, ‘I told you so’. No I damn well couldn’t!

 
     
  Friday 11th February 2011  
 

The rain continues to lash down; it was so heavy at times we couldn’t hear ourselves think, let alone speak. Everywhere was sodden. Any indentation in the ground was running like a river. Eventually, by early evening, it ceased and the sun - albeit a pathetic effort - did try to come out.

 
     
  Saturday 12th February 2011  
 

The day dawned with glorious sunshine but was a little humid. We went into town to do some shopping and called in at the café. Pete Mate was disappointed as he could not enjoy a coffee; the café was without water as further down the road a team of workmen was repairing a burst water main. I, however, could have my green tea.

 
     
  Sunday 13th February 2011  
 

Another glorious day of sunshine but not too hot and the humidity seems to have disappeared. We were to go to the Brewery in the afternoon to listen to the music but Pete Mate was so totally absorbed in preparing a computer to send to Nic that we decided not to bother. The computer will go to our neighbour that lost everything.

 
     
  Monday 14th February 2011  
 

Pete Mate woke up with a badly swollen eye that excreted yucky stuff. So it was off to the doctor’s a.s.a.p. We were lucky enough to get an appointment straight away and were very impressed with the doctor. He gave Pete Mate some antibiotics and some cream and told us to return tomorrow. If it doesn’t improve it is a hospital stay for Pete Mate. It was then home again to finish what we were doing before we rushed off.

Once that was all done we drove back into Bright to send the computer off and to do some shopping. For a little while now we have said I should do more driving as I am always quite happy for Pete Mate to be the driver. Anyway, I have no choice now. Once all our errands were done we returned home to find it was happy hour so we did what all good Nomads do and opened a bottle.

 
     
  Tuesday 15th February 2011  
 

Another rushed morning so we could get to the doctor’s on time. How on earth we ever got ourselves ready for work I don’t know. Pete Mate’s eye has improved a little so the promised hospital visit was deferred, which was a relief as Pete Mate doesn’t own any pjs. The doctor seemed quite happy not to see us until Friday. We went for a coffee at our favourite place and then returned home.

 
     
  Wednesday 16th February 2011  
 

Lay day as the weather was not the best.

 
     
  Thursday 17th February 2011  
 

By the afternoon the rain had ceased so we went into town to do a couple of things.

 
     
  Friday 18th February 2011  
 

We had quite a lot to do in town today but first on the list was a return visit to the doctor. He checked Pete Mate out and gave him the all clear; his eye is just about back to normal now. We had coffee in the café and said our goodbyes before visiting the dreaded supermarket. I wish I had a dollar for every time Pete Mate grumbles about supermarket visits.

 
     
  Saturday 19th February 2011  
 

We should have been cleaning and packing everything up for our departure tomorrow but the heavens opened overnight and it poured down on us with a vengeance. It was late afternoon by the time it stopped and the sun came out but everything was sopping wet. We decided to stay another day and put everything away once it had had a chance to dry out.

 
     
  Sunday 20th February 2011  
 

Get ready day. The sun is shining and everything has dried out nicely; so what did we do? We washed everything and got it all wet again. Such fun we have.

 
     
  Monday 21st February 2011  
 

It was a long day of driving and sitting, thank goodness for talking books. The scenery along the way was beautiful, so green and so many tree ferns, absolutely stunning. We stopped for lunch by a reservoir and nearly got blown away it was so windy. We arrived very late at Warragul but managed to set up camp in record time before relaxing with a red or two. The temperature was just right, the weather I mean, not the wine.

 
     
  Tuesday 22nd February 2011  
 

We went in search of Bunyip, the town not the creature. We eventually found it having travelled half way to Melbourne and back first. It was a sleepy little place, it is hard to believe that in a few days the town will be bursting at the seams and some really good music will be heard. Well I am hoping that will be the case.

 
     
  Wednesday 23rd February 2011  
 

It was a perfect day for sitting outside with a book or some knitting. After the chores were done, that is exactly what I did.

 
     
  Thursday 24th February 2011  
 

We had a look at the town of Warragul and did some shopping. We also spent a considerable amount of time in a hardware store having our memory jogged and getting some prices. Since the fire Pete Mate and Nic have been working on a list of what was in the shed. Nic suggested Pete Mate had a wander around the hardware as this would jog his memory. Thanks Nic, I do so love hardware stores!

 
     
  Friday 25th February 2011  
 

We became so fed up with our slow internet connection in Warragul that we took George & Mildred (the laptops) to McDonalds. Well, everyone deserves an outing every now and then. We found a corner ordered some drinks and tried to play computers. McDonalds internet wasn’t working properly. It could have been us, I guess, putting the curse on them. We were there so long we had to have another drink and I enjoyed a very nice salad. In the end we gave up and went home, only to find the internet connection in the caravan was working better than it had all week.

 
     
  Saturday 26th February 2011  
 

The day came, the day went, what we did is a mystery to me, apart from having a big cook up and doing the ironing.

 
     
  Sunday 27th February 2011  
 

The day for which we have waited all week had finally arrived and would you believe it, it was pouring down? We have enjoyed glorious weather all week and now this has happened. In our life you never let the weather get in the way of having a good time Well, that is what I said before we set off. I might have had a different view two hours later, having sat in the pouring rain trying to keep dry underneath one umbrella.

We decided we had had enough and retreated to a dry spot underneath the veranda. We couldn’t see the artistes but we could hear them. When Marie came on we braved the weather once more and stood watching and listening to her beautiful voice whilst getting drenched. Eventually the rain ceased and we again placed ourselves in front of the stage. The music was good; okay one or two acts were mediocre but pleasant enough. Generally, though, the standard was top class.

 
     
   
  A band called Ruckus. Kat on the fiddle, Mick on guitar, Bazza on bass and Craig on drums.  
     
 

By 5.45pm I thought seven and three quarter hours of sitting in a paddock in miserable weather was enough and the final act was a little too loud for me. Pete Mate said he had also had enough so we retreated to the warmth of Billy’s interior and drove home.

As soon as we arrived home we had to start packing away our gear ready to move on in the morning. All good fun . . . NOT! Once inside the ‘van I changed out of my damp clothes, wrapped myself in my snuggle blanket (thank you again, sister Sandie) and poured a nice glass of red. Life is good; no, it is better than that, it is damn good.

 
     
  Monday 28th February 2011  
 

We were up early to finish getting ready for our move. We would have been ready by 10.00am but some chap kept insisting on talking to Pete Mate so it was 10.15 by the time we left, hoping the rush hour traffic had dispersed. We were soon travelling on a motorway which was busy enough but when we reached the outskirts of Melbourne we hit traffic we were not used to at all, let alone with the ‘van on the back. I found it a little stressful but Pete Mate didn’t look ruffled at all and did a fine job of getting us to Geelong in one piece. We were puzzled by how many abandoned cars we saw along the motorway, we must have seen about six.

We arrived at the caravan park around lunchtime and I, as per usual, went into the office to book us in. The Gestapo is alive and well, she works in the office here. Not the welcome one likes to receive after a few hours travelling. We set up camp and met our neighbours, also from WA, then we had a very late lunch. The park is nice enough, showers and toilets are fine, but the weather has become quite cold again. Thank goodness for our little heater.