Bob and Pooh Say:

Don't compare your life to others.
You have no idea what their journey is all about.

     

      Pam's Journal For May 2011

     
  Sunday 1st May 2011  
 

The weather wasn’t the best today but that didn’t stop us having a great afternoon out at the Bright Brewery. The entertainers were a couple of chaps we hade seen/heard before and are favourites of ours. They are brilliant musicians as well as entertainers. We enjoyed a lot of laughs along with the music and of course the wine.

 
     
  Monday 2nd May 2011  
 

We didn’t do a lot today as the day turned into a cold and wet one.

 
     
  Tuesday 3rd May 2011  
 

The sun is shining once more so we walked the river track in the morning. We met a lovely WA couple along the way and enjoyed a long chat.

After lunch we drove out to Harrietville to visit the museum for a talk about the history of the area. It was very interesting and the room they have set up to explain the gold mining was exceptional. We would have liked more time in there but we were taken on a walk out to the dredge pond. It wasn’t too far but my slow pace meant I was behind all the way. I am not going to go into detail as I am sure Pete Mate has done it proud. It was very interesting and well worth the visit. Later the rain returned with a vengeance so we were glad to get home and into our nice, warm, cosy ‘van.

Note: Having admitted to enjoying myself does not eliminate the fact that this was a blue day.

 
     
  Wednesday 4th May 2011  
 

It was a day to catch up with my chores a little, plus my hip needed a rest as it was reminding me who was boss.

In the evening we went into Bright for a marvellous Murder & Mysteries tour. Diann Talbot did the talking and she is such proficient speaker, she made it entertaining as well interesting. I know Pete Mate has covered this night in detail on the webpage so I won’t repeat it. I will say that even though we laughed at the funny parts and had a good time, Dianne did not leave out the tragic events illustrating how harsh things were 'then'. One little boy of three died as a result of burns from a fire; all the doctor did was place oiled bandages on the burns. The poor little mite cried all night before dying in the early hours of the morning. Any Mum or Dad who has walked the floor with their babes must relate to the grief endured by these parents. They must have been beside themselves watching and hearing their babe die in that terrible way.

All too soon the tour was over and we wended our way home.

 
     
  Thursday 5th May 2011  
 

We were outside the Uniting Church by 9.30am for a walk-and-talk tour of Bright. We walked all over Bright, going places we hadn’t been before. We did see one or two places we had visited last night but overall the tour was different and interesting. By the time we are finished this week we will know this area very well.

Once back at the church we enjoyed a lovely morning tea provided by the ladies of the church. We sat around chatting to different people from all walks of life. For us this is what makes our trip so great, meeting and chatting to lots of people.

One chap Pete Mate took a shine to was also an aircraft enthusiast. In fact he had been a navigator during the war. He was 86 years old and was as bright as a button.

We went home for lunch via Woolworth’s. I did the shopping whilst Pete Mate fiddled with the car; it is his new way of attracting women. Actually he was looking for any damage as when we were driving into Bright earlier we experienced a very loud bang as though someone had shot at us. I thought it was a stone hitting the outside of the car but PM thought the sound came from inside the car. We have not solved this mystery yet. After lunch we drove back into Bright to the museum which is housed in the old railway station. There were some interesting relics there and lots of old photos of Bright.

By now we were pooped it is very tiring enjoying oneself so we went home and put our feet up.

 
     
  Friday 6th May 2011  
 

We walked to Porepunkah School for another walk and talk tour. We didn’t walk very far as the town is not big, plus we couldn’t see anything as all the old buildings are long gone. Our tour guide was a very nice friendly man but he had a habit of talking whilst walking. As we were all following behind and some of us are hard of hearing it was really hard to hear him. In the end, I have to admit, I gave up and just went for the walk.

Back at the school morning tea was served and we then walked some more. This time he didn’t talk until we got to the point of interest. Then that was it, all over and we walked home.

In the afternoon we visited a Green Tea farm, we arrived in time for the tour which was really a talk and a taste. Alice at one point thought we should be going to the rubbish tip! Good old Alice, always there for a laugh! It was an interesting talk; the farmer’s main outlet is Japan with only a niche market in Australia. The Japanese company he sells to has a stake in the farm which by all accounts takes care of itself - the farm, that is.

 
     
   
  Wall to wall green tea.  
     
  The crop has to be fertilised with different fertilisers at various times in the year, then the tops of the bushes are harvested and sent off to Wangaratta for the process of making tea leaves fit for a cuppa. We heard all about first flush (the first crop of the season) and how wonderful the Japanese think this is. We were offered a taste of this first flush tea. As a green tea drinker of many years I have to say it did nothing for me. Pete Mate pulled a face but he drank it and said it tasted of nothing. Once the tasting was over we could, if we wished, purchase a very small pouch of it for $16. Mmmm, no thanks. Only thing left to do was to go home.  
     
   
  It's the fresh new leaves - the first flush - that taste the best and fetch the best price.  
     
  Saturday 7th May 2011  
 

We wandered into Bright in the morning to visit the markets. Last year the markets were good but small and only lasted the morning. This year the markets were huge and went all day. I spent a lot of time wandering and buying. Pete Mate escaped to the coffee shop where I met up with him later.

 
     
   
  Bright Market. So many people . . .  
     
 

We ate a picnic lunch before finding a good position in the street for the parade. I love parades with bands and people marching by smiling and waving.

Pete Mate left the parade early to take our chairs into the park to claim a good position to see and hear the Air Force Band. Sadly, he was repaid for this good turn by missing a very nice young lady doing cartwheels and showing her knickers. Them's the breaks, Pete Mate.

 
     
   
  Them's the breaks indeed, Dear. But I knew I could rely on you to take a photo.  
     
 

We enjoyed the concert very much, so much so we will be back again tomorrow. The cold had seeped into our bones and we were in need of a heater and wine so home we went.

 
     
  Sunday 8th May 2011  
 

If you are a regular reader of this journal you will know early mornings are not our forte, so you would be duly impressed to know we were outside the Museum in Bright just before the clock struck nine.

Once the group were all present we drove out in a convoy to the Buckland Cemetery for a walk-and-talk tour. Pete Mate and I had been to the cemetery before on our own but this time we had Diann Talbot to give us some history of how and why these people are buried there. Sadly some graves are unmarked and no amount of research will determine who these poor nameless people are.

 
     
   
  Low hanging clouds give this scene in the Buckland Valley a chilly backdrop. So many people died terrible deaths here through accident, violence and disease during the gold rush of the second half of the 19th century.  
     
 

Once the talk was over we wandered to the house next door where we all enjoyed a lovely morning tea. As it was Mothers Day - and at this point in time, no one had remembered - I indulged myself and even had a piece of chocolate slice chancing the headache.

From there we drove back into Bright and found a good spot in the park to listen, once more, to the Royal Australian Air Force Band. Just as the band was tuning up Nic rang from Perth to wish me a Happy Mothers Day. Pete Mate finally woke up to the fact but decided that as I wasn’t his Mother he didn’t have to remember these things. We enjoyed another lovely hour of really good entertainment but again it was so cold we were frozen stiff so after the concert we went in search of hot coffee. Easier said than done as many of the little cafes were booked out for Mothers Day. Eventually we found space in the bakery where we managed to thaw out.

 
     
   
  Squadron Leader Wright picking the winner of the raffle from a bucket held by the Town Crier (in civvies).
On the left a man holds the prize - or rather its box, the chocolate was too heavy!
 
     
 

Next on the agenda was the afternoon’s entertainment at the Brewery; we of course partook in a drop or two of the red and enjoyed a very nice pizza. We met and chatted to some lovely people making it all in all a very enjoyable day indeed.

 
     
  Monday 9th May 2011  
 

Some washing and cleaning had to be done today as the last few days have been too busy for mundane tasks. In the afternoon we drove out to see another open garden, this one an English garden. No one was home but there was a notice scrawled on the back of a used envelope telling us to wander freely but please leave a donation for the Beekeepers of Australia. So wander we did and we left a donation but did we see anything resembling an English garden? Sadly, no we didn’t, so we left.

We continued into Bright to collect the mail, have a cup of tea and pick up some milk. Once home it wasn’t long before the bottle of red was opened and another warm and cosy evening was spent.

 
     
  Tuesday 10th May 2011  
 

We awoke to a freezing cold morning; poor Billy had a layer of frost on him. So what do we do on a cold frosty morning like this? We drive up Mount Buffalo where the air is a few degrees colder.

We were booked in for a tour of the Chalet. We had previously done this tour in January this year but loved it so much we decided we needed another helping. On the tour were quite a few people that had either worked or stayed at the Chalet in the good old days. One chap told me, as we past by the laundry, that was where he proposed to his first wife, amongst the guests dirty washing. Nice to see romance is not dead. He also told me the male staff were not allowed in the female quarters but the females could visit the men. There were lots of these little anecdotes which made the tour more interesting and at times quite amusing.

The inside of the Chalet is freezing so by the time we said goodbye to our guides we were like blocks of ice. We took the car down to the picnic area and ate our lunch in the warmth of the car before heading home to our cosy caravan.

 
     
  Wednesday 11th May 2011  
 

That is it the festival over for another year. Will we be here again for the next festival? Who knows. It was a relaxing sort of day with a trip into town to collect the mail.

 
     
  Thursday 12th May 2011  
 

Not a lot happening here in cold wet Porepunkah.

 
     
  Friday 13th May 2011  
 

Pretty much the same as yesterday.

 
     
  Saturday 14th May 2011  
  A very busy day today, washing cleaning and shopping. Clean skins (wine) at the supermarket were a bargain so we bought two cases. Much later we cracked open a bottle or two.  
     
  Sunday 15th May 2011  
 

We enjoyed an excellent afternoon at The Bright Brewery, such lovely people we meet.

 
     
  Monday 16th May 2011  
 

Another quiet day we went into town to collect some more mail; the second lot of paperwork from the builders as the last lot was wrong. Guess what? It is incorrect yet again. Ho hum. More emails and more phone calls, thank goodness we have two free hours on our phones.

 
     
  Tuesday 17th May 2011  
 

We took a drive out to the Deer & Emu Farm because I wanted to buy some Emu Oil. I have been using the oil for three weeks now and have found a big improvement in my joints. After a discussion with the lady in the shop I decided to try the capsules; she reckons if the oil worked for me these would be really good. Here's hoping because I would be very happy not to have the pain everyday. Pete Mate gave Billy a wash and did some other maintenance work on Bessie & Billy.

 
     
  Wednesday 18th May 2011  
 

The weather here in Porepunkah is decidedly cold and most days are miserable but today, our last day, the sun has come out to make us smile. We shopped, took the library books back, filled up with fuel and collected the mail.

Back home it was all systems go to pack everything away ready for the move tomorrow morning. Pete Mate did some ‘van washing. By nightfall we were pretty well organised so we did what all sane people do at this time and opened a bottle of the red stuff.

 
     
  Thursday 19th May 2011  
 

We said our goodbyes at Porepunkah and set off for NSW. We were going along nicely and crossed the border from Victoria to NSW. We then found we had made a wrong turning so travelled back to Victoria, found the right road and then crossed the border once more. Thank you Alice! It was a long day but we arrived safe and sound at Temora with just enough time to set up camp before Happy Hour.

We were pleasantly surprised by the standard of the caravan park. Everything is nice and well maintained and the amenities are very nice. Not the ‘basic’ I was expecting. It was warm enough to sit outside a while and watch the sunset; we also watched the airport activity which no doubt will captivate Pete Mate’s attention for the next couple of days.

 
     
  Friday 20th May 2011  
 

Spent a relaxing day sitting outside the caravan watching light aircraft land and take off. Pete Mate went for a wander around and visited the Museum. At sunset we were treated, not only to a beautiful sunset, but to David Lowy giving us a superb flying display in a Spitfire.

The caravan park has a nice relaxed atmosphere about it and we decided we would have liked to stay longer so we plan to come back again for another flying weekend.

 
     
  Saturday 21st May 2011  
 

Pete Mate was up and raring to go; amazing what an air display can do. He went over to the Museum from where the display was coordinated. I sat outside the caravan with my knitting and camera watching in comfort. It was an impressive display and I took the opportunity to use the zoom lens on my camera for the first time. I was pretty happy with the results.

 
     
   
  My first picture of a fast-moving subject and my first with a 200mm lens. What do you think?  
     
   
  The Mk 16 Spitfire flying over the three Harvards. The green one is a Wirraway made in Australia.  
     
 

Pete Mate returned after all the flying had finished . . . or so we thought. Officially it was over but these guys love their expensive toys and gave an impromptu display before calling it a day.

 
     
     
  Sunday 22nd May 2011  
 

Even though we were dragging our feet because we didn’t want to leave, we were on the road by 10.30am. Before we left we were treated to a display of free fall parachutists descending.

We enjoyed a good run through to Forbes, not an overly long trip but I suffered travel sickness which made me feel really awful. I haven’t had it for ages now as I sip green tea as we travel. Maybe this time it was the road surface, who knows.

We received a very warm welcome at the caravan park and soon discovered the owners were light aircraft pilots and even owned their own plane. We set up camp, had some lunch and then we relaxed.

 
     
  Monday 23rd May 2011  
 

Well last night was quite a night, weather wise. We endured a horrendous thunder storm, what a welcome to Forbes. Today dawned without thunder and lightning but it was a grey drizzly sort of day.

I cleaned out some cupboards in the morning whilst PM played computers. In the afternoon we drove into town and had a walk around. Some of the buildings are old and sadly some are derelict. We found all the people we spoke to lovely and friendly and the ladies in the information centre very helpful. I had been told that there were tunnels underneath the town so enquired as to where they were. Nothing was too much trouble for these ladies and they dug out some photos of the old hotel where the tunnels were underneath. The hotel burnt down and the tunnels were closed off. On the old site there is a park with some decent public toilets - I know, I have used them! The tunnels were used for transporting gold between two banks in the days of the gold rush. Looking at the photos of the tunnels I could see writing and drawings, maybe done in the 1800’s, who knows. It would have been interesting to see.

After we left there we picked up a couple of essential items, these being red and in bottles before heading home. Once home Pete Mate gave me my first lesson in Paint Shop Pro. I was pretty pleased with the results. All in all a pretty good day.

 
     
  Tuesday 24th May 2011  
 

Pete Mate was working on the caravan and I amused myself by doing some washing and cleaning.

 
     
  Wednesday 25th May 2011  
 

We went into town to do some shopping and to go back to the information centre. Apart from that not much happened.

 
     
   
  The Post Office in Forbes is quite an attractive building.  
     
  Thursday 26th May 2011  
 

Pete Mate was back up his ladder again today replacing the lights on the caravan. I was busy cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing.

 
     
  Friday 27th May 2011  
 

D Day, or should I say B & G day, has arrived. Our friends Greg and Bev arrived in plenty of time for us to do some touristy things.

After coffee we drove into town and visited the recommended car museum. It was an excellent museum and we received a conducted tour by the owner himself. We were allowed to sit in one of the cars and have our photos taken. Pete Mate was allowed to sit in a special car that had originally belonged to a drug baron. They even had an old fashioned caravan on display. The mannequins dotted about the place were dressed in the era of the car they were near; this really gave you more of an insight into times gone by.

 
     
   
  There were lots of beautiful old cars . . .  
     
   
  . . . a magnificent Chinese hearse.  
     
 

Once we had finished in the museum we walked across a hallway into a winery outlet. We tasted the wines and the sherry and port. After making a few purchases we then went into the adjoining coffee shop for a late lunch. We drove back into town to the shops and bank before heading home for a very long happy hour.

 
     
  Saturday 28th May 2011  
 

We enjoyed a great day out with Greg & Bev. We drove a good distance out into the middle of nowhere to look at an art display called 'Utes in The Paddock'. It was well worth the trip.

On the way we stopped at a graveyard to look at the graves of some famous people including Kate, sister of the famous Ned Kelly, and Ben Hall, an equally infamous outlaw around these parts. Ben's luck ran out at the tender age of twenty seven.

 
     
   
  R.I.P. bad boy Ben.  
     
 

At the Utes in the Paddock display we saw all these utes painted and decorated to look like something else. It was very impressive. We took lots of photos and had a walk up and down the fence line. No one was allowed in the paddock; we assumed the reason for this was to protect the artwork. A very friendly horse followed us wherever we went . . .

 
     
   
  Pete Mate tried to explain to the horse that, much as we liked her,
NOT between our cameras and the exhibits would be good.
 
     
 

We left there in need of refreshments which we found at the pub in a small town on the way to Parkes. The lunch was surprisingly good and very reasonably priced. Once we were replete we carried on our journey to Parkes to see the famous Dish.

A movie was made of the dish and its involvement in recording the first moon landing. The information centre next to the dish was really good and very informative. We watch three short 3D films wearing unflattering glasses. It was my first encounter with 3D technology and once I got used to it, I enjoyed it.

The day was now getting towards ‘that time’ so we headed home.

 
     
  Sunday 29th May 2011  
 

We had to say goodbye once again to Greg and Bev. We felt quite flat all day as we enjoyed their company very much. We cleaned and packed everything away ready for the move tomorrow.

 
     
  Monday 30th May 2011  
 

We left Forbes around 8.15am and as soon as we set off the rain started and it continued all day. The journey was long and tiring. We arrived in Tamworth around 4.30pm and, yes, it was still raining. We did the basic camp set up but by the time Pete Mate came into the ‘van he was looking like a drowned rat. Thank goodness for red wine.

 
     
  Tuesday 31st May 2011  
 

We finished setting up camp as today the sun is shining. It doesn’t feel as cold as Forbes and we did sit outside and have our coffee. Pete Mate was again doing some maintenance on the caravan whilst I worked inside.

We had a quick trip into town to pick up a few supplies and the mail.