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May you always walk in the sunshine, my friend.

     

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      Pam's Journal For August 2011

     
Please note: Google Chrome browsers treat some formatting differently to Internet Explorer. The most obvious example is on the navigation links at the bottom of Pam's Journal pages which are very hard to see prior to June 2011 after which it has been fixed.
     
  Monday August 1st 2011  
 

What a day! I think my karma was upset yet again. I did not scrub up well, even after a shower, so I went back to bed. I am allowed this luxury, being retired.

Once up for the second time I spattered soup everywhere and then spilt hot chocolate in places I will discover at a later date. Apart from that it was a lovely day! I must admit it did get a whole lot better around 5.00 post meridiem. Would that have anything to do with a glass or two of vino, maybe? Many thanks to Nev & Liz for the bottle, it is (was) a really nice drop.

 
     
  Tuesday August 2nd 2011  
 

We had a drive out to Coolum and the beaches beyond until we arrived in Noosa, then we turned around for home. Coolum was nice as were the other beaches. In fact, all along the Sunshine Coast there are some lovely spots. Noosa was a nice little town; maybe if we stayed there a while we would discover more about it.

On the way home we found a caravan parts shop - we needed some light fittings. The young lady in there was very knowledgeable and helpful.

 
     
  Wednesday 3rd August 2011  
 

I felt more like my old self today. I threw any remaining germs out of the ‘van and did some chores that needed doing. After lunch we went for a walk and then - as per usual - found our way to the Coffee Club before walking home again.

 
     
  Thursday 4th August 2011  
 

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday.

 
     
  Friday 5th August 2011  
 

We had a few errands to do today plus some food and wine shopping as we are unsure of what is available in Tin Can Bay. I read they have a Woolworths but Woolworth’s website does not know about it.

 
     
  Saturday 6th August 2011  
 

Everything was cleaned and packed away ready for the move tomorrow. We have enjoyed our stay in Maroochydore but are ready for a new place to explore.

 
     
  Sunday 7th August 2011  
 

We were well organised this morning and were actually ready to drive out of the caravan park at 9.30am. It then took me fifteen minutes to give the keys back and retrieve our deposit, so many people were coming and going.

We had a good journey through to Tin Can Bay; the promised rain never materialised. On arrival, while booking in, I was bombarded with maps and information about Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach.

We were able to set up camp and then sit outside for a while in the beautiful warm sunshine. The caravan park is nice, the sites very roomy and the staff really nice and friendly. As soon as the sun started to go down there was a chill in the air but it was still warm enough to cook outside.

 
     
  Monday 8th August 2011  
 

We had a slow start to the day for reasons beyond me. Anyway, eventually we headed out to have a look around. We had a quick look at Tin Can Bay before heading out to Rainbow Beach. On the drive there we saw acres and acres of burnt out forest. It seemed recent, we could still smell the burnt grass and eucalyptus.

We didn’t see the ‘rainbow’ as the tide was coming in and the walk along the beach was 30 minutes each way for normal people which would mean an hour for me each way. The "rainbow" is cliffs which are layered with different coloured sands. The legend tells the story of an Aboriginal woman who was friends with a rainbow. The woman was attacked by a very bad man with a large boomerang. She tried running away from him and cried out for help. The rainbow came to her rescue and destroyed the boomerang but was itself shattered into pieces, and the pieces formed the cliffs. So there you have it.

The town is a lovely little place and after walking around and taking some photos we had a nice lunch before doing some more sightseeing. We drove down a road just because we could, got to the end and found a free camp. It was a nice spot overlooking the beach but that was about it, so we drove all the way back. Eventually we decided to make tracks for home after spending a very pleasant day indeed. Again we were able to sit outside in the warmth and look at the sky which was a very pretty pink.

 
     
  Tuesday 9th August 2011  
  A day spent sitting in the sunshine, reading, knitting and doing a crossword. Pete Mate played computers and then joined me in the sunshine.  
     
  Wednesday 10th August 2011  
 

We enjoyed a drive into Gympie this afternoon. The countryside is very pretty so it was a very pleasant drive. Once in Gympie we drove around looking for places of interest; we saw some nice old buildings but not much else. We asked Alice to take us to ‘attractions’ but all she did was take us around in circles. We decided to find a coffee shop and then go and have a look at the Mary Valley Heritage Railway's steam train. The coffee shop was pleasant and, as they gave us a chocolate Freddo Frog with our drinks, we think they are pretty damn good.

We left there and arrived at the Gympie Old Station with only a minute to spare before the train was due back from its day out. We need not have rushed as it was a good fifteen minutes late. It was quite a sight to see this old engine with steam bellowing out of it, come around the corner. We took our photos and Pete Mate inspected every inch of the engine. Well . . . that's how it felt to me.

 
     
   
  How a sensible wife spends 'blue days'. Look how colour-coordinated my top is with this page.  
     
 

We then went to watch the refuelling of the engine. It all looked dusty and dirty so I watched from the car. We then decided to head for home.

Once back in Tin Can Bay we diverted to the Marina to check out a restaurant for Sunday lunch. We found it, enjoyed a glass of red as the sun went down, made our booking for Sunday and went home to continue happy hour. It was indeed another splendid day.

 
     
  Thursday 11th August 2011  
 

The weather was not that good today so I repeated Tuesday with one difference; it was inside not outside.

 
     
  Friday 12th August 2011  
 

The sunshine was back so I did a much needed wash. The laundry is quite a hike but now I have my basket on wheels it doesn’t matter.

In the afternoon we went to do the supermarket shop at the new Woolworths. It was just the same as the hundreds of other stores we have shopped in. It did, however, have some very good specials that were quickly snapped up for transportation to the Ransons' caravan. The young man at the checkout was having a bad day, he had a few ‘senior moments’ whilst serving us. As it is our habit to chat to these nice people. I asked if he was alright. His reply was that he needed a break. I said I would find the supervisor and say I was his mother and he needed a break. I then had another look at him, thought about myself and decided it would be more believable if I said grandmother! Anyway, the 'power of thought' must have kicked in as his supervisor arrived and told him to close his till and have a break.

Once home with the shopping and washing taken in and put away we sat outside with a glass of red.

 
     
  Saturday 13th August 2011  
 

Once more we had beautiful sunshine so I sat outside with a cup of tea and read my book. I cannot put this book down, it is such a good read. Called Black Cabs and set in London, the author is John McLaren. I, for one, will be looking for another of his books.

 
     
  Sunday 14th August 2011  
 

Today was a perfect day! I enjoyed the best birthday I have had this year.

Pete Mate was up and making coffee before me. Yes, I know it is amazing, isn’t it? He did offer to make breakfast too but I thought I would do that; enough said. I received lots of emails, phone calls, presents and cards. Was I spoilt? Yes, I was. But wait, there is more. We then went out for lunch to "Snappers on the Marina" which was superb; each course was delicious. Nicholas Paul paid for it all which was an added bonus.

 
     
   
  Left: I was tickled by the large spoon that ensured I didn't inadvertently pocket the toilet access card.
Right: Chief Chef and restaurant owner, Carol Robinson. It was fabulous, Carol.
 
     
 

When we thought we had eaten enough we wandered back to the ‘van where we drank Baileys as the sun went down.

Later I had some Skype calls with family which are always a joy. All in all, a 'perfick' day.

 
     
  Monday 15th August 2011  
  A lay day. Well, one has to rest after a day as eventful as yesterday.  
     
  Tuesday 16th August 2011  
 

We once again travelled into Gympie, this time to have Billy's wheels aligned. We had to leave him in the hands of Bridgestone whilst we wandered the streets of Gympie.

We found a mall in the centre where we browsed in different shops before heading to the coffee shop. The people were nice and friendly but Gympie, to us, has a sad air about it, some of the shops vacant. I cannot put my finger on it but I have to say it wouldn’t be one of my favourite places.

On the way back to the car we stumbled across a beautiful war memorial tucked away between two streets. Mosaics tell the stories of the different wars.

 
     
   
     
   
     
   
     
 

It was a really nice memorial and seemed somehow out of place amongst the busy streets with their shops.

Once back at the tyre depot we collected Billy and were just about to leave when Pete Mate started chatting to a chap. I was sure we knew him but it turned out we didn’t. Pete Mate was chatting because he had noticed the man’s W.A. number plate. We all had a good laugh, then on the way to our car we chatted to his wife who was sitting in their car. She reckoned she had seen us before so we went through the process of where have you been, and when. The only thing we came up with was we were all at the same Exmouth caravan park at the same time.

After we left there we found Gympie’s biggest shopping centre as we wanted to visit a couple of the stores, one being the liquor shop. Once our purchases were made we trundled home to happy hour.

 
     
  Wednesday 17th August 2011  
 

It was again a lovely sunny day so after doing some chores we went for a long walk beside the water. The path wound its way through an assortment of trees and shrubs, never losing sight of the water. The path was called . . .

 
     
   
 

Not Kate Kelly, the sister of notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly? Well, no.
Councillor Ned Kelly and his wife, Kate, were very active in the Tin Can Bay community from the mid 1970s.

 
     
 

We were amazed how many different birds we could hear though very often we could not see them as the foliage was quite prolific. Still, it was a delight to be there amongst them.

 
     
   
  In some places the ground was covered in tiny, blue flowers.  
     
 

Reaching the end of the path we crossed over to the main road that runs through Tin Can Bay. There we spied a coffee shop so what else to do but enjoy a sit down and a welcome drink. We returned along the roadside path as I wanted to check out where the RSL club was. On Saturday they have a 'farmers market' there. I also wanted to check out a little clothes shop as this morning I was admiring a lady’s top and she told where she bought it.

We found the shop and I did indeed buy one. What colour, you ask? Lilac of course. We then crossed back onto the path near the water and made our way home.

 
     
   
  From Kate Kelly's Walkway near the inlet.  
     
 

My hip, ankle and most of me were very glad to see Bessie and Billy.

Later we enjoyed a happy hour with our neighbours before it became too chilly to sit outside and we all retreated to our respective ‘vans.

 
     
  Thursday 18th August 2011  
 

Today we walked the path alongside the water in the opposite direction. It was a pleasant walk and not as long as yesterday. We - as we usually do - found a coffee shop at the end of the walk; funny that isn’t it?

The birds were again in abundance and on the way home we stopped many times to watch them. It was nice enough to sit outside and read when we returned home so that is what we did.

Later we drove over to the jetty where the dolphins come in for a feed in the mornings. We thought we might spy one or two but alas we didn’t. We then decided to go and have a drink at the Yacht Club but found it closed - we weren’t the only ones trying the doors! Nothing else left to do but visit the fish market and then go home for a glass of red.

 
     
  Friday 19th August 2011  
 

Today’s walk was the ‘wildflower walk’. We parked the car at the supermarket and walked to the path that was to take us through woodlands where we would see lots of wildflowers. We saw one or two and some more birds but not as many as we did on the other walks. We were a little too early for the wild flowers but it was a pleasant enough walk which ended at the Marina.

We wandered over to a coffee shop we'd previously visited before walking back to the car at the supermarket. We did a small shop as the supermarket was very expensive, then it was home again. Once everything was away and the dinner prepared we went to the Yacht Club for Happy Hour. We spent a very pleasant hour or so chatting to the locals before heading home for dinner.

 
     
  Saturday 20th August 2011  
 

We walked into town to the farmers' markets and they were good. I purchase a few items that were really cheap and the strawberries were delicious; tasted just like strawberries should.

Once home we had to clean and pack everything away as tomorrow we head off towards Emu Park; another lovely place. Once started it didn’t take too long to pack away everything, it is just the kick start we need. All the time we walked and worked our dinner was cooking in the slow cooker. Wonderful invention.

 
     
  Sunday 21st August 2011  
 

We left Tin Can Bay with a little sadness in our hearts as we really loved the place. The caravan park was lovely and the people so very friendly.

The chap who runs the park was convinced that I was taking in washing as he said I was always at the laundry. Funnily enough, he is not the first person to make that comment. Anyway you have to visit the laundry often, how else will you get the good magazines with the crosswords?

So we left and had a very pleasant journey through to our overnight stop at Granite Creek. We were not alone in this 'freebie' (a free rest area with toilets) but no one was socialising as the weather was cold and windy. An early night was the order of the day as we didn’t have any electricity and once the laptops went flat we read for a while before nodding off.

 
     
  Monday 22nd August 2011  
 

We were the last to leave the camp site, nothing unusual there. We had a good run through to Emu Park and arrived around lunchtime. We quickly found our site and began to set up camp when friend Rob strolled over. It was good to see him, and a surprise.

Once set up I walked into town for some milk, joined the library and reacquainted myself with the place. When Jim (the park manager) returned from his meeting he came over to greet us. The welcome as warm as ever. Later we went over for happy hour and Colleen and Rob joined us, it is always nice to meet up with old friends.

 
     
  Tuesday 23rd August 2011  
 

We drove out to Yeppoon to do some shopping. Yeppoon has grown somewhat since we were last here. There is a nice new shopping mall with a Coffee Club, so what to do but partake of a coffee or tea. We stocked up with a few essentials such as the red stuff and headed home.

Another pleasant time was spent at happy hour.

 
     
  Wednesday 24th August 2011  
 

Not a lot happened here today. I walked into town which is five minutes away. I went to the library again and to the shops then read, knitted and played computers. Before we knew it was happy hour once more.

 
     
  Thursday 25th August 2011.  
 

It was a busy day today doing the washing, cleaning and sitting drinking coffee with our neighbours. I also did some more knitting and reading. Pete Mate did some maintenance on the caravan and some cleaning.

A very pleasant happy hour was spent putting the world to rights. Why on earth do we bother with politicians when the participants of happy hour all over Australia have all the answers?

 
     
  Friday 26th August 2011  
 

Today it is raining and not very warm. I am told we will have the rain for a few days. It is needed as the countryside is very dry, but . . . it could have waited until we had moved on.

I again unpicked my knitting and re-did it then did some reading. Pete Mate played computers. In the evening we went to the Kinka Kippa for dinner. Colleen and Rob joined us and it was a very pleasant evening. Wayne entertained us with his singing and we even got up for a dance or two. It is not the same as it was a few years ago, which is a shame, but it was still an enjoyable evening.

 
     
  Saturday 27th August 2011  
 

We enjoyed a short walk along the beach and then up to the Singing Ship before walking down into the town. Big changes are afoot in sleepy Emu Park; a large shopping mall is being built and the bank has moved into a new building. We realised as we walked that the bank is now where we used to sit and drink coffee at the hotel. One thing that hasn’t changed are the people, they are just as friendly and chatty as ever, we just love it here.

Having said that, the Coffee Spot staff need a kick up the you know what, as they were not friendly or welcoming so we will be finding a new coffee shop.

Happy hour tonight was almost standing room only! It was a good crowd and very enjoyable, so much so time raced away and before we knew it, it was after seven.

 
     
   
 

Happy hour at the Bell Park Caravan Park. Can you spot Pete Mate or myself?
Yes, I'm there but PM took the picture.

 
     
 

Oops, I should have Skyped my sisters at six.

We said our goodbyes to Rob and Colleen as they'll head off early in the morning.

 
     
  Sunday 28th August 2011  
 

We had rain, buckets of it all day, and we had thunder. We were going to drive into Rockhampton to the Home, Caravan and Camping show but decided to stay dry in the caravan. We kept ourselves busy with our hobbies.

We missed Happy Hour tonight as I was on Skype with my sisters.

 
     
  Monday 29th August 2011  
 

The sun decided to shine again today so I did some washing. Line space was at a premium as everyone else had the same idea. I don’t know where the day goes; by the time I have done my chores, had a chat with this person then that one, it is nearly Happy Hour time.

 
     
  Tuesday 30th August 2011  
 

We went into Yeppoon to do some shopping. Firstly we had to visit the bank, which was fine. Alice found the bank without a problem. Then the fun started and I have to be honest and say it was not Alice’s fault. Yeppoon is in the throes of having drainage and road surfaces upgraded and so there are diversions. We went around and around and around yet again, on the last circuit Pete Mate said, “If we don’t find the shopping mall this time we are driving to Rocky”. Rockhampton is a 41.5 kilometre drive; however we did not have to go as we found the place. We did the shopping, had a coffee and then returned home without incident.

By the time everything was packed away it was time for Happy Hour. There was much hilarity tonight as many people were leaving in the morning. The local radio host, Tiger, said goodbye to some people and hello to us. Then he played Red, Red Wine by Neil Diamond for me. Some people might get the impression that I drink a fair amount of that nectar.

 
     
  Wednesday 31st August 2011  
 

The weather is glorious again so I did some more washing. We walked into town to the library and to buy a couple of things. The butcher here in Emu Park has the best meat, plus I like the bakery as well.