Bob and Pooh Say:

Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles;
it takes away today's peace.

Pam's Journal For December 2011

  Thursday 1st December 2011  

The weather has improved and the glider pilots are going to continue with their competition. Pete Mate’s offer to be ground crew has been accepted and he is now on standby.

I went for a walk and discovered a little park in memory of a local 'odd bod' plus two large display boards explaining the history of Temora during the Second World War. Apparently there was quite a number of Tiger Moths stationed here.

Happy Hour was a solitary affair as Pete Mate couldn’t drink until his pilots were safely on the ground. PM, looking through the binoculars, saw that the pilot he had been waiting for had landed so had a glass of red and dinner. We had just about finished dinner when the pilot came over to tell PM he was home. A tad late I might say.

  Friday 2nd December 2011  

Another good day for flying so again Pete Mate was on standby. Once the flying day was over Pete Mate and I went out to dinner. To say it was the worse dinner we have ever had would not be quite true but it wasn’t far off it. We went to the Services Club which we will never see the inside of again if I can help it. The restaurant was like eating in a cafeteria and we were very close to a large party of people that included children who didn’t seem to sit and eat but wandered about shouting. It was quite mind boggling to see how much some people eat, as it was a buffet you could have as many helpings as you liked. I swear I saw one chap eat five large dinners and then two desserts.

After we had finished our food we took the bottle of wine and found a quiet spot in the lounge. Having a look around us we soon realised we were the youngest people in the place. That was okay, at least they weren’t wandering around and shouting. The raffles were then drawn, this went on for about half an hour. We didn’t win anything mainly due to the fact we didn’t have a ticket.

Whilst this was in progress a chap came around offering free sandwiches to everyone. If we had known we would have skipped the buffet. The entertainment was a group who professed to sing anything from Elvis to AC/DC. They may have known the words but sing they could not. They murdered about four songs before we decided we'd had enough and left before our ears died completely. The stage was in complete darkness all the time the group were singing, Pete Mate reckons it was so we couldn’t see to shoot them.

  Saturday 3rd December 2011  

We decided to watch the flying from the comfort of our chairs outside the caravan. That was the plan but as with all good plans they can change. An unexpected knock on the door was the beginning. A gliding buddy of Pete Mate’s from the West was standing there. Don now lives in Canberra and came to Temora to do some gliding. It was lovely to see him again and, over coffee, Pete Mate and he caught up with what had been happening in their lives after WA. As Don didn’t have any ground crew, Pete Mate quickly offered to do it for him. I think PM is a glider pilot’s lucky mascot because so far he has not had to go and retrieve anyone.

Then Pete Mate was invited to watch the flying with the other glider pilots as they weren’t allowed to take off until the museum had finished their short display. I was quite happy to sit outside the ‘van with a book and the loo in close proximity. Whatever I ate last night was having disastrous effects on my gastric system.

By early evening the gliders had returned and PM helped Don out de-rigging his glider before saying goodbye.

  Sunday 4th December 2011  

I still felt a washout so didn’t do much. I am enjoying my book, The Summons, by John Grisham, so it was no hardship putting up my feet and ignoring the chores that needed doing.

  Monday 5th December 2011  

It wasn’t until today that we realised yesterday was our seventh anniversary of being nomads. We have had a wonderful time and look forward to another seven years of travelling.

We packed away everything ready for the move tomorrow then did some shopping. I sent off the last of the Christmas cards and some parcels. We enjoyed a nice lunch at a café on the main street, filled the car with diesel and then it was home to finish off the preparations for tomorrow. We had happy hour sitting watching the sun go down.

  Tuesday 6th December 2011  

We left Temora around 9.00am and made our way to Bathurst. We had a couple of stops on the way but still made good time and arrived just after lunch. The welcome was friendly and the park looked nice. We set up camp, met our neighbours and then generally relaxed for the rest of the day until happy hour. By this time the weather had turned very cold and happy hour was spent indoors with the heater on.

  Wednesday 7th December 2011  

It was freezing when we woke up so the heater was yet again turned on. I pulled out my winter dressing gown once more and lamented on how late our summer is this year. In a couple of weeks, when we are in Tamworth and it is stinking hot, I will be wishing for this cooler clime.

We drove into the centre of Bathurst to do some shopping and to visit the Information Centre. Next week we will do some tourist drives and probably a museum or two. We enjoyed a pleasant happy hour sitting outside as the temperature was a little warmer.

  Thursday 8th December 2011  

It poured with rain all day, plus it was cold. We stayed inside with the heater on; I read and Pete Mate played computers. I did have to do some washing as we are off to Sydney tomorrow but had to dry it all inside the ‘van. Not the most pleasant of atmospheres.

  Friday 9th December 2011  

The rain has stopped and the sun is shining. We are very happy about this as we had to transfer everything from the car into the ‘van and then transfer what we were taking with us to Sydney into the car. Once that was all done we organised ourselves and left for Sydney about 1.30pm. it was quite a good drive through and I think we only took one wrong turning. We arrived around 4.30pm to a warm welcome from Greg and Bev. No sooner had we settled in when the bottle of red was opened, Pete Mate is a very bad influence on us all. Poor Bev couldn’t join us as she had attend the school formal; never mind we drank enough for her and probably all the other teachers that had to attend.

  Saturday 10th December 2011  

We awoke to sunshine, albeit a weak sunshine, but at least it wasn’t raining.

After breakfast we were taken to a very large shopping centre where lots of buying was accomplished. I was very happy as I bought three tops from Noni B in the sales. (Overseas people, Noni B is a really nice clothes shop. It can be expensive so I only buy at sales time). We had morning coffees and continued to shop then we stopped for lunch and then continued to shop.

Once home, Pete Mate and I had a nanny nap, we cannot take this city pace. Then it was time for Happy Hour followed by a lovely dinner and a movie. We watched Red Dog on G & B’s big TV, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bev and I then left the boys to it and went to bed. This is the usual way of things when we are all together.

  Sunday 11th December 2011  

The sun is shining and it is Mr Greg’s birthday. After breakfast G & B had to pop around to the local shops for one or two things so I jumped at the chance of seeing more shops. I know sooner or later I will be without shops again but that’s okay because I appreciate them all the more when I get an opportunity.

Around midday Greg’s son and daughter, Brent and Tahni, arrived and then we all went out to lunch to celebrate Greg’s birthday. It was a lovely time; good food, good wine and good company. Then Bev spied the dark and dismal clouds and decided a fast retreat home to rescue the washing was in order. I went with her and we made it just in time.

We then all relaxed doing various things before Brent and Tahni had to leave. It was lovely to see them again as they are really nice young people. We then watched some TV. Well, . . . Greg’s birthday DVD’s to be precise. How wonderful for me that he was given a set of Dr Who DVD’s. Greg and I had a good time, not too sure about Bev and Pete Mate. We enjoyed a scrumptious antipasto type tea along with lots of wine. Then we decided to say goodnight as Bev and Greg had to be up early in the morning for work.

Once in our beds we four, and the rest of the neighbourhood, were subjected to the sound of the most inconsiderate neighbours you are to meet. Their party started in the afternoon and continued until the early hours of the morning. We were all still awake at 2.00am and were really very grumpy. Sometime later they went quiet but by then we were all in the state of non-sleep so only dozed.

  Monday 12th December 2011  

We said our goodbyes to a very tired Greg and Bev, poor devils had a full day of work at least we were only enjoying ourselves. We got ourselves ready and left their house around 9ish.

We were travelling along beautifully and Alice told us we would arrive around 10ish. Then we hit snag number 1. The police were blocking the road and turning everyone back. We were at a loss what to do, not knowing our way around. So we followed the car ahead. Snag number 2, we followed the wrong car! Eventually we turned around and took another road, the traffic was dense and the rain never let up. What a journey!

We arrived at Rosalie’s very late which meant we only had a short time to spend with her and the two children. Short it might have been but it was quality time and we enjoyed it, Rosalie and Kent have two delightful, well behaved children.

We left Rosalie in time to get to Amy’s apartment for 12ish but we did not allow for snags number 3 and 4. Number 3 was we got lost and number 4 was the traffic; Sydney traffic is mental. We experienced a lot of horn blowing and we believe it was all intended for us. Once outside Amy’s place Pete Mate stayed with the car as we couldn’t find any parking. I dashed in, found Amy and had a quick look around. The place is very nice, she shares with a chap and two other girls.

We then went to the Opera House for lunch where we eventually parked the car and enjoyed a really nice few hours. Lunch was lovely and Amy’s treat. We met some of Amy’s friends and had a good look around. We didn’t go right inside as that was only for people on the official tours. In retrospect, we should have booked a tour. Also Amy found out later that she could have used her staff pass and taken us on a tour. Not to worry, we had a really good time. We dropped off Amy and then headed out of Sydney.

We hadn’t gone very far when Alice told us there had been an accident on the motorway we intended to travel on. Out came the old fashioned paper maps and we eventually we were heading in the direction of home. We arrived around 8.30pm then we had to take everything out of the caravan that came from the car and vice versa. We were really tired and did not much more than have a glass of red.

  Tuesday 13th December 2011  

Apart from some washing I did very little today as we were pretty tired after yesterday.

  Wednesday 14th December 2011  

We went into town to do some shopping in the afternoon and that was about all we did today.

  Thursday 15th December 2011  

We enjoyed a lovely day out and about in Bathurst; firstly we went in search of Ben Chifley’s house. It was closed to the public but we had a good look around and read all the information provided.

  The railway cottage that was once occupied by Ben Chifley, train driver and later Prime Minister.  

We then did a lap of the Mount Panorama Circuit, very slowly as, believe it or not, we are not racing car drivers and some of those bends were a little hairy. We took photos from the lookout at the top and I had an ‘interesting’ conversation with a young Irish chap. He had set his small camera to video and was trying to film himself skateboarding.

Once off the mountain we called in to see the Motor Museum which, as you can guess, was full of cars and bikes and other blue stuff. Pete Mate spent a considerable amount of time looking around whilst I had a quick look and took myself off to chat to the lady in the shop. I found out lots of information which Pete Mate pinched for his page.

We left there in need of a very late lunch. Driving into town I spotted a coffee shop; well I thought it was one but on closer inspection we found it to be an ice cream parlour. Looking around I spied Jack Duggan’s Irish Pub recommended to us by James the Irish chef in Temora. We only wanted a light lunch as I had dinner organised at home. We enjoyed a scrumptious bowl of homemade soup and yes, I did drink tea not wine. Pete Mate, however, made up for it with his Guinness.

It was now time to see what the city of Bathurst had to offer the tourists. Were we disappointed? No we were not. Bathurst has some beautiful buildings and a lot of history. We wandered into what we thought was a Catholic cathedral but turned out to be the All Saints' Anglican Cathedral. No wonder I couldn’t find the candles to light one for a sick baby. It was a magnificent building with beautiful stained glass windows and art work. Our visit was made even more enjoyable as the organist was practising; sitting in a church that already had a peaceful calming atmosphere listening to the lovely music was indeed something special.

  All Saints' Anglican Cathedral, Bathurst.  

Pete Mate was taken with the organ and spent sometime watching the chap play and chatting to him. We then wandered through the park looking at memorials and buildings taking lots of photos that never do these places justice.

  The old courthouse is now a museum.  

The last port of call on the day’s itinerary was the Japanese Gardens. These gardens were developed by Japanese gardeners sent over by Bathurst’s sister city, Ohkuma, in Japan. We drove up and down the road a few times in search of these splendid gardens before discovering a little patch of developed land. It was indeed a garden, a very small garden. So that was our day in Bathurst, a tiring but enjoyable day.

  Friday 16th December 2011  
  Today’s jaunt was to visit Chifley’s dam, named after . . . yes, good old Ben. It was a nice drive through some lovely countryside that was dotted with yellow and pink wildflowers. The dam was . . . well, a dam, pretty, useful and quiet. We took some photos, Pete Mate walked across the wall of the dam and then we came home.  
  Saturday 17th December 2011  

Today was not the best day I have ever had but in the bigger scheme of things it wasn’t that bad really. We drove out to a museum just past Sofala. It was a very pleasant drive but along the way Pete Mate tried to transfer the fuel from the reserve tank to the main. It didn’t work.

We arrived at the museum and were a little put off by the overgrown state of the place, it looked deserted. A lady arrived on a four wheel motor bike thingy and said yes, they were open. "Good", was my reply, "Can I use the loo?"

Pete Mate was not sure we should be paying $8 each to wander about some old sheds but, as I had used the facilities, I felt obliged. It transpired that Pete Mate had a wonderful time with the tour of this place that was full of engines and such like. The lady was very knowledgeable and soon realised Pete Mate was on the same wavelength. I, sadly, was not and became very bored so left them to it and went off to do a crossword.

Eventually PM returned to the car with the lady and her husband in tow; they were going to give us some fuel to help prime the pump in our fuel tank. It didn’t work so they gave us some more. We then felt we should pay them for it and we did. It was enough fuel to get us to the nearest town some distance away where we discovered the fuel would not transfer because the reserve tank was empty. Oops! We were both convinced we had not used the fuel from the reserve tank (which has no gauge).

By now it was well after lunchtime and we were hungry. We found a little takeaway place and ordered two ham, cheese and pineapple toasted sandwiches. They took forever but eventually they were done. The girl then discovered she had put tomato on the sandwiches by mistake. I said never mind, we will take them as they are, not realising that she had forgotten to include any ham in the mix. As I said, not the best of days.

We then drove back to the town of Sofala which was a pretty little place with some nice old buildings but a lot in need of some TLC. We finished the day with a drink in the little old pub. Pete Mate chatted away to the barmaid until I sat down, then it went very quiet. Mmmmm.

  Sunday 18th December 2011  

Get ready day as tomorrow we move again. This time we are off to Tamworth for a few weeks. We will stay there until after the festival. We had to nip into town for a couple of things but mainly to fill up with fuel. Once everything was done we relaxed, me with a book and Pete Mate on the computer.

  Monday 19th December 2011

We awoke to the sound of torrential rain. We waited for it to ease a little then got ourselves ready; we managed to leave a little after 8.30am which is pretty good for us. We had two or three breaks along the way as the journey seemed endless. In the afternoon Alice took us down an unsealed road. At first I thought it was a normal road and it was having some work done on it. Slowly it dawned on me this was the road we attempted to drive on two years ago from the other end. This is when I called in the help of our Guardian Angels as I remembered we had to cross a couple of water dips.

We pulled over and consulted the maps and decided it was a shorter distance to continue than to turn back. Thankfully the water dips were dry and apart from a few corrugations we were fine.

When we arrived in Tamworth it was raining so we did the minimum setting up. Everything in the caravan had had a bit of a walkabout. Clothes had to be rehung and all cupboards checked, even my mattress was on its way to the floor. Once this was all sorted we retired with a glass of red and promptly fell asleep in front of the television.

  Tuesday 20th December 2011  

The sun was shining and it is lovely and warm. I finished setting up camp and then sat outside with my book and a cup of tea. Bliss.

  Wednesday 21st December 2011  

It was lovely and warm again today. I did some washing and cleaning, caught up with a few old friends in the park and then went shopping. Shopping was a bit of a nightmare as the place was crowded. On a good note I drove the car and managed to park it without too much hassle. I felt quite good as I haven’t done any driving in months. Once home my nose was back in my book and Pete Mate even read instead of playing computers.

  Thursday 22nd December 2011  

I felt a little ordinary today so did not do anything I had planned to do. Instead I read and slept a lot.

  Friday 23rd December 2011  

How anyone can lose something in a caravan is beyond me, but we do. This time it was the potato masher; one minute it was there, the next it was gone. I cleaned everywhere today and as I went I searched. I looked in places no sane masher would go and looked in obvious places like the fridge.

In the afternoon we went into town to do some last minute shopping and to buy a new masher. Town was crowded, where did all these people come from? Queues everywhere and not a shopping trolley available. Not happy. We did, however, bump into friends Wendy, Rosalyn & Rex; nothing beats a hug or two in the middle of Coles. Later walked up to the Oasis for tea which turned into a full evening where we consumed copious amounts of red wine. So what ‘s new? Kevin Harris provided the music and we won the meat tray in the raffle and had damn good time.

  Saturday 24th December 2011  

Why, oh why did I drink so much? I have a millions things to do and feel like c##p. After a fair amount of coffee followed by equal amounts of green tea and some headache tablets I rallied and spent a lot of time cooking and preparing for tomorrow.

I had to leave the caravan for a few minutes and when I got back the potato masher was sitting primly on the drainer. Pete Mate had realised that there must be a space behind the drawer where it lives, investigated, and there it was. Mystery solved.

I have decided peeling prawns is the most tedious job I know. Anyway everything was done and when I looked in the fridge and saw the quantity of food there I did a quick head count as I thought the army must have arrived. We enjoyed a very creamy, rich garlic prawns which was yummy but a bit over the top for us. Note to self: Revise recipe.

  Sunday 25th December 2011  

What an absolutely splendid day we had. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then put our feet up and relaxed with a drink or two or three. We then enjoyed a late lunch of way too much food with a glass or two of wine. We exchanged presents which we already knew about so no surprises there. We made and received lots of calls and messages and then much later I spent a very pleasant hour talking on Skype to my sister. It was a nice and relaxing day with good food, wine and company. Oh yes to round the day off we ate mince pies and drank Baileys.

  Monday 26th December 2011  

Pretty much the same as yesterday except we didn’t eat and drink as much.

  Tuesday 27th December 2011  

Enough of this lounging around eating and drinking. We did a few chores today, including the washing, and Pete Mate washed some of the caravan. I must have walked off one crumb of a mince pie as the laundry is a good distance away and is all uphill. The weather is perfect for sitting outside so in the afternoon we took our books and did exactly that.

  Wednesday 28th December 2011  

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday.

  Thursday 29th December 2011  

The morning was spent doing some chores, well most of the morning; not my fault if the book is so good I keep reading!

In the afternoon we went shopping. First place we called in at was Telstra to check out the new 4G modem. They had one and we were so impressed so we brought it home. We can now be online at the same time and I might even get the IPod working that my sister, Sandie, gave me. Whilst in Telstra we saw friend Ben which was nice. Once the more mundane shopping was done we returned to the caravan, I to my book and Pete Mate to play with the new toy.

  Friday 30th December 2011  

I was up early; nothing unusual in that but today I went for a short walk instead of sitting at the computer. The caravan park is full of dogs of all shaped and sizes, some ugly, some even uglier and a few revolting. The day was spent as most of our days are, doing a few chores, reading and generally being lazy beggars.

In the evening we went to The Pub for dinner and to see Marie Hodson, one of our favourite singers. Dinner was lovely so was the wine. Marie is always lovely and she gave us a warm welcome. I happened to mention it was Pete Mate’s birthday on Sunday so she sang Happy Birthday to him; how neat was that? Not neat at all, apparently. According to Pete Mate it was embarrassing, especially when I told everyone how old he was. Hey, Pete Mate, get over it; life is meant for celebrating not hiding behind a number. I still cannot work out the difference between Marie welcoming us back to Tamworth with a song and everyone clapping and her singing Happy Birthday and everyone clapping. Must be a boy thing.

By the way, if ever you are in Tamworth and want to go to The Pub they have a really good courtesy bus so you can have a drink or two without any dramas.

  Saturday 31st December 2011  

Woe is me, those extra drinks did me no good. Never mind, the day is mine to do with as much or as little as I choose.

Pete Mate has forgiven me for last night so life is back on an even keel. We were all set for a very quiet evening when we received a phone call from friends Tarranne and Neil who wanted to join us for Happy Hour and dinner. We enjoyed a lovely evening with them starting with a nice long Happy Hour and then we walked up to the Oasis for dinner. The meal was nice enough, the wine good and the company excellent. There were plenty of jolly people in the pub and live country music was blasting out. An excellent evening was rounded off by Neil & Tarranne winning a meat tray.

We didn’t stay for midnight as T & N had to drive home and wanted to be on their way before the madness started.

End 2011.