Hi, I'm Pam. This is my take on our doings during January 2012

But first, this month's saying:-

In need of a support group? - Cocktail hour with the girls!

Sunday, January 1st

Well, 2012 has finally arrived but, more importantly, Pete Mate’s 70th birthday. We enjoyed a splendid day with lots of messages, phone calls and some cards. Lunch was at the Golf Club and we were joined by friend Roslyn. (One of P.M.’s girlfriends). It was a lovely lunch in a beautiful setting. Pete Mate said at the end of the day he had had a really lovely day. Perfect.

pm & ros

Roslyn and Pete Mate on his 70th birthday.

Monday, January 2nd

It being a public holiday here in Australia, we took the day off and did b----r all.

Tuesday, January 3rd

We had quite a few things to do in and around town today but, true to form, we did not leave the caravan until after 2.00pm. We called in at The Services Club to buy tickets for the festival and the girl spent ages trying to find out who was performing on Friday. She finally found out that no one knew. Right!

From there we went to Bunning’s; boy was it hot in there. Unbelievably hot and stuffy. We managed to purchase everything we wanted except 'Oomph' which is a really good cleaner for the outside of the caravan. It takes away the tar spots and all sorts of muck.

We wanted to join the West clubs before the masses arrive so that was our next port of call. We had left Alice at home but felt we knew the way. We should, we have been there often enough. We had a bit of a drive around, getting to know Tamworth once again. No, we were not lost, we just fancied a drive. We found West's, signed up for the festival membership, and tried to repair their phones. Well, actually we made helpful suggestions of what to do with a ringing phone that could not connect to the outside world. We thought we were being helpful but I guess the receptionists were hoping we would leave very soon. We took ourselves off to the bar for a cool drink; we needed it after Bunning’s.

It was getting on for 4.30pm now so we decided we would finish off the 'To Do' list tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 4th

I went for an early morning walk, just a short one but at least it was some much needed exercise. It seems 'dog city' has moved out so the walk was very peaceful.

Once home I took my coffee and stood watching the river in the hope I might see the resident platypus. Alas I wasn’t lucky enough but it was rather interesting watching a couple put away one these Expanda caravans that fold down to next to nothing. Pete Mate always says the best time of day is when we lock the rest of the world out and we two settle down for the night with our glasses of red. I agree with him but on the other hand you cannot beat the early morning when the only sound you can hear are the birds, not the confounded lawn mower.

Pete Mate was still snoring so I did the ironing, checked my emails and then announced breakfast was to be served. PM surfaced and our day together began. We went into town to finish our To Do list. I dropped off for repair another piece of jewellery that I somehow broke. Pete Mate asked them, "Do you give quantity discount?" The young girl didn’t understand his humour.

We then revisited Telstra to tell them we were mislead as we thought we were getting 4G. Apparently there isn’t a 4G version of the device we have so it was a sort of misunderstanding all round. We bumped into friend Neil in Telstra and had a long chat with him. His year had not started too well.

Once we said our goodbyes Pete Mate and I wanted a cool drink so we went into a coffee shop only to be told they were closed. So what can one do but to visit the pub? We had a couple of nice cool drinks before heading towards Cole's. It was busy but even so the staff were friendly and helpful. Once home it was time for Happy Hour.

Thursday, January 5th

I awoke late with a chronic pain in my back. It hurt to walk, sit or stand. I put a hot-pack on it and rubbed Emu oil into it. Thank you very much to whoever invented Nurofen, once they kicked in I was ready to function though I didn’t do much really; just kept a hot-pack on my back for most of the day.

Late afternoon we sat outside with our wines and it was so nice and pleasant we were reluctant to come inside for dinner until a storm blew up bringing wind and torrential rain. That made up our minds for us.

Friday, January 6th

I went for a short walk early before the heat of the day had a chance to get a hold. This is becoming a habit, methinks. Once again I checked out the river but Mr Platypus was not in sight.

A few chores were done including Pete Mate giving Billy a wash. I made some soup and whilst putting it through the blender decided to knock it all over the caravan floor, cupboards and any nook or cranny willing to accept it. To say I wasn’t happy is an understatement but Pete Mate, being the gentleman he is, helped me clean it up.

Later, much later, we walked up to the Oasis for dinner. It was very quiet as the country music wasn’t on, we were a day early for that. The meal we had was the worse meal we have ever had in Tamworth; it was disgusting. The Oasis has just been crossed off our list of places to eat unless, of course, the chef changes.

Saturday, January 7th

What a splendid day! We lunched with Roslyn, Rex, Tarranne and Neil out at Roslyn’s place. It was a beautiful warm day, maybe a little too hot but it didn’t worry us. We enjoyed a lovely barbecue with salads and then the most scrumptious fresh fruit. Along with a little wine and good company life was good. We left there about 4.00ish as Pete Mate had a date with a woman.

In the caravan park was a young woman travelling on her own and needing some help to put her awning away and hook up as she is leaving in the morning. So whilst Pete Mate did his Good Samaritan bit I sat outside with a book and a wine. When all the chores were finished I went over and we enjoyed a very pleasant Happy Hour. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Sunday, January 8th

I went for a walk again today and, as before, I searched the river looking for the elusive platypus. I was so thrilled because I saw one, it truly made my day.

The rest of day was spent doing what we seem to do best, relaxing and not doing much in particular. Later a great storm blew in and gave us a display of thunder and lightning plus lashings of rain.

Monday, January 9th

The morning dawned to a very dull, humid day. Not to be outdone, Pete Mate, on the rare occasion he was up early, saw ‘my’ platypus.

It was cool enough to sit outside for a while and read. By lunchtime it was really hot again so we spent the afternoon inside in the air conditioning. Late afternoon Pete Mate had to test something on the car, a blue job. I was the T/A (trade assistant) and I have to say I am really good at it as I just do as I am told. Once that was done we spent a little time watching the great DVD’s Pete Mate bought me for Christmas, The Vicar of Dibley Ultimate Collection.

Tuesday, January 10th

In all the time we have been coming to this park we have never seen a platypus, then three days running we have seen one. Pete Mate once, and me twice. How neat is that?

Apart from doing the washing I did very little.

Wednesday, January 11th

We went into town to do some shopping; that was about it for today.

Thursday, January 12th

A few chores had to be done but then it was noses into books for both of us.

Friday, January 13th

I awoke this morning to the sound of someone in the kitchen. I opened one eye to see if aliens had landed and got the shock of my life. Pete Mate was not only up long before his usual time but he was making coffee, which he served me in bed. Just when you think you know the man he goes and surprises you. Lovely.

We had one or two things we needed from the shops, one being a new toaster as our old one has slowly died.

In the evening we went to West Leagues club to meet some friends for dinner and then enjoy the music. It was a really good night, the dinner was lovely, the company great and "Those Gals" were as good as ever. They sang Happy Birthday to Pete Mate even though it was a bit late. He blamed me for tipping them off but it wasn’t anything to do with me. We stayed until the end and it will be the last night I drink diet coke all night. I felt so ill you would have thought I had had an overdose of the red stuff.

Saturday, January 14th

Justice was not alive and kicking in our home today. I felt really ill and Pete Mate was as bright as a button. Last night he drank copious amounts of beer and I stuck to the diet coke as I was driving. As I normally have very little caffeine on a daily basis, I think my body suffered a caffeine overdose.

Sunday, January 15th

I woke up this morning feeling fine. We managed to get ourselves ready and out the door by 11.45am. Considering we intended to leave at 11.00am I guess we were late. It didn’t really matter as the show was an all-day affair to raise funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. I might add that this helicopter is only funded by donations; if a politician needed one they might get some government funding.

Leonie & Alan joined us and we had a really lovely day, drinking, eating, chatting and listening to the music.

Monday, January 16th

Had a major clean up day today, everything got a clean plus I did some washing. The caravan park is beginning to fill up; soon we will have neighbours.

Tuesday, January 17th

We went to Diggers in the afternoon to listen to Those Gals. We were surprised to see the place so full and the Festival hasn’t started yet. Those Gals were as good as ever and we bought their new CD. Later we were joined by Gail, Ros and Ben for dinner. It was a lovely evening, everything was perfect, the food the wine and the company.

Wednesday, January 18th

Did some chores and then went shopping. I bought two pairs of shoes, both pairs were on the 'sale table' so I reckon I got a bargain.

We had lunch and then did the supermarket shopping; the whole place is heaving with people. The Coffee Shop lady said it is the busiest Festival ever. Once home and the shopping put away I relaxed with a hot pack on my back because somehow I have managed to hurt it.

Thursday, January 19th

I did one or two things and the washing before putting my feet up again with a hot pack on my back. I wish I knew what I'd done to hurt it.

Friday, January 20th

What a terrible night! The pain in my back is much worse and it kept me awake most of the night.

In the morning we went into town to meet up with Michelle Little, we have our ‘stalking’ reputation to keep up. It was lovely to see Michelle again.

Afterwards we walked down Peel Street and listened to the many buskers playing. Some were really good, others not so. We waited for Marie Hodson to perform on one of the many mobile stages Tamworth has during the festival. Marie, of course, was good. She has a great voice but she had to battle it out with the buskers surrounding her. From there we walked over to Diggers to listen to Melody Pool and have some lunch. Then it was off to The Tudor to listen to Donella for a couple of hours.

It was a really good day; I was tired and in need of a lie down so we skipped the concert in the park and went home. It is quite amazing what one can do when full of pain killers.

Saturday, January 21st

We were once more back at Diggers, this time for the show Michelle Little Sings Pasty Cline. It was a fantastic show; we enjoyed it so much and didn't want it to end.

After the show we decided to get some lunch. The queue at Diggers was a mile long so we wandered over to one of the malls and found a relatively empty coffee shop. It was handy as I wanted to listen to the artiste performing on the stage in the mall. We ate our sandwiches in comfort and Pixie Jenkins came on the stage and I could hear him quite well enough. Then this rude man came in and sat down with some other people. He didn’t order a drink or anything and he closed the door because he wanted to chat. I was as mad as a cut snake and had to go out and stand with the crowd to listen to Pixie; he is a great fiddle player and a very funny man.

Pixie Jenkins

A lady standing near me told me she was a reincarnation of Pixie. I pointed out the obvious; he was very much alive and standing in front of us. She then insisted they were a reincarnation of each other. I again mentioned the fact that they were both very much alive so maybe they were reincarnations of someone else. She said years ago she was told she would meet a man and they would have a great friendship. I asked her if she meant it was their destiny to meet? She agreed, that is what she meant. She asked me if I thought she was strange, bless her. No, I replied, everyone is entitled to think what they want. She then left but not before she told me she has never had sex with Pixie. We left shortly after as my back needed a rest.

Much later we wandered up to The Oasis to listen to Those Gals. They are always good and we enjoyed ourselves, me more so than Pete Mate. Maybe wine and pain killers don’t mix because I was a little squiffy, but without pain.

Sunday 22nd January 2012.

We went into town to see Michelle Little perform on the Telstra stage where we were joined by friend Robert. I am not sure whether Michelle’s style was his cup of tea. After her performance Robert dashed off as he had to be elsewhere and Michelle, Pete Mate and I went in search of coffees. We found a nice quite café where we escaped the music and had a good chat. Afterwards Pete Mate and I went home. I had to have a lie down as I had a raging chocolate migraine, my own fault for eating the damn lovely stuff.

Monday 23rd January 2012.

I caught up with some chores and did some washing. In the evening we went to the concert, Friends of the Opry. It was a great show and we enjoyed it even though it was more American than Australian. It was the first time a show like this had been done here and next year I believe it will be The Australian Opry with more of an Australian theme. That is good as there are some great Aussie country songs out there. All the performers were good and Canadian, Redd Volkaert, was an amazing guitarist and a good singer. All round it was a good night.

Tuesday 24th January 2012.

We went out to the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre (TREC) to see Michelle once more; we take our stalking duties seriously. We were amazed how quiet TREC was. Usually during the festival it is packed but since Toyota are no longer one of the major sponsors and are not giving so much away for free, the place was deserted. It was good for us as we could park wherever we wanted and after Michelle’s performance we were able to get some lunch with ease. For the performers though it must be a little disheartening as they don’t get paid at this venue and make their money with CD sales.

We then had to rush over to The Services Club to see Donella perform with two other people in the show, Strictly Nashville. We arrived on the dot of 2.00pm and the show had already started and we couldn’t find a seat anywhere. A chap very kindly gave me his seat and he stood with Pete Mate at the back of the room.

I was as mad as anything as we had paid to see this show and expected to have seats. When the artists changed I nipped up the back and was going to go and complain to management only to find this kind gentleman and Pete Mate on comfy bar stool type chairs and had the best seats in the house! Later, at the interval, a few people left so I sat with PM on the comfy seats with a perfect view over the audience's heads. I am not sure why people left early as the show was really good.

After the show we caught up with friends and, of course, Donella which was all good.

Wednesday 25th January 2012

An easy day today, did some washing then we popped into town for a couple of things. In the evening we went to the Dale Hooper Show, he does a magnificent Johnny Cash Tribute. The show was great and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday 26th January 2012

Australia Day and our flag was flying high. We did very little as we didn’t have any shows to attend and we needed a little time out from country music. Plus we have a full day tomorrow.

Friday 27th January 2012

In the morning we went, yet again, to Diggers, this time to see The Queens of Country. My friend, Marie Hodson, sang Patsy Cline songs, Sandra Humphries sang Tammie Wynette songs and Amber Joy Poulton sang the songs of Loretta Lynne. It was a good show and we enjoyed it but for us Amber Joy was the star, so much so I bought two of her CDs.

Once the show was over we rushed to The Oxley Bowling Club to see Michelle with the added bonus of once again meeting up with Trent, Michelle’s fiancé. After the show we enjoyed a drink with them before saying our goodbyes for another year. Pete Mate and I then made our way over to The Longyard to see The Bushwhackers. We first saw them in Perth in the early 1980’s and I liked them then. Pete Mate likes them but found the performance today too loud; we were at the back of the room so goodness knows what it was like at the front. They sing good old Aussie songs about sheep shearing and diggers and such like. Once the show was over we went home, poured a glass of red and put our feet up. We were tired but had had a really great day.

Saturday 28th January 2012

Our first place to be in town today was the Imperial Hotel as the Perch Creek Jug Band was playing. I wanted to see and listen as I don’t think I have ever seen a ‘jug’ band before. The place was packed and it really wasn’t our kind of music so we went in search of coffee. Pete Mate has not lost his touch; I had to disappear for a few minutes and find a loo when I came back, there he was chatting to a very pretty young lady. We then walked up Peel Street looking and listening to all the sights and sounds. The place was heaving with people. We had a little chat with Frank the Chook Man who has been coming to Tamworth since the year dot.

We had to be at the Jayco stand for midday as a couple we have met in the caravan park were in the draw for a new caravan. Each draw winner had to pick a key from ten on a table and if that key opened the caravan, it was theirs. Our friends Chris and Debbie won the caravan. You would have thought we had won the way we were shouting and shaking. It was all so exciting and a good reason to celebrate.

We left them to rush over to West’s as we had tickets for the Darren Carr Show. That man is one funny guy; he has the whole place laughing to the point where we have tears rolling down our cheeks. Once the show was over we made our way home for happy hour.

It was a joyous happy hour as we celebrated Chris and Debbie’s win with them and a few other people. We ate a barbecue tea before all heading up to the Oasis to see and listen to Those Gals. It was a great night and I think I may have been a little squiffy again.

Sunday 29th January 2012

I did as little as possible today as my back is ten times worse than it was yesterday. Maybe it was the dancing or maybe it was the way I sat watching the show. All I know is, the pain killers do not work fast enough.

Monday 30th January 2012

We had a doctor’s appointment today just to get our scripts renewed. I didn’t mention my back as he didn’t have time for a consultation, and to be quite honest I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it anyway. You know these doctors, give them an inch and they take a mile. We then went to the pharmacy to get a script filled, picked up some milk and it was then home and back to the hot pack for me.

Tuesday 31st January 2012

I shuttled between the bed and the sofa with a hot pack attached to my back. I am not a happy chappie as the pain is driving me mad. At least I am catching up with my reading but not the best way to finish January.