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

But first, this month's saying:

When life gets you down - just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

Wednesday 1st February 2012

At 2.00am I was sitting reading and drinking Chamomile tea with a hot pack on my back. I took some more pain killers and eventually I returned to bed. In future I will have lot more sympathy for people with bad backs.

It is still raining. In fact I now cannot remember when it started, it was days ago. I piled the washing in the car and took it up to the laundry. Later some went in the dryer and the rest is hanging about the caravan trying to get dry. Not happy. I am still in a lot of pain from my back so I'm even more unhappy.

In the afternoon we went shopping but first called in the library; the books I had reserved had come in so once again I was happy - it doesn’t take much. We did some shopping and took Pete Mate’s phone to a Telstra agent as it keeps switching itself off. The lovely young lady said it needed an update and did it for us whilst we shopped. Excellent service . . . which is more than I can say for Woolworth’s in Tamworth.

Thursday 2nd February 2012.

Yes, you have guessed, it is still raining and we still have damp washing hanging about. The temperature has also now dropped and we had the heater on. We stayed dry and warm, played computers and read.

Friday 3rd February 2012

The weather has not improved too much so we stayed home and played.

Saturday 4th February 2012

Pete Mate is working on the web site every spare hour he has, like all the time. He reckons I distract him, can’t think why so I took myself off into town to do some browsing and pick up one or two things. By the time I got back my back was as bad as ever so I took some pain killers and read for the rest of the day.

Sunday 5th February 2012

We drove out to Chaffy Dam to see if the water level had risen much after all this rain. We were surprised to find it looking just the same. A few people were out and about on the water in their little motorised craft. When we left there we drove to Banalaster Winery. We were a little late but still managed to hear twenty minutes of good music. The performer was Brent Larkham, he was really good and we liked him. We enjoyed a late lunch a glass of wine before heading home once more. It was another perfect day.

Monday 6th February 2012

I drove into town to the hairdressers for a much needed haircut. My back is much better as long as I stay away from those blessed shopping trolleys. I was very happy with the haircut but not so happy about the price. When did haircuts get so expensive? Once home again I returned to my book.

Tuesday 7th February 2012

We enjoyed a very pleasant day; we made a rare visit to the movie theatre. I had heard really good reviews about Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep. The movie was really good and Ms Streep was an excellent Mrs Thatcher. I felt like I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster as we lived in the UK through a lot of the turbulent times and it did bring back many memories. When they mentioned the Paratroopers taking Goose Green it gave my heart a little jump. We left the theatre with a little time to spare before meeting friends for dinner. We found a coffee place open, just as everywhere was closing. We then made our way to the bar at Diggers to await the arrival of our friends. The evening was great, the meal was excellent and the company second to none. All too soon it was time to say goodbye and go our separate ways.

Wednesday 8th February 2012

We had to go into town to do a few errands, plus I wanted to check out the old church which is now a coffee shop. The Old Bell Tower has combined a gift shop with a really nice café; we enjoyed a very nice lunch in lovely surroundings. It was at this point I realised that the bag with all the library books, the memory stick with the printing on and the mail were still at the caravan. We decide to carry on with the rest of the list and do the other things on Friday. Once home I felt quite off, I think I must be coming down with something.

Thursday 9th February 2012

A day to lie down, and forget all the chores. One lives in hope the fairies might just do them for me.

Friday 10th February 2012

I wasn’t feeling tip top but we had quite a lot to do today. We met Ros and Rosemary for lunch which was very pleasant. By the time we had finished our list we were both feeling under the weather so it was home for us and a good lie down. Any thoughts of going out to see Donella tonight went straight out the window.

Saturday 11th February 2012

Get ready day, everything had to be cleaned and packed away. As I was not feeling the best, it took me ages as I had to keep resting between jobs. Being sick at this point in time was quite annoying as we had extended our stay in Tamworth to attend a friend’s daughter’s 21st. Needless to say we didn’t make it.

Sunday 12th February 2012

We set off from Tamworth around 9.30am and had a good run through to Narromine. We had one or two stops along the way and Pete Mate even had a nanny nap. On our arrival at the caravan park we were greeted by Nita the owner of the park. She made us feel very welcome and was a mine of information about what to do and see. She also invited us to help our selves to vegetables and herbs she had growing in the gardens. Once we set up camp, Pete Mate had another nanny nap before we headed over to the Gliding Clubhouse for a barbecue dinner. I really did not feel like it but as it was a five minute walk and I would not have to cook or wash up I reckoned it was a better deal than staying home. The people were lovely; the food was excellent and all done by volunteers. Once home it was bed for me.

Monday 13th February 2012

I felt like something the cat had dragged in, so I sat and read a book. Pete Mate played computers. The park itself is very nice and well kept. The ablution block has classical music playing all day and it clean and airy. The laundry is small but it seems adequate and is only $2 per wash. I was on my way back from having a shower when I met our neighbours who were packing up. The chap disappeared for a moment; when he returned he had a booklet in his hand which he promptly gave me. I looked at it and saw it was a collection of bible readings. I asked him did I look like I needed it. His reply was yes if I did not have the Lord in my heart. So I gave it him back, he looked a little miffed that I didn’t want it. I told him and his overbearing wife I had the Lord in my heart thank you very much. But alas they were not the listening type they just wanted to preach. No thanks, people like them are the reason I stopped going to church.

Tuesday 14th February 2012

We had a drive out to the Lime Farm; we found everything open but no one around. According to the sign they were closed, pity the brochure I read didn’t concur. In town I found a nice craft shop that sold the Lime Farm’s goodies so was able to make my purchases along with a really nice necklace for Pete Mate. Only joking, I wanted something to go with a white blouse I recently bought. We had a look at the statue of Glenn McGrath the Australian cricketer.

McGrath

Glenn was actually born in Dubbo but was raised on a property in Narromine. Other sporting people born here are:

I guess there must be something in the water here. We had a very mediocre lunch before driving out to the War Cemetery. Before we found the War Cemetery we had a drive around the normal cemetery, why I am not really sure as the graves were not the old ones we like looking at. Then it was home once more for another lie down.

Wednesday 15th February 2012

I went for a short walk before breakfast and then did some washing. I think I am beginning to feel a little better. We went out to the Alpaca Farm for lunch which was lovely. The café is an old converted railway carriage.

carriage cafe

The food was lovely as were the people. I bought a really neat present for Ellie’s birthday and we had a look at the alpacas.

alpaca

Pete Mate was very impressed with the alpacas. There were about twenty penned up in a fairly small enclosure, the rest being out in the paddocks. Instead of just defecating (I just couldn't bring myself to write "shitting") whenever and wherever the urge took them, they all went to the same place and dropped it there. It made it very easy for the farmer to shovel it up and he spread it on the paddocks. (Well, they do say what goes around comes around.) PM asked if they'd been trained to behave like that but it's a natural instinct.

We then went into town to have a look around, I found a lovely craft shop with some beautiful dolls. We finished our walk around town with a visit to the supermarket. There were some very odd people around there. One young lady went to great lengths to tell us someone had left spinach in their trolley by mistake and that is why she had it. Well . . . okay. Then a group of young Aboriginal kids came barging through the doors nearly walking into us. They apologised and I thanked them for having nice manners. A lady standing nearby said they didn’t have manners. I was ready to defend them when she said she was always taught to keep to the left, then laughed and walked off. Again . . . okay.

Once home we both had nanny naps, I was yet again feeling the effects of this bug. Pete Mate . . . well, he can have a nanny nap at the drop of a hat.

Thursday 16th February 2012

I woke up feeling very ordinary yet again; I just cannot shake this bug off. I feel fine for a short time, especially if I am not moving about then it hits me all over again. So I did the basics and then rested for the day with the hope tomorrow I will be fighting fit.

Friday 17th February 2012

The rest yesterday certainly worked and I am feeling a lot better. We went into town to do a couple of things, one being to collect my Lotto winnings. Please, no begging letters, it was only $18.80.

Thankfully the sun was shining as I had a mound of washing to do. Once all chores were done it was back to the book for me. Pete Mate disappeared for a while. When he arrived home he said he was trying to arrange a flight for me in a Tiger Moth as it is on my 'bucket list'. I explained at this moment in time it would not be a good idea as I still have the vertigo and I would hate to lose my lunch in something as special as a Tiger Moth. I did, however, appreciate the thought very much.

Nita, the caravan park owner, came around with a freshly picked tomato which was very kind; she also gave us a rose from her garden on Valentines Day. Later we walked over to the Aero Club for dinner. The meal was excellent but even better than that, the people were just lovely. They were all locals and so friendly and helpful. We bought tickets in the meat raffle but, alas, did not win. We were then given a stubby holder each by two of the locals that had won them in the raffle. Apparently the tradition is to give them to a visitor who has bought raffle tickets but not won anything. How nice is that?

Saturday 18th February 2012

My heart had a kick start this morning. I went over to the toilet block still half asleep. I was washing my hands when a little frog jumped out of the plug hole. We had a bit of conversation before he hopped off and my heart beat returned to normal. It was 'get ready day' today so get ready is what we did. Everything was sorted and packed away before the rain came. It didn’t rain for long but long enough to wet the towels we had left outside.

Sunday 19th February 2012

We were just about ready to leave when Peter (Nita’s husband) came over and told Pete Mate that the Wright Flyer was out of the hangar to be cleaned. So it was a case of down tools and grab the camera. We walked over to the hangar and not only was the Flyer out but also the Tiger Moth. We had a look around and PM took lots of photos. Then Lindsay, the engine man, said he was going to start the Flyer up. I waited around for a little while but got fed up so left the men to it and walked back. Pete Mate followed a little while later and we then said our goodbyes to Nita and hit the road. It was a good run through but one of the roads Alice took us down was not the best and everything in the caravan had moved a little.

Once at Cowra we were greeted by a very efficient, friendly chap. He insisted on giving PM instructions to reverse the ‘van in and he was very good. He gave us heaps of information but spoke very fast.

When he had gone I said to Pete Mate, "What did he say?"
PM’s reply was, "Buggered if I know."

We set up camp as quickly as possible as the sky was full of big dark clouds. We had just finished when the rain started and it brought with it its mates, thunder and lightning. Then it stopped and the sun was shining once more. Later it returned with a vengeance and poor ole Pete Mate had to brave the wind and rain to secure the awning.

Monday 20th February 2012

We had a drive around the area bookmarking places we wanted to visit. It was a dull day that kept sprinkling off and on. We visited the Information Centre which was not the best we have been to for service but the POW display was excellent. We watched a hologram and looked at many of the artefacts that had been saved. It was all very interesting and well done. Happy Hour saw us sitting by the river with our neighbours partaking in a glass or two.

Tuesday 21st February 2012

Not a lot happened here today, the weather was awful so we stayed home and kept nice and dry.

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

The day was dull but at least it wasn’t raining. We visited the ruins of the POW camp and learnt more about the break-out. I stood looking over the area and thought about the many relics that could be still buried there and the stories they could tell. I also felt sadness that so many young lives had been lost in the mass break-out. We left there and made our way to the War Cemeteries. We visited the Australian one first, getting our priorities right. Amongst the graves we saw the four Aussies that lost their lives trying to contain the mass of Japanese on the run.

Australian graves The graves of the four Australians killed during the Japanese break-out.
The right hand three were eighteen years old. The age on the left stone is obscured by rose leaves.

We then walked over to the Japanese Cemetery where we were greatly surprised to see the ages of the Japanese who had died. Earlier at the camp I pondered about the waste of young lives only to find so many of the Japanese who died were older than me. It's still a waste of life. By now the weather had greatly improved so we decided to visit the Japanese Gardens.

Lake The small structure in the centre of the picture is designed to hold an oil lamp.
Its broad brimmed 'hat' keeps the snow away from the flame. Well...in Japan it does.

Mr Ken Nakajima, a world renowned Japanese Garden architect, designed the gardens and the people of Cowra paid for it. The idea behind it was reconciliation between the two nations. We applauded the idea as without gestures similar to this we will never have world peace.

View through hut window

In the centre of the garden is a - well, a hut for want of the correct name.
This is the view through one of the glassless window frames.

The gardens first opened in October 1979 and were finally completed in November 1986. They are magnificent and cover five hectares; it was designed to represent the entire landscape of Japan. The Garden is the largest in the southern hemisphere and is maintained by four full time gardeners.

View from top of slope The view from the top of the slope in the Japanese Garden

Before we set off around the gardens we enjoyed a really nice light lunch in the tea rooms. I like the fact that we were offered half serves as very often meals out can be on the large side. The layout of the garden was designed for people who are fit, which we arenot. This was proved by the state we were in after walking up and down, around and through the whole place. It is also designed for the less able who can tour most of the gardens in a golf buggy or electric scooter. For a small fee we hired a wireless device that gave us a running commentary about what we were looking at. Nice touches.

We, however, were not impressed by a mother, so engaged in chatting to her friend that she failed to notice her small son throwing stones anywhere he thought fit, one narrowly missing Pete Mate. Parents, eh. Who’d have ‘em?

figurine

It was getting towards happy hour time when we left there but we still had to call in at the supermarket. It was the last thing on our list of things we wished to do but by splitting the list we had it done in no time. Once home and the shopping away we poured a glass and put our feet up. All in all a splendid day.

A Lovely japanese figurine that was on
display in a japanese house within the garden.

Thursday 23rd February 2012

I had to wear my washer woman’s hat today as we were rapidly running out of clean clothes. Later, when we walked to the Post Office to collect the mail, we had a look around the town. There are some lovely old buildings here and, of course, some that are not so nice. We found a nice coffee shop and were just looking for somewhere to sit when this cheery voice greeted us asking us how we were. We looked around to see who she was talking to. Surprise! It was us. She was a lovely lady and she greeted everyone that way. Overall the people of Cowra are very nice and friendly, even in Woolworths!

Friday 24th February 2012

The plan was to do a few chores in the morning and then visit a winery in the afternoon. You would be surprised to learn that we wanted to go there, not for the wine, but for their art gallery that had a miniatures exhibition. I should reword the ‘we’ to ‘I’ as Pete Mate is not really fussed about galleries. Anyway, after lunch we decided not to bother as we were both tired. We have not slept well all the time we have been here as it is a really noisy place. Later, much later, after nanny naps we walked over to the pub for dinner. The meal, the wine and of course the company was excellent. It was a lovely evening; the staff at Tommy’s Bistro in the Imperial Hotel were the best.

Saturday 25th February 2012

If we thought our previous nights were noisy then goodness knows what last night was. The noise went on until the early hours of the morning. We later found out it was from a nearby pub . We had to once again clean and pack everything away then make a quick trip into town for fuel. Once that was done we read and played computers.

Sunday 26th February 2012

We left Cowra a little wet but in good spirits even though we had a broken night’s sleep again. It was only about an hour’s drive to Young so it wasn’t too much of a hardship. We received a friendly welcome from Len and Karen. Len had something to say about everything and anything. Once on our site we set up camp, dodging the showers as best we could. When the rain stopped I sat outside reading then the rain returned with a vengeance and it rained off and on all night.

Monday 27th February 2012

It is again pouring with rain. It is a quiet park and we had a peaceful night’s sleep in spite of the rain. Even so we are not enamoured with Young Tourist Park. In between showers I went over to the shower block for a shower. The block is old and fairly clean; as I showered I looked up and saw a mass of spiders’ webs everywhere. Even the spiders would need a GPS to find their way around.

We watched the news coverage of the Gillard/Rudd leadership dispute. Why we put ourselves through this rubbish I don’t know. Later we had a drive around the town and surrounds and paid a visit to the information centre. The lady there was very helpful but all the things she told us about were only if the weather improves. Apart from Poppa’s Jam Factory - did we enjoy that visit? - yes we did! We couldn’t see anything being made as they do that in the mornings but we could try fudge, jam, and sauces plus chocolate covered cherries and strawberries. We bought up big and then went off to find a coffee/tea. We found a bakery that has been here, not only for over a hundred years but also still owned by the same family! When you walk in you expect a small bakery but this was huge with an upstairs as well. We enjoyed our drinks with a couple of very nice tarts.

Unfortunately the edible type.

Then it was home once more to the joys of happy hour.

Tuesday 28th February 2012

The weather is still appalling so in the morning we stayed warm and dry. By lunchtime it looked liked it was brightening up; how wrong we were! We set off for Cootamundra because we have never been there and we were also thinking we might move there on Sunday. We drove through torrential rain and eventually arrived at the information centre, which is also the railway station. The ladies there were lovely and they soon bombarded us with all the information they could about “Coota”.

Pete Mate was very happy when a train arrived so went off to look. I, however, was very happy looking at all the craft items for sale. When I found PM he had a look of disbelief . . . bewilderment . . . on his face. He pointed to the tracks and said, "Look at that. This is what these trains travel on. And it isn’t just here."

He has done some research since then and has put that on his page so I will back out of this discussion now.

We enjoyed a coffee/tea and some more tarts . . .

The edible type again.

. . . before heading off to look at the Cootamundra Caravan Park. If we thought Young was wet then Cootamundra was absolutely swimming. Most sites were under water and it didn’t really look inviting. We stopped to ask a group of people what the place was like but as they had only just arrived they couldn’t tell us much. We then decided enough was enough and went home but not before I darted into Woolworth’s for some milk and bread. The checkout lady said she was a recent arrival to the town and was now on flood alert, poor thing. What an introduction to a town.

Wednesday 29th February 2012

The rain continued to fall so we stayed home nice and dry. We had food, wine and some books to read. PM played computers.

And that ends February, summer, but not the rain. Please click on "NEXT PAGE" below.