Vic-NSW-Qld ~ May 2012 

Take life with a pinch of salt . . . a wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

Tuesday 1st May 2012

We had to pay a return visit to the doctor for our test results; once again we were given a clean bill of health. Once home we busied ourselves with some more culling of possessions.

Wednesday 2nd May 2012

The caravan is now looking more than ever like Steptoe’s yard so we decided to take the unwanted items to the charity shop. This we did and also paid a visit to the library to change my books.

Thursday 3rd May 2012

Our evening’s entertainment was a movie at the function room inside the Information Centre. We arrived there with five minutes to spare - or so we thought. The place was in darkness and I immediately thought we had the wrong night; but no, the venue had changed. We walked very fast to the other end of the street. Yes, I know Pete Mate, very fast for me! We arrived just as they were due to start but the lovely Helen said, “You shouldn’t have rushed, we wouldn't have started without you”.

As the new venue was in the pub we all received a complimentary glass of wine. Are we complaining? No we are not. The movie was The Waking of Ned Devine, a very funny Irish movie. The only trouble was the sound which was not the best and we missed a lot of the funny lines because of the Irish brogue. It was a good night and we finished it off by helping Helen, and her husband Les, to put all the chairs away. We all enjoyed a nightcap in the bar before heading home.

Friday 4th May 2012

Today is a 'pink' day, and about time I say. There was a talk at the Berry Farm and then we could sample the goodies. When we arrived the talk had already started, so we were on the back foot, so to speak, and never really got to grips with it as we couldn’t hear the guide half the time. When the talk was over we went into the shop to sample the goodies. There were so many people we just treated ourselves to a homemade ice-cream made from their berries and then sat outside and chatted to a delightful couple from Sydney whilst we devoured our treats.

Next on my pink list was the pumpkin place. There we could view the factory through glass windows as well as sample the goodies. The factory was idle as they were roasting the seeds in another part of the building but a very nice lady explained to us the whole process. I tried some oil and seeds which I liked very much. The oil is used in dressings, not for cooking, so I picked up a small bottle then noticed that the price was $25.95! The bottle went back on the shelf very quickly. I did, however, buy some chilli pumpkin seeds and a jar of bush lime and apple sauce.

Last but not least on the list - which I might add, is neither pink nor blue - the supermarket. We only needed a couple of things but then once you are in there you end up coming out with two bags of shopping. Back home we had a very late lunch and that was us for the day . . . or so we thought. Around 4pm we had a knock at the door and friends of our Mildura friends had arrived and had come over to say hello. They asked us, did we drink? Dawn and Phil (our Mildura friends) had obviously not primed them at all well. We enjoyed a pleasant but short happy hour inside our ‘van because it was freezing outside.

Saturday 5th May 2012

Two major things happened in this caravan today. Firstly Pete Mate was up and showered before me, and secondly we lost internet coverage and never got it back.

It was Gala Day in town and what a wonderful day it was. We arrived late morning to catch the markets before they started closing up. The stalls were same old, same old, but I did buy a new hot pack and some green tea; I couldn’t find any honey though.

We were entertained by a couple of different bands and some street theatre. What those young girls could do with hula hoops was amazing. Hoola hoop girl
She was certainly good.
Spot the club
Spot the third club. Follow the young bloke's eyes. Up against the bargeboard of the gable you can just see it.
Another give-away is the shadow on the ground (both arrowed).
The chap was funny but kept dropping the things he was supposed to be juggling. We decided to go and have some lunch which was very nice. Just as we were finishing we heard the roar of a jet. Yes, the single Roulette had arrived. We quickly finished our lunch and saw some of what these marvellous pilots can do in a plane.

We found a place alongside the road where we set up our chairs and waited for the parade. It was a lovely parade with Chinese dragons and floats, marching bands, and lots of little children looking so cute. Once that was over everyone quickly packed up and headed to the park for the Air Force Band’s concert. We, however, were distracted by some drumming and soon realised that outside the Chinese restaurant the dragons from the parade were performing some kind of ceremony. Long Dragon

The first dragon was long and attached to poles. The second dragon was a costume over the top
of two very agile men. You may be able to see one standing upon the other's shoulders.
The main dragon did a dance and then gobbled up a lettuce that was hanging over a balcony. Not sure what it all meant and I was going to Google Chinese customs when we got home but, alas, still no internet.

The concert in the park was really good as usual but by the time it had finished we were frozen. We decide to call it a day and headed home to get warm. All in all a splendid day.

Sunday 6th May 2012

We enjoyed another splendid day in Bright. We watched the State Emergency Service enact the rescue of a trapped man from a car wreck. It was really good to watch. We then enjoyed another concert in the park by the RAAF Big Band. It was different to yesterday; it was a little more upbeat.

Next on today’s list was a pink item. There was a display of patchwork quilts and different embroideries. We bumped into friends of friends who are now friends, Elwyn and Lindsey, in there. I started to wander through, admiring the beautiful work. When I looked around, Pete Mate had escaped. I found him at the Brewery drinking beer. We stayed to listen to the music and have lunch. By 4pm it had started to get quite cold so we went for a walk around town before heading out to the cemetery for the Lantern Tour.

The Health and Safety busybodies had banned the use of lanterns in the dark cemetery so we all had torches and we started the tour in daylight. Diane Talbot led a group of us around the graves telling us the history of the people buried there. It was interesting but a lot of it we had heard previously. I wasn’t overly happy leaving the graveyard in the dark as the ground was rough and had rabbit holes dotted about.

Monday 7th May 2012

I did some washing and cleaning, and then I read a book. Pete Mate is starting with yet another Man Cold. We are in agreement that, next winter, we will skip the flu jab as we haven’t been right since we had it.

Tuesday 8th May 2012

We went yet again to Wangaratta, this time for Pete Mate to convert the electrics on our new caravan to match our car. Yes folks, we have spent some of the kids’ inheritance and traded in our old 'van for a newer one. This one is six months old but the owners only used it for a week so it is still pristine. We didn’t intend to buy a new ‘van, it just sort of happened. Once Pete Mate had finished we went in search of lunch and to buy some new bedding. Pete Mate is feeling pretty rotten so once home he had a lie down. First photo of our new Starcraft.
The first photo of our Jayco Starcraft was taken by Elwyn as we entered the park in Porepunkah.

Wednesday 9th May 2012

We spent the day taking our entire possessions out of Bessie, our eight-year-old Jayco Heritage, and putting them into storage. The park has very kindly allowed us to store our things whilst we do the change over. It was a lot more tiring than we thought plus Pete Mate has gone down with another Man Cold. By the end of the day we were so tired we couldn’t even drink wine. I know it is hard to believe but it is true, we ate some dinner and went to bed.

Thursday 10th May 2012

We collected the new caravan around noon; it was a bit sad saying goodbye to Bessie, I gave her a hug and a kiss and thanked her for seven and a half great years. When we arrive home it was all systems go transferring our worldly goods from storage into their new home. By nightfall we were shattered and had an early night.

Friday 11th May 2012

We spent the day sorting out our things and finding places for them in the new caravan. The rule was: Anything that doesn't have a home goes to the charity shop. By nightfall we were again well and truly worn out. Worse, I started with the Man Cold.

Saturday 12th May 2012

We had one or two things left to transfer then we tidied around the house and moved the caravan on to a powered site. We had a few things to do in town including another trip to the charity shop. Once home we still had a few things to do inside the caravan. I felt so rotten and so tired by nightfall I couldn’t even chat to my sisters on Skype.

Sunday 13th May 2012

We left Porepunkah around 10.30am after saying our goodbyes to Judy. We had a good run through to Temora, only stopping once for lunch. We soon set up camp and then put our feet up.

Monday 14th May 2012

We still had things lying about in the 'van needing a home. Some found a home, others went in the garbage bin and a few were put aside for the charity shop. We had a good read of all the instruction books that came with the 'van and all its contents. Are we any wiser? No, we are not. Well maybe a little; I can now play a DVD but cannot figure out how to turn the radio off. Apart from that we did very little as we were both still suffering from the Man Cold.

Tuesday 15th May 2012

It is a beautiful warm sunny day so I did some washing, using my new washing machine for the first time. We spent the day, again, getting to grips with everything new in the ‘van.

Wednesday 16th May 2012

We spent the morning fiddling around with things again then went to Mother Shipton’s for lunch and caught up with James and heard all his news. We did some shopping in town and then Pete Mate wanted to go to the hardware store. I suggested I walk up to the supermarket to do the shopping and leave him to browse in peace.

It was just over an hour later when I sat outside the supermarket waiting for him. I phoned and he said he had only just got to the hardware as he had spent the last hour in Repco (car parts type of shop). When I asked how on earth he could spend over an hour in such a boring shop his reply was noted and filed away in the memory banks. He said “You have to browse so you know what is available”.

Once home I put away the shopping and finished my book whilst PM did blue stuff outside the ‘van. I am not sure what, but it did involve a drill. The day was lovely and sunny but as soon as the sun goes down the temperature drops rapidly.

Thursday 17th May 2012

It was a beautiful sunny day again. We spent the day pottering about still sorting out cupboards and belongings. Pete Mate did some more blue stuff outside using the drill again. All in all, quite a perfect day.

Friday 18th May 2012

We had a few things to do in town and what a surprise we had when we returned. Friends Elwyn and Lindsey had not only arrived at Temora but were setting up camp next to us. We enjoyed a very pleasant Happy Hour.

Saturday 19th May 2012

It was a flying day here at Temora so we did a few chores and then got ourselves ready to walk over to the museum. Our timing was perfect; by the time we had enjoyed a coffee the flying started and continued for about two and half hours. We saw a Tiger Moth and a Sabre and a couple of other planes whose names I cannot remember. It was a good day and once home we started to prepare for our departure in the morning. The way this ‘van is set up there is very little packing away for me to do as everything has a home. We enjoyed another Happy Hour with Elwyn and Lindsey.

Sunday 20th May 2012

We were on the road by about 10.30am heading towards Narromine. We had said our goodbyes to Elwyn and Lindsey; who knows we may bump into them again along the track. We had a good run through to Narromine and set up camp in plenty of time for Happy Hour. It does seem to be a little warmer here. We had a very short Happy Hour, just us two, before walking over to the Gliding Club for a barbecue dinner. The meal was very nice and reasonable, not many people there this time.

Monday 21st May 2012

We are without television coverage whilst here. Pete Mate tried for ages to get a decent signal but it was all in vain. Luckily we have some very good DVD’s. We popped into town for a couple of things but generally we just pottered about. As we have been here before and have seen all there is to see, it is nice just to relax after the last couple of weeks.

Tuesday 22nd May 2012

Not a lot happened; we read, played computers and I did some knitting.

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

We organised ourselves for the trip tomorrow, made a quick trip into town and that was about it for us today.

Thursday 24th May 2012

We left Narromine around nine and headed towards Narrabri, but as we got closer we decided to continue on and go to Moree. We soon set up camp and settled in but we were unnerved by the number of notices around the place telling us to lock up everything including the ‘van when we are inside it! This we hadn’t seen before. I can’t say we had the best night’s sleep we have ever had, not only because of the crime explosion in Moree but it poured with rain all night.

Friday 25th May 2012

We awoke to beautiful sunshine and our world was back on an even keel once more. The day started well when the cleaner told me I had to take my shoes off before I was allowed into the amenities block because she had just cleaned! Luckily I had my thick socks on and didn’t worry too much. All seasoned caravanners know you always wear shoes in shower blocks because you never know what is lurking there.

We drove into town to Centrelink as Pete Mate had to adjust his pension. We were served by a lovely lady who chatted about most things including the crime in Moree. She reinforced that we should be vigilant in locking doors and keeping our valuables out of sight. Once our business was finished we went back to the car. At this point Pete Mate couldn’t find the car keys. Yep, you’ve guessed, they were sitting in the ignition of the unlocked car waiting for any would-be thief to come along. Luckily we were safe; it could have been our Karma or it could have been the number of police milling about further up the road as there had been an accident.

From there we went to Harvey Norman’s and bought ourselves a new digital television with a DVD player and USB memory stick socket for recording. Our old TV is eight years old and technology has left it way behind but I am sad to see it go as some lovely people bought it for us when I retired eight years ago.

The last thing we had to do was stock up on groceries and wine because the next few places we are staying in are small country towns. We were at the checkout and I have to admit to being distracted as Pete Mate was looking at, and chatting to, a small French woman. She was even shorter than me! I usually watch the computer screen as the checkout girl scans everything but even though I failed to this, I knew the amount of food we had purchased did not come to $23. So being an honest person, I told her. She was most adamant that it was correct. I told her to look at the trolley full of bags. She then discovered the scanner had frozen and she had to rescan everything except a couple of bags. All good fun – I checked the docket before we left and it was spot on. Once home everything had to be sorted and put away. I love my new fridge freezer.

Saturday 26th May 2012

We fiddled about so much so that it was late afternoon before we actually organised ourselves for the trip tomorrow to Goondiwindi.

Sunday 27th May 2012

We left Moree around ten and had a good run through to Goondiwindi. We were not sorry to leave Moree and probably will not return. We received a warm welcome at Gundy (Goondiwindi) which was a vast difference to the last time we were here. It is a nice park with nice amenities. Once we had set up camp and had some lunch, Pete Mate washed some of the ‘van as it has become very dirty indeed.

Monday 28th May 2012

We drove into town for a look around. The town seems nice enough but the people were not so friendly. Once home I read and PM had Nanny Nap. It is all go in this ‘van today. Later we went to happy hour around the camp fire where we were served with freshly baked damper.

Tuesday 29th May 2012

Pete Mate washed some more of the caravan and I did a few chores. Later we went over to happy hour at the camp fire. Tonight we were treated to some music by a chap playing a ukulele and singing.

Wednesday 30th May 2012

We were late getting ourselves organised for the trip to Possum Park; it was just one of those mornings. Once on the road we were very surprised how quiet the roads were for a working day. We arrived at Possum Park mid afternoon and soon set up camp. We didn’t go over to happy hour, I am not sure why, but there is always tomorrow night.

Thursday 31st May 2012

The weather was dull and miserable with a sprinkling of rain every now and then. We stayed indoors doing our respective hobbies. Not really a riveting day for the last day of autumn. Plus we have again lost the ABC. Don’t you just love digital TV?