N.S.W. ~ October 2012 

I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

Monday 1st October 2012

Here we are in October and all our friends and neighbours have left to return south. They have been replaced by young parents and children as the school holidays are upon us. We are remaining just a little longer as Pete Mate is keen to see the bugs ironed out of the new television re-transmission system.

Today we woke up to a right old wintry day, the rain was lashing down but by 10.00am it had cleared and was quite a nice day. We walked into the village for lunch and were joined by Bev & Bruce. Later we all had a nice happy hour together with Courtney and her husband Damian. Courtney works for the Rockhampton Regional Council and has been the main driving force behind seeing the TV project through.

Tuesday 2nd October 2012

Not a lot happened here today; I had a walk, did some knitting and reading and then went to happy hour.

Wednesday 3rd October 2012

We had a trip out to Yeppoon today to get supplies. Apart from that we did very little.

Thursday 4th October 2012

It was friend Al’s birthday today so five of us went to the pub for lunch to help him celebrate. Afterwards I walked over to the RSL to play Mah Jong. I enjoyed it as always but was a little sad to say goodbye to all the lovely people as we are about ready to move on. We continued to celebrate Al’s birthday at happy hour.

Friday 5th October 2012

Tai Chi was first on the agenda today for me. Afterwards we all went over to the bakery for morning tea. It was lovely to spend some extra time with really nice people. I had a few things to do before walking home and doing a few chores.

The weather is becoming quite warm but sitting outside we have a pleasant breeze to keep us cool. We met a new couple at happy hour and invited them to come to the pub for dinner with us. The pub was packed and there weren’t any spare tables so we went to Plan B, the Bowling Club. We were pleasantly surprised to see Caroline back cooking because her food is good. We enjoyed a really pleasant time with Matt and Jackie. Matt had some ‘interesting’ stories to tell. One was how he brought an old plane, did it up and then taught himself to fly. We weren’t sure if his stories were true but they were so bizarre I reckon they would have to be.

Saturday 6th October 2012

We did a few chores; I did some reading and knitting and tried out a new recipe in the slow cooker. It was corned beef in Guinness and I can tell you it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Sunday 7th October 2012

We enjoyed a really good day out at The Ferns. The company, food and wine were all good but the music was better than good; it was outstanding. Marto, who owns the resort, usually performs on his own on a Sunday but this weekend was special as it was his 60th birthday and some 'muso' friends had arrived for the weekend to help him celebrate. Apparently the festivities started on Friday and finished whilst we were there on Sunday afternoon. Our friends, Lorna and Doug, were there. Doug is a drummer and is friends with Marto. They were all excellent musicians and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon.

Monday 8th October 2012

We both had a cleaning day, Pete Mate did some of the outside of the ‘van and I did the inside. Later I sat outside knitting and then, before we knew it, is was happy hour.

Tuesday 9th October 2012

We arrived in Rocky at 7.45am. I know, it was a shock to our systems too. We left Billy in the capable hands of the Mitsubishi crew and walked over to the shopping mall for breakfast.

We wandered round the shops, bought some goodies and then decided to walk back to Mitsubishi to see how they were getting on. They hadn’t quite finished so I helped them out by doing a few of the crosswords in the waiting area magazines while Pete Mate read a car magazine. Eventually Billy was ready to go so once again we parted with a wad of money in the hope that Billy was fixed. He was, and we are happy.

We then went back to the shopping mall to do some boring grocery shopping. The day was going really well until . . . we couldn’t find our way out. To add to our angst, I wanted the loo urgently. A chap selling raffle tickets was so persistent I really wanted to ask, Which part of 'No thank you' do you not understand? Instead I snarled, Right now we are lost, thank you.’ Did he offer to help? No! If he had I might just have bought a ticket.

Eventually we did find our way back to the car and all was well in the world. We then made our way home (via Dan Murphy’s, of course). Once home and the shopping unpacked I had time for a nanny nap before happy hour.

Wednesday 10th October 2012

I went for a much needed hair cut and then called in at the shops and library.

It was a pretty hot day so we put on the caravan air-conditioner and watched Yes, Prime Minster whilst I did some more knitting. It was a short happy hour tonight as we went to the pub for tea and to play trivia. Alas, we did not win but it was all good fun.

Thursday 11th October 2012

We enjoyed a very nice lunch with three lovely ladies, Kellie, Courtney and Ashleigh. It was Jim and Sue’s treat to all for all the work these ladies (who work for Rockhampton Council) and Pete Mate have done to bring about the television reception at the caravan park. The food and wine were very good and the company excellent. Thanks J and S.

Friday 12th October 2012

My last day at Tai Chi before we move on, they are such lovely people it was sad to say goodbye but as we are nomads we have to keep on travelling. Next June will be here soon enough and then we can renew our friendships. Mid morning saw Pete Mate and I hovering over the mobile phone, talking to our financial advisor on the loud speaker. It was all good so we are happy. Later we went over to happy hour for a short time before heading out to the bowling club for dinner with a few people from the park including two new arrivals. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening.

Saturday 13th October 2012

We had to clean and pack everything away because tomorrow we are back on the road. It will seem very strange after four months; I hope Pete Mate can remember how to tow the ‘van. We again enjoyed a very nice happy hour before going out to dinner with Jim and Sue; we met up with Bill and Janet there. It was a lovely evening and I have to say I was a little squiffy by the end of it.

Sunday 14th October 2012

The day has finally arrived when we leave Emu Park; we have enjoyed a wonderful winter here and intend to be back next year. We had a lovely send off by some wonderful people; maybe they wanted to make sure we were definitely leaving! We enjoyed a good run through to Banana and then set up camp for the night. We enjoyed a happy hour inside the pub, (the caravan park is the at the back of the pub). We then went home for a rest before returning to the pub for dinner and a nice bottle of wine.

Monday 15th October 2012

We were just about ready to leave Banana, when the phone rang. It was friends Bruce and Bev wanting to know where we were. They were just outside Banana having left Emu Park that morning. They eventually caught up with us at a rest area and said our farewells as they were travelling quicker and much further than we were in a day. We had a good run through to Condamine and then set up camp for the night. The caravan park was basic; well as basic as you could really get. They seemed to concentrate more on the cabins which were fully booked by workers, probably miners.

Tuesday 16th October 2012

We left Condamine behind with the thought of giving it a miss next time and made our way to Goondiwindi. Our arrival has been covered by Pete Mate so I won’t go into any detail here. In future when we arrive anywhere I will check around for these unscrupulous women wearing black bikinis. We set up camp and then relaxed for the rest of the day.

Wednesday 17th October 2012

We were on the road for another day, it was uneventful, not a black bikini in sight. We arrived at Bingara and again set up camp. It was a lovely little park and we said we would like to return sometime and stay longer. The town also looked like an attractive country town.

Thursday 18th October 2012

We arrived in Tamworth in plenty of time for us to call at the caravan repair yard for a couple of warranty jobs. That out of the way we made our way to Austin Caravan Park where we received a warm welcome. We partially set up camp and had some lunch. Then Pete Mate set about the task of washing all the muck off the van we had collected from the various road works we had travelled through. We thought the Queensland roads were awful but they were marginally better than the ones in NSW. We passed lots of signs saying the state government were working towards better roads; they have a heck of a task ahead of them.

Friday 19th October 2012

We finished setting up camp and then went into town to book Billy in for various repairs and services. By the end of the day he was booked in for three different services. Let us hope after all this, his problems will be over. In the evening we met up with friends at one of the clubs and enjoyed a very nice time. The food, wine and company were all excellent and then to top all that I won the meat tray. It was my lucky night, when we first arrived at the club and had to sign in, I didn’t realise my wallet was upside down and all my paper money had fallen out. It wasn’t until I reached the raffle table that I missed it. Pete Mate went back to the reception area and found it on the floor, all $180 of it. Phew!

Saturday 20th October 2012

Not a good day today, I must have had a bad glass of wine. I spent the day resting and drinking copious amounts of water. We both made a decision that we needed to cut back on our alcohol intake. Pete Mate didn’t have any and I had a couple of glasses but didn’t enjoy them. So that is it, the Ranson’s are going to have a few AFD’s.

Sunday 21st October 2012

We met our friend Wendy for lunch at The Oasis, which incidentally has had some renovations done and is looking pretty swish. We enjoyed a lovely lunch and it was so nice just to sit and chat. Later we went back to the caravan and Wendy gave me a great gift. Pete Mate has covered on the web page of how Wendy sang my most favourite song for me. I felt so special and so moved that someone would do something so beautiful for me. Every time I tell anyone about it I feel my eyes filling up and the emotions once more overflowing. Wendy is not just a fine singer and song writer but she is also a beautiful person. After a cup of tea we said our goodbyes. Hopefully we will make it to Those Gals gig on Friday.

Monday 22nd October 2012

Pete Mate was up early to take Billy to the mechanic’s for a full service. He was gone for most of the day and spent over five hours in the shopping mall to pass the time. He came home with some bargains one being a clock for the caravan. This was a very expensive clock costing the grand sum of $3. The battery probably cost more. I did some cleaning and then sat outside for a while, knitting. The wind was terrible and in the end I gave up and went inside.

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Ros’s and met up with friend Allan again. It was a delightful day and we enjoyed it immensely. We hadn’t been home that long when we received a phone call asking us to go to dinner. Tarranne and Neil arrived a little later and we walked up to The Oasis for a very pleasant dinner. The company was excellent and again it was so nice to be with lovely people.

Wednesday 24th October 2012

We spent the day shopping, Spotlight, Bunning’s and the supermarket. In Tamworth they have a brand new Bunning’s and Pete Mate reckoned he could spend hours in there. I had a quick look around, used the loo and retreated to the comfort of the car. After we had enjoyed a quick afternoon tea, lunch just didn’t happen; Pete Mate went off to buy another clock. He is at present clock obsessed. Let’s hope it stays at two!

Thursday 25th October 2012

Pete Mate was up and out early again, this time to take Billy for the auto transmission to be serviced. He arrived home in good time to greet our lunch guest, Gail. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon chatting and all too soon we had to say our goodbyes.

Friday 26th October 2012

We were in town by 8.30am to take Billy once more to a car repairer. This time it was the cooling system. We wandered around the town, browsing through the shops and chatting with people we knew. We drank coffees and ate toast and were getting decidedly bored when we received the phone call that Billy was ready. Pete Mate went off to collect him whilst I made my way to the café where we were meeting friends for lunch. I ordered a pot of tea and did a crossword whilst I waited for everyone to arrive. It was a very pleasant lunch and then we said our goodbyes until next time. We filled up with diesel and called in at Bunning’s and Spotlight before heading home. We were so tired we didn’t make it to The Pub for Those Gals show. Maybe next time.

Saturday 27th October 2012

'Get ready day' today because we are off again on our travels tomorrow. We played computers and fiddled about until late. We were still packing, hooking up and doing things at 5.30pm. Good thing we didn’t have a happy hour to go to.

Sunday 28th October 2012

We enjoyed a good run through from Tamworth to Gilgandra, no mishaps at all. The park here is as nice as ever and the staff very pleasant. We are now into our second AFD week; we never thought we could do it so we are proud of ourselves.

Monday 29th October 2012

We actually managed to get away from Gilgandra by 9.30am. We enjoyed a good run through to Forbes and arrived in time for lunch. We set up camp for the night and then after lunch we had nanny naps. We then played computers and before we knew it, it was happy hour. We enjoyed a nice cool fruit juice.

Tuesday 30th October 2012

We left Forbes around 10.00am; we didn’t rush as we didn’t have that far to go. Who am I kidding, we never rush! Billy once more is playing up or at least his temperature gauge is. All the time and money spent on him and he still is not right. We arrived at Temora in time for lunch. Pete Mate tried different things with Billy and we set up camp for the week. It kept trying to rain but never really got past a few drops. I sat outside in the cool air knitting whilst Pete Mate did some research on the computer. It is so frustrating.

Wednesday 31st October 2012

A beautiful day dawned so I did a mammoth wash. Once all out on the line and some cleaning done we went into town to do some shopping. Pete Mate also wanted to give Billy a run out and guess what, he is now behaving properly. The caravan park here at the airfield is quite busy so we have neighbours both sides of us. On our left we have two caravans side by side. Both the caravans and the cars are identical. It is obvious they are together, a couple in one ’van and a couple and an adult son in the other. They sit outside their caravans and chat. Fine, that’s what we caravanners do. These people, however, sit either end of their ‘vans and shout to each other. We find that very strange but . . . I guess some people will think we are strange.

And so ends October.

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