N.S.W. ~ November 2012 

Old Friends are Gold. New Friends are Diamond. If you get a Diamond, don't forget
the Gold. Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold.

Thursday 1st November 2012

Yesterday was such a lovely day and today we have a dull sky, wind and the occasional drop of rain. We paid a visit to Mother Shipton’s for lunch and were treated, as always, to a warm Irish welcome and some yummy food. James is closing his doors on Saturday night for the last time; poor thing just cannot make enough dollars to keep going. It is such a shame.

After we left there I had a doctor’s appointment. All I wanted was a form to get a blood test done but I was kept waiting for an hour after my appointment time. Once out of there we high tailed it home for happy hour, another nice cool glass of fruit juice.

Friday 2nd November 2012

A quiet sort of day today, not a lot happened. We played computers and I did some knitting. The weather was perfect, nice and sunny and not too hot. Late afternoon we were treated to a flying display by a jet plane, what it was I do not know. The pilot had the smoke jets on and did a lot of aerobatic manoeuvres and at one point seemed to fly very low past the spectators in the caravan park.

Saturday 3rd November 2012

We walked over to the museum around 11.00am which was pretty good timing. By the time we had paid, bought coffees and found a seat we didn’t have to wait long for the first aircraft to fly.

The Tiger Moth was first up and it was, as always, magnificent. The Hudson was noisy and smoky. We then had a short break from the flying for the Wheelies with Wings presentation. It was really good to see these people have the opportunity to fly. Then we had the splendid Spitfire, this one always leaves a lump in my throat, don’t know why. Then the jet A-37 took off with some gusto leaving us all slightly deaf.

Actually, being slightly deaf (yes, Pete Mate, I said slightly deaf), was good at a time like this as many people had their fingers in their ears but I found it didn’t bother me at all.

Soon it was all over, only the hangars to inspect and to talk to the pilots and engineers. That, my friend, is 'blue' so I went to inspect the shop - that was 'pink'.

The rest of the day was spent knitting and Pete Mate worked on the website. All in all a very good day.

Sunday 4th November 2012

A quiet day after yesterday though there were still some planes taking off and landing. It looked like some of the Wheelies were still having lessons. I did some cleaning, ironing and knitting. At last I have finished a little suit for a very special new baby in Perth.

Monday 5th November 2012

We did some chores, had a quick trip into town and then packed away everything ready for tomorrow.

Tuesday 6th November 2012

We had a good trip through to Narrandera and as it was a short trip we were there in plenty of time for lunch. We set up a basic camp as the weather was looking very dicey indeed. We had a drive around the town and called in at the information centre. We left there weighed down with pamphlets but not really enchanted by any of it. It apparently is a tourist attraction though why beats me because you can’t see anything. We had a look at a Tiger Moth housed in a building close to the information centre. By the time we left there it was beginning to rain so we returned home and not before time; no sooner were inside and the heavens opened and it poured down. It continued all night.

Wednesday 7th November 2012

No sightseeing today as it is absolutely pouring down. We stayed inside and read, knitted and played computers. I read the information we collected yesterday. Narrandera means ‘place of many lizards’ in the local aboriginal dialect. The town was host to a pilot training school in the Second World War. 3,818 pilots were trained here and some were killed whilst training. In fact, 27 are buried in the cemetery.

Anyone who has read Bryce Courtney’s novel, Jessica, might be interested to know it was based on the life of Jessica Bornholt who lived in the area. Two women, Sarah and Amy Warby, were murdered in January 1911 by two young men. One of them, a man called Clare, went to Jessica’s property for help and told her the whole story; she promptly took him by sulky to the constable where he was arrested. Both men were tried and found guilty and sentenced to death but it was later commuted to life. They were release after 16 years. Clare never re-offended but his partner in crime was in and out of gaol for the rest of his life.

According to the leaflet, Bryce Courtney’s book varies considerably from the actual facts. Jessica lived until she was 84; she never married but had a child in 1913, never disclosing who the father was. So really the most interesting things about this town are what you can read as there is not a lot to look at.

Thursday 8th November 2012

The weather has improved so we decided to go and have a look at Griffith and everything in between. First on the list was the Narrandera wetlands. We saw quite a few ducks and one or two other birds but not the abundance the leaflet led us to believe. The main purpose of the wetlands is to receive the town’s stormwater and through various physical and biological treatment processes, improve the quality of the water entering the Murrumbidgee River.

We then travelled on to Leeton where we had a wander and a cup of coffee. It was a lovely little town with lots of old buildings. The buildings were, sadly, camouflaged by modern shop fronts so we had very little to look at. The Roxy Theatre was, however, just as it was when first built. Pete Mate went off to take some photos and I peered through any glass door or window I could find. It was like looking back in time, the decoration and furnishings were definitely 1930s style. I would have loved a walk inside but it was all locked up. I was so intent in looking in I didn’t realise there was someone inside until he waved to me. It made me laugh so much people must have thought me strange.

We left Leeton and travelled through very flat countryside to Griffith. We were reminded very much of East Anglia, including the dykes. Here they call them irrigation canals. We saw a few paddocks flooded and weren’t sure if it was because of the heavy rain or that they were supposed to be like that.

Once in Griffith we walked around the town centre and were not overly impressed. Nothing wrong with it but it was just a town. Now if the people of Leeton thought me strange then goodness knows what some people in Griffith are! Let’s just say there are some very odd people there. We wandered, I took some photos . . .

soldier and ploughman
These two stood on the centre reserve every day. Wonder what they talked about?
Your head or the pigeon?

We ate a very ordinary lunch and then we headed in the direction of home. We decided that we would move the caravan back to Temora so once back in Narrandera we went to The Doll Place. When we arrived we quickly realised it was someone’s house in which the dolls were displayed. Pete Mate parked up, put the radio on and settled down for reasonable wait. I couldn’t find where to go so I knocked on the front door. It was opened by a gentleman that told me, Mother has gone to the doctors in Wagga. Sorry. And with that he closed the door so I didn’t get to see the collection of over 2,000 dolls.

Next I wanted to see and take photos of the fountain but that didn’t happen as it was beginning to pour with rain. This fountain is ceramic and made by Royal Doulton; there are only two like it in the world and the other one is in Pakistan. The fountain was presented to the people of the town by Mayor Hankinson in 1922. It was in honour of all those from the district who served in the Great War 1914 – 1918.

Once home we tucked ourselves away for the night as the rain poured and then we were treated to a huge thunderstorm.

Friday 9th November 2012

We arrived back in Temora without any hitches at all. The sky was blue and the sun shining. Our favourite site was empty so we set up camp and relaxed. The wind was pretty strong so we didn’t put the awning or the outside things out. Pete Mate then tuned in the television and that is when our good moods went down hill. We couldn’t get a decent picture but worst than that we couldn’t get the ABC at all. The best night on TV and we are without. We decided tomorrow we would move.

Saturday 10th November 2012

We awoke to a perfect sunny day with blue skies and no wind. We moved the ‘van a few sites along and positioned it so we had a good strong signal. We then did a few chores, set up camp properly and paid a quick visit to town before settling down outside to do some knitting. Well, I did. Pete Mate was working on the website. During the afternoon new people arrived and the peace of the afternoon was shattered by loud voices, music and dogs yapping. Are we mean hoping that they are not staying long?

Sunday 11th November 2012

Remembrance Sunday. We moved ourselves along fairly quickly so we would be on time for the service at the cenotaph. We arrived a few minutes before the proceedings started and for a small town the turnout wasn’t too bad at all. It was however the oddest and shortest Remembrance service we have attended whilst travelling. I am not sure how they timed the two minute silence but it was the quickest two minutes I have ever lived through, I was only half way through my prayers. Where was the church minister? I know it was Sunday but surely there must have been a spare one hanging around waiting for something to do. It is usual, at these gatherings, to have a paramedic or at least a first aid volunteer present; nope they stayed home as well. None of the usual services were represented nor did the fly past happen.

I laid some wild flowers for my nephew killed in the Falklands. He died so young and it is still happening all these years later, young men dying and for what? A war no one wants.

After the ten minute ceremony some of the school kids lined up in front of the cenotaph for a photo.

School kids at cenotaph
Doesn't your heart go out to that poor young lad on the left?
Don't worry, Son. In a few years those five will kill for a Body Mass Index like yours.

Before returning home we had coffee and raisin toast at a little café recommended to us. Once home we did our usual hobbies. I sat outside for a while as the weather was perfect.

Monday 12th November 2012

Another beautiful day dawned so out came the washing and then I went into cleaning mode. Once all was done I sat outside with my knitting. Pete Mate was treated to some entertainment as the fire brigade were here as were two water bombers. A campfire not too far away from Temora had got out of hand. An experience those campers won’t forget in a hurry.

During the evening we had a moment of excitement with me yelling, It’s over there . . . no it’s there now! and Pete Mate trying to murder a nasty, six foot flying insect with his shoe. Well it appeared six foot when it was dive bombing us.

Tuesday 13th November 2012

There is always something happening at Temora; today Pete Mate was rushing off to watch the Sabre. He hears the roar of a jet engine and leaps out to see what it is, half eaten meal forgotten.

Apart from that excitement it was a day of usual chores and hobbies. I finished a particularly nice little jumper and am very pleased with myself.

Wednesday 14th November 2012

I had to go for my blood test today and again I went through the usual process of explaining how she would have to take the blood from my hand. And, as usual, she wasn’t having any of it and proceeded to take it from my arm. To my utter surprise she managed it. I guess I need to come back to Temora every three months.

I did some shopping and I had some lovely chats to some lovely locals. I collected our Avalon tickets from the post office and then we paid a visit to the café recommended by James. We enjoyed a sandwich and drink before tackling the supermarket shopping. Well, actually I did most of that whilst Pete Mate had a look around Harvey Norman’s which is practically next door to Woolworths. Then it was home again to find the washing line had fallen over in the wind but luckily everything was okay. Once the shopping was away it was back to the knitting for me and a book for Pete Mate.

Thursday 15th November 2012

Not a lot happened here in cloudy Temora. We spent the day doing our various hobbies. I finished another little jumper and again was pleased with the result.

Friday 16th November 2012

Apart from a quick trip into town to collect the mail our day was pretty much the same as yesterday. The weather, however, was not. One minute it was sunny, the next cold and raining and the wind, boy did that blow!

I was sitting inside knitting when I spied a little chap outside our ‘van. I went outside to ask what he wanted. He said he would like to play with our children, if you please. When I explained we didn’t have any in the ‘van he wanted to know what we had done with them. He was a chatty little thing and I asked him to show me where he was camped. I walked him home and his parents didn’t even know he was missing. Some parents seem to think caravan parks are safe and let their kids roam unsupervised.

Saturday 17th November 2012

The weather has improved, which is a good thing, as it is flying day here at Temora. As the planes flying were of no interest to me I was given leave of absence and stayed home. Bliss. I did a few things then sat outside knitting until the master of the ’van returned home. The display was not as good as the last one and Pete Mate didn’t take one photo.

Sunday 18th November 2012

We didn’t venture far today as the wind was horrendous. We had to take the shade down and roll the awning in. At one point I thought we might take off with the shade as a sail! The washing line, even though it was pegged down, ended up on the ground. Our neighbours, who have a small van that fits on the back of a ute when travelling, said he thought the wind was going to turn them over.

Monday 19th November 2012

We decided to have a drive out to West Wyalong to see what it was like. It was a pleasant drive; we passed many beautiful trees and yellow wild flowers. Gold was discovered in Wyalong in 1893 which led to West Wyalong being developed in 1895. WW is 5 kms from Wyalong. Once the mining petered out it was replaced by agriculture, this being cereal crops and eucalyptus oil. We found the town quite charming but, sadly, a lot of the buildings were in need of some TLC. We had a wander about, enjoyed a very nice lunch and I took a few photos. I went inside the Catholic Church whilst Pete Mate waited outside. He probably thought God would faint if he saw him inside the building.

St Mary's, West Wyalong
Apologies to St. Mary for amputating the bell tower on her West Wyalong Catholic Church.
Hint to photographer: Turn camera through 90°.
Hint to photographer's husband: Next time I ask YOU to take a photograph, DO IT!

Thom, Dick and Harry's
Thom, Dick and Harry's gift shop and coffee lounge, West Wyalong.

It's Jacaranda blossom time again. That's our Billy parked there. Not bad for ten years old, is he?

Once home again I started writing the Christmas cards whilst Pete Mate had a nanny nap. The awful wind has dropped and it is quite warm. We haven’t as yet re-deployed the awning and shade, a job for tomorrow.

Tuesday 20th November 2012

I had to go back to the doctor’s for my results. All is well and I don’t have to have another blood test until January. I had to wait the customary one hour after my appointment time. Apart from that we did our usual hobbies. The wind was still a nightmare so sitting outside was not an option.

Wednesday 21st November 2012

Not much happened here today. We sat inside reading, knitting and playing computers due to the wind.

Thursday 22nd November 2012

I had a few Christmassy things to do in town so we decided to have a sandwich lunch at the café as well. Once home we put out the awning and shade again as the wind has dropped. We sat outside for a while before heading indoors for dinner and an evening of television entertainment.

Friday 23rd November 2012

We decided to go out for breakfast but by the time we were ready it was nearer lunchtime, so I guess it was brunch. We did enjoy a huge cooked breakfast; it was so big we decided it was our ‘meal of the day'. I couldn’t eat all mine and if we do this again I will have something smaller. We then did a small supermarket shop and went home. We sat outside for the rest of the day reading and I did some knitting. Around 5 pm it was too hot to sit outside any longer; we retreated into the ‘van and put on the air conditioner. What a nice position to be in, better than being freezing cold!

Saturday 24th November 2012

It was a nice relaxing day reading inside a nice cool caravan.

Sunday 25th November 2012

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday except today I didn’t even get dressed.

Monday 26th November 2012

I have had enough of lazing about so I did some serious cleaning today. We then went into town for lunch which was nice but the café we tried lacked any atmosphere. We will try another one next time. We did some shopping, filled up with fuel because we think we might have a bit of a drive out tomorrow.

By the time we got home the wind was once again with us and we went through the "should we or shouldn’t we take in the awning" conversation. In the end we did and, of course, by the time evening fell the wind had died down.

Tuesday 27th November 2012

The weather was not the best, cold and windy with rain expected, so we decided to delay our trip and see what the weather is like tomorrow. Later in the day the rain poured down so it was a good decision.

Wednesday 28th November 2012

The sun was shining so it was all systems 'go'. We packed an overnight bag and headed off to the coast. Pete Mate has always wanted to see the bridge on the coast which is built with its footings in the ocean. We drove for a couple of hours and then stopped at a nice little village called Gunning for morning tea. We then continued through Wollongong to this bridge. We parked, walked across the bridge and back and wondered why we had driven all this way as we could see very little of it. I saw even less as the railing was higher than my eyes and as I don’t like heights I wouldn’t go near the edge.

The rain that had been with us on and off all day was now showing us it meant business so we made haste to the car. We had a drive around and found a really good lookout which we 'bookmarked' for tomorrow. Now for somewhere to stay for the night.

We found a motel which was clean and reasonable in price. Why do all motel rooms smell the same? Pete Mate had a nanny nap whilst I caught up with my emails on my iPad. Later we went for dinner to the local RSL which had been recommended to us by the motel managers. It was awful; yes, the helpings were enormous but the quality was dreadful. Pete Mate wanted to know how they managed to extract every bit of flavour from the food. Once back at the motel we watched TV for a while and then read before falling asleep.

Thursday 29th November 2012

After breakfast we drove back to the lookout to view the bridge and take photos. The sun was trying to break through, but not nearly hard enough. At least the rain had gone away to annoy someone else.

Sea Cliff Bridge
Sea Cliff Bridge. The original road was cut into the hillside but the cliff kept falling on it.

The new road is set out from the cliff so rocks land behind it. What fun we had at the lookout! When we arrived it was fairly quiet, then busloads of Asians arrived and for some reason they were taken with Pete Mate and either wanted his photo by himself or wanted to pose with him. I laughed and laughed, it was so amusing. Eventually I was included, I think out of politeness, as it was really Pete Mate they wanted. Maybe they thought he was Santa. We were then invited to join a group holding up a banner. It was funny but since it was written in Chinese we wondered what was written. "Two more Aussies roped in to our game", or something similar. They were all lovely people and it was clear that they were having the best of times, which of course is infectious, so we had a really good time also.

It was then time for us to travel home; we again called in at Gunning this time for lunch which was scrumptious.

Friday 30th November 2012

We were pretty busy today, cleaning, washing and packing away things ready for our departure from Temora on Sunday. We went into town to do some shopping and to collect the mail. I also posted most of my Christmas cards. Hey, am I organised or what? We tried a different café for lunch which will be bookmarked in our memory bank as it was really nice. Plus it was a gift shop too; what more could you ask for, good food and nice things to look at?

And so ends November.

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