Victoria ~ May 2013 

Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.

Wednesday May 1st 2013

I went into town for some retail therapy and to visit the library. Pete Mate opted to stay home and look after the caravan. Once home I read for the rest of the afternoon, you know what it is like when you just have to finish that book.

Thursday May 2nd 2013

Pete Mate did his flight in the microlight; this had been on his bucket list for a while. He seemed to enjoy it but we were a little disappointed with the photos.

Suited up

How handsome does Pete Mate look all suited up?

Afterwards we drove into Bright with the intention of walking the Cherry Walk, properly this time. We had a coffee first then set off. The sign post said 3kms but we knew it was further though not sure of how much further. When we finally dragged our little feet back into town we had walked 6.8kms according to my pedometer. In places the track was over rough river stones which made it tough going for me as my dicky ankle does not like them.

We made our way to the Brewery for a late lunch and some beer and wine. Once refreshed we wandered home for a nap before heading out again to a movie night at the Information Centre. Each year Helen organises a movie during the Festival. This year it was The Way with Martin Sheen. I enjoyed it very much and found it quite spiritual and uplifting plus half way through James Nesbitt appeared; now the movie got even more interesting as he is an actor I really like. Pete Mate thought the whole thing was ‘okay’.

Friday May 3rd 2013

After yesterday I really did not feel like doing much so I did some washing, cleaning then had a cook-fest for the freezer.

Saturday 4th May 2013

What a wonderful day we had - well I did and I am sure Pete Mate did apart from the markets; apparently markets are ‘pink’. We wandered amongst the stalls checking out this and that. My main aim was to buy local produce. I found some yummy feta cheese and some farm fresh vegetables plus we tried Ned’s Wine. The two chaps on the stall were friendly and engaging so we tried their wine and found it nice enough to buy a bottle. Pete Mate and I both agreed that if you want to make a dollar at these places you have to be like these two chaps, not just sitting there ignoring people. That will not get your goods sold. Maybe these two had already been sampling their wears! I also bought a new cover for my ironing board; it is so difficult to find one small enough for a caravan ironing board. Once I had walked Pete Mate’s feet off I promised him coffee which was easier said than done, everywhere was packed.

We decided to try the pub, they always have plenty of room. I ordered a sandwich at the food counter and then went to order coffees at the drinks counter. Coffee was off the menu and so was hot chocolate. How can coffees be off the menu? Did the barista have a hissy fit and down tools? Anyway, we had to settle for beer and wine which was a hardship I can tell you. Then it was time for the parade.

We positioned ourselves at the start of the parade this year after taking Helen’s advice. It was a good move as Les, the compère, was a very funny chap. The young girl that sang the National Anthem was really very good, but we are quite amazed that people forget to remove their hats. I loved all of the parade: the bands, the floats, the people and especially the children.

Lions Engine and Blue Hair
Left: Les commented that this little train actually worked, not like the 'fast rail' the Government is talking of building.
Right: I think I would look nice with blue hair.
Doll and Blue Face
Left: I just liked this.                  Right: This year's theme was Look To The Future. Scary future!
Once the parade was over we made our way to the Brewery because I had this off-the-wall plan that we could sit outside and listen to the concert in the park. Wrong. First we couldn’t get a seat outside and secondly you couldn’t hear the concert unless you were actually in the park. So after we finished our drinks we made our way down to the park found a fence to perch our bottoms upon and enjoyed over an hour of really good music. We were disappointed that the Air Force band wasn’t coming this year as it is top class but the brass band from Footscray was excellent and played a variety of music, including an African drum piece complete with authentic drums. All in all, a top day.

Sunday 5th May 2013

This morning was so cold I swear my feet were crunching on frost as I walked across the grass to the shower block. As I was first up it was my job to get the heater roaring into life, make coffee then hop back into bed and wait for the caravan to warm up. We then ate a leisurely breakfast before playing computers.

Later we found ourselves at the Brewery listening to the music and drinking wine/beer. It was a very pleasant afternoon but oh so cold. For a short time we ventured inside for some warmth. Then the staff started closing windows and doors so we couldn’t hear the music so we once more went out into the cold. We were so glad we did as the group - called Cutest Little Monsters - were excellent; I sure hope we manage to hear them again sometime in the future.

Monday 6th May 2013

I did some computer work and then read, my knitting has been put on hold for the time being as I am having a few problems with my shoulders.

Tuesday 7th May 2013

We went into town but for what I can’t remember; I know we had coffee at the café but what else . . . who knows?

Wednesday 8th May 2013

A quick dash into town to return a DVD to the library and then it was home again to sit and read.

Thursday 9th May 2013

Pete Mate was doing something on the computer. (It doesn’t matter how many times he explains, I still don’t understand it.)

I was doing some emails when we had a visitor. The gentleman's name was Ken and he was from Melbourne; he was on his way to Harrietville and decided to call in and say hello. We did not know Ken but he had found our website by chance when looking for something else. He gave Pete Mate some really nice compliments and we enjoyed chatting to him. Again I say it, we meet some of the loveliest people.

Friday 10th May 2013

If you can find the right spot to sit in the sun it is warm enough - but not for long. We do seem to spend more time in the caravan than outside.

Saturday 11th May 2013

We went out to the airfield to see if Pete Mate could get a flight to do some aerial photography. We didn’t see any small aeroplanes but we did meet a lovely lady called Lisa that owned another microlight company. She knew exactly what Pete Mate wanted and was willing to take him up though not today as the rangers had been burning off and the mountains were shrouded in smoke. Hopefully it will happen in the next couple of days.

From there we went into town and did some shopping, returned the library books and looked at carpet for the caravan. We are so fed up with having cold feet.

Sunday 12th May 2013

Mother’s Day. I went for an early walk along the river path. It was a beautiful morning, a little chilly but nice for walking. By the time I got home Pete Mate was up and had the coffee on the go. Bliss. I then cooked a rather nice breakfast even though I say it myself.

Later we went into Bright to the Brewery for the usual Sunday music. Two chaps were singing and it was pretty dismal, the songs were all about the worse side of life. Pete Mate said if it didn’t improve very quickly he was going out to 'top' himself. Megan with her violin arrived and we thought, Ah, she has saved the day let alone Pete Mate’s neck! That nice thought was short lived as the two chaps kept her in the background whilst they droned on and on. At the earliest opportunity I went up and asked Megan could she do a violin/fiddle solo. As I was saying this, Rudi, a local musician (and a very good one) took up one of the guitars. Now the day improved and we heard Megan and Rudi play an Irish jig and then Rudi led the rest of the afternoon with his excellent guitar playing.

We stayed at the Brewery for dinner as it was Mother’s Day and we hadn’t eaten out for a while so we were looking forward to a treat. Sadly a treat it was not, it was awful. The only good thing about it was the compliment I received from Pete Mate who said a meal like that really makes you appreciate home cooking.

Monday 13th May 2013

No walk this morning as it was pouring with rain and had been all night. Puddles everywhere and soggy grass to walk over to the shower block. We cannot complain as we have been praying for rain for the farmers; I just hope it reached them as they had been sowing their seeds dry. We drove into Myrtleford to meet friends Noreen and Lionel whom we'd met at Emu Park. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at The Butter Factory which came highly recommended by Jenny who owns the caravan park here. The meal was a hundred times better than yesterday and half the price. It was lovely to catch up with Noreen and Lionel and we look forward to doing so many more times when we are at Emu Park for the winter.

Tuesday 14th May 2013

We were due to leave today but as the weather is abysmal we decided to stay longer and hopefully pack everything away in the dry. I went for a walk in between showers and noticed the Ovens is again muddy brown but flowing very fast. I saw a duck getting a free ride as it moved along in the flow.

Wednesday 15th May 2013

It was a wet sort of day. I got wet whilst walking this morning, again walking around Bright and yet again putting the shopping in the car. We went to the library as we have now decided to wait until the weather improves. We also bought a rug for the main walking area of the caravan for warmth and comfort. By the way, did you know when you drop a Corelle plate and it breaks it shatters into the tiniest of pieces and gets everywhere?

Pam with Parsnips

Thursday 16th May 2013

More rain fell upon us but at least I walked without getting wet.

Friday 17th May 2013

The NAB in Bright gets the thumbs up from me. I called in on the off chance that they might have had some superannuation paper work I needed. They didn’t but they printed it off for me, all 136 pages. I reckon that was pretty good considering we don’t bank with them. We tried a new café for coffee and, apart from it being cramped and very busy, it was a nice change.

Saturday 18th May 2013

I just love to buy fresh produce from the farmers markets and today was no exception.

How do you like my new earings?
Quite a pair of parsnips!

I purchased two of the most enormous parsnips I have ever seen plus some other goodies. We enjoyed a coffee at the Riverdeck Café and as they were so busy we shared our table with four lovely people from Melbourne. We bumped into a lady who I thought was someone else and confusion reigned until she told me who she actually was.

As the weather was still dry we started to pack some things away ready for the move.

Sunday 19th May 2013

The weather wasn’t too bad today and Pete Mate was all geared up to do his second micro light flight. Then the phone call came to say there was too much cloud for the flight he wanted and it was postponed yet again. We went to the Brewery for the last time this visit and listened to the music of Suzy and Terry, who were not bad at all.

Monday 20th May 2013

The weather is still mixed so not a lot happened here, I did manage to get a walk in. We packed a lot more of our things away whilst everything was fairly dry.

Tuesday 21st May 2013

It was a much better day weather wise and Pete Mate finally got his flight. He enjoyed it and got plenty of photos but still wasn’t happy as some cloud was about. He wants to do another flight when we return in November.

Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Last day here today so we had a few errands to do and some goodbyes. Once all that was out of the way we hooked up and got ready for our departure tomorrow. Not that we ever get away at the crack of dawn.

Thursday 23rd May 2013

I managed to fit in my walk along the river, whilst Pete Mate was getting ready to leave. I played Pooh Sticks with myself naming one stick Pete Mate, he won again! We had a sticky start to our travels as it was a little difficult manoeuvring out of the caravan park due to obstacles in the way. We said our fond farewells and hit the road around 10.30am, all was going well until we arrived at a 'Road Closed' sign. So we had to back track a bit before setting off on an alternate route. The journey then went without a hitch and we arrived at Temora mid afternoon. We set up camp for the night and were just relaxing with a cup of tea when we heard a loud plane noise. Pete Mate was off out the door like a rocket and was gone for ages. Apparently it was a Hercules on some sort of air force exercise. I think they must have known PM was here and just came for a visit.

Friday 24th May 2013

Again we had to do a little bit of manoeuvring to leave our site, this time we got ourselves into it, but we emerged the other side without a scratch. We had a good run through to Dubbo and arrived mid afternoon. I went into the office to book us in. I asked for a drive-through powered site for a car and caravan for one night.
Her reply was, “You have cattle?”
I said, “No, just a car and caravan”.
She then said, “So you have just one cow?”
At this point I wasn’t sure which one of us was mad.
I said, “I have a car, a caravan and a husband, no dogs, cats, children and certainly no cows”.
Her reply was, “Well it sounded like you said cows”.
At this point a man came in, another customer. Being a devil I said, “Maybe he has a cow.” She wasn’t amused.

We set up camp for the night and timed it well as just as we were relaxing the heavens opened and we had a short heavy shower.

Saturday 25th May 2013

It was another beautiful day for travelling, sunny and the temperature just right. We arrived at Narrabri mid afternoon and set up camp for the night.

Sunday 26th May 2013

We finally crossed the NSW/Queensland border as we made our way to Goondiwindi. Now avid readers of this journal will know the last time we were here Pete Mate had an encounter with a palm tree because of a woman in a black bikini. I am pleased to report that he avoided all palm trees and there wasn’t a black bikini in sight.

Monday 27th May 2013

The trip through to Possum Park was without event, we are enjoying a rather good talking book about a private detective and his dog. The dog is telling the story, and it is very funny. We arrived mid afternoon at Possum which incidentally is a caravan park surrounded by bush and very popular with the grey nomads making their way north for the winter, including us.

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Banana is our overnight stop tonight, not the best place in the world but adequate for an overnighter. We enjoyed a lovely meal in the pub and retired to the ‘van to watch Yes, Prime Minister on a DVD as TV reception is non existent here.

Wednesday 29th May 2013

We left Banana in the rain and experienced some really heavy downpours along the way. During this trip we have been held up so many times by road works, let us hope the end results are less bumpy roads. We arrived at Emu Park around lunchtime and received a warm welcome as usual. We set up camp, not fully as we were both weary and the weather not so good. I walked into the village for some milk and not much has changed there. The TV is working a treat here and we were able to watch the ABC. Bliss.

Thursday 30th May 2013

I went for a walk into the village and up to the Singing Ship; nothing really seems to have changed since we were last here. Pete Mate spent quite a lot of time cleaning the outside of the ‘van whilst I pottered about inside. Much later we went over to Happy Hour and then returned home to watch the ABC. It wasn’t to be; the ABC did not work and I was not a happy chappie.

Friday 31st May 2013

We finished the month of May off by a visit to the Dentist. Pete Mate just wanted a clean and check up but I had broken a filling. The whole experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be and it turned out the dentist and his receptionist wife were from Stockport - Bredbury to be exact - but had worked at a dental practice in Offerton which my family had patronised when we were growing up. Small world.

After the dentist we did a bit of shopping and then returned home to watch the ABC programme of Bill Gates in a question and answer scenario. The ABC worked enough for us to watch it which was good as he was really interesting and seemed a nice man. We then finished setting up camp, all the outside furniture is installed and the floor and shade in place. Then before we knew it was time for happy hour.

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