Queensland ~ September 2013 

Never tell your problems to anyone ... 20% don't care and
the other 80% are glad you have them. - Lou Holtz

Sunday 1st September 2013 - Fathers' Day in Australia

Another lovely sunny day here at Emu Park; it was especially nice to walk up to the Singing Ship and soak up the beautiful vista.

Singing Ship
The Singing Ship memorial to Captain James Cook who was here in 1770.
The vertical pipes 'sing' when the wind blows.
Once home I did a few chores and some more cooking for the freezer. I had another go at the crocheting, I think I may have finally ‘got it’. After happy hour the women prepared and cooked a barbecue for the men as it was Fathers' Day. I think it all went well and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Monday 2nd September 2013

I had a busy day helping out with the accounts again. It was a sad happy hour because we said goodbye to our friends Bev and Phil whom we will really miss. We will just have to look forward to seeing them again next year. The park is slowly losing all the familiar faces but on a good note we can make new friends.

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

I spent the morning helping out with the accounts again. In the afternoon I revisited the surgeon for his decision regarding my ankle. He has now decided to give me a cortisone injection to see if that works. If not I will have to have the ankle fused. All I want is to be without the constant pain.

Wednesday 4th September 2013

We went for our hearing tests today; Pete Mate is grinning because he is not deaf but I am! I now am at the stage where I need hearing aids. I am not happy about it or the price of them but if I can hear properly then it will be worth it.

When we left there we drove straight into Rocky and met up with friend Roger for lunch at the Leagues’ Club. (Roger is a member and allows us to enjoy his discount). We had a lovely lunch with a glass of red and good company. After lunch we went off to do the many errands we had before arriving home, very late indeed, too late for happy hour. In the evening we went up to the pub to play trivia and once again we did not win but beat our nemesis.

Thursday 5th September 2013

Every Tuesday and Thursday at the CWA hall in the village there is a craft morning. I went for the first time today to make a card. I made one for Julie, our daughter-in-law, whose birthday it is this month. I was pretty pleased with my first ever attempt. In the afternoon I played Mah Jong at the RSL and was again pretty pleased with my performance. Robyn and I had a quick wine before heading home for happy hour.

Pete Mate had the task of watching the caravan repair man do a service on our wheel bearings and brakes. Apparently he did a good job but charged what we thought was an exorbitant sum until we compared it to work done in 2005, then we didn’t think it too bad.

Friday 6th September 2013

I enjoyed my Tai Chi session this morning and then I met Pete Mate at the bakery for coffee. We chatted to a couple who shared our table and discovered not only were they from Western Australia - Geraldton to be precise - but the chap used to go to school in Kelmscott and Roleystone.

We left there and walked up to the doctors for Pete Mate to get a script and a routine blood test. I 'piggybacked' his appointment and got a script for more pain killers and some paperwork done. We then had to wait for the blood lady to take PM’s blood; she had gone down into the village to put today’s samples on the bus. We thought this amusing but apparently that is how it is done. We left there and did some shopping on the way home. In the afternoon we both worked on the computer and then I read a really good book about the French Resistance. In the evening, after Happy Hour, a few of us went up to the Bowling Club for dinner and a good time was had by all.

Saturday 7th September 2013

I enjoyed the best night’s sleep I have had in a long while thanks to the new pills the doctor gave me, long may it last. I spent the morning helping Sue and the afternoon doing some computer work and reading.

Whilst I was doing all of this Pete Mate went off to Rocky to an auction with Jim. They didn’t buy anything but on the way back called in at a car boot sale as it was next to a polling booth and election day. Pete Mate bought another clock, this time it is gold with swinging balls. It cost him the great sum of $2. Now that should have been a clue to the condition it was in. It worked for a few hours then gave up the ghost and found its way to the garbage bin. Two things surprised me about this little episode; why did he buy it in the first place, we live in a caravan? On second thoughts that didn’t surprise me at all. Now the other thing, why did he not pull it apart and investigate its workings. Mmmm, is my man getting old!

The Skype connection tonight was rubbish and it drives me mad when it is like that, however it was good to see sister Angie up and about and on the road to recovery. It was a very pleasant happy hour and we met new people including a couple from Western Australia who used to live in Stockport in the UK. It was so nice to chat about places we four knew.

Sunday 8th September 2013

I spent the morning doing domestic things like washing and cleaning. In the afternoon I read some of my book before taking a break to crush some cans. In the park we have a can recycling area but someone has to crush the cans. Our lovely friends Phil and Bev used to do it but as they have gone home we seem to have taken their place. I feed the cans in (Bev’s job) and Pete Mate crushes them (Phil’s job). It didn’t take long before we had emptied the whole bin ready for some more . . . and believe me, in this park it will soon be full.

At 4.00pm we were driven by Phil (another Phil) to Rosslyn Marina to go on a sunset cruise. Phil’s wife Cath and our friend Roger made us a nice sized group of five ...

Four on Cat
Here we are just before setting off. Fearless smiles and three bottles of 'red' in the bag.
We enjoyed about an hour and a half sailing around the islands of Keppel Bay, watching the sunset, drinking wine and eating nibbles. It was a very pleasant way to spend happy hour and we all enjoyed it very much. Anthony and Vicki, who sailed the catamaran and looked after us all, were really nice and did an excellent job.

The bay contains many small, uninhabited islands such as this rising steeply out of the Coral Sea.

Marina from Sea
As we turned for home the lights were twinkling along the shore.

Monday 9th September 2013

Another busy day in the life of a grey nomad. I started it with a walk and then my exercises. After breakfast I did some more cleaning and washing. Later I paid a visit to the library and supermarket. I then prepared dinner ready for the oven as time was marching on and I had to be on Skype by 4.00pm to wish my sister Sandie a happy birthday. I had just enough time to squeeze in reading my book for half an hour. After Skype and putting the dinner in the oven we went to Happy Hour. We see new faces all the time now so it makes a very different happy hour.

Tuesday 10th September 2013

Pete Mate left early with a couple of friends to visit Jim in hospital. They also collected another friend from the airport who had been doing a good deed for someone else. We all try to help each other out here at Emu Park. I used the opportunity of having an ‘empty’ ‘van to clean PM’s corner and throw out the rugs and wash the floor. I also cleaned out a few more cupboards. In the afternoon I played Mah Jong at Robyn’s which ended with a glass or two of wine. I then walked up to happy hour and had another. I do believe I was a little squiffy tonight.

Wednesday 11th September 2013

I walked up to the physio for my appointment which went well. He is pleased with my progress but agreed with the doctor - I should be using the walking stick more. Pete Mate went off to the backpackers hostel to organise the bus for Sunday for our trip to The Ferns Hideaway. There are about 20 of us going so it should be a good day once more. It was a hot sticky day so PM and I sat outside for a while reading. We both decided our books were rubbish and gave up on them. Later, after Happy Hour, we went up to the pub for dinner and to play trivia. It was our last time for 2013 as our team captain, Roger, leaves for home on Monday. Sadly we did not win but once again came third. It was, however, a very pleasant evening.

Thursday 12th September

I went off to make some more cards at the CWS hall and then in the afternoon I went up to the RSL with Robyn to play Mah Jong. After dinner I fired up my laptop only to find it had died. Pete Mate had a fiddle with it and it was fine again.

Friday 13th September

My computer died again this morning and no amount of fiddling would get it going so I went off to tai chi and Pete Mate pulled my laptop apart. When I arrived home he had my hard drive installed in his computer and was backing up all my files so we left that running whilst we went shopping in Yeppoon.

Once home Pete Mate proceeded to pull my computer apart again; it looks like it could the motherboard. In the evening we went up to the Bowls Club for dinner and a very nice evening it was too.

Saturday 14th September 2013

A day of chores and reading. I had a late walk because I needed to go to the library and shops. PM again was trying to fix my computer. Eventually he put it back together again and decided to think about the next step. In the evening we went to The Kinka Kippa for dinner. It was a very pleasant evening with good food, good wine and excellent company.

Sunday 15th September 2013

I modified my walk to include the monthly Picnic Markets. I bought a lovely cauliflower and not much more. The bus arrived at 11.00 a.m. to take us to the Ferns Hideaway for another great afternoon. We all enjoyed the food and the music and some of us enjoyed the wine perhaps more than we should have done.

Monday 16th September 2013

The day has finally arrived; my ankle is going to get a shot of cortisone. Pete Mate dropped me off and went to the car wash and the petrol station. By the time he was finished and came to collect me I was just about done. I walked out of the hospital with an ankle that was without pain for the first time in ages. Once home I watched a DVD whilst PM continued with his task of fixing my computer. He even gave up his happy hour so he could continue. I, however, attended; someone has to represent the Ransons.

Tuesday 17th September 2013

I spent most of the day in the office helping Sue. Pete Mate has sourced some parts for my computer so we now have to wait for them to come from China. My ankle is not so good today but I am told that is normal and it should settle down in a day or two. Happy hour was very pleasant tonight; we do, however, still miss our regular friends.

Wednesday 18th September 2013

An enjoyable morning with ‘the ladies’. We browsed through some lovely gift shops and then enjoyed morning tea. In the afternoon Pete Mate and I walked into the village to the library and somehow found ourselves in the pub. We enjoyed a couple of nice cold drinks before heading home for happy hour. When we arrived we found it was entertainment night and Jim had put up the big screen and was playing DVD’s of the Corrs, and Fleetwood Mac to name a couple. We all decided to have fish and chips and Sue and I went off to collect the large order. It was a great night but much later I remembered why I don’t eat fish and chips. I felt woeful I can tell you.

Thursday 19th September 2013

In the morning I went to the CWA hall to make some more cards. I am really enjoying it and hopefully whoever receives the cards later will realise how much effort was put in to it. In the afternoon I played Mah Jong but didn’t do so well. I did score but not as well as the last two weeks.

Friday 20th September 2013

I went to Tai Chi in the morning and then did some shopping before returning home. Pete Mate had to take the heater off the wall because it was falling off. How or why this has happened we do not know but luckily the hardware shop was on our ‘to do’ list today.

We drove into Rocky for my appointment with the Rheumatoid Specialist arriving a few minutes early and the receptionist, after taking a few details, said the doctor was running an hour late – would we like to go and do some shopping?

We took off to Dan Murphy’s to get some beer and wine supplies before heading out to the new hardware store called Masters. Once there we both went into different directions to save some time. We had just about finished when the receptionist rang to say we had twenty minutes to be back at the surgery. We rushed over to the checkout only to find two items did not have a bar code. Well, if you are in a hurry do not shop at Masters because they took their time. When we finally got in the car I was so stressed thinking I was going to be really late. Then I thought to myself, I was early for my appointment not late, so if we arrive back a little late then it's just tough.

Back in the waiting room we had to sit for another fifteen minutes or so. I cannot say either of us were too pleased at this point but then we were called in and the doctor was so lovely, funny and thorough that we forgave him. He gave me some very good advice suggesting I take Krill. He wanted more blood tests done and told me to get a script filled. He then said he didn’t want to see me again until next year. We left there for home after paying a huge fee of $340 – and that is with pensioner discount. We made it home in time for happy hour and then a few of us went to the bowling club for tea – a lovely end to the day.

Saturday 21st September 2013

I went for a walk and then returned home to start some serious cleaning. I have lost the watch that Nic gave me for my 50th birthday and have decided to leave no stone unturned. I spent two or three hours taking everything out of cupboards and drawers, cleaning and then putting it all back. I then read for a while before going on Skype and then on to happy hour.

Sunday 22nd September 2013

On my walk this morning I was joined by friend Phil. It was nice to have his company. After that today was pretty much the same as yesterday except I didn’t go on Skype. We are still waiting for the mother board for my computer so Pete Mate is still swapping over our hard drives. On a good note I won the Men’s Shed raffle of a $30 meat voucher which will come in very handy. Since we have been here I have won their raffle twice.

Monday 23rd September 2013

We said goodbye to some more lovely people, so sad to see everyone go. I drove into Cedar Park so the very nice lady could take my blood. It didn’t take long at all and once home I did the usual things before settling down to read. Happy hour was in reduced numbers but still good and we said our goodbyes to Marty.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

I was joined by friend Robyn for my morning walk this morning and again it was nice to have the company. Once home I cleaned out some more cupboards, still searching for my watch. I will find it and in the process have a very clean caravan. In the afternoon I played Mah Jong with Robyn and then we had our own little happy hour before I joined the main one in the park.

Wednesday 25th September 2013

I went to have my new hearing aids fitted and found they were not as easy to fit as I thought. I guess I will get used to them. The chap said to wear them for a couple of hours at first and then slowly build up to wearing them all the time.

We had a few things to do in Yeppoon including eating lunch. Once home it was feet up and time for a read. At happy hour I saw Cath looking at me, trying to see the hearing aids.
I said, “You can’t see them can you?”
“No”, she replied, “No, I can’t”.
I kidded her for a minute or two and then told her I wasn’t wearing them.

It was another sad goodbye as Cath and her husband Phil leave early tomorrow. We will miss them.

Thursday 26th September 2013

I went once more to card making at the CWA hall. Thelma, who teaches us, is so lovely and very patient. I was particularly pleased with the cards I made today. In the afternoon Robyn and I went up to the RSL club to play Mah Jong. It was not the best afternoon I have had up there but I still love playing. Happy Hour was a very small group but still enjoyable.

Friday 27th September 2013

I didn’t have a good start to the day as my night was awful so instead of going to Tai Chi I went back to bed. Later I felt heaps better and even managed to finally fit my hearing aids.

In the evening we and Jim and Sue went to the Bowling Club for tea. We won the meat tray and a bottle of wine in the raffle and Jim and Sue won a bottle of wine. We, for once, were sitting on the lucky table.

Saturday 28th September 2013

The day started quite muggy and it was warm walking this morning. I hadn’t been home long and we got a very short sprinkle of rain and then that was it for the day. So much for the forecast of rain and storms.

Pete Mate and I watched the Fremantle Dockers lose the Grand Final and then we drowned our sorrows at happy hour. Actually we were not that bothered, we only watched because they are a West Australian team and haven’t been in a final before. After happy hour we used the meat from the raffle win and enjoyed a very pleasant barbecue with friends.

Sunday 29th September 2013

Pete Mate had a major clean out of the car, sorted out his tool boxes and now we have a lot less ‘stuff’ and we have seats in the back again. I cleaned out under the bed and sorted out a box of things for the charity shop, threw some things out and still I have not found my watch.

It was a very quiet Happy Hour tonight with only four of us in attendance.

Monday 30th September 2013

Pete Mate did some more sorting out of things and I did inside chores with the air conditioner on. In the afternoon PM dropped me off for a medical appointment whilst he went to the mechanics with Billy. Poor old Billy now has to have new shock absorbers. Once home it was back to the air conditioner until happy hour which again was quiet.