N.S.W. and Victoria ~ November 2013

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Friday 1st November 2013

Pete Mate, June and Bernie spent most of the day sitting outside the Aero Club watching planes and more planes. I went for a short while but I could see just as well from the caravan. I took the opportunity to do some computer things in peace. Then I read for a while before all the troops arrived home in time for happy hour.

Saturday November 2nd 2013

This is the day we had all been waiting for; well, some of us. The day was jam-packed with aircraft doing their displays high up in the sky and sometimes very low down. It was all very entertaining but by the finish of the day I had well and truly had enough of planes for a while. We have seen action from some of these planes all week so we have been eating sleeping and breathing planes. During the day I had a wander about looking at all the stalls set up in the hangar and indulged the child within me and had a butterfly painted on my face . . .

Pam's Tat

Later we enjoyed another happy hour before retiring for the night, very tired bunnies indeed.

Sunday November 3rd

Once more we were treated to planes in the air, this times they were taking off to return home. Some went quietly but others roared away with their jet engines going flat out. (Or so it sounded.) I am sure the townsfolk appreciated that. I spent the day reading as much of my book as I could, plus I have started a new jigsaw puzzle. We had a late happy hour and finally the wind that had been with us all day dropped and peace was restored. We were quite surprised at how many caravans remained today as we expected a mass exodus. We have yet again changed our plans and are now leaving for 'Punkah on Thursday. This will give us time to recover from all the excitement but also we should be well and truly over our colds by then.

Monday 4th November 2013

Just when I was thinking at last some peace and quiet, an aerobatic school move in. All day long we heard the drone of these small planes doing their tricks in the sky. They even continued right through happy hour squeezing every last minute out of the daylight.

Tuesday 5th November 2013

We said our goodbyes to June and Bernie as they were on their way to pastures new today. It has been nice catching up with them and we enjoyed some very nice happy hours together. Pete Mate and I went into town to do some shopping, have coffees and visit the Telstra shop. My iPad is refusing to accept or send emails; it is driving me nuts. The very nice young lady tried everything I had already tried without any joy. We tried again ourselves back at the caravan but as the signal is so lousy here we decided to put any further investigation on hold until we are at 'Punkah where the signal hopefully will be stronger. Happy Hour was just the two of us tonight, plus of course the droning noise of the little aircraft doing their aerobatics.

Wednesday 6th November 2013

It is 'get ready' day so we packed everything away in preparation for the move tomorrow. The planes were still up in the sky doing their aerobatics and Pete Mate was treated to two F/A-18s strutting about the sky as only jet fighters can. Apparently one was left behind after the air show because it was sick. Now that it is all mended, the pilot arrived in another F/A-18 and then they took off together.

Thursday 7th November 2013

We had a good journey through to 'Punkah arriving mid afternoon to a warm welcome from Jenny and Marshall. We had a little difficulty getting on to the site as it was a tight squeeze. In the end Marshall came down to help us but not before we had kept all our neighbours amused. It was so lovely to sit outside the 'van surrounded by beautiful green vegetation, sipping our wine in the perfect peace of the evening. No planes droning on and on, just the summer sound of the cicadas.

Friday 8th November 2013

I went for my first walk along the river this morning before Pete Mate was out of bed. I played Pooh sticks on my own and lost; I kid you not, my stick never appeared. Later I left Pete Mate at home trying to fix my iPad whilst I went into town to do some shopping. It was mad in town, cars and people everywhere because it is 'Hot Rod' weekend. Some of the roads are closed off and the Hot Rod cars were parked all around the town centre. I did what I had to and then returned home as fast as I could. I need peace and quiet not manic car owners. When I got home the park was filling up with all sorts of caravans, camper vans and tents plus some of the hot rods were here. Pete Mate had managed to fix my iPad and now I can send and receive emails; how clever is he? We were joined for Happy Hour by Jenny which was very pleasant indeed.

Saturday 9th November 2013

We spent the day doing a few things around the caravan and sitting outside reading. It is a little cooler than yesterday ... in fact it got quite cold. I enjoyed a good Skype session with my sisters and brother. Television reception here is great so we could watch our favourite programmers on the ABC.

Sunday 10th November 2013

The weather is still a bit cool for my liking but a nice temperature for my walk along the river. In the afternoon we went into town to the Bright Brewery for the music. The music started off pretty ordinary but by the end of the afternoon it had really stepped up a notch and the last two acts were really very good. When the music had finished Pete Mate wanted to stay and spend time with the couple we had met but I was freezing and it was after 6.00pm and dinner was waiting at home. Jan and Russell were a lovely couple and hopefully sometime in the future we'll meet up again.

Monday 11th November 2013

As it is Remembrance Day today we went into town to attend the service. It was really very well done much, better than the fiasco at Temora last year. Although the attendance was not as many as ANZAC Day there were still plenty of people there including a lot of school children. Afterwards we went for a coffee before heading home. We had just made it home when the heavens opened and it never stopped raining for the rest of the day. It is so cold we could be forgiven for thinking it was mid winter not November, 3 weeks away from summer.

Tuesday 12th November 2013

It is cold and pouring with rain so there was nothing else for it, I had to have a jim jam day. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the homemade soup and the vino.

Wednesday 13th November 2013

The rain has eased a lot but it is still very cold. We rugged up and went into town to the library and shops. We tried a new café for lunch, it was called The Crazy Chook Café; as I am a crazy chook I thought we would be welcome. We were, they were friendly, and the service was good as was the food. Once home and the shopping unloaded it was back to the heater and our books.

Thursday 14th November 2013

The weather is a little better today but not nice enough to sit outside for long. Pete Mate spent the day in bed as he is still battling his cold.

Friday 15th November 2013

The day dawned bathed in glorious sunshine so a walkathon was the order of the day. Once that was done we went into town for coffee and to pick up a script. Once home again we took our books outside and read, basking in the glorious weather. During happy hour everything changed and the sun was replaced by dirty looking clouds and then we had rain. What is wrong with this weather?

Saturday 16th November 2013

The sunshine has returned so another lot of washing went on the line. Pete Mate dropped me off at the Myrtleford Butter Factory for my butter-making day. I was one of eight and we were given a tour of the place and the history of how it came to be. The tour did not take long because it is only small. We had to 'suit up' to comply with health and safety rules . . .

Pam at dairy

. . . then wash our hands and sanitise them and let them 'air dry'. We didn't have to wear gloves though which I thought odd. Anyway, the actual making of the butter and the ricotta was done by Naomi, the owner; we sort of helped.

Naomi and the butter she'd just made.
Once the butter was made we were each given a huge lump of it and then we had to salt it if we wished and pat into some sort of shape. Not being artistic I belted mine around a bit and then wrapped it. To me it is not how it looked but how it tasted. Because I finished first I was given the job of sieving the ricotta and putting it into pots. We were also given a tasting session of different butters, including the famous Lurpak. If you tasted Myrtleford butter and know how Lurpak is made you would never eat it again. Afterwards we enjoyed a very nice light lunch with a glass of wine and more interesting history of the business.

Pete Mate collected me and we returned home to sit in the sunshine reading. Later I went on Skype but not for long because, out of nowhere, a huge storm rolled in and we had a display of thunder and lightening followed by rain. We unplugged the power and sat it out. Luckily it was over by dinner time and normal service was resumed.

Sunday 17th November 2013

It is another glorious day full of sunshine and no sign of any storm. The power in the district was being switched off from 9.00am so we had to be up and organised early; well, early for us. We sat outside in the sun reading and then later we drove into Bright for the music afternoon and a late lunch. The music was interrupted for quite a while because announcements had to be made about local bike races that had been happening around town during the last three days. We were not overly impressed but went with the flow. The weather again had a cool change so we decided to head home for our very own happy hour.

Monday 18th November 2013

We were once again blessed with sunshine so I went for a walk and did a few chores before hopping into the shower. I then heard Pete Mate call out, You'll never believe who is at the door. It was our lovely friends Dawn and Phil from Mildura who had travelled all this way to spend some time with us. What a great surprise! We let them set up camp and have a rest then we started happy hour a little earlier than usual because we had a lot to celebrate.

Tuesday 19th November 2013

We took our visitors into Bright to show them around then I suggested a drive up to a lookout which led to us actually going all the way up Mystic Mountain to see where the para-gliders take off from. We then made our way back into town for some lunch and some shopping which included the all important wine and beer for happy hour. We enjoyed another great happy hour – a long one.

Wednesday 20th November 2013

We had a big day today driving to Eldorado, Beechworth, Yakandandah and Mount Beauty. Pete Mate had to take Phil to see the famous gold dredge at Eldorado. Why do men like these things? Phil really enjoyed it and was very interested. We then went into Beechworth where we visited the famous bakery for lunch and a look around the town. Then it was on to Yakandandah for a look and because everyone has to go there with a name like that. We then went to Mount Beauty for the drive and a coffee. By this time it was getting late so we headed home for a short rest before happy hour. Happy Hour once again was long and thoroughly enjoyable.

Thursday 21st November 2013

Phil took us out today; he wanted to visit the cheese factory and the butter factory. Cheese was first on the list and we did some serious tasting and buying there. We then drove to the butter factory where we enjoyed a very nice lunch plus some more tasting and buying. We then came home to put our wares in the fridge before heading up Mount Buffalo. The weather was not the best and cloud at our level spoilt the views. Phil and Dawn enjoyed seeing the Chalet and the area very much but weren't too keen on the road with the many steep drops. Usual happy hour took place.

Friday 22nd November 2013

Pete Mate and I had a few things to do in Bright and Dawn and Phil went off to visit some friends in Myrtleford. Once in town Pete Mate went to get Billy two new tyres and I had a few shops to visit, one being the Post Office to post a card. I was stunned to find out the postage had gone up 90c in one go. Unbelievable, considering soon we will be sending Christmas cards and spending a small fortune. I met up with Pete Mate at the café before we went our separate ways again. PM went for diesel and I went for food. Later we spent the afternoon on the computer and reading. Dawn and Phil returned in plenty of time for happy hour.

Saturday 23rd November 2013

We took Dawn and Phil up Mount Hotham today. The weather was beautiful and sunny when we left 'Punkah but as we drove higher and higher it changed to dirty looking clouds and was very very cold. At one point it fell to 4° Centigrade. We had a look around Hotham and then went on to Dinner Plain where we found a nice little café for lunch. The lunch was so long in coming we thought they had forgotten us but once it arrived it was very nice. The weather then changed dramatically and we had dense cloud cover and rain so we decide to call it a day and drive back down the mountain. Pete Mate took it slow and steady which was a good thing as a car and caravan came around a blind corner partially on our side of the road and if PM hadn’t stopped the guy would have lost the back of his caravan and hurt our Billy. We all agreed he was an idiot driver and his wife probably gave him heaps, whereas Pete Mate got lots of praise. Once home I had a nanny nap and Pete Mate worked on the computer. We then enjoyed another lovely happy hour.

Sunday 24th November 2013

Our usual ‘brewery’ day was cancelled as Dawn and Phil had invited their friends from Myrtleford to a barbecue and we were included. The day was lovely and sunny but by about 4.00pm it became quite chilly. Sandra and Don arrived and we were sitting having a happy hour before dinner and the heavens opened and it poured. We had a quick rearrangement of seating and eventually we were all under cover. We enjoyed a lovely meal with pleasant company and of course, for Pete Mate and I, copious amounts of red wine.

I had looked forward all week to the Dr Who special and missed some of it at the start but hopefully I will have successfully recorded it. Then whilst watching it the power went off; I was not impressed. On the whole though, I was a little disappointed because I felt it wasn’t as good as all the hype had promised.

Monday 25th November 2013

In the morning Dawn and Phil went to the trout farm and caught some fish. We all then went into town for lunch and had a short walk along the river before heading home for a nap.

Tuesday 26th November 2013

A day of rest for us but Dawn and Phil went off exploring, got lost and then found their way home. Phil cooked the trout he caught the other day for dinner but didn’t eat it because he doesn’t like fish. Pete Mate and I then went into Bright for the evening to listen to Ian Stapleton giving a talk about the pioneers of this area and also to promote his new book. Ian is always interesting and his memory amazes us because he talks for about two and half hours and doesn’t have a single note written down. It was spoilt a bit for us by some man at the back who had to keep talking the whole time. I wished I had had a gun!

Wednesday 27th November 2013

We decided to go out to the airfield and check out helicopter flights. Dawn and Phil came for the drive. Nothing was happening at the airfield but we noted the relevant phone numbers and website address to check out the joy flights. We decided a coffee would be good and Pete Mate decided a drive through the Buckland Valley might also be good. It was a nice drive and we were able to show Dawn and Phil where the Chinese worked and died plus their memorial. We were nearly at the coffee shop in Bright when Pete Mate decided to do a detour to Apex Lookout. It was a rough road with a steep drop and very scary indeed. I for one was very glad when we finally came back down and arrived at the coffee shop. Later we had a short happy hour and then went out to dinner at the Star Hotel which we can highly recommend. The food was yummy.

Thursday 28th November 2013

We love seeing our friends but I don't like saying goodbye. Today is the day and it was sad to see Dawn and Phil go but we have the memories of a great ten days where we introduced them to one of our favourite places, the Alpine region. Once they had gone we felt quite flat but as I had a few things to do in town it took our minds off it until happy hour. That was a sad affair. Ah well we will soon adjust to being just the two of again.

Friday 29th November 2013

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Butter Factory with friends Noreen and Lionel. It was really great to see them again.

Saturday 30th November 2013

We did a little sorting out today and I packed the little jumpers we have carried from Emu Park to give to a friend here in Bright. They are for an African charity. As I packed them I counted them and there are 103 knitted by two ladies, one of which is in her 90’s. Quite a feat don’t you think? And then there was the four I did! It was a lovely sunny day and sitting outside with a book kept me occupied for most of the afternoon.

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