Upheaval in Bell Park and my sister Angie arrives ~ October 2016

Dear whoever is reading this, I hope you have a reason to smile today.

Saturday 1st October 2016

We went for a walk and then called in a Degani’s for coffee. After a forty-minute wait we were served. Sorry Degani’s but we will not be back for coffees for a while. Once home I did a heap of washing and some cleaning. In the afternoon I went over to Iris’s to see how she was and was glad to find her looking better. Happy hour was very pleasant, we welcomed friends Ann and John back to the park plus we met John’s sister and her husband.

Sunday 2nd October 2016

After our walk this morning we had coffee at the bakery and were served in a timely manner. Later in the morning I cooked brunch and then spent the rest of the day finishing off my Christmas cards. I managed to get glitter everywhere. Our annex looks like the fairies have been for a visit. Happy hour was once again very pleasant.

Monday 3rd October 2016

The rain has decided to visit us again today, at times very heavy downfalls indeed. It didn’t worry me as I was working all day on Sue’s bookwork. We still had happy hour outside under the barbecue area roof. By sitting in the middle of the place we did not get wet.

Tuesday 4th October 2016

I spent another day working on Sue’s paperwork. I finally finished it all for the quarter and completed the superannuation and BAS. A nice feeling.

Wednesday 5th October 2016

We went into Rocky to have our right eye lens laser polished. Dr Kitchen also checked my left eye and said it was fine. Afterwards we did some shopping, filled up Billy, took Billy through the carwash and stocked up on grog. We were home just in time for happy hour.

Thursday 6th October 2016

Today we went back to Rocky to have our left eyes done. I did some shoe shopping, we had lunch and then we came home. We had naps before happy hour.

Friday 7th October 2016

No Tai Chi today as our leaders are in Sydney. I used the time to do some cleaning and cooking.

Jim’s brother, Tom, and his wife, Anne, arrived in their new caravan. I walked down to say hello and found them having a 'garage sale' of their surplus things. I went home for Pete Mate and we ended up buying two chairs and a small table. I also bought two paintings from our friend Ann (not Tom’s Anne) who is an artist. Ann is also a healer and she gave me a healing session in the afternoon. In the evening we walked up to the Bowling Club with Ann and John. We enjoyed a nice meal and drank lots of wine, and I mean lots of wine. Then we continued when we arrived home. We said our goodbyes to Ann and John as they are leaving early in the morning. Beautiful people.

Saturday 8th October 2016

Pete Mate and I went to collect some fresh prawns. We then delivered some to friends before taking our three kilos home. I peeled one kilo at a time and decided I do not want to peel another one for a very long time. I spent a good part of the day cleaning out cupboards. In the evening I went on Skype and talked to two of my sisters.

Sunday 9th October 2016

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Zilzie café with Sue, Courtney, Damian and baby Paxton. The food was great, the wine mediocre and the flies a damn nuisance. There was live music as well and all in all it was a very pleasant afternoon.

Monday 10th October 2016

I went with Sue into Yeppoon to see her accountant; the meeting went well and we were pleased with the results. Sue had to do the council paperwork and banking so whilst she did that I shopped. I got some bargains, too! Once home it was back to my craft projects. I am trying finish off some cards and bracelets so I can pack everything away.

Tuesday 11th October 2016

I met Thelma and Iris at the bakery for morning tea. It was very enjoyable and I said my final goodbye to Thelma for this year. In the afternoon I did some craft projects.

Wednesday 12th October 2016

I had coffee with Iris in the morning then did some supermarket shopping. In the afternoon I finished off some craft things so I could pack everything away. Happy hour was at Jill and Sandy’s. As the mozzies and sand flies were really bad, we held the occasion indoors. Sue and Lisa joined us. It was a really pleasant time.

Thursday 13th October 2016

I went to pick up Iris and Barbara to drive into Rocky to do an all-day card-making class. I was running late and then couldn’t find Barbara’s house even though I have been there heaps of times. The class was great; we made six cards and we learnt new techniques. Both Iris and Barbara enjoyed it as well but it was a long day for them. They are so active it's easy to forget they are 84 and 90 respectively.

Friday 14th October 2016

I went for my last Tai Chi session for this year. They are all beautiful ladies and I will miss them. We went for coffee afterwards and then I did some shopping and paid a visit to the library - I had made the girls who work there a bracelet each. I receive a lot of pleasure when I give a gift but Kasie’s face was the best ever when she saw her bracelet, it was sheer joy and amazement that it had been made for her. I then visited the beauty shop and hairdressers which I thoroughly enjoyed.

After lunch I did a few things on my 'to do' list. We didn’t go out tonight as none of us really felt like it but Sue did go to Kinka and bought us fish and chips which were the yummiest.

Saturday 15th October

When we did our walk this morning the ocean was very angry. The waves were huge and there was plenty of foam. We called in at the bakery for coffees before heading home. I did come cleaning in the morning and then in the afternoon went to the Bowling Club for a fashion show and afternoon tea. I sat with Sue, Lisa, Barbara, Iris and Jill. It was a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Once home Pete Mate and I went to Cheryl’s for happy hour. That was also very pleasant and Cheryl gave Pete Mate a thank you card with some scratchies inside. She appreciated the times that Pete Mate went out to fix the power. We then went to our usual happy hour.

Sunday 16th October 2016

We enjoyed our walk followed by breakfast at the bakery. It was a very yummy bacon and eggs roll and we were served quickly. Goodbye Degani’s for breakfast. We walked back through the markets which were huge, plenty of stalls. Once home we started doing some jobs ready for our visitors. I decided to leave some things at Sue’s from under the seat. What I found was some very wet, soggy things. Yep, we had a water leak. Poor Pete Mate had to spend hours on his knees squashed in the corner to fix it. It looked oaky but to make sure we left everything out so he could check in the morning. Cooking dinner was interesting and we ate outside which was very pleasant indeed.

Monday 17th October 2016

Pete Mate checked the water heater and found it dripping so it all had to come off again. Once back together he checked it again and yes, it all had to come off yet again. Third time lucky and all is good. We put everything back. We had to be at the airport for 4.20pm to collect Angie and Dave (my sister and her husband from the UK). We left Emu Park early so we could pick up some spare parts for the water heater in case it happened again. The plane was early and Angie and Dave were already waiting for us. After a huge welcome we travelled home to Emu Park. Once they were settled in their cabin we enjoyed a good happy hour with Sue and a few of the regulars. We then went back to our caravan and I cooked some dinner. It was a really good day.

Tuesday 18th October 2016

I took Angie and Dave to the crocodile farm whilst Pete Mate started to clean and pack away things like the awning. Angie and Dave enjoyed the croc farm and they got to hold a small croc. We then met up with Pete Mate and Iris at Degani’s for lunch. Afterwards Angie updated her Face Book page of her travels at the library.

We walked up to the Singing Ship and the ANZAC Memorial Boardwalk. Pete Mate had gone home to continue his packing away. He needed the car (which I had, to put stuff away, so once home I helped him pack things away and then we got ready to go up to Sue’s house for happy hour and pizza dinner. Others joined us there, Jill and Sandy, Thelma and Barry, Lorna and Dougie plus of course Sue and Barbara. It was a very pleasant evening and Angie and Dave enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday 19th October 2016

We sailed the Coral Sea on Grace II today. It was a perfect day for being out on the water. Vicki and Anthony were perfect hosts as usual and we all enjoyed the day. We were fortunate that the conditions were just right to sail into Masie Bay. These days are few and far between. Some of the people swam and others went over to the island for a walk including Angie and Dave. Pete Mate and I were happy to stay on board. We enjoyed morning tea whilst moored there and then we sailed around to another perfect bay. Again people did their own thing and we all enjoyed a scrumptious lunch. Then we sailed back towards home. A splendid day. Later we enjoyed a happy hour followed by dinner.

Thursday 20th October 2016

Pete Mate and I had a few things to do to get ready for our departure on Saturday. We then left the park for Yeppoon where I was dropped off at the dentist for a filling. The others went off to look at Yeppoon and drink iced coffee. When they picked me up we headed off to Byfield to stay in one of the cabins at Ferns. We called in at the Byfield General Store for some sandwiches which took forever to make. Once at Ferns we soon settle in and then I took Angie and Dave for a walk. It was then happy hour on the veranda followed by another happy hour around the camp fire where Genevieve and Marto joined us. We decided to retreat indoors after a while as the mozzies were pretty vicious. We cooked a barbecue outside on the veranda but ate indoors. All in all it was a good day.

Friday 21st October 2016

We left Ferns early to go to the Tea Tree Farm to do the tour. We were the only four doing the tour which made it a little more personal. We were shown where to go to get on the boat for the trip up the river. It was lovely and peaceful and Jordon made it more interesting by pointing things out to us. Once back on dry land we were given a yummy morning tea and then we were shown how the tea trees are grown and how they extract the oil from the leaves. It was all very interesting and we all bought some of the new tea tree lotion. After we left there we went back to Ferns for lunch. The lunch was superb, the wine excellent but the most amazing thing was that Marto sang for two hours, just for the four of us. It was so special. Angie and Dave loved it, as we did of course. We said our goodbyes to Genevieve and Marto and headed home to pack up ready for our departure in the morning. We were going to walk up to the Bowling Club for tea but we were all still full up from our yummy lunches so we had a very long happy hour instead.

Saturday 22nd October 2016

We were on the road by 10.30am which is not too bad for us. It was a sad round of goodbyes but we know we will be back. We had a good run through to Emerald. Angie and Dave were happy with their cabin and our site was fine. We enjoyed a happy hour followed by dinner. As we have another long trip tomorrow we all had an early night.

Sunday 23rd October 2016

We set off for Longreach around 9.00 and had a good run through. We had a couple of stops along the way and arrived at Longreach in plenty of time for a nap before heading into town for dinner. We were not impressed with the caravan park or Angie and Dave's cabin. Plus, the cabin was a good walk from the site. I had asked for one near our powered site but it fell on deaf ears. The Starlight Tavern didn’t do dinners on a Sunday so we had a drink and wandered down the street to the Indian Restaurant. We all enjoyed a really yummy meal but ate far too much.

Monday 24th October 2016

We were up and out early for our stage coach ride in the paddock. We all enjoyed the experience which was supposed to give us a taste of bygone days. Afterwards we hung about to get some photos of the stagecoach leaving with its next lot of passengers. Once that was done we found a little café to have a yummy breakfast. We had a walk around the centre of Longreach before heading home for a rest ready for our big night out. We were collected by a bus and taken to the Thomson River where we boarded a boat for the sunset cruise. We enjoyed wine and nibbles whilst cruising along the river. The sunset was okay but the highlight was to see the turtles, so cute. Once back on the river bank we were taken to a dining area where we were treated to a scrumptious meal whilst being entertained by John Hawkes. We enjoyed his songs so much we bought his CD. It was a really good evening and would recommend it too anyone visiting Longreach.

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Pete Mate took the morning off for a rest whilst I took Angie and Dave to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. We enjoyed a good morning looking around the museum. It was a little disappointing that the show wasn’t on. When I rang earlier in the year I was told they would be running it. We three did enjoy the museum and thought it very well done. When we left there we collected Pete Mate from the caravan and we all went to the Qantas Museum. We enjoyed a light lunch in the café before exploring the museum. It was very good and had a lot of new displays since we were last there. We then headed home for happy hour and dinner. It wasn’t the most successful dinner I have cooked but no one complained.

Wednesday 26th October 2016

We packed up early as we had to take Angie to the doctors in Longreach. Once that was sorted out we hit the road and headed for Winton. Thankfully the drive was not too long today. We left Angie and Dave at the motel they were staying in and then we set up camp in the caravan park opposite the Tattersall Hotel. We met up in the town for lunch before going our separate ways for the afternoon. Later we met up for drinks at the Tattersall and dinner which was delicious.

Thursday 27th October 2016

We met up at 9.00am so we could do most of the walking around Winton before the heat got too much. We walked to the Waltzing Matilda Museum only to find out that it didn’t open until 10am. Not to worry, we looked at sculptures and statues plus some quirky little shops before finding a coffee shop for refreshments. We then walked back to the Waltzing Matilda Museum to find a note on the door saying, Sorry, we are not open today. Ho hum, it is getting quite warm by now. We decided to walk to the Winton Club which has a lot of Qantas memorabilia. That only opened on Fridays. On we went to Arno’s Wall – that was open! In our memory the wall was much better than it actually was, it was interesting though.

We then carried on to the Winton Hotel to see Jenny and Peter (friends of Marto and Genevieve from the Ferns) who were managing it for a while. We didn’t find them as they were not at the Winton Hotel, we had wrong information. We did however enjoy some very welcoming cool drinks. I rang Genevieve to find out more about this couple and piecing together her information and what Angie and Dave told us about the couple running the motel we came to the conclusion that Jenny and Peter were managing the motel not the hotel. When Angie and Dave met up with us for drinks and dinner they confirmed this. Small world, isn’t it?

We enjoyed drinks in the lounge of the North Gregory Hotel which was very comfortable and extremely pleasant. We were told the chicken races started at 6.00pm and so we left the comfort of the lounge to go outside into the courtyard and watch these races - we had never seen anything like it before. The chap auctioned off each chook; Pete Mate and I bought one each as did Angie and Dave. Then the race was on – it was the funniest thing ever to watch. Our chook didn’t win. In fact, we all agreed we would never really know if the whole thing was rigged because most of the chooks looked the same. Afterwards we all enjoyed a scrumptious meal in the dining room. Then it was home to bed ready for the next day’s long haul.

Friday 28th October 2016

We were away early as it was a long drive. I popped in to say hello to Jenny and Peter at the motel whilst Dave loaded their cases into our caravan. We had a good run through to Mt Isa with a couple of breaks on the way. On arrival we once again found the cabin and the powered site were a distance apart which makes it difficult when unloading cases especially if there is not enough room to turn the caravan around. We settled in quite quickly and after a rest we went to the cabin for happy hour. Later I went back to the ‘van to prepare dinner then took that over to the cabin. It was a very pleasant evening.

Saturday 29th October 2016

We went to the Mt Isa Information Centre which has an informative section all about the town. It was excellent and we all enjoyed the displays and the movie. We felt as we had little time to explore Isa this was a good way of covering a lot in one place. We enjoyed lunch in the café and then I found out the underground hospital and tent house had closed for the season. We visited the lookout which gave us great views of Isa and the mine. It was hot and time was marching towards happy hour. We had happy hour at the cabin and I took over the dinner all prepared ready to cook. Angie finished it off and we all enjoyed another nice meal. It was very dark walking between the cabin and the caravan and I missed a step and took a tumble. Not the best thing for my poor old knees.

Sunday 30th October 2016

We travelled today to Barkly Homestead which is a roadhouse with powered sites at the back. It had been another long day and we had a short rest before going into the roadhouse for drinks and dinner. The food was excellent. Another early night for us as we are back on the road again tomorrow. What surprised us was that we had internet coverage and television in the middle of nowhere.

Monday 31st October 2016

Dave at Marbles

Another long day of travelling. We stopped at the Devils Marbles for Angie and Dave to have a look and take photos.

We then made our way to the Devils Marbles Hotel for the night. Again it was a roadhouse with powered sites at the back. Once again, after a short rest, we went into the roadhouse for drinks and dinner where we tried using their Wi-Fi. Angie had more success than I did. No television or internet here unless you are in the bar using theirs. Again the food was excellent.

And with this picture of Dave preventing a large 'marble' from crushing Angie as she gets the camera angle just right, we leave October 2016 and roll over to November.

Roll over? Sorry, no pun intended.

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