Return to Queensland ~ April 2017

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see ~ Mark Twain.

Saturday 1st April 2017

We had a long day today; our journey took us to Narrabri. We decided we would give the showground a go. We arrived and paid for three nights, putting our money into an honesty box. We found a site and soon set up camp. We sussed out where the amenities were by watching a man with a towel over his shoulder. They are a long way from where we are camped. Message to self: Don't leave it until the last minute. They are also very basic and I am very glad I have a shower in the ‘van. Later I enjoyed a long chat on Skype with my brother and his wife who live in New Zealand.

About the showground; the prime advantage is that town showgrounds only charge about half of a standard caravan park but supply the same amenities - water, power, toilets and showers - though generally to a lower standard. In this case the power and water supplies were the same as a 'proper' caravan park but the toilet facilities were very basic. But, hey, how long do you spend in the toilet every day? (Don't answer, that was a purely rhetorical question.) Our caravan has a nice shower so we're okay on that score.

Our saving at Narrabri? About $50. We plan to stay at two more showgrounds in the next week or so.

Sunday 2nd April 2017

The weather is perfect, sunny but with cooler temperatures. The wind is a bit on the icy side but inside the ‘van we are comfortable. It was a nice, relaxing day doing nothing in particular. We did watch the television coverage of the cyclone situation down the east coast of both Queensland and New South Wales. What remains of Cyclone Debbie is now just a depression over the Tasman Sea, perhaps regaining her strength prior to visiting New Zealand. However, so many places down the east coast have been absolutely devastated. The commonest story seemed to be of muddy water running waist-high (and often much higher) through thousands of homes and businesses. Ruined furniture, white goods, bedding, carpets, toys and lots of slimy mud are being dumped in the streets so the bulldozers and front end loaders can gather them in piles and load up trucks to take it all away, presumably to landfill.

A mother with her three children in her car slid off a muddy road and into a swollen river. It sank immediately and only an eight-year-old girl escaped. It was the next morning before the car and three bodies was lifted from the river bed. Tragic.

Monday 3rd April 2017

In the morning I worked on the accounts and finalised the quarterly reports. In the afternoon I was back with my knitting and this time the dinosaur went well. (No, not Pete Mate, the one on my knitting pattern.) Later I had a long chat with my sister Sandie on Skype, it had been a long time between chats and was nice to hear all her news. As always, we had lots of laughs.

Tuesday 4th April 2017

We set off from Narrabri around 10.15am to our destination of Goondiwindi. The trip went well but was not relaxing as there was so much traffic on the roads, so many trucks. Pete Mate is a considerate driver and always pulls over to let the trucks past. I thought we were never going to get there. He says that if we had a 200 Series V8 Land Cruiser the trucks would have to move over for us!

Once at Goondiwindi we parked the car and caravan in Coles carpark so we could do some shopping. Getting out of the carpark again, however, was an entirely different matter. People just park in any bay that suits with no thought for caravans!

We then made our way to the showground to camp for a couple of nights. Alice took us to the back gate of the showground which was secured with a big chain and padlock, so out came the iPad and I found the right entrance. This place is much better looked after than Narrabri, nice amenities and someone mows the grass! Once camp was set up and all the shopping put away we poured a nice glass of wine and put our feet up. ['A' nice glass of wine??? The singular indefinite article is incorrectly used here.]

We only have two more stops before we have to pass through the city of Rockhampton where the Fitzroy River is yet to reach its peak and is forecast to remain at 9 metres - yes, nearly 30 feet - above its normal level for a while. Our proposed route is already closed so we'll have to keep a close eye on the situation.

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Knitting and reading were the order of the day for me. Pete Mate was on the computer and reading. I enjoyed a long chatty phone call with a friend and basically just enjoyed the day. We are having perfect temperatures during the day and cool at night. The show ground where we are staying is very peaceful.

Thursday 6th April 2017

The road from Goondiwindi to Miles, the Leichhardt Highway, is appalling. It is so uneven I couldn’t do a crossword, read or knit. I did try knitting but it is so uneven I will have to unpick it. At one point it was so bad I had a problem talking, I kid you not.

Before we arrived at Possum Park I spotted a service station with cheap fuel so we did a quick turn about and filled up. This place was also a roadhouse so we stopped a while and enjoyed some lunch. The place only opened in December and seem to be doing a roaring trade, they even have a truckies lounge where truck drivers can put their feet up for a while.

We arrived at Possum Park to a very warm welcome from David and Julie, plus the caretakers Sid and John. No official happy hour in the park because we are the only campers. That was okay because Pete Mate and I can enjoy happy hour, just the two of us.

Friday 7th April 2017

It was a perfect day for doing the washing so that is what we did. The rest of the day was taken up with reading. Happy hour was spent sitting around the camp fire which John, the caretaker, lit. We met some new people and it was a very pleasant time.

Saturday 8th April 2017

I had one of those days where I didn’t feel like doing much so I didn’t. I read most of the day and finished the murder mystery book I was reading. We went to happy hour and after an hour I left. Pete Mate was supposed to follow. Two and half hours later I went to look for him and found him chatting away to a couple. He could not fathom why I became worried.

Sunday 9th April 2017

Another perfect day, weather wise. We both did some reading and I did some knitting whilst catching up with the television programmes I had recorded during the week. We gave happy hour a miss as we were both happily reading.

Monday 10th April 2017

We did some more washing today, exciting lives we lead. Then it was back to the reading and knitting. Happy Hour was pleasant enough with some new people. One couple even knew Emu Park well.

Tuesday 11th April 2017

Another day similar to yesterday except we didn’t do any washing. We walked up to happy hour late and found the fire still burning but no one around. John (caretaker) came over and said no one had turned up for happy hour. I had forgotten to spray and the mozzies once again had a field day.

Wednesday 12th April 2017

A day pretty much the same as yesterday. The night skies here have been amazing, beautiful clear skies to see thousands of stars. It is a full moon and I couldn’t resist taking a photo.


Thursday 13th April 2017

We were up early today because we are off to Theodore. We found it very hard to leave Possum Park, we love it here. We eventually got away around 9.30am after being stopped a few times to say good bye. We had a break in Taroom for morning tea and to stretch our legs.

We arrived at Theodore around lunchtime. Alice took us to the showground instead of the shops. Good thing Pam knew where she was going! We did a circuit of the showground and left by the same entrance we had arrived through. We found the shops and topped up supplies.

My nerves were shattered by the time I came out of the supermarket. A woman was in there with six kids. Five ran around, climbing on the counters and in my way. The sixth, a little girl of about one-year-old, screamed a high pitch scream all the way around.

We left there and went to the pub to buy some wine. We then found our way back to the showground and set up camp. It was a relatively peaceful night, not much traffic on the road but someone had a generator running all night.

Friday 14th April 2017

Good Friday. We enjoyed a very relaxing day not doing much at all. We enjoyed the traditional fish day – no meat in sight. I was surprised how many trucks were still working, the road alongside the show ground was quite busy.

Saturday 15th April 2017

Another pleasant day here, the temperatures are just right.

Sunday 16th April 2017

A day pretty much the same as the others.

Monday 17th April 2017

We got ourselves into gear and packed up ready for our departure. We had a good trip through to Emu Park. We made two stops along the way, we ate lunch in a rest area which had a mobile take away café. Very nice it was too. The second stop was in Rocky to buy some glue for our windscreen mirror which fell off on the way to Theodore. Some of these roads are so uneven I am surprised that was all that fell off. We arrived at Bellpark to a very warm welcome from Sue and Gail. We set up camp for the night, the rest will follow later. We then enjoyed happy hour with Sue it was so nice to catch up with the news.

Tuesday 18th April 2017

After a slow start to the day we walked to the pharmacy in the village as we were very low on all medication. Since it was lunchtime we decide to dine at Degani’s (which is now called Jolt). The name has changed but nothing else has, including the slow service. The pharmacy has moved and the newsagent has moved to where the pharmacy used to be. It seems to have worked well for all. We saw one or two familiar faces in the village. Once we had walked home we did little else as we were both a little exhausted from all the travelling.

Wednesday 19th April 2017

Peta Mate dropped me off at Iris’s for coffee. It was a very quick coffee session because Iris had an appointment in Yeppoon. When Pete Mate picked me up we also went into Yeppoon to do a couple of things though mainly to buy wine. We then drove back into the village because I had to see the pharmacist who had messed up one of Peter’s scripts the day before. AGAIN!

Once home we had some lunch, I did a couple of things inside the ‘van before going back into the village to the hairdressers. Alesha always cuts my hair beautifully. It is good to be home. Happy Hour is just the three of us at this stage - Sue and us. It is nice to have the time to chat properly.

Thursday 20th April 2017

I walked into the village to the CWA for card-making. It was my favourite card-making – Iris Folding – only we didn’t have to do any folding because we used ribbon instead of paper. The difference the ribbon made was remarkable. I need to do more of this. It was lovely to be back at CWA with all the familiar faces. When Iris and I left CWA we were collected by Suzanne (no, not Princess Suzanne) who gave us a lift to Yeppoon to meet up with all the Tai Chi ladies for lunch. It was a lovely time and to see everyone again was great.

Sue (not Sue the Park Manager, nor Suzanne the Princess, nor Suzanne that gave us a lift to Yeppoon, but yet another Sue!) gave Iris and I a lift back to Emu Park. Then Iris gave me a lift home. Gee, this is confusing. Once home I sorted out the paperwork for the doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Then I baked a quiche for tonight’s celebration of Jim’s birthday.

Sue came to collect us to take us up to her house. Pete Mate wasn’t ready and said he would follow on later. It was a lovely evening shared with a some really nice people. Peter brought me home so that made five different cars I had travelled in in one day.

Friday 21st April 2017

I went with Sue to an appointment in Yeppoon, the meeting went well and then we went and had morning tea. Once home I got ready for our doctor’s appointments in Yeppoon. That all went well and we came away with a lot of paperwork and much encouragement. Then we went shopping for groceries. What joy.

Saturday 22nd April 2017

I organised a surprise morning tea for Iris for her birthday. Iris thought it was going to be just the two of us but Thelma and a few Tai Chi ladies came. It was a good morning. Later I got back to sewing up the dinosaur jumper.

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Big cleaning day plus sorting out some cupboards. I also helped Sue with some paperwork. Happy Hour was quite pleasant with seven of us there.

Monday 24th April 2017

I went with Sue into Yeppoon to another meeting, this time the bank. The meeting went well and we came away in good spirits. We then did a few other things in Yeppoon before driving to the Rosslyn Bay Marina for lunch. It was very pleasant, sitting overlooking the blue Choral Sea with so many boats bobbing at anchor. It was a working lunch, the notepad was out and I was making notes for later.

Once home I did a few more things inside the caravan. Later Pete Mate drove us into Yeppoon to the doctor’s. Pete Mate had his ear syringed and I had my toe nail removed. PM can now hear and I am hoping that the removal of the toe nail will bring this infection scenario to an end. We were home in time for Happy Hour; some much-needed wine was consumed tonight.

Tuesday 25th April 2017

ANZAC DAY. We attended the 9.00am march and following service. After standing for over an hour my knees complained badly and Pete Mate’s back was giving him gyp. Next year we will take our chairs! Iris, who is 85, took part in the march with the RSL ladies and was in better shape than us two. We walked down to Degani’s which is now called Jolt and enjoyed a much needed cuppa. After lunch I managed to get a short nanny nap before going over to Sue’s for the afternoon to work. Whilst I was doing this, PM started to wash the caravan ready for us to set up camp for the winter. At Happy Hour we said goodbye to a lovely couple called David and Helen, they assured us they would be back next year.

Wednesday 26th April 2017

I went to Iris’s for coffee in the morning which was lovely. I then did the shopping at IGA. After lunch I cleaned out some more cupboards and got rid of all the grit from the floor. However hard we try, we keep treading more in. I caught up with some accounts work later. With all of that plus doing the usual cleaning and washing I was a very tired bunny by the time happy hour came around. A new couple came over to happy hour which was very pleasant.

Thursday 27th April 2017

I enjoyed a morning at CWA making cards. After lunch I spent some time with Sue getting the paperwork ready for the meeting with the accountant tomorrow. Pete Mate did some more caravan washing and then put the awning out. We look like we are staying now.

Friday 28th April 2017

Sue and I had a very good meeting with the accountant who is doing a wonderful job getting everything in order. Afterwards Sue dropped me off at ‘The Mater Hospital’ for my knee X-rays. Meanwhile she went off and did some work.

After Sue collected me we had to return to the accountants to drop off some paperwork, then we had a bite to eat, picked up some wine for Pete Mate and I, filled the car with fuel and drove home.

In the afternoon I finally finished the jumper I had been knitting forever. Pete Mate and I laid the floor down in the annex and then I unpacked the tables and chairs from the car. Happy Hour was just Sue and I.

Saturday 29th April 2017

I decided my knees were good enough to walk up to the memorial at the RSL. Big mistake! By the time I got back into the park I was in a lot of pain. Jan (from the office) saw me and whizzed down on the golf buggy and took me home. An angel on wheels.

The rest of the day I did very little. I did try a new recipe from the CWA healthy recipe book. It was okay. Happy Hour was outside the office because there were some noisy people camped next to the barbecue area. Nicole, Sue’s daughter, is visiting for a few days; it was good to see her. After a little while Sue and Nicole went off to Yeppoon for dinner which left Pete Mate and I sitting outside the office, in charge. Well, not really, we just pretended we were. A young man came up to us to ask if we had some kind of fishing gear in the office. As we had no idea what he was talking about we said no.

Sunday 30th April 2017

Not much happened here, I did some cleaning, knitting and reading. Pete Mate read his book. Happy Hour was pleasant.

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