039. 13th December 2008. Sarina Showgrounds. Final event for the year…

The day started out pretty much as we expected it would. After all this is our annual Christmas function. It is always stinking hot. Hot, with a hot northerly blowing and predictions it would get hotter with maybe a change coming through on Sunday bringing dark cloud, thunder, lightning and heavy rain with a southerly wind.

Today is hot. Have I mentioned that already?

The drive down from Airlie was uncomfortable. We arrived at Sarina Showgrounds and instead of the usual two or three people coming out to say hello and point to good spots they all waved from the safety of their shade.


A few rigs.

A few rigs.

A few more rigs.

A few more rigs.

Eventually Gerry ambled over and said, “park where you like” I liked the look of a shed behind me and asked Gerry if it had power. It did. So I drove nose in, hooked up to power and

A cool shelter and 240v for AC.

A cool shelter and 240v for AC.

turned on the AC. We also discovered the design of the shed gave a nice cool breeze in the shade. So while Donnis fixed lunch I set up outside while Gerry and Pam brought their chairs over to sit in the cool shade. Then as we were eating more people wandered over to see why we were sitting there. Then they went and got their chairs and the crowd grew.

After lunch I braved the heat by heading over to the central Christmas Dinner eating location. I met with Sandra and Nevin and discussed putting up a screen for the slide show.

Whoops. Nobody has a screen so Noel drove home to get one.

Nevin and I put the sound system together for the music.


The music I have is saved on Ipod. It is a mixture of stuff I have collected over many years. I was impressed with the sound volume with no distortion to the music.

Next we tried to put together the borrowed projector. Hmmm. Seems to be something missing and the directions are a bit hazy. We could get the projector to project light but no images. Noel arrived with the roll up screen. After an hour of no success we give up and decide to just show the slide show on my laptop while it also plays the selected music. This is very good. I have almost 1,200 songs and by selecting music from the 50’s and 60’s that’s all the system would play. Not only that but it plays in random order.

So we have a full sound system and a slide show on laptop. It works.

Hurrah for having Christmas dinner catered.

Strange thing though. No crackling!

There must be a weird galactic confluence of planets, which creates a mystic force preventing crackling being available in my diet. Other people tell me they got crackling.

Hmmm. I am almost convinced it must be Donnis. After all she is the person who ensures I do not get to eat bacon rind or chicken skin. She pulls it off my plate! Not good for you she calls over her shoulder as she takes my treasure to the nearest bin.

Apart from that there was plenty of tasty Christmas type food with little in the way of leftovers. I never fail to be amazed by caterers who supply potato salad, potato bake and roast potatoes. Sort of like pub food used to be and still is in some places. They give you mashed potato and potato chips. Of course if it is a Chinese style meal they give you rice as well!

Gee whizz guys you do not serve up beef three ways. Why serve up potato three ways?

Cheap maybe?

After dinner a couple of people insist on putting on a mime type sketch. This infects a few others to do the same. Then somebody decides to do a stand up comic routine by reading jokes. It is Christmas after all and we are having fun. I am not sure if I am laughing with or at the person but as I seem to laughing at the same moment everybody else laughs nobody notices.

As the sketches and jokes are being done I turn down the volume on the music then turn it up again when they finish. It is too loud for the people sitting close and those further away cannot hear at all.

Then after dessert there is the visit from Santa and we all get a pressie to the value of $10. I got a massage cushion. I have two now. They are battery hungry items. Use it once and two weeks later the batteries are dead.

Donnis complains she has overeaten and should go for a walk so we walk across the showgrounds from one side to the other and back. Not really a strenuous exercise but I am uncomfortable walking in sandals on uneven ground. I keep getting flashbacks of when I broke my ankle.

When we first arrived Donnis put up some flashing Christmas lights. They looked good at night. I ducked inside the bus to get the camera. After taking a few shots I notice they are sort of hazy. Yikes! The camera was inside the AC bus while outside it was still hot. The camera lens fogged up!

hristmas lights. Look carefully and you can see the bluish LED's across the awning edge.

hristmas lights. Look carefully and you can see the bluish LED's across the awning edge.

Sunday morning meeting came and went. As it turned out Sandra was nominated, she quietly accepted and the vote was unanimous.

Later while eating lunch we saw two large storm fronts building. I had a beer during lunch and because of the heat I felt drowsy so went inside to have a snooze in the cool of the AC. I was woken about 30 minutes later.

The storms were gathering and it was almost black outside. Donnis had packed up most of our stuff but needed my help to finish before the rain started.

About 2 minutes before we were finished the heavens opened. With wind, rain, thunder and lightning. We took shelter in the …shelter shed. We had already taken the precaution of closing windows hatches and doors while we worked outside. Luckily the awning was the first thing we took down.

During a lull in the rain we got into the bus and prepared to leave!

What the!!!

There was so much rain the flat area of grass and a road was under at least 2 inches of water. We waved goodbye and tried to negotiate by memory where the road was and not to drive into exposed drains and other objects hidden under the water.

We entered the highway and headed towards Mackay, the creeks and streams were already running bankers. We could see in the distance how black it was over Mackay with lightning forking in the distance. It was a bit of a careful drive with heavy driving rain then suddenly it was dry!

From Mackay to home was just a pleasant afternoon drive.


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