111. Sunday 22nd November 2009. A new life…

A much relieved Shelley delivered Matthew John, 57cms and 10 pound, 13 oz on Monday 16/11/09 at 8.14pm. Mum n son doing well.

Matthew and Shelley.

So it was I left home at just after 7pm on Friday night to head North. Donnis had left early in the morning to catch a flight from Mackay to Melbourne.
I had some difficulty leaving before 7pm. WHERWILLWEGO started OK but the low fuel warning light was on. I knew the tank was near empty but believed I had enough to take me the 7 or 8 klms to the fuel station. I tried to drive up the steepish driveway but the MH refused to get over the top. Eventually it stalled and refused to start. All manner of strange warning lights came on! I allowed the MH to roll back, in the dark, as far as I dared. The reversing camera was useless in the dark and I could not see out of the side mirrors. Geez where’s the co-pilot when you need her?
I then had a mental picture of walking to the dark garage with only a small torch, finding a diesel only drum, driving to the fuel station, getting 5 litres of diesel then back home put the fuel in the tank, put the car and the drum away, close the garage and try to start the MH again.
Instead I pulled out the owners manual to see what the warning lights meant. Hmmm! I did not want to read that. “Take the vehicle to the nearest service centre”. I opted to try the motor again. It started! Yay! Hmm, let me look at the gear lever with torchlight. Could it be I was trying to drive up and over the steep slope in 2nd gear or even 4th?

There is an on board computer which controls the engine. In fact by depressing the accelerater before you turn the ignition key means the system locks up. I am trying to learn not to touch the gas pedal when starting.
Try again. Yay! I am up and over and on my way down the street. Perhaps I should stop at the Family Shop in Airlie and fill up there. Just in case. I did and got a shock! $1.48 a litre for diesel.
There was plenty of traffic on the road, trucks and for some unknown reason, many Toyota Land Cruiser Tray Backs with swags and esky’s all heading North.
I rolled into Home Hill just on 9.30 and decided to stay at the comfort stop as I was getting drowsy. Hmmm! Just like last time the comfort stop was populated with young people. Probably backpackers maybe a few locals all drinking all loud. I parked further away beside the rail lines and could hear an occasional bit of noise. Only two trains passed through during the night. Anyway. I made a cup of tea and a piece of toast and I was in bed shortly after. The night was hot and sticky so I propped up the battery operated fan near the foot of the bed and there was enough breeze to help lull me to sleep zzzz.
Next morning I was up at 5.30 for a brisk walk. The council cleaners arrived and they started sweeping up the mess of rubbish and empty beer cans etc from the night before.
On the drive North I passed through Ayr then as I approached the floodplains near Giru there were dozens of flocks of hundreds of birds. Near as I can tell they are Green Pygmy Geese although I would be happy if any ornithologist out there can tell me otherwise. They fly in flocks and every so often one at the front would drop down, back and join the rear of the pack. One would be followed by another and so it went. Suddenly the whole flock would do a gigantic turn and fly in another direction. Pity I was driving as I could not give my attention to them.
Then it was on to Shelley and Dwyanes house where I was greeted by grandaughter Georgia carrying latest arrival Matt. Georgia is not much bigger than Matt but she had a good grip on him. Once inside the door she handed Matt to me while I went in search of Shelley. Thankfully the AC was operating as it was around 35degrees outside. Thankfully WWWG also has AC when we are driving. Actually it is always on.
What can I tell you about Matt? At the moment he is dressed in his little cotton jumpsuit, looks like a deep pink lump of skin with a bit of wispy hair on top and sleeps a lot. I have seen his eyes briefly a couple of times. Sounds like a new born baby. Right. During the weekend I heard him cry – once.
I had planned on a family picnic but we were delayed about an hour as Dwyane was at the football grounds mowing the field and we could not leave until he was finished.
The plan was to travel up the highway about 60 klms to Paradise Waterhole at Big Crystal Creek. This is a great picnic spot and campground controlled by Qld Parks and Wildlife (QPW). A short walk from the carpark over a hill and suddenly the waterhole is revealed in all its paradisical splendour.

Georgia, Reece and Jack preparing to ease into the cool water at Paradise Waterhole.

I had asked Shelley and Dwyane to come with us. Although Shelley is still tired from the birth earlier in the week I thought it would be nice to get out of the house and we could have a family picnic. While I took Reece, Georgia n Jack in WWWG, Shelley n the others followed in the Cruiser.
It wasn’t long before the kids were in the water, then jumping off the rocks. The waterhole probably had about 50 people immersed; most of them just sitting in the water at shoulder height and talking in groups. Leaving Shelley to keep an eye on the kids, Dwyane carried Matt back to the carpark to change a nappy while I started making egg sandwiches for the kids and ham n tomato for the adults. After lunch I took the boys to Rollingstone Creek for another swim while the others headed back to Bushland Beach as Dwyane had a tag football match to play.

Jack likes his fluffy toys. He is not aware he is re-creating the image from E.T.

Saturday night was a bit more comfortable for sleeping. I was connected to 240v and turned on the AC. I still woke at 5.30 and as usually happens when I wake at that time I cannot get back to sleep. It was a nice morning to go for a 30 minute walk.

Parked beside the fragrant frangipanni.

Sunday I talked with Shelley and Dwyane and the kids until it was time to head home.
The trip home took me five hours as I made several stops and as I was getting tired.
I stopped for fuel at Townsville and made lunch in Ayr then a final stop at Bowen to splash water on my face. Perhaps the cold beer with lunch made me drowsy.

era la semana que era

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