122. Sunday 7th February 2010. Of rain, humidity, business closures and poor lonely Frank…

Last weeks cyclones turned to rain depressions and sent, well, rain to most of the dry and parched parts of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Many outback towns have now experienced floods as have many coastal communities.

A by-product of the rain is humidity. Even on cloudy days, in fact it is more so on cloudy days, the temperature is still around 35 ° but beneath the cloud cover the damp evaporates and is called humidity. Weather forecasters refer to it as “oppressive humidity” and it gets oppressive unless you are in air conditioned buildings and cars. Our house is insulated in the roof, the outer walls have a roofed verandah and we have shade blinds and awnings to keep the sun off the walls. While it is 35 °  outside it is still 28°  degrees inside. At present I have all the ceiling fans and one large mobile fan working all day to push the air around and create a semblance of a cool breeze. At night I always turn on the bedroom AC to get a good nights sleep.

Saturday was the last day Donnis and I had together before she flys out to Canada. Today, before she left she discovered she can get a ticket to the 2010 Vancouver, Canada Winter Games Opening Ceremony. She has asked her sister Linda to try to buy a ticket. Alas Donnis plans on spending most of her time sitting with her mum so a short break to the opening ceremony would be an opportunity too good to miss. I sure hope she picks up a ticket.

Now back to Saturday. As a last day together I suggested we travel to Bowen almost an hour north of Airlie Beach. So we drove to Bowen then a little out of town to Flagstaff Hill Restaurant and Interpretive Centre. While we were driving along the main street of Bowen Donnis asks me to go to the bakery for a couple of her favourite treats – Vanilla Slices. The bakery is closed, it is 12 .30 pm. WTF! OK we head off to the the next bakery who have huge billboard advertising on the roads leading into Bowen, proclaiming their terrific bread, fantastic pies, fabulous cakes and pastries and the best sandwiches in town. By now Donnis is drooling thinking of her Vanilla Slice fix.  They too are closed. In fact their sign says “We are going on two weeks holiday commencing today!”  This is not good but next stop is the restaurant on top of the hill with 360°  degree views. I was planning what I would have for lunch, including a cold beer as we drove up the steep, narrow and winding road to the top. Remember it is hot hot hot outside. So we arrive at Flagstaff Hill and there are no cars in the carpark and chairs are piled on top of tables. The restaurant is closed! Although we could get out of the AC car and take photos, lunch was becoming a more pressing requirement. It is 1.40pm and I know from past bitter experience most eating houses in Australia close the kitchen at 2 pm. We must make a choice. Hightail it back into town to one of the fancy pubs or take a chance driving the other way to Horeshoe Bay in the hope the on the beach restaurant is open. Arriving at Horseshoe Bay we sight a big red “Sorry we are Closed” sign hanging in the window. WTF!!! I am getting hungry and longing for a cold beer so again we are in hightail mode this time heading to a pub in the main street of Bowen but near the bay. We park, walk inside at precisely 2.05pm and the kitchen counter has the shutters down and a sign “Kitchen Closed. By now we are pretty depressed. And annoyed. We passed another three hotels on our way to a known food outlet which will not be closed. I know those hotels have also closed their kitchens. We arrive at Subway and WTF they have discontinued our favourite bread – Parmessan Oregano. What the heck. We have a sub and share a Fanta with ice for our lunch. Poor substitute for our our original plans but not not bad either and all it cost was $11.20 to feed both of us.

After lunch we had  a half hour to kill so headed back to Horseshoe Beach to take a couple of photos.

Frank n Donnis on the beach at Horseshoe Bay, Bowen.

Then it was off to the Bowen Summergarden Movie Theatre. Going to the movies here is an experience everybody should have at least once in their life. Originally it was an open air theatre at this seaside tourist town (which incidentally was originally planned to be the capital city port of Queensland.) Eventually the theatre was enclosed and roofed. There are two screens. One is a little theatre such as are found in cinema complexes where there are 10 screens. The other, older, original theatre is quite wide. The floor is made from what seems to be sprayed on rubber. There are three classes of seating (all one price). At the front is the old fashioned canvas deck chairs. A little way back are the 40′ and 50’s style of seats with the fold up seats and at the rear is the more modern seats with drink holders built into the armrests and armrests which can be folded up and out of the way. The sound system is as good as any modern city cinema. Along the walls at the sides are plynths with busts of Roman Emperors and Greek demi Gods. Just sitting and waiting for the movie is an experience. But wait… there’s more. Ben who owns the theatre and has done so for many years greets everybody before each performance and is there at the end of the movie to say see you again etc etc etc. I have been going to this cinema for about 13 years and he is always there to greet us and remembers us. He might not know our names but he remembers our faces. Now that is worth the price of admission which at $9 is not a bad deal.

(We saw AVATAR in 3D in Mackay and and that cost us $30.)

The cinema was featured in the movie AUSTRALIA and the world premiere was held here. We saw the movie at this theatre also.

Despite the closed shops the Bowen Summergarden Theatre was the highlight of our day in Bowen.

Today I finished cutting the grass which was mostly 30cm tall since I cut it two weeks ago. I also cut some more shelves for the motorhome.

Then I drove Donnis to the airport to catch the first of three flights to Canada to visit her sick mum.

That brings us to the poor lonely Frank part of the title. Although I will be too busy to be lonely. I have work. Then I have cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, making the bed, looking after Ziggy the bird and all the things I usually do.

Oh and of course keeping this blog up to date and reading all the blogs I normally read.

Cheers for now.

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