169. Sunday 2nd January 2011. May auld aquaintence be forgot and welcome to 2011…

Monday 27th December

We are camped at Cooran, (or Traveston – choose one).

I am not going to mention what time I woke up. The most topical topic of the day is…the rain.

Because we have had rain almost every day, the solar hot water service is not doing what it orta do. That is, heat the water for washing up and more importantly…showering. Christmas night I had a lukewarm shower. Last night I wanted to wash my hair. The water coming out of the shower head was just a smidgin above frigid. I did not shower last night. I worked on the theory that if there is no solar energy then the electricity kicks in during the night and heats the water. When I woke at a ridiculous hour this morning I waltzed off to the shower ready for a hot shower. After waiting a reasonable time for the hot water to kick in, I leapt into the shower only to be struck by cold water!!!

Hmmm. Eventually a little water about the temperature of yesterday’s toast started to emerge from the shower head. I washed my hair, shivering and teeth chattering all the while. I was so traumatised I went back to bed and woke up around 8am.

Today we drove to Gympie for some essential shopping.

Donnis ran out of chocolate.

No, seriously we needed a few things.

Including chocolate.

We turned left at the top of the driveway instead of turning right as we usually do. About 2 klms along the gravel road we found a sign pointing to the Bruce Highway. A couple of hundred metres further on the road disappeared into a creek crossing. Water was at least a metre over the road and flowing…swiftly. Oops. So we backed up to a farm gate turned around and took a chance on another gravel road. Eventually we found the Bruce Highway with rain bucketing down and it seemed an exodus was in progress. Where was all this traffic going on this miserably wet public holiday?

Hmmm. It might be nice to have a look around Gympie one day when it is fine. When will that be?

Tonight there was still no hot water so I turned on the hot water system in WWWGO and enjoyed a lovely hot relaxing shower. No problem with water. We have heaps of the stuff.

The only difference in the rain all day is how heavy it is falling. It is either raining OR raining heavily.

Tuesday 28th December.

We have exceeded our 3Gb of download allowance from Telstra. However the service does not cease. The download is slowed. I was able to upload last weeks entry but it took three hours to upload text and photos. Our 3Gb allowance does not kick in again until 4th January so we will have to rely on the iPad for email. It is a good thing we use Thunderbird for our email. (thanks Geoff). Thunderbird saves the emails on both iPad and the Toshiba Laptop. Any photos sent to us by email can be viewed on iPad but can also be viewed on the Toshiba and photos downloaded if required. In particular we are sent lots of photos of the new granddaughter Amelia. When on the Toshiba we can save those photos to the hard disc drive. So too when daughter Shelley sends photos and niece Kelly sends regular newsletters and photos of their travels. They can all be saved to the HDD. But… only with the Toshiba. The iPad has limitations.

Wow. The information below can be filed under OMG!

This morning I was reading the blog for the Retro Roamers whose blog site has a link on the panel to the right. Their post for Christmas Day mentioned and had photos of their dear friends Ray n Vera. OMG Ray n Vera are friends of mine too! They look no older in the photos. Are they living in a time warp from 10 years ago? Hello to Ray n Vera if Paul passes on our blog and email address to you.

Today was wet and windy. The winds got up to 35 knots according to the weather bureau. Today can best be described as a lay day. OK OK OK I really mean LAZY day. Well, what else can you do on a wet and windy day? Watch videos of course. We watched videos from our snug as a bug in a rug bed in WWWGO.

You know, I have not watched an episode of Survivor since we left Airlie Beach. Tonight there is a 2 hour final episode and I have no desire to watch it.

Same thing for The Amazing Race.

However… now that I have a home base for the next three months, who knows? I might just start watching them again if they have new series in the early part of 2011. Hmmm. For that matter I have only seen one episode of CSI – the original – since we went on the road.

Wednesday 29th December.

Woke this morning with a thick lip. No, not the sort of thick lip you get when somebody hits you in the mouth. It is the sort of TL you get when you go to the dentist and he injects novocaine. The gum is also numb. OR it could be the sort of TL you get when some unpleasant Arachnid or related creature decides to bite you.

Hmmm. I had some sort of nightmare early this morning. I woke up screaming that my arm was cut and I was bleeding all over the place. It took ages for Donnis to find the light switch and show me my arm was not cut and there was no blood. Perhaps, perhaps in my nightmare I have hit my lip against the wall when I was thrashing about or perhaps punched myself on the lip!!!

I cannot get in to see the local doctor until tomorrow. As I have no other symptoms I can wait that long.

Today we went into Noosa to sort out an item or two with CentreLink. It was raining and strong winds blowing. The bridge over Six Mile Creek had the swiftly flowing water, just below the bridge. From the accumulated debris I can see where the water has been over the bridge sometime during the night or earlier today. On our return this afternoon, despite more heavy rain, the water level is below the bridge.

It is terrible to see and hear the news about the flooded communities throughout Queensland. Many of the rivers and or towns are those we drove through and who had floods in September October and November. The roads are beginning to break down so will need a ,assive injection of urgent funds to fix the roads when the rain finally stops. I sure hope the money gets to the towns which really need the repairs and does not somehow get siphoned off to the south eastern corner of Queensland. Due to the massive crop losses in the floods there is talk that many fresh fruit and vegetable items will double in price.

Just before we went to bed I noted no stars could be seen. I light drizzle was falling. If only the weather forecasts were correct and tomorrow brings clear skies. It will be nice if the mud under our door step dries up.

Some months ago, prior to retirement, our laptop died and needed to be replaced. At the time all photos and word documents and the blog were all created and edited on our PC. The photos were edited using MGI Photosuite, a program I have been using for many years and has served me well. I did not install the program on the laptop, deciding I would do that while we were on the road and when I might have some free time to tweak the installation. Whilst on the road I have simply downsized the photos and loaded them on to the blog. No other editing occurred. I have, on a number of occasions, wanted to edit and crop photos before putting them on the blog. This week I decided to install Photosuite on the laptop. Oh No! It is not compatible with the new operating system Windows 7. I will have to continue to leave photos unedited until I can justify and afford a new photo editing program.


Thursday 30th December

Met with the local Cooran doctor at 9.15 as my left thumb is more uncomfortable than ever. As part of the process of listening and learning about my health, she took my blood pressure. 155 over 93. Wow!

It should be no more than 140 over 90.

Several readings on my own machine during the day and night did not show any improvement.

Whoa! What’s going on here?

After the visit with the doctor we drove to Parkwood on the Gold Coast (three hours driving) where we will stay for a few days.

Frank relaxing in front of a great photo of a rope bridge on the wall at the Parkwood property. The Royal Parkwood International Golf Course is in the next street.

I dropped Donnis at the security front gate along with our luggage and drove off to Coolangatta Airport to collect Alecia, Linda n Doug. That evening Alecia was pining for a real Ozzie Steak sanger complete with barbecued onions and canned beetroot as this is a luxury she has not been able to find in Canada. Linda n Doug had their first steak sanger tonight. Alecia n I ate ours in the time honoured method. That is, pick it up in both hands and eat. Allow the combined juices of the steak, beetroot and tomato sauce to run down your arms and drip off the elbows. Donnis, Linda n Doug ate in a more dignified non Oz way. That is, they used a knife n fork. Very clean, very tidy, very dignified but boy oh boy  did they miss out on the fun of really getting the full impact of the smell, taste and feel of this eating experience.

Friday 31st December. New Years eve.

BP 154 over 94. That is not good.

Perhaps I have not been exercising enough so at 6am I went off for a walk. The sun was shining but the forecast was for showers later in the day. Then it will rain for another week.

Donnis, Alecia, Linda n I drove to Robina Town Centre for a shopping experience. The underground car parking had an illuminated board at the entrance to indicate which levels had empty parking spaces were available on each level. Once in the car-park there are green  lights in the roof to indicate where there was an empty space. This shopping centre is huge! The four of us wandered around goggle eyed, slack jawed and realised we would not see all the centre has to offer this year.

Doug stayed at home with Nicole and maintained the pool.

Doug at his favourite place. The pool and hot tub area.

Donnis’ son Errol, his wife Nicole and their baby daughter Amelia arrived in time for Errol to do the barbecue.

Errol, Nicole and baby Amelia at Parkwood.

For dinner we had barbecued chicken and later watched the fireworks at 9pm. Due to our distance from the coast we could see the fireworks before any noise reached us seconds later.

Linda n Donnis in the huge gourmet kitchen at Parkwood.

Before midnight Errol’s school and lifetime mates, Steve F and a Mark F arrived and we watched the next set of fireworks. I struggled to stay awake and welcome in the new year. I woke several times during the night to hear the voices chatting in basic alcohol fuelled bullshit of those younger people in the hot tub.

Saturday 1st January.

Should I start a new page just for this event? Naaah!

I was awake at 6am and the voices of Errol, Mark n Steve were still droning on from the hot tub. Mark was waiting for his dad to pick him up and take him to the airport to fly home to Perth. Steve was waiting on Mark to leave so he could have a couple of hours sleep before heading off to his home at Biggera Waters. Errol was too tired to wait so he drifted off to bed.

After breakfast Donnis n I met a friend, Glenda at Jupiters Casino at Surfers Paradise. Glenda is a Gold Card member of the casino and took us to a private, security controlled gambling area where free drinks, food and other beverages are provided. She also took us on a tour of the casino and showed us a restaurant which has an $18.50 Yum Cha lunch every day.

Closing BP today was 161 over 99. Whew it is going in the wrong direction.

I was sitting reading a paper from Noosa today. There was a story about how a couple in their 80’s have made this the last year they will do the Christmas lights. They are from Cooran and have been doing the lights for thirty years. Those lights were mentioned in my last post, dated 26th December.

Strange that I had to drive 250 klms to read that local story.

Sunday 2nd January.

This morning we drove to Biggera Waters to see Steve F house. It is about 12 years old and is a block back from a canal development. Nice two storey house with a pool in front. Then we joined the masses of traffic heading to Surfers Paradise. In fact most of the traffic was heading to The Spit where a huge rock concert was being staged. We drove on through the streets of constant shadows to

Jupiters Casino and the Zen Restaurant for the Yum Cha lunch. We were joined by Errol n Nicole, her brother Greg, Linda, Alecia and her friend Sarah.

There is now a giant ferris wheel in the centre of SP on top of the bus transit centre.

The giant Ferris Wheel at Surfers Paradise. We must go on this before Donnis leaves for Canada. Nicole brother, Greg, lives across the street from the ferris wheel in a high rise apartment. He claims to see more and further from his balcony.

Back home we had more visitors, Jacqui and Lucas, friends of Nicole. Donnis n I made sushi for everybody, using our new sushi maker. Sure makes the job easier and gives a more constant and better packed roll than we can achieve by hand. It all got eaten with requests for more. The product is called Sushezi and can be found here


and here is a demo video


BP reading this evening was 153 over 87. Still too high.

I have discontinued the Clonac anti inflamatory tablets I am taking for my torn rib cartillage and the trigger thumb. It may be causing the increase in BP.


One Response to “169. Sunday 2nd January 2011. May auld aquaintence be forgot and welcome to 2011…”

  1. The Retro Roamers Says:

    Hey Frank, watch out for that blood pressure!!!

    I passed on your info to R & V. Small world hey!

    Not much happening here in Mackay at the moment, just counting down the days before we pack up and hit the road again. Bring it on!!!!!!!

    Cheers & beers



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