218. Sunday 2nd October 2011. Still at Finch Hatton but …

Monday 26th September

The beginning of another week at Finch Hatton.

"OCHRE" held still long enough for a portrait shot - except I still had the camera set on scenery mode. When I changed settings he would not hold still long enough for a photograph.

Tuesday 27th September

The co-pilot had a day off so we drove to Mackay to buy some groceries and drop off some registration transfer papers to Averyl for VIRAGO – just in case it sells.

With the smoke haze all week, the sunrise has been of a very large red ball in the sky. With a little cloud it made for a spectacular scene. Pity the photo does not do it justice.

It is just getting light at 6am but the big red ball in the sky is really spectacular.

On the drive to Mackay the CO-PILOT suggested I needed a new mobile phone. I have had the old one for around 6 years, it needs constant re-charging and the keys are not working correctly. Being a Scrooge McDuck I resisted the suggestion. Once in Mackay we went in separate directions as I visited a past work associate and she visited the dress shop and an electrical store then met up again for coffee before going to the bank. While sitting in the bank I realised I had lost the mobile phone.

Sob. Sob.

Boo Hoo!

We retraced my steps, turned TERIOS inside out and upside down. No phone. We reported the loss to Telstra and advised them we will take a little time to decide on a replacement. Later we visited Averyl to deliver the transfer papers and she gave me her old smart phone and suggested I use it instead of buying another. Back to Telstra we went, had a new sim card made and was told it would not be activated until the next morning.

Wednesday 28th September

The sim card has still not been activated. A long call to Telstra and they claim it is because the phone needs to be released from the previous carrier!!!

I called Optus. The phone is not locked but…it still needs a release and the owner, Averyl is the only person authorised to do so. Averyl spent hours talking to ACN and Optus her previous carrier/sub carrier with no result. Both claim the phone is not locked.

Thursday 29th September

The card is still not activated. Perhaps it would be easier to buy a new phone outright! I spent most of the day researching replacement phones.

Daughter Shelley called. Her first husband Rod, died on Tuesday, aged 46. Whew. A heart attack was the culprit. When we knew Rod he was a bicycle riding freak. He trained every day and competed at everything in which he was eligible. Seems being fit did not help him.

Sister Sue called, her daughter Kelly had a baby son on Tuesday. Welcome to the world Cooper. Wow. Kelly and Jase visited me on Sunday and two days later they have a baby!

Geez, the quiet week has turned sorta busy.

Friday 30th September.

While the CO-PILOT was at work I travelled to Mackay to visit Kelly and son Cooper

Cooper at four days of age.

as well as to have a few words with Telstra. It seems the activation was never turned on and it will now take 24 hours before the phone will receive a signal.


Saturday 1st October.

The phone is not activated. I spoke with one of the usual Telstra jockey’s. You know, they speak English as a second language and it seems she was based in the Phillipines! She claimed the original activation never took place although it was scheduled. My second call on the Wednesday also put the activation in the queue. The Telstra Shop visit yesterday was also recorded but the activation was never…umm err…activated. She has promised me it will now be activated…just as soon as the activation staff come back to work on Monday. They get weekends off! I seem to recall a similar activation process last year when I tried to set-up the iPad. That process took a week!


A word about the weather. The days have been hot and dry with a dry annoying wind all week. The weather is worsened by the bushfires all over the state and accounts for the blue smokey haze which has been evident all week. At midday today it was 32° with humidity of 20%. Simply it is hot, dry and dusty and to make matters worse the wind today is quite strong, blowing from the western  flatlands on the other side of the Great Dividing Range. It has been rocking WWWGO all day and giving me anxious moments about the awning. It is too difficult to even contemplate taking the awning in by myself.

Remember this is the first month of Spring and already we are experiencing Summer temps although Summer normally brings cooling winds off the sea. Already we are sleeping with just a sheet.

Aaahhh! Spring is in the air. The nest is by either a Welcome Swallow or a Barn Swallow. Both look similar, both build the same mud nest and both fly around and rarely stop except to feed the young. Note the nest has horse hair built into it. Plenty of horse hair around this farm.

After studying my Field Guide to Australian Birds I am certain the bird is the Welcome Swallow as their tail feathers are shorter. When I approached the nest this pair flew around me in a sort of dive bombing formation and sat on the fence wire to watch me. It gave me an opportunity to get a photo.

Sunday 2nd October

Spoke with brother Allan. He reminded me it is a public holiday tomorrow in his state of New South Wales. Hmmm! If the Telstra activation office is in NSW my phone might not get activated tomorrow!

It was another hot dry day today and the grass is quickly turning from a pale green to a grey or brown colour. Soon the grass will be dry and crackly – just as it is at this time each year. At our home we never pumped water onto the grass as it will spring back to life just as soon as the first rain and the first lightning of the year occur. The lightning actually helps the growth process by charging the air and ground with nitrogen. Here on the farm the decision not to pump water is not so easy as the horses need the grass to feed. Melissa has been buying supplementary hay and pellets but will need to turn on the pumps to water from the underground bore and possibly from the dam. The dam still has some water but the level is getting low. Melissa and Steve started spraying the grass with water before they left for South Australia earlier this week and no doubt they will be pumping in earnest once they return in a few days.

We have some plans for this week including moving to Mackay to have tyres fitted and a service carried out on WWWGO prior to our planned visit to Townsville the following week.


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