233. Sunday 8th January 2011. Still in Corrimal but not much longer…

Monday 2nd January

We are still at Corrimal.

WTF! I was awake at 4.30am and no idea why. It has been several months since I woke this early.

Hmmm! Perhaps it is caused by all the rich high carbohydrate food I have been eating over the lead up to and during Christmas. It is time to put those sweet things and potatoes and rice and pasta behind me and get back to the low carbs diet. Yesterday, Merilyn made Cornish Pasties for lunch. Although they were small, I ate three (they were delicious) and they have probably added to the general feeling of malaise which descended upon me yesterday. See   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty

On reflection I believe it is the sugar Christmas has re-introduced into my diet which is causing this feeling of hyper whatever. For some reason we have both been indulging in chocolates, liquorice allsorts, sweet biscuits, pastries, fruit mince pies, puddings, custards and so on.

It is time we both got back onto our simple diet of low carbs and low sugar.

I have felt generally unwell for a couple of days and a bit vertiginous especially this morning.  A quick test reveals elevated blood pressure readings. Not life threateningly high but at 146 over 90 I need to keep an eye on them and determine why they are elevated.

Nuff said!

One good benefit of being awake at this time is being able to watch the sun rise and listen to the birds waking and calling to each other. Although we are in the centre of suburbia our campsite is at the back of a small residential development, beside a creek, along a bushland corridor. It is quiet, there is no traffic and we feel as if we are in a bush setting.

The house that Errol is building.

Finally found some information regarding the Police Helicopter on NYE. See here… http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/wollongong-nye-thousands-watch-dramatic-rescue-unfold/2407464.aspx

Tuesday 3rd January


Yesterday our internet service was very slow. I ran diagnostics on the computer and reset the modem and re-booted the laptop, all to no avail. The service was slow yet other programmes such as Word and Excel ran quickly as normal.

What is going on?

This morning I woke at 5.30 and the Internet was, if anything, slower than yesterday.


Then it dawned on me. It is our Internet package plan.

Let me explain.

As part of a mobile phone and mobile wireless internet modem package we have a monthly Internet allowance of 4Gb (that’s a total of 4Gb including up-load and down-load). While the CO-PILOT was studying, the allowance was 7Gb per month and we only used, on average, about 3Gb per month. After her study period I dropped the allowance back to 4Gb and it has been enough for our needs. The CO-PILOT uses Skype quite frequently, calling Canada and Somalia, using video connection for anything up to an hour at a time. Although we boastfully say the calls only cost .27cents a minute, the time spent on-line still has an up-load and a down-load cost, especially when using video. There was a huge spike in Internet usage on 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th of December and again on 1st and 2nd of January. Once the 4Gb allowance is reached we still get a service but it is severely slowed. Our allowance has reached 106%. The good news is it is a new cycle beginning tomorrow. In the meantime we have the iPad and its Internet access as a separate account.

Still, it is a bit of a nuisance.

Early in the morning, we went to Towradgi (proper pronunciation is Toe Rod Gee) Beach and Rock Pool

Towradgi Rock Pool

. It was quite surprising to see so many people walking, cycling, Yoga-ing and TaiChi-ing as well as those doing laps in the pool, surfing and board riding. Of course having sunshine for three days in a row has been a bonus. The CO-PILOT and the rest of the family swam in the rock pool while I busied myself with photographic duties. I noticed a plaque to commemorate the shipwreck of the Barque, Queen of Nations which ran aground on the rocks at south Corrimal Beach in 1881. The ship was carrying a cargo of railway and mining equipment and despite being wrecked, only one life was lost.

Sister Bev and her husband Pete, drove down from Gymea to visit us for a couple of hours. The intention was to go to the beach for a surf but the wind had picked up dramatically and we could barely stand upright on Flagstaff Hill, site of the Wollongong Lighthouse

Lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill

above the Harbour

Lighthouse at Entrance to Belmore Basin - Wollongong Harbour.

and also overlooking Wollongong Beach.

South Wollongong Beach

After a walk around the lighthouse and scrambling around the rocks

Boys being boys by showing off to a group of girls. They would jump off the rocks into the swell and were then swept back onto the rocks to do it all over again.

we went back to the harbour for a seafood take away for lunch.

Pete Bev and Donnis on rocks at South Gong Beach.

Before buying lunch we saw a display of 6 luxury vehicles, including, probably the cheapest of the lot, a Lotus Elise.

Lotus Elise

There were BMW Cabriolet 1201, Lamborghinni,

Lamborghinni Gallardo

Maseratti,  Aston Martin, Audi R8.

Audi R8

We have no idea why these cars were on display but it was interesting to see them. Personally I would be happy driving along the coast in a Lotus Elise but the cost of Rego, Insurance and a service would be more than my annual income.



After we ate I noticed an old sandstone building across the street, about 50 metres from where we watched fireworks on NYE. Acting on a hunch I went for a closer look. Sure enough, it was the OLD COURTHOUSE mentioned in my last post on NYE.

Ye Olde Courthouse at Belmore Basin.

It was the one where the 5 year old lost boy was to find his parents. Although it was simple to find in broad daylight with no crowds, it would have been difficult for a child to find at night with 100,000 people all single minded, trying to go home and moving in all directions.

After Bev n Pete left we returned to the house where the CO-PILOT got into painting walls again and I helped Errol install ceiling material on an open air deck.

We went to the Corrimal RSL for dinner of Asian food and visit to their small but interesting war memorabilia museum.

Wednesday 4th Januaray.

YeeHar! The internet is back in full service for another 4Gb.

More work around the house. During the day a truck arrived to offload a digger to work on the house block beside where we are camped. They advised more trucks would be arriving in the morning to start work and we would need to move.

WWWGO seen through the windows of the house which Errol built.

A southerly buster blew through about 4pm but by the time we closed windows and doors it had blown itself out and the rain stopped.


Thursday 5th January.

A long day for all of us for different reasons. The CO-PILOT and I were up at 5.30 to pack and move. We managed to secure a powered site at Corrinal Campgrounds for two nights but check=in is not until after 2pm. The cost is gasp, shock, horror, $42 per night.  The camp is huge with around 300 sites and in the words of the check-in staff, “we are chockers”. (for any overseas readers, “Chockers” = “chock a block”, full, booked out) We drove to Bellambi Lagoon and parked in what at the time seemed an empty and little used car-park. After breakfast we drove back to the house and by now several trucks, van, utes etc had arrived and parking was at a premium. I dropped the CO-PILOT off to start work while I went for a dental appointment. (two days ago a hard gritty piece of something appeared in my mouth. Hmmm! Could be a broken filling.) The dentist did a full examination which included x-rays and declared no problems with the tooth. What fell out was an excess of scale (plaque?). I received a clean and scale then back to WWWGO which was now surrounded by cars. Hmmm. This is a popular spot especially among the dog owners as the beach is designated “off leash” between certain hours.

In the afternoon we took the last powered site in the campground. The CO-PILOT needed some documents scanned and sent off to her nursing agency for the job at Henty. We used Errol’s iPhone as a scanner and emailed the results all from the little phone. Not bad really considering there were 29 pages for a total of 10.4Mb file.

Back at the house the electrician was working, the plumber turned up at last, the man with the digger and bob cat also arrived 12 hours late. Errol was flitting from one to the other with instructions whilst the CO-PILOT and Merilyn continued to paint.

Wide hallway of the house which Errol built.

Before retiring for the night light rain started dripping and some mild thunder rumbled somewhere west of our site.

Friday 6th January

We woke to…WINTER!!! Well, not quite but it was once again overcast and a chill wind was blowing off the icy waste somewhere south of us. This is not the summer I remember. It is not the summer I expected. It is not the summer I wanted. The CO-PILOT is quite happy as she prefers the cooler weather. I noticed however she did not go to the pool for a swim, a swim she was looking forward to. By mid-afternoon the sun came out, the wind dropped away and it turned into a nice afternoon. We worked all day at the house but packed up at 4.30 to shower and drive to Avondale a little south of Wollongong. We visited and old workmate, Wayne M and his wife Narelle. Although I last worked with Wayne in 1986 we caught up by email in 2008 and visited in 2009. I had a wonderful time talking about old workmates who have either stayed at the same place for more than thirty years, have moved on to other jobs or sadly, passed away. When Wayne reached a 30 year milestone he was given a celebration dinner where congratulatory speeches and emails from various people were read out. I was fortunate to be tracked down and gave my recollection of our first meeting and early years. At the time I described him as having too much hair and if he wanted to succeed he should lose some. As things turned out he did succeed, becoming the CEO of one of the largest Building Society’s in NSW and he hardly has any hair. After leaving their home in the hills of Avondale we came across a car which appears to have been rolled and burned. There was nobody about (it was after 11pm at night) and what seemed like water was still draining out of the car.

Saturday 7th January

The CO-PILOT visited the doctor in the morning to obtain her medical clearances which enable her to work for NSW Health. At midday I met with another work colleague from my days at Custom Credit Corporation. Bob T and his wife Sharon provided a wonderful lunch. Apart from being a work colleague, Bob was also a team member in my Squash team so we had a double opportunity to reminisce.

After lunch I re-joined the CO-PILOT and her son Erro; working at the house. While she painted, Errol and I laid fibro flooring in readiness for vinyl tiles.

During dinner I broke a filling while eating Pork Crackling.

Egads. Another ASAP visit to the dentist is in order. With luck I will get to see the dentist sometime on Monday.

Sunday 8th January

Another full day working on the house, while Errol and I installed eaves and finished the floor panels, the CO-PILOT continued to paint. The eaves are now complete as is the floor panels in readiness to install the vinyl tiles tomorrow.

Tonight my neck, shoulder and arm muscles are aching.

Time for bed.


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