Archive for June, 2012

259. Sunday 24th June 2012. A quiet week in the Illawarra…again…

25/06/2012

Monday 18th June

Gasp!

Shock!

Gasp again!

We woke to a sunny day. Wow! Two sunny days back to back!

After attending to the needs of the two dogs and they were asleep we took a drive to visit the rugged coastline around Minnamurra, Bombo and Kiama Downs all to the north of Kiama and only about 20 minutes from our home base. This rugged coastline was formed eons ago from volcanic activity. In fact two volcanic lava flows from Saddleback Mountain one forming Minnamurra Basin and the other flowing south to Gerringong. The rugged coastline from Minnamurra to Gerringong is all the result of those lava flows.

A coastal walk soon reveals the volcanic origins.

This display of volcanic lava flow found at the Boneyard near Kiama is typical of the coastal view from around M inamurra to Gerringong.

Today we wanted to see the features known as The Boneyard and Cathedral Rock.

This sign beside the footpath/cycleway to Bombo is also the beginning of the steep walk to the Boneyard.

Getting to the Boneyard was down a short steep pathway at the end of Cliff Road.

Final part of the walkway to The Boneyard.

On certain days this is a favourite place for surfers, even with the thick belt of kelp growing where the swell breaks best.

View of The Boneyard looking north towards Minnamurra with Shellharbour and Port Kembla in the far distance.

Today the large swell was coming from the wrong direction and the breakers were not suitable for surfers. Water clarity was clear, clean and inviting.

Another view of the clean water of The Boneyard.

Cathedral Rock is normally approached from the north side where photographers love to capture an image from inside a rocky cavern.

Cathderal Rock from the southern or less spectacular side.

As far back as 1837 the image from the same cavern was captured in pen and ink drawings. Comparing those drawings with today’s photograph I can see a substantial amount of the spires have collapsed.

View of Cathedral Rocks through clifftop wildflowers.

I would love a few more fine days and some time to do some more walking around this fascinating coastline.

Pretty wave at Cathedral Rock.

Tuesday 19th June.

Today started out as another gasp, shock, gasp day although a chilly south westerly wind was blowing. Later in the day the wind brought nasty grey looking clouds.

Electrolytic Refining and Smelting (no longer working) chimney at Port Kembla as seen from across Lake AIllawarra at Tallawarra Power Station. The chimney can beeen from many places around the southern parts of the lake and is a well known landmark. Also known as the ER&S stack.

We took a quick visit to Tallawarra Power Station situated near Dapto on the bank of Lake Illawarra.

Little Jetty at Tallawarra Power Station on Lake Illawarra.

Hot water from the station is pumped into a channel and finds its way into the lake. Fish love the hot water, sea birds love the fish and fishermen love the chance of catching a larger than average size Flathead.

The feathered and human fisherpeople love to fish here in the warm water outflow from the power station.

There are a couple of walks along the shoreline and the drain channel but the cold wind discouraged us from that walk today.

The CO-PILOT went to stay overnight with Nicole and the children while Errol flies overnight.

Wednesday 20th June.

When our laptop hard drive failed earlier this year, one of the items which could not be 100% restored was all our music on iTunes. Although the home page tells me I have 1,511 tunes, when I try to access them, iTunes cannot find the file. I spent some of today trying to restore the music from files I previously saved on external hard drive. On reflection I think it would have been easier to delete all music from iTunes then copy all the music from the external hard drive. However I have chosen to restore the music, one artist at a time, then delete the empty file. On today’s progress I should have it completed by the end of the year!!!

Although the day was sunshine, there was no warmth unless I found a spot out of the southerly breeze.  In fact anywhere in the shade felt like any icebox.

Thursday 21st June.

A winter’s day hung around like a bad smell. The sun did come out but a wall of cold air from the west had more strength. Apart from a shopping excursion to buy groceries (we have invited Wayne n Narelle M to dinner on Saturday night) all I did was mess about trying to get iTunes up to date and transferred onto the iTouch and iPod Nano. The iTouch has apparently exceeded its memory capacity and all the songs cannot be updated. The iPod battery was flat but synching and charging occur at the same time.

The CO-PILOT drove to Corrimal to help with the children again. She was late arriving home as the normal peak hour traffic was compounded by a traffic accident at a place called Yallah. A truck rolled out of control sliding onto a car beside it and forcing the car across the road into oncoming traffic and colliding head-on with another car. One woman was killed. The Police blocked both north and south bound lanes of the freeway several klms to the north and diverted all traffic coming from the south. Donnis was caught up in the chaos, taking two hours to travel what normally takes 20 minutes.

Friday 22nd June

Not much happened today. Although the sun made a welcome appearance there was a strong wind warning in place and it was very cold.

Nicole bought some furniture from eBay and Errol needed help loading and unloading it from a trailer. We were amazed at the number of pieces of shelving and chests of drawers she bought for $200. There were eight pieces and they were all very solid and heavy. Even the smallest by itself would have cost $200 in a store. Nicole got a bargain today.

Saturday 23rd June.

Another sunny day but with a cool wind blowing although not as strong as yesterday.

Spent some time in the WWWGO underbelly hatches and vacuumed the fibreglass dust to re-arrange our storage boxes.

The CO-PILOT drove to Corrimal to help Nicole and the babies while Errol was at work. Nicole’s brother, Scott and his wife Monica arrived from Melbourne and caught the train to Corrimal where Donnis picked them up in the TERIOS.

In the meantime I prepared the meal for tonight.

Meatloaf. Beef gravy.

Zucchini slice (Zucchini, eggs, cheese, bacon)

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges,

Roast Spiced Cauliflower

Broccolini

Mushrooms

We had a great meal with great company and we finally called it a night at around 9.30.

Sunday 24th June

This morning we went to church with Wayne n Narelle at a little church at Calderwood a little community near Albion Park. The drive was through a lush valley with several small communities, Calderwood, Marshall Mount, Yallah and Avondale which are little more than a few dairy farms and a community hall. They are not much changed for the last 100 years. Perhaps a new house has been built in the last 50 years but basically the valley is unchanged. These isolated communities can be found within 25klms of the centre of the City of Wollongong. A little history of the valley can be found here…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Mount,_New_South_Wales

The old school house, built 1897 and heritage listed, includes the schoolmasters house and stables.

Marshall Mount School built 1897.

Marshall Mount School.

It is currently on the market for $749,000.

Entrance to a farm gateway. I spoke with the owners. The wall was built several years ago but have started to collapse where only small stones were used. The timber posts originally held the builders name and phone but as the wall collapsed the signs were removed. The owners agree that stone walls in Kiama have only used larger stones in their construction and have endured for 150 years or more. See my page/post 045 for aq photo of a good stone wall.

In the afternoon we took a drive which took us on a loop around Lake Illawarra.

What else can you do on a sunny yet cold Sunday afternoon?

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258. Rusty Stuff #2…

19/06/2012

Twelve months ago I posted ten photos of rusty stuff or old falling apart stuff we have seen in our travels. The anniversary date of that post is approaching so I thought a follow up post with another 10 rusty stuff photos would be appropriate..

Rusty cars and house.

I haved kicked off this post with a view of Imbil, a small town in the hinterland behind the Qld Sunshine coast. Most of the town is rusty. It is trying to revive itself but it has a long way to go. Looking at the pbhotos you can see there are some towns folk not getting behind the revival plan.

Jason on the rusting remains of a motorcycle.

Full photo credit goes to my niece Kelly who took this photo of her partner Jason when they were travelling to Cape York.

Morven has a lot of rusty stuff on display.

Morven is a small town on the Warrego Highway Qld between the larger town of Charleville and a slightly larger town of Mitchell.We stayed at Mitchell in 2010 shortly after flood waters had passed through. A few weeks ago fllod waters once again raged through Mitchell but this time the waters were higher and caused significant damage to the town. Many of the houses and businesses in the main street were wiped out.

Rusty movie set house at Lightning Ridge.

This rusty old building at Lightning Ridge in Outback NSW appealed to me. The day was hot dry and dusty and the building location typified the loneliness, isolation and extremes of the outback.

Rusty old British Motor Corporation car. I know it is a BMC but could not determine it it was a Morris or an Austin.

We saw this old car near Moranbah on a property we visited several years ago. Photo was taken with my old Panasonic FZ7.

Another old car found at Lightning Ridge.

We jump from Moranbah to Lightning Ridge. LR probably has more than its fair quota of rusting old cars. Because the area is nowhere near the salt laden air of the coast, metal rusts more slowly. Old cars at LR were used as transport, sleeping quarters and with wheels removed, machinery to lower and raise equipment in the mine shaft as well as turning agitating and grinding machinery. OR any other use you could think of. Doors and bonnets were removed, painted in colour coding and used as marker posts in self drive tours.

Yakapari

This old umm err house, shed, barn is located on the Seaforth-Yakapari Road near Mackay Qld.

A rusty bit of something, probably off a boat, near Seaforth, Qld.

Lots of rusty stuff was found at Seaforth. Most of it small and insignificant and unidentifiable.

Sapphire Mining town of …Sapphire.

\Although there is not much rusty stuff in this photo, the concrete and steel monument is falling into ruin.

Cart found at Tewantin, Qld.

This old cart was found on a narrow road outside a “boutique” home near Tewantin, Qld.

More rusty stuff will follow in the future.

257. Sunday 17th June 2012. Rain rain go away and it did…for how long?…

17/06/2012

Monday 11th June.

Sheesh! The day dawned with a wan light and a miserable drifting drizzle which became a heavy intermittent rain. As the morning wore on it became colder. After living in the tropics for almost 30 years I had forgotten how cold and miserable winter can be in the shadow of the Illawarra Escarpment. When the sun is shining and there is no wind, the days here during winter can be delightful – between 10am and 2pm!

Mid- morning Geoff and Margaret C from Bomaderry called. They are on their way to their daughter in Helensburgh and offered to call in to see us on the way. Once again we had chicken, salad and sourdough rye bread for lunch.

The rain thundered down for several hours. By 4pm there was a lake in the backyard where once there was a patch of lawn. The rain continued to fall. Inside and cosied up was the only place to be today.

Tuesday 12th June

Woke at first light (or last dark) and felt today would be dry enough to go for a walk. I dressed in the dark and was just putting on my shoes when it started to rain. Heavily.

Sigh! No walk this morning.

I recall during our house sit in Traveston in January to March last year when it rained almost every day and there were floods in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine coast and of course at Traveston. We hope the next couple of months are not a repeat of all that rain. It rained all day, quite heavily at times

Tonight, Errol and I went to the movies to see Prometheus – the 3D version. I had great expectations as the movie was produced and directed by Ridley Scott, the very same man who brought us the Alien movies. The 3D effects are very good but still nowhere in the class of Avatar. Great visuals and tension mounting scenes abound. If you have seen the Alien movies, particularly the first, you have already seen much of Prometheus. The lead actress is not Sigourney Weaver but does much the same sort of things Sigourney did in Alien. Then too there is the robot David 8 who looks human and has his head ripped off but is still able to talk. He even has the same white liquid dribble out of his mouth as did the robot/human in Alien. Then of course there are the “pods” containing young monsters. I could go on and name another dozen similarities. I did enjoy the movie up to a point but eventually came away disappointed. It was just too much like Alien and after Alien 1, I got bored with the sequels. In some respects this could be a prequel to Alien as it takes place not all that far into the future.  You should however go and see it for yourself. Perhaps we could start a discussion group. For another review have a look here.   http://twscritic.com/2012/06/11/movie-review-prometheus-2012/

Wednesday 13th June.

After all the rain yesterday I woke to thinning clouds and a great big fiery ball in the sky.

Sunlight through the foggy mists across the fields.

In the afternoon we drove to the northern beaches to watch the huge storm swells crashing onto the coastline. At Bellambi Rock Pool we saw a few thin rays of sunshine slice through the clouds over the Great Dividing Range

That did not last long as the clouds crept back and it rained off and on, on and off for the rest of the day.

Donnis braves the cold wind and rain before a huge wave came crashing across the Bellambi Rock Pool.

Waves kept the rock pool washed clean .

Leaving Bellambi Beach we saw this house with the biggest shoe rack ever!

The northernmost point on our drive today was Sandon Point. This is a composite photograph and deserves a double click to enlarge full size.

This morning I had a job interview with QBE Insurance, Workers Compensation Division, as a Credit Control Officer. Sheesh! I have not done credit control for many years and have not worn a tie for around 13 years. By the way the reason I was visiting Shellharbour Square last post was to buy some suitable clothes for the job interview. So it was this morning I was dressed in new shirt, new trousers, new shoes, new reversible vest and a $1 tie from Vinnies.  I felt comfortable and relaxed during the interview although some niggling thoughts kept creeping into my mind during the interview and all day thereafter. To justify going back to work I had some pre-requisites.

  1. It must pay enough to pay a caravan park site rental, parking expenses and fuel but mostly to save some money.
  2. We need to find somewhere to stay after the house sit is completed.
  3. It must be a contract with pre-determined completion date.

With respect to number 1 above I had a goal of what should be the minimum $$$s I should work for. After the house sit the CO-PILOT goes to Canada for three months and I will need to find somewhere to stay in WWWGO. The caravan parks I have spoken to do not accept long term camping so I would need to move every 6 or 8 weeks and as there is only a half dozen caravan parks from Coledale to Kiama that could be a bit of a nuisance. As well the camp fees would be around $200 per week. Yes $200 per week even in the dead of Winter. Car parking in Wollongong costs $17 per day unless I was prepared to park a klm or two from work and walk…in all weather. The advertised job was for a contract of three days per week for a period of 6 months. Hmmm! I was not too confident the job would pay enough and at the interview they could not tell me how much they were paying. I was asked to go prepared with questions and expect some role playing questions but they had forgotten to check to see what the job paid! It also turned out they made an error in their advertisement of the contract period. It was for 12 months, not the advertised 6 months. So it was I felt that, deep down, the position was not for me and unless the job was offered with a big salary I would not be interested. They promised to get back to me within 48 hours.

Tonight NSW Blues won a long hard fought battle against the Qld Maroons. Final score 16 NSW 12 Qld and the series is to be decided in Brisbane on July 4th! Whew! There could be some fireworks on that night.

Thursday 14th June.

Another strange day of a sunny morning before the rain came back.

We went shopping for groceries as we have invited Bob and Sharyn T to dinner on Saturday night. QBE phoned. I did not get the job. They were pleased with the interview and asked if they can contact me again should another similar position arise…anywhere in NSW. Another job applicant had previous journal entry experience which I have not so he or she got the job. I was not disappointed with the news and can now explore other options. Other work in other places, house sitting while Donnis is in Canada or camping at Coonabarrabran for three months and of course something the Universe might throw at us out of left field.

Now, what am I gunna do with the new trousers, shirt, shoes, tie and vest?

Friday 15th June

Another nothing sort of day. The sun came out long enough for me to do some cabinet work inside WWWGO. The CO-PILOT drove to Corrimal and spent time helping Nicole around the house.

Saturday 16th June.

What can I tell you? Went to bed with clear skies and woke to heavy overcast, miserable drizzle and low lying mist. Of course it was cold. The CO-PILOT drove to Corrimal to do her Grandma duties while I stayed at the ranch to prepare for our guests.

Daddy Errol reading to daughter Amelia.

I am baking a Devils Food Cake with a layer of Rosella Jam and thick cream sandwiched between the top and bottom halves and a thick runny chocolate icing sloshed over the top and down the sides.

Have I mentioned baking several loaves of bread since we arrived here mid-May? I have baked four loaves of Sourdough Rye and a light Rye loaf. All get devoured too quickly.

This evening we hosted dinner for Bob and Sharyn T. I used some of the sourdough rye bread I baked  a day or so ago and made fingers of bread and grilled them crispy to be used as dippers or as a base for some delightful King Island Camembert Cheese and a Tasmanian Heritage Red Square cheese. (Very much like a camembert although a little firmer at room temperature.)

Dinner was a bit of a gamble in that I decided to cook Swordfish. Neither of us has eaten it before and on arrival Bob n Sharyn confessed they hadn’t either. In fact Bob thought I was joking and made a few jokes.  We used a new product by Continental called Cook in a Bag, Seafood Terriyaki. By adding some Carrots, Bok Choy, Mushrooms and Leeks along with the Swordfish and twenty minutes later it was ready to serve with some rice and Broccolini on the side. It was quite nice and the texture of the Swordfish was moist and tender with a hint of firmness. In fact we all enjoyed the swordfish.

The Devils Food Cake was a great success and we had to fight Donnis to stop her having seconds.

Bob n Sharyn are great company and allowed us to beat them at Pool.

Sunday 17th June

The sun joined us today. It was pleasant out of the shade and away from the breeze. It was a great chance for people to get out and about.

We drove to Belmore Basin (Wollongong Harbour) to visit the Old Courthouse

 

where we viewed a photographic display.

Hmmm! Perhaps I could join the camera club while I am here.

Across the street at the harbour it was wow lots of people enjoying the sunshine.

A row of dinghy’s at Belmore Basin.

The large surf could be seen rolling in along the coast with the offshore wind blowing the wave spray over the back of the waves.

Belmore Basin looking north. Another composite photo worthy of double clicking to see it full size. Look carefully and you can see the swells breaking in the distance and the wave spray trailing behind.

One of several twisted and gnarled old trees at Belmore Basin.

From there we drove to Corrimal for a late afternoon barbecue with Errol n Nicole. They had a visitor Ben, another pilot, who was on his way home to Adelaide after a five week holiday through Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Bosnia and oh I forget the rest.

On our way home in the dark, as we were exiting the freeway there was a man in dark clothes walking on the exit ramp towards us.

Whoa!!! I probably missed hitting him, at 80KPH but it shook me that anybody would be so stupid as to walk onto a freeway in the dark. Perhaps he is a temporary Australian.

 

Footnote.

I know from site statistics this week we have had readers from Australia, United States, United Kingdom,Canada, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, New Zealand, Germany and 18 other countries. Knowing we have readers from around the globe is both humbling and gratifying. It certainly helps to know we have an audience and that encourages us to continue to write and photograph. Please continue to join us each week as although we are housebound for a few more weeks, we have plans for much more travel adventures this year. It would be wonderful if more readers from around the globe commented on the blog. All feedback is welcome.

Frank

256. Sunday 10th June 2012. Illawarra is quiet this week…

11/06/2012

Monday 4th June

The sun made a welcome appearance today so we took the opportunity to open up and air out WWWGO. Fibreglass dust had found its way into all parts of the motorhome. It means a slow process of emptying out cupboards, vacuuming the dust and washing items where required.

Sigh!

A year ago this week we were camped at Bucasia Beach in Tropical North Queensland. Winter there meant putting on a light jacket in the evening when I went for a walk on the beach wearing my shorts. I have been in the habit here at Horsley of wearing long johns under my trackie pants, singlet, long sleeve t-shirt, tuke, (The Canadian phrase for beanie )hoodie and woollen gloves when I go for my early morning walk.

A severe weather warning has been issued for tomorrow with strong winds and heavy rain.

The strong winds began about 6pm tonight.

Tuesday 5th June.

Errol had to fly to Canberra overnight so Donnis agreed to stay with Nicole. I drove to Corrimal and after lunch noticed the wind was picking up and a light rain beginning to fall. Time to go. Within 10 minutes of leaving Corrimal the wind was whipping trees and the rain was heavier. Spray from vehicles in front was making visibility a bit of a haze. At a roundabout in Dapto I watched an oncoming car slide sideways with the driver fighting for control. My thoughts were that it would be good to be safe indoors and to stay off the roads tonight. The wind and rain continued all night.

Wednesday 6th June.

Woke to news reports of overnight wind damage, flooding and huge seas from Victoria through the NSW south coast and Sydney. Apart from a drive to Corrimal to collect the CO-PILOT and have a drive to the beach to look at the huge swells pounding the coast it was just a good afternoon to stay indoors and relax.

Thursday 7th June.

Today we planned to visit friends Geoff & Margaret C in Bomaderry about 70 Klm south of Dapto. Just for coffee I said. Geoff called to say a friend, Terry C, known as T1, (several years ago I went to a motorhome gathering at Maleny in Qld. Of the 50 or so attendees, four had the first name of Terry. To avoid confusion we decided each Terry would have a nickname. Each was given the abbreviated name of T followed by the number according to his arrival. Thus T1 was the first Terry to arrive and has been known as T1 ever since) wanted to catch up and drive from Lake Illawarra to join us.

T1 and Errol. Despite the sunshine we were sitting in the shade and the wind chill factor made it feel like we were in a refrigerator.

Hmmm! Perhaps we should plan to have lunch. T1 called to say he was bringing another friend, Brian, whom I have not seen since that Maleny gathering. Hmmm! Lunch is beginning to look like a good idea. Errol called. He and Nicole were planning to go for a drive and the CO-PILOT suggested they drive to Bomaderry to join us. We stopped at Berry, the delightful town which re-invented itself some 20 or so years ago by going back in time. We bought three cooked chickens and a wood fired sourdough rye loaf. Many years ago I remember Berry as a quiet little town, looking old and worn out .It was a place to drive through on our way south.  Since those days Berry has attracted the artistic people, the craft people, the retired, the artisans and many food, craft, hobby, antique and handmade furniture stores have opened. Parking in the main street is difficult to find at any time of day and traffic is constant. We were on a food finding mission and did not take the time to photograph the delightful restored old buildings which are now modern shops. We were last in Berry in March 2009 on our way to Tasmania.

Margaret made a salad of fresh grown items from their garden and Geoff brought out bottles of home-made ale and stout.

The short visit turned into a party.

Geoff and Brian comparing iPhone and Android Apps.

We all had a wonderful afternoon of good food, good brew and good company.

Geoff, Brian, T1 and Errol with the evidence of Geoff;s home made brew.

On the television news tonight there was footage of surfers riding waves in Sydney Harbour beside the Opera House. The footage is obviously fake but is an impressive bit of digital video manipulation.   http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8480127/hoax-video-of-surfers-at-opera-house

There was also a report of surf riders at Clifton Gardens, also within Sydney Harbour but there was not any footage. I recall, several times in the sixties when big swells wiped out any chance of a surf at any of the coastal beaches, given the right conditions, we surfed inside Sydney Harbour at Nielson Park. Of course at the time I was not aware the location was called Shark Bay!

Friday 8th June

Despite earlier comments we traipsed to Shellharbour Square Shopping Centre. Although not such a mad crush of people as on our first visit we nonetheless had to drive to the roof top parking to find a spot. On reflection today is the beginning of the long weekend and there were more cars on the road heading south than usual. We returned along the highway via NSW second worst road for driver frustration and accidents.   See   http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/05/28/3512189.htm

The good thing about our drive was we were going in the opposite direction to the holiday traffic. Cars were two lanes wide, bumper to bumper as far south as we could see. Cars were bumper to bumper all the way through Albion Park Rail and as far along the freeway north that we could see. According to the evening news much traffic was heading to the ski fields in the Snowy Mountains for the opening of the ski season. Good falls of snow have been recorded all this week. The mountains are also another good place to stay away from this weekend. Apart from all the traffic there will the cold temperatures and impatient humanity to avoid.

Saturday 9th June

The CO-PILOT has been researching Over 55’s Resorts. There is a resort at Fairy Meadow beach which she wants to see. As we joined the freeway to drive north we were astounded to see the traffic was still two lanes bumper to bumper heading south.

Arriving at the resort we took a look around as there are several places for sale. The resort was once an old caravan park and there are still permanent caravans on site intermixed with what are called relocatable homes. These are smaller, older and over the last 10 years rust has started on any exposed steel. The newer, classy looking and more exclusive area are manufactured homes. The price even for the smaller rusty one bedroom caravan type dwelling started at $265,000. A bit pricy but I guess within a stones throw of the beach it is a case of “location, location, location”.

Sunday 10th June.

Not much to report today.

It was cold. The clouds brought rain which was heavy at times. Errol, Nicole and the children arrived for dinner

We watched some TV.

Goodnight.

255. Sunday 3rd June 2012. A quiet week sees the return of WWWGO…

03/06/2012

Monday 28th May

Over the weekend as we drove around we talked about many things. As we always do. A recurring theme of conversation over the weekend was how we are enjoying staying in a home and having a fixed address…at least for a while. Thoughts of our own home crept into the conversation and how nice it would be to live in our house in Mackay. We have never lived in the Mackay house. When we first bought the house it was as an investment and would become our home when we retire. That was, of course, before we started travelling and enjoying the motorhome lifestyle. It would be nice living in our home and we will one day.  We are not through travelling because one day we get an attack of nostalgia for a home and the next we have an attack of nostalgia to continue our travels.  In the course of thinking and talking, the song made famous by Jimmy Durante, popped, unbidden, into my mind.

Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still had the feeling that you wanted to stay.
You knew it was right, wasn’t wrong.
Still you knew you wouldn’t be very long.
Go or stay, stay or go,
Start to go again and change your mind again.
It’s hard to have the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still have the feeling that you wanted to stay.
Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, do.
I’ll go.
I’ll stay.

Jimmy, that says it all.

In the afternoon we drove to Kiama to watch the blowhole. With the strong winds over the weekend we hoped the swell would be big and powerful enough to make the blowhole blow. It did at about 85% capacity. Even so the WHOOMPF and spray was pretty impressive. So too was the cold biting wind zooming across the exposed blowhole headland.

We were so cold we were very naughty and had some hot fish…no chips. Freshly crumbed and cooked it hit the spot. Even with afternoon school traffic on the way and work traffic as we came home it is only a half hour to Kiama. Almost as close as say, Wollongong Beach or Port Kembla  Beach or Shellharbour Beach.

Tuesday 29th May

Wednesday 30th May

These two days are significant in that nothing of note happened.

Thursday 31st May

Merrilyn called to say she is leaving to return to Melbourne on Friday and asked us to join her at the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple for lunch,

One of several ponds afround the temple gardens.

I have no idea who this angry looking image is meant to be but found the Buddha revealed in his stomach to be fascinating. Does anybody else notice the resemblance to Sean Connery…only fatter?

Donnis and Merrilyn pose at the gardens.

Lunch at the temple is vegetarian with a generous serve of rice. The vegetable and tofu meals were pleasant butlimited in sauces, spices and herbs.

This was one of several groups of people in the gardens undergoing what looks like some kind of sensory deprivation.

Buddha and Donnis and Merrilyn at the bottom of the garden.

The pagoda can be seen for some kilometres along the freeway.

I & D Industries called to say WWWGO is ready.

YeeHar!

Friday 1st June

It was a long day today and a bit emotional for me.

We left Horsley at 8.15, drove to Gymea to collect the towing hitch and a few other items before battling traffic to North Rocks to collect WWWGO. We stopped at a Maccas for coffee and had an epiphany along with a culture shock. The rock music was so loud we had to shout our order and could not make ourselves understood to get them to turn the volume down to something below an atomic explosion. Next we noticed the doors with a sign showing all cash is kept in time delay safes. Then there were notes on the toilet doors saying they are locked after 9pm despite the store being open 24/7. The hand-basins did not have water on tap!!! It felt like we were in the rough end of town and stayed no longer than needed.

Water found its way behind the refrigerator vent over several years rotting the plywood. The fibreglass had nothing to adhere to and the wall panel was begining to vibrate and crack. Fibreglass was cut back to good timber in an inverted V configuration. Old rotted ply was removed, new ply glued into place then fibreglassed and top coat, polishing and decals completed the job.. New roof seals were installed around the air conditionera nd the solar panels. A 350 watt inverter was installed as was a freezer door and new stove ignition switch.

WWWGO was at North Rocks and one side where the work was carried out looked nice and shiny new. Grant, the foreman spent probably an hour going through all the work and answering all our questions. He strongly urged us to buy a polishing buffer and special GRP polish and polish the entire bus to match the repair work. (Pity we left our polishing buffer in Airlie Beach)  We hooked up TERIOS and headed out for the western Sydney suburb of Bidwell to visit an old friend Mel G. Mel has a cancer of the bone marrow and it is incurable. Joan, his wife said he was not well. I felt somewhat emotional about seeing an old friend under such conditions.  Along the way we stopped at Blacktown for lunch at a KFC. Same noise blasting out of the speakers but they understood English and agreed to turn the volume down. Same signs on windows about time delay safes and signs on toilet doors about being closed at 9pm and the ladies toilet had neither toilet paper nor hand towels.

We have not previously seen such obvious security measures in place at Maccas and KFC stores. It sort of made us feel uneasy about the suburbs.

When we left WWWGO was parked in a narrow side street and I moved to my left to allow an oncoming car to pass when we hear a loud and scary crash. Our awning support arms had connected with a parked Mercedes side view mirror. No damage to us but the mirror body had a crack and will need replacing. I could not find the owner so left a card under his wipers. The visit with Mel was good considering his condition. Mel has had four other types of cancer and survived all operations. This will be his last fight. In one of his ops for throat cancer a tracheal pipe was put in his throat. For some reason it was not removed for several months and he now has a permanent hole which wheezes when he talks. He calls it a secondary breathing orifice. I was a bit drained when we left in the late afternoon. A once strong, healthy and lover of life is now unable to walk without tiring.

The GPS guided us through heavy late Friday afternoon traffic to the M7, a toll motorway until we reached Pheasants Nest where we turned off to Wollongong, arriving home just before 7pm.

Saturday 2nd June

I woke at 2.30am from a dream of the “incident” being played back in my mind, over and over.

Sheesh!

It is so good to have WWWGO back again so we can use some of the clothes and foodstuffs which were on board. We left WWWGO with the repairer on 2nd June expecting work would take a week. For that reason we only took enough clothes and food for a week. Well of course repairs dragged on for 4 weeks and things such as camera battery chargers and external hard drives were still on board. Now life can get back into some sort of routine with all our possessions in our umm err possession once more.

In the afternoon we drove to Warrawong for some shopping and particularly to look for a polisher. No luck. The rain started in earnest so we stopped at a fish n chip place on the lake at Berkeley for some calamari. Yumm. We now have two places in the Illawarra for good calamari.

The house across the street has teenage children. They have old cars and motorcycles in various stages of repair. They love to start up the cars which have no muffler and continually rev the engine. When they are not revving noisy cars are zooming away and returning. Tonight is party night with rapp music (umm rapp and music in the same sentence is a misnomer) being the sound of the month. With 16 cars parked outside it must have been an enjoyable night for some people.

Sunday 3rd June

More rain today.

Nothing of any note occurred.