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.
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,
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.
I & D Industries called to say WWWGO is ready.
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.
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.
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.