Monday 2nd September
Errol, Nicole and the Grandchildren arrived back from the wedding on Stradbroke Island. Late in the afternoon we visited Nicole’s cousin, his wife and their three daughters.
We had pizza for dinner and I could feel the carbs going straight to my waistline.
Long time Friend Laurie H called to say my comments in last weeks blog post about the usefulness or otherwise of the iPad were not entirely accurate and with a bit of tweaking she can have the iPad performing “as it orta”.
Tuesday 3rd September
Errol, Nicole and the grandchildren went to visit friends on the Gold Coast so we caught up with Laurie who is at a Boy Scout Camp at Stamford. It was a productive afternoon as she showed me how to improve the performance of the iPad and a few things I was not aware it could do. I cannot see myself voluntarily using the iPad to update the blog or store photos but in a pinch I now know how it can be used.
The Toshiba repairer called to say the hard drive was replaced under warranty …YAHOO! As well the cloning of data AND PROGRAMS was successful so my laptop is back to where it was before the drama began.
Wednesday 4th September
In the morning I drove to Springwood and collected the laptop.
The family arrived back today and they had picked up Chris from School. Way back last century, in the mid 1980’s, Donnis sailed to Australia from Canada with her then husband and three children in their 50 foot ketch. From Mexico to the south pacific they sailed in company with another couple with their two children. One of those children, Daniel, is now living and working in Brisbane.
He caught a train to Fairfield so we had another family dinner and gave Donnis and Errol a chance to catch up with him. They have not seen each other for over 20 years. Donnis and I had visited his parents, Lionel and Rosemary at their home in Camden Haven NSW mid December 2012 and kept in touch since.
Thursday 5th September
The family left this morning to head further north to visit Errols father near Bundaberg before they turn around and head back this way again.
Today was, well, my birthday and I kept it pretty low key. Donnis did bake a rich chocolate cake but with all the family gone I will have to eat it all myself. Aww shucks. Even after one slice, with whipped cream of course, I am sure I have gained weight.
Friday 6th September.
Just for something to do (HaHaHa) we drove to the Gold Coast to catch up with my sister Sandra her beau Dave and her son Luke along with his friend Luke. No, that is not a spelling error, they are both Luke. The two Lukes were spending the day at Dreamworld so we got a chance to have lunch with Sandi and Dave and a walk along the beach at Surfers Paradise
where they are staying on the 37th floor of the Three Towers of Chevron http://www.chevrontowers.com.au/
It has been more than four decades since I last stopped at Surfers Paradise. I have driven through and past on many occasions but have not stopped. When I visited in 1965 along with three friends, with our surfboards all of us our luggage and boards squashed into a Mini Minor, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini (we had driven, cramped and uncomfortable, 838 Klms each way for a long weekend just to say we had been to Surfers Paradise) At that time the main road along the beach from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise was one lane each way. It is now a variety of one, two, three or even four lanes, depending on the suburb. The worst bottleneck of one lane is at Surfers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfers_Paradise,_Queensland and http://www.surfersparadise.com/about-surfers-paradise/history On the beach side of the road there were many cheap and gaudy motels among the low level houses. On the other side of the road was almost all vacant sandy lots. There was not a high rise building in sight. (well maybe one or two of less than 10 stories) Now, sigh, it is all high rise apartments and shopping malls. Honestly in 1965 we forsook Surfers Paradise as a place to surf and returned instead to Coolangatta, Kirra Beach, Greenmount Point and Rainbow Beach as our preferred surfing locations. In fact that is still the case today. Very few serious surfers actually umm err surf at Surfers Paradise. It is however a mecca for nightlife, parties, food and a relaxed lifestyle. It is noisy, busy, frantic, crowded, chaotic traffic and wildly alive.
Friday afternoon is the beginning of the Surfers Paradise beachside markets and hundreds of stall holders were setting up their tents to commence trading in the evening.
Saturday 7th September
Today promptly at 9am we cast our democratic vote to elect a new parliament for the next three years. In Australia we vote for a party, not like in the USA where they vote for a political leader. Local political aspirants are standing for a seat. (yeah I know standing for a seat sounds weird) The party with the most seats wins the election. We currently live outside our home electorate so get to have an Absentee Vote. Basically the election is between two major parties, Liberal National Party and the Australian Labour party. All other parties fall into third fourth fifth places etc etc etc. There are some weird parties standing for election, believing votes cast for them will and can be used to support one of the two major parties. Some have straight forward names such as Democrats and Greens and Family First. Then the choices become stranger. Sex Party of Australia, Marijuana Party, H.E.M.P – Help Eliminate Marijuana Party, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, Coke in the Bubblers Party, Stop The Greens Party, Bullet Train Party, Pirate party of Australia and the list goes on – 77 parties in all. Of course some even are named after an individual. Bob Katter, Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenephon, Clive Palmer. Voting on the day can be confusing and it must be a nightmare for those people who count the votes. Of course with a nation of welfare dependency there are always those people who will vote for the party offering continued public handouts.
The result was a resounding victory to the Liberal National Party Coalition led by Tony Abbott.
Kevin Rudd the defeated Labour Prime Minister waffled for 24 minutes in an ungracious concession speech in which he continued to extoll his and his parties virtues ad infinitum.
Tony Abbott the incoming successfully elected Prime Minister took just 10 minutes to thank supporters and graciously accept his new position.
Enuff of politics!
We went to my birthday lunch with Sandra and Dave at the Summit Restaurant
on Mt Coot-Tha. Daves parents joined us after the first course. http://www.brisbanelookout.com/ The restaurant is a little dearer than our usual fare but what the heck, I was asked where I would like to go on my birthday! The view over the city is an added bonus to the ambience along with the fine weather and delightful food.
Sunday 8th September
What a lazy post-election victory day. The sun was shining and we packed a few items into WWWGO and I set the battery charger on slow charge. Later in the week I will get the compressor fired up and check air pressure in the tyres. Although we do not have an expected departure date we believe it will be sometime in the next four weeks.
This week three years ago I was putting the finishing touches on the storage bay in the garage, painting the floor and hanging a door and installing locks, getting it ready to start stacking furniture.
Today I looked at the garage photos I took as I gradually moved the furniture into the small space.
Good golly miss molly. Did we have a lot of junk umm err possessions! We had also given away tables and chairs, lounge suite, washing machine, giant TV, refrigerator and lots of kitchen appliances.
I will not be long before we are on the road again and a new adventure to ???? will begin.