343. Sunday 17th November 2013. Flametree, one of us is not here and a Christening…

Monday 11th November

I have been distracted this week. Read on to see why!

On Friday we had booked RALLYE into an air conditioner specialist for a quote to retro fit air conditioning. We thought if work is offered out of town, Donnis would be better off driving an air conditioned highway car. Of course they need a compressor and even after market non genuine parts are not available. Anyway they were / are having trouble locating the part and the last Subaru they worked on, the compressor was sent to Rockhampton for a re-build.


Armistice Day. Observe a minutes silence at 11am!

I had my head down at work, doing umm err, work and failed to realise the time. Everybody else in the office forgot also.

During the day the CO-PILOT received a call from her nursing agency offering a three month contract in a rural hospital. Without doing much in the way of research she agreed to take on the contract. When I got home and was told it was Collarenebri in western New South Wales a 1,422 Klm voyage by car and a 17 hour drive. It is a small hospital – 14 beds – in a small town – Population 386 in the 2011 census – which does not boast a supermarket but it does have a pool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collarenebri,_New_South_Wales

We spoke with the air con people, could they get the job done by tomorrow night?

Noooooo! They need a compressor and the one they want is as scarce as hens teeth.

The CO-PILOT is considering taking the RALLYE even without air con as it is a faster smoother car on highways and corners like a race car. Trouble is it is very hot and humid here and will be hotter at COLLI, so air con might be essential.

Tuesday 12th November

Well no way will RALLYE be fixed in time. In fact it is beginning to look like air con is not going to happen at all.

Today we received the contract and supporting documents – all 18 pages – which were printed, read, completed, signed, scanned and sent back to the agency for onforwarding to the hospital.

Tonight is our last night together for three months. We have not even had time to make plans to meet each month or where or what to do about Christmas. Donnis is excited as it will be a challenge and will help maintain her nursing skills and she will get lots of experience as the hospital handles all cases and then sends patients to Walgett or Moree (the biggest nearby town, 140 Klms by road) if they cannot be treated locally. She is scheduled for her first shift on Saturday afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evening she spent packing and readying TERIOS for tomorrow.

Wednesday 13th November.

Sob Sob Boo Hoo!!! We said our goodbyes this morning and said them again just as it was time to leave. Me to work and her to start the loooong drive.

More Boo Hooing and sobbing can be heard in the background.

I arrived home from work to an empty WWWGO. Sob sob boo hoo. Most of Donnis clothes, shoes and funny spices and oils and medications are gone, so are her pillows. Her presence is still here but just a diminishing wraith like aura.

We had agreed she would send text messages after she stops for fuel or meals so I can track her progress and estimate travel times and distances for tomorrow.

Sigh!!! Her first text was sent from Mackay an hour later than expected. The next message was from Rockhampton two hours later than planned. She is having an easy drive and not keeping to a time frame, she will stop for fuel, meals and coffee as and when and for as long as she needs.

In the meantime… The water at the caravan park tastes, “different”. It is not town water but rather bore water and according to Joe the owner, if we use it to wash the car we should dry the car immediately otherwise we will end up with calcium streaks. Hmmm! That may explain why when drinking tea there is a gritty residue in the bottom of the cup. This prompted me to look at the new electric kettle we bought last Friday. Hmmm! Already there is a build-up of calcium scale much thicker than I would expect after a short time. I can see some of the scale is loose and swirls in the bottom of the kettle. It needs a good clean out and a de-scale. From here on in I will drink bottled water and use it to make tea and coffee. Twelve litres only costs $7.

Tonight Donnis arrived in Banana, a small town on the Leichhardt Hwy 650 Klms from Flametree. She is in a 24 hour hotel and dining room, mostly frequented by truckers and travelling sales people.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana,_Queensland   She was excited that once off the main Bruce Highway and on the inland open plains A5 Leichhardt Hwy she felt exhilarated.

The plan is for her to drive another 500 Klms tomorrow with Goondiwindi on the Queensland NSW border as her target destination. That will leave a less than 300 Klm drive to Collarenebri on Friday.

Thursday 14th November

When we, finally made contact tonight Donnis had arrived in Moree NSW, 125 further than the planned destination of Goondiwindi on the Qld, NSW border. She decided to push on past Goondiwindi because it was still light and she wanted to swim in the thermal pools for which Moree is famous. She only has a 140 Klm trip tomorrow.

Friday 15th November

Donnis has arrived in Collarenebri and started moving all her belongings out of TERIOS and into the unit she will share with another nurse. Tomorrow begins her first shift at the hospital.

Saturday 16th November

I drove to Mackay and researched a new phone for Donnis. Her current phone does not work in a remote rural area. She needs what is known as a “blue tick” phone.   http://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Coverage-Network/How-much-difference-does-the-quot-blue-tick-quot-make/td-p/24936   In the evening I joined my sister Enid’s family for a barbeque and afterwards stayed the night at my sister Sandra’s house. During the barbeque a heavy duty storm cell rolled in with lots of lightning, thunder and heavy rain.

Sunday 17th November

This morning I attended St.Brendans Catholic Church at Bucasia.

St.Brendans Catholic Church Bucasia

St.Brendans Catholic Church Bucasia

Neice Kelly’s two boys, Cooper and Oliver were being Christened.

Kelly and Oliver

Kelly and Oliver

Cooper and Jason. Doncha just luv Coopers tie?

Cooper and Jason. Doncha just luv Coopers tie?

Kelly and Cooper

Kelly and Cooper

Afterwards I joined family at Kelly and Jasons house for a late breakfast.

Thanks for the invite Kell and Jase it was a lovely ceremony and an enjoyable breakfast spent with family.

Back at WWWGO at Flametree another storm rolled through at dinner time and dumped lots of rain. Of course it was accompanied by wind and everything outside got soaked.



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4 Responses to “343. Sunday 17th November 2013. Flametree, one of us is not here and a Christening…”

  1. John and Pam Wright Says:

    Three months is a long time! I see lots of text messages in your future!!


    • frankeeg Says:

      So far, as one of us does not have a phone which can receive a signal in a remote area we cannot text let alone talk. That may change…Cheers


  2. Geoff Clifton Says:

    Frank the phone research should be as simple as Donnis asking around town which phone people find works best. There is no way I would buy a phone just on the recommendation of a phone shop, not even a Testra phone shop.


    • frankeeg Says:

      Thanks Geoff although we already did that. When I say WE I mean I told Donnis what to do. In fact she exchanged SIM with another phone which works without success. Donnis also wants internet coverage on her laptop and consistent signal on the iPad so we need a smart phone which we can use as a modem. I think we have it solved at a reasonable cost. Cheers


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