Monday 5th May
The day started and continued much like any other workday. In the afternoon Donnis wanted to collect a final load of rocks from Preston to complete the garden outside the garage. In past excursions we parked TERIOS and RALLYE near each other and collected the rocks. Today Donnis insisted on looking higher up the steep hill and drove to a suitable spot and backed TERIOS into place. Due to the steepness of the hill she left the car in reverse gear, handbrake on and a rock under each front wheel. When we had a sufficient load Donnis started the motor and with the clutch depressed and rock chocks removed, allowed TERIOS to coast down the hill to where RALLYE was parked. I heard a strange sound from TERIOS and noticed oil gushing from underneath. I told her to drive to John & Lorraine’s house about 1 Klm away where it would be safe and we could get help. TERIOS ran normally with no strange sounds or difficulty with the gears. John and I inspected TERIOS as best we could but everything was coated with oil which was still dripping onto the exhaust, sputtering and smoking. We checked the dipstick and noted there was still a tiny amount of oil in the sump. We could not locate the source of the oil leak (expulsion would be a better word) and arranged for TERIOS to be picked up by a tow truck and taken to our mechanic. While waiting for the truck we dropped the load of rocks at John & Lorraine’s house.
It was a sad sight to see TERIOS leaving the property on the back of a truck, not knowing what had happened but quietly hoping it was a blown seal somewhere and no great damage had been done.
Tuesday 6th May
Donnis left this morning on the shuttle bus to Proserpine Airport where she caught a plane to Sydney then by train to Wollongong.
In the afternoon the mechanic called. TERIOS was “all fixed” and ready to go.
The only problem he could find was the oil filter was so loose it almost fell off in his hand. This was the source of the oil gush. But how did it work itself loose? We have no oil leaks on the carport floor and the car runs sweetly as it always does. Even with almost no oil the oil warning light had never activated. The mechanic, like me is still scratching his head. He did add that it was better to happen where it did than to occur when hurtling down the highway at 100 Kph. Real damage would have occurred at that speed.
Wednesday 7th May
I got a lift to work with my next door neighbor, Stan. After work I caught bus to the Centro Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Cannonvale and walked to the workshop. TERIOS was waiting and I was able to drive it home.
Thursday 8th May. The last workday of the week for me. After work I drove to J&L’s house and collected the load of rocks we left behind on Monday. I now have the task of building a little rock wall around the garden outside the garage.
Friday 9th May
In the morning I placed the rocks around the garden outside the garage. They look quite good but sadly there are not enough to finish the job.
That means another trip to collect more rocks. This time I will be alone and without help from Donnis I cannot lift the larger rocks. I arrived at the place I usually park on the steep hill. I could see the congealing puddle of oil and the track of oil leading up to it. I felt uncomfortable being there, alone, isolated and with the unreasonable feeling at any moment another incident will occur. I parked TERIOS facing down the hill. In first gear, handbrake on and rocks under the front wheels. I collected the rocks without incident although on leaving I put TERIOS in 4WD then in first gear allowed it to creep down the hill. Perhaps I am paranoid but taking precautions meant I had no problems.
When I got home and put the rocks around the garden I am a half load of rocks short of finishing the project.
Saturday 10th May
Last Sunday while visiting John & Lorraine, Lorraine made a batch of lemonade scones. They were light and fluffy and were delicious especially as they were warm, just out of the oven and suitable for a glob of butter, strawberry jam and a dollop of whipped cream. Lorraine gave me the recipe which I later found via Google http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/lemonade-scones-L325.html and determined to make a batch myself. Here’s the reasoning why I want to make them myself. I like scones, especially warm from the oven and with all those extras mentioned above. I can buy a pack of 6 from Coles or Woollies and pay $4 or $4.50 and not have a satisfying light and fluffy warm scone. They are usually heavy and they only thing they have in their favour is they are convenient. So, if you have 30 minutes to spare and do not mind a bit of washing up, these scones are ideal and if you know you are having visitors you can make them ready in time for when the visitors arrive. The other advantage is the ingredients and oven costs come to about $3 for a batch of 24 scones. Unfortunately I had no visitors but I enjoyed the scones anyway and set aside most of them in the freezer for the next time I want a scone or I have visitors. Oh, yes, they are light and fluffy and Lorraine we might have a bake off!
I also washed both cars, cleaned their interiors and blackened the tyres. I moved some more rocks around and spread a load of soil around the gardens and raked leaves to use as a garden mulch.
This was followed by a bit of heavy duty gardening and used the chainsaw to cut down a couple of alien saplings hiding within a lovely Orange Jessamine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murraya_paniculata which I then pruned with electric shears. A bit of housecleaning rounded out my day. By around four thirty I had had enough. Although I had promised myself to “take it easy” today, I failed. Note to self – “I promise to have a day of rest tomorrow”.
Hmmm! Said self.
Sunday 11th May
In honour of the promise made to myself, I took the day off. As a reward for the honour and being honoured I drove to Bowen for day. Bowen is around 75 Klms north of Airlie Beach.
Bowen is famous for three things.
- Bowen Mangos or as they are known in the greengrocer store, Kensington Pride Mangos./ Bowen has a giant replica mango on the southern outskirts of town. Also on the giant mango is a Green Tree Ant. http://rainforest-australia.com/GreenTreeAnts.htm These ants can sting and if a dozen or more attack you it can quiote uncomfortable. It is easy to accidentally brush against a bush where they have built a nest. They will defend it to their death. http://www.soe-townsville.org/greentreeants/
- Tomatoes. Bowen Tomatoes are available in stores all across Australia.
- The wind. There is a local saying, “It’s always blowin’ in Bowen. Every tiome I visit it is blowin’. Today the wind was so strong to take photos of the lighthouse from on top of Flagstaff Hill with the zoom lens was nigh on impossible. I could not get the lens to hold still long enough to take a clear photo.
Bowen is blessed with many popular beaches. Bear in mind though, there is no surf at any of the beaches. I visited several beaches, Flagstaff Hill, the Bowen Boat Harbour where I had lunch in the Cruising Yacht Club.
I also visited Queens Beach and especially the Summer Garden Movie Theatre.
Donnis and I loved going to the movies here. Back in its infancy it was an open air theatre which was then built in and later a second smaller theatre was added. The floor in the original open air section has been retained in a sprayed on rubber. There are three classes of seats (all the same price) with several rows of original beach chairs near the front. The walls are decorated with around a dozen plinths with a bust of a Greek mythical hero on top. The owner of the theatre greets every customer at every screening and is always there at the end of the movie to say good bye and come again. He lives with his family in the accommodation above the theatre. The staff are friendly older folk and always welcoming. The world premiere of the movie “Australia” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman was held here. We saw the movie in the same theatre a few nights later.
Random Images around Bowen.