Monday to Thursday were work days and nothing stood out as being worthy of reporting.
Oh, except…Donnis completed her last day at Coolah Hospital and had a busy afternoon getting ready to leave early in the morning.
I recall when we left here in 2010 we had a big count down and it seems this countdown is happening at the same time.
Friday 15th August
The drenching rain which has been forecast for the last three days arrived overnight along with the strong wind which the weather bureau had warned us about. The rain and wind did not bother me, I was too busy painting the final two walls. I had planned one final wall but Donnis, even via the telephone was insistent that I paint the one long wall in the main room and the entrance hall wall. Our house is a little different to most. It is an open plan tropical style house designed to have lots of windows and doors and open space to allow movement of air and cool breezes. We have this one big room which is kitchen at one end, a giant space in the middle which we use for a dining area with lots of openness around it and a lounge or TV room at the other end. Allowing time for getting paint, brushes rollers and trimmers (preparation work was carried out earlier in the week) the first coat took 2 hours and almost two hours for the second coat and another two hours waiting for the first coat to dry means a days work. ( I would like to mention that I do not use ladders for painting the walls. I have a folding aluminium scaffold with two platforms. It has wheels on one end to move it around easily. It is stable and comfortable, safe and from the platform I can manouvre in an area where I would have to move a ladder three times for the same coverage. A ladder is not comfortable and there is nowhere flat on a ladder where I can put a paint roller tray. It was and is a great investment when you want to paint a house.)
Saturday 16th August
It rained all night. Well at least during the parts when I was awake it was raining.
I drove to Mackay with a number of activities planned. When I left it was raining but eased off part way through the drive but started again when I arrived.
First visit was with the real estate agent who sold our house at Bucasia last year. We had a large ring binder containing all the original plans for the house with wiring diagrams and location of plumbing and light and power points for a proposed pool. It also contained all the original documents for all the tiles, light fittings, appliances and so forth. The agent agreed to pass it on to the new owners.
The visit took longer than I planned and I had agreed to meet long- time friends Tony and Dawn at Canelands for lunch. I was a bit pushed for time and if I planned my drive correctly I had about 10 minutes free time in Bucasia before heading to the centre of Mackay. I had enough time to visit Eimeo Creek in the rain. When I first moved to Bucasia in 1987 Eimeo Creek was one of my favourite walks and when Donnis and I stayed in the van park in 2011 I spent every day at the creek. This was my last chance to visit, perhaps forever. Despite the rain and the low tide I risked a drenching and took a few photos. The creek is a favourite mooring location for sail boats as the creek takes a number of dog legs and the mouth is protected by a low sand hill so remains calm in most bad weather situations. I am not sure I would like to be in a boat in this mangrove creek during a cyclone but so far people who leave their boats here have been protected. However there has not been a direct hit cyclone on this part of the coast since 1918.
In 2011, I wrote about the Orphanage opened by a Father Bucas at a location then known as Marara, later it became Seaview and Bucasia (after Father Bucas) as we know it now. 19 children died over a ten year period while in the orphanage. Of course all their stories are sad and tragic. Two deaths in particular stood out for me. Patrick Halligan aged 11 died in June 1884 and three weeks later his six year old sister Kate, died. Although the children in the building were “orphans” in an “orphanage” their parents were known and shown on the death records. Regrettably the orphanage cemetery is unmarked, there are no headstones and no accurate records to indicate its location.
I caught up with Tony and Dawn then over to North Mackay to visit daughter Averyl and the family and had time for a one hour visit with my sister Sandra and partner Dave.
It was a long day and I arrived home a little before 9pm.
This may be my last visit to Mackay as the settlement of the villa is now only three weeks away and I suppose the next time I see Mackay will be when we drive through on our way to the Gold Coast and a brand new life.
Sunday 17th August.
The sun played hide and seek with the clouds most of the day. I spent the morning packing away my painting equipment then commenced digging a drainage ditch. Every downpipe on our home plumbs into a storm-water drain – except one. That one downpipe seems to always fill with leaves and in heavy downpours –which we get a lot of in the tropics – the guttering overflows. The downpipe drains onto the bare ground which is left soft and boggy for days and sometime weeks. I started a trench which will be used to connect a storm-water pipe to the downpipe next week. Digging is not such a good idea with my bad back. Neither is the other job I started, wheeling wheelbarrow loads of wood chip to spread around the gardens as mulch.
I am looking forward to next week. No painting for a start.
Donnis arrives home and there are only another three weeks until we settle on the Gold Coast Villa.
The new adventures will begin soon.