460. Sunday 4th October 2015.


Monday 28th September

Today was sunny and hot. At the moment the humidity level is much the same as Brisbane 1,000 klms further south. The countryside is brown as it always is at this time of year. The rains will begin in the next month or two and the humidity will rise. So also the grass will begin to grow and home owners pull out their motor mowers in a vain attempt at keeping the grass under control. Grass is nice but flowering native plants is nicer.

Today is a rest day much needed by us.

Donnis had injured her right shoulder reaching for her purse on the back seat while driving last week. It seems to be getting worse.

Tuesday 29th September

We drive 165 Klms north to Airlie Beach.

Our first appointment is at Oceanic Insurance Brokers, my last employer, where we have morning coffee and cake while maintaining friendships gained over 13 years. Only Simone has been there longer than me. Gradually over the years the staff has shrunk from 16 employees to 6. The business has grown and continues to do so. Technology means less people can do more work.


Next we see a doctor for Donnis painful shoulder. Then she has an ultrasound and the verdict is she needs cortisone injection into the shoulder. Hmmm! When can we get that done?

For lunch we go to Bucks Seafood. Buck started the business more than 15 years ago. Buck has a fishing trawler and always had fish supplies which he sold as fresh or cooked. The business expanded. Buck sold out two years ago but still supplies fresh fish. The fish of the day was Snapper which Donnis had grilled and I had fish bites.  The bites are smaller pieces of off cut fish battered and deep fried. Real fish. There is no Basa in this shop. Long may it remain this way.

Next we saw our estate agent for a review of the market after which we took a walk around our house and despaired at the dry gardens and all the dry plants we put in place a year ago to make a hedge. Can you believe 26 of the 28 plants are dead? Tenants! They never water the gardens despite the fact we have the watering system on a timer. All they have to do is turn on the water.

Last appointment of the day was with our Tax Agent, all is good and we were on our way back to Mackay a little after 5pm. A long but productive day.

Wednesday 30th September

We are both suffering from pain so decided today would be better spent doin’ nuffin.

We went to McDonalds for a coffee while on our way for groceries. I scratched a prize off a Scratch It ticket. In my mind I had already spent the huge win. I put all the paper on the tray and as we left I placed it all in the waste bin. Donnis went to the grocery while I went to the newsagents to cash in my prize. Uhhh! Where is my winning ticket? I remember having it on the table as I moved all the paper rubbish onto the tray!!!!!… Light bulb time….

I hot footed it back to McDonalds to retrieve that ticket. The helpful staff member was smiling a beaming smile as he exited the bin and held up a scratch it ticket. YES!!!

Back at the newsagents the bad news is the winning ticket will not buy half of Tasmania. Nor will it win me a stable full of sports cars. No, not even enough for bicycle. I can have $14 worth of more scratch its. With a typical hopeless gamblers glazen eyes I bought more tickets and will take my chances again.

Late in the afternoon we drove to my daughter Averyl’s house. We had a nice visit with grandchildren Shelby and Anakin. Averyl arrived home from work and we went to dinner at Ribs and Rumps.   http://ribsandrumps.com.au/   Now, let me explain, by giving the internet address to this chain restaurant that we may be promoting or approving or even recommending the restaurant. No we are not. Far from it in fact. The dining experience starts when you are seated and handed the menu and realise the noise levels mean we will have to shout at each other and the waitress when we want to order. Next disappointment comes with opening the menu to find a plate of ribs, no potato or veggies or salad, just ribs has prices starting at $39 and going up to over $50. Wot The? Ribs are 90% bone and very little meat. Steaks start at $23 and go up in price to eternity. I ordered a calamari salad to keep costs down while Averyl ordered a small rump steak, hand chosen, expertly cooked to your choice. The steak was meant to be medium rare. It arrived as a very rare but was inedible due to gristle.

My salad included lettuce leaves which had been somehow frozen, were mixed among fresh crispy leaves in an attempt at hiding  their limpness.

Not surprising then that we complained and will not visit this chain again.

Thursday 1st October

We met my daughter Melissa and husband Steve at Coffee Club in Mackay at 7am for breakfast. Coffee Club is also a chain style restaurant famous throughout Australia. Apart from high prices our dining experience was good. Spending time with my daughter after not seeing each other for three years was even better.

After breakfast we said farewell to my sister Shan and started our long drive home. First though we stopped at Yandaran, near Bundaberg a little more than halfway to the Gold Coast. We are staying overnight with Pam and Gerry, motorhoming friends for many years.

On the evening TV news we are shocked to see yet another school shooting in the USA. When will that nation wake up to their crazy “right to bear arms” built into their constitution. The right was part of a way of arming the population at a time when they were at war, on home soil with the English and the French. They no longer are at war except with themselves.

Friday 2nd October

After farewelling our hosts Pam & Gerry we start the final leg of our whirlwind visit to Airlie Beach. The trip to home from Yandaran is close to 400 Klms but as usually happens with a road trip there are stops for fuel, food and toilet breaks. The trip still takes over 6 hours. The final leg was partially slowed on the motorway due to a car accident. Four lanes of traffic are compressed to three lanes creating a slow bumper to bumper crawl along a motorway with a 110 Klm speed limit.


President Obama makes yet another speech of condolence to another school community which will remain in shock for a long long time. He makes an impassioned plea for Americans to wake up and change their gun laws.

Hmmm! He has asked the same legislators at least 10 times to do this. They will continue to support gun toting bullies by doing nothing.  Good luck Mr President. We will hear your routine speech at the next shooting.

A quick note on the scratch its. We scratched up $25 today.

Hmmm! More gamblers glazen eyes with the prospect of more tickets.

Saturday 3rd October

We wake in our own bed to a glorious sunny day.

We went to the movies today to see The Martian. We saw the movie in a Titan XC Theatre.   Titan XC Extreme cinema has the biggest screen, explosive sound in 7.1 digital 360°audio and wide comfortable seats. We knew that as this is a Ridley Scott directed movie it would be tense, with great visuals and realistic sets. We were not disappointed.

Sunday 4th October

Another lay day for us. In the afternoon we went for a swim in our heated pool.

Then like most of the population of two states we sat down to watch the Rugby League Grand Final played at ANZ Stadium in New South wales. This grand final had such an amazing lead up which generated such interest. It was between two Queensland teams and played in another state. Fans had to travel thousands of Klms to get there from the far reaches of Queensland. Initially, organisers expected perhaps a 35,000 crowd in a 80,000 plus stadium. The game generated such interest that the stadium was a sellout with 82,500 attendees. The game was played at an amazing pace and in the final moments it looked like a Brisbane Broncos win with a lead of 16 to 12. The North Queensland Cowboys were attacking the line with the final tackle and end of game. On the sound of game over, somehow the Cowboys scored a try in the corner. The crowd erupted as the scores were locked 16 all and in our house we had yelled ourselves hoarse. A conversion kick was taken and unbelievably the ball bounced off the goal posts. The game went into overtime and two exhausted teams faced off again. The Cowboys kicked off for the Broncos to attack them. The Broncos dropped the ball leading to a scrum which the Cowboys won and had 6 tackles to score. On their final tackle with a lot of defence running at the Cowboys, the captain kicked a field goal.

Game over with a score of 17 to 16. The crowd erupted once more and stayed at the stadium for the presentation. This amazing tale kept stadium and TV viewers enthralled for the entire game and beyond.  Even people who do not normally watch or support Rugby League were captivated by this fairy tale ending.

For our overseas readers I would like to say that all sporting events are shown on Free to Air TV.



Next week will have travel…with photos.


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