Month: May 2016

494. Sunday 29th May 2016. Lonesome Blues and a short trip through the past…

Many years ago, as a teenager I recall my father became interested in guitars. Not just learning to play them but he wanted make a traditional accoustic guitar and a solid body electric guitar. By and large he succeeded. While learning to play he would play the same tune over and over. Oh Lonesome Me by Don Gibson – In later years the same song was sung and recorded by Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Kentucky Headhunters.I for one had no interest in the song, overloaded from my Dad’s less than accomplished attempts at playing. For some strange reason the words Oh Lonesome Me popped into my head tonight. Perhaps I am missing Donnis.

Much of this week has been spent doing the usual household chores that everybody has to do.

I visited the Pain Management Clinic and told them I am still reducing the Lyrica and should be off completely within a month. The same goes for the Endep tablets. The only pain comes from using the hand in such a way where it is not 100% healed. Once off the two lots of medication I should start to lose weight. The PMC are so pleased with my progress we both agree I no longer need to see them unless I have some issues.

Next week I will pull the cycle off the stationary rider, pump up the tyres and check for items which are worn, bent or need replacing. If all goes well I should be back on the bike again real soon.

Have been for a walk on the beach several times including trying to fly the kite. Twice the winds died just as I was about to get the kite airborne. It just did not happen.

This week I feel a rant coming on… I will keep it brief…

Several weeks ago, after holding off for such a long time I joined Facebook. The idea was to use Facebook to find friends from primary and high school and discover any re-unions. Donnis school friends from primary and high school seem to have a re-union every second year.

Well I joined Facebook and found one school friend, Les Allan, who I have not seen or spoken with since part way through the second year of high school. Les has found some friends as well so perhaps we can all link up on FB or Skype.

I invited family and friends and some friend asked to be a friend on FB. So far so good.

Now the rant part begins.

All the friends of friends and all their “Likes” and “Shares” now appear on my FB. FB users will know what I mean. How do I stop all this extra stuff???

End of rant.

Saturday 28th May

The sun was shining but a cool wind was blowing from the west.

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Main Beach on a clear cool sunny day with winds blowing from the west.

Down at the beach, any swell which may have been around during the week has been flattened by the offshore breeze. The little breeze coming over the sand-hills is not enough to lift the kite off the sand. Two hundred metres offshore the breeze is quite stiff, the few board-riders sitting huddled on their boards waiting for the occasional wave.

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Yet another boardrider carving up the small but fun waves.
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There was not much surf but occasionally a set of three waves would roll in and the face was held up by the offshore westerly wind. The boardriders enjoyed it.

It sure looks pretty.

Sunday 29th May

A sunny day spoiled by a cool breeze from the west.

As usual om a Sunday night I weigh myself. The little measures I took about 6 weeks ago to exercise more and restrict my diet saw a 5 Kilo drop in weight but there the scales have stopped. The initial 5 Kg loss has not changed. That is, until tonight. Is that an illusion staring at me from the face of the scales? I cannot see too clearly but it looks as though I have dropped another 2 Kg. Hmmm! Once off the Lyrica and Endep my medical team all promised I should loose the weight I put on since the surgery.I used my smart phone to take a photo of the scales so I could enlarge the image. Yep. No doubt about it I have lost another 2 Kg. I felt so enthused I tried on a pair of trousers which have been a little tight. Now they will not stay up. Next I tried on a pair of trousers I simply could not do up the buttons. Still cannot but the gap is less. Yahoo! Headed in the right direction.

Can I celebrate with some chocolate???

Not since early last year have I gone back in time to re-visit where we were each year. Now might be as good a time as any to do it again.

In May 2004 we went on our first motorhome adventure. We hired a motorhome from a Townsville dealer and headed to Cairns and over the Great Dividing Range to Mareeba & Atherton. We visited most of the waterfalls in the Waterfall Way. The hire vehicle was good for us to understand all the little must do’s and must not do’s as well as deciding what size of vehicle and what fittings suited us. What became abundantly clear was that we did not want to have a big car and tow a caravan with all the hitching and unhitching involved.

So we resolved we wanted a motorhome. Instead of going out and buying something cheap we decided to take a year to research and look around and save a bit more towards the purchase.  As things turned out we found a converted Toyota Coaster bus which was the right size and was newly fitted out and suited our needs. We were able to pay cash and as we were in New Zealand at the time my daughter Averyl and husband Paul offered to collect the bus from Brisbane and take a week to drive it back to Mackay, having a little holiday as they went.

May 2005 saw us attend our first Wintermoon Festival at Camerons Pocket in the foothills, sort of midway between Mackay and Airlie Beach.

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Our converted Toyota Coaster bus is way in the back of this sea of tents. Can you see us? Often we would get to bed around midnight when the official programme has closed for the night. Impromptu jam sessions were held around a giant fire. We were lulled to sleep by the soft unamplified music.
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The Wintermoon Festival has several stages, the big stage has a giant set of tarpaulins erected over the stage and spectator area. Bales of hay are laid out in a line so you can sit or lay on them or bring your own recliner chair and use the hay as a footrest. Kids love using the bales as hiding places. It is a real relaxed atmosphere.

We spent a week at the event and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had solar power and only the water we carried. The toilet was emptied twice. The refrigerator only worked on 240 v AC or 12 v DC. We did not connect to power nor did we have a generator. That was probably our first real test of self- sufficiency and the Coaster passed with flying colours.  Now that we are retired we would love to go back again but perhaps we could hire a van or tent. Hmmm! What can we plan for 2017?

May 2007 Donnis was away in Canada which left me to attend the CMCA Rally at Barcaldene and to take part in an attempt at the longest line of motorhomes.

We wanted to achieve a line of 700 moving motorhomes to beat a world record set in Italy. Camped on the plains the night before I thought we would easily beat the record.

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Can you see the Toyota on the side of the road? Once darkness fell, little fires were lit and people sat around listening to or playing music or simply having a get to know you chinwag.

Next day, I was vehicle 51 and by the time I reached the showgrounds and set up I was able to watch the 7 Klm long line of motorhomes slowly move forward to be counted.

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Once the motorhomes were counted we were directed to the showgrounds where we were put into three lanes and directed to our camp spot which was included in our welcome package.
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This was one of several very interesting home made motorhomes.

I was disappointed to find we were 39 rigs short of setting a record. After a week in Barcy I came to a fondness for the town and its historic significance which I still hold.

May 2009 I had accumulated 10 weeks of Long Service Leave and we were on our way home from Tasmania having seen as much as we could before catching the last ferry to Melbourne at the end of April. We took a little over a month driving back from Melbourne to Airlie Beach. Along the way decided to move on from the Coaster as it was somewhat limited in its features and always felt a little crowded, only one person could eat at the tiny cramped table. As well it was beginning to rust and rubber seals around the windows had perished causing a leak problem.

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That is more than 3 months growth of beard. Photo taken at Lake Conjola on the NSW south coast.
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A lonely little beach in strong winds and heavy seas at Port Macquarie.Our good friend Dawn was showing us this statue erected in honour of a hermit who lived in a tent for many years at this spot. He would spend his days cleaning the beach and rock areas of debris and rubbish. After he died the Council erected the statue in his honour.

In Brisbane we found exactly what we were looking for and the dealer offered us, on reflection, a good price for the Coaster and we bought a Winnebago Motorhome which we eventually called WWWGO.

May 2010

This was a big month for us. We used WWWGO twice. The first was at the Wintermoon Festival at Camerons Pocket. The camp site at the festival site was booked out as was the Stoney Creek site 5 Klms along the road. Good thing it was heavy rain the week before turned the site into a bogey mosquito infested  swamp. Overflow campers were sited on a hill above Stoney Creek. We camped with friends Nevin and Maree in their Nissan conversion and Glennis in her Paradise Motorhome. Donnis drove there in the Subaru Imprezza so we were able to drive to the festival but for those wanting to go earlier or stay later could take the shuttle bus. Once again it was a great festival.

Later in the month we travelled over the Great Dividing Range and camped in the grounds at the back of the Retreat Hotel. Although the hotel laid on shower and toilet facilities and we elected to have dinner at the hotel, all in all it was a boring location. We could not have a campfire so there was no central socialising point except for the main bar at the hotel.

 

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493. Sunday 22nd May 2016. Dental blues, a head cold and one of us goes to Canada…

It will be a short post this week as will become obvious as you read on.

Tuesday 17th May

Went for our semi regular walks along the beach at Southport.

Busloads of these tourists laugh and giggle and pose and splash about in the water like little kids seeing the ocean for the first time.
Busloads of these tourists laugh and giggle and pose and splash about in the water like little kids seeing the ocean for the first time.

Bad news on the doorstep

I couldn’t take one more step

Sometime after 5pm got a call from the dental hospital. I thought it might be in connection with the root canal and crown being organised to commence next Thursday.

Nope.

It is a result of some radiographs I had earlier this year. The radiographs were to follow up on earlier x-rays taken last year which show a black shadow above my front top teeth. It indicates a periapical cyst and needs to be removed surgically…sooner rather than later. (it also explains when the dentist touched my two top teeth with a cotton bud dipped in liquid hydrogen I felt nothing.)

Gulp!

Thursday 19th May

The dental student called tonight. I will have a dental surgeon  carry out the procedure under local anaesthetic where they cut into the gum, peel it back to expose the cyst and scrape all the cyst and any infected bone before closing the wound with sutures. Boy, am I looking forward to the initial palate injection. Lucky me I have two weeks to think about this!

In the evening I complained of a sore swollen gland in my throat, a toothache, headache and general all over unwell.

Friday 20th May

Went for walk along Southport beach.

Busloads of these tourists laugh and giggle and pose and splash about in the water like little kids seeing the ocean for the first time.
Busloads of these tourists laugh and giggle and pose and splash about in the water like little kids seeing the ocean for the first time.

Arriving home my symptoms from yesterday are worse and I had no appetite for dinner. I feel cold.

Skipping dinner I showered and prepared to go to bed early. Then I realised the Cowboys play the Broncos tonight. Somehow I found the energy to rug up and watch the game. It was a totally thrilling game which the Cowboys won 19 -18 with a field goal 10 minutes before full time. Good golly miss molly. This game was almost a replay of the last time these two met. One earlier this year was won by the Broncos by one point. The time before that was in the 2015 Grand Final which the Cowboys won by a one point from a field goal in extra time sudden death.

Saturday 21st May

Glenda came over for a walk but I was too unwell so went back to bed leaving Donnis to go on their walk alone. They continued on to Broabbeach and watched some of the free Blues Music Festival. I stayed home in bed and slept. I was too miserable to do much of anything else.

Some of my appetite has returned but all symptoms persist. I suspect the swollen sinuses could be giving the sensation of  the toothache.

Sunday 22nd May

Up at 5am to drive Donnis to the Brisbane International Airport. She made the decision this time last week to fly back to Canada to visit her family. Her mum is in a nursing home and not doing well. She is not eating and stays in bed most of the time not even cussing out all those around.

Donnis will be gone for two months.

Sob Sob!!!

Boo Hoo!

What with the bad news from the dentist and the head cold and Donnis leaving abruptly I have not felt well enough to write up the blog until now.

492. Sunday 15th May 2016. A quiet week coupled with a parking fine and Animals round off the week…

Sunday 15th May

It has been a quiet week for us. Not boring but we have been busy with medical and dental appointments. We did not visit new locations.

For example on Monday our friend Graham helped us put up awnings on two back bedroom windows and the back door. Graham scored the awning parts from a neighbour. We took them apart and painted all the metal. Graham also scored some near new awning canvas which were all slightly wider but Donnis cut and sewed them to size while Graham and I started on fixing the frames etc to the walls.

On Tuesday I saw the dentist who put in a temporary filling and booked me in for a crown to be fitted. Meanwhile Donnis and Graham finished the awnings. While at the dentist I got a $117 fine for parking illegally.

Sob!

On Wednesday I got the results of my little op last week. It is a cancer – squamous carcinoma – the doc offered to cut it all out right there right then. It will be just a couple of sutures he said. Well okey dokey let’s do it. A few minutes later I can feel blood running down my face and filling my ear. Afterwards I looked in the mirror and found not a couple of sutures…there are six. It must have been a big cancer. He sent the stuff he cut out to the lab to check that he got it all.

Sooo…

Instead of visiting somewhere new I think it is time we caught up with a few photos which have not been shown on the blog before. This week we will look at animals.

First up let’s look at a Polar Bear. Naturally we did not see this guy in the wild as they live in the Artic circle and even the Inuit Indians do not see them on a daily basis. We saw this fellow at Sea World on the Gold Coast. Nice and cuddly, friendly looking as he appears, make no mistake you would not last more than a minute in a cage with him. This bear lives in a large rocky enclosure with glass walls around his pools and viewing platforms above the entire enclosure. He has lots of toys and I was fascinated by his antics. He still had food left over from his previous feeding so he stuffed whatever it was in a crevice in the rocks below the waterline. Every so often he would stop what he was doing and go back to see the food was still where he put it.

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Polar Bear at Sea World Gold Coast, Qld.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sea World I can recommend it. I found the animals more interesting than the rides.

I found this delightful butterfly on a bush in a small garden created by a local aboriginal group. The garden contained lots of native plants found in the area as well as some samples of native craft. The garden is located in the small but amazingly civic minded town of Morven, Queensland on the Warrego Highway midway between Mitchell and Charleville, about 700 Klms west of Brisbane. Morven has several public gardens with most plants identified. The visiting butterfly was obviously not identified. I still cannot identify it. Morven has a free overnight campsite right in town beside the highway. Longer stays at the football field costs a gold coin donation. Power, hot showers and toilets included.

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Unknown butterfly, Morven, Qld.

The Australian Ring Necked Parrot inhabits dry desert regions. We found this parrot in the dry scrub country near the gemfields of Lightning Ridge. We have been to The Ridge several times and always enjoyed the visit. In fact Donnis worked here for three months a couple of years ago. Finding this parrot was during our first visit and the Subaru Imprezza was put to good use driving through all the back roads and tracks leading to disused mine shafts. It was on one of these back roads we found the parrot.

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Australian Ring Neck Parrot, Lightning Ridge.

Once again we were discovering back road out back of Bourke, NSW. There is an Aussie say when a place is a long way from anywhere we say it is “out the  back of Bourke”. In this case we were way out back on one of those red sand tracks and beginning to feel lost. We had not seen another car for two hours. This emu, like all emu’s know how to blend in with their surroundings.  After another half hour battling deeper and deeper sand tracks we found a sign, pointing to Bourke but no indication of how far away it was. We saw lots of Emu that day, some even running along the track beside us but by then all we wanted to see was a sealed road and sign to take us back to Bourke.

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Emu, Back of Bourke, NSW.

Just about anywhere on lonely coastal stretches in Queensland you can see the Brahminy Kite. They just seem to drift along in air currents, not using much effort at all. They are a big bird and mainly live on fish but will take other small animals as well. This specimen was sighted at a boat ramp at Bucasia on the Eimeo Creek Qld.

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Brahminy Kite Eimeo Creek Bucasia Beach, Qld.

These Oyster Catchers can be seen just about anywhere along the coast of Qld, NSW and Victoria. They feed in the mud flats and sandbars at low tide. Oyster Catchers seems like a strange name as oyster would not be that hard to catch as they do not move once they cement themselves to rocks or tree branches or whatever. The birds are very shy and move away from humans quickly. This specimen was seen at remote Moore Park Beach about midway between Bundaberg and the town of 1770.

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Oyster Catcher Moore Park Beach, Qld.

You can find Welcome Swallows just about anywhere. They spend most of their daytime life on the wing. Flying around looking for food…flies, moths, butterflies etc. They usually like to nest somewhere near water so they can collect mud to make their nests – often under houses, eaves or in open horse sheds up under the rafters. They rarely hold still  long enough to be the subject of a photo. We saw this pair, in October 2011 on a fencing wire at Finch Hatton, a small rural town about 60 Klms west of Mackay.

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Welcome Swallows Finch Hatton. Qld.

In May 2009 we were camped in our Toyota Coaster Motorhome at a free campsite at Moulting Lagoon on Coles Bay at Freycinet Bay, Tasmania. One evening we heard lots of loud honking across the bay. In the morning we were surprised to see hundreds of Black Swan had arrived overnight. These large birds feed on vegetation and it was a pleasure to see them bob for grass or weeds under the water, their bums stuck up in the air.

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Black Swans Moulting Lagoon, Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsular,Tasmania.

We were walking along a bush track in the Springwood National Park in the Great Dividing Range just a few Klms west of the Gold Coast. Some people just ahead of us let out a squeal and all jumped to one side of the track and clustered themselves together. (German ladies backpacking Australia) They were frightened by a black snake. Black snakes are deadly but being the silly inquisitive person I am, stepped forward for a closer look at this fatter than usual black snake. To my relief it was a large black skink quite plentiful in this park and not really afraid of squealing tourists who were so scared they wanted to turn back. They live on fungi, fallen fruits, invertebrates and are also known as a Land Mullet.

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Black Skink at Springwood National Park, Gold Coast Qld.

Finally one of everyone’s favourite birds, the Pelican.

A funny bird the Pelican

His beak holds more than his belly can.

This group waddled around on a little beach beside a fishing boat ramp. The local fishermen clean and fillet their catch here and feed the scraps to these well fed guys at Metung Beach, Lakes Entrance, Victoria. We were driving our Toyota Coaster Motorhome on our slow way back to Airlie Beach from Tasmania in May 2009 when we stopped here for lunch.

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Pelicans at Lakes Entrance, Vic.

491. Sunday 8th May 2016.May Day march, Mother’s Day peace, a game of Rugby League and doors…

Monday 2nd May

Today was a Public Holiday…in Queensland…Officially Labour Day or May Day. It was obtained years ago by mighty pressure by the union movement to celebrate their solidarity with May Day first started in Russia when Communists overthrew the government and commenced seventy or eighty decades of darkness.

Enough!

This week we did not go anywhere or do anything of note. We did our usual walks and doctors appointments.

Friday night we watched the Rugby League game between Australia and New Zealand. Although Australia won it was a snooze enducing  game and hardly worthy of an International Match status.

Apart from that it has been a quiet week.

So…Instead we will take a walk, back in time, through our portal of doors and show you some of our previously unpublished photos of interesting doors we have seen on our travels.

  1. One of many doors on the Saints Mary and Joseph Cathedral in Armidale. Built in 1912 in what is called Pyrmont Rock bricks and local Armidale Polychrome Bricks. (I can find no information regarding either of these bricks. I suspect the word polychrome was not in existence in 1912) To the untrained eye the brick looks the same colour as many other brick buildings around town which are made from the local Armidale Blue bricks. The clay for such bricks was taken from blue clay found near the Armidale Airport.

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    Catholic Church Armidale. Just love the metal work set into the top and bottom.
  2. Clock above door, in Loftus Street, Sydney Entrance on what is currently the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. Originally this building was the Department of Lands built in 1877-1890 from finely dressed Sydney Sandstone. The building is on the Register of the National Estate. Basically that means it is historic building and must be retained in pretty much the same condition it is now.

    032 clock the rocks
    Department of Lands, The Rocks, Sydney.
  3. This door is on the building still bearing its original name CML – Citizens Mutual Life – at what would have been a regional office, Inverell NSW. CML like several banks, building societies, credit unions and life assurance and general insurance companies over the last 40 years first became amalgamated with a bigger entity then disappeared forever. That’s progress I guess. Sigh!!!

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    Original CML Building Inverell. NSW
  4. This delightful door is in a small historical town called Uralla in the Northern Tablelands District of NSW not far from the city of Armidale. It is located at the intersection of the New England Highway and Thunderbolts Way. Obviously it is a door not often used…look closely to see the cobwebs. The Uralla area was first occupied by squatters (people who had no legal title to land – they just showed up and took possession) in the early 1830’s and finally made it to township status in 1850. The legendary bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt, was killed in a shootout with Police in Uralla and his remains are buried at the local cemetery. Oh, by the way, look real real close and you can see the original floorboards of this late 1800’s building.

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    Uralla
  5. This gateway which looks like a door is located in the small township of Dorrigo NSW. Dorrigo sits atop the escarpment overlooking the flood plains of the Bellinger River and the olde worlde town of Bellingen.

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    Dorrigo. NSW.
  6. This old door is on what was once a church but is now a movie theatre called, oddly, The Glen Innes Chapel Theatre and more oddly still is located at Glen Innes in the New England District of NSW.

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    Glen Innes.
  7. This old once painted door is, like the door at Urunga, no longer used. Or at least, not used often. It is located on the hugely popular Glenmore Hotel, Cumberland Street, The Rocks Sydney, NSW. A trip to Sydney would not be complete without a walk around The Rocks which to do it justice should take around two days. Some of the houses were part of the very early days of Colonial Habitation in Sydney dating from around 1880.

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    Glenmore Hotel, The Rocks NSW.
  8. This was once a door leading to ??? WTF. It is located in the main street of Guyra, NSW in the New England District of NSW.

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    Doorway to where??? Guyra.
  9. The little town of Central Tilba in southern NSW exists precariously on dairy farmers and the town re-inventing itself as a curious tourist destination. The town boasts a little timber built theatre and this is the front door thereto.039 hall central tilba
  10. In the hinterland behind the coastal city of Wollongong is the Cordeaux Reservoir, on the Cordeaux River. This gate/doorway (closed to the public) leads down into the bowels of the dam wall and pump station of the dam wall built in 1926 in what is known as the neo Egyptian style. This dam is part of a network of dams supply water to the MacArthur Region west of Sydney and the Illawarra District on the coast below the Great Dividing Range.

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    Cordeaux Dam.

Sunday 8th May …Mothers Day.

Let me start off by saying, NO, Donnis did not get breakfast in bed. In fact not even a cuppa in bed. Worse, she had to make her own breakfast. After breakfast she went through the wardrobe selecting clothes which she has finally decided she can no longer wear. (Even after taking away all those clothes she still uses my side of the wardrobe)  Those clothes and a few of my own were bundled to take to her son Peter. He returns to work in Papua New Guinea tomorrow and asked if we had any clothes he could pass on to needy villagers. Good onyer Peter.

Being Mothers Day we travelled to Capalaba a seaside suburb of Brisbane to watch grandson Chris play in another game of Rugby League. Chris picked up the pace today, involving himself in more tackles,

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Back up and tackling a few minutes later.

getting a bad knock to the head and having to spend 10 minutes off the field in the “head bin” just in case he had concussion.

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Knocked senseless for a few minutes.

Once more on the field he threw himself back into the game and this week scored a try,

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Under that jumble of bodies is number 10, Chris scoring his first try. Look carefully just behind the goalposts you can see a very happy dad…Peter.

earning a Man of the Match Award. Good onyer Chris.

I like this new format for the blog. It shows the photo in full size.

490. Welcome to the new look Frank & Donnis…

490. Welcome to the new look Frank & Donnis…

If you are a new reader and have stumbled across this blog via a Facebook page or by following a link or just surfing the web…WELCOME!

Our earlier Blog pages are on frankeeg.wordpress.com  and cover from 2002 to the end of April 2016. Please take the time to go back and have a look at our earlier writing and photographs during our travels.
If you are a regular reader and have come here via a re-direction notice…thank you for continuing with our journey. Having readers, especially those who comment make the weekly effort worthwhile.

The format of this new blog is a little different.

luna park
Luna Park on Sydney Harbour. It was opened in 1935 and had the logo “just for fun”. For the first few months this blog will be just for fun re-learning new ways to create the blog.

You and especially I, will need to explore as each week progresses.

I will try to continue the numbering system to maintain some continuity. As before, Sunday night is the target for when the blog is updated but as has been the case in recent months it could be the next day…Monday…or Tuesday…or even Wednesday. If you have our blog address in your favourites you will need to create a new favourite web page. The new address is frankeeg1wordpresscom.wordpress.com
Numbering system.
The last blog post was number 489. This post is 490 from the next post onwards the number will be 491 and continue consecutively as before.
A few weeks ago I asked regular readers to comment as to the direction this blog will take.
1. Create a new commercial site so advertising and videos can be included. There is an annual fee involved in the process. I found, when creating the new site, the advertised annual fee of $18 suddenly became $99 and as the amount quoted is in US dollars meant the cost to me would be about $115.
OR
2.The option to create a new site and and continue with WordPress is my choice. It just means creating a whole new set of protocols and what options are turned on…or off.
Well, here I am at choice 2.