635. Sunday 19th August 2018. Skin doctor, cooking, smoke alarms and travel plans…

Tuesday 14th August

Last week I mentioned visiting the Skin Doctor who took a biopsy and sent it to the lab. Today on my follow up visit I was told the sample returned a positive result. It is a    Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising from the squamous cells in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer. Cumulative, long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun over your lifetime causes most SCCs. Daily year-round sun exposure, intense exposure in the summer months or on sunny vacations. SCCs may occur on all areas of the body but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, balding scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. The skin in these areas often reveals tell-tale signs of sun damage, including wrinkles, pigment changes, freckles, “age spots,” loss of elasticity and broken blood vessels. I have had several SCC removed over the years including one on my nose in March this year. Today I had surgery on my neck just below the jaw line and it required 5 stitches and I felt them all. I know the area was numb from the local anaesthetic but I still felt the cutting and stitching.

Wednesday 15th August

On Sunday at our fun sports day, Donnis chose a veggie burger instead of roast beef and gravy. I watched Wayne as he prepared and cooked the burgers. I noticed the yellow colour which I once thought must be potato and pumpkin mashed and other vegetables added. In fact the recipe used by Wayne has a Lentil Flour base. Lentil Flour! I happened to have some Chick Pea Flour I used on a bread I made earlier this year. The internet has hundreds of veggie burger recipes using either Lentil Flour or Chick Pea Flour so tonight I got to work making the burgers. I probably could have used more salt or pepper or even a curry powder but those veggie burgers were nice. There was no meat in our dinner tonight, just the burgers and a bit of broccoli and some cold baby cucumbers. We used some yoghurt as a dip and it was yummy. Next time I think I will add some crushed mint to the yoghurt and spice the burgers a bit more. I will also make a bigger batch.

Friday 17th August.

Where has my week gone?

A keen eyed resident noticed some spelling and typo flaws in my RV vehicle rules I wrote about last week.


I decided to take down the wonderful laminated copies I put on the notice board last week. I have re-written and tidied the rules and asked a neighbour who works in a legal office to proof read them before they get laminated.

Today is Art Day at a neighbours house where 8 to 10 residents get together to do their art…whatever that may be…and to have a coffee and cake social gathering. I usually go, bringing my own coffee and a photo slideshow culled from photos of our travels over the last 10 years. I usually show the photos on the iPad or laptop. That is my art contribution. While on the subject I will also mention I am a member of four “Photo” type Facebook Groups. I contribute my offerings and comment or Like other contributions. I enjoy my hour or so in the world of photography.

I have included a few photos from the first half of 2012. Some of these have been shown in this blog at the time while some have not been seen before. I have cropped some and digitally enhanced some but essentially they are all my own work.

belmore basin
I once lived in Wollongong. More than 20 years in fact. I have a special fondness for the area. Its history, its natural features and I have many friends who still live there. During 2012 we visited The Gong on a number of occasions. This location is Wollongong Harbour or Belmore Basin as it is known officially. This gnarly old tree has had children climbing on it for at least 100 years and with care will see another century of children climbing.
Wollongong Harbour boasts two lighthouses. One stands at the entrance to Belmore Basin while the other is higher above on Flagstaff Hill where its beam is seen well out to sea.
row of dinghy's
This tidy row of dinghy’s is located at Belmore Basin.
tallawarra jetty
Wollongong is fortunate to have a large lake on its doorstep. Lake Illawarra is popular with sailors, swimmers. crabbers, prawners, fishermen, water skiers, jet skiers, cyclist and family picnics. This jetty is near the site of Tallawarra Power Station with Mt Warrigal (Native Dog Hill) in the background.
Another favourite location especially for board riders is Sandon Point a little north of The Gong. For some reason most surf breaks…well at least the beaches I went to, had right hand breaks. I surfed as a goofy footer which meant on right hand breaks I surfed with my back to the breaking wave wall. I always enjoyed left hand breaks such as the one at Sandon Point. These fishermens huts have been here for more than 100 years. They are still in use.
surf at sandon
There is also a right hand break at Sandon Point which usually works in bigger swells. When I first started surfing here there were pylons still in place from an old coal loading jetty.

Sunday 19th August

Another week has rushed up at us and gone by so quickly. The weather has been kind. Sunshine and warmth, at least after about 9.30am. Early mornings are what we call chilly getting down as low as about 8 degrees. Usually we get cool westerly winds in August. We have had some of those as well.

This morning we could smell smoke. Donnis wondered who would need a fire at this time of day on a warm morning. It turns out there was a house fire about one Klm away. Early reports say the house was 60% damaged. All five people escaped without injury. The fire is believed to have started in the meter box in the garage. The Fire Chief when interviewed believes smoke alarms should also be installed in garages.

WTF! Sometime in the next few years every dwelling in Queensland must have a hard wired with back-up battery power smoke alarm installed in every room and hallway. The law was passed and effective 2017 but we have a ten year period of grace to get them installed. All smoke alarms must be set so if one goes off, they all go off. At a cost of around $120 each, plus installation even our modest 2 bedroom villa needs at least 6 fire alarms. It is not a cheap option. Now they want them in garages too!!!

Last week I mentioned we have some travel plans. We will be going to Townsvillle next week. Instead of taking the coast road as we have done 1,000 times before we will travel via the Warrego Highway up the Toowoomba Range, through Toowoomba to Dalby then Miles where we join the Leichhardt Highway to Taroom and spend the night there. We will probably stay at the Cattle Camp Motel. From there we will take a minor road, the Bauhinia Downs Road via the Palmgrove National Park and link up with the Dawson Highway to Bauhinia and on through Rolleston, Springsure and Emerald. Then we join the Gregory Highway to Capella, Cleremont and the long lonely haul via Cape River all the way to Charters Towers where we stay another night. The Cape River system feeds into the Burdekin River to create Dalrymple Lake and the immense Burdekin Dam. The catchment area alone is 115,000 square Klms. That is half the size of the state of Victoria and 50 times the size of the Australian Capital Territory. It is also about the same size as the state of Ohio in the USA. It is also larger in size than 14 US states and is the same size as 7 US states combined.  From there it is a reasonably short haul down the Mingella Range and across the flat country to Townsville. Whew that is about 1,500 Klms and 16 hours of driving. Once upon a time I would have driven that in one day. Not anymore. Some of those roads and places we have never visited before so we have allowed exploring time in the itinerary.

A little way south of Wollongong is another historic coastal town, Kiama. Just north of KIama is Bombo which was once a quarry which is often used for television commercials, usually for cars. The stretch of twisted ancient volcanic coastline also includes little beaches more often used by keen board riders. The Boneyard springs to mind as one such beach but on this day it was more like a pond.
cathedral rock
Cathedral Rock is a familiar rocky landmark known to thousands of board riders who have ever surfed at The Boneyard.
camp oven
The little town of Albion Park, south of Wollongong, has an historic railway park. On the day of our visit they had a camp oven cook off competition. Aromas of wood smoke and cakes, dampers, roasts and casseroles bubbling away was delightful.
mahon pool
My brother and sisters and I have fond memories of Mahon Pool in the rocks on the north end of Maroubra Beach, Growing up as a teenager, so close to the beach and this rock pool meant we always had something to do every weekend, summer or winter.
footbridge at hat head
The footbridge at Hat Head connects the public area and campground with a peninsular beach on the other side of a tidal estuary.
A lonbg way from The Gong is the inland town of Euchuca on the Murray River. The town was a bustling centre of river commerce with many paddle steamers moving wool and wheat from properties upriver to this inland port. It is still a busy port but the paddle wheelers take tourists today. I have no idea what these carts were for but they were everywhere around the port.

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