Monday 24th June 2019.
The sun was shining at midday when we left to drive to Nimbin in northern New South Wales. Long story short, we needed to buy some marijuana oil – not for either of us but will leave the recipient unnamed at this stage.
Before I tell our story I would like to mention that my sister in law, Rae, was diagnosed with 3 cancers, kidney , lung and a brain tumour. She was diagnosed about 2 weeks ago while on holiday in north Queensland. The test results were sent to Newcastle John Hunter Hospital, the closest major hospital to their home. Last week they began a long slow journey home as travelling more than 300 Klms a day was taxing on both of them. They arrived home Thursday, had an appointment with a neurologist on Saturday, was admitted to hospital on Saturday and had brain surgery on Sunday and all the tumour was removed. Rae now has to undergo a long period of recovery and chemo and radiation treatment which can be done in their home town.
Back to our story. We were travelling the M1 heading south to the NSW border. In the distance we could see menacing black cloud. Once we crossed into NSW the rain began, light at first but becoming heavier, more insistent and day was almost night. We turned off the M1 and drove onto the Tweed Valley Way to Murwillumbah and old historical town which I keep promising myself to spend a day and photograph the old buildings. The road roughly follows the Tweed River. By the time we reached Uki, a medium sized village in the shadow of Mt Warning which is itself part of a chain of extinct volcanoes. Uki hails itself as the place “Where the Land Meets the Sky”. It was certainly true today as the steep mountain peaks were shrouded in clinging cloud. I made a Mental Note To Self. Come back another day to take photos. I had the camera but no time to stop and besides it was too wet and grey to take photos. From Uki the road travels mostly, up. Also narrow and winding. We are now amongst the clouds so could not be sure if it was still raining or simply just the cloud rubbing off on us. Either way it was very wet. It took the best p[art of an hour to travel 50 Klms from Murwillumbah to Nimbin. The people in the street were a mix of those on a continual high, those looking for a high and those looking at those on a high. You know when you have reached Nimbin the centre of Cannabis, there are signs in the little park which say, “Please use the public toilet” with an arrow pointing the way. The remainder of the sign, also in the politest of language asks, almost pleadingly, “Please do not Urinate in the Street”. We have either travelled backwards in time to a time and place where inbreeding has produced offspring with limited brain function or somehow we are glimpsing the future. Either way it is a chilling indictment of what constant use of a prohibited substance can do to a brain. Walking around town we see people rugged up against the chilling cold and the heavy rain while others seem not to be aware as they stand, barefoot, red eyed, not sure of what they are. The town is peppered with many signs about what is, to most of us common sense and common decency. Be POLITE was the most noticeable. Do not harass the tourists. No begging. So here we are in the marijuanna capital where, if you believe the hype, is all about medical uses of two types of oil. The reality is it is all about smoking the stuff, getting high, and living in a world of smoke haze and bludging on society. So, we walk down a steep path, find a green door with lots of how to be polite signs on the door and enter chaos. Come in and take a seat, fill out the form, tell us what you need. Ummm. You want me to sit there? I guess I should not expect clean. After a lot of waffle two tiny bottles of foul smelling green substance are produced. But it smells like an ash tray, I say. Yes was the reply, you have to expect things that smell and taste terrible if you want organic cure everything oils. Ummm do you have an unorganic version? Naaah. We are not gunna sugar sweeten the stuff. Remember this stuff is not for me. I just had questions. Eventually we walk out $325 lighter but 30 Mls of oil heavier.
Lots of tourists come to town. The bakery seemed normal and I had a nice sausage roll. We asked the server where the public toilets are. Oh you do not want to go there she said. No, not nice. Go to the pub. Actually the public toilets were not too bad but several people creating a cloud of smoke in a shelter nearby had me questioning the options once more.
Despite everything about Nimbin which is a bit jarring on the senses I thought it had some sort of charm. It sort of exists in a yesteryear coupled with a hazy reality known only to one person. I made a Mental Note To Self. Come back another day to take photos.
The rain seemed to get heavier so it was a slow trip back to Murwillumbah taking almost an hour to cover the 49 Klms then it was back on the M1 and home. What the!!!. No rain has fallen here all day. Crikey! Are we in for some rain when it finally arrives.
Tuesday 25th June
I saw the Gastro Enterologist today. Naturally he was pleased with my weight loss but advised that in addition to my fatty liver he was still concerned about my pre diabetic results in my blood test along with elevated cholesterol count. He told me that about 3 out of 5 people on the street have fatty liver and most will die with it not from it.
My trouser which are now fitting me after 4 years are also beginning to tell me I need to go to a smaller waist size – soon. I am looking forward to wearing size 32 again after many years of 34 moving to 36 and threatening 38. No wonder leg sizes were always too long!
The GE also mentioned he went to Nimbin recently for a sticky beak and was confronted within a minute and within 100 metres of his car by persons offering to sell him, “substances”.
Got a message from my brother Allan. His wife, Rae, after brain surgery on Sunday came home today. Not to the local hospital, home. Wow! How good is that?
Friday 28th June
After months of waiting and planning our Rock and Roll night arrived. My friend Frank and I set tables for 80 people. Tables have to be placed so even when chairs on adjoining tables are fully pushed back, dancers can still walk along between tables without feeling they are in an obstacle course. We set up for 80 people and that seems to be the maximum number we can seat comfortably so they can get in and out to the dance floor, the toilets and of course the supper table. Our two piece band, Route 66, are very popular among the Rock and Roll community and dancers will follow them when and where they are playing. It is important to get the right band. Our village had 37 people attend and the rest were invited dancers from the Gold Coast area and even a couple from South Brisbane.
Donnis and I danced together and with other partners. It is something we are both learning. Not only do we learn the dance steps but also about various partners and differing styles. Route 66 mix their repertoire with Rock music, Country, Line Dancing, The Twist and even Waltz and Rock and Roll Waltz. Although we are content to watch accomplished dancers it seems we are wanting to become more involved.
Even if I had taken my camera tonight I would not have had time to take photos. I did take a three minute video but alas my Word Press account does not support video.
At the end of the night we were thanked by so many people for our dance location and choice of band. There are those who consider we are charging too little and are prepared to pay more. Others have asked if we can have three dances a year. We can really only fit two dances into our calendar this year. The band packed up after 10pm but a good dozen or so people wanted to stay for coffee and a chat. All in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. One thing we learned tonight is even in Winter we need to lower the AC, open windows and doors and have the fans turned on. With 80 people all breathing at the same time and around 50% of them are also dancing up a storm there were a lot of perspiring bodies looking for somewhere cool.
I was also complimented on my dancing ability. Aww shucks!
Saturday 29th June.
The committee was back at the clubhouse by 9am and in less than an hour we had everything back to normal. The extra dozen fold up tables and the additional 40 chairs were packed away for next time. The full size snooker table was turned from a food serving table back into a snooker table, lounge chairs were brought back into the clubhouse, the floor vacuumed and all the washing up complete and packed away.
The rest of the day I have no idea what I did. Oh Yeah! I started pulling weeds in our little back yard. After all the rain we have had this week it is so easy to pull them out. It is also so easy to pull a muscle in my back. That was a short term job. My back had a 45 minute session with our TENS Machine.
I finished a book I have been reading. Making Rounds With Oscar by Dr David Dosa. It is about a cat who lives in a nursing home and who seems to know when a patient is in the last few hours of life. The patients all have Dementia. Oscar comes to the room, smells the hands or feet and if, as seems to be the case, death is near, he stays with the patient until death takes over and continues to stay until the undertaker removes the body. Here is a short video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBLBDoBGP8E
Sunday 30th June
It rained overnight and again about 6am. Thereafter the clouds disappeared and it was a brilliant sunny day. Perfect. The last two days huge seas of 5 metre swells have pounded our coastline. A few ten metre waves just off The Seaway were also recorded. High tides contributed to the beach erosion.
Yesterday a young jet ski rider messing about at the Seaway entrance was capsized by a large wave, He managed to scramble aboard but the motor would not start and was thrown off yet again. Somehow he was saved without injury, except to his pride. The jet ski was slammed repeatedly against the rocks.
The forecast was that waves would continue to grow today and again tomorrow. We drove to the spit to watch the spectacle. It seems every tourist had the same idea.
Yesterday’s damaged jet ski was now washed up on the beach. The rocks did a good job of stripping everything off the jet ski.
Today another near tragedy was averted when a jet ski rider had gone across the shallow bar opening of the Seaway.
We are not sure if he ran out of fuel or if the jet ski was swamped but another two skis came to his rescue. They finally got a tow rope attached but had to move slowly as towing a jet ski, at speed in big seas can cause it to capsize.
The tow vessel had to time his move slowly but at the same time avoid the worst waves. The small group sat just off the Seaway wall for ages, waiting for the right conditions but at the same time maintaining some headway to avoid his own floundering.
A spectacular sunset was threatening so I spent some happy time with the camera while Donnis drove to the Seafood Markets next to Marina Versace and bought a couple of pieces of fish.
With hundreds of other people we watched the last of the sunset while enjoying fresh fish.
Last week I reported on the ship which was working on creating a reef just off the beach at Palm Beach. With the forecast of huge seas, the ship had come north to the Gold Coast Seaway and anchored in The Broadwater and the safety of Wave Break Island until conditions improved.
With the going down of the sun the cold had a reason to invade the area. Suddenly it got chilly.
We were going home anyway.
What a spectacular place for scenery.