Tag: Coffee Club

615. Sunday 29th December 2019. Christmas, fly Mackay to Brisbane,

Monday 23rd December

Up early for a walk.

Today I took Sandi as she needs the exercise. I walked a bit more slowly for her but she was beginning to feel uncomfortable before we arrived home.

After breakfast, niece Kelly arrived to do some hairdressing for Sandi.

Later we went to town for a Hand Therapy session then off to the pathologist for a bone density test then started our shopping list.

While waiting for Sandi I went for a coffee and a pastizzi at the Starcut Florist Shop. I should have had alarm bells ring when I noticed there were no signs or menu or prices listed anywhere. Usually I would expect to pay between $6 to $7. I got a shock when I went to pay. The bill was $12. Anywhere else I would have got two coffees and  a slice of cake for that price.

I wanted to visit Jeremiah Bullfrog, a store which sells 99.9% clothes and accessories for women and a tiny rack of clothes for men. This store has been in this location in Mackay for about 30 years. The lady behind the counter recognised me. She has owned the store 25 years They burn incense which offends my olfactory senses but they do have clothes made from natural fibre and although the male selection is small they have the lightweight cotton trousers I want. I was so pleased I also bought a shirt. I no longer needed to visit the surf shops I had on my list.

Sandi also bought a dress for Christmas.

By now both of us complained of back pain so it was time to head home.


Tuesday 24th December

Another quiet day. Sandi and I went for a walk in the morning.

Then we had a consultation with the surgeon who put her hands back together. He is so pleased with healing he removed the wound dressing and declared she can now have a shower without wearing Cling Wrap on her arms. He also told her tat she can remove the splints when she is sleeping at night although Sandi does admit the splints keep her relatively pain free. She can pick up a tea cup while wearing the splints but without them it is a painful impossible task. That said it is the back pain which is wearing her down.

Afterwards we went shopping at Mt Pleasant until the back pain announced it was time to go home.

241219 christmas tree
Woolworths had a Schools Competition to have children hand make Christmas decorations. I found this entry by Bucasia State Primary. My daughters went to school there.


Wednesday 25th December CHRISTMAS DAY.

We did our usual early morning walk but wondered if it really is Christmas Day. In our entire walk we only saw one other person. We saw no children riding around on new bikes, scooters or skateboards. There were no sounds of squealing happy children.

Later in the morning we visited our sister Enid her daughter Kelly and her partner Jase and their two boys Cooper and Ollie who I spent about 2 weeks with in October.

Then in the afternoon I prepared and set up the oven for a Crackling Ham and a Salmon Pastrami Roast. This was a delicate operation as there were different oven temperatures and times as well as a cream potato bake. On a day when the temperatures was about 36 degrees and humidity hovering around 85%, the oven just made the house hotter. The air conditioning struggled in a losing battle to keep the house comfortable. Suddenly dinner is ready and no guests. Grrr! Dinner guests included Sandi’s son Luke, daughter Jo-Elle, their friends and my daughter Averyl.

All three dishes were great albeit a little overdone. Sandi’s son Luke, prepared a 24 hour slow cooked pork in his Souve Cooker then quickly seared in a pan and then pulled it apart – pulled pork. Moist and tender, full of flavour.

Hmmm! I might just further investigate Souvee cooking.

As we were eating dinner a storm rolled in with lots of lightning and thunder but very little rain. There was a enough lightning to create a power failure, blacking out the entire suburb. We had to wait another 2 hours before the power came back on so the cream could be whipped for a Pavlova topped with cream and fruit. Decadent!


On this day in 2011 we had Christmas lunch at Corrimal in Errol & Nicoles tiny flat. 251211 lunchSomehow we squeezed in us four plus Nicoles mum Merrilyn, her bothers Greg and Scott, Scotts Peruvian wife, Monica and baby Amelia around a table designed for four.

After lunch Donnis and I drove to Gymea to meet my sister Bev and husband Peter for a drive to Cronulla Beach and on to Captain Cooks landing place in Australia at Kurnell on Botany Bay in April 1770. By the way there is a lot of conjecture about the origins of the name Kurnell. While all are supposition and romantic alluding to a colourful past, remember that was 250 years ago and there is no agreement as to how the name came about. Is it an English corruption of an Aboriginal name or an Aboriginal corruption of an English name?


Thursday 26th December – Boxing Day.

My usual walk today. Sandi slept in. Pain was working overtime on her back.

We drove into Canelands Shopping Centre where Sandi had an appointment to have her nails done while I had lunch with my daughter Melissa and her husband Steve at the Coffee Club. It was wonderful to spend time together again. Melissa looks like she is getting younger.

The rest of the day was just frittered away with nothing in particular. Except, start packing my bag as I fly out of Mackay in the morning.


On this day in 2011 we visited Stanwell Tops to watch those brave people who launch themselves off the Bald Hill in their hang gliders and para gliders.   https://www.hanggliding.com.au/    Lunch was at the beach below the hill.


Friday 27th December

I was up early again this morning. Instead of going for a walk, Dave drove me to the airport. The predicted rain started as showers but held off long enough to walk across the tarmac to board. As the doors were closed it began to rain. Within minutes we were flying through the clouds and suddenly at 22,000 feet we were above the clouds which looked like fluffy white cotton wool as far as the eye could see. Within a half hour of landing I had collected i30 from Gateway Airport & Cruise Parking    https://gatewayairportparking.com.au/   and on my way home. I joined the 66Klm long car park and inched forward, locked into a grid of cars all inching forward. For some reason, I thought most cars would exit the M1 to visit various shopping centres. Not so it seems. Most of the traffic was heading to the same place I was. The Gold Coast. I had an appointment at Harbourtown but noted that cars were parked along the main road up to three Klms from Harbourtown. It was quicker and easier to drive home, park i30 and walk across the street.

In the afternoon I did as little as possible as my back was plaguing me with umm err, pain, which is a bit stronger than discomfort.


On this day in 2011 we were conveniently parked up in the building site at Corrimal. The Co-Pilot was studying and I did little odd jobs on WWWGO and TERIOS. The weather did not encourage outdoor activities.


Saturday 28th December

Did my usual walk along the Broadwater. It was overcast and a cool breeze was blowing from the south. Ideal conditions for walking.

My back did its usual protestations and continued to irritate, annoy and insert discomfort for the rest of the day.

I caught a bus then the G-Link Tram to Surfers Paradise. Cavill Avenue to be exact. I want to find another pair of lightweight cotton trousers and reasoned that out of all the fashion shops and the markets, I would find something.

Hmmm! Perhaps not.

I was on my way to Hogs Breath Café    https://www.hogsbreath.com.au/   for lunch. I turned left instead of right at the top of the escalator. It is time to try something new. Vapianos is an Italian Style eatery.   https://vapiano.com.au/   Granted the food is cooked in front of you. Granted it is fresh. In fact fresh herbs – Basil and Rosemary – are grown on the table and you can add your own. I found it noisy. Bothersome noisy. If you want a pizza you go to a pizza counter and order. If you want pasta or risotto there is another counter. If you want Antipasti or Insalate (salad) go to another counter. You want dessert? You guessed it. Another counter. I was impressed the chef brought all the carefully measured ingredients together in a wok and tossed them around then pulled out a wire basket with Linguine  in it, tossed it in to the wok, transferred it to a plate and hey presto Gamberi Dal Mar Linguine with a sprig of Basil. (Gamberi means crayfish or prawns while Dal Mare means From The Sea).  On entry you are given a credit type card and a menu then you can find your own table. You use the card to purchase food and on leaving pay the total.  The food was good but expensive. The décor was interesting but noisy. It is popular but I imagined trying to order a family meal going from one counter to another and drinks are on yet another counter. It was interesting but I think that will be my last visit.

The markets were not yet open so I came home and still feeling satisfied from lunch I took i30 and drove to Australia Fair to see Star Wars. This was a Star Wars movie with all the twists and turns and drama and light sabre fights and action scenes and laser fights among spacecraft and everything you expect from the franchise. Somehow they managed to include many of the actors from the original including Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamil and Harrison Ford. Did it answer all the questions and tie up loose ends? Nahhh, but it was so well done who cares?

Empty cinema 10- minutes before screening began. With 2 minutes to go suddenly people started arriving but only filled half the cinema.


I was home by 10.30 but lights out was not until 11.30.


On this day in 2011 we were still camped in the building allotment. While the Co-Pilot spent the day studying, I cleaned out the sink downpipes and holding tanks. That was not a simple job but by the time I was finished the kitchen sink drained like it orta.


Sunday 29th December

The morning started early as always and I enjoyed a walk along the Esplanade at the Broadwater.

A quiet day.

I had coffee at Harbourtown with a friend then drove to Carrara Markets – Australia’s largest marketplace   https://www.carraramarkets.com.au/   – looking for lightweight cotton trousers.  No luck there.

The rest of the day was spent staying out of the heat.


On this day in 2011 I wrote this –

2011 is quickly slipping through our fingers.

In the morning we organised for the CO-PILOT to visit a doctor, a pathology lab and the hospital to have inoculations, blood tests and confirmation her other immunisations are still within use-by date. It seems NSW Health Regulations are pretty strict with the health of health workers they employ.

 I helped Errol install Cove Cornices in the bathroom before lunch.

In the afternoon we called on a workmate from many years ago (about 35 years ago) Barry H and his wife Kathleen in their wonderful house at Keiraville. We expected to have a coffee and spend a couple of hours but our hosts insisted we stay for dinner and sample some Swedish apple cider. Followed by some Margaret River wine. Some strawberry liqueur and a blackcurrant liqueur were also taste tested. Oh and of course a beer. Naturally I was the designated driver and had a wine and sipped the liqueur only. We had a wonderful evening, especially for me as Barry also spent two years in National Service as I did and we talked about our experiences.


Barry revealed he had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and got his news on the same day and at the same hospital as another friend Bob T. Barry, Bob and I worked at the same place many years ago. We all three served in National Service. Within two years both would die from their cancer, within days of each other.

Vale old mates, Barry and Bob.

614. Sunday 23rd December 2019. Carer duties, back pain duo and not much else…

Monday 16th December.

Hmmm! Sleep routine is back to normal…well almost. Woke at 5.30 and went for a walk around the estate.

Said goodbye to Dave as he left to go to work in Bowen.

I am now Sandra’s Carer.

She is able to clean her teeth and dress herself albeit with some difficulty but where there is a will there is away.

We drove to The Four Ways in Mackay. Sandi was booked in for special splints to be made for both wrists. The therapist slowly unravelled all the bandages, cotton wool packing, plaster and wound covering. The scars on both wrists look good. Very little swelling and there is no angry redness or signs of infection. The therapist made up the two splints and gave a set of exercises and we were out in less than an hour.

191219 sandi
Here are the festive splints. She is saying, “if you post that photo I’m gunna hit you with these”.

Next we went to Bupa Health Fund to arrange refunds then the most important part of the day was to go to Canelands Shopping Centre for a coffee. I had a mushroom, spinach and fetta omelette at the Coffee Club. It came loaded with a layer of rocket and two little wedges of toasted sourdough. It was OK but honestly I make a far better omelette at home. Tastier and fluffier. In fact my coffee is as good.

Next we bought Sandi a Kindle Paperwhite as it will be easier to hold and turn pages than a regular book. Mostly it is also lighter and holds up to 1300 books. The salesman tried to talk Sandi into buying a more expensive model. The original has an 8Gb memory whereas the new option is 32 Gb for an extra $30. I said I have had my 8Gb Kindle for almost 8 years and It would take me a long time to fill it with and read 1300 books. Standard model it is. The salesman was not pleased with my input.

Afterwards we looked at a couple of shops for a pair of trousers for me then went to Coles to look at their Crackling Ham and Salmon Pastrami Roast for Christmas Day. By then we were both tired and in a bit of pain in the back. Time to go home, turn on the AC and do nothing.

On this day in 2011 we were continuing our leisurely trip along the east coast in WWW.GO. The words to the Chuck Berry song, With No Particular Place to Go echoes in my mind, we were at Camden Haven on the NSW north Coast and preparing to continue south.

Tuesday 17th December

Another 5.30 start and a walk around the estate. Even at this time of day it is hot.

Back at Sandi’s house I did my back exercises then made a wonderful Brussell Sprout Omelette. I reflected on my comment yesterday where I compared my omelette to the Coffee Club Omelette. I have had to reassess and have come to the conclusion that I make a far far better omelette.

In the afternoon, while Sandi was resting I drove to Mt Pleasant Shopping Centre to look for a pair of cool lightweight cotton trousers. It seems they no longer exist. Everything seems to be heavy material like a pair of jeans. I would probably find what I am looking for if I went to a cold climate.

Today I downloaded a Calibre E- Book Reader Library organiser App on the laptop. I already have the App on my desktop at home. The library is in a set of folders and finding a book is easy. Now I can download some books from my laptop to Sandi’s new Kindle.

On this day in 2011 we were exploring with brother Allan and wife Rae the coastal town of Halliday’s Bay.

Wednesday 18th December

A walk around the estate and exercises done.

We watched a movie on Netflix.

Can things get any better/worse? The pain has shifted to the base of my spine but I have two sets of pain. I now believe I have Bursitis in my right hip. I have had that before. Walking upsets the Bursitis but calms the back. Standing still calms the bursitis but upsets the back.


On this day in 2011. We were staying with Allan and Rae in their home at Forster NSW.

Thursday 19th December.

Star Wars opened in cinemas across Australia today and I have not yet made plans to see it. Perhaps I can see it when I get home and before the new year.

The day started with the usual “discomfort” and a walk around the estate. The estate is a divided opinion of the location. Sandi insists it is Rural View but on maps it is called Plantation Palms. I recall when Rural View was first opened as a residential estate it was on the western side of the Mackay- Bucasia Road. Later a new estate on the eastern side of the main road towards Eimeo was opened and called Plantation Palms.

Anyway I went for a walk around the estate followed by my back exercises.

Another hot day in the tropics although quite comfortable at 32 degrees the same as on The Gold Coast. It is hard to imagine those people out west who are having temperatures getting up to 49 degrees with dry heat and some have bushfires to contend with.

Dave arrived home in the afternoon and his first job was to give Sandi a shower. Next we went to a bar in town. Two ladies from Sandi’s last workplace were putting on some nibbles and a get together. One is having a birthday and another is retiring. Naturally I was the designated driver. Sandi cannot drive and Dave likes a beer.

I continue to be amazed at how well Sandi is coping with her hands. Every day we can see improvement. Her back is giving her hell…as is mine. We laugh at each other when we sit or stand and let out a sigh or a grunt or groan.

On this day in 2011 we left Forster to drive to Sydney and on to Corrimal, a suburb of Wollongong. We stopped at Bulladelah, a small town north of Newcastle which was once a traffic bottleneck and is now bypassed by the highway. My high school friend, George Curtis lived there. Sadly George passed away a few years ago, alone on a dirt road just out of town. His body was not found for several days.

Friday 20th December

The day started like every other day.

Sandi had a physiotherapist appointment and a doctors appointment. We needed to do a chemist run then went shopping until our backs protested it was time to head home.

I cooked up some onion chunks, potato, pumpkin and Brussel Sprouts in the oven. Dave barbecued some lamb steaks. We had a win. Dave does not like Brussel Sprouts but was encouraged to try one. He is a now a convert.

On this day in 2011 we arrived in Gymea and parked WWW.GO in sister Bevs driveway for a few days. We needed to make plans of where we will be for Christmas day. A little bit of visiting and being visited was planned. We also drove to Wollongong to visit Errol & Nicole and plan where we will park WWWGO over the next few weeks.

Saturday 21st December

The usual walk at 6am. Strangely the pain in my right hip is moving to the centre of my back and beyond. It has gravitated to my left hip as well.


My patient is improving in leaps and bounds.

We went to a pre Christmas family luncheon at Sandi’s ex husband, Johns house. John had a large group of nephews and nieces and their partners and children, most of whom were in the pool. What started out as a “perhaps I will stay for an hour until the pain gets too much” comment from Sandi, ended up being a marathon 9 hour session of music and drinking.

211219 family group
Luke. Roger the pup, John, guess who and Sandi. Trying to get 4 people plus a dog to pose at the same time is not easy.

I was designated driver. Most of the relatives left way before the sun went down but Sandi and Dave, Jo-elle (Sandi’s daughter) her partner Ben, John and I stayed on. We had a sing along with many of the songs pumping out of very loud speakers. I am sure the neighbours were gritting their teeth in frustration.

211219 joelle
Geez thay asked me to pose for this shot and I feel embarassed. Jo-Elle, is a burleque dancer and knows how to pose.

By now we had run out of nibbly party food and despite most people saying they were not hungry, John and I dug out some pies from the freezer and processed them, one by one in the microwave. The pies disappeared in”not really hungry” mouths. By 10pm I convinced Dave it was time to go. Sandi had already fallen asleep on a lounge. After dropping them at home I drove back to John’s house, collected Jo-Elle and Ben and their big Labradoodle pup and drove them home to North Mackay. I did say I was the designated driver didn’t I?

Sandi has a new Hyundai i30 Elite. I really enjoy driving it. It is filled with so many devices for making life easy, comfortable and safe.

On this day in 2011 we were parked up in a driveway of house construction site in Corrimal.

211211 corrimal
Parked up in a building work site in Corrimal NSW.

Being Christmas there was no work being carried out so we were quite safe and not at risk of being in the way of workers.

Sunday 22nd December

The usual get up early and go for a walk before it gets too hot morning.

My daughter Averyl and Grandson Anakin came over for a visit.

Geez I have been keeping a low profile the last week.

On this day in 2011 we were stilled camped up in Corrimal and just doing all the little pre Christmas stuff that every family does every year.

Happy Christmas everybody.