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.
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. Somehow 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?
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.