Tag: Retreat Hotel

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.
0507 motorhome
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.