Saturday, 31 December 2011

132 - Gold Coast December 2011

The view from our lounge room on the Goldie

Thursday 29th December 2011
Todays Weather: Windy with showers

I have taken a leaf out of the way Frank G does his blog, and seeing I have a lot more time on my hands now, I will try to continue to do a daily entry. This way I can report on the days’ happenings, without having to do a whole lot in one go. No doubt there will be days where nothing is happening, so I will just take it as it comes.

The back of the house from the canal

Okay, here we are at our temporary home on the Gold Coast. Still trying to come to terms with not having phones ringing and dealing with the daily grind of 12 to 18 hour days of hospitality management, but I will admit, and although I am having the odd whinge, about retirement, each day gets easier.

The bride in the kitchen again!!!!!!!

As the bride has got her work cut out for her with her caring; five days a week another carer comes in for 4 hours per day; Monday to Friday. That gives us a chance to get out, and go to the beach, go for a walk, do lunch. Me personally I am a free agent, and I can work on the Val (car), have a Poppy Pause (some call it a Nanny Nap), get lost somewhere, so for the next three to four weeks anything can happen, so most of my blogging may be a little mundane, however it has got to better than motel / caravan park management.

The view from the lounge room

So today, apart from the duties that the bride has to perform, we just did the mundane things at the local shopping centre, however that should only be a once a week experience. The rest of the day was a non event apart from me annoying the bride……..that’s my job!!!!!!

Hey looking good for a retired old fart @ 64 and 11 months (he he!!!)

Looking east down the canal

Friday 30th december 2011
Todays Weather: Windy with Showers

Not another good day weather wise, so apart from the normal, did a little work on the Val, and during the afternoon Fraser, his wife Sophie and their brand new bub Arabella, dropped in to say hi to Ann. Fraser is the only boy and the youngest of the children of Anns', and although now living in Melbourne, were up on the coast for the news years break, and to see Ann of course.

The bride as in prevoius posts has been associated with Ann and the children (now adults of coures) for more than four decades, and basically an unofficial "Aunty". On many occasions she has spent long periods of time with the kids when they were little, hence there has always been a close relationship with the family for all this time. Hence when the call came to care for Ann, the bride jumped at it.....with no hesitation. That is what family is all about I guess. 

Sophie, Fraser and Arabella

Saturday 31st December 2011
Todays Weather: Windy, cloudy, few showers.

Gee we are not having much luck with the weather. Today was fairly un eventful, apart from me giving the Val (car) a good scrub. I will polish section by section of the car over the next week.

Well toniight is NYE, and will we be going out with he cast of thousands..........noooooooooo!!!!!! We will just stay home like a couple of good old Geriatric Gypsies. Actually this is the first Christmas / New Year period, we haven't been incaserated within the confins of a motel somewhere. Nice change.

Anyway after dinner or tea, depending which state you live in, we settled down to a couple of reds, punctuated by the odd port, with all intentsions of seeing in the new year. Guess what, I did my usual trick, and fell asleep by 10pm, with the bride not long after at 11pm. Geeeezus we are a couple of boring old farts. Also the bride was fired up earlier in the night about the 31 million dollar lotto, and how she was going to spend it. Yeah...yeah heard it all before, and sure as eggs, the results........squiddly, dat as per normal.

So we checked out the kids fireworks at Paradise Point where we could see a bit from the patio, which was all over and done with, in two mouth fulls of port.

A'h well another year bites the dust.

Well bring on the fire works!!!!!!!!

Is that it????????

O'h well Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Stay toooooooned!!!!!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

131 - Byron Bay 2011

Our retreat at Byron Bay

Friday 23rd December 2011
After 8 months at the Mapleton Cabins and Caravan Park, I made my escape at 8am, and also officially retired on this day. So I booted up the Val, minus the RetroLiner, may I add, and headed straight to the Goldie to pick up the bride, then to head off to the holiday house in Byron Bay. Some of our readers will know, that this isn’t our house…I wish...however this will be the very last time we can have the house for our leisure time, as it has been sold with settlement sometime in January 2012.

Back to the story……..the drive down from Mapleton to the Goldie was with out any incidents, with the traffic, although heavy was moving quite freely. After picking up the bride, that’s when the traffic became very heavy and the rain started to pelt down. So all the way from the northern end of the Goldie to the southern end, it rained so hard, one couldn’t see a couple of meters in front of the Val; hence the going was tough and slow, with stop start heavy traffic, and extremely heavy rain.

Once over the border the traffic eased, as well as the rain, and the trip to Byron was pretty crooooozy. Once we got into the house, a couple of coldies was in order, and as it was fairly late in the day, we didn’t venture to our favorite free beach of Tyagarah. Just rustled up some grub, a few more dinkies, and retired for an early night.

The views from one of the balconies

Can you see the ocean eh!!! eh!!!!

Saturday 24th December 2011

Christmas Eve day, saw a much better day. Sun was shinning, a little bit of wind, not much cloud to speak of, looks like a good one! So what does one do when in Byron, go to the beach of course, however not the well know beaches of Byron Bay where they are awash with a skillion people, we head to the other well known beach Tyagarah, which is a legal free beach. You know…..if you forget your swim wear….tough titties.

We figured a long walk and a couple of swims were the order of the day. Arriving at the entrance we use to Tyagarah Beach is the southern end entrance, or just north of Belongil Creek. The reason we use this entrance, it is initially easy to get to, easy to park and not a lot of people know of this entry. All one has to do is walk across a disused golf course, and bingo you are on the beach. Tyagarah is a very long beach, reaching to the north as far as Brunswick Heads. Hence the southern end, as well as about half way along at the national park entrance and nearly to Brunswick Heads, are a mixture of folks who wear swim wear, and others that don’t, more the latter is the case. No one really cares.

We headed off on our walk from the southern entrance, to the national park entrance, which is about three kilometers, each way. Had the wind on backs on the way up, and the tide was just right for a beach walk. Once arriving at our destination we hit the water and had a body surf, returning to the southern end for another swim and surf. The temperature of the water was just magnificent. We hung around for a while catching a bit of sun, and then wandered off. However brewing out to sea was a monster swell that hit the coast between Fraser Island and the far north coast of NSW, with vengeance on Christmas Day. We knew all about the ex-tropical cyclone that was well out to sea, but didn’t really expect to seas like we saw on Chrissie day.

Merry Xmas from the the kitchen again

Sunday 25th December 2011

Upon waking on this day and seeing we didn’t have family around us this year, we decided what a better way to experience Christmas day, than the great Ozzie tradition of going to the beach. We arrived at south Tyagarah, parked with ease, and as usual made our way across the golf course……four!!!!!!!!!!! The grass is so long one is always on the look out for the “WEREDAFAKARI TRIBE.” So with great expectations of repeating yesterday’s events, boy did we get a shock!!!!!!!! Apart from a king incoming tide, the waves were huge, leaving absolutely no beach to walk on, let alone have as swim. How disappointing! So we canned that idea and headed into Byron Bay itself, and as we wanted to get our walk in, we assumed the main Beach at Byron may be protected from these huge swells……WRONG AGAIN……..Geeeeeezus there was hardly any beach at Byron also, and again the surf was humungous. So we tried to get a bit of a walk in, but really all we did was battle with an incoming tide. Not one of our better beach days. So we gave that the flick and headed back to the house for a few coldies and a lazy afternoon.

Water everywhere

Where's the sand lady?

Pretty rough for Byron

Big surf was the order of the day

Monday 26th December 2011

Boxing Day, let’s try again! Na! The tide was wrong with a late morning high king tide, and the swells were still huge, although the day was bright and shinny, as it has been since we got here on the 23rd. So the beach idea was out, so it was off to the monthly markets at Bangalow. Now Bangalow is not to far at all from the house we stay at, so 15 minutes later we were all parked up, at the show grounds. Blimey half of NSW must have been there. Now I am not one for markets, they are all the same to me, however I just wandered along with the bride, checked out all the girlies of all ages….I’m a boy that’s my job… well as keeping a very firm hand on the wallet, with the continual reminder to the bride, that we are both retired, and still not quite yet working for the government. So with the usual whine from me…..”Where is that going to fit in caravan for goodness sake!!!!!!!!!!!?” we departed Bangalow markets, less $2.00 for parking, pheeew!!!!!!!!!, and headed for Mulumbimby.

Bangalow Markets

Some kool dudes

Why Mulum…….as the locals call it…. just for the sake of a drive. Everything was shut as expected, so we then headed into Brunswick Heads for a lemon squash at the pub. After that exciting interlude, the bride said we should check out Tyagarah beach again, but this time, from the national park access, which was on its way back to the house anyway. Yeah why not!!!!!!! So we turned down Grays Lane, which is the road that leads into the national park and the entrance to the beach. We used this road a couple of years ago, and the road was a shocker then. This time it is absolutely disgraceful, and I guarantee the road hasn’t seen a grader since the Broncos won the last league premiership. Mate what a disaster, however we pushed on across the corrugations, the huge pot holes, and the dust nearly chocked us to death. On all reports the Gibb River Road is better than this mess.

Now the Grays Lane entrance to Tyagarah is the most popular for the beach goers that forget their swim wear. So as expected when we got there, apart from not being able to park, and as expected there was a cast of thousands present. Not on the beach proper as it was the same as this entire story, king tides, huge seas, blah, blah, blah. So what I could see of most of the cast of thousands they were perched up along the dunes, as far as the eye could see, but at least the sun was shinning. So we gave that the flick, and headed back to the house for more drinkies and tucker. That was the end of our second day in a row of trying to have some time on the beach.

Tuesday 27th of December 2011.

Now of course we are running out of time as we need to be back on the Goldie for the bride to continue with her caring duties on Wednesday afternoon. So this morning, lets hit the beach again. We knew the tide was coming in, and also hoped the seas had abated, as there was no wind, although quite cloudy…………mmmmmmmmm!

So off we went again, to our usual entry spot to the beach, and you guess it, totally useless. Apart from a full king tide, there was no beach to speak of, and huge waves again. Bugger!!!!!!!! It was fairly over cast as well….so even though we hung around for a short time on what was left of the beach, we decided to give the day the miss again, and wander back to the house to sulk………again. But how about we try again this arvo I said to the bride. The tide will be on its way out, the clouds seem to be lifting, the sun peaking through the clouds, could be a goer.

Damn!!!!! king tides, huge seas and blowing a gale

HA! HA! Funny man was the catch cry. By 2pm. a thunder storm had reached the bay from the west, and the rest is history, when it comes to thunder storms. By this time the bride has settled into Turner Classic Movies on Austar, and I am writing this blog. So another day has passed us by. But I shouldn’t stress too much about not getting to the beach, as I am now RETIRED!!!!!! I can go to the beach when ever I want!!!!
The bride heading into the Chinese restaurant

So we decided a good old fashion Chinese meal was the go. Over the years we have been going to Byron, we always went to this Chinese restaurant that was part of the Byron Bay Bowling Club. Always a good meal and the host Jimmy was a barrel of laughs. However Jimmy has sold to another operator, and although the meal was substantial, the cooks definitely went into overdrive on the MSG. Anyway, filled our bellies, and again we headed back to the house for another evening of relaxing. As a foot note here, after four days of being retired, I am over it already.

Wednesday 28th of December 2011

I said to the bride before retiring the night before, lets get another walk in down the beach early, before we pack up and head back to the Goldie. Come sunrise on this day, wind, showers and storms….so guess what, we stayed in bed. As the morning progressed we did the packing thing, and of course the bride detailed the house, as she does, and I packed the car, and then off out of Byron with destination Gold Coast.

The last photos of the house at Byron

Guess who's back in the kitchen again

Spent a lot of time on that couch I did
The Val in the drive way

I dislike the Gold Coast with a passion, however we are staying at the northern end, which is way out of the hurdy gurdy of Surfers Paradise. The house here is nice and homely and on a canal, which will be our home in the short term.

Of course the bride has the caring duties, so I will be getting stuck into the Val, and getting it back into ship shape. It has been neglected for a long time, so seeing I will have heaps of time on my hands, this will be the best opportunity I have had for years, to work on the beast.

The tavern at Tumbugun

Back to the story! Coming up the super highway, we decided that we would deviate off the highway, to a little place called Tumbulgum for lunch. It has a great pub on the Tweed River. A nice part of the north coast of NSW. We had a bite to eat, and may I add the sun is shinning and the wind has abated….damn!!!!!!!!

Over looking the Tweed River northern NSW

After the munchies we then ventured further north to our destination of Runaway Bay. Now there are two ways to access our destination, either continue on the super highway from Tweed Heads, or take the stop start scenic tour up the coast road past the beaches etc. We decided to take the latter, and even though we have done this trip a gazillion times before, it is always good to see the development (the few that have been completed, and the millions that are now derelict building sites.) The good old Gold Coast has crashed and burned big time. Not a good place to be.

Just before our destination nothing would be complete on the Gold Coast without the good old Cops and robbers event. Yep sure enough on the highway, was 5 cops’ cars, a million cops, and some dudes in hand cuffs lying on the ground. Welcome to the crime capital of Queensland.

Arrived at our destination, unloaded the car, and here I am finishing off the blog.

Stay toooooooned.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

130 - SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mapleton Cabins and Caravan Park, which has been our home for the last eight months

Yep folks, after 8 months of huffing and puffing, offers, counter offers, some players falling over, new players on the scene, finally as of Toooooosday 12th December 2011, contracts have been signed by both parties.

"But wait there's more." It could still fall over as the contracts at this stage are conditional. However everybody is fairly confident that it is a goer. I hope for the owner of the park, who has endured a pretty rocky ride in trying to sell this place, that all goes ahead.

For me and the bride, it doesn't affect either of us. She has already gone to the Goldie, and I finish on the 23rd of December 2011. So all going well the blog will again be alive with fun and frivolity, and all the crazy things we get up to on our travels.

The RetroLiner is all but finished, so maybe some photies soon.

I was going to do a history of 2011, like last year, but being here since April 2011, not much to report.

In the meantime, trust you all have a very happy and safe Chrissie and a prosperous 2012. Our goal is to win Lotto....(he he!!!!) yeah and pigs fly!!!!!!!!!

Stay tooooooned

Cheers & beers

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

129 - Maroochydore

Sunrise over Maroochdore Beach

On Friday 18th November we left the CP for our two day R and R to celebrate the bride's 60th birthday at Maroochydore, along with her younger sister (Coffs Harbour) and younger brother (Sydney), who organised the weekend away. The two elder brothers, couldn't make it, however we had a blast.

It was great to actually have two consecutive days off.......and the weather was just perfect for the two days.

We left the CP about midday on the Friday, and headed straight for our booked apartment. Of course our trusty GPS took us to the designated building....just love modern technology.

On our arrival we caught up with the younger brother Barry and his wife Vicky, who had the apartment next to ours.  As normal the ales were consumed along with the champagne and wine and we had a lot to chat about, as we haven't seen them for two years. Later that afternoon sister Julie arrived from Coffs Harbour along with her husband Colin. So it was off to the pool area of the apartment building to consume many more beverages.

The bride rustling up some grub as she does

The two days went very quickly, as per normal. We spent a bit of time just lounging about, going for early morning beach walks......geezers I miss that ocean. Drinking and socialising was the order of the weekend. There was a surf carnival at the beach, the first in 10 years they tell me. Evidently the beach had copped a hell of a hammering of recent times with foul weather, and with that all the sand was washed away, and all there was left was coffee rock. Well mother nature did her thing and of recent times has replaced all the sand lost. It was just magic walking along the beach and going for a body surf, although to many people on the beach for my liking.....but hey.......not every body shares our love of deserted beaches and our dress mode.

Before all the clubbies arrived for the surf carnival

On the Saturday night we went out to a Moroccan restaurant, just fantastic. I was a bit apprehensive about foreign food, especially with my Dicky gut, so I kept to the most simplest dish I could find, which was just delicious. As usual the surprise presents came out and the birthday cake, and more drinkies, lots of tears!!!!!!!!!! Being the Wally that I am, I didn't take our camera, however the photies that were taken from the sisters camera, will be sent to me, so I will post them at a later date.

Before we knew it, we were in the car about 11.30am on the Sunday, arriving back at the CP around 12:15pm, then back to the grind.

Here are a few pikkies of the weekend.

Sister Julie on the left, the bride in the middle, and the sister in law Vicki on the right

The surf carnival in full swing

The pool and the tennis courts from our balcony

The terrible two

The bride in the kitchen again!!!!!

And one more photie of the Sunrise

So until next time, cheers and beers.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

128 - Plan 106 For Now!!!

This is where we will be spending Chrissy @ Byron Bay

Yep, we went back to the drawing board earlier this week to put together plan 106 for our escape.

And you guessed it, what was about to be set in concrete was scuttled in a simple phone call from the daughter of a very dear friend of the brides, a friendship that goes back 45 years.

You may recall on some past blogs I have referred to this friend, although has not been in the best of health for many years now, we have made several visits to her home on the Gold Coast and have on several occasions house sat the holiday home at Byron Bay.

To cut a long story short, her health has deteriorated to the point that she needs 24 hour care, and with her immediate family mainly based in Melbourne, and unable to provide same in the immediate future, the bride has come to the rescue.

So on the 29th of November, the Bride will leave the CP and take up residence on the Goldy to provide the care her friend needs - albeit only to Christmas eve. From that point her adult children will arrive from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney etc., to spend Christmas with her, and move her to Melbourne in the new year.

I will be staying at the CP (if it isn't sold) till the 23rd December, when I too will be leaving the CP, for the pre organised 2 week break, and will pick up the bride from the Goldie, and head to Byron for the Christmas break at the holiday house. How long we will be there for is an unknown. Each year the family from far and wide congregate at Byron for the annual Chrissy break, so the arrival of these troops is not quite known at this stage, so we will find out once we get there.

So we will just enjoy one of our favourite places in OZ, and of course being a stones throw from our well known haunt of Tyagrah Beach, and you don't need me to tell you why we go there, should be a fantastic break.

We still don't know if we will go back to the CP after our break, nor will we be carting the van with us. That is plan 107, so stay tooooooned.

Cheers and beers

Saturday, 12 November 2011

127 - Crash, Burn And Slash The Wrists

Yep folks, after all the excitement of the final signature for the sale of the CP, the bean counters, decided to change the goal posts, and in their wisdom, made it impossible for the intending new owners to have finance approved......what a bummer!!!!!!!!!!  After all the huffing and puffing and verbal approvals, the whole thing falls over in a heart beat.

We feel for the current owner, who is desperate to sell. We on the other hand, will have another change of plans AGAIN!!!!!! it is back to the drawing board for round 106 of plans for our departure. We are awaiting for the current owner to arrive back at the CP today, to set a new course.

However as I posted a couple of issues back, the original punter, who has been lying in the trenches, has raised the attack there may be hope yet, of a sale.

More on that sooooooon.

Thanks for the amount of requests for photos on the reno of the RetroLiner. Once it is finished, I will bombard you all with pikkies....just have to wait unfortunately.

However in the mean time we are off to Maroochydore, next week end (19 - 20 November 2011) for the bride's 60th birthday. Her sister and brother (Coffs Harbour abd Sydney) have shouted us an apartment at some flash high rise, and are coming up to the Sunshine coast for the celebrations. How good is that!!!!!! No doubt the odd beverage will be consumed.

You know this is the first two consecutive days we have had off since April.........geeeeeeeezus.

Stay toooooned!!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

126 - Another Extension

Blimey, the sale of the CP has more extensions than a telephone exchange. Every couple of days we wait for the phone call from the owner of the property, only to be greeted by, "they have asked for another extension." However today 11/11/11 Remembrance Day, 5pm. at the latest, should see the sale become un conditional. Once that is resolved we will have a definite settlement date.

As I have said a million times, at the latest we will be out of here 22nd December, if the sale falls over, however we tend to feel that an early December departure is on the cards. Waiting............waiting...................waiting.

Here is an up date of the Retro Liner.

Painted the ceiling over the last weekend, and it came up a treat, like a new one. However the bride was so impressed with the paint job, guess what, I am now painting all the crappy paneling in the whole van. Geeeeeeeeezus....I hate painting, however I am half way through the job, and doing all the easy stuff first. I should be able to tackle the "hard bits" over the next week or so. The trouble is with painting something, it's pretty permanent, so if you don't get it right the first time, it's all over Red Rover!!!!!

At first I didn't think much of an off white colour, however I am warming to it now, and now when one visualises that with all the crapp out, the curtains back up, new donna, the recliner chairs and table in place, should look pretty schmicky......I hope.

Well that's about it troops, stay tooooooned.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

125 - But Wait Another Twist

Yep, you guessed it, the sale of this CP has more twists and turns than a Nancy Drew mystery.

As it stands the main punter is running out of options, and has till 5pm Monday 31st to come up with the it all looks very dodgy.....ho, he ho, hum!!!!!!!!!!

But alas!!!!!! lurking in the back ground is one of the original punters, who has been lying in the trenches, who we now find out it just waiting for this other punter to fall over, and will come in all guns blazing...........yeah! yeah! yeah....heard it all before.

We don't really care, who buys the joint. We just need some sort of concrete path of who will be the new owners and when, so we can put our travel plans together. So the long and the short of it is, we will be either going late November if the main punter wins the race, or around 22nd December regardless, if it is sold or not.

Stay toooooned for the exciting adventures of the sale!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's an up date on the RetroLiner

* Finished off the power supply for the Coleman HWS
* Added a couple of brackets on the water carriers to hold the shower attachment
* Sprayed Lanolin on the scissor arms and new drop down legs
* Fixed up the peeling vinyl on the boot and prettied it up with some extra striping
* Secured the bolster arms above the boxed in wheel arch

So basically we are nearly finished.

However I have decided not to paint a big stripe down the side of the RetroLiner, but to renew the striping that was originally there, with different colours. We have a theme of yellow and blue. Plus I am still waiting for the new LED lights.

Now we go back inside to mask up for the painting of the ceiling. Yuko!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will save all photos for when she (RetroLiner) rolls out of the workshop.

Keep watching!!!!!!!

Cheers & beers

Monday, 24 October 2011

124 - Another delay

Yep as expected, the bean counters  are playing "ducks and drakes" with the intending purchase of the CP. I guess in these times of a tight monetary market, it is to be expected, however we (me and the bride) leaves us a bit up in the air, until all these financial matters are sorted out, if at all.

So what does that mean to us........just a waiting game in the very short term. The intended new owners have got basically until Friday to get the finances sorted out, then we will make a decision on our movements.

Well an up date on the RetroLiner. The door is on, the Coleman HWD is in and wired up. The CD/Radio is all completed, and the wheel arch is boxed in and the re-silicon job on the bottom part of the pop top is now completed. Hopefully this week the new lights will be fitted. The new chairs look sensational, and the round table just fits the bill near perfectly. Sure I still need to work through how to secure the chairs when traveling, and as the table is not secured either, I have found a home for that while traveling, so no biggy there.

Just before we move on I will have to get the new VAST box for the satellite system and the Pure Sine Wave Inverter. The hard wiring is a bit of an issue at the moment, however I will bring that job out of the to hard basket shortly and think that on through. Gave the Genny (Honda 2KVA) a work over the other day, to re charge the house battery. So with Solar and the Genny power is all good!!!!

Still have some little things to do to completely finish the refurb...........but is it ever finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The bride will detail the inside, and then a new job for the boy here, paint the ceiling of the pop top. I just hate painting, as paint and I do not get on. Then its a big wash and polish for the RetroLiner, plus the Val as well. Don't know if I will get the painted strip done, that is way off the radar right now.

The sign writer is making a banner for the bride "Wendy's Caravan Of  Hair" for her to do mobile hairdressing, plus we have up dated our web site, made new business cards, and have put together a marketing campaign for when we are on the road, should we want to go back into some sort of hospitality workings.

Today I am exactly 3 months short of 65, and that means Centrelink is sending me the "Magna Carta" of forms, so I can apply for the "old age pension". Kripppppppppies that's scary, but I have been working full time for fifty years, so now it is my time to be supported.

Actually Centrelink encourage one to keep on doing some part time work, and their thresh hold of what you can earn outside the pension is fairly liberal for government standards, however as soon as the Bride just earns just $ 50 cents of every dollar gets cut from the pension. So there is absolutely no incentive for her to we are still thinking that one through.

So we are getting close, to what, I am not to sure. We still could be "outahere", mid November, so we are gearing up for that still to happen. If it all goes pear shaped, we will have to re-evaluate how the last couple of months of 2011, will be executed while at the CP.

Stay tooooooooooned!


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

123 - Yiiiikes get a move on!!!!!!!!!!

Well here we are, the 4th of October 2011, and it seems, all the owners are waiting on, to confirm the sale of the CP, is one more nod from a bean counter, and we get the big size 9 up the Khyber Pass and sent on our way.....Yahoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Probably see settlement by early to mid November, however it is not over till "the fat lady sings". In time essence I would like a near on Chrissy settlement, just to get a few more traveling funds in the coffers, however we really want to get cracking again, cause we are sooooooo booooooored.

But of course now the pressure is on the finish the Retro Liner.

Just an update:

The vinyl covering of the boxed section of the wheel arch is now finished. What a rotten job that was. In my next life I wish not to be an upholster. To fully finish off the job, just waiting for a real upholster to cut down one of the original back bolster to give the blank wall a bit a flavour. Once I fit those, and put on some edging to hide some of my dodgy joins, should look like a million bucks.

The radio / CD has had the trim added. I just have to tidy up some leads from a LED light. Then once that is all done it is the Bride's turn to get the inside back to normality.

Now the panic is on to finish the outside.

The portable solar panels I have given to one of the guys at Auto Barn in Nambour, great young bloke, who really has taken the Retro Liner to heart. As I am as useless as "tits on a bull" when it comes to some things, Matt is going to re - wire the leads from the solar panel to the battery.

Like all these "made in China" goodies, the leads from the panels to the battery were way to skinny, and the the alligator clips to go on the battery were just toys. So the plan is to cut the existing wires about a metre out from the panels and add an Anderson plug. Then 10 metres of heavy duty cable will be added. This cable will have the female Anderson plug one end and the other will have these U beaut battery screw on thingies that will go to the appropriate battery poles. That means when the panels are not being used, we simply un plug the Anderson plug from the panel end, then unscrew from the battery end, fold up the new lead and pack away in the carry bag.

Now the lights have become bigger than Ben Hur............but Matt to the rescue. This fine young man is coming up to the the CP from Nambour to fit the all the new LED clearance lights, and the tail and brake lights. I could quite easily do the clearance lights, only one wire to worry about here, apart from the earth, but the tail lights are a mass of spaghetti wires. Plus the LED's are so much smaller than the old globe types.

So to balance the decorotive look there is going to be some checker plate used as a base for the lights, plus it covers up the holes of the existing larger lights. All that work will be done, hopefully over the next 10 days. It seems apart from the cost of parts, the fee will be in the vicinity of a bottle of rum.

Love dealing in this sort of currency. My web master who has been looking after our web site for 10 years, only deals in bottles of Wild Turkey. Just had the site up dated

Now of course, and just hoping the new door for the Coleman HWS will be fitted this Friday. Once that is in, I will set up the HWS. 

I am currently madly scraping off the old silicon where the old vent was, and also around the base of the skirt of the pop top. What a rotten job that is.

Next major expense is one I keep on forgetting about, is the purchase of the VAST TV box, plus now that I have set up the TV system to be all 12 volt, I need to get a pure sine wave inverter. Drat more costs!!!!! As far as the painted flash down the side that may have to be done on the road somewhere.

That's it for go back to scraping more silicon off. Time is getting awaaaaaaaaaaay!!

Hopefully we will have some pikkies next time.

Cheers & beers

Monday, 26 September 2011

122 - A Quick Up Date

Thought about time I kept you in the loop about what's happening with the Retro Roamers.

As I have stated in the past, when locked into a "long tour duty" not much to write about, unless you want to hear about the day to days running of a cabin and caravan park. Pretty boring really.

Travel blogs are all about travel, so that's why I am slack.....cause we ain't travelling.

However there is light at the end of the tunnel. Contracts for the sale of the park are signed.....which doesn't mean much, however it is a start. So we could be out of here depending on what skeletons are found in the cupboards, end of October, or maybe November......however at the latest, we will, regardless of sale be "outahere" by Xmas.

Once again no pikkies, however the "reno" on the RetroLiner is coming to an end, well sort of. This has been bigger than the TV series "The Block". Geeeeeeezus how many times have I thrown my hands in the air, with this small amout of "reno" let alone rebuild a house.

Any way the L shape lounge has been removed, the wheel arch boxed in, the two new Estate high back chairs are in, the fixed table has been "unfixed" and cut down to 650 mm round. All the lighting has been up graded to LED's, with extra lighting under the cupboards over the kitchen. The CD  has now been fitted.

Okay, what problems did we encounter with the removal of the lounge....plenty.....but with a bit of imagination.....looks pretty good....and the chairs all so comfortable. So most of you will probably say, how does one secure a couple of free standing chairs and table while traveling. That was a challenge, however to keep the chairs from running all over the shop, they are fixed to the wheel arch, by a strap. The table simply just sits beside the bed.

Now the beauty of this free standing table and chairs is once we stop we can position the table and the chairs where ever we wish within the cabin, so we aren't restricted to a fixed seating and table arrangement. Also by having the table cut to 650mm round suits me and the bride, and this table now is utilised as the outside table as well.

All one does is just remove the actual table top from its spindle and carry it out side. Then take the rest of the table outside, drop the top back on, and bingo the table then becomes perfect for an outside jobbie, plus the outside chairs are just perfect.

So the conclusion is we have one table for inside and outside. Saves carting a million tables. We anticipate eating most times outside anyway. The only time we will eat inside is when the weather doesn't permit us to be outside.

Yes people have said, but what about dinner guests with a small table and seating for two. Well if anybody wants to have dinner with us it is usually a BBQ, and if so, outside is the go. Bring your own chairs and eat off ya lap. Most times it is usually happy hour drinkies, and all bring their own chairs anyway.

The only negativity is the floor. Removing fixed things has left a trail of staple holes and an array of nicks and bumps. As soon as I have finished walking in and out of the van with my boots, and remove a million tools and crapp, I will attack the floor, and do what I can to tidy it up. New flooring is out of the question at the moment, however I can see a nice rug or something disguising the worst of the offenders.

However we have redesigned the Retro Liner with the comfort of me and the bride, not for visitors. We can now sit in extremely comfortable chairs, that recline may I add, and watch the idiot box in comfort, without me, especially sitting in the previous lounge arrangement, that can be likened to the "electric chair."  No wonder I sat out side most of the time.

After I get out of the inside, the externals will start......then the bride will move inside and get it back to her standard...and boy is that high.  All the curtains are down, washed and put away. So inside still looks pretty raw at the moment.

Early October the external door where the air con compressor was, the new checker plate door will be fitted. That will allow me to house and fit the hot water system and associated 12 volt power. This week I will be getting onto the removal of the old silicon on the areas which are prone to leaking. Also a danger area with old pop tops is the screws holding the scissor arms. That I am sure is the source of major leaking, however the mobile repairer when he fits the door has some sort of gizmo that allows him to lift the scissor movements and replace the rusted screws.

The LED lights, the jury is still out stay tooooooned. Also still looking at the stripe up both sides, not thinking about that one to much....maybe next week.

If the inside looks reasonable soooon, I will take photies of the table, chairs and CD..

So until next time

Cheers & beers

Saturday, 3 September 2011

121 - Spring Has Sprung

Hi Troops

Firstly no pikkies, not until we either hit the road again, or show you the up dates on the Retro Liner.

Yep been off the air a little, but on the road to recovery. Thanks to all those who contacted me to check that I was still in the land of the living......guess what........sure am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and getting keen to get cracking again.

Well as above in the heading, Spring Has Sprung, however not here on the mountain. Still cold, wet most of the times, windy and we still have the log fire on every night. Occasionally I drive down to the Sunny Coast for some sanity, and the difference in temperature is just amazing. Had lunch again the other day at the Mooloolaba Surf Club, and the beach was packed......are we missing something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks like we are going to be at the park till at least Christmas. The interested persons, and there are few who are interested in purchasing the park, their intentions seems to have stalled. I guess it is not a very conducive purchasing climate at the we will just ride out the waves. This isn't a hard job, and one is very thankful to the owner, who have been very compassionate during my recovery, which has allowed me to slowly get back on track. Also a big thank you to the bride....The Pillar of Pompey, who ran this place while I was enjoying 5 star treatment at the Nambour Hilton. She certainly surprised me.

So what's happening.

Although I have been unable to continue with much gusto, and getting the RetroLiner basically updated for our next travel events, I have had various mobile repairers out, doing things I can't do anyway.

So this is what has happened to date by the mobile repairers:
  • New awning and refurb of annex
  • New caravan legs
  • Changed gas bottle carrier
  • Added another pole carrier plus water carriers to the rear
  • Bits and pieces with clips broken and odds and sods.
This is what I have done:

  • Rewired the van for 12 volt.
  • Added a radio, where the old Heron Air conditioner was was. Love a bit of Chicago, blasting through the van.
  • Added 12 volt points to take the TV and new Vast decoder for independent camping.
  • Added LCD lighting in the kitchen area, and awaiting LED globes to replace existing 12 volt bulbs
  • Purchased a 120 watt solar panel (portable)
  • Purchased a Coleman Hot Water on Demand for instant hot water.
  • Fine tuned the external "off the back of the van" shower / tent and shower system.
Currently this is what I am doing and also waiting for:

  • A new checker plate door is being made (formerly the Heron air con compressor area) to suit the Coleman Hot Water on Demand, which sits perfectly in the vacant cavity left by the Heron compressor.
  • Rewire a 12 volt plug from this new compartment so the battery in the CHW on D, can be continually charged from the van battery, even when traveling.
  • New LED clearance and brake lights, with checker plate bases.
  • Re seal the the dodgy joints around the roof area. (not looking forward to that one.)
  • Maybe add some more extra LED lights internally.
Next big project, coming soooooon:
  • Remove the ridiculous L shape cafe lounge. Designers should be shot, hung and quartered, over this type of louge. They are the most uncomfortable lounge system I have ever sat in, especially when I always seem to be on the end. I do notice with a lot of new designs now, the lounge systems seem to have improved out of site, with comfort in mind, not put a lounge in because it suits the design. Convenience factor.
  • In place of the lounge, two very comfortable singe chairs with a fold down table arrangement. Not a lot of work in this refurb, as most of the infrastructure is already there. Just gotta find the chairs now....that will be the deciding factor if this works on not.
  • Remove all the original decals, stripes etc., which will have to be ground off because they are old, brittle and crappy.  Then a flash new wide blue stripe down both sides to be painted with, maybe some yellow pin stripes.
So as you can see folks, lots of things have either happened, or about too, on the RetroLiner. We have till Christmas as I said above to complete all if we don't run out of money in the meantime, should all happen.

We hopefully are getting away to see the kids in Cairns, with the compliments of the owner, once I can travel, but time will tell on that one. We are definitely having Christmas off, (we live in hope) and will take the up dated RetroLiner to one of our retreats for about 7 to 10 days, near 1770. Just love that area. It's a good pick for us as being a retreat, numbers are always low, which suits us and no kidzzzzzz. Ya!!!!!!!

Well that's the update. Hopefully will start adding pikkies once some of these up dates are being finished on the RetroLiner. At the moment, 20 jobs on the go, so a bit messy.

Till next time.

Monday, 4 July 2011

120 - Mooloolabah

Mooloolobah Beach  looking south. Pretty good for a winters day

In our little adventure to Eumundi, we also took in the sights of the Sunshine Coast....again.

Mooloolabah is a trendy spot, reminds me a lot of main beach on the Gold Coast, however the Mooloolabah area has a good feel about it.  Quite busy too....but after all it is scholl holidays.

We had a wander around, took a few pikkies, had lunch at the surf club. Good tucker this one. Of course I was a little apprehensive about surf club meals after our last episode at Sunshine Beach, however all good for a keen price. I was a happy chappy.

After our lunch, then set the GPS for the thriving metropolis of Nambour. Gotta love this GPS stuff, only trouble is I cannot hear the ditzy bird giving the instructions. Got the bizo up full blast, but being a deaf old codger, is a bit of a hard one.

Anyway took a couple of pikkies, before heading to Nambour, then back up the mountain.

A few touro's enjoying the winter sunshine

Don't like high rise, but that's the way it is on the south east coast of Queensland

Till next time stay toooooooned!!!!!

If you are into Face Book, let me know. It is a great way to communicate.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

119 - Eumundi

Hey Charger

Tooosday 27th of June, we took the chance to have some R and R, be it only about 6 hours, so it was time for some sightseeing.

We left the top of the mountain and went down the back road to Kennilworth. A fantastic Queensland road (not) greeted us about 10 minutes from the CP. Feeeeeeerk has any body watched that thing on TV about the Worlds Dangerous come this road hasn't been included!!!!!!!!! This is worse!!!!

Anyway got to Kenilworth, and nothing there.....however now "been there dome that".  From there set the new U beaut Tom Tom GPS for Eumundi. Check it out in the Val, also with the Blue Tooth thingy for the "bat phone". Mate am I a techno nerd.

Sacrilege....21st century technology in a 20th Century motor car.
Hey check out the cool dude behind the wheel!!!!!

We wandered into Eumundi, parked the Val and had a sticky around. Now Eumundi is the go for the u beaut markets, every Wednesday and Saturday. Of course we were a day early, but no matter, markets bore the crapp out of me. The only thing I like about markets is checking out all the disco dollies, the trendy old birds, and my speciality, is the the old hippy sheilas from the 70's, who burnt their bras, and haven't bought a new one since ( he he!!!) Hey, gotta have an optic nerve .....that's my job...I'm a boy.

So we wandered around, neat little town and here are some photies

One of the alternate shops to relieve ya of your money

You have to take a photo of a pub

Guess who is going shopping

These tin signs were out in the 70's. Don't remember cause I wasn't around then

Good loock'n cars and check out the Gerryatric Gypsie still living in the 70's

No you can't have that for the's to heavy

Thanks for the beer mate!!!!!!

Yeah okay your turn.

Stay tooned for more on the Sunshine Coast