Saturday, 28 January 2012

137 - Depature Now Delayed

Monday 23rd January 2012
Weather: Heavy cloud and scattered showers
Where do we always find the the kitchen of course

Just pottered around the house, mucked around with the RetroLiner, and generally had a chill out day. We decided to get away very early February, and let the family know of our decision. 

Tooosday 24th January 2012
Weather: Heavy rain and flooding everywhere

What happened to summer!!!
Went to the local pub for lunch and enjoyed the pensioners special. Just a great feeling of flashing the Pension card and the bride with her Queensland Seniors card. I guess we will have to become experts in picking up theses deals aimed at "old aged pensioners". 

Heavy rain continuing, just have to crack a red wine.

Wednesday 25th January 2012
Weather: Heavy rain and more flooding

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy birthday to me.....yep another milestone today, hit the big six five, and celebrations are out in force, not because it is my birthday, but today I start my dream job, working for the government. Hey the pay is pretty ordinary, but the hours are sensational.

The weather has deteriorated to extreme. It is just pissing down and there is no relief in sight. Thank heavens we are house sitting at the moment. However the RetroLiner has sprung a leak, but the up side not where I have spent a lot of time and effort in fixing up previous problem areas. So here we go again, break out the silicon, when it stops raining!!!!!

Belted down with rain all day, but the rain system is slowly moving south. Northern NSW is now coping it with the system sliding further south.

Thursday 26th January 2012
Weather: Cloudy and very high humidity
Australia Day

Happy Australia Day and I'm leaving home

To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegal’s) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs.

Older people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get back home. I started to cry when I thought of a few of my mates and fellow travelers out there

Then it dawned on me ... oh, crap... I'll see them on the bus!!!!!!!!!

Friday 27th January 2012
Weather: Wet, wet, wet

Rain, rain, rain, just go away. Had a small break yesterday, but overnight, here we go again. I'm over it big time!!!!!!!!! However in saying that we are in a perfect place right now. Wouldn't like to be moving anywhere at the moment, or in the foreseeable future if the weather maps are right.

So I guess we are just housebound for the moment and just need to practice the art of being couch potatoes.

Nearly at the couch

A'hhhhh, now what's on tele

False colour temperatures, Australia East satellite image of Australia at Fri Jan 27 05:30:00 2012

Looks like we will be bogged down for a while

Saturday 28th January 2012
Weather: Still wet

A real nothing day. Went across to the local mall, got the newspapers, went for a walk, came back to the house, and just hung out of course, as it is still raining.

So what do you do in the rain..........nothing...........apart from indoor! I'm 65 now (he he!!!!!)

Hope next week gets better as we want to run away the middle of next week, and we still have a lot of fiddly things to do.

CYA next time

Sunday, 22 January 2012

136 - Another week on the Goldie

The first heavy rain on the Goldie for a while

Monday 16th January 2012
Weather: Windy, showery and quite cool

The bride arrived in Melbourne okay, and is experiencing lovely summer weather. The weather did turn here on the Goldie yesterday, but today is just miserable. Strong winds, and continual showers. I had intentions of mucking around with the RetroLiner, but instead, bought the latest edition of Caravan and Motor Home magazine, and then lazed away the afternoon, reading the mag and watching the DVD that comes with it. After that interlude, makes you want to hit the road. Time will tell.

The big news is, I have landed my dream Government job in the pensions department. Yahoooooooo!!!!!!! I start work officially on the 25th January 2012. Of course my JD is:
  • Travel and go the beach
  • Don't stress and have a great time
  • Enjoy the local reds
  • But be early to bed, so I am not to tired for the next day of fun and excitement.
However the negative side is the job, it doesn't pay much......ooooo'h well, that's life 
when you are an old age pensioner.

Tooooosday 17th January 2012

Weather: Miserable

What can you write about when the weather is so shitty out there. By the time I surfaced, it was time to shoot over to the local centre, get new drugs, do a bit of shopping, and come on back to the house.
Only exciting thing today is, I also got my pension concession card.............another yahoo!!!!!! To bad I couldn't use it today, as the script would have cost me $10 instead of near on $70. Damn!!!!!!! Unfortunately the card doesn't kick in until the 25th January 2012. There seems to be all sorts of goodies I can use this card for....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday to Friday day 17th-19th January 2012
Weather: Fair

These days are really nothing days. Didn't do much. The for sale signs went up on the house. A ting of sadness here, but we must move on. The bride returns Saturday afternoon from Melbourne.

For Sale

Saturday day 20th January 2012
Weather: Fair

The bride arrived home from Melbourne. The morning I spent just pottering around the house and catching up on some housework and general domestics. Because we are at least an hour from the hairy port, and take into consideration holiday traffic, especially around Southport, I allowed one and half hours, from the house, down the coast road, and find a park at the hairy port.

Traffic every where heading into the concrete jungle

My estimation was pretty good, and arrived in the terminal at Coolangatta (Gold Coast Airport) about three fifteen, with the flight arriving at three thirty.

The Eagle had landed

Once the bride was through the arrival gate, we quickly picked up her luggage, jumped back into the car, and just repeated the drive down. We arrived back at the house in about the same time. The rest of the day and evening was just about catching up on her last week in Melbourne.

The bride is somewhere amongst the throng

Sunday 21st January 2012
Weather: Sunny but very windy

Nothing like a Sunday afternoon brunch on the veranda over looking the canal

I was saying to the bride, the weather has changed here in Qld. I have been here about a month now, and have only seen maybe two picture postcard days. Most of the time heavy in cloud, very windy, and showers. At the time of writing this we have been advised by the weather gurus to expect another large rain event over the next couple of days......ho hum, here we go again.

Our plan of getting to the beach, walking and generally enjoying the great out doors, has been ham strung a bit.

Till next week that is the week that was. We will be finalising a date for our departure in the very immediate future. Have a few things to tidy up on the Val and some storage improvements on the van.

So till next time stay toooooooned!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

135 - The week that was

Hey come back with my boat!!!!!!!!

Monday 9th January 2012
Weather: Fine and hot

Yep it certainly was a hot one here on the Goldie. So all the air cons were running at full blast. To hot for the beach, or even the Broadwater, so we will wait for when it gets a little cooler. Apart from that ,there is still a million holiday makers around, however we have managed to go to the shopping centre, without having to do battle with the cast of thousands.

Well lets move onto the saga about the wiper motor. Went to a mechanical man on the Goldie that has done some work on the Val before, and he tested the unit....and yep....she was dead alright. "But not to worry." he said, "I have a replacement here in my parts box." Yahoo!!!!!!!!! but typical of our luck, the electrics from my car to the wiper motor, did not fit the electrics for the replacement unit. Bugger!!!!!!!!

The dead wiper motor

See the mechanic man had the right motor for a VK Valiant, however I am to assume when the car was built, and even though badged as a VK, it had the model (wiper motor) for the VJ, that being the model before mine. I guess they (car builders) were just using up parts. Damn and Bugger all together !!!!!!

So then it was back to the spare parts man, who specialising in parts, and they also didn't have the VJ model either; but alas after a bit of scratching around, one was found. However that's not the end of the story. The unit has to be checked mechanically and electrically.....hey that's cool, because this unit is going to cost me the earth the moon and the stars. I have been told that the removal and fitting of the wiper motor is bigger than Ben Hur too. O'h well there goes my first pension payment.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sulking (he he!!!!!!!!)

Toooosday 10th January 2012
Weather: Hot and a little cooler than yesterday.

Hadn't had a call from the spare parts man, about the wiper motor, so as we going into Southport, we called in. No result yet on the testing. That's cool, we are not in any hurry as we will be here on the Goldie for a little while.

The big mansion in the middle belongs to Craig McDemott, a former fast bowler
in the Australian Cricket team in the 80 / 90 era.

Headed into Southport, but couldn't find a park, in the super centre, that the Bride wanted to go to, for some girlie things. So we came back home, had a bite to eat, and I went off for my "Poppy Pause"

The removals truck turned up to move Ann's possessions to Melbourne, around 8pm. Luckily Frazer and Kate were on hand as well. So all hands on deck, and within a short period of time all the boxes and bits and pieces were loaded.

The bride and Ann will head to Melbourne probably Sunday at this stage, and I will stay on the Goldie to hold the fort. I anticipate the bride will return about four / five days later.

At this point in time we will stay on at the house and house sit till further notice.

Wednesday 11th January 2012
Weather: Fine and hot

A real nothing day to day. Just laid around like a couch potato. I was going to work on the Val and the Van, but it was just very hot, especially with the wind.

Thursday 12th January 2012
Weather: Fine, much cooler, but windy

Spent the whole day nearly, trying to fit this bloody new door handle. Six hours later I gave up in disgust. I told ya I was as mechanical as a cock roach. The Valiant man I bought the handles off said, "it will take you about ten minutes"....ha ha ha....said I. The last time I fitted a handle was four hours that I can remember.

Just as I was about the throw towel in, I heard one almighty crack......feeeeerk......what was that!!!!!!!! Upon further investigation I found the mechanism that controls the opening of the door on the bottom door hinge, just decided to break up and fall apart.  What else can go wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One broken door hinge

So after a sore arse from sitting on the ground, and a sore back, plus every muscle in the body screaming for relief, I gave the fitting thingy away, hoping the whole saga will just go away. Mmmmmmmmm. Took Kate (the middle daughter of Ann's) and the her kidz to the hairy port
as they were heading back to Melbourne. Got back to the house about 8pm, so a quick red, followed by as equally quick ports, I soon sort of forgot about the dramas of today....tomorrow is another day.

Friday 13th January 2012
Weather: Fine and sunny

Yikkies!!!!!!!! the day no one likes. What are my chances, on Friday 13th. I have got to be in the firing line. No wipers, a door handle that won't play, a door hinge that is feeeeeeeked. Hold on to your hats, this could be a good one.

My favourite shop

So I said to myself, just ring the Valiant man! That I did, and he advised me to bring the car around and he will fit the door handle for me. Yep you guessed it............the handle was in and fitted in less than 10 minutes....damn. So I left the workshop, with a new door handle fitted, and may I add a new wiper motor. So I stopped off at Wayne's Workshop, made a time to have the wiper motor fitted, (Saturday 14th @ 9am.) Hey that's cool I said, hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.

Arrived back to the house and bingo.....the door won't open. Feeeeeerk again. So back to the Valiant man, and he frigged around with the lock again, and all was good. Headed on back home, and as soon as I was to get out of the car, the door lock did it again.!!!!!!!

The flash looking door handle

The dead one
So this time I did some investigations. It seems that all is good with the door lock, up until the door is locked internally or with a key. Once that happens, everything goes pear shaped. So I thought best I ring the Valiant man, and tell him I will be back again, after lunch..........only to find his phone has been disconnected. Feeeeeeerk it is definitely Friday 13th

Saturday 14th January 2012
Weather: Fine and cloudy

Went to the mechanic man, and had the new wiper motor fitted. Glad he did it, it would have been impossible for me. Only hitch the neutral zone is not working, which means when to turn off the wipers, the blades don't go back to home base. No big deal I will just have to remember to turn them off at the home base. The fitting only cost me $60.

The new re-conditioned wiper motor
From there I went back to the Valiant man, to see if we can get this lock working. After an hour of frigging around, still no result, so back there again on Monday to have some alterations done top the mechanism. Don' t care what has to be done, just as long as it is fixed.

This afternoon a lazy one, just getting ready in the mind to take the Bride and Ann to the hairy port for the trip to Melbourne on Sunday.  So I will be home alone for about a what trouble can I get up to!!!!!!!!!!!.

Sunday 15th January 2012
Weather: Fine and cloudy

Today we woke to a fairly heavy sky, as the bride and Ann's eldest daughter Sarah from Brisbane, spent a while getting Ann ready for the trip to Melbourne. Mid to late morning all was done, and all was ready to head to the hairy port.

The bride and Sarah standing, and Ann seated,
ready for the trip to Melbourne

I drove Sarahs' car, with some luggage, while Sarah drove Ann's car along with Ann and the bride. We shared the luggage. After arriving at the hairy port, we unloaded luggage and passengers, kissed cuddled and cried, and I left straight away and brought the "Benz" straight back to home.
Sarah stayed at the airport along with Ann and the bride, til they boarded the aircraft for Melbourne.

So at the time of writing this blog, I am back at the house on the Goldie, and the bride and Ann are half way through their two hour flight to Melbourne. Once they arrive in Melbourne they will be met by Kate (middle daughter) and Frazer (youngest son). Not to sure of the overnight abode of Ann and the Bride, but all will be revealed when contacted tonight.

At this stage I would imagine the bride will be in Melbourne settling Ann into the nursing home, till about Friday, of which, when she returns to the Goldie we will stay on in the house (house sit)
till we all decided the next step.

Someone has to do it

That means I' m now home alone. Yahooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Austar, cricket, sports shows, lotsa beer, red wine and port, and be a full on couch potato.....ahhhhhhhh life's good.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

134 - Gold Coast 2

The RetroLiner parked up on the Gold Coast
Note LED tail and clearance lights, new signage, extra pole carrier and water carriers

Wednesday 4th January 2012
Weather: Brilliant

Woke this morning to an absolutely picture perfect day. Royal blue skies, no cloud and no wind. So apart from the normal things the bride has to do, it was decided we will go for a swim in the ocean at Main Beach.

For those who know the northern end of the Gold Coast, there is not a surf beach....lots of water and canals. and of course the boaties paradise of the "Broad Water." If one wants to have a swim in the "Broad Water," hey that's cool, but when hanging out for a surf, one has to travel a little further...well a lot further.

Well we got going about 11am...WRONG!!!!!!! It is inevitable from our place of abode right now, we have no option than to go down the coast road to main beach for a dip in the surf. Well an hour later, which is normally a fifteen minute leisurely drive, we arrived at the beach.......but what next....can't park. Finally found a spot, wandered down the beach where there was a cast of thousands, had a quick dip and headed back to the car.

The reason we only stayed for a short time, is this beach like all on the coast, aren't really our cuppa of tea. I am sure most know, that we usually only frequent free or deserted beaches, so our time on the sand was very short here. I find it very hard to be herded into a specif area to swim, although safety first is paramount of course, be run over by screaming kids on their boggy boards, and run into by would be body surfers.  End of whinge.

So we headed home, which took another hour. So our social experiment of going for a swim in the surf was not good. We have decided we will not do the surf thing, until all the holiday makers, run away.

O'h incidentally, we look like being here till end January.

Thursday 5th January
Weather: Fine but cloudy

Several months ago, I broke the drivers side door handle on the Val. It has been dodgy for quite some time. One thing with these handles, as they get old, and of course their design, the handle breaks at its weakest point. A common problem. I have replaced many over the years, but a shocking job to replace.So all this time, I have been avoiding getting a new handle.

However the time finally came the other day, as we were sick and tired of opening the passenger door to open the drivers door from the inside. We have to replace the damn thing!!!!!! Seeing we were on the Goldie and my parts supplier was also here, so time was right to get a second hand door handle, as we have done in the past.

New door handles for the Val

Upon arriving at the parts supplier, SHOCK......HORROR........don't carry the second hand handles any more...........but we can supply you with a set of (2) new ones for a $195.00!!!!!!! Yikkies, how can a poor old age pensioner afford that! But after much deliberation, I cracked under the pressure and purchased the new set. Yes they do look flash, and should see out my life time, however the next job is to fit them. That is a mission in it self. Do that fitting job another day

Friday 6th January 2012

Weather: Fine and sunny

As there is a lot going on at the house, with packing up Ann's stuff ready to be transported to Melbourne, and the continual stream of visitors, so didn't do much. Definitely wasn't motivated to fit door handles to the will attack that another day. I just piked myself up for the trip to Mapleton to pick up the van and bring it back to the Goldie.....Mmmmmmmmmm!

Saturday 7th January 2012

Weather: Heavy cloud with showers

Up early for the trip north of about 200kms each way. Got away at 7.30am filled up with fuel and headed to Mapleton. Pretty good trip up until I got to the Gateway bridge...and drove into a cloud burst of heavy rain. That's cool, put the wipers on.....feeeeeeeerk the wipers don't work!!!!! O'h luckily the rain was of short duration, and the sun soon broke through the clouds. Saved for the moment.

I continued on with the weather looking not to bad, however as I got closer to Nambour, I noticed the sky looking quite showery, and all the cars coming towards me with headlights on, wet and wipers going. This can only mean one thing.....rain ahead.

The only alternative from here was to pull off the side of the road, and sit it out the squall, however and per normal, nowhere to pull off as the rain got heavier I had my hand out the window, wiping part of the front screen with my hand. Not that successful, but helped. I finally came to an off ramp and took that till I found somewhere to pull off, and sit out the rain squall, and see if I can see why the wipers won't work.

Checked the normal things, like fuses etc., however to no avail. So what do I do. Push on and get the van, and take the risk of experiencing rain on the return trip, or turning back to the Goldie. It was decided to take the risk and keep going and get the van.

The rest of the trip to Mapleton was good with no more rain. So once at Mapleton picked the van up, and just threw all the bits and pieces that need to be packed properly, into the van and car, and made our way back to the Goldie.

Well all I can say is phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!. No rain and the van towed well behind the Val. The trip back was uneventful thanks heavens, however the next drama on Monday will be probably having to get another wiper motor. That of course will be another shock to the system. Firstly if I can get one, and secondly how much $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, plus get it fitted. Me being as mechanical as a cockroach, you bet I can't do it, so Monday all will be revealed.

Sunday 8th January 2012

Weather: Hot and cloudy

Gave the RetroLiner a quick hose down, opened the windows, pulled the awning out, and generally let the van breathe. Took a few photies of the external of the van. Once the inside is cleaned up I will take more pikkies.

Airing out the van, and extending the new awning, I have removed the gas bottles.
Note the LED clearance lights

Note the checker plate door where the air con compressor was

Here is the cubby house for the Coleman Hot Water system

See it just slides out

The power supply to charge the battery of the HWS

All covered up for travelling

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

133 - Gold Coast January 2012

The Val looking good

Sunday 1st January 2012
Today's Weather: Fine , sunny, and a little windy

Although we by far didn't have a late night on NYE, we both didn't wake till 9am, which is highly unusual for us, however maybe the routine of not having to run hospitality properties is now getting out of our system. Ya Hoo!!!!!!!!

The bride attended to the caring duties, and I then progressed to continue to work on the car, better known as the Val. By doing bit by bit every day, the whole job of bring it back to its shinny and stunning best is not so mundane.

Mick, Sarah & Charlotte

During the morning we were visited by Sarah, her husband Mick and their daughter Charlotte. Sarah is the eldest of Ann's adult children, and live in Brisbane. Like all of Ann's kids, and it is really strange calling them kids, as they are gown adults with their own families. All three, two girls and one boy are just really genuine down to earth people, and when we do see them it is always good fun. Hopefully I will get a pikkie of the middle daughter and her family, later in the week.

The rest of New Years Day was pretty quiet.

Monday 2nd January 2012
Today's Weather: Fine, sunny and light winds.

Just a chill out day. Did a bit more work on the Val. Then a real couch potato day sort of day

Rear end of the Val

Being a couch potato

Tooooooosday 3rd January 2012
Today's Weather: Fine and sunny

Had a call from some friends that have kept in touch with us from our Mackay days, now 30 years ago. Gary and Janelle Osborne. Hey Frank you will remember Janelle from Ko Huna. They were down the southern end of the coast at Kirra, and invited us down for lunch......why not!!!!!

Kirra Point, used to be the best right hand break in Oz

So we waited for the relief carer to arrive, then we jumped into the Val for the marathon trip from one end of the Gold Coast to the other. Again made the fatal mistake of going down the coast road, which was just choked. However about an hour later we made it. Great to see them again. Gary and Janelle own a motel in Mackay, so they only had a week off.

Kirra Beach and so much sand
Kirra Point again

A bit of history here. Back in the iconic surfing days of the 60's and 70's, before surf rage and real surf boards, Kirra Point along with Greenmount Point next beach south, was equal to Byron Bay as one of the best right hand breaks ever. However some time ago the NSW Government in their wisdom, decided to continually dredge the mouth of the Tweed river bar, which is the border of NSW and Queensland, hence only a hop skip and a jump from Greenmount and Kirra.

So over the years of dredging the sand just moved north and basically drowned Greenmount and Kirra Points in sand, as well as their respective beaches. So hence the only time these breaks work is in cyclonic seas, and last week was the first time there were waves there.

However all is not lost, there is a strong movement of older surfers, plus the Queensland Government are trying to do something about the sand pumping. Don't think I will see a result in my lifetime,

From the back Gary and me
From the front: The Bride, Janelle and Shane their son

So apart from Gary and Janelle, we also caught up their daughter Leah, her partner Tim and two kids. Later in the afternoon their son Shane arrived also from Mackay. Haven't seen him since our son's Micheal wedding in Cairns a couple of years ago. Shane and Micheal, have known each other since kindy days in Mackay. Where has that time time gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surfers Paradise in the back ground.

Had a good lunch at the Kirra Beach surf club, took some photies . Returned back home around 4pm. An enjoyable day was had by all.

Stay tooooooned