Up with the birds
Thursday, August 4, 2016
We were up before the corellas this morning in Desreeâ€™s yard at Leichhardt.
Penny and Desree were up and about and had the kettle boiled for a finalÂ cuppa. So I made a thermos of honey and lemon to take on the road.
After a fond farewell with our friends, it was about 6.30am before we left for the drive back to the Gold Coast to Ultra Shine at Molendinar.
On with the big job
We arrived at 8.15am after stopping to fill up with diesel along the way.
Ultra Shine owner Neil and his sidekick Ben got stuck straight into it, giving Rambling Rose a thorough washing.
Ben climbed up on the roof and reckoned it had been quite a while since anyone had given that part of the motorhome any attention.
A care package from sis
As I was so close, sis came up and spent the morning with me and brought a little care package with her.
Among the treasures were old family slides, including a precious one â€“ the last image of me and Aunty Esther before she died â€“ and one of the whole family, taken in 1984.
We sat inside Rambling Rose while the fellas went about their work, laughing our heads off at some of the memories on film.
One last cappuccino
Sis drove us in her vehicle down to the local shops.Â I stocked up on a few groceries at Coles, bought three bottles of wine and we had cappuccino and banana bread for an early lunch.
Not just shiny â€“ it’s Ultra Shiny!
We then drove back to Ultra Shine to find a lovely, shiny, sexy beast ready and waiting to ramble on up the road.
Neil and Ben did a wonderful job on bringing a shine to the old girlâ€™s skin. Neil said next time it would be even better.Â I was going to stop by Pam and Valliâ€™s place to show them how sexy she looked, but when I phoned, Valli wasnâ€™t very well, so I kept on going.
A little ramble around the bay
I saw a sign to Runaway Bay and thought Iâ€™d take a look around there, as it sounded like such a pretty place.
Remembering Gary and Marie Robertson lived there, I gave them a call.
They were heading out the door to an appointment, so we had a quick chat and planned to catch up for a coffee on my way back down south.
Debbie Parlby (nee Martin â€“ John and Judyâ€™s daughter), who lives at Lawnton, a suburb of Brisbane, told her folks I could stay the night with her if I was passing through.
Geographically speaking, Iâ€™m not gifted. When they were handing out a sense of direction, I must have been hiding behind the door â€“ or ducked off for a quick ciggie somewhere.
There were times when I was staying at Stokers Siding that I couldnâ€™t work out whether to turn left or right out of sisâ€™s driveway to head in to town. (Iâ€™m still not 100 per cent on that one).
Thankfully, my GPS didnâ€™t let me down and guided me to Debâ€™s home.
Debâ€™s place a touch of home
It felt like a bit like home when I walked in to Debbie and Alanâ€™s place at Lawnton.
Their son Neil was there â€“ heâ€™s the same age as my grandson Cameron.
Iâ€™d stayed my last night in Tamworth in Debâ€™s parentsâ€™ driveway at Kootingal â€“ Johnboy and Judy Martin â€“ so it was another touch of home.
Itâ€™s been years since Deb and I have had a good yarn, so it was lots of fun.
Their little old deaf dog wasnâ€™t exactly thrilled to have the company of three extra little yappers about the place, but they ended up making some kind of truce â€“ the girls stayed out of her way!
Family night in
Deb cooked a chicken curry for tea, which was yummo. Then we sat down and watched a bit of telly.
Of course, Deb and I were talking and, as there was a program Alan was very keen to hear, he left us to our own devices and retreated to the other TV.
Offloading some excess
As Deb was heading back to see her folks on Sunday, I had a golden opportunity to offload some stuff in the van that was surplus to requirements.
I had thought of posting it, but Johnboy said Deb was coming to visit and she could probably fit it in.
Iâ€™d packed far too much linen for the trip, so I sent back quite a bit of that and some other bulky items.
Farewelling my rediscovered mate, we got rambling about 9.30am headed for Maryborough, along the by now familiar Bruce Highway.
One of the Thetford wives â€¦
Up until I purchased Rambling Rose, I had never taken much notice of â€œdump pointsâ€. Iâ€™d possibly noticed the odd sign here and there, not that it concerned me.
Well â€“ that is now another story entirely! Iâ€™m becoming rather obsessed with where the next dump point is.
Apparently there was one not far from Debâ€™s, but after driving around for a while and not locating it, I headed up the road.
As it had been several days since I last emptied the cassette toilet (used only for number ones at this point), I called in at Eumundi as there was a whopping great sign to indicate a dump point was nearby.
Itâ€™s not a major drama to empty it â€“ and you donâ€™t come in contact with anything nasty, but it seems like Iâ€™m the only Thetford wife on the job â€¦ all I ever see emptying them are the Thetford husbands!
A spot of lunch
Not far up the road was a little rest stop at Gunalda, so I pulled in and let the girls have a wander around on their leads, being careful to take those plastic bags with me, which were well used.
Itâ€™s a much better option than them disgracing themselves in Rambling Rose; now that wouldnâ€™t be fun at all.
I had an Asian salad with chicken and avocado for lunch. Totally hit the spot.
Armed with a Barista Bros iced coffee, I made my way towards Maryborough and Col and Sue Reynoldsâ€™ place.
Just shy of Maryborough
I didnâ€™t actually get to see Maryborough, although I plan to on the way back down, as Col and Sue live in Aldershot, a little place just before you get to Maryborough.
Driving into their driveway at 3pm, we figured there was no way I could fit Rambling Rose under their carport. Col backed it down to the bottom of the driveway where I was on level ground.
Sue and Col are old mates of mine who used to live in Werris Creek. Sue worked at Woolworths supermarket in Tamworth for years and Col was greenkeeper at the Werris Creek Bowling Club. Theyâ€™re both enthusiastic supporters of live music.
An environmentally-friendly, fully sustainable home
Theyâ€™ve built the most beautiful, sustainable home in Aldershot, which takes advantage of every aspect of the sun.Â Saving themselves thousands of dollars a year in water, they were smart enough to install three big water tanks, along with a septic system, which means they donâ€™t have to think about paying council water or sewerage rates.
Their neat and tidy yard doesnâ€™t have a blade of grass, but is mulched, pebbled, woodchipped and companion planted throughout.Â Theyâ€™ve even got a fowlhouse out the back, with their girls delivering farm fresh eggs every day.
A loved-up, contented couple
Spending a couple of days with Sue and Col was a great tonic. Sue can talk the leg off an iron pot, but she’s great company.
Col told me they once went diving and he’d always suspected, but had never proven it until then, that Sue really could talk underwater!
It’s so good to see such a happy marriage, where they both work in partnership, with mutual love and respect for the other.
When I left their place on Sunday, August 7, I was heading to my first official free camp of the journey – at Boyne River, just out of Gladstone.