TUESDAY 20 APRIL HOME TO BENDIGO 225kms
John had a 7.30am appointment at the ECRU unit at Box Hill – the place that was running the drug trial. We were very optimistic that all would be well, that he would have a month or so until the next appointment, and we would be able to leave on the trip today, as we were planning. All was indeed well, and he was given a five week break until the next visit. Bonus!
Back at home, there was still much packing of Truck to be done. John had tired yesterday, so not achieved as much as he’d intended. I watered the plants in pots on the terrace, fed the goldfish in the pond, cleared perishables out of the fridge and packed the last minute van stuff. Our unit tenant was going to keep an eye on things in our absence, so I briefed her.
Hitching up the van was harder than usual. John was not yet really used to the new clutch that had been recently put in Truck, and found it difficult to achieve the very small backwards movements needed to line up the Treg hitch. Our block slopes downhill, so he was backing uphill. On flat ground, I could always manoeuvre the van to line up with Truck, but if I took off the van brake and tried to do that on this slope, the result would be very messy indeed.
We eventually pulled out of the driveway at midday. It had already been a long day for John, who’d had to leave home this morning at around 6am, and battle the Melbourne peak time traffic to get to his appointment on time.
It was the usual trip, that we had done so often before, to daughter’s place at Bendigo. But this time, we were not embarking on the long trip to North Queensland that we had, so optimistically, planned for this year. After last year’s failure to get there, too, I was starting to think there was something doomed about us and Far North Queensland…..
There was much more regrowth now, in the bushfire ravaged areas along the Melba Highway. Looking more hopeful. We had a short break in Yea. Arrived at daughter’s at 3.30pm. The Truck and van combo was no speed machine over the Great Divide!
Daughter and grandson arrived home after we’d set up the van in their driveway – but without unhitching!
I went with them to the boy’s swimming lesson – he was doing very well. John stayed behind for a sleep. On the way back, we bought fish and chips for tea. Daughter’s partner’s mother came to tea as well, for a visit with us.
After tea, John helped daughter work on a resume for a new position she was applying for, within the Commonwealth Government organization for which she worked.
Grandson enjoyed our brief visit. He hadn’t seen John since they came down for a day to visit him in hospital, back in March – and the injuries had looked pretty fearsome then, for a kid to see. I think grandson was relieved to see him “normal” again. John promised him $50 if he achieved 150 nights of reading, this year – plus $20 that I’d already committed to. Cash is a great incentive!
From 5pm on, there were thunderstorms and quite heavy rain. I hoped that was not an omen for the coming travels.
Back in the van, we talked, watched a little TV, then it was bed at 9.30pm.