This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1999 Travels June 18

FRIDAY 18 JUNE     ALICE SPRINGS

The day was sunny and warm, after a rather chilly night. I remember learning, in high school geography, about the large diurnal range – hot days and cold nights – in the arid inland of Australia. They were not wrong!

John phoned the bank to check about the house insurance. They assured him all was well, just slow processing of paperwork at their end.

Finalized paperwork arising from our mail, related to shares. Had to set up the printer to do so – always a pain in the small space of the van.

Drove to the town centre, posted the mail, did some banking.

Wandered the shops. There are a number of galleries selling aboriginal art works and artefacts. Not all of the latter are genuine products – nor made in Australia! We browsed in a couple of the better-seeming galleries. There was some really attractive aboriginal art, especially a luminous blue dot “Milky Way” series, in one gallery. It was very hard to resist, but I did.

At an excellent gemstone shop, I purchased a small carved stone frog, for $20. That will keep my plaster one company on the shelf above the bed, along with the flawed sapphire.

At a bookstore, John bought a book on using Word Perfect and a little one for me on using Windows. I am such a novice – think it will be really helpful.

Checked out the cinemas – John is always keen to visit these. Did not see anything of note.

We did the grocery shopping.

Oven fried fish from a packet, and fries, for tea.

Cold night again.


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1999 Travels March 20

SATURDAY 20 MARCH     HEALESVILLE

John had arranged to bowl at Lilydale. I dropped him off there and kept Truck.

I went to Chirnside shopping centre, where I enjoyed browsing the shops at my leisure. I did not buy much, though. There is little point in buying much perishable food, without the main fridge.

Bought the Saturday papers and kept them to read tomorrow.

Drove back to home and spent the afternoon chatting with P and K, and petting the animals. It is only a week now until the wedding, but they say all is organized.

John got a ride up here with another player.

K went out and bought Chinese food for tea.

There was much chat through the evening, of course. It was most pleasant. Eventually we left and drove back to Healesville.


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1999 Travels January 2

SATURDAY 2 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

It rained on and off through today.

We had a slow start to the day and then spent it fairly quietly.

Walked to the local shops, twice. The first time, I went for the papers and also bought some magazines. The second time I wanted some fruit. Also had a 4WD photo copy printed to submit for the Nikon photo competition in the Overlander magazine. Mailed that off. This little, local, shopping centre two blocks across, is really handy.

After yet more toasted sandwiches for lunch, we drove to the city Botanic Gardens and walked there, for an hour.

I made kumara soup and we had that and salads for tea.


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1998 Travels October 22

THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER     FORSAYTH

We had a quiet day in the heat.

John showed Nellie his Quicken computer program, because she was interested in it. He has realised that he has a virus in his laptop which affects scrolling. He is sure he got it from the Mt Surprise school – it was probably unwise to be transferring discs between their system and his.

During the morning John saw a snake coming across the grounds – he was alerted to it by birds swooping and making a noise. Bruce came and killed it – a red bellied black snake, about a metre long. Later in the day, Nellie found a dead yellow bellied brown snake near the house and thinks the dog may have killed it. She said they have had a lot of snakes this year – already!

When it cooled, later in the day, we went walking around town. In the recreation area, took a photo of an ant hill decorated as a cricketer. It kind of sums up this place!

10-22-1998 sports ground Forsayth.jpg

Forsayth recreation ground

Found out that the big Kidston gold mine, of which we have heard, is SE of here.

In the late afternoon, packed up the awning and took down the shadecloth that John had put up at the back of the van to screen it from the sun.

During the day, John investigated the possible agate rocks we’d brought back yesterday – they were not agates!

Cloud built up during the afternoon. We are becoming used to this being almost a daily event. We sat outside, from about 6pm, and watched the clouds build – it was a good, dramatic show. Bruce claimed that they were “empty” clouds – but there was thunder, lightning and then it rained from about 7pm on. The power went out for nearly two hours. It is great to have our independent 12v lights on such occasions.

The rain cooled the evening down, somewhat. But it brought out lots of huge cane toads, from somewhere.

We are the only ones in the caravan park tonight. The previous nights we have had couples next to us, and a group of railway workers nearby, but the railway men have gone to Karumba for a few days and the other campers have moved on. So it is very quiet here. Nellie has three guests in the home stay, from the train – and she was cooking a dinner of soup, roast chook and apple pie for them. In this heat!

Had I still been in my old job, tonight I would have been dealing with Year 12 students intent on marking their last day of classes – I am SO glad to be here in downtown Forsayth instead!


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1998 Travels September 12

SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER     CAIRNS

I cycled to the shop for the papers. It is just under a km, each way.

John watched the Commonwealth Games in the morning, and at night. He played bowls in Cairns in the afternoon. He was happy with the quality of the bowling at this club.

I read the papers and did some embroidery.

I made an Irish stew for tea. I use lamb forequarter chops for this, so it is usually a fairly economic meal.


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1998 Travels January 14

WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY     BALLARAT

Slept in again. The hot weather has continued – this is more like summer! We seem to now be having a heatwave. There have been more fires, including one this side of Geelong. Up till now this western area has been about the one part of the state without bushfires.

Cycled once around the Lake in the morning – 10kms. Called at the shops for rolls for lunch.

Did some shopping at Wendouree centre: a packet of paper for the printer, and got keys cut for John.

Apart from that, had a quiet day “in”. Read, did some writing. John messed about on his computer.

Went to a nearby hotel for a counter tea with friends G and D. Pleasant meal and company. The meal and drinks cost us $33 – not cheap!


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1998 Travels January 13

TUESDAY 13 JANUARY     BALLARAT

We slept in a bit. There was really only time to breakfast and pack up the cold left over pizza for our picnic lunch, and then meet my friends over by the Lake. We walked there.

Spent until 5.30 with them – S and M and their three children. It was great to meet up again – it is some years since I have seen S. We were very impressed with their three home-schooled children, the oldest of whom is 12; very well behaved, articulate and confident children.

We all found plenty to talk about – computers, travels, other activities, schooling issues and trends. We declined the offer to go flying with M tomorrow – his latest activity.

It was quite humid through the day, and thunderstorms developed again in the afternoon. There was one gigantic and frightening clap of thunder straight over the Rotunda where we were sheltering.

After parting with the friends, we went bike riding – twice around the Lake again, doing 16.5kms. My bottom was sore!

Tea was spaghetti carbonara, followed by fresh fruit.

Thunder grumbles continued through the evening.