Sunday 24th January 2010.
Linda had a few days of baby-sitting last week and will have the same again this week, then the kids all go back to school so that should be the end of that, for Matt and Lou anyway. We are now starting to plan our travels back up to the Sunshine Coast, yes it looks like another quiet year in the warm weather again, we are looking at doing some more touring next year. It seems that it may not be straight forward travel from here just going where we want because Narrelle has a need for Linda to baby-sit a couple of times so our travels might have to be planned around that. I may have to do a little travel from here on my own, to Canberra for eg. and have Linda meet me there, then travel to Port Stephens, Tamworth, Glen Innes and up the New England highway to Brisbane area so she can fly back for another session. I now have a tentative travel plan drawn up so we will just have to wait and see what happens from here.
Saturday 16th January 2010.
We had a day of difference yesterday with a tour to Macedon Ranges. We had a day where we werenâ€™t tied down to doing anything, or visiting the kids, so it was decided that we should go for a drive somewhere and have a look at some scenery around the district instead of our usual act of leaving Melbourne after our annual visit saying â€œWe didnâ€™t do or see anything while thereâ€?. Macedon Ranges, between Ballarat and Bendigo, was the order of the day as Hanging Rock, of the famed movie, is in the area and we have been saying for a long time we should have a look. The views from lookouts on the range, and the small towns in the area made the trip worthwhile, but when we arrived at Hanging Rock to find toll gates at the entrance with a fee we decided why should we pay to see another rock just because of its fame, especially when a drive around the hill gives a good view of it anyway. The only thing we didnâ€™t get to do was climb it, but that might not have been an option anyway as Linda had developed a blister on her foot after the walk earlier on the climb to Camels Hump. Today is going to be a relaxing day, maybe a bit of car washing, in readiness for Lindaâ€™s upcoming regular babysitting till the kids go back to school.
Wednesday 13th January 2010.
I have taken the plunge once again, and hopefully it will be permanent this time, yes I have stored the pipe away and have filed the few packs of tobacco I have in the cupboard until I decide what to do with them. Most people would say the best thing to do is to throw them out but I keep thinking of the cost of it and would like to think that someone, perhaps needy, may get some good use from it one day, and I reckon that if I can give it up with all the required equipment still stored in the cupboard I would give myself a better chance. I am now on day 4 and going well, and now wish that I hadnâ€™t started again when I went without in WA in 2008. We have just had another few days staying at Nelle and Mattâ€™s baby-sitting as Narrelle had to go to Sydney for a few days and Matt is working, Linda may get a few more days in soon as Matt is to have several trips to Perth WA for work and she would love the chance to keep Nelle company. I am having trouble with the battery charger in the van at the moment, well the old one anyway as it stopped working, so I am in the process of getting a new one. I canâ€™t believe the problems I had getting a charger to do the job I wanted it to. The one I had was good as it was a switch mode type, automatic, sat across the battery permanently, whenever something was turned on the charger took the load and just kept the battery topped up. When the battery was down the charger would provide an actual 10 Amp charge so it didnâ€™t take long to top it up again. They donâ€™t seem to make Switch mode type that simple any more as technology has taken battery chargers to a complete new level. They all seem to have four to seven odd charging phases to ensure the battery is topped up fully, and there seems to be this thing called â€˜Pulse Chargeâ€™ that they are all into, which is to supposedly disulphate older batteries. I am rather sceptical about running a charger on my battery full time putting out a pulsating DC current continuously as I donâ€™t like the idea of what it might do to any appliance I might connect to it, so I refused to buy one that had Pulse Charge. One other thing I didnâ€™t like about most of them is that one of the charging Phases charged the battery up to something like 15.2 volts, and even 16 volts, and no way are my batteries getting a charge like that. I ended up getting a plain old straight forward transformer type charger with an automatic cut-out and cut-in for maintaining the battery and it should do what I want it to. It seems nowadays most chargers are built to connect to a flat battery to charge it and hold it charged until required for use, and not for the purpose I would like to put it to, unless one wanted to pay an astronomical price for a â€˜Switch Modeâ€™ one that does do what I would require.