Friday 9th Feb, (Toora).

The weather has cooled down dramatically; in fact we had thunderstorms and rain during the night and some rain today. This has given us a chance to do a few things around the van, like repaint the marks on the awning poles which tell me what height they open up to, as it is has not been a day for touring. The cricket is on today, the second semi-final between Australia and West Indies, with Australia looking for a clean sweep for the year. I am not watching it at the moment, but I do have it on the speakers in the background. Speaking of which, this was another great idea of mine because I was fed up with wanting to sit outside and not be able to listen to the stereo and Linda sitting inside reading and not wanting to listen, so when we were in Melbourne I purchased a pair of speakers from Savers and wired them outside via a switch so we could have sound either inside, outside, or both. Back to the cricket, it is nice to see the local Tasmanian Ricky Ponting doing his usual and scoring some runs.

We have, since we have been travelling, been bothered a lot by insects, something that was quite overlooked before we left, but I have noticed that a few vanners have a light which attracts the bugs and zaps them, so I must keep my eye out and purchase one of these things when I can and see if it does the trick.

I can’t recall mentioning it before, but we have been having some trouble with banking and mail transfer over the last few weeks so I have had to come up with some solutions. With the mail, we have had trouble receiving mail that was supposedly timed to meet us at the destination where we were staying, wit a letter sent from Hobart on the 24th of Jan. to meet us in Frankston before we left on the 31st. As you could guess it didn’t arrive before we left but did arrive a matter of hours after we did. We had arranged for the managers of Frankston to send it on to us at Inverloch, about 100 km away and would you believe it took nearly a week to make that trip. We had also arranged for Angie at home to send on all our mail from our post box before we left Frankston, and yes that also took a week to reach us, in fact we picked that up on the day before we left Inverloch and we were there for a week. I have made some changes to my mail forwarding so as we may not have this problem in future. I was not thoroughly happy with Angie sending our mail as she was obviously only checking the mail box when it was time to send our mail on, and this wasn’t satisfactory because she wasn’t regularly checking to see if there were anything that may have been important. So I have asked Matthew to collect my mail, as he goes to collect his daily, so he can check it on a regular basis. We are arranging to send it by express post when I request it so it may at least arrive a bit quicker, it may cost a little more but it should be worth it seeing that it should only happen once a month when we get organised.

With banking, I do my banking on the internet using my mobile as the connection medium, I decided that we were carrying too much in our operating account to that if one of our card were lost and misused there was too much we could have lost, so another account was opened which I could transfer funds into and out of as suited our needs. This request was made of the credit union and they came up with an account that would suit my needs and if I kept sufficient funds in the account it attracted a reasonable amount of interest as well. This all sounded well until I tried to access the account and transfer some funds into it and met all sorts of problems. The most frustrating problem was finding the correct format, in figures, for the amount I wished to transfer to the new account, which I did stumble across, but not until after several attempts at reporting my problems to the credit union whom told me there was no troubles detected. Remember all this is costing me money because I must pay for the mobile calls while on the net, even though I have found a cheap calling rate so long as I use it after 7.00 PM it still mounts up. The other problems I have been having I am almost convinced are caused by calling from a low mobile signal area, which I have been in, and I am sure that this will be proven one way or another in time to come.

With all these problems I became worried that I was driving the representative, at the credit union that I was dealing with, around the twist with all my little hassles, but she reassured me that this is why she is in the position she is, to look after problems like mine, and she also appreciates that my situation is rather tricky being interstate and they do not have any agencies outside Tasmania, except for withdrawal facilities at the post office. She, Anna, has accepted my situation so well that I am tempted to do something ‘special’ for her one day.