Friday 26th December, (Frankston).

The family have now all arrived from Tassie and we have moved to Frankston for a week or so to have some family time.

Narrelle and Matt came from Melbourne with us on Monday, Adrian arrived on Tuesday, and Matt and Lou with family arrived yesterday. This being Xmas day I guess Matt wanted to attend his church service before coming over.

Typically yesterday was a very hectic day, being Xmas day, but with Matt and Lou coming as well made it a little busier with picking them up from the airport and setting up camp on top of everything else we had to do. Hopefully from now on things will be a lot more settled, and signs are showing this to be the case.

We had a short trip to the beach today, Matt One (not Matt Tew) was wind surfing and most of the others had a swim. The wind blowing the way it was made it rather cold on the beach so we didn’t stay very long.


Thursday 18th December, (Melbourne).

We spent 2 days at Beechworth and, although rather cool because of the altitude, we enjoyed the stay. Linda did find the shops she was looking for and did purchase several Xmas pressies. We have since decided that our stay there was not very enjoyable, in the long term, as it has been decided that is where we picked up a nest of ants. In the sweltering heat yesterday of 40° plus Linda discovered the ant’s nest and spent most of the day stripping the bed and cupboards to rid them. Three cans of insecticide and heaps of sweat later we think we have done the job.

When we left Beechworth we decided to go straight on to Melbourne instead of staying overnight at somewhere half way.

We have had the chance to meet Annette, and Nelle and Matt a couple of times, so far while here, and we are making a trip to Geelong on Saturday to catch whoever we can while there. A trip to Kew to meet Barry and Ida on Sunday will see out our visits until we return from Frankston to Melbourne in a couple of weeks. Our time may be a little restricted then because we have changed our minds about when to travel home, so now we are booked on the boat on the 10th of January.

The main reason for going home early, although I reckon we would have anyway, was to see if we could settle Adrian into a new unit, as he has to move out of the existing unit today. He had decided to move into a halfway house for a few months and obviously didn’t really know what he would be letting himself in for, so fortunately, and somewhat of a surprise, Matthew decided that he would not permit him to make this move so he has insisted that Adrian will move in with them short term until something else could be found.

I made an executive decision today in Linda’s absence and made a heap of bookings for our intended stays and trip home, so on Monday we are going to Frankston, this was already booked, until the 1st of the new year, then a return to Melbourne, where we are staying now. We stay there until the 10th and board the boat on that day for our trip home. A stay at Devonport overnight on arrival will see us to Legana caravan park on the following day, two weeks there and by then we should have decided where we intend to spend the bulk of out time while we are back in Tassie.

I mentioned the heat earlier; Typically of Melbourne the weather changes can be to extremes, and over the past few days this has been the case. When we arrived on Sunday the wind was coming from the south and it was rather cold. On Tuesday the wind turned and was coming from the north, and this saw temperatures, especially yesterday, climb very high. Yesterday must have reached in excess of 40 deg by 4:30 in the afternoon and then the wind changed again to a southerly. This saw the temperatures drop by about 15 deg in as many minutes and was back down to something reasonably comfortable. Today it is raining, not making it a very nice day for Linda to have her shopping hopping trip around Melbourne.

I am just spending the day doing a few chores around the van, weather permitting, and putting down these words even though a little overdue again.


Chapter 23D

Nelle and Matt’s visit.

And Lou and Matt.

Friday 12th December 2003, (Albury- Beechworth).

We did eventually pack up and move from Benalla on the 3rd Dec. to Albury. We arrived at Albury 2 days earlier than we had booked, but this was no problem with the caravan park as they are generally not very busy even though it is a reasonably small park. Arriving early gave us a chance to organise with Matt’s parents what we were going to do to go to Melbourne to meet them.

Narrelle and Matt arrived in Melbourne in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday the 9th, and after Mark had knocked off work and had tea we headed off about 8:00pm. We decided that we would also take our car, as there would not be enough room for six of us and their baggage for the return trip. I emptied all our gear from the panel van for the trip, and economy wise it was well worth it. Upon reaching Melbourne Mark decided to refuel, we both fuelled at Albury but I did do about 100k before leaving, and when I found gas at 29.9 cents per litre I just had to boast to Mark about my economics. For 400 kilometres my car took about 57 litres and cost $16.00 for fuel, and when this was pointed out to Mark he was rather astonished to find how much cheaper it is to use gas if purchased at the right price.

We arrived at the airport at about 12:30am, and with their plane due to arrive at 01:15 we decided to go straight to the car park and wait for them in the airport. We were aware that it could take them an hour or so to get through customs before we could meet them, and they actually emerged from the airport at about 1:45, quicker than we thought.

After exchanging our greetings we commenced our return trip to Albury, and arrived back at Mark and Kay’s place at about 6:30am. We had actually left Albury/Wodonga driving into the sunset and on our return arrived at Albury/Wodonga driving into the sunrise, a very long evening behind the wheel, and I was very much looking forward to hitting our bed. We finally did get to bed about 9:00am but it always was going to take me about two days to get over that evening, as it always did back in my overnight working days.

We have now had a chance to spend some time with Nelle and Matt, his parents as well, so for the next week or so Nell and Matt will be visiting friends in Melbourne. We will also be in Melbourne so they can call in on us if they end up with free time.

We left Albury today, on our way to Melbourne, and are stopping at a small town of Beechworth, about 50k south, for a couple of days. We had visited here once before and Linda wanted to revisit as there are some shops she wants to check out again. Besides this Beechworth is a nice old style town and we could easily spend some time just walking around having a look again.


Friday 28th November, (Benalla).

Linda has now returned and it is quite welcome to be eating her meals once again instead of my own. She returned on Monday and has enjoyed the few days relaxing after her overworked visit to Tassie.

I had my trip to Bendigo to the caravan show and although I didn’t spend any money, I did get some answers to some questions, well I think I did, I’m not so sure the solar panel man had a great deal of actual experience with his panels. I tried to relate to him some of the facts I had experienced with my panels, they are the same as he was selling, and he didn’t believe my details, as they didn’t agree with the facts he was selling by. Say no more about that.

We have had a relaxing time at Shepparton and have now moved on, back the way I came, to Benalla about 60k east of Shepparton. As we have about nine days to get back to Albury we intend staying here for about three days, three days at a park on the side of a lake just north of here, and then a few days at Wangaratta before returning to Albury.

We will be in Albury for a couple of days before Nelle and Matt arrive so we will be able to arrange with Matt’s parents a plan for driving to Melbourne to meet them.

Tuesday 2nd December 2003, (Benalla).

We are still in Benalla, and not a great deal has been happening. With a couple of days rain we have been rather confined to the caravan. We have had to stay here a couple of days longer due to the rain making it too wet to pack up on the day we had planned to move. It is forecast for rain and storms at the moment, threatening to prevent us moving again tomorrow. As it is at present fine we intend waiting until after tea to see what the weather is doing before deciding to pack up, or not, ready for a move tomorrow.