Heathcote Junction 2017, final week of the year.

Sunday 31st December 2017, Heathcote Junction.

This should be the last report for the year, as tomorrow will be next year. We are still at Narrelle’s and will be returning home on Wednesday. We had our final visit to Port Melbourne to visit Matt and Lou and the kids, and said our goodbyes until we see them next. We will not be celebrating the new year, as usual, because we generally cannot stay up that late, but if something calls for it we have been known to stay up on the rare occasion.

Till next year then, and have a wonderful new year.

Heathcote Junction, December 2017, week 4.

Tuesday 26th December 2017, Heathcote Junction.

Been here for almost a week already, and what an action packed week it has been. This is probably only expected for Christmas though as it has not only been us visiting Narrelle and family, but Matt’s parents as well with brother Lorne. With all that has been happening here, and visiting Matt and Lou and Kids, and driving to Hoppers Crossing to pick up a pool fence we have been quite busy and the time has been flying. A few chores around the yard and helping Matt install the pool fence and there has all our time been taken up. Matt’s parents have gone back home today, Lorne is still here for a couple of days, and things should start to quiet down a little from now on. So for the next week we are here things should be a bit more relaxing, I hope.

Heathcote Junction, Melbourne, December 2017, Week 3.

Thursday 21st December 2017, Heathcote Junction.

We are now back in Melbourne, Heathcote Junction at least, North of Melbourne on the Eastern side of the Hume Highway near Wallan. We flew down yesterday and will be here for two weeks visiting Narrelle and family, and Matthew and his family. All went well yesterday until we arrived at Heathcote Junction, oh I suppose I should point out at this stage that because Narrelle was busy at the time we arrived, we decided to catch a bus from the airport to Broadmeadows and then catch a train to Heathcote Junction where Narrelle would meet us. Immediately before we were due to disembark the train there was a tremendous downpour and we got saturated getting off the train to her car. It was just as well it was not too cold and we dried out in not too much time.

We are expecting a packed house for a few days as Matt’s parents are due for a couple of days over Christmas as well, so we are for now bunked in the studio, fitted for sleeping, and it is as comfortable as anywhere. The studio is one end of the shed Matt and I built, and was for Narrelle and her photography business, but gets more use for housing guests, so it was a very worthwhile exercise building it. This was where I did my plastering apprenticeship.

It has only been five months since we were here last, and we are still surprised at how much the kids have grown, but I guess this is a usual grand-parent thing.

The other thing I have been preparing myself for is the walking in this area. Because we are now in a hilly area it is impossible to walk anywhere without going down, and eventually back up some steep hills. Last time we were here, and after taking a walk, I found some muscles I hadn’t used for a while, and ended up sore enough to stop me from walking for a couple of days afterward, so on my walks back home lately I have been incorporating a small hill in the centre of Caboolture township, and walking up and down it a couple of time each walk to hopefully overcome this happening again. After going for the same walk today that bothered me last time, I am now wondering if the practice worked or not, as I think I am feeling it already, tomorrow will tell.

After doing our final stint of shopping tomorrow we are very much looking forward to some relaxation with all the family, and letting our hair down, I even left my blood/sugar meter at home so it doesn’t have to bother me, not that I am going to over-indulge anyway.

We do wish everybody a very merry Christmas, well as merry as you wish to make it, and a very joyful new year.

Caboolture, December 2017, Week two, A tribute to VAL.

Tuesday 12th December 2017, Caboolture.

This report is in memory of friend Val, wife of Ken. I hope I have Ken’s approval for this report, as I know now that he is one that regularly reads my web site.

Ken and I worked in the same area for a lot of years, but in different departments. Although we knew of each other for many years, I consider that we didn’t actually start up a personal friendship until after we both started the similar lifestyle of retirement and travelling the country in the caravan situation, Ken and Val used a campervan on the back of a ute and only travelled in winter months, and as you know we have a caravan and lived in it permanently.

This has turned out to be a touching week for me, and Linda, that started as a result of sending out Christmas cards to friends, as we usually do, or Linda actually does all the work. We received a reply from another old work mate, or rather an ex work mate Gerry, we are all getting old, informing us of information that we have not heard about. This reply explained how his family had experienced some hard times this year, and in amongst the list was informing us of the passing of Ken’s wife Val. This took us by surprise as we had only been having a conversation the other day about them and how we hadn’t seen or heard from them for a while. As a result, I rang Gerry, as we also haven’t been in contact for a long time, and then rang Ken (Hoss) to express our condolences, and apologise for not being aware of the situation, and sending a card addressed to them both. This conversation with Ken was one of a type that I have not experienced for a long while. Even though we have met and made a friendship during our travels over a number of years, this conversation made me aware that we do have quite a number of friends, and family, that we just do not converse with often enough, possibly a result of everyone expecting the use of current day social media, so when a situation such as this arises it touches the heart much more than usual. I along with Ken, refuse to use things such as ‘Facebook’ and any similar social media. Being old-school I think we can’t handle what we consider to be ‘Rubbish and Trash’ that is posted on today’s social media and would prefer to avoid it in most cases. Yes, I use this web site to publish my life story, this is my part of social media, and I have been using this since before today’s type social media, but all that gets posted is what I think my readers are interested in, and anything I do not wish the world to know will not be published. Again, it was after my conversation with Ken today that made me aware that there are people that do actually read the reports on this site, so I most certainly do consider that I will keep up with these reports. This will be my way at least of keeping all interested informed of my life, but it doesn’t help me keeping up with other people’s life, so all I can do at this stage is endeavour to make a pledge of regularly ringing friends and family on a regular basis. The only problem is that I cannot guarantee how long this pledge will last, after all I am not young any more and cannot say how long my sanity will last.

Once again Linda and I offer our condolences to Ken with the loss of a wonderful woman and dear friend, and I say we are particularly thinking of you at this time and ask that you stay in contact, as we will endeavour to do the same.

Keep your chin up ‘Mate’.