Monday, February 28

Sunday ...................

I tried to sleep in, but couldn't, though I did manage about 45 minutes 'rest' later in the morning.  Was reading and the eyelids started closing so I put my Kindle down, and dozed off.  When I awoke, I decided to do a few things around the house, and then go to the movies after I had listened to Songs of Praise (one of my favourite Sunday activities!!), and ABC's Landline.

I took off - drove to Paddington Central, parked the car near the shopping centre, and very quickly caught the bus into the city.  The bus driver was quite a character, and he let me off at 'an unofficial stop' so that I did not have to walk far to the theatre.  I go to the Palace Theatre - a short bus trip from Paddo.

The movie was "The King's Speech" which I note is up for some Academy Awards today, and I hope it does well there.  It was a brilliant movie - lots of great Aussie humour with Geoffrey Rush in the character of the speech thereapist!!!

After the movie I trekked out through the crowds milling around the restaurants and theatres of The Barracks, and bought a few things at Coles before going to the bus stop.  I waited and waited.  It seems one bus did not come or it came early.  The next bus was due at 5.11 pm and it too was late.  It was nearly 5.30 before it came, and I was phoning Translink to complain when the bus flew around the corner.  I was not quick off the mark, and the bus had to stop quickly when the driver saw me wave (you have to be really 'on the ball' to attract the bus driver, but I was on the phone about to complain!)

While I was waiting at the stop, fire engines roared past me and headed down Caxton St.  I was not to know that it would affect my bus trip home later!!

The late buses had nothing to do with the fire - at least not up until after 5 pm.  Still I will explain.

Anyway, when I got on the bus, the driver explained that there was a fire in Latrobe Tce, and the roads were shut.  Where was the car?  Just off Latrobe Tce.  Anyway, the bus turned at the interesection of Given and Latrobe Tces, so I had to get off.  Here I was, after waiting for nearly an hour (standing) and then havine a one km walk, with three bags of shopping.

As it turns out, there was a council transport worker, a lovely lady, who took me to Paddington.  Only a short walk to the car.  The fire was further up the road, so I took the back street back to the house.

The news that evening, shortly after I returned home, it was reported that a new restaurant, not far from here, caught fire.  No one was hurt.

Today I may just go to the movies again to see "Black Swan" but I have some work to do first.

Friday, February 25

Settling in Again

I've been back at the Paddo house for almost a week, and still settling in.  I had a few uni assignments to do, and a few other things to finalise so it has been a 'bitty' week.  I'm working tomorrow, so now looking forward to next week, when I can take stock, get started all over again. 

The next semester  starts next week too, so more work to do.

I'm still putting together the photos and stories of my drive to and from Adelaide via Mt Gambier, and I caught up with PB last night.  I'm proud - even did not have one glass of wine, and I am alreading losing some of the weight I gained in the last few months. 

I'm going to a Wynnum Chamber of Commerce "Mix and Mingle" tonight at Shangri La at Wynnum tonight, which I am looking forward to, as well.

Thursday, February 24

Mt Gambier - Adelaide - Brisbane

What a journey!  It was an indulgent trip - much just to go to places I had not been for many years.  I saw my parents for a few days before the Mount trip, and a few days afterwards, and the trip itself was exhilarating.  How I love to drive!  Long distances too!  I drove over 1000 kms in two days!  Safely.  No car problems at all.  The Kia Carnival was a bit big for my exercise (yes, costly petrol) but I enjoyed being a little higher in the vehicle than a small car would have afforded me.

It was emotional to see the house that belonged to my parents in the 1970's, to see the church where I was married, and hospital and nurses home from my training days.  It was weird to see the old sleepy Mt Gambier all grown up and modernised too.

I have resolved to make a few more trips in future visits to Adelaide.

Of course, it was a trip that I should have taken a week or so to do - but time was an issue for me.  Two days or not at all! Easy choice.  You can see some of my photos here.

I flew back to Brisbane from Adelaide late last Thursday night (a week ago today), and moved back in with my daughter and her family.  I had a busy Friday and on the weekend when my daughter and her friends went to Byron Bay for a girls weekend, I 'supervised' with the help of my son in law, two grandchildren and two friends.

I took them to Little Athletics on the Saturday afternoon - it was hot and I'm glad it was not me running around exercising in the heat, as me and my Kindle sat under the shade of some trees, enjoying a refreshing breeze that seemed to last all afternoon.

On the Sunday morning I baked several batches of Anzac biscuits, meringues, and of course lunch.  The four girls played with water bombs and hoses in the garden to beat the heat - using their own water supply.

On Sunday afternoon I moved back to Paddington - where I will be house sitting until the end of June.

In the last two - three weeks there have been several changes here in Paddington.  There is a street, divided.  On the high side most people travel towards Croydon Street, and on the low side (there are trees, bushes, and a wall of sorts between the roads), people usually travel in the other direction.  Now there are arrows!  Rather ugly, and the locals are upset about it.  It seems whether the arrows are there or not, people choose to travel whichever direction that suits them.  Dangerous??? Sure.

I'm back.  Alone and free to do as I choose.  Nice feeling.  Also I've managed to get back on track with my studies, Ithink.

Saturday, February 19

To Mount Gambier

Many years ago, I did my nursing training at Mount Gambier Hospital.  It was in the early 1960's, and the hospital was only a few years old.  In fact the "old hospital" was an impressing looking building between the Nurses Home and the new hospital.  (Sadly the "old hospital" was demolished - it was such an interesting and historic place it is a shame that it was not kept!).  I finished my training in the mid 1960's and then after working in Melbourne for nearly a year, I married and let South Australia.  I have not lived in SA since.  However, my parents lived in Mt Gambier for many years, so we visited until 1974, when Dad was transferred back to Adelaide.  I had not been there since, and had a strong urge to visit.

Hence I rented a car, from Aussie Car Rentals and headed south! 

I have been going back to Adelaide on a regular basis to see family, but generally we visit the same places over and over again.  We had been taken to Victor Harbour, and the McLaren Vale area - but not beyond - and on this trip I learned how much I had been missing.

The freeway through the Adelaide hills has been in operation for many years, making the journey from the eastern suburbs of Adelaide, over the range and on towards Murray Bridge, a dream run.  Of course the freeway bypasses Murray Bridge - so I thought I'd try and have a closer look on my return journey.

Soon I was at Tailem Bend.  I have a cousin there, and though I had planned to phone her, I just arrived on her doorstep!  Surprise!  It is a long time since I have seen her and her husband, and he didn't recognise me when I knocked on the door.  I had a quick cup of coffee, and chat, went on my way. 

My next stop was a small siding really, not much there but a community hall, public loo, and a tavern, with a fast food place attached.  I called in at the loo and was most surprised to find fresh flowers in the ladies.  Roses, no less.  I was most impressed.  The food was limited at the shop, but I had a delicious pie in a little park, and set off on my way.

I would love to have had more time, to explore the places that I had been through many years ago (between Murray Bridge and Mt Gambier.) but I was going to run out of time.  I had a dinner date with a friend.  I did not go into Keith (there's a by-pass), and I would love to have stopped at Padthaway - acres and acres of vineyards stretched both sides of the rode.  A lot of the big winery names.  The country side had been quite dry with low gum trees, all the way to Keith.  After Keith the landscape started to change - and by Padthaway there was much more green - not just the vineyards, but the crops and grassy areas for the sheep and cattle.

Soon I had arrived at Coonawarra, and then Penola.  I had spent quite a bit of time at Penola but little of it was recognisable.  Again, I was tempted to stop, but did not, other than to take a few photos of old houses.  I love photos of old houses!!  Old buildings etc.

Time flies

I've been a busy traveller.  I flew to Adelaide on the 10th February to see my family.  Dad lives at South Brighton, my mother lives next door in a nursing home, and my sister lives at Oaklands Park.  I do try and visit every couple of months.  This time it was special because (a) I was between house sits and (b) my neice has just had her first baby, and (c) I had planned to drive to Mt Gambier, where I did my nursing training many long years ago.

And so it was that I saw baby Evan, and his parents, and of course a very proud grandmother.  It was great to see this new addition to the family, and he was a perfect little gentleman!

Afterwards we (my sister and I) went to dinner at the Rocks Restaurant, at the Oaks Hotel at Glenelg, with three cousins that I rarely see, and the son of one of them. 

The restaurant is on the beachfront, so we had a great view of the sunset.

On the MOnday (February 14th) Dad drove me to Hove to collect the rental car.  I had booked a small car for my drive to Mt Gambier, but the people who had hired it earlier and were supposed to bring it back by the 13th, did not do so, so I had to drive a Kia Carnival - rather a big car for one, but it was quite a pleasure to drive.  It is not the first time I have rented a car from Aussie Car Rentals at Hove, and apart from my disappointment at not getting the car I ordered, I am very happy with the service from this company.  The price for rental is much lower than other companies, and it is close to where may family live.

It was on Monday morning, around 10 am that I set off for Mt Gambier and the south-east of the state.

Tuesday, February 1

Study time............

I am staying with my daughter and family at Hemmant.  The girls are back at school after the holidays so hopefully I can get my studies done - it should be all quiet in the house all day.  Today my daughter works, so I will be all alone.  It is raining - so a bit cooler than it has been in the last few days but the humidity high. Fan on.

I try to keep out of the way - in the mornings it can be a bit chaotic with the two girls scrambling to do their chores and get ready for school, but Number One granddaughter, loves to read my Kindle. She is reading the story of Daisy Bates and I have set up her own collection in MY Kindle.  Last night she had to read for 15 minutes - a requirement every day after school.  One that she enjoys.  She is a huge reader of books and can't wait to do her reading time.  Last night she wanted to read the Kindle, and she did.  Read overtime - nearly 30 minutes  (and of course she was not complaining).

This morning at 6.30 am she appeared beside my bed.  "Can I read the Daisy story?" she asked.  I reached down beside the bed and picked up the Kindle and I handed it to her.  She lay beside me reading until her mother appeared.  "Get ready for school." - and I lay in bed reading my story while the chaos of mornings in a household with two children preparing for school, a dad and mum preparing for work.  When they had departed, I came out and made my breakfast.

Well get into study shortly.......