Gra Nomad Wanderings

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I was tagged by Rodney from The Journey. This is what I came up with:

1) What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why? (Two sentences max)
Teaching – helping kids to learn and seeing their eyes light up when they catch on. The impression we leave with these youngsters can be very long lasting.
2) Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did? (One sentence max)
As a teenager I used to water ski every summer holiday and I would like to ski again.
3A) What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why? (Two sentences max)
Cooking, coaching (life coaching): By learning to be better cook (some might say “that wouldn’t be hard”) I would be able to serve others by providing meals for them. By being a better life coach (I am a qualified life coach) I would be able to meet with others and be able to help them better to achieve their maximum potential.
3B) If you could take a class/workshop/apprenticeship from anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn? (Two sentences max)
Class: acting. Tutor: Katherine Hepburn
I would have Kate teach me acting, including character acting. I would learn heaps about acting to supplement my limited acting experience.
4A) What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?
Energetic, happy, supportive
4B) Now list two more words you wish described you.
thoughtful and unselfish
5) What are your top three passions? (Can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes– three sentences max)
Telling others about Jesus Christ, what He means to me and how He helps me day by day.
Love for family/friend – Fay (wife), Grub, PJ & Bullfrog (our 3 children), Stretch & WJ (brothers), Sarah (sister), BMM (son-in-law), Jacky boy (grandson), other relatives, friends
Cycling, cycling, cycling – mountain bike, road bike or tandem

6) Write–and answer–one more question that YOU would ask someone. (Answer in three sentences max)
How can you/do you contribute to make this a better place? (What a bugger of a question Grahame!)
(a) I like to volunteer in different capacities be they church-related, sport-related or other.
(b) I like to help make people happy.
(c) I like to help make people think about issues that may improve their lives and the lives of others and help them to grow as individuals.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Two Aussie sportsmen were in the news this week and caught my attention. They have been great sportsmen and both are in their thirties… oh to still be there!
Michael Bevan used to be a star cricketer in the one day scene. He won many matches that were doomed to be lost. Matches that went to the wire… if Bevo was there… we had a great chance. Under great pressure he would hit the ball to all parts of the ground and seem real cool. I have enjoyed his cricket and was a big fan. Today there is a guy called Hussey who plays like Bevo played and has won games for Australia.

The other bloke is a tennis player – Wayne Arthurs. Arthurs announced this would be his last big tournament. Today I saw him come out to play Mardy Fish from USA. They started hitting up and just before the start it became apparent that Arthurs had either pulled a muscle or worse. It turned out to be worse. Arthurs actually played three games before making the decision to withdraw. Everybody watching knew that there was no chance. He might just as well have withdrawn before the game started. It turned out that he had been given a painkilling injection prior to the match. Something must’ve gone wrong because he just couldn’t put any weight on his right leg. He spoke briefly before leaving the court. It was an extremely emotional scene. Arthurs has put in for his country in Davis Cup events over the years. He was overshadowed by more well-known players, but he himself was a great asset to his country. He had a huge serve… not unlike mine!!! I will miss seeing big Wayne taking the court.
Both these guys were great fighters. Against the odds they were prepared to have a go!

And think about it… both blokes are cackey handers! (Southpaws!)
PS In cricket and tennis they used to wear whites!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Here we are in the middle of an Aussie summer. It’s mid January. The temps are pretty high in many parts of the country and the bushfire season is on us. There are two killers here at this time of the year – bushfires and the extremely hot weather. The good news: Fay and I are still alive.
There have been fires just north of Dubbo, the city where we live.

Here are three newspaper stories worth a quick read. The first is from our local paper, THE DAILY LIBERAL in Dubbo.

Close to control by Nick Cook
The fire burning north of Dubbo is closer to being brought under control, with firefighters continuing to strengthen containment lines and conduct extensive back-burning operations. It had burned out 23,220 hectares, as of yesterday morning, an increase of nearly 2000 hectares on the day before. "On Monday night they had a very good night, in the sense that there was a lot of construction of lines going on with the dozers and quite a bit of back-burning, which pleased me greatly," Rural Fire Service Superintendent John Jenks said. The southern edge of the fire-front, which had been the main focus of the containment effort, was almost under control."When we flew there early this morning it was pretty black, but there was no active fire there," Superintendent Jenks said. It was not all good news - there was a break out on the northern edge of the fire due to storm activity on Monday evening and a flare-up on the eastern edge yesterday afternoon because of unexpected wind from the north-east. … Superintendent Jenks predicted the fire could be under control within the next day or two. "That won't be the end of the fire, though. There's a lot of hot ground out there and it will remain hot for some time. It's going to take a lot of troops to patrol it."At this stage it's looking good, but there are still a few niggling concerns."Hopefully tomorrow will give us a clearer picture and I'll be a little more confident in saying we've got this one pretty much wrapped up."

This one is from The AGE - a Melbourne paper. Pretty bad scene.
Nightmare to worsen, says Bracks
Farrah Tomazin, State Political ReporterJanuary 18, 2007
Premier Steve Bracks has warned that Victoria is in the grip of one of the worst bushfires in its history, with 1 million hectares of land burnt over the past 48 days — and greater damage still to come.
A day after a fire in north-east Victoria cut power lines and sparked blackouts across the state, Mr Bracks yesterday warned that high temperatures and extreme conditions over the next three days could lead to further havoc.
"We are in the midst of one of the worst fires we've ever seen in Victoria's history — and that's a big statement. A very big statement when you think about (the fires of) 1939, when you think about '83 or even the 2002-2003 fires," Mr Bracks said.
"We expect these fire conditions to in fact worsen. While yesterday was a horror day … we expect the next three days will also be very bad, including Saturday, which we believe will be worse than what yesterday was."
About 1 million hectares have burnt since the bushfires began on December 1.

This story is from our old town of Cooma and mentions Bede Nichols, one of my old tennis mates. It's a good news story.
Heroic firies save family home
IN Cooma for a haircut and the groceries, Bobundara's Helen and John Rolfe didn't pay much attention when they heard the sound of fire sirens.
John continued shopping for a trickle system and Helen picked up the groceries.
Then Helen heard her name called over the Woolworths pager.
The couple's daughter-in-law had found a way to let them know an out-of-control bushfire was threatening the family home.
The couple raced back to Bobundara, convinced their house had perished in the blaze that began on Friday and has since burned 2500 hectares to the ground.
"Helen said, 'I think the house is on fire'," said Mr Rolfe.
"We were quite convinced the further we came that the house was burnt.
"We got to within a kilometre of here and the police stopped us and said we couldn't go any further.
"I said, 'is it burnt?', they said, 'I really don't know'."
The couple were allowed to follow fire fighters onto their property.
The house was still there, but only just.
Flames had risen up a massive windbreak of pine trees and had completely obliterated the rose garden.
"The fire virtually burnt right around the house," said Mr Rolfe.
A team of fire fighters headed off the blaze from different directions.
The Rolfes said they were extremely grateful to their family, friends and neighbours for looking out for them and to the fire fighters who saved their home.
"They just kept beating it back," said Mr Rolfe.
"It was heroic, there's no doubt about it.
"They were just about to run out of water, then Bede Nichols from the Cooma brigade turned up with a tank of water.
"We feel so grateful for the people that helped us, they were just magnificent."
Fire Control Officer Barry Aitchison said he didn't know how fire fighters had managed to save the house.
"It took a lot of hard work and a bit of luck," he said.
"The fire fighters did an amazing job to save two woolsheds and a house."
"The effort put in by fire fighters, land holders, dozer operators and the work done by National Parks and Wildlife crews ... was really magic stuff."
Paramedics tended to three fire fighters who had fire material in their eyes and needed treatment for smoke inhalation.
The fire was contained by Friday evening.
By then, 300 head of sheep and 30km of fencing had perished in the blaze.
Mr Aitchison confirmed lightning was not responsible for the blaze.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

And here are a few snippets from various papers... and a website at the bottom:

Residents of Archerton, Toombullup and Tolmie remained on high alert on Wednesday night, following the loss of five homes, 20 sheds and 70 livestock in the 27,000-hectare Tatong blaze this week.

Fire crews raced to complete extensive backburning in Victoria's north-east ahead of a scorching weekend and looming thunderstorms.

The mercury is predicted to nudge 40 degrees celsius at the weekend, with possible thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, more than 700 tourists have been evacuated from the popular resort town of Thredbo. (We used to live in Cooma, not too far from Thredbo).

A blaze ignited by a lightning strike about 40km south-east of Corryong (in Victoria) is expected to cross the border and rip through the ski village within 24 hours.

Did you know that bushfires are actually naturally stored solar energy that is out of control? That's because trees convert all that sunlight into oils that get stored in leaves that end up burning like petrol.

Nature of BushFiresClearlyExplained.Com
Technology and BushfiresControlling/preventingClearlyExplained.Com

I hope this has been a worthwhile post for you.


Thursday, January 11, 2007


Boy oh boy! Have I got some info for you!
Life is a bit rough round here at present. Well it can be. I don’t wanna sound like I’m whingeing. (That means complaining.)
I’m considering contacting Department of Children’s Rights or whatever is the department where you find out if what they’re doing to you is legal.
Here’s some of the stuff I have to put up with (let me know if you’d like to swap):
v I have a staple diet – milk! Great! (I’m being sarcastic)
v I get tied up with sheets and told to sleep several times a day
v Photos, photos… everybody is taking photos of me… clothes on, clothes off!
v Not allowed to watch TV by my parents
v Not allowed to have my own computer
v Not allowed to have a dummy (I’ve heard they’re pretty cool.)
v Not part of the decision-making
v Haven’t got a dog
v Don’t get taken to the cricket and stuff like that
They ask, “How would you like to play on your mate, Logan?” But then do they take any notice of me? No. Definitely not! Don’t they understand grunt language? I then just get dumped on “my mat”. Big deal!
When I go and have a bath, everybody and his uncle are there having a gauk at me. Unbelievable!
Then today, to add insult to injury, you won’t believe this, they painted my hands and feet, yes, painted both hands and both feet so they could get handprints and footprints. Is that legal? I think I need to consult a lawyer. Hey Marg, surely you’re on my side?

The good side is I'm here holidaying with parents and grandparents. The water is pretty good and really it's not such a bad place. We're heading back to some place called Mortdale where my Dad starts work there as a minister or something important. We'll see I guess.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


More cricket watching (5th and final test) and more tennis watching (Hopman Cup, NSW Open, Australian Open). It’s January.
Some surfing, even though the weather has not been real hot. I figure if Bro Bill was here he’d be surfing, so seeing he’s still on Vancouver Island (as far as I know), I had a swim today. Servas friends from Mt Gambier in South Australia (Colin the comic and his lovely wife Jeanette) staying with us, had a couple of swims today too before heading off north towards Sydney. Also neat to have my annoying daughter, her husband Brendan and their son, Logan Jack spend some time with us here at the Retreat (beach house.) I call Debbie my annoying daughter as she’s just picked me up on my typing style. Well, actually what she wants me to do is have 2 spaces after a full stop. Or should that be fullstop? Marg will set us straight for sure. Please help me – are you a 1 space or 2 spaces after a fullstop person?
We are all here recovering after helping Deb/Bren move house from Newtown to Mortdale (Sydney). Brendan has been appointed to Christchurch, Mortdale. It’ll be his first church and he’ll be working with a great guy, David Wallace. He’s so looking forward to it. He starts 15 January. Meanwhile it’s pretty neat having our little grandson Logan Jack spend some time with us.
Was also fantastic to have Bernie and Janice (ex WWTC) drop in today and spend some time with us before heading north to the Gong. (They’re the ones who’ve been babysitting Collin, our Burley tandem bike while we’ve been away last year.)
I’ve got a small problem; Deb & Bren gave me a book for Christmas. The book is GLENN McGRATH’S BARBECUE COOKBOOKBarbecue with the Master. Now she wants me to cook a meal from it! Think I need to consult Kerry O’Keefe about this. Surely he’ll back me. I’ll keep you posted. It does look like a great book.
That brings me to the Ashes. If you’re from US don’t ask me about why it’s called the Ashes… too long a story. It’s about Australia and England playing test cricket. Today was the final of the five test series and Australia won it five-nil! A whitewash. First time for 86 years. It was also a farewell match for Justin Langer, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. They have all been great Aussie cricketers for over ten years and have all played over 100 tests each. Great to see Warnie score 70 runs in our second dig, McGrath get about 5 wickets and Langer be with Haydos as they scored the winning runs without losing a wicket. They will be missed, along with Damien Martyn who pulled the pin after the third test.
Better go have a read of my BBQ cookbook while Fay does her cross-stitch. She started it about 3 or 4 years ago. Does that mean I can have a few extra years before I cook something from the Barbecue with the Master book?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Photos show everyone at Christmas dinner (well, one side of the table anyway!) and Wizard of Oz and GI Joe at the Fancy Dress parade. Bobby (red shirt) was MC and Davo the entertainer (as usual) dressed as the Yellow Wiggle. Everybaby in orange and then me holding grandson Logan Jack... nearly 3 months old now.
We are relaxing at Cudmirrah down the south coast of NSW. It is beautiful here, although it’s not been swimming weather. Pretty wet actually. We’re just over 2 hours south of Sydney.
It was great having a bunch of people here over Christmas period including Fay’s sister Cher and her man David from Cairns (a long way north), all 3 of our kids plus Peta’s Jon and Deb’s Brendan and baby Logan Jack. We also had friends of Jeremy’s from Sydney – Bobby, Nike, Hugho, Deanna and Valentina. (They “represent” NZ, Malaysia and Colombia). How great is it to share Christmas dinner with people from all over the world!
Now we have Servas mates Colin and Jeanette from Mt Gambier (South Australia’s second largest city they assure me – almost 30,000 population). They’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of Sydney along with grandchildren sitting duties. (We’re learning from them!)
On New Year’s eve, a couple of sleeps ago, there was the annual fancy dress parade here at our campground. It’s been happening for umpteen years and the 20+ year olds who dress their kids up remember the parade when they were little whipper snappers. Guess who got asked to be judges this time? Fay and I! So, along with 2 other campers, Fay and I judged who was 1st, 2nd, 3rd and encouragement for under fives and over fives. Great fun.
The outfits were fabulous. Tough for the judges. Davo and Bobby H entertained the crowd – as usual. Once again Davo thrilled the crowd with his singing. Songs like Mickey Mouse, We’re Happy Little Vegemites etc. (Even my 30 yr old daughter can still sing this.)
We’re off to Sydney for a couple of days to help Deb and Bren shift house (Newtown to Mortdale) and then we’ll head back here. Hopefully weather will improve. (Only been surfing once so far.)
This is a great time to watch tennis and cricket. Been watching my darling Alicia Molik and the Poo in the Hopman Cup (tennis in Perth) and also the Ashes cricket between Aust and England. Up the Aussies! The boys are after their 5th win in a row to make it a 5-0 Ashes victory for the summer. It'll be the last test for McGrath, Warne and Langer who all retire from test cricket after this. You will be missed boys.
Big cheerio to Fabio from Sao Paulo in Brazil. He’s in town (heading Melbourne as we speak) and we expect to catch up with him when he’s in Sydney in a couple of weeks’ time. I’ve gotta speak proper English in case Fabio’s still reading. (You can leave a comment you know Fabio.)
Hope our grand dog Dinah is OK after getting a tick while she was down here.
Hey, our grandson Logan Jack sure is a cool bloke! Nearly 3 months old now. Hope you have a really happy 2007.
I do have a summary of the 06 Trip if you'd like a copy. Just send me an email requesting it. It's called Epistle 2006.
Thanks for having a look at the Granomad site.