Gra Nomad Wanderings

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Departed Dubbo 20 March.
Visited Phil and Pam in Tumut. Folk from Moula days. Phil is the world’s greatest dentist and is now specialising in tooth implants. Pam (pictured) was recently chosen as the Citizen of the Year for Tumut. What an honour. Next time I’m there I’ll have to play table tennis against Phil, and that’s not going to be a pretty sight. He has been practising heaps. Phil’s an ex Hurlstonian and Pammow used to teach with Fay in Moula (when they were both single).
Next stop was Rutherglen where we attended a Rotary wine tasting night out at Morris Winery. Most enjoyable. Thanks Graham and Margaret. Graham is currently having treatment for prostate cancer. We went for a bike ride… just Graham and I. They are really involved in heaps of community related events and projects. He's also ex WWTC.
We then headed for Bendigo. Caught up with Anne and Alan on their property at Springhurst on the way. For someone who was diagnosed with cancer years ago, Anne is a real shining light. Taught with Anne in Sydney in 1965 (first year teaching for both of us.) I thought Anne was alright! (That means pretty cool). Now I think she’s fantastic! What a great faith they both have.
In Bendigo, we visited Roy and Nancy. It’s 15 years since Roy was diagnosed with Parkinsons. On Thursday night he was pretty “jumpy” which bugged him a bit. We go back a long way – Roy and Nancy and myself. I taught three of their four kids at a one teacher school called Niemur. And they’ve ll turned out pretty good! The third kid, Christine, has just become a grandmother recently! Strike I must be getting old!
On to Mt Gambier – tad over 400 km. Here we have holed up with Jeanette and Colin. We’ve known them for about 15 years – they’re Servas friends. Colin is principal of a local primary school and also does a fair bit of work for ABC Radio as a sports journalist. They’ve visited us in Dubbo and Cudmirrah. This is our third visit to the 2nd largest city in South Australia (did you know that?) He underwent major heart surgery maybe a couple of years back. Yesterday and today we watched North Gambier beat East Gambier in the cricket final. North's 129 didn’t look competitive but today East Gambier collapsed about 15 runs short of the meagre total. Amazing what happens in a grand final.
Last photo above shows us with Colin and Jeanette as well as the crazy couple from Narrawong - Lady Di and Gra Gra! We found them in a pub in Nelson (as planned.)
Tomorrow we have to attend a school camp which includes cycling as a feature. Looks like we’ll unravel Banana Split and give a few kids a spin on it. Should be fun.
Scheduled to be in Adelaide by Wednesday. Maybe 450 km. Looking forward to catching up with Servas friends and Di Di (ex WWTC) and her family. Di Di is my ex girlfriend from 1963! I was madly in love with her. When Fay and I married back in 1967, she chose Di Di as her bridesmaid, but dressed her in pink just to be sure. Maybe next blog will show photos of Di Di. You be the judge!

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Friday, March 09, 2007


Had a beaut time in Sydney. Took Adrian and Janie (from Calgary) round the Big Smoke and showed them Bondi Beach (above), Simbio Animal Park (see animal photos), Maroubra (for fish and chips and white wine), Hairy Canary (a restaurant in Gymea) for lovely soup and damper and white wine.... (thanks Marg), Stanwell Park, Kings Cross, the Rocks area, the Arthouse Hotel - great food and excellent service thanks JHK, the underground, Ken Duncan gallery and maybe some more. They were easy to please.
Logan Jack (grandson) was trying to crawl... with limited success. Every now and then he does a Jeremy and raises his arms (see photo 3) to claim either (a) he is unable to do any more pushups, (b) it's just another exercise he tries or (c) he's claiming he didn't hit anyone when he pulls his arms back like that. I didn't foul anyone ref! We haven't decided.
It was beaut staying with Deb and Bren for the time and helping with their little man. He is just about 5 months old now.
Beaut catching up with Uncle Dick, Pete/Urs, and also Donna-Lee who used to babysit our kids about 27 years ago.
Meanwhile, we are now back in Dubbo once again. Back into local routines... for a few weeks.
I won't mention the Pura Cup match between NSW and Tassie (hope not too many people caught it! Ugly!)

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Monday, March 05, 2007


Ever seen a cricket umpire wear a red nose before? It was a first for me at the SCG on Sunday. Good photo I reckon.
Qld were given the chance to win the 4 day Pura Cup match if they scored at 90 runs an hour for 4 hours! Yes, they needed 365 to win. It was an exciting innings with Broad (pictured here hitting a six) and Maher putting on 178 in the first two hours and therefore only needing another 187 to win the game in the next two hours. It nearly came off. Fortunately for NSW Thornely took a great caught and bowled to dismiss Maher before he could reach his 100. Broad scored 111 which gave him man of the match (deservedly so.) It was his first ton at that level. They finished up 8/355, ten runs short. So it was a draw.
Other photos which take us back to Moula days/daze in 1966-67 inlude Army & Rob, Shirl and her daughter Flitty and Fred and Jann. It's been great to catch up with those folk over the last week or so. Fancy it's 40 years at the end of this year since we left Moula (a small town down near the Victorian border.) And I want to tell you something.... that Flitty is one hellova cook! She's cooked a few meals for us and we just keep going back there. Notice we never tell others where they live! Why would you?
Friends from Calgary are due out here in Sydney on Wednesday. It'll be great to see Janie and Ade once again. We did uni together, Ade and I. What a crack up he is!
Then Friday we have to leave Sydney and head back to Dubbo for a few weeks. Gotta get ready for Adelaide, Perth etc. Been great staying with Deb, Bren and Logan Jack.
Oh, sorry about all that cricket stuff, but I am addicted.

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