Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, April 30, 2007


So much to tell you about since I last wrote.

Stayed at Berri (SA) before heading off to Wentworth, then Swan Hill gathering (233 Avans), then Wagga, Junee and Temora. Home Saturday arvo to Dubbo.

We called at Murray Bridge to top up the oil in the Pajero and found Murray Bridge Mitsubishi. Asked a guy named Rocco if he might be able to check out our Pajero. Well, let me tell you, Rocco checked out our oil, topped it up and when I went to pay him, he said, don't worry about it. Hey, how's that for service? Thanks Rocco. Hope that doesn't get him into trouble, but that's what used to happen in the good old days. I'll go to Mitsubishi in Murray Bridge any day.

It was just great staying with Dave and Irene in Wentworth. They belong to Servas, went to WWTC (Dave), play golf and are very keen cricket followers. They used to be good card players but their form has dropped a bit as we found out when we played crib and euchre with them. (Sorry mate!)

When we left Wentworth we bought vanilla slices at the Jackpot Bakery. Scrumptious! If you're there, go and check out the vanilla slices! Fay is the ultimate vanilla slice judge I can tell you!

Caught up with friends and relatives in Wagga, Junee and Temora - Gra/Julia/Phil/Leanne, Anita/Bob, Dazza/Anne & family, Ida, Patrick/Bev and John. We love the Riverina and have great memories of our college days in Wagga. The Keast family came from Junee.

Thanks Gra for fixing up computer concerns, thanks Anita for the great prices at Harvey Norman, thanks Annie and Ida for arvo teas, and thanks Pat/Bev for a great stay at Eurolie. Thanks John for including me in the minor chores for the day. Thanks Patrick for the great weather site. Check it out! Have you got a good one?

Arrived home in Dubbo in time to unload the gear and then watch the final of the Cricket World Cup played in the West Indies. Thanks Gilly for entertaining us. Congrats Pigeon for a great career.

Next post I'll tell you about apricot kernels and a magic product. And I'll share news of Brad from Crystal Brook in Sth Australia. It's a good story. Gee, I'd better tell you a bit about the Avan get together too.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Photos include Peter Berra on his BF Pocket Gnu and the last one is Hanna folding her TIKIT.

Just been to our first Bike Friday gathering. It was held in Hahndorf, in the Adelaide Hills. Yes, the 11th annual Australian Bike Friday Club event took place up and down the hills of Mt Barker and Mt Lofty Ranges and neighbouring hills (don’t think we missed any).
About 110 people who ride Bike Friday bicycles turned up for the big event. Seeing we bought a Bike Friday tandem Two’sDay in March last year while overseas, we thought we’d attend our first Bike Friday gathering. Our bike is named Sundae Banana Split – SBS. Yes, we were both on SBS!
We rode about 57 km on day 1 @ 16 kph. The next day was an easier day. We rode up and down as in the first day, but only 55 km. Our average speed was boosted to 17 kph! We got a max speed of 74.9 kph on one of the hills. Day 3 was not as hilly and temps dropped below 30. We averaged 18.6 kph on the 54 km on day 3. We did 74 kph on one hill and then 78 on the next one. What a buzz! Fay reckons that’s fast enough and she owns half the bike!
There were quite a number of tandems amongst the myriad of single bikes. There was even a triple which cleverly converted to a regular tandem. It simply depended on whether 1 or 2 of his young children wanted to ride as to how he configured the bike.
I expect the terrain around Cowra will be significantly less hilly than the Adelaide Hills in March 2008!
Peter “Kooka” Berra and Hanna Scholz from Bike Friday factory in Eugene, Oregon, joined the group. They brought a new product – the Tikit! What a neat commuter bike at $1195 US. Kooka also took time to fine tune our highly engineered steeds. When you’re climbing hills like we were, you need your bike in tip top condition. Our gears had been playing up, but once goldfingers Kooka took our Sundae in hand, it worked superbly well with all 27 gears working efficiently. Thanks Peter. Hope to see you and the lovely Hanna in Cowra in 08 unless her Dad decides to come out instead.
LATE NEWS (Tues 24): Now in Wagga after spending 4 days at the Avan gathering in Swan Hill, Victoria. Anzac Day tomorrow.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007


Here I am sitting in Bob and Wendy’s lounge, living in their home here in Perth, sleeping in their bed. It just doesn’t seem right. I never saw Bob ill, so I’m finding it hard to believe he’s gone. It’s now six months since Bob passed away. It happened while we were in Croatia last year.
We last saw Bob and Wen and the family in August 05. I wrote in their visitors’ book:
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. Romans 12:13.
Thanks heaps for your generous and loving hospitality. We go back a long way and we thank God for our friendship with you and your lovely family.

That's what I wrote back in August 2005.

I think for me I become selfish in relationships. I want, I want, I want. Why did we come to Perth? I say to support Wen and the family – but yet I see a heap of selfishness in me. I don’t think I can properly support people while I have selfishness and while I am so self-centred.
Just read Romans 12:5 – So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Yes, I believe that.
I don’t believe I shared my faith very openly with Bob over our years of friendship. And he didn’t share his illness with me. So, the selfishness in me feels cheated that he’s gone. But the Christian in me feels shame that I haven’t done more for Bob while he was alive and now for Wen and family.
Just read Psalm 32 – and I know that God is my hiding place from every storm of life. Guess this is just another storm. A bugger of a storm.

I've had difficulty coming to terms with Bob's death, but I'm just about there now I guess.

What do I want to do for the rest of my life? I want to make a difference in the lives of others – I want to be an encourager – I want to bring glory to God.
What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record. Ps 32:1,2.
I feel great. I have come to terms with things. Thanks Lord.

Guess Bob was always teaching people things.... and now through all this, I've finally learnt something about myself. Sorry for anyone I've hurt along the way.

Still in Perth and fly to Adelaide Wednesday 11 April. Have enjoyed the cycling (with BFB Rodney) and swimming with Geoff (Bob and Wen's oldest son).