Gra Nomad Wanderings

Sunday, June 24, 2007


What an incredible bit of material... BIG bit of material.

When Fay and I were in Normandy we were taken by Jaqueline to see the Bayeux Tapestry. Man is that some tapestry! Actually it's not really a tapestry but an embroidery! But all the women probably know that anyway. Here are some bits I've grabbed from the net about the tapestry:

The Bayeaux Tapestry is really an embroidery but the word tapestry has stuck. The Bayeaux Tapestry is now on permanent public display in the city of Bayeaux in Normandy, France. It tells the story of the
Battle of Hastings; why William felt he had to invade, the preparations made for the crossing and the battle itself. Tapestries were not rare in the time of William but the size of this particular tapestry is an indication that it was important. The story it tells was to have a huge impact on Medieval England.

It is made out of linen (eight bands sewn together) and is 270 feet long and about 20 inches wide. It was once even longer but part of the tapestry at the end - after the
Battle of Hastings - has been cut off. The writing on the tapestry is in Latin. The main stitches used are stem stitching and laid-and-couched stitching.

Here you can read the tale told by the Bayeux Tapestry -The story of William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, the men who led the Norman and Saxon armies in 1066. William's defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings ensured the success of the Norman invasion of England.

The Bayeux Tapestry is preserved and displayed in Bayeux, in Normandy, France. Nothing is known for certain about the tapestry’s origins. The first written record of the Bayeux Tapestry is in 1476 when it was recorded in the cathedral treasury at Bayeux as "a very long and narrow hanging on which are embroidered figures and inscriptions comprising a representation of the conquest of England".

The Bayeux Tapestry was probably commissioned in the 1070s by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror. It is over 70 metres long and although it is called a tapestry it is in fact an embroidery, stitched not woven in woollen yarns on linen. Some historians argue that it was embroidered in Kent, England. The original tapestry is on display at Bayeux in Normandy, France.

Here are a couple of sites, but you can look it up for yourself pretty easily. You do need to see some of the pictures..... just a few!

I reckoned it was awesome. Now Fay is including a picture from the Bayeux Tapestry in the fancy travel quilt she's doing. Do you think she'll have to pay royalties! Happy birthday Fay for Tuesday 26 June.

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Friday, June 22, 2007


Choices... we all have choices in life. The choice I have to make at the moment is:
  • do I buy a replacement "wand" to lock/unlock the Pajero or
  • do I buy a replacement tennis racquet (mine's getting a bit old) or
  • do I buy neither?

Would you believe the remote costs $200, the same amount that I need for a replacement tennis racquet from the local tennis shop. That's a reasonable price for a good racquet I reckon, and it's a hideous price for a replacement wand! Guess I'll be using the key to unlock and lock the car from here on. Mind you, Fay's wand still works.

So, my next question (to myself) is, if I buy the replacement wand, what would be the result of that? And if I buy the replacement tennis racquest, what would be the result of that? (Maybe I should put the money towards my chiropractor, Andrea!!!) We should always be looking at other possibilities, other options.

The way I am at the moment I may not be playing much tennis unless Andrea can straighten out my back (and she's had a pretty good go I can tell you!)

So, whaddya reckon?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Why is it I choose a rare hobby like number plate collecting?
I joined the NPCC (Number Plate Collectors' Club of Aust) a few years ago. My membership number is 1080 - a significant number for me.
I had already been collecting plates since I first went to Canada in 1969. Fay and I decided we'd collect a plate for each state or province we visited.
Last weekend, I went to my first national meeting which was held in Deniliquin. There were 70 members present from all over Australia and even one guy from NZ.
I took a small display, plus a bunch of plates to swap/sell. They were from North America. Well I think there was a bit of an imbalance regarding the "imports" and "exports". I sold 3 plates and purchased (mostly at auction) more than 70! I was able to pick up two rare Rhode Island plates and a District of Columbia plate. This meant I now have a full set of all the states of the USA from Alabama to Wyoming. I also picked up a plate from Hong Kong, 1 from Uruguay, 1 from Mexico and 1 from Belgium.
If you're interested in getting into number plate collecting, let me know - I have a few spares!
I'd now like to get 1 of every Canadian province and 1 of every style that NSW have put out. That'll keep me busy. Canadian plates I still need include: Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and New Brunswick.
Meanwhile excuse me while I work on my display for next year's meeting in Adelaide. It'll have to improve on my display this year I can see that.
By the way, the most expensive plate sold at auction over the weekend was a Victorian plate for $380. The most expensive plate I bought cost $25! Got any spare plates for me? I'll swap you.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Well, they sure made a mess of one Falcon wagon and the dual axle caravan they were towing...BUT they're alive and not too bad at all.
Alex and Lucy had driven from Western Australia over to see a bit of the east. They are keen travellers. They were due to arrive in Dubbo to visit us Tuesday afternoon but just 200 km short of Dubbo, they lost the rig! Finished up off the road after rolling car and van. As you can see they've written off the lot, but are still standing. Fortunately their insurance will meet the costs of getting back to Western Australia and replacing their vehicle. Fay and I spent a day and a bit helping them sort through stuff, find what was in reasonable condition, chuck out what wasn't and pack some of their goods into boxes to ship home. What a huge job. They also spent 12 hours being checked by medicos and taken for x-rays and scans.
When we farewelled them and left Muswellbrook at about 5 pm today (Wednesday), they had rented a car, booked a motel and were on their way to buy underwear for Lucy and toothbrushes and all that sort of stuff. Tonight and tomorrow they'll go through gear to see what condition some of the photos and CDs are in. Then they'll fly or train back to Perth.
Even so, it was great to see them and spend some time with them. Lucy and Alex were support crew for me and the other cyclists when we cycled from Perth to Adelaide back in 2003 on a Bike for Bibles ride.
Go well Murrays, and God bless you. Thanks Lord for watching over them.

Monday, June 04, 2007


They say a picture tells a thousand words. Well, here's our daughter Deb and her little bundle of energy, Logan Jack McLaughlin. He is one cool dude that's for sure! They (and proud dad Brendan) live in Sydney - 400 km away, so we don't get to see too much of him. No doubt when he gets a bit older he'll come visit to check out the famous Western Plains Zoo here in Dubbo. (Check it out!) He's nearly 8 months old.

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