Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, October 27, 2008


Here's the team - Matt, Linda, Fay, Gra, Janice and Bernie

Matt and Linda are the World's best best tyre repair team.
They are hoping to represent Australia in the next Olympics.

Sadly Linda was not a huge magpie fan.

Behind Gra and Bernie are the "movers and shakers".

The team at the Drover's Dog pub in Eumungerie.
Thanks Trace for looking after us so well.

Just running repairs! Fay was always happy to stop!

We sure had a ton of fun on the Le Tandem Tour de Dubbo. Saturday we did 62 km which was a lap of Basher and a bit more. That of course included a leisurely stop for coffee at the Grapevine in Brisbane St Dubbo. Sunday was a bigger day - to Eumungerie and back via Mogriguy. These guys reckoned we were just making up the names as we went along.
On Monday we headed out Old Dubbo Road. Too bad the wind was going the wrong way. Sorry about that folks.
There were two Bike Friday tandems and one Burley tandem (big wheels!) And just think, we didn't need our support roadie Dicko until the 11th hour on Monday! Thanks Dicko.
Damn good to get those knicks off eh guys?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Dear Wil, Brendan and Kerry (well they're the only ones I know that read this blog!!!) Kerry's from saddos!

The resort was good fun. LJ enjoyed the pool and Jeremy just.... well, he just enjoys everything (usually). Especially when you've just turned 30!


Tuesday – Deb/Bren/Logan and Owen and Gra and Fay arrived at the Le Meilleur Horizons Golf resort at Salamander Bay around 4 pm. The resort is situated about 50 km from Newcastle or 150 km from Sydney. We spent a quiet evening getting used to the place.

Wednesday – We visited Oakvale Farm and Fauna Park where we got up close and personal with lambs, kids, calves, emu chicks, ducks, geese, wombats, dingoes, ostriches, pigs, koalas, roos, wallabies, wallaroos, peacocks, chooks of various colours and breeds, cockies and more. The ideal place to take a young bloke who’s just turned 2! Logan Jack (LJ) certainly enjoyed the animals and saw quite a few he’d never seen before. His vocab sure got extended. There was a minor hitch when he got between a bottle of milk and a hungry bunch of lambs and kids! The small animals weren’t too worried that LJ had been felled in their midst. Fortunately grandfather and father came to the rescue and extracted him quickly from the line of fire before he was trampled underfoot and scarred forever. It resembled a mini version of “running of the bulls”! His great grandfather Jack (whom he’s named after) would’ve been more amused than concerned once the danger was over. Jack (my dad) passed away sixteen years ago.
Dinner at nearby Soldiers’ Point Bowling Club was enjoyed by the team. Having play equipment right outside was an added bonus.

Thursday – The team (minus Brendan and three and a half month old Owen) went on a whale and dolphin cruise in the morning. Once again there was good news and bad. We saw a few whales and heaps of dolphins. The dolphins enjoyed racing along at the front of the catamaran (right under our eyes) much to the enjoyment of all including LJ. The bad news – I got terribly seasick and chucked up FOUR times! Fortunately it was all done in the privacy of the onboard loo! (No cameras... sorry.) My recovery was as quick as the decline itself. Next time, remind me to take a tablet would you? It was still a beaut trip. Today Jeremy (our #3) turned 30 (see earlier photo). In his absence we celebrated his “coming of age”!
The barbie by the pool at night was great.

Yep, this was just one of the dolphins.

Friday - A quiet start to the day. Off for a swim at one of the many beaches in the area. Met up with friends Margaret and Walter who just happen to own an Avan, ride a tandem and share our faith! Not a bad trifecta! They showed us a good spot with a lovely shade tree owned by Mary. Thanks Mary. Fay headed off to collect Jeremy (the birthday boy) from Newcastle – about 50 km away.) He lives in Sydney. We had more swimming in the afternoon and then a BBQ at night after Jon and Peta (daughter #2) arrived from Newcastle. Ros and Stuart Manley joined us for the BBQ which was an added bonus. Ros is a 2nd cousin of mine. They retired here from Canberra a couple of years ago. Fay and I headed back to their place to sleep the night as previously arranged. We’d run out of beds at the resort!

Saturday – PJ and Jon headed back to Newcastle in the morning to feed their dogs. The rest of us headed to Little Beach where we met up with Earl and Julie Hughes from Karuah (an hour or so north of us here) for a picnic lunch. I bought a pair of sandals in Nelson Bay enroute. We often buy sandals here as we’ve found Jane’s Shoe Shop seems to have sandals that suit us in style, comfort and price. Lunch was purchased at the small kiosk at the end of the beach. The tucker turned out to be spot on. How privileged we were to catch up with Earl and Julie. Julie was my teachers college girlfriend back in 1962! Wow! More swimming in the afternoon followed by great tacos for tea. Turned out to be really scrumptious meal appreciated by all. Plus the benefit of eating “at home” in our apartment. A couple of bottles of champagne plus a bunch of beers and even a red were enjoyed by the team. Fay and I finished up at Manleys’ once again for a bed. Thanks Stuart and Ros. (I'll bet Kerrie from Saddos wishes she was here!!)

Sunday – Fay and I got to chat with Manleys’ daughter Janet in Denver via Skype before heading back to the apartment. We hadn’t seen her for maybe 15 or 20 years! How long guys?
After deciding against quad biking (would’ve cost us $130 per person for 2.5 hours), PJ, Jon and Jeremy headed for Toboggan Hill for tobogganing and mini golf. LJ and friends went swimming yet again in the resort pool. Think Bill would've given that a go!

Deb, Logan Jack, Jeremy, Peta and Owen Cooper at "home time".

The “clean out the fridge” lunch was successful and nutritious. Then the kids headed off to their homes. And we were left with a morgue-like quietness in our lovely pad. Serenity, isn't that what the guy (Michael Caton) in The Castle used to say?

We headed down town for Fay to buy a top at one of the cool clothing shops and then proceed to Derek and Yvonne Whitmore’s via one of the lookouts. These folk are Servas friends we’ve known for many years. We share a great love for travel with these friends so a number of stories were trotted out during the afternoon. A lovely arvo tea with some friends of theirs - Graham and Doris (also Servas folk).

Then it was to Walter and Margaret Lamond’s for a lovely pizza and salad followed by fruit and slice. Always great to spend time with these folk we originally met at a tandem bike rally maybe ten years ago. Finally home to our apartment for our last sleep in a very quiet pad. Very quiet compared to the action that had taken place over the previous six precious days.
Our family gathering turned out to be a ton of fun. We are really blessed with our family. Thanks Fay for engineering the tucker scene with one hand tied behind your back. You are indeed a living legend… but then Coult told me that over forty years ago didn’t he?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, October 13, 2008


Logan Jack turned 2 and Owen Cooper was Christened! Yep, that was enough for one day... or maybe one weekend!
Great fun and beaut to have friends and family gather for such an occasion.... or rather such occasions!
Children are a gift from God! No doubt about it. Sometimes we wonder don't we? But Deb and Brendan are so fortunate to have two such great little guys. Logan Jack can say TA, he can cover his mouth when he coughs and he is even getting the message about using the toilet! He just smiles at people and they melt. He's a cool dude! Owen Cooper.... born on the fourth of July..... he's still pretty small, but is coming along really well. It's also great to see kids who are so loved by family, friends and parents. How important is that eh? I think that gives them security. Really neat being a grandfather, I can tell you. Mind you I had to wait over 60 years for that!
Fay and I are off to Newcastle to visit #2 daughter, Peta and her man Jon. Then to Salamander Bay for a holiday. The kids are all going to join us there also which will be great.
Wonder if anybody still reads this?????

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 06, 2008


John O'Brien was the mastermind behind the Aust Veterans Cycling Club Championships held near Dubbo in late Sept. They were extremely well organised. Congrats John and team. 

Here's Stuart leading a group on the road race for his age group. Dubbo riders did very well. 

Jo and her man Stuart got married on Friday 3 October out at the zoo. Our tandem, Sundae (Banana Split) was asked to attend for photos. They all looked pretty sharp. Jo looked great and even rode the tandem! Yes, in that gear!
It was great to have the world's greatest dentist (Phil) and his lovely wife Pam come to visit. We went to Gil to see Manly defeat Storm and then attended some live theatre.... Bethany Simons in the weather and your health. What a great show. Well done Beth. You are magic! But then I knew that beforehand. Phil and Pam really enjoyed the show. Phil and I managed to get some tennis in despite the rain over the weekend. They're now off to Nelson Bay. We're due to head to Wagga, then Sydney, then Nelson Bay. Back in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the loan of your computer Dicko. 

Labels: , , ,