Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, May 25, 2009


Sunday arvo in Sydney. Went to GUYS AND DOLLS at the Capitol Theatre. (Drinks beforehand at Paddy Maguire's Pub on George Street.) Here I find out (after the show) just how small Marina Prior is (... and maybe how BIG my son Jeremy is!)

Julia Smith (in red) is surrounded by our 3 kids at a Chinese banquet in China Town. Julia and Jeremy have been taking a more than average interest in each other of late!
If you have a chance of making the show, go for it! You won't regret it. Also starring Lisa McCune, Garry McDonald, Ian Stenlake, Shane Jacobson and Magda Szubanski. LAST WEEK!!!

A view of the city from the zoo. It is a lovely city.

The giraffes seem to like it here... but then they do have a good view.

These black cockies performed for us. Beautiful birds.
Tuesday we head back down the south coast to start unpacking the umpteen boxes strewn around our new home. Wonder how long that'll take us?

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Friday, May 22, 2009


Front door at 10 Cygnet Close.

This is the BIG ROOM! Lounge/dining. No chandeliers!! Think we'll fit in?

Roomy kitchen and eating nook, but we will miss our pantry from 2 Silkwood. Spacious and light. It's a dim day today in Cudmirrah too.
Back corner - dining room window and part of the "balcony".

More "balcony". Number plates yet to be attached.

Garage left, then path to front door - see first photo. Some garden eh?

Is this a bike shed???

Garage on the left, complete with fancy windows. Path to front door. Lounge window on right.

Anything else you'd like to know? There are more photos!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I reckon cleaning house is a bit like having a baby! I mean the cleaning house for the last time because you've sold it and the removalist has taken all your stuff (I mean ALL your stuff) and you have to have a PRE-SETTLEMENT INSPECTION... soon.

So, we worked like crazy, dusting, sweeping, chucking, vacuuming, washing, scrubbing, scraping, wiping out cobwebs and all that sort of stuff.

Cleaning house, like having a baby, is best if both the Mumma and the Dadda are involved. They will then have ownership of the event.

Like having a baby, this doesn't happen too often (I mean cleaning house as desribed above), although some folks are a bit greedy in this regard.

I kinda think that as you get a bit older you oughta give such activities a miss or you could do yourself some permanent injury.

Of course as many of you will agree, the woman is the key player in both these events and should automatically be selected as the best and fairest at the conclusion (of both the giving birth and the house cleaning).

One thing is for sure - both having a baby and cleaning house then limit the chances (hopefully temporarilly) of having.... of making love. You will need to wait until both parties have recovered fully.

It's now 12:41 am (after midnight). Fay is washing the laundry - I'm pooped and am in bed (in our avan in the back yard). I'm knackered! I'm stuffed! Think the having a baby takes it outa blokes a bit the same. G'night.

PS Fay came to bed at about 1:47 am. The house looks magic. She reckons she's got an hour still to put in tomorrow. Last time we're movin'!

PPS Due to put furniture in at Cudmirrah on Friday 22 May.

Couldn't resist putting this guy in. He lives at Brocklehurst just out of Dubbo. Neat eh? Wonder how many times he moved house?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Leaving this house.... (above)

For this house..... (below)

From Dubbo to Cudmirrah (down the South Coast of New South Wales near Sussex Inlet). We will be 2.5 hrs south of Sydney - 200 km. This will be our first house with a tiled roof! Yeah does have a bit of garden doesn't it!

Removalist (Central West Removals) coming Tuesday 19 May and putting our stuff into the house down there on Friday 22 May.

Meanwhile, I gotta get back to the garage and chuck out, pack and all that yucky stuff. Helps you focus on what's important in life.

Don't worry, there is certainly some sadness in leaving Dubbo where we've lived for 11 years.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The 10th National Avan Gathering was held at Coffs Harbour/Sawtell on Nth Coast of NSW. They do things like games, trivia, make avan models or kites, movies (The Castle), have a market day (see photos of Fay's clever Aussie scenery placemats), have a 10th Anniversary Dinner, have zillions of lucky prizes provided by generous sponsors (no, we didn't get one this year), have a jam session, a hootenanny night, a brekkie put on by the campgrounds, and all that sorta stuff.

Everybody is over sixty - well they look like they're over 60 anyway!

Vans come from NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, ACT, SA and Tassie. About 290 of them. Think there were about 550 people that sat down for the annual dinner at the Coffs Ex-Services Club on Saturday night. That's a world record for the number of Avans assembled at one place - although we were really at 2 places! We chose to stay at Sawtell Beach Caravan Park. If you stayed there you'd know why!

Here you can see folks having brekky amongst the trees, avans in background. They even have an avan member singing a few numbers while they're into their pancakes or whatever. It could only happen at an avan gathering.

Fay did pretty well selling her placemats and bags (below). One lady was hoping Fay lived in Tassie so she could take lessons with her! Sure made Fay smile.

Would you believe the couple that started the Avan club 10 years ago as Pres and Sec are still in those positions! They must both be over ..... well, they're even older than us! Congratulations on a great job Joan and Brendon. Bit like the Queen, how she just keeps on doin' the job. Same with Bren and Joan.

We've owned our avan for about 8 years now and been member of the avan club for maybe 6 or 7. We've travelled about 50,000 km in the avan.... well, towing the avan behind our car. Sure helped us see quite a bit of this great land. Next year... they say the annual gathering will be held in South Australia.


A'van Campers Pty Ltd, Pakenham Vic,

Amazing A'vans - Seaford Vic,

A'van Adelaide

A'van Guildford WA

A'van NSW - Morisset, Nowra, Penrith

Coffs Coast Holiday Parks,

Hayman Reese

Harbour City Caravan Park, Coffs

Kratzmanns, Qld

Nissan Motor Co.

Unreal, and we didn't snag a thing! Maybe next year.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009


Here is the team of riders...Jim, Ross, Nigel, Sarah, Grahame.
Front row: Diana, Kevin, Rosemary, Carlo, Lindy, Paul, Eris.
Left earlier: Stuart, Sally Sarah, John.

The full team (minus those who had to depart early) at the presentations last night at Seymour.

Roadies: Lyn, Fay, Sylvia, Robert, Alan.
Front row: Trent, Grahame
Left earlier: Emma, Geoff, Mary
Jim thanks Harward Mountjoy in Seymour for his continued involvement with Bike for Bibles. Harward rode Perth to Sydney on the original trip in 1987. Rodney Olsen was also on that trip!

Winifred and Harward and the Seymour team sure looked after our group last night. Here Trent (left) and Ross(right) select their first course... or was it their second?

When it comes to dessert nobody can stack it away like Sarah C. I did check and she did a great job on cleaning the plate! Her husband Nigel looks on in amazement.

Yes, Robert (our roadie from Narrabri) has a pretty good appetite as well. And a great sense of humour.
For those interested, we did 81 km today (Seymour to Mill Park (Melbourne) in:
3:17 (Goodies) @ 24.7 and the Gladiators did it in 2:57 at an average speed of 27.5.
I borrowed Sarah's (Bike for Bibles Victoria) bike and rode the last 20 km. Nothing too flash, but I rode in with the team. They rode 3,200+ and I rode maybe 200. But then my primary role was as a roadie wasn't it?
I'll put a few more photos on here that you haven't seen so far... after I get back to Dubbo.
Thank you Lord.

Friday, May 01, 2009


It's not all serious stuff. Here we were having some fun in Lockhart. Carlo took the tandem for a spin alone! He even managed to change seats DURING the riding! Pity he couldn't reach the brakes too!

One team is called the Gladiators. This is how the name came about. Carlo models the outfit!

Three vehicles ready to head off from Benalla this morning. It was 1 degree this morning!
We rode 102.9 in 3:52 at an average of 26.5 (from Diana's logbook.) Paul came up with 103.8 in 3:19 at an average of 31.2.
Now we just have the last day to go - Seymour to Melbourne (Mill Park). It'll be about 75 km I think. A walk in the park.

Just to prove that I was doing my job today. Note there are no lollies left!! A beautiful canopy of trees.

Rosemary, Paul, Lindy and Carlo had a stop here... for 50 minutes!! Lovely coffee and pumpkin soup. Avenel. Cute place. Even had TWO coffee shops.

Here we are at the Uniting Church, the home of the infamous Harward Mountjoy to name but one person. He rode the roiginal Perth to Sydney ride... about 100 years ago. It's a wonder he's still alive.

This shot was taken ages ago when we were at Moree. The hot baths were very therapeutic. We did enjoy them.
After the ride ends tomorrow, some folk will fly back to where they come from, others will travel by bus/train and others will drive off. Lindy, for example, is off to the Sunshine Coast. Jolly good idea I reckon. Nigel and Sarah are looking forward to a night in a ritzy place in Melbourne.
Been a most memorable journey.
Still more photos to come, so have another look later.