Gra Nomad Wanderings

Saturday, March 31, 2012


 Last minute instructions from Browny. "Now the long ride today will start off..."

 Around 130 cyclists... though I didn't count them. Haven't got the official count on tandems.... about 18 I believe.

 There were bikes hanging around everywhere. It's very much a bike-friendly area.

 These 2 ladies are from Wagga (I think). They can handle the flat rides around here.

One of the many tandems here at Corowa in 2012. They look happy enough - maybe there's morning tea around the corner.

Friday, March 30, 2012


We're in Corowa for the 16th Annual Australian Bike Friday Championships! Oops.... I mean gathering. There are about 130 cyclists here, all on "little wheels". Yes, the Bike Fridays pack a big punch. Of course coffee and cake go hand in hand with cycling, so we're discovering and re-discovering all the neat bakeries and cake shops there are around here. 
There are folk from WA, SA, Vic, NSW & Qld. There's also folk from Canada and USA. Out of the 130 cyclists, there are at least 16 tandems and a bunch of visually impaired and blind riders (on the back of tandems thank goodness. 
Today for me was not a good day. Woke with sinus. Bum was sore pretty quickly (not a good sign for a top day.) Even the bike had its moments. My stoker, Fay, was like Craven A. Remember them? "They never vary!" Yeah, she was great. No complaints there. Fay is also the bike mechanic, so if anything should go wrong, she's there to help. I bought her a vanilla slice - that is usually good enough for a week! Thanks Matt who did a beaut job fine tuning the gearing on the rig this arvo - now we just gotta see how it runs tomorrow. 

Graham Brown comes from Rutherglen (9 km away) and he and his wife Marg have been responsible for organising the rides and the after cycling activities. So far, so good! Thanks Browns. Really sad that Margaret and Graham Day from SA are not able to be with us on this occasion.
More pix to come hopefully.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


 Back in 1984, Bob Forrest and his son Dave, and a mate of his son, did a ride from Sydney to Melbourne. It was to be the first of many many rides. It became known as BIKE FOR BIBLES, and the riders and roadies over the years have raised in excess of $10,000,000 for a variety of projects both here in Australia and overseas. I've been privileged to ride on 18 BFB rides and be a roadie for another 3. Thanks Bob for your part so many years ago. I have just taken Bob on the tandem, and he didn't fall off!

Betty Forrest (Bob's wife) with Fay and Bob. Great to see them and spend a bit of time. They are special people and have been used greatly through the Bike for Bibles program. Today, the BFB legend continues. (I mean both Bob and the organisation of Bike for Bibles!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This guy (the one on the right) taught with Fay at Moulamein Central School in 1966-67. He lived in a gypsy caravan in the caravan park (see pic below). He was always a creative guy who enjoyed life to the max.

Been good to spend a bit of time with Coult in an environment that is a bit foreign to a bloke who hasn't been in Oz for 12 years. He does a lot of research in China and writes papers on environmental and financial issues. He has also been a liaison contact with a whole bunch of organisations, including government departments.

Yeah, this was Coult's home. That's Fay's Mini parked outside. I used to sleep in the caravan at times. It'd save me driving home to where I lived at Niemur, 20 miles away. Mind you, there were a few snakes that also inhabited the van, so one slept there very, very ... motionless. I can even remember sleeping on the roof! I just don't know whether that was because of the weather or the reptiles. 

 Recreation included riding this sklakky-board while being towed behind a car on the deserted clay pans.
Coult was actually the only one who could really ride this bit of equipment despite our efforts.

Coult's preferred mode of transport was this motor bike (after his VW came to a halt.) Guess this was before helmets came into vogue.
Hope he enjoys his few days in our Oz before he returns to China.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This plate:

  • belonged to Chris and Mandy Reeks (teachers in Cooma)
  • Credence Clearwater Revival when they visited Australia
  • Cooma Crash Repairs
What do you reckon?

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Thanks Dianne for the photos. Here are three city kids. A lotta fun (as you can see by the look on the middle one!) And it shows that grandchildren and grandparents both need their sleep. Aren't they great when they're asleep? (The grandchildren I mean.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Well.... I apologise for the fact that I can't photograph a critter down my rain gauge. (I'm just not that good a photographer.) But, if you use your imagination, there's a small frog there. He's now been replaced by a spider (not photographed). I really don't think the spider ate the frog.... but you never can tell in this day and age.

Rainfall recently:
62 Wed
104 Th
24 Fri
8 Sat
11 Sun
3 Mon
0 Tue
0 Wed
...and now we've had 45 mm today! Just over the last hour. So, that's a fair bit of rain. 4 of the days have had max temps under 25! So, it's not been hot either. What's it been like your way? Heaps of flooding in various places in NSW, but fortunately we reckon we're pretty safe here.
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Thursday, March 01, 2012


OK. Trivia time. What movie(s) do you associate with this song? (That's The Glory of Love) Who was the singer? Who wrote it?
I have an advantage over you right now. What you’re reading, I’ve already read. In fact I wrote it! (No surprise.)
I’ve just watched my favourite movie of all time; do you want some clues?
1.       Came out in August 1968
2.       Won 2 Oscars - Best Writing, Story & Screenplay and Best Actress
3.       Starred a bloke who was the first black man to win an Academy Award (1963)
4.       It’s full of emotions – sadness, excitement. It has tears, laughter, anger, humour etc.
5.       The song The Glory of Love wafts through the entire movie.
6.       The movie ends with a powerful 8 minute speech which solves the dilemma.
Dilemma: Matt and Christina Drayton are a couple whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter brings home a fiancé who is black. Are you in the money now? Back in the game eh?
The song was also sung in Beaches by Bette Midler (1989). It was written by Billy Hill in 1936. People who sang/played it include: Benny Goodman (36), Peggy Lee (59), Dean Martin (66), Eddie Arnold (69) etc.
Here are a couple of quotes from the movie:
  • ·         Nobody understands nothin’ no more!
  • ·         All hell done broke loose now!

·         Ddf
Of course the movie starred Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Houghton and Cecil Kellaway. They've won 7 Oscars between them. 
I just watched this flick. If you haven’t seen GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, then you need to get back into the game. 
Another interesting fact - Katharine Houghton is the daughter of Kate Hepburn's younger sister - yes, she's Kate's neice. 
Spencer Tracy died 17 days after filming was completed.
Katharine Hepburn never saw the completed movie. She said the memories of Tracy were too painful. 

 Just gorgeous. She has to be one of my favourite actors. 
Photo taken in 1941. She wasn't present at the awards 
ceremony where she won the Oscar for this film.

 I liked Poitier in TO SIR WITH LOVE also. 
Born 1927.      6' 2½" (1.89 m) tall

Spencer Tracy     1900-1967   What a great performance.
Loved his 8 minute speech at the end of the movie.
You can come round and watch  it here if you would like to.