Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, July 29, 2013


 Looking forward to our visit to North Island, New Zealand on Friday. We'll be there for 2 weeks. We arrive in Auckland (largest city) situated in the NW area of the North Island. You can see the lake in the middle - Lake Taupo. We'll spend our 2nd week at the southern end of that at Turanagi.
Looking forward to our visit to NZ.

Read the following in smart traveller dot com. (When we travel we exercise normal saftey precautions wherever we go!)
  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in New Zealand.
  • Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
  • New Zealand is subject to earthquakes and volcanic activity. Comprehensive information about what to do in an earthquake or other natural disasters is available from the New Zealand Earthquake Commission. See Additional information: Natural disasters, severe weather and climate for more information.
  • A magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in the Wellington region on 21 July 2013. See Additional information: Natural disasters, severe weather and climate for more information.
  • Australians in the Canterbury region should be aware that aftershocks, although slowly diminishing, will continue for several years following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Significant earthquakes are still possible. While many affected buildings in the CBD, eastern and seaside suburbs of Christchurch have been removed or fenced, damaged buildings remain throughout the area. Australians should not enter or approach earthquake damaged buildings and should observe any security barriers in place.
  • Strict access controls are in place in central Christchurch. These restrictions change regularly as more areas are declared safe. See the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority website for updates on cordon zones.
  • Any suggestions for where we should explore while visiting the North Island? 
    Travelling with Bernie and Janice and Barry and Annette. 

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013


     There's something very special between a father-son connection. I know some blokes who, sadly, don't have a close relationship with their offspring. Very sad.

     I really like it when you get to do something special with your son/daughter (or father).  Like swimming. My son is having a ball in the water with his eldest son. Yeah, it's a bonding thing.
    I've really enjoyed singing with one of my kids, and also bike riding (just to name but two activities).

     Here, a friend Merryn and her daughter Lani got to dress up together.
    It's great having a common interest or goal too. Here Fay spends time with Jack on a Sydney ferry ride. They have a very close connection; I wonder if it's because she reads so much to him. He is one neat guy - Jack, the running man.
    It's so important to treasure these moments, these connections. We don't know what lies ahead. Make sure you spend time with the ones you love - who knows what the future might have in store.
    Yeah - twos are very special.
    I'm looking forward to spending some time with each of my own kids, this weekend. Plus the 6 grandkids! And of course my kids' spouses. Seeya next week.

    Monday, July 08, 2013


     All this damn technology stuff. Strike! 
    OK, so I've got this SMART PHONE. Sorry, I've got this iSMARTPHONE. I think I'm a regular SMARTYiPANTS!! It's HTC. Thanks iPete.
    Now I figure I'll put an app on the phone. May be TOUR DE FRANCE. (Too late now for iWIMBLEDON! Congrats Andy Baby! I'll bet he has a bunch of apps on HIS phone.)  So, should I google it?

    Clicked on marketplace.
    Clicked on applications.
    Looked at "6 updates" - no... wrong move I think.
    Found this ICONICAL PLUS. Strike! $0.99. Just read a blurb with it (or about it). Can't understand anything it says... except maybe "wide tiles". No, I don't really understand that either.
    Phone has gone off. (Mean the screen is blank. Black.
    "Categories" - yep, I got a chance of understanding that.
    Try "news".
    Clicked on "Aussie Weather" by mistake.
    I can try or buy. .... Go for try.
    "This trial version requires you click the nag button 30 times to proceed. This nag screen is removed in the full version."
    Is there anybody else who doesn't understand this stuff? Surely cousin Brian and brother Bill wouldn't be able to do this stuff! They're both OVER 70. I'm UNDER 70 remember.
    [Why did we make our kids leave home? Is it too late to invite them back? They'd be able to help.]
    How come it says "top free new categories" and then it tells me they cost $2.99 and all that. How often do they charge me $2.99? Does somebody come round and collect the money?
    "Where is my car?" and another one is "SydBus". I think these are apps.
    "NSW Trains", "I am Here!" "Trailmap", "Australian Bike Share", "Le Tour 2013"..... the list goes on.
    Some people have given up drink for the month. Good onya. I'm thinking of taking it up!!! Is there anybody else out there having probs? Surely I'm not the only one. Now I know why some people chuck theirs in the creek, surf, toilet etc.
    Thanks for helping. Now.... think I'll have an afternoon snooze. Trying to act my age.

    Saturday, July 06, 2013

    FLOODS and WINTER NIGHTIES - not related

    These pictures show Sussex Inlet after the recent heavy rains and high tides. Makes the place look like Venice. We live 8 km south of this township.
     I really don't think this nightie will cut it during the cold winter nights. Days have been lows of 8 and 10 degrees and highs of 18 - 21. Pretty good weather actually.
     I found this one on the internet. Thought I'd buy this for my bride, but they only had it in S size.
    This is the one I've ordered. DON'T TELL THE BRIDE PLEASE! It looks pretty neat. Hope it fits her OK.  Would you like a photo of Fay wearing it when it arrives?
    Off to Kenthurst (in Sydney) for the annual bonfire night. Actually it'll be a LONG weekend for us. We're taking Jan Smart as well. There'll be about 20 - 30 ex Wagga Wagga Teachers College students there. Really looking forward to it.