Gra Nomad Wanderings

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Today I rode with Matteo from Italy. He was staying with us just overnight. The worldwide scheme is known as WARM SHOWERS. If you're on the host list then people like Matteo can contact you and ask if they can come and overnight with you. Matteo is our very first warm showers visitor. 

Matteo cycled 100 km from Wollongong south to our place yesterday and then today he had a trip of about 100 to Batemans Bay where he's due to stay with good friends of ours - Army and Robbie. They will enjoy hosting this young man from Italy. (There's forty years difference between these two cyclists. Can you pick which one is me and which one is the Italian?)

I figured I should ride with him for the first part of the journey today... the 10 km of dirt. It was certainly not easy riding with some hills, some sandy bits and a shallow creek crossing. We averaged about 13 kph. Another couple of kms and we were at the Princes Highway, the road which would take Matteo to Batemans Bay and on to Mossy Point. We said our farewells and my new-found friend headed south.  
So, now, do I head back the way I came - over the corrugated, sand covered back roads or do I stick on the bitumen (highway) which would mean 28 km instead of 13. I opted for the easy way - the bitumen. 

[A cyclist of the future. And downhill at that!]
One of the good things about bike riding is that you get the chance 
to think about this and that. I got to thinking about all the long distance rides 
I’d done over the last 20 years. 
As I struggled up some of the hills - and the damn seat! - 
I thought, “I dunno whether I ever want to do a week-long  bike ride again.”  Yes, that damn seat. Gonna have to replace that seat that’s for sure. 

When one thinks about retirement, one thinks of the English cricketer Graeme Swann -   aged 34. He decided after Australia regained the Ashes to hang up his cricket boots. A lot of chat and controversy followed. Well, I'm definitely thinking about whether I'll be doing any more long distance bike rides from now on. Mind you, a new seat would make a heap of difference.

So, do you think I'm too old to do this sorta stuff? 
Or do you think I should "bat on"? Is it time to retire? 

Monday, December 16, 2013


I was only trying to help.
I thought if I vacuumed the lounge area that'd be a help. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as well as I thought they would've.
The curtains hang right down to the floor in the lounge room and I was doing the floor. I had the foot off the bottom of the hose at the time. The next thing I knew I was sucking up the drapes! So, I reefed the curtains out of the hungry vacuum cleaner, but didn't realize that the weapon was now heading for the Christmas tree! Oh no! How could that be? That wasn't what I wanted. I pulled the hose away and down came the tree. How did that happen? I was only trying to help. You know those beautiful decorations? The vacuum cleaner just loved them. Straight in. Where are they? Gone!
There used to be lovely curtains, a balanced, beautifully decorated Christmas tree and a bunch of presents under the tree. After my onslaught, it didn't resemble the original at all.
Does anybody want a vacuum cleaner?
I wonder if there are any other jobs around the house that I can tackle which will help my lovely wife. Now you know why they invented men's sheds!

Thursday, December 05, 2013


 Every couple of years we head off somewhere. Of course there are still weekends away, plus trips to Mudgee (or wherever) mixed in with these longer trips.

 Griffins towed with their Mazda MX5 (above) while we did the job with our (just as new) Hyundai ix35.
 Both vehicles were quite economical and did the job capably. Our vans weigh about 900+ kg each.
The Fitzpatricks (at the rear of this picture) towed their lighter Aliner with their aging Subaru Forrester.
Do you want to come on the next trip? Book in now. No down payment. Seeya. Pick up an avan... and away you go. (Where do you wanna go? We haven't decided as yet!!)
Not sure whether Bernie is doing some maintenance or whether he's just having a short kip. He's famous for both of these activities.