Saturday, 19 August 2017

Long time between posts for all sorts of reasons....wont happen again!

6th August 2017

I left Wardell NSW and headed to Ballina NSW for a few days camping in Snowball. I booked in and caught up with some domestic chores - washing etc and then headed to the RSL for lunch. 

I'm booked into the Caravan Park for a few days and will leave on the 12th for Brisbane. The weather was spectacular and I have to keep reminding myself that this is mid winter. I've been for lots of walks along the river and watched a bit of Netflix on my iPad. Netflix rocks.

Out for my walk


Ballina - it was there one
day but gone the next lol

Snacks and Netflix and
Snowball. AAAAH!!

An interesting looking camper van pulled in to the park next to me. Tracey and Simon and their $100 ex backpacker van and 1 very big bird. Nice people and the bird had its own little igloo tent and was very well behaved

Tracey - I've forgotten the
budgies name lol

8 August 2017

Another beautiful day and another great walk followed by snacks and Netflix. I met Ted and Carol from Ormeau QLD and have been invited to visit on my next trip that way. Also the people across from me were cooking bacon on the BBQ while I ate my porridge. Sad Face!! Anyway - they came over with some samples for me and became my new best friends. :) 

Free bacon!!!!

When I'm housesitting I tend to be on my way TO somewhere or on my way BACK from somewhere and I don't really get time to veg out and actually meet people so this has been nice. See more on this later.

9 August 2017

While I was out walking today I came across a small farmers market and headed back to the Park with a dozen giant oysters,  some oyster chowder and a large punnet of the most delicious blueberries I ever did eat.  And you ask....the oysters didn't work!!

Some people from Tasmania moved in later in the day and we talked into the early evening about our travels.

All in all a very good day.

10 August 2017

I said that the weather was gorgeous during the day but the night time temperature has been dropping to the 2 to 5 degree Celsius mark.  I've been filling my hot water bottle and nuking my wheat bags and getting in to bed early to keep warm. Generally I get up during the night to reheat everything lol.

11 August 2017

Another beautiful walk and a pub lunch. I want to be packed up so I can leave first thing for Brisbane.

12 August 2017

On the road early heading for Brisbane and stopped at McDonalds Chinderah for breakfast.

This was an education. I was the only person waiting at Maccas and asked for a sausage and egg McMuffin and a black decaf coffee. The girl typed it all in and she said "thats a cappuccino?" and I replied "No. A black decaf coffee thanks". and she said" Yes...a decaf cappuccino." When I asked her how one would make a black cappuccino the penny dropped. Doh! To add insult to injury my sausage and egg turned out to be bacon and egg. I wonder how she would have gone if there'd been a crowd.

13 August to 15 August 2017

Time spent looking after Derek while Lee goes to her new job and to help with her house moving and then off to Banyo Qld for 1 months housesit.


The weather was spectacular for the whole month and a lot of dog walking took place with Daisy and Ratty.

There's a very very basic Vietnamese restaurant at the end of the road that serves up some of the best Beef Pho I've tasted. Definitely as good as the place I became addicted to in San Francisco.

Beef Pho

During this time I decided that buying the VW Transporter instead of a large van was definitely the right thing for me to do. It's my only vehicle and when in Brisbane I'm all over the place. I would've been totally stressed driving in peak hour and parking and reversing in the bigger van. Snowball is perfect in every way and I'm very happy to have her.

While I was walking the dogs around Banyo - a suburban residential area - I came across 2 large lizards on different days. I was quite surprised to see them there and especially as one was on the actual road. They obviously like to live dangerously!

Also during this period I became a mama.  I was toying with the idea  at some stage of getting a little companion to travel with me. Lee started sending through 8 million emails with different dogs for sale and I saw one that I fell in love with instantly. His name is Trevor and you'll need to get used to seeing photos of him. He's so photogenic and has the prettiest little face. He has an Instagram page called travels.with.trev so check it out and follow his journey.

Lee with Trevor


Smiling :)

Looking out the back window
- waiting to start the trip

Me and da dawg!

Such a pretty pretty boy

11 August 2017

Trev and I hit the road and the plan was 3 x 700 km days which we did with ease. Trev is so tiny he travels in his crate with the seat belt strapping the crate in on the front seat. When he gets bigger I'll get him a proper harness and a booster seat so he can see the world. He's 3/4 Fox terrier x 1/4 Maltese and while stunningly beautiful will only grow till about 10 inches tall so I use the words "get bigger" loosely hehehe

I stopped every couple of hours to let him do his business and I'm so proud of him. No "accidents" in the van and each time we moved on he would snuggle down and sleep till the next stop.

I've never ever seen as much road kill as I did on this trip. Must have been 100 roos and a couple of wild pigs.  Lots of birds too.

Toowoomba Old

Milmerran NSW

Love the name of this pub. I've had
my share of "wobbly boot" nights

I love what they are doing to
these ugly silos and tanks

We stopped at Coonabarrabran NSW the first night and Hay NSW the next and into Adelaide on the third day. I booked into my favourite spot at Brighton Caravan Park and the memories of cold Adelaide winters came streaming back to me. The second night I had to drop the pop top because the wind was so strong. Really rocked us to sleep lol

Another 2 weeks before Trev can go for walks - his vaccinations won't kick in till then so I'm a bit land locked at the moment.

OK so here's the serious bit. I had breast cancer 30 years ago and have relived the anguish and fear again the last few weeks. I developed another lump. All my original surgery and recovery took place in Adelaide so I rang for an appointment with Dr Parkyn but he was overseas till September 4. I made an appointment anyway but the stress got to me and his partner very kindly saw me  on Friday. 

2 Ultrasounds later and all is well - just a trauma related injury  due to a fall/twist I had.  

So far my retirement (since I returned from the States) has been driving from one end of the country to the other -  housesitting. 

Whilst I've enjoyed the driving and my van and helping friends out I've come to realise how precious time is and how we're  guaranteed NOTHING. I lost my brother Phil 2 years ago at the age of 65 to cancer - I'm sure he expected to live long and prosper but it was not to be.

Because of this I am going to give up house sitting at the end of this year -  I'll be contacting people personally who have made long term bookings so they will have time to make other arrangements.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience this will cause my friends but I'm sure they'll understand my reasoning. 

I'm looking forward to driving at a leisurely pace and stopping off for periods of time along the way if I come across a place that particularly grab me.

Derek and Trevor

17 August 2017

I'm currently housesitting for Carmen at Salisbury SA - looking after Tess. Tess is an older version of Trevor and Trev is a little bit excited about it all. Poor Tess - she comes out for a play and then disappears to recover. 

It has been bloody cold here....but only 2 weeks till spring :)


Trevor - he stole the
Penguin from Tess

I'm here till the 22nd and then I'll remain in Adelaide for a few days to attend some special events in the McMahon/Hemming/Savage family. Will fill you in later.

My future includes a lot more of this.......

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

A Week in Wardell

What do you think of the new look blog? I thought it was time for a spruce up :)

After a month of dog sitting Derek in Brisbane I headed south to NSW to a 1 week sit in Wardell NSW for Julie and Ryan. My charges being Bailey the dog, Bowie the rabbit and 6 anonymous chooks.

Bridge over Richmond
 River at Wardell

Richmond River

The daytime weather has been terrific - 25 C but the nights have been cold. Quite perfect really for the middle of winter.

I  must admit to vegging a lot and watching a lot of Netflix. "The Fall" - "Keepers" - "Fargo #2" - "Outlander #2"  but I've  also managed some lovely walks. The area is rural and very beautiful.

Once again I scared myself. I was walking along the river edge and then took a side road while listening to a podcast about the East Area Rapist in California. There wasn't a soul in sight and Mr Google Maps directed me up a side road. It didn't seem to lead anywhere - was called Swamp Street and was a No Through Road. Aaarggh! Against my better judgement I continued on and ended up ankle deep in muddy water. Swamp Street indeed!! It actually lead out on to the main highway and was only a short distance from home. I don't need scary movies and podcasts to scare myself - I can do it all alone!!

                            Bailey is so cute and lovely and 
                                    a real snuggle bug.

Watching scary movies with Bailey

First thing I saw on waking from
my nap - sitting on my chest

I stopped at the Ballina RSL for lunch today after my shopping. Best food for minimum cost

Roast Pork YUM

View from the RSL

Ballina has rapidly become one of my favourite places to visit. beautiful place.

I went for a drive up the coast north of Ballina around Lennox Heads on Sunday where the scenery is spectacular. Great beaches and I saw a whale appear but then disappear too quick to get a photo :(

I leave Wardell tomorrow and hopefully have a few days in the Ballina Caravan Park before returning to Brisbane for my next house sit in Banyo.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The winter you're having when you're not having a winter!!

June has been a quiet month and although it's the first month of winter, it's yet to get cold in sunny Brisbane. It's been between 20 to 25 C every day and quite muggy on occasion. I was looking forward to a cool winter but circumstances have bought me back to Brisbane. Never mind - there's still time :)

I've spent most of June dog sitting Derek Da Dog and loving it. Caught a couple of movies - The Mummy and Despicable 3 and watched a lot of Netflix.

My beautiful boy xx
Only a Mee Ma could
love that face

The highlight of the month was that I finally sold my "old" car after 3 months of advertising it. The buyers took 3 days to commit and I was getting increasingly anxious because the registration was due ($650) plus the insurance debit was coming up within a few days ($60 per month). Gets a bit expensive when I'm paying out rego and insurance for Snowball as well. Anyway - the deal was done with 5 hours to spare  - big phew because that would have been money down the drain for me. As it was I had to get a second roadworthy done because the first one had run out the week before grrr.

Holden Viva - gone but not forgotten

I'll miss my little car - after riding high in Snowball it felt like my bum was dragging on the road in the Viva - you sit so low lol. 

I had all the paperwork at hand  and rather than climb 3 flight of stairs up to Lee's I opened Snowball and we sat inside in the car park doing the transaction. It made me laugh - sitting in the back of the van with the lights on counting out thousands of dollars - anyone passing by would have been forgiven for thinking it was a drug deal going down.

I must say it's a great relief that it's finally sold although I'll miss it after 7 years of tootling around. It's been good to me.

I spent 5 days house sitting for Lorraine and Jethro while they took the kids off to Port Douglas to posh it up with the rich folk. My charge was Mia - a 3 legged rescue greyhound. She's quite old now and a suspected tumour resulted in her leg being amputated. She's still quite agile and a very loving, gentle dog.

Mia - gorgeous girl

With all the house sitting I've been doing I've missed being on the road  but I'll get a few nights soon. I'm leaving this Friday to go to Wardell NSW for a week then I'll have a week of rest and recreation at Ballina NSW . Then it's back to Brisbane  Qld for a 5 week sit at Banyo. After that I'll travel 2100 kms back to Adelaide for a 1 week sit and then I'll have nearly a month to do a road trip. I'm planning on doing the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne and then continuing on up the  east coast. I also want to go to the War Memorial in Canberra.

I'm so looking forward to this. Up till now I've always been on the way somewhere or coming back from somewhere - I just want to meander :)

I've also signed up to Netflix and downloaded a pile of TV shows and movies to watch along the way. I could buy a TV and antenna but really don't want the bother or use the limited space. This way I  can watch what I want when I want and can top up when I go to Lee's - unlimited downloads :)

Below are some cars I've seen this month

I don't know whether he's a
Donald fan or plays the trumpet
Blind man driving.....?