16 June 2016


15th June 2016
We have been having a great time here in Condobolin.
We have committed to travel to Tasmania on the Spirit of Tasmania on the 28th January and will return in late May or Early June.  So we have had days where we have been planning our route and things to see and do.
On 26th May Darryl and I went into Condobolin RSL Club for the launch of a documentary called “Little Towns, Big Voices” which is all about domestic violence in the rural and small town community BUT can be related to all places.  This documentary was made locally (and our niece Holly is in it at the beginning) and Peter Garrett MA is one of the main speakers.  This documentary is going to be reproduced and distributed to all schools with a workbook for the students.  Was a very thought provoking half hour documentary and those local people who tell their stories – are very brave people.  Meeting Peter Garrett was a pleasure and he is very proactive against Domestic Violence.

After the launch I was invited to join the local “Weaving Together” women the next day, and they said that they would help me complete my FISH with fins and eyes. 

  I was shown a lot of their work and have been invited back next week. :D  We then travelled to Wagga Wagga for the weekend – arriving at 6.30pm.  We had a great weekend meeting up with family and a great BBQ on Sunday.  Unfortunately I was having a wobbly day on Sunday and ended up in bed for 4 hours that afternoon with a terrible brain fog afterwards.
We travelled back to Condobolin on Monday and on Tuesday we found Ian’s lamb ‘Blondie’ not well in the paddock.  We got help from the research station and they gave ‘Blondie’ some calcium (as it seemed that he had an upset belly) and they came and gave him another dose before they went home.  Unfortunately he did not make it through the night L  We were in contact with Ian and Wendy and on his suggestion we asked the staff to move the other lamb ‘Two’ in with the other ewes and lambs so that she had company. They did this on the Thursday.
I had had another Meniere’s episode on Tuesday afternoon which continued to a full day on the Wednesday which was a complete wipe-out and ‘Rosey’ the dog kept me company and my balance didn’t get anywhere near normal until early Thursday.  I managed to get into Weaving and have been invited back to help the group weave sections for the ‘Gertie Gugaa (Goanna)’ that the ladies are making on Monday.

Saturday was a rainy day and I did some sewing and then did some more planning for the trip to Tasmania.  Sunday was a dry day but we then had misty rain on Monday and Tuesday
Monday I helped the ladies sew sections onto the frame of Gertie and then bought some panels home to weave for them.
Thursday was Miss Gemma’s Birthday.  She turned 10 years old.  And Nanna did a silly thing :D  We had got her birthday present in May and THOUGHT that we had left it in Beckie’s wardrobe – well Beckie couldn’t find it.  Low-and-behold it turned out to be in the caravan L So Nanna had to put it into an Express Bag and post it off.  [Luckily she received it on Monday]
  Lovely dress for the summer for Miss G

Our dear friends Jenny and Doug Peisley came to camp for the long weekend – arriving at 9pm (after Doug finished work at 5pm).  We had had small rain squalls on Friday so were hoping it would clear up a bit so that we could have a campfire on Saturday night.  Saturday dawned cloudy, windy and cool.  It was also our grandson BRADLEY’s 17th birthday, but he was working until midday at his apprenticeship.  So we rang him later that afternoon.   Darryl and Doug went fishing down at the creek and Jenny and I drove to Lake Cargelligo to attend the ‘Blue Waters’ Art and Craft Exhibition.  This was an hours drive and we enjoyed wandering looking at all the beautiful quilts and the art work. 

       this one has my Sister-in-law's (Wendy) painting of the Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland in it.

 We then had a bit of trouble finding somewhere to have a nice cup of coffee – but finally found it in the ‘Fisho’s Bakery’.  We then drove back to Condobolin.  The men returned (as the wind was too cold) and they had caught two good size fish BUT one was a protected species and had to be returned to the water and the other was a carp.
We had a lovely campfire that night with Roast pork and veggies cooked in the camp oven and then Gluten Free Bread and Butter pudding.  Both great meals and being able to sit around the campfire with good friends.
  Roast cooking :D enjoying the ambience


Sunday we had a lazy day where we drove out to ‘Utes in the Paddock’ at Ootha where there are 20 Holden utes that have been painted and altered making them sculptures, with explanation signs for them.  Some of them are below

We then drove to Gumbend Lake at Condobolin which is a man-made lake and a free (donation welcome) camping area.  There is a walking track around the lake and also a path into the town if you wish to exercise.
Monday morning it was clear and sunny and Jenny and Doug left for home at about 12md. We then did the housework and then I did some more weaving on a basket using a stitch from North America and using some of the techniques that I have learnt whilst here.

  side view

  side and top

Tuesday was Darryl’s birthday and he had a lazy day just pottering around and then we went into town for dinner.  We wanted to have Thai – but it was closed on Tuesdays – so we then went to the Royal Hotel and he had a nice Mixed Grill for his birthday dinner. 
 Ready to tuck into his birthday dinner

 We then returned to the house and had cake and ice-cream for dessert.
Also on this day -----  Master Bradley was successful in getting his P Plates
  The shirt really does NOT do him justice - 
Wednesday – Yesterday – I did not had a good day.  Woke up ok but then when I went to get out of bed the world began to spin……..  Darryl gave me a bucket, my Meniere’s medications and I hung on to the cupboard to prevent being thrown out --- that is what it felt like at the time…..

24 May 2016

23rd May 2016 The Great Adventure has begun

We are all set up at Condobolin, house-sitting for Wendy and Ian.  The cool weather has been welcomed after the weather in Queensland prior to us leaving.  BUT you need to know what has happened in the middle…………………….
We were due to hand over the keys to Victoria Point at 2.45pm on the 11th April.  We left the house at 10am on the 11th, the real estate agent was going to hand over the keys for us and we said sad farewells to our dear neighbours.  At 2.21pm we got a text from the real estate agent to say that the new buyers wanted to do a ‘pre-settlement’ inspection before they paid the rest of the sale monies…… :C  Really - 19minutes before it is all supposed to be settled!!!!
At 2.30pm we got an email from the Solicitors to say that settlement had occurred early.  So they were obviously pleased that we had left the house clean and tidy.
We drove out to Jimboomba and set up in Beckie’s front yard.  Over the next few days we had appointments to complete and then we headed to Taree to see Darryl’s brother Neville and his sister Shirley.  We spent the first night at Halfway Creek, south of Grafton.  This is a great spot near the Shell service station and we had about 18 other vehicles with us.  We then travelled to Taree the next day.  It was a shock to see the van park at Dawson River almost empty BUT still charging high School-holidays prices ($45 per night and then it dropped to $35 per night on the Sunday at the end of the holidays).  We are really beginning to feel that they are out-pricing themselves for us to stay and we may have to find somewhere else.  We had a great few days there and even went up to Port Macquarie to for a surprise visit to Uncle Max and Aunty Kath. 
 Uncle Max and Aunty Kath

 Free, Aurra and Julie

  Vesna and Nick

  It was also a great day as we managed to catch up with cousin Julie and Free and Aurra, and also Vesna and her lovely husband Nick.  A truly lovely day.
We returned back to Jimboomba to see the doctor and get scripts filled and then it was Beckie’s Birthday (Happy mid-30’s Birthday :D) and then the next day was Mother’s Day.  
 Miss Independant with 'Hulk', Max, 'Bobby', Bec with Lucky Last and Mr Man

Beck, Ben, Barb, Darryl

On Beckie’s birthday we went to a ‘Hippiness and Happiness’ Market that was held at Woodhill Hall.  What a great day we had.  Lots of different stalls from usual markets.  Ben came and joined us for Mother’s Day and we had a latish lunch once the children returned from their prospective fathers.  We had a great evening.  Beckie has been teaching Miss Independent and Monkey Boy how to play Canasta – and they have both grasped it really well.  We all had several good sessions with them.

We set off on the Monday and travelled to Inglewood in Qld.  
  It would seem that Autumn has begun on the road to Toowoomba

We were still debating which way to travel on our way to Condobolin and weren’t sure if we were going to go through Goondiwindi to St George or down to Moree.  The camp spot at Inglewood was well used that night with 8 rigs in for the night.  We had some light rain showers during the night and it was a quite a warm night.
We travelled down to Moree the next day and took rest at Tooraweenah rest area just south of Coonabarabran.  
It was quite overcast and the wind was cool and fellow resters were also from Qld and they found the cool wind very uncomfortable and they were heading to South Australia – so will definitely need their winter woollies.  
 6 degrees and foggy next morning

Next morning it was 6degrees and the wind was blowing again and it was time for long pants and socks and shoes :D.  We travelled through to Condobolin through Narromine and Tullamore and arrived at Condobolin at about 2pm to find no one at home :C BUT Wendy was travelling back from Dubbo and Ian was to get home on Friday from Orange.  We set up in the driveway and then went in and gave Rosey a big cuddle.  
  set up in the driveway :D

  Miss Rosey is 11 years old

We then got the fire going to warm the house and let the chickens out of their pen to have a good scratch in the yard.  Darryl made some chicken and vegetable soup for dinner and Wendy stopped in Parkes and got some lovely crusty bread to go with it.

We all headed into town on Friday and whilst Wendy was at the hairdresser Darryl and I did the shopping.  When we got home we found Ian had arrived and we had a lovely evening catching up.  

On Saturday we chatted and ate and chatted whilst getting the campfire roaring and then Ian and Wendy prepared a lovely roast beef lunch which we thoroughly enjoyed and then sat around the campfire until after dark.  

 Ian checking the Roast in the camp-oven

 Relaxing after lunch - Wendy painting

 Darryl relaxing near the camp fire

We then listened in whilst Wendy and Ian had a skype session with Miss Holly from Poland and we participated right near the end.  It was really lovely chatting with her and all three of them are getting terribly excited about meeting up in Amsterdam in about 18 days…….

Sunday we let Ian and Wendy complete their preparations for travel and we left for Dubbo at 10.45am.  We arrived at just after 1pm and Ian directed us to a pub for lunch.  From here we went to Officeworks so that Wendy could get some pens for drawing for use whilst away and we took advantage of the stop to get some supplies as well :D
  last minute checking at the airport

Once we waved them onto the plane for Sydney, Darryl and I travelled to visit our friends Jenny and Doug and were lucky enough to meet up with Helen and Peter who were on their way home to Adelaide.  The time flew WAY TOO fast and it was very dark by the time we headed on our way down to Parkes and out to Condobolin.  We got home at 9.15pm and had a quite cuppa whilst giving Miss Rosey a good cuddle.
I have been invited to attend a Weaving Day at Forbes on Wednesday and also to join with the Weavers of Condobolin the following week.  So am getting very excited about that also.
Monday and Tuesday we attended to the chores that come with caring for a home and we heard late that night that Wendy and Ian had arrived safe and sound in France.  

Wednesday Darryl and I headed off at 9am for my weaving session.  We arrived in Forbes at 10.15am and Darryl went and kept himself occupied whilst I mingled with the ladies (I did ask him to come in for a cuppa and to meet the ladies but he declined :C).  What a great morning and afternoon – lots of great yarning and learning.  I learnt to make string and also started to weave a fish using twining – which you will see in the attached photos. 
  String from red hot poker plant.

 starting the fish tail

starting to move it out to make the body

 weaving more of the body - concentrating hard

 ready to shape front of the body

 front taking shape

ready for the mouth

almost finished.  Have done mouth and whiskers but now to do eyes and do the dorsal and lateral fins.  Will then make some more string to use as a hanger.
Yucca, cumbungi, watsonia, red hot poker is what has been used to make 'FISH' :D

  Unfortunately, it was the last of these community sessions held by the Orange Fiber Artists – UNLESS they can get more government funding or work out another method of funding.

Yesterday and today I have been getting our laundry done whilst also sitting and weaving the FISH.  It has been a very interesting and satisfying activity.  I look forward to learning more next week when I meet with the weavers of Condobolin.

03 April 2016

3 April 2016

Well......... What an eventful couple of months we have had!!!!
We put our home on the market on the 11th February and the first inspection was at 10am on the 12th February.  Second inspection that afternoon at 4pm with an offer made and accepted by 6pm that day.  We were given an unconditional date of 26th February with settlement date of 21 March.  YAY we thought.
The buyers had put a 'due diligence' clause of  - wanting all final inspections by council.  Not a problem we thought!   HOW WRONG WERE WE?????  
When the buyers conveyancer did the searches it was discovered that the FINAL plumbing inspection from 1979 had not been filed with council.. This meant it was now up to us.

We were actually away in Quirindi, NSW when all this was beginning to unfold and instead of fulfilling all our planned commitments in NSW we had to high-tail it back home so that we could go to council and try and get it sorted.

We were also told (by the buyers solicitor) that council did not have plans and approvals for the concrete driveway from the front gates to the shed, and that the shed was too close to the boundary in one corner.   hmmmm so why was this not detected when we purchased the property in 2006?????  NO-ONE could tell us. Now this turned out to be easier to rectify that we were originally told.  At first the buyers solicitor was telling us that we would have to move the shed --- a 12metre by 7.5metre shed on a metre of concrete - Ahh NO!.  When we went to council they pulled up the Google Earth photo (a very recent photo as the people behind us with the trampoline had only moved in at beginning of January) and after discussion with the people in authority - we were told that NOTHING had to be done as it all looked fine.  This was told to the Solicitor who passed it on and then she rang us back that night to tell us the buyers did not believe what we were saying and they were going to go to council on the Monday morning.  Fine - you do that!!!!.  They were then told the same thing as us. :D
 It also turned out that the upper deck off the dining room seemed to not have had its final done either - so again that was up to us to rectify.  They also wanted us to put a driveway from the kerb to the boundary of the property.  We then had a quite long discussion with the solicitor about how there ALREADY was a sloped driveway and if the buyers wanted anything different THEY could do that when they took occupancy of the property.  Their argument apparently, was that we were using the ‘box kerb’ and there wasn’t a sloped drive – sorry – it looks like this one is the one that was put in before the house was even built.  We had done quite enough thank you very much.
The owners before us had put in extra plumbing downstairs with a shower and hand-basin as well as a kitchen sink.  This plumbing had NOT been approved by council either.  So again it was up to us to get it all checked out and approved.
We were told in 2007 that we DID NOT need council approval to convert the double garage to a rumpus area.  In 2016 this is incorrect - so we had to get a draftsman to come and draw up plans showing the conversion from Non-habitable to habitable.  Whilst he was at it we had to get him to  draw the plans for the upstairs covered deck so that that could be approved.
With all these works having to be done - we could NOT go unconditional until all the 'due diligence FINALS' had been obtained.
On the 22nd March the building certifier came and checked the conversions, checked the construction on the deck and the roofing and YES - passed everything that had been done.  He then sent everything to council on the 23rd and emailed us a copy of the Form 21 which is the FINAL CERTIFICATION form needed by council.
The plumber had been to check all the plumbing for the FINAL inspection and found that some things were not up to the 2016 standard and had to be rectified.  Of course!!!  So $1800 later he was contacting council to come and do an inspection BUT that could not happen until council had processed the paperwork, sent us a form with a number on it and then we could re-contact the plumber so he could re-contact council and book in the inspection.  So our first council inspection was on  the 29th March and - wouldn't you know it - more work had to be done to make it acceptable!
On the 30th March our plumber was back again putting in some AAV (Air Admittance Vents), 
 the AAV from kitchen sink downstairs

AAV from the ensuite hand-basin and fixing the pipe to the wall because it would be too unsafe if not done.  It has coped fine for all the time we have been in the house :C

reversing the hand basin taps (because apparently you CANNOT have the hot tap on the right) and affixing the drain pipe to the wall in the laundry and then putting so much black insulation on the hot water service - it isn't funny.

 there are covers on the relief valves, the pipe from the relief valve had to be extended and run along the wall and then down into the drain.  It is NOT permitted to be released on the ground anymore.  Then the pipes had to be insulated so no one got burnt.

On the morning of the 1st of April the council inspection was booked for anytime between 8am and 12md - and the inspector arrived at 11.30am and checked the work that was done and YES - it was all passed.  We were emailed the certificate at 3pm that afternoon and we then forwarded on to our solicitor. Ahh - now that WAS definitely a weight off our shoulders and we headed off to Beckies for the weekend.  

We were looking after the children as Beck was heading off to the wedding of the young lady who had been her Bridesmaids 8 years ago.  We had a great evening as my brother Peter was able to join us for dinner (he is working at Yarrabilba near Logan Village).  It was lovely spending nearly 5 hours in his company.  Thanks for coming Pete, the grandchildren enjoyed meeting Nanna's brother.

We are now back home and camped in the van in the driveway.  We only have to pack the kitchen things and we will be ready for our removal that has been booked in for 8am on Wednesday.  We have decided to put our belongings into a storage facility (one of the cheaper ones but it also has CCTV and an onsite caretaker with NO access after 7pm at night - if anyone goes in after 7pm then the alarms will go off).  We are then going to go and spend some time in areas where we are thinking will be great to retire and settle - check out the area and facilities and access to medical needs etc and then compare them and make a decision.  At this point we are not going to rush our decision.

We have got commitments for most of this year with looking after Wendy and Ian's animals from May until end of June and then I am meeting up with a fellow weaver to learn about weaving with native grasses before heading back to Brisbane and passing on my new skills to the Jajari Jimbaljin ladies group.
We then have commitments in September and October down in Victoria before heading back up to the children and grandchildren before heading back to NSW and Christmas in Condobolin.

So lots planned and we will keep you in the loop as to where we are and what we are doing.

Ohh and we know have this out the front