Thursday, 30 September 2010

25–30 September 2010–Crows Nest Caravan Park, Crows Nest, QLD

Finally, we were able to get away from Brisbane.  We headed out along the Brisbane Valley Highway towards Crows Nest.  Just had to stop at the Bakery in Esk for a taste.  There was a group of old Ford cars doing a run through the area.  IMGP2490Even though it was cloudy, it was still a pleasant day for an outing.  So, after some photos and a coffee, Crows Nest here we come.  The plan was to spend the night there, and then head south towards Millmerran, perhaps spending a couple of nights somewhere in-between.  It was a good plan, but then that night it rained.  Not only in Crows Nest, but Millmerran received 30mm which brought the creeks up and flooded the showgrounds.  We received word of this via the owner of Crows Nest, and decided that, caution being the name of the game, we would stay there until the weather cleared a bit, and Millmerran showgrounds dried out.  We had a good, if quiet week.  Wandered around the area and went out to Lake Cressbrook and Lake Perseverance, as well as the Crows Nest National Park.

Friday, 24 September 2010

13–24 September 2010–Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park, Ashgrove, Brisbane

At the start of September, when Rick visited Dr D (his Dermatologist), two moles were scraped for biopsy, several sun spots were frozen, and Dr D decided that two more suspect moles needed to be completely excised.  Unfortunately, Rick couldn’t get an appointment until 14 October.  This would have been a really bad day, because the following day is when we move to Booroobin to begin the house-sit.  At that stage, Rick already had an appointment with Dr Paul for 14 September.  Dr Paul is the plastic surgeon responsible for removing the last melanoma from Rick’s right cheek.  The aim when we made the appointment (from Perth) was to see if the scar on Rick’s face could be minimised somewhat.

With the additional problems arising, we decided to ask Dr D to refer Rick to Dr Paul, firstly to remove the two suspects, and secondly to follow up on the pathology results from the two that had already been biopsied.  After a little bit of confusion, Dr Paul booked Rick into Greenslopes Private Hospital (day surgery only) for the coming Friday – 17 September.  Dr Paul doesn’t mess about!!  Unfortunately, the results of the two previous biopsies weren’t particularly good, so they had to be fully excised.  That meant, all up that Rick had four moles fully removed, and additional surgery to take some of the slight lumpiness out of his existing scar.  So that’s two on his right cheek, one on the upper left arm and two on his left foot.

Rick heals very quickly (fortunately), and only needed pain-killers for the first couple of days.  Dr Paul rang on the Monday to advise the all clear with the pathology results.  This was a huge relief after the number of surgeries it took to fully remove the melanoma on his face in 2008.  The stitches on his face were due to come out on Friday 24th after seven days and the results of the surgery were fantastic.  Dr Paul is not only a very good surgeon, but it’s very obvious that he really cares about his patients.  Even after only a week of healing, the scars from the surgery were minimal, and hardly visible.

The stitches on Rick’s shoulder and feet were due to come out on 1 October, but we told them we had to be elsewhere then (Millmerran of course), and planned on leaving Brisbane on 25 September.  Eventually between the nurse, and Dr Paul’s attending surgeon, Matthew, they decided that the nurse could remove the shoulder sutures, and I could remove the ones on his feet on the 1st.  I’ve done it before, so I’m not too fussed about it, and the nurse supplied a full suture removal kit, so I’ve now got better tools than my own tweezers and scissors.

We were then able to leave Newmarket Gardens on schedule on Saturday 24th.

Forgot to mention earlier, that we were able to catch up with Stephanie when we arrived at Newmarket.  She’s a long time resident of the park and a qualified electrician.  We met her a couple of years ago as she’s a good friend of Kedron owners Bob & Di.  She’s just gone all extravagant and bought herself a new Jeep.  Charcoal grey, leather upholstery, and all the bells and whistles!  Her site (which was just behind ours) is temporarily rather crowded, with her van, boat & trailer, and two jeeps!  Unfortunately, she was working night shift that fortnight, but we still managed to have some good chats.  The woman is as mad as a cut snake!  She fits in really well with most of the Kedron owners as well!

Newmarket Gdns

Sunday, 12 September 2010

8–12 September 2010–Brisbane River

After the hustle and bustle of the city, this a such a beautiful, quiet place to camp.  It is on the banks of the Brisbane River, just outside of Kilcoy.  We were given the directions by Laurie, who is also a Kedron owner.  There are two areas where it is possible to camp – one is right down on the banks of the river, and the other is at a higher level and not quite so close to the banks.  Because of recent rains, the river level is quite high, and the lower sites are unusable.  Not a problem though because the higher level gave us a better view.

We had five days of bliss!  Over the entire period, we saw only three other vehicles.  They came in, checked the lower camp sites, and went out again.  How sad!  The birds were plentiful, and some quite cheeky!  Bugs were not a problem, and we were able to sit outside by the campfire both before and after dinner.  We had no problems recharging power even though it got a bit cloudy at times.  There was no TV or NextG signal, but we set up the Sat – just to test it out, you understand!   The main aim here was relaxation and we certainly achieved that.  Just what was needed after the previous couple of weeks and to strengthen us up for the next run at the city.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

6–7 September 2010–Lawnton Showgrounds

When we first arrived back in Brisbane we had made a booking with Kedron to get a couple of minor things fixed in the van, and also get get our existing 3.5 tonne Hyland Hitch (on the van) replaced with a 6.0 tonne McHitch.  This change also required a new, heavier set of Hayman Reece Weight Distribution Bars.  This was all due to happen on 7 Sept, so we arrived at Lawnton Showgrounds the day before on 6 Sept.  We knew that Brian & Lis (fellow Kedron owners from SA) were also going to be there so we were looking forward to a good catch up.  We first met them in 2009 in SA while we were in the McLaren Valley (lovely wine area).

When we arrived, we were really pleased to see that Kim & Ned (which is short for Nerida) were also there.  We first met them at the Millmerran Camp Oven Festival in 2006, and have only seen them a couple of times since.  We had our own little Kedron gathering, and also celebrated both Kim’s birthday and Ned & Kim’s wedding anniversary.  What perfect timing!.


The following morning we were due at Kedron at 07:30, so gave breakfast a miss until we dropped the van off.  The Coffee Club in Strathpine does a great breakfast, so that set us up for the day.  We spent the morning fiddle-arsing about, before getting back to Kedron at about 1:30pm to get the vehicle end of the hitch set up.

The McHitch and Weight Distribution set-up took a big chunk out of our savings, but was well worth it.  It is easy to hitch and un-hitch, and the WD bars actually work now, and transfer some of the ball weight to the front wheels.  The whole rig now travels much better.


That night, dinner had been arranged at the Aspley Hornets Leagues Club, where we caught up with yet another Kedron Owner couple – David & Jane.  Haven’t seen them for yonks and a good time was had by all.  We organised a maxi taxi to go and come back, so nobody had to worry about driving.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

4–5 September 2010–Acacia Ridge Caravan Park

Dad’s 80th birthday was on 2 September, so the whole weekend was set aside for revelry.  Saturday was set aside for a family BBQ.  Denise makes a mean salad and we had lamb and beef burgers with potato salad to match.  We worked out that it has been 35 years since Dad, my brother Brett and myself have been in the same place together.  Even with phone calls and emails, it’s still a long time apart.  Unfortunately my sister-in-law Chris was unable to come with Brett as it was her Dad’s birthday on the weekend also.

On Sunday, which was also Fathers’ Day, we went to lunch at the Runcorn Tavern.  Some very good friends of Dad & Denise’s also came along.  The Tavern was very busy because of Fathers’ Day, but the service was pretty good, and the meal was great.  Then we all piled into the cars, headed back home for birthday cake and champagne and a much quieter place to be able to talk.

Brett had arranged a taxi to take him to the railway station.  From there he was heading to the airport to catch Jetstar back home to Newcastle.  Rick and I decided to go with him to the station, and then keep the taxi to go back to Acacia Ridge.

It was a lovely weekend, but it was now time to head north of the city to get the new tow hitch installed on the Kedron.


Friday, 3 September 2010

27 August–3 September 2010–Nestle Inn, Tingalpa, Brisbane

This was eight days of running around like complete maniacs.  In between visits to the doctor to get a referral to a Sleep Clinic, doing an overnight stint at the Sleep Clinic, Rick attending the dermatologist (and leaving with little holes and freeze scabs AGAIN – not to mention the fact that Dr D wanted another two moles fully excised next month), getting the car serviced and checked over, shopping – both general and for Dad’s birthday, we actually tried to relax a little.  Because we were staying in Tingalpa, we were able to revisit old haunts and check out the changes.  Not many really except for more housing developments and ongoing road building and maintenance.

The Nestle Inn itself is much improved.  Last time we stayed there, we swore we wouldn’t stay there again.  It was very run down, and the owner at the time didn’t give a rat’s.  The park has recently changed hands and has new managers who are working their butts off to bring it up to scratch.  They have lots of plans for the place and the owner is giving them full support and encouragement.  It will be interesting to go back in 12 months and see what has changed.  Unfortunately, some of the upgrades are going to rely on Brisbane Council coming to the party and upgrading the drainage of the creek that flows into and through the property.  The creek runs under Manly road and into the park, and generally during summer, half the area is soggy or under water.