Lie in

We had a lie in of epic proportions this morning. Loved One wasn’t feeling too good and I was just being lazy. We didn’t rose until the late mid-morning and there was some reluctance even then.


The bathroom scales have been lying to me! I stood on them this morning and they told me one thing, I stood on them again and they told me something completely different. I now view them with suspicion.


My muscles were required to lift a freezer and a washing machine onto the back of a truck. The lifting didn’t take long but waiting for a lift to the house did.


Despite claiming to be on a diet I paid a visit to a bakery and selected a steak, bacon and. Cheese pie. It was delicious. I felt ready for the rest of the day


The courgette plants out the front have started to produce so it was time to look up the many recipes. I’d bought a spiralizer during the day so I feel that courgette spaghetti is going to play a large part in my diet in the coming weeks. I added some home-grown tomatoes, a red onion, some chives and half an avocado to the noodles it made a lovely meal.




My brother has no idea about time zones and that is the reason why he woke me up with a video call at an obscene time in the morning. I ignored the call. I was not up to answering it.


A few hours later I called him back. He was just about to go to bed. I felt that was adequate payback for the early morning alarm call


Loved One needed some white goods moved so I popped over to her mother’s house to help. It didn’t take long and we now have a freezer in the garage. I’m not sure why, it’s probably to keep very cold things in.


I spent the afternoon dealing with the minutiae of life and getting myself ready for the onslaught of the new year. I was easily side-tracked so everything took a lot longer than it should.


Loved One was still feeling unwell so we had a quiet evening and an early night.



We joined the new year slowly. Loved One had been paying frequent visits to the toilet throughout the night and needed the sleep to recover. I was just being lazy. Eventually I got up and made a cup of tea, Loved One declined on the grounds that it would pass through too quickly to be appreciated. I got up and pottered around, Loved One stayed in bed. I know that it was frustrating for her as she is always on the go but she didn’t have enough energy to do anything at the moment.


The courgettes had grown whilst we had been away, one of them in particular was on its way to being a marrow. I removed the ready ones from the plants and them went round to the tomatoes to start harvesting them. It looks like I’ll be having a lot of tomatoes and courgettes in my diet in the near future. This is not a bad thing


I have always been a bit wary of new year’s resolutions, I like to do that sort of thing on Epiphany and make it something that has to be done by Easter. It is a much better timescale to work on. It also gives me time to plan. I know that a dry January is going to be one of my resolutions. It is nothing to do with drinking too much, its more to do with the 7 calories a gram that I don’t really need in my diet.


I became one of “those people” this afternoon. The ones that use a lap top outdoors. I felt I should grow a beard and wear skin tight jeans. It was very pleasant though, tapping away whilst keeping an eye on the cats.


It was Loved One’s uncle Peter’s 85th birthday and he was having a little gathering. Loved One felt well enough to go but not well enough to drive. We arrived fashionably late, at some of the nibbles, visited the loo a number of times, watched the kids play cricket and left.




After numerous trips to the toilet loved one decided she needed to see a doctor. She was burning up and feeling frozen at the same time. I drove us down the empty streets to the hospital where, after filling in a few forms she was seen. The doctor quickly diagnosed food poisoning. It didn’t take long to work out that the lunchtime fried chicken was the culprit. The doctor took some blood and the nurse emptied a litre of saline into her. Loved one looked a little better after that. She was given some anti vomiting pills and told to keep warm and hydrated. It was now a matter of time before it worked its way through


We returned before our hosts were awake and slipped into bed to make up a little of the sleep we had lost.


Loved One declined breakfast, it was obvious that she was suffering. Our hosts offered to put us up for another day but all Loved One wanted was to curl up in her own bed. We decided to go home.


Loved One was not in a fit state to drive so I took the wheel and followed the Sat Nav home. For most of the drive Loved One was asleep. I felt sure that the police would pull us over to discuss the transporting of a dead body. During the journey we never knowingly passed a public toilet and 400 and some kilometres later we arrived home. The cats were pleased to see us, Loved One was pleased to see her bed.


We had tickets for the cricket tonight but that wasn’t going to happen. We curled up in bed and watched it on the television instead.



Ted had prepared a cooked breakfast: sausage, bacon, tomato and toast. It was a good was to start the day.


Ted bearded us all into the Ute. He had a plan, it involved a bit of driving and a lot of sightseeing.


Our first stop was the Umphreston sinkhole,a great big hole in the ground that had been turned into a public garden. The hole had been formed by a cave collapsing and that did make me wonder how many other infant holes there were lurking under the houses.


There was another sink hole in the middle of town. It wasn’t as impressive as the first one we visited but this one had water at the bottom. It also had a shopping trolley but I tried to ignore that.


The visitors centre was showing a well put together documentary on how volcanic activity had shaped the landscape. It included many of the places that Ted intended to take us. He also mentioned that his house was on the fault line so that if we heard any rumblings that could not be explained we might want to run.


Our next destination was a volcano crater, it was now full of water of the most iridescent blue. Obviously, it was called the Blue Lake. It was really stunningly blue. I wondered out loud about swimming in it but the council discourage it as the water supplies the city.


We drove round Browns Lake. We could have walked over it too as there was no water in it due to the water table dropping. People should be worried about that.


The next lake did have water in it and people could swim in it. I wished I’d brought my swimming stuff.


We headed for the coast. On the way Ted showed us another swimming hole, the little blue lake. It was little and blue and had steps down into the water. I was so tempted to strip off and swim.


We dropped in on Gourdons hole. There was a big sign at the top about cave diving. As we looked into the water we saw bubbles, big diver’s bubbles. They moved slowly across the pool of water until they became a diver. It was odd to watch.


We had chicken and chips at the local fishing port. Loved One thought her chicken was a little pink but the freshly cooked and crisp chips made up for any shortcomings of the fried chicken.


We drove onto the beach. This is something totally alien to me. I was amazed it could be done. We went in search of the fresh water springs that we had seen in the film. It didn’t take long to find them and an even shorter time to re-enact the quicksand scene of nearly every bad cowboy movie.


Our next stop was an actual volcano. A proper round cone sticking up from the plain. It was extinct but that means nothing when it comes to volcanos. There used to be a lake beside it that had a floating island but the falling water table had drained it and the island had been lost.


Our last stop was hells hole, a massive sink hole in the middle of a freshly planted pine forest. It was an eyrie looking place with water deep below. There could have been dinosaurs in the bottom. It had that sort of feel.


The others had steak but I had lamb chops as I never want to have the steak discussion. Loved one was feeling a little tired and had a headache so she went to bed early. Ted and I stayed at the table to enjoy a few more beers.


By the time I went to bed loved one’s headache had turned into a fever, she was not a happy bunny.



We intended to get up early as we had a long drive today. There were things to be done before we left and far too little time to do them. We left only an hour after we intended to.


When the satnav says 197 km until the next turn I know that we have a long way to drive.


I like a good chain ferry so we took a short detour so that I could engage in my little guilty pleasure.


We stopped in a small town for the most expensive sandwich in the world. It may have contained crayfish and it may have been described as famous but that was no excuse for the price. We bought one and shared it. I’m not sure it was worth the price.


Our hosts served us crayfish. It was so much better than the sandwich as were the yabbies. We drank into the evening and exchanged stories until sleep stopped play.



I arrived at the bakery and was introduced to the two other riders, I didn’t quite catch his name, it could have been Elvis. A few moments later we were joined by two more. After completing the formalities, we all set off to follow a stage of the tour down under.


We knew Gorge road was closed but decided to risk it anyway. We ignored the road closed and roadworks signs and revelled in the car free carriageway.


Our progress was impeded by a large man covered in tattoos and wearing an evil looking ring on each finger. He was under no circumstances going to let us go past the hole in the ground. No amount of persuasion was going to help, we had to take the long way round.


Our intended first stop was closed so we had to look for another bakery, it wasn’t a hard problem. The five of us tucked into bacon and egg rolls to keep our energy levels up.


There was a very old and very hollow tree that was used as a house over a hundred years ago.


The climbs just kept coming, some of them just snuck up on us. They were the worse but the view from the top were fantastic.


We had all run out of fluid by the time we reached the next stop. I’d been dripping with sweat since the start and had already gone through four bottles of water and a bottle of coke. We dripped our way to the bar and ordered glasses of coke. They evaporated in seconds and were followed by more. We refilled our bottles and went on our way.


I was dreading the climb up the corkscrew. I had done it before but it is a completely different proposition after a day’s cycling. It didn’t go well. I ground to a stop on the lower slopes. After a bit of self-talk I carried on but that didn’t last for long. I threw the towel in and walked, I ignored the laughing car drivers. They didn’t know my pain.


By the top I had decided to give up and descend to home. The official route had another climb that I had no intention of doing. The others didn’t either but they knew another way round that didn’t involve quite so many hills.


By the time we reached the hotel I had suffered a massive sense of humour failure coupled with a complete lack of food. I needed liquid and I needed sugar. I needed it now.  Two large glasses of coke later I felt slightly more human


The rest of the route was downhill. It was a glorious descent into a cloud covered city.


Loved one had not used her bath since she moved into the house, tonight was its christening. I left rings of grime and the water was a very strange colour.


I was in bed by early and asleep soon after.


I woke up and wondered where loved one was. I found her asleep on the sofa clutching her phone. I suggested that she might what to be in bed instead.



Last night it had seemed like a good idea to meet at the beach an hour earlier so that we could avoid the traffic. It didn’t seem like such a good idea first thing in the morning. The clear warm sea more than made up for the having to prise ourselves out of bed.


We dropped into some friends on the way home to wish them well and swap gossip. We spent a happy few hours talking about photography, gin and bicycles. There was always something else to talk about.


The cricket had started, it was warm outside and the air conditioner was on, these were the ideal conditions for an afternoon nap.


We dropped in on Loved One’s sister at Loved One’s Mother’s house to see if there was anything we could help with and to drink tea. We mainly drank tea. Loved One’s sister had put a lot of effort into cleaning and tidying the house so there was very little to do apart from putting a few items into a trailer bound for the tip.


It was another agreeable evening so we ate outside whilst the cats stalked insects in flower boarders. We had to go in when the insects started biting.



We started the day at the beach and had a little swim in The clear water. There was a lot of wind today and that made swimming north hard work but swimming back was a breeze


Loved one had invited some old school friends for dinner so she spent the morning preparing salmon, roast potatoes and many salads.


They all arrived at once which was amazing as they had come from completely different directions. They spend the afternoon eating, drinking and catching up with all the news since the last time they met. One of them did say that as they got older the conversation was more about caring for aged parents than caring for children.


Loved one hadn’t finished the entertaining. She invited a few of the neighbours’ round for the evening. One of them was a triathlete so I spent a few minutes talking about the local events whilst everyone else chatted about things they found more interesting.



For the first time this year I got up at silly o’clock and joined the cycling club for the gentle ride down to the coast. It was going to be a hot day so starting this early made sense but that didn’t make it less painful. I nearly brought our small peloton down when I nearly went the wrong way. On the way back, we joined another peloton and zoomed up the highway at speed. A truck driver coming the other way was obviously not a fan of cyclists as he likened us to a part of a woman’s anatomy as we sat waiting for the lights to change


After a brief stop at the café I headed down to the beach top meet up with Loved one for a swim. For the second day in a row the water was absolutely beautiful, clear and warm. It wasn’t a long swim but it was a really nice one.


All the normal cafes were full so we stopped at one a little further up the road. They served the most outstanding hot chocolate that I have had since I’ve been here. The breakfast of tomatoes, avocado and poached egg on toast was really good too.


I sat on the sofa to drink a cup of tea. I opened my eyes and found that my tea had gone cold. It is possible that I may have fallen asleep.


It was too hot outside so the only choice I had was to do something indoors where it was cool. The ironing had been piling up for a very long time, right up to the point of having no cotton t-shirts. I braced myself and faced the ironing pile. Two hours later I’d reduced it to nothing. I felt that I needed a treat, luckily Loved One had bought a bun a little earlier. That would do.


One of my photos has sold on a stock photography website, I think that that makes me a professional photographer.


I played with ball bearings for a while and reassembled the hub on my mountain bike. The change of bearings and re greasing seems to have fixed the wobbly front wheel. I’ll have to take the bike out for a test run but not tonight.


We had corn on the cob for tea tonight. It has been a long time since I’ve had that and I’d forgotten quite how enjoyable it is to knaw lines of corn off the cob. It reminded me of the cartoon crow that ate corn to the sound of a mechanical type writer.