Sunday

Waking

I didn’t want to get up at all this morning. Having very little sleep disagrees with me and I turn into a shadow of my normal self. Having a lie in was not an option this morning. We had committed to a swim so we had to be there

Swim

We were doing the Eric Magill Memorial swim. I was told that this event traditionally kicks off the open water season. The swim was named after a member of the swimming club who had died of a heart attack during a swim session, apparently, he was quite a character.

Trophy

The winner of the rather impressive trophy was selected by a raffle, to be entered in the raffle all you had to do was a bit of a swim. There was no fixed length but most people opted to swim between the jetties. I rather liked the idea of winning by raffle.

Vague

I sat with the others in the club but I really wasn’t there at all. Last night’s activities and very little sleep had conspired together to make me at the club in body but in bed in spirit.

Nap

I was ready for a nap by the time we got back home. I think it was about ten nanoseconds before I was lying in a prone position on the bed snoring loudly.

Tidying

After a couple of hours of supplementary sleep, I felt much more human and ready to attack the tidying up. It had been far too hot during the day and I had been asleep. It seemed to take a long time to get everything back to how it should be.

Sleep

Despite the supplementary sleep I was falling asleep by half past nine and in bed by ten. I feel that it is important to have enough sleep and that I’m currently in sleep debt. Luckily, I know how to deal with this.

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Saturday

Pageant

We got up early so that we could nip into town to see the pageant. Loved One was very insistent that we get there early so that we could see the floats before they set off. I rather glad that we did. It gave me a chance to understand the magnitude of the thing.

Waiting

We got to the centre of town to find that the route was already lined with excited children and tired adults. Nearly all the children had been given big buckets of chalk to decorate the road. There was no end of Christmas trees and rainbows. A few of the older children had taken to drawing crime scene outlines. I saw many possibilities for mischief but held myself back.

Procession

We found a place where there were only short people in front and waited for the procession started. It didn’t take long until the floats, bands and clowns started coming past. They just kept coming. Loved One told me that it was one of the biggest pageants in the world, I had no trouble believing that. All the children knew who would be on the last float past. I could feel the excitement mounting, tempered by a few parental mutterings about the naughty list. Finally, he was here coming past on a sleigh with his reindeer. He made lots of children very happy.

Bus

We made a dash for the bus, Loved One knew that soon there would be a tsunami of families wanting to go home and it would be best not to be caught in that

Preparations

We had a few things to do in preparation for tonight. My main task was to make sure that the garden was prepared for our visitors whilst Loved One did everything else. I set about hanging balloons, arranging chairs and threading fairy lights whilst Loved One did things with food.

Arrivals

I hate the first few moments of a party, the bit before the first guests arrive. It’s the bit where I wonder if we had actually sent the invitations or if anybody is actually going to turn up. Loved One had dealt with that anxiety by telling a few people an earlier start time.

Party

The party went off without a hitch, people arrived, the drank, they ate, they chatted. I played the host for as long as I could before excusing myself and going for a little walk round the block. Once I had recovered from the first onslaught I leapt into the fray for the second. People had started drifting away by the time I locked myself in the loo for 10 minutes of respite. I don’t think anyone noticed my little absences and that is how I’m going to keep it.

Friday

Rain

I woke up to the sound of rain again today. It took me a while to work out that it was rain due to morning bleariness. It was going to take a long while to come round.

Tent

The men arrived five minutes after Loved One left for work. This was far too early for me to comprehend what was going on. Luckily the men had a piece of paper with detailed instructions for the erection of the marquee. I left them to it and drank tea.

Cake

I had to get the cake but I had to go via Loved One’s work to drop something off. Just as I was leaving buying balloons was added to the list. This combination could only mean one thing, I was going to get lost. I go to Loved One’s work with no problems but from there things started to get tricky due to the inability to turn left on the main road. I used the philosophy of three rights equal a left and finally arrived at the bakery. Once the cake was secured in the car it was in theory a short hop up the road to buy balloons. This didn’t take into the account the volume of traffic and the number of drivers that were determined to get home without letting anyone out of side roads.

Balloons

I never realised there were so many balloons. The shop had racks and racks of them. There were different sizes, colours and materials. All I wanted was a pack of standard balloons but in this shop, there was no such thing. According to the assistant I requires a packed of fifty medium latex balloons (multi-colour back). It was almost a relief to be lost in the traffic again.

Pump

A balloon pump is a wonderful thing it takes all the red cheeks out of inflating balloons. I spent a happy hour or so blowing up balloons without straining anything.

Thursday

Tea

I woke up feeling like I’d not slept at all. I put it down to last night’s curry. Loved one brought me a cup of tea. I knew that she had made it with the horrible tea bags but it was wet and warm.

Run

After doing the stretching routine I headed out for my massive twelve-minute run walk. I wasn’t really feeling like it today but I forced myself out. I have a feeling that I confused the walk beep for the distance beep and ran for an extra fifteen seconds. It didn’t seem to have any detrimental effects.

Lunch

I had a lunch appointment with someone I met last week and one of their friends. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was a little bit anxious about the whole thing. I turned up at the restaurant at a little past the arranged time. I didn’t want to be early and stand there alone. The traffic helped me to arrive at the time I wanted to.

Curry

For the second time in twenty-four I had a chicken korma. I didn’t really want to eat another curry but I felt it would be impolite to sit there and sip water whilst the other two tucked into their curries. We chatted around a range of subjects including tactics in the Tour de France and Queen Victoria’s model of Albert’s hand

Nap

I felt tired when I got home after the dinner, eating a large amount at lunchtime does that. I sat on the sofa and lost an hour. At least I felt better for not doing anything for an hour.

Marmalade

I finished making the marmalade this afternoon. Adding the sugar was easy but timing the boiling was the tricky bit. Not boiling it enough would result in it not setting, boiling too long may end up burning it. I used the scientific method of guessing and worrying to gauge the correct time. I poured it into the jams and waited for it to cool down and set. It took a long time to cool down, a worryingly long time.

Supper

I didn’t feel like eating this evening. This was lucky as Love One wanted to do some deliveries and get some supplies for the weekend. In the end I had a small slice of cheese cake. I shouldn’t have as I it just made me feel fat.

Sleep

The tiredness crept over me until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I left Loved One doing some preparations and went to bed.

Wednesday

Rain

I woke to the sound of rain this morning. The rain gods had responded to yesterday’s watering incantations.

Ride

I made my way through the rain and the traffic to the meeting point for today’s ride. I went sailing past as I didn’t see the usual small gaggle of cyclists. There was only one other person at the meeting point, the ride organiser. Everyone else must have decided that the weather was far too inclement for a cycle ride. I wasn’t too bothered about the rain as it was reasonably warm. We waited for a while and then decided that the ride would be abandon. I returned home via the riverside path in an attempt to rescue the day.

Haircut

My hair has become a little unkempt in recent weeks but it has now got to the point where something needs to be done. I don’t enjoy going to the hair dressers as it involves making decisions about things I have no opinion about. I dread the question “what would you like” as it assumes that I have some idea. I haven’t. I would like to answer “could you do something that suits me” but I feel that this would fail as I don’t go to establishments that cater for that and if I did they would want far more money than I’m willing to pay. At least the hairdresser didn’t attempt to make conversation. I can’t abide having to make small talk with someone holding sharp instruments close to my head.

Present

I got home, washed the floors and had a shower, I didn’t want to have little bits of hair hanging around all day. I got a call from Loved One. She wanted me to pick up something from the shopping centre. She knows my abhorrence at visiting the same place twice when one journey would have done but there was no other way of getting the item in the time available.

Curry

We went out for a curry and to meet a friend tonight. The other two had been to the place before and had told me that it was quite good. I wasn’t very impressed. I have a few expectations when I go into a restaurant. Being served is one of them. We waited for ages until finally calling a waiter over. The place had two other diners in it so it wasn’t as if he was rushed off his feet. The food took a while to come which wasn’t a big problem, but the nan bread was nowhere to be seen. We had had a long discussion about which nan to have so I couldn’t understand why it hadn’t turned up. I left feeling completely underwhelmed with the whole experience.

Tuesday

Tired

I didn’t sleep well last night, I had lots of silly thoughts of no consequence spinning round my head. I really shouldn’t look on the web just before I go to bed.

Run

It was predicted to be another hot day so I felt I needed to do my run before the full force of the sun bore down on me. I was sweating just walking down the drive. It all went well until the third section of running. I felt a pain in my thigh that wouldn’t go away. It just got more panful. I thought about not doing the final two-minute session of running but dismissed the idea on the basis that I do so little running at the moment a little more wouldn’t do much more damage. The pain didn’t go away.

Watering

The weather forecast said that it would rain this afternoon but it didn’t. I decided that I would amuse the rain gods by watering the garden. This would be guaranteed to made it rain later.

Marmalade

We have had some oranges sitting around that needed to be made into marmalade. Tonight was the night to slice them very thinly and leave them to seep overnight. It took a lot longer to slice and made a lot more mess than I expected. I needed a beer to recover from the overwhelming domestic effort.

Bedtime

It hadn’t rained by bedtime so I felt that the rain gods had not noticed my earlier watering incantations.

Monday

Formalities

We had booked an early morning flight over the area so we arrived at the airstrip in good time. There was a bit of paperwork to fill out and then all we had to do was stroll to the plane. Loved One took the co-pilots seat and I sat in the back in the photographer’s chair.

Flight

After a very short rumble along the runway we were airborne and admiring the area from the air. We looped over the Chase Range and then headed for the Pound. The whole area looked fantastic from the air. Long lines of jagged edges rose up into the air. There was an awfully large amount of physical geography going on below us. My camera was working overtime. It was all over far too quickly, I could have stayed up there for a lot longer

Tyre

We arrived in the local town and found that they had put a new tyre on the wheel, it only took them a few seconds to fit the newly shod wheel onto the car. We pointed the car south and started the long journey south

Stop

We stopped in Orraroo as the butches there had been recommended to us. It was also a good excuse to get out of the car and rest our aching bottoms. We took a wander around the town and found the Kangaroo shop were everything was made from Kangaroo. We left with some Kangaroo sausages.

Lunch

We stopped in Jamestown for lunch. We had a choice of a sterile bakery of a pub full of character. The pub won hands down. The entrance was adorned with a stuffed crocodile, inside was similarly decorates with all kinds of memorabilia. We had a cheese and ham toastie whilst looking at all of the weird and wonderful objects the pub contained

Food

Our first port of call was the supermarket as we had no food in the house. There was no way that we would have ventured out once we arrived home. It had been a long journey and we were both tired

Watering

The last few hot days had taken its toll on the garden. Everything looked wilted, dry and in need of a good drink. My little green babies had not apricated us being away.

Sausages

I like kangaroo sausages. We had them for tea tonight with a small salad.

Sunday

Kangaroos

Loved one was up at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise and the collection of kangaroos sitting outside our cabin. I wasn’t.

Tea

We met the others at the caravan site and started our days adventure with mid-morning tea and cake. This is in my opinion the one true way to start an adventure.

Lookout

Our first stop was Stokes Hill lookout. It was a short way up a sort track which was practice for later on. The views from the top of the rise were stunning.

Blinman

Best we stopped at the old mining township of Blinman for a very brief look round. It was here I stumbled upon the most Australian object ever, a kangaroo sculpture made from corrugated iron.

Dirt

We took the dirt road through the Parachina Gorge. It snakes through the rocks and dipped into a few small rivers giving wonderful views of the ranges. Near the end of the dirt the car started making ominous thumping noises every time we went over a bump. We both tried to ignore the noise but It was obvious that something was wrong. It wasn’t far to our destination so we didn’t mention it and carried on.

Flat

One of the tires had been punctured beyond repair. It was plain that it needed to be replaced. Until then the space saver tyre would have to do. There would be no more dirt roads for us today.

Meal

We had stopped at a pub that specialised in bush meat. The menu contained items that contained emu, kangaroo and camel. Igneous have been rude not to order a meal whilst the staff helped us locate a tyre of the correct size. We decided on the tasting plate that contained a kangaroo steak, a camel sausage and an emu burger. The camel sausage was lovely, the emu burger had a very distinct taste but the kangaroo steak was, In my mind, just raw meat. I detest undercooked meat. Apparently if it was served cooked as I would like it would be dry and disgusting. I doubt I will be eating much more kangaroo in my life.

Hawker

We took a long slow drive to Hawker along the tarmac road to find that the tyre shop that was open didn’t have the right size for the car. It was possible or that the other tyre shop would but that would have to wait for tomorrow.

Cheese

We drove slowly back to the cabin and once there flopped onto the bed with a plate of cheese and biscuits and a cup of tea. It felt like it had been an exhausting day.

Saturday

Morning

We both wanted to make an early start this morning as it was predicted to be a hot one and we had a day of walking planned. Loved one managed to get up, make out packed lunch and a cup of tea before I had joined to waking world. This had been the first night for a long time that I had had a solid night’s sleep. The downside was the snoring that had driven loved one out of bed.

Wilpena Pound

Our first objective was the walk to Wangara Lookout. We arrived at the park headquarters and checked our plans with the rangers. It was all good so we started our little trek

Wheelchair

A little way along we met a couple pushing their daughter along in a wheelchair. We stopped and had a little chat about wheelchair access. This trio had obviously been places that others would find impossible. The chair had some food on the front to help with gradients and the wheels looked a lot tougher than normal wheelchair wheels. They told us that they intended to get the chair to the homestead even though that required negotiating about twenty roughly cut steps. I liked their attitude and the way they went about things.

Sliding rocks

The route took us past sliding rocks, loved one reminisced about playing on the rocks when her parents brought her here as a child.

Homestead

The homestead marked the end of the level track and the start of the climb. This was where the farmers lived at the turn of the last century and where they tried to grow crops in Land totally unsuitable for the task. The interpretation boards told the whole story of overheating. Hard work, floods and disasters.

Lookout

The heat made the walk up to the lookout a lot harder than I expected but it was worth it for the views over the pound. We stood there for a while taking photos, admiring the view and eating oranges.

Magpie

We celebrated our return to civilisation with a cup of tea at the visitors’ centre. As it was lunch time we hauled out the now squashed rolls that loved one had prepared this morning. This was a signal for the local wildlife to gather and to stare hungrily into our eyes in the hope of a crumb or two. The miner bird tried a smash and grab raid, but failed. The magpie played the long game and piled on the guilt by introducing us to her starving and crying chick. The magpie won a few morsels. I also found out that they don’t like dried apricots, miner birds do.

Sacred gorge

We took the dirt road at speeds that were for me a little too quick. I wasn’t used to the way a car moves on dirt roads. It’s like a nearly in control roller coaster. We arrived at the car park and took the short stroll up the dry river bed to find the aboriginal art works. We found some but im not convinced that we found them all as the map in the car park showed a place we hadn’t visited.

Arkaroo Rock

Our last visit of the day was to Arkaroo Rock to see some more aboriginal art. We reeled slowly up the hill past lizards and goats until we found the impressive rock formation that had been used as a canvas. I looked at the carvings and paintings and suffered my usual doubt. They looked like they could have been put there yesterday. I had no way of knowing if they had or not, apart from the big iron grill that was protecting them from vandalism.

Kangaroos

It had rained whist we were walking and the kangaroos were now lining the edge of the road to drink out of the puddles. The seemed unperturbed about us heading towards them at speed. They took their own time to get out of the way. I’ve heard a lot of stories about kangaroos on the road causing a menace to cars, I could now see how true they were.

BBQ

I don’t understand this country’s obsession with bar-b-ques but as a gas one was provided for the use of all we did our meat on it. We sat in the fading sunlight eating our dinner of chicken sausage, lamb and salad whilst chatting about aching limbs and feeling tired.

Friday

Morning

We had talked about leaving early but we had different interpretations of what early meant. It became obvious very quickly that neither of our interpretations quite fitted the bill.

Road trip

We headed north out of the city and into the county. The roads quickly became emptier and narrower. Inside the car our bums became numb

Potato

We had passed a few town that looked as if life had left them many years ago. Eventually we got to somewhere that was large enough to support a cafe. We popped inside to refuel and to allow our aching bottoms to recover. The interior had that ramshackle homemade and half-finished feeling that shops in country towns have. They did however sell jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings. I went for the chilli con carne and loved one had the coleslaw and bacon option. They arrived a few minutes later and certainly helped to fill the hole that had been slowly growing in my stomach.

Timeless

Loved one wanted an ice cream but we decided that we would stop a little further up the road to allow time to digest. The next town turned out to be the town time forgot. We walked into a cafe with an ice cream sign outside and found ourselves back in the 1950s. The walls were lined with wooden shelves packed with all kinds of strange items. We were led to the back of the shop where the freezer lives. Much to loved one’s disgust there was no honey ice cream. I doubt it had been invented.

Arrival

It had been a good road trip but It was good to arrive at our accommodation. We had booked a chalet and that turned out to be an l shaped room with a bed at one end, a kitchen at the other and all snuggled round a shower room, it was just perfect. I took an unhealthy interest in how the air conditioner worked. I was hot.

Drinks

Some of loved one’s friends were staying in the caravan park up the road so after freshening up we went finding them. They invited us to join them for drinks and nibbles. Once they learned it was Loved Ones birthday the bubbles came out.

Tee-Shirt

I found out why I was feeling particularly fat today when I was changing to go to dinner. I had put on one of loved one’s tee-shirts by mistake this morning. She is a lot smaller than me and her tee shirts are smaller than mine. She couldn’t stifle a laugh.

Dinner

We had booked dinner at the station restaurant so we appeared at something close to, but not too close, the time we had booked. It would have been a travesty not to have eaten lamb. We went for the sharing platter. It contained various cuts of lamb expertly prepared. I liked to chops and adored to pie. I wasn’t so keen on the cut that was as far as I was concerned under cooked. Im not a fan of barely cooked meat.

Sleep

I didn’t feel I’d done enough today to warrant feeling as tires as I did but my body thought differently. I was asleep within seconds of hitting the pillow.