Renovations October 07
After managing to delay some renovation work at home for as long as possible my wife laid down the law and we started in earnest on the weekend. Local labour is lazy and ‘donders duur' so we did the bathroom renovation ourselves. Saturday was fun and easy as I dismantled, chopped and ripped things out. Tyle and I spent more than 3 hours at the local hardware shop and had an Australian sausage sizzle, which is almost a boerie roll except with sausage wrapped in a slice of bread, more of a snack than a meal. My wife's German blood has come to the fore with her demand for precision and accuracy. She marches around behind me with a builder's level and tape measure while I'm hard at work with our reno. We could cut the tiles to make it look kind of straight but no! What happened to a bit of poetic licence and some artistic flare?
Camping November 07
I'm thinking of selling all our camping gear including a non water proof tent and lots of other very wet stuff. It took a weekend camping trip to Pottsville, a small seaside town in Northern New South Wales to break Australia's drought. Luckily Bianca and I sleep on a blow up mattress which just floated as the water level rose in the tent saving us from drowning in our sleep. I eventually put my macho pretences in my pocket and bundled the family into the Pajero and swapped the chance of catching pneumonia or being struck by lightning again for back ache and a sleepless night as I got the tiny space between the seats. Fortunately the Saturday gave us some reprieve with Keal catching fish and Tyle played on ‘chilli bean' the canoe while we sat in our deck chairs on the river bank fighting dehydration. Sunday morning had us throw in the ‘wet' towel and we packed up and headed home in more torrential rain. Anyway as you can see from the update we made it home alive and will be taking more notice of the weather forecasts for future camping trips.
Dentist Visit Late November 07
We eventually built up the courage to all go to the dentist which was a very unusual experience compared to the old oomie dentist on his farm outside Midrand. Firstly the oomie was replaced by a little Japanese lady (thought I had accidentally walked into a massage parlour). She gave me some trendy shades to put on that would have made Lance Armstrong look old fashioned. As I lay back on the chair I found to my surprise a plasma screen fixed to the ceiling blasting out the latest music videos. Even that awful pink water to rinse at the end has an apricot flavour. The most amusing thing of all was the clear goggles that her assistant wore and Dr Chang's clear screen visor making me feel a bit like a laboratory test specimen.
Christmas December 07
The Aussies go mad over Christmas time with not only decorating the tree in their living room but also their whole house and garden with life size Santas, angels and thousands of lights. This attraction had us driving around for hours on Saturday evening marvelling at all the sights and lights. Christmas Eve dinner was held at home with some friends. Everyone brought salads, Christmas cake and I Webered the Turkey in sy moer in, cooking it as dry as an Ethiopian guinea fowl. Never the less fun was had by all. Especially the kids at 5am on Christmas morning waking the neighbors with their howls of enjoyment and showing off their presents to some very tired and hung over parents. (Now I know why my folks never seemed to be that interested in our Santa gifts)
New Years 07/08
The following day we packed the car and headed south to the Clarence River, one of Australia's biggest rivers, and set up camp in a small sleepy fishing village called Iluka. The strong south easterly and bursts of heavy rain really tested our tent pegs for the first couple of days. During the two weeks holiday we had a number of families come and camp with us which resulted in a very jolly New Years Eve party at our site welcoming the New Year to the sounds of Johnny Cleggs Impi. I trust everyone is well rested, tanned and a few kg's over. Sadly it's all back to work. Trust the New Year brings you lots of happiness.
Miss: Dom Pedros, Steers and their Burgers
Don't miss: Sipho and his weaving Hiace taxi
These ‘tongue in cheek' diary extracts are from Australian immigrants Andre, a frustrated ‘camel man', his wife Bianca a real ‘madam' and their energetic two boys Tyle 10 and Keal 8, who share their adventures and experience of everyday living Downunder