Trying to get to Brisbane:

We had planned to head back to Brisbane for a visit and as usual I had made numerous appointments, the doctor, podiatrist and this time the accountant.

We were going to get away early as we wanted to stop off at Computer Alliance and get my laptop seen to. Remember last visit I had Win8 put on to my computer well now I wanted it off.

I had so much trouble downloading program’s that I normally work with, if we got them on to the desktop in the
first place, when you went to use them, the computer would freeze.
I couldn’t even load the Governments AUSkey  for the BAS statements, even their Techs couldn’t get it to work.

I ended up shelving my laptop and using one of the touch screen computers we had bought for the business which has Win8 on them thinking that my laptop was to blame.

It was better but still a lot of trouble to download anything.
My laptop never had any problems before, you could plug anything into it and it would automatically download the right driver for the product and would open the programs easily.

I wanted that easy of work back. Computer Alliance said they would put Win7 back on.

Yah! an undo button. We all need an undo button in life when we get these idea’s in our heads and it doesn’t work out the way you thought it would.

So we are on our way to Brisbane and about 20 km down the road from Talwood a noise started coming from the motor. We aren’t mechanics but we thought it was coming from the manifold.
Do we turn back or take it slow to Goondiwindi? If we went back to the farm we would still have to go in to Gundy to get parts…without a car.
So we kept going and made it to Nissan at Goondiwindi where we were told it was probably a leaking manifold and now that it was hot, had stopped making the noise and should be ok to drive to Brisbane.
We asked this question twice as we were going over the Cunningham highway towing the van.  Yes we were assured.  It would also be easier to get fixed in Brisbane.

We made it 70km down the road until black smoke began pouring out of the car. We ended up having to call the RACQ to be towed back to Gundy as we had done a gasket on the turbo.

Awww broken, you need a tow truck.

Awww broken, you need a tow truck.

Hooking up the caravan to the tow truck.

Hooking up the caravan to the tow truck.

We parked the caravan at Martyn’s and Sarah for what we thought would be an overnight stop but turned into a four day wait. The gasket had to be posted from Melbourne, the mechanics who were working on it got sick and then it needed the studs holding the manifold and turbo to be replaced.


Now we seem to find hold ups and detours can be just as fun as organised trips. This hold up proved to be no different.
Martyn took Chris fishing for Murray Cod.
Techniques, tall stories, and some cold morning swims will always be in our memories from those four days. We have yet to eat any of the fish as the day they actually caught any fish was the day the Nissan got fixed and we continued on our way to Brisbane.

Martyn with his Murray Cod

Martyn with his Murray Cod

Martyn and his mate  Fordie (David)

Martyn and his mate Fordie (David)



It was also great taking Grace, Martyn and Sarah’s 5 month old daughter for walks in the pram around Goondiwindi. She is such a good little baby with a beautiful smile.

With the Nissan fixed, we left Goondiwindi around 3.30pm Friday and headed to the Sunshine Coast arriving very late at David and Lacey’s. We then still had to go through the setup before falling into bed just as the rain started. There is nothing like going to sleep listening to rain on the roof.

Finally after 4 days we get to hook the van back up to the Nissan at Martyn's Place.

Finally after 4 days we get to hook the van back up to the Nissan at Martyn’s Place.

We booked the Nissan in with our old mechanic in Brisbane, Mark Adams Mechanical. He is honest, affordable and a really nice guy.
While Mark was chatting about life in general he was walking around the car listing numerous things he could see wrong with the car. This was before he had even put it up on the hoist.
Now I’m not saying he was making any of this up Mark shows you everything he is talking about. A 2 in hole in the muffler we had no idea was there that I could put two of my fingers in. Leaking shockies, the diesel chip we had fitted to improve the fuel consumption was disconnected. Fuel filter not clipped in, wires hanging on the steering column wearing out, he started to laugh and said he needed a note pad to remember it all. Remember we had just had it in the mechanic garage for the last 4 days and they never mentioned ANY of this.

“Mark just fix it”, we need our car to be in good mechanical repair. We never miss a service but we have decided while we are near Brisbane we will be bringing it back to Mark for our services in future.

We had already decided we needed a lift kit because if we wanted to put the wrap around bulbar it was going to need the extra height  with the extra weight.
So Lift Kit, new Shockies, muffler repaired, service done and every bolt and screw tightened as well as other little things we were happy with the $2490 bill.
We have paid up to $700 for a service on the Nissan in some towns. Mark had the car for two days but we couldn’t get back to Brendale from the coast for another two days, so in total out of the 16 days we were away from the farm we had no vehicle for 8 of those days.

Lacey, a Toyota driver loves to pick on the Nissan has now taught Elliana to finish the saying:
“Nanna and Grandpa drive a Nissan…Elliana finishes off the sentence while rolling her head back with…”aww broken, they need a tow truck”

I will have to capture this on video as it really is beautiful, even if it’s not true.

Even my dinner date with the girls was marred this time with Karen not feeling well. Monday night, after feeling a pain that she thought was gall stones for a few days moved to the center of her chest. She called the ambulance and was told she was having a heart attach. Karen was rushed to Prince Charles and within hours under went a triple bypass.

No blood pressure problems, cholesterol is lower than mine and Karen is a nurse, and even she had no idea she was having a heart attack until the Paramedic told her. Yes she smoked but that has now changed. Luckily everything is ok and she is home behaving herself now. It really does hit home how quickly life can leave us. Now she has to be walking 2.5km a day by the time she sees the doctor again in six weeks.

I had better get some walking shoes if that’s what you are suppose to be doing.

The rest of the time away was spent racing around trying to attend appointments and catch up with family. Chris and I came home crook again with colds (thank you grandkids). We think we might get a flu shot next year as colds seem to take a lot longer to leave us now.
We were glad to be back at the farm.

A family visit:

We had visitors come out to the farm.

David, Lacey and Elliana had been down at Tamworth for a family reunion to celebrate Lacey’s Nanna’s 100th birthday. On their way home they stopped at the farm.

We also had Noel and Dermot, Natalie’s dad and brother, visit at the same time.

Noel and Dermot arrived before David and Lacey so Chris took the boys out for a run around the farm.

They ended up down the back boundary of the farm near Stretch the supervisor’s place where they found more cattle eating the green carpet of barley in one of the 200 acre fields causing Chris to use the Nissan to chase them back to their home on the adjoining property.

Once David arrived it was back out again to try and shoot some feral animals. I think Noel and Dermot were rather surprised at the amount of wild life on this property. Kangaroos in plague proportions, emus with their young, foxes and of course feral pigs.

There was no luck on the shooting side and just like fishing it was the equipment at fault, they needed to sight in their guns, (Yeh yeh haven’t we all heard those stories “I would have got it but…”).

So it was back home to enjoy the evening around the camp fire with a dinner of lamb chops. We’d wanted to show off our own butchered meat supply of lamb, goat and of course let the visitors taste the beef from T-bone.

Grandpa showing Elliana the tractors and Pickers.

Grandpa showing Elliana the tractors and Pickers.

Plans were made to go out and check the pig traps for Shannon the next day and I wanted to show Elliana Shannon’s cows and introduce her to Topsy our little calf who’s now not so little.

The next morning after breakfast the boys took off to check the traps. Lacey, Elliana and I went out to see the cows. Elliana truly looked the part trying to feed the cows with grass while calling out “Come here”. Not quite sure what the cows thought of it all.

Elliana and cows 1

She looked the part with her gum boots, but now sure about her "Come here"

She looked the part with her gum boots, but now sure about her “Come here”

The boys returned back to the camp having had no success with the traps but they knew they had to sight in their guns as it had been a long time since anyone had used their weapons.

We ‘d brought David’s plinkers (targets made from steel plate that when hit with a bullet give a “plinking” noise) and so it was off to the back of the main  reservoir to set these up to test the guns as well along with some boards to mark out how far off their shots were.

Noel and Derment sighting their guns.

Noel and Dermot sighting their guns.

Along the top of the Reservoirs is a good place to put out targets.

Along the top of the Reservoirs is a good place to put out targets.

Lacey shooting “Fox Targets with David checking the accuracy.

Lacey shooting “Fox Targets with David checking the accuracy.

And what was Elliana doing you ask, watching “The Wiggles” of course

And what was Elliana doing you ask, watching “The Wiggles” of course

Chris’s was out by a mile but eventually they were all happy. David had a go of Chris’s 22-250 aiming at one of the plinkers 150 meters away. We thought he had hit it as it wobbled a bit but it should have spun around.

It wasn’t until we went to collect them that we realised the power in the gun as it had shot straight through the 10mm thick steel… all 5 shots. Elliana’s future boyfriends should take note.

All five shots straight through the plinkers.

All five shots straight through the plinkers.

Plinkers 1

Jack, Shannon’s pup, was fascinated by Elliana. It must have been that she was the same height as him and he never seen a small child before.

He didn’t jump up on her and if he tried to lick her we taught her to say “shoo Jack” and they soon became best mates, he would follow her around and they would both investigate things together, sticks, dirt, trees, rocks.

“Here want to play with the stick”

“Here want to play with the stick”

Jack watched her very carefully.

Jack watched her very carefully.

For dinner Wednesday night, Chris cooked his sweet Goat Curry and as always sitting around a roaring campfire was a pleasant way to spend an evening.

Thursday the boys headed out to walk the dry river bed where Shannon had told them the guys has shot 22 pigs the previous week walking it in the middle of the day. Yes they saw pigs but they were a bit slow off the mark to shoot them and the pigs quickly disappeared in the thick scrub.

Now David had come across a fox and even with the fox standing there looking at him he managed to miss it. He unloaded his magazine and raced back to try another shot with Chris’s gun, still no luck. Of course as family and friends we gave him heaps about it. His determination was set, he wanted to shoot a fox. These animals might look cuddly but are quite savage with the livestock and are feral.

Thursday afternoon we caught up with Jason one of the farm workers. Jason has a couple of lambs and a pig and he was happy to let us show Elliana the different animals. After a dinner of roast beef they were back out hunting and this time everyone was happy with their shots.

It was a great time seeing everybody and being able to show them around the farm.