Who ate all the pies......Gary!!!!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 22, 2011

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Where I stayed
Mark & Diane's House

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, August 16, 2010


Monday 16th August 2010

It had been an easy day, I had a dozen things to do on the computer and Gary helped Mark paint the upstairs room. It was the first day Mark had felt better since having a sickness bug but just in time for Diane to come down with the same bug later that afternoon. Diane went to bed and the rest of us crashed on the sofas and watched TV and a film. By bedtime Gary was complaining of feeling ill and then spent most of the night in the bathroom.  So far I have remained immune but I don't know how long for?

Tuesday 17th August 2010

Still immune, but taking it easy with the eating just in case, trying to eat soft food that will come back up easier. Gary has stopped being sick but has taken to lying on the sofa moaning that he feels crook.  All of the day was written off because of the sicklyboy, Gary couldn't even lend a hand when Mark’s son, Adrian came round to lag the loft.  It did look like a messy job so I think Gary was actually a little happy not to be able to assist. We also couldn’t pick the campervan up today, not because Gary was sick but because the money hadn’t cleared in our new bank account yet.  We are now looking at Thursday before we can collect it.

Mark and Diane’s grandchildren arrived and are staying the night, their little girl Poppy is very shy and was so quiet around us.

Wednesday 18th August 2010

Still no sign of the sickness bug, but not getting too cocky yet.  Gary woke up right as rain and got stuck into helping Mark with some repairs around the house.  Poppy has now found her voice and all the shyness has disappeared. We all went down the park and took Sausages and rolls to cook on the free BBQ in the park.  This is the Australian way of picnicking, nearly every park or rest area has a free BBQ hot plate.  You just take your food with you, press the button to heat up the hot plate and then cook your food.  The hot plate gets regularly cleaned by the council so it’s fairly hygienic and the heat does the rest.  It was bliss eating hot snag butties in the park. Poppy had fun too she had me on demand to push her on the swings and she took full charge of Bernie and had him up and down the slide.
Adrian and Bonny stayed for dinner and Diane did one of her amazing culinary creations, tuna bake, which was delicious and we spent the evening chatting.

Thursday 19th August 2010

Think I am in the clear now, no sign of icky bugs, which is great news and means I can be really smug about not being ill.  We had got up early to check if our money was in the bank yet but sadly it still hadn’t cleared, so it was back to house to help out some more.  Gary was on door repair duty and I cooked shepherd’s pie and choc chip cookies.  It’s really fun to be in able to get stuck in a do stuff after ten months of having nothing to do but sit in the sun and plan our next destination.  We went out in the afternoon and bought a Sat Nav, so we don’t get lost over the next year.

Luke and his girlfriend Erin came to dinner and showed us the plans for their new house.  They have bought a plot of land and have been visiting show homes in Sydney.  Clarendon have a cul-de-sac  built with show homes in every different style they have to offer which you can just turn up and have a look round. If you like a certain style of house, then you buy it and they come and build it for you.   The show houses are fully furnished and are built with all the extras built-in. The starting price is a very basic model and then you change things or upgrade items like the staircase from wooden to railing to glass, or if you want the balcony on the left or the right. Basic things like carpets and tile can also be changed.  Have a look at this website and see what you think. http://www.clarendon.com.au/homes/index.  Gary and I find this really interesting and are going to visit one of these show villages....don’t worry not to buy!!!

Friday 20th August 2010

Still no money in the new account so no trip to Sydney for us.  Gary help paint all the doors in the house and Diane and I went out shopping.  On the way back we stopped at a pie shop called Darby’s to buy some $1 pies, very tasty.

These are the most generous people we have ever met, and I am not just talking about Mark and Diane who have been wonderful, having opened their home up to us, introduces us to their family and friends as well a fed and clothed us, but also everyone we have met since we came here.  A prime example is one of the neighbours came over with a bike they had bought from Aldi’s.  They had heard that the Pommie’s wanted to buy a couple of cheap bike to take away with them so brought their one over to show us what you got for your money.  The other bike was still in the box which they then put together and brought over later that day.  The bikes are perfect and they have lent them to us for five weeks while they are on holiday. How generous is that, they haven’t even met us they did all that through Mark.

We went out for dinner to a Malaysian Restaurant round the corner from their new house with Mark’s sister and her husband and Mark and Diane, naturally. The food was delicious and it was another BYO so Mark had a little cool box full of beer and wine next to him.

Saturday 21st August 2010

Saturday morning the banks are open until noon, we went down early to see if the money was in, but still no show.  Jenny from the bank offered to call us if the money should come in that afternoon but we didn’t hold much hope of that happening if it wasn’t in now chances are it would be there until Monday.   We powered up the new sat nav and headed for the big shopping centre at Kotara for a nose round and to look in a camping shop for some ideas for the campervan. On the way back we passed the $1 pie shop, as I pointed it out Gary jammed on the breaks and hit the indicator..... I think he maybe addicted to these pies now.  The question is does he like them because they taste good or because they are only 50p each????

That evening we were out for dinner again, Gary’s first visit to a real Ozzie pub since we got here.  We went to a hotel called The Grand, where they do steak, chips and a schooner (Glass of beer - 425ml) for $10 (5).  It was excellent quality food and a genuine bargain for the money.  After dinner we had a few schooner’s in this bar before moving on to their local boozer.  There are two pubs opposite each other, one is called the rich man’s pub and one is called the poor man’s pub.  The rich man’s pub had a band playing and the lead singer was Bonny’s uncle, so we all met up with Adrian and Bonny.   Gary got to make his first punt (bet) in a pub.  They have betting shops or TAB’s in the pubs so you never have to leave your schooner and make a bet.  Not one to waste money on betting Gary used $7 that someone had left on the table to lay the bet off with....cheapskate!!  It didn’t win.

It was a great night, the band were really good and I got to have my first cider after nearly eleven months and I was also drinking alcoholic ginger beer which I have never seen before.

Sunday 22nd August 2010

It was lovely getting up and not having the anticipation of going to the bank and then having our hopes and plans dashed.  After breakfast Gary and Mark went down to the other house with a few other volunteers to rip up all the revolting carpets.  Diane and I started packing away some of the ornaments and glasses from the cupboards.  The boys came back and we stop at 1pm to have lunch on the patio by the pool as the weather was warm in the sun.

It’s been incredible experience staying with the Gillies, they have been so big-hearted and fun to be with.  We are getting a fantastic insight into Australian family life but also their language.  It may look like English, it may sound like English but it’s most definitely Australian. 

So let see if you have been paying attention... G’day we are going to have few snags on the barbie, before going out in the ute and have a schooner and punt at the Tab in the pub.  I won’t even mention the definition of Ranga’s, Gerni and Thongs.
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