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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our arrival days (continued);

dear chums;
Louise here again at the keypad with more tales of life in the 'troppo' tropics on Maggie Island.

It is actually a bit cool at night now, and we have had to have a blanket on, which makes a change from the electric fan.  The locals are wearing jeans and jumpers and its 24C! Not this little black duck; still wearing the minimum while I feel that sun.

Weds 6 April 2011 26C  sunny
The cough and fever I have are a lot worse and I make Matt take me to the local Doctor ; Bill Glavin, who is a portly chap with grey hair and reminds me of Bill Hunter (Australian Actor).  He gives me a script for antibiotics and says to rest up; Lovely - I can be lazy as its on the doc's orders...

Thurs 7April  27C  sunny
A call for someone wanting to buy Matt's Mitsu car! Hooray! But jeers turn to tears when the lady who sees it wants power steering, and that's the one thing the damn car is without!  Matt is crushed after doing his best used car salesman impression...  He also phones around some RV Centres and we again are only offered $25k for our van; bloody insult; we paid $40k for it.   We decided $30k is the lowest we will take.

Fri 8 April  28C sunny
We catch the barge to Townsville, with the van to get a new windscreen fitted; the crack we got in our first week on the road has not expanded but the van won't sell as it is.  It is booked in for 1pm at Instant Windscreens somewhere in town.

  Before this gets done we go to the Queensland Motor Dept to get our vehicle re-registered for this state; We queue for ages and they have no seats or a ticket machine; first in, best dressed. Talk about antiquated!  

We then find we have no third party cover and have to run to the nearest insurer, QBE and get a note and run back again to Motor Dept.  The lady behind the counter was very helpful, but what was NOT was the fact that the mechanic had not copied down my engine number properly on his papers and their is a problem; I have to now get the local police to verify my engine number as it is already on the Motor Dept system; Bugger!   

We then meet Tom (father in law) who is in town and he gives me the keys to the old green car that is kept in town for use when required; 'Push the clutch in and turn the key' he advises and takes off back to the island.  The plan is to follow Matt to the windscreen place and while it is being done, we can have lunch.  Matt gives me the address and we set off, with me following after.   As we round a corner I bump over a pothole and the car dies.  I managed to flash my lights as Matt goes through the junction ahead, but he keeps going;  I frantically push the clutch to the floor, while stepping 'on the gas' - to no avail.  I am feeling very hungry now - Its 12.45 -  and angry I get out in a lather of sweat.    Luckily a kind man takes pity on me and offers me his mobile phone, (Matt has our shared one) and when I tell Matt what had occurred he tells me he has to get the windscreen done - I tell him I will try and make it to where he is...
The mobile phone man has got the car started!  I jump in and ask him frantically where the suburb of Garbutt is, and he points and says 'towards the airport'.  I over rev the engine but manage to take off...  There is only 1 sign for the airport and I follow it, praying the car will not die again;  fortunately the road I needed (Bayswater) is marked up ahead on a roundabout sign and I veer and swerve through the trucks and cars to make the turn;  then I see our van parked outside the windscreen place and I heave a sigh of relief.  Parking the heap of rust around the corner, I leave the windows open (its 32C) and rush out to grab Matt;  As I bang on the side of the van a very unfamiliar face looks out the window;  at this point I say the most intelligent thing I can think of: 'your'e not my husband!'  The young driver points towards the office and I sprint towards it.  Another nice man greets me and informs me that Matt has just walked up the road to Hungry Jacks Burgers and I should be able to catch him...   I start to run, and I can see the HJ sign about 50m in front; the sun is burning me but I have to go on.  As I enter the cool air con, I see a blue 'Nike' T shirt with a loaded tray of food and grab the arm: Matt turns around and says "Louie!  How did you get here!"  and all I can do is burst into tears and mumble "I don't know..."

We have lunch and walk back to the green car; did I mention their is a superstition in my family with green cars?  All who have owned one have had grief, and I am now beginning to believe it.   While over lunch I told Matt about the car dying, but now as he tries to drive it away, the same thing happens.  I feel relieved as it proves the look I got from him saying 'it's your driving Lou' is unfounded. We drive about 2km and it dies again 2 more times, and we have to call the RACQ (roadside assistance) which Tom luckily belongs to.  Finally a tow truck arrives and takes it with me to the Hyundai dealer in town where it gets left for repairs.   I am not driving that car unless I really have to!

Sat April 9th  27C sunny
This is the day Tom falls off the trestle and sprains his ankle.  The lurid details are in our other blog  Its May 19th as I write this and his ankle is still not the best...

Sun April 10th  sunny 26C
Tom's ankle is well swollen and he looks very pissed off! As you would if you had been painting places for 40 years and this was the first time you had fallen off...

Mon 11 April   sunny 28c
Another potential buyer for the car; another man who wants power steering;  we are asking $3,300 ono and are hoping we can get a buyer.    Had lots of calls but when told no P.S on car, they don't want to know...

Tues 12 April  28C sunny
I join the local gym at the end of the road; $30 per month (see photos); my arms are getting the 'bingo wings' and I don't like it...

Here is my new gym; very basic, a bit of a cave really, but very, very cheap i.e $1 a day... Lovely!   May 2011

Other view;  I am usually the only client there at 9am when I go;  I can use the boom box and have my favourite dance music blaring out while I wrangle with that huge treadmill... May 2011

Weds 13 April - 26c sunny
After 3 days of phone calls trying to get the local cops to come and see my car, (to verify the engine number) they call and say they will be with me in 10 mins; I wait outside for an hour and they eventually turn up;   I get cranky waiting but Matt explains to me that we are on 'magnetic island time' and to not stress.  My papers for the new number plates gets signed and I am happy...

We get a call re: Matt's car and jump for joy when the man looks at it and says 'I don't give a shit about powered steering...' and produces a wedge of dosh!  Happy days...  Now just the van to sell...

OK guys More later on....  Matt is making dins and wants me to mash some spuds...