The Steal

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June 14th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2015
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All of us ready for dinner
It was Friday night, the truck was all packed for a weekend away but this time we would be without Roobie, as we were off down to Myalup Pines which are old wood cutters cabins down near Bunbury.

Thursday night, everything was loaded in, we are right in the middle of winter at the moment, the nights are cold and fortunately the days have been as high s 24 which has been nice, the only problem with this is having to layer up when we go to work and disrobe once the sun comes out then its all reverse by the time we are heading home.

The big but here is where we were going and what we were staying in, like I said we were staying in Woodcutter cabins, they were without heating and are very Spartan, so we packed an extra doona, (Quilt) which would go on top of our normal single Doona’s which we have one each and the “Teddy Rug” our fake fur rug that we put on top of everything, I said to Caroline it was better to take it all with us and if we chose not to use
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Our beautiful Christmas Table
it then it would be better than being cold.

So it was business as usual all day and I got back to the truck at the train station by around 4.10, Caroline came in at around 4.15, earlier than usual, she hopped in and we were off heading down the Kwinana Freeway towards Bunbury.

We pulled in at Myalup Pines at around 6.15 and as we pulled in a lot of our friends were already sitting around a camp fire, so the first thing that needed our attention was to get our gear in and make our beds, as we had to bring all our own linen etc.

As soon as our bed was made for the night, it was time to socialise, so we wandered over to the fire and caught up with our friends from the Toyota Landcruiser club.

We had already prepared a chicken curry for our evening meal as we didn’t want to faf around cooking when we arrived and not to stop and have something to eat on the way down we just thought it would be the easiest way to manage things.
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Yes this was my ice cream

Our past president Bob and his partner Brenda had prepared a mulled wine, which they aptly named “Rocket Fuel”.

It was gorgeous, and all the people sitting around the fire were all indulging in the mulled wine, and Bob did a great job in recharging everyone’s mugs and glasses.

Karen had made some Pea and Ham soup and left it warming in the kitchen and asked everyone just to help them selves, it really was delicious, then we warmed our curry and rice and did the same, so at least it let people have a bit of a choice.

The evening was just great, it wasn’t as cold as we were expecting, the day had been really warm, we all sat around a very warm fire and as always the stars were amazing, it was a pleasure to once again sit around a camp fire as the fire ban season in Western Australia seems so long between October and March each year.

As it had been a work day we were both tired by 9.30 and I just couldn’t last any long so I wandered off to
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The end of my ice cream
bed, I slipped in between the sheets and with the light out the room was really dark and I soon skipped off to sleep, I don’t even remember Caroline getting in to bed, she told me it was not long after.

I was up well before the day broke, dressed and went over to the fire and put some kindling on and got it going, I thought it would be nice when our friends got up to have a nice morning fire to sit around.

I had a coffee and once the fire was going sat in the morning and watched the day come up.

A pair of Kookaburra’s called in a near by tree I recorded the sound on my I-phone, it was great to hear them again and I just love to hear them laugh, they always seem to call at 06.30 as if to start the day.

It was around eightish when most people seemed to appear, the fire was going really well and I had about three cups of coffee by then.

We have been really busy lately (nothing unusual there)
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Jeanette collecting their present
and this morning the group were going out to visit a winery then on to a cheese factory, then ending up at a local brewery, I just wanted to stay back at camp and do nothing as I just wanted some quiet down time and not rush around.

There were a few little jobs I have just been unable to finish lately and managed to get them done, Caroline wandered off with her camera around the vicinity to do some photography.

It was around lunch time when I finished my bits and pieces and it coincided when Caroline had down loaded her photographs, Caroline wanted to go out and have a coffee at the Brewery just down the road.

It was only about a 4 kilometre drive and we drove in to see lots and lots of people having lunch, sampling the local beers and just enjoying the ambience of a thriving business.

Caroline ordered a coffee and as I was just too “Coffee’d out I had an ice cream, a salted Caramel on top of vanilla, what a perfect combination.

We had just taken
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Jeanette with their present
our seat when we saw all our friends arrive, they came over and all sat together, everyone seemed amused to see me with my ice cream, seen as I am being careful as to what I am eating, but every now and again is not a bad thing. A little of what you fancy does you good, so they say.

I had my photo taken with my Ice cream and soon it had been put on face book for the world to see.

We all drove back to camp as there were things to do before our evening celebrations got underway.

The whole reason for a trip was Christmas In July, though Myalup Pines (& most of us) were not available any time in July so we had to have it in June. Christmas In July is quite a new thing in Australia, I have been informed its only about ten years old, I was more interested as to why it happened.

Now Christmas in December anywhere in Australia is going to be “Hot” and Christmas is associated with being cold, as Santa is perceived to come from a cold place, and as July is Australia’s winter period, someone must have come up with a bright idea of having Christmas in July. We have celebrated Christmas in July whilst living in Canberra and we can confirm it was a cold night!

We had been to Myalup Pines in January this year for our friend Andy's 60th Birthday, it is run by the Lions club of Australia and is an awesome venue, there is a fully fitted kitchen that is commercial quality that has large cookers to do the job of everyone’s dinner for tonight.

With all the food preparation underway and the fire outside going nicely, people had started to migrate around the camp fire again and they were dressed for dinner, it was a hoot with most people wearing Christmas stuff, silly hats, goggles, and I think the best one was Bob who had a mechanical Hat that played a tune, Bob seemed very impressed with this and Caroline took short film of him dancing whilst wearing his hat.

About 7.00pm we were all called for dinner and went in to the hall and took our
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The road from the brewery
seat, at a guess there were probably 30 of us, which was a great turn out.

Dinner was buffet style and it was awesome, turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Pork with crackling and all the trimmings, everyone had done so well.

After our main dinner, we had Secret Santa presents game as we all had to buy a twenty dollar present, wrap it and put it with the other presents in the pile.

Everyone is then to pick a number blind out of a bowl so you don’t know what the number is and ours was number eight, that meant we were the eighth pick.

The idea is the first person/couple chooses a present, goes back to their seat and unwraps it then the second person/couple goes up and decides either to collect a present from the main pile or pick the already unwrapped present that the first people have unwrapped.

Now without going through all the people and presents, the best number you can pick is the last or the highest number as with this position, you get the pick of everything.

It was a hoot, some people held their unwrapped presents and looked at them longingly and hoped noone would steal them away, and when they did the steal was awesome, it turned out to be a cattle market which was hysterical.

This was such a great fun, just after our dinner these frivolities let our food go down then it was time for desert, wow what a choice.

The evening concluded inside and everyone got into the washing up and putting away then it was time to go back outside and sit around the fire, we sat out for about an hour then said our good nights and went off to bed. Now it was a cold night, last night was quite warm and fortunately Caroline had prepared the hot water bottles earlier, so we had a nice warm bed to slip into.

We both slept well and the morning was soon here and again I was up early tending to the fire, again the Kookaburra’s chimed the morning in at day break and again, the fire was going nicely by the time our friends got out of bed.

Yesterday the Walkers made us breakfast so today it was our turn, as the BBQ’s were already going, we managed to rustle up a egg and bacon Banjo for Peter and Leigh, it goes without saying that when we are away we always eat well.

After breakfast, we went and packed all our gear in the truck and left at about ten past ten and were home by about twelve thirty after a diversion to Skipworth’s wines as we wanted to stock our Port cellar up.

What a great weekend, and as always after a great weekend, an early Sunday night was in order and a pretty good nights sleep, until the alarm rudely awakes us on a Monday morning.


Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


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OMG its Santa
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Caroline, me and Knobby
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Andy our President
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Jan and Alan with their beer Goggles on
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Morning Fire
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Everybody parked
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Alan and Kim
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Andy and Peter
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Andy & Peter
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Caroline and I

22nd June 2015

Christmas in July (or June, in this case)
Hey kids, Great blog as per usual. Pleased to see that you are keeping up the tradition. Christmas in July ... been around in NSW probably around .. I don't know exactly - probably about 25 years and, supposedly started by a homesick Irishman who was here at Christmas time one year and it was stinking hot, as usual! He missed the traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas so, came up with the idea of Christmas in July when our temperatures were colder. And, the rest they say, is history .... It's a really big thing in the Blue Mtns here every year:) I will be out of action for the next few weeks as I am headed for the chopping block on Thursday. In hospital overnight then in a splint for 4 weeks. As it's my right hand, use will be limited so, probably no blogging for awhile. Otherwise, all fine here. Love, Lefty :) xoxox

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