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Published: November 28th 2014
End off Year Round Up
Bum Shot!! Even the best sports people can do a bum shot
Toyota Landcruiser Club End of year round up 21/23/11/2014
Well it’s Friday again and today we were heading off to Seabird, which is about 1½ hours North of Perth for our Toyota Landcruiser Club End of year round up.
The club are specific that it is not a Christmas Party, but an end of year gathering of members to celebrate our charitable achievements, personal achievements, prize giving, and of course to have a great meal, a bit of all round fun amongst friends.
We know Seabird from nearly six years ago as our friends Cliff and Sue Graham took us on a trip up there.
Its also a sad time as this will be the very last time we travel with Gypsy as she is due to leave us on Wednesday 26 November for her 4,000 Kilometre epic journey all the way back to the ACT, Australian Capital Territory or Canberra to you and me.
So she is all cleaned up and almost prepared for her journey away and as such we have only packed the bare essentials for the weekend, we were looking forward to spending a couple of nights in her, just
End Of Year Round Up 2014
Panorama of our camp site
before the off.
I finished work at Midday on Friday as it was one of my self-imposed half days whilst still recovering, I collected Caroline from Fremantle station at 1.00, I was already showered and shaved and we just needed to go back to the Chalet for Caroline to shower, hitch up the camper and set off, our target time was 2.00pm.
It was great rolling out of town, for a couple of nights (it seems like ages since our last out of town trip), we were really looking forward to a change of scenery and to be amongst likeminded others, have some fun, a few beers and a bit of a laugh.
North of Perth, the country flattens out and becomes very rural, the weather was a bit iffy, as we had had some rain this morning, not a lot, just enough to remind us of England and why we left, still it was good for the garden and a shower of rain was not going to dampen our fun.
We were only 14K’s away from Seabird at 3.55pm, and we needed to pull in as Caroline wanted to do her very first HF radio
Sked, now most of you guys know how much we rely of our communications, our truck is equipped with UHF Radio (Short Range Radio), Satellite Communication (self explanatory) and now we have installed a HF Radio that has a capability of transmitting voice and Data communications over 1000’S of Kilometres.
Any can buy such a radio install it and try to communicate with other users, but we subscribe to two (2) Radio groups VKS 737 and VKE 237, the whole idea is the frequencies we use are monitored and if you are in difficulty you would hope that someone is listening somewhere tucked away in a far corner of Australia and helps you to get you out of it.
So, at certain times the HF radio organisations run what are known as skeds and you log in to tell them where you are and your status, such as “struth mate, the wife’s been bitten by a snake”, and the operator says, “well how is it? And you say!! well the snakes not looking to good, I don’t know if it will survive.!!”
It is Caroline’s belief that she needs to be able to operate all the equipment
we have, if needs must, just imagine, me having my stroke whilst we were crossing the Simpson Desert, that would have been a real problem and Caroline would have needed to call for help and remember folks, mobile phones do not work in these remote places.
So at 3.55 we pulled in to a layby and booted up the HF radio, Caroline selected the channel and at 4.00pm AWST (Australian Western Standard time) a voice came over the radio, Caroline listened to the instruction and at the appropriate time announced:
“Wiluna Base 4425-this is Mobile 1136- Over”, “Mobile 1136 This is Wiluna Base, good afternoon, can you give me your location”. Caroline soon gets in to the rhythm of what is required and starts chatting merrily away to the operator, who was a traveller himself and was sitting looking at the ocean in Coral Bay, some 1034 kilometres from where we were.
Our GPS location is also sent to the operator so our position is marked on a map, when we travel again, I will post up the web site so you guys should be able to see our travel plots automatically.
The sked only took
about 8 minutes and we were again travelling the last few kilometres of our journey to Seabird, we were directed by signs in the village and soon we were choosing where we were going to site Gypsy and set up.
When the awning was up and we were done, I just did a few more photo’s of the set up for Gypsy’s new owners as we will not be able to do a hand over, so we will have to rely on my instructions and photographs that I have been sending across to Canberra via email.
As soon as she was done I had a crawl in to bed for a siesta, I just needed to rest, Caroline grabbed her Camera and went off to see the other members of the club, have a walk and do some photo’s and I was left to have a peaceful nana.
When I had recharged my batteries I went out and joined everyone, who made me feel very welcome, I cannot believe it’s a year since our first TLCC end of year round up which only seemed 5 minutes ago.
We had pre ordered fish and chips from the
local “Chippy” they could only do them in batches of five so we had all pre ordered, believe it or not ours were the only order that was one fish and chips and one chips for Caroline, which obviously sent them in to near melt down.
Anyway our chips were booked for 6.20 and they arrived bang on time, so we sat and ate our dinner.
Everyone who had ordered slowly got their dinner and we all enjoyed our treat, I thought the little kiosk in Seabird did a remarkable job of doing fish and chips for everyone, which was good because I bet it certainly boosted their profits.
Tonight was movie night, last year we had a guy who came from a society which had an interest in old films so this time one of the members (Mara) had put together a few funny films and also showed a film of a couple of our members who were part of a promotional film which we all had a good laugh at, then we had some old Toyota adverts from around the world, whilst being fed copious amount of popcorn, washed down by a few beers.
Soon it was bed time, it wasn’t that late, but I was looking forward to sliding under the doona and have the cool night air help us off to sleep.
It had rained in the night, I remember about 3.00am I heard rain drops on the roof, I must had slipped back to sleep and then awoke to a gorgeous morning.
Today was going to be an easy day, we wanted to do nothing really except what the other members had on offer with the TLCC, (namely Mini Golf) and as we had been flat out busy of late it would be nice the throttle back, we also wanted to make sure we used this time to ensure Gypsy was 100% ready to go, as she is targeted to leave at 1.00pm on Wednesday 26 November.
Our first task of the day was to go in search of breakfast, yes we had food and stuff with us, but the gas bottles were disconnected and the cooker was all clean so we decided to go in to the village and hunt out a bacon and egg sandwich and a coffee.
Oh Man! we were successful and the
little corner shop in the village did everything from Camping accessories to lollies and they just happen to do breakfast as well and funnily enough this is where our Fish and Chips came from.
So there was nothing else that was needed except for a bacon and egg sandwich and a coffee twice please and 5 minutes later that is exactly what we got, awesome, we drove back to camp with our goodies and sat in the sun and ate our breakfast.
Trev and Peta came over and asked if we wanted to team up with them to make a foursome on the mini golf, so we went and registered and waited until the group in front to create an opening which allowed us to join the game.
It was only eight (8) holes, on grass, with a tennis ball and the weapon which is a cross between a croquet mallet and a wooden golf club, which had all been made by one of our club members.
It was a difficult course but hilariously funny, it was amazing really, we just giggled our way around and I guess it possibly took us about an hour and
a half to do the eight holes.
Once the game was done we handed our card in, the group before us, had a member who took over 40 shots to complete the last hole, where as our team did in in 5 as an average.
When we handed our card in and Rusty looked at the combined score and made comment that it was a very good score.
Whilst Trev, Peta and some of the other club members were going on the short 4 wheel drive trip, Caroline and I went back to camp for a relax and a read, the day was warm and I picked up the computer and started to blog.
We didn’t have any power available to us to plug Gypsy in, so when the laptop was nearly run down I went in to the kitchen that was provided for us and plugged it in to charge.
I went back to the trailer and Caroline was sitting there deep in a book and I noticed her feet were in the sun, cooking nicely. I pointed it out, she hastily withdrew them and they were indeed pretty red.
The afternoon drifted
End Of Year Round Up 2014
The makings of an easy shot
by and at 3.00pm it was ice cream and drinks time laid on by the club, we sat around under the awnings graciously supplied by Toyota Australia and chatted the rest of the afternoon away.
Dinner was set for 7.00pm, but pre dinner drinks and nibbles were at 5.15, so we wandered over and got dressed for the evening and then wandered back and mingled.
As much as I love pre dinner nibbles, if you are not careful it can ruin your appetite really quickly, Vin walked around with a tray of what looked like pickled onions, but they were pickled Garlic and they were just so delicious.
At 6.00 pm a bush poet appeared, a local call called Frank and read a few bits and pieces, he was a British chap and really was a good speaker. We sat whilst being entertained and soon dinner time was upon us, we were requested that we all had to form a line and conga into the dinner hall, which was fun.
The tables were all individually decorated with different trips the clubs members had been on, we sat at the Bush Cocktails and Camp oven Tables which
End Of Year Round Up 2014
Trev and Peta enjoying their icecream
was decorated with empty cocktail bottles and…… wait for it, yes, a camp oven!
Our entrée was a bucket of fresh prawns, they were yum, poor Caroline wrinkled her nose up at them but they were lovely and when they were all devoured there was a beautiful buffet of steak and salad, oh and potato wedges.
We had a few video messages played on the screen from club members who couldn’t be there, such as Ben and Gayle who were in Costa Rica and Andy and Keren who were in Thailand.
We also had some more Toyota adverts from around the world, that were obviously shown in countries who censorship laws were far lower than Australia, we still sometimes chuckle as the censorship in Australia is so much more relaxed than the UK as sometimes, a news reporter may say a rude word like “Boll#+cks and there is no way that would be said on British TV.
We had a couple of special prizes gifted to the club by various organisations and the main prize was a paid trip to Dirk Hartog Island, which is a small island off the Gascoigne Coast off Western Australia, located
End Of Year Round Up 2014
Enjoying the Sun,
9For our British readers, that's the big Yellow round thing in the sky that you don't see very often)
within the Shark Bay world heritage area, and is accessible via ferry from Steep Point, which is the Australian mainland’s most Westerly Point, the 26th
parallel runs through the island.
I cast my mind back and remember that we have driven across the 26th
parallel and Caroline has a photo of the sign. The tickets were ten bucks each and when Brian came to our table we obviously had a ticket, it was one ticket per call sign, so that was one ticket between Caroline and myself and the draw would be done this evening so somebody was going to win, the second prize was $250 and the third prize $170.
Our ticket was number nine and Trev and Peta who sat opposite us were given number 22 and Ali who sat next to Caroline was given number 6.
Peta said to Caroline that she felt that the ticket that Caroline had been given (9) was the winning ticket and would she fancy swapping tickets with theirs (22) so most of the evening was listening to this jovial banter about swapping tickets.
Soon it was time to draw the tickets and the way it was done
was quite unusual, as the “ball tumbler” was transparent, Alison who was chosen to pick the winning numbers would technically be able to see the number she would be picking, so with the aid of a safety mask that had been decorated with a face on it obscured her vision to make it fair.
The first ball was picked for the trip to Dirk Herzog Island and Trevor and Ria won it, we decided that it would be a really cool place to go, so Caroline and I have added this to our list.
As the ball was being pulled Peta and Caroline were still taking about swapping tickets and for a laugh I said to Caroline “do it” but Caroline didn’t give any quarter she wanted fate to play its hand.
Next number to be pulled was yep!! You guessed it (22) Peta’s ticket, $250.00 coming their way and the next ticket was number 6 Ali who was sitting next to Caroline and dhe had won $120.00
The next part of the evening was desert and there was some awesome options, Fruit with cream, Pavlova, Profiteroles, we all went and got what we wanted and
End Of Year Round Up 2014
Listening to the Bush Poetry
went back to our seat.
The next part of the celebrations was our annual prize giving for what the club members had done this year, such as trip leader, the environmental award, editors award and so on, and they did go to people who had put in an amazing effort, I picked up a small trophy for the best round of golf this morning.
We did have a really brilliant time, really good fun and we couldn’t believe that a year has gone around since last years end of year round up which we were invited to attend, even before we were club members.
Everyone started to disperse so we took the cue and headed off to bed, we woke to another warm morning, today was an important day, we planned to push off early as we needed this time to do the finishing items on Gypsy.
We really didn’t have much to do, I just like to have time on our side, to go over it again and again as I want it to be perfect for the new owners, as I have said before it is a reflection on the two of us.
We packed everything away, folded the awnings, counted the poles, put everything away properly for that last time, then went and said our good byes to our friends and to thank everyone for such a great weekend, even though we would see them at the last club meeting of the year this coming Thursday.
It was 8.50 when we pulled out, we only had 120 K’s home and we would have the afternoon in front of us.
On the way home Caroline said something that really made me happy, she said that when she walked in to the dining hall last night she felt she belonged, Caroline and myself struggled when we left Canberra, even though the journey to Western Australia was an amazing adventure when we arrived in W.A we found it difficult and were delighted to meet great people like Peter and Leigh Walker, Andy Bayley and Karen Griffin and now great people from the club, we have had to rely on these people who offered their unwavering support when I had to travel back to the UK when mum died and when I had my stroke, so to this end we are truly very grateful
End Of Year Round Up 2014
Brian showing Alison what she has to wear, to pick the balls from the raffle tumbler
to these amazing people in our lives.
Finally HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gary Barber, miss you mate!!
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