Day 1170 of retirement

April 27, 2013

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 Hi All

Saturday 20th April:

Cold, wet and windy today. A bit of a shock to the system so we broke out the winter woolies.

A relaxing day with a DVD and a trip to Bunning’s to get a few fixit things for the unit.

Off to pick up Jordan from Carly’s at 4:00pm.

Sunday 21st April:

Jordan had work at 11:00am so we went out early for another one hour driving lesson round the back streets of Belrose.

At 12:30pm we made our way over to see Gina and George (Old friends) in Pymble for lunch. Gina wanted to set up a WordPress blog so we spent an hour or so setting up the page and going through the administration processes of the page.

We had a great lunch out on their deck as the sun was out and the rain had abated.

Back home via Aldi then back to pick up Jordan from work at 5:30pm.

Monday 22nd April:

Up at 4:30am to watch the MotoGP Austin Texas (USA). A great win by Mark Marquez and the youngest winner ever at 20 years old.

Back to bed for a few hours sleep after the race finished at 6:00am.

At 9:00am we boarded the Mighty Mazda and were off to Umina up by Woy Woy to visit Ben, Samantha and the kids (Taylor, Milla and Lily) who are camping in a caravan park (1.5 hours drive).

After a good old chat and a cup of tea we drove to Patonga Beach for fish and chips on the beach while the kids went for a swim. 5:00pm back in Sydney and picked up Jordan after work at the Belrose Supa Centre (Subway).

Guy’s Mahjong was cancelled tonight so we had a quiet one at home.

On the job front Guy got a call from a recruitment agency that she applied to for a payroll job. The job is in Brookvale which is just down the road from Dee Why so would be great location-wise. She has a interview tomorrow at Chatswood so we shall see how it all goes.

 Tuesday 23rd April:

The Mighty Mazda got a wash and vacuum today as the rain has departed for a few days.

After lunch Guy had a 1st job interview in Chatswood with a recruitment agency. Jordan and I dropped her off and hit the mall. Jordan had a haircut and then we hung out in JB Hifi looking at stuff.

Guy was back for her interview 40 minutes later and so far so good. She now has a phone interview with her potential employer tomorrow at 2:45pm.

Back home for a cup of tea and then Jordan and I went off for a driving lesson. We were out in the traffic today but he was fine.

Back home and then Guy and I headed off for dinner with our good friend Lisa over in Summer Hill (Across the other side of the city). We allowed a good hour to get there but almost 2-hours later we arrived (Caught in Sydney rush hour traffic,,, aaahhhh).

We had a great pizza and an even greater chat to Lisa on life, love and the universe.

Wednesday 24th April:

Guy and I did a morning walk up the beach to the bluff and back (7km round trip). When we got back home at 9:30am there was a note in the letterbox to say that our broadband router was ready for pickup at the Dee Why Post office. So I walked back and picked it up and proceeded to install it only to find that I needed a phone plug.

So a walk back to the $2 shop and a plug was purchased. All plugged in and all the lights showed we were good but no Wi-Fi connection. Using a network cable worked fine. So a call to Internode and 10 minutes later all good.

Guy and I then drove to Aldi for some supplies for the next few days. When we got home the Wi-Fi was down. So after another call to Internode it was all fixed once again. My fault, as I changed my password online but not on the router.

I must say that Internode support was great. I got through within minutes and the guys knew exactly what had to be done and talked me through it.

Guy had her phone interview at 2:45pm and it went okay. Just have to wait now to see how it all pans out.

Guy off to Mahjong at 6:30pm, dropping Jordan off at Carly’s along the way.

Thursday 25th April:

A leisurely morning was enjoyed by all. Mid morning we did the 7km beach to bluff walk and back. After lunch it was a glorious day so Guy and I walked back to the beach and went round onto the rocks.

Guy read and I played round with my Infrared filter on the Fuji X100 for a couple of hours. Late afternoon we had a very nice Chai Latte before walking back home.

Jordan arrived at 6:00pm and we had a very nice chicken curry (cooked by Guy yesterday) for dinner.

Friday 26th April:

Jordan has work at midday so just before 11:00am we headed out for a driving lesson. Into the traffic today as he is much more confident driving now.

After lunch Guy and I did our 7km beach to bluff walk along the beach once again.

Just after 6:00pm I picked up Jordan from work and Guy was off with the girls for a birthday dinner in Dee Why.  She checked her email after coming home from dinner with the girls and there was an email from the recruitment agency to say that the manager who will conduct the face-to-face interview is away for the long weekend so she should expect a call early next week for the interview.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 1163 of retirement

April 20, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 13th April:

Leisurely morning. It is a no unpacking day today. At 10:30am we decided to walk to Warringah Mall some 4km down the road. After a few detours checking out the local “attractions” we arrived at the mall.

We topped up with a Chai Latte and then wandered round the mall for a bit. Guy bought a couple of cushions and some coat hangers then we retired to the food hall for a light lunch.

After lunch we walked back home carrying our purchases. A slight detour to our local Aldi for some supplies and home for an afternoon siesta.

Guy was going to play Mahjong (Her first game in AUS) at 5:00pm. I picked up Jordan from Carly’s (Girlfriend) place at 6:00pm and we had a quiet night at home.

Sunday 14th April:

Guy got home just after midnight with a win for her first Mahjong game back in AUS. Wwwwooo hhhoooo….

A slow morning. Jordan had to start work at 11:00am so we left at 10:15am to drop him off some 25 minutes away. Then we drove to the back streets and Guy had here first drive off the Mighty Mazda and a manual gearshift.

It has been eight years (2005) since she last drove a stick shift. She was all fine after about 30 minutes of driving round the streets. We dropped into Adli for some supplies on the way home.

Back home for lunch then we walked down to the beach (15 minutes away). Guy sat and read and I went for a walk round the rocks. Jordan was off with Carly (Girlfriend) tonight so Guy and I had a DVD night.

Monday 15th April:

Mid morning we were off to KMart once again for the last of our main things (Iron & Ironing Board). Back home and after lunch we went for a walk in our local area to checkout the shops and see what’s where.

Finished up with a very nice Chai Latte watching the world go by. On the walk home we checked out the local bus stops as we are off to the city on Wednesday on the bus.

Tuesday 16th April:

At 10:00am we dropped Jordan off at Carly’s as he and some of his mates are off camping till Thursday. On the way home it was a stop at Aldi (food) and Office Works to print, sign and then scan my Australia Electoral Commission (AEC) re-enlistment to the electoral role.

You can fill out the form online and get a receipt for your application. But you still have to print it, sign it and then send or email (Scanned) the signed form back to the AEC. When we left AUS three years ago we were removed from the role.

Another walk mid afternoon looking round the local area and get a tire gauge for the Mighty Mazda.

Guy off to Mahjong at 6:30pm and back at 11:00pm ish.

Wednesday 17th April:

Today we were going to the city to meet up with Naty (Guy’s friend from Rooty Hill) for lunch. But she called to say that due to work commitments she had to postpone lunch till next week.

So Guy and I decide to go for a longer walk down on Dee Why Beach. I walked round to the bluff north of the beach and Guy walked about half the way. All up I walked just over 8km with Guy walking about 4km.

Back home and nice afternoon siesta after lunch. We shall enjoy the siestas while we can, as I fear they will be ending soon with us going back to work.

I received a text from Gerald (Pom) back on Marinduque to say that they were experiencing more brownouts. One of the few things I don’t miss…..

Thursday 18th April:

Up and off for our Dee Why beach walk to the bluff and back. A leisurely 7.5km stroll. After lunch another walk to Aldi and back (2.5km round trip) for some supplies.

At 4:00pm we headed off to pick up Jordan from Carly’s place as he is back from a 3-day camping trip with his mates. On the way home we called into Warriewood mall as Jordan needed a pair of new black jeans for work (He works in Subway, Belrose).

At 8:00pm Marlene (Dave’s mum & retired) arrived for a chat and to pickup the bike in the garage, as she wants to use it in her retirement cycling group.

Friday 19th April:

Up and off with Jordan for his first drive in the Mazda as he has his learner’s permit. He hasn’t driven since January so he was a bit rusty but he picked up the stick shift pretty quick.

We drove round the back streets for nearly an hour and then I dropped him off at work (Subway) at the Supacentre in Belrose.

After lunch I went for a walk via Aldi and picked up a few supplies for dinner. Guy and I then drove over and picked up Jordan from work for a quiet evening watching American Idol.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 1156 of retirement

April 13, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 6th April:

Up and on the road back to Canberra for the night. We are baby sitting Zali as Jo and Dave are going out to dinner with old friends. We had a leisurely trip down with a stop for lunch.

Arrived at 4:00pm for the evening activities with Zali. Jo feed Zali and put her to sleep before heading out with Dave at 10:00pm. Zali slept till about midnight them woke up and unfortunately wouldn’t go back to sleep.

She played and cried on and off till Jo and Dave arrived back at 2:00am. And of course she was fine when Mum arrived.

Sunday 7th April:

We had a leisurely morning and decided to head back to Sydney at midday. We arrived at 4:00pm after a bit of detour when I missed the exit off the Eastern Distributor, but all good.

We went for a walk round the Dee Why area and sassed out the local Aldi food mart for some cheap groceries. We bought some more steak for dinner (Still catching up on 3 years without steak).

Got a text from Fantastic furniture informing us our mattresses, bed frame, bedside table and tallboy will be here from 7:30am tomorrow.

Also got the Blue Ray player working as I bought a HDMI cable in Canberra. We watched the new “Jack Reacher” movie with Tom Cruise (We got it in the Philippines).

Monday 8th April:

Up and ready for our three deliveries. First was the Fantastic Furniture Queen bed frame, 2 x bedside tables, 1 x tallboy and 2 Queen mattresses. They only had one mattress and had to get another one from a different warehouse so would deliver it later in the afternoon.

Next was the mailbox man. Our mailbox out the front is a lockable one but there are no keys so it has to remain open all the time. So the mailbox man replaced the lock and issued us with 2 new keys.

Next was the Harvey Norman guys with the fridge and washing machine. After lunch we made our way to a very easy drive to get to Aldi store just down the road and did a big food shop to stack the pantry. Also got some spare keys cut for the garage and mailbox. Originals are now stored away in a safe place.

I spent most of the day putting together all the furniture piece by piece (Aaaahhhhh….). We only had a few bits left over. The instructions had omitted to show them but nothing serious and it all works.

The Fantastic Furniture boys arrive late afternoon with our final mattress so all good.

Jordan and Carly paid us a visit. Carly had to leave early (She drove her car) and later in the evening we dropped Jordan off at a friend’s place.

Tuesday 9th April:

Up and off to Kmart in Warriewood shopping centre for some more small household goods. Then off to Bunnings a few kms in the other direction from the unit for a few more small items.

On the way home we called into our local Aldi for a few more food supplies so all good.

Then back to the garage and brought up our queen bed frame and got our bed all assembled with the new mattress. Next job was getting the washing machine connected, leaking taps fixed and the cane shelves in the laundry.

Our first load of washing done and dusted and hung out on the clothes racks on the balcony.

I also dug out two plastic boxes of some clothes that Guy and I had left behind. Looks like they survived okay that last three years in storage.

Wednesday 10th April:

Up and off to the Apple Mac store (At 9:30am) in Chatswood to get the battery changed on my MacBook Pro 13”. The original battery (3 years old) started to die last November. I managed to get a cheaper battery over the web and installed it in December when I was back in AUS.

Then about a couple of months ago the MacBook would “lose” the battery on and off and only work on the charger. I then replaced the faulty battery with the old original Mac battery and it was all good again (so it was a battery issue).

I dropped off the laptop to the Apple technician who then ran their own diagnostics over the machine. All the tests came back okay except the battery. They informed me they needed the laptop for a maximum of 48 hours to replace the battery.

Guy and I headed off for a Chai Latte and twenty minutes later I got a call from Apple to say that the battery had been replaced and it was ready to go. So I was very happy with that and we picked up the MacBook.

Jordan texted us that he was ready to move in. So we dropped by his dad’s place and grabbed his gear and made our way back to the unit. After lunch it was back to KMart for a few extra’s for Jordan and to get a replacement learner’s driving license (at the RTA) as he has lost his original one.

Some driving lessons are about to come with Guy (she hasn’t driven the Mazda yet) and Jordan.

Back home and I retrieved the two leather couches from the garage, washed them down and with Jordan’s help got them up into the lounge. Also did a big rubbish run with all our packing materials to the recycling bins.

Guy cooked up a nice big curry for dinner. Bushed again tonight.

Thursday 11th April:

Up and into the garage for a major reorganize of Jo’s gear mainly and some boxes of our stuff. The aim was to arrange stuff so I could get the Mazda into the garage and shut the door.

I managed to get the Mazda in but couldn’t get the door shut by about 6”. Dam…..

After lunch and a shower it was off to do some more apartment stuff shopping. I got a chain and coach bolt and rigged a system to lock the garage door while it is still open at the bottom by 6”. It works okay and will do until I get rid of some more gear out of the garage.

Also some new curtains for the lounge and our bedroom.

Just before dinner I picked up Jordan from a friend’s house 15 minutes away.

Another day down.

Friday 12th April:

Up and the Mighty Mazda got her first wash today. She is nice and shiny once again and parked in the garage. Guy spent the morning cleaning the windows in the unit.

At 10:30am we decided to have a nice little rest and walked down to Dee Why beach (15 minutes away). On the way we dropped into the Dee Why RSL and signed up as members. Looking forward to some great meals there.

After a bit of a stroll along the shorefront in the cool but sunny day, we bought fish and chips and sat on the boardwalk consuming them as the world went by.

On the way home we dropped into a nice market for some fresh fruit. Back home for a little siesta then sorted a few more boxes of stuff and threw about half of it in the bin. By emptying a few more boxes and some rearranging on the garage I can now get the Mazda all the way in with the door shut.

Life is busy but good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 1149 of retirement

April 6, 2013

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Hi All

Saturday 30th March:

Up and off to see our used car man at 10:00am. We had a good look over the car and a long test drive with him.

The car is a:

  • 2003 Mazda 323 Astina
  • 5 Door Hatch
  • 5 speed manual
  • Aircon, airbags & Cruise Control (Big bonus)
  • 1.8L
  • 167,000km (Mostly highway km traveling to work in the country & back)
  • Full service history (With documents) by original dealer (Recently serviced)
  • New tires
  • It is in very very good condition

We left a deposit with the guy and will do the final payment and paper work on Tuesday.

Back to Jo and Dave’s, picked up the shopping list and off to the mall for some supplies.

At 9:00pm we all went for a drive out to Mount Stromlo where the CORC 24 hour solo mountain bike was being held this weekend. A good friend of mine (Ivan) was racing. They started at midday today and finish at midday tomorrow.

We managed to time it just right as Ivan arrived for a pit stop about 15 minutes after we arrived. I managed to have a quick pep talk to him and encourage him on.

Sunday 31st March:

Leisurely morning. At 11:00am I drove over the other side of Canberra and picked up Sandy (Sister) and Brian (Bro-in-law) who are here from Adelaide for the folk festival this weekend.

They came back to Jo & Dave’s for lunch, which was a big pot of Pork Adobo with rice and veggies. After lunch Jo and Dave were off to Thredbo (3 hours drive away) for an overnight Chris Isaak concert. Hence Guy and I were baby sitting Zali for the night (Her first night without parents). Well the afternoon was fine as once we dropped off Sandy and Brian we took Zali for a long drive so she got some sleep. But by 10:30pm Zali was missing her mum. Needless to say we all spent a sleepless night. Zali wasn’t particularly keen on eating or drinking so Guy and I had to improvise as best we could.

Jo and Dave arrived back at 2:00pm much to Zali’s delight (She is breastfeeding).

Monday 1st April:

Finally this morning we managed to get Zali to take a little solid food and (with the help of a syringe) some breast milk Jo had left for us. Then two big long walks with Zali in the pram while waiting for Jo and Dave to arrive. She managed to sleep for 1.5 hours so that was good and I got a good bit of exercise.

They made it back at 2:45pm and Zali got her favorite milk shake drink once again.

We both enjoyed a little recovery siesta before an early evening.

Tuesday 2nd April:

After a bit of a sleep-in I was on the phone to NRMA to organize comprehensive insurance and roadside assistance for our car.

Then off to the bank to get the cash to pay for the car. We caught up with Tristan (Owner) just before midday and completed the paperwork and drove our new used car away (2003 Mazda 323 Astina).

After lunch Jo joined us for a trip to the motor registrar (at the mall) to do the change of ownership. We had a road worthy inspection but were told that it had expired (They are only good for 1 month and it had just expired). So after dropping Guy, Jo and Zali back home I went to a couple of local road worthy inspection garages but they couldn’t do the inspection till next week.

So back home and on the web and found the RTA list of certified inspection garages. On the phone and finally found one (local) who could do the inspection tomorrow at 2:30pm. So our trip back to Sydney is off for tomorrow.

I rang Thrifty rent a car yesterday about dropping the hire car at the Canberra airport instead of Sydney where I picked it up. They told me there would be a $55 relocation fee to drop it at Canberra. We had the car booked till the 10th  of April but they would refund the days not used.

When I ran Thrifty at Canberra airport to check that they would be open, they tried to tell me that the relocation fee would be $250. So after some checking on their system the good lady found my $55 relocation fee, so all good.

Guy and I drove out to the airport, dropped the hire car off and got our refund less the $55 relocation fee.

It was the first good run in our new car (2003 Mazda 323 Astina), which was great. Very happy with our purchase.

On the way home we dropped into Kmart as they had a special on a kettle and toaster. $16 for the two so hot water and hot toast is now sorted.

Wednesday 3rd April:

Up and off to the iPhone store in Canberra to get my iPhone 4S. I decided to go with Apple as they do all the setup for you and being new to iPhone, if I have any issues I can go back to any of their stores for help.

iPhone all sorted and back to drop off the car by Jo’s mall to have a roadworthy inspection carried out so we can get it registered. While that was happening we walked to the mall for a Chai Latte.

There was an issue with the SIM card in the iPhone so I dropped into the Vodafone shop and they fixed it for me then and there.

At 3:30pm we picked the roadworthy inspection and drove to the RTA office and finally got the Mazda registered into our names.

Back to Dave and Jo’s for a yummy dinner and packing ready to leave tomorrow.

Thursday 4th April:

Up and packed our little car to the brim with our stuff and some extra’s (Bedding, Rice Cooker, etc.) that Jo had given us back (We gave it to her when we left 3 years ago).

Arrived in Sydney at 3:00pm after a leisurely trip. First stop was the unit agent’s office to get the keys and check on what cleaning had been carried out at the unit. When Jo last inspected it after the tenants had left, there was still some more cleaning required.

We arrived at the unit and all good. The cleaning had been done so we proceeded to unpack the car.

Then after a hot shower (Shower head needs replacing….Home renovations have started already) it was off to Harvey Norman where we purchased the following:

  • Refrigerator 285L
  • Microwave Oven (25L oven capacity)
  • Washing Machine (Top loader 7.5kg)
  • 46” LED TV
  • Blue Ray DVD Player

A quick trip across the road to Fantastic Furniture and purchased:

  • Queen Bed Package (Queen frame, 2 side tables & a tall boy) for Jordan
  • 2 Queen mattresses (I already have a bed frame in the garage).

So it was a bit of power shopping (2-hours to complete both purchases) but I must admit we did a lot of research online before going into the stores so pretty much knew what we were looking for.

The fridge, washing machine, bed package and mattresses will be delivered on Monday. We brought home the Microwave oven, TV and Blue Ray DVD player in the back of the Mazda.

We had already bought an electric wok, kettle and toaster in Canberra so they were crossed off the list.

Back home to drop off the goodies and off to the local corner store to get some bread, cheese, salami and tomatoes for dinner. We got a bag of ice as well, as our fridge for the next few days is my esky retrieved out of the garage.

So we had our first dinner in our new home sitting in our camping chairs eating off the camping table. It felt a bit like camping really.

Ooohhhhh the only thing we forgot was mugs for our hot cup of tea. We had to borrow 2 mugs from our neighbor who was very friendly.

We have a double thick foam mattress on the floor for now (From Jo & Dave) which is our bed till Monday.

Friday 5th April:

First thing this morning was to organize our house and contents insurance with NRMA now that we are moved in. Then Internode to organize our broadband connection to the unit. It will take a few weeks so I will get a USB broadband stick in the meantime.

Then down to the garage and start the moving of stuff up to the unit. When we left three years ago we packed up all our furniture, crockery and cutlery in the garage for Jordan to use when he moves out on his own.

Well as we have discovered, we have enough stuff for two units. So we are going through it all, keeping the best of the stuff and repacking the leftover which we will dispose of on eBay.

I was buggered by lunchtime but did manage to get all but the couches and our bed frame in. Need Jordan to help with those. Guy spoke to him and we will do the final move on Monday night when he is here.

But at least the kitchen is now fully stocked and we have table and chairs.

Mid afternoon we were off to Warriewood Mall to get an E-Tag from the RTA office there, and do a food shop and stock up the pantry. All sorted and we were very restrained and only bought what we needed.

I also got my USB broadband stick organized from the Vodafone shop.

Back home and Guy cooked up some very nice steak and stir-fry for our first official meal in the new home. All washed down with a cup of tea.

Got the TV setup and all tuned for American Idol tonight so our lives are now complete.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy