December 2013


A view from our apartment

December started with a trip to Torquay for a week. The trip down was about six hours too long. We left the warmth of Wangaratta in the morning and arrived at Torquay in the freezing cold of the afternoon. After booking into the Resort Sandra and I went out for a look around and a late lunch.

Back at the WYNDHAM Resort we inspected our accommodation. Our rooms overlooked the swimming pool and outdoor spa while down stairs, we used the lift, there was another pool and spa but on the inside this time. There was a very nice looking Restaurant that required looking into on another night. Our first night we bought some take away and enjoyed it in the comfort of our rooms.

Over the next few days we went to places like Lorne, Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Winchelsea. The weather being cold and windy with breaks for sunshine and rain saw us take a trip to Queenscliff and on to Barwon Heads and back to Torquay via Leopold. We had dinner out each night at, the RSL, the Sports Club and finally the Resorts own Latitude’s 18 Restaurant. The food at all places was very good and the service was efficient and friendly. Not only that, the food was even properly cooked. At the Latitudes 18 Restaurant the meal and staff were great, as was the bill, $94 for two, including two beers and a glass of house white wine. At various other places along the Great Ocean Road and in Queenscliff, I am not too sure what were the best value, Petrol or Meals and drinks. One thing I can say is that it was expensive.

On the day we left for home the sun shone and the rain stopped. It was still very cold. However as we crossed the Great Divide there were blue skies and sunshine with no rain. The perfect end  to  a pretty good week.

Swimming pool at night
Light House on the way to Lorne
Fickle Weather
WW2 Defence bunker at Queenscliff
Queenscliff Lighthouse
Queenscliff Library

Christmas 2013

From Graham and Emmas front door to the car park and shed

As the Christmas period drew closer it was time to go forth and meet up with the rest of the family. So on the Monday before Christmas we headed to Graham and Emma’s. Our stop on the way was at the Igloo in Buxton. It seems to have become our halfway stop on the way to and from Grahams. On arrival at Grahams we were reacquainted with the Dogs, Goat, chooks, Emma and of course Nicholas.

The next day, Christmas Eve, Linda and her mob arrived as did Emma’s brother Matt and her Mum and Dad,  Grahams friend Sam, his friend Aimie and his sister Nan made up the remainder of the party.

Emma, Graham and Sandra dished up a great meal and a nice party was had by all. Christmas presents were exchanged, Annaliese, Maryrose and Nicholas enjoyed their presents but I think the girls enjoyed playing with Nicholas, who really enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper. The party started to breakup around midnight. It was indeed a very nice Christmas party.

After an all too short sleep I joined the Roosters and other feral birds, with a cup of tea or three before I was joined by Emma. After breakfast Graham and Emma were packing their Caravan in preparation for their camping trip. Sandra and I helped a lot by keeping Nicholas amused.

Samantha and Andy arrived about 1030hours. More presents were exchanged, brews drunk and all too soon it was time for Sam and Andy to leave. It was really good to see them.

 Graham then got really organized and packed Emma, Nicholas and the dogs into the car, checked the lights on the van and suddenly they were gone. We had the rest of the day to ourselves, the goat and the chooks.







The table ready for dinner
Maryrose and Santa's Necklace
Arrival of Emma's Parents
A new toy
Bright Ears
Even Nicholas gets tired of playing

To Linda's

The Chooks

Boxing Day is our annual get together, this time at Davids. So off to Linda’s, unpacked the 4WD and had a couple of brews. Then, with Linda in tow, we were off to Davids. We were late and the party was about to break up. It was good to see Ken, Judy, David, Adrian, Eleanor, Virginia and their families. After a couple of brews and a chat we were off again, back to Linda’s.

In the morning we watched as Robert finished packing their van and soon they too were gone. Off to Venus Bay for a week. We were now in charge of feeding the girls chooks and feeding the cat for a couple of days.  During this time the plot was to eat out each night and visit the Uncle and Aunts. A couple of phone calls were made and it was decided that 31 Dec was the visiting day. On the due date we picked up Aunty Celia and went to Aunty Mary’s for lunch. It was a very pleasant afternoon and then time to move, again. Along with Aunty Celia, our next stop was at a hospital to see Uncle Tony. He seemed pleased to see us and when we left after a longish chat about all sorts of things, Uncle Tony accompanied us to the end of the ward and saw us on our way. He seemed to be in good spirit at that time. Next we dropped Aunty Celia at home in Ealgemont and then went back to Linda’s.

On New Year’s day we headed home to Wangaratta. The car was playing up a bit and it took nearly five hours to get home. It was so good to be home again and have a brew.

January 2014


It was quite pleasant being at home again, but another phone call and we were off again. This time, to Werribee. Our friends, Kay and Phil Littler, were in town and Kay and Sandra decided we should have dinner. A place, date and time were organized and off we went. It was good to see both Kay and Phil with the added surprise of their number one son, Jon being there.  Great meal, great company but as usual all too short. We stayed at Lindas that night and departed the next day with Annaliese in tow. We had her for a week.




The Pool
The locals were hot. A very hot day again. Robert, Annaliese and Maryrose keeping cool.
The Indian Minah
This bird was gasping for air. Looking at this bird made me wonder about the practicality of going to Werribee. But Phil and Kay are friends and we went.
A Magpie
And this magpie looked like
Hot Pies were out and Cold Pies in. An omen for the footy season perhaps

Annaliese At Wangaratta

The Van

We got home to Wangaratta after stopping at a couple of Maccas on the way. Annaliese seems to have a thing for the stuff. The first order of the evening was "I'm hungry" then "Can you play with me"  followed by "Tell me a story?"  Requests full filled we went to bed. In the morning the first thing we did was hire a small car for a couple of days and put the explorer in for repair. Back home, Annaliese followed me into the shed and stated that she wanted to build a caravan for her dolls house. She drew up a design, then took me to Bunnings to get some Caravan Building Material. Back at the shed we went through what stuff I had then measured and cut some pieces of wood. It was now time to go to Aunty Judy's.

Bill was sent to cut some fodder for the cattle and then Judy and Annaliese went and fed them Annaliese seemed to enjoy herself. Nan and Granddad had a cup of tea, then back home.

Next day Sandra to Annaliese swimming. I was left to continue with building the caravan. After swimming the little superviser returned and discussed colour themes and furnishings.

Following day Sandra took Annaliese to the pictures and they did a bit of shopping as well. I was left to myself in the shed for a while. As the Explorer was not going to be avaiable for the weekend we extended the rental period for the little hire car. While the girls were out I finished most of the caravan and glued it together. Annaliese then painted the interior.

Then I was informed I was to cut out furniture for the van, beds and stoves etc. Oh, grandad we need a couple of matresses and a couch. All duly provided. It then became Nans turn to help with the decorating of the inside of the van. 

A Back view
This back view shows the wooden wheels and how they were attached.
Front View
Front view has a piece of binding on the tow frame so it can be pulled around.
The windows are Perspex with curtains.
Inside are a couple of beds, a table and couch, not to forget a refrigerator, stove and sink. The gas bottle is on the draw bar.

Giving Annaliese Back!

Annaliese giving Grandad some cheek. She has her caravan beside her.

It came to pass that before we were completely worn out it was time to take her back to mum and dad. The handover was to be at a Caravan Park in Camperdown. On the day of departure as I went out to get the paper I noticed that Annalieses' gear was all packed and stacked at the front door. She was still in bed and asleep. So the fairies must have put the gear out!! Soon we were on our way. The little car only need refuelling once and Annaliese twice. Again were were forced to stop at a Maccas. I was sick of the sight of these places. Four times in 5 days.

After travelling some 430 kilometres we arrived at our destination, the Lakes and Craters Holiday park. This is a small but pretty park with a Heritage listing. It is run by a family friend, Jodie Jago, her partner, Anthony and their son Thomas. Jodie made us a brew and dinner and more brews whilst waiting for Linda who arrived about 2300 hours with her family and caravan. It was a late night for us all.

In the morning I had a good look around the park. It is clean and tidy, but showing its age. Of most intrest are the trees in the park. Only one is an Australian, the rest come from all over the world. Really good. At the end of the park is a Botanical Garden kept nice and neat by the local shire. Through a gate and out onto a ridge and you get a view of Lake Bullen Merri on the right and Lake Gnotuk on the left. All round this Resort the views are spectacular. Of particular family intrest is the fact that Granddad James Gannan was the Manager of the State Bank in Camperdown in the  1930s.

Once again it was time for Sandra and I to get weaving and go home. It had been a hectic fortnight for us and it was time to recuperate at home. Besides, Sandra had a Probus meeting to attend.

Entrance to Lakes and Craters Holiday Park at Sunrise
Botanic Gardens
Maryrose in the Botanic Gardens
Lake Bullen Merri
Main road through Holiday Park
Lake Gnotuk

Judy 27.12.2014 20:32

yep.....gotta love retirement. looks like you had another grouse time :) yuk with the Maccas .....I'm with you there ! four out of five days !

Judy 17.02.2014 11:19

Loved the little caravan ! Sorry the sun flowers weren't ready for Analise to take one home to mum. Love the photos paul .

Paul 17.02.2014 21:57

Thanks, Judy. Annaliese thinks it's pretty good as well!

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Latest comments

02.07 | 08:09

Thanks for the reply - I found Gannan image on 14 Squadron archives whilst looking for John Hunter who was from Albury. I just wanted to advise - Cheers

02.07 | 07:56

Continuing, I have no information as to his time at 70 OTU other than he was on course No 13 and Passed. His name is Gerald Gannan who passed away in 1994.

02.07 | 07:49

G'day Chris. Sorry it took so long to answer. I have that pic somewhere. Just cannot find moment. It was among Dads Photos of 14 Sqn RAF. 70 OTU
Mar to May 42.

23.06 | 09:23

Hi Chris from Albury & District Historical Society - saw the image of the B26 in this post - can you advise where you found it as I'm doing some work on 70 OTU