Sunday, 1 December 2013

Travelling up to Thames

'Time to Say Goodbye' (sing along now). First to Marg who was off to work.  She did make sure i had a good supply of books to read on my travels.  It was sad to see her go.

We felt like we had known this couple for years and we hoped they would stay in touch.  Pete was not letting us leave easily.  He ensured we were set up for the day with a tasty breakfast of scrambled egg on toast.  A question for Marg here.  Where did you find that coffee?  I love it.  

When breakfast was over, we settled down to look at maps, photo albums and a book about the history of Radio Hauraki.

After deciding on our route, I admired the photos of their wedding.  Marg had described her dress yesterday.  She looked a dream in it.  I almost looked a nightmare on mine.  I forgot to tell her yesterday, so I hope she reads my tale here.  I found my dress in a sale.  It fitted and I left the assistant to pack it away while I wandered off looking at other goods.  Two days before the wedding, I took it out to try it on.  I knew I had lost a little weight but not to that extent.  Nor had my arms shrunk!  They had packed a size 18 instead of a 12 !!!! (Those were the Days My Friend). A frantic phone call revealed the size 12 was no longer on the rack.  Bundling the dress into a bag, I took it to work.  Two very talented work colleagues stood me on a chair, wearing the dratted dress (me that is, not the chair).  They pinned and pulled it into shape.  By the end of the day, they had totally transformed it.  Bibbetty-bobbetty-boo!  Cinderella could go to the ball- and her wedding!

But I digress.  That's how my brain works.  Pete's story was far more interesting.  He showed us photos of his pirate radio days.  Look!  There he was with heroes from my past - The Beach Boys!!  Now that did bring back memories of bopping around the youth club in the 60's and n my kitchen this year.  

He held our interest with his amusing and poignant tales.  Now, here is the measure of this gentleman.  He entrusted us with the book about Radio Hauraki to read at our leisure.  Not only that, we were given loads of avocados and some of his marmalade (Pete, it is delicious).  Sad to say, we had to be on our way, but we left with many happy memories.

We drove through Waihi and into Paeroa.  Being known as an antique town, we thought we might find some pots and pans.  We found them and left them.  They were so expensive.  We wondered if they ever sold anything.  A local hardware store had a whistling kettle to replace the one that never arrived.  The good old Salvation Army had a pan with a lip.  Things were starting to look up.

We called at a garage to top up the diesel.  The gent working the pumps wanted to know where we were from.  He originated from Cradley Heath.  He didn't know my Auntie Hilda.  That surprised me.  I thought everyone would have recognised her in her Dame Edna glasses and heard her calling 'Eeh our Cathreen.  Can ee elp me oot of these stays?'  Translation required?? 'Oh Catherine.  Please could you help me out of my corset?'  Anyway, despite not knowing her, he knew lots of places we had visited.  He gave us advice on good places to visit and where to eat.

Using Pete's map and the caravan book, we marvelled at the scenery as we drove along.  The Thames Golf Club was a possible stopover.  We pulled in but thought we could find a better view elsewhere.  As neither of us play golf, we thought it could be disastrous if we tried. Those thoughts in mind, we moved on to the main part of Thames.  

Hubby had downloaded an app which showed us a site where we could park 'free gratis' for two nights.  There were some minor restrictions as to where you could park and leaving times but the ground was flat and, more importantly, the toilets were within easy walking distance.  

Supermarkets and other amenities were close too.  Hubby went a-wandering.  On his return, he insisted I walked over to see the police car near the Information Centre.  Reluctant at first, I relented.  I was glad I made the effort to see the cute little car and other unusual motors there.  

Hubby and I visited the shopping centre. The lady in the Photography Computer shop could not help me download the photos from the IPod.  She suggested the stationery shop nearby.  This was a mix of PC World and Stationery Box.  The staff were so obliging.  Of course they could do it but it would take THIRTEEN hours!!  The shop was shutting shortly but they could leave the iPod downloading overnight.  The assistant saw the anxiety in my face and assured me it would be quite safe.  She would be last out and first in.  Needs must and she did appear trustworthy.  

So, back to the Motorhome for tea then an evening stroll walking along the sea pathway.  We couldn't see much of the sea though because of a thick mangrove barrier.  We did chat to lots of friendly people out on their constitutional and patted a few cute dogs.  

Exercise over, I read some of Pete's book to Hubby.  He likes me to read him a bedtime story when we are on holiday. When my voice gave up, I turned out the light and we settled down for a comfortable night's sleep.

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