Mr Tamborine Man – Day 1

Posted: July 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

In an effort to avoid every bloody sporting team in Australia being in Qld now we decided to spend a few days at Mount Tamborine before decamping at Canungra for the annual Della Xmas in July this weekend. Of course because of la pesky bug 2020 we will also be celebrating Claude’s 90th Birthday , Easter , and Bruce’s confirmation. Yes we can confirm he likes a drink

Speaking of the elderly first up we dropped into the Twilight Home to see Ferguson Matriach and a belated 94th birthday. It’s a strict protocol to get in but kudos to the place for keeping all the oldies safe and healthy. Mum is not travelling real well these days in the memory stakes so luckily we were able to convince her we gave her a birthday present last week. Look ya make the most of a bad situation 🕺🏻

Then it was off to said Mountain for a quick lunch hook up with our hosts for the weekend and a quick tally of alcohol, food and alcohol supplies needed. You know, in case they all turn up 🤔 We met at Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant as you do and was able to even sneak in the requisite black stuff before our guests arrived. It was an excellent meal and even finished off with one of the better Irish Coffees we have had outside Ireland and even within the majority of their counties come to think of it 😏

We quickly checked out Main Street and then it was onto our very pleasant lodgings for the next 3 nights – Avocado Sunset B&B. Looks a lovely setup in a quiet area with magnificent views. Sadly the weather has turned cloudy and likely to remain so all week so photos can’t really do justice. We have the Safari room and the host is South African so it’s almost like being in South Africa without the wild animals – at least until the weekend. Oops there are a couple lurking now….

As it approaches 5 pm maybe time for a quick drink and nibble but will be a quiet night now as rather full as a goog from lunch and do have full cooked English breakfast to deal with tomorrow as well . Later dudes

Dont tell Anastasia Beaverhausen but we did dip our collective toes in the travel whirlpool this month and spent last weekend in Toowoomba. Main attraction was a sadly rare opportunity to see the 6 pack all in one place. And they were Full Strength, none of that woosy Lite stuff 🙂 We spent two nights at our go to B&B “Wanulla” which has sadly gone now too! Perhaps they thought they should now close down and leave it as a shrine to our visit but they are getting out of the B&B caper in August. Covid restrictions already meant a 2 night minimum which worked out well actually. Toowoomba is certainly opening back up and we were able to get a beer at the Ark AKA Fitzys where you had to enter and sit 2 x 2 like some rare almost extinct species which to be fair is not far from the truth. Then we had a superb dinner at Sofras across the road. One could say it was a Turkish Delight. I’m here all weekend try the Baba Ganoush

Next day then we decamped at Number One Sons abode for the day and mingled and jingled. The kids are all a delight of course as they have inherited my carefree nature and general good humour just with a dash of sarcasm. Its always wonderful to see cousins get along so well and play together when they dont see each other all that often. Jess is a bit outnumbered but did have one big fan

Another very pleasant and quiet night at Wanulla before another sumptious breakfast and on the road to Maryhole via Flashman Inc at Sunny Coast. Time then to get back into the golf routine of the mostly work and some play variety. Oddly still stuck on a handicap of 7 which aint helping my wallet too much. It is great to be and about though on glorious days like these. Also great to have the PGA back on the TV especially with no moronic Yank in the crowd screaming out “get in the hole” when someone drives off the PAR 5 10th….

Speaking of morons. Where does one start? Australia is/has done well for a number of reasons whereas many countries have done woefully for usually two reasons – poor leadership and moronic behaviour – a dangerous, yet common occurrence. Two comments struck a chord with moi this week

“If you don’t like wearing a mask you won’t like wearing a ventilator “

” It appears the US is working towards making sure there is no second wave by ensuring first wave never ends”

It is easy to stay with US because of Buffoon Bob but UK is no better really. Crowds flock to the beach on a warm day and leave behind 40 tonne of rubbish while parking anywhere they feel like or they run into the streets to celebrate a football accomplishment

The USA situation is of course coloured by the constant dribble from BBs mouth. Talk about a person in denial. I did love the graphic by the Daily Show which shows the situation in all its simplicity

Trumps current approach about the alarming increase in positive cases is that they are testing more and he seriously wants to reduce the number of tests done to reduce the number of positives! Though moronic in origin there is a simple truth to the premise and that is about all his followers can absorb so nod one of their two heads sagely to his calming words.. Trump is itching to open all states so that he can get the rallies going again and economy heading in the right direction before November. Of course this is 2020 and things are not always in your control. The efforts by many to sabotage the Tulsa Rally were brilliant in planning and execution. Its not too often you see Trump look defeated even if it is a feeling he should start practising. His return from rally put to music was a perfect summary of the impact of a disastrous rally

If we now move on to first world problems then we see that this is having a significant impact on my personal travel plans. Pulled plug on October Las Vegas visit but was quietly confident that Feb 2021 in NYC would be a given. Not so sure now after Joyce comments about Qantas not returning to international flights until July 2021. Of course it is the politician in him that paints the grim picture to try and get more Government help now and also to keep expectations so low that if somehow flights return before that he seems like a genius. Of course it also means that “Call Me Bwana 2” is seriously in doubt. Mind you I do hear the Mohave desert is quite pleasant this time of year so that could be one way to boost my FF miles. I have a short stint in Sydney in August – if borders open! – and maybe CLP and I can get to Victoria in October. After that who knows. Its not that life is not pretty good at present but man the prospect of another February spent in Maryhole rather than making snow angels in NYC is depressing. In a relative way natch. I genuinely fear any future USA visit whether next year or 2525 will never be the same again. I feel a song coming on

In TV land there is plenty to choose from but you need to run the sliderule over some. Harlan Cobens latest The Woods was woeful and the continued excellence of his books is only matched by the continued woefulness of all adaptations. Yellowstone is a pleasant surprise and just hope it doesnt become Dallas 2 unless Victoria Principal appears in the shower again with jugs on full alert. Billions is the usual guilty pleasure. Once a week you escape to the decadent depravity of the super rich but without the odd little family of Succession as a necessary attachment. There has been a run of great 30 for 30 docos of late and also the excellent 2 parter on Laurel Canyon music

In sports land the return of PGA is great and have been 3 great courses so far with none better than the Travellers this week. You cant beat a great short Par 4 like the 15th and of course the field is chock full of top players, mostly COVID 19 Negative:) Roosters look a shoo in for Number 3 barring more injuries like last night while Broncs need to merge with Titans and Cowboys to make one hopeless team that only disappoints once a week rather than 3 times…..

As May 2020 draws to a close there is light at the end of the tunnel – but could just be Buffoon Bob killing some COVID 19 with his bedside lamp. Australia is doing very well but when is close enough good enough ? I would give it 28 days from lifting restrictions significantly – 2 quarantine periods – and if still going well time to open it up folks. Dont expect complete eradication but by early July time to open all borders and pubs – but not necessarily in that order of course. We have been sensible bordering on too conservative but at least not a dogs breakfast like USA which is not really one thing or the other

International travel is basically screwed for foreseeable future ie 2020. Early 2021 aint a lock in either. So, pretty well put the line through Las Vegas in October and now just waiting to see what Qantas may offer while ensuring cancel accommodation in time to get a full refund. Ideally would wait for Qantas to cancel flights to get cash refund but likely jump early and take flight credit even with its drawbacks in that have to use “tickets same value or higher” which will be hard as were bought on a BC sale and unlikely to get same for Feb 2021. However do think it is more important at this stage to make some firm decisions so that can start travelling with some certainty within Australia by September say. No point holding off on a trip in the forlorn hope will be able to fly to USA in October. USA sadly, for a number of reasons, is in a real mess now and could be for months especially with an ignorant fool running the place. Of course still hopeful of a trip to NYC in Feb 2021 and may be able to tack on Las Vegas then. Africa in March 2021 is also looking a bit dicey still given how that country is struggling. When next do travel OS , dont expect full normalacy , but would hope for some freedom of movement with popular attractions fully accessible

So first toe dip in water will be a weekend in Toowoomba late June to see kidlets and basically freeze for 2 nights. May is a good time with 3 birthdays for younguns – Jessica, Harry and Patrick – and even a couple of old farts approach middle age with haste.

By mid June hopefully the gym will reopen – with restrictions – which will help general demeanour enormously . Golf has continued and rather strangely my game continues to improve. I feel it was the quick play that enabled me to survive the 3.5 hrs with ankle intact last 6 weeks. Its amazing what a difference being able to transfer weight to back foot makes. Apparently. Golf does remain a very racist sport sadly with only Caucasian Men and Native American Women allowed to play 🙂 Exhibit A

Last week back to groups of 4 and a slower game led to bad ankle after 5 holes and a resulting ugly score. Oh well

July comes then and we have a few days at Mt Tambourine before the first Della family gathering for some time – Xmas in July at Canungra. All this fun and still have not left Qld honestly Anastasia. Mind you by then its time to open the borders sweetheart – assuming no second spike. We can then plan “The Replacement Holiday” with CLP. No, I dont mean I will replace CLP and take a holiday…… although……Nah, only kidding. We have some flight/accommodation credit to use in Melbourne and that certainly seems a good starting point. Most likely September/October depending on school holidays and major events. My arrival would be a major event of course but luckily not widely advertised. By Oct/Nov we should have a clearer picture of Feb/March 2021 while remembering we also have the Covid Cruise to Cooltown in September 2021

Not much more can really say about the world scene these days except it is grim . Was really pissed off with those brain dead chooks protesting restrictions and 5G yesterday in Australia. Luckily their numbers match their IQs and I hope they all get fined the maximum. Rugba League is back and does look a faster game. I suspect there will be a few blowout scores this season as it seems it will be harder to come back with more fatigue apparent although early days. Already appears to be some likely contenders and a surprisingly large number of possible no hopers. The Top 4-6 will sort themselves out early and put a break on field even in a shortened comp. PGA Golf will be back soon hopefully and in meantime there have been a range of excellent sport docos

In TV land Mrs America was a very good period piece. Space Force is better than expected especially when Carell not front and centre. 3 part UK show QUIZ was great and Little Fires was engaging when not gagging on Kerry Washington’s overly dramatic “acting”. Of course she will win awards for it but she is woeful to watch. Mystery Road on ABC was poor sadly, especially the ending. Thought all would be ok when Gary Sweet made his inevitable appearance but alas he could not save it. The Clinton Tapes on SBS was excellent and Monica does impress these days. Linda Tripp was a prize bitch and while Clinton was a knobhead at times it was interesting/disappointing to once again see rampant republicans go feral. It isnt simply a 2020 thing eh 🙂 Seemed like a much smarter general public back then too in USA. Not hard mind you

So methinks June will not be classified as a lock down month all things considered so will leave it at two months. Its not all doom and gloom of course folks as we approach Qld winter which are generally adorable

As in Life the first month is always the easiest. You either don’t need toilet paper or have enough stock! At first it begins like a little adventure and also gives you a great reason not to socialise with the great unwashed or GUH as we now call them – great unwashed hands. The fun part wanes pretty early mind you when the impact of no family gatherings hit especially with Easter front and centre. Luckily with social media these days still able to see the Grandkiddies enjoy Easter in their different ways

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Missing the usual Della campout at Maplehead was sad if for no other reason than to drink someone else’s alcohol for a few days. Your own never tastes as good for some reason and trust me I have tested this theory extensively of late.

Travel, especially of the international kind, will be the most affected aspect of this period as the months pass. Scotty from Marketing says not only are we flattening the curve but we are crushing it like ingested disinfectant on a susceptible lung.

 

Many people are struggling of course as unemployment takes off. Still give Scotty from Marketing an A- so far and that could dip depending on how he handles the easing of restrictions. By all means be careful but lets not be too silly about it. I am just glad I never have to apply for a job again. 50% record to date with first application was successful in 1977 and then a brief attempt to become a Sales Rep in the 90s failed even with my noted people skills. Not sure if was my honesty or the way I wore my hair for the interview

 

First up our short trip to Melbourne in June is off and we have taken a “flight credit” for now. Prepaid accommodation may be lost. There really is no point going somewhere just because a plane takes off and lands a few hrs later if you cant walk around the city and partake in the eating drinking caper as usual. Next up of course is Las Vegas in October and again looking very dodgy. I suspect USA will reopen too early but regardless of that the real issue is doubt Qantas ( again fully paid up fares) will be flying to USA in 2020. Pretty well accepted it wont happen and while nowhere near happy about it have come to terms with it and looking at other ways to escape Maryhole. By then I imagine domestic travel will be mostly running and pubs and restaurants open in Australia so maybe Melboring in October will be the go. Then I have NYC in Feb 2021 which would put at only 50-50 at present again because of Qantas restrictions I imagine. I could start to lose some of my renowned easy going nature if that were to occur. Finally we then roll into Call Me Bwana 2021 in March which maybe looks about 80-20 at present. Most of the travel in doubt are solo international trips for this LBD and while I can live with missing Las Vegas the same does not apply for Feb 2021. Two main reasons travel these times is do love the solo visits to big cities but also to escape a few weeks of Qld heat. Not sure could survive another summer at home. This raises the question maybe of a short solo trip to Sydney for example in August/Sept this year but really not escaping any Qld heat then

There are many ways to fill in time and still interact with folk during these times and first one is always Top 10 lists – music, movies, TV…. Given cinemas are closed it at least provides some discussion of movies given new releases are limited

The clear indication for moi from these processes is how much the 70s resonated with me for music and movies whereas it was later decades that TV clicked in. Movies in the 70s still have a particular look and colour and no doubt the lack of CGI also gave them a more realistic look and of course you had to rely on obscure things like plot and acting to enthrall the masses. Another popular thread is the “View from my Window” one and believe I wouldnt mind moving into most of them for 6 months! I posted mine and most comments were “what crime did you commit and how long are in for”. A comparison perchance?

Golf has continued and despite some outcries from the plebs the fact that the majority of players are almost 100 and no one has caught the virus yet kinda supports the return the play process with social distancing in place. Fully aware of course the potential for that statement to bite me on the bum in coming weeks. In an odd turn of events, even before the dreaded plague descended, I was playing good golf even if mostly on one leg for last 9 holes. My handicap dropped from 13 down to 8 over 3 months after a rather impressive 74 off the stick 2 weeks ago. Of course after a party comes the cleanup and so shot 88 last week. Golf is a fun game but maybe not supposed to be that funny. Still it is a very pleasant way to spend a few hrs on a Wednesday morning and only have to talk to one other person. Speaking of one person coming home afterwards to rest ankle and “netflix and chill” certainly loses some of its appeal solo. Unlike international travel 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hard to go a month without talking about Buffoon Bob but really where do you start. The daily “press briefings” are killing him as more people see his stupidity on full display. Of course we see the whole gamut of his peculiar personality as well. He tried to say the nonsense about disinfectant and light were sarcasm. Ah no. Better still he continues to throw his sycophant supporters under the bus like the Georgia Governor. As his re election campaign goes to shit in a handbasket expect him to explore all avenues for postponement/cancellation of November election. I think this meme best sums up his supporters. Majority are 2s

TV land has been good with Bosch Season 6 great as always. Second Season of After Life is what you expect. You either like Gervais or not – I do. In small doses. BCS ended in usual solid fashion and Homeland built nicely to upcoming finale today. There have been two constants really in this month that are guaranteed to bring a smile to the dial. Mad as Hell even without an audience is great week in week out and Bludging on the Blindside podcast with Roy and HG is a very welcome return. One really does get sick and tired of sports shows filling in the weeks with their “best ever mid week grandfinal rematch” . Hopefully PGA tour returns soon

Yesterday was Anzac Day of course and it was a unique one for obvious reasons. I did stand out of footpath with candle at 6 am and would say compliance in my neighbourhood was about 20% as expected. One thing Maryhole has done very well in recent years is build a memorial in Queens Park. Its understated but brilliant in its simplicity. Judge for yourself folks

 

In the 70’s they developed Claytons – a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beverage coloured and packaged to resemble bottled whisky. It was the subject of a major marketing campaign in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting it as “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink” . As is the Aussie way it quickly lost popularity as a drink but the name remained in our vernacular to denote an imposter if you like.

The current COVID-19 situation raises many questions of course – the first being “What happened to the first 18” ? Would generally give Scotty from Marketing a pass mark as long as he stays away from the God Botherer stuff. The problem is mixed messages and a state by state approach. It can be confusing which is another good reason to stay at home

My coffee shop has stayed open which is good as has the golf course as opposed to golf club. Golf is a game that can be played with social distancing but what exactly is the point if you cant have a beer afterwards? Not sure its a good look though – bit like J Lo going to a private session at a closed gym. I thought of offering my services to Marybhole Pathology again but with the new lab size and social distancing in place could only have 2 staff in there at any one time……..Speaking of gyms the closure here has been the biggest downside I notice. Here is one I prepared earlier

Some folk say we should all follow NZ PM for advice – except on orthodontists obviously. I suspect her main plan was to save the NZ Warriors from another dismal season but some people have proposed rather than closing borders we just get a Trump Sharpie and do some creative cartography ?

The main problem at present seems to be that many clowns dont understand social distancing and what it is trying to achieve.

Its a bit like the mask debate – experts would say the aim there is to prevent you spreading it rather than stopping you catching it. They can be buggers to wear at times though

Memes of course are sprouting up everywhere and are the only real reason to stay on social media. It certainly isnt to see what particular brain dead “celebrity” is doing today in isolation

Many people off course have to work from home including my offspring. One way to maintain a semblance of normalcy is still to do roll call in the morning

At the end of the day though if this drags on for months as predicted some creative ideas may be needed.

One thing we do all know of course is no matter how good an idea a particular activity sounds on day 1 by day 50 it starts to lose its appeal

I actually found Frasier rather boring by Day 7 to be honest….. There is plenty of great TV to catch up on though with a new season of Ozark having dropped , Better Call Saul and Homeland concluding seasons and many movies having an early digital release. The lack of live sport on TV certainly leaves a noticeable hole in the day

Travel plans of course are very much a month to month proposition. A short 5 day stay in Melboring in June is maybe a 30-70 prospect at present and really no big deal in the scheme of things. Of more concern is “What Happens in Santa Monica” planned for October. Would give that a 50-50 chance at best. Then there is NYC in February next year which should be a goer but then NYC is going to take a long time to recover methinks and may not be the same vibrant city for years. Call Me Bwana 2 is pencilled in for March 2021 at this stage but a lot of ducks have to line up and Qantas have to give us some money back. And then far off on the horizon like a big ocean liner docked off the West Australian Coast is our Viking Homelands Cruise in September 2021. There is a distinct possibility that I could be going on 3 significant overseas holidays in space of 7 months next year but it wasnt planned that way trust me and it will mean a rather bland 2020 has occurred. All first world problems of course and one does have to maintain a sense of reality and also try to save money where one can. With that in mind have already saved on my next T Shirt purchase

Signing off from Self Isolation which actually resembles my usual existence remarkably closely…

Day 2 Official Wear South African Souvenir Day

Given we never got to South Africa the choice was simple

Today dawned bright and clear only interrupted by the noise of planes taking off nearby. Apparently. Good nights sleep in our luxurious suite . I wondered why CLP was not still sound asleep beside me given it was only 8am 😏 Then I opened the curtains and bugger me if she wasn’t waving from window seat 19E as QF 507 took off . On time of course ….

Then I heard the kettle boil and realised it was of course morning cuppa time and CLP was doing sheila duties . Ouch . The person I saw in the window seat must have been Rita Wilson finally leaving . What will I do now that I can’t follow her daily Instagram on “ What to do when in Isolation”? 🤬

So, today’s plan was rather simple. Don’t get COVID-19 . Leisurely walk into adjacent shopping complex for a hearty breakfast at Coffee Club . We wanted some Vegemite on Toast but fucking Tom Hanks had ordered every jar in Qld to take back with him. We settled for a couple of share plates as you do

Leisurely check out 0930 to move onto next run down detention centre for last night in Brisvegas. Locals call it the Stamford Plaza . All joking aside things are getting serious and we will be very low key today and stay mostly around the hotel. Certainly wont be going to any Irish Pubs. In hindsight we could have gone home today but we are sensible folk and really a night of relaxed comfort not a bad idea after the stress of last week . Some promising news from Safari Sam from two of our 3 booked camps – we can postpone our stay to later . This does indeed mean a return to South Africa between Nov 2020 and March 2021 is still a possibility. Better be 2020 actually as have the T Shirt already . A lot of ducks have to line up – and then hope a Hippo doesn’t swallow them all. Seriously though I fear international flights will not be anywhere near normal for at least 6 months and who knows who will survive that period . It’s a new and different world folks.

In my general relaxed approach at present it is best not to look at Stock Market 😰 First world problems admittedly but let’s face it we could all be living in third world countries soon 😏 We strolled through the “only 24/7 Woolworths “ for a laugh at the DFO megacomplex this morning and of course no toilet rolls, hand sanitiser etc. Aussies buy toilet rolls, Yanks buy guns. After they get their AK 47 do they then go shopping for toilet paper but with attitude 🤔

Arrived at second detention camp – known locally as Stamford Plaza – at 10 am and very pleasantly surprised to see we could get to our room straight away. Time then to hit the pool for a chill and dip

Weather was still pleasant so walked around to our usual haunt at Felons Brewery for a liquid lunch and watch the world go by . Of course there were no cruise ships . I did think it was very thoughtful of the locals to populate the river with some Hippos when they saw our T Shirts. Looked scary but quiet friendly

Time to relax for a few hours this afternoon then . Of course when we walked back into room the message on screen made us sad but ultimately we have made the right decision

Last treat tonight will be dinner at Kabuki Japanese restaurant on site. Will be a unique experience to remember and maybe the last one for a while . Home to Flashman Inc tomorrow before really home to reality – Maryhole – in afternoon . CLP and I will then take a couple of days off the grid and not watch any news or look at any booking sites ! The latest news on Qantas is very grim for everyone, especially staff, for the foreseeable future

In general would say our African Holiday was fun and the locals very friendly . They are sarcastic assholes though. Later dudes

Coronavirus 1 Bwana Boy 0

Posted: March 16, 2020 in Travel

It’s been a stressful 48 hrs and despite many negative signs we were pushing on with South Africa trip until 7 pm on Sunday March 15th. The Ides of March . We looked at each other and both said almost simultaneously I’ve had enough. I thought CLP was talking about the lovely cheese platter but in fact we both meant Call Me Bwana 2020 was dead on arrival or at least before take off. It’s a very serious issue not helped by incompetence at the top and across the world . When Scotty from marketing said around 2 pm that all incoming travellers to Australia would be forced to self imposed exile for 14 days from midnight tonight we knew it was over finally. That and that the guy was a fuckwit – how can you give 10 hrs notice of a drastic measure like that . 48 hrs minimum numbnuts.

We could almost certainly have flown out Tuesday and arrived at Johannesburg. After that who knows and chances of getting home 10 days later very slim. This thing won’t get better in 2 weeks only worse . As the Bishop said to the actress

By then Qantas had finally agreed to fee free change but still waiting for the detail because that is where the Devil lingers . We had to come to Brisbane really as wanted to see Mum , Grandkiddies and also had this non refundable hotel room and 2 weeks airport parking! We thought if we get Qantas refund and have to use by May let’s fly to Melbourne for a few days . Unpack SA gear and repack some Melbourne gear . Not that simple
for us trend setters

Day 1

As we booked with a Travel Agent getting Qantas refund not very easy and certainly not quick. Will never use a TA again for anything . Certainly not getting refund in next 48 hrs so Melbourne off – not necessarily a bad thing . Drove down and saw Mum in basic lockdown and then decided to park at Station and head into city for a couple hours as too early for hotel . Decided to check deals at Stamford Plaza which were good so booked an extra night there for Day 2 and then head home Wednesday . By now the gloom was slowly lifting so naturally we went to the nearest Irish Pub for some luck but still needed to wallow first. Here is one I prepared earlier

Then it was time to imbibe. Didn’t dawn on us yet that it was day before St Paddy’s Day. They had a great deal on for a free hat with 2 pints of Guinness. Still mourning but soldiered on

Sent CLP up to bar to order lunch and she worked her charm so came back with another hat and two caps. Things were looking up

Suitably sated time to head to our hotel. Room was ready and nice room even if on level 1 . Been a rough night and long day so time for a nana nap. 10 mins in and the ruckus started in hallway . Looked outside and 4 young natives in shorts and carrying towels were practising scrums outside ! Rang reception and told them only natives I wanted to see were in Africa and that ain’t happening sweetheart . She was actually brilliant. She changed us from our pleasant room on 1 st floor to a lovely suite on level 3 at end of hall way. Knobber Knobber . Seems the Papua Guinea Rugby League boys were stranded here too

We caught up on FaceTime with our excellent Safari Travel Agent and it appears we may be able to postpone the safari stay in camps and return at a later date to use our “ credit” This may not happen or indeed suit but at least there is light at end of tunnel. We would still lose some money on internal flights etc but nothing like the 30 k the land component has cost. Time to relax then for a few. We usually stay at Novotel Airport before holidays and have two traditions . First one is have a beer in the bar. Second one is catch a plane the next day! Looks like it’s two beers then dear

To Be Continued on Day 2 – Offical Wear African T Shirt Day

Call Me BwanaVirus

Posted: March 9, 2020 in Travel

With 1 week to go now one would normally move into the tad excited phase but we find ourselves in a different world these days. Things are a bit up in the air, lets just hope that includes our Qantas plane next week !

At present, South Africa is one of the better places to visit “risk-wise”. Viewers may be shocked to know that I lean just a bee’s dick toward pessimism on the scale of things so do wonder whether this is a true reflection of situation or reflects limited testing, poor communication etc. This brings into focus then the twin aspects of this situation. Real threat and Perceived threat.

The real threat exists even if overstated at times. Irresponsible reporting abounds but doesnt take away from fact that this is serious. This trip is not only a once in a lifetime type experience though but also celebrates the significant milestone of CLP 60th birthday which we have now waited 10 yrs to celebrate. Apparently 🙂 Ouch. For these and many other reasons we are very keen to go and believe that we can protect ourselves as best as anyone and are in one of the lesser at risk categories. Lets face it, we are not known for our socialising or need to interact with anyone else…… Of course , as Mother use to always say, its not you dear but those other drivers on the road. I see daily evidence of ignorance and a perfect example is our gym. Its not a hotspot of infection of course but is a petri dish waiting to happen. Why you ask? Because people are ignorant assholes. Despite 100 signs up about “wipe down equipment after use” and at least 3 large dispensers of said wipes strategically located the compliance rate is about 30%! I wipe down everything and wash hands at least every 10 minutes trust me. In fact the muscles in my fingers are the only ones getting bigger at present 😦 These are the same idiots who on way home from gym drop into shop for another 100 toilet rolls naturally. Then there is of course blissful ignorance you cant do much about

In a way the perceived threat is more dangerous to our holiday. By this I mean that the decision could be taken out of our hands by the Government, Qantas or both. Both acting in good faith of course and doing what they believe to be the best option. Cynical little me wonders why not total travel ban yet on Italy coming here but then one remembers Ferrari are coming for the F1 GP. If ban is suddenly put in place after GP I rest my case Your Honour. Given how slow the government has moved on such places and the fact there are no such concerns with South Africa at present you would assume the Government is unlikely to ban us in next 7 days. The irony of course would be if South Africa banned entry from Australia. That particular irony would not be met with a smile on this dial by the way

Qantas , on the other hand, deal with two factors. The health risk and the economic risk with the latter of most concern I imagine. This morning they have acted and closed some routes, shifted to smaller planes etc. Interestingly, or of most concern, is these measures are in place until mid-September , although with some flexibility stated. USA has been included which may surprise but seems to reflect reduced bookings more than anything else. They wont send half full planes every day and one can understand this. There is only one daily flight to SA and checking my Expert Flyer app our flight at present is half full and no doubt always some late takers. Hard to get accurate read with so many “blocked seats” still. I suspect USA could be the sleeping giant here given their slow response and incompetence at the top.The stock market has also taken a massive hit but as with these instances previously you just have to ride it out

All in all would say quietly confident of flying out next Tuesday and a little less confident of being able to fly back in 10 days later. Of interest for Theologians specifically but also fans in general is that if hit with a 14 day quarantine on return will arise again on Easter Sunday like that other guy. It seems so right that it is almost depressing in its inevitable likelihood

In other news the US Democratic primaries have certainly been interesting especially the last week. Out of the ashes rose one guy who probably should be dead to duke it out with another one who could easily beat him to the grave

Its a sad state of affairs really. Genuine concerns for Affable Joe’s mental state. Not a betting man but would say early dementia a distinct possibility. The actions of Buffoon Bob are too bizarre and numerous to try and list but I have a “HUNCH” this virus could finish him off electorally.

In good news the Womens World Cup cricket final was brilliant. Great entertainment first up, great crowd and great game – if u r an Aussie. On International Women’s Day Channel 9 chose to punt this game to GEM so as not to interrupt the usual MAFS screening on 9. It was great to see so many young girls in the 86,000 crowd at MCG if for no other reason then it meant they chose to go rather than stay home and watch that detritus MAFS on TV.

Will sign off now and see what the next week brings. For several reasons communication may be limited during our Safari. Lets just hope one reason is I am not stuck on Robben Island with Joe Biden…..

Wet Wet Wet

Posted: February 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

I certainly feel it in my toes which means it may be time to go up market and buy the $20 shoes next time

Nothing worse than a cocky weather person. They finally get it right one time out of ten and ya cant shut them up. We got around the 200 mm over two days last week which filled all the reservoirs on golf course along with most of the bunkers! Its either feast or famine here I tell ya. Its great for the course long term but now we need a break to actually start cutting some grass so we can actually see where the Green may be. Just as bunkers start to dry out we get another 30 mm over night and back to square 1. Have missed my Wednesday Golf outing two weeks in a row now just when I was on fire and dropped 2 shots off handicap – and hooked into some friendly wallets big time. On the days in between of course we get the grey skies and big tease which leads to 2 spots of rain and 112% humidity. The weather app says “temp is 28, feels like 34”. No shit Sherlock. Of course we have our locals – bless their little grey cotton socks – who as soon as skies turn grey its out with the track pants and long sleeve Hoodies! Yesterday I actually did the Bogan Double and it was a sight to behold and one certainly hard to forget. Centrelink to Commonwealth Bank in space of 10 mins. Oddly the CBA line up was more alarming and can only assume Centrelink had cleared as it had been open for 30 minutes. There was a guy sitting outside the CBA busking as an “Aussie Joke Teller” and rather than a hat or bucket to collect the pennies he had a plastic ice cream container which can only hope was empty. Certainly no money in it.

Both trips into Hell related to upcoming Call Me Bwana trip next month . Have to inform Centrelink will be out of country of course – and not going to China – and then try and get some US$ for South African trip naturally. Travelex has been hacked for a while now so went with the front up to counter approach and see if they had any of the green stuff lying around. They did luckily but not a lot so will grab some more at an actual Currency Exchange in city. You get gouged at CBA trust me so doubt it will be much worse

For a relatively short holiday – 7 days actual on safari – certainly a lot of preparation needed. Last week was vaccination time and of course nothing is ever simple. It starts a few weeks ago getting your own immune status checked and then the discussion about which actual injections you need. I asked if there was a “No Moron vaccination” available but alas no. Luckily my immune status for that was high. As CLP and I went to different doctors we got different advice and hence different “cover”. I can’t get Yellow Fever now but could get cholera or rabies if I eat any monkey brain I guess. If I do throw up over CLP though its ok as she did get rabies and cholera cover but not Yellow Fever. Figure if we stay close together we can share our immunities.

Also have the Anti-Malarials lined up along with bug spray and long sleeved clothes. My defense now is as solid as the Watto Forward Push. Oops……. may not be a good weekend

Speaking of diseased monkey brains one simply cannot fathom how Buffoon Bob keeps getting away with the crap he does. Its no great surprise he does what he does as he is who he is but the spineless sycophant Republicans who continually support him are a disgrace. Its primary time now of course which is both fascinating and unbelievable. The Iowa cluster fuck is surely a woeful portent for the race ahead. I though ABC struggled to fill in the long hours of an Election Night broadcast but they have nothing on CNN that can spread out an ” America Decides” broadcast over 12 hrs including 10 hrs before polls even close! They love Exit Polls over there and bar up over the “23% of white women, college educated, lesbian, unemployed, first time voters” who said they were undecided until they actually voted. That’s good for a 30 minute round table discussion on which delegate that will favour in this all important first of 98 caucuses to be held. It all matters nothing because as we all know with BB nothing sticks. Except face tan it appears…….

Its an odd world we live in with no sign of a return to normality anytime soon. All one can do is try and see as much of it as possible before the walls come crashing down. Given the strength of some of the ones BB has put up recently could be just around the corner…..

Pack Ya Bags Son

Posted: January 4, 2020 in Travel

2020 has started as expected – on January 1st.

Looking at my calendar the next 13 months is looking rather special on the travel front if not the bank account front. Mind you with Buffoon Bob unleashed in an election year what exactly are we saving up for apart from Armageddon? I suspect the financial markets may be massaged until November rolls around but after that all bets are off methinks. Either he goes full catatonic when he loses or full catatonic when he wins. Imagine him unleashed and not trying to get re elected in 2024. I digress

First up of course is Call Me Bwana aka The African Safari. In March we fly over to South Africa , cuddle some baboons (CLP well trained already) and molest a Meerkat or two in a rather whirlwind 2 weeks. Short expensive holidays are my new mantra this year. Back home just in time to start dreaming of daytime temperatures below 30 degrees in a matter of months only. 😦 There may be a short stay in Melbourne at a short stay apartment in July if for no other reason than I love that symmetry. And cold weather

In mid October ie pre Election, a short trip to USA to finally see Las Vegas and then a few days in Santa Monica. As we know What happens in Santa Monica……. is hardly worth blogging about. Out and back in 2 weeks again so could almost leave the bins out to be honest. Then its back to USA in February 2021 ie Post Election, to fave old haunt of NYC (yes things like minds do change)and an adjacent snowy city most likely Philadelphia. Again 2 weeks max. Its a lot of flying maybe but generally closer to pointy end than fat end if ya get my drift so no great impost. And I may finally snag that Gold FF badge to go with my 25 m Breastroke Certificate.

What is of slight interest/concern with these trips is I have booked most of accommodation already and no flights. Generally not recommended but I live life on the edge – well to be honest I do prefer the aisle as is easier to get to toilet and I have a note from my Urologist who luck would have it am seeing in 2 weeks time for “further investigations” . Getting old aint fun. Unless you still travel a lot. Anyhoo, booking Las Vegas and Santa Monica not a big deal as both are free cancellations up to October. New York is a little different 🙂 The Aussie $ is like petrol prices. Remember how we first complained when petrol went north of $1.30 a litre. Now we rejoice when it stays under $1.50. Its all called conditioning. When Aussie $ first fell into the 60s the sky fell in. Now if it looks like breaking 70c again we start buying shares in Nascar teams. And Apple Pie. In 2019 which seems more like 2017 now stayed at the Hotel Beacon having given up on usual plan of finding a “legal short term rental” in the city that never sleeps…… in short term rentals it appears. Stay away from hotels in general but was very happy with Beacon. You can pay a bit extra for a high floor and corner room. Windows would be nice of course. They have changed their room descriptions a bit and also did not see option for “pay up front , make heap big savings” . As I was a tad bored as it was after 7 am on any given day dropped Chauncey at the front desk at Hotel Beacon a very early gentle enquiry about options 12 months in advance wrt early payment discounts. He assured me they did still offer that and what dates would you like? This was all happening a bit quick but worked out avoid Valentines on 14th and President Day holiday on 15th and fly mid week as that is usual criteria for any good Qantas deals – if they ever release them! Before you could say ScoMo is a Goose an offer was on the table which when all things considered, but mostly the woeful exchange rate, was rather enticing. As in only $100 AUD more then what I paid back in 2019 for same room type and same length stay. So I hooked in and paid up front. Yep, no cancellation possible. At least with the CC you get closer to the going rate of 69.8 c than the 66 c that CBA gouge you with on international money transfers.

So, now just have to wait for some flight deals to arrive at least for October. Not rushing in for Philly accommodation as VRBO still legal there and their prices are actually higher this far out. Should be an exciting and busy 13 months with a variety of destinations spread over time. Of course it will be hard after Feb 2021 and reality kicks in again

Oh thats right we are cruising like a Viking to Russia in September 2021 🙂

Unless Buffoon Bob nukes it first I guess