Monday, 28 April 2014

Tweaking with Lisa Curry Kenny

So the latest camping trip which I recently mentioned went well.  Yes, I think we are pretty much seasoned campers these days although looking around at the set up that others have, including some on our recent sojourn, it appears we pretty much have no idea.

Now my car is not small, but not huge.  However, Horse Girl manages to squeeze herself into the back seat with about 3 cm around her as breathing space.

After all, we have a few bits and pieces to pack.  This time, we didn't need to pack cooking gear as others had plenty, including a customised cooking trailer set up ( wtf???), so I thought there would have been a bit more space.

Not to be.

I did manage to transform myself into a baking queen in the few days prior to set off and this meant I had to fit the baked goodies in. As well as two eskies, filled with premade  meals ( I know, I almost scared myself!!!), there was the plastic box filled with food, tents, beds, doonas, pillows, towels, 1/2 a kayak ( just keep reading), a box from the liquor store, and three hammers ( don't ask, I don't know why!!!).
I said 'box' from liquor store didn't I???

So, on arrival, as mentioned the tent was put up within a matter of minutes.  Then upon looking around, we realised that ours wasn't so much a tent as a piece of nylon barely held up by a couple of plastic poles and a couple of ropes which looked like they were made of cotton elastic.

Home away from Home

Now I did sort of promise that I wouldn't mention real names, but there may be a few aliases thrown in here. Which will mean that some people KNOW exactly who I am talking about.  And I am also going to throw in aliases for the aliases so that even I won't know who I am talking about.

On looking around the team campsite, it was obvious that we were set up amongst glampers!  Carpets, evening lighting, countless iceboxes and some fancy schmancy chairs.  Even wardrobes.  I know.  And we thought we were fancy with our new air pump which blows up the kayak in  record time.

The tents/ camper trailers/cabins inhabited by both old and new friends were amazing. Of course, our little second hand tent did the job, mostly, until the last couple of days when but began to fall off.  Nothing major, just the doors!!!  I know, I am obviously a princess expecting  a door on my tent but needless to say, we survived, just.  On packing up I envisioned throwing the tent in the nearby skip bin but still feeling nervous about so many moves in so few years, felt I should hold on to it.  Mind you, we have been 'surfing the net' since returning home for the next purchase, so I am looking forward to binning that one.  But it did the job, mostly.

Now I know my idea of a holiday may differ to many others, but fortunately most of us had the same idea on this one.

Except for the tweaking.

Not, I didn't say twerking  although I can't but help think that Miley Cyrus could do with a good few weeks away camping by the beach and eating home made bread and raspberry loaf  than whatever building site apparatus she is currently straddling.  But I digress.

It appears tweaking is the new.......  Um.... Hobby???  Ensuring the tent is erected correctly, the poles and tent pegs have been inserted just so, and that the tarp is covering at least 83.7% of the tent whilst sitting at a jaunty angle is apparently the way to go.
And our neighbours!!!!!

Of course, I am saying this out of pure jealousy as this particular set up which had been tweaked within an inch of its life was the bee's knees. Unlike, the Country Gypsies set up which saw the door fall off, the front porch (well front cover thingy) continually fall down, and even the freaking pelicans decided to drop their s#*t all over our set up but not the others.

Now onto the water sports. Being the Lisa Curry Kenny whatever other surnames she now goes under of the Southern Highlands, I was very keen to get on, in or even under the water. Last year being the year of the walking stick did limit my surfing prowess somewhat so was very excited that out the back door of the tent we had the lake/river/some water and just a hop skip and jump away we had the beach.

Just me on a morning paddle

So once the Senior Sarge had inflated the kayak (yes, it is a blow up one!!!) with our newest camping purchase being the world's most super dooper air pumperupper thing, I was ready to go for a paddle to New Zealand.  Oh, but no, we had inadvertently left half the paddle at home (and no, the paddle doesn't inflate). Once the Senior Sarge advised me that the paddle did indeed fall out of the box in the garage and he wasn't sure if he did pick up all the pieces to it (no s@*T Sherlock) that the only place I was going was spinning in circles on the water.

After a somewhat decent dummy spit, Horse Girl and I ventured into downtown Kempsey and in to the fishing/camping/bbqing/ladies wear store where I duly asked for the cheapest paddle available. The young fellow then enquired what I was going to use it for.  My answer of a game of tennis took a few minutes to sink in where he then realised that this indeed was not an overly happy purchase but that I wasn't driving for 8 hours to pick up the one that was left on the garage floor.

After this, we then excitedly visited ALDI where I managed to find a camping bin for the bargain price of $8.99 so all was right with the world!!! (Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it).

Anyway, upon the return to the commune, I duly entered the water in said kayak with world's most expensive paddle (yes, it did cost more than the kayak) and off I went with my best Lisa Curry whatever impersonation.

Although the new paddle did work a treat!!!

Of course the latest water sport is not actually the blow up inflatable kayak but rather the SUP!!!! Yes, it took a while but this is the Stand Up Paddle Board. Now the Country Gypsies offspring did manage to do this when we had our pre-op sojurn up to The Bay last year and did it with aplomb I must say. Of course, most people start off on completely flat water but not these two thrill seekers, they did it in the wake of jetskis, ski boats, and those big bloody whale watch boats so when they got to have a go on these this time they were very skilled. ANd a huge shout out to the wonderful Aunty Jack and Mutley who kindly lent the SUP's to SS and HG.

Of course it is all I can do to actually stand up straight on solid ground at the moment so I just kept to the kayak (had to get my money's worth from that freaking paddle) but hope to conquer the world of the SUP next summer. Although I can't help wonder - is the SUP the new windsurfer?????

Anyway, enough for now. I have to go look at my new paddle again.  But stay tuned, once I can decipher my notes, there will be further instalments of the Hat Head Hiatus - although I am still unsure as to why a certain male has been given the nickname Bo Derek - don't see no plaits in your hair girlfriend!!!!

Lisa xox

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Have You Met My Friend Jesus?

Last year I had a number of what I like to call 'close encounters'
No, they probably aren't what you are thinking but rather they were of the 'religious kind'.

Now I am of the belief that whatever you choose to believe in is your own business. I have nothing against your choice, but it is just that, your choice.

As I have mine.

So I was approached not once, not twice, but three times in a relatively short space of time with people who wanted me to be involved in their own choice.

The first encounter occurred on the beautiful North Coast, whilst we were on our camping holiday. We had just been in for a swim and a paddle in the kayak and were relaxing sitting on the beach. Out of the corner of my eye I could se an older gentleman approaching. Thinking we were relatively safe on a public beach, and knowing I didn't know this man I was not too worried.

The next thing he had crouched beside me asking if I had met a friend of his.  Now I know my eyesight isn't the best but I'm pretty sure my hearing is still ok, I asked him to repeat what he had said.

"Have you met my friend, Jesus?"

Looking around, I couldn't see his friend (she of apparent little faith) and then realised he hadn't actually lost a friend but instead was trying to install his own believes on me.

My reply "oh, um, no .....thank you....I'm" And then proceeded to turn back to the ocean , doing my best imeprsonation of Jennifer Hawkins lying on the beach.

Of course I would insert a picture here of me lying on the beach, but it appears the camera wasn't working properly so instead you will just have to use your imagination. Here's a bit of help...imagine..whale...beached...struggling for air...sand everywhere... Yep, that's me!!!

Oh, look, the camera was working after all.....

So after that little encounter, I felt as though perhaps that would be enough of others trying to impart their own beliefs on me, and also being approached by complete strangers.  Alas, not to be.

I was in the lovely town of Boooowwwwrrraaaallllll with horse girl one Saturday morning having a coffee discussing life and where we may have inadvertently left the Senior Sergeant.  Due to my condition of not having knees, I was using the illustrious pink walking stick.

As Horse Girl and I went to leave, a table of four young adults looked at me with sadness in their eyes.  I looked at them thinking how lucky they were probably having a dirty weekend away ( well, not all four together as they were two couples, but hey, whatever floats your boat).

Just in case you couldn't picture it.
Next thing one of them stands up and asks me if they could pray for me. Not sure what  exactly they were praying for, I told them  to go for it and do whatever it takes to make them feel happy. Next thing I know the four of them stood up, had their arms around my neck in a type of awkward football scrum and they started howling I mean praying.  In. The. Coffee. Shop.

The owners of this coffee shop are pretty happy go lucky types and I am sure they have seen more than their fair share of awkward moments but even I was nearly lost for words.  Telling Horse Girl to run for her life, I managed to extra ate myself from the scrum ( yes, the Parramatta Eels are wanting to sign me up) and tell them that their thoughts were appreciated but in no way did I need to cause a spectacle nor did I need them too either.

I may have been on a walking stick but I think I did break Sally Pearsons hurdling record to get myself out of that coffee shop,past the outside diners, and into the car and out of Boooowwwwrrrraaaaallllll as quick as as you can skip the next paragraph!!!!

The final encounter was much tamer, although none the less  a little disturbing.  Leaving the chemist with the latest bucket load of painkillers, I stood aside to let a lady of many years into the premises.  Seeing that I was using the aforementioned pink walking stick, she proceeded to tell me all about her son who worked in the mines.

At this stage I was unsure as to whether she was trying to set me up on a date or just have a polite conversation, I stood there feeling as awkward as I looked. Telling me her son's medical history (which immediately put me off dating him) she then threw her arms around me and proceeded to hold me tight and start praying for me.  Feeling that divine intervention was probably about to strike me down, again I managed to extract myself from her surprisingly strong clutches and politely thank her for her care and then again, limp away at my fastest speed, not realising she had also managed to place bright red lipstick all down my cheek.

So, yes, it appears that I did exude a look, or an air, of helplessness during 2013. I know deep down most people are kind, caring and considerate souls but....


And if you are laughing at me Sir, well that's just not kosher!!!!!!!!

Lisa XXX

The Years Just Melted Away....

So these Easter holidays Horse Girl, the Senior Sergeant and I have dusted off the tent and headed up north again. For yet another camping trip.  This time we were lucky to join some old friends ( well,lets not say old, lets say long time friends), and joined their Easter camping sojourn at a lovely little place called Hat Head.

For these international readers it is about 5 1/2 hours north of Sydney or 7 hours north of our little home in the Southern Highlands.  This wonderful group of friends have been holidaying here for about six years and this year we managed to invite ourselves along for the experience!!!

So after the Senior Sarge played footy out in the sleet and freezing cold at Robbo,  we packed the car so it was completely chockas and headed up North.  After a brief overnighter at Nana and Pa's we headed up the Pacific Highway and arrived at Hat Head to a plethora of beautiful camping sites set up with every possible contraption you could want.

Then we put our tent up!!! Well, I say we but let's face it, I stood back like a girl and watched the manly men pop up the tent in a matter of seconds whilst I stood back looking the glamour camping queen that I am.  Well, I think I was too concerned at this stage about getting the champers on ice than worrying whether the tent was in a suitable state.

With wonderful friends,the years apart melted away and it felt like I was 17 again, sitting outside the Orchard Tavern in Chatswood whilst they were all inside drinking away legally, and I was the silly fool who couldn't manage to forge a signature correctly.  Only this time, I am of legal age so decided to try to catch up this many  years in one single evening.  So lets just say, I apologise unreservedly for what was said that evening, and am grateful for the fact that EVERYONE else has definitely forgotten what I said as well. Actually, I probably won't apologise at all but if they don't forget,  I will happily not be able to recall the events - a bit like receiving a $3000 bottle of Grange and having no recollection of it - hey Barry!!!!

Anyways, the kids had an abundance of new friends to make and were made to feel welcome.  Understandably it was a bit difficult for Horse Girl and the Senior Sarge at first, with all the other kids spending every Easter for the past six years but friendships were made, and Facebook has already been continuing the magic.

It is amazing how although many years have passed, some things never change.  Of course, my weight not being one of them, unlike some of the others, but the ability to have a chat and a laugh still continue. Of course, there are a couple of new partners who I now hope to call friends, as is the way of the world.

 Since arriving home, a part of me has had a melancholy feeling, thinking of what has happened in the years passed and how lives can take different turns for us all.  At times, it felt like nothing had changed, yet at other moments I admit that I felt that I had possibly been inhabiting a completely different universe for many years.  But, I promised that I would try and make these posts funny so let's hope I can keep that promise.

So I am not going to enthral you all with the goings on around the non existent campfire, but rather a table with a rather odd looking Buddha on it, in the one post but spread input over a couple of posts (let's face it, it's going to take me that long to decipher my notes, and add my own twisted  interpretation of the evenings).

But, for all of those so concerned, I won't be using real names ( and let's face it some of you were rather adamant on this - I'm presuming you aren't on the Interpol list???) and I probably won't be
using photos taken there - well not many anyway but do reserve the right to insert my own images to stress particular items!!!

So,sit back, grab a nice glass of........., and enjoy the ride..

Lisa xxx