A Dressing Down

One thing I love about traveling are the families you meet doing the same thing. There’s even a camaraderie, with people helping each other out and having a laugh and the kids having fun together.

But we don’t usually plan to meet people places because our plans can change pretty quickly. It’s just nice when we happen to be somewhere and another family we know pulls up.

I’m pretty sure Tracey thinks I usually manage to embarrass myself around these families, but internally I’ve adopted the wonderful idea of myself being quirky to cover these many, many moments.

One thing I do which my wife finds especially embarrassing, but which doesn’t bother me at all, is I wear my dressing gown around the parks we stay at and I don’t care what people think. Essentially I figure the park is our home while we’re there so I’m happy to wear what I would at home. I love my dressing gown like the Queen likes a pastel hat. Like butter prefers a hot knife. Like bogans love mismatched panels on their Commodores.

It’s now a part of who I am.

And I mean I’ll walk around the bus in it all day. I’m sort of known for it with people we meet.

What I absolutely don’t do is go walking around towns in it, because that would be weird. Even for me.

But that was the situation I found myself in this week when I ducked into the tyre & auto place here in Umina Beach.

“You can leave it there until tomorrow,” the guy told me after a quick look at where I was pointing.

“It’s okay, I’m just around the corner,” I said. “Let’s book it in and I’ll be back in the morning.”

Oh, if only.

“No, I mean you can’t drive your car,” he repeated pointedly. “It isn’t safe.”

To be honest that shouldn’t have come as such a big surprise. I was at his workshop because the brake light had come on in our Kia Grand Carnival which, after I’d topped it up with a mere entire bottle of (going by price) liquid gold, had remained off for all of fifteen minutes.

“I’d offer you a lift home but we’re under the pump,” he went on sympathetically.

And they really were. It was an hour to closing and the two blokes had bits of cars off everywhere.

“No worries at all,” I said. Then I thought about my long walk home and the dropping temperature. I was in a tee, shorts and my dress thongs. “I’ll just grab a jacket out of the car before I give you the keys.”

Oh, if only.

I gotta say, for a mechanic this guy was very diplomatic. I mean he didn’t say any of the things I was thinking when I walked into the office and handed him my keys.

“I’m gonna look like the town crazy,” I said, pulling my dressing gown tight around my mid. The one thing I would have going for me is I wouldn’t be pushing a trolley.

“Lots of those around here,” he said without making eye contact. Then he cracked a smile. “You’ll fit in nicely.”

At that I knotted my furry blue belt around my waist and began my long walk of shame through town, back to the holiday park.

At least no-one knows me here, I thought as I left the office.

Oh, if only.

Beep! Beep!

I glanced up to see four familiar faces grinning at me from a van pulling a caravan as it shot past.

“Looking good, Bruce!” yelled the driver.

As I said, I love when chance means we get to catch up with the families we’ve met on our trip.

Just not sure what I’m more embarrassed about in this instance, that they saw me wearing my dressing gown downtown, or that they think I’m so ‘quirky’ this didn’t trigger the idea I might need a lift.

The kids LOVED this place at Umina Beach last year. Tracey’s working in Sydney over the next two weeks so we figured we could drive in. A bit of a longer drive but Ocean Beach Holiday Park is a magic stopover. And theres’ a special here at the moment so we’re only forking out $31 a night. Big win. 

Even Tracey joined us in the pool.

Ten…nine…eight…seven…six….five…four…three…the phone falls over..two…one. I’m in this shot. That’s my black shorts.
Take two.
Miss14 made me my birthday cake. She even mixed her food colours so it’d be my favourite colour. She’s such a sweetie.
Miss6 had a sore foot so Master13 carried her back to the bus. This is why I keep him around.
Sitting on the beach at sunset sipping champagne for my 51st birthday. Lemonade for everyone else. Trying to stay off beer for a while so this was a nice expensive compromise. Or it would have been if Woolworths, who we’re working with a fair bit this year, hadn’t sent it to Tracey for Mothers Day. My wonderful wife is the queen of recycling. 
Maybe my standards have lowered these last few decades, but this was the best birthday I’ve ever had. Relaxing. Naps. Watching the kids build sandcastles. $70 bottle of bubbles to myself. You know, the simple things.

Two Minute Noodle Mishap

A snack before dinner went quickly south with Miss11 dropping her 2 minute noodles and scorching her belly. Continuing our tour of Aussie hospitals, Master13 and I drove her to Gosford to be checked out.
Tracey had her in the shower immediately for a good 25 minutes but the damage was done. The redness settled down while we waited to be seen but those sores had me worried.
No damage to her sense of humour. Hospital staff said it looked superficial. Like that word. 
Patched up for the night.
The next day we had to go and have the burns redressed. Was a bit late for our appointment because I went to the wrong hospital. 
Again the hospital staff used the word superficial, which I think is really important when discussing injuries to my family.
All good until her next appointment for another dressing on Friday. Thank you Gosford and Wyong Hospitals. We’ll add you both to our list of medical facilities sampled on this big lap.

A Map of Everywhere We Haven’t Been

This country is huge. We’ve been on the road for 18 months now and our beautiful bus-home, Kenny-GO-West, is about to clock up 20,000kms since we took off. And yet when we look at our map of Australia we can’t help but feel a little…underwhelmed by our efforts. “That can’t be right, can it?” I said to Tracey when she plotted our journey on a map recently. But it is.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of this country. I seriously thought we’d be on our victory lap by now.
And even the bits we’ve done are going to require more time back there because there is SO MUCH TO SEE OUT THERE! This has been the adventure of a lifetime, but we figure it’s time for a break soon so we can make some more changes to our setup in the bus and, more importantly, so the kids can reconnect with their old friends and our family. But only, I’ve been assured, until just after Christmas and then we’ll be into it again. Meanwhile we can explore Qld some more on the occasional weekend and the September hols. I refuse to stop. This is too much fun.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

The post above was not sponsored

My latest sponsored post – Bingo, Gringo!

Cheers for dropping by our blog. Please take a couple of moments to support our family by clicking over and checking out our latest sponsored post. Thank you. It means a lot to us. And you never know, you might find something you like/need/want/find interesting.

1 Comment

  • Hi all!!
    You inspired me to get out my map of all my journeys. Now I got itchy feet!
    If you go down to Ettalong Beach and look across the water you will see where home and away is filmed.
    And if you go to bateau bay beach you can walk down many steps, that’s where my grandpa used to take me.
    And if you want a really good tour guide to all the old first settler stuff my dad is around the corner.
    And Wyong hospital is where my dad was born and Gosford hospital is where my brother works so you’re in good hands!!
    See y’all soon!!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.