Tuesday, October 23, 2012


An aerial photo of the showgrounds at Nanango left over from the previous post showing the 803 vans parked very precicely in place.  We are parked in the top right area second back row about 1/3 of the way across.
Before we left Tambourine we celebrated Stuart’s birthday with dinner at this lovely Italian Restaurant.
I also had a day in Brisbane catching up with Pat, Chris and Shel,  Had lunch at a lovely restaurant and talked for hours

On our way through we stopped to photograph Shane Webke's pub at Layburn

On our way to Texas for the Country music Festival we decided to stop off for lunch and a catch up with our friendly police Sergeant Phill Daley in Warwick.  Phil was heading off for a weekend with his family and we ended up in Warwick for over a week as we had fairly serious vehicle trouble.  With the car at the Mazda doctors Stuart flew home to get the Iveco which we hadnt sold at that stage while I stayed in Ipswich for a few days and caught up with Brett and family.  They have just moved into their new house at Peak Crossing.

The final diagnosis is a new? Short motor for the mazda so we'll pick it up on our way back to Brett's for his 40th and hopefully leave it there for a while.

Meanwhile we travelled on to Millmerren for the bi-annual Camp Oven Festival which has attracted over 2,000 vans apparently?

As it is over 30 years since I cooked seriously in a camp oven I indulged myself in a couple of quick hands on lessons and had a great stew for one nights dinner with enough left over for the next. 
Then next morning I lined up with another dozen would be camp oven experts and made  damper and scones - yes Jenny scones and they were great.  See all I needed all along was about 40' in the water bag, a raging fire with coals and a camp oven. Lol.
Yep, checking to see if it sounds right

Just Right!!

Scones just about right

Tasted good too!!

The next day all the campers around us were hanging out for my rendition of syrup dumplings in the Camp Oven. 
Getting down and dirty with the syrup dumplings
There are some serious camp oven cooks here this weekend with some of the professionals cooking for the multitudes using modified truck rims with iron bases and lids for camp ovens that hold about 50 Litres of stew or curry or whatever and there are about 15 of them on the go at any time.  They stir them with a big wooden paddle nearly the size of a  squash racket.

We bought yet another cooking appliance (to Stuarts dismay) the other day and used it to cook tea on that night.  Can't wait to try the camp oven in it soon.  It's made out of a large gas bottle on one leg about 3 ft high with a chimney even higher.  It has 2 plates- one for grilling on and the other with mesh in the centre for heating the billy.  We ran it just for the fire effect the other night and although contained it was still good to look at.
Our new camp cooker

Our version of lamb chops on the barby

We all have a job to do and this is mine (making sure the lamb cooks properly.  It gets a bit hot around the fire but I found a way to fix that

Our neighbours on the other side of the fence at Millmerren

It's quite hot here one day at 35' under the awning and 41.5' in the sun thank God there is no humidity.

But every now and then a sneaky breeze comes through and dries the perspiration and cools you down a bit.

We have seen a few Lotus vans here and one is owned by a lovely couple Peter and Maree who have just sold their house and are on the road full time. It will be great to keep in touch with them and maybe catch up somewhere down the track.  Our last night on Millmerren we caught up with another one of the Lotus family  in the form of Judy and yet another Peter and sat til well after dark swapping stories. 

Stuart, me, Peter Judy, Peter and Maree in front of Peter and Judy's Lotus

 As we pulled out of the show grounds on Monday morning following a goodbye to Maree and Peter we had a quick chat with 2 other Lotus owners who all agreed, we had a great time.  Some will be back again to the next one in two years time but for us it will be wait and see where we are.

Our next stop was Widgee for a country music festival.  Not a big one and only a few artists that I know including Dianne Lindsay

and of course Mackays singing cane farmer Col Edmonds. (Chris did you know Dorrie (of Charlie and Dorrie on 4crm country music) passed away a few months ago from cancer.  Charlie is still hosting the segment.

Widgee had an old time dance advertised for the Thursday night so Stuart and I put on our glad rags and fronted up to be one of 5 1/2 couples one of whom wasn't going to dance. 

Widgee's big dance night brought out a total of 14 dancers and 3 lookers but we didn't miss a dance (Stuart even did the Swing Waltz which isn't a Stu-ie dance).  After more than 4 years off the floor except for a little twirl around on the cruise my knees knew about it next morning.  We also won the door raffle of a basket of goodies and a bottle of wine.
While in Widgee we caught up with another couple who own Lotus vans, Ken and Jenny who we met at Nanango a few weeks earlier.

I'm off home for a meeting on Monday and back again for Brett's 40th next week.


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