First anniversary of ‘the rig’

One year ago today we picked up our rig from Lithgow and headed for Bathurst. The grass was white and crisp on our first morning, and we froze.

It’s been a great year. Next week should see us heading for South Australia to do our first bit of work – about 8 – 10 weeks on the wheat silos. Training starts on the 7th October. The season’s short so hopefully bearable. It’ll be a new experience for us both, and that’s what we want now from life – new experiences (preferably ones that have us saying, “what a pleasure!”) We’ve had lots of occasions to say that over the past year, and in fact it’s becoming one of our favourite sayings.

The rig has evolved and changed somewhat since we picked it up. We’ve had new lifter legs fitted, new axles and new tyres, by necessity rather than choice. At the same time we had a huge storage compartment fitted to the underneath of the van. It’s like a very big tunnel boot, and holds most of our outdoor furniture. The outdoor table and chairs used to travel on our bed and I was constantly worried what creepy crawlies we were bringing into the van with each pack up. This is proving to be a priceless addition. It’s a massive amount of extra storage and holds a multitude.

The two single mattresses have been replaced with a pillow top double recently. It’s very comfortable and better than having the two singles zipped together. Both TVs have been replaced. We’ve changed our original barbecue for a Baby Q, which we love, and this week we bought one of those little portable glass turbo ovens. We’ve only cooked once in that so far – roast pork. The crackle was the best ever, and the potatoes were brown and crisp. Very entertaining to sit outside and watch the pork cooking too.

Currently, we’re trialling doing away with some of the seating and increasing our kitchen area. We have seating for 6, yet the kitchen is barely adequate. It makes sense to reduce the seating by two seats, and increase the kitchen and bench space. We haven’t made any permanent changes yet until we check which of two options is the going to be the most suitable. Living in a caravan isn’t free of maintenance or update expenses. Can’t complain though, it’s a lot less than in a house.

We’ve put some plans in place for the next year, including a 6 – 8 week trip to the UK and Italy. It’s our 60th in May, so we’ve booked ourselves a 12 night tour of the Amalfi coast through to Puglia (not sure if I’ve spelt that correctly – the heel of Italy’s boot). It’s a small coach tour with only around 16 passengers, and it goes to some main tourist destinations but also quite a few villages that are off the beaten track. We’ve read lots of reviews on different tour companies, and Amber Roads sounds like it’s the real deal. Fingers crossed that our homework pays off and gives us lots of occasions to say, “what a pleasure”.

We combining that trip with going to see Paul’s dad and cousins in the UK. It’ll be rather nice to have some time to spend there this time, knowing we don’t have to rush back to work.

We’re going to try out the premium economy seats on Cathay Pacific. It’ll cost a bit more, but we’ll forfeit stopovers, so should end up costing around the same all up. It won’t be anywhere near as good as business class of course, but hopefully better than normal economy. Anyway, it’s only money – not that we have that much of that, but what we have is no good to us once we’re gone. We figure about half our life time to earn it, and the other half to spend it sounds about right. Not sure what happens if our maths is way out though, and the 2nd half ends up being greater than the first half – guess there’s still such a thing as ‘pauper’s graves’…. LOL!!!

2 thoughts on “First anniversary of ‘the rig’

  1. Yes, even the poorest of people in Australia are well up there in the high percentage of worldly wealth. I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to have been born into the wealth of western civilisation. However, experiences like you are having must cause you(and me) to reflect on whether we are so lucky. Our western world places no value on the wisdom of age, and sees no beauty in age. Poorer cultures value their elderly, and value families in general. Perhaps there’s a lot of truth in the saying, ‘a friend in need is friend indeed’. In poorer places family is needed to assist and support basic living. Our children are now affluent enough to have no need of us.

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  2. Hi found time to do a catch u.
    I am in Mae sot and the people here are so friendly we have both Thai and Burmese. Burmese now say they are Myanmar people. Trying to learn language of 2 is hard and I’m never quite sure whether to say swadi car Thai hello or min galah bar myanmar hello. I have been visiting people here an invited in to there very humble homes. Sit on the floor and talk they all tell me I’m beautiful ask how old I am many call me mother. To move house if they need too they can pack there 2 bags of belongings and put on there push bikes. So Chris and Paul what you have is pure luxury. Yesterday we went to a swimming pool and took one of the local girls 17 years old never been to a pool only the river. Mother so happy thank you for making me so happy. Hope you have a safe and happy eventful trip to SA. Sorry to hear your Paradise is ending for now. Xxx

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