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Trying to get to Brisbane:

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Awww broken, you need a tow truck.

We had planned to head back to Brisbane for a visit and as usual, I had made numerous appointments, including the doctor, podiatrist and this time the accountant.
We were going to get away early as we wanted to stop off at Computer Alliance and get my laptop seen to. Remember the last visit I had Win8 put on to my computer well now I wanted it off.
I had so much trouble downloading programs that I normally work with if we got them onto the desktop in the
first place, when you went to use them, the computer would freeze.
I couldn’t even load the government’s AUSkey for the BAS statements, even their Techs couldn’t get it to work.
I ended up shelving my laptop and using one of the touch screen computers we had bought for the business which has Win8 on them thinking that my laptop was to blame.
It was better but still a lot of trouble to download anything.
My laptop never had any problems before, you could plug anything into it and it would automatically download the right driver for the product and would open the programs easily.
I wanted that ease of work back. Computer Alliance said they would put Win7 back on.
Yeah! an undo button. We all need an undo button in life when we get these idea’s in our heads and it doesn’t work out the way we thought they would.

So we are on our way to Brisbane and about 20 km down the road from Talwood a noise started coming from the motor. We aren’t mechanics but we thought it was coming from the manifold.
Do we turn back or take it slow to Goondiwindi? If we went back to the farm we would still have to go into Gundy to get parts…without a car.
So we kept going and made it to Nissan at Goondiwindi where we were told it was probably a leaking manifold and now that it was hot, had stopped making the noise and should be ok to drive to Brisbane.
We asked this question twice as we were going over the Cunningham highway towing the van.  Yes, we were assured.  It would also be easier to get fixed in Brisbane.

We made it 70km down the road until black smoke began pouring out of the car. We ended up having to call the RACQ to be towed back to Gundy as we had done a gasket on the turbo.
We parked the caravan at Martyn’s and Sarah’s for what we thought would be an overnight stop but turned into a four-day wait. The gasket had to be posted from Melbourne, the mechanics who were working on it got sick and then it needed the studs holding the manifold and turbo to be replaced.
ACG GGG!!!!.

Now we seem to find hold-ups and detours can be just as fun as organised trips. This hold-up proved to be no different.
Martyn took Chris fishing for Murray Cod.
Techniques, tall stories, and some cold morning swims will always be in our memories from those four days. We have yet to eat any of the fish as the day they actually caught any fish was the day the Nissan got fixed and we continued on our way to Brisbane.
It was also great taking Grace, Martyn and Sarah’s 5-month-old daughter for walks in the pram around Goondiwindi. She is such a good little baby with a beautiful smile.

With the Nissan fixed, we left Goondiwindi around 3.30 pm Friday and headed to the Sunshine Coast arriving very late at David and Lacey’s. We then still had to go through the setup before falling into bed just as the rain started. There is nothing like going to sleep listening to rain on the roof.

Finally, after 4 days we get to hook the van back up to the Nissan at Martyn’s Place. We booked the Nissan in with our old mechanic in Brisbane, Mark Adams Mechanical. He is honest, affordable and a really nice guy.
While Mark was chatting about life in general he was walking around the car listing numerous things he could see wrong with the car. This was before he had even put it up on the hoist.
Now I’m not saying he was making any of this up Mark shows you everything he is talking about. A 2-in hole in the muffler we had no idea was there that I could put two of my fingers in. Leaking shockies, the diesel chip we had fitted to improve the fuel consumption was disconnected. Fuel filter not clipped in, wires hanging on the steering column wearing out, he started to laugh and said he needed a notepad to remember it all. Remember we had just had it in the mechanic garage for the last 4 days and they never mentioned ANY of this.

“Mark just fix it”, we need our car to be in good mechanical repair. We never miss a service but we have decided while we are near Brisbane we will be bringing it back to Mark for our services in future.

We had already decided we needed a lift kit because if we wanted to put the wrap-around bulbar it was going to need the extra height with the extra weight.
So Lift Kit, new Shockies, muffler repaired, service done and every bolt and screw tightened as well as other little things we were happy with the $2490 bill.
We have paid up to $700 for a service on the Nissan in some towns. Mark had the car for two days but we couldn’t get back to Brendale from the coast for another two days, so in total out of the 16 days, we were away from the farm we had no vehicle for 8 of those days.

Lacey, a Toyota driver who loves to pick on the Nissan has now taught Elliana to finish the saying:
“Nanna and Grandpa drive a Nissan…Elliana finishes off the sentence while rolling her head back with…” aww broken, they need a tow truck”

I will have to capture this on video as it really is beautiful, even if it’s not true.

Even my dinner date with the girls was marred this time with Karen not feeling well. Monday night, after feeling a pain that she thought was gall stones for a few days moved to the centre of her chest. She called the ambulance and was told she was having a heart attack. Karen was rushed to Prince Charles and within hours underwent a triple bypass.

No blood pressure problems, cholesterol is lower than mine and Karen is a nurse, and even she had no idea she was having a heart attack until the Paramedic told her. Yes, she smoked but that has now changed. Luckily everything is ok and she is home behaving herself now. It really does hit home how quickly life can leave us. Now she has to be walking 2.5km a day by the time she sees the doctor again in six weeks.
I had better get some walking shoes if that’s what you are supposed to be doing.

The rest of the time away was spent racing around trying to attend appointments and catch up with family. Chris and I came home crook again with colds (thank you grandkids). We think we might get a flu shot next year as colds seem to take a lot longer to leave us now.
We were glad to be back at the farm.

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