The journey to Queensland

As promised, I’m sat at a computer in the Out-Laws house so can write this for you, as it would be impossible on the phone to do!

Starting the night before, when we were desperately trying to catch up with some friends on the Friday, the only night our collective diaries dovetailed we arranged to meet them in the CBD. BIG mistake. AFL, NRL and just general ‘Let’s go into the CBD coz it’s Friday’ traffic was awful. I wanted to have left bang on 5pm, but apparently I was the only person in the support staff who could put the recycling bin out for the Monday morning. The only other person that does it was feeling ropey with a sore throat, so I can’t blame her for not wanting to drag it out. But she also has a bad back, and it’s funny how it’s either the person with the bad back or the pregnant person who seem to read the office-wide alert to put the bins out. Rant over. Any hoo, I eventually left at 5:15, not too bad you might think. The one and only car park we ever park in the CBD, just off the freeway so easy in, easy out, was full. Which left me tackling city traffic with no idea where to park, as I had to find one I could drive in and pay later, severe lack of cashola meaning I couldn’t pull into the multitude of metered spaces – ARGH!

I found somewhere, wrote down where it was, as I would have no idea where I’d left after we’d eaten and scuttled off as fast as I could to meet Hubs. On the way I got a text from one half of the couple (S) going ARGH! at the traffic too, so our early dinner was soon going out the window. Where we wanted to eat was full, never needed a booking before. We decided to wander down to China Town to meet up with the other half of the couple (J). Hovering between a Chinese and Japanese restaurants, we chose Chinese as they’d recently had Japanese. What followed is worth a blog post in its own right, as we were literally crying with laughter at the service we received. We should have left when I asked for a Virgin Mary, (being up ze duff and all, while my OB is fine about me having the odd beer or glass of wine, I think he’d balk at vodka). To be told ‘No.’ Just like that. Excuse me? What happened to the customer being looked after? Apparently the bar staff were too busy.

I then said, ‘I’ll just have a glass of water thanks’. S asked for ‘A gin and tonic, if that wasn’t going to be too much trouble?’ Hubs said ‘Am I allowed a beer?’ the drinks duly arrived and my water-glass was topped up literally every time I took a sip from it. The rest of the evening was lovely, insofar it’s great to see them both and we have a whale of a time when we get together, but we’re going to be talking about this meal for a looong time, for all the wrong reasons.

Whizzing home we looked at the mound of stuff on the spare room bed with dismay. I thought I couldn’t siege pack, on account of not having many clothes to take with me, but hadn’t counted on not decanting smellies (we’re driving up), the studying we both had to do over the break (we’re driving up), the book-books we wanted to take (we’re driving up) and the pregnancy and birth books we wanted to take (we’re driving up). We ended up with 3 bags each, a bag of books, the tools Hubs had to bring with him to help with some odd jobs round the house (he’s sanding the outside table as I type), the thin pillow I sleep with between my legs and as we’re going to watch Carlton play in Sydney next weekend, the warm winter clothes we needed to take, as well as the hot summer clothes for Queensland. Over an hour later we were done, we might as well be moving house the amount we brought with us.

Getting up at our normal time, we packed the car and wondered ‘What the hell are we going to be like when Peanut arrives?’ and we were off, at 6:28 and with a nice easy drive to just inside the border to New South Wales to stay with Hanno. The deal was, if I needed to stop and get out and walk, we stopped. Hubs and I had talked about how best to get a 6 month pregnant person to Queensland, what with flying not being an option, as when I’m in the air I’m fine, but the 2-3 hours before hand I am a stressed-out, frazzled wreck (I thought I’d blogged about this, but can’t find it – so it must have been an email to someone). We both love long journeys and watching the world go by, love the conversations that you can have and also love that each town you drive through has its own personality and you have to stop to appreciate them. My bum was getting sore at Shepparton so we stopped for a walk round the lake they are rapidly refurbishing (can you refurbish a landmark), into a rowing/sailing etc. venue. Stopping again for fuel just before we got to our destination, we arrived at 10:40, 351km or 218 miles, or London to Middlesbrough.

We had a shower, Hubs played with Hanno’s pay TV (No, we’re still not getting it) and wandered down to the bowls club to watch Hanno and Hanno jnr. in their tournament. We arrived halfway through one set, they broke for lunch, we watched half the next set and I wilted, it had been a long week, so Hubs walked me back to Hanno’s house, he played with the pay TV (No, etc.) and sank into a blissful coma for 2.5 hours. We then walked to the pub, I had duck in orange sauce, for which I nearly died and went to heaven, and we laughed long and hard at each other’s foibles. Not least jnr’s pulled hamstring, while playing bowls, or Hanno’s compulsion for emptying every last coin out his pockets into coffee jars, or my sloth-like abilities or Hubs’ constant justifying for us getting Pay TV.

We then watched the Reds rugby match, which we all enjoyed heartily, despite some bizarre refereeing decisions and went off to bed. The next morning, we cooked breakfast, packed up what we’d taken out the car and headed off at 10:00.

You don’t need to worry, I’m not going to go into every detail for each day, unless you want me to. We tried to keep count of road kill statistics too, but gave up as there were too many animals paws up. But here are the rest of the mileages that we did:

Day 2 – 550km or 341 miles or London to Glasgow

Day 3 – 530km or 329 miles or London to Lunen in Germany

Day 4 – 503km or 312 miles or London to Emmen in Holland

All up: 1934km or 1201 miles or London to Finland or Macedonia

And the mad, crazy thing is; Hubs has done that trip many times, in just 2 days! We don’t feel tired, apart from the sleep I had on Saturday afternoon; which after the week that preceded the weekend, who can blame me, I slept twice in the car. Once for all of 10 minutes, another for about half an hour. When I said I need to stop, we stopped. I was able to stretch my legs and walk around every day at some point along the journey. Peanut only really complained on the last day when I was scrabbling around in the back of the car looking for Hubs’ glasses (don’t ask) and was bent over in half at a set of traffic lights. If he wiggled and kicked too much, I rub my bump, or Hubs did if I was driving and he calms down straight away. Driving in Australia is surprisingly easy, even for the huge distances that you cover. Driving in the UK is horrendous. If we tried to drive from London to Glasgow, it would not have taken 6 hours!

So there we have it. We’re here, we’ve walked along beside the beach twice, tomorrow we’re packing up a picnic and heading up to Noosa for the day for some sight-seeing. We’re going to Brisbane for a steak on Tuesday at The Breakfast Creek Hotel, incidentally that was the only thing we planned to do the whole time we were here! Other than that we still have no plans, except I need to start thinking about what to make for lunch.

Holidays, ain’t they great?

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