Friday, 24 August 2018

August 25th

Well I've got news!

Yemmy arrived at Eric's place yesterday and Eric is now doing some research to see the best way to fix Yemmy.

All the info is with the bank but I'll have to learn something I don't have too much of - patience! The bank info it that it could take 45 days for the whole process to be complete.

Meanwhile while walking I took a pic and then looking out my window I saw I had visitors.

I hope to have more good news soon.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Day 84 or 85

Sorry but no more posts until I have some news about Yemmy.  Hopefully I'll hear something before long.

Steps are OK.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Day 83

The day started early with my iphone alarm waking me at 6am as I was going to Ballarat with John and Russell from the band and they were leaving at 7am. I had my wake up coffee and pills but skipped breakfast as I knew we were getting brekky in Ballarat.

Breakfast at the Unicorn was OK - a slice of sourdough toast with fetta cheese and mushrooms plus coffee of course.

Then John got meat at a whosesale butcher he likes before we went to look at the extensions to the Wendouree shopping complex. It's huge and I managed to get some steps in away from the bitter cold wind.

After that it was a visit to Aldi in Ararat and a fried rice and chicken sweet and sour for lunch. Bang goes the diet! Dinner with Sue and Shaun had a few sliced low carb potatoes so wasn't too bad diet-wise and lovely taste-wise. The film was a true story of a pilot who saved the lives of his passengers and crew by landing a stricken Airbus in the Hudson River.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of Jeff Dog stretched out on his mattress near the fire.

I nearly managed my steps target today and my average for the week was 3,144!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Day 82

The steps are hard to keep up in these chilly conditions but I did walk just about right around our boundaries today and met some different critters over the fence.

....and then there was this collection of sheep and goats:

The sheep are Dorpers   - a meat breed that originated in South Africa that sheds it's wool although these two have been half-shed for ages!

I mentioned yesterday that I'd had trouble getting crackle to crackle and today I got a tip that sounds like it would work so I'll be trying it next time I cook pork.

Cook the meat the same as a leg of lamb and then when the meat is cooked slice off the crackle and put it on kitchen paper on an oven proof plate. Put more kitchen paper on top and microwave for two or three minutes while keeping an eye on it to check when it's crackly! Thanks Denyse.

I finally made 3,093 steps and 2.2km.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Day 81

No news is good news - or so they say.

No news on Yemmy's progress and no news how my dispute through the NAB is going.

With a walk around Cato Park in Stawell this morning and a bit more walking in our paddocks this afternoon I managed 3,078 steps and 2.2km. I did a bit of walking on my verandah to achieve the magic figure.

I took a few pics during my exercise:

Lovely Cato Park

Dive anyone?

Some of our girls ( and a BOY)

Day 80

I believe Yemmy was spotted on a truck at Surat in SE Queensland this morning by Joan and Geoff Brumby of our Gippsland ACC Branch. If that was him then he's half way home already but I don't know if the truck will go straight through or he'll have to change to another somewhere.

I visited Andrew my podiatrist today so my feet should be OK for  a month or two.

I hadn't cooked a 'proper' meal for some time to today was a bit of a test as I cooked for Sue, Shaun and myself - pork belly, mixed roast veges including potatoes, swede, onion, baby squash plus a cauliflower cheese bake. It was OK but a hard job to get the crackle to crackle!

Here's what our weather forecast was for today:

Despite the weather I still made my 3,000+ steps around our paddocks.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Days 78 & 79

My doctor rang today and told me the good news from the blood test results. My diabetes control is excellent after my weight loss and general exercise regime. She told me I can decrease my diabetes medication. I'm catching up with a few things - a haircut on Saturday, the doctors visit and I have a podiatry appointment in the morning.

I  was warmer today wearing the new jeans that I picked up yesterday.

The good news today is that I got a call back from an Albury wrecker I'd contacted last week looking for the right ratio diff. They called to say they had a complete rear axle for $900. This is what Performance Motors charged me $5,070 for - and was the wrong ratio after all that money!

Eric will be ringing them for me and checking to make sure it's the right one - it would make the job much easier if it means changing the complete diff  by dropping one out and installing the other one.

If they will refund my money if they get the diff back that they fitted we can freight it back to them - it only cost $60 to get it to Mareeba from Melbourne.

This afternoon I went to look at Lake Lonsdale to get in some steps and to look at the lake.

Here's a couple of pics:

The boat ramp
This is a lovely camping area

The wattles are making a nice show at the moment and this one is growing in our chook pen:

It's much harder getting steps in here in the cold! I was just 115 down from my target today after two walks in the paddock and a stroll at Lake Lonsdale.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Day 77

A busy but relaxing day! 

After a big cooked breakfast including scrambled eggs because I dropped the carton and two eggs broke I went with Sue and Shaun to the Ararat Market where I bought some sock because I'd left most of my socks in Yemmy. Then a visit to Aldi for some shopping.

My friends John and Russell were in the Aldi car park and invited me to join them for lunch at the Pomonal Estate Winery. It seemed a good idea so when I got home I jumped into Getzi and drove out to Pomonal. It was a lovely venue and the food choices were good - I chose Curry Puffs with salad and chutney - yum.

They also brew their own beer including an alcoholic ginger beer which was very nice but expensive - I'll stick with Saxbys non alcoholic thanks.

Yesterday I was delighted to get an email that said:
 "Hi Lionel,
Just a quick note to say I love your blogs, as well as your book.
Sorry to hear Yemmi is not yet fixed. 
Tried to send a comment through your blog but I did not want to sign on to a google account. Rest assured your daily blogs are eagerly awaited.
Best wishes,

Thanks Pete - and my other readers. By the way if you feel like commenting and like Pete don't want to do so on my blog you can email me at :

As I was walking across for dinner this noisy varmint squawked at me!

I get my new jeans this afternoon - they will be a bit warmer that my loose trousers!

I managed 3,499 steps yesterday and 2.4km. With all the food I sure needed to walk!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Day 76

I promised some pics of Jeff Dog and puss so here they are:

Puss gets known by 'Shadup Cat' when her meow is a bit loud!

It was lovely tonight to be invited to share a lovely dinner and an action-packed movie -"Unstoppable". Thanks Sue and Shaun.

It was bitter cold when I went for my first walk of the day but the sun came out for the second session. I was just a bit short of my steps target.

Perhaps it felt colder because I had a haircut this morning!

I spent most of the afternoon writing my  'Diary of a Disastrous Breakdown'.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Day 75

Hooray - Yemmy's left Walkamin!!!!!! My friend Kathy sent me pictures of him being loaded on a tilt truck today while Brian supervised because he was once a tilt truck driver.

So Yemmy and my scooter are on their way to the coast and he will leave from the depot on Tuesday homeward bound.

Meanwhile I started the day fasting until I gave blood for some routine tests. I get the results from the doctor on Wednesday.

I may not be at Walkamin happy hour and the Friday night bbq but I'm going out to dinner in Stawell with some band friends tonight.

I've been busy today - went to Ararat and bought some PJs this morning and then to a Menswear shop in Stawell and bought a new pair of everyday jeans that will fit once the legs are shortened.

All excuses for the lack of steps today! Some pics of Jeff dog tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Day 74

Today was a bit busy. After my wake up coffee it was away to the shop to get stuff to restock my cupboard as the pantry and fridge were bare and I needed breakfast. While in town I called in at the cafe where my friend John always has a coffee at that time so I had a coffee and crumpets for breakfast.

Then it was a visit to my doctor to get stitches taken out of my ear and an appointment next week after blood tests. She was very pleased with my weight loss and general health.

Yemmy won't be with Eric until a couple of weeks so we won't make much progress until Eric's had a chance  to do some investigating.

The ride in the cab from Walkamin to Cairns was fascinating as the taxi driver had spent many years as a helicopter pilot all over the world so we had a lot to talk about.

The worst part of the journey was hanging around the Southern Cross Station for about four hours waiting for the train to Ararat.

A  friend met me off the coach when it got to Stawell and I was home by 9.45pm. A long day!

I've lodged a complaint with the National Bank saying that the so called repairer had put the wrong parts into Yemmy and made him undriveable so I want to stop payment. It's a wait and see what happens. They obviously know nothing about Sprinters or they would have known that changing a diff ratio has the effect of causing the transmission to go into fail safe mode - and it can't be fixed by just reprogramming the computers.

I met my new neighbours today - Jeff Dog who is a lovable but very energetic three-legged rescue dog and a friendly rescue tortoise-shell cat.

If I remember I'll get their pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Day 73

This was the view from the upper deck at the Southern Cross Station where I spend a boring 4 hours waiting for the train this afternoon.

I'm home and will write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Day 72

Here's what I just wrote to a couple of friends just now:

I’m on my way alright - pick up by taxi 7.30am to take me to Cairns Airport to catch a direct flight to Melbourne, Then to Southern Cross Station and wait a few hours to catch a train to Ararat, then travel with a VicRail coach to Stawell and finally a taxi to my home! Home about 9.30-ish - I should sleep tomorrow night!

Yemmy is going a slower way. He’s being picked up by truck next Tuesday and taken to my mate Eric’s place at Officer where hopefully Eric will be able to sort him out. All this is being paid by the RACV who have been most helpful unlike the repair shop who knowingly fitted the wrong diff! They have been difficult to deal with right from the start and I’ll be trying to recoup some of the money from them. 

I’m all packed up and will be wearing jeans and a warm jacket in the morning ready for the Victorian winter!

Here's a picture of the old diff stuff between Yemmy's seats. 
There won't be much to blog about once I get home but I'll keep you all informed about how things are going

Steps were the last thing on my mind today so only just over 2,000!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Day 71

When I fronted up at the repairers this morning they admitted they knew they had fitted the wrong ratio diff and said they should have told me! I said yes they should because I want the right one!

I mentioned that the RACV would truck Yemmy home if they couldn't fix it in 3 working days. He then said he'd get back on the phone and see what he could do. I contacted the RACV again and they were going to ring me back. When I checked much later they said they were trying to contact the mechanic and it shouldn't be much longer. That was at three o'clock and I'm still waiting!

One of these nights I'll be able to sleep all night without waking up with Yemmy going round in my head.

Daughter Sue rang to say the weather was shocking at home at the moment! Thanks a lot if I'm heading that way sometime soon.

Steps up to target today - 3,166 and 2.2km

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Day 70

I took the dressing off my ear in the shower this morning as directed by the nurse but the stitches
have to stay in for a week or ten days so that will be next week sometime.

It looks a neat job and I'm very pleased. It's even stopped hurting.

If I'd taken my hearing aid out it would have been a better picture. The nurse gave me some paraffin cream to put on after my shower

I checked with the RACV this morning and they said that if the repairer could/would not complete the repair in three business days they would truck Yemmy to the repairer of my choice in Victoria and get me there as well. My friend Eric would do the job for me and then I would set about claiming for shoddy workmanship through consumer affairs and other bodies.

The best option for the repairer would be to put the old crown wheel and pinion back in - but so far they haven't admitted their error. Tomorrow will be the turning point one way or the other.

I'm humbled by the amount of good wishes for a satisfactory conclusion to this saga that have come via my Facebook Page and other ways - thanks friends. I hope to have good news tomorrow night.

I did manage to get myself in gear and go for a walk - the weather was perfect and I clocked up 3,107 steps and 2.3km.

Day 69

Had to play silly games this morning. To get back on the Total Benefits I had to call the RACQ Roadside Assistance and they sent a man from Atherton out to me. When I explained the situation he said fine - can I pick Yemmy up Tuesday and take him to Cairns Wednesday morning. (He didn't really call him Yemmy!)

I said I'm not sure yet that I want him to go to Cairns at all and run me into more expense when the onus is really on the Mareeba repair shop to put things right. I had a call from the RACV saying that my accomodation was booked until Friday and to ring if it needed to be extended. They offered once again to take Yemmy to Victoria but I said no as I need to settle this up here.

I told her about my proposed visit to the repairer in Monday and she said go for it - make them fix it. She also said to lodge a complaint with the RACQ if they don't come to the party.

When I go in I want them to give me copies of the invoice for the diff and the copy of the order.

Craig gave me a hand jacking the wheels on one side and then me turning them twice while he counted the rotations of the tail shaft. It proved the ratio was wrong and backs up the picture of the ratio on the diff.

I also want to get the diff cover and have it examined to try to prove the oil leaked because of jacking damage to the plate. If I can get an expert to agree that caused the diff failure I may be able to reopen the insurance claim!

Tonight we had a feast in the shed - lots of camp oven cooked stews and damper.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Day 68

Went to Mareeba this morning with friend Brien and saw the office manager at Performance Motors. She came up with the old story of how busy they are but later in the day said they have arranged for Yemmy to go to the Mercedes Dealership in Cairns on Wednesday. I have to get the RACQ to authorise it and then the RACV will pay for him to be taken to Cairns and for me to have a cabin while he's away.

I feel quite sick thinking about all this and wake in the night with my head spinning and keeping me awake! However it's lovely warm days and old sol is keeping my battery charged although I try not to use too much power.

The doona has gone away again and the light blankets have come out - it was too hot in bed last night.

While in Mareeba I had the dressing on my ear changed and the stitches checked - alls well on that front. I have to keep the dressing dry so a lady has lent me a shower cap!

I also did a fair bit of shopping and bought a cask of red - the rate I'm drinking it will last until I get home! Did a weight check this morning and I'm down to 84. something - great. My self imposed regime is working although the steps were down a bit today.

Grandson Reece and partner will be in Cairns from Sunday onward for a few days so we hope to catch up one day.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Day 67

Well I'll start with something happy - my friend Tony sent  me this picture of the three of us  here at Walkamin a few years ago. That's Denyse in the middle. It's a far nicer picture that the ones of his crook eye!

Today was moving day - out of the cabin and into Yemmy. You would have no idea of how much stuff I'd taken into the cabin but at least it got my steps started plus I walked to the shop for some milk for breakfast.

Yemmy's in a nice spot although it's un-powered. It's quite close to the shed and the toilets and quite a few people stop to chat.

Friend Craig did two things for me today he crawled under Yemmy and took a picture of the plate on the diff and then he moved all my stuff that had been over by the shed over to Yemmy. I haven't got it all sorted but there's lots of time.

Taking a picture of the plate and comparing it to data from the VIN identification number showed that the repairer had fitted the wrong ratio diff and that must be what caused the gears to play up! I've contacted the repairer but I won't know what they will do about it until the morning. I'll probably get a lift in and see them face to face.

All the walking in and out from the cabin helped my steps - 3,911 and 2.8km

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Day 66

I got Yemmy into the repairer by 8.30 and then went across to the medical centre. I had my Kindle charged up and I was prepared to read till my appointment at 10.30 but luckily the doctor came for me early and I was up on the bed and ready for the removal of my cancer. The young doctor took her time and I was told by the nurse that she had done a great job. I won't know until the stitches come out in a week or ten days. Who knows where I'll be by then!

When I went back for Yemmy they hadn't found what was wrong but said it was nothing they had done while fixing the diff. How could I say otherwise? They gave me the names of an auto transmission place and an auto electrician so off I went.

The first one I tried didn't have a scanner for Mercedes so couldn't do anything but the second one did a scan and got a code reading to say 'Gear implausible or Transmission Slipping.' He couldn't do anything this week so I've booked in for next Monday at 8.30.

In the meantime I'll move out of the cabin tomorrow and live in Yemmy until Monday. If he has to stay away overnight I can come back into a cabin if one's vacant.

More waiting!

A friend at happy hour sent me a pic of me at the Christmas in July. Here it is -

At least it was a happy time then - as normal at Walkamin

No time or inclination for steps today! And my ear is hurting so goodnight.