An early Ranga Xmas.

16th December 2015.

 Now that was a good holiday. Happy 80th Marls and Dad.

Back in Langkawi once again, and once again missing some luggage. I knew it wasn’t going to be good when we saw, through the window whilst waiting for our plane, Jens bag being delivered to the plane on its own. If anyone opens my black one they are in for a surprise, 5.5kgs of ham on the bone plus a fair old whack of beef. Oh well a couple of beers at the bar and all will be good.


Started our holiday well with phone and internet shopping, then to the Apple store with my exploding iPhone5, they replaced it just like that, with a quick visit to the bank and once again have access to my HSBC account, it even had money in it but not for long, yumcha was filth and our applications for a couple of Thai six month visas were completed, it took two visits though.

The heart doctor was a disappointment, seemed more intent on getting me under the knife than worried about my blood pressure but his blaze attitude worked wonders as I woke up the next morning with close to perfect blood pressure and the funny anxious feeling I have had for the last few months a thing of the past. It seems it is all in my head.


This time back in town we have time to take it easy and relax a bit with our parents, family and friends, we also had the very auspicious occasion of celebrating my dads 80th birthday, which was a ripper. The popular theme for presents was single malt whiskey, which will keep him grinning for a while.


We had an inspection on our properties in Margaret River and Augusta, had a  good feed with Carla at a new Korean Restaurant in town and also got to celebrate Helga’s birthday with a bonfire, a thing that goes way back for the pair of us. It was a pearler of a night with other like minded people scouring her back yard for things to burn. Bonnie had set up all the chairs at a safe distance which altered depending on what was being chucked on, a hot time was had. Fire kept the cold at bay, especially as I had forgotten any jeans or jumpers.


Ended up being cajouled into doing a day of work, that seriously put the grey matter under some stress sitting in a pumpshed, laptop on a milk crate recomissioning one of our old systems but it must have worked as I heard nothing back, no news is good news. The wine industry is taking a hit at the moment with something like thirty vineyards up for sale either on the books or just looking. Also Woolies and Coles aren’t helping matters with their tactics.


Jens brother, Nulla, lent us his car, her old one, which made our holiday so much easier, thanks for that mate, we clocked up some serious k’s, down south twice and heaps of running around. It was loaded up with all our gear and stuff to the point of bursting at times.


Our travels included the Pemberton and Northcliffe region, The Brown’s and The Baker’s farms and Lost Lake Winery to visit our old drinking partners from the Geographe Bay Marina, Ash and Tia and the famous Marine Boy. Pigged out on Brownies oranges and gooseberry’s and had a great feast on Marron out of the dam, filthy. We had an excellent meal at a place called Foragers, the menu was set around cherries, which are in season, christ when Leanne showed me the menu I thought that they had gone feral on us, tell you what though it was bloody beautiful. Everything that we ate came fresh from the region and it both tasted and felt good for you. Some of it looked just like your regular weeds but we all left there chockers.


We headed back to Augusta to fix a leaky roof and a bit of block clean up, our tenants are unreal, our old neighbours the same, they are the new owners of Augusta Cellars, Mick knocked off and left Kylie to it at about 1000, joined us with whipper snipper, lawn mowers and blowers, Cala rolled up with a dangerous looking hedge clipper and by 1300 we were drinking freezing cold Sapporo beers under the house in the garage just like old times.


I missed the opening to the Augusta Yacht Club by a couple of hours but got to sail on F-Troop, an RL 26, it was a good race of four laps with excellent wind for the first three laps which had us in second place but alas the wind dropped off and the heavy hull slowed down allowing a couple of boats to pass us, we still won on handicap though, during the race I said to Pete that if I was giving him the shits with my constant, get it up or too high’s, just to tell me to shut up, he reckons I got close once, he gave me the flag at presentation, well done Pete and Muzz. It was a really good fun arvo, all AYC events are, excellent people and a pretty awesome bit of water to play around on.


The Cala’s place was home for us in Augusta, a few big nights, one in particular with Mick and Kylie as well, was a beauty, suffered through the next day big time.


One morning up at sparrows, down to the marina and pile aboard Ernie’s boat and head for Busselton. The one and only rule on XCET is if you go below 20knots it’s a carton of piss, we didn’t go anywhere near it and it seems everyone had had a big night beforehand and were doing their best to keep the previous nights food down. Only one chuckler but a few close calls. Took us five hours and 1000 litres, fairly flying along at 25+ knots. Had a couple of beers at The Deck and headed home in the Augusta taxi, all eight of us including the driver, pretty crowded.


Had one of the best Chinese meals I have had in ages, The Augusta Moon, is an old favourite and they are pumping out good tucker, pretty funny when you are living in Asia and the food is better at home, it is really good Chinese.


Spent a few days up in Margaret River staying with Chris and Emm and little Molly, had excellent fun seeing people again, even in the doctors it was like hello, oh hello, hello, it was really good. To go to the bottle shop should take minutes but some times like ten, IGA was worse but you get your story down pat and it just rolls off the tongue. Saw so many people, good value. Got to drop in on Johnny Frazer and picked up a carton of Frazer Woods Champagne, great to see him, maybe a crew candidate, carn do it, we had ourselves checked all over for skin cancers at the Busselton skin mob, all clear, didn’t get to the Deck for happy hour with the Captains which was a very hard decision, can’t drink and drive in Western Australia and we had to be back in Margaret’s that night for a party at Thommo’s, more blurr. Said our goodbyes and headed back to Perth for a holiday.



On the way back we dropped in on Muzz and Kazza in Mandurah, the boat was ready, esky full of Swan Draught and wine, off we go for lunch on the river, beers out straight away, I reckon Muzz has done this before, it didn’t take long and you realised they both had done this before, we run into Keith and Joe from Telaga, old owners of the burka boat, as well with their new boat and  had a nice lunch at the Mandurah Yacht Club then back on the water again, then the road then the piss again for sister Jan had organised a gathering with more people at her house, excellent fun and very very messy.


That left three days to spend with Mo and our folks, so lunches and teas all round. Mum even made me a pretty huge South African fillet dish that is an all time favourite, we even cracked a bottle of 1997 Hayshed Hill Cabernet, it was pretty bloody good Mr Stanlake.


We went to a place called the Blend up in Melville Heights, excellent food and they really did have a grinning fox, now can you see what I mean when I say Iam grinning like a dead fox? Also had a nice meal at the Emperors Palace and Noccello with Marls and Mo as well.


I caught Mum on the phone trying to find Mrs Friday, the Fox Terrier lady, my first question, are you serious? Yep, cool lets find her. It took a bit but finally we were on our way to find them a new dog out in dogland. Most of our dogs have been from the Mirolinda Kennels, ended up getting a 4 year old girl that was pretty funny looking but you could tell she had a pretty nice nature and I reckon she was pretty lucky to be leaving kennel life for some new life in a house with carpet and a TV. She was a bit spun out to start with but she is a little beauty.


Well that was pretty much Ranga Vacation for this year, we loaded up all our stuff, 75kg’s, how much would make it to Langkawi, who knows but as long as the Black suitcase does, its got the huge ham, the slab of Porterhouse, the slab of Scotch fillet and a bottle of Frazer Wood Champers in it.


Merry Christmas to the lot of you, HO, HO, HO and this is what I want for xmas when this job is done.