After the success of the table runners I confidently moved onto quilting a quilt on the gammill yesterday. What a disaster. I used a woolen blanket for batting and I’m not sure if it was the thickness of that (I have used them before no problems), the needle (I changed it three times having broken two) or the thread I was using which was Signature brand quilting thread (which I have used this reel before no problems) but everything that could go wrong did. Broken needles, thread fraying and breaking, the top threads bunching and gathering on the bottom of the quilt to the point that I unpicked at least half of it, a tear in the backing fabric when I moved too close to it and the wear and tear on my temper was possibly the worst of all. What should have only taken a couple of hours maximum to be quilted – instead took all day!!!
So as you can imagine I began to wonder if today would be the same as yesterday. Yes I know everyone says a good nights sleep puts a new perspective on things, but you see I had to go for my Medium Rigid Driving licence today and to say I was terrified was putting it mildly.
Let me begin at the beginning. Ashley and I bought a bus…..not just a small one….I mean a 30 foot school bus. We have been looking for a while and the gear we lugged to Sandie’s at Easter time finally made up our minds. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly. For a start there is the cost of fuel (this one is on gas), cost of registration (five nights camping at a road side stop – yes we can do that in Australia and a lot of people do – would save us enough in camp fees to pay the rego). There was the aspect of sitting for our licenses – not something I have had to do for more than 20 plus years, not to mention the cost of said licenses, and of course there was the dilemma of finding a bus that suited us, would go at a decent speed, be in good condition and capable of holding all of the family and associated bits and peices.
Well we found one at Goolwa on the coast in South Australia – on ebay would you believe. It is a 30 foot school bus, partially converted with couches and a galley kitchen made from Victorian Ash (a beautiful timber I have been told). The cupboards over the couches have lead light windows in them. There is a full sized shower in it all ready. Professionally made curtains in the nicest shades of blue hang on the windows. All that is left is to finish the kitchen, and put in a stove and queen size bed and whatever else sundry items we want – like a toilet and its done. Easy she says for two people who are always renovating…well we hope it will be easy. We pick up the bus next Friday and will drive it home over the weekend some time. Photos next week or as soon as I’m organised I promise.
So today was license sitting time. Goodness what a lot of paperwork and rigmerole to go through. A multiple choice test first. We both got six wrong the maximum you are allowed. But we were told that if we failed it, we could resit the exam straight away. Off to do some driving in a truck!!! I have never ever driven a truck and this felt huge, although Ashley tells me it was modest in size. Hah!!! I had to reverse up to a certain point – and not just in a straight line – it went from one side of the road to another, learn to drive around round abouts, remember constantly that I had heaps of truck tray behind me and swing wider on the corners when turning than I have ever done before in my life, not to mention remember to look down every single side street and then check in the mirrors cause if you didn’t you would fail the test. I did the entire test sitting on around 40 km an hour (the local limit is 50 km) and I’m sure other drivers wondered just what the hell I was doing. To be honest I wasn’t really sure. Ohh and did I mention the brakes were a tad sensative and if I put my foot down too hard the instructor and I nearly went through the windscreen – thank goodness for seat belts. If there was any power steering I couldn’t feel it and my arms felt like jelly by the end of it all.
Anyway after all that I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ashley reckoned his driving test was easy….. hmmmm might debate that as he got the same mark I did but in the end it didn’t matter. $600 later – I kid you not – we are licensed to drive trucks and buses up to a certain limit. Off to Vic Roads to have our license photos taken (I have never seen a good one of those yet – and they tell you not to smile) and we were done. It took all morning just to get two licenses – from 8.30 – 12 noon, but at least the driving people did offer us coffee and home made cake.
Now just to get organsied to go to South Australia on Friday and we are done. Ohh by the way – for those wanting to look up Goolwa on their map – it is right where the Murray River (that flows past our town – ok so it does it slugglishly at the moment due to the drought) empties into the sea. I must remember to pack the camera. It is also where a film was shot many, many years ago called “Storm Boy” which was based on a novel by Colin Theile I think it was. I remember seeing the film when I was at school (no DVD’s back then in the dark ages as the kids would say).
What is weird too is that “Storm Boy” is due to come on Pay TV shortly – I must remember to watch it – even if only to recapture for a moment the excitement of sitting in a picture theatre ready and waiting to watch a film that the teachers had told us so much about.