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Dave & Di's Motorcycle Diaries

Welcome to our Travel Page. As all of you would be aware, we are about to head off on one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" holidays, riding our motorbikes around Europe & the UK.
It's out treat for becoming 'semi-centarians'.
To kick the diary off is a few pages of our practice run last October, where we travelled up the east coast of Australia, spending a few weeks sightseeing & catching up with friends & family.
Please feel free to leave a comment for us & we'll do our best to reply & keep you up to date with our travels.

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Location: London (& home), UK

"We Will Rock You" is an ABSOLUTE HOOT!!! If you love to spend the night with a big grin on your face, then this show will do it for you. Great live band, big sound, the set, all the stage performers, everything about it is fab. Except the story, that's a bit corny...really it's just there to string a whole load of Queen songs together. Its been running unbroken at the Dominion Theatre since early 2002, and is the longest-running musical in the theatre's history. The audience was packed and we all had a really good sing-song. Fun. And great to be in London's world-famous West End, too, when all the theatres are disgorging crowds onto the streets at 10.30 pm.
The next day, Wednesday 2 July, was our last full day in the UK. After several days of perfect summer weather it got a bit drizzly, nothing to stop anyone heading outdoors. Had a nice lunch on the footpath outside Cafe Rouge near Covent Garden, nice place.
The coffee was good too. Mentioned only because its an undeniable fact that the British hospitality industry CAN'T MAKE A DECENT CUP OF COFFEE. There will be no arguement about this.
That night we met Terry and Mo at a restaurant on the South Bank. I've completely forgotten the restaurant's name. We had a table next to the full length windows. What a view - the Thames only metres away with St Paul's just a short way east on the opposite side. We have certainly fallen in love with London. It's a fantastic city and would take weeks to explore fully. Every time you turn another corner there's something else to take your breath away, and another famous place name full of associations from a life reading books, watching movies and TV shows, and listening to music set in London.
We had a great evening with Terry and Mo. Two of life's genuine folks. There's no getting away from it, we've been munching our way through a gigantic shit sandwich for the last couple of months and some days we've really had to dig deep to discover the positives. But, our stay in the UK was enriched by this couple's warmth and generosity to us and we look forward to picking up the thread on our return.
So we caught Qantas flight QF 30 from Heathrow to Melbourne via Hong Kong. So now we can say we've been to Hong Kong - for an hour. We've been thinking, it might be worthwhile next time breaking our flight with a stopover for the night. We'd get to have a meal in town and might arrive at the end of the journey a bit less brain dead.
Qantas were very generous to us. We'll contact them and thank them. Dave's ticket was upgraded to Premium Economy by our travel insurers (so he could travel with his leg elevated), but Di's remained Economy. That would have been a really ordinary experience for both of us, and not very practical in the light of Dave's need for assistance with nearly everything. A short conversation with the right person at check-in (it needs to be someone with some authority), a quick phone call by said person to Qantas and - 2 upgrades, to Business! Fantastic! Good on you blokes it was lovely. There's no way in the world we could have afforded the several thousand pounds extra cost after our recent experiences.
So now we're in Mt Gambier. We arrived from Melbourne via REX Airlines on Saturday morning. We could have kissed the tarmac. Dave's parents and 2 of our 4 offspring (Ben lives in Queensland) were there with boyfriends and dogs to give us a really lovely welcome home. It was seriously freezing though. We called in to see our lovely daughter Tegan at her workplace. Later that day we had a houseful of family and we wouldn't have wanted anything else, right now. Beautiful.
After an hour at home, we attended a pre-arranged appointment at the Mt Gambier hospital with a local Orthopedic surgeon, who will take on Dave's recovery to full mobility and health. That could be up to a year. We were SO pleased when he told us he thought the best place for Dave the next 2 weeks is at home with his leg elevated. We were prepared for the possibility of Dave being admitted to hospital number 4...
We'll upload a few more miscellaneous pictures, mainly from our phone cameras once we've worked out how to do it. But, apart from that, it's likely we'll take a break from this blog for a while. Its unfortunate for all of you who've been reading it that we weren't loading pictures of sun-kissed Spanish villages and bikes being joyously ridden along perfect twisty roads. But you have to play with the hand you've been dealt, and this time it was a hand without a lot of aces...but we're already planning our return. There'll be more London, a touch of Wales, a whole load of Europe and a LOT LESS churches next time. We knew that the churches would still be there by the time Dave managed to hobble his way over to one, you see. Hopefully, people have enjoyed what we have been able to share anyway.

Tuesday, 01 July 2008

Location: London, UK

We've spent yesterday and today sightseeing. We woke up this morning to a complete absence of street noise. Turns out there's been a fatal stabbing overnight on the footpath a few doors down from the motel which is an all too common news item in London. Anyway some poor bugger in his 30s was killed and the area around our motel has been cordoned off most of the night and all day so far - its about 3.25 pm now. When we left this morning we had our names taken so we could get back in through the police lines. When we got back at about 1.30 pm the cop who dealt with us this morning remembered us and let us through. So we wobbled along the footpath to our motel door and a different cop trotted across the road and asked us to get lost immediately. So we had to point out cop number 1 to cop number 2 or we would have been in strife trying to get to the motel. Very minor inconvenience compared to the tragedy of a murder of course. All the businesses on this small block of the Old Kent Road are closed except the motel, which is very very quiet - new guests can't get through the cordon to check in. Some of the folks trying to argue their way through the police cordon have been getting the teensiest bit tense when denied access.
All the way back along the road from the city there were police cars and bikes blasting along with sirens and lights going, heading to and from here, so there's got to be something going on in this immediate vicinity. There's sirens going now as I type, and helicopters overhead.
We're heading out late this afternoon to see the musical "We Will Rock You" in the West End. Mo and Terry strongly recommended we go to a live show in London and they reckon this one's a hoot. Looking forward to it. We'll grab an early dinner in the area and make the most of the experience.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Location: London, UK

Our friends Terry and Mo are hoping to travel down from Wales on Wednesday to spend an evening with us and see us off. Now, Wales is a bloody long way from London. We're looking forwards to catching up with them again and it will give us a really nice parting experience to end what has been an EVENTFULL stay in the UK to put it mildly. We'll understand if they can't make it. It's a very big ask.
We're off to pick up a wheelchair so we can do some sightseeing. We video'd the drive from the Elephant and Castle to Earl's Court yesterday as it follows the Thames and is one iconic landmaek after another.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Location: Hastings, UK

We're now staying at The Premier Hotel on the Old Kent Road in London, counting down the days until we fly home. This is Dave writing this entry. I was released from Conquest Hospital in Hastings, Sussex on Wednesday 25/6 after 13 days in the Cookson Devas (trauma) ward. Once again the people of the NHS demonstrated in their care, kindness and senses of humour that the citizens of the UK (and accident-prone foreign tourists!) are lucky to have such great quality service. From hospital attendants through health care assistants, nurses, doctors, everyone - thank you all. And I sincerely hope I don't have to cross your path again on this trip...
I've got a plastic shopping bag full of exotic medications designed to stabilise my leg enough to get Di & I back to Mount Gambier. The specialist at Conquest has contacted the local orthopedic surgeon at home and I'm to be admitted to the hospital on my return so he can take over the nurturing to recovery of my troublesome and unco-operative limb.
We have a departure date of this coming Thursday 3 July from Heathrow. Scheduled arrival is early Saturday morning Melbourne time, a night in Melbourne then home to our family via Rex flight on sunday morning. Fingers crossed.
The night I ended up in conquest, Friday 13 June (spooky date...) we'd arrived in Rye, Sussex and bought our tickets to a gig by Circulus for that night. That was why we were there. It was after buying the tickets that we realised my next stop was going to be the hospital A & E, not a gig, so that was that.
I didn't get to see any of the accommadation we'd booked. Di tells me it was very pleasant. She proved herself to be a a gem to me by spending hours every day with a very out-of-it partner dribbling disconnected sentences and moaning about his leg. Incoherent and cranky - somes up my persona at the time.
Our first act was to head for 'Sudden Impact' in Essex to check out our motorcycles. They've done a great job on them - they look fab. We recommend them highly for crash repairs and/or custom paintwork to all bikers visiting the UK. And in person they're lovely bubbly people. The person we dealt with most was Carol - worth her weight in gold. She took over communications once it became clear we weren't getting a lot of sense out of Carole Nash, the insurance brokers. We were disappointed with Carol Nash's comunication, but the repairs were done well and on time, so in that sense they did what they were paid to do.
Sudden Impact even organised to deliver the bikes to Imorex at Felixtowe. We're also very happy with Julie's service to us - cheerful and efficient. And thanks to Dave Milligan of Get Routed who contacted us with his best wishes and to assure us he'd make sure our bikes get home. We can recommend Dave to get your bike across the ocean on time and undamaged.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Location: Buxton, Manchester, Nottingham, UK

Dave here again. Bikes sorted, we headed for Buxton, Derbyshire, for a few days 'oop north'. Nice town, lovely area in fact. Sue at Ash Court B & B on Ash Street provides a warm, friendly efficient service. Stay with Sue if you want to visit the Manchester area; you'll be well fed and comfy. 3 flights of stairs on my cripple sticks was a challenge - and pretty funny for the queue of fellow guests watching me flailing around in my regular battles with gravity. I'd have laughed too, if it wasn't me providing the entertainment.
And we finally got see Circulus - the band we missed seeing in Rye. This is evidence of my bloody-minded stubbornness. The only other gig they were playing for the next few months was at the tiny Dulcimer club in Chorlton. I had no idea if Circulus are good or complete crap. I just got a bee in my bonnett that a little matter of 2 weeks in hospital wasn't going to stop me seeing them. The manager of the club set up chairs for Di and me ( it's standing only) near the stage so I could attend ( I can't stand for more than a few minutes). That was nice of them. The Support act was 'Sam & The Plants" - whimsical, eccentric, very 1968. They reminded Di of Donovan in some of their poetic and gentle approach. Anyway, they were really good. And - RELIEF! - Circulus are GREAT! If there's anyone (a) old enough and (b) sad and obsessive enough to remember a band called Gong who sang about pot-head pixies and flying teapots, then if I say Circulus own a few Gong albums...but they were funny, trippy, chatted to the audience as if they were friends, sang songs about travelling to Jupiter and played a mixture of instruments - fuzzy distorted electric guitar mixed with medieval wind instruments. Funny, happy, great gig. I'm going to join their mailing list and buy their albums. I actually told Tom, the bass player, my story of missing them in Rye and why we were at the club that night, hoping for a nice gig. So no pressure then...he was friendly and polite and didn't even back away nervously from this obsessive jabbering away at him while he tried to get his stage clothes on in the club's bogs.
We tried to find my father's family house in Wellington Road, Ashton-Under-Lyne. Many landmarks like his old primary school are there, but where his house should have been - a block long, modern brick wall with the rears of houses behind it. Such a shame. We snapped some photos and video'd a drive around the block for him. It's an area with it's share of battlers I think it would be fair to say. We had better luck with my mother's family house in Carlton Road, Sale. It's on a lovely leafy street and has the British rarity - a front garden.
After several frustrating hours we tracked down my paternal grandfather's grave. There's 2 cemeteries in Ashton-U-Lune, and of course we spent ages in the wrong one first. It took ages but we found the grave site. He died when my dad was about 13, and there are no photos of him. So this is the closest connection I'll ever have with this man who's genes I inherited but who no living member of my family except my dad ever met.
The same day (we can certainly be obsessive) we headed south to Nottinghamshire to look for evidence of Di's maternal grandparents. Her Grandmother's family home in Byron St, Bestwood Village is long gone, and we couldn't even find the street number. We think a big block of public housing type flats has erased the history at that end of the street. I witnessed a pair of idiots in a hatchback screaming abuse at someone in a park - and I'm dead sure I heard them firing off a hand gun several times before they tore off, still screeching foul mouthed threats.
We found the Church of St Mary The Virgin in Bullwell where Di's grandfather sang in the choir as a boy. Again, the house he grew up in is long gone.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Location: Kent, UK

The situation remains almost unchanged since the last entry, Dave in hospital - me visiting.
Our return date is currently the 1st of July, but this could just as easily change again.
When the travel insurers contacted me last week, saying they had us booked onto a flight on the 28th, what they really meant was that they had a seat for Dave & at that point I was still booked onto an earlier flight. I was a bit alarmed by this to say the least!
There was no other seats available on this flight unless I paid for the upgrade so they had to rebook us onto a later flight. I think if we don't make this one, we may be stuck here for even longer due to the summer holiday rush.
On a positive note, the leg appears to be stable with the infection, although still present, certainly no worse. I think it looks better but it could also be wishful thinking.
Although I felt guilty doing it, I headed off for a little sightseeing & got a few photos to add to the list.
The latest word on our bikes is that mine is ready to go & Dave's is waiting on the stickers for the tank & then it too can be finished off. I'm heading for Dagenham this afternoon, which is where the repairers are located, to have a look at them. I think it's about 50 miles from here & mostly involves driving along the motorway.
If we escape the clutches of Hastings Hospital we will head for the north & hopefully get a quick look at where Dave's parents are from & my grandparents.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Location: Kent, UK

It's been a few days since the last entry so I thought I'd better update you all as to where we're at now.
With regards to Dave's leg, the story changes each time a different doctor walks into the room. Fortunately the stories are improving.
At the moment he is still in hospital, the one in Hastings, & will be there for another day or two. He is continuing on with iv antibiotics for another 24 hours & will then go onto more oral antibiotics. The hope is that the infection will be wiped out & that this will hopefully also remove the need for further surgery.
It's still a big unknown but things are looking more promising now than they did even as recently as Monday.
Assuming all the stars line up appropriately, the travel insurers have just told me they have us booked on a flight on the 28th. Here's hoping.
Will try to get some more shots for the blog soon. Not a lot of fun sightseeing on your own, so I haven't really bothered.
Staying in a really lovely place at the moment in a converted stable. Not sure what the next stop will be as it depends on when Dave gets out, but hopefully we will spend another couple of days in London before we leave.

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Recent Messages

From Mo
As you can see Terry and I don't talk to each other. Just think of it as old age setting in.
From Terry and Mo
Glad you made it back safely and that Oz hospitals are not as keen to hold on to you as the NHS was.

Keep in touch, it was great to see you in London Mo and I were really glad we made the trip. looking forward to seeing you on the Mark 2 trip!!!!!!

Terry and Mo xx
From Mo & Terry
Hi Both,
Glad to see that you have got safely home. It was lovely seeing you on your last night in London. I have just read your last entry on the blog. Thanks for all the great things you said about us though we are quite sure that most people would have done the same thing as we did and I am sure that if the roles were reversed you would have done the same for us. We had a very busy weekend as our middle son Dan came home from his travels around the world and our youngest son Greg turned 21. Terry is now getting ready to fly to the US on Friday to visit our friends there so think of him wont you.Anyway it was lovely meeting you both though I wish it was under better circumstances and hopefully one day we might get to Australia to visit you and the giant lobster.Keep in touch.
Love Mo & Terry of course
Response: Yes we did make you sound rather saintly didn't we? If only the truth were known...
From Satima
I'm glad you're managing to have a bit of fun at last! Now, to get you and bikes all safely home - I hope it all goes according to plan.

You'll be arriving back to a Mount Gambier winter. Brrr! I'm in Perth at present and it's plenty cold enough here.
Response: We're back now and its freezing! And wet. We're so happy to be here though. The leg's GOT to be attended to, and it needs to be off the ground and immobile for at least a couple of weeks. You'll see our diary and photo pages for 9/7 bring us up to our return.
From Stef
Loved the crime scene pix. Reminiscent of a scene from Thomas the Tank Engine or maybe Postman Pat (no sign of his black and white cat - Jess for anyone who's wondering). I think it's the perspective and the fact that the characters aren't animated. Always saw that as one of the shortcomings of still photography.
Happy trails home...
Response: Yes, not the most dynamic photos are they? But it was all a bit Keystone Cops really. Happy trails indeed. See you soon.
From Billy
Hey guys .. just wanted to wish you safe journey. Thanks for the great blog and amazing pics.. I've particularly enjoyed the ancient castles and magnificent architecture...
cheers, Billy
Response: Thanks for keeping up with us Billy. We only wish we could have been posting sunny meditteranean scenery as intended. Next time.
From MarkHere
Well done on your Blog. Very interesting. We hope to catch up when you get home.
Have a safe & enjoyable trip home.
Cheers from Mark & a very envious Pearl :)
Response: It would be good to catch up, Mark. Very kind of you to say our blog's interesting, we tried hard in the face of some very big restrictions to the fun factor. We could certainly have done without the smashed leg, broken bikes and weeks of hospital food, so tell Pearl not to be TOO upset she missed out on some of it...But we'll definitely be back. It's too beautiful, we want to spend more time in the UK, and we haven't got to cross the channel yet! It's gonna happen! Cheers and see you soon.
From Mum and Dad
Thanks for the great pics. Brought tears to my eyes which are still there! Dad will see the pics in a few minutes, so I'll hold this till he comes. Looking forward so much to seeing you both safely back. Sad that the grave is so overgrown. You'd think there'd be some authority that would at least keep the grass cut. It's always been left to rellies, but when rellies move away or forget their ancestry, neglect happens.
Love Mum and Dad.
Response: Glad you've got to see the pics. Yes the grave is overgrown but not too bad.The actual headstone is 3 very low blocks stacked up as you can see which makes it look a bit lost in the longer grass. Diana pulled some weeds out around the stone but I think the lawnmower was definitely overdue for a run the day we were there. We saw a local news item somewhere, maybe Devon, about a controversy over whether sheep should be allowed to graze in churchyards - local opinion seemed to be in favour. The cemetery is very big and overall we thought it's pretty tidy. Counting the hours till we get on that plane.
From rachel (ratgirl) ash
Hi D and D. just got off the phone to Dave. alarm went off and i now have a coffee (not that I am having any trouble staying awake at this point)
thought I would fill you in a bit more. A couple of days ago the electrician arrived. I could not get anyone "local" so a friend from Whyalla did the job for me. He had to travell over 2.5 hours just to get here. He disconnected the power to the house and put some switches in the outside of the power board so that the builders and I could continue to function. Now I have heavy duty extension cords poking through holes in the wall and running allover the house. All good. As I daid to Dave the back fo the house and the floor are meeting their long overdue end today. The floor has been almost non existant since before I bought it. Some party animals pulled down dividing walls and the ceilings in the old shop/post office years ago and put them on the floor. when I lifted some of the foberboard up i saw masses of white ants which was almost creepy, so I dropped the pnael down again and laid carpet over it!!! No probe. have not fallen through yet. The roof supports over the stone section of the house have been eaten away and laughingly railway sleepers were put over the tin to stop it blowing off in the high winds we often have here. No leaks and all still standing. When the rebuild is over I will have one new steelframed roof over the lot. Welcome to old Australia.
I just tried to put in a pic of what is now but no luck. prob cos not a geek. anyway. lovely to talk to you this morn Dave. Lotsa Love Rachel
Response: Sounds like a renovator's dream. Hope the project has kicked off now to a good start. Anything slightly scruffy in the UK is snapped up and turned into "luxury executive apartments". Terry told us there doesn't seem to be any other sort. Too bad if you want a standard non-executive non-luxury apartment! Although people have much lower expectations here for standard fitments - you spend a very big wad of money to get a pretty modest place. Love D & D
From Mum and Dad
Moe great pictures, Diana. Thank you. We are thankful that you are now able to do a little sightseeing together but we hope you don't wear youirsaelf out with pushing the wheel chair. I know what a hard hob that is and you've done an awful lot of it. Wem ay have to wait till you aare home tosee the Manchester, Buxton, Nottingham pic, unles you can put them on this blog. I have tried everything and can't bring up the grave pics. on my mobile. Keep us up to date with your doings and plane bookings. Jaa. came round on Thursday night Love from us both, A. and B.
Response: Check the photo page 'Where our familys came from' for some of the photos you're looking for. We'll add a few more of London soon.
From Satima Flavell
Hi Dave and Di,
I cannot believe what a rotten run you've had. Obviously the UK is a dangerous place and you should come home ASAP:-) I do hope you can both be upgraded and travel together. I also hope the infection goes away so you can see a bit of the north country before you go.

Response: Hi Satima yes things could have gone a lot better but we've been shown great kindness by people who don't know us and we've tried to get something positive out of our situation - we'll still have some great experiences to hold on to. Including what a richness and diversity we've seen. Got to be honest though - the ongoing challenges to my leg's recovery have been very trying and we've had some pretty dark moments. We're oop north at the moment - got some film and video of Carlton road Sale yesterday. Saw some musicians play last night who I swear worked MAGIC on us - felt uplifted and recharged after a couple of pretty sad weeks. Love to you Satima from Dave & Di.
From Gloria
Hi Dave and Di
I am sure your diary would make a wonderful novel when you get through this "journey" - perhaps Dave could make a start on it now while he is laid up in hospital! Thinking of you both and hoping that you are back in MG very soon.
Cheers Gloria
Response: Hi Gloria we could enter the novel in the 'Sad Sack's Holiday Awards' - it would win hands down. Thanks for your positive wishes Gloria. The insurers THINK they've got us a flight back but what with my leg trying to spontaneously fall off every few days we're keeping our fingers crossed that this time the arrangements will hold. We are REALLY REALLY looking forward to being home Gloria. Hope it will be very soon annd of course I'll talk to you about it as soon as it looks reasonably firmed up. Regards Dave & Di
From Billy
Hey guys .. so sorry to read about the latest thumping life has handed you.. good to see you're handling it bravely. It must be quite lonely to have to keep leaving Dave in hospitals and go 'home' to a strange place Di. I hope they let you come home as planned so you'll at least have familiar surroundings and loving support. Keep smiling :-)
Response: Thanks Billy. It has kept us going knowing we have everyone at home caring about us & how we're faring. Keeping the smiles going but they get a bit strained at times. Di
From John & Rosie
From John & Rosie. G'day Di & Dave, thanks for all the great photos and story/journal could be a good addition to the motorbike diary. Publish eh. Get here safe, be good to have the coffee at C&C and chin wag. Cheers
Response: Hi John & Rosie & thanks. We are certainly looking forward to getting home soon. Dave is very much looking forward to a decent coffee too as there is certainly no such thing to be found in England. A chin wag is also high on the list. We'll be armed with plenty of info about insurance & the NHS too for those contemplating a "similar" holiday adventure. Di
From Garry
Hello planetrangers. It has been good to keep in touch via this site. Will do my best to ensure a smooth reintroduction to the world of WORK for you Di. I can't assist you Dave so you will have to rely on your good wife . all the best and love from Australia
Response: Thanks Garry. I didn't expect to find myself looking forward to going back to work that's for sure. Nothing I would like more than hopping in the car & heading out to the mill. (That may be a slight exaggeration!)
I expect to be there for afternoon shift, but who knows at this point whether that will happen. Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays & had a slightly less eventful time than we have had. Di
From Mum and Dad
Thanks Diana for updating the blog when life is so topsy turvy for you. We feel for you very much as well as David with his bad leg. You are doing a great job in holding things together. We look forward to all being well and you both being able to enjoy a comfortable journey home. Your offspring will be so thankful. Keep us up to date on the progress. Loving hte photos. You'd better get David to take one of you by the bedside and get someone else to take one of the two of you. The scenery is absolutely superb. Your artistic skills come to the fore in your photography. Our love to you both. Mum and Dad.
Response: Looking forward to getting home too & I know the girls have a few treats planned for us. Apologies that the photos have been a bit thin on the ground lately but I hope to turn that around a bit. Having trouble loading them up again at the moment.
Love to you both & see you soon.
From J and D
Dave and Di
Sorry to hear about the setback with Dave's leg. Hope the doctors mostly can sort it out before you leave the UK. Sounds like you're well and truly ready for home. Have a safe trip and see you in Oz soon! We'll keep checking the famous Motorcycle Diaries!

Love J and D
Response: Thanks. Look forward to seeing you soon too. Hopefully our next edition of the Motorcyclediaries will take in a few more countries & a little less hospitals.
From phil argy
G'day again Di & Dave, what an amazing run of events..I am really sorry to hear about the infection Dave I am really hoping you can get on top of the bug ASAP. A bit of news from back home; You may or may not have known that Julies brother ; 'Shark' has been staying out the back in the lodge at Blink Bonney after coming back to the south east from sunny Queensland with his partner and young son Daniel. Well we received a call the other night that 100km/h winds had toppled one of our tall (20m) cyress pines in the driveway and wiped out part of my wall, back verandah but somehow missed the rainwater tanks and the main house. While Cokey listens to his rain dripping in his tanks I'm thanking my lucky stars 45000 litres of rainwater isn't on the ground! Another tree just missed the barn so our,music room for the future is still upright. Shark has done a heap of gardening out there and it is looking great (cept for the big tree) but now Shark has had to clean (chainsaw) it up....Oh I am going on but having great fun at the jams in Perth, most recently we got an official notice to keep the music down under 52 decibels (about the level of an old man's fart in the morning) or we could loose equipment to the cops as the next door neighbour has complained. It is fun being scrutinised by the law...feeeling a bit rebellious and all that..... Good luck with the leg healing Dave, hope you can get back to Oz when you want to you both from phil, julie & kids.
Response: Hi Phil et al. How lucky nobody was hurt & the main house escaped major damage. Always a bit of a worry with those old trees. Good to know that you have a man on the spot to take care of things in your absence.
Dave hasn't been jamming & would like nothing better than to be told to keep the noise down while enjoying his guitar. He's hardly picked it up.
We're just plodding through each day as it comes at the moment having learnt not to get too excited about potential release dates & flights home. The main thing is the leg is not deteriorating so ...
Hey there - have been checking regularly - fingers crossed scheduled trip home goes to plan. Cheers
Sharon & Barry
Response: Thanks folks. We have everything crossed! Still hoping for arrival on Monday next week.
From Stef
Nice metal work! Should cause some issues getting through the scanners on the way back. Is the bridge work there for good or will it be removed at some stage? Make a nice memento if it comes out and you get to keep it.
Response: Latest info suggests that the metal work will be removed & replaced on our return to Australia. It may be the only way to properly knock the infection over. So long as they don't think Dave is going straight from the plane to hospital. He will be injecting antibiotics from now until our return. And something for thrombosis too while we're on the plane. All we want now is to get home & spend some time with the kids & dogs. A night in our own bed & a decent coffee. Will let you know as soon as we do, what's happenning.
From Alison
Hi travellers! Adrian & I are just back from AGM Townsville & heard about your misfortune. Talk about BUGGER! A novel (?) way to travel England. Can't wait to hear about the NHS (being in the trade), sorry but there has to be something to come out of all this. You're travelling home soon?, catch up then. Take it easy, Al
Response: Hi Al. Great to hear from you. Really pleased to see you back on your bike too. I'm sure Dave will enjoy telling you about our NHS experience. It has been varied but generally good, despite what you may hear in the media. A bit like our own.
Hope to be home next week & we'll catch up as soon as we're able. Di
From Roberta Coke
Hey Dave and Di,

Just checking in to see how y'all are travelling. How very british of you to jolley things along and continue to enjoy the sightseeing. Also very impressed that you're taking in some live music.
What Troopers!

Enjoy the summer, cause it is freezing in good ol' Mt Gambier. Lovely thunder and lightening storm last night, glass (bottle!) of wine by the fire, Michael listening to the water tanks fill up!!!

See you soon. love Robbi
Ships are safe at harbour, but that's not what ships were built for.

Response: Hi to you & Michael too. Wine in front of the fire sounds good to me too & I have partaken of a few but without the fire or the sound of rain water tanks filling. Plenty of rain but tanks aren't common. A lot of places we've seen don't even have gutters for that matter.
Thanks for checking in again. We both appreciate it. Dave sends his love from the Hastings hospital whereas mine comes from the internet cafe in Rye. Cheers D & D
From Linda
Hi there Dave and Di,
I got home from Adelaide & Mt Gambier last night and I've just caught up with your entry of the 9th. Will you still be allowed to fly so soon since you came down with the infection? Has it resolved yet? I only scanned your site briefly while I was staying with Satima so now I've seen all your photos, keep them coming, it's all great even if you are just filling in time.
Jaala happily shared your car with me, she was very easy going about it. As promised, Mum, Satima and I stayed around town and only did one trip to Port Macdonnell so I don't think I added too many kms, I hope we didn't anyway. Thanks very much.
Your boys are getting walked every day. Jaala & Corey headed off with them when I saw them on Sunday, they said they were off to the lake and walked to get there. The dogs would have slept well that night! Today I took our girls for two big walks, being my first day back they wanted a walk from the moment I got up.
All the best to both of you, keep well and keep enjoying yourselves.
Response: Good to hear from you Linda & glad you had a good time "down home". Not sure about the infection yet & whether it will hold us up. If it does hopefully it will only be by days & not weeks.
Will communicate again soon. Running out of blog time . . . again.
From Fran
Hi Dave and Di
I have been thinking of you both and this is the first time I've had your contact blog. Glad to see that you have been managing to get around a bit despite the leg. Hope to hear this latest infection has been knocked out soo. We did eat at Rick Stein's AND had a drink or two as well - it was well worth it but we did have to book several days in advance. I feel so nostalgic reading your travels since we visited many of the same places we'll have to catch up for a chat when you are home.
Response: Thanks Fran. Dave & I really appreciate your contact. (He'd be writing this himself but he's a bit tied up at the moment.)Dave's immediate future is still a bit up in the air at the moment, although having just come from the hospital I can say the leg is looking better than it was earlier today. He's very concerned about the effect this could have on his team & on work if these complications continue. We have been lucky to have been able to still take in a few of the sights. Progress has been a bit slow & in small steps at a time, but it's better than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. As you probably remember there's lots of cobbles & steep hills, none of which are much good for wheel chairs or crutches.
I was surprised there was more than one Rick Stein outlet in Padstow & it was certainly tempting. We also looked through the window of a Jamie Oliver establishment in Oxford.
Thanks again for your thoughts. Di & Dave
From Mum
Your latest blog entries came up. I didn't even touch the blue arrow or sliding curser - honest! So it's good to be able to see your latest notes and photos. Do take the greatest care of that leg!! We're so sorry that the nasty infection developed. Diana, we hope your shoulder and bruises are continuing to heal. We'll look forward very much to seeing you safely back in your own home. You'll return as the authorities on the Brit. NHS and on towns down south. All your other plans can mature till next year. Saw Caitlin on Sunday. She looked really good - wearing RED, not black and dreadlocks have given way to the straight look like Tegan and Jaala. I'll send you a text now before I go to bed just to confirm that we have your blog up to date. Love, Mum. (Dad saw most of the new pics, but then went to bed.)
Response: Thanks Anne & Brian. I'm just about back to (normal) now. As you will have read in the diary page, Dave is back in hospital as a precaution to get the infection under control. Intravenous antibiotics are more effective as they get straight to the point. Dave's obviously disappointed & down in the dumps about it. We had booked to see a band last night so that was a shame. The main thing is to get the leg sorted. Hopefully he'll only be in for a day or two.
Caitlin's hair looks great. She sent us a photo on the phone when she had it done.
Thinking of you all & glad of your regular updates.
Love Diana