The Travels of Mouse, north to the sun #2

Hello, readers, Mouse here again.

Well, yesterday was a bit dull from my point of view. After an initial bustle about, the Staff pulled out of the drive yesterday at about 9.45, a very late start compared with the usual 8am, but we weren’t in a hurry. I settled down to snooze in the back, my usual occupation on long trips. By lunchtime, we’d reached Bowen. Mum says it’s where they shot the movie Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. From our point of view, it’s where Jochheim’s Bakery is, source of (so far), the best meat pies in Queensland and northern New South Wales. And meat pie there was. And a sausage roll. Even I got a bit and I’m normally not allowed pie because of what pastry does to my insides, but we’re on holiday.

We had lunch sitting at the beachfront, overlooking the harbour. Nice memories for me, because it’s where Mum and Dad stopped when they’d just adopted me in Townsville, to let me stretch my legs and, ahem, see to other needs.

We got to Townsville mid-afternoon and got set up. Dad likes the caravan park here, the showers in the en-suite sites are good and hot and strong, and there is plenty of room to walk me without needing to leave the park.

They have set up my private enclosure so I can move around outside the caravan without needing to be tied up (a barbarous requirement as far as I’m concerned, but there are some very noisy, yappy, grumpy small dogs here, so I suppose it makes sense).

Today, we are going to go and find a fenced dog park or two where I can stretch my legs. After a day in the car and no long (ie, over 2km) walks with Mum, I’m feeling the need to do some zooming! After lunch, we’ll visit Miss Nikki, and perhaps a motorbike friend of Mum and Dad if he’s free.

It was cold last night, and was a bit fresh this morning when Mum took me for my constitutional at 7am, but it has warmed up considerably now. The sun is warm, the sky is clear and blue, and it’s going to be a good day.

More tomorrow. Mouse

The Travels of Mouse, Part 2

Hello, fans and admirers, Mouse here again.

Well, we’re about to spend our third night away from home. Night one was Tannum Sands, and night two was Landsborough Pines, both of which Mum has wittered on about previously, so I’ll pass swiftly over those two, but they were pleasant and I do enjoy a good sniff around the bushland at Tannum.

I must say, the Staff have made a nice job of my accommodations on board Miz Lizzie. They have added a pillow to my bed, and I now have the drawer underneath devoted to my Important Stuff (walkies bag, snacks, water bottle, bandannas and other fashion accessories), and the hooks beside it for my leads and harness. After all the packing and unpacking that goes on each night, I find myself fatigued and needing to take a nice long siesta before the Staff serve my evening meal.

Mum’s search for the perfect pie continues – I know she’s shared previous reviews from previous trips – but I must say I was a tiny bit outraged that I wasn’t asked to test one and contributed my opinion. I am, after all, the carnivore in this family!  Still, here is Mum’s already slightly mangled and gnawed steak & kidney pie from Beefy’s. The next one, from the Landsborough Bakery, didn’t even make it as far as a photo (she said she was hungry… I know the feeling!). Overall, Beefy’s has the best meaty chunks and generous size, but the Landsborough Bakery had better pastry that didn’t spray all over the place so it was less messy to eat. Personally, I wouldn’t care about the mess, that’s what I have Staff for.

Today we went through a huge rain storm as we passed Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It got so heavy that Dad had trouble seeing vehicles and the road ahead, and I was rather concerned that we’d have this for the rest of the holiday. Mum checked the Bureau of Meteorology site and it seems to be OK, which is good, because I get a bit tired of having my paws dried…

On the way, we stopped for afternoon tea at Our Daily Bread, a converted old wooden church which is now a lovely café and gift/ antique shop. I ordered a warm lactose-free puppacino and the Staff had tea and muffins with locally grown blueberries and white chocolate on top.

Mum looked around inside and was tempted by the hand-made hats, as she’s left her sun-hat at home. Sadly they were all too small, so I predict hat shopping will be taking place once we get to Nambucca Heads – among other things, of course!

We’re here in Yamba for one night (I heard Mum say it was just as well, the bathroom is a bit desperate), and then we’re off to see my friends at the White Albatross in Nambucca heads, and Mum and Dad will wait for Aunty Chippy and Uncle Jonathan to arrive on Saturday. I think there are other things on the agenda, but I have been very busy supervising and will be too zorsted to hear about it till I’ve had a huge snooze in my new private veranda under the awning. I’ll show you that next time.

More soon,


Mouse’s Holiday part 2: Dolce far niente

Or, ’tis sweet to be idle.

So far, it’s been a pretty restful holiday.

We’ve sat and enjoyed the sun going down over the lagoon, along with many others who bring chairs and an early evening drink along to take what pleasure they can from the spectacular colour that distant bushfire smoke lends to the sunset.

The dog beach has been wildly popular – with me as much as with Mouse. I do love to watch all the happy doggos madly dashing about and playing with the brisk surf you get on this coast.

I also like the mini spa treatment for my feet; all the rough skin polished off by the silica-rich sand, the massage of the salty water reducing swollen ankles and cooling hot feet, all that ozone-dense air…

The V-Wall walk is an enduring pleasure. It runs between the lagoon and the sea. The water is deep teal shading to bright turquoise as it runs over a sandbank and past a small bird-inhabited island. I can’t tell you why it’s called the V-Wall, but you can see from the photo that the rocks from which it’s constructed are the site of numerous decorations, memorials, paintings and “I was here” daubs. These are permitted and even encouraged, so long as you don’t deface anyone else’s work.  It makes a colourful effect and an interesting read; there are contributions from locals and distant travellers alike.

Mouse is having a great holiday. He gets his first run of the morning just before his 6am breakfast, another longer walk mid morning and several shorter walks throughout the day. We are planning a folding wire dog enclosure for under the caravan awning so he can sit outside with us without needing to be tied up – he’s so fast that if he took off after a doggy friend we’d never catch him, so his 8ft lead is vital. But it would be much nicer if he could move around freely. Having said that, he spends a lot of quality time on his bed in the caravan “tolly zorsted”.

We visited my sister and BIL in Dorrigo the other day; I haven’t been down this way for well over a year and it was past time. I absolutely love the road inland from the coastal highway, and the point at which I can start to see my dearly missed mountains is always a favourite. Up there is my chiefest happy place… And of course, family and friends I don’t get to see often.

And then home again to Miz Lizzie. We debated having dinner at the V-Wall Tavern, just outside the gates of the caravan park, and overlooking the bay. Its outdoor seating area is dog-friendly and the menu is very tasty.

But then Mouse made it clear he wanted his dinner first, and we realised the setting sun would be in our eyes. Perhaps lunch today, instead?

We had a lazy day yesterday. By which I mean I cleaned up the caravan, did the laundry, made meals, etc, but I also sat outside for several hours and stitched hexies for my ScrapHappy piece, and finished one book and started another. Another day like that today, I think, and then on Thursday we have a social day, seeing friends in both morning and evening.

It’s good to slow down and take it easy sometimes….