A Day in the Life

Some folks get the idea that travel is fun (which it is) and therefore business travel must be more fun because someone else is paying for it. It isn’t. Following is my journey from Macksville to Jakarta.

2013-01-07 13.20.14

It started with the XPT train journey from Macksville Station. Temperature was about 30 degrees and a bright sunny day. The train left Macksville on time at 1:30pm and headed south at a stately pace. We stopped at a number of stations on the way to Sydney, including Kempsey, Wauchope, Gloucester and such. By the time we got to Maitland we were running about 5 minutes early so got to sit around there for five minutes longer than necessary.

We passed long coal trains (80 coal wagons) and some pretty countryside but the worst part of the journey was the child screaming all the way to Sydney.

We arrived at Central Station in Sydney at 9:06pm on time.

A taxi to Jeff’s where I spent the night.

A taxi was booked for 7:15 the following morning to take me to the airport.

Sylvester Stallone: "I heard you were bitten by a cobra".

Chuck Norris: "I was but after five days of agonising pain the cobra died".

From the in-flight movie, the Expendables 2.

2013-01-08 09.37.49Tuesday was flight day – up at 5:45am to the sound of Frodo throwing up on Jeffrey’s carpet. Back to sleep and up at 6:30 for a shower and a taxi to the airport at 7:15.

Having a bite at the airport the amusing sight of the day was the bloke who spills a full cup of coffee over the table and his wife. A quick clean off of her skirt and she’s off to the toilet to clean up. His next move, remorselessly, is to pick up the coffee cup and drain what is left before worrying about any sort of clean-up to the table and surrounds.

Aircraft boarding call is made and we board. Disconnect from the air-bridge and commence taxiing on time. We then sit on the taxiway for about 30 minutes, plane in front of us and six more queued behind us. We eventually get to the runway and are airborne.

By the time we are half way to Denpasar, the Expendables 2 movie is almost finished. We have also had an almost continuous stream of turbulence and altering of course and height to try and avoid the turbulence. Seems the great heat of Australia on Tuesday is also affecting the weather 10,000 metres above ground level.

The big plus on this Garuda flight is the in-flight immigration. Brilliant!

We arrived at Denpasar, collected bags, passed customs, handed the bags to the transfer desk then walked to the domestic terminal.

Denpasar domestic terminal is being rebuilt so inside it the temperature is thirty something degrees, there’s no WiFi, no air-conditioning, lots of building works, sweat is dripping from my fingers and my new Popeye t-shirt is melting. Also the flies are Australian in their persistence and annoyance.

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. Sat in that terminal for five hours waiting for the next flight. There was no point taking a taxi into town (I’ve never really been to Bali) as it was raining and the traffic was too heavy.

Finally it was time to board. There was the ride out to the plane on an airport bus. The door I was leaning against flew open as the bus turned. A quick death grip on one of the poles and a few choice adjectives helped in regaining the main cabin of the bus.

2013-01-09 12.18.10The outside air was cooler than the terminal and the inside air of the aircraft was just wonderful.

Finally arrived in Jakarta and headed out through the maelstrom of "private" taxi drivers to the peace of a White Horse taxi – there was a queue at the Silver Bird stand.

We then zoom along the airport road until the toll gate and the Jakarta traffic slows us to a pace a bullock cart would be pleased to achieve. It takes about the same time from the airport to the hotel as it does from Bali to Jakarta.

Finally the peace and tranquillity of the hotel. I’d been up for 19 hours getting from Ashfield to Jakarta and had 8 hours travelling by train the day before – just another normal day for Thomo. It was definitely time for a glass of Dr Feelgood.

Oh, and lest you think it all gets better at the hotel – the last photo is the view from my window!

Christmas in Brisbane

2012-12-25 14.03.26Christmas was spent with the lady, Mum, my sister and brother-in-law and niece in Brisbane. It’s been a couple of years since we had Christmas here. Mum had decided to accept my sister’s invitation for Christmas to be out of the house when we were bringing in boxes and such so caught the train and bus to Brisbane.

We followed a couple of days later.

Lunch was terrific – just enough of everything to satisfy, not so much as to be greedy or overeat! ((well, except for the cashews))

It was great catching up with my sister and BIL as well as my niece.

Next social function is off to Canberra for New Year’s Eve.

Thomo’s Macksville Home – the Great Move

2012-12-28 17.28.03As many of you will be aware, I shut down the Sydney home. I will be residing in Singapore full-time for the foreseeable future. This has meant that there is no need for the flat in Sydney any more and rather than continue to pay AU $400 per week for what is essentially storage only, we cancelled the rental.

I am pleased to announce that at the age of 58 ((if you can actually believe that I am that age … I could be lying after all)) I moved back home with mother 😆

Well, the lady needed somewhere to live whilst studying and there is space under the house for storage so with a little assistance from number one son (thanks for the garage space Jeffro) we moved. What an experience that was. Over a Friday and a weekend we moved. I called two men with a truck for some rented muscle and hired a one tonne Toyota Hi-Ace. The men and truck were to move the furniture and the Hi-Ace was to move the books, clothes and other stuff we wanted to keep.

What an experience! The hired muscle arrived in a grumpy mood – they’d been pulled over by the police on the way to the job. We loaded the furniture whilst the lady and I continued to pack boxes for the Hi-Ace. We delivered the furniture to Jeffro’s whilst the lady continued to pack boxes. We filled the Hi-Ace then drove the 476 kms to Mum’s.

We slept, unpacked and drove the 476 kms back.

We packed the rest again filling the Hi-Ace to the roof (well, with some extra stuff filling the back of the car).

We drove the 476 kms to Mum’s, unpacked and then drove the 476 kms back to Sydney where we checked into a motel just around the corner from the old home. Up early on Monday morning to return the Hi-Ace to the renters whilst the lady cleaned the apartment. I worked that day which meant I needed to be in the city by my 10 am meeting so it was late in the day when the keys were returned and we officially bid farewell to the Sydney residence.

The rest of the week in Sydney was spent in the motel (the Marco Polo at Summer Hill, cheap, great security and funnily enough, quieter than the flat was). Friday night came and so we squeezed into the front of the Falcon and drove the 476 kms to Macksville.

Saturday … slept.

After that it was 478 kms to Brisbane for Christmas (see separate post), then 478 kms back to Macksville. The last drive this trip will be a drive of 770kms to Canberra for the New Year, then 770 kms back to Macksville. Finally I will catch the bus to Sydney to catch my flight back to Singapore (that bue/train trip I am actually looking forward to).

2012-12-28 17.27.48By the time I leave Oz for Singapore again I will have driven 4,876 kms at least (there was a couple of short trips for Boxing Day sales and pizzas and such that would have put the total over 5,000 kms).

Let’s see my Pommie mates get their heads around those distances (driving the E30 in Europe, London to Moscow is only 2,887 km)!

I do have a painting space in Oz still – in my father’s old train room. Once Dad left us the trains were sold off, mostly to his peer group of railroaders and so that area under the house houses my library and wargaming stuff that I have not taken to Singapore. Mum also uses it when cutting out for new quilts. The picture above is the view from behind the painting area. The picture to the left is the view the other way.

Thomo has a new Oz Hole!

The Great Move–Christmas Spending

The great move from Sydney is complete. Thomo’s Sydney Hole is no more. Books and wargaming stuff have been moved back to Mum’s “up the coast” and the flat in Sydney returned to the landlord. ((interestingly we returned the apartment on the 18th of December and it was leased and new folks moving in on the 20th – sight unseen. Rental property in Sydney is apparently quite scarce))

Most of the boxes moved back here have been sorted and packed away – well, except for about 8 boxes of books but sorting them, shelving them and deciding which ones to bring to Singapore on the 6th are tomorrow’s problem. I will finish taking the Command and Colours Ancients, perhaps the book on Naval Warfare on the Lakes, Conway’s is tempting but heavy, so many books and a few games that I’d like to take, so little space.

Plans for the next few days are more sorting of stuff, a trip to Coffs Harbour for a phone for the lady ((fear of a painful and unnatural death prevents me telling what has happened to her iPhone)) and a trip to the beach as it’s time to get wet again! Christmas Eve is off to my sister’s where we will spend Christmas then bring Mum back home. Another couple of days back here probably preparing my Later Hungarians for paint then it’s off to Canberra for New Year. Back here for some painting before returning to Singapore.

A busy time it is then but one where I am hoping for a few beach days as well as a fair bit of painting time. I also plan on catching up with mail and some other matters and perhaps a little more writing.

In the meantime, Carols in the Domain is on … time to remember Christmases past and look forward to Christmases to come!

Thomo’s Oz Hole Moving

Yep, Thomo is on the move. The lads are packed and ready for their shift, it’s just all the other crap that’s taking time … why can’t I just take all my books into somewhere and trade them for eBooks of the same title?

Anyhoo, I’ll be off the air for a few days but will probably start publishing some more on painting for Cancon 2013 as well as the odd Cheeseburger from next weekend.

Tally ho!

A New Look Hole


Thomo’s Hole has had a certain appearance for a few years now and as a result of the usual widget creep you find in blogs, it was starting to get slower and slower. I decided it was time to clean up the appearance and make it both a wee bit more elgant and a wee bit quicker.

Being the lazy sod that I am, I went looking for a theme rather than write my own. I found the Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha and this is now the appearance for Thomo’s Hole.

I will be tweaking a bit over the next few days, especially in the area of links etc., as there are way too many of them. As a result, you may see the some odd things happening from time to time. Nothing to worry about, wait about 5 seconds and try again and everything should be back to normal.

Now, back to finishing the washing and then the 15mm ACW basing.

Thomo’s Hole – Technical Issues

We’ve had a few technical issues back here at Hole Central. Not quite sure what has caused the issues although Hole Tech Admin noted:

Looks like it’s running out of network buffer space. Weird traffic profile just before… Steady 600kB/s inbound then nothing.
I turned the numbers up. Will see if it helps.
We will indeed see if it helps.
In the meantime, my apologies for the downtime but we are back and I promise that I will absolutely get around to catching up with the posts I have in the draft pipeline.

A New Works Burger

IMG_0402 Readers of Thomo’s Hole will know that Thomo is partial to the odd burger. In the past the burger of choice when travelling to mama’s was always the works burger at the Caltex servo at Coolongolook. That servo appears to have changed hands recently and the quantity and quality of food in the restaurant has diminished.

This trip we decided to try the Mobil servo at Bulahdelah after a recommendation from a bloke I met on a flight from Singapore to Sydney.

The burger was quite good and I’d certainly rate it a 7 or maybe 8 out of 10. The only downside was the tables and chairs. The chairs are fixed to the table which is fixed to the floor. Not so good for a gentleman of more fulsome figure – the empty part of belly being on top of the table and the remaining paunch tucked away Nader under the table. 1 out of 10 for the tables.

Map picture

I Must Be Really Hot!

According to some recent research mentioned on early morning TV yesterday, it appears as though average looking blokes think they are better looking than they are whilst good looking chaps really don’t think that they are that good looking at all. In a related piece of information. researchers at the University of Texas have concluded that attractive males have a tendency to underestimate a female’s interest in them.

Given that every morning I get up and look in the mirror and think “MEH” ((more like MEEEEEEH!)) and as far as I can see, all I notice in hot babes around me is absolute indifference, on the strength of it I must be really, really hot!