Sunday, October 30, 2011

How much fun can you have with $300?


So we went and bought ourselves a little old caravan on eBay. For $152.50! We had all sorts of hopes and dreams for her too. You saw the pictures. I was off in Gypsy Land. I go there sometimes, and it's a wonderful place. Freedom... With nowhere particular to go, and no schedules or deadlines. Just a whim. A fancy. I have no doubts I'll end up there for good one day. Just me and my man wandering the countryside, making our own little discoveries.

Not this time though.

We bought the 'old girl' on eBay, with the hopes that she'd be a keeper. A vintage beauty that we could restore, and turn into our own little home on wheels. We bought her one weekend and on the following one, we headed north to check her out. And that's where the fun started.

You see, there's not too many places to stay in Childers. A couple of dodgy little motels is about all I could find online. wasn't really much help either. So I hit up our trusty old search engine, Google, and found a pub to stay in. For $60 we could have a balcony room at The Grand Hotel. Sounded pretty cool to me. I'd never stayed in a pub before, and this one was haunted to boot! There had been several sightings over the years, and then there was the interesting phenomenon of the lightning strikes. Once in October 1997, and again in October 2004.... Would it happen again while we were there? How could we not stay there? It was a given.

We rolled up at about 4pm and paid our nightly board at the bar, and were told it was quite safe to park the car on the street, because 'you know, it's Childers and all'... Our room was on one side of the balcony and on the other, there lived an old man. You could tell he'd been there for a while too. He had his recliner, his radio, his esky (full of Bundy Rum and coke) and his newspapers. He was set, well and truly. We decided to settle in too. We unpacked a little, pulled up a stool and sat on that balcony and watched life in Childers pass us by.

We never did see any ghosts that night though, and even when Mother Nature opened the heavens in one almighty storm in the early hours, we weren't struck by lightning. We did however wake up to grey skies and howling winds, and wondered how we would get the photos we wanted to take of our little retro princess. Especially with no freshly brewed coffee under our belts! We found a bakery, ate a sausage roll and a pastie, had some bad coffee and headed out to Apple Tree Creek, to see our lovely little van.

In the middle of nowhere, we found her. First though, we were greeted by her previous owners who immediately conjured visions of the Soggy Bottom Boys.

We were in Australian red neck country. Well and truly. The van was in the back of the yard and from the outside she was beautiful. All my gypsy visions came rolling in.... On the inside though, she was rotten. Through and through.

The years she'd spent sitting in the pasture hadn't been kind, and it didn't take us long to realise that she wasn't going to make a trip home to the Gold Coast. We chatted to our country friends for a while and after coffee and biscuits, we headed home. Not dejected, but full of enthusiasm.

We were going to put her back on eBay! We were armed with photos and information, and decided that the only thing we could do, was to try and sell her for more than what we'd bought her for. We took our time coming home though, stopping off at Woodgate Beach for a paddle, and some shell collecting. We stopped and bought a tray of mangoes, and we browsed through an antique shop in Gympie. For dinner we ate red emperor and coconut prawns on the banks of the Noosa River, and we drove home through one hell of a thunder storm.

Over the next couple of days we gathered our thoughts, and then armed with a barrage of arsenal, we put the old girl back on eBay. Within hours we had 15 watchers, and our first bid came in on the second day. Just before the auction ended, we had 79 watchers! We sold our little van for $305, and literally doubled our money.

Our little risk paid for our weekend, and gave us memories that will last us a lifetime. I'm sure some thought we were mad. I guess we are a little, but that's what makes life so worth living. We still don't have our little, longed-for holiday home, but nothing will replace the fun we had on $300!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Don't you just love it?

I love stirring up the pot and getting people to think, to feel and to express. I've had a bit of criticism about my blog recently and despite what people may think, I love it! It means people are reading what I write.

I must admit, I did get a little upset by the mysterious comment from 'anon' a few weeks ago though. I'm all for free speech, and I'm definitely one who endorses freedom of opinion and freedom of expression. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be a blogger! What did upset me though was the lack of courage that 'anon' displayed. After all, if you have something to say, don't be afraid to say it. More importantly though, don't be afraid to own your words.

If you feel strongly enough about something, then say it. Tell everyone. But screw what they might think! What they think doesn't matter in the slightest. It's true. What matters most is that you've been strong enough and confident enough in yourself to be able to express what is important to you.

Controversy is good. Debate is good. Difference of opinion is good. Being able to express everything that is important to you, AND put your name to it, is even better! Be true to who you are. Don't be afraid to rock the boat. Don't be afraid to create a little bit of upheaval or a bit of controversy. And don't be afraid to be the one that starts it.

To me that's the most exciting part!

Bring it on!

It's that gypsy blood again...

The gypsy in me has gone and made me buy a caravan. Not just any caravan either. Nope... This little beauty is about four hours north of here, is about 50 years old, and is in dire need of some TLC!

Don't you think she's cute though?

I'm already imagining what we'll be able to do with her. Obviously we need to work out a way to get her home first, but when we do, I think she's going to become a beautiful labour of love. The other half of this little gypsy duo wants to do her up and sell her, but I have a feeling I might become a little attached during her make-over and want to keep her.

I've been scouring vintage caravan websites and my mind is over-flowing with decorating ideas. Do we go retro? Do I try and sneak in a little bit of shabby chic? Do we stick with keeping her original? Or do we go totally modern?

I love this look, but I think Mr Gypsy might find it a bit too girly.

Then again, I love this too. Maybe this might be more his style?

One thing I do know for sure though.... This is going to be fun!!!