09 July 2008

A two hour drive to have lunch...

Yep, that's what I did yesterday in the foulest weather imaginable. How it started was that the director of the company for whom I type from home, emailed me and said he was on the Sunshine Coast and thought a get together with others in the area would be nice. He comes from Melbourne and was up here for the school holidays.

At first, I thought a two hour drive to go to lunch...nah. Then had second thoughts...why not? If I stay home I'd only work and I'd much rather be lunching. Anyway, it was an opportunity to put faces to names. We communicate remotely but have never met. So when Paul emailed the restaurant address and time, I accepted.

I woke yesterday to a grey, rainy day. Don't get me wrong, it's good to get the rain, but this was the fourth day in a row and I would have liked a nice fine day for the drive up to Mooloolaba. The Sunshine Coast is a 90 minute drive from Brisbane, but as I live approximately 40 minutes' drive south west of Bris, it was going to take the best part of two hours...and that was using the motorway/freeway system. What the hell...I set off.

Onto the Mount Lindesay Highway, then the Logan Toll Road and after that the Gateway Motorway. There was road work going on in a couple of places, but traffic was light and relatively well behaved. Through the toll plaza on the Gateway Bridge and I met all the trucks going north. I was doing 100 kph...the legal speed limit...but they roared past me as if I were standing still and I would get the back wash...literally, all over my car, which is quite small. Saved me cleaning it, I guess.

I finally hit the Bruce Highway and a convoy of three Aldi trucks roared past. Now the road was laid with that smooth asphalt which is shiny and which holds the water so it's like driving through a lake and when anything passes, spray is flung up onto the windscreen. I had the windscreen wipers on their fastest speed, the heater on to stop the interior fogging up and the radio going to listen out for any hold ups. Surprisingly, there weren't any. The Gateway Motorway has bingles every day...but yesterday there were none, much to my relief.

I left home at 10 am and arrived at Mooloolaba at 12 pm. Lunch wasn't until 12.30 pm so I looked around the shops. I could have spent heaps but because I only had half-an-hour, and that's not nearly enough time to shop properly, I restrained myself.

Paul (director) and Mike (the Sales side of the company) and their families arrived at Casablanca (the restaurant) just after I did and then some of the other ladies arrived. One lady, Lorraine, I had known for the last 10 years but neither of us realised we worked for NTS. So it was really good to catch up again. I met another Robyn, two Julies and two Helens, plus Lorna and Maya.

We had a lovely lunch and I made sure I'd brought plenty of cash with me because I wasn't going to stint myself. I ordered a glass of Chardonnay, which came in a red wine glass (the big one) and was about 3/4 full. Bloody hell, I thought, I have yet to drive back home. Oh well, I can't waste it...so I drank it, albeit very slowly and of course, I had my meal. Now that was delicious. Flathead fillets in a light beer batter with chips and a lovely green salad...oh yum, it was perfectly cooked. What made it even nicer was that NTS picked up the bill for lunch! I could have gone shopping...

We all chattered, laughed and compared notes on some of the specialists we type for and came to a unanimous decision about one guy...we all hate his work. He talks at top speed and slurs his words together, yet Paul said when talking to him on the phone, he's as clear as a bell. Pity he couldn't be that clear when dictating a report. Then there are a few registrars from one of the big hospitals in another state that, after you decipher and interpret what they are saying, you check your medical insurance...to make sure it's up to date!

We had a lovely afternoon and it was really good to be able to place who people are now. Mike gave us all a coffee mug with the NTS logo on it, plus a slogan that, when we took the first letter of each word spelt FECETS...with a little imagination we decided this would make a wonderful expletive..especially when Paul instant messaged any of us to do a horrible dictator...fecets!

It's wonderful what a glass of wine does with people's creativity.

I left about 3.30 pm for the drive back home and because the weather had cleared up, not sunny, but not raining either...I actually made it home in 90 minutes and that was keeping to the legal speed limit, too! I did see a couple of flashes from a speed camera on the other side of the Bruce Highway, and it reminded me to look at my speed...it's 110 kph on the Bruce, but it's easy to get up to 120 without realising. Actually if the camera had gone off on the way up to Mooloolaba, because of the foul weather, I wouldn't have known and as I say, it's easy to let your speed creep up. I hope I don't receive a photo of my car, along with a fine, from Queensland Transport in the next week or so...

So, that's what I did yesterday...beats working anytime.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I like “FECETS.” I must find a way to use it…perhaps the next time Alex puts his claws in my leg to get my attention?

Merle said...

Dear Robyn ~~ Glad you had a nice lunch and afternoon. So it was worth
the drive, even on a wet day.
I see Warren has posted the Colonoscopy thingo. Your flowers are nice in the previous post. Take care
Robyn, Love, Merle.

Flip Flop Floozie said...

Robyn, I thought that you were retired...Hm!! Did i get that wrong?
Glad you had a great time.


Merle said...

Hi again Robyn ~~ Thanks for the visit and glad you liked the post.
I liked your Oscar Wilde quote-thanks
I think my favourite is Mark Twain.
Enjoy the last day of the week and then have a good weekend. Take care,
Love, Merle.

Walker said...

Sounds like a drive worth taking and the free lunch is a bonus.
As you said it beats staying home and working when you can hook up with people you know and never met.

I know what you mean about the tractor trailers that haul good. When they pass you your car seems to move sideways lol

Peter said...

Hi Robyn, hey you were more than half way to Gympie and didn't come to see me!!!!
Sure was wet, glad you made it safely.

Jeanette said...

Hi Robyn, Ugh Oh how I hate to be on the hwyways in the rain with transports thowing up all the water. but pleased it was worthwhile and a pleasant day was had..

RennyBA said...

So glad you had a great time and I do agree:
A glass of wine often makes the different :-)

Wishing you a great end to your week!

Elaine said...

Just come across your blog, but wondered if you knew that Air Conditioning on with the temperature to high gets rid of misting more quickly than anything else.

Liz said...

It sounds like you had a lovely time and it was worth the drive.

PEA said...

Places are so far apart over here, it's nothing to drive two hours just to have lunch! lol I've seen myself drive 2 hours to have coffee! hehe Sounds like a wonderful time. I was interested in the speed camera you mentioned...we don't have that here yet but there's talk that they want to bring that into effect. Right now the police use radar guns which will pick up what speed you're going and if you're speeding, they have to come after you and stop you to give you the ticket. If we do end up having it your way, I'm afraid I might be getting quite a few photos of my car and fine, in the mail! lol xoxo