AND so another year draws to a close and Christmas is upon us once again.
It comes around all too fast these days, something to do with age I guess.
Remember when you were young and school holidays would seem to last forever?
The downside was that school terms lasted even longer.
We only had three back then as well. Kids today don't know how lucky they are.
It's been a mixed year for us.
First my uncle Sam passed away, then mum and only six weeks later, my auntie Bev - virtually a family wiped out in 12 months with only my uncle Bill left, long may he live!
Our Steve's car blew up and the gas repairer with whom the fault lay, refused compensation.
Eight months later and a visit to VCAT got him $1000 - not much but a moral victory at least.
In the process of finding him a new set of wheels we came across an honest used car salesman, normally a contradiction in terms. Merry Christmas to you, Steve Victor. The Statesman Caprice is still running like a charm.
We did the holiday up to Kingscliff and the Ford Territory cost us $2500 in failed repairs. The root of the problem was the engine mounts, followed by eBay aftermarket mounts.
In the end, in desperation I called Autobarn. They supplied us with Ford copies at $150 each - as opposed to $530. It's easy to get hooked on eBay and forget about your local retailer who can often match, or in this case beat anything on the WWW.
I gave away the roadside mail run and opted for handymanning and now I'm old and sore all over instead of just on my bum.
While you lot are enjoying your Christmas break, I'll be rejuvenating a house for a couple who want to put it on the market post haste.
That'll teach me to crow to you lot when I was slothing it beachside last March!
I/we have lived on mum's property for 22 years in a separate home that we have tipped a considerable amount of money into. With mum's passing and a brother and sister with claim, we have no choice but to sell and move on.
Where to from here is anybody's guess but things are a bit unsettled at the moment.
Still, we remain positive about the future. We are in the final throes of proceeding with OziwA, an idea we've had for pop-top caravans for a couple of years.
This should be on the market in the new year.
I have also just about finished collating and re-editing my Life with Kermie columns from the past six years, added some pics and will be publishing it soon as an E-Book on Amazon - $9.99 will get you 70,000 words of my wisdom(?) to read on your E-book, computer, tablet or phone while you are sitting on the side of the road obeying your log book.
Can you think of a worse way to fill in your time? I'll let you know when it is released and maybe you will consider purchasing a copy and I just may be able to keep the family home.
May you all have the best Christmas ever with your loved ones.
If you're on the road working, as many of you will be, please remember they want you back home in one piece at the end of your trip.
Mark in January 9 and 10 for the Geelong Classic Truck and Machinery Show. Saturday, Jan 23, is the Koroit Truck Show, which has prizes valued at more than $10,000 to give to the various winning categories.
Surely that's an inducement to take your Pride and Polished to a terrific part of Victoria and mix it with Shirl, Graeme and the rest of the locals. See you there.
From Rita and I and Ours to You and Yours, merry Christmas!
- I love youse all, Kermie
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