Good Gabble Newzine first started distribution around Australia in both hardcopy and e-newzine in February 2010. Each month Good Gabble celebrates all things positive. You can learn more about this innovative and exciting newzine and subscribe at http://goodgabble.blogspot.com. Join us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Good-Gabble-Newzine/255402333689?ref=mf

In March 2010 Good Gabble hit the road, being produced and published around Australia, whilst its founders spread the message of positivity and shared stories of the good nature of the Australian people and business's.

This is the adventure of one magazine, two co-founders and a family who had a dream of a world where positivity is the norm and the negativity of the mainstream media is long forgotten.

Here they share their journey. From the idea of a newzine, to the people they meet, the sites they see and the positivity they hear. This is the story of how one dream can change the lives of many and how a little positivity can create a chain of never ending hope.

Gabbling Around Australia - One Dream, One Goal, One Land.

Where have we been?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Trials Of Life

   Life! An amazing journey that we are all blessed to experience. Without it we would not exist. There are parts of this amazing journey that try us to our limit. They push us and pull us, they cause stress and grief but when over are quickly forgotten. There is a message in all that happens within our lives and it is during the moment that we often cannot see it. Events in our lives often cause us to take paths we may not have chosen but paths that we are blessed to have experienced.

Good Gabble arrived at Taree NSW a couple of weeks before Christmas where we planned to spend time with family before moving on. As the new year emerged it was obvious that events were to take place that would try our patience, our finances and our plans.

 The 30th January saw myself tear a ligament in my ankle which has meant time on crutches, a lot of sitting around, a lot of pain and a lot of patience. Samantha would also say a lot of patience on her behalf as she became my legs, looking after the family and attending to tasks. Without her life would have been a lot more difficult, I am ever grateful.

Today my leg is healing very slowly. I am still limited to what I can do but am up walking around. During this time I learnt a lot about myself. I learnt that I am not good at sitting still and become very frustrated when I must do so for long periods of time. I cope better with pain than I do being immobolized. With the pain and the frustration came the inability to focus and concentrate on the task of Good Gabble, another obstacle I had to deal with, forcing myself to focus and write.

  Within a week of my ankle injury we experienced another blow with the break down of our car. First incident was that of failure of the auto transmission which, to us, came at a high financial cost. This started with the stress of blocking traffic in the main street of the shopping centre, a tow to the local Ford dealer, and another tow to another mechanic.

Within a couple of hours of having the transmission repaired and returned to us we were to break down yet again, this time an issue with the throttle within the computer. This lead to the same tow truck driver picking up the car, he surely had a smile on his face and laughter in his voice. Another cost, a phone call to collect the car and yet another issue. This time we did not even leave the mechanics yard before it preformed the same computer issue.

  Today we sit at the caravan park with the mechanic scratching his head as to what the problem is and a huge dent in our pocket, which is to yet get bigger.

  So life has thrown all its trials at us to start our year.  I smile as I write this as time has passed and I have collected my thoughts and come to term with our change of plans. The car has taught me the value of what we have. We take for granted our day to day living and all we are blessed to have. Without them it opens our eyes up to our life, our expectations, our desires and our needs. With a sore ankle and no car we have had to approach life from a different angle, seeing the world from the perspective of those who are not as lucky as we are.

  We have been blessed to have all of this happen in a place where we are comfortable and have made some lovely friends. We have set camp at Twilight Caravan Park in Taree where the owners are friendly, vibrant and a pleasure to speak with each day. Nothing is too hard and there is always time for a smile and chat. We chat with some of the permanent residence who are friendly and come from all walks of life, yet relate and accept each other for who they are. We have become close friends with a family who have set base for twelve months whilst there son complete's year 12. Like us they choose a life of working and wandering around Australia, travelling with their Markets On The Move truck.

  So when life throws a few challenges your way, and it pours instead of rains, please remember that their is a rainbow coming your way. Our journey in this world would not be complete without these challenges as they are what make us who we are and help our world go around.

Live well......Love well......Laugh often.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank You

I would like to take a moment to thank all our writers, contributors and suppliers of competition prizes for their support during the first year of Good Gabble. Without your support, loyalty and good will our newzine would not come together each month as smoothly and positively as it does.

All at Good Gabble look forward to continuing a working relationship and friendship based on support, understanding and unity over the coming years.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What a month!

The end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 has surely been a month that has tried to dampen our spirits and push us to the limit.

Basing ourselves in Taree NSW, near family, for the Christmas break we were all excited and geared up to welcome in a new year. With the belief that 2011 is going to be a year of change, positivity and better things we enjoyed a Christmas day with family and organised to see in the new year the same way.

December the 30th saw myself trip in a dip in the ground whilst carrying my three year old. As my ankle twisted I felt an immense pain and found myself sitting on the floor feeling violently ill. Samantha soon rushed to my aid and I hobbled back to our caravan to ice the ankle. A trip to the hospital to have the ankle seen was of no help as I was told there was a six hour wait and it was strongly suggested I go home. I have hobbled on crutches for over a week, seen a doctor twice and am awaiting an ultrasound as the 28th January was the closest appointment I could get. With my ankle still very sore and swollen I am very grateful for the help of Samantha and Alexander. Upon saying this we did not let an injury dampen our New Year spirit. We had a lovely evening on the banks of the Manning River in Taree where we spent time with family and enjoyed the fireworks.

As the first two weeks of January challenged all at Good Gabble we were yet to know that the biggest blow, stressfully and financially, was yet to come. On the 14th January our faithful Ford Falcon, which has got us around Australia for the past 12 months, decided that it could go on no more. Over the period of a week it was telling us it had problems and needed to doctor. As we drove it would stall for no apparent reason. This was happening intermittently so that by the time we called road service or got it to a mechanic it was not doing it. The message we received - "Until we see it happen we cannot fix it" This I can totally appreciate but it is of no comfort to myself now as I sit in the caravan park with my car at the doctors. Eventually the auto transmission could go on no more. Stranded in the main street of Taree a tow truck was our only option. An expensive repair job that is well into the $5000 mark we now face the challenge of raising the money to repair the vehicle and then wonder how reliable the vehicle will be to allow us to continue our journey as we use secondhand parts. The cost of a new motor vehicle, at this stage, is one we cannot even consider covering.

So do we allow these two situations, and a bad start to a new year, dampen our spirits? Not at all. We hold our head high and we tackle each day as it comes.The kind people at RAA have covered us for a hire vehicle for 5 days so we have had a car short term. As of Monday we will not have a car until we raise the funds to have ours repaired but will cope the best way that we can.

This situation is one that means that we will not be continuing on our travels for possible six months but we are safe and healthy and we have a caravan park to stay in.

We are far better off than many who are experiencing the floods. We see ourselves lucky. Our thoughts are with those who have lost more.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rain, Rain And More Rain = Flood

It seems not that long ago that the attention was on the terrible drought that Australia was in yet this week we have witness what is definitely a break in any drought. We have waded our way through more water than I have seen in a very long time. We have sat and watched dark black cloud after dark black cloud roll in and burst.

Our week spent in Dubbo was eagerly anticipated as we had arranged a visit and interview with the keeper of the Black Rhino breeding program at the zoo, along with an interview with artist Bill O'Shea. Although it was not that long ago that we were in Dubbo we hoped to do a lot of sight seeing and pick up positive stories along the way. Instead we have soaked up water and dodged rain drops.

On Thursday evening we noticed that the caravan park we were staying in, which is luckily 5kms out of town, was filling up quickly. On Friday morning a permanent resident of the park approached me and asked if I was considering going into town. He stated that they had closed most of the street and that I may wish to leave early as traffic was chaotic. I had planned the day at the van in order to do a phone interview and organise articles so was not too concerned. What did concern me was the fact that the next day was the zoo visit...would we get through.

Forgetting about the warning of traffic we headed off for our zoo interview on Friday morning allowing ourselves the 15 minutes it would take. As I turned out of the caravan park I soon realised it was going to take a little longer as the traffic came to a roaring halt. Patiently we waited and 45 minutes later made it to our destination. With the sun trying to greet us with its presence, but black clouds lingering, we did manage to meet with the Black Rhino zoo keeper and have a wonderful interview ( The full story will be published in January Good Gabble).We enjoyed the zoo, bog and all, for a couple of hours before the lingering cloud burst, in a big way, and washed us out.

Saturday afternoon I received a call from a family member asking me if we were ok as they had heard a caravan park in Dubbo had been evacuated and was under water. I quickly looked it up on the internet to find that it was the park we usually stayed at and at the last minute I had changed my mind as it was $2 a night more expensive. At the time I wondered if I was being a penny pincher but am now glad I went with my gut feeling. 

A drive into town this afternoon showed just how bad things were. All roads leading into town are closed. We parked our car, along with all the other sightseer's, and walked along the bridge that goes over the Macquarie river. It is hard to believe that everything can just disappear under meters of water so quickly. The carpark, where Sam parked and I left her to sit with the others whilst I grabbed a few groceries just the day before, has been replaced by a river, right to the door of Coles. The cabins in the caravan park are nowhere to be seen, completely submerged along with the office where the owners of the park reside. Houses in the surrounding area have been evacuated, outside chairs and items placed on tables to get them up higher.

What amazes me is the risk that people put themselves at during this time when the SES are already stressed to the max. Teenagers, in particular, choose to swim in the flowing flood waters fully aware, due to media anouncements, that brown snakes are in the water and are deadly. Emergency crews can be seen everywhere. Police patrol every street, the fire brigade whizz past with sirens blaring, RTA monitors stand on the corner of the streets and SES trucks, with lights flashing, dodge the traffic. It may be acknowledged as a natural disaster but there is nothing natural about the feel and mood in the air. If it was not for the tireless work of these volunteers and paid men and women this situation would not be as under control as it is, yet individuals continue to play with their lives and risk the lives of others for a thrill and fun.

With further storms and a lot more rain expected over the next two days Dubbo is preparing themselves for further flooding due to the release of overflow from a dam upstream. Surrounding suburbs of Gilgandra, Coonamble and Dunedoo are also experiencing the worst flooding in a long time. We are meant to leave here on Tuesday and travel through Gilgandra but at this current time the highway is closed going in both directions so this may not be possible.

So how are we coping in all this rain and flood. As I write this on the Saturday we are to the point where we feel as though we may be going mad. The van has leaked in a few places due to the amount of rain and is starting to get the musty smell about it. The tent leaks at the front and back door and the mattresses need drying with the heater each day as the water seeps through the floor. I have run out of dry clean towels to soak up the water and the mud in the van. To wash clothes is impossible as to get a dryer to put them in is the challenge and at $3 a go, which does not dry the clothes so you need at least $6, who can afford it. Add the $3 a load to wash on top of that and it makes for very expensive clean clothes. The washing is what is annoying me the most as sheets, towels, you name it, become wet and soggy. With four people, a dog and a kitten in a 12 foot van you can imagine how we feel.

I no longer wear shoes as I walk around outside as they just become bogged with water as the ground squelches under your feet and you sink in ankle deep. The weather is very humid and to add to the feeling of being sticky we are never dry as a trip to the bathroom leads to a soaked body.

But above all who is complaining. We have not lost our home or items. We have not been evacuated and our lives uprooted. We are safe, mostly dry and we have plenty of food. A little inconvenienced yes, but nothing compared to what some are going through. Above all we are just embracing the experience knowing that it will eventually end for us, we will move onto another town and will take our story with us.

The affects of this flood are devastating, with the loss of money, livelihood and belongings evident. My heart goes out to the farmers who have already suffered enough yet now loose their crops. The NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, has been reported as estimating that up to $500 million has been wiped off the value of crops already*. Luckily, so far, there have been no reports of loss of life. 

It will take the people of Dubbo months to repair the damage once the flood waters have gone down, right on top of the festive season, but with a motto of 'time to smile' I am sure they will unite, get behind each other and put it in their past.

I wish to take this moment to thank the SES, emergency services and volunteers who have worked around the clock making sure that everyone else is safe. They are all worth their weight in gold.

Take a pictorial journey of the flood at: http://samlophotography.blogspot.com

*SMH December 5, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Even The Frogs Want To Come Inside

Even the frogs want to come inside
The rain keeps pouring, wetting my hide
Puddles hug ankles, mud in the toes
Drains they run free, to China who knows?

The rain keeps on pouring, wetting my hide
The soil holds no more, my van my abode
Move on the lay man, frogs just ignore
Puddles hug ankles, hey that is all

The soil holds no more, my van my abode
Squelch can be heard as feet hit the ground
Puddles hug ankles, hey that is all
Where are the ants? I suppose they drowned

Squelch can be heard as feet hit the ground
The dog won't pee, the ground makes a sound
Where are the ants? I suppose they drowned
The washing piles up, nudity grand

The dog won't pee, the ground makes a sound
Stuck in the van with no where to go
The washing piles up, nudity grand
Send out the dove to search for dry land

Stuck in the van with nowhere to go
Coffee the plan so I don't go mad
Send out the dove to search for dry land
With floods all around, nowhere to go

Coffee the plan, so I don't go mad
The river has risen, move your van
with floods all around, nowhere to go
think I'm stuck in Dubbo, not my plan

© Jennifer Deaves

Inspired by and dedicated to my green froggy friend who I enjoyed a morning shower with during the floods in Dubb, December 2010.

view more frog photo's at http://samlophotography.blogspot.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Free Camping Experience

   As I've travelled over the years I have watched overseas backpackers travelling on next to no income and wondered how they did it. I  listened to their experiences with awe, wondering if I would ever be game enough to give it a go. As the years have gone on I have also noticed that 'free camping' has taken off with more and more travellers becoming self sufficient, choosing to keep their money in their own pocket.Well for five days we did just that - kept our money in our pockets and become an overseas backpacker for the week.

  For five days we went without paying for a camp site and without paying for power. We have kept our cost to the minimum, saving every cent possible. What an experience it was. It was uplifting and character building.......Do we really need to use power every day? Have we become to reliant on our mobile phone and creature comforts?

   As the years of travelling have passed I have seen backpackers pull into unpowered sites. which can save them more than $5 per night, and still take advantage of power to charge their electrical items. Visit any ammenities block in any caravan park and you are sure to find the mobile phones, ipods and lap tops of overseas tourists plugged into the power points, charging whilst they shower and attend to their needs. Have a meal at the camp kitchen and you are sure to find the same thing.

  There are many options for lighting, from that of gas lighting to taking advantage of the lights in the camp kitchen, around the park and at the barbeque area. Want to save even more money, wash by hand. Even better help the environment and save water by washing your clothes by hand whilst in the shower.

  Save even more money, stay away from caravan parks altogether, and take advantage of the many rest area's around Australia. Many times we have stopped in rest area's and had wonderful chats with overseas tourists as they light up the gas to boil the billy or cook up the 2 minute noodles. Grey Nomad's have now joined the party.

  So our goal for the five days.....do as others do......free camp all the way.

  We spent five days travelling from Mt Duneen Victoria to Dubbo NSW without spending any money on accomodation, showers, water, power or washing of clothes.

  Here is how we did it.

  Day one - Grass Tree Rest Area.

  The first night we were very lucky and fell upon a gold mine of a rest area on the highway outside Seymour which had two power points......and flushing clean toilets. We pulled in at lunch time with the plan for a break to eat and ended up staying the night.

  Whilst eating our lunch Alex pointed out that the man under the other barbeque shelter was using his lap top plugged into power. POWER! was my reply and the search for power under the shelter we were at began. With no luck I soon set of to have a chat with this lovely gentleman. There were two power points, which we later discovered were there to service the holiday stop revive survive lions club cuppa vans. The gentleman had his van plugged into one and his lap top into the other but was more than happy to give up a power point for us to use. His wife and himself had stayed the previous night and were enjoying the rest so had decided to stay another.

   I quickly moved the van so our power lead would reach, plugged in and then, using the external power socket on the outside of my van, ran another lead and power board into the sheltered area. We shared our power board with our new gentleman friend and we all had a wonder afternoon of computers. That evening we sat and talked of our travel experiences.

  With our van carrying enough water to last us a week and power to boil the kettle we had a comfortable night and  a good rest.  Free electric barbeques were provided at this rest area so it was a barbie for dinner. That evening we sat and talked of our travel experiences. The next morning as we said goodbye to our new friends, who had only just began their journeys having only been travelling 3 months, we were sure we would meet them somewhere down the road again.

    Free power and new friends.....what more could one ask for.

 Night two - No free power but plenty of light and a flushing toilet 20 km outside of Junee NSW. This is the second time we have stopped the night at this rest area. The ammenities are clean and well looked after and their is plenty of lighting to be taken advantage of and for security.

   We spent the afternoon laughing, sharing, drawing and cooking pasta on our gas cooker. We took photo's and shared memories of times past. With no power when it got dark we went to sleep. When the sun rose we awoke and pulled out the gas cooker again. For breakfast we served Semolina, hot chocolates and coffee, toast made on the frypan and fried eggs......a feast fit for a king.

    It is possible to stay clean without a shower. Each morning and each night during free camping we would boil the kettle on the gas cooker and fill the plastic wash basin. A good sponge down does just as well as a shower. Brush the teeth and you are feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world.

  Day three and four -  The beginning of day three saw us drive to West Wyalong where we were lucky enough to get a free shower at the local road house. I was expecting to have to pay a few dollars, as most roadhouses charge around $2 a shower but when I enquired I found they were free. Like the overseas travellers we grabbed a power board and all of our rechargable items and made use of the power in the ammenities.

Later that afternoon we again fell upon a wonderful free short term stay spot along the river at Forbes NSW. This spot is a large grass area provided by the council. There is no power or ammenties as it is sign posted that all caravans and motorhomes must be self sufficient, but they do provide water and bins. We do not have ammenities within our van but did not find this an issue as it was only a short walk to the ammenities at the local lions club park.....forward planning was all that was required and exercise was an added reward......and when you leave it a little late Penelope Pee Bucket to the rescue.


  We loved this spot and the serenity it offered that we decided to stay two nights. We left the car and van at the free camp on the second day and took a walk across the other side of the river into town. We actually ended up doing this twice as we forgot an item the first time. Besides this we again took photo's, explored, wrote and did a lot of chatting. On the last afternoon we had a wonderful couple of hours decorating our car and van with the spirit of Christmas and laughing at the looks on the faces of passers by. Our car is now Rudolph with our van a sleigh full of positive cheer. We have since driven to Dubbo with our decorations and will continue to spread our Christmas cheer right up to Christmas day.

 Day five - A rest area 14 kilometres outside of Dubbo. By this time we had exhausted our battery life on our note books and our mobiles. The day was one of the wettest I have seen in a long time so we pulled over just after lunch.  What to do when 4 humans of various ages, a dog and a cat are stuck in a small 12 foot van for hours on end.......more laughter, chatting, sharing and fun. I completed a find a word, the first in many years and we all read books. I read to Celeste and we played match box cars. We played with the kitten and cuddled the dog. We cooked, ate and took the dog, and Celeste, for a run in between showers. Time soon went by and it was dark...no lights....goodnight.

   You may wonder how we coped without a fridge since we didn't have power. No problem. Milk comes in a powdered form that only need be made up in the amount required at the time. If you want to eat it then it probably can be found in a tin. Think about how hungry you are before you cook....cook only what you are going to eat......or  feed left overs to the dog. Only buy your fresh food as you are going to use it. We found that the only thing we missed having was a really cold drink as a couple of our free camp days were really hot but this was easy to overcome by a trip to the closest shop. Need be the old esky and ice will always do the trick.

  To me the most rewarding and fun part of our free camping were the ones where we did not have the power. No power really takes you back to basics. Without computers we definitely had to amuse ourselves and pull out all 'the old tricks' We spent heaps more quality time together and definitely laughed more, if that is possible in this family. Don't get me wrong, without my computer, technology and power this message I send to you would not be possible. Free camping helped me be more thankful for what I have and also made me realise that it can rule our lives and stand between us and our family and friends. Time away from it does not do us harm but enriches our lives.

Could I live without my computer? yes, I did not miss it one bit but of course would get not be able to complete Good Gabble without it. For me personally technology adds extra stress and takes me away from time I would like to spend with my kids....that is if they didn't have their heads in their technical world.

Could I live without power? Definitely. After a day or two you really just get into the swing of a different way of life and don't really notice it. You start to listen to your body and nature. We do not wear watches but rely on our mobiles and computers for the time. Without them we had no idea what the time was. Without power we had no lighting.....except the torch or candle.......so retired with nature and rose when she called.

  We had a great five days and hope to use free camping a lot more in our future travels. We helped do a little for the environment by using less power and resources and made some new friends. We experienced a new way of living.....one that was done long ago but has since been forgotten.

   If you ever get the chance leave the power and shower behind and get out there and be at one with nature....you will be suprised at the difference it makes to how you feel at the end of the day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A week in Nelson Vic

   Tuesday saw us leave Nelson Victoria after a quiet week of work and relaxation. We had a lovely stay at RiverVu Caravan park which is situated overlooking the Glenelg river. Each morning as I stepped from my tent I was blessed with a view of water, fishing boats, pelican's and seagulls.

   Nelson is a lovely town that, although the caravan park is bustling with people, has a laid back fisherman feel to it. The town, consisting of a hotel and corner shop come post office, really does not have a lot to offer but draws the holiday makers just the same. Sitting on the border of SA and Vic, 34 kilometres from Mt Gambier, all that is required is a short drive away.

Nelson Hotel

  Although the weather was not good to us, with only one sunny day and six that were cold and wet, we enjoyed our stay all the same. We have been able to get the December issue of Good Gabble to near finish point putting us right on schedule after the previous month of computer malfunctions. We did manage to get a couple of hours of beach time in, were I wrapped the towel around myself and shivered whilst the children dug and dug. Although chilly there was still a lot of laughter. There has been plenty of walking the dog along the Glenelg river and time spent swinging in the park.

   Whilst at Nelson I had the pleasure of meeting Brenton Manser www.brentonmanser.com.au  and his son Jesh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7_KYPcaRlk. Both are fine musicians with Brenton using music to tell stories of the past and Jesh playing the electric violin. Keep an eye on future issues of Good Gabble for articles on these very talented men.

   So this week we drive along the Great Ocean Road.....here's hoping for warmth and sunshine but regardless we will not let the weather dampen our spirit whilst on 'the road to positivity'

View Sam's photo's of Nelson at http://samlophotography.blogspot.com