Flan’s Van

Sean Flanagan, 1029 Hot Tomato’s Breakfast Announcer and lover of camping tested out a New Age Caravan with his family over the Queensland winter school holidays. Check out the video and his thoughts on what is now known as Flan’s Van! 

We recently lived in the New Age Road Owl caravan for a week of the Queensland school holidays, where we escaped to northern New South Wales.

This was our first time in a caravan, and we couldn’t be more impressed with the whole experience. The New Age Road Owl was a perfect size for the Flanagan family, we only needed two of the three spacious bunks to sleep on, so the other was handy for resting our guitars! Not that we needed the extra storage room – all the creature comforts you’d expect to find in a prestige van, this van had.

Due to a bit of rain across our break, we ended up spending quite a bit of time inside, in absolute comfort. It was nothing like an above ground submarine at all. The van was spacious, bright and airy – words I never thought I’d say together.

We stayed dry and toasty while relaxing, ukulele-ing and watching movies on the queen-size bed, and we loved every second of it. Even though it was very cold outside, we were always snuggly and warm, without having to turn on the aircon much at all.

The extensive kitchen facilities were fantastic. Drinks were kept cool in the 164litre fridge, and the microwave, well that got a fair workout with leftovers from a slow cooker that we were able to store under the outdoor canopy. Tea and toast was so easy!  Even though we were dying to test out the oven, we decided to leave it new and sparkly for whoever snaps up this terrific van at the upcoming Gold Coast Expo.

Photo by Lisa Flanagan

My wife Lisa loved the full ensuite featuring a shower and toilet because it meant no trips to the amenities block after dark.  I loved that too, just quietly!

The whole experience was really easy, comfy and fun. We hope whoever buys this New Age Road Owl Caravan at the upcoming Gold Coast Expo at the end of this month has as much great family time as we did.

When you take it home you’ll also have an instant visitor’s room for Christmas or you can disappear in the Flan Van so the extended family can’t find you, and that’s when the aircon would be brilliant this summer.

Big, big thanks to New Age!

The Flanagans.

Photo by Lisa Flanagan


This post was sponsored by New Age Caravans Gold Coast


Get Set for the Games

EMILY JADE on how she got set for the games

In my pregnant state I will pretty much do anything for a piece of cake and so when my husband Gerard who owns a small business here on the Gold Coast asked me to attend a workshop with him with free cakes and pastries I told him I’d do anything for him and my love of cake.

EJ and Gerard get set for the games

The workshop was called ‘Get Set for the Games’ and the point of it was to work out an operating plan for his business MouldMen during the Commonwealth Games. His office is really close to Carrara Stadium and a lot of the main roads that will be used for the Games. We knew it would be wise to get all the information we could so MouldMen doesn’t come to a standstill, we have wages to pay and a mortgage of our own so we need to protect that. I know we are not the only business in the same boat here on the coast.

The workshop was small, with only about 40 other people in the room and went for about an hour and a half, and of course had free cake…… and fruit but mainly cake.

It was great that it was small and intimate because after we were presented with all the facts about the 11 days of the Games, we then got some one on one time with the experts in the room. This was really valuable to us because we were able to present information like where all our staff are travelling from each day to get to work, where they travel during the day for work, and how they would be getting home. With that and other information they were able to put the microscope on each day of the games for us and our daily business needs and work out what days to travel, what days to avoid and a few other tips to make everyone’s lives easier and ensure the business still makes a turn over in that time.

Get set for the games workshop

I was surprised when I realised it would also help me to and from work each day because Hot Tomato is right in the middle of it. I hadn’t even thought about it, which is silly because I work in the media and have been banging on on-air about it for weeks. I’ll be fine getting to work with the early starts, but getting home I’ll need to know what days to drive where because we are right near the Aquatic Centre which will be pumping.

So this is what we are planning to do, and it might help you out as well.

  • For the games period we are only doing emergency jobs on the Gold Coast. Our Gold Coast Technicians are also going to focus on helping out the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast guys, its only 7 working days so they will be fine with that and all get along with each other and like the catch up and change of scenery.
  • Our Gold Coast support staff is going to work from home. Modern technology means they can dial in from home and work in their PJ’s if they like. They are sweet with that and in fact are a little excited to not have to factor travel into their day, especially because its school holidays so they can stay home with the kids and not have to worry about paying for school holiday programs. A big win for them.
  • On that, some of the staff have opted to take holidays for all or some of the time because they want to take the kids to events.  It’s a once in a lifetime event for our city and they are super keen to be a part of it, and we are happy to accommodate that.
  • We are going to chill. By that I mean we now have such a big appreciation for how big and organised the Games are going to be and how much good it is doing, and will do for the coast. Just think of all the new road works that have been completed because of Games dollars and are already a big success.  11 days of a little disruption is nothing compared to what we have gained. So if our guys are a little late for work, so be it, if we need to factor longer travel times for jobs, so be it, and if things go pear shaped on a day or two we won’t sweat it.  We will manage it and remind ourselves it’s only 11 days of pain for a lot of gain.

I hope this has helped you a little bit and if you head to a workshop near you I’m sure you will find that not only do they serve cake, but getting around during the Games will be a piece of cake, with a bit of planning….. Like what I did there! But seriously, get set for the Games, it’s going to be awesome.

EJ xx

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Get Set for the Games


Medicare Card Number

Dear Medicare

Dear Medicare,

Over the past decade I’ve had more people peer up my vagina than I care to remember. Mostly with my husband by my side holding my hand. At first he was awkward about it, he would nervously look at the ultrasound screen, or my face, or even the photos on the wall, but never down between my legs where my doctor or scientist or nurses had their heads. 8 years later he’s a total pro, he is practically an expert, mainly on my reproductive system, but I have no doubt in the case of someone else’s vagina emergency he would know what to do.

You see Medicare, I have spent my 30’s trying to make a family but have been mostly unsuccessful. My husband and I have a 100% failure rate when it comes to IVF. We often high five our awesome accurateness at not achieving a pregnancy through it, and the ‘F’ word is banned in our house. FERTILE…it’s a F-ilthy word to me because I am so very very tired of the sadness, and heartbreak, and other men who are not my husband peering up my vagina.

Only last month after another failed round of IVF I finally had courage to share my despair. I introduced my followers to the May edition of Gerard and Emily’s un-excellent infertility adventure. I want to share it with you Medicare in the hope you may understand the repercussions of your possible decision to cut rebates for women over 35.

PHOTO: Supplied by Emily Jade

This little cell of hope was put in me, and my long-suffering aforementioned husband joked that it had my eyes and his nose. We also joked that this little dot of dreams would have the middle name of May. After the month we’d conceived and my beautiful Nana Mavis who was gentle and kind, attributes I’d hoped this part of my DNA would have. Even if it were a boy we laughed it would still be May. I also felt this was the one. Gerard was home by an hour before the transfer to hold my hand. Last transfer he was away overseas. We’d Face-timed during that transfer, hilariously his two mates were with him on the other end of the line. Their faces beamed into the transfer room and they got a bit of a shock when they saw more of me than they would normally want, but after 10 years of fertility treatment, what’s another few faces in the room when my legs are akimbo. They wished me luck and I wondered if this would be the fun story we would tell our future child, that 7 people were there that day. A doctor, a scientist, a nurse, your daddy, his two mates and me all hoping, wishing and praying you into existence. It wasn’t, so I really felt this would be the one. IVF is so down to timing and totally out of your control that surely him getting home right on the hour that this would be it. It wasn’t. Another month down the toilet literally, right before Mother’s Day, and during Infertility awareness week, the irony was not lost on me.

It was the 29th embryo we had lost and I have all the pictures from the ones that made it at least to the transfer stage. They mean so much to us; we love it so much, even when it fails.

So when I read headlines like “IVF limit for older women” I’m duly concerned. Medicare, I did not choose this life. I did not choose to have a disease that has done everything it can to stop me creating the family I so wanted. So why is my disease and its subsequent cure going to have its rebates cut? Would you do that for someone who has cancer at 80? Oh, they are pretty old, we shouldn’t give them chemo because, well, old!

I have spent a fortune on IVF, when I could have been spending that money on my mortgage, albeit a smaller more affordable house because I don’t have a dozen kids to fill it, but I work, pay taxes and I’m desperately trying to make more good little tax paying humans. The rebate barely touches the sides, but it helps, and I thank you for that. Please don’t take it away just because I’m older now. I have been trying my hardest.

I should point out that I have one perfect little miracle and despite all the effort and expense, she was conceived after a total ‘cut and polish’ of my endometriosis, one of the many I have had. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I know it, but my addiction to being her mum and loving every moment is also the reason why I’m finding it hard to give up trying, even at 40 where I know my chances are getting slimmer and slimmer. The irony being that despite all the statistic’s on women’s fertility after 40, I fell pregnant on my 40th birthday, the year I swore I was going to give up. My birthday pregnancy cruelly ended a week before Christmas, right as we were going to announce it to everyone, our Christmas gift to our family, a brother or sister for our 5 year old.

Now, 7 months into my 40’s the fire is back raging in my heart to try one more time.

One more time.

Infertiles like me know that saying well. Because that’s what we do, we try one more time, until the time is many. When people ask you how many times have you tried you know they want to know how many rounds of IVF you have done. But the truth is you have tried to make a baby every month since you started trying… so I have essentially tried 122 times, and will keep trying with or without medical help and well into my 40’s if I want to. So please Medicare, help me, don’t punish me, I have been punished enough.

Love Infertile Emily.

Kell's Ride

Flan: Support Kell’s Ride for the Future

Don’t blame me. Blame my kid’s kindy teacher for EJ’s accordion.

My kid’s beloved kindy teacher, Kerrie Larda, gave me two button accordians because she heard Emily Jade talking about them on 1029 Hot tomato.

One of them is beautiful. To look at. I thought I’d wait till EJ had a rough day and drop it on her then.

EJ wouldn’t stop playing it so “with Christo” dared her to play it in public. Well, of course the good egg accepted the challenge.

In order to get around the required 3 month busker’s licence, EJ played on private property at the invitation of The Pantry Café Burleigh who I’m sure are very nice and a little hard of hearing.

While EJ committed cold blooded yet well intentioned musical murder, a bloke came up to me and asked for a minute of my time.

His name is Greg Kelly. Greg has early onset dementia and it will take his life. I was truly struck by this bloke.

I played his story on the radio this morning and when I went to the servo on the way home, the owners of BP Southport, offered me $200 to fill Greg’s first tank of petrol.

Have a listen below and as proof that this took place as I say it did, you can hear EJ’s sonic crime scene in the background;

Now that you know Greg Kelly and that he’s trying to raise money for those that help dementia patients and shine a light on the plight, can I ask you to put a bit of gas in his tank?

Here’s a link to Greg’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/KellsRide/ and his Go Fund Me page if you would like to donate: GoFundMe.com/kells-ride-for-the-future.

Thanks. There’ll be a bit more to this story. Keep your eye out.


P.S. I said I’d let you know what Viv Richards thought about the question “Would 20/20 cricket make a great Commonwealth Games sport?” The greatest Batsman I have ever seen said “Yeah.”

P.S.S.S. So Just call me Scoopy McScooperton.

Flan tinny giraffe

Flan’s poll: Hoons in tinnies

Do you reckon that hoons in tinnies on our waterways speeding near swimming enclosures full of kids should get their tinny taken away from them and given to me?

I do.

This particular tinny had no sun shade on it but they’re not that dear. If I had this boat I’d love it more than the hoons.

I’d certainly be more responsible than the clowns in this boat last Sunday and I’d make sure I didn’t exceed 6 knots near people.

I’ve wanted one since I was a kid. The kids on the TV show flipper had one and I wanted to be them.

Please vote to impound their tinny and give it to me.

I’d be a responsible skipper on the waterways and I’d clean out the hoons cages everyday…. I promise.

Last weekend I was dead-set scared for a bunch of people in the swimming enclosure and the surrounding bay at Tallebudgera as three young blokes skylarked, mugged laired, showponied and loudly hooned around and around endangering people trying to have a quiet family Sunday arvo swim.

They were also doing the boat equivalent of a wheelie/mono and genuinely frightening everyone.

I’ll never be prouder of my mate, Al, for walking down to the water’s edge and giving them a good old fashioned kiwi gobful. Two words.

Un and printable.

Onya Al.

Many people on the shore went up to Al and commended him for telling the aquahoons which direction they should navigate.

So, question of the day….should aquahoons have their tinnies impounded and given to people who have passed their skipper’s licence and have no recorded misdeameanors on our waterways?

Or should their tinnies be crushed into cubes and use them as bbq tables in gold coast parks?

Or maybe you have a better option.

Love to hear about it. Maybe Al deserves it more than me.

If you take part in Flan’s poll you’ll go in the draw to be on the short list to play off for the chance to toss for a double pass to the movies … hell, you may even win an aluminium coffee table.

Maybe one day.