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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our recent adventures before Xmas...

Hey readers;

Louise loose on the blogosphere again with some late Christmas wishes and New Year ones for all;  We have been having a lovely laid back time here on Magnetic Island; the rainy /wet season is upon us and it has been pouring over the last week or so.  Which is a bummer as we have Jonathon and his mum Anne arriving on Sunday for a lightning visit (2 nights) only.  I am just praying for some dry weather; its been very very stormy. Speaking of which, I have to share an embarrassing but  true story;  I have already posted this on Facebook so apologies if you have read it already...
Two nights ago,  I got up at 4am in the middle of an evil thunderstorm, to use the loo, and a HUGE clap of thunder exploded over the house! I screamed and ran out of the toilet, leaving a puddle on the floor behind me... Matt nearly died laughing... Oh - the shame, the shame.   It will not be long before I am wearing the bloody incontinence pads, I can see that...

Now, quickly changing the subject; Check this out below, all the effort in the garden is rewarded.
Our tomato plants are giving us fruit!  Woo hoo!

Here is Matt holding our first few home grown tomatoes, which he used in a lovely spag dish later that night; 1/12/11

We also have some basil and sage plants doing well, plus some chilli and other herbs.  There is something curiously satisfying about growing food.

There has not been a great deal of stuff going on since my last blog about a month ago in November; work is drying up as it is the wet season!   We have been only working a few days a week but that's all good as we can get to those jobs we have been putting off: Like cleaning the fridge and oven;  I always say to Matt would he like to get familiar with some chemicals and latex, and then show him the rubber gloves and the oven cleaner... Somehow he looks disappointed?

Anyways I digress;  Matt's Aunty Lyn came up from near the Gold Coast to stay with her mum Joy at Nelly Bay.  She bought her cute dog Tully who was featured in a blog way back in May I think it was.  We did the lunch specials at Peppers  at Blue on Blue, which has a good lunch for $20 per person, 2 courses and includes a glass of wine.  But as it was a weekday and I try to stay off the booze until at least Friday night, I (boringly) stuck to Diet Coke.

Nana Joy, Matt and Lyn: Peppers at Nelly Bay, 7.12.2011

Louise in the frame; 7.12.2011

Now the other annoying thing that happened is that our TV that came with the house, a lovely CRT TV (Changhong Brand) that weighs a ton, decided to pack up on us!  So we had to make a pilgrimage to Joyce Mayne Electrical shop in Townsville and get a new one;  I was expecting to have to pay a fortune for one that had a flat screen, connected to the net, and makes mad passionate love to you if you ask it nicely - sorry, that's Matt I'm getting confused with -  but to cut to the chase we managed to get a new one (LG Brand) for $500, and Joyce Mayne (or Maynge as I call it) gave us a discount as we had purchased our amp from them back in August when that went bung.  Lovely.

the old TV that came with the house; needs Superman to lift it...

the new TV: even I can lift this one:   talk about technological change!

Now the other funny thing I have to share is our recent visit to Florence Beach which is about a 7 minute drive down a very pot-holed road.  Its a National Park Beach and has 2 resident Crows, who we call Mr & Mrs Russell.  These two are the absolute epitome of bird cunning and stealth;  we have seen them in action before, opening up bags of swimmers and stealing food, so I thought I was a match for them, but no, as it turned out.   We decided to have a quick swim there last Saturday (10th) and I put some fruit inside a zip up cool bag from Woolworths, and on top of the fruit was my shorts and sarong and my book I'm reading; the bag was zipped tight, with Matt's thongs on top;  they would never get inside that!  But bugger me, as we were swimming I saw them on our towels and quickly charged back up the beach to reveal....

Our fruit lunch pecked at and now un-eatable...10.12.11

this is the stuff they pulled out of the zipped bag!  This is how I found it;  One crow was watching while the other was sneaking into the bag for the food;  I was more cranky they'd pulled my bookmark from my book.  I shall padlock the dam bag next time we go. 10.12.11

 I also want to say thanks heaps to Peta and Trevor around the corner who invited us to their block party on 10th December for Christmas; it was an epic event, with loads of tables and chairs and lanterns set up; a wooden rowing boat filled with ice and booze, a stage and a drag show!  What more could one ask for?  But I was very good and stuck to 2 drinks of red wine only and then onto the Diet Coke.  Just can't deal with hangovers anymore...  It was a blast and stupidly I didn't take the camera with me!  Dam and blast...

On Sunday 18th we had a flying visit for 2 nights from Jonathan and his mum Anne who is out from the UK for a few weeks to stay with him and his wife Kate in Sydney and their baby Sienna who is 2 and a cheeky little monkey.  Matt and I drove the around the island to show them the sights and we had 2 lovely BBQ dinners on our decking;  Anne and I shared a lovely bottle of champers while the boys decided to jump into the spa!

Jono and Matt in spa; 19.12.11 (9 pm)

It was a quick visit and I hope they can come back again for a bit longer...

Now for Xmas:  we went to visit our chum Darran at his house in Wellington Point, near Brisbane; his long time pal Chris was also there, plus Georgie his flatmate, and a French friend, Guilame, who with Chris, drove up from Sydney:  ( a trip of 925 km)  -   We arrived 23rd Dec via Jetstar, and the 24th was taken up with buying up big at the local booze shop and supermarket for Xmas day.  We also dressed the Christmas tree and got the ham ready:  And a very big Xmas day it was too; Darran started us off with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for brekkie, which sustained us   until lunch at 3pm.  We had the turkey that the steroids worked on big time, for it was a monster and a ham that was baked in the BBQ to perfection.

Chris hard at work Dec 24 night with Matt and Dazza testing the cocktails out...

Guillame, Darran, Chris and Matt testing the cheese plate out; 24.12.11

Dear Dazza does tend to get a bit cross eyed after a few drinks... 24.12.11

Xmas day lunch; L-R Darran, Georgie, Guilliam, Chris, Louise  25.12.11

If you can't wear a Virgin Mary T shirt on Xmas day, when can you? 25.12.11

It was dark when we decided to eat the Xmas pud that Darran had made from scratch; it was fab!

Now the next day, around 4pm we decided to have a cocktail party on the front lawn; the neighbours all kind of joined in, and Chris's brother Tony and wife Pam also came for some Daiquiris; Darran certainly knows how to make a killer one!  We had mango, strawberry, banana, then started on the Midori and made more cocktails with that;  Lovely...  As I don't drink that much I was having water in between each one, which saved me from being too rough around the edges the next day...

The 2 doggies, Sam and Zac with us enjoying a cocktail on the lawn. 26.12.11

On Wed 28th  Darran, Chris, Matt and I decided to go to visit Noosa, 2 hrs north or Brisbane.  I was last in Noosa in 1983 and to say the place had changed would be a massive understatement.  Its very trendy now, with lots of trendy shops. Had a fab lunch at one of the pubs on Hastings Street.

here is Matt and I overlooking the main beach...28.12.11

Sand sculptor at work!  Noosa Beach 28.12.11

We left Darran's place on 29th to come back to our island home after a lovely Christmas; thanks guys, we should do the same this year as well.

Our NYE was a bit odd this year.  We usually go out to a club or party but no!  Instead, we were going out the night of 1st Jan with Jono and Kelly,  in Sydney to see DJ Sasha at the Metro in George Street.  Did I mention that my husband is a DJ groupie?  And that Sasha is one of his faves? 

But I digress!  What to do New Years Eve on Maggie Island?  Only one thing worth bothering with, the local fireworks display at Nelly Bay marina.   For a local display it was very good, lasted about 20 mins and we sat on Nelly Bay beach and watched it with the locals.    Came home, went to bed sober (now there's a first for NYE!) and then we got up next day and flew to Sydney, feeling fresh as a daisy which is more than can be said for the rest of the people on the plane.  Sore heads all round us...

Our pal Jono kindly picked us up at the airport and we had a lovely BBQ with his wife Kate and baby Sienna and his mum Anne.   Then to our chum Geoff's flat in Freshwater: Geoff was away but kindly let us use is flat for the 3 nights we were in Sydney.  Here we are just before going out, and that Xmas pudding Darran made is hiding under our clothes...

1st Jan 2012 night : off to see DJ Sasha in Sydney

We had a fantastic night, got to see Sasha do a 5 hr set behind the decks, which (and this coming from someone who was not that much of a fan) was very good. 

Came home on 4th and back to work on Friday 6th; back to the Beachside apartments, back to reality, and back to cleaning rooms there!   Bugger, but it was nice while it lasted (our Xmas break):  But  its onwards and upwards for 2012.   Our New year resolution?  To go on a world cruise on the Queen Mary 2, 105 days and very, very expensive!  If you feel like contributing to our trip, please let me know as all donations are gratefully accepted.  Maybe if I registered as a charity I could say contributions would get a tax deduction?  

Time to close now,  we have young Navarone here staying with us at the moment, he is the son of our pal Dewi, just turned 14 and no complaints so far!  (I will chat about his 2 week visit in the next blog.)

adios amigos



Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm Back Dear Readers... I'm baaack!

Hello reader (s)!

Yes, its me, and I'm Back on the bloggersphere;

My sincere apologies for not posting since July but there was a very good excuse; yes  - that dreaded 4 letter word that we all hate so much: Work.    Not to bore you with it too much, around the end of July we (Matt and I) realised we had what is commonly known in financial circles as a 'cash flow problem'  - in other words we were skint!

I know, I know, owning a new house is a money pit, so we had to bite the bullet and find some gainful employment.  Fortunately for us a cleaning  job at one of the local resorts came along and we gratefully took it.    And Matt and I now have a completely new respect for anyone who does hard manual graft cleaning  hotel rooms;  the first week I nearly died;  talk about physical.  Trust me, after running up and down stairs with bundles of sheets stuck in the biceps, I do not need aerobic classes.   See link below.

The units are lovely I have to say, and thanks to the manager, Maureen, we soon got to grips with what we had to do;  this is the reason I have been so slack and not blogged for ages;  but here I am now, with a bumper effort:  all I can say is that after a hard days graft all I can do is sit with a cuppa and veg out...

Since my last blog in July, we have more or less got the house and garden looking as we wanted, mainly due to the fact that my dear chum Janet has just come and gone for a week, visiting us from the UK via Singapore.  We first met in 1975 which is a long time ago!

She was our first house guest and the good thing about having company coming is that it makes one (well, me anyways) get off my arse and get the place looking shipshape: this meant that we had to do a huge spring clean, (and after cleaning apartments for a living, the last thing we wanted to do was clean our own house) and get the outdoor spa sorted out - mainly trying to get the shade cloth cover on and run fresh water through the spa.

The shade cloth was like a bloody Rubik's cube, trying to find which way it went, which should be easy as it only has 4 corners with hooks in that go into 4 poles?  Of course not!   After 40 mins in the 30c heat we finally cracked it, much to the amusement of our resident lorikeet parrots who watched from the fence line.

But I am getting ahead of myself here;  when we knew Jan was coming out months ago, we desperately needed some outdoor furniture for the decking as here in the tropics the 'outdoor room' becomes a restful focal point.

We do a monthly trip into Townsville itself with our car to do a big grocery shop, (too dear on the island) and on 22 Oct we set off.  Luckily we stopped at the local Lifeline charity shop in Garbutt which sells second hand furniture.  Once again the universe was pulling strings, and we espied 2 x 2 seater rattan and chrome sofas, which were a bit faded but in good condition and priced at $100 for the pair.  Well, I couldn't get the Visa card out quick enough and we told the assistant we would be back for them in a few days time.    So on our return to the island we discovered that to use the local haulage firm to bring them over will cost $200, but,  hooray -  their is a ute/pick up truck hire we can use for $50;  But there is only one catch, if we go over 50km on the speedo, we have to pay $2 per kilometre penalty...

Mmmm; Now, did we get the ute onto the barge, get into town, grab the sofas, get them onto the back of the ute, and get back to the island, unload all and return the ute and still be under 50 km?   Of course we bloody well did!  But let me tell you, it was very close;  we made it back on 48km and kept quiet about what we had done... so Shhh!  please keep it to yourself...

OK - now its all good we had 2 sofas now, plus a flat pack coffee table from the $2 shop in town to go with it, (which was $29) and now all that was needed was a bit of a face lift; Chums that know me well, know I own a 1933 Singer electric sewing machine with knee lever, that I do my patchwork quilting on when the mood takes me;  luckily when we got this house it came with lots of beds and bedding, and I'd saved the quilt covers and using the Singer,  began making covers for the pink very faded sofa,  and covers for the chair cushions for our outdoor table and 4 chairs.

 Our outdoor sofas with new covers on left. I also made the half cushions; the sofas came with those bigger ones : lovely...

Matt on the sofas, enjoying the view.  Flat pack coffee table pictured too.

Jan was due to arrive at 11am on 11/11/11!  spooky or what? But she called me as we were on the way over to her to say she had been held up at customs arriving into Aussie and would be on the 1.35 flight instead.  When we met her at Townsville Airport, she was looking a bit angst,  hot but so, so grateful to see us.   Matt was very amazed by the reaction to Jan to Maggie Island: she absolutely loved it!  So began a lovely week for us, when we were able to take her to the local theatre restaurant on the Saturday night; 12.11.11 (they are only open Friday and Sat. nights).

Worth a visit; the Abba show is currently running and it was FAB...very funny and a bit camp.

A quick visit to the local rock wallabies was also on the cards,  we have our own ones at the house, that come every night to eat the grass, but these ones are virtually tame...

Jan with one of our furry friends at Geoffrey Bay.  13.11.11

Jan and I feeding the wallabies; that one actually tapped me on the arm for more!

Then we went around the island on the local sailing ship the MV Providence.

Matt and I on the MV Providence, 14.11.11

which was very enjoyable and we had a great time, my only tiny gripe is that in the online brochure it shows a giant plate of prawns for lunch (we got quiche) and the boom net is mentioned (as the biggest on the island)  but was not used on our trip;  I looked again at the website, but of course it has a disclaimer in very small print, saying that what you see here folks, ain't necessarily what you get!  Ah well, such is life...

Jan and Matt in the lovely stinger suits (jellyfish protection)

Jan being a 'shady lady' : it was 30c after all.  Matt was feeling a bit seasick here.

what a nice touch, all our thongs were laid out by Nathan (crew) on our return to land, as the concrete was too hot to walk on! 

MV Providence after our sail, docked at Nelly Bay marina

We did a bit of snorkeling with Janet at our local beach, Florence Beach, while she was here, but the wind was blowing and making the seabed rough which made visibility bad:  we did see some tropical fish on 12th November but after that it was too hard. 

Here we are stuffing ourselves as usual, and enjoying a nice glass of chilled white wine, courtesy of the  bottle shop, appropriately named "Thirsty Camel".  The also kindly supplied 3 plastic cups, just to avoid us looking like complete alkies and drinking out of the bottle!

Enjoying fish and chips at Horseshoe Bay 14.11.11

Noodies Restaurant for dinner at Horseshoe Bay; 17.11.11

Now I almost forgot:  that dreaded spa bath we were getting in order for Jan coming over -  well the thing about spas is that they are a bit of a gimmick, used only in summer and as this house was an ex holiday rental, a hook for tourists.   But see below, Jan and I made the best of it!

Jan and I enjoying a nice glass of champers in the bubbles of the spa!  12.11.11

And here are the 2 chums on Florence Beach 13.11.11

Peppers Restaurant, Nelly Bay 14.11.11

after lunch at Peppers, Marina in background; the 3 amigos!

OK I shall close now and say I shall try and not be a slack arse and get my blogs out on a more regular basis;  We are back at work soon, which after some time off is going to be hard on my poor sad tired body, but I shall imbibe a few cups of caffeine and see how we go.

If anyone reading would like to come and stay, please email me or give me a ring.  Bring a snorkel!

thanks for reading!

Louise  xxx


Saturday, August 6, 2011

moving in! July 29th 2011

dear hipsters and dipsters;

Louise at the blog helm -  taking a well deserved break from moving in to our house in Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island.  I so hate moving house; there is a sea of boxes outside the door where I am sitting, but I am ignoring their siren call to be unpacked.

Talk about stressful; I can see why most sane people hate moving home; then again, I had the big ones, the top 3 stress makers when we left Sydney in 2010; my Dad had died recently, I had retired, and we had to pack up a flat in Narraweena (Sydney) that I had moved into in 1996 (Matt joined me in 1997); Matt and I had just bought our camper van to do our trip around Aussie, and it slowly dawned on us, that when we left that flat we would be, technically, homeless...

We had a good cry just before we shut the door, waved goodbye to the removalists and jumped into our new home; the camper van.

This time its all happening in reverse;  after trying three times to get the local transport chap to agree to a day to get our stuff from the storage units in Nelly Bay, we finally pinned him down to last Friday;  which worked out well as we had managed to do a deal with Peter, the local secondhand dealer, to take a lot of the stuff we had that went along with the house when we purchased it;  so, the 2 x queen beds went, plus the 2 sets of bunk beds (see photos in last blog of these items).  The glass topped dining table and chairs, plus the bar fridge, and the outside benches and table, all departed in the back of Peter's van;  his chum Doug came to lend him a hand, and somehow the 3 of us got it all unhinged, de-legged and wrapped and away.

Matt at this time was at Nelly Bay storage, packing our furniture on the back of a huge truck to bring over here.  It all worked out like clockwork - completely by accident - and as the truck arrived with Matt, Peter was departing and the fun work began.  Not!

Luckily, Bayden and Paddy came with Matt and the truck and we  all slowly began to unload the beastie.  Trust me, you do NOT need aerobics after humping boxes up and down and into our house;

the chaos, the chaos!  time for a Valium... 29.7.11

Before I forget, let me tell you about the Jason Gosh leather lounge we have;  a great story on how I got this sofa set, but I am only going to give out the brief version;  I won it; on a quiz show in 1993 called 'Sale of the Century' and it was worth $20k back then and comes with a 3 seater lounge which I gave to my ex!  When we opened the storage unit on our end of our trip around Aussie, the green leather lounge was covered my friends, covered I say, all over in green mould!  It looked like it had been sprayed on, it was that bad.  But I leapt into action and found on the E-how web site how to clean mould off a leather sofa; so armed with this,  Matt and I kept the lounge suite on the decking and it took a whole day to sort out; brush mould off wearing a paper mask each, wash  off with warm soapy water, air dry, then cover liberally with a 2:1 mix of white vinegar and linseed oil.  People, it was like bloody Lazarus raising from the dead.  It came up like new...  We left it overnight and gave it a polish in the morning and heaved a huge sigh of relief that the treatment worked.

Our linseed oil covered lounge after 7 hrs work, rests and restores on the deck: 31.7.11; we buffed it up next day and it looks FAB.

I  have 2 leather jackets that I need to perform the same trick on; one I have had since about 1975 (brown bomber jacket) and when I have the energy I shall give it a once-over.

Sat 6 Aug 201

I am happy to say we have unpacked all the boxes now and of course, ONE is missing, the one with our   phone/answering machine combo in it plus a huge  A3 size gold covered wedding album with black pages that I was hoping to put our Vegas wedding pics in.  This was the last box to be packed in Sydney as we were waiting for the phone to be cut off;  Matt has sent an email to the removalists to see if by some miracle they have it; but all I can say is bloody bollocks!   Not a great loss but just an annoying one!

What else; well we had a walk from here to the local beach last week;  see pic below;

the local horse ranch at the end of our street takes tourists for a swim riding their horses!  29.7.11

the local snorkelling and jet ski place at Horseshoe beach;  29/7/11

As this is the first home we have actually ever owned, I get it now.  How you can spend all day fiddling around, painting walls, cleaning things, moving stuff around, and then suddenly realise its 5pm and where did the day go?  We still have a deck to sand back and re-stain, pictures to hang on the walls, a garden veggie bed to dig in and a clothes hoist that does not sit properly and that is too high and I can just about reach it, at the moment;  But I have to tell myself, we have only been here 5 mins and these things take time....

Anyways it is 'wine o'clock' (7pm) so I will close now and post a new blog soon;  adios amigos... Louise

Friday, July 15, 2011

We move into our new house tomorrow (July 16 2011)

dear chums;  Louise here once again.

Just a quick blog to let you all know we are moving tomorrow into our new place!  It was meant to be next week around the 22nd but happily things have moved on a bit faster than anticipated, but we are certainly not complaining;   the only slightly annoying thing is that we shall be without Internet until 22nd as that is the date we booked the Telstra technician to switch us on!  Bugger;  so please leave comments but I shall be unable to respond until later.

Now, I shall give my devoted readers a quick photo tour of the new Casa Byron;  But before I forget I have to tell you all the good news;  this house has been a holiday rental home for its all 4 years of life, and comes fully furnished!  (including cutlery, pots /pans, glassware, plates/cups; 2 toasters, a TV & DVD; Iron and ironing board, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, small CD player; coffee machine; washing machine, an old and very sad BBQ; & beer fridge.)  All rooms are Air con with remotes.  No garage, but a car port with roof and a shed for garden tools.

We have our own furniture in storage on the island, so we shall be selling most of what you see here in the pics soon;  all offers considered!  Contact me on Facebook;

There is also an outdoor spa bath, which I forgot in all the excitement to photograph;  the gardens (front and back) are quite small, as there are 2 houses on one block; but it has lots of potential.  It has a grey/white interior which makes it a bit sterile looking but with a few home touches and an odd paint can, we think we can transform it to the home we have always wanted.

Here is the deck at the front of the house;  15.7.11; the decking needs sanding and repainting desperately.  Not a job we are looking forward to...

The flash bounced off the kitchen here a bit, as it is so pale,  but you can get the idea. Looks a bit sterile at the mo, but we are thinking a bit of colour on the walls may be what is needed.

That awful brown sofa is a futon bed and the whole  house sleeps 12.
Not a too bad modular lounge next to it.  Needs a bit of a clean.

Looking to the end of the house; that's a glass table with chairs; Going cheap!  (I have an antique table in storage that I know will look great in that spot..)

Bedroom 1; we get all bedding except sheets and towels which belong to local laundry.

Bedroom 2; think those bunks may need to go, unless we open a backpackers?

Bedroom 3; main one, it has a  big mirrored sliding door built in wardrobe which I am not keen on, but for now I will live with.  

the ensuite bathroom ; Oooh ; Luxury...

 Bedroom 4; you can walk onto the deck from both main bedrooms above.

the main bathroom with indoor spa bath; Oooh more luxury; I need bubble bath lotion and Brut champagne to enjoy that properly I think. (Matt are you listening?)

So that's about the end of the tour;  as you can see it looks and feels like a 'holiday rental' home, but with a bit of TLC and hard work we can make it look how we want...  I would love to have solar panels, a worm farm, rainwater tanks, and a grey water system, but money is a bit tight, so that may have to wait for a while. 

We have plenty of rooms now, so if any of our friends want to come and stay please let me know.

Once again, we will be without net access (we think) until 21st July, but we may have some walls painted and if I have the strength I'll do a blog showing our changes; We also have the gardens to fiddle with, a new experience for me, and I would love to start a veggie patch.  

Not much other news to report, just been bushwalking, lying on the beach, shopping here and there and packing up the flat under Matt's folks where we have been living since April 2nd.  It's Matt's mum Petah's birthday in a few days so 'Happy Birthday' to her.

adios amigos and will catch up soon.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July adventures...(the Moods of Maggie...)

Hello moovers and groovers,  Lou here at the helm; 

Just a quick blog to keep you all up to date on what we have been doing here on the island;  I wish I could say wild parties and booze ups or similar, but sad to say, no:  we have been doing the bush walks on the island on the cloudy, cooler days, and taking to the beach on sunny days (like today 5.7.11).  

The changes in the weather here now the "winter" is on, has been quite striking;  see below.

Arthur Bay Beach; 5.7.11 Sunny, calm and 24C - Lovely...Anyone for a pedicure?

cloudy and windy; Nelly Bay 29.6.11; with wind surfers, something I have never seen before on Maggie island...Townsville in the distance:  22C and that wind felt chilly!

Overlooking Rocky Beach 3.7.11; calm again but with a cold wind; good for bushwalking.

But good news on the house front, we are just going through with the paperwork and plan to settle (hopefully) on 21 July or thereabouts. We shall be moving in 23rd July we think, as we want to paint some walls...   I will be taking photos of the new place, and a blog entry will be dedicated to it: Stay tuned...  

One of the visitors to our new place;  We were there checking the garden out, and saw this kookaburra; a baby as the adults here have a turquoise feather on the side.

Now I have to share something; I was listening to my favourite radio station Triple J and one of the presenters was asking people to call in their most embarrassing moments;  We had the usual;  walking to work with the skirt tucked into the back of the knickers;   falling over running for a taxi;  you get the drift.  

This of course led me to think of my many, many embarrassing moments I have endured through life;  I'll share this one with you.

As Esther used to say on 'The Golden Girls'  - picture this, its Sydney 1982 and I am at a new job working for a re-insurance company in Martin Place in Sydney city;  I had only been there for a few weeks and already had realised the boss I was secretary to, Ray Gosling, was a sleazy bastard; but that's another long tale, which I won't go into now;   Anyways I'm in the Ladies toilet and another woman came in the cubicle next to me,  so I left the Ladies and went back into the large open plan office we had and sat at my desk outside Ray's office.

Enter Julie, (for it was she who was next to me in the loo) and quite sarcastically for her as she was one of the top insurance assessors, she shouts out to the whole office; 'Hey guys when Louise sits on the toilet, her feet don't touch the floor!'   

I nearly died!  And what made it worse, was that it was true:  I am 5ft 2 ins or 158 cm and the damn toilets practically needed a stepladder to be able to sit down on them.  Talk about red faced.

One other occasion also came to mind; but it was me making someone else very embarrassed.   

Its 1992 and I am at my then boyfriend Neil's work party for something or someone and this young chap who was looking a bit lost, got chatting to me;  after a few minutes he came out with a pearler; 'I'm so glad to see the Neil got rid of that scraggy redhead Louie he was seeing.'   In a quiet voice I whispered into his ear, 'I'm a brunette now..'   And I followed it up with a look that told him I was NOT joking;  he then put his drink down, checked his watch and quickly made for the door, never to be seen again that night.   Luckily later I saw the funny side and told Neil to tell him 'no hard feelings'.

If any of the blog readers wish to share any similar stories please email me at  and I will use them on the blog (anonymously if you wish).  

Just before I go, I have discovered a new beauty "soap" that is very cheap to make;  and similar to Dove; you just need a bar of cheap body soap (the no frills/home brand is fine) and some cheap Sorbolene hand cream, in a pump dispenser.  Now when you are showering or washing, lather up your hands with the soap, them squirt a dash of hand cream and feel how the lather goes all creamy!  And, you will find that the tightness that soap leaves on the face has gone.  My guess is that  the alkaline (PH) of the soap is changed somehow by the Sorbolene.  Not sure, but its a lot cheaper than Dove Soap and feels the same, and as my friends know,  I am, shall we say, thrifty at times!  Try it,  you'll love it.

Leaving with a great pic of my lovely husband Matt who is having a birthday next week and turns 38...  Happy birthday darling...

More soon; Louise

Here is Matt with Nana Joy's dog Rusty, on Nelly Bay Beach;  29.6.11