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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