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Thursday, May 31, 2012

My birthday celebrations and other events...

Greetings to all...

Its me, Louise, again with more  goss on the great and good of Magnetic Island:  and what a busy and exciting month it has been, with birthdays, visitors galore and (ahem!) some job/work issues - its been non stop - but more of that work problem later on.   I'll start with the jolly stuff.

Like my good chum Phil Stephens (Stagedoor Theatre) said recently, "I put the whore in Horseshoe Bay!"

But enough of my sordid past work history, let me start off with saying recently,  I was for once, dear readers, speechless!  How could this possibly be you ask, when this writer of the best blog on the Net, is NEVER short of something to say?

This amazing spectacle came about on my birthday, April 26, when my two good chums Jason and Geoff came up from Sydney to see Matt and I for a week.  Jason had pre arranged with Matt to meet himself and Geoff getting off the plane at the arrival gate.  On our arrival at Townsville airport (and I should add there is only ONE terminal -  domestic -  there is no international!) Matt dragged me up to Gate 4 with a twinkle in his eye, as we waited for the plane to land.

Suddenly there was a loud noise, then shouting and whistles blowing, and Geoff and Jason came through the doors singing 'Happy Birthday"   -  what a spin out!   Everyone looked around, a bit shocked I think, including me.   --  See photo below   --

Jason (L) Louise and Geoff;  26 April 2012

What is a girl to do but stand there and cop it sweet?   What a birthday greeting and one I shall remember for a long time... Thanks guys!

We gave the guys a quick ride around Townsville before we caught the 4.30 car barge back to the island and over to our house...  the fun and games continued after Matt's lovely BBQ and champagne dinner that we had on the deck.

Jason, Louise and Geoff (in fiendish disguise) 26.4.12 (that banner actually played 'Happy Birthday to you' when a string was pulled)

The next day - Fri 27th -  the unthinkable happened:  It rained!  I was mortified -  And the temperature dropped from a balmy 33C to a cooler 26C.  We had to go into town to see Matt's half brother Guy (who I had not met) for lunch and left the car with Geoff and Jase to have a look around.  The lunch went well and it was fab to put a face to the voice at last  - we got the 2.30 ferry home to be met at the Nelly Bay terminal by our drivers, Geoff and Jase.

Guy and I, at Cactus Jacks, Townsville. 27.4.12 (note rain pouring...)

On Saturday I am happy to say, the weather cheered up a bit and Jase and Matt got a quick swim in at Horseshoe Beach, while Geoff and I walked leisurely around the bay. 

I had booked in for the Stage Door Theatre Restaurant for the 4 of us that Saturday night to see the 'Frocky Horror Show' which did not disappoint...  Now I told you all of my gushing over Phil Stephens (one of the stars of the show) on Valentines Day, and I was amazed when as we entered Phil was at the door and said 'Good evening Louise -  I have a table at the front for you.'   

Hubba hubba, a girl can get used to all this five star treatment.   And sure enough there we were bang at the front.  

The other thing we all agreed on was how good the food was -  the chicken I had was superb and not many establishments like this have both a fab show and fab food.  Recommended.

28.4.12 Stage Door Theatre Restaurant, 'Frocky Horror Show'

But it only got better,  a bit of audience participation was called for, and here is Matt doing the Time Warp with Franken FARTER (bad case of flatulence, or fatulence depending on your viewpoint) next to him...

Phil Stephens dressed as Frankenfarter with Matt, doing the Time Warp; 28.4.12

And better again;  Geoff was brought on stage with 2 other chaps, and asked after the 'Touch me, I wanna be dirty" song, to demonstrate their girl 'touching up' techniques.  

Geoff brought the house down with his routine, especially when he lifted his shirt and started groping his own chest; there was a 'voice vote' for the best one at the end of the song and Geoff won by a country mile.  Laughed?  My undies never dried out!   

Geoff, unknown male, and Bernadette Smith as Monroe Monroe 28.4.12

If you are on Facebook, the Stage Door theatre restaurant magnetic island, has a page and the 2 ladies next to us added some more of the night's proceedings to that.   Worth a look...

The next few days were spent visiting the lovely beaches on the island and seeing the sights...

Picnic Bay Jetty 29.4.12, Geoff, Matt and Jase

1.5.12 Blue on Blue restaurant, Nelly Bay
                     and the obligatory lunch at our fave place for the $20 lunch special. 

When visitors arrive,  there are a few certain  'things to do' here on the Island, and one is to feed the rock wallabies at Geoffrey Bay,  so we did...

Geoff at his bay; 2.5.12

Jason with a furry friend; 2.5.12 "more please"

Geoff with chum; 2.5.12

and what a blast it was;  Two big beefy guys absolutely having a fab time... Lovely!

One of the main other attractions here is the world famous Wednesday Night Toad Races.  

It works like this, eight toads are auctioned off, the prize money is usually $30 over the price paid and when all eight, with different coloured ribbons attached are sold, they are released from the middle of the circle they are held in.  The first one to hop over the outer circle line is the winner.  Sound simple?  Well, it is but the auctions can be a bit wild to say the least, especially with about 50 backpackers yelling and screaming in 10 different languages behind us.   It was all good fun though and despite buying a few toads that looked like winners, we won bugger all... 

Here the toads get their ribbons and names; I liked Peter Slipper(y) but it came nowhere!  2.5.2012

 Geoff, Louise and Jason, 2.5.12

The perspex cage about to be lifted to start the race:  2.5.12

And to quote 'Monty Python'  -  And now for something completely different...

This is one of the new male possums that was visiting us while Geoff and Jason were here; I know bugger all about possum anatomy, but check out the goolies on this chap!  Like 2 "Cool Mints", as my lovely husband Matt cleverly pointed out...

Hellooo Ladies!  Mr Possum; 2.5.12

Our pals departed the next day on the ferry;   It was sad to see them go, and we realise that we are such a long way away here in the tropics, so its great when our friends make the effort to come to visit us.

Geoff and Jason depart Maggie Island, 3.5.12

We waved the guys off, jumped in the Maserati, (our pet name for the Charade) and drove home to quickly strip the beds, tidy up for our next guest arriving, our chum Kelly, who was arriving the next day - Friday 4th May  - for a quick weekend visiting Maggie Island.

Kelly's flight was due at 2.30pm and landed 15 mins early, and quickly donning the leis that Geoff and Jason had used for my birthday, we held aloft a sign saying 'Welcome Kelly'.

Matt and Louise, Townsville Airport, 4.5.12 (taken on Kelly's Iphone using the Instagram App.)

It was a quick tour of Maggie for Kelly; we squeezed as much in as we could in the short time she was here.  And the weather was fab I am happy to say.   On Saturday 5th May we had a lovely picnic at Arthur Bay and a bit of a snorkel;  that night's dinner was at Noodies, the Mexican restaurant at Horseshoe Bay Beach.  I did a strange thing that night, I drank beer!  Yep, the Corona's were going cheap, and as that stuff does not taste like beer to me, I downed one and loved it.

Kelly at Horseshoe Bay Beach at sunset; 5.5.12

Across the road at Noodies Mexican, and those beers;  Lovely!  5.5.12

 The 2 ladies at the wallaby feeding station; Geoffrey Bay,  6.5.12

Matt and Kelly, Geoffrey Bay 6.5.12

We sadly said 'farewell' to Kelly on Sunday 6th May.  Any quick visit by pals is a good one.

Now for the 'work issue' I mentioned at the top of the blog.

The Monday 7th May was a Queensland public holiday, so we went back to our job after a week off, on the Tuesday 8th May.

I think I've explained how Matt and myself took on this job, as casual cleaning workers, which means no holiday or sick pay, just payment for hours worked;  thus when visitors come to see us, we can happily take time off.  We always gave our manager, Maureen, at the Beachside Apartments plenty of notice when taking holidays and she was able to get another cleaner in to do our work.

On our return on 8th May, Matt and I should have realised something was up, as her husband Ian was wandering around looking unhappy;  but as Maureen said 'please come into the office, I need to speak to you' - well, this maybe meant things were amiss?

After a very long ramble about how she was unable to find another cleaner while we were away, and how some chap named Luke had come to the rescue, I thought in my naivety that we were going to get an extra person to help us out... of course I was wrong.  The rambling went on, how he could clean 4 rooms in only 3 hours by himself and was such a hard worker,  until finally she said ' ... and so I gave him your jobs...'  Now, you know when you hear something completely unexpected, and have to sit for a second to make sure your wits are not deceiving you?  Well, it was NOTHING like that - my brain raced like greyhound on crystal meth and I just blurted out 'WHAT!'  Maureen looked a bit shocked but then said  'but, but, but  - Louise he has kids to support!'  What about our bloody support?  

I will not bore you with it all, suffice to say when she had the hide to ask us if we wanted to work that day, as we had turned up, Matt and I passed a knowing look and he said, 'No thanks, we have things to do at home', stood up, shook both Ian and Maureen's hands, and walked out.   Can you believe it?

We were in a way, grateful.  Grateful that we did not have to deal with Maureen being 'unwell' and laying down in her own unit in the complex, while I was trying to get her to order a plumber to fix a leaky sink pipe in Unit 17 before the guests arrived for the Easter break.   Grateful we did would never again have to get a call from her while at her son's graduation in Melbourne, at 10pm on a Friday night begging us to let in some guests with our pass keys, who had booked a room on the Internet at 5pm as she had forgotten to turn off the website booking page:  (We did let the guests in, who had 2 young kids with them, luckily they were good about it.)     Yeah, to be fair, we did get a 'nice drink' as they say in London, for doing that for her:   But I had been "on the vino" a bit that night, and luckily Matt only had one, so he was able to drive legally, and sort out the mess.    

All I can say is Luke, whoever you are, good luck.  It will be all sweetness and light until a stress trigger is introduced and bang!  You will see what we had to put up with for the past 10 months, on and off.  

Matt and I have had a few ideas about starting our own business up;  we are making baby steps in that direction, and I will have more about that in my next blog.

Plus that wardrobe full of stuff I have been meaning to put on Ebay has finally been gone through, with clothes washed and ironed, and heaps of things listed;  Its slow and steady on Ebay, but all  extra dosh is good in my humble view, and those designer labels need a good home.

On Thursday 10 May we were feeling a bit dejected, but it was a glorious sunny day and we decided to do a long walk we had been putting off; the walk to the WW2 Forts; so grabbing my walking stick we merrily set off.  This walk is famous for sighting koalas and we were lucky enough to see one...

Koala at the Forts, looking up his bum unfortunately:  10.5.112

Louise at the gun turret at the Forts 10.5.12

Matt looking out over Horseshoe bay; 10.5.12

Next day we had a call from Matt's good chum Jono to say he wanted to come to the island with his wife Kate and their 2 1/2 y/o Sienna, but as our house was not really toddler proof they wanted to rent a house in Horseshoe bay and not stay with us;  No bother, the whole island is practically a big house rental and we gave them some numbers to call...

On Sat 12 May, we needed a bloody good laugh, so we went into town to see the Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow at the Townsville Civic Theatre, and it was really, really good.

So good, in fact, that we then went to the next Saturday's entertainment at the same venue, Stephen K. Amos, who was an absolute bloody riot - we were amazed though that the theatre was only 1/3 full: What?!   But he made jokes about that and the audience really warmed to him.  'Laughter is my agenda' was the name of the show and it was worth every cent...  Here is a clip of him for those of you who don't know him.  

On Sunday 20th May Jono and his wife and child arrived; the weather was not too bad, but I am embarrassed to tell you it was not that great for the week they were here.  

Sienna in the pool... 23.5.12

We managed to get a few beach days in to half cloudy skies, but the day they left (Fri 25th) it was dreadful -  Howling gale force winds, 19C (cold for these parts) and raining;  I caught the ferry into town with them as I had a hair appointment at the wonderful Mondobassi Hair salon, with Hayley and Georgia...

and for once I was able to drag the Burberry raincoat out from its hiding place at the back of the wardrobe.  I sadly waved bye to Jono and Kate but we are going to Sydney soon for a few days and shall see them then.

Well dear readers, that's about it for this edition of the Magnetic Island Diary;  what a big month - 3 lots of guests, job losses, weight gains, (Matt asked me not to mention that) so its been a big blog and I hope you have read thus far.

Maybe next month will be a little less exciting? 

But I shouldn't wish for that, what on Earth would I have to write about in my blog if it were so?

Adios Amigos