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Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Sydney visit and other adventures...

Helloooo all!

Louise here again commenting on the good, great and generous of Maggie Island,  while continuing to record my adventures of life here in the tropics.

I've gone native!

Its 23C and believe it or not, I'm wearing long sleeves.

Matt and I used to come up here in the Sydney winter and 23/24C then was a heatwave from the cold 15C of Sydney's usual wet weather and frigid southerly winds.   Just goes to show how one can adjust to the higher temps. over our summer, when 38C is the norm.

And I have to share this: I found my old portable typewriter the other day in a box and felt all nostalgic;  does anyone use a typewriter anymore I wonder?  I'll show my age now, and tell that I learnt on a manual Remington typewriter at school,  and no, to you Gen X and Y smart arse teckies, it was NOT made of stone.

Since my last post, things have been a little bit exciting.

We have started our own online business selling our own design coffee cups and we had a lovely visit to Sydney to see a few chums.

We had a web page running but the damn thing crashed and burnt,  and Matt is in the process of getting a web site built via a new host.  I will blog the web address again, when that is up and running which should be soon, as we are getting "Little Heroes" hosting to design a new web page for us and who seem to have their poop in a pile.   Please don't ever bother trying to get web hosting with a lot named Crazy Domains -   I was 45 mins "on hold" on our land line,  trying to get these serious problems fixed and then I gave up in utter frustration.

I'll stop whinging now, change the subject, and tell the tale of our latest diet thing -  Matt, and my good self completed successfully 6 days of just drinking veggie/fruit juice on the Reboot your life diet.  Check out the link below.

If you have not seen this doco about how Aussie Joe Cross was massively overweight and decided to do something about it, then you should!  What an inspiration he is, and we decided to give it a go; there is no just starting drinking juices, its a slow progress to that start:  slowly lean into it by giving up the meat, caffeine and processed foods and booze.   Then have a few restful days drinking 20% fruit juices and 80% veggie juices.  Taking it by the horns,  we stocked up on a huge range of fruit and veg and away we went.

I should explain one of my neighbours Petah had me over for a cuppa with another pal Gwen and we got talking about this diet;  bless Gwen, she had a copy and kindly went home and got me the DVD to look at;  I came home and persuaded Matt to look at it with me, and voila!  We were hooked and decided to go with Joe.

Matt on Day 1 of Reboot Diet with a smoothie of strawberry, orange and pineapple. 23.6.12

I had a bit of a headache the day before, probably due to giving up caffeine, but it was not that hard just sticking to the juice diet. One thing I need to say in retrospect;  make sure you stock up on toilet tissue because   - oh yes! it definitely works its magic in the smallest room in the house.   (Which is a good thing...)

Matt and I both had a joint doctors appointment on the next Monday for our yearly check-ups,   I was happy to find out I had lost 1kg and Matt had lost 2kg.   Way to go!   We gradually got back to normal eating but we are steering clear of too much processed food and meat.  If anyone reading wants to lose a bit of weight, watch the documentary mentioned above,  (Fat, sick and nearly dead) then give this diet due consideration.  

Sorry, I am getting ahead of myself here  - let me rewind a bit:

The month began with a clank of chains as we were sitting doing some meditation; No, it wasn't the local S&M club asking for their equipment back, it was the doggie up the road; Bongo!  The naughty black Staffy had got out of his home and decided to pay us a visit (we regularly pat him walking past his place) so he knew where a friendly face and a quick feed were awaiting.  And he loves Matt;  as in luurve!  See pic below...

Aren't they both cute as a button?  Bongo on the decking with Matt; 1.6.12 

Matt's uncle Geoff came up to Maggie on his motorbike for a flying visit.  And no prizes for guessing where we went for lunch?  Yep, Blue on Blue for the $20 special once again.  Shame these guys at Blue on Blue, don't have a loyalty card for regulars, we would be up for a few free lunches by now.  

Blue on Blue, with your writer, Geoff and Joy (Geoff's mum) 2.6.12

Regular readers will remember the critters in the blog post I put out a few months ago.  Well they keep a-coming! This cricket/grasshopper was a recent visitor, while having breakfast  on the decking; Matt stuck the spoon there to measure him against it, not to eat it with...

3.6.12  "Can u walk the rice paper, Grasshopper"?   Or the spoon in this case? What a monster, not sure if its a cricket or what?

And here is something very rarely seen on Magnetic Island; traffic lights!  The walkway from Nelly Bay to Arcadia that has been wanted by locals for years is actually getting built.  There has been the odd occasion of idiots running the red lights and crashes ensuing, and the sign seen here was actually stolen (according to the police report in the local paper) and is now firmly set into the grass.

Traffic lights at hill towards Arcadia Bay 26.6.12

On Monday 4 June we jumped on a jet plane and headed for our old stomping ground, Sydney.  We took advantage of cheap fares 6 months before with Jet Star and thought it would be good to break out the winter clothes again.  And trust me, they got a workout.  For our first night in Sydney, after picking up our hire car we stayed with Jono and Kate (thanks guys) and then on Tuesday, we drove to Carmen's place in West Wyalong, in country New South Wales.  Cold?  You better believe it, 13C in the day and zero at night.  Driving along the main road at 4pm and still not dark, a massive full grown kangaroo jumped out onto the road;  Matt luckily swerved and the roo realising its mistake turned around and missed us by a gnat's knacker.  'Well that woke me up' I said, trying to sound non-plussed, but my heart nearly came through my chest, like that horrible thing did to John Hurt's character in the first 'Alien' movie.  When we told Carmen, she said 'I was going to say about the roos but I forgot!'  Luckily no harm done, but there was a $300 insurance excess on any damage done to the hire car, which we luckily avoided.

Matt and I were having a talk about death and dying after this incident, and I said to him, "I want to die in my sleep, like my Grandad",  Matt said "Really?"  I said 'yeah, such a  shame about the other 3 people in the car with him at the time, though...'    Sorry, my London sense of humour comes out when stressed.

After a lovely dinner and a chat and a few glasses of Sangria, Carmen had fired up the electric blankets on our bed and it was bliss sliding between the flannelette sheets.  But never let it be said I am not dressed for the occasion, there I lay with the thermal undies covered with  flanny tartan boys PJs on top.  Sexy eh?  Plus woolly beanie hat as the window didn't shut properly and there was a bit of a draught.  Who said romance was dead?

The next day was sunny but cold (15c) and we headed to Quindella, (local town) to check it out.  We also went to the local tip as country tips are a mine of unwanted stuff.  We found a few things; see pic...

Matt found that chair,  very comfy, just needs recovering!  6.6.12

Matt feeding the chooks; 6.6.12 (Ugg boots rule!)

The next day, Thursday 7.6.12  saw Matt on the ride on lawnmower while Carmen and I took off to check out Burcher and the surrounds.  At 4pm we lit a bonfire and got the Sangria going (again!) but didn't go too mad as we were driving back to Sydney the next day.  It was great seeing Carmen again, and she is so lucky to be on a property with her animals.  

Matt dressed for the zero temps 8am - 8/6/12

Here is Morgan the 3 legged cat (a fox got his other leg) with Carmen's boots drying in the sun 8/6/12

Here is the author, with more layers than an onion!  Stevie the cat on window ledge, Jackie the dog in the front;  our hire car in background.  8 am 8.6.12

We arrived back in Sydney around 4pm to stay with another good chum Kelly, who has just moved to Alexandria,  on the fringe of Sydney city.  The contrast to Carmen's place could not have been starker.  Rows and rows of terrace houses, and car parking at a premium.  We found a spot up the road to Kelly, so all good.   After lugging our cases in, we quickly changed clothes and headed to the 'Friend in Hand' pub in Glebe, Sydney for a comedy show and dinner downstairs in the pub; lovely!  Sleeping in a third strange bed, (Kelly's sofa bed) we soon dozed off.  

 On Saturday 9/6/12 Kelly and her boyfriend Dan took us to Sensis Cafe in the main street of Alexandria for breakfast.  I'd forgotten how "out there" some of the locals can be in this neck of the woods, but it was a treat to see a girl with bright pink hair, dressed all in black, with pink shoes and matching bag;  guys in skinny jeans so tight I wonder how they had any circulation, and a trendy man in a pale grey 1960s suit, complete with white shirt, a red skinny tie and red skate shoes.  My head was sloshing around like I was at the men's final at Wimbledon.  Fab!

 On Maggie Island we tend NOT to see stuff like this, more's the pity.  

The author, Dan and Kelly at Sensis Cafe, Alexandria 9/6/12

We waved bye to Kelly and drove to our good chum Geoff in Freshwater, on Sydney's northern beaches.  Geoff, bless him, had prepared a lovely lunch of pate, olives and bread awaiting for us.  Bliss!  After sitting around yakking for a bit, we decided to take off to the movies to see 'Prometheus' in 3D at the local cinema.  It was raining, hard, and cold -  not quite thermal undies cold, but jeans and jacket and my beret (that I wore non stop in Sydney), kind of cold.  Who me a wimp?

For some odd reason the movie really gripped me and I was shaking like a leaf toward the end (I won't say why to those who haven't seen it yet) which is very good.   I give it an 8/10 and its one of the best Sci Fi movies in a long time.  My all time fave?  The original 'Blade Runner'.  There is a "final cut" of it which came out in 2007, which I have not seen, but I will try and download from the net to see how it stacks up against the original. 

But I digress -  we spent another night in another chums place, on Geoff's sofa bed and next day awoke to yet more rain.  Another movie?  You bet.  We whizzed off again to the local flicks to see 'The Avengers' which was also very good and has some snazzy one liners especially those coming from the Hulk.   But something I am concerned about is that the Hoyts cinema we attended now have allocated seating.  Sounds fine?  Try finding a seat in the dark, with a ticket stub in hand and no usherette with a torch:  we did what it appeared all the other patrons had done,  and sat where we liked.  I can see huge fights breaking out over this stupid, dumb system; what's wrong with first in, best seats?  

After the movies we went for a bit of dinner at the Dee Why RSL club and an early night as we were flying back to Townsville the next day (Mon 11th)  and had to return the hire car.

We surfaced early the next morning, had a lovely brekkie that Geoff had prepared and sadly had to say farewell to Geoff and to Sydney.  Thanks to all our friends who put us up on our week back down south.

It was so good on arriving back on Maggie Island to feel the sun as we drove home, and discard the layers of clothing;  Loved Sydney but the winter weather?  No thanks.

Geoff and Matt  with brekky;  11/6/12

We soon got back in the 'palm tree lifestyle' and began walking in the mornings to get the bit of extra weight we had gained in eating out so much for a week.  

On 18th June we went with our car into Townsville for  'a big shop';  There are 2 supermarkets on the island but tend to be a bit expensive, so after visiting Bunnings, Big W and Dan Murphys Liquor it was time to load up on groceries  -  $300 later and poorer we got onto the 4.30 barge and back to Maggie.  We used to buy 2 tins of beans in Sydney, we now buy 10 or 12 along with the same amount of tinned tomatoes, spaghetti, red beans, corn.... you see where I am going with this?  Its only when we get to a Mother Hubbard situation that we need a 'big shop':  Don't even get me started on the freezer...

By the way, who would have believed that Mother Hubbard started Scientology!  Way to go MH! (LOL).  Apologies to Tom Cruise...

On 4th July, I could have been knocked over with a feather, as we received a call from our old boss Maureen at Beachside asking us to come and work for 2 days!  As we left on good terms and we were a bit depleted in the cash stakes we said Yes please!  and started next day.  I tell you what, after 2 months off the cleaning it is a huge strain to start up again.   My legs were protesting big time, hauling those sheets and towels up the stairs;  it turns out Luke, the man who replaced us,  had too much work and needed a hand.  Fine by us,  'all monies gratefully received'  is my motto.  

So dear reader(s) I hope you agree with my opening blurb about an exciting month.  

I'll close now and let you catch your breath.  

Chat soon:


I will re post a blog on our coffee cup business when the damn website is up and running... stay tuned...