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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shoe shop witches, total eclipses, Ball glitches...

Good morning, moovers and groovers - its the Lovely Louise here at the blog helm once again.

Adventures? I've had a few, but then again too few to mention?  

Well, apologies to Cranky Franky, but I think I will have to mention them, letting my loyal fans of this blog know what I have been up to.

A quick weather report:  Magnetic Island is heating up!

Its 31C today, a few clouds in the sky, but mercifully not that much humidity:  a perfect day for yours truly to tap the typewriter with the ceiling fan whirling above her head.

Ball Glitches

On Saturday 6th October was the annual Magnetic Island Beach Ball (ball, as in dance) at the Arcadia surf club.  This was the very first one we had ever attended.  The theme was formal or tropical and a mixture of both was allowed,  so we kinda did both.     Various banners around the island declared 'Band Marathon' and I thought 'Oh OK, a few bands playing, should be good'?  

Hold that thought.

I decided that as I don't get out that much, and with my lovely clothes with sequins languishing at the back on my wardrobe,  saying, 'wear me!' that I would pull out all the stops and get a bit dressed up.

Here is the result below.

Louise: Before the ball: 6.10.12

Matt before the ball: 6.10.12

I should explain about that new hair colour I am sporting: Its a wig!  

A jet black one, (new) that I was lucky enough to find at the local flea market here on the island.    

(The last time I wore a wig - which was blonde - was when I was a film extra back in UK, on the movie 'The Birth of the Beatles' 1979  -  but that is a whole new blog, so trust me, I'll stop here, before I go running like Usain Bolt down Memory Lane...)

After realising that I had to pin my hair flat to my head, and use the hair net provided, all was good, although it did feel like a swimming cap at first.  

I also decided to wear way too much black eyeliner,  but I thought if I'm going to look dark and mysterious, why not?

Matt decided to go half and half dress wise that is, and I found that my sequin shorts that I've had for yonks were doing the 'flying V' at the zip -  i.e  I'm too fat for them - so I had to don my plain old black shorts instead.    

Just to explain, I went looking in Townsville's shops for 'going out' shorts and unless I want to swan around looking like a 'crack ho' (i.e with tiny shorts up my backside), trust me there is bugger all normal ones for anyone over 25 to wear.   So my old ones had to suffice.

Around 6.30pm we drove down to Arcadia, parked the car and walked over to the Arcadia Surf Club.   Greeted by the lady taking the tickets with 'Wow!  You guys look great!'  we walk down the steps to the tables and chairs set out for the revellers,  and I sadly realise why she was so enthralled with our outfits. Hardly anyone has got dressed up!  Oh bugger it, who cares, we are here now, so lets get a drink or three and enjoy the bands...

Now that's where the next slight disappointment set in.    

Still holding that thought from above?  

Turns out there is not a "Band Marathon", that is, a roll call of the best bands on the island - Oh no:  the band playing at the Beach Ball is named 'Marathon'.  Stupid me read the sign wrong.  

Ah well, time to down another red wine, and  after glass no. 3 we are up dancing to "Marathon" (a cover band) with a great lady singer who knows how to belt out a few good tunes.  

We leave about 10-30pm when most of the other patrons also decided to call it quits.   The turnout for the event was quite low according to some other people I met at the next table.  Only about 1/3rd of the expected crowd.     I wonder as my somewhat spinning head hits the pillow if we shall be attending the same Ball next year?  Maybe...  But I think the sequins will be staying at home.

Styling Up

I am a big fan of the web site 'Advanced Style'  as I have testified in earlier blogs. 

So...  I think I can take my ego for a walk and add some pics of me, dressed up and ready to go into town?   

I have so many great clothes just begging to be worn, although of course in the tropics wearing anything but a T-Shirt and shorts is considered dressed up.   But damn it, I can be a fashionista if I want to?!

Louise - off to the hairdressers ( Mondobassi Hair, Flinders St.) ; 9.10.2012

And speaking of getting dressed up, here is Matt in his new work uniform a la Steve Irwin: 'Crikey!'

Matt in new uniform: 8.10.12

Telling Tales

"A modern day fairy story"

Years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a terrific nightclub called DCM (Don't Call Mama) in Oxford St., Sydney, that was frequented by the beautiful people of that fair city.  They had the same banging DJs on every Saturday night who played to a packed crowd of happy revellers.  But Sydney City Council one day, decided to allow a block of units to be built very close to this club and guess what?  DCM had to close down due to noise problems.   A very sad tale.  

The club tried moving up the road, to another premise, but it was not the same and it went into decline.    

Then years later, a wonderful thing happened - some of the old DJs plus some of the original beautiful people  got together to have a reunion party, in the Arthouse in Pitt St. Sydney.  They called it 'Passion' and it was such a success that they had another: this too was huge and so, it was decided to have them every 6 months, just in case anyone was still interested in dancing to those old tunes and having an amazing time once more.    They had one rule only, you had to be over 27 years old to get in.

And the people were, and it came to pass, that they all danced, all night till dawn, and lived happily ever after.   

The End.

 I should explain the above.  (And no, I've not been on the magic mushrooms).

Matt and I frequented DCM Club in the late 90s /00s and had many a fun filled time dancing the night away.  

Friends were flying in from the Gold Coast, Melbourne and we were coming from Townsville  -  Sounds like a "knees up" to Matt and I.   

So, when we found out about 10 of our buddies were going to the next 'Passion' party, plus the Bondi Sculpture by the Sea exhibition was on at the same time, well, we had to go, didn't we?  And the airfares were duly booked.

Shoe Shop Witches

I have to backtrack a bit here, and ask you to look at me in those pink sequins above: check out the boots, my size 35 kids boots I got in Target about 7 years ago, and wow - they have lasted.  My dancing boots I call them, but on packing them away to go down to Sydney to the "Passion" party,  I was horror struck!  The black vinyl was coming away from the heels and looked very sad indeed - Bugger!  What to do?  I showed Matt and he agreed they looked crap, so I said 'I'll take them and try and get a pair of boots in Chinatown, as the shops there do small sizes for the local Asian ladies'.    Sounded like a plan, so they were packed and off we went.

We landed on Thursday 1st November to a Sydney heatwave of 34C - it was 30C when we left Townsville - so it felt normal.   We had a room booked at the Metro in Pitt St, (cnr Campbell) and dropping our bags in our room, around 5 pm we decided a walk around Chinatown nearby was in order.  After a fab dinner,  I persuaded Matt to shop with me for a pair of boots in my tiny size.  

The first shop we tried that I had been to in the past, had gone bust, so we tried a few more, with little success.  We went into the Market City shopping complex again to be disappointed with the choices and sizes available.  

But the shoe gods were smiling upon me, as we wandered up an arcade in Thomas St and found a tiny ladies shoe shop  - Angel Shoes.  

Better was to come when I saw a row of boots and a sign saying 'One Pair $69, 2 Pairs $100' and my heart sang!  I found a pair of black calf length boots with black rhinestones on the outside of the legs.   I asked the one lady working there is they had a size 35 and she came out with a pair in my size;  like Cinderella on a short black coffee, I nervously tried them on.  They fitted me!   Result!   

While admiring myself in the mirror, the sales lady came back with another pair from the shelf; 'No thanks, I only want one pair' I smiled.  None of the others on offer were pushing my buttons.

Matt went outside the tiny shop and waited for me to pay.  Whipping out the Visa at warp speed, I passed it over to the sales lady.  

Now, luckily for me, and I have no idea why, I actually asked the question. 'How much do I owe you?' before the card got swiped.   
She said to me  'they are $159.00, thank you.'   

Now, unless my powers of observation have really faded or that Laksa I ate was an alcoholic one, that sign on the shelf said "$69.00".   I slowly turned and pointed to the sign, and as turned back she was holding the price ticket from the sole of the boots on the end of her index finger, that indeed, did say $159.00.   
'But the sign says $69!' I protested.   
'Yes, but that is for the boots under the sign only.' she purrs at me.

As I always say, you can't con a con man (or woman), and growing up in the east end of London, I knew when someone was 'trying it on' from miles away.   

I quickly sang out to Matt on the foot way, 'Matt, these boots aren't $69, they're $159.00!'   

I have to say here that one of the great advantages of being married is that your partner knows when a certain look speaks volumes: as in this case with Matt looking at my pained expression.

Matt said 'No bugger it, that's too expensive, we'll go back to that other shop up the road.'     

Grabbing my Visa card I made for the door, and hadn't got more than a few centimetres when I heard, 'Wait, I give you staff discount!'  Her hands flashed over the pocket calculator on the counter.   'Now they are only $79!'   

Well, what to do?  Take umbridge and walk out, leaving behind the only decent pair of boots I'd seen, or bite the bullet and pay $10 extra?   I decided to pay the $10 extra, as traipsing around the shops, and looking again, did not appeal.  Especially with Matt in tow -  so the Visa was swiped by the now disappointed looking sales lady, and my boots were quickly wrapped up.

On walking back to the hotel, with boots in hand, Matt was fuming...

'How can they try and con us like that?  Do they think we are two dumb bloody tourists just arrived in town?'   
I could only agree with him, 'Don't let this spoil our time here Matt,  I have the boots I want, OK, so we paid $10 more that we should, but it sure beats me dragging you around again looking for a pair?'  

After a few minutes of waiting for traffic lights to change, Matt say my logic said 'Yeah, OK.'

I said, 'thank the gods you twigged what was going on, and you realised she was trying to con me, and you said that they were too expensive...'

Matt shot me a look.  'After all this time together Louise, when have you ever paid that much for a pair of boots?  I was serious about you not getting them!'   

I realised my theory,  that a bit of 'marriage telepathy' was going on back in that shop, was shot down in flames.   Matt knew I was a cheapskate, right enough.    But no matter,  I had the boots I wanted at sort of the price I (sort of) wanted to pay.

The new dancing boots:  01/11/12 (the day after the first wear...)

Sea Side Sculptures

Next day, Friday 2nd we met up with our good chum Geoff in the lobby of our hotel, to go and see the annual Bondi Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition.  

This is a huge event, with artists from all over the world hoping they will get asked to exhibit.  On Friday the temperature had dropped to 21C,  luckily it was sunny and the forecasted rain did not appear.   But to us, it felt cold!  (We left a steamy 31C  in Townsville) so the beret and jacket were worn.

Geoff and Louise, Bondi Beach Sculpture by the sea, 02/11/12

Matt and Geoff inside one of the sculptures, Bondi Headland. 02/11/12 (not sure we were allowed to go inside!)

This sculpture is named 'The optimist' (he has his fingers crossed behind his back) 
 02.11.12 - Bondi Headland

"View" Bondi headland 02/11/12

Matt and Geoff on one the benches/sculptures, Bondi, 02/11/12

My only gripe about this years Bondi Sculpture Walk was that it was teeming with school groups, out to do a project on the artworks.  It took the gloss off a bit, having to jostle kids out of the way so we could see the sculptures too.    But apart from that, it was definitely worth seeing.  We took the bus back to Bondi Junction and had a lovely long lunch in the food court at the local shopping centre.  Geoff kindly hung around with us the rest of the day, and after dinner in Chinatown, we sadly waved goodbye to him as he caught the bus from the City, to his home on Sydney's Northern Beaches.  

Passion Parties

The next day, Saturday, the day of the big party, we met our chum Kelly for lunch at Market City, Chinatown.  The funny part here is that she and Matt went into the Converse Store (after lunch) and each got a pair of shoes.   

Our chum Jono who was coming out with us to the Passion Party, met us at the hotel, and we all got ready early to go to Kelly's house in Erskinville for a few drinks before the party.  As we were next to Central Station it was only 3 stops away, and she was near the station.   Around 7pm, we set off.

We met our chums Vince and Tony, as they were getting off the same train that we had caught, and it was only a 2 minute walk to Kelly's place.  About 10 of us old DCM clubbers were present there, and after a few glasses of vino it was just like the old days.  

Around 10 pm we decided we should get our bums into a few taxis and head for the Arthouse Hotel in Pitt St, Sydney City.  Arriving outside, there was a line up to get in, (much to my surprise) and after waiting a bit we charged inside.  The old tunes were pumping, and we soon bumped into some more old chums, and the good times began to roll.

It must have been a fab night, as we all didn't leave until about 4.30am, and its all a bit of a blur...

Jonathan, Louise and Matt before the party; Matt and I in our new shoes!  3.11.12

The link above is a Youtube 3 min video of the Passion party that night if anyone is interested in looking...  (sad to say, no sign of us in the vid.  although the camera was near us; that much I do remember!)

Yes,  that pink sequin top came out again.   As I knew it was going to be hot! hot! hot! at the party, I thought 'bugger it' I'll wear it  once more.  A fantastic night, made even more so by the age policy - you have to be over 27 to get in.   Being (ahem) slightly over 27,  I just scraped in...  

The next one is on 1st June 2013 and we shall give it serious thought to going down and part-ay-ing all over again...

A Shaggy dog story

The last few weekends we have been "dog sitting" Eric the Yorkshire Terrier.  A cute little bugger, he schmoozes his way into your affections.  As dogs (and some men!) tend to do.

Here is the little scamp on Horseshoe Bay beach and the good thing is that he can swim, but he is not too keen on deep water.

Eric, 11.11.12 Horseshoe bay Beach

After taking him home we gave him a bit of a shower, to get the salt water off of him and to cool him down - its rough when its 30c and you are wearing a fur coat...

Eric getting a cool down from Matt 11.11.12

As Monty Python used to say :  And now for something completely different... 

A total eclipse of the alarm clock

The total solar eclipse happened up the road in Cairns, on November 14th.  The place was packed out with 'eclipse chasers' and as there was not another one in Australia until 2028, we decided we would get up at 6am to see what of it we could from here in Magnetic Island.  

We are about 380km away from Cairns and as such, we only got 80% of the eclipse, to the total 'full monty' up the road.    But alack and alas, we thought we had set the alarm clock, but who knows what happened but we slept through the whole thing, and had to watch it on the ABC Breakfast TV at 8 am.  Bummer! For those interested, here is the link to the Cairns tourist information net page detailing the whole thing:

Tears for trailers...

Look what I found at Horseshoe Bay Beach...

A very cute teardrop caravan from the 1950s I would say:  25.10.12
I love the way the canopy above matches its paintwork.

Oh, before I forget; does anyone remembers the photos I took of Greg singing at Noodies Restaurant in Horseshoe Bay, in September, in my last blog?

Well, I have entered 3 of them in the National Gallery of Australia photographic portrait prize.  Wish me luck, and of course if anything happens in that regard, I shall be blogging about it, in a very big typeface...

Before I go, I just want to leave readers with an idea for a fab Christmas gift;  

One of our coffee mugs;

Just go to our website as describe on the cup and pay via Paypal: easy peasy!

I shall be posting again in January, all being well.  We are having  Christmas and New year at home for once, but having Christmas day lunch on the beach in 38C will not be such a hardship I feel.  

As I always say my one gripe about having a hot Christmas here in Australia is that you have to look good in a bikini!  (In my old life in UK, I could put on a bit of weight and hide it under 2 woolly jumpers).

My other famous saying is 'thank god I'm an atheist',  so Happy Holidays to all and have a fun and safe new year.

Adios Amigos -    -  - Louise