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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Sydney adventures and other stuff - June 2013 - PART TWO

GOOD MORNING READERS;  Part Two of our adventures.

Louise here at the blog-o-sphere once again continuing on with our adventures south of the border, down Sydney way.  

Just to prove we really know how to live life in the fast lane here on Magnetic Island, I have to share the following.   Sit down if you have a weak disposition.

My Daihatsu Charade TS Model car which I purchased new in 2000 had a bit of a milestone: the old girl got to 100,000 kms on the clock!  Yee hah!  And of course an event of this magnitude had to be photographed!

27 May 2013; the clock says 99,999 km

Now it says 100,000 km!  27.5.13

I did warn you it was exciting...   I got this car new from salesman Victor Sultana in Jan 2000, the compliance plate was issued Dec 1999, and to be a classic car in Australia the vehicle in question has to be 20 years old at least.  

As I am too hard up to buy a new one, I think my poor old 'jam jar' (as we used to say in London) will have to keep going a bit longer.  

I do have this one fantasy though that involves my Charade.   

No, not that kind,  get your mind above your navel.  My fantasy is this:-  I want to go into the local Porche dealer (not that I think there is one in Townsville!) and ask to do a trade in with the Charade.  Matt can be secretly filming the whole thing.  I just want to the see the look on the face of the sales person.  Then I'll flash my platinum AmEx card and say 'I want that one...!'

But of course, for this to happen,  I need the cash to buy a new Porche in the first place.  All dosh, cash, moolah, whatever you call it, dear reader(s), will be gratefully received.

Now where was I? 

Oh yes, an old friend of Matt's from his school days, Dallas, and his lovely wife Bernie, came to stay with us for a few days.  I had never met them before and we had a amazing few days together.  

19.5.13, Dallas and Matt, Picnic Bay

After showing them around the island, and showing them the old Picnic Bay Jetty half demolished by Cyclone Yasi (above) we saw the chalked sign on the blackboard outside the Arcadia Hotel telling all that the free Bingo had jackpotted to $1000.  Well, we had to go and have a try at that!

Bingo! 19.5.13 Arcadia Hotel L-R Matt, Dallas, Bernie

Eyes down for a full house....

Sad to say, we didn't win a cracker!  But it was fun nonetheless! (No one won the $1k which rolled over to the next week - we attended, and it was won on the last number by a local chap...)

Deciding that as the guys had a 4WD, (which trumps our Charade any day!) a trip to West Point on the other side of Magnetic Island with a few fishing rods was a  must!  The roads are only sealed for part of the way, and potholes by the dozen line the unsealed section.   

(Previous blogs will show that my lovely husband Matt has to have a gun at his head to get the fishing rods out, but when Dallas suggested it, he broke the sound barrier getting to the shed to retrieve them and the camping chairs...)

I, as usual, caught nothing with my rod.  Young Dallas on the other hand, caught the one and only fish of the day, a Trevally, which we had for tea that night.  And very nice it was too.  Well done Dallas.

20.5.13  West Point, L-R, Bernie, Matt and Dallas

Dallas and Bernie left us on 21st May to go further north, and it was great having some guests we could show the island to.  


Vivid Festival, Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney 30.5.13

On Thursday 30 May 2013,  we flew to Sydney for a few days, mainly to go to the 'Passion Party' at the Arthouse in Pitt St, Sydney City.   Luckily for us the Vivid Festival was also in Sydney, plus the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.

We landed at 5.30pm, and by 6.30pm after checking into our hotel in Campbell St, we were in the Dixon St Foodcourt enjoying some lovely Asian food.  Matt loves a Laksa, and indulged in a mammoth one with everything but the kitchen sink in it.   We then embarked after dinner to a very long walk to Circular Quay where the 2013 Vivid Festival was in full swing.  The Customs House (above) had a great light show which was jiggled about by a moving dance floor!  Anyone could have a go, and the whole building appeared to sway and bend.  Hours of fun.   But modesty prevented me busting a few moves.   ("As if", says Matt...)

Another display at Customs House 30.5.13

Around the corner next to the Museum of Contemporary Art, was a light tunnel, made from LED coloured lights, which kept changing.  

Your author, Circular Quay, 30.5.13

Since I was last walking around the Quay area, the Passenger Terminal has really opened up with new restaurants and clubs.  Here we found a perfect view of the famous Opera House, and the shore was lined with tripods, with eager photographers behind them, clicking away.

Opera House, 30.5.13 Vivid Festival

This was one of the biggest displays of light and sound so far,  and around 11pm after looking at most of the installations, including some fab sculptures, we jumped on a bus and headed back to the hotel.  

Next day Friday 31st, I caught the ferry over to Manly to attend my old dentist Dan Pechar, for a quick visit.  I checked out the charity shops there too, but sad to say, they have become rather expensive since I was last there.    I think its due to the fact that Manly is a main tourist area of Sydney and this may be driving the prices up?  Who knows.   I rocked back up at the hotel in town at 4.30 as we had a dinner date at 6pm with our old pal Kelly. We met her at the bus stop near Elizabeth St and headed to Paddington to have dinner with another old chum Chris.

A very talented landscape gardener,  Chris is house sitting the most FAB place in Paddington!  A lovely 2 storey terrace, with a stunning and beautiful art collection adorning its walls.  Chris is one of these people who is always in the right place at the right time - and the owners of the house asked him to move in while they are overseas.    

The wine flowed, we talked about old times, we devoured a fab Thai beef salad, and before we knew it, it was time to go and catch the bus back into town.  Sadly Chris was unable to come to the Passion Party with us, as he has a broken bone in his foot (it can get a bit squishy at these events and my toes have been trodden on in the past).

We poured Kelly into a taxi at Elizabeth St. and waved bye bye.  She is also unable to attend the party as she has a 'hens night' on that night!  Bugger,  we had a huge crew of chums at the last Passion Party.

Next day Saturday 1st June, was the day of the party.  Do we have the time to squeeze in the Archibald Prize for Portraiture at the Art Gallery? I think so!   

It was the last day of the exhibition, it looked like it was going to pour with rain, but what the hell, we HAD to go.   Below is the link to the web page for the Archibald prize.   The other two prizes on exhibit are the Wynne and the Sulman (landscape and design/ sculpture) which are always good.  (and controversial!)

Another one of our good friends, Geoff, met us in the lobby of the hotel and we caught the bus to the Gallery.  The sky was darkening, rain had been forecast, as we went from the bus stop to the Gallery.     As we walked along something caught my eye.  It was 2 tickets to the Archibald!  Grabbing them at warp factor 7, I showed Geoff and Matt.  
'Are they still good for today?' asked Geoff (he was getting a senior discount ticket himself).   

'I have no idea' I said, 'but I'll go down to the desk where they take the tickets and ask.'   If these tickets were valid we were saving $20.

I smiled sweetly at the lady at the entrance to the Archibald Prize, and said, waving one the found tickets,  'I had to go outside for a minute, can I get back in again?'

'Of course you can'  and she went to take it from my hand, which I quickly retracted.

'Er, thanks, I'll just get my husband who I've left upstairs...'  and I spurted like Usain Bolt on steroids to get Matt and Geoff.

"We're in!' I hissed into Matt's ear.  
'Nice one...' he whispered back.

Geoff came over from the ticket desk with his concession ticket.  I hurriedly told him that the tickets were valid and we made our way through the herds of visitors, who were eager, like us, to see the last day of the Archibald Prize.    

On entering we realised that every art lover in Sydney had joined us.   We got out our list of exhibits and did the rounds.   After 2 1/2 hours, we suddenly heard the words on the intercom system saying 'Ladies and gentlemen, the Art Gallery will be closing in 5 minutes...'.  Wow.  It was 5pm; and we had still a few things to view in the Sulman part of the exhibition.   

I have enclosed a link of the one painting in the Sulman Prize exhibit that really grabbed me;

Its called 'Lounge Lizards' by Joanna Braithwaite, and I just loved it.

As we left the Gallery and waited for the bus to come, the black sky opened and it started to rain. Please oh weather gods, no rain tonight, I've left the waterproof mascara at home!

All three of us jumped off the bus at Chinatown and headed for the Dixon St food court.  Some Asian food was needed  after all that traipsing around looking at artworks.

Geoff and your author, Food Court, Dixon St, Sydney  1.6.13

We waved bye bye to Geoff after dinner, as he got on the bus home, and raced back to the hotel to get ready for our big night out - the Passion Party!  Woo hoo!

Our old chum Vince was meeting us at the hotel and we were all going along together.

Vince and your Author, 10 pm - 1.6.13 before the Passion Party

Don't be alarmed - I haven't had a bad black dye job, that's a wig!  This was the first time I've worn a wig to a nightclub.  And it was fine.  

 I know that top is a bit see through, but its due to the fact that the bra I have on under it, has fake diamonds sewn onto the sides of the cups.  Well, they have to be shown off, and if you can't look a bit tarty at a Passion Party, when can you, I ask myself?  Plus we knew from the last one it would be very hot on the dance floor.

Matt looking very shiny - with Vince before the party 1.6.13

It was only sprinkling with rain as we walked to the Arthouse.  The party was FAB.  There was a cloakroom (lovely!) but we were wearing our gammy old black hoodies in case the cloakroom was full and we had to stash them under the seats and retrieve them later.  This actually happened to us a few years back when we were living in Sydney.  We went to see Armin Van Buuren at the Hordern Pavilion, and of course, my black good coat I had to stash under a seat was taken, while Matt's old black hoodie was left!  Go figure.  Ever since then, I just wear old stuff I don't mind losing.

But I digress.  Arriving at 11pm, the joint was jumping - the decor inside the Arthouse was amazing, high energy old tunes from the DCM nightclub days were blaring out, great lasers, and a fun crowd singing away with the classics.   It must have been good as we left at 5.30am!  Below are some pics taken at the venue  - the ones with the lasers in are (I think!) the Passion Party.

Soon it was Monday and time to return to Magnetic Island.  Ah Sydney we shall miss you, but we are coming back again in September if we can swing it.

So that's about it in the continuing adventures of Louise and Matt.

Its now winter time here on Maggie, I am sitting here resplendent in my gammy old boys trackie pants with a long sleeve T shirt on top.  I know my reader(s) think I swan around in Hawaiian print sarongs and bikinis.  I sure hate to spoil that image.  Life in the tropics is not all summer nights and cocktails.

Its 24C -  and I'm in winter clothes - yeah I know, mental eh?  Its been 13C at night and trust me after summer temps of 34-38C on average, a daytime 24C seems cool, and a night time 13C is bloody perishing.  Bed socks and fleecy dressing gowns rule in this household after the sun has gone down.  No pics of me in those, I want to keep the illusion of me as a fashionista intact!

I'll close now.

Another post coming soon!  (hopefully just photos...)

Adios Amigos;


Friday, June 14, 2013

Easter, my birthday and other musings.... Part ONE


Moovers and shakers, its time once again for the blogger, (moi) to get her arse into gear and tell you what I have been doing!  Forgive me oh blog gods as its been since before bloody Easter that I posted anything...

Ah yes, I was dragged away from the end of the last blog to Jupiters Casino in Townsville for a lovely boozy, cocktail fuelled weekend.

But before I get to that bit, I have to start with the ending I wanted to put on the last blog.

My fantastic tips for home decor... Its true, too many copies of 'Home Beautiful' read in the hair dressers has turned my brain!

Yes, I've discovered things you can stick on the walls and make "the boudoir" or for the non French speaking among us, the bedroom, look sexy and inviting.

Our bedroom  March 2013

As you can see from the above pic, I have a rather large collection of handbags (this being only a small fraction) so I decided to stick them on the wall.  (My own idea - but feel free to copy!)

Now I think I have bored my readers stiff with the hatred I have of sliding mirror doors on built in wardrobes?   After racking my brains I finally came up with a solution to the problem.

The dreaded mirrored doors, (now transformed) - March 2013

I was going to stick posters on them at first, but of course,  being a vain cow, I want to see myself getting dressed in the mornings.  (Scary as that is!)  

Then I found some stick on hooks in the local hardware shop and my imagination took flight.   That pink corset on the left is actually too big (a gift from my dear chum Carmen - Thanks) and the other corset on the left is a size 8, something, like dreams of being a rocket scientist, I will never realise again in this lifetime...   

So rather than these 2 lovely items being stuck in a trunk, I dug them out and voila!  One door has a very sexy makeover.  An Indian cotton bag and some fake pearls complete the trio.  Most things look better hanging or displayed in odd numbers, so I'm told...  

I hope this inspires any of you out there with the same problem.  Dig out those sexy undies and display them.  Granny knickers excepted!

Oh yes, Jupiters Casino - Easter time.

Matt my lovely husband kept the whole thing a big secret; which for someone who is not good at this sort of thing, must have been an agony.

After springing it on me, he just said 'Pack for cocktails by the pool'.   Then he took off with Eric our doggie to be looked after by his folks, and left me frantically packing my mini case on wheels.

Now I am not a quick packer, it takes me days to decide what to take away.  I whirled around our house like a banshee and threw in what I thought would be OK.  But what if we were flying somewhere?  Would I need a passport?  Or adaptors for appliances?  

Luckily Matt came home as I was musing these thoughts.   

'Darling - are we going overseas?  Just so I know what to wear if we are going on a plane?'
Matt looked at the carpet for a bit ruminating on whether to say anything.

'Ok, I'll tell you this Louise, we are not flying...'   

Relief flooded through me, as I put the last of my makeup in the case and we left for the ferry to town.  Then and only then, did I realise our destination as we walked past the taxi zone and headed towards the Casino.  

Ah hah!  Jupiters!   Matt slowed down and said to me, 'Waddya think? Fancy it?'  
I gave him a big kiss and said 'Sure do!' and onwards we trudged in the 33C heat.

We checked into our room, and I nearly fell over when at the mini bar the price of a bottle of water was $7.50!  Please!  So glad the water is Ok to drink up here.

We ordered room service for lunch, then viewed the pool and surrounds.  But as we were booked into the Aqua Restaurant for the seafood buffet that night I said no to cocktails and yes to Diet Coke.

Matt outside the Aqua Restaurant, Jupiters Casino, 29 March 2013

Before dinner, 29 March 2013

   Happily  the cocktails arrived with dinner and a Margarita went down very well.

Sat 30 March 13, by the pool at last, Mojito in hand.

Matt with mojito 30.3.13

And on an even happier note, the next day we finally got the cocktails by the pool...  Matt's sister Deni was in town and stopped by to say hello.  The weather was so good that a wedding took place behind me there on the grassed area.  Honestly...

Sat night saw dinner at Cactus Jacks in Palmer St.   Very nice it was too.  We got back to the casino part of the hotel, and splurged a whole $20 on the $2 roulette wheel.  I wish I could say one of my lucky numbers came up, but NO!  So we shuffled off to our room to see what delights the mini bar had in store.

Next day we had a quick walk around town to see the markets in Flinders St., but then got the ferry home back to the Island.  Ah it was great while it lasted.

On 21nd April, Matt's Auntie Lyn came to the island for a visit with Will and Lily (her grand kids).  

On Monday 22 we decided it would be fun to go at high tide to the Picnic Bay Jetty and jump off the thing.  Yep, bungy jumping Maggie Island style.  Now we had to dress a bit odd for this exercise as the dreaded box jellyfish

are known to sometimes frequent the waters here; very venomous (see above link) so one must dress in garments that stop the tentacles actually touching the flesh:

Matt at the jetty 22/4/13

Here we have Matt modelling a very nice line in ladies tan coloured pantie hose, with reinforced gusset with his board shorts under them.   Complemented with a long sleeve rash vest in white by the Billabong label.  A must for any swimmer in these tropical waters!

OK, I agree, my husband looks like a deranged cross dresser, but hey, if it stops getting stung I'll just have a good laugh at him trying to get the pantyhose ON and tell  him that tan is so not his colour...

Auntie Lyn, Picnic Bay Jetty 22.4.13, restraining our Eric.

See that ladder in the pic above?  That's the reason we can jump in and get out again.  Not a bother, except to our dog Eric.   

It went like this; Matt jumps in, and Eric (who is off the lead) rushes to side by the ladder to check on what is going on and whines like a banshee.

Next Louise looking like a ninja in black tights and l/s t shirt follows Matt.   

Uh oh, its Ninja Louise in action!  22/4/13

As I surface and come to near the ladder, (where Matt at the base) I nearly die.  Eric has decided that we have both lost our minds and he starts to come down the ladder!    Luckily he got stuck between the wharf and the ladder itself.  Matt rushed up the rungs and grabbed him before he hit the water.   Lyn said 'I just turned away for a minute and he was gone!'   No damage done, but we had to tie him to the wharf.

Lily coming out of the water: 22.4.13

Will  - 23.4.13 - Arthur Bay

I have included a pic of Will here, the ones of him at the Jetty came out too blurred.

Next day we all went snorkeling at Arthur Bay;  again the Ninja suits came out.  Fantastic weather and the water was lovely.  

L-R  Matt, Will, Lily and Lyn: Arthur Bay 24.4.13

OK  Amigos,  I am making this a 2 part effort.  I worry about too long a blog becoming tedious!

 Lots to tell you about our Sydney visit and other excitements.   Soo, I will get this part published and put out Part 2 hopefully on Sunday 16th June.

Ciao for now