31 July, 2006

What else could lunch have been....???

30 July, 2006


28 July, 2006

Val recently announced that Boomama was organising an annual (or once only) bloggy tour of homes for Friday. That's today. I thought it might be fun, so am taking part. Visit Boomama for all the details - but be quick. As I said, Friday is today.

Okay, here I go. Be warned that I didn't clean the house before doing this (so if any pictures show a clean house, be impressed, because that was not the intention.

The front door. And plants either side that I have bought from garage sales. The one to the right was looking worse than this when I bought it. But it cost me $5 complete with the pot and it's a bit happer (it seems) now than before. The plant on the left is looking decidedly worse than when I bought it. The darn things seem to need water all the time. Sigh.

I recently got the security screen fixed, so I can lock it without using the key. You've no idea what a joy this is. I like to lock myself into my house when I am here alone.

Where I blog. I know, it's just a shot of the desk - but the rest is too hideous to see. I have another picture almost the same as this one (but with a cleaner desk). There is a bed opposite the desk with a stack of pillows on it (no pillowcases), a clothes airer and that black blob in the lower left corner is the crappy students chair I sit on. The clock has read 11:45 for the past three months. I should change the batteries some time. The ironing board is permanently set up (who can be bothered to do all their ironing in one go - I iron as I need to) and there is a bookcase full of books I haven't read behind it. Other items in the room: a sewing machine (changes place with the computer regularly), a basket of ironing, a vacuum cleaner, four paintings that need to be hung on the walls and lots of fabric all over the place!!

Excuse me while I strangle Blogger.... Okay, back to where we were.

This is my living room. The quilts I made myself. The paintings I made also. That's about where my creativeness ends. This is one of the few almost clean area of my home right now. Behind me looks like a tornado just passed through.

The kitchen in all it's glory. Under the blue tea towel is homemade bread (probably blue also, as I made it about a week ago and nothing lasts long in the tropics). Also visible are several bottles of wine at various stages of depletion. And dishes in the draining rack (putting them away just means taking them out again later...). What you see here is the sum of my counter space. I do live in a unit...

Last picture. I couldn't choose, but this one came out alright. And hopefully it will taste more than alright in a few weeks. It's my first tomato of the season. Yum, yum.

27 July, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly

No Thursday Thirteen today. My mind is a blank and I can't think of 13 cool things to say. So here are some pics instead.

Some things arrived in the mail over the past couple of days. One was this fabulous top created by my beautiful sister. Actually, the top was already mine (I had wondered where that had gone) but the funky creation was Michelle's. So purple. So giraffe. So ME!!

The top arrived with this cute bunny. Is it a bunny? It is illegal to keep real rabbits up here in Queensland (something about them being considered a Class 2 pest...) so this is as close as I get. Not that I want a real one... This little guy was made out of 10c remnants Michelle picked up from Spotlight while she was here. I think.

So that was the good. Now we get to the bad. Remember how I mentioned I had run a red light? And how I hoped there was no film in the camera? No such luck.

And now to the ugly. Some may think. I actually like these pictures. I bought an easel the other day and have gone exploring the countryside and painting...

...Jackson Pollock-style.

23 July, 2006

My weekend.

Green stuff.

I'm not a horse fan, but this guy posed, so I had to take a pic...

Mount Stuart.

Mango trees are in flower now.

Tree trunk.

A creek running through Oak Valley - near Townsville.

Bad for the waterways, but looking pretty anyway (wish the same could be said for the water, which I think is a stagnant oil slick at this time of year).

Mt Elliott in the distance - near Townsville.

Some kind of bird of prey at the rubbish tip (no, I am NOT an ornithologist - can't you tell?).

Yellow flowers (nor am I a botanist!!).

19 July, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Today's thirteen are being posted really early (Wednesday evening). Because I have to go to Ayr tomorrow morning at 6:45am. For a meeting. Shall I say that again? 6:45. The things I do for my job. The meeting starts at 8:00am and I am giving myself 15 minutes "getting lost time." Since the address of the meeting is "Roy's Shed." I kid you not. Anyway, back to my Thursday Thirteen. I was surfing the internet last week and decided to do a purple giraffe search. I typed "Purple Giraffe" into Google Blog Search to see what came up. There were a few posts of mine, and a few references to my blog (which made my ego soar, I do have to say). But I found some hilarious references to purple giraffes in other peoples blogs. I was so engrossed in this, I looked at 50 pages (or about 1000 hits) of links to something saying "purple giraffe." I then copied my favourites for this weeks TT. I hereby apologise sincerely for not referencing the blogs that these came from, but I do thank those 13 people who have contributed to this post...

Thirteen blog references to purple giraffes...

1. Libra, this is a good week for you to relax. Too bad you won't be able to, after a rabid purple giraffe destroys your backyard in a fit of cocaine-induced rage. Also, lay off the peyote.

2. I'll just have to use a bit of common sense, which is unfortunately in short supply due to the strange effects the hyper-strength antibiotics are having on my brain. Luckily, the purple giraffe who camps next to my bed is always on hand ...

3. My brain was so far in orbit that I understood every word when they were speaking "jive" and so did the purple giraffe sitting next to me eating a corndog.

4. And just as I rode into the sunset I saw a team of “animal control” burners dressed in red coveralls chasing a purple giraffe with a life sized net. Apparently the purple giraffe was caught successfully, inoculated with vodka.

5. This is one one-eyed frog you don’t want to mess with! Oh no! A report just came in that says the frog does not act alone. He has an accomplice! It is none other than PURPLE, the purple-purpliest giraffe of them all!

6. Vader gripped the gorilla horns and threw Jeff the purple giraffe out the window, which damaged his self-esteem quiet a lot.

7. Somebody kill it before it kills my purple giraffe! Don't just sit there and look at me like I'm crazy! Do it or I'll have my army of living ear wax soldiers annihilate you when I'm president. Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh"

8. Hermione now had the giant orange Garfield and a giant purple Giraffe clutched in both arms. Her face was flushed but she looked very cheerful. “You won’t get sick on this one, I promise,” she said to Ron in a soothing voice.

9. Since I'm here I will tell all that read this that my purple giraffe named Stewie has been taken from me by ninjas. If you have any information concerning his disappearance, please inform me or your local authorities.

10. That purple Giraffe just would not stop nagging.

11. We are to them as a man crying out that purple giraffes are in the garden, when no one else can see purple giraffes. Nothing could be plainer but that such a man is not fit for self-government, let alone participation in the government.

12. The purple giraffes are speaking their nonsense to me once again, while the clouds above are leaking… Whiskey? That or I’ve been drinking, but while I’ve done all this talking, I’ve been soaked by the whiskey-rain...

13. Could you nice people pop into the florist, whenever you walk pass one, and check if they sell any purple giraffes? Those who are colour blind or do not know what a giraffe looks like are excused.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, please use the auto-link. And comments are always much appreciated. Only if you leave a comment will I visit your Thirteen and leave a comment in return....

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

15 July, 2006

Riverway, again.

More shots from Riverway (don't worry, the Riverway Festival is over tomorrow!!). A spur-of-the-moment decision to go there today - in the rain. Baby Kai (who is coming up on 3 months, though is the weight of the average 6 month old) didn't get too wet, and didn't seem to care when he did. As long as he's in his sling, he doesn't care what goes on - he's asleep in minutes.

We went to the multicultural food fair to try some delicacies from the far reaches of the globe. But then I remembered that this is Townsville and whenever there is some multicultural food event, it's the same old stuff: a choice of Thai, Greek, Indian, Italian or Fijian food. And, of course, meat pies, pluto pups, fairy floss, steak sandwiches and chicko rolls. We are in Australia, remember. We went for Indian - it was the only animal-free choice that was remotely appetizing. These shots were taken from the cafe/bar by the pool where we had a cup of coffee. I can only imagine how great this place will be during those long, hot summer evenings: a swim, then maybe a cocktail, followed by a swim... I still can't believe this place is free!
Am experimenting with background colours - obviously. Is this better than the yellow ick of yesterday?

13 July, 2006

Thursday Thirteen just rolls around so fast... Today's theme is thirteen things I discussed with my boss on the trip to Ayr (1 hour) and back (1.5 hours - we had to stop at the home of a farmer/irrigator/ concerned citizen/man who grows coriander and gave me a heap of it to take home today, yum!). Note that making small talk with my boss filled me with trepidation this morning when he picked me up.

  1. His new boat, which he has anchored in the river close to my house (we had to swing by there and check it was still safe). He's close to retiring and is buying lots of toys.
  2. The weather. Sigh. But it has been raining here, and it's winter!! For those who don't realise, we don't really have summer and winter here, we have wet season and dry season. The wet season came late and we're now supposed to be in the middle of the dry season .
  3. What we were going to do once we arrived at the meeting.
  4. His new phone, which he got yesterday and doesn't know how to use. I tried to put it on hands-free for him for the car. I clearly don't know how to use it either because hands-free wouldn't work and I had to play secretary as we drove down (driving and talking on a mobile phone is illegal here).
  5. The sugar cane (it's harvesting time).
  6. Whether the rain would be a problem for harvesting (it's not - as we drove past the mill there was an amazing number of cane train carriages full of cane waiting to be processed and the mill was billowing smoke and steam).
  7. Water levels in the creeks and rivers (water IS our job).
  8. Lychees, longans, avocadoes, mangoes and other related tropical fruits.
  9. Coriander - his distaste for it, my love of it. And all the regions of the world that use copious amounts of it (we identified Mexico, Thailand and India). He decided that India is now another place that he can't visit because of the coriander issue. BTW, coriander is what some northerners (Americans) call cilantro.
  10. The stench (to him) / aroma (to me) of the coriander filling the car.
  11. The stench (to both of us) of the dead kangaroo we passed on the side of the road.
  12. A mutual friend who has cancer. He had to tell doctors for a year that he was ill before anyone would believe him and run the tests to identify what was wrong.
  13. The near accident we were in when a kid sped through an intersection where he was supposed to give us the right of way. It was a close call.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, please use the auto-link. And comments are always much appreciated. Only if you leave a comment will I visit your Thirteen and leave a comment in return....

12 July, 2006


I think I just got nabbed by a red light camera. I KNOW I shouldn't have been going through the red light - I swear it had only just changed to red as I was half way through the intersection. But there were two flashes and I'm now pretty sure they were for me, though I was a little confused about it at the time (am a running-a-red-light virgin). I only hope there was no film in the camera (does that happen - that the flash goes off, even if there is no film in the camera?) because I don't really want to pay the fine. Nor do I want any demerit points. Again, I KNOW I shouldn't complain about this as it is my fault and I will pay the fine if I have to - I just don't want to. Since it happened - about half an hour ago - I've been getting madder and madder at myself. But I feel better, now that I've told the internet. And I really should feel grateful (and I am) that I didn't cause an accident.

11 July, 2006


Townsville's newest attraction is Riverway. Michelle, you should have put your trip back two weeks. Riverway opened on the weekend and a ten day festival is happening to celebrate. Everything is free - the bbq's, playground, even the pools. And check out the pools!! This is one of those flash infinity pools where the water drops over the edge to form a waterfall, but it looks like the river is part of the pool. There is a shallow wading pool that actually has sand at the edge - a real(ish) beach - and it goes to 2 metres deep.

I'm not sure what the big building is, but to the right of the photo is a restaurant/bar. This pool is above the lower one in the previous pictures (the lower pool is to the lower left of this picture).

The top pool at night. Each big tree has lights underneath, shining into the canopy. The white things are chairs and tables, the orange things are witches hats. Please ignore the big Amcal sign - I know it doesn't do much for the scenery (damn sponsors...).

The bottom pool at night. A friend and I had a picnic by the pool while listening to a free jazz concert (sponsored by Amcal chemists, of course). The local high school performed (and they were very good), followed by a contemporary jazz trio from Brisbane called Misinterprotato. They were very, very good, and are travelling to jazz festivals all over the world (have been to Canada, Japan, Melbourne and more). So if you hear of them playing, go see them.

Lastly, a contradiction, no? Why would you have a playground with signs all over it saying, "No climbing please"??

All Townsvillians - or people headed to Townsville - go check out Riverway. It's great.

This was NOT a paid advertisement, but I think Thuringowa City Council should pay me...!

09 July, 2006

My blogging drought is officially over, I guess...

I think I must be making up for the recent blogging drought.

The first picture is of a flower I saw near the beach today.

The second and third pictures are two of the plants I bought at a garage sale yesterday - aloe vera and a pineapple plant (I don't expect it to fruit, though).

And the last two pictures are my Jackson Pollock-inspired (though about 1/100th of the size) latest artwork. My legs and arms are covered in paint and I will remember next time to do this kind of painting outside instead of on the carpet. Just kidding, it was done by the river.

08 July, 2006

My current pride and joy

Okay, just to attempt to hide the picture of myself in the previous post (oh, I am modest and shy) without actually deleting it, I'm posting a picture of the toy of the moment. It's the new washing machine (quite obviously). I just love it. It has flashing lights and it beeps when it's done. So I know it's finished washing but it doesn't have the buzzer of old machines that used to scare the crap out of me. Yes, I know, small things and all that.....

And I can't post a picture of that without posting a picture of this - the old washing machine. It's still sitting in the living room waiting for the son of a friend to come and buy it for a bargain, take it away, fix it, and sell it for as much as I paid for the new machine... Problem is, I don't know this guy and his phone is always engaged so I can't get hold of him and I want this old machine OUT of my house very soon.

Other news: I just went garage sale-ing again and bought six plants and fifteen books for ten dollars. And a straightening iron for twenty dollars (not from a garage sale). And petrol for an insane price, before it becomes more insane later this week due to oil company profiteering (don't tell me it's not, unless you can explain how the North Korea missile issue should affect how much I pay for petrol in regional Australia). And I forgot to buy orange juice.

The new 'do

I don't usually (read that as ever) post pictures of myself, and it's really not normal to smile at a camera and snap away when no-one else is in the room (I took about fifty photos trying to get something that looked almost natural - and the left was "my best side"). So ignore me and look at my new hair cut, which was done last night. It looked fabulous in the salon, when Tara - the genius who cuts my hair and the first hairdresser to whom I've felt comfortable saying, "do what you want" - showed me four different ways to style my hair. She's so cool - she'll style it, mess it up and then make me do it. Of course I can't and I just end up looking like I have some muscular impediment when I try to twist my hair, then stick bobby pins in backwards while looking in the mirror when I do it - and who can do anything the correct way when looking in the mirror. Anyway, the picture here is the product of the "messy look" plus wearing a bicycle helmet while cycling home from the salon. Tara put a colour in too, though it didn't come out too well in the picture. It's called "coffee shop" and there are about four or five different colours in there, including blonde, caramel, chocolate and mocha.

This morning - my hair looked nothing like this. Or the three other styles I was shown. I think I need Tara to visit me every morning before work to do my hair.

06 July, 2006

I'm back in the world of blogging and back into Thursday Thirteen. I've spent the past couple of weeks with my sister and her family while they escaped the cold and headed north. This picture was taken in the rainforest during their visit.

This week is thirteen of the highs and lows of my break.

  1. High - I got to spend fun time with my sister and her gorgeous kids for the first time in six months.
  2. Low - The time was all too short.
  3. High - We got to go places that I don't go to enough - the beaches, rainforest, beaches (oh, I already said that), and even just the nearby waterfront (called The Strand) - a lot.
  4. Low - six people and a five seater car means two trips to places - or just a few people going. Luckily I live really close to a lot of places.
  5. High - Frosty Mango - on the way to the rainforest. The kids said the mango flavour was the best ice cream they had tasted (made from real mangoes, of course).
  6. Low - the effect of Frosty Mango - and all the other over-indulgences - on my hips. I have forgotten what exercise is, but need to remember fast as my clothes are feeling a little tighter.
  7. High - all the fantastic photos I managed to take of the family. It's impossible to get a bad shot of those kids - and I took heaps.
  8. Low - almost losing all of the photos when my computer decided it had had enough and the hard drive went AWOL. A sleepless night and a call to Dell the next morning had it all back on track. Then everything was backed up and I could smile again.
  9. High - the art. The kids have painted six canvases for my wall - and they are fabulous masterpieces that should be worth a fortune (well, they are priceless to me). I just have to decide where to hang them - and get around to actually hanging them.
  10. Low - afterwards, I bought more canvases for them to create (I have another blank wall) but we never got around to painting them. I guess I'll just have to do something to them myself.
  11. High - having brilliant weather the whole time so we could do almost anything. And that also meant that the washing could be done each day.
  12. Low - the washing machine deciding it couldn't handle the extra work and seizing up. Giving me the opportunity to go washing machine shopping that same day. And the machine got delivered today and it is one fun, fancy piece of equipment. And I again have clean towels (yay!!).
  13. High - well, the whole two weeks was a high. I'm just sad it had to end - and that I had to return to work. But even all the lows weren't that low... does that make sense???

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, please use the auto-link. And comments are always much appreciated. Only if you leave a comment will I visit your Thirteen and leave a comment in return....
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

04 July, 2006

More snaps from our days at the beach

starfish invasion


Mmmm - the clear waters of Cleveland Bay

Balls of sand produced by the crabs on the beach

Baskets to catch the coconuts

Afternoon at Balgal Beach