Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Xmas in July 2020

Posted: July 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

The big day arrived under cloudy skies as predicted. First up time for a hearty breakfast of frozen veggie fritters washed down with red wine as you do. It was an interesting mix to say the least

The hosts are old hands at this caper now so there was a clear plan of what had to be done and when. The cooking side required 4 Webers on the go – what is known locally as a Warble of Webers actually. With so much juicy meat around it seemed smart to post a guard but maybe not all that smart for it to be a dog. Of course with a name like Flash what could go wrong?

Naturally the success of the whole day depended on the Antipasto starter plates so of course I was put in charge. One has to consider both the nutritional appeal along with the asthetic look. Going with two different lettuces was probably the decision that generated most positive feedback. Its tough work and certainly had to wash my hands afterwards. Next time must remember to wash before too methinks. The tables were all set up which just left the wine to choose and to ensure my seat was closest to said table

Weather was a bit hit and miss by now but of course can always guarantee rain will be heaviest when people have to get from car to cover. There has not been a family gathering for some months so was great to see everyone again. Of course the two girls, especially Ruby, have changed and grown a lot in recent months. Eloise quickly gravitated towards Nonna which left me holding the baby. Literally 🙂

It was also Claudes 90th this year and wonderful to see 4 generations all together. Time then to get down to lunch and before you know it 3 hours have gone and two buttons have popped! TB have really sorted this one out with the arrangement of the 3 tables all leading into the very lazy Susan – as in it doesnt move at all. If we can get more people next year we can finally get that Pentagram set up

Our guests staggered out at staggered times for a staggered departure with the only sad faces being those of the designated drivers……CLP and I stayed the night and helped TB knock off another 10% of the food left over which means they could start running out next Thursday at this rate. Of course the really heavy rain waited until this morning when we needed to leave and it was a bit hairy first up. The closer we got to Flashman INC Sunshine Coast the better the weather looked and in the distance could see a rainbow with not so much a pot of gold at the end but almost the same – Maryhole. So it was a lot of driving for one day but some of us have to work ya know. Back on the Golf Course tomorrow to kick the ducks out of the temporary ponds left in the bunkers after the rain.

It was a great short holiday with many wonderful memories and photos to match but this one could be the winner for moi. Bye for now

The rain has started as predicted. Amazing how accurate the weather clowns are when you want them to be wrong as usual 😏 It’s a matter of filling in the morning as best we can before decamping at the Mcleod Spread after lunch. Avocado Sunset is fully booked so does need us to vacate on time at 10 am. Working backwards from a midday lunch we have 2 wet hours to fill in. The eternal question may be asked – how long can you sit on one beer for ?

As we were leaving I had my usual cheery face on which prompted Clive to ask what we were doing now and when I said standing in the rain for 2 hours he kindly offered to let me sit in the communal room for as long as I like . I said ok but only if you let me go tell CLP she doesn’t have to stand out in the rain anymore. You know in about 10 mins…..

One probably shouldn’t start the blog too early. After just settling in said communal room our next hosts contacted to say the previous guests had been evicted early and our room was ready now . Their Trip Advisor review will reflect this kindness . I almost smiled but it was one of those inward ones I prefer.

Duly rocked up and shown to our quarters which was a recent addition to the complex. I called shotgun on the top bunk STAT

The only question then really was when is beer o’clock ? As one does get older one on occasion shows a glimmer of wisdom and thought probably best wait until the sun went down. Looking outside for guidance it was raining so could only assume the sun probably does go down around 2 pm in the country ? Sweet

This could get ugly , better sign off now and get ready for Santa coming tonight 🙏🏻 Could be a bit late too. With social distancing he has had to drop 5 reindeer from the lineup

MTM – Day 3

Posted: July 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

We started up the fire last night for no other reason than CLP is a bit of a pyromaniac 😏 Great way to warm up the pillows too. It has not been very cold this stay but certainly pleasant days under cloudy skies with no rain. Yet…

Relaxed plan today after another very filling breakfast. Only issue with this wonderful room is it is adjacent to the communal living area and there were a couple of sheilas in there last night talking until all hours. You know 8 pm! A polite request and they left back to their rooms no problem. We will head off to Gallery Walk around 10 am to fill in a couple of hours before it is socially acceptable to knock on Fortitude Brewery door! Ok….. they don’t open until midday , ya got me .

After the stunning success of our African Attire last night CLP thought she would keep the African theme going today but I suggested perhaps a quick wax first ?

When I got back up off the floor we headed out. We had a perfectly good coffee to start with as most shops don’t open until 10 am. Clearly there is a theme here and it is basically hippie new age and no vaccinations required 😏 CLP still found some stuff of interest apparently but really the plan was to get to the end of the street quickly

At the end of the street and just around the corner of course was the first alcohol inspired venue on list – Tambourine Mountain Distillery . Luckily it was quiet when we were there and really excellent value tasting paddle for $5. These babes start at 20% ABV and don’t stop there so the 4 samples were perfect and we bought a couple of bottles just to be sociable honest. As we were leaving a bus of hen party sheilas arrived so we really dodged a bullet there

We then retraced our steps but on the other side of the street for variety. Sadly the shops were mostly the same. As the big hand and the little hand were were getting cosy it was time to head to Fortitude Brewing just in case the sheilas followed me after a skin full. Once again suitably quiet and we had been there before we passed on the tasting paddle and went straight to the 8.8% Slipstream IPA. In this weather it would certainly be a slipstream again rather quickly. Ordered another excellent pizza as well

By now the alcohol level was just under appropriate levels for still driving so time to head back for a break and a bath and test out some of that sweet smelling stuff La Lady had bought . It was very pleasant indeed and quite romantic so may just sign off for the day with one last selfie. They say the longer you stay together the more you start to look alike but I reckon I am still the stunner in the group

Tomorrow we head down the mountain to the McLeod Spread for a couple more days of eating and drinking but in the warm embrace of family . Luckily with this social distancing in place I don’t actually have to hug anyone 🕺🏻

MTM – Day 2

Posted: July 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

A good nights sleep in the Safari room had us all snuggled up as if in a tent on the edge of Victoria Falls. Here is one I prepared earlier

Our host Clive the South African maybe thought we were sneaky Victorians who had invaded up north given the sign near our door. Naturally as true blue Qlders we were up for all and any breakfast we don’t have to cook. As expected it was a delicious and filling spread

Plans today revolved being Canungra Winery adjacent at midday for our pre ordered picnic hamper. As we were heading in general direction we decided to continue on to O’Reillys Rainforest Retreat first for the morning. We knew it was a windy road but what a nightmare drive. Luckily we saw about one car coming the other way on the 45 min 20 Kim ascent. Give Way signs for a 100 m one lane stretch with actual visibility of about 25 m! Surprisingly it was quite crowded up top with many foreign backpackers looking to settle in. Lovely views even on a cloudy day but it was plane to see there wasn’t much to enthrall non trekkers

As always the trip down seemed quicker and we were at winery nice and early for some tastings . Ah no, we can’t do tastings at present. Odd as many wineries are 😏 So, we took our hamper and set up in the rotunda near the vines for a very pleasant lunch. Perfect amount of food and good range if not necessarily great value for money. It did come with a free choice of a wine so with no tasting we chose the Sangiovese and it was perfectly acceptable

Next to the winery was an Alpaca Gathering and Shop. For $25 you could walk one. For free you could smell 30 and feel like you were at the Ekka again . Cute little buggers indeed and come in all shapes and colours. Could make a beautiful bedspread out of them

As we are out and about in Tourist Ville there certainly are plenty of “ restrictions “ around and sensible limits in shops etc. A sense of humour always helps of course

Meandered back to our abode with plans to visit the Distillery just 100 m down the road to round out the day nicely in the eating/drinking stakes. Sadly the distillery has shifted to Gallery Walk so we will chase that down tomorrow. That just means then time for a relaxing couple of hours and then we are getting dressed up in our finery and hitting the town . I think we will fit right in no worries

Mr Tamborine Man – Day 1

Posted: July 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

In an effort to avoid every bloody sporting team in Australia being in Qld now we decided to spend a few days at Mount Tamborine before decamping at Canungra for the annual Della Xmas in July this weekend. Of course because of la pesky bug 2020 we will also be celebrating Claude’s 90th Birthday , Easter , and Bruce’s confirmation. Yes we can confirm he likes a drink

Speaking of the elderly first up we dropped into the Twilight Home to see Ferguson Matriach and a belated 94th birthday. It’s a strict protocol to get in but kudos to the place for keeping all the oldies safe and healthy. Mum is not travelling real well these days in the memory stakes so luckily we were able to convince her we gave her a birthday present last week. Look ya make the most of a bad situation 🕺🏻

Then it was off to said Mountain for a quick lunch hook up with our hosts for the weekend and a quick tally of alcohol, food and alcohol supplies needed. You know, in case they all turn up 🤔 We met at Clancy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant as you do and was able to even sneak in the requisite black stuff before our guests arrived. It was an excellent meal and even finished off with one of the better Irish Coffees we have had outside Ireland and even within the majority of their counties come to think of it 😏

We quickly checked out Main Street and then it was onto our very pleasant lodgings for the next 3 nights – Avocado Sunset B&B. Looks a lovely setup in a quiet area with magnificent views. Sadly the weather has turned cloudy and likely to remain so all week so photos can’t really do justice. We have the Safari room and the host is South African so it’s almost like being in South Africa without the wild animals – at least until the weekend. Oops there are a couple lurking now….

As it approaches 5 pm maybe time for a quick drink and nibble but will be a quiet night now as rather full as a goog from lunch and do have full cooked English breakfast to deal with tomorrow as well . Later dudes

As in Life the first month is always the easiest. You either don’t need toilet paper or have enough stock! At first it begins like a little adventure and also gives you a great reason not to socialise with the great unwashed or GUH as we now call them – great unwashed hands. The fun part wanes pretty early mind you when the impact of no family gatherings hit especially with Easter front and centre. Luckily with social media these days still able to see the Grandkiddies enjoy Easter in their different ways

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Missing the usual Della campout at Maplehead was sad if for no other reason than to drink someone else’s alcohol for a few days. Your own never tastes as good for some reason and trust me I have tested this theory extensively of late.

Travel, especially of the international kind, will be the most affected aspect of this period as the months pass. Scotty from Marketing says not only are we flattening the curve but we are crushing it like ingested disinfectant on a susceptible lung.

 

Many people are struggling of course as unemployment takes off. Still give Scotty from Marketing an A- so far and that could dip depending on how he handles the easing of restrictions. By all means be careful but lets not be too silly about it. I am just glad I never have to apply for a job again. 50% record to date with first application was successful in 1977 and then a brief attempt to become a Sales Rep in the 90s failed even with my noted people skills. Not sure if was my honesty or the way I wore my hair for the interview

 

First up our short trip to Melbourne in June is off and we have taken a “flight credit” for now. Prepaid accommodation may be lost. There really is no point going somewhere just because a plane takes off and lands a few hrs later if you cant walk around the city and partake in the eating drinking caper as usual. Next up of course is Las Vegas in October and again looking very dodgy. I suspect USA will reopen too early but regardless of that the real issue is doubt Qantas ( again fully paid up fares) will be flying to USA in 2020. Pretty well accepted it wont happen and while nowhere near happy about it have come to terms with it and looking at other ways to escape Maryhole. By then I imagine domestic travel will be mostly running and pubs and restaurants open in Australia so maybe Melboring in October will be the go. Then I have NYC in Feb 2021 which would put at only 50-50 at present again because of Qantas restrictions I imagine. I could start to lose some of my renowned easy going nature if that were to occur. Finally we then roll into Call Me Bwana 2021 in March which maybe looks about 80-20 at present. Most of the travel in doubt are solo international trips for this LBD and while I can live with missing Las Vegas the same does not apply for Feb 2021. Two main reasons travel these times is do love the solo visits to big cities but also to escape a few weeks of Qld heat. Not sure could survive another summer at home. This raises the question maybe of a short solo trip to Sydney for example in August/Sept this year but really not escaping any Qld heat then

There are many ways to fill in time and still interact with folk during these times and first one is always Top 10 lists – music, movies, TV…. Given cinemas are closed it at least provides some discussion of movies given new releases are limited

The clear indication for moi from these processes is how much the 70s resonated with me for music and movies whereas it was later decades that TV clicked in. Movies in the 70s still have a particular look and colour and no doubt the lack of CGI also gave them a more realistic look and of course you had to rely on obscure things like plot and acting to enthrall the masses. Another popular thread is the “View from my Window” one and believe I wouldnt mind moving into most of them for 6 months! I posted mine and most comments were “what crime did you commit and how long are in for”. A comparison perchance?

Golf has continued and despite some outcries from the plebs the fact that the majority of players are almost 100 and no one has caught the virus yet kinda supports the return the play process with social distancing in place. Fully aware of course the potential for that statement to bite me on the bum in coming weeks. In an odd turn of events, even before the dreaded plague descended, I was playing good golf even if mostly on one leg for last 9 holes. My handicap dropped from 13 down to 8 over 3 months after a rather impressive 74 off the stick 2 weeks ago. Of course after a party comes the cleanup and so shot 88 last week. Golf is a fun game but maybe not supposed to be that funny. Still it is a very pleasant way to spend a few hrs on a Wednesday morning and only have to talk to one other person. Speaking of one person coming home afterwards to rest ankle and “netflix and chill” certainly loses some of its appeal solo. Unlike international travel 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hard to go a month without talking about Buffoon Bob but really where do you start. The daily “press briefings” are killing him as more people see his stupidity on full display. Of course we see the whole gamut of his peculiar personality as well. He tried to say the nonsense about disinfectant and light were sarcasm. Ah no. Better still he continues to throw his sycophant supporters under the bus like the Georgia Governor. As his re election campaign goes to shit in a handbasket expect him to explore all avenues for postponement/cancellation of November election. I think this meme best sums up his supporters. Majority are 2s

TV land has been good with Bosch Season 6 great as always. Second Season of After Life is what you expect. You either like Gervais or not – I do. In small doses. BCS ended in usual solid fashion and Homeland built nicely to upcoming finale today. There have been two constants really in this month that are guaranteed to bring a smile to the dial. Mad as Hell even without an audience is great week in week out and Bludging on the Blindside podcast with Roy and HG is a very welcome return. One really does get sick and tired of sports shows filling in the weeks with their “best ever mid week grandfinal rematch” . Hopefully PGA tour returns soon

Yesterday was Anzac Day of course and it was a unique one for obvious reasons. I did stand out of footpath with candle at 6 am and would say compliance in my neighbourhood was about 20% as expected. One thing Maryhole has done very well in recent years is build a memorial in Queens Park. Its understated but brilliant in its simplicity. Judge for yourself folks

 

Wet Wet Wet

Posted: February 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

I certainly feel it in my toes which means it may be time to go up market and buy the $20 shoes next time

Nothing worse than a cocky weather person. They finally get it right one time out of ten and ya cant shut them up. We got around the 200 mm over two days last week which filled all the reservoirs on golf course along with most of the bunkers! Its either feast or famine here I tell ya. Its great for the course long term but now we need a break to actually start cutting some grass so we can actually see where the Green may be. Just as bunkers start to dry out we get another 30 mm over night and back to square 1. Have missed my Wednesday Golf outing two weeks in a row now just when I was on fire and dropped 2 shots off handicap – and hooked into some friendly wallets big time. On the days in between of course we get the grey skies and big tease which leads to 2 spots of rain and 112% humidity. The weather app says “temp is 28, feels like 34”. No shit Sherlock. Of course we have our locals – bless their little grey cotton socks – who as soon as skies turn grey its out with the track pants and long sleeve Hoodies! Yesterday I actually did the Bogan Double and it was a sight to behold and one certainly hard to forget. Centrelink to Commonwealth Bank in space of 10 mins. Oddly the CBA line up was more alarming and can only assume Centrelink had cleared as it had been open for 30 minutes. There was a guy sitting outside the CBA busking as an “Aussie Joke Teller” and rather than a hat or bucket to collect the pennies he had a plastic ice cream container which can only hope was empty. Certainly no money in it.

Both trips into Hell related to upcoming Call Me Bwana trip next month . Have to inform Centrelink will be out of country of course – and not going to China – and then try and get some US$ for South African trip naturally. Travelex has been hacked for a while now so went with the front up to counter approach and see if they had any of the green stuff lying around. They did luckily but not a lot so will grab some more at an actual Currency Exchange in city. You get gouged at CBA trust me so doubt it will be much worse

For a relatively short holiday – 7 days actual on safari – certainly a lot of preparation needed. Last week was vaccination time and of course nothing is ever simple. It starts a few weeks ago getting your own immune status checked and then the discussion about which actual injections you need. I asked if there was a “No Moron vaccination” available but alas no. Luckily my immune status for that was high. As CLP and I went to different doctors we got different advice and hence different “cover”. I can’t get Yellow Fever now but could get cholera or rabies if I eat any monkey brain I guess. If I do throw up over CLP though its ok as she did get rabies and cholera cover but not Yellow Fever. Figure if we stay close together we can share our immunities.

Also have the Anti-Malarials lined up along with bug spray and long sleeved clothes. My defense now is as solid as the Watto Forward Push. Oops……. may not be a good weekend

Speaking of diseased monkey brains one simply cannot fathom how Buffoon Bob keeps getting away with the crap he does. Its no great surprise he does what he does as he is who he is but the spineless sycophant Republicans who continually support him are a disgrace. Its primary time now of course which is both fascinating and unbelievable. The Iowa cluster fuck is surely a woeful portent for the race ahead. I though ABC struggled to fill in the long hours of an Election Night broadcast but they have nothing on CNN that can spread out an ” America Decides” broadcast over 12 hrs including 10 hrs before polls even close! They love Exit Polls over there and bar up over the “23% of white women, college educated, lesbian, unemployed, first time voters” who said they were undecided until they actually voted. That’s good for a 30 minute round table discussion on which delegate that will favour in this all important first of 98 caucuses to be held. It all matters nothing because as we all know with BB nothing sticks. Except face tan it appears…….

Its an odd world we live in with no sign of a return to normality anytime soon. All one can do is try and see as much of it as possible before the walls come crashing down. Given the strength of some of the ones BB has put up recently could be just around the corner…..

Woke up in Penola to cool grey and drizzly skies which was FAD for our drive. It was about 4.5 hrs to our lodgings in Harcourt North for 4 nights – Ferguson Windy Hill. A luxurious B&B&W – the W obviously referring to Wine – on a hill (with wind apparently) overlooking a lovely valley. Peace and Quiet personified. First up though, some thriving metropolises to navigate.

2 hrs out of Penola was our first stop of Murtoa. Luckily it was bin day and the place was jumping

Then we started up our SAT NAV and it seemed to want to go down an odd street off the highway on our way to St Arnaud? It appears in Victoria SAT stands for Silo Art Trail? Nice find

Drove through Horsham to our lunch destination of St Arnaud, or more exactly The Country Kitchen. Man I thought I was back in Maryhole with Bogans to the left of me and old farts to the right. We were in no great rush but simply annoys me when an old couple interact with a moron at register and takes 15 mins to order a pie and chips! We just went for the pie.

Before you could say pop my cork we were on road again and turning into our B&B&W.

The host was a handsome devil who reminded me of someone but cant place it . Caught up on all the latest news or at least 2 weeks worth having recently spent time with them at The Wedding. This daylight saving nonsense was making it hard to justify drinking before 5 pm especially now the bloody sun was out. We pushed on through though and started with a not too shabby Verve Cliquot 2008. Apparently the older this alcohol stuff is the better it is ? Then time to drink some red, bruise some steaks and warm some Waygu

It would have been rude not to eat this fine offering so hooked in as we found another bottle to wash it down. The sun had set by now so must be time for games and Espresso Martinis. What could go wrong? Have to say not a big fan of the canned variety of EM but these were delightful

Certainly cured any tifs we may have had and also cleaned out my sinuses. Our room was in the West Wing so we waddled down eventually and prepared for the next day. The weather is rather glorious but of course always variable. Todays forecast of 6 – 17 and mostly sunny is perfect

One of those may be a weather condition . Or may be related to the other two. Today we sample the fare of The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys also known as The French. Drinking may be involved 🐌🐸🥖🥂

Forecast is 12 – 16 degrees and very windy but day has dawned beautifully. Could a weather forecast be a tad askew? Sacre Bleu . We are indoors at St Kilda so weather not the biggest issue. Apparently we cook it and then eat and in a special birthday treat CLP gets to wash the dishes . First we have to find the place where the Frenchies hang out and approach with caution. They can be touchy as we know

A Maxi Cab down had us all aligned on the French Border nice and early but our wonderful host Tonya was happy to let us in. It is actually her home with beautiful views over the water but also ideally set up to cater for our group of 8.2 . It is called Cooking on the Bay but luckily we were indoors as the wind started to blow. Our menu was laid out for us and broken into 4 groups of two each with designated task.


Our job – CLP and moi – was the Twice Baked Goats Cheese Soufflé . Easy peasy . A whisk here, a stir there and bung in the oven. Everyone else seemed busy so I quickly sorted out the bubbles while Ant practiced some French disdain

While the food and drink were amazing the true highlight for us was to have the CLP familia together in such a relaxed setting. Eloise was a treat as always and while it does impact on Rick and Jess’s ability to fully immerse themselves in the experience it also adds to the feeling of family.

After our rather excellent soufflé it was time to cook up the duck. We left this in capable hands of CLPant. Patent pending.

That could only mean it was time to fire up and sizzle some creme brûlée . BC2 and Quinn were pyromaniacs in the making so quickly stepped forward and took charge. The results were bordering on delectable

After an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable 8 hrs there was only one thing needed to make CLPs day a treasured memory

It has been an amazing week starting with a wonderful wedding and ending with this memorable experience . We are lucky folk indeed . We say goodbye to family tomorrow and then chill for one more night before heading off slowly to Kangaroo Island

WFW – Day 18. On The Waterfront

Posted: February 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

“ I could have been a contender and not just a man with a cute bum” or something like that . Let me check

Close enough he was always a mumbler. When I did a day trip to Baltimore a couple of years ago the waterfront area around Inner Harbour struck me as quite beautiful. It was a sunny clear day 😏. Today looks like cloud at start that will slowly lift and might get couple good days, couple bad, and then good again. Will check out park today as well because snow wont last with a positively balmy 11 degrees predicted. Then will wander down into general direction of water and see where the day leads. Of some concern back home is a cyclone may impact on my home area of Fraser Coast in coming days

Had heard one place to check out nearby was Baltimore Licks which I can only assume is a Local Lesbian Lair?

Ah, ice cream. Makes more sense. Only open Saturday afternoon from midday to 9 pm ? Hmm, i dont think it really is an ice cream parlour folks 💃🏻

Only took one morning to confirm that coming back to Baltimore was a smart idea. It was a glorious morning for a walk down to waterfront and ended up at American Visionary Art Museum – google it folks, thats a looooongway . But first the Park

Then a slow meander down to Waterfront and first Fells Point. Looks a great place and will definitely come back when some very interesting looking pubs may be open. Excellent Cortado as well

Then onto the more “tourist” section of waterfront I guess. Fascinating Maritime history there with some very interesting ships in dock. Not interesting enough to pay to go on board, if open, but well worth reading about

Simply stunning morning and its a great area to walk around when quiet

A snow covered Federal Hill was beckoning in distance and thought likely last time will be snow covered so what’s another Klm between friends

Of course now quite close to American Visionary Art Museum so of course had to check it out. What amazing value for $!5

Then it was back more to Inner Harbour for my one Baltimore tradition – Guinness Stew and a Blonde Guinness at Irish Pub Tir na nOg. Looks like a plan forming for my birthday already…

Only midday and already done so much. Time to Uber home and plan afternoon but may be a quiet one. I couldn’t possibly bore you with any more photos could I…..

The snow has melted, time to get my teeth into some public transport and hope i dont end up dead. You quickly venture into less desirable areas if not careful but was a man on a mission, admittedly one that was forming on then go. A grave set of teeth first

Ok, well that looks like Camden Yards within walking distance. It’s a belter of a day so why not. At least not Monday so Museum will be open. The access is to Camden Yards is quite amazing really

Time to plan trip home, just need a house that sells ale and not full of pratts. Yep this will do and the Navy Bus home stops 50 feet down stree. It’s time to head home then

Yes there are too many photos but you should see the pearlers that missed the cut! You never know what tomorrow may bring so dont be shy in getting out and about. Almost seems a shame to be indoors with daylight still there but ankle needs a rest and a reset