181. Sunday 20th March 2011. A quiet week…

Monday 14th March

… and few photos.

The Noosa Festival of Surfing commenced on Saturday and continues until next Saturday, surf willing. Notice I said surf willing, because the event will go ahead provided there is a reasonable surf, even if it is raining cats n dogs.

Today I took my camera with me and sought out the best spot to photograph some international surfers, most on Malibu surfboards (now shortened to Mals) or as we used to know them, Hot Dog boards (which got shortened to dogs). Unless I had a digital SLR with interchangeable telephoto lens I was never going to get any close up action photos from the nearest vantage point.

"Walking the Plank" as we used to call it. A phrase also popularised by the Delltones in their song, "Hanging Five"

I got some fair to middling photos and got to see some good surfers in action.

This is the real deal. Hanging Five.

After spending an hour on the rocks, my bum, by its numbness, told me it was time to pack up. I lunched at the end of Noosa at the river mouth and spied some drama when a group of two person kayaks came down the river to paddle out through the mouth into a pumping 4 to 5 foot surf. One overturned and the paddlers could not get back in until another kayak came back for them and held the kayak in place while the unhappy paddlers dragged themselves aboard.

Tuesday 15th March

Not much happened today. No walk as I had a medico appointment and did a few things around the bus. In the afternoon I drove into Noosa to do my grocery shopping.

One amusing sight was a woman driver backing a car into a parking spot at Cooran. She reversed up onto the footpath. The trouble with her parking was, hers was the only car on that side of the street. She could more easily have driven straight into a spot. Scary though, imagine meeting her on the road one dark wet night?

Around the corner a council truck getting ready to have a Bobcat loaded, drove onto the sloping grass verge and got caught up with wet grass and soft mud and the more he spun his wheels the more he slid sideways off the verge. For a brief moment I thought of stopping to lend a hand. I am sure my 1300cc 4WD was not capable of pulling a big tipper type truck out of a bog.

After dinner and just on dark, I thought lemon juice with my pawpaw would be nice for dessert. Armed with a torch I stepped outside to head to the “orchard” and pick a lemon or two. I had only taken three or four steps when I noticed the thin dark wriggly shape on the concrete just under the outside table. Of course it moved.

Slowly.

The trouble with all snakes is they do not just run and hide and stay out of sight. When they know they have been spotted they stand their territory for a few moments to decide if you are worth fighting. This one, although around 20cm long and whip thin, was no different. I did not get a close up look and the camera was not handy but I think it was a tree snake. It slowly moved off into the grass beside the verandah.

Tonight I had pawpaw without the lemon juice.

Wednesday 16th March

This morning I had pawpaw with lime juice squeezed over it. Yummo. There are two lemon trees near the house. One is covered with lots of lemons although only a few were ripe. The other only had one small lemon and it was ripe. So I cut it to squeeze onto the pawpaw and discovered it is not a lemon but a lime!

Went to Noosa for a walk and a surf. Although it was raining when I woke and overcast and threatening rain when I left, it was fine n sunny when I arrived and the afternoon was summertime glorious. The surf is down so the festival organisers moved the competition further north nearer the river mouth where a decent metre plus wave was rolling in. Today the competition was for the women.

Regretably my back has worsened over the last few days to the point of agony today. When in the surf it felt OK as the water supported my body. The doctor had given me a prescription on Tuesday in case I needed it.

I need it.

It is a Panadol Osteo and bluntly all it does is dull the pain. She would not prescribe anything with Codeine in it as it can elevate blood pressure.

Pity.

Panadeine Forte gives blessed relief. Oh well!

Saw some more snakes on the gravel road today and noted they were all much the same size – small – about the same size as was on the verandah last night. Perhaps they are on the move looking for their own territory. I am guessing from the size and colouring they are young tree snakes but they could be yellow bellied black snakes so I just give them a wide berth.

Thursday 17th March.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

I am flying to Mackay on Saturday for my sister Shan (Sandra) birthday. Donnis had a flight booked from Sydney to Mackay on Friday. We would meet up on Saturday then fly back to Brisbane on Sunday.

Donnis came down with bad cold/flu like symptoms 6 days ago. She saw a doctor this morning who proclaimed she has Bronchitis!

Weather forecast for the weekend is heavy rain on the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane as well as Mackay. The birthday dinner is at Simons Wok Inn (previously called Simon’s Kitchen) http://www.menufeast.com.au/info/8162/simons-wok-inn/mackay/

Here is the background. Simon has a smallish kitchen from which he prepares masterful, delicious banquets. It is a fixed menu with a fixed price of $45 per head. Bookings are required months in advance.  It is a BYO but Simon provides separate tables with ice filled esky’s, various glasses for water, beer and wine. You self-cater drinks and serve your own. The dining tables, complete with candles, are set up outside on the shopping centre car-park at night. Some basic shelter is provided by the awning overhang and some roll out awnings when it is raining…as it will be on Saturday. The atmosphere and food make for a memorable dining experience. I have been fortunate to have eaten there twice in the past and each occasion was wonderful.

Given that Donnis is not really well enough to travel, let alone sit outside in the rain we have decided she should stay in Corrimal, near Wollongong, until Monday when she will fly to the Sunshine Coast direct. That will give her an extra few days to recover.

Friday 18th March

The sun is out, the sky is blue but heavy rain is predicted for this afternoon and tomorrow. I spoke with John, Shan’s husband on Skype this morning. He said it is raining heavily at the moment, just as the weather forecasters predicted.

Saturday 19th March

On the drive to Brisbane Airport the heavens opened up and we were concerned the flights might be delayed or cancelled. We dropped the car at an undercover storage facility and they drove us to the airport in the shuttle bus. We had already confirmed our tickets the night before so when our flight was called all we had to do was walk through the boarding gate.

Aaron, Enid’s son and his girlfriend Megs (Megan) met us at Mackay Airport and gave us a quick tour of the almost completed Forgan Smith Bridge over the Pioneer River then dropped me at Blacks Beach where I was staying with my sister Bev and her husband Pete who rented a holiday unit for three days. I only had time to have a quick shower, change and be ready to head to North Mackay. It has not rained at all in Mackay today and with the heavy rain yesterday, the humidity was stifling even for someone, like me, who is used to the tropical humidity.

We had a great night, great company and great food although Simon had too many deep fried dishes for my liking but I happily ate everything. I got to sit with my daughter Averyl and grandchildren Shelby Rose and Anakin. Bev, Pete n I were back in the unit by midnight for a cup of tea then off to bed. The heat n humidity made for a restless nights sleep.

A constant, every six hours diet of Panadol Osteo tablets has helped me through the days and nights

Sunday 20th March.

The birthday girl, Shan is officially 50 today.

Woke to incredible humidity at 6am. I guess being six months away from the tropics has taken away my ability to cope. This morning we drove to Slade Point where Aaron and Megs had agreed to “do” breakfast or morning tea. It turned out to be both. They bought an old two bedroom fibro house and are slowly renovating it. Ken barbequed bacon n eggs and we enjoyed a great morning together. It was wonderful spending time with my three sisters again. It is a pity our brother Allan could not be with us.

We caught our flight at 3.05 to Brisbane and including the drive to Noosa we were home by 7pm.

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