Archive for August, 2014

388. Sunday 31st August 2014. Visitors and the countdown continues…

31/08/2014

Monday 25th August

I guess the tension of these final weeks is beginning to catch up with me.

This afternoon I after work Donnis and I went first to the solicitors to sign some final transfer papers then we went to the Tax Agent to finish our tax. It was then the agent asked for the original settlement documents from when we bought the house in Mackay. We have to pay capital gains tax and every deduction we can find will help reduce the tax payable.

Gulp!

That settlement statement is more than 7 years old. Eleven years to be exact. I threw those papers out a month ago not realising I would need them. Every file and document older than 2007 I threw out.

Tuesday 26th August

This afternoon I arrived home about 3pm and basically from then on was on the phone until about 7.30pm.

First there was the removalist and after negotiating back and forward got a reduction in fee and settled on them to pick up our furniture on 11th September.

Then I called solicitors who I thought may have acted for us in 2003. No such luck. I also called the bank where got our loan and luckily they still have our loan application with all their fees shown and put us in touch with their solicitor who agreed to calculate fees and stamp duty associated with the purchase.

I spoke with the manager of the resort we are moving to and he set my mind at ease on a couple of points and agreed to allow us to park WWWGO in their caravan park for up to a week, no charge while we get settled.

Then I spoke with our financial adviser where I had asked him to organize a simple transfer of funds. We got bogged down with many questions which at the time I could not understand his reasons. A few more calls and several emails later I understood what he was doing. He was trying to do a complete new financial plan….Which is not what I want.

Whew! At least our visitors, Tony and Dawn are understanding and managed to do a few jobs I wanted done.

Thursday 28th August

Today started out as a normal workday but a @#%*ing inconsiderate driver ran into my car in the shopping centre. The driver, very considerately, did not leave a note to say sorry, no records of their name or address. They just slunk off as if nothing happened. I did not discover the damage until Donnis, Tony and Dawn were in the shopping centre, noticed my car and the damage. Donnis took the car to the panel beater to obtain a quote and set up a date for the work to be done. It is set for 8th September – the same day the settlement of the villa occurs – and they need RALLYE for three days – the day before we are due to leave. The timing and cost could not be worse.

Grrr!

In the meantime I lodged a claim with my Insurers.

Friday 29th August

After a busy morning for the four of us we took a drive to Cedar Creek Falls.

Cedar Creek Falls. It seems alien to me that council has to erect signs all over this area warning people not to dive or jump off the top of the falls as rocks below the surface could cause injury or death. Young people still ignore the warnings despite several deaths in the last decade. At times like this, the annual dry season, it is easy to see some of the rocks which were below the surface...but we still cannot see the rest of the rocks just below the water.

Cedar Creek Falls. It seems alien to me that council has to erect signs all over this area warning people not to dive or jump off the top of the falls as rocks below the surface could cause injury or death. Young people still ignore the warnings despite several deaths in the last decade. At times like this, the annual dry season, it is easy to see some of the rocks which were below the surface…but we still cannot see the rest of the rocks just below the water.

As expected, at this time of year (the dry season) the falls were umm err, dry.

Dawn Donnis and Tony on the edge of the pool below Cedar Creek Falls.

Dawn Donnis and Tony on the edge of the pool below Cedar Creek Falls.

Still it is a lovely spot to visit and just absorb the tranquility without the crowds.

Cedar Creek splits in two just above the falls. Although the falls are dry, this side creek is still running...just.

Cedar Creek splits in two just above the falls. Although the falls are dry, this side creek is still running…just.

More the the Cedar Creek split.

More the the Cedar Creek split.

Then we drove to the new multi million dollar launching ramp into the Proserpine River.

These men absolutely refuised to allow any part of their bodies to be in the water. For good reason. The river is full of hungry crocodile. This million dollar boat launching facility has only re-opened this year.

These men absolutely refuised to allow any part of their bodies to be in the water. For good reason. The river is full of hungry crocodile. This million dollar boat launching facility has only re-opened this year.

You would not expect such an expensive boat launching facility in the middle of nowhere but one look at the car park shows just how many people would use the ramp. While looking at the river a tinny arrived with three men aboard. They made such a fuss about pulling into the floating pontoon and being so careful when alighting from the boat. The explanation was simple. They had just spent six hours on the river and although they never caught a fish they had many experiences with crocodiles. According to their report the river is full of them. Most of the crocs were bigger than their boat. No wonder they were so nervous about not allowing any part of their body into the water.

Proserpine River looking north.

Proserpine River looking north.

Saturday 30th August

Tony and Dawn left this morning after a ten day visit. Thanks for coming to visit with us we had a great time just having your company and help with those odd jobs around the house.

Donnis and I managed to put down a bed of 20mm granite along one side of the house and finish off a few other jobs started yesterday. I am beginning to feel anxious about not being ready on time for our big move.

Sigh!!!

Sunday 31st August

Daughter Averyl, hubby Paul and their children Shelby-Rose and Anakin came to visit for a few hours. I gave them some items which will be surplus to my needs. A lawn mower and some power tools. Averyl also ended up with my entire, record, tape and CD collections and a digital turntable.

Frank Averyl & Shelby Rose.

Frank Averyl & Shelby Rose.

Averyl and Shelby-Rose

Averyl and Shelby-Rose

Anakin. Averyl & Paul commented they call Anakin little Frank as he looks and acts like me. That can only be a good thing. Do you agree? Donnis found an old photo of me when I was umm err much younger. I was on a beach and carrying a surfboard. Looking at the photo and holding it beside Anakin I have to agree he does look like me.

Anakin. Averyl & Paul commented they call Anakin little Frank as he looks and acts like me. That can only be a good thing. Do you agree?
Donnis found an old photo of me when I was umm err much younger. I was on a beach and carrying a surfboard. Looking at the photo and holding it beside Anakin I have to agree he does look like me.

After lunch they headed back to Mackay.

Sitting here, at the end of the week and my few minutes of reflection it occurred to me I have four more days of work before I retire for the second time. Last time in 2010 I was apprehensive, not knowing what the future held without a regular income and the structure of a work routine and regular social interaction. This time there is less apprehensive but I am still wondering about a future without a regular income and you can keep the work routine and social interaction.

I am also wondering if we can get everything packed ready to go when the removalist arrives. I know we will be ready but in the meantime I will worry until we are safely tucked up in our new villa on the Gold Coast sometime in the second week of September.

Stay tuned.

387. Sunday 24th August 2014. Donnis is home and visitors arrive…

24/08/2014

Monday 18th August

Let’s start the week off on a positive note.

Yay!

Exactly three weeks from today is the settlement for the villa on the Gold Coast. I have held excitement, anticipation and planning at cautious arms-length just in case something goes wrong. Now that veil of cautiousness is lifting to soon be replaced by controlled panic that we will not be packed and ready to leave on time.

Wrong! Of course we will be ready.

This week’s excitement began today. After a slow morning at the office with not one, not two but three visiting Underwriters giving a tutorial and a new product  launch (hmmm or is that a rebadged product?) I felt like I was not getting any work done. The visiting girl from Singapore also arrived and we all had a fish n chips (one of the Underwriters is a Kiwi so we teased her saying it was fush n chups) lunch in the boardroom. After lunch the Managing Director asked me to teach the girl from Singapore something new on the computer and suddenly it was time to leave.

As I approached my car in the shopping centre car-park I noticed Police Crime Scene tape around a car just two spaces from my car.

Whoa!

WOT THE!

By the debris around the car and the colour of the bonnet it seems there was a car fire. I walked around the car several times looking at the damage and how close to collateral damage the RALLYE had come. But that was not really what caught my attention. It was a white Daihatsu Terios. Same model as ours but not as optioned as ours. But just seeing the car at first glance I thought it was ours. I usually take turns driving the RALLYE or TERIOS to work and park in much the same place every day. For a moment all I saw was a burned white TERIOS and my mind quickly went into replay mode trying to recall which car I drove to work this morning.

I do not need that sort of excitement in my life but I also considered some poor bugger does not have a car to get home this afternoon.

Wednesday 20th August

After my early morning walk and exercise regime it was time for breakfast. Then as the sun was climbing above the steep hillsides, the birds began their morning ritual. First the Kookaburras laughing to see another day. The Sulphur Crested White Cockatoos began their screeching declaring their annoyance at being woken. I know that later in the morning they will come to the trees in our yard looking for a meal. Also later in the morning will come the Lorikeets and then in the midday heat the aggressive Currarong will arrive. They will serenade the neighborhood with their constant warbling song.

I will miss the bird life here.

In the afternoon I arrived home from work to find friends Tony & Dawn had arrived. Their caravan is a pop top which was low enough to back down our driveway into the carport. Once under cover we were able to raise the roof and they will have their own home as long as they like to stay.

I had not expected them to arrive until tomorrow so had not planned dinner. Instead we walked to Jubilee Tavern and had an enjoyable meal.

Friday 22nd August

Tony and I finished digging a trench to divert water from a rainwater downpipe which is not connected to a storm-water system.  Once the trench was, in our opinion, deep enough we went to Bunnings to find something to fit over the downpipe and a plastic pipe to drain the water. We found a agricultural drain pipe which sleeved in a tough outer material. The pipe was folded into four bends totaling less than a metre in length. The packaging stated the concertina design open out into an 8 metre length. After unpacking and connecting one end to the downpipe the rest of the pipe was stretched open and true to the packing it covered the full 8 metres. The trench was filled and job done. It sure makes a difference having a second pair of hands a  like-minded handyman to get the job done quickly.

Hmmm! What other jobs need doing?

In the afternoon we went for a drive to Shute Harbour but on our way we drove to Mandalay Point where a small park is nestled around the beach and tucked into a stand of young Norfolk Island Pines is the outdoor Mandalay Chapel.

Mandalay Chapel

Mandalay Chapel

The area in and around the chapel is covered in a soft carpet of pine “leaves”. The rudimentary chapel seating, such as it is, looks onto a stone pulpit and across the bay to Airlie Beach.

Mandalay Chapel

Mandalay Chapel

I have no idea of the history of this chapel but is has been here a number of years according to the moss and lichen growing on the “pews” and pulpit. The Romam Numerals painted on the cross are XXIV (24) at the top of the cross, XXII (22) just below the cross bar and MMI (2001) on the lower part of the cross upright. Perhaps that was the ages of two people married there in 2001.

Port of Airlie Marina seen from Mandalay Point.

Port of Airlie Marina seen from Mandalay Point.

After leaving Mandalay we drove to Shute Haven and Shute Harbour and arriving home just on dusk.

Saturday 23rd August.

Wow! Today was busier and more tiring than I believed. I guess there was good deal of pent up anticipation which tired me.

Dawn, Tony and I drove to Pros Vegas (Proserpine actually but locals like the high life connotation the name gives to a sleepy town) to meet up with my sister Sandi, her partner Dave, my brother Al and his wife Rae. We met at Café 22 which is right next to Colour Me Crazy. The café is one of these funky places which has dining tables with mismatching chairs, little alcoves with lounges and coffee tables and alcoves with large cushions and lots of bright colours and interesting artwork around the walls. Typically with trendy places like these they serve the coffee luke warm just below the temperature where it is least likely to be drunk as coffee should be – little sips to savour the taste – not gulped to drink it while there are some vestiges of warmth still left in the cup. Of course the hot muffin you order arrives well after you have drunk the tepid coffee.

Sigh!!!

Next door at Colour Me Crazy is a sort of gift shop with what I call junk from third world countries. They have the usual incense and perfumed stuff to hide the smell of the junkie stuff. Besides I cannot tolerate those smells it gives me headaches so I was in and out quickly.

Donnis plane arrived on time and after a short time back in Pros Vegas we drove to Hideaway Bay and on to Montes Resort. This place is along a sometimes graded gravel track and the resort is built on the beach.

Road to Montes looking over Hideaway Bay.

Road to Montes looking over Hideaway Bay.

Donnis and I have not been here for around 10 years as we have been visiting Cape Gloucester Eco Resort a little further down the beach. (I wrote about the resort back in April this year) We managed to get a table overlooking the beach and were doubly rewarded with a great meal. The Spanish Mackeral was probably the best we have tasted.

Looking out to the beach at Montes.

Looking out to the beach at Montes.

At the lunch table.

At the lunch table.

Montes Resort has been a favourite place for visiting yachties cruising the Whitsunday’s over many years.

Honky Tonk Piano and Guitars in the party room at Montes Resort

Honky Tonk Piano and Guitars in the party room at Montes Resort

The last time we visited it was badly run down but somebody has put a lot of money into improving all the buildings and standard of the staff. Once when we last visited, the staff lounged around the bar smoking while serving.

After a great lunch we walked barefoot in the shallows before heading over to Dingo Beach and then home.

Boat tenders like ducks in a row. In fact one is called  Tough Duck

Boat tenders like ducks in a row. In fact one is called Tough Duck

Absorbed by a phone at Montes on the beach.

Absorbed by a phone at Montes on the beach.

View from Dingo Beach.

View from Dingo Beach.

Sunday 24th August

To spend more time with my brother Al we drove to Bowen where he and Rae are camped. On arrival we visited the mouth of the Don River which at this location is tidal. Further along the river the water stops. The fresh water is still flowing…beneath the sand.

A black necked stork stalking lunch in the Don River at Bowen.

A black necked stork stalking lunch in the Don River at Bowen.

After the Don we travelled to Horseshoe Bay and caught up with Al & Rae for lunch at a café near the beach.

Rae Al and Frank

Rae Al and Frank

Tony in a playful mood at the Horseshoe Bay Cafe

Tony in a playful mood at the Horseshoe Bay Cafe

Then we splashed around in the shallows at Grey’s Beach but the constant cold wind forced us to decide to head home. Donnis as always the water baby, insisted on swimming in the ocean for a half hour.

Hmmm! Old worn sign at Grey's Beach.

Hmmm! Old worn sign at Grey’s Beach.

Water Baby Donnis talks with Tony and Greys Beach Bowen.

Water Baby Donnis talks with Tony and Greys Beach Bowen.

Tonight I can see my red face in the mirror which means I have absorbed too much sunlight over the last three days which also explains why I am feeling so tired tonight.

386. Sunday 17th August 2014. Jubilee Pocket. The big countdown is on…again…

17/08/2014

Monday to Thursday were work days and nothing stood out as being worthy of reporting.

Oh, except…Donnis completed her last day at Coolah Hospital and had a busy afternoon getting ready to leave early in the morning.

I recall when we left here in 2010 we had a big count down and it seems this countdown is happening at the same time.

Friday 15th August

The drenching rain which has been forecast for the last three days arrived overnight along with the strong wind which the weather bureau had warned us about. The rain and wind did not bother me, I was too busy painting the final two walls. I had planned one final wall but Donnis, even via the telephone was insistent that I paint the one long wall in the main room and the entrance hall wall. Our house is a little different to most. It is an open plan tropical style house designed to have lots of windows and doors and open space to allow movement of air and cool breezes. We have this one big room which is kitchen at one end, a giant space in the middle which we use for a dining area with lots of openness around it and a lounge or TV room at the other end.  Allowing time for getting paint, brushes rollers and trimmers (preparation work was carried out earlier in the week) the first coat took 2 hours and almost two hours for the second coat and another two hours waiting for the first coat to dry means a days work. ( I would like to mention that I do not use ladders for painting the walls. I have a folding aluminium scaffold with two platforms. It has wheels on one end to move it around easily. It is stable and comfortable, safe and from the platform I can manouvre in an area where I would have to move a ladder three times for the same coverage. A ladder is not comfortable and there is nowhere flat on a ladder where I can put a paint roller tray. It was and is a great investment when you want to paint a house.)

Saturday 16th August

It rained all night. Well at least during the parts when I was awake it was raining.

I drove to Mackay with a number of activities planned. When I left it was raining but eased off part way through the drive but started again when I arrived.

First visit was with the real estate agent who sold our house at Bucasia last year. We had a large ring binder containing all the original plans for the house with wiring diagrams and location of plumbing and light and power points for a proposed pool. It also contained all the original documents for all the tiles, light fittings, appliances and so forth. The agent agreed to pass it on to the new owners.

The visit took longer than I planned and I had agreed to meet long- time friends Tony and Dawn at Canelands for lunch. I was a bit pushed for time and if I planned my drive correctly I had about 10 minutes free time in Bucasia before heading to the centre of Mackay. I had enough time to visit Eimeo Creek in the rain. When I first moved to Bucasia in 1987 Eimeo Creek was one of my favourite walks and when Donnis and I stayed in the van park in 2011 I spent every day at the creek. This was my last chance to visit, perhaps forever. Despite the rain and the low tide I risked a drenching and took a few photos. The creek is a favourite mooring location for sail boats as the creek takes a number of dog legs and the mouth is protected by a low sand hill so remains calm in most bad weather situations. I am not sure I would like to be in a boat in this mangrove creek during a cyclone but so far people who leave their boats here have been protected. However there has not been a direct hit cyclone on this part of the coast since 1918.

The entrance to Eimeo Creek

The entrance to Eimeo Creek

Boats moor in what the owners believe are the safety of the mangroves.

Boats moor in what the owners believe are the safety of the mangroves.

Eimeo Creek

Eimeo Creek

The crteek dries out at low tide.

The crteek dries out at low tide.

Bucasia Beach is used for training of these beach buggies known as blowcarts.

Bucasia Beach is used for training of these beach buggies known as blowcarts.

In 2011, I wrote about the Orphanage opened by a Father Bucas at a location then known as Marara, later it became Seaview and Bucasia (after Father Bucas) as we know it now. 19 children died over a ten year period while in the orphanage. Of course all their stories are sad and tragic. Two deaths in particular stood out for me. Patrick Halligan aged 11 died in June 1884 and three weeks later his six year old sister Kate, died. Although the children in the building were “orphans” in an “orphanage” their parents were known and shown on the death records. Regrettably the orphanage cemetery is unmarked, there are no headstones and no accurate records to indicate its location.

I caught up with Tony and Dawn then over to North Mackay to visit daughter Averyl and the family and had time for a one hour visit with my sister Sandra and partner Dave.

It was a long day and I arrived home a little before 9pm.

This may be my last visit to Mackay as the settlement of the villa is now only three weeks away and I suppose the next time I see Mackay will be when we drive through on our way to the Gold Coast and a brand new life.

Sunday 17th August.

The sun played hide and seek with the clouds most of the day. I spent the morning packing away my painting equipment then commenced digging a drainage ditch. Every downpipe on our home plumbs into a storm-water drain – except one. That one downpipe seems to always fill with leaves and in heavy downpours –which we get a lot of in the tropics – the guttering overflows. The downpipe drains onto the bare ground which is left soft and boggy for days and sometime weeks. I started a trench which will be used to connect a storm-water pipe to the downpipe next week. Digging is not such a good idea with my bad back. Neither is the other job I started, wheeling wheelbarrow loads of wood chip to spread around the gardens as mulch.

I am looking forward to next week. No painting for a start.

Donnis arrives home and there are only another three weeks until we settle on the Gold Coast Villa.

The new adventures will begin soon.

 

Cheers

385. Sunday 10th August 2014. Painting, Lemmings, Miss Muddy and sailboat racing…

10/08/2014

Tuesday 5th August

Today I took part in a new activity at work which reminded me that after all these years I may have taken the wrong vocational path.

Our Brisbane office has a visiting young staff member from an International Insurance giant. The company, based in London has an office in Singapore where this young lady has worked for two years since leaving school. She is working with us – two weeks in Brisbane and 2 weeks with us in Airlie Beach – on a work experience exchange. We have a strong relationship with this international giant. A relationship based on mutual respect, trust, understanding and honesty. Anyway, back to the young Singapore girl who arrived in Oz on Monday. My employer asked if I would do her a favour and train the young girl via Skype. Yes, of course. Only problem is I do not have an office Skype account, no speakers, camera or microphone. Within an hour we arranged an account, camera with microphone and a headset and I was ready. Skype has a feature called “share screen”. The young lady in our Brisbane office activated “share screen” at her end and I could see everything she was doing on her terminal. On a smaller PIP I could see her and another PIP screen could see myself. Gradually I was able to coach and coax her in using our systems and programs. My employer commented later how patient I was and how carefully I explained and trained. This is not the first time I have been told this. I must say I totally enjoyed the experience especially being able to train somebody 1,000 Klms away and still be able to see their face and the screen they were working on and be able to speak with each other at the same time. Amazing technology and I just love being part of it. Perhaps I should have been a trainer of some sort.

Wednesday 6th August

I had another wonderful 2 hour experience on Skype with my student today. She speaks English as if it was her native tongue and quickly overcame her shyness. I was able to dictate what I wanted typed on a letter and she was able to type, rarely asking for me to repeat my comments. I acknowledge that not all students are so easy to teach but I got a buzz out of training her.

Friday 8th August

Happy Birthday to sister Bev.

Last night I set up masking tape over the area I planned to paint today. Although the area in total was equivalent to two regular walls it was mostly doorways to paint around. I managed one coat of paint in the morning and the second after lunch. Hmmm!

Not a bad job even if I say so myself .

In the evening I taped up for the next set of walls with an equally difficult set of door frames to paint around tomorrow.

Saturday 9th August

Two coats of paint on the area set up last night and frankly I have had enough of painting. Well at least on this weekend. I will finish the final hallway wall next week.

YeeHar!

I promised myself a day off tomorrow.

During the afternoon I spent some time on the phone with Geoff C a self taught computer man. Once upon a time I played a mind challenging game called Lemmings. I wanted another mental challenge so Geoff helped me figure out how to get the game loaded from the CD onto the laptop. The game only operates in DOS (Disc Operating System) but nobody uses DOS any more. Thanks Geoff I appreciate your time and patience. You and Margaret are hereby welcome to come visit us in our new home on the Gold Coast.

Sunday 10th August.

Yeah right! A day off!

In the morning I decided to oil a little deck on one side of the house which is mainly intended for pot plants.

I then went to Airlie Beach.

Last week I wrote about the Reef Festival which is basically a month long festival broken into weekly events. This week it is the Airlie Beach Race week where yachts, local, intra state, interstate and even international come to race in various classes of racing, many of them in preparation for the Hamilton Island Race week next week. Then to keep everybody happy the final week is the Airlie Beach Fun Race. Once upon a time this event was a miss figurehead event with women sailing around topless (some even bottomless) but over the last few years the event has become more family friendly and the figurehead thing is all but finished.

Throughout the month there are events and music and fireworks to accompany those on water activities.

Today’s race had 70 entrants and was scheduled to start at 10am. I was on a hilltop ready to take photos well before race start but boats were still leaving the marina. Grrr! I moved location to the yacht club for a better view. I could see the boats jockeying for position but they were a long way out in the bay and by 10.30 the race had still not started.

If you double click and look carefully you can see lots of sailboats in the distance waiting for the start.

If you double click and look carefully you can see lots of sailboats in the distance waiting for the start.

The children had their own racing in these tiny Sabot's

The children had their own racing in these tiny Sabot’s

I saw two men from the yacht club taking a marker buoy in a dinghy out onto the course. WOT THE! The course was not ready at 10.30!!!

I had better things to do…such as painting and gardening at home. Besides I had trouble with my camera. I prefer to use the EVF (electronic view finder) instead of the LCD (liquid crystal display) when taking photos. For some reason the view was blurred on EVF but was fine on the LCD.

Hmmm!

Grrr! I had so much wanted see 70 boats with sails all heading in the same direction. I had been in the first race of the season about 6 years ago and as I recall we sailed around in circles for ages past the start time before the race finally got under way. Oh well! Nothing’s changed.

Once home I did some Google research and found the problem with the EVF was the diopter was out of adjustment.

WOT THE???

Diopter?

Sure enough, after reading my user manual I found there was a little adjusting wheel on the side of the camera which adjusts, of all things, the diopter. Thirty seconds later it was in focus again.

This evening my daughter, Shelley, from Townsville called to say she entered and completed a Miss Muddy event.

A what???

Yep. A Miss Muddy event.  A 6 Klms mud, foam, coloured corn flour, water, ice, obstacles, mud, more obstacles and mud to challenge yourself course. Women only. I asked how many people were there. Thousands she said. Oh that’s a good number of spectators I replied. No, not spectators, thousands of women competed.

Whaaaat???

Two hundred women every 15 minutes for an obstacle event which lasted all day. The only part I did not like is there is not a similar event for men. I would love to be involved in something like this.

Take a look at this website.  http://www.missmuddy.com.au/

 

 

Last month I photographed and commented on a Super Moon. Tonight was another Super Mopon.

Last month I photographed and commented on a Super Moon. Tonight was another Super Mopon.

Super Moon with hand held camera.

Super Moon with hand held camera.

384. Sunday 3rd August 2014. Whitsunday Reef Festival…

03/08/2014

Friday 1st August

My, my!

August already. Soon it will be time for the settlement of the villa purchase and we will be on the move again.

Yesterday I had set up our main bedroom to paint a feature wall. The wall behind our bed was a sort of a washed out brown / mauve and neither of us liked it. We cannot recall who chose the colour or if it was a joint decision (diplomacy dictates it was a joint decision)

Today I started on (and finished) two coats on a wall in our ensuite and finished two coats in the second toilet room and the main feature wall in the third bedroom. This was previously painted a hot pink and was jarringly out of sync with every other room in the house. It is now a comfortable grey/blue and now looks as though the room belongs to the house.

In the afternoon I decided to start WWWGO to ensure the battery is charged. I had sort of planned at least one weekend away between now and when we make the big move in about 6 weeks. WOT THE! The motor would not turn over. All the appropriate lights come on but there is not enough battery charge to start the motor.  Hmmm! On reflection I have not used WWWGO since mid April. I have a good battery charger in the garage so set it up for a slow trickle charge overnight.

Saturday 2nd August

What a delightful sunny winters day. More like late spring or early summer. A perfect day for the first real day of The Whitsunday Reef Festival. (http://www.whitsundayreeffestival.com.au/gallery/ ) This year the festival theme is about how precious the reef is and how we must save and protect and preserve the reef. The festival kicked off last night with a fireworks display on the Airlie Beach foreshore. Free musical concerts were held in the main street which has been closed to all vehicular traffic for three days.

In the morning I managed to complete two coats of paint in the main bedroom and while it was drying I took off to visit the Airlie Beach foreshore. Helibiz were doing a wonderful business.

Helibiz the helicopter people.

Helibiz the helicopter people.

Taking off from the foreshore they had two helicopters running non- stop with participants paying $50 each for a 5 minute flight over Airlie and surrounds. The dodgem cars and merry go round and other fun things were very quiet.

All the people are on the main street waiting for the parade to begin. Half an hour later and people are lined up for the rides and to buy hot dogs and fairy floss.

All the people are on the main street waiting for the parade to begin. Half an hour later and people are lined up for the rides and to buy hot dogs and fairy floss.

Most people were lining the streets waiting for the big parade of floats with a save the reef theme.

The people begin to arrive to get the best seat to view the parade.

The people begin to arrive to get the best seat to view the parade.

Great expectations as the crowds begin to arrive.

Great expectations as the crowds begin to arrive.

This couple led the parade. Note how they are painted to resemble  the sea and the reef.

This couple led the parade. Note how they are painted to resemble the sea and the reef.

Lots of gaily dressed motor scooters. Scooters are popular with the backpackers. They are cheap, plentiful and no need for a licence.

Lots of gaily dressed motor scooters. Scooters are popular with the backpackers. They are cheap, plentiful and no need for a licence.

I was pleased to see the large number of people attending the parade either as spectators or participants. I was however underwhelmed by the floats themselves. Also no marching bands. My friend Claude in the USA who is a master float maker would be a welcome professional to lift the quality of our floats. Still it was fun. All the parade people were throwing lollies or other giveaways into the crowd. Of course all the younger children thought this was wonderful, filling bags with the goodies thrown at them. Some of the paraders had powerful water cannons and thought it fun to squirt water over the crowds. It was not much fun for people with expensive cameras.

Back home I put the bedroom back together and I am pleased with the result.

Sunday 3rd August.

Ho Hum. Not much happening.

Well there is but no exploring. All I did was re-build a small deck along the side of the house and prepare it to be oiled. I also built a new one course concrete block garden. I have parsley, shallots and radishes planted. At the same time I re-routed our micro sprays to water the new garden and went to Bunnings for touch up paint (the masking tape I used to gain a straight edge peeled off some of the adjoining wall paint – Sigh! Now comes a delicate touch up job)

Apart from that my Sunday was quiet.

See ya all next week.