Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chris Pics


It has been a little while, so might take some time for me to resume this habit of thinking out loud on the internet.

I have some mixed feelings about coming back to Townsville after such a lovely break in Brisbane. Especially yesterday’s sailing by the sea at Humpibong. The temperature is milder here than it has been in Brisbane and the sun today doesn’t seem as harsh as it did before I went away, but the streets are as empty and the pace is as slow. I wandered down to the beach before to see if the ocean would make me feel better, but it was a very dirty brown close in to the shore.

Townsville is a still hot place and dull, and you must have a purpose while you are here. If you have a purpose, it can be a nice quiet place to get things done. But if not ...

After New Year’s Day I will begin to look for a part time job, but before then I will be just drifting, drifting still.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday we installed our Christmas Fern (yes with lights), but sadly I only get to spend one more day with it because I'm setting sail for Brisbane for Christmas!

I hope you have a happy one, and I'll talk to you after.




Friday, December 16, 2005

Bad snaps

Here are a couple of snaps of our humble new home.

We’ve now removed the empty boxes from the front porch and we’ve only got a couple of things to do to make the place really feel like home. First of all, we have to put up our hammock. And second of all, we have to lie in our hammock.

Drue, if you’re watching, you can see that your glorious glass-topped table made it here in one piece. Hurrah.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Townsy by Candlelight

Last night we went to Carols by Candlelight and I am sorry to say that it was woeful, maybe the worst one I have ever been to. It just wasn't heartwarming at all.

No-one was singing along, and the kids were hardly even swaying their candles . The only people who were enjoying the music were the performers, and they were all enjoying themselves a little bit too much. It wasn't even compared by a local newsreader. Isn't that the first rule of Carols by Candlelight?

And I spent far too much time being worried about this little girl whose candle, nestled in the grease stains from her chips, kept tipping dangerously close to her synthetic fairy dress.

But the absolute low point was when I went to queue up for the loo and I missed the arrival of Santa.

"Byyyeeeeeee Saaaaaanntaaaaa"

Friday, December 09, 2005

Smart Casual

Before we moved in I was so looking forward to all of our stuff arriving, I couldn’t wait to unpack all of my clothes and finally have something different to wear! But now it’s here I see that it won’t do at all. More jeans. Long tops. All my jumpers, scarves and woolly hats are useless, and I’m going to have to pack them away for the duration.

Last night we were on our way to the casino to take advantage of their $5 steak and chips dinner, and I said to Hayden “I’m going to get some really nice ¾ pants” and he said “Yeah, I’ve gotta get some dress boardies”.


Ah sleep! It is amazing what a difference a good nights’ sleep will make to my outlook on the world. From the time that we left the company accommodation (where we were put up for free for our first month here) to the night before last, I have been sleeping poorly. It has been having an adverse effect.

To bore you with the details: the apartment provided by the company was small enough that if we left the aircon on in the lounge room, we would stay cool enough to sleep through the night and wake up fresh and early the next morning. When our month of free rent ran out, we went to stay in the Spanish Horseshoe Holiday Flats; a bunch of bungalows built in a U-shape (sorry, horseshoe shape) and joined by a covered walk way with arches (arches = Spanish; hence, Spanish Horseshoe). The Spanish Horseshoe Flats are not air-conditioned, and worse, because they are built around a courtyard none of the doors or windows face the breeze. I slept so badly the week that we stayed there that I was really quite ill (not to say bad-tempered) by the end of it. Through that whole week I was busting to move into our own place, our place with air-conditioning and a balcony that faces east to catch the morning and afternoon breezes.

However, on our first night in our new place I still couldn’t sleep! I was getting quite distressed by this time, especially as I was so tired after a hard day’s moving house. The nights here are getting quite warm: the temperature only gets down to around 26°, which I remember fondly as a warm spring day in Melbourne. My mother reckons that as soon as it’s 27°, it’s warm enough to go swimming. That night I ended up sleeping on a mattress on the lounge room floor, which is the coolest room in our place. I slept there for the next couple of nights, because the bedroom, down at the western end of the apartment, is quite stuffy and hot. And the air-conditioner in there is an ancient rumbly monster that conspires to keep me awake first with blasts of its freezing air and then by the noise of its rumbly rumbly fan.

But now I have tamed the rumbly monster! I bought a timer switch from Dick Smith and I got Hayden to work out how to use it, and now it’s set to go off and on at various times in the night. It’s timed so that it never gets too noisy or too freezing, and it wakes me with a gentle breeze in the morning when it comes on at around 5am. Much nicer than an alarm clock. I got up this morning feeling fresh and alive; I went for a delightful stroll along the beach and on my way home stopped in at the corner shop to get an iced coffee. Our corner shop is the best; it has every single drink you could ever want on your way home from a stroll, plus it is run by a wonderful lady who I secretly call Esmerelda. When I went up to the counter to pay for my iced coffee, I interrupted her impromptu dance lesson from the local salsa teacher. Smiling and without a hair of her coiffeur out of place, Esmerelda stopped dancing, rang up the price of the salsa teacher’s cigarettes and my iced coffee, and sent us both on our way. I love today already; I can’t wait to find out what else I’m going to do with it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Permanent Home

There. We've done it. We've moved house.

Well, there are still remnants of the 108 packing boxes littering our front porch. (I suppose you would call it a porch. It's like a balcony, but because we are on the ground floor it's ... a porch). But I'm going to unpack those boxes later.

It would have been easier, I think, if Hayden and I didn't have such diverse interests. So many boxes of books! so many pieces of sporting aparatus! So many other hobbies delved into, only to be forgotten soon after: sewing, painting, yoga, tennis, gardening, photography, squash, golf ... and I'm on the verge of taking up oil painting and I recognised a certain glint in Hayden's eye when we visited the velodrome the other night. Unfortunately the cycling club wouldn't let him ride on the velodrome with the bike he already owns, so he's going to need a new one. Excellent.

Anyway, I've taken a few snaps and I'll upload them soon.