Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another ANZAC

This morning we went down to War Park to attend the dawn ceremony again. It was another beautiful and moving ceremony, but as usual I was really irritated by the sight of people wearing their grandfathers' medals pinned onto cheap ill-fitting suits or just plain shirts. I don't know what it is that gets to me so about it.

Anyway, as I'm a pacifist I thought I would spend the rest of the day doing a few of my favourite peaceful activities:

- pouring tea
- putting on my favourite clothes
- sittin on the front porch
- listening to a whole CD
- planting stuff in the garden

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Separate Vacations

Last time I tried to capitalise on Hayden’s business trip and turn it into more of a holiday for both of us, it backfired and we ended up spending separate time in Brisbane (and consequently separate time alone in Townsville - exactly what I was trying to save myself from in the first place). I had planned to fly down with him and camp in his hotel room (the Brissie Hilton!) and shop all day while he was working. Alas, I had already booked my tickets when he found out that his trip was to be postponed. My tickets were too expensive to change, so I went by myself. I got mum to drive me around to inspect a range of possible Brisbane wedding location options, of course unable to come to any conclusions without Hayden’s input. And Hayden, a couple of weeks later, swanned through those very venues and ordered from the tops of their menus on the company expense account.

Next month he’s booked to go to Magnetic Island for a week of People Person Training (or some such), and I can’t resist it – I’m going to try again to jump on for the ride and turn his work travel into a kind of holiday for myself, and a home/work clash of uncomfortable proportions for him. I wish I wouldn't. But … I’m so permanently thirsty for travel that I can’t not. Plus I really like Maggie Island. It’s so different to Townsville, and yet only 8 km away by ferry. Mum says it’s got different geology, and I don’t know if it’s the geology or not, but it is much more peaceful, quiet and best of all, nearly red-neck free.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Best Easter.

Under the guise of looking at more potential wedding venues, we travelled north: first inland to Ravenshoe then up to the Daintree coast at Mossman.

Ravenshoe’s regional claim to fame is that it is Queensland’s highest town, and though it isn’t very high above sea level (Australia is not tall - have you been to its highest point, Mt Kosiusko? Grannies with walkers make it to the peak, really) Ravenshoe is a charmingly cool and greenish spot. The main local attraction is the waterfalls, which come with the promise of spotting a platypus. Needless to say, we didn’t spot a platypus. Maybe next time.

The next day, we travelled straight north and arrived at the coast near the Daintree rainforest. This is where the really spectacular rainforesty-mountains-coming-right-down-to-the-sea scenery begins. One day we will take our little Toyota corolla as far north as she can go, up to Cape Tribulation, but this time we turned around at touristy Port Douglas. It was a bit of a shock to stumble into a resort town overrun by pasty Melbournians doing on holidays exactly what they do at home: walking up and down, talking on their mobile phones and eating. It’s been ages since I saw so many bored rich people mooching around one place, and so much blatant mobile phone rudeness: Mums on phones window-shopping for resortwear while their kids literally covered themselves with ice-cream; couples in a restaurant, one talking languidly on the phone to someone else while the other picked at her dinner. Et cetera.

We were a bit intimidated by the yuppies (and I haven't even said that word in over ten years - does this mean we are officially country bumpkins now?) we pitched our tent in the campground next to the backpackers. Later in the night we were both woken by pelting-down rain (ahhh ... wet tropics) and drunken backpackers returning to their tents at dawn.

Still, it was all for the best: at home yesterday we hung the tent out to dry and thereby noticed what a properly howling wind was blowing. Perfect for kite flying! My kite (a birthday present from Hayden last year) looked gorgeous darting out over the water and it only got dunked once or twice.

Perhaps you are still wondering how the wedding venue shopping went?

Well ... nothing to announce yet. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Here are some pictures of the corner shop I used to love so much, that is, until they put the price up on a 2L bottle of milk.

I still like the signage, the lolly machines and the grubby public phone just outside - they make me so nostalgic for the corner shop of my childhood in the 1980’s. As does the sight of a loping 13-year-old on his BMX, sent down to the shop by his mum to get a loaf of bread. No-one else can put sulk and angst into bike riding with a loaf of bread dangling from the handlebars.

But new owners have put the price of milk up to $3.53, and they’ve halved the range of cold drinks on offer. It’s not the same anymore, since now I argue with myself about whether to go there or to Bilo which is only about 400m further up the road.

I hate it when things change.