Wednesday 1st August.
Sailing tonight with Annabelle and Stefan, a young German couple and another older guy Geoff from Melbourne, who apparently has owned a boat. Obviously that was a while ago as he is very rusty and manages to break a cam cleat (although to be fair it was causing trouble anyway). The wind is 20-25kts so we get very wet again and enjoy some great surfing downwind on the way home. Geoff‘s wife joins us for a meal and oh boy can she talk. Crikey! She’s worse than Catherine! Maybe I’m becoming intolerant in my old age. I smile politely and listen and nod all the time thinking ‘You must be really very lonely because you are something else Lady‘. Mike listens for a while but I see him switch off as you’d expect. Dave comes over to talk about taking me 4Wdriving to the Bloomfield Track. We have discussed this before as he is a tour guide at the weekends with a company that will give me a trip free of charge so that I can recommend it to our guests. It seems that he wants to do it privately on his day off with Liz and Pete coming along too. Sounds even better to me as we will have more time and with friends it will be more fun. Pete rushes over later to suggest that I go home with them next Wednesday after sailing and stay the night so we can get away really early in the morning Thursday. It’s starting to sound like a major mission but so good of them all. I’ve been feeling that I haven’t used my spare time well on this trip to PD. I’ve become a lazy local. There are still many things I haven’t experienced and who knows if I will ever be back.
Thursday 2nd August.
Work the morning then head for the dentist school again. The same student replaces another 2 dreadful fillings and promises to do the root canals tomorrow. My jaw is a bit sore for the evening as these are long appointments with injections I don’t usually have. The result is excellent at least.
Friday 3rd August.
Up early and drive down that scenic route yet again for the dentist at 9am. This time it is a major production, with rubber dam and clamps and Heavens knows what else tipped into my mouth. The tooth is broken which doesn’t help and the rubber dam slips off more than a few times. The whole procedure is difficult and he has some trouble finding the various root canals to drill up and believe me I am ready to scream after 2 hours with my mouth wide open. The 2 injections start to wear off so they give me a third under the dam. Will it never end... Of course it does eventually and when I am released into the sunshine at 12.15pm I feel I have come out of jail. Next appointment is on Tuesday. There is so much more to do too. I am starting to thnk I will need to give the student a gift at the end of it all – but what? Chocolates would not be appropriate.
Saturday 4th August.
Mike collects me at 7.30am for another trip to Cairns. This time it is more pleasant with someone else driving so I can gaze at the beautiful views. I’m just tagging along for the ride as he needs to have 4 new tyres put on the car he recently acquired from his ex. He drops me at the fresh food market where I revel in the gorgeous cheap tropical fruits and then wait for him with a paper and much needed coffee. We head to the shops to look for some decent clothes for him. Like so many men they avoid buying clothes because they have absolutely no confidence in what looks good on them. It’s a battle because he is not used to spending money on himself and is obviously feeling a little vulnerable but we come away with a pair of plain black trousers, 3 shirts, sox and swimmers. He is shell shocked with having spent so much money on one day. Fun day for me.
Sunday 5th August.
Too many rooms to clean to make up for yesterday off. I am pooped but head out on the bike down the beach for fresh air inspiration. Down at the club I find Mike and Liz playing with more light fittings so I head to the boat to install the new ($90!) cam cleat. I’m glad the club are paying for it. Boat bits are expensive and it serves to remind me how lucky I am and appreciate the fact that I can sail on this club boat for free.
Monday 6th August.
Everyone seems to be leaving so there are another 3 apartments to clean. That’s 8 in the last 3 days. The weather is 27 degrees so it is slow and steady for me. The rest of the day is mostly in front of the pc trying to control my amorphous life. My travel plans are changing to incorporate a return here in November, directly before heading to Melbourne, in order for my darling dentist student to complete a crown on the broken tooth. It is much cheaper, even with flights thrown in, to have him do it than pay a commercical dentist or go to Bali, which is another option.
I bike into town late in the day for the exercise
Tuesday 7th August.
With another departure we have only 2 guests in tonight. It picks up later in the week I think.
Back down to Cairns, listening to French tapes all the way, to see the dentist again this arvo. So what are we doing today I ask brightly. Well we are are going to open up that tooth we worked on last Friday, remove the decay, chemo treat blah blah blah. I am dismayed to say the least. I try to make light of it and ask if my hair will fall out. “No“ he says “but mine might“. Another 2 hours plus later and I am ready to run away!! This is truly awful torture. Imagine how hard it is to take an xray with a metal band and 3 files hanging out of the tooth while a rubber dam is hooked on it too. At the end of it all the supervising dentist tells me the tooth is borderline for extraction but they are really doing their best to save it and prepare it for a crown or at least a good filling so I can eat on that side. I am running out of teeth! I definitely need to return for more appointments though. I return home depressed and set about confirming my flight changes to return here end of Oct and then head to Melbourne from here Nov 8th. Mike texts me to ask how the day went as he often does. “Actually miserably“ I reply and complain of my sore jaw. Next minute there is a tap on the door and he bounces in asking if I’d like him to make me a cup of tea. What a sweetie. He has constant pain in his arthritic knee but seldom mentions it. We sit and watch tv and eat ice cream with frangelico, courtesy of a departing guest. Nice to have caring company.