20th Jun 2012 - 24th Jun 2012
Port Douglas getting back 13
Wednesday 20th June.
Last day of no work for a while as the place has been gradually filling up. School holidays are upon us.
Into the village to meet the coffee club girls I am surprised no one else shows up. Obviously it is not as regular as I was told. The place is pretty full so I sit beside an elderly gent reading a paper which he is willing to share. We discuss the news for a while then move onto more personal details. His name is Peter, from Sydney but has been living in PD for 5 years to be closer to family. A pleasant chatty man. As I excuse myself I wonder if he believes that I was meeting friends, none of whom showed up.
Mike’s birthday today so I try to shout him lunch but he is well known in the cafe he chose so is given a freebee.
The sailing tonight is very wet but the best bit is that Liz joins us again and we also take out a young French girl Aniise who is staying in PD until September. Someone for me to practice French conversation with. I can’t understand her.... but she is very kind to me.
Catherine is in fine form tonight when she joins our dinner table for the birthday celebrations. Not sure how many drinks she has had but she is hillariously entertaining telling us of some of her teaching experiences. I have tears running down my face when she relates how when she was training she was given a class of 8 Downes Syndrome kids to teach Phys Ed. She showed them how to climb the wall bars right to the top of the wall then said “ok. Now everyone down“ and simultaneously all 8 of them took their hands off the bars and fell to the floor! When we all stopped rolling around the table and asked her what she did, she said she was horrified of course and rushed around checking each child was not hurt but she said the amazing thing was that each of them actually bounced on impact. They were obviously so relaxed about it, none were hurt. The lesson was for her to realise that they take every thing you say literally.
Thursday 21st June.
Lots of work today. It is 25 degrees and hot work it is. After a big nana nap I bike into town to pick up my NZ mail which has arrived at last. Nothing of interest of course other than an early birthday card from Nelson with a lovely message. Too tired for the gym.
Friday 22nd June.
Kingsley’s 34th birthday so of course I phone and sing for him. He is looking forward to coming north for the warmth as it really is very cold in Melbourne right now.
This time 6 of us turn up for a coffee club ‘meeting‘. I notice that Wednesday’s gent is at his table again so I say ‘Good morning Peter‘ as I swan by to order my coffee and point out that my friends have turned up today. He remarks that I have a good memory but that isn’t actually his real name. I am shocked and offended. What a jerk! I am never any good with the quick witted replies but later thought I should have said “ Oh well then I’ll just call you Dickhead from now on.“
Back for more hot work taking me through the afternoon.
Mike pops over for a cuppa after dinner and we chuckle over Wednesday night‘s shinnaigans at the club.
Saturday 23rd June.
This morning at 8.15am guess where I am . At the boat again. We have 2 races today. 10am and 2pm starts. Whoopee. Peter and Liz‘s brother David are joining us for crew. They both understand boats, and have the right attitude. What more do we ask. Well. Also being fairly weighty which is what we need. I manage to take a few photos and make the blunder of taking one of David from below him in the companionway then remarking that he looked absolutely enormous. Needless to say the name has stuck and anyone asking why from now on are apparently going to be referred to me. Peter is hillarious and tells us jokes from time to time to relieve any boredom. There isn‘t too much of that actually as the wind builds and raising the spinnaker has us busy to say the least. At the start of the first race I find all my weight against the lifelines on the leeward side of the boat ie. feet dragging in the water fighting to stay onboard. This is not a good start. We need to finish every race with the same number of crew as we started. Cracking my knees a few times and skinning my shin doesn’t help at all. I’ll have a few bruises tomorrow as will we all I reckon. It was pretty rough but we came 3rd in the first race and 4th in the second race. Another 6 pack of beer for Mike. He earned it as lord and commander supreme.
Catherine and Mike and I have a Thai meal in the village and then dessert at another restaurant and then coffee (mixed with more alcohol) at my place. We talk until 11pm and have a thoroughly good Saturday night for 3 single people of our age. Many laughs.
Sunday 24th June.
Lie in bed mulling over the semi planned BBQ on Tuesday for my birthday and realise that it is not a good idea as there seem to be too many people for the facilities here. Decide instead to have a dinner out at the Beachshack, a pizza restaurant nearby. Annie and John come over for a chat, Annie with her pet bat hanging from her T shirt. I have to admit she is rather sweet.
A bit of work then down to the club to do some repairs and improvements. It is a beautiful windy day and Phil and his family had a good sail on their own up and down the beach.
Mike shows up to help despite the “man flu“ slowing him a bit. He has arranged for me to see some of his work just down the road from me in an estate called The Sands. His architect boss Lee-Ann and husband Peter are building and Mike has designed some of the exciting features. The house isn’t finished yet but good Heavens, it is FABULOUS. Lee-Ann shows me around and there is no hiding my appreciation of the gorgeous finishing detail. In the kitchen they have a huge onyx block out of which protudes a 3metre cantilevered bench. Above the block is another matched piece. Both of them are lit from inside at night. The effect has me gasping. There are no door handles to be seen in the kitchen with every cupboard flush and hiding in the wall pattern. The fly screens roll into the walls as do the dividing doors. There is a see-through fire place between the lounge and the bedroom. There are 2 pools with a window between. The list goes on. Maybe when it is finished I will have a better chance to photograph it. Meantime there is just one I can use here.