Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The day I got kissed by a Seal


James had yesterday and today off work so we decided to take in one of the local tourist attractions - Under Water World, which is a five minute walk from our home. Yesterday we joined several school trips and young families to take in the under water tank walk, the Otter show and the 'Seals behaving badly' show. There is also a reptile section, but I walked through that one pretty quickly. The Otters, Mayhem, Chaos and Lu were adorable and such smart animals. The Seals, Bella, Groucho (they are girlfriend and boyfriend), Leahette and April were amazing and so responsive to their trainer, their tricks were unbelievable. At the end of the show James bought me a 'Seal kiss' from Leahette - she had just munched on a fish before she gave me a wet kiss and tickled me with her whiskers! I loved it! (Although it took two washes of my face to get rid of the fish scent.) Here's some of James' pictures from our day out...

The Otters

Check out those little hands!



Crazy strong!

Our special moment!

This photo is a photo of a photo, as it was extra to buy it I quickly snapped it before the woman came running over to tell us off! Haha! Also, you may have noticed James' hair is a little long in these photos, fear not I gave him a haircut last night with the kitchen scissors and he is now back to looking respectable.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Glass House Mountains

James and I both had Wednesday off work to we decided to check out the Glass House Mountains, which are only about 30 minutes away. It's so gorgeous there and there is a trail to walk and public BBQ's so we're going to come back here in a few weeks when James' Dad comes to stay.

Check this place out...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Surfer problems


After our foray into surfing last weekend poor James has been suffering from a bad case of 'swimmers ear'. It started as water in the ears, making him deaf, which was fairly annoying for both of us (a taste of life as an old couple). Basically it takes him ages to answer me on anything because he can't hear me, but I keep forgetting and think he's just being annoying! Poor guy was in quite a lot of discomfort so we visited the pharmacy on Wednesday to get some ear drops, we were at the counter paying when the checkout girl suggested that we try ear candles. Immediately I remembered an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians where Bruce is pretty much deaf so Khloe clears out his ear wax with a special candle.

Ten minutes later and James is lying on the living room floor with a damp tea towel on his head and a lit candle in his ear. The instructions said you can't candle alone so I was the designated candle partner, in charge of cutting the ash off into a waiting bowl. It seemed so simple but the damn ash was reluctant to get in the bowl. The first lot drifted onto James' cheek which had become exposed (not sure how the towel slipped, apparently my fault), this only singed slightly. After that close call I tried to be more careful and covered his whole face, unfortunately I left his neck exposed and that is where the next piece of ash landed, caught up in some neck hair. I tried moving it but it was so hot! So I used the tea towel to put it out, unfortunately James' neck formed the third side of the triangle of extinguishing the fire, leaving a burn, which is now a sizable scab. To make matters worse, the ear candle didn't work at clearing his ear or restoring his hearing!

Over a week after the surfing and he's still suffering, the picture at the bottom was taken today during a tense game of shithead. How hot is he!! Let's hope he stops being stubborn and gets a doctor to look at his ears, he does work at a hospital after all!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Surfing Noosa style


On Sunday morning, after correctly going North on the Bruce Highway, James and I arrived at Noosa for our first surf lesson! We were taught in a group of five by a cute young guy called Alex who is about to graduate high school but has been surfing his whole life. James had been looking forward to this experience for weeks and I was too, in my own way. When people visit Australia surfing is something you expect them to try, we see it as quintessentially Australian. Obviously the first thing to be reserved about is sharks, but Noosa has shark nets so that worry can be crossed off the list. For most people, the thought of getting caught up in big waves with a big board attached to your foot isn't great either, but Noosa is in a cove type shape so the waves are baby waves. We had been told it was the perfect place for beginners.

First of all we learnt about safety, watch for rips, keep the board straight heading into waves, what to do if caught in a rip etc. After a bit of technique practice on the sand, basically 3-legged downward dog in yoga but on the board, right leg through, left leg in front, tell the time with the right arm, left arm pointing forward and 'squat like you're taking a shit in the bush'. Stay looking ahead. Simple.

Out of our group of five there were me and James, a girl who had surfed once before, a guy who was a wind surfer and a German girl in an inappropriately small pair of bikini bottoms (to add insult, she also had a big spot on her left butt cheek). Of course the wind surfer dude and other girl were great and soon catching waves on their own, leaving me, James and weird German girl in the tail end of the group. 

Surfing is definitely not a dignified sport. We were given rash vests but the board also rubs against your knees, elbows and hands. When starting out Alex would say 'hop on' and position himself behind the board ready to push you into the perfect wave. Whilst you were waiting you might come across a big wave that wasn't the right size to wave, in which case Alex would hold onto the board and let it wash over you, also taking your bikini bottoms right up your butt. There was no time to retrieve said bikini bottoms before the next wave (plus it might make for a worst sight) so you'd stay laying down, on your toes, hands back by your ribs, tan lines and butt on full show for Alex. Oh well I'm sure he's seen it all before! Then it comes to the falling off, no possibility of being graceful there. On some of my rides I manged to surf all the way to the beach, steering, only to topple off onto hard packed sand with a loud smack. Luckily my last wave of the session was perfect and I hopped gracefully off onto the beach! I was thinking I had enjoyed it but was a bit relieved it was over when James comes up alongside me and asks 'when shall we next go? Let's look at getting boards?' I had been thinking about this as an experience but James had enjoyed it so much he wants to make it regular thing! I'll let you know what happens!

For the rest of the day, we drove back down south along the Sunshine Coast stopping at Castway Beach and Marcola Beach. These were both quite quiet beaches as they were very windy, but we did see a lot of kite surfing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed James doesn't sign us up to try that one! I also saw a huge Xmas tree at one of the beaches. There are lots of decorations up at the mall and fake trees being sold but I could not feel like like we are entering the festive season, just not right in the sun!

We both kept our tshirts on all day to protect the burns from the previous day and while is was happily napping at one beach a little crab friend came and joined me on my towel... Here's some pictures of our Sunday day out...

Making the most of life


This last week has been really great. I finally feel totally settled and we are having the best time. Last week flew by with lots of shifts at the restaurant and sessions at the gym. I tried Zumba for the first time with Ashley which was pretty hilarious. 

Work is all good now and feel like I'm making some friends, there are a real mix of personalities and nationalities working there. The kitchen staff are also pretty interesting, some funny characters there! The other day I moved some take away boxes in the kitchen and a huge-ass Cockroach landed on my hand! I screamed so loud, which of course the chefs all thought was hilarious, I was not amused. This was my first encounter with a Cockroach and it ended badly for both of us, I was shaken and it was squashed to death by Danny's shoe. Since that occasion I have become a dab hand at stamping on the little devils. Last night I worked in the outside section of the restaurant. Earlier that day the exterminator had been in to blast the place, which makes them all leave their nests. The beasts were everywhere! I counted a death toll of six by my shoe at the end of the night. So rank and even writing about it now makes me feel like they are on me, I dreamed about them and woke James up talking about spotting Spiders and Cockroaches in our room! Hate them!

I usually finish work around 930/10 and come home to find James has made me another yummy dinner. He looks after me well, but I would like to point out at this time that since in Australia I have done all his laundry, ironing and cleaning so I think we're a good team! 

 Last Saturday we were going to head up to Noosa to have our first surf lessons but an unfortunate error in map reading/ general lack of direction from me and James meant that we ended up on the Bruce Highway heading South to Brisbane (exact opposite of where we wanted to be going) this resulted in a tense few moments for me and James as we blamed each other for the mistake (at least I can admit I have a bad sense of direction - James likes to pretend his is fine!). By this point we were never going to make our 9am start time so we turned around and heading to the library to stock up on some books and hit a local beach. We tried Maroochydore Beach for the first time, it was a hot morning but fairly windy so we couldn't quite feel the temperature for what it was. Even though we had our trusty Factor 30 on, and only stayed a few hours, we both spent too long lying on our fronts reading and developed rather red backs. However we didn't realise this until much later, my back had a lovely bow pattern from my bikini top and James morphed into Larry the Lobster. Luckily, mine went brown pretty quick but poor James is still suffering a bit four days on! Another lesson learnt, just because it feels cool, keep reapplying and don't stay in one position too long!

Later that afternoon we met up with Ashley and had a walk along Mooloolaba Beach and hit the Harbour for some fresh catch of the day as the sun went down.

The photos below are mainly taken by James so that explains where there are so many of me! He has become a bit of a photography geek and spends ages fiddling with settings while I stand there posing and waiting. He also wants to get a tripod for some special shutter speed setting, or something?! We went to a shop on Monday to look at some and it took a lot of restraint for me not to burst out laughing as he explained to the man that he 'was just starting to get into photography'. Oh, and one of his books from the library from 'Travel Photography'. What a gorgeous geek! So get ready for lots of photos...