Sunday, July 31, 2016

Curry Workshop

Yesterday I went along to a curry workshop at the little cafe in my local small town. One of the lady presenters lived in Fiji for some time and learnt tips and ideas on what constitutes a good curry from the local women. Another lady showed how to make and cook roti (flat bread). About 30 people attended. It was an interesting day and I came home with a couple of packs of spices, different to what I already have in the pantry. Just need to try them out now. G isn't a big fan of curry but the kids like it.

Henna tattoos were included in the workshop price. It was fascinating to watch the artist apply the design; so skilful.

Lunch was absolutely delicious!!

I came home and did a spot of concreting with G (we're building more pig enclosures) then headed off to the gym for an appointment with the stair machine. I spent an hour rotating between it and the bike, elliptical and treadmill.

Annebelle's Four 27/07

Annebelle gave birth to 4 little ones on 27/07 - her due date! We thought she didn't look big enough to pig yet - obviously it was because she only had 4 in there! Too cute these ones!

Day 1.

Three days old! Hairy little things these ones are!

Our Next Challenge

Meg talked me into our next challenge - to complete the Aussie 10 Peaks climb at the end of October. We're in training. I joined a gym in town and have become acquainted with the stair machine. I expect to spend a fair bit of time climbing it over the next couple of months.

Catching Up

I seem to write a lot of catching up posts now. I don't blog as much as I used to because a) crappy internet connection and b) my job dictate a) how much access I have for loading photos and b) how brain dead I am at the end of a day of work!

Coco was please to see us home from the cruise. She spent the week at Grandad's with Gundi, sleeping in the bedroom and had her own personal bar heater during the day (it was a very cold week apparently).

Chloe was pleased to see us too! She had to spend the week outside!

Look who moved in while we were away - a stray cat and 5 kittens.

The little pigs, born the night before we left, were down to 7. Billie birthed 13 but 4 were born dead. One died the morning we left; another died the morning we got home.

We decided to keep the stray cat; she's been given a name, Nala, and she's had an operation. We think someone dumped her; she's too quiet and friendly to be a feral.

Drew has been home twice since the cruise, helping around the farm to pay off this year's bull. He and I and Coco went to check the water one cold afternoon.

Drew potted up some plants for me.

A cold and frosty morn usually means a beautiful day; this was no exception.

Weaner 5's are going well.

Nala is an outside cat - except for the night she came home from the vet after her operation; she spent the night in the laundry. Chloe isn't impressed that there's another cat in the family.

Two Days of Sailing, Heading Home

After Vanuatu we had two full days of sailing to get home. I made the most of them by doing as little as possible :) I read, ate, fell asleep on the balcony, read some more and watched the sun set.

We went to the Italian restaurant on the second last night.

There's Mum, waving from her balcony one deck up.

In the end, the week went way too fast! It was lovely to have shared it with Mum and the kids; it's something we'll all always remember, to have had that time together. We arrived back in Brisbane early Sunday 3rd July, Drew went back to the coast, we dropped Meg in Twba and Mum in Dalby, picked up Coco from Mate's place and came home. It was good to see all the animals and to be home again but next time we cruise we think we'll go for 10-12 days! Everybody's highlight (except for me) was the day spent at Mare; mine was being back at Hideaway.

Going Back

We left Mare in the late afternoon and sailed to Port Vila, Vanuatu, docking around 8.30am on Thursday 30th. Gibbo and Drew went off to organise a taxi bus for the day while Mum, Meg and I had a quick look at the markets that set up just near where the ship docks. It's a much more organised affair than in previous years.

We hired a driver, Joseph, and set off. We drove through town and then out to a small village where we took a 5 minute tour. Then we drove, not far, to the jetty where a small boat took us across to Hideaway Island. I'd been really looking forward to this visit. We were last here 14 years ago, then year I turned 40, during a holiday at Le Lagon resort; the kids were 14 and 9! It was where I first snorkelled; I can still remember the wonder of life under the sea and how I sat in chest deep water and practiced breathing with a snorkel. Then when I started swimming around I couldn't stop giggling like a little girl; it was magical! So Hideaway Island has always held a special place in my memory and I've sometimes thought about coming back to spend a week here (we've been back to Vanuatu on cruises on two occasions but haven't made the journey to the island).

It has barely changed; in fact, everything was exactly as I remembered it! I was so pleased. It's such a gem of a place. The fish were plentiful and beautiful; the last fish I saw before I got out of the water was my favourite - a pink/blue/green/aqua one! A good omen.

I'm coming back some day, come what may.