Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Quigley Housesitting 3

Zappa's homemade lemonade

Another Jeremy Kyle chicken situation

"Neither Tina nor Margery are budging on their claims for custody of the same unborn children"

Dophin joins us for a cool-down after working outside

Monday, 19 March 2012

Search for Surf

Firstly, have a complimentary map.

The other day, Zappa decided he was going to go and surf Nambucca Heads, which the internet said was great. It was a grey day and had started drizzling when he asked if I wanted to come too. I thought, why the hell not, I can see new places and crochet in the van.

We found Nambucca's Shelley Beach, which the surf site had said was good and consistent, and was good for beginners.

It was rocky and scary and we thought we saw a shark. On with the search!

We went to Nambucca's Main Beach, where a load of old people were having fun with a bodyboard in the mush, but it wasn't really surfable, it was a blown out mess. We went into a surf shop and asked where else we could try. A lady told us to try Scott's Head, so off we went.

Scott's head seems to mainly be a big caravan park and old person houses, but as we wound our way through the cresents and closes we eventually came to the beach:

Woop woop!

Zap had great fun and got some rides. He also had some really funny wipeouts which were great fun to watch - although it was still raining so I mainly crocheted.

The next day we went to South Valla beach, which I am now totally in love with, it is gorgeous - and deserted!

Zappa watched some kite surfers play about for hours, and now wants to be a kite surfer really really badly, and has decided he is definitely buying all the kit when he gets back to the UK. This morning he has decided he is definitely buying a motorbike as soon as he gets home.

Yesterday we went to Digger's Beach again, where we met Matt (he wasn't there though), and there is absolutely no shade there so we bought me an Australia beach tent (it has an Australia flag on it - I am very proud of it). Zappa had a good surf, although it was super windy and getting the board to the water and back was a mission.

Autumn has definitely arrived, rather suddenly. Long pjs and a duvet and even .........socks in the mornings! It's still hot in the daytime though.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Vintage Nest

I have mentioned the Vintage Nest before, it being a place with wifi but without crazy library air conditioning and with coffee. Very very good coffee. It's both a veery nice café and a rather good vintage clothes, furniture and other things shop - you get to sit in vintage armchairs and sofas, surrounded by very awesome things, whilst having your very smooth, air-filled coffee and delectable cakes.

That half-a-car used to be in the front window where it looked ridiculously cool. Suppose they got bored of it there after a while. 10 points for anyone who can tell me what it is?

Now I am not usually into clothes that much but there's something about a whole heap of weird and wonderful vintage clothes that whispers to you to go nuts and try some crazy outfits on. I couldn't resist. I now think I finally understand all that ridiculous fashion thing, you know when you see models wearing stuff that looks absolutely terrible and stupid, and you think 'Really?!' - I think maybe the point of it is that it is FUN to look ridiculous and pout like it's totally on purpose.

It never fails to surprise me how unfeminine I can be one minute, and how girlie the next.

P.s. For the record, leather trousers and knitted tops should not exist in Australia, let alone be worn together. I fried in the 10 seconds I was wearing them.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Never Never

Further up Never Never Creek are more swimming holes we hadn't seen before, and were tipped off about them by a friendly nurse whose German shorthaired pointer I chucked into the river to be helpful. Yesterday we went to investigage, and the places were as beautiful as she'd promised.

The water was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING, like, when you fill a glass with ice and then fill it with water, let the ice melt for a while then drink it, and you can feel the cold hitting your stomach. It's way colder than before, which is weird as this is the tail end of summer, but apparently it's because of all the rain that made the floods, it's still working its way down form the mountains. I still don't understand this, it would make more sense if those rains formed a huge glacier which was now melting, but I was never very good at geography so I'll just accept it.

Close to Never Never is a place called the Promised Land, and it's quite surreal seeing a bus go past with a sign saying 'PROMISED LAND' as its desination in its front window.

Can I also mention that Tiffany and Russell are having a baby girl and I am SO excited!!!!!!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Happy Monday!

Hello and a Happy Monday to YOU. We are in the most lurrvely cafe called the Vintage Nest, which has loads of vintage STUFF everywhere, and has a vintage clothes shop through a door. It is tres cool. What has been happening in the last week, hmm...

1. I searched for a suitable Easter egg for myself and was frustrated - here Easter seems to be run purely by Cadbury's, which is mystifying as Cadbury's chocolate is terrible here. 
Have I told you why yet? Ruth sorted this out on a trip to the Tasmanian Cadbury's factory. Now. I was told before I came here that Australian chocolate is rubbish, because they have to put something in it to stop it from melting at room temperature. Firstly most Australian chocolate is really yummy, bizarrely Nestle chocolate is much better than its European counterpart. The only one that is rubbish is Cadburys. And that is not because they add something weird, as Ruth found out, it is because they use evaporated milk from Australian cows for transportation reasons, then restore it with water when it gets to the factory, and this for some reason makes it taste different.

If I have told you that before I'm sorry, but it is important so it's best I say it twice than not at all.

What else.

2. We had barbequed roast chicken outside.

3. Whilst shopping for more yarn I came across mad knitting books and have decided to learn to knit.

This is my favourite, so buying it when I get home:

check out the Mr. T mohecan hat!!!!
And the Godzilla feet. Amazing!

4. I have got so far with my blanket:
And finally admitted that it is a bit long. So this morning I woke up and cut a foot off it. I wasn't sure if you're allowed to do this in crocheting so I didn't research it and although reconstructing the edge was a brain teaser, I am happy to report it is now done and very smart, and will save me lots of money and time. It's still long enough to cover a bed completely.

5. Zappa went surfing in 9 foot waves (from trough to peak) and got absolutely owned! Haha. It took him about an hour and a half to get out the back, and a guy went 'Mate! How on earth did you get out here on THAT?! Respect!' Everyone else was on tiny boards and could duck dive the waves.
Zap did amazingly well, although he started threatening to buy another smaller board, prompting an Excel budgeting spreadsheet.

6. I met a crab.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Amazing news - Zappa has been offered a job at Bluesfest, a 4 day festival in Byron Bay in April! This is after we went along with Jenny to see if he could get a voluntary job there and they said they were literally turning people away from trying to apply to the reserve list because it was full. Then suddenly they've rung and offered him PAID work from 10am-6pm everyday, so he gets a load of dosh and then gets to see all the good acts!

Lineup includes:
  • Seasick Steve
  • John Butler Trio
  • Slightly Stoopid
  • Zappa plays Zappa!
  • Yes
  • Ziggy Marley
  • Candi Staton
A previous Bluesfest

He is SO excited, he keep bouncing around. Tickets are about $500 and he is getting PAID to go.


Quigley and Jean's House II

Helleo! How marvelous to have the internet. Have you noticed that old people often call it 'the Web'? I wonder why it's only them. Hands up all those I have made to feel old? Sorry.

We are in our final day of our 4 days housesitting for Quigley and Jean for the second time. It's great! This time they gave us loads of jobs to do, and unlike last time it hasn't been constantly raining so hard if you stepped outside and looked up you would drown. So we have been busy bees. Zappa has been powerhosing like a maniac and today he is cleaning windows. I started out cleaning windows, got too tired and cleaned cupboards and replanted plants, which was good fun. What?! Both tasks are immensely satisfying.

And guuuuess who we saw again?

Little tick paralysis chicken!!

Looking very normal chickeny.
7 out of 9 of the latest batch of chicks (of which paralysis chicken is one) have turned out to be cockerels, so I kindly offered to make them into roast chickens. The family didn't want to eat any but they said I could. So I selected a stonkingly obvious yellow-legged young cockerel and took it round the front of the house away from the others. 'What are you doing?' asked Zappa.
'I'm killing a chicken,' I said proudly.
He looked uncertain. 'Are you sure it's a cockerel?' he said.
'Yeah, look at it, it's enormous, and check out these long green tailfeathers!'
'......hmm.....I'd wait until I'd definitely heard it crow,' he said.
I suddenly felt unsure. But still sure. But unsure.
'If you're sure it's a cockerel, go for it,' Zappa said, 'ignore me.'
So I carried on and found a quiet spot and held the chicken in position.
'Bwaaaaaark?' said the chicken softly.
'Awww.....' I said, 'I feel so sorry for you!'
I'd lost my momentum. It wasn't going to happen. I put him back.

A happy addition this time is Dolphin the Dog, who was in kennels last time:

She loves going round with me, trying to eat the chicken food/horse food/compost, and is ecstatic when I dig holes for plants, wanting to see what's in the holes, or trying to be beheaded, I haven't quite worked it out. She does however have quite early breakfast times, which she lets us know about by barking a lot, and can't understand why we're not as excited as her when we come out and it's still dark.

Sometime I found really weird was what the next door farmer has done to his fields:

Apparently he has sprayed herbicide all over them (great for Quigley et famille who are religiously organic, instead of jif and windolene they have eucalyptus oil mixed with water), not only killing the weeds but also the grass??? I have never heard of it before. He then puts enormous amounts of fertiliser all over it and the grass grows back at breakneck speed. We don't do this in the UK do we? Have I just never noticed? I don't understand why you'd need to.
Haha Zappa has just said from the other room, 'If I'm ever looking for career ideas and I come up with being a window cleaner, shoot me.' He's finding it tiring as well! That makes me feel a lot better. It knackered me yesterday, I was really disappointed.

The day before we came here, Zappa and I went to the Bellingen craft shop which is so gorgeous, I should sneak a picture of it sometime. I got some really nice purple yarn and we both loved a hand spun, hand dyed merino yarn made by a local lady, all different blues, sooo nice. So Zappa bought it and whipped me up a pair of wrist warmers that afternoon!

Such beautiful yarn!

I felt the need for chocolate muffins but we had no muffin tins or cases...

Not a big enough obstacle, group crocheting needs cake.

Ta da!! Aren't they gorrrgeous? He's so clever.

Anyway it is a beautiful sunny day today, absolutely gorgeous, with a nice cool breeze, and I am going to go and enjoy it. And maybe do another cupboard.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

So we went camping! It was good. We forgot our ready-cooked spag bol so had bacon and eggs for supper instead. The mozzie net worked and we found a campsite right by the beach, with big trees for shade.

Trouble was, the surf was small and completely blown out, so the next day instead of surfing we carried on down to Bellingen, stopping at all the surf beaches en route (seven) to check them out for future reference. Unfortunately, as the East Coast is just an east coast, the surf was the same the whole way. We eventually came to Diggers Beach at Coff’s Harbour, supposed to be the premium break, which was slightly less blown out, so Zappa went and had a go and I stayed to crochet on the beach.

This man called Matt started talking to me, he’d been surfing for decades like Ray, and we talked about surfing and stuff. Eventually I asked if he knew of any places people climbed in the area. He said he usually went to a secret little cove round the corner to collect shells to make artworks with them, and there’s a bit of a downclimb, but since he got caught climbing back up when a storm broke he’s had a bit of a fear factor about it, which was a shame because he loved going there. He said it just brought it home how if he fell, no one know. I said he should take a phone with him, and he agreed, but he wasn’t sure if he’d even go there anymore now. I said ‘Why don’t we go there now? It’ll be fine with two of us.’ He came round to the idea and off we went, after telling Zappa where we were going.

It was such a cute little cove, it reminded me of a mini version of that bit of Bosigran on the left as you do the walk-in. Climbers might know what I mean.
The wall on the left looks FUN - we might come back and climb it soon. Looks like a v.diff or a severe.

And there were shells everywhere! We collected loads and chatted away. He said it was really nice to share his hobby with someone else. I really enjoyed it too – there’s something so basic about the desire to collect shells you don’t really have an explanation for it.
Matt climbing back up. He said he'd be a lot happier doing it now he'd gone and done it. And he promised to take his phone.

I got sunburnt for the first time in the 5 months we’ve been here! So annoyed with myself. Pretty good going though I suppose.
Bits of shell
We’ve come back to Bello to find mould covering everything, the sofa seems to have come off worst. Sharron (who lives above us) said that she had to demould everything with all the damp floody weather and it would come back after a week. Blergh. But that’s easy to deal with – we turned over the sofa cushions to assess the damage and these bugs started crawling out of it – I think they look like bedbugs (after watching a program on pest control people – as you do), except they look a lot paler. Anyway that is NASTY and we set off a pest control nasty chemical fumes bomb in there, so we are currently sitting in the front garden with all our belongings sat around everywhere, including the massive supermarket shop we just did. Luckily we have a 3 way fridge so it is happily cooling away on gas beside me.

 Zappa is asleep! Bless him. We’ve waited an hour and a half and we’ve only got another half an hour before we’re allowed to go in and open all the windows, then after another half an hour we can move back in. We don’t know if it’ll kill the bedbugs but we needed to bomb the place for cockroaches anyway.

Good news: we’ve been asked to housesit again for Quigley and Jean, and this time we get the dog in with the deal! Score. They have some more work for Zappa to do so hopefully two birds with one stone, although Sharron’s just said a big storm is forecast for the next week. Not again…….

I’m writing this on Microsoft Word but will hopefully make a stop in at the library tomorrow to post it. Ahhhhhhh it feels so good to be back in Bello, even if it contains mould and bedbugs. This feels like it has been quite a boring post but it’s been something to keep me entertained while we’re waiting. I suppose being led to a secluded beach by a random man I just met was exciting. It’s ok Mum! I didn’t get abducted so that’s fine right?