There, and back again…

It’s getting a bit crazy round here.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.41.08 am

Cool, cloudy weather on the Atherton Tableland made for perfect motorbike riding temperatures

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.43.17 am

A great spot for smoko

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.42.31 am

Lantana and tree ferns

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.41.24 am

Morning Glory: what a colour!

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.41.51 am

Red stems and beautiful veining

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.52.26 am

Tomatoes are loving the rain

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.52.59 am

Rootlets on the cuttings

Firstly, we didn’t get away early on Friday as planned. This was due to a major scheduling stuff up at the Husband’s work. Instead of being home by midnight and leaving at 7am on Friday, he didn’t get home till 6am, and while I could drive the first leg and let him sleep if we’d been taking the car, this was a motorbike trip. So we reluctantly had to postpone and let the people we were meeting up there know we’d be a day late. The one small upside is that I was able to get a bit of stitching done, and I’ll post on that tomorrow.

It was a long trip up, and we were pretty tired at the end of our 10 hour journey, but it was great to be there. Sunday we got on with the scheduled swooping around the curly bends, looking at fabulous vistas, taking photos of scenery and plant life, eating lavish morning teas and tucking into lush curries in the evening. It was a good break, and good to be away, but the return trip came all too soon.

I didn’t have a good trip back. Three solid days on the back of a motorbike just got too much for the arthritic hip, and by the end of the journey we were stopping every hour so I could painfully unlock it. I’d run out of the quick acting painkillers, and a painful lesson has been learned. I can’t do a trip like that again unless I have them.

I’d let the coffee shop know we were going to be away, and that if they wanted an order of baked goods for this week, they needed to order by Thursday. Yup. You guessed it. They didn’t order till Friday, by which time we should have been on the road. It came too late in the day to buy some of the groceries I needed, so yesterday started at the crack of dawn, baking the things I had stock for, and then dashing out as soon as the supermarket opened. Still, it’s ready, even if I could have done with the day off…

On the upside, it rained here while we were away, and the tomatoes are making good progress. Something is giving the spinach a hard time, but everything else is pretty happy. The little mango tree is loving its new home, and next week, we’ll be planting the avocado next to it. And last but not least, the three Angel Trumpet cuttings I put in water last week are showing dozens of white rootlets, so I have great hopes of being able to pot them on soon.

Next week, on Monday, I start two weeks of jury service. I won’t necessarily be serving every day, but I have to be available, so I can’t plan anything for that time. The way it works is that you check online after 5.30 the day before, to see if you’ll be required the next day, so at least I’ll have some idea the night before.

I have a full schedule this morning, but this afternoon I should finally, finally be able to get back to Worldwide Friends… I have one short side halfway stitched on and the hexies for the other side are assembled and joined. Lots of ladder stitching and hemming to be done, o joy. Still, it’s good to see edges finished.

Right, must get on, I have a busy day ahead.

A mixed bag

Well, we’re home, in one piece and already planning the next trip.

The journey home was, um, interesting… We got soaked through to the skin in the early part of the journey, between Innisfail and Cardwell, when the heavens opened and the rain was so heavy we could scarcely see the road. Miss Scarlett didn’t let us down and carried us safely through. It was the only part of the trip where I was actually cold! We soon dried…

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 10.44.37 am

Hot, but safe…

The previous day was wonderful, but again underlined the lesson that riding at sea level between midday and 3pm is asking for sauna conditions inside ones’ bike gear. Up on the Atherton Tableland, where it’s a good 5ºC cooler than down on the coast, it was a little easier, but sadly we had to come down some time! We went back for another visit to an old favourite, Mt Uncle Distillery, where they make award winning rum and gin, and have a banana plantation producing organic green banana flour. I bought a kilo to give it a go, but it’s a bit too pricey to use often

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.36.31 amIn case you were wondering (and I think you probably weren’t), my hands were not idle during the evenings. I’ve finished all the fillers and flowers for the left hand middle section of Worldwide Friends, and now just have to sew them all together, attach the new bit to the bottom of the left side, and then all three large pieces are ready to join. After that I have the two long thin strips for the full width of the top and bottom, and then the front is finished apart from a bit of embroidery. And then, it’s onwards and upwards with the back, poetry and all!

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 11.36.10 amA spot of gentle fabric shopping this morning has scored me a bunch of fat quarters for the start of the queensize quilt I’m making my brother’s eldest daughter as a wedding present. She’s getting hitched in the summer, and knows this won’t be ready in time, but is happy to be getting it at all! I think it’s going to be lovely. More details once I’ve cleared the decks a bit and can start planning, cutting and laying out on the design wall.

And I think it only fair to blow the whistle on the Husband of Chiconia, who achieves his half century birthday tomorrow. He has no blog for me to hijack, but will be suitably sheepish if I announce it here!

Time Out

Home again after 4 days away

We’ve had two days of fairly cruisey driving, and two days of pure fun. Can’t wait to do it again.

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 7.52.04 PM

The Husband of Chiconia and the Joy Machine

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 7.52.25 PM

Looking south towards Cairns from the road north to Port Douglas. The rainforest sweeps right down to the beach.

We drove up to Cairns, a 10 hour trip of something over 700km. We had the scooter on a trailer behind the car, and once we were there, the car didn’t get a look-in; we tore around on the scooter and gloated at the ease of parking, the sheer joy of zooming through traffic. We went up and down winding ranges between the sea and the Atherton Tableland – and then up and down again because it was such fun. We tootled along the coast road north to Port Douglas, inland to Mossman and then up and down another range. We drank beautiful coffee and ate luscious cakes, we wolfed down fabulous curries and fresh fruit smoothies.

Screen shot 2014-07-17 at 7.53.03 PM

On the road home. Hinchinbrook Island from Cardwell, which was flattened in 2011 by Tropical Cyclone Yasi

In short, we had a ball. Now, back to reality…