April 2011 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

Kitty Love
Thursday, 28 April 2011 12:41 am

We got home from work last night to have Mr Furrgus walk out of the bushes and yell his little head off. We'd picked the cats up that morning, raced home to drop them off, and then headed to work. This was Furrgs first real chance to let us know how he felt about being boarded.

So I quickly changed into some older clothes and then got up close and personal with the Furrg. He wanted to tell me how much he loved me and that he promised never to do anything again that might upset me as long as I never took him to boarding again. I just scruffed his fur and told him how nice it was to have him home.

After dinner we sat watching TV with both cats circling around and insisting on being cratched and stroked. On going to bed they both moved in and took up their positions.

Twice Deb woke up with Raffi rammed in between the top of her head and the bedhead. Apparently Raffi then locks her legs and pushes on the bedhead forcing Deb's head down until she wakes up halfway off her pillow.

My favourite was that Deb had a dream that she was sailing but that there was fur in the rigging. Apparently she put her hand up while half asleep and felt cat but couldn't figure it out. Hilarious!

VMR466 VMR466 VMR466
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:42 pm

Let me start this entry by saying that I would rate our weekend an average of 'good' when all the factors are balanced out. Now let me tell you why.

As you would know Serena had chartered a boat over Easter on which only four of us were going to sail. By the 11th hour we still didn't have anyone for the last berth. Deb and I had arranged to take the Thursday ahead of Easter off in order to drop off the cats and drive up to Hervey Bay. This turned out to be a good thing because we had a pretty easy run and heard from Kate that she had landed at Maryborough Airport a little after we reached Gympie.

It then took a good hour to get all the stuff onto the boat and our gear stowed. I will point out only once that Serena over-catered on a fairly massive scale so we had sauces and bottles and jars everywhere. Thank goodness for her huge esky and 5 day block of dry ice we managed to keep most of it from spoiling until the last day or so.

Steve the charter owner was a fairly dry surley kind of guy which I suspect is endemic to the industry. I really didn't know how to take him but fairly shortly we were underway and powering out of the harbour. We were all in pretty good spirits and heading for Congul Point on Fraser Island for the night. Kate had picked up 2kg of prawns so after cheese and snacks we sat down and motored through the prawns. This was much to Kate's amusement that we all made prawn sandwiches which she just doesn't understand. We were munching away to her cries of 'You're all weird Queenslanders'.

The next morning we sailed up to Wathumba and anchored for the night. We were getting in a little fishing when Kate went for a quick swim and then down for a shower. That was when we heard an all mightly thump and Kate cry out that she had broken her leg.

I ran inside to see her holding her leg with her ankle and foot sticking out at a terrible angle. There was no question that, even if it wasn't broken, it was screwed up pretty badly. The next few hours are a bit of a blur and involved us phoning Steve, the owner, radioing marine rescue and then making a bolt for the harbour. All this time Kate was laying wrapped in a towel on the floor. Deb was keeping her safe as well as keeping a lookout for boats. Serena was on the radio talking to Hervey Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue...hence the VMR466 call.

We finally make it back 15 nautical miles to Congul Point where we met up with the rescue boat. When they pulled up along side we could only see three crusty sailors on board and my heart sank. How could they possibly help Kate. Then two ambulance guys walked out of the cabin and I could have cried at their beautiful blue unforms. Real help had arrived.

In no time at all they were onboard and helping Kate. With lots of drugs and a split for her foot they managed to get her onto a stretcher and over to the rescue boat. We were torn about going in with her but Kate insisted that we stay and keep sailing. As they motored away we got the engines running and took the boat into short to anchor for the night. We were all pretty shell shocked. A hour or so later we heard an annoucement on the radio that the VMR were standing down so that meant that Kate was well and truely on dry land and safe. Dinner was some cheese and crackers and then off to bed.

I have to say at this point that the weather for the trip has been fantastic. We had feared, based on the forecasts, that it was going to be rainy and awful but it turned out to be beautiful for virtually all the long weekend.

As we woke the next morning we decided to keep sailing for the weekend. Kate called and let us know that she was ok (although seriously drugged) and had had a dislocation reset the night before and was waiting for surgery to set two broken bones. I mean she absolutely made a mess out of her foot. If you're going to do it, do it big.

This was Saturday. We had only been out 36 hours and already managed to have a medical emergency. Not a bad effort really. So we made our way north again and anchored in roughly the same location again. This time we took the tender across to short to check out the lake/swamp at Wathumba. It has that weird brackish colour that the fresh water on Fraser takes on from the trees and smelled a little. It was a swamp I suppose. Then back to the boat for dinner. We had each decided to do a meal each so it was my turn with cha sui pork. It turned out really well and seemed to lift our spirits. Deb's rice an absolute triumph of fluffy goodness.

The night sky was also spectacular with some of the clearest star fields that I have ever seen. Serena's phone has an app that actually points out the stars which is pretty cool. By the time we called it a night I was feeling a little better about things.

Over the next few days we just sort of sailed up and down the coast of Fraser. The winds were getting pretty high in the afternoon but we had good protection in by the shore so we had some beautiful evenings watching the sun set.

On Monday we sailed back south with an intention of anchoring overnight and then motoring back through the narrow pass into harbour. Unfortunately the head sail got away from us and it ripped. So that put an end to the sailing for the afternoon. It was sort of the icing on the cake really in terms of bad things. God knows what Steve was going to say when we got the boat back.

That night was quiet. I think we had all hit the wall and just sort of crashed after dinner. Serena sat on the rear deck feeding the last of the bait to the fish and Deb and I just started to fall asleep on the inside seats.

We had heard by this stage that Kate was out of hospital and in her hotel room. So we agreed to get an early start in the morning and go visit her.

The trip in was pretty uneventful with us on motor except the port engine seemed to be playing up with some type of warning light. So we motored in on one engine.

When we were finally moored and tied off I was surprised that Steve didn't seem really upset about the motor or the sail or anything. He was genuinely hoping that we had had a good time and I guess would sail with him again some time. So that was a relief.

We got the boat emptied and our cars packed and then went up to see Kate. She was in very good spirits all things considered. She's looking at 3 months with a cast, up to six months on crutches and the need to return to hospital to have the screws removed. Yet she was chatting and laughing. An amazing spirit really.

Kate was also the talk of all the other boaties we met. When asked how our trip was if we mentioned the emergency everyone would say 'Oh, you were on Velella...' It seems that everyone was listening to our channel as the emergency unfolded so they got all the details.

Anyway, we stopped for a quick bite to eat after leaving Kate and then made the dash south. It seems that after each sailing adventure Deb and my conversations drift in the same directions. And I conclude that I really don't like the sailing part of sailing.

Back home, a hot shower and after a bowl of soup I was tucked in bed by 8:30pm

And that was our long weekend sailing.

Friday, 29 April 2011 6:57 am

Best wishes to Kate on a speedy recovery and kudos to the VMR people. You don't do things in halves do you bro :)

We are so very very health
Monday, 18 April 2011 5:26 am

Having scrubbed the hell out of the house last weekend and purchased a washing machine that actually works the weekend was actually pretty relaxing.

Deb is still in the grips of her cold although she tells me she is getting better.

Friday night we got away a little earlier and grabbed some lovely fresh seafood which I prepared 'frito misto' style which is to say dusted in seasoned flower and then lightly fried. All served up with a spanish salad. We were all having red wine vinegar moments as it went so well with the lemon juice on the fish. I think the prawns were the star though.

Saturday Deb had a physio appointment and then took her Mum out to the library. Meanwhile I purchased ingredients for dinner because Marjorie and Chris, who is in town for Easter, were coming over. So roast pork, fennel, beans and steam veg with a white sauce. Oh and dauphinoise potatoes to round out the whole thing. Not a bad effort and I didn't trash the kitched too badly.

Sunday was a late start. Deb read through the mountains of information we have on personal insurance and then we headed out to finally sort the wine.

We had about 24 boxes each one containing 12-18 bottles. We picked up some proper wine storage boxes and then headed over to the storage. Because the wine was randomly packed when it was cleaned we really had no idea how much of everything we had. So the only real option was to unpack it all into the passage way at the storage place and hope no one else wanted to access their wine.

We refilled 15 wine boxes so that's 180 bottles and then we repacked 15 more of the big boxes. So heaven knows how many bottles we really have. It generally looked in pretty good condition all things considered.

And then home for a quick shower and over to Marjorie's for dinner. As we were heading over I started to feel that tell tail itchiness of the eyes and throat that means I'm coming down with something. Bugger, I had finally got Deb's cold. So I am dosing up with vit.C and hoping I can shake it before the weekends sailing.

Who wants to go sailing?
Thursday, 14 April 2011 9:34 am

Seriously, who wants to go sailing this Easter? We have a catamaran with one double bunk free sailing over Easter from Hervey Bay.

I'm serious here...do you want to go sailing for Easter? Call me!

And the trip is full
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 5:38 am

Deb sent through a note today to say that the Intrepid Travel trip we have booked later this year is now full and closed to bookings.

They run them no matter what but I quite like the fact that we will have a full house because it just makes it more fun having a group of people to travel with.


Monday, 11 April 2011 7:32 am

Missed my regular Monday post because I was working from home today waiting for our new washing machine to arrive. It has also been a full-on day with quite a few meetings which just all added up to me not posting.


Thursday night we went to see Rick Stein's show in to Qpac. The original tickets were $139 which is frankly insane so the fact that Deb got a special offer of $49 made it much better. The show itself was pretty simple but quite fun. Nothing amazing though. It was very easy just to watch the big screen they were using and imagine that I was back at home, feet up, watching another episode of his cooking show. We did get to have dinner at Sardine Tin which nuked our weeks budget but was very good.

Friday night I headed home and Deb had a wine tasting event at work. So Furg and I had pork ribs and Deb came home later on to a bowl of chicken soup. I win!

Saturday we set at the house with great abandon and within 3 hours we had it scrubbed and polished. That final get rid of all the dust and dirt left over from building the decks and painting the house. Clean and nice.

We then went over to pick up Marjorie and headed out to buy the new washing machine. The old one could only be opened with a screw driver, had a habit of leaving the clothes soaking wet at the end of a cycle and was starting to trip the fuse. Gone!

On the way back we picked up groceries and so I cooked pan roasted duck breast (chicken for Marjorie) with mushroom, leek and tyme risotto. We roped Marjorie into stiring the risotto which takes about 25 minutes and can't be left alone.

Sunday was yard day and I got the lot edged and mowed then left Deb weeding while I went over to do Marjorie's place. Then a cold drink and a shower followed by fish & chips out at Manly. The day was absolutely beautiful so we just strolled along the foreshore and enjoyed the afternoon.

Then home to feed the kittehs and dinner of chicken curry. Deb made it using fresh spice mix and I say it had a good kick to it. She is thinking of making the same dish for our sailing trip in a couple of weeks.

By the end of all that I was stuffed and headed off to bed early.

Wedding bells and cup cakes
Sunday, 3 April 2011 11:41 pm

Our weekend involved leaving work early on Friday night to get home, pack the cats and then end up in a traffic jam for an hour. After that we drove to the coast arriving before 7pm.

Libbette was making her own wedding cake as well as cup cakes for everyone to take home as a gift from the wedding. We had donated our mixer and arrived to the smell of fresh baked red velvet cup cakes. YUM! The idea was to also construct a three layer wedding cake which would be cut by the wedding couple and then served with coffee. The cup cakes would be a take home item.

Unfortunately Libbette was using a fresh cream icing which realistically was not going to last three days until the wedding so she asked Serena, Deb and I if we could take care of the icing. Little did we realise what that would require. Anyway...

Friday night we went out for dinner at the Olive Tree. After a hectic day it was a chance to slow down a little. Saturday Deb and Serena were at the Hen's event so I just spent the whole day laying around and reading a book. It was bliss. Dinner was at the Mooloolaba Surf Club. The seating was a bit of a chaos affair but it all seemed to work out ok. Ultimately though the very loud band that came on just didn't work for me so we were home for a reasonably early nights sleep.

Sunday was cup cake day. I went back to the surf club for a drink with Jaron as a pseudo-bucks thing while Deb and Serena started work on the cup cakes...108 cup cakes. I arrived back about 2 hours later to find they had already iced and packed 60 of the little suckers. There was a lull while we made another batch of cream icing and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then back into icing. I have no idea how much cream and cheese we went through but after three batches we had them all done.

Each one involved a generous swirl of fresh cream icing (which was delicious) and a few little silver cachous arranged on top. We had then devised a system using a plastic tube that we put down into these little plastic bags, this allowed us to drop in a cup cake without getting cream on the inside of the bags. We then rolled over the top and Deb stapled on a ribbon to hold the top closed. 108 times.

With only an hour left before we had to be at the wedding we pulled the half iced wedding cake out of the fridge and tried to figure out what we were going to do. Libbette had started by smearing cream over the whole thing and apparently it was going to be covered in edible flowers so we really just needed to create a base. After a quick debate on the best approach Deb and I set at it with two piping bags and put hundreds of little cream 'flower' drops all over it. The finished result was not too bad and considering that it would be covered in flowers we were good to go. With only 15 minutes left we showered, dressed and got the car loaded with all the cakes.

Serena's house had remained trashed for 3 days. Covered in cream with utensils and bowls constantly filling the sink. Every time she cleaned up another batch of cakes or cream would be prepared, returning the kitchen to chaos.

To the wedding, and we had been asked to ice down some beers for after the ceremony, so I loaded up the eskys that I had filled and chilled that morning. They had a carton of beer and 3 bags of ice each and weighed a ton. By the time we actually were standing at the location for the outdoor ceremony I was completely done.

The weather had been a bit hit and miss all weekend so as we stood in the park (which had been beautifully prepared by the florist) we watched the dark clouds in the distance dropping water on other parts of the Sunshine Coast. As luck would have it the weather completely held and the ceremony was perfect. Deb had been asked to do a reading which I completely forgot to photograph because I was just watching her. (That's not a bad thing right?)

The reception was a short distance away in a local restaurant called Fish on Parken. The food was pretty good and the drinks were flowing. Libbette's friend Toby did the MC and the speeches were very very good. Libbette and Jaron's were really from the heart and expressed their personalities so well.

And when the cake came out we realised that it wasn't covered in flowers, it was exactly as we had delivered it except a few flowers had been arranged around the bottom. I was horrified! It was supposed to be covered up. But no...our last minute squirt-fest with piping bags was out for everyone to see.

Finally, after everything the cup cakes came out and guests started to leave. I have to say they all looked pretty awesome lined up on a table. We then took our leave and headed back to Serena's before hurriedly loading the car, including cats, and making a jump for Brisbane. The alternative was to get up at 5am and then try to face the traffic before heading into the office. The run home was really cruzy and didn't take too long at all. By 12:30am we were safely in bed.

Best wishes to Libbette and Jaron!

Monday, 4 April 2011 10:40 am

Where are the cake photos? And more photos please because Libbette looks gorgeous!