JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

White Lion Jungle Ride 2014

Two years ago Philip did the Jungle Ride from Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation but due to severe cramps he could not complete the ride.  This year he once again nominated for the ride and was determined to cycle the whole distance......190km.  He has been training hard for this ride and most days has cycled anywhere between 30km - 50km.
This was a charity ride to raise money for White Lion.  This organisation aims to help disadvantaged youth in the 10-24 year age bracket and you can read about While Lion HERE.  It is a very worthwhile cause.
The ride began at 5.30 am on Saturday at the Port Douglas Surf Life Saving Club and all cyclists had to be back at the Surf Club by 3.00 pm.  Any cyclists that were still on the road would be picked up after this time.  Philip's pack was back by 2.00 pm so he had plenty of time to spare.  He said that he averaged a speed of 26km/hour and considering that this included some very steep climbs it was a great effort.

The briefing before the ride.

Approaching the Daintree Ferry

Wonga Beach Drink Stop

Thorntons Beach

Arriving into Mossman on the way back






Friday, 24 October 2014

A 60th Birthday

The same day as Madeleine's christening we were also invited to a 60th birthday party for a Julatten friend.  There was a bit of a mix up with times as we thought we should have been there between 5 - 6 pm but when we arrived everybody was well and truly settled in as the party started at 3 pm!
We had a lovely time chatting to all the guests.  Most of these friends were from my Julatten Yoga group.  They are a great bunch of ladies who invited Philip and I into there social group without any hesitation when we first moved here.  Some of my western friends ask if it was hard to start new friendships when we moved here but I have to honestly say it wasn't.  You just have to make the initial move and people are always curious as to who you are and where you're from.  I did find it hard going to my first yoga class where I didn't know a single soul but lucky for me there was one lady who came straight up to me and introduced me to the other ladies.
We have so many different groups of friends.  Apart from the Julatten Yoga group I have my photography group at Mossman and Philip has his cycling buddies at Port Douglas.  We are also lucky enough to have a few of Philips old school buddies living in the area so that is another group of friends.  I don't think any of these groups of people cross but it certainly gives call for lots of social activities!

Happy Birthday Di!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Christening

Last weekend around about 30 friends and family were invited to attend Madeleine's christening at the Sacred Heart Church at Freshwater.  The christening was to be at 8.30am followed by brunch along the waterfront at Trinity Inlet.  Things didn't go quite to plan and we ended up having brunch before the christening that was eventually at 11.00am.
Madeleine's parents did a fantastic job of setting up a beautiful area for the brunch party.  We brunched on bacon, sausage and egg rolls accompanied by an assortment of tasty Hor D'Oeuvres.  Everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the "Cupcake" christening cake was a highlight.
The christening itself was special for Madeleine's mum and dad as this was also the church they were married in just a few short years ago.  Madeleine never uttered a sound as the blessed water was poured over her little head but I think she was well and truly worn out by that stage from all the celebrations.












Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Reef Feast Palm Cove

Our friends invited us to Palm Cove for the recent Reef Feast.  Williams Esplanade is closed to all traffic for the entire length and the restaurants set up marquee stalls and sell one or two of their signature dishes on smallish plates for either $5 or $10.  Wow......so many to choose from.  We walked the entire esplanade to check out the food on offer and after a beer for the boys and a glass of wine for the ladies we then made our way back.  We tried Paella, Pork Belly, Pork Sliders, Beef Sliders, Moreton Bay Bugs and Crab Tartlets.  There were three entertainment areas set up along the length of the esplanade and you could choose to listen to country, blues, jazz or rock.  The young boys that formed part of a blues band were very good and we stopped and listened/danced to their music for awhile.
After this we decided to take a walk along the jetty.  It is a fisherman's paradise although talking to the fishermen/women the fish were not biting.  It really was quite windy.
It was a lovely night and when we got back to the unit we sat outside on the spacious balcony and enjoyed the balmy night with a nightcap in hand.

The photos are really terrible because my little Olympus just didn't want play along with me! Sigh....

Williams Esplanade Palm Cove

The young blues band

Palm Cove from the end of the jetty

I wonder if our friends know they have identical strolls!

I wonder what the joke was......

Monday, 13 October 2014

Zinnias

Either side of the garden pergola we have two large garden beds that hold a variety of day lilies, spider lilies, agapanthas and iris.  There is a riot of colour in late spring and through summer when these plants start flowering but unfortunately there is not colour at all during the colder months.  The answer this year was to plant red zinnias.  They have been flowering since the beginning of spring and looking at the number of buds I'm guessing they will continue for some time yet.  Behind the zinnias Trudi has planted cornflowers.  They are just starting to bud so I will post some photos when they are in bloom.
We gave the roses a hard prune in August and they have responded magnificently with a beautiful show of white.  I am always amazed at how quickly things grow in the tropics and how hard you have to prune plants to keep them looking at their best.  Thank goodness for my gardener!






Sunday, 12 October 2014

Blood Moon

The lunar eclipse this week turned our to be not as spectacular as I would have hoped but at least we had very little cloud cover so I was able to watch the eclipse.  I have a love hate relationship with the full moon.  I love photographing the full moon but I hate that I can't sleep for days because the moon really lights up our bedroom!  Anyway, the moon has almost waned so back to a good nights sleep again in the next few days.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The best tasting birthday cake EVER!

We were invited to a birthday BBQ for the sister of my friend at Kuranda on Saturday.  We had a couple of jobs to do in Cairns so we did them first.  We also headed to Irelands Cairns...the Holden dealership.....where our name was in the draw to win a new car.  Everyone who had purchased a new or secondhand car in the past couple of months went into the draw.  Three hundred people turned up for the draw as you had to be there to win.  No, we didn't win but hey, great odds!
We had a delicious BBQ lunch with our friends and their family and as usual, the conversation flowed.  After lunch the birthday cake was brought out.  What a cake!  Chocolate Mud Cake with cigars of chocolate and Chocolate Eclairs and glazed with Chocolate Ganache!  A chocolate lovers dream cake and soooo delicious.  I am definitely heading to the Cheesecake Shop next time I'm in Cairns!




Thursday, 9 October 2014

Lake Mitchell

My good friend and fellow photographer Joan rang Monday morning to ask if we would like to join her for a sunset photo shoot at Lake Mitchell.
Lake Mitchell is a man-made lake between Mount Molloy and Mareeba.  It is a bird-watchers paradise with literally hundreds of varieties of different birds spread across the wetlands.  We saw ducks, swans, egrets and even a black cockatoo.  I am not familiar with a lot of the names of the birds but I am  learning.  The lake is also home to brumbies that we could spot in the distance.  Joan also told us about her close encounter, while kayaking on the lake, with a huge saltwater crocodile.  No-one seems to know how it got there but it is believed that it was an escapee from a crocodile farm that used to be close by.  All I know is that  I will certainly not be swimming there.
We drove a short distance into the lake and then parked the car for a walk to a spot on the lake where we thought we might get some nice sunset shots.  Unfortunately the water lilies that we thought might be flowering were not, so we didn't have a lot of foreground interest in our sunset shots, but nevertheless I am happy with them.  On the walk into the lake we watched a female turtle leave the water and make a nest on high ground to lay her eggs.  It was quite amazing to watch.
After the sunset we made our way back to the car.  We watched the "almost full" moon rising above us and decided we would come back another time and camp here.  We will pick another full moon and hopefully get some sunset/sunrise/moon shots.
As it was quite late when we left Lake Mitchell we stopped at the Highlander Tavern at Julatten for a delicious dinner.  Pizza for me!  Yumm!

Birdlife aplenty!

Black Swans

Brumbies grazing in the background


Glorious colours of the wetlands

Ducks

Black Cockatoo

Female Turtle making her nest to lay eggs


Hubby enjoying the sunset

It doesn't get much better than this.


A Bad Moon Arising!

Day's done.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Another Sunset Cruise!

One of Philips cycling buddies is leaving Port Douglas for a position on the Sunshine Coast.  Not too bad a move!  One of the cyclists organised a Sunset Cruise to send him off.  I tagged along as the official "photographer" and designated driver for hubby.  I love these cruises but two in two weeks is a bit much.....!!!  However it was a beautiful afternoon and ocean was smooth.  This cruise did not go along Four Mile Beach but headed towards Low Isles before turning around.



Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A post wedding luncheon.

I unfortunately can't post any photos of the wedding that we attended just over a week ago.  The bride and groom asked that no private photographs be taken or anything posted on social media.  I didn't actually like not taking any photos....the photographer in me I guess, but I totally understand the social media thing.  I have been to a couple of wedding where photos of the bride and groom have been posted to Facebook and Twitter before the wedding had ended!  It is all getting a bit out of control.
The day after the wedding my daughter-in-law and I decided to do a post wedding lunch for anyone that wanted to come.  Open invitation.  We ended up with about twenty for lunch which is a nice number.   Suzie and I made lots of yummy salads to go with the steak and sausages that Philip cooked on the Bar-B-Que.  It was a lovely easy going day with plenty of time to relax and talk to our friends. We got to meet the latest addition to the Beach extended family.....little Ada Elaine.  She is just six weeks old and a lovely placid baby.
I also got to spend time with the lovely Mikki and her delightful daughter and Husband.  Marco partnered Mikki for the Cathedral School Debutante Ball waaaayyy back in 1998 in believe and when we started talking it just seemed like yesterday.  I'm always amazed at how friendships are like that.  You just seem to pick up where you left off.
Here are some photos from the day.

Ada Elaine

Mikki and I

Monday, 6 October 2014

Golf in Mossman

Son and Daughter-In-Law came and had a few days with us a week or so ago.  They had been holidaying at Ellis Beach and asked if they could stay with us for the wedding that we were all invited to.  They are "mad keen" golfers and they asked if we would like to join them for nine holes at the Mossman Golf Course.  I said I would tag along as the photographer but hubby was keen to have a go.  
The Mossman Golf Course is a secret amongst the locals.  It is a beautiful setting (from a photographers point of view) and apparently an excellent course from a golfers point of view.  Visitors that come to the area usually have a round or two at the popular golf courses in Port Douglas and the locals neglect to mention the one at Mossman!  They don't know what they are missing out on.
We set off at around about 10am and finished the nine holes by 1am.  No winners or losers in this game....just one of fun.  After golf we had a delicious meal at the newly re-furbished Daintree Inn Hotel in Mossman.  I highly recommend this place.  The meal was cheap, served fast and was very very tasty.



A walk through the rainforest to get to the 7th Hole


Friday, 3 October 2014

Netting the Nectarine

We had our very good friends come to visit last week.  They arrived early as we had a few cows and calves to draft up and tag and they offered to assist.  We didn't tag many as we would have liked as they are just incredibly hard to mother up.  We ended up separating the calves from their mothers overnight and the next day it was easy to mother up as the calves were hungry and went straight to the mothers for milk.
Whilst are friends were here we decided to get their assistance in netting our nectarine tree.  It is loaded with fruit and already we have had something nibbling at the fruit to see whether it is ripe.  We had a good crop of the tropical nectarines last year and we expect that this crop is going to be even bigger.
Netting the tree is not as easy as you might think as the tree is getting quite tall.  We use an extension pole and try and ease it over the tree.  You then need two people to walk either side and cover the tree.  It took a little maypole dance before everyone became co-ordinated but eventually we got the tree covered.

The Tropical Nectarine Tree

Doing a little Maypole Dance!

Almost over

The netted tree