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.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Dinner and Show

Philip celebrated has 59th birthday last week.  Hard to believe I know!  I wanted to do something special for him so I obtained tickets for "Legally Blonde" performed by the Cairns Choral Society, booked us into the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino and made a dinner reservation at Tamarind Restaurant that never disappoints.
We arrived in Cairns mid afternoon to check into the hotel.  What a lovely surprise to be upgraded to a suite.  As we walked into the suite I was so overwhelmed by the sheer size and luxuriousness of the room that I completely forgot to take a photo!  We quickly settled into a room, ordered a bottle of wine and relaxed in the coolness of the room.  In what seemed like no time at all we had to shower and dress for our dinner reservation at 6 pm.  The meal, as always, was fantastic.  We both ordered identical meals - that comes from being married for almost 37 years!  Roast Duck salad for Entree and Trio of Pork for Main with Lotus Flowers as a side dish.  Pork and Duck and are two things that we hardly ever eat at home so it is always a treat to have.  I always order the Lotus Flowers as a side dish.  I hardly ever get through a full serve but they are sooooo delicious!

Lotus Flowers with a side of mayonnaise
A trio of Pork
After dinner we were relieved to walk the seven blocks to the Civic Theatre.  The pork, although delicious, was very rich so the walk did us both the world of good!  Just before we arrived at the Civic Theatre the whole Cairns area had a black-out.  It was so strange to be walking the streets without street lights and I was relieved when the power was restored.
We arrived in plenty of time for the show and quickly made our way into the theatre. Right on 8pm the curtain went up for the beginning of what was to be a great performance. I would have enjoyed it more but because of the power outage, the Civic Theatre Air-conditioning took until the second half of the show to cool the enormous cavity.  It was very uncomfortable!  However the performance really was terrific.  We have been to quite a few of the Choral Society Performances and they never disappoint.
After the show we thought about calling a cab for the return to our hotel but once again decided to walk.  It was a lovely balmy night, as are most nights in the tropics so the walk was a nice way to end a lovely evening.

No performance is complete without a box of Maltesers!


Thursday, 22 January 2015

It has been so hot....

Living at Julatten we never expect to have a heatwave.  We always seem to have a gentle cooling breeze coming from various directions but the last two days have been the exception to the rule.  We don't have any air-conditioning in our house as we have no need for it and usually the fans are all we need but I found that I was heading to the air-conditioned office/craft room downstairs - numerous times - for gentle relief from the heat.
Yesterday we decided enough was enough and made our way down the range to Port Douglas for a swim.  We swim at the Sheraton Mirage Country Club pool.  It is always quiet and the change room facilities are better than anyone could ever afford in their own home.  Pixie Skase, as head interior designer,  decided that the Sheraton Mirage decor should be marble and gold and that is indeed what you see....everywhere...even the pool change rooms!
The swim was fabulous.  The water just the right temperature for me although Philip found it a bit too warm for his "training".  I was happily lapping away in the pool before it suddenly occurred to me that I had a forgotten to put underwear in my swim bag!  I had a dress but nothing to wear underneath! Damn!  I quickly jumped out of the pool and laid on a chaise to try and dry off the bathers  as I would have to wear the dress over the bathers.  Philip did suggest going "Commando".  Typical male hahahah!   All I could think was that we were going to shop groceries after the swim and it would be freezing walking through Coles in wet bathers!  But fortunately the sun was so incredibly warming that my bathers dried in no time at all.  Thank Goodness.

Relaxing poolside.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Sleep Over

Our "adopted" grandkids having been asking for ages if they could come to our place for a sleep-over.  Of course we said yes but finding a suitable time has been a bit of a problem.  Finally we found a night that was agreeable to all, so the grandkids, mum and nanna arrived for lunch on Sunday.  Philip and I talked about the things that we could do with the kids.  We knew that they liked mustering so we made sure that we had a mob of cattle to move and I really needed help to pick and peel the abundant supply of rosellas.
The family arrived for lunch laden with enough food to feed an army!  There was roast chicken, ham, lasagne, cream buns, cream donuts, a BOX of mangoes, packets of chips....I didn't have to cook a single thing!
As soon as everything was unpacked from the car Philip took the kids and mum out to move the cattle.  Nanna and I stayed at home to prepare lunch for the hungry tribe when they arrived home.  We devoured the delicious lunch and promised the kids that we would go and pick the rosellas after lunch.  The weather, however, had other ideas.  A large storm started brewing and before long we had the inevitable thunder and lightening.  We waited it out.  The adults enjoyed the wait with a nice glass of champagne and the kids, well the kids grew more impatient.  However it didn't take the storm very long to pass over.  We hardly received any rain but it did cool things down somewhat.
The rosella picking took quite awhile.  So many rosellas.  I wish I had weighed them but there would have been at least five kilograms.  I ended up with twenty jars of jam and three jars of "Hibiscus Flowers" for adding to a glass of bubbly.  Separating the rosella flowers from the seed pod is the tedious part but with six sets of hands it seemed to be finished in no time at all.
By the time we had finished with the rosellas it was almost dinner.  Philip took the girls for a walk around the garden to pick flowers while we popped the lasagne in the oven.  Thank you Kate and Jodie.  It was delicious with a capital "D".  However I really should not have had two helpings!
The kids were well and truly worn out after their busy day so we were all in bed by 9.00 pm with the promise that Philip and I would wake the girls for our morning walk with the dogs.
As promised we did wake the girls early the next morning.  Nanna and mum also decided to join us for our 3km - half hour walk.  After the rain the day before the track was quite wet but it is still an enjoyable walk first thing in the morning. We were all ravenous when we returned to the house so breakfast went down a treat.  After breakfast it was time to strip beds and pack overnight bags.
It was so lovely to have everyone stay over and we have promised the kids that we will try and have a sleep-over each school holiday.

Waiting out the approaching storm

A walk down to the pond to look for the goldfish.

Nanna and the girls picking Rosellas

So many Rosellas!

All hands on deck.

My laundry tub packed to the brim with rosellas

Rosellas have to have a very good wash to remove all the little insects that hide in the flower.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Time to Party...

What a crazy time we have had over the past couple of weeks.  Way too much food and wine has been consumed but we have been catching up with with friends that we haven't seen for quite awhile so that's a good excuse!
So, where to begin.
Our young friends from Townsville were the first visitors for 2015.  They were having a mini holiday in Port Douglas for Skye's birthday so they asked if they could come and visit us.  We hadn't meet their latest family member....Emmasyn....so it was a good opportunity.  Skye's mum was also with them so we invited them for a casual lunch.  We sat over lunch for hours catching up on each others news.  Their young son....Maddox....is a dream child.  He is just three years old but a real darling.  All he wanted to do was go and see our donkey and we kept him waiting, waiting, waiting!  First it was "after lunch" and then it was "when Emmasyn goes to sleep" and finally "when it stops raining".  That young fellow took it in his stride and when he finally saw the donkey he said "OK can we go home now".  Hahahaha.
On Friday night we had the long awaited 60th birthday party for my bestie, Lynn. All invitees were asked to dress Fifties style and it was wonderful to see so many that took the effort to dress.  I was a bit slack but hubby made a bit of an effort and wore braces and hat.  It was a great night at Sarayi, Palm Cove.  The music and food were excellent and the party went on until the week small hours.  Some did not even go to bed.
Fifties theme for Lynns birthday.

Family Snap

The Birthday Girl

The party continued the next day poolside at the Oasis Resort where we devoured brunch before making our way home.  It was wonderful to talk with friends that we had not seen for years.

Megan, Ada and Poppy Jack.

Wendy and Ada Elaine

Son and his "Little Sister" Nikki.


At brunch, Philip and I invited everyone to lunch at our place the next day.  We ended up with a group of about twenty at lunch and it was most relaxing to be able to sit back in the coolness of our verandah and spin a few yarns.

The "Boys" at Kuramar

and "The Girls" at Kuramar

We picked up our friends from Toowoomba on Friday.  They flew in especially for the party and then came home with us after the party.  They are with us as I write and we are thoroughly enjoying each others company.  We have not caught up face to face with each other for a couple of years so plenty of tales have been told.
Yesterday we decided to head for Cooktown for a seafood lunch.  We had been telling our friends about it being one of the windiest places we had ever visited, but boy oh boy we hit a doozy of a day yesterday.  It was a stinking hot day with barely a breath of wind.  But we persisted in our idea of seafood in the park under the treetops.  The prawns were hands down the best and freshest we have ever eaten.  We knew it had to be fresh because the seafood outlet has it's own trawler!  The only "bug bear" (excuse the pun) was the mosquitoes that ate us alive under the shade of the big tree.  We at our lunch in record time to get away from them.  However, the day was lovely and we all agree that Cooktown is worth another visit.

This is not what you want to see when you don't have much cash on hand!  Check the price of the fuel!

The fuel Monster!

Selfie at the lookout.

Looking out over the mouth of the Endeavour River.

Cooktown from the lookout

Fresh Prawns and a Seafood Basket.  Yummy

Lunch with the gulls.  Can you see the chips that we threw in the air?
On our way back from Cooktown I received a message to say that the Beach family were going to go out for dinner to celebrate Lynn's "real" birth day.  Of course we could not miss that.  Our friends decided to stay at home but Philip and I quickly showered and dressed and made our way once more to Palm Cove, this time to Pullman Sea Temple.  The meal was delicious but best of all was the time that I had to chat to my bestie.  We really did not have much time to chat at her party.  We sat over dinner for almost three hours and enjoyed every minute of it.


So that has been our past couple of weeks.  Busy but fun.



Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Years Eve 2014

A very happy new year to you all and I hope that 2015 brings us love and joy PLUS a good wet season.  
We spent New Years Eve at our friends magnificent home at Bluewater in Cairns.  We arrived there mid afternoon and immediately settled ourselves into the coolness of the air-conditioning whilst sipping our PM Champagne.  What a great drop.  It was a stinking hot day....even for Cairns....but the men eventually made their way outside to take a dip in the sparkling pool.  When the sun lost most of its bite our hosts invited us to board their boat for a scenic cruise down the river to the breakwater and Yorkeys Knob.  The yacht club looked like it was gearing up for a big night of festivities and looking at the number of boats that were moored at the marina, it would have been a large crowd.
Once we passed the breakwater the sea became quite choppy so we quickly turned around and made our way back to the peaceful waters of Bluewater.
We cruised up and down the numerous inlets that make up Bluewater and were in awe of some of the magnificent houses AND boats moored right at their door.  It really is a beautiful place to live.
As the sun set we moored the boat and made our way back into the coolness of the home where the women quickly prepared the dinner.  We feasted on Lobster (all the way from Tufi in PNG), prawns, steak, baked rib-bones, sausages and a token salad (just because it's healthy!)  Once again I over-ate....well the lobster WAS sitting right in front of me and it was the best I have EVER eaten....and promptly fell asleep on the couch!  It was probably a good thing as I was the designated driver and I had indulged in a few glasses of champagne.  
After I had my little nap........more food!  This time lime cheesecake and a nice cup of tea.  
We eventually said our goodbyes, well before midnight I might add, and were nicely tucked up in bed just as the clock chimed in a new year.

All aboard with the necessities....Champagne, Beer and Nibblies

Captain Kate

Ooops!

Yorkers Knob Yacht Club and Marina

A look around Yorkeys Knob Marina

My goodness.  I wonder if this father/son know that this is crocodile country!

Voted Number One house at Bluewater.  Yep....I wouldn't mind living here..