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.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

A wedding on Magnetic Island

For the second time this year we have had the pleasure of attending a tropical wedding, this time on the lovely Magnetic Island.  Magnetic Island is just a half hour ferry journey from Townsville although we took our car on the vehicular ferry that takes a lot longer.
Most of us arrived on the Island Thursday afternoon for the get together at the Marlin Bar at Horseshoe Bay.  We had a delicious meal and then all made our way back to our accommodation at Peppers Blue on Blue.  Some partied on but most had an early night in preparation for the wedding then next day.

Peppers Blue on Blue at Nelly bay and the wedding reception venue

Friday we woke to a glorious tropical morning.  Winter is just a suggestion in the tropics and there is hardly ever a need to wear a jacket of any description.   As breakfast was included in our accommodation package we made our way downstairs to the restaurant to enjoy the delicious buffet.  After breakfast we visited Philips mum who has been living on the Island for many years.  She loves Island life and said she can't imagine living anywhere else.  There is a very good HACC (home and community care) service on the Island that we are very grateful for.
At 3.00pm the wedding ceremony commenced at Picnic Bay.  This used to be the place that the ferry stopped at and is still a beautiful bay that looks towards Townsville.  The groom looked a little nervous as he waited for his bride but once he saw her his face lit up.  The ceremony was lovely and as Zoe and Dave became Mr and Mrs we all applauded.
We made our way back to Peppers Blue on Blue for the reception.  Pre dinner drinks and nibbles were served on the boardwalk and we were all called for dinner at 6 pm.  Philip and I were once again privileged to sit at Table 1 with the brides mother and father......our lifelong friends.  We had a wonderful night with fantastic food and wine and afterwards we danced well into the night.
It was a lovely wedding that we will remember for a long time.

The bridesmaids looking lovely in blue

Zoe and Dave


A few adjustments by the bridesmaids

Preparing for the group photo

Me and my boy!



Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Drought

The third year.  Who would ever have thought that we would be heading into our third year of devastating drought.  Our records show that we have never experienced three straight years of drought so we are heading into new territory.  We started the year with over 3000 head of cattle and by the end of this month we will be down to just 600 females.  The most heart wrenching decision of all is to sell your breeders. It takes many years to get to where you want to be with your breeders and we were, sadly, at the point where they were almost perfect for our requirements.

I don't want to go on about it because it is part and parcel of living on the land that we face adverse times as well as good.  We always plan for the worse and pray for the best.

I took this photo at our branding earlier in the year.  I think this photo really tells a story.  The temperature that day was 42 degrees and this photo was taken as my son and husband were walking over to the donga for smoko.  The newly branded calf in the foreground doesn't have any idea why I am crouched on the ground and neither of the men have seen me so that always makes for a good photo.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Round Up of the last month

One word.....busy.  I used to think that I was good at time management but lately I have come to believe that I need more lessons in it OR stop saying yes to everything.  Since the beginning of April we have:
  • Flown to Phuket for a wedding
  • Driven to Magnetic Island for a Hens Party
  • Flown to Brisbane for the Billy Idol Concert at Siromet Winery
  • Hosted lunch for friends on Good Friday
  • Driven to Woolgoolga (north of Port Macquarie) to pick up our Slide-On Camper
  • Driven to Julia Creek for the Dirt and Dust Festival
  • Completed the muster of sale cattle at "Caleewa"
  • And the saddest of all, having to drive to Townsville to say goodbye to a friends little boy - just 1 year old....
In between all of that is the everyday jobs of running our little stud, maintaining a house and garden and of course keeping the business bookwork up to date.  Whew!  No wonder I feel tired.

I have already posted about the wedding in Phuket and in coming weeks I will write a little about the things we did and saw.  The highlight for me was the elephant ride and visiting the Big Budha.  They can now both be ticked off the every growing bucket list.

I arrived back from Phuket with a bad head cold but after dosing myself with every drug I could lay my hands on, just two days after we arrived home I drove to Townsville and then caught the ferry to Magnetic Island for a hens party.  I'm glad I made the effort because I had a lovely time with my lifelong friend, Karen.  There were just a handful of us that stayed the night on the island so we rented a three bedroom unit that was truly lovely.  We enjoyed dinner that night at the "French Restaurant" at Nelly Bay that I can highly recommend.

Lovely venue for a hens party

Its not a mexican theme without the PiƱata

Breakfast with the birds at Nelly Bay.

The following weekend we boarded the plane to fly to Brisbane for "A day on the Green" at Siromet Winery.  The star attraction was Billy Idol.  He was amazing and both Philip and I commented on the electricity in the air when he arrived on stage.  The other acts were good:  Cheap Trick, Choir Boys and The Angels but Billy Idol had everyone on their feet within minutes.  We stayed with our friends Jack and Kim at their lovely home at Mount Cotton.  We sat around and told tales and enjoyed champagne in their enormous spa.  They are great hosts and we enjoyed our stay very much.  xx Kim and Jack!
Tens of thousands at the concert

We were very close to the front





Life is never slow for us so the following weekend (Easter) we invited our good friends up to our place for a seafood banquet on Good Friday.  It is always lovely to catch up with them and the day passed all to soon.  

We had to start the long drive to Woolgoolga on Easter Sunday to give ourselves plenty of time to drive the 2000 km to pick up our Camper.  The first night we stayed at a motel in Rockhampton and the second night we made it to Toowoomba to stay with Mum.  The next day we drove through to Woolgoolga so that we could be at Active Campers by 8 am on the Tuesday after Easter to have the camper fitted to the tray of our Landcruiser.  After a very "in depth" lesson on the ins and outs of our camper we set sail again by about 3pm and arrived back at Toowoomba at 9pm.  It was a long day and we didn't enjoy driving in the dark but we wanted to spend a little more time with Mum.  The next day, after a beautiful nights sleep, we drove on to a spot just south of Maryborough.  Our first night in the camper!  It was so very comfortable and we patted ourselves on the back for our purchase.  The next day we made it to Bowen and stayed at a caravan park on the beach.  The camper was comfortable but unfortunately the people beside us decided to have a party that went from 10pm to 3am.  It was not nice and we decided to try and camp in isolated places when we travel.  We finally arrived home on Friday evening after travelling almost 4000km!  We love the camper and have nicknamed it the "Tardis".  Anyone who has every watched Dr. Who will know what I'm talking about!



The following week (Thursday) we packed up the camper and drove the 1100 km to Julia Creek for the Dirt n Dust Festival and our cattle muster at Caleewa.  I have already written about the Dirt n Dust and won't bore you again with the details, but needless to say we had a great time.  Straight after the Dirt n Dust we drove out to Caleewa so that we could start the huge job of mustering in cows and calves for sale.  It was heartbreaking.  The drought is relentless and the worst in our history.  Having to sell almost all of your breeders just seems the last straw and I have been finding it extremely difficult to deal with.  But living on the land means that sometimes you have to make some very hard decisions and selling the cattle rather than smelling them is one such choice.


The sale cattle being mustered into the cattle yards.


I am going to stop here as I have so much to fill you in on but I have jobs to do so.......To be continued..........