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.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Sunshine...

For the past week and a half we have had cloudy days with drizzle.  As the locals call it "Shitty Julatten Weather".  But yesterday the sun came out and the day was magnificent....perfect for the BBQ lunch that we had pre-arranged with our friends.
I went out into the garden and picked flowers for my table arrangements.  The grevillea are lovely at the moment so I filled a shallow bowl with them and if I do say so myself it looked rather nice on the outside table.

Inside I just filled a vase with flowers in the my favourite colours of purple, pinks, white and yellow. I  weaved a string of LED lights through the flowers and in the evening it is very pretty!

We had invited ten - 4 adults and 6 kids, so including us, we cooked for twelve. We had decided that steak burgers, sausages, marinated rib bones and salads would be the best thing to cook.  Jody brought the dessert - mini carrot cakes and mini lemon meringue tarts (yummmm).  I prepared a giant cheese platter for starters as everyone was arriving at staggered times.

We love having the kids come to visit us as they are kinda like our adopted grandkids.  They are great kids and easily entertained.  We set up the Totem Tennis for them so they had a good hit at that to build up their appetite for lunch.

Philip also took them to feed the weaners....

After lunch we piled everyone in the car and took them to see the (very pregnant!) cows and of course Milly the donkey.  One of our maiden heifers is ready to calve so we had to stay well away from her.  Experience has taught us that the mums become very distressed if they are disturbed during calving.
We said goodbye to everyone late in the afternoon after we had loaded them up with fruit.....SO....MUCH...FRUIT!
It was a beautiful day with lovely friends that we look forward to entertaining again in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Addendum

Now that I have filled you all in on the great holiday we have just had to PNG and Singapore as an addendum I would like to tell you about the funny thing that happened with our flight from Port Moresby to Cairns. No photos to support this story unfortunately.
We arrived into Port Moresby from Singapore at about 5am and our flight to Cairns wasn't due to leave until 9am.  We were all pleased with this because we would be back in time for Kate and Mike's grandson's christening party at midday.
We all settled into the quite comfortable Air Nuigini Lounge and managed to get a bit of sleep before showering in readiness for our flight.  At 9am there was an announcement to say that the flight would be delayed and to wait for further announcements.  At 9.15am they announced that our flight was ready for departure so we made our way to the plane and were all seated in preparedness for our departure.
After we had been sitting on the plane for 15 minutes the pilot announced to us that he was having trouble starting the right engine so we would need to alight the plane so that it could be seen too.  ***Sigh*** .  When the flight attendant tried to open the one and only exit door, it was stuck.  From our seats in the first row we had a birds eye view of all that was happening and it was quite comical.  Two attendants pushed and pushed with all their might but still the door would not budge.  We saw ground staff racing over to the plane to attempt to open it from the outside.  Still no luck.  The captains voice came over the speaker "Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your patience.  We are having trouble opening the exit door but we expect it won't be too much longer.  I don't think there is any immediate danger of fire."  Such reassuring words!
Shortly, the captain (or maybe it was the co-captain came out from the cabin and gave the door one hell of a big kick and finally, it opened.  We were all asked to leave or hand luggage on the plane as we alighted , and once more took up our positions in the Air Niugini Lounge (thank goodness we had flown business class!).  After another half hour we were asked to please collect our hand luggage from the lounge area as the plane was now being replaced with another and please be patient while they readied it for flight.  They also told us (quietly) that they were having trouble finding staff for this plane!
We finally made our way to the boarding gate of the new plane at about 10.30am.  By this stage we had made a lot of new friends as we boarded and disembarked the planes (again and again!) and we were all a very cheery mob as we made our final boarding!
It was with relief that we left the international terminal in Cairns at about 12.30pm arriving back to Kuranda just in time to cut the christening cake!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Day 11 - Last Day

We had our sleep-in this morning. It was pure bliss and we finally made it down to breakfast by 9 am.  We talked about what we wanted to see and do on our last day of the holiday and decided that another visit to Gardens by the Bay would be nice as we hadn't seen too much of it in daylight hours, plus, we wanted to find the walkway from the Marina Sands complex that took you over the highway and ended in the Gardens.
We started our walk and bumped into the rest of the crew just arriving back from their walk.  We all had different things we wanted to do today.  Kate and Mike wanted to visit Raffles Hotel and Linda and Tony wanted to stay in the shopping mall.
Finding the walkway was quite easy with my husbands uncanny sense of direction.  I say that with a smile on my face because he seems to be able to find places that are in the distance but stand him on a street corner in the middle of the city and he becomes totally lost!
The walkway took us around the edge of the Marina Sands shopping mall, across a walkway to the Marina Sands Hotel and then across another walkway through the hotel and straight into the gardens.
Standing on the walkway between the Marina Sands Shopping Complex and the Marina Sands Hotel

Looking down into the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
It was a lovely day to be wandering around the gardens and we came across things that totally amazed us, particularly this 7 tonne baby that sits suspended on just the hand of the child.  It is incredibly well balanced.

Looking at the Supertree Grove was totally different to seeing it lit up at night.

We continued our walk through the gardens passing many ponds with their lovely fountains and others filled with huge Koi.  We passed the children's garden where families were setting themselves up for the day with picnic rugs laid out on the expansive lawns.  We walked on through gardens that are still in development with huge Boab trees being placed into position and wired to hold them in place.  The Gardens by the Bay are truly magnificent.


After we had wandered around for a couple of hours we started to make our way back to the our hotel.  We found a different route this time that took us on a giant escalator right to the bottom of the Marina Sands shopping complex.  Here we stopped and drank refreshing iced coffees while watching the gondoliers ferrying their passengers up and down the waterway inside the shopping complex.

We arrived back at the hotel around about midday but were not hungry enough to go and eat lunch so we settled back on the bed to watch a movie.  Around about 2pm we ordered room service and I decided on the Hainan Chicken.  It was so very delicious and quite different to the one that I make courtesy of my friend Roz's recipe.

A couple of days ago we had asked for a late check-out of our room as our flight home wasn't leaving until 8pm.  The Duty Manager was very helpful and gave us a 4 pm check-out.
We were all a little subdued as we piled into the mini-van that took us to the airport.  We had all enjoyed Singapore in different ways and it is a place that I would like to spend a little more time in.
Our flight was right on time and as our plane passed over Singapore I took some photos and wished the place au revoir - "goodbye, until we meet again".

P.S.
My health app told me that I walked 45.5 kms (66,060 steps) in Singapore. It was not surprising as we walked almost everywhere!




Saturday, 1 July 2017

Day 10 - Singapore

We woke to another glorious morning, so after breakfast we decided to take a walk around the bay before heading to Orchard Road.  The walk was called "Jubilee" and I think it was around about 5kms from start to end.  Philip and I, forever the tourists, stopped to take many photos!
Tony and Kate discussing the route


Anywhere greenery can be planted, it is.  Even 10 stories up!

Our walk took us right around this bay
After our walk, it was lunch on Orchard Road at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Philip and I love these joints and try to track them down in every country we visit.  The menus are the same but each country is encouraged to add a a couple of their own localised dishes.  For example in Singapore they added Chilli Crab to the menu.


We ordered a light meal of  Caesar Salads with the obligatory Onion Rings on the side. Philip and I were booked on the Singapore Flyer that evening for a four course dinner and didn't want to spoil our appetites. The lunch was delicious and was washed down with the local beer.

After lunch we walked along Orchard Road, marvelling at how many upmarket shops there were.  Louis Vuitton competing with Gucci and Prada, Cartier competing with Rolex.  So many shops along the 2.2km boulevard!
We wondered what those large extensions from the building in the distance were.  We decided that they must be swimming pools!

A very upmarket street

Just a stroll along Orchard Road
After our walk and a little shopping we finally made our way back to the hotel for a rest before dinner on the Singapore Flyer.
Our reservation was for 7.30pm and we arrived in plenty of time.  We were shown to a VIP room where diners waited for their "cabin".  Our drink orders were taken and we had already chosen our main course, steak for Philip and Lobster for me.  When our cabin was ready we were taken down a long private corridor so that we could board easily.  As you can imagine, the ferris wheel does not stop so everything has to be planned and timed to the last second.  In our cabin were five tables set for two people.  There were only three couples on this particular night.  The hostess is  aboard to greet you and a nibblie platter is already laid on the table .On the first full circle we were served a starter salad (caesar!) followed by soup.  Main meal and dessert is quickly brought in on the beginning of the second circle.  Such precision and timing!




The whole trip was wonderful and well worth the money.  I highly recommend it.  The night view of Singapore is fantastic but I did get a big spooked standing at the floor to ceiling windows. I had to stand away from the glass a little that meant all my photos had reflections :-(
The whole journey (two full circles) took about an hour and a half so we were back at the hotel by 9pm where we joined the rest of the gang in the lounge bar to listen to some really good live music.
Looking upwards from the lobby bar in the Marina Mandarin Hotel.  The Atrium is magnificent.
We said our goodnights at 10pm and said we would catch up with everyone for lunch tomorrow as it was our last day and we intended to have a "sleep in".