January 1stNew Years Day and it feels a bit hollow. I feel a bit dream like today, very hard to wake up. As expected a very hot night so not worth going to sleep , so maybe I'm just sleepy from too little ZZZZZZ's.
I know it's a holiday but Mark and myself decide to work in the office for a few hours, the period after Christmas is great for us to get all those little things done. We even clean the office.
I'm a bit horrified that postal stamps in Australia have jumped from .70c to $1.00 for regular post- truly pathetic.
We watch CITZENFOUR the documentary on Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal. It does my head in. No wonder it won so many awards.
January 2ndI spend part of the day getting our tax up to date, the BAS ready to mail off to our accountants. If nothing else we pay our taxes on time.
By afternoon very VERY strong winds hit Mt Dandenong. Real rip roaring whistling through the gum trees winds. You just know a tree will bring the power lines down somewhere, and 30 minutes it does. Thankfully not one of ours. It's times like this that Wendy C's amazing perfume candle comes in handy. We light the house up with candles. The power is off for 7 hours. I go exploring around the neighbourhood and a massive truck goes by with the biggest cherry picker on the back. It must of been a huge tree that came down. If nothing else it leads to a romantic night!
Chicken casserole for dinner, the gas still works so it's not as bad as it seems.
January 3rdI wake up early and cook a full breakfast. Just had the vibe, even wandered around the yard and picked masses of flowers. Is that a whiff of romance in the air? Nah I just appreciate that life is pretty good and have a great relationship. I see so many other people deal with endless bullshit with their chosen partner or the loneliness for those that will never be with anyone. So sometimes you just give thanks for the good life you have.
We head to the office and fix up our ESTA for the USA. Mark is lucky, because his passport is all new and fresh his ESTA lasts for ages, I'm up to passport 4, as mine will expire soon. I just get into the USA with a few days to spare with the current one. Yet we pay the same amount. Still it's not much $wise and one more thing off the list. For such a short break, the list of "To Do's" is a mile long. We might as well depart for a month, it would take up the same amount of red tape.
I make a note to grab the new Bowie album, it's out on his birthday when we touch down in Honolulu. Hoping "Best Buy" will have it.
January 4thThe mail is back to normal today, all the Christmas, New Years, Postal worker holidays are over. Not a lot in the old post office box, a few dozen letters. A really nice card today with $20 in it, just from someone saying " we love what you do, buy yourself a drink" c'mon that's pretty sweet. It made my morning.
We offer up a mere 12 memberships for the Frenz club. They are gobbled up in 5 minutes flat. Just gone like that (clicks fingers). A few from USA-Canada so I'll add the kits into the giant mountain of mail that is going into our suitcases already. here cometh the mail men!
January 5thI call into the place that is looking after Miss Banshee and pay that out of the way, they are great and close by. One of our gorgeous neighbours is picking her up , so she'll (Banshee not the neighbour) will be waiting for us in the grounds of Ailsa Craig when we return home. One less day with her away and always wonderful to see Miss Kitty as soon as we get home.
Lots of fan emails today, about 600 so wade through them. It never ends...try to stay on top of them all, it can be impossible at times. I am in awe of the love for the music around our bands and artists.
January 6thA quick drive to claim some USA cash. I hand Mark his holiday pay in USA notes so he can joyfully spend it. I also grab some schnitzels and we are going to sneak some food on board, as airline food is rarely good, no matter if it's business or even first. When those lights dim it's a quick snack moment for us.
I see our debit cards are now connected with Bank of America. Pity there are no Bank of Americas in Hawaii, so much for global alliance partners!
January 7thOur lovely mate 'Belle sends us some chocolate for Christmas, think they were held up in customs. Call Nige and leave a message that his are here from France. Thanks Isabelle, you spoil us.
Chat to my sister and lovely Miss MIM. MIM the amazing impresses me with her counting to TEN. Once she gets past 7 in the count it speeds up - "8, 9, 10..." sound like one word. Way too cute. She's excited that her Uncle has promised presents from Hawaii.
The bags are packed, we are ready for a holiday.
January 8th Kalorama- HonoluluDidn't sleep much, the adrenalin kicks in the night before a flight. It's not too bad as our flight departs in the evening at 17.00 PM. GREAT and it's direct. I managed to get the one direct flight at the last minute and the seating will (hopefully) work out as I have planned with space , space, space. There is a knack to it, my "seating formula" doesn't always work but usually it does. No way am I giving the secret seating formula details away.
Drop Banshee in and I always guilt. Those sad little cat eyes begging to hide in my luggage. I make the drop off fast , it's less painful. next we give our security person all the codes etc , they can even activate the cameras from my iPad. Kalorama abode is secure.
I was going to call a few friends today, to say goodbye but no time in the end. Hell we'll be back soon, it's just a small adventure/mail-run/ recharge. 2016 people can call us, I'm over making the effort.
We hit a lot of red lights on the way to Tullamarine , slows us down a bit but we still arrive on time. The Long Term is packed but we find a spot, unlike the other 50 cars driving around and around. The shuttle bus turns up as we walk to the stop so our timing improves. A few in line for check in but our ticketing allows us to jump the very long line. Immigration ok but the new facial rec. software doesn't know me anymore , it's the freshly dyed hair I bet. All clear and into the freaky flyer. At first we are the only people in the lounge and the food is good today. The hour rolls by and it's time to board. The new International section is great, maybe it's not so new, most of our International flights of late have left from Sydney.
On board and my seating "formula" has worked again, and we have even more space. Mark is happy, very happy. He's just gone off to slip into something more comfortable. A smoking jacket and pipe? Bondage apparel and a crown, now as if I'm going to tell.
Flight food ok , hell it is Jetstar (Qantas no long fly to Hawaii), I guess OK is better then crap. I pop 1/2 a stillnox so mellow yellow and a few hours wiped from the flight and my memory. Read, write and stretch out across Mark like he is a human pillow. He has his turn with legs up over down, around, such long legs. We are good, we exercise, curl, bend flex.
The flight hits some rare head-winds so we are about 20 minutes late, but when your flight was due to arrive at 6.05 AM does 20 minutes even matter.? I watch the sun come up over Hawaii-another beautiful day in paradise.
Hawaiian immigration is just great, they never hassle us , always efficient. Our bags take ten minutes, waved straight through and a cab is waiting. We are soon driving past the Ala Moana shopping complex and there is our new digs- the Ala Moana Hotel on the left. Still a bit pissed off at the Ramada Plaza Hotel ... if Ala Moana works out we'll probably give the Ramada a two finger salute. No excuse for being so pathetic around bookings. Protest with ones wallet I always say.
Well the foyer of Ala Moana Hotel is ok. It's still insanely early but check in is good. We get moved ahead on some list , so only have a few hours to kill. So time to post all that mail. Take the suitcases to the huge couches and unpack the post- into our Aussie Post carry bags. A driver goes by and says "hell boys that's a LOT of postage"! Tell us about it bucko! We can just carry it. It always feels great when it's all posted.
We check our suitcases in and head up the elevator. The GREAT thing about the hotel. It as a Sky Bridge that connects the hotel to the shopping complex. So across the bridge and the post office is one level down at the back of Macys. We manage to fill all THREE USA Post bins. A few people behind us posting 2 or 3 letters so we let them in first or they won't have a hope in hell of fitting them in. So what's open this time of morning. "WALMART" we laugh . It's like that scene in Dogs In Space movie when everyone says "Ballarat"...
Walmart is easy, just behind Ala Moana on Keeaumoku Street. Open 24 hours and not as empty as you would expect at 7.00+ in the morning. I just need to buy some staple items- bottles of water , Ghirardelli strawberry chocolate, a pair of coconut bra and hula skirt.. all the essential. Mark looks at their BluRay selection and says "shite". So once we have our room we are going to head to Best Buy.
We walk back at Saint Germain bakery. We ALWAYS go to St G's. They have brilliant fresh baked rolls and fill them with whatever we want. We were a bit early but they recognise us from numerous visits before and make some rolls for us. They are just what you want after 11 hours of flying. Plus they have micro bottles of Frappuccino so my favourite combination. We sit outside and enjoy this basic recharge. Macy's is open so we head in, Mark spots a shirt- we are still both unsure , he's fussy, I'm fussy and if it isn't an instant 'winner' we tend to go to the "No". Shirts have a second chance so we'll probably return. Plus Macys have a Adidas area so I need new runners. My airwalks are dead so going for the Big "A" instead (Adidas). Older style/colour.
We are back at reception and they are true to their word, our Mountain suite is ready. We could of had higher up the tower but 8 floors -perfect as it means little wait time for the elevator. The suite is a nice surprise. In the lounge room the huge windows open all the way, perfect for a suicide dive, but I'm just buzzed by the view and fresh air. The big queen size bed is good and if we need it for any roman orgy's or wild flirtation moments with hawaiian life guards the couch folds out. Two fridges and a deep bath (see me smile). It's actually A LOT better then we thought. Unload the last of our stuff, shower, shave, quick change . We both laugh at how little is in our bags once the mail has gone.
I grab Jennifers 2nd prize parcel from Marks suitcase and some smaller parcels and decide to mail these now, so all done. So back to the post office, which is now open. I swear it's the same postal workers, some of them have been here since our first visit many decades ago. All mail done. Feels great.
We head out the front of the shopping complex to Ala Moana Boulevard and catch the #19 bus to Best Buy. Sadly no sign of "Butter Cup" (No relation to "BUtter-Ball" who's still at home) the transexual Wuman that is so sweet and rides the system. We wish her well and hope she is happy. The Best Buy bus goes up around , down , side ways , via China town and other parts and the super friendly driver gives us a reminder shout that Best Buy is next. Mark has his "match the price" list - well if Best Buy offer it why not, no doubt Marky will spend hundreds on Blurays.
He spoils me with the Lost In Space -Bluray box set. (I am soooo happy). As expected they still don't have Bowie's "Blackstar" album in, usually Hawaii takes a few extra days. So at the counter and the manager woman isn't happy that Mark is calling them on their price "promise" -she gets a tad heated, but the cash register girl is chilled and helpful. I smile and sarcastically thank Grump manager for all her help (and hope the roof caves in during her coffee break). Marks saves $130 USA and best buy sells all the XFiles, the latest season of Strike Back, Lost In Space box set, and several other titles- all on Blu Ray. You'd think Ms Grump would be happy , in 2016 every sale keeps your job lady! So suck it up and smile for fuck sake.
We head across to 7-11 and I try to enter via some fire exit (opps) well I am a tad jet lagged. Cold drinks for us and we walk a few miles towards the hotel. Actually it's where the first bus stop is, this main stretch of road doesn't have public transport... but we are use to this walk. OK i's getting hot, we at least have drinks and Mark his camo cap. It's nice to be in Honolulu and just walking along by the Harbour side is beautiful.
The bus arrives quickly and we are on board again. It takes us to the main hub behind Ala Moana. So a short walk to the hotel. It's Friday night and the Hilton's free fireworks explodes over the massive hotels and apartment blocks. Every Friday, but tonight seems like a short show. usually it echo's like a military attack. I have a small cat nap, fall asleep to the sound of Mark checking all the blu ray discs. Peel of plastic and click click click.. about 50 discs! he does love his Blurays, I smile.
January 9thI sleep a bit, only the street noises kept me awake, the hotel is pretty quiet as are the guests. I have a Frapp to start my day (180 calories) and Mark bought the wrong milk so our Muesli breakfast is aborted today.
First thing- my new runners so Macys. I find the pair I want , while Mark checks out some shirts. Call into Old Navy and buy some new boxers and some nice cotton socks. Both made in Hawaii.
Go and check out the hotel pool, the water isn't too bad, nice and clean and the suns out.
Marks discovery (and he has to get full credit for this one). Teddys Bigger Burgers. The local burger chain of super fresh burgers. Crisp lettuce , organic tomatoes etc. They take a little bit of time but made fresh and even the fries are fantastic. We LOVE Teddys, we'll return a few times. I find a short cut to Teddys, past the Monaco Bar and a Massage-Spa rather suss looking establishment. I like that we can spy on both places from our balcony. I love checking out the "arrivals". Of course it also means crossing the highway illegally and avoid being splattered. Mark takes a snap of yours truly holding lots of loot in front of the Monaco room. They did need Go Go dancers, I should of applied- sometimes even I chicken out.
We decide on Japanese for dinner. We love our balcony so decided to eat out on that in the balmy Honolulu night. Really digging Lisa Ling's THIS IS LIFE segments on CNN. Lisa rocks.
January 10thWe are looked after by Melicia from house keeping. Even if we head out for 10 minutes , our rooms totally ready, super clean and the house keeping staff sensational . Impressive.
Beach day for us and Mark wants to go to Magic Island. It used to be a resort but now parkland, man made penninsula and a break-water with lagoon by the sea wall. Plus we discover a huge stretch of golden sanded beach at the Ala Moana Beach Park. neither of these 2 places we have been before so that's cool. We end up walking the full length to the harbour. Mark taking some photos. I see a beat up chevy drive past with a very happy guard dog sitting on the car bonnet , Mark missed the shot. It was real, honestly.
We have our hire surfboards so out we go. We are both crap these days, and worried about broken bones, broken necks and bruises in areas that one should not have bruises. Still the water is warm, crystal clear and sand not too much crushed coral. A few life guards and towers so you feel safe. Just beautiful out and a soft breeze ruffles the palm trees.
We walk up to Magic Island and I sit on the break water watching the sea pound the rocks, while the guy next to me fishes. Chat to a surfie guy who's been at it all morning, I'm assuming he meant surfing? We kept criss crossing his path on the walk back.
I shout Mark a drink at Starbucks which is also located in the hotel foyer.
We go to Nordstrom department store as I want to get some small gifts for neighbours who are looking after Banshee (transport) and the house. Our mate Jodes loves candles and we find an Australian sulphur crested cockatoo candle. Made in Australia too-what are the odds?
Mark surprises me with dinner at the Bombay Palace our favourite Indian haunt. Our usual table and the food is fantastic. We love the Palace. Such a nice thing to do, sweet man. GREAT food we are both full as a fat ladies stocking.
We head home and consider going out tonight. We click on CNN and a sudden newsflash before our eyes. "David Bowie Dead at 69".
Some sort of shock kicks in, we wait and it is confirmed, it's like it doesn't register. Speechless.... and a tsunami of sadness rises from the pit of my stomach and I think I'm going to cry. Mark looks so sad, we knew Bowie was sick but not that bad. This is horrible, in shock.
"I have to go.." I tell Mark. I haven't a clue as to where.... Mark says "Not without me".. and we are out the door.
I'm now pissed that Best Buy didn't have the Bowie album, I need to play it. Barnes & Noble are just about to close but we make it in before the doors lock. I head to the cd area and they just got Blackstar in today. I buy it plus the MOJO magazine with D.B. on the front. I can't look the sales person in the face- I'm not sure why. "We just heard that Bowie died" I whisper. The guy goes freaky like I'm making it up. I assure him I'm not. A guy wading through CDs near the counter, stops- "No, No. No it can't be.." we are all a bit rattled.
We head out into the warm night, my best friend and myself search for our other best friend around death- chocolate. I can't stop singing "Young Americans" no idea why it's that one. We have these strange moments of QUIET and then Bowie talk, more QUIET... it's a shock, it saddens me to my soul.
Back in the room and we watch CNN. I happen to have a Bowie 8x10 photo from MOJO so stick that on the TV and BLACKSTAR playing loud. I photograph the news on CNN. I need to document even sadness. This is the moment i found out. It's weird, everytime we come to Hawaii someone famous dies. It was Amy Winehouse last time, when we were here in July 2011.
BLACKSTAR is playing on the Sony 'Dream Machine' next to our bed. We open the balcony doors and the silk curtain shimmy and float in time. "I'm a Blackstar, not a Gangstar I'm a Blackstar, Not a Film star, I'm a Blackstar, Not a Pop star.." I chant along.
We seem to watch CNN news for hours, I notice how Bowies Blackstar cover looks very similar to Aussie bands Dead Star.... and of course the title Dead Star... it all blurs my brain is fried, I snuggle deeper into Mark, I find solace , I consider a stillnox to stop my brain ticking over. I take so few... Bowie chants " Take your passport and shoes and your sedatives boo.. I'm a Black star".
I eventually fall asleep... planet earth is blue and there's nothing i can do.....
January 11thAfter a few days I truly am sick of seeing Donald Trump on USA TV. Please tell me Americans are not stupid enough to fall for this snake oil salesman and vote him in, surely America isn't THAT dumb! To add to the insult he's such an ugly fucker too.
Apart from Trumps cheap hair piece being shown far too much, I'm in awe that so many marijuana documentary's are on. The History channel is full of them, if nothing else they are fascinating. It worries me that the few against pot being legalised come across as scary freaks, far worse then those supporting it! Yieks.
I am walking past Barnes & Noble again and Mark wants to grab a Brian Jones book. So I look at the magazines and I see a beautiful girl buy up the few remaining magazines with Bowie on the front. She has such sad eyes , and catches my stare. I usher a small smile and said "sad day eh" and she got it. I thought she was going to cry. Did my head in a bit. Even now I remember her face and sad eyes.
We head to Old Navy and I find a very grand faux coat for Miss MIM. I had to check as the price was exceptional. By a few other gifts for my gorgeous niece and some presents for Sis and Mum. Mark buys MIM a locally made top-very cute.
We are having some more Saint Germain rolls on the balcony in the room and Blackstar still playing on the "dream machine". I'm on the bed chilling out and I notice this gorgeous finch land and just sitting starring in the door at me. He has a fine bright red feathered hair piece so i call him Ziggy. He stays till the album is done. I call Mark in (always my witness). My happy moment. Hessie the sulphur crested cockatoo, Bowie the Finch with fire red feathered head.. maybe that's why the bird population just keeps on increasing. When we die we all come back as a birds. But where do birds go when they die?
Head to the pool, we both want to read some books and a swim. Mark takes some photos of myself at the bottom of the pool and I line up a shot of the building, such symmetry! I want to mess with it in FX photo studio pro. It's perfect and my eye knows it.
Three misspent youths arrive and they are funny- all different, in heights, body shapes, skin colour, hair, the whole shebang, they even swim differently. I wonder why they are such good friends, it's cool. We say hello. After an hour and peaking in our state of torpor, the suns rays are cooking us a little so time to head off. We have a shower and wander the streets, a last minute scouting moment.
The evening is bag packing and getting wake up calls , eating out, some passion, a nice soak in the tub and commenting on this wonderful little vacation. I miss 2 calls from dearly loved friends but dumbo me didn't take any contact numbers.
January 12th Honolulu - MelbourneUp at 5.00 (Urgh Urgh, Woof Woof- that bleary drug fucked look without the drugs). La Moana check out- nice and fast and a taxi waiting. Such a good hotel, we give a 2 finger salute to the Ramada .
Jetstar one direct flight home. Speedy check in at the airport too and a bit of a sexy pat down during immigration. Oh baby. Qantas freaky flyer has moved, near gate 23 in the japanese gardens area, is this the old Continental airlines lounge? Fruit, yoghurt, toast and 3 day old aussie newspapers so ok. The flight left on time, my "seat formula" was a success again , so lots more room to stretch out. Downed 1/2 a stillnox which wiped out a few hours, we nibble away on our own food like crazed church mice. In fact the flight back seemed shorter so I was happy. Mark only slightly nutty, as he gets older he detests flying, no matter what class we are in.
Touch down close to on time and it's 43o degrees on the tarmac at Melbourne airport., so about 109.5!!!! It's cooking. Immigration is fast, though the new tech stuff fails again. Bags out and the shuttle arrives as we walk up. I air the car for a minute and AC on.. and off we go. The drive home is bizarre, first we are hit by a dust storm and actual rocks bounce off the roof, falling from the sky. Next the nature strip on Canterbury road is ON FIRE and 3 fire engines are putting it out.
We finally get home and as we walk to the house a familiar cat is running at us- yapping her mouth off with cat noises. Our lovely Jodes picked up Banshee and she has been home for an hour waiting. So fantastic and she will NOT stop cat talking. We had a great time away but nice to be home...eve if all the power is off on the mountain.
January 13thSlept really well and very little jet lag . We head off to Brunch and Lach is now one of the cooks. A newbie makes our coffee, it's ok but not brilliant. We get a chance to read a few days worth of newspapers and all pretty dull.
We are in the office, just for a few hours, officially not open again till next week. Miss Banshee is with us and won't leave my side so she cat naps on my feet. I stupidly open my emails, 3765 of them. Oh well I will deal with them next week.
January 14thI mail a box of presents to Sis, MIM & Mum. The postage situation is crazy, you know have to have the full dimensions of all boxes... Aussie Post has lost the plot.
"Holding The Man" is out today on Bluray. I'll wait till next week. Sis and lovely Wendy C have spoiled me with gift cards so I want to get the most out of such fine gifts. My Sheepbook followers seem to enjoy our holiday snaps. Remember you can join up for my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/peter.green.165033 A really cool bunch of people.
January 15thSomehow I missed a day, I truly believe today is Thursday. Did Aliens grab me, a case of missing time and no it's not the date line +1 scenario. Feels very weird. Marky is paid up to till today so that is good, I don't owe him any wage money for once! he's so patient around such things , he still loves working for "us".
Chat to Toija today, part Bowie and the rest fun, we both needed a laugh.
People have noticed that I have a bit of a tan. I stripped off after working in the garden and I am really brown in parts (don't be rude not THAT part). I didn't try to get sun in Honolulu but the swimming etc , still I feel really great. I look healthy.
January 16thAnother fantastic day on the mountain, lots of ripe blackberries so more jam this year.
I take apart 2 telephones and rebuild them as a new one. At least we have one working phone now. What a mini drama, felt really good that I can create still and repair.. and no one has been fried by it yet. I bake some cookies, and they are really nice.
We start watching the LOST IN SPACE bluray box set (thank you Marky a wonderful generous gift). Season one is just mighty, plus we have ALL seasons of the X-files on bluray so started on those too. Blissful. never call us or visit and you will not see us for 6 months.
Chat to my mate about Mr Robot the tv show. Really enjoying that one.
January 17thI sleep in today. Just decided it's a Sunday so why not.
I see Bowie debuted at #1 on the Australian charts with BLACKSTAR. It's a record here, he has 17 albums in the charts (the record was 14 previously held by The Beatles). I'm glad Bowie is #1, sure better then Adele, One Erection etc. Still it wouldn't of debuted at #1 without his death, top 5 I'd say. Fuck Bowie is #1 that is fine.
That's it for another diary update. I can't imagine a world without Ziggy etc the music lives on and I guess these iconic rockstars are all reaching the age where more will leave this scary old planet. Still it has left a sadness in my heart that will take awhile to go away.
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d'you say?