July 25thPeter Garrett debuts on the aussie charts at #3 with his solo album. He only needed 60 more sales to be #1 , such a small amount between chart positions 1, 2 and 3. Still half of the Top 10 is made up of Australian artists so I think that is pretty cool.
Great to see Jen, Merl and Matty on the news talking about gay marriage. Nothing will stop this snow ball, those against it can bellow at it as much as they want but they will FAIIL. So shut the fuck up and go find something else to be miserable about, gay marriage is a certainty and it will be a good thing.
July 26thChat to Mr Starkie on his "fake " birthday. All these years later and it turns out that our Bob was born on the 27th, yes same day and month as Mark. Complicated paper work problem. How strange though to celebrate your birthday all these years and it's the next day. I joked that it would teach him to put fake birthdates down when he was a big popstar in the seventies. Seems all the Skyhooks were age 19 for nearly a decade!
Work on some images for the Crowded House Archives page. Time to get it rolling. Come visit, come give us a 'like'.
Cut Marks hair just as the sun is setting, he's out on the decking with no shirt on, I swear his nipples will pop off from the freezing cold. It's a quick hair trim. Brrrrrrr-brass monkey weather or what.
July 27thHappy Birthday Mark! Always fun to celebrate the birthday of my best mate. He hates celebrating birthdays so being his day I usually go by what he wants. (Usually!).
A few close mates drop in ,and it's a really fun night. So thanks to Allie, Wendy, Rosemaree and Doug -great to see you guys. Some serious pool playing tonight while the fire roared in the pool room. Wendy a virgin pool player but we are still convinced she was hustling us all- some seriously good shots from her after a few games. One of those nights where people just had such a nice time they wanted to stay-forever! We like that.
July 28thUp bright and early, which is weird as we had such a late night. Clear the mail and so many cards for Mark - and only one bill. I think the only bill I hate getting is rates. Always expensive and I wonder how much of our money gets put back into the mountain.
Life is great , work heading into an interesting time period around Crowded House. I'm hoping fans will enjoy the Re-Issues, so many people worked on this (big nod to Jeremy too for his fine efforts). With CD sales worldwide diminishing this could well be the last gasp and last chance to get such releases out. It's been great working with such a positive record company on these. Such a difference.
Chat to our manager Bill, he just stays on top of all the stuff I need to know. A good bloke.
July 29thOne of my smaller Warhol soup cans seems to be decaying. The others are fine, just one, I'll take an art photo of it, the Warhol rotting art, becomes THE ART! I like that.
Kind of exciting as i just kick started the Crowded House Archives Facebook page. We have lift off, no real fanfare as I love that true fans of the band just discover this. Trying to put up some pieces every day. Something fan interesting. I might not have to put much up at all, because today is meant to be the end of the world. Nothing happens , I'm still here, i won't go away, as Paul Hester once sang!
Morrissey is back for more shows- Festering Hall- October 22nd. I hope he does well and sells it out this time. It was close last time, about 95% full.
July 30thCoffee at the general store-work on some CH images and some other bits and pieces.
Mark prints out all of our paper work for Magnetic Island. Click of the fingers and we are gone, just like that. No fuss, no big deal- just vanishing up north for some sun and sand. Was going to make chicken stir fry for dinner but bailed and ordered Pizza instead.
July 31stWas trying to catch up with our mate Fran but she had to cancel, and I couldn't change my day, time. Sometimes that just happens.
Great news that Labor take the Queensland seat of Herbert by a mere 37 votes. Don't let anyone say your vote doesn't count. Wow Turnbull and the Liberals are on shaky ground. Once they elect the speaker , they will have very little margin for control. Talk about a huge backfire- they look a tad stupid- but then again they are Liberals, stupidity is part of their mantra.
Ok now we are excited to run away to the island. Work in the office till 2.00 in the morning, making sure we have all our work out of the way.
August 1stAugust like May is my horror birthday month, so many birthdays so many presents. But we do love those August friends so I guess we should be celebrating not moaning about it. People mona over the slightest things these days - tiresome.
I pack my bags, even for a week it somehow looks like we are going for a year! I sit with Miss Banshee in the kitchen and watch Mark pack. Hate leaving Banshee and she knows we are going away, she started acting even weirder then usual a week ago.
I go back to the office late at night & work for another 2 hours. Happy that pretty much everything is done. It will be great to have a short holiday.
August 2ndUp early today, Miss Banshee the perfect alarm clock, wants to go outside at 6.00. So I give her some cat food and get myself ready for a long day. I even eat some breakfast cereal!! I manage to keep it all quiet till Mark wakes up. I'm basically ready to go and Miss B is back inside which means it's easier to grab her for her cat carrier and onto her accommodation while we are away. I'd love to take her along but I worry about those flights and being in the cargo hold of the plane. She likes the people where she is staying and one being our main vet so I feel she is in good hands and paws.
The drive to the airport is ok, I take a different route as the traffic this time of morning sucks. Leave the car in long term. Talk about a gold mine , there would be thousands of cars here and each $50-$80 a day. Millions of dollars made each day. The weather holds off and the shuttle driver is nice for once. Bags in quickly and they usher us through the VIP line for security check, so we arrive at the frequent flyer with time to spare. I use their copier for some club work, Mark grabs me a coffee and while the copying is ticking over I make us some toasted sandwiches at the food area. The Qantas flight departs on time and the holiday commences. Marks reading the McCartney book and I spend some time on some notes for the Archive area. I don't consider it work, just enjoyable. We land at Brisbane 10 minutes early and invade their frequent flyer lounge. It's always packed this one but we sit in a sunny corner and seeing its 12.00 chew on a salad for lunch. We love our frequent flyer life membership-best thing we ever did.
Qantas QF974 departs on time and I've managed to block a seat between us-so we have 3 seats for ourselves. We soon land at Townsville airport (it's now considered "International" because you can take flights to Bali from here! ). It's 4.00 in the afternoon. I show my Blue Chip card and the keys to the hire car handed over instantly-so fast! Our bags first out , so really 10 minutes later and we are out the door and in the car. I put our GPS on and we go to Woolworths supermarket in the heart of Townsville and grab some grocery's. This Woolies has the best staff, so nice to us-like we are some sort of rock stars- they really went out of their way. There is a booze shop next door, so I grab us a bottle of JD. Gotta party a bit when on a tropical island.
We head to Ross Street, Sth Townsville to get the last car ferry across, still early so first car ready to go-that's us. We sit under a palm tree and enjoy the subtle warmth as the sun slowly starts to set. The Ferry departs at 6.05 and we are sitting on the top deck, a warm wind, blowing and I feel my shoulders drop. I am so relaxed, it's been a long day but I know we are soon "home" on the island. Mark is smiling and he doesn't know it. Good to see.
Our house this time is 9 Boulder Court at Nelly Bay. Not as exotic as 12A which is now on the market for $1.7 million. Our new place is really nice on the inside, everything we need. The agents have all the lights & fans on for us , little rock wallaby faces peep out at us as we head up the path. I cook us some turkish rolls for dinner. The wind picks up during the night , so a bit loud but even that doesn't stop us from crashing into a deep sleep. I'm so happy to be back on Magnetic, it may not have any true magnetic qualities but it really does keep attracting us.
August 3rdThe sun shines bright and early here and this house has MANY windows. When you turn on the air con units, it's no surprise that the native gecko's wander out and along the wall. They are cute, we just watch them.
We eat our cereal for breakfast and some juice and straight into the car and ready to explore. We've loaded the boot with gear as we plan to spend most of today at Florence beach if we can get to it. But first gotta buy some pies from the bakery. A new St Vinnies store has sprung up and I spot a blue boogie board for $5.00. It has a round viewing window in it for reef and under sea watching. My plan is to return it to Vinnies when we leave so they can re-sell it again.
We head towards The Forts car park and down the little side road on the right. The first km only a pot hole or two and then it get's serious, huge holes and really I probably shouldn't be taking this car in, it should be a 4WD. I'm fairly cocky though, I've done this road a few times- but have to say this time it's at it's worse. Mark only looks slightly mortified! But I do get us to Florence beach...getting back to Nelly Bay may be interesting, I'll deal with that when I have to. We carry our armfuls of "beach shit" as we call it and find a place, down this long lazy beach, under a small tree. It's beautiful, really it is and WARM.
The wind is still blowing but will stop by the afternoon. However, setting up our beach tent is crazy, and I wonder if it will blow away to the other side of Oz with me inside. The Magnetic Island pies are too tempting, they smell mighty and even if someone drops part of his. No names please! There are 4 other people on the whole stretch of the beach. The bay is pretty big so the rest of the people are just little dots.
Time for a swim so I'm in first with the new blue boogie board. After 20 seconds the water feels warm. Keep in mind it is Winter here. It's crystal clear and I have my scuba mask with me. I'm in awe at how many reef fish swim along side me. I lie over the boogie board and just enjoy the feel of sun on my back. Mark wanders about filming, he's in his own chill zone and smiling, so alls well in our world. It's so simple to leave the rest of the planet behind, and I make a mental note to enjoy this time.
We are in and out of the water all day, have a few throws of the green frisbee and a few drinks. A handful of people come up and say hello and we watch a large yacht arrive. Florence Bay is our favourite and the remote crappy road just keeps it nice and private.
We consider an early dinner at Noodies- which is Mexican- based at Horseshoe bay- but it's not open tonight , so we head next door to the Marlin Bar. Waterfront views, sit outside and have a brilliant early dinner and a few corona's. I take a some sunset photos, spend ages lining up a shot of the sinking suns rays around a yacht.
Drive home at dusk and decide to call into Alma Bay while the sun is sinking. I spot a small bridge going across a small creek. It's almost hidden but I am in the mood to explore. Mark tags along and we find a closed down holiday resort. It looks massive and I locate a hole in the cyclone fencing. So gotta have a look eh? It's deco in parts and in varying degree's of decay. There is no name anywhere and we've never heard of this relic from the past. A tennis court exists on the kidney shaped roof, loads of small individual rooms, a swimming pool sits empty. The sun has almost set and rock wallaby's come out and disturb the quiet and they also scare the shit out of us. No torches and no light, think we'll attempt to check out this place more tomorrow.
I remember to give Miss MIM a call, her third birthday , she tells us she loves the camera we gave her. Our niece is way too cute.
I have a huge water melon so eat some of it in front of the house on a giant granite boulder. Ringo the wallaby turns up and brings his mates and they help me devour it. I'm sitting with Ringo and a white van pulls up with The Beatles and band image on the side. I look at Ringo "hey mate your lift has arrived". He hops away. How strange, what would a Beatles van be doing on Magnetic Island?
We drive to Arcadia and have some breakfast at Gilligans. It's more of a tourist spot and yes like Gilligan's island everything is made of bamboo . A few cast photos on the walls etc . They are so slow and the credit card machine has no signal. We are really patient but others not so, it's something you do once. I do pose as Ginger in the island cut out, which sits out front! Always fancied myself as a red head.
We head to the old wharf to feed the rock wallaby's. I have some banana's with me, which are good for them. We meet Pat from Melbourne, an older gentleman and by pure chance he has stayed at the decaying resort, so we pick his brain for details. It was called Alma Den and originally owned by the army and then a failed Melbourne business man. So we have some history to the property now and we'll visit it after feeding the Wallaby's. I'm sitting on the bench and a Mum Wallaby hops up, I talk to her in a soft voice and this little baby joey pops his head out of the pouch to see what's going on. Way too cute.
We call into Alma Den and sneak a few more photos, there is a work crew at the old resort so that limits what we can see. Pat also gave us details of the original entrance , so we drive around and locate it, an Alma Den sign still on display. We put a few photos up on Sheepbook and mates suggest we buy it and become resort owners! I'm sure that's my readers vision not so much ours, some crazy summer resort for our wonderful oddball friends. We meet a nice American chap and even offer him a lift. Magnetic Island just calms everyone down. He says he'd like to live here. I get that.
Our task today is to try and track down the Goulding clans original house where they stayed in 1970. After a bit of driving we locate a possible contender on McCabe street, who knows if it is the correct place, after all it was 46 years ago.
I make lunch at the house today, really great schnitzel sandwiches with cyprus cheese-yum.
In the afternoon we call into the Living Centre as they have some cool bits and pieces on offer. Also a bit of a hike, just a nice day to spend the afternoon.
August 5thWe head to Picnic Bay to grab a coffee at the recently opened Mamma Roma's. Picnic Bay has become a bit of a white elephant, not quite a ghost suburb, but you notice the lack of tourists. So for a new Italian place to open is a real positive for that area so we add some support. Mary, one of the owners makes a great coffee and she is a fun good time girl. Also an avid photographer and she purrs with delight over my Canon camera and L series lens'. So if you visit Magnetic, make the effort to head to Picnic Bay and visit Mamma Roma's and say hello to Mary from us.
Picnic Bay is also the only one that has a Pier. Now most people take photos on the Pier, I scramble under it as I find the imagery for far cooler. We have it to ourselves so go for a walk to the very end, watch the old guys fishing. As we walk back a tourist bus arrives with young chinese school kids and they are loud and walk very fast, trying to get as much done as possible I guess.
If you go to the end of Picnic street at Picnic Bay there is a small walk track , possibly the easiest walk on the island- maybe 30 minutes but exceptional views. To the left, about half way is a small track which goes down to Rocky Beach. This is probably the only access to this beach , so if you want privacy this is it. However (always a catch) nearly all the beach disappears when the tide comes in, so timing is everything. If you are lucky you will spot some koala's in the gum trees while taking this walk.
Night driving, hoping to find a late night food place but no luck- it's the one thing the island really needs. However the animals are out, just miss hitting a huge mother possum, and down the road two escaped dogs that run in front of my car -we spot them in time and finally back at Boulder court the rock wallabys are out hopping all over the road. What is it with the animals tonight, do they all have a death wish?
Think I'll sign off now, and enjoy the time away from the internet and all those other modern life distractions. It's an island life for me, well for a short time anyway . Not certain if Mark is Man Friday.. possibly he's Man Every day!
To those home in Melbourne, stay warm !
Peter & Marky