Wednesday, February 28

Peace and quiet

You forget what the night sky REALLY looks like - when you live in suburbia the night sky is compromised with lighting from the city and suburbs. Out on the islands, and in the country it is different. The sky is dark at night, and the moon shines brightly, and there seem to be so many more stars.

In some ways I'd like to go out with a rug and lie down on the lawn and watch the night sky. Except for the mosquitos. I'd almost forgotten about them - and I think they were just waiting for me. I did hear and see one or two last night, but they got me this morning. I was standing on the jetty waiting for the 5.50 am ferry. The buzzed and bit, and left me a right mess.

Still, a small price to pay for this magic place - and I just have to remember to use the stuff to keep them away.

The men are friendly on the island - and I don't mean anything bad by this. Quite a few catch the early ferry to work on the mainland and they chat. I've heard about the fishing - it has been better lately and with the high tides there's a good spot near where the car ferry pulls in. And those who can use a cast net have been catching good size prawns. Big ones actually.

Apparently the waters around here were badly depleted of fish stocks as some uncrupulous people caught and sold fish/prawns illegally for some time. They were taking huge hauls from the waters and it has taken some time for the fishing to be useful here.

And on my return to the island I was offered several lifts - I only had to struggle with my shopping bags, and laptop to the car near the phone box - but i was impressed how polite the men were.

There were huge white clouds on the horizon - in all directions. Rain is forecast for today, and I guess with the clouds it's pretty inevitable.

It would be nice - though it often rains on the islands - and not on the mainland where it is so badly needed.

Tuesday, February 27

I'm on Lamb Island again

It is dark and quiet. Not a car to be heard - not a sound. I'm back on Lamb Island looking after a house and a dog. I met the home owners on the mainland, they gave me the house key, the key to the car on the island, and the swipe card so I can park my car in the secure park near the ferry terminal.

The ferry was crowded - and I sat next to a chatty lady who is renting a bouse on Macleay Island - she and her husband have sold their Sunshine Coast house and are trying to determine if they like island living.

One of the drawbacks is that though there are some shops on the islands, they can be expensive, and most folk buy groceries and other items on the mainland. You see quite a range of strange trollies, and big bags of strange items being loaded on the ferry for transport to the island. It is a pain, but part of island living. And getting tradesmen ....... well that's another long story.

The old four wheel truck that I used last time I was over here has been pensioned off and I get to drive a little blue Ford Laser - it doesn't worry me, though this vehicle doesn't have power steering and I can see that I will have to get used to that!

It is hot and steamy. There are storms around, but I think they won't hit until tomorrrow afternoon - so the forecast says. Muggy. I do have ceiling fans, and I can turn the air conditioner on if I want.

Bella the dog welcomed me - wagging tail and barking - but she's settled down now. I didn't bring much food with me, I'm due back on the mainland tomorrow. And I'm contemplating using some food replacement product - an opportunity to lose weight again?

I did some work on my novel today - not a lot, but I'm pleased with the progress. I'll not get back to it until tomorrow afternoon now.

I think I'll have a quick cold shower to cool down before retiring.

Friday, February 23

Feast or Famine?

Isn't that always the way? I am in the midst of negotiating to do the TESOL course, and go to Vietnam some time during the year - and another opportunity arises. I've been asked to apply for another position.

And I've had some more friends who learned of my house sitting offer me other opportunities.

Life is never dull - never was, but it is getting a bit overwhelming right now. We'll have to wait and see what happens, and I won't count my chickens before they hatch.

Thursday, February 22

So much to do

I'm looking forward to doing some writing. I've been busy writing another novel and I do have one of the biographies to finish in the next few weeks, so time on the island will be well spent - peaceful for writing.

There's also a couple of short stories that I want to write, and I have the course material from the UK - so have my first assignment to complete next week.

I will get a lot of work done this week - although I have some study to do on Friday. I'm doing medical role plays for doctors seeking registration in Australia - I play the role of a sick person, and the doctors have to face rigourous tests to qualify. It's interesting - hard work, all day on the Saturday.

As well I will continue my research into teaching in Asia.

Lamb Island looms

I go over to the island next Tuesday (27/2) and I'm ready - looking forward to it. The home owner phoned this morning - just to check that I'm still ready to do the job - as if! He also told me he and his wife had booked to go overseas from July 10th - to mid September. I'll have to think about doing that job.

So many decisions to make. Anyway, life is not dull.

Monday, February 19

Teaching English Overseas

Several years ago I completed a degree at University - a Ba of Adult and Vocational Teaching at Griffith University. I've not really used the degree - but I think I have found something that is both exciting and well, profitable.

My nephew, early last year went to China to teach English. I must say I was slightly interested at the time - but I knew the time was not right, so put it on the back burner. But, I've just done some research and am seriously thinking of following it up.

I have made contact with an organisation in Australia that finds work for teachers of English - who must have a degree!!! - in Asia in particular. Whilst I majored in literacy and numeracy, I need to do an Advanced Diploma to qualify and I can do that course here in Brisbane. I wonder if I have time to do that course as well as the one I am already doing?

OK, I don't have to do it all at once - and the course does cost $1500 - so I will not take it all lightly. Perhaps I need to save up first??? There's 120 hours of study - and then work is available.

It has been suggested that Vietnam is a good place to start - so I'll do some research in this area soon. Meanwhile, back to house sitting, writing and studying the course I am already paying off.

Could be interesting?

Writing Course

I'm excited today as my writing course material arrived. One of the purposes of doing house sitting is to get writing time. Unfortunately I still have to pick gerberas - see About Gerberas . So I pick places reasonably close to home and the farm. From Lamb Island it is a short ferry trip - and drive in the car, so I can be at the farm just over an hour from when I leave the island.

Whilst I'd doing well with my writing projects, I am keen to do more so earlier this yer I enrolled in a couse with The Writers Bureau. I've been waiting (somewhat impatiently!!) since I made my first payment to them. The course arrives by post - so for the past week I've been enthusiastically waiting for the mail each day. Today it arrived. Not an overly large parcel - but large enough and as soon as the post office staffer handed it over I knew what it was.

I've had a quick look at the material and am keen to sit down and read through it and do the assignments. I hope to finish the first two assignments by the time I have finished my nearly two weeks on Lamb Island.

It looks exciting already - and although I am well on my way with two other manuscripts - one of which I have written over 30,000 in 3 weeks. Quite an effort too.

And I have some other exciting news! More study - so will wait for a bit before I do that.

Sunday, February 18

Just over a week to go

I'm due back at the house at Lamb Island on February 27th. I'm really looking forward to it as it is a nice house and I'm looking forward to the peace of the island. It is a good place to be. It is a couple of months since I've been there - and it is likely that there hs been a start to building the new tavern on the island.

The little store - the kiosk - is also being redeveloped which is good. It really was old and crappy when I last saw it. I'm looking forward to spending some time on McLeay Island too, this time. Apparently there's some new development on the island, but I'd like to visit the supermarket and see what wares they have there.

I've still got to come back and forth to the mainland - still flowers to pick and some events back at home.

I still haven't found somewhere for Kramer - do I take him to Lamb Island? What will the dog there do if I bring another dog into his territory?

We'll wait and see.

Tuesday, February 13

No CATastrophe!

I heard that previously when the family have gone away and left the cats in the care of someone, there had been a CATastrophe. I did not know this when I did the house sit. I didn't know until after. Thank goodness. I called after the house sit was over, to return the key, and was surprised that the two cats ran out to greet me. As if I was a special friend. I was impressed.

Anyway we were all pleased to see the cats happy and well after my four days of care. Nice cats.

I am glad that I didn't know the previous history! A great house sit and I'd be happy to return. I loved the house, especially the great outdoor entertaining/eating area. Loved it.

When I think about it - I've already done two house sits this year - and another one to start on February 27th.

Sunday, February 11

Garden at the house

Just a shot of the garden which is overlooked by the out door eating area of the house I just cared for. It was pretty with herbs and colourful plants.

Time went very quickly

I love this photo - it does look as if the cat is dead - but it is a devon rex cat, and loved sleeping on the warm bonnet of the car when I returned back to the house sit house.

Well, I am back home again. The four days went very quickly and I didn't keep up with the blog on a daily basis.

It was a quiet house and I loved it for many reasons. Well appointed and all on one level. The garden was easy to manage and last night it rained so the garden got a sprinkling that refreshed it.

The house had a lovely outdoor area - covered patio with timber table and seats and that is where I entertained some friends. It was delightful. The cats ignored me mostly although I did sleep with the three legged one. At least he slept on the end of the bed.

When I left all fish and cats were alive and well.

Friday, February 9

I've moved in

I get on with the two cats quite well - especially the three legged one. He injured his leg in a tree - no one is sure how it happened, but it did. He manages quite well on his three legs now. A fortune was spent apparently trying to save the leg - to no avail.

I love the house - it is all on one level - no stairs. Yippee! Plenty of big rooms with television in three rooms. It is spacious, and well appointed. And quiet. Ideal for writing.

The house has a wonderful outdoor area overlooking an adjacent park. And being in a cul de sac, there is little traffic noise either. Bliss.

The family are originally from Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe - so there are quite a few pictures, momentos of life in Africa - zebras, elephants and girafes especially. This is the first house sit I have done that my car fits in the garage - and it has a remote controlled thing to open and close the door. Can I get lazy on this or what????

Wednesday, February 7

Not far to go

I am looking after my friends house - just for four days. She has two cats - a devon rex and a three legged cat. The three legged one is bossed around by a big neighbour cat at times. Also have some fish to feed, and apparently feed them frozen peas! There's something with the water and the fish with the long flowing tail - it needs peas to survive. I don't understand it - but have been given instructions to give the peas.

The house is not far from home - in an estate of "low set" homes. On one level - no stairs. I could happily live in that estate. As well, it has a series of cul de sacs, so there's no heavy traffic, or very, very little. Sounds like my type of place.