Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yes, we have no Bananas!

On my recent trip to North Queensland we passed through the town of Innisfail on the "Great Green Way". Innisfail was severely devastated by Category 5 Cyclone, Larry, in March 2006. The town has a population of about 8,000, and is the centre of the Johnstone Shire, which has a population of around 19,000 all up. It is located on the Cassowary Coast (named after the rare local native bird - more about these in a future post )between World Heritage Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

This region today is Australia's largest producer of bananas, rivalling sugar as an income earner. Tea, Papaws and exotic tropical fruits are also grown.
Beef cattle are processed in a modern abattoir near Innisfail for domestic and overseas markets. Aquaculture also plays an important part in the region's economy, ranging from prawn, barramundi and fresh water crayfish to crocodile farming.

After more than two years life seems to be getting back to normal although there are still the odd one or two wrecks of houses remaining. We were told by a local tropical fruit winery owner that most of those would have been under-insured and if they hadn't rebuilt by now they had no plans too. The winery's crop of passionfruit was entirely wiped out too, so now they buy all their fruit in. Their Passionfruit wine is rather a nice drop too I might add, think it would go down mighty well with Strawberry, Mango and Passionfruit Pavlova. yum!

I was utterly amazed at the number of houses that have bright shiny new roofs in and around the town, it must have been terrible, almost every house seems to have been damaged. Innisfail is also known as the Art Deco capital of Australia. Many of these buildings can been seen in the centre of town. These were built after the town was devasated by a cyclone in 1918, so the town was rebuilt in the style that was popular at that time. There are many examples of Art Deco design facades including Spanish, Sicilian, Moroccan, Italian and Anglo Saxon.

I was also interested to see how the Banana crops were coming along. Things have improved somewhat as not that long ago, supermarkets were charging around $10.00 kilo for bananas. Now things have improved they're back to their pre cyclone prices.
Lots of green fruit appear to be hanging from trees all brightly bagged to keep fruit flies away. The bags reminded me of brightly coloured balloons of red, yellow blue, orange, silver and green hanging from the trees.

The pic above was taken on the way to the Tully Gorge a popular spot for White Water Rafting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Logged on to the Australian Beading Forum this morning to find an interesting and heated discussion on Copyright. I must say I was sad to find the thread closed by the time I got to the last page, although anything that I might have added I've already posted here in this blog previously. (Click on the Label below entitled "Copyright" to see other posts)

Lets hope that the thread on the forum doesn't get deleted this time as it contains some very useful info and can certainly be used as a reference by any new and unfortunately inexperienced beaders.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just back from Holidays

Returned home late yesterday from Far North Queensland, hence the reason I've not posted for a couple of weeks. Found both good news and bad news sitting in my email in box.

Received a very nice email from "Burkes Backyard Magazine" here in Australia after submitting a little story and accompanying photo of Izzy Liz.

Here's what I said in my original email to them

"Hi there Don. Just thought I'd send you a pic of our friendly backyard eastern waterdragon "Izzy Liz". Sadly she is no longer with us, but as you can see she wasn't to be trusted around food and her table manners were a little lacking... ie...foot in the bowl. She loved to raid leftovers off the table on our back deck and not too long ago I found her sitting amongst upturned tea cups helping herself to the biscuit crumbs after I returned from seeing my guests off at the front gate.

I snapped this particular pic one morning a couple of years back after my husband Michael left his cereal unattended whilst he made coffee. She loved grapes, cherries and strawberries and the odd painted I learnt really quickly not to paint my toenails orange and sit barefoot at the table.... ouch!!

She became very friendly around 4 years ago when Michael was digging and levelling an area in our garden which was to be paved. He kept throwing her earth worms that he dug up as he came across them. From that moment on, she hung about the back veranda and would sleep in one of our hanging orchard baskets till the end of April each year and then would disappear till the beginning of Spring. Occasionally she would come into the kitchen via the back door and one day I even found her investigating the corridor off the kitchen. She became so friendly that I could just call her by name and she'd appear from the back garden, often getting up on the chair beside me and resting on the back of it whilst I read or made jewellery. I occasionally fed her worms from the pet shop, these she would take straight out of my upturned hand, plus she would also let me stroke her neck."

Here's the magazine's response

"What a great story, sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with Izzy Liz. Your photo really captures that cheeky side of her that you described so well :)

I have sent your photo off to the shortlist for possible publication.

Good luck!"

I won't write about the bad news as I'm still digesting it as well as coming up with an apt response to the nutter who sent it.

Another thing I really hate is the amount of junk mail that hits my in box. I arrived home to find about 300 time wasting emails. You've won the Lottery!! We want to give you USD24,000,000 as we've found a long lost relative of yours!! Can we launder money in your bank account and then clean you out of house and home!! Please tell us you user name, password and birthdate so we can clean up your email account!!

Time I got a new email address which only my friends will be privy to.

To all those fraudsters, I hope the long arm of the law eventually catches up with you and you get what you fully deserve. A nice long holiday without your own set of keys!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gimme a break. I'm still learning.

"Ooooh, its a Sheep! What am I supposed to do with them again"?


Do I operate or not?

Mean't to post about my fun day a couple of Friday's ago...

Early in the morning went to check on my aquarium and feed the fish. Thought I caught sight of a bug caught in the plants that are growing in the tank. Went off the grab the net, then I heard a crunching noise.

Well too late, the bug which just happened to be a giant roach was swallowed up by my 16cm long fancy tailed Shabunkin which I've had for sometime now. Darn, now what to do? Could see the fish wasn't able to swallow the whole thing and part of one of its barbed legs was hanging from its mouth. Oh that's just dandy I thought, I'm going to loose that fish, he's going to die for sure. Not happy Jan, that fish cost me Forty big ones.

Sms'd hubby at work, no sympathy there. So then joined an Aquarium forum and of course not too many people had experience with this sort of thing. Why me? Someone suggested that I could perhaps operate on him by removing the bug with a pair of tweezers. Eeeek! I'm squeamish at the best of times and was sure that I'd gone out in sympathy with the fish without even knowing it. My throat felt like it had something caught in it all day. Darn that fish! By this time said fish, was lying on the bottom of the tank, still upright, but obviously not feeling very well.
"Serves you right for being a little pig", I said.
Of course every time he opened his month slightly I could see the bug lodged in his throat, which made me feel sicker.

ok ok a plan was forming. I'd wait till Hubby came home then he could help with the operation. After all, he'd kept fish for years as a child and young adult, surely he'd know what to do. By the time he came home, fish had managed to get all of the bug into his mouth and was obviously swallowing it slowly as he digested it. Several more hours of sitting on the bottom of the tank, hardly moving and continuing to look very sorry for himself followed. After about 36 hours he was fine and swimming around looking for something else to gobble up. Just hope he doesn't decide to eat the rest of the goldfish in the tank, just because he thinks he can.
PS... that's him in the pic above swimming about happily today.