Saturday, 28 April 2012

Anzac and Avengers

Anzac day, we had contemplated going into town to watch the commemorative service, parades and marches starting at 3am – 1. I didn’t fancy getting up at 2am and 2. There were over 8,000 descending on the central business district (CBD). After a lazy morning Mike and I did the 21st century thing and watched the events on TV – better view for me anyway.

We had some lunch and then caught a Citycat ferry to Bulimba, meeting Pieter and Renee, since neither of the cinemas in the CBD had any tickets left for The Avengers!

Mike and I are self-confessed comic book movie fans and just had to see the most anticipated movie of the Summer on the day of opening. Queues were out the door (luckily we’d had the brains to book online) we were in good company, the geeks…. People around us were discussing the potential for this movie to be dreadful (I could not entertain this thought!) and pitting the characters against each other in fantasy fights; Hulk always seemed to win.

Anyway, the film was awesome, had it not been sold out I would of excitedly gone straight back in for another viewing, I won’t say much more than that – too easy to give it away, and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for any fellow Marvel fans!

Borrowed from

The four of us spent the next two hours going over the quote’s and scenes in a coffee shop; the staff there had to (not so) subtlety start locking up and putting chairs on tables before we relinquished our mini Avengers fan club meeting.

So there you have it; our Anzac day, not very patriotic but action packed never the less; now to wait for the sequel!

L x 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Battleships and Bad Chicken

Wednesday of our last week here was Anzac day; a national holiday originally celebrated to honor members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.  In more recent times Anzac day is used to commemorate all soldiers who’ve lost their lives in battle.

So Tuesday became an honorary Friday, so I met up with my cousin Andrew for Sushi at a restaurant call Ginga on the South Bank. I’ve not eaten rice in so long (it’s weight watchers equivalent of the devil) I didn’t eat much, but the avocado, salmon and tuna rolls I ate were  fresh and mouthwatering.

Having time to kill before Mike got out of work Andrew and I nipped next door from Ginga to the Cineplex cinema where we watching Battleship starring Liam Neeson and Rihanna. A typical Alien invasion movie; think Abyss, crossed with Transformers – done  with heaps of stereotypes and cheesy one liners – I would suggest waiting to watch it on DVD or Netflix.

Just as the film finished Mike arrived and we went to find a coffee house whilst we waited for Andrews’s friend LJ to turn up and join us for dinner. They met through skydiving and spoke about it all evening – talk about rubbing it in, I’ve been so tempted to skydive here and ignore the medical advice I’ve had against it – sadly the advice won!

Any Stephen Fry fans like me know that if Mr Fry hates a book or small business he will not review it publically so as to spare people’s feelings. I am the same; I have no problem outing big productions, multi franchised businesses and government services as dud’s but I hate the thought of personally upsetting a person/family/small project.  Too soft I suppose.

So I will not name and shame the family run restaurant we went to that evening; just a small piece of; common sense driven advice for any eatery – don’t serve a “chicken breast” full of veins, arteries, bone and served undercooked!

Seeing as we would be leaving in three day’s; Andrew and I said our Goodbye’s hoping that it wouldn’t be another 13 years before we see each other. Mike and Andrew have made plans to meet up when Mike comes back (once again!!) and I hate to think what that “boy’s night out” will end up!

What goes on tour stays on tour – this is probably best!

L x

Montville and Mooloolaba

Just like your average 9-5 couple/housewife the weekends are for making the most out off. I've felt very much the little wifey at home whilst here -  Monday to Friday’s – waiting for the hubby to return at 6! So after two late nights’ we still got up to go exploring with Pieter and Renee on Sunday.

Driving up the North coast first stop was the Maleny CheeseFactory, after ten minutes trying all types of the stinky stuff we bought – milkshakes and smoothies (Like I needed food to sit in the apartment and nibble on!?!)

From here we had a quick peek at the Montville Scenic lookout point; my fancy SLR got a healthy work out here!
Monville Scenic Lookout

An hour North from Brisbane, sitting pretty on the Sunshine coast was the town of Montville. 430M Above sea level it boasts some stunning lake, mountain and rain forest views.

A very hilly Main street is where you find the cutest café's, Antique dealerships and boutiques. With shop names like Chocolate Country, Jasmin Cottage, Ruby and Rose Interiors, plus there’s even an old fashion clock shop selling grandfather and cook coo clocks.

The Clock Shop

We stopped at the Poet Café for Scones with fresh cream and jam. These were delicious; but not proper scones, more like cakes – Renee laughed at Mike and I for declaring their non scone status – we’re “so English” – well of course we are darlings – poncey Southerners too!

After a bit more exploring Montville we headed to Mooloolaba Beach. Although a cloudy day it was still a gorgeous 25 degree’s. Mike and Pieter played Frisbee whilst Renee and I sprawled out on towels laughing at the boys pride in being able to throw and catch with decent aim lol!

Mooloolaba – meaning red snapper fish and/or red bellied black snake in Aboriginal is in the heart of the Sunshine coast, once a sleep surfer’s haven now a busy town of high class cuisine and shopping.

We stayed on the beach until Sunset and headed to an Italian restaurant (For the life of me I can’t remember its name!) where I enjoyed wild rabbit cannelloni.


Although by now Pieter and Renee should be sick of us, we made plans to meet up at least once more before we left.

And so the final week started.

L x

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Wheels, Boats and Ladradoodles

After Friday’s feast; Saturday was unsurprisingly a fat day!! But also a very gorgeous 29.2 degrees outside and not wanting to waste the day Mike and I headed into Queen Street for a bit of a browse, unfortunately neither of us are great shoppers and got bored!

Knowing how much of a typical tourist I am Mike asked if I’d like to go on the Wheel of Brisbane, rather than walking past it again to yet another restaurant!

Its $15 each for 12 minutes on the wheel, there seems to be some myth that it’s up to $50 each and completely inaccessible – not so, one of the pods had seats that flip up to fit a manual chair.

We had a pod to ourselves and I had one of my three cameras to hand. My Olympus got a great work out. The wheel boasts some gorgeous 360 views of the city, suburbs and mountains, plus some forced (by me) cheesey couple photo’s of us at the top.

Views from the Wheel of Brisbane
No more photos Lynsey!
After the wheel we saw the River City Cruises boat was about to leave for a tour down the Brisbane River, we hopped on with help from the crew (the boat isn’t accessible) not before trapping my pretty new maxi dress in one of my front wheels, ripping a whole in the bottom of it! Although annoyed I was just glad the pulling of the wheel didn’t expose my modesty as the dress was strapless!

River City Cruises
The River City Cruise takes you from the South Bank to Breakfast creek in Newstead, a 1 ½ hour cruise when it’s that hot is luxuriously wonderful with the breeze and an on board bar! There are brilliant views of the city as well as a recorded history lesson along the way, and on the way back our captain told us more personable stories about the city, it’s people and the 2011 floods - also taking the mickey of his Newcastle (UK) born shipmate – worryingly unlike the rest of the passengers I could completely understand him and his Geordie accent, but thought he was Irish – doh!

Views from the Boat

After the cruise we had time to come home, change, raid the local off-licence for wine (Called – NED!!!) and XXXX beers before catching one of Brisbane’s amazingly accessible (are you reading London Transport!?!) trains to see Jenna and Brian.

Jenna was cooking us dinner and this was the first time I had visited their stunning new house and met Ciara their crazy Labradoodle. We were joined by Brian’s brother Dave who has also emigrated from the UK.

Jen had been following our Brisbane food trail and had decided to cook us a healthy and delicious  roast lamb with a Greek salad, sweet potatos and soda bread, ah my weight watchers counter would be proud!

Jenna had also made us a lemon and lime tart, She's known for her dessert disasters so we tentatively tried it before all wolfing it down – she’s cracked it an edible pud!

After being attacked by gorgeous Ciara a million times (I wanted to steal her and bring her home!) Dave offered us a lift since he lives in the West End and we chatted to him about the Aussies fear and loathing of rain, what he missed about home (in his case Ireland) and the Aussies bad habit of calling football  - soccer and flip flogs thongs – Oh Aussies you amuse us Poms!

L x

Jazz, Belly Dancers and Pancakes

I thought our last Friday here was going to be a trip to the Pancake Manor a Brisbane landmark but it turned into one of the most random evenings (with lots of food – of course!) I can ever remember!

First Mike came home changed into something more up class than his usual flowery shorts and we headed to an English bar called the Pig and Whistle in Eagle Street. There we met up with Renee and a few of her work mates.

After a particularly frustrating day at work Mike drank two pints in twenty minutes whilst I spoke to a guy called Ben who moved here a few years back from London. Ben, not realising that he and I were encouraged to chat so he could convince me to move to Brisbane (Mike is completely sold – I’m not so sure) but Ben started to tell me how much he missed his mates, the quirks of England, some of the drinks and foods etc.

Upon seeing my face Renee intercepted and encouraged a more positive conversation about Brisbane – Ben’s conclusion; good weather, cheap houses and petrol and an abundance of great beef lol!.... Still not sold!

From the pig we met up with Pieter and went to Melbourne Street Green (random grassy area in the cultural centre) for the Green Jam Sessions. Students from the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium play Jazz every Friday from March until May on the green which is covered in fairy lights, has deck chairs for lounging and a huge BBQ on the go.  We sat drinking; wine, beers and munching on hotdogs for a couple of hours - although by this time it was 8pm it was still 24 degrees – b.e.a.uiful!!

Jazzy Hotdogs

Renee and Pieter spotted a friend in the crowd called Jana, she was with a group of people we assumed were friends, it turns out she knew one or two but the rest were just random people who’d joined their group and they were all about to head for dinner. Despite hot dogs – we tagged along!

Our random new group of "friends"

We all arrived at a bustling Turkish restaurant called Mado. There was a great atmosphere and an authentic menu. The walls were covered in artwork, old pots and pans, guns, kettles and other Mediterranean memorabilia.

Ironic that we came all the way to Australia to go to an authentic Turkish restaurant when we live in Europe!!

I opted for Sultans delight or Hunkar Begendi; this was eggplant (Aubergine) roasted and then blended with cheese, milk and lemon topped with a lamb and tomato stew. It was incredibly rich but amazing, like nothing I’ve tasted before.

While we were waiting for our meals a belly dancer strutted her stuff; making grown men blush and women envious of her flexible hips! At least three of our table were pulled up for interesting attempts!

Belly dancing... I wasn't approached to volunteer...
Slowly as the evening went on our group of strangers – now friends, started to leave; French, Chinese, Indian, South Africa, Australian all left until it was just Mike, Renee, Pieter and I. And of course not content with hotdogs and Turkish feast we headed to the Pancake Manor for midnight dessert.

Pancake Manor is, as I said before a Brisbane landmark; a converted church made into a pancake heaven. With a lot of original features the restaurant is one of the prettiest places I’ve eaten in and its open 24/7 364 days a year (only closed Christmas day!).

Inside the pancake manor
I had the Hot’n’Troppo pancakes; two buttermilk cakes topped with roasted walnuts, grilled bananas, cream, chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. It was naughty, gooey, soft, fruity pancake fun, again I couldn’t finish it (I think I should start ordering from children’s menus!) but I gave it a damn good go – as always.... which is why there’s now an extra roll on my tummy – we shall name him Oz!

L x

Monday, 23 April 2012

Fried Ice Cream

Midway through our second week here; Pieter and Renee, suggested cocktails and dessert somewhere fabulous, even after the food tour so far, I was not going to turn them down!!

We went to a place called Friday’s on Eagle Street. If you do visit this restaurant, there is a lift, it’s down a random corridor to the left of the stairs and it brings you outside the Friday’s kitchen, we shall call it the V.I.P entrance!

In Friday’s I had a Lychee Mojito and we all enjoyed steak (they l.o.v.e steak here!!) Renee the crazy woman that she is had to go home as she was rowing at 5am the next morning.

Instead of being sensible and going home on a “school” night, Pieter, Mike and I went to The Jade Buddha a restaurant/bar/club. It’s was very swanky with designer cocktails and a 180 degree view of the Brisbane river.

Readers who were with me last year might remember my eating an ice cream the size of my head from Baskins and Robin – I finished the whole thing too – I’m not proud.... okay I was a little. Anyway, Jade had a dessert menu with cheesecakes, normal cakes and healthy sorbets with berry’s and coulis. What did I go for?... Fried Ice cream.

Fried Ice Cream
Yup, apparently you can fry ice cream and the intrigue got the better of me. Out came this huge ball in a bowl. I kid you not it was the size of a baseball!

It was sooo yummy – for English readers think of posh Arctic Roll for all others, think ice cream wrapped in donut. The difference between last year and this one is I was nowhere close to finishing it!

Midweek stuffing session – complete!!

L x

Friday, 20 April 2012

Return to Oz - Culture and Food

Instead of gaining more pounds, Mike and I thought we’d increase our brain power with a bit of culture and history. So Sunday we decide to go to the Queensland Museum, The Queensland Art Gallery and to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).

It was a drizzly, damp grey day and a few of Aussies asked “are you not cold?” “Why would you come out on a day like this?” we explained that we’re British and if drizzle scared us we’d never go out!

Queensland Museum is a free attraction and it seemed that all parents within a 25 mile radius were going to make the most of this!! A few times, kids would point stare and ask “is she/it a handicap?” I’ve found and decided I don’t like this word; handicap is one above all that I cannot stand, it makes me cringe!

Anyway once I stopped being an exhibit all on my own, we wandered round the marine, dinosaur and nature sections; lots of cabinets full of creepy crawlies, stuffed animals and life size replicas of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops heads.



There were also exhibits on the 2011 floods, the rights of aboriginal culture and history of Queensland and its people. Although I loved the museum and what was on show; the lay out was very disjointed and in my option badly planned.

After a couple of hours we’d seen all on show and I think Mike had, had enough of all the children we almost ran over, so after a quick lunch we moved on to The Queensland Art Gallery and Goma.

I personally know very little about art/artists but it doesn’t stop me appreciating it. I loved both galleries, but The Queensland Art Gallery appealed more. I found some of the modern art in Goma odd and not very artistic, but as I say - each to their own and I’m personally a self confessed old school art fan, the older the better.

Modern Art
Glass Art

There is currently an exhibition dedicated to Australian Art – 6 rooms in fact showing pieces from “European occupation of the continent to the 1970s”  - my favourite in the main gallery and a collection of work from Queensland High School/College/University students was my favourite in GOMA.

Old School Art
After filling up on Art and History we needed to continue our food tour lol! We were meeting with Mike’s University friends Jenna and Brian (you may remember this!) who in the year since I last saw them have; got married, toured New Zealand on their Honeymoon, bought a dog, and had a house custom built – they’re like a poster ad for emigrating!

Last year Mike and I went out to unsuccessfully find a Mexican restaurant he had visited with his colleagues, well.... we finally found the said restaurant in Fortitude Valley – Monrezuma’s.

We sat in the outdoor restaurant so I didn’t really see inside, but the menu was comfort food, you know the type, carb loaded, rice filled and cheese covered! I opted for the taco’s, the only dish set not accompanied with potato’s or rice. I was amazed only getting through 1 ½ of them – stomach isn’t the cavern - I thought it may have become!

L x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Return to Oz - Food – Part 2

Continuing our food tour of Brisbane - Picked up by my cousin Andrew Saturday morning, we were meant to be going up Tambourine Mountain but there were thick, black clouds hovering over the city and that’s not much cop when you’re trying to capture the views!

So instead Andrew took us to Sirromet Winery nestled between the Gold Coast and Brisbane the family run business that has an onsite restaurant and function spaces, whilst also running tours.

We went with the intention of doing a tasting and tour, but it has only just now occurred to me that we didn’t do the tour?!? Shows you how tips..... okay, drunk I was after the tasting, but in my defence I no longer have a gall bladder so wine and I have a delicate relationship at best of times.

Sexy runs in our family, Andrew and I

Anyway.... the tasting was lovely! My favourite being a rose’ called Perfect Day in their classic selection that smelt and tasted of strawberries and cream. So we bought a bottle to drink there and then, we sat under a canopy, in the rain listening to a duet singing chilled out summer tunes on the mini stage. (Andrew only had a small one – before people write in citing drink and driving laws!) This was followed by purchasing another bottle for later... this bottle is still in our fridge... taunting me!

So to sober us.... okay.... me up - Andrew took us to Redlands City on Cleveland point, 30 minutes from Brisbane. We went to a restaurant called The Lighthouse, which looks out to Peel Island, Moreton Bay and Stradbroke Island.

Views from The Lighthouse

The actual Lighthouse... not the restaurant!

Local and fresh sea food is their selling point and as you walk into the restaurant the catches of the day are on display. We all chose the red snapper; a whole fish, still sporting it’s head, tail and fins, grilled to perfection, falling off the bone, the flesh meaty and substantial. I would visit the restaurant in a heartbeat given the chance, the staff were chatty and friendly - even when they found out we lived in Essex (Towie is popular/heavily mocked here) and Andrew tried convincing them to go skydiving – the boy is obsessed!

Stuffed and mildly drunk, Andrew dropped us back in the CBD and I was in bed by 4pm sleeping it off – hard times lol!

L x

P.S This is the last reminder to enter my book competition click here for details; I'll be picking the winners on Monday (April 23rd 2012) *Remember there are two international copies being sent out so even if your're not a UK reader of my blog you still stand the chance of winning a copy!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Return to OZ - Food - Part 1

Remember when I wrote “you never know I could come back a tanned skinny goddess”.... the likelihood of this is ever decreasing. It seems I’m currently on a tour of Brisbane’s food trail. I’m loving it, but the Weight Watchers angel on my shoulder, tally’s up each mouthful of glorious; New Zealand, Mexican, Greek, Steak and Fish dish I’ve had!
On the flipside I’m exercising far more than I do at home, despite a wet Autumn here in OZ it’s still above 20 degrees and my legs feeling great. My old right foot a.k.a the former “Good One” has benefited the most; I suppose it’s nowhere near as far gone as my left, that it’s easier to please!
So eight days into my eighteen here; let me take you on that foodie tour of mine!
The first three days we were here, I slept, a lot – four hour naps, followed by eight hours in bed, must have needed it and as many keep having to tell me (you know who you are!) I have to listen to my body - even on holiday.
Friday after cancelling twice I finally met up with my cousin Andrew, 13 years since we last met. Any worries of it being awkward were quickly forgotten when he spent the first hour trying to convince me to skydive. (I’ve been banned from doing in the UK down to medical grounds) And when I tried to explain the risks he told me to “Harden up Princess” – charming!
Drew and I went for coffee in Queens Street shopping district forgetting it was still Easter Holidays so we made a break for it and headed for the West End, a trendy part of Brisbane where you’re never more than 30 seconds from an achingly trendy bar, restaurant or boutique.
After taking a rather scenic route after getting stuck under a height restricted bar in a car park and no amount of positive thinking bringing us a parking space, we finally parked up a residential street and went to a place called the Little Greek
A family run restaurant, it paid for them to have tables outside as we were drawn in by the colourful dishes other customers were enjoying. Andrew didn’t even look at his menu instead asking a girl next to us what she was eating and choosing that.

Andrews Salmon
I being the pleasant girlfriend that I am decided on the garlic prawns with feta salad, the garlic was so strong it was spicy, it was delicious, fresh and beautifully presented and I reeked of it hours later – which I loved... Mike not so much.
My Garlic Prawns
In a blatant flirting session with our gorgeous waitress Andrew told her to surprise us with an entree. She did indeed delight us with a potato and caviar dip called Tarama. Creamy, not fishy at all – scrumptious!
Since we had wasted so much time getting to a restaurant our orders were put on priority and our mains were out in minutes – another bonus! I would highly recommend trying the Little Greek if you’re in the area – amazing food, quick and friendly service.
Andrew had to go on to a business meeting but promised to take Mike and I out the next day.
More food? Oh yes!
L x

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Arriving in Brisbane and a 24 degree heat - made me happy! The drive from the airport to our apartment was a little memory lane of last January. The city is looking a lot brighter and less beaten this time (we arrived 10 days after the major floods), no more water marks half way up buildings, those that were flooded are freshly painted and there are no more sand bags lining the river front.

We’re staying at the Republic Apartment’s in Spring Hill just as we did last year. We’re on the 7th floor with two bedrooms, an open plan living room, kitchen and diner. Our balcony over looks fortitude valley and to our right is Story Bridge. Bigger than our pad at home, I’m more than happy with our little temporary one.

Jet lag has been beating us both since we arrived (even four days in we’re pathetically tired and in bed by 9pm!) but the day we arrived we were meeting with Mike’s colleague and friend Pieter, his girlfriend Renee and their friend Sue-Ellen, who was visiting Brisbane from New Zealand, after taking a job there in January.

So after napping like old people we headed to the South Bank meeting them at the Wheel of Brisbane (a posh Ferris wheel).

Wheel of Brisbane

Once we’d all met up we played a modern day version of Goldilocks and in this case the three restaurants.

The first was one with a name resembling something like Poop, it looked full but worth trying, unfortunately and it lived up to its name, Pieter went in to see if they had a spare table and it seems the staff are poop - not even looking up to give Pieter eye contact and giving him a very rude No, in a snooty tone – they might as well of called him a dumb ass and be done with it!

The next restaurant Curve looked lovely, with a well stocked bar and a good menu, again we sent in Pieter to check it out – they’d run out of food!

So we decided to head for a place they all knew - the Plough Inn. Think open air pub, menu comprised of meat, meat and chunky fries – just right!

We ordered steaks and ribs, cocktails, redbull and vodka for me and beer for the boys. We spent the evening chatting, laughing (mainly at Mike and Pieter) and watching Sue-Ellen (who is teeny tiny) making her way through half a pig, chips and still fitting in her salad – we renamed her The Carnivore!

Our Carnivore

Sadly the Carnivore was leaving the next day but we’ve made plans to meet with the others for dinner, drinking and dessert at the Pancake Manor. In between this I shall we working my butt off in the gym/pool!!!

L x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Return to OZ – The Journey

So, as I mentioned in my last blog, Mike and I were off to Brisbane, Australia (again!). He for work, Me – to chill out.

After and S.O.S on Facebook for lifts to Heathrow, our friend’s Jo and Jon took us to the airport – thanks guys! We were there 5 hours before we were due to leave, working around Jo and Jon’s schedules - so we took full advantage of another perk of Mike’s work, apart from the air miles that were taking me to OZ he has a gold card that get’s him into the Star Alliance business lounge.

Although another exciting bonus to my trip, upon entering the lounge I felt completely inadequate and sloppy in my Superman T-shirt and leggings and horror of all horrors a makeup free face.

The Lounge

Mike got right into it, getting himself a portion of curry and rice whilst I nursed a coffee, eying up the free Kettle Chips. I couldn’t quite get it into my head that Mike and in turn myself were “allowed” in here and were not going to be thrown out for not paying our bill.

After a while I got over myself took two bags of Kettle Chips, one for then another for later and had a bowl of noodles. Going completely wild (ok, ok - Mike having to drag me blushing and apologising to the bar) I had a complementary Bailey’s – and they don’t measure their alcohol!

We were flying with Singapore Airlines again and like last year they couldn’t do enough for us. Although I had two funny incidents – When we landed in Singapore, the head flight attendant strongly advised I used to the toilet on board in case my wheelchair took too long to arrive – I almost felt like saying it’s my limbs that are weak not my bladder – but since they were all being so sweet I didn’t want to offend. Also in Singapore once my wheelchair had arrived – upon feeling the weight of my hand luggage our airport assistant insisting on using an airport wheelchair to carry it for me!!

With my bright orange special assistance badge proudly placed on my t-shirt (see last year’s blog Re the badges) we headed to the Singapore lounge, this time with a mixture of bad time flying (felt ill/pain for the entire 12 hour flight), being tired and not caring what I looked like at this point I dived into the lounges; tuna sandwiches, cheese plate, kettle chips and a large coffee – weight watchers could well - wait!

My not so subtle "Special" Sticker

Luckily the second leg of the journey I felt better watching The Iron Lady, My Week With Marilyn and The Decedents through the on board entertainment system and ate beef in coffee and chocolate sauce – as you do!

L x

P.s For those of you who have messaged regarding the rush kitchen job; we left a very tidy living area behind, albeit missing wall paper, flooring and wall cupboards. Although a sparse cave the cooker and fridge still work – bonus!

Friday, 6 April 2012


The cheeky mare that I am, I’m off to Australia again for almost three weeks! One up side to Mike being away so often is that he’s collected a decent amount of air miles so yours truly is able to accompany him to Brisbane.

To say I’m excited is the biggest understatement! As my friends would imagine there has been an extraordinary amount of excitable clapping and grinning.

We plan on revisiting some of last year’s favourites like Surfers Paradise but I’m hoping to explore more of the city and further afield.

I’ll be visiting a cousin who I stupidly forgot lives in Brisbane (and therefore didn’t see him last year – doh!) He e-mailed to say he’ll be cooking us up a feast, offering use of his sauna and swimming pool and do we fancy going to Straddie Island in his 4wd – erm... yes!!!  

Mike, having been in OZ 7 times now, has built up a true love and knowledge of the city and plans on taking me to a place called the Pancake Manor and back to the SS bar and grill, my weight watching skills will be pushed to their limit, I plan on keeping up with my diet enough to maintain if not to lose more – but we’ll see, you never know I could come back a tanned skinny goddess.

You can stop laughing now!

So what are Michael and I doing in preparation to leave tomorrow? Packing?... not yet, buffering and plucking my way to body perfection?... I only have 24 hours, do you expect miracles! No... we, or mainly Mike has spent the last two days pulling out our kitchen, stripping wall paper and cutting up our carpets, all whilst I hide in our study. Plans due to take place when we get home mean that our living room and kitchen need to be reduced to looking like a cave.

The Destroyer

My sister in law has warned that men in their family take the view that “It needs to look worse before it looks better” .....mission accomplished! Thank God we’re away for three weeks!

L x