Life can get in the way sometimes.


Life can get in the way sometimes. It certainly did in our family.

On the 16th of November, at 6.30pm, we were on our boat in Dawesville tied up with 3 other boats ready to stay overnight when we got the dreaded phone call, Greg’s mother had been taken to Peel hospital with a suspected stroke and we had to untie the other boats tied alongside us and head back to Mandurah as fast as we could so that we could park the boat, drop the little girl off and go and pick up his father and take him to the hospital.

Mum was in Peel Health campus for nearly 2 weeks, what an absolute nightmare!! Unfortunately her stay was a nightmare for all of us,  every time we called the hospital, we were given conflicting info, there didn’t see to be any consistency with anything, she was told that she could leave on several occasions, she’d get dressed and then someone would come and tell her she had to stay. One thing that I must say is that the nursing staff were absolutely fantastic in their treatment of her, however, every other aspect of her stay, was deplorable.

On the Tuesday, 2 days after the stroke, the hospital had a social worker visit her in her  ward, she gave Mum a  on having an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) and advised her that she should organise it asap.  Given that she was in hospital, I took the form and said I would follow this up. On phoning the Peel ACAT service, I was advised that the hospital MUST request the ACAT referral, I contacted the hospital and asked when this could be booked and was told that they weren’t going to request one, until she was ready to be released, the bottom line was that they didn’t request one until I started jumping up and down and complaining to anyone who would listen. Luckily, I went to the city with my mum to have a high tea  with my daughter in law and one of the ladies who also attended works for a company that is associated with aged care, she put me in touch with someone who was able to rattle some cages.

We also tried to get an ACAT assessment for Dad, sadly, this was also a drama.

While all of this was happening, we realised that Greg’s father was not doing too well either, he was forgetting things that we had said a short while before and it was consistent.  On the following weekend, we had arranged to pick him up from his home and take him to visit the hospital when we found that he was missing, he had told a neighbour that he was driving to Fremantle hospital and that he had moved in with Greg & Lee, (they were going to move in with us but not until after Mum had come out of hospital.

When she was finally ready to be released, they lost her medicine list, and her file, they FORGOT to do a INR (Warfarin test) on her in the morning, so we had to stay at the hospital for another 2 hours until firstly the paperwork was found and secondly wait until someone was able to come and do the INR test. They phoned us at home later that evening with the results, and which tablets she was to have.

After she was released from hospital, both of them, their cat and their dog moved in with us, this is when the not so fun started.

While struggling with the dementia, we had serious issues with getting  his diabetes and insulin levels correct, luckily we were able to phone health direct for advice, that however was a nightmare!!! trying to help someone else, privacy and all that, tough luck if he had been dying.

We finally got the ACAT assessments both booked for the same day it turns out Dad has Alzheimer’s and advanced Dementia so we got a double whammy. The ACAT is extremely important, we found that without having the assessment, we were not able to organise any care either in the home or in a facility.

Well the ACAT was been done,  we were able to start organising some in home care for them both, well true to our NOT good luck, there were NO available high care packages in our area so we had to look for an alternative, residential care for Dad as neither Mum, Greg or I are able to cope with his care as he we work full time and his needs were more than we could cope with. I started applying for any residential care in the whole Perth area as I had tried in Mandurah / Rockingham area with no beds available.

After applying to over 30 facilities to find initially respite for Dad, I was starting to get very depressed after working a full day at work, then coming home and having people and other animals in our home and getting constant negative responses. We haven’t had anyone living with us for nearly 10 years now so it was a huge adjustment. I had received responses from about 25 facilities by either phone or email ( during those weeks my left ear got so sore from constantly being on the phone) and I was starting to think that Greg and I would not be able to take our annual (and very needed) break, I received a call from a facility in Carlisle at 9am and the woman was lovely, when she told me that unfortunately she couldn’t help me, I burst into tears and said that was just the way our luck ran, she told me that she would ring around their other facilities and see what she could do for me. By 1pm, I had all but given up hope, when my mobile rang and it was the care facility in Mandurah and the best thing was that it is just over the road and round the corner, only a 10 minute walk from home.

It was obviously meant to be, well Dad has now been placed in care, just around the corner and unfortunately this will be his new home, while Mum is going to stay with us until she feels that she needs to go into care herself.

Dealing with Centrelink on their behalf has been an absolute NIGHTMARE!!!

My mummy has been extremely helpful with this process as she has had a great more time to be able to research things for me, so I would like to send an enormous thankyou to her for all of her support and help through this very difficult time. I completed all of the forms for Centrelink to be able to act on their behalf and change their details. The documents were signed 27th November and hand delivered by mummy (after waiting for 2 hours in the Centrelink office) on Monday 2nd December, I received a response from them 6th January advising that some of the paperwork that was included in the bundle of paperwork handed in (I have taken copies of all of the paperwork included in the bundle handed in as there were several documents for both Mum & Dad, and I don’t trust people to do their work properly.

I spent more than 5 hours dealing with Centrelink on the phone and online on Tuesday trying to sort out this stuff, on hold for 40 minutes before being answered and then another 30 minutes before I was able to speak to the supervisor. When I eventually got to speak to her thankfully, she was very helpful.

This post might seem like nothing but a huge whinge, but there are two things that we have learned from all of this is that it is NEVER too soon to have an enduring power of attorney in place as in Greg’s dad’s case it was too late, we now have to go down the path of guardianship and administration which is done through the courts and takes more than 8 weeks, and we would not willingly put anyone through what we have been over the last few weeks, and that in a blink of an eye Life can get in the way of all the things that you love.

 

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Review of the winter cooking class at our club MOFSC – French cuisine


I signed up for cooking classes for winter last week, and the first class was last night. French cuisine.

cooking classes

 

 

I didn’t have anything to eat when I got home from work so by the time I got to the club for the lessons, I was beyond hungry.

We were greeted with a glass of champagne (orange juice in my case) while we waited for all of the participants to arrive.

Once everyone had arrived we made our way into the kitchen we found our possies, mine was on a stool close to the chef so I could hear him.

He handed out the menus and biros to make any notes and then we started.

The entrée was eye fillet steak with creamy mashed sweet potato with champagne & mushroom sauce (full of cream), however we all decided that the entire meal was going to be low or NO fat as there was that much cream and butter on the ingredient lists. The steak was cooked to perfection, I eat my steak medium rare and could not fault it. The sweet potato was roasted whole with the skin on, Izzy (the chef) explained that if you boil the sweet potato it absorbs a great deal of water and is not as creamy when mashed.

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The main course was lobster thermidor and potato wedges, the lobster was cooked just to perfection, the secret to the wedges, according to Izzy, is in your deep fryer, par cook them, take them out let them cool slightly and then put them in the fridge, when you are ready to cook them ready to eat, ensure that the oil is at temperature and put them straight in. They were just fantastic.

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The dessert was apple soufflé with salted caramel sauce, the only way to explain this was absolutely devine!!. I have eaten a lot of soufflés in my time, but this was the best, I suppose because we participated in the cooking, I peeled the apples.

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Sorry about the picture, I remembered to take the photo after I had eaten it.

The staff had decorated the table for the meal beautifully.

The cost of the course including instruction, a glass of champagne of arrival, a 3 course meal and drinks during the meal was $45. What an absolute bargain and a great night out.

I had said to Grumpy before I left, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one of our friends was there as she participates in most things at the club. Both her and her husband were there, they both asked where Grumpy was and I said that he didn’t want to come.

When I got home I asked him if he had wanted to come, his response was that he wasn’t invited!!!! I asked if he would like to come to the next class and he said NO! I didn’t feel guilty at all.

I have booked into all 4 classes. I would certainly recommend them to any one who wants to learn how to cook something as well as a nice night out. The next one is on Grumpy’s birthday (ooh!!) and the next morning we fly to Sydney for the boat show so looking forward to it on all counts.

One of the questions on the questionnaire about the evening was what would you like to be included in the next course. When Izzy asked Sharon to pass him the brown onion to cut up for the thermidor sauce, she said they didn’t have any, we would just have to use the red onions, everyone thought it was so funny. So my answer to this question was brown onions. LOL!!!

The highlight of the night was when we sat down to the meal, Izzy, his assistant Sharon (his wife) Caitlyn (I think the title is correct, function co-ordinator for the club) and Tanja (not sure of her job title, but she is always at the club organising the wait staff and restaurant, so I apologise if I have got this wrong) these guys sat with us and joined in with the meal.

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant review – Artizan Mandurah (formerly The Stage Door)


Mandurah Foreshore

Mandurah Foreshore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grumpy tried to ring and book tea for 4 at the stage door, I had told him the evening before that the restaurant had changed it’s name to Artizan (mummy told me, because I asked her to ring the stage door and get a quote for catering the food for her 70th birthday party that we are having at our house when she found out the name had changed) and the phone number was not in use any more. He drove to the restaurant made a booking and grabbed a business card.

Our reservation was for 6.30pm but we arrived at 6.15pm and sat at the bar for a drink, unfortunately they didn’t have Kalhua or Tia Maria, the only things I drink so I settled for a squash, Grumpy ordered a Hahn 3 1/2   and the Sharon  & Carl arrived, ordered their drinks and commented on the amount of variety of beers that would be on tap in the near future.

We were talking to the Venue Manager before we went to our table about the issues with most restaurants in Mandurah where the service is slow and the wait staff walk around with blinkers and don’t offer more drinks to keep the patrons satisfied, she advised us that this wouldn’t happen. We thought we would wait and see.

We made our way to our table anxious to see the menu as it is great to go to a new restaurant and try the menu.

The others ordered chorizo and scallops for their entrée and I ordered chicken tenderloins

The chorizo and scallops was beautifully presented on long rectangle plates with a slice of lime, my chicken tenderloins were on a bed of sweet potato mash, with rocket, chilli jam, freshly steamed asparagus, it was presented beautifully and we couldn’t fault our entrees, they were divine.

We all ordered a different main, Grumpy ordered the Moroccan chicken tagine with dukkah cous cous, Carl ordered the rib eye with salad and chips, Sharon ordered the chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of fresh vegetables and I ordered the lamb back straps on creamy mash with wilted spinach and roasted tomato jus. They were all exceptional meals.

All through the meal the staff were attentive, constantly offered drinks when our glasses were nearing empty and asked if our meals were acceptable.

We ordered dessert, Sharon and I had pre ordered the creme brulee with pralene, wafers and ice cream, the boys ordered sticky date pudding, and while we were waiting for our desserts to come we were quite concerned about 2 fellows sitting at the table next to us, they were jigging their legs and had not received a meal at their table for a considerable time, the venue manager brought a plate of garlic bread to the table, they didn’t touch it, we were even more concerned now, they had been there for over an hour with no food,  one of the wait staff spoke to the men and then the venue manager came over and spoke to them again, and about 15 minutes after that, another man walked in and sat on the bench seat at the table, (the small table had only been sent for 2 and not 3) they pulled another table to theirs and ordered their guest a drink.

Our desserts came and our brulee was superb, the sticky date pudding however was a little dry with minimal sauce, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

We ordered coffee 1 mugacino and 1 mugacino 1/2 shot for me, the girl that took my order misheard my order and I thought it was a little funny when she asked would I like the cup topped up with hot milk. The coffee that came for was a  macchiato. She apologised profusely and my coffee was brought (hot) not long after.

We finished our meal and the boys went to pay while we stood outside and waited. They discussed the issues with the venue manager, she took it all on board and when they mentioned the fellows seated next to us, she explained that they came in to the restaurant without a booking in the busy meal time and they wanted to wait for their guest as they weren’t sure he would turn up. That settled that.

All in all an excellent evening. Would we go back, definitely.

The position of the restaurant in Mandurah is one of the best, on the water adjoined to the Mandurah performing arts centre.

I wish them well and we will certainly be back. 1 big bonus for us is that we can go by boat, the only draw back is that we can’t pull our boat up against the boardwalk as the pilons are too short and our gunnel would be underneath and not the ideal rafting position, however we can pull up at the old Amalfi (now a chocolate restaurant) jetty and just a little walk to the restaurant and a great night to be had – no driving home, we would just move the boat and anchor in the estuary.

Outfits for Thursday 28th February to Thursday 4th March 2013


IMAG0044     Diana Ferrari black with timber heels I have to apologise for not posting my outfits for a few weeks, I had the dreaded man flu, got it off Grumpy when he breathed on me, I did continue to take the photos and now I will get back to posting them

I wore this outfit on Thursday 28th February This top is a cheap overlay with a singlet underneath, the trousers are Philosophy harem pants. I wore these Diana Ferrari shoes and the necklace is from Noni B, it has broken 3 times and I still love it.

IMAG0046I was still feeling very unwell on Friday, so I took the day off and stayed home to rest before we took off on the weekend on the boat to Mangles, I wanted to make sure that whatever I wore, I was able to wear it comfortably on the boat, as I was going to have to pick up our mooring and connect the ropes and that can be a wet and slightly dangerous thing if not wearing the right clothing.

The under dress is Philosophy and very versatile, the vest is a Threads stripe and even though I don’t like to wear horizontal stripes, it doesn’t cover the entire front of my body so I was happy to wear it, the shorts are my trusty Noni B stretch shorts.

IMAG0047I wore this outfit on Saturday on the boat, the only visitors we had were our neighbours from across the canal that we met up with the evening before. Unfortunately I don’t remember the brand of this top but it has longer sleeves and was very comfortable to be able to lounge around given that I was not well. I wore another pair of trusty Noni B shorts. they go so well on the boat, no need to hang I just keep them in my travel bag ready to put on.

IMAG0051We were heading back to anchor in the estuary on Sunday (public holiday weekend) so I wanted something comfortable and a little warmer as I was going to be out on the front of the boat in the wind to drop the mooring ropes and to watch out for the direction of the anchor. This dress is a Qior dress and Noni B long shorts with cutouts on the bottom of the leg. I don’t wear the red shorts very often as I like to have the same colour when wearing red and that is hard as there are so many different colour reds.

IMAG0045I with Qior dress on Monday on the way back home after the long weekend with another pair of Noni B shorts

IMAG0048    White Novo shoes with flowers  Still not well on Tuesday back at work, so I needed an easy to care and wear outfit. This is a Cafe Late lace dress, I wore it with mid length white leggings that you couldn’t see as they were not as long as the dress. I wore these white Novo flower shoes, I bought them not long after the Novo shoe shop opened at Mandurah Forum and love them, even though they are looking a little worn. White shoes are very hard to find.

IMAG0049I wore this outfit on Wednesday and the entire outfit is from Philosophy, I just love the mix and max of this brand, they compile a story of each of the colour themes they have and this outfit I bought 2 years ago and this year they have brought out more items using the same fabric and colours. How sensible, now my mix and matching group of clothing has just gotten bigger.

IMAG0050   Taupe boots with taupe bag I wore this outfit on Thursday, it is a BooRadley outfit, harem pants and a blouson top with an unedged finish at the neck. I wore my favourite taupe shoes and my taupe shrug. I have worn this little shrug/bolero a lot over the last couple of

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming Dog on raft up at Dawesville with SOPYC (South of Perth Yacht Club)


Bating weather on the long weekend was not looking to good up to the end of the week, on Wednesday, friends of ours went to Rottnest Island ready for the MOFSC (Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club) Rottnest Convoy. We don’t go because we have the little girl and for us being on the boat includes having her with us.

I don’t envy them as on Wednesday laying in bed at home, I asked Grumpy would the weather be as bad at Rottnest, especially in Thompson Bay, where they were and he said “Probably worse”.

Thursday night was not much better. We travelled to Mangles on Friday afternoon not until about 4.00 as Grumpy got caught on the Freeway at Karel Ave, where a container came off the back of a truck and took hours to get sorted. Our trip us was not too bad but we weren’t able to tonk (go slow) up as the swell and the wind were not conducive to tonking. We connected our rope to the mooring and were going to walk it up, but it was a little windy so we dropped the ropes and turned around and I picked them up with the boat hook, feeling very dizzy as I was still not well.

We had a BBQ  tea on our friends boat, watching the numerous huge crabs in their blue lights and we were talking about how the weather changes so quickly and how calm it was. We finished our tea and within about 15 minutes the wind came up, we got in our dinghy and went back to our boat, the little girl sits right out on the front of the dinghy so I had to hold her tail in case she went over, the wind was blowing the waves up and over us and every time we dipped back down the little girl got a face full of sea water.  It was not a pleasant night on the water, it would have been a great deal worse over at Rottnest.

The next day was very pleasant not doing very much, our friends came over to our boat for lunch and then we had ham & salad rolls for lunch tea.

We decided on Saturday afternoon that we would head back to Mandurah on Sunday after lunch as the wind was going to come up and there is no point sitting on our mooring and being uncomfortable, so we were going to anchor in the estuary in front of the War Memorial, (we love anchoring there, nice and quiet but still a lot to see on the water), however Grumpy took the little girl to the beach and the wind started coming up, so we decided to head home early. We were tonking on our way home and I was laying on the couch as I was still not feeling too good, and Grumpy had the radio on and thought he heard one of our friends talking over the radio. He did, so he asked what they were doing and did they mind if we joined their convoy. He welcomed us and we picked up speed and decided to join them on their convoy to Dawesville through the cut and anchor in the bay.

We had to stand off for a while as all of the boats have to raft (tie) up in accordance with their size, the largest boat anchors and then on either side, the next largest size boat ties up. We were the second boat to tie up on the left so we put our anchor out. We raft up with our friends all of the time, however it was interesting rafting up with people and boats you don’t know as we forget that they don’t know our methods and you are not sure of where to put the fenders to suit the boat that you are rafting up to as they are all different sizes and shapes. We were lucky the boat we rafted up next to was a 47 Riviera, our friends has this size boat so I was able to put the fenders in the right place, however the boat that we were tying up to had not rafted up with us before so we had to learn their process. All good.

Once all 18 boats were tied up, the fun started. People started pulling out their blow up toys, trampolines, rafts, and started dropping tenders  water bomb fights

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Check out the floating spa the middle of the photo, unfortunately that was the best I could get.

The little girl wanted to swim and so Grumpy through her in, she swam and swam and swam. We eventually got her out, she spotted the fish at the back of our boat and decided that she wanted to go in, she has NEVER jumped from the swim platform so we didn’t think she would go in. She jumped and swam out and we got worried that she might get taken out too far in the current so after about half an hour Grumpy swam out to get her, I was worried as he was not a strong swimmer and they swam out behind the little I decided to put her life jacket on and connect ropes so we could pull her in.

IMAG0037She swam for hours, and about 4.30pm it was time to start cleaning up as it was anchors up at 5.00pm.

We finally pulled our anchor and headed back to Mandurah and stood off until all the other boats had tied up so we could see if there was a spare spot on the collector jetty, we were lucky, there was a spot, we pulled in and had a very welcome hot shower and went up to the club to the Hook Cafe or a BBQ tea and a lovely send off for our Bosun Tony who is retiring and going travelling.

To be honest now that Tony is not going to be there, we are quite worried about how the club is going to run as he did just about everything and we notice when he is not there, nothing gets done.

 

 

 

We are celebrating Australia Day


We are celebrating Australia Day with friends, family and friends of our family anchored at Matilda Bay on Saturday. We are heading up to Mangles Bay on Friday afternoon, then head into Fremantle Wharf on Saturday morning before heading up the river to Matilda Bay to anchor and raft up with 3 other boats.

We will be having a BBQ with sausages and chicken with salad for tea with fruit platter and nibbles throughout the afternoon waiting for the fireworks. We have a great bunch of people coming, they are all contributing to the day.

The fireworks for Australia Day are the biggest in WA and is a big deal.

Tradition is lamb chops, lamingtons and anything else Aussie.

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-707...

Taken by Peter McGinley using an Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t buy any lamb cutlets as they were $36 per kg and there were only about 4 to a kilo and I wanted at least 2o cutlets 1 for each person. I decided on  dinky dy Aussie Shepherds pie.

I have made 70 mini shepherds pie with lamb steak, that’s nearly as traditional as using leftover lamb roast.

One of the girls coming is making lamingtons (sponge cake coated with chocolate and coconut).

I have bought bunting to go on the side of the boat and Bali style flags for the rear, a beach ball and little ears and an Aussie bow tie – all from Red Dot for Braandi. I have no idea what Grumpy will think of all of this junk going on his boat, just tough like I suppose, you have to get into the spirit of the thing.

Back In Mandurah they are having an Australia Day flotilla, this is where all types of boats get decorated and do an on water convoy through the canal system and then come back and raft up. Unfortunately this is a long weekend and we ALWAYS go away on the boat for a long weekend so we won’t be able to participate.

Mandurah dolphins, we never tire of them.


I received an email today from one of our friends who lives in Mandurah, across the canal from us actually, and they are friends with the owner of the cruise boat and he forwarded the following clip to them.

If you love dolphins, check it out, you need to watch the whole clip as the dolphin numbers increases through the clip and you see them playing and wrestling for space.

We see this every time we are on our boat, unfortunately we forget to take photos.

 

 

Braandi swimming in the canal


Braandi and I  went down to the canal to feed the ducks our leftover toast and bread rolls from the weekend and the blowies (poisonous blowfish) came in and started eating the bread.

The pontoon was too hot to stand on so I sat down and put my feet in the water, and when I did, the blowies started to nibble on my feet , Braandi got right down on the edge of the pontoon, so close that she was touching the blowies with her paws and then she slipped in.

Braandi feeding the ducks 1

Braandi feeding the ducks 1Braandi feeding the ducks 2

I let her swim for a few minutes and then called her back, she wasn’t having any of it, she swam for about 20 minutes solidly, so she will sleep well tonight.

Braandi's Scamper Ramp

Braandi’s Scamper Ramp

We eventually got her to come to the edge of the pontoon to get out because she was buggered and I had to help her get out because the pontoon is very steep. I then remembered that when she was a puppy and new to the boat I bought a Scamper ramp so that she can get out by herself. Grumpy spent the next 20 minutes trying different places to keep it so that she can climb out of the water if she happens to fall in or if we are not there to get her out.

They are made in New Zealand but a lot of Americans have them to keep wildlife from dying in their swimming pools. I saw it on the internet a few years ago and was able to source one from a local pet store. We were able to use it on one of our boats, but unfortunately it is too steep to be used on our current boat, so it has been sitting in the undercroft all this time.

Once it was tied and she tried it twice, we decided that she could use it when we aren’t there, we decided it was time for her to come inside as she was getting very tired and we forgot to get a photo of her using it, we will try another time.

Given that she had a fantastic time swimming and chasing the blowies, we now have to keep the gate closed to the canal level just in case she decides that she is going to try again when she goes out to do her business.

Happy New year and all that jazz, BACK TO WORK TOMORROW


Happy New year and all that jazz, BACK TO WORK TOMORROW.

Well we have had our 3 weeks annual holiday and we will be back to work tomorrow, BUMMER.

We spent the first 2 weeks on the boat, the first week we were by ourselves and it was very relaxing, I was able to read 9 books, WOW, the second week was unbearably hot, high 30’s to low 40°C in temperature, and very uncomfortable.

I packed very well as I always do, with enough clothes, both casual and some for going out to dinner, albeit coming off the dingy on the beach. As we didn’t see anyone else I wore the same outfits after washing of course for the first week and a half, so naturally most of the clothes that I took, I didn’t wear.

I wore lightweight breathable clothes that were easy and comfortable to wear and when washed will dry very quickly as we had to hang the washing in the guest head (bathroom) and I hung the undies in our head so I could close the door when we had visitors. Unfortunately it was so hot not many people came boating this year, but we did have a few who came for the day.

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We had a very quiet Christmas day, we were by ourselves and it was too hot to cook, so we had ham and salad for lunch and then again for tea.

We arranged for our son and his wife along with 6 of their friends to come for a BBQ on the boat on the Saturday night at Matilda Bay. It was a stinking hot day but a beautiful weekend, we were able to feed the black swans. There was a family with 3 cygnets.

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The boys all went swimming and so of course we had to have the blue lights on so that Braandi could see them IMAG1675IMAG0349

The yachting Regatta at Mangles Bay was a spectacular event this year, they had over 60 yachts entered.

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When we returned from Matilda Bay (we were only gone about 18 hours) the northerly wind had come in and it was rotten and some sod was on our mooring, we had to wait for 3 hours for him to finish his yacht race as he was crewing for another yacht and then come back and move his yacht.

He eventually came and moved his yacht and we then go onto our mooring again, Grumpy took Braandi over to the beach for her business and when he got back he told me he was  bored and hot and when do I want to go home, I immediately said NOW, we changed our mooring ropes, put the dingy up and headed home we made it in record time as we realised that if we didn’t get a move on we would have trouble getting into our pen as the first wave of tourists boating in the canals to look at the Christmas lights.

We got home and the first thing I did was turn on the air conditioning.

We do have aircon on the boat, but we thought if we are going to sit in the aircon and watch movies, we might as well do that at home.