Career choices of children

Another (potentially) controversial article, although not touching at all on religion.  I like to explore issues by writing, but my aim is never to offend anyone.  If anything, I welcome people to provide me alternative points of view!

It’s a long time before I’ll have to worry about the career choices my children will make.  But then again, high school education is often the start of the path to (hopefully) teritary education that might lead to a qualification for a career.  And high school… well you get the picture.

My child WILL have a blue mortar board too! source: lovinthealien.blogspot.com
My child WILL have a blue mortar board too!
source: lovinthealien.blogspot.com

I am definitely part of the generation that ‘expects’ my children will receive a tertiary education.  At the same time, I internally criticise the quantity of degree qualified people in countries like the US who remain unemployed despite their qualifications, or require a second degree, such as a Masters or PhD to feel they are competitive in the job market.  I also readily agree that 100% tertiary education is probably both unrealistic, but not ideal for a society.  A high level of education isn’t needed for a great many jobs, and the investment (of time to start with but also financially) in tertiary education can also develop higher salary expectations.

source: www.arttherapyblog.com
source: www.arttherapyblog.com

I honestly find it difficult to imagine if my child was to ‘grow up’ to become an artist.  I’d worry they’d lack the work to maintain their lifestyle, at no matter what level, and would be dependent on either others (such as their parents) or the government.  Interestingly, I know more than one career artist who graduated from my private (and expensive) school.  I don’t know them well enough to be as coarse as to ask about finances, but I gather they make ends meet to some degree.

It’s entirely unrealistic and unfair to think I might force my child into certain career paths or courses solely based on the projected earning capacity.  That being said, is the love and passion for something that they’ll call a ‘job’ sufficient to overlook the realities of not being able to house, feed and clothe oneself?  I have no problems should there be some assurance that financial self sufficiency is possible and not just a dream.  I don’t discount doing what you love, but I’m enough of a pragmatist to also look at doing what you can do, that ALSO supports you!

Oh, and the BF, he’s on board too… So at least we agree with some things!

What are your thoughts – especially all you parents?

Things I learnt this week

1. Tall glass jars are the best thing to melt butter in the microwave with.  No nasty splatter, and no nasty plastic!  Also, it diswashered clean so well!

Old tomato pasta sauce jar... works a treat
Old tomato pasta sauce jar… works a treat

2. I can write a report.  OK not that I doubted my ability to write, but I tend to loath writing for work, as it usually serves ME no purpose (Gen Y, will you put your hand up!)  Alas, today I was lucky to have the opportunity to write a report which is basically going to put forward what I want/need to get the results in the section I’m overseeing.  I am proud of punch of my graphs, data and thoughts, so here’s hoping it goes down well!

3. Planned graffiti art can be pretty awesome.  I bet Dar likes this photo:

Way better than a wall full of tags!
Way better than a wall full of tags!

4. The bible isn’t all ‘fight, kill, die’.  So I’ve even enjoyed my last few days of reading on the train. The last two days I’ve read lots of Psalms, Proverbs and Daniel – it’s been pretty relatable in a way Ezekial makes me want to poke my eyes out (he’s now finished too though).  I’ve got behind in May, but I got through 4 weeks worth of Psalms and Proverbs in short time, so that’s promising.  Proverbs has been like reading a ‘quotes’ book – some great things to live life by I think!

Seen on a real van.  Shared with you, just because
Seen on a real van. Shared with you, just because

5. I didn’t learn this, but I taught someone.  A customer complaining about a street light outage got a call back from me.  He asked ‘why are some yellow and some white in light colour?’  The answer is, some are mecury lights (being phased out) and some are sodium lights.  Also, there’s a preference in suburban streets for the ‘warm’ yellow light, but main roads tend to preference white, as it’s better light quality and less fatigue inducing.  Anyhow, we have a smattering of both types more or less everywhere, as there isn’t the capital to bulk change the fittings to all one lamp type – they only get adjusted as they die a horrible death (the fitting, not just the globe).  So there you have it – not all gospel truth, but as best as I recall it!`

That is all for now – what have you learnt this week?

Chit chat

There’s no great overarching theme of this blog – or this post.

This weekend, we went to an engagement party at the surf club at Maroubra Beach.  It was (likely) a ‘friends’ celebration of their January nuptials, and we thought it was a good cost saving measure.  A nice relaxed afternoon do with drinks and Mexican food (and delicious cupcakes).  And the upside of some gifts 😉  Speaking of gifts, I was stumped.  First I thought a tray, but the BF found out they already had three. Then I thought a cake slice… but they are all silver plated now, and while the costs vary, it hardly seems ‘worth it’.  Maybe I should look harder for old fashioned silver ones?  In the end, we I bought something that I thought would last, and stands to my values:

Hidden in the bottom is Vera Wang Serviette rings
Hidden in the bottom is Vera Wang Serviette rings
The marring couples initials... weirdly WAY more stock of embroidered ones than blanks (the rest are blanks)
The marring couples initials… weirdly WAY more stock of embroidered ones than blanks (the rest are blanks)

I’d have wrapped it in cello if I’d had some ‘leftover’ from something else, but I didn’t. So I took it naked…

We also bickered about cooking.  Since ending the 12 week body transformation program (I lost 8kg overall), we’ve lapsed into lazy DINKs.   It doesn’t help that my new role, which started a month ago and runs until the end of financial year (perhaps, likely longer) and some big pitches for the BF, and there was a lot of pizza and McDonald’s.  It’s weird that McDonald’s is SO successful and so polarising.  Anyhow, on Sunday morning I escorted school children for the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal.  As a reward, the certificates come with a card for a free Big Mac or Wrap.  Alas, we’ve agreed to one cheat meal a week, so they’ll have to wait.  Although… seems home cooked baking is still slipping through.  Last week it was pear and pecan muffins, this week I made date loaf, and a caramel cheesecake for the bf.  He did get a Cheesecake Shop one for his actual birthday (time crunch again), but I promised a ‘real’ one.  I do much prefer the aftertaste of a homemade one… and there’s no pesky coconut in the base.

My new role is part of the interim structure until this last layer of management is finalised.  I’m in a role that doesn’t really exist yet, but will, in a slightly unknown but different form.  In any case, it’s an opportunity to learn more about another part of the company, and make some in roads in ways I’m becoming known for.  Basically, my first ‘new job’ in the last calendar year saw me reduce outstanding works from ~700 “urgents” to ~150.  Now my new portfolio has suffered a simple spike, thanks to a better website, but needs to move from 800 to a more reasonable number.  Naturally, that’s not my only focus, I’m also getting involved in investigations, which often lead to disciplinary interviews.  Taxing, to say the least.  The role also requires more hours, and has less earnt days off.  I suppose it’s all a concession for more money in the bank (which I didn’t need, nor really want… time is far more precious).

My half marathon preparation isn’t incredible – but I’m still trying to get in 2-3 runs a week.  This weekend, I ran around the beautiful botanic gardens and the harbour with a school friend.  The powers of social media – we both went to school in another city, and she lives in a third city now!  She’s a gun runner too – so she pushed me hard.  Glad it was only a short run though!!

So there you have it – just a chatty update about life… Seeing I’m diligently reading and commenting on your blogs, I thought I should come out of the silence…

How do you handle meals and planning when things get busy?  Any wisdom?

Why I love France so much…

It won’t come as a shock to those who know me, or regular readers, that I love France.

I don’t love the kitsch French decor items – the Eiffel towers (she says, with two photographs of them displayed in her home) the shabby chic, the ‘sayings’ in French on stretched canvases.  But I do love the French language, way of thinking, lifestyle, and just generally being IN France.

2008 visit... I HATE getting my photo taken, but someone twisted my arm!
2008 visit… I HATE getting my photo taken, but someone twisted my arm!

To be poetic, I feel my soul is refilled in France.  Much the way a hug can restore your heart after a tough and emotional time.  I feel I absorb so much from BEING in France.  Not from seeing anything in particular, or traipsing through museums or art galleries.  Just from being. Walking the streets.  Speaking the language.  Embracing the food (and my curves :o)

The happy family in my school ground in 1993!  Sorry for the flash - it's hard to photograph a photograph at night!
The happy family in my school ground in 1993! Sorry for the flash – it’s hard to photograph a photograph at night!

But why?  Firstly, my parents have always been enchanted with France.  When I was 9, my parents both cashed in their long service leave, and we moved to the South of France for 15 weeks.  Yep, three children (one just shy of two years of age) packed up their 4 bedroom Queenslander for rent, and moved to a tiny stone place in tiny village in the south of France (Treilles).  Did I love it then?  Nope! The first night – a long jetlagged sleepless night with Fete de la Musique blarring in the windows of our one star hotel in Paris was not the start of a dream, but a nightmare!!  And my parents insisted on sending me and my brother to school every day whilst they went to the beach with the youngest.  The indignity!  I didn’t even use the bathroom at school (and I’ve since found out my brother also held out all day), they were that gross!

So, if not for the love of French salle de bains et toliettes, then what was it that captured me? I didn’t even love French classes at school in Australia (and much less the strict French teacher).  I didn’t study it in the serious senior years of high school. Though I always kept the thought of French as part of my university studies.  In actual fact, both my parents learnt French in the years of free tertiary education when I was a baby. Still, it’s not clear why I would hate my French classes at school and still aim to study it at university, right?

Renault and Orlean.  I think this was 1997... I do recall this home had hot water that didnt work!
Renault and Orlean. I think this was 1997… I do recall this home had hot water that didnt work!

Perhaps it was (at least) the 3 visits prior to my adolescence. (In actual fact, I’ve lost track of my ‘visits’ to France, I must dredge up my childhood passports to check!).  My parents, bless their hearts, forfeited other luxuries for the eye opening joys of travel.  And there’s no going back from what the wunderlust it’s struck in their three children.

I think at the heart of it, I wanted to be part of a secret club.  That club is those that are bilingual.  In Brisbane, where I grew up, that’s not particularly common.  In Sydney, it’s laughably common!  But in my childhood and adolescence, I dreamt of the ability to speak another language. To learn a ‘code’ that others didn’t know.  To infiltrate another culture and not be known as a foreigner.

And that might be why I love France.  I finally have got the stage where I feel like I’m a foreigner who’s in on the private joke. I (mostly) understand what’s going on, what’s being said.  Having spent a year studying in France, I feel I understand the French psyche.  I feel I empathise with their desire for a short working week, good food and a socialist health and education system.  The biggest marker of my fluency was when I could bicker or ‘fight’ with public servants! There’s nothing more French (imo!)

My real family, and my French family.  This family  came from no where and to this day are dear to my heart.
My real family, and my French family. This family came from no where and to this day are dear to my heart.

Aside from the language comprehension, I do love all the cliches.  I like the ‘proper’ winter that we don’t have in Australia – the need for woolen coats, scarves and gloves. I love the chic style that is so effortless (and I like to believe I’ve got it too ;)). I love the perfection in pasteries – the glossy mirror finish, the delectable flavours.  There’s not just ‘it looks nice’ – it’ll taste nice too, certainly better than some things I ‘enjoy; in Australia! I love the intensity of flavour – of coffees, hot chocolates, everything really!  I love the history, the huge windows, the ornate stone work.  I love that they scrapped a stack of streets to create orderly boulevards.  I love that they have a public transport system that started as Australia got a constitution (1901).  I love the rigours of their education system, that’s tentacles reach as far as former colonies as unique as Vanuatu! At the heart of it, I could say I love the unequivocal confidence of the French.

The doors to the kingdom - Versailles
The doors to the kingdom – Versailles

I’ve never thought to hate France.  I have struggled with the language, certainly as an eight year old in a foreign schooling system.  We were actually ‘asked to leave’ the village school as teaching us was too hard in the mixed age group class.  Thankfully the neighbouring village teacher was far warmer to us, and to this day, she’s a friend of the family’s.

I’m not sure if I’ve adequately even began to describe the pull that France has on me.  It is somewhere that has me entirely in love, and at ease.  Even a week doing nothing in France is still better than most things I can think of! One day, I dream of living there.  When, I’m not entirely sure, but my life is long.

Does one destination or location enchant you entirely?

Getting To Know Me in 10 Questions: The Travel Edition

Thanks to another blog I read, here we go:

1. Favourite passport stamp:

Can I pick a visa? I love that the Egypt visa is little postage stamps, liked and put in your passport when you arrive.  I don’t like that Israel makes you have a 4 hours check in cause you went to Egypt… and you flew into Israel and they didn’t bat an eyelid… Maybe they missed that page?

You have arrived!
You have arrived!

2. Can you recite your passport number if asked?

Well, it was M2442911 but now it’s not, it’s N… something… I’m slowly creating a nemonic for it, but I can’t recall it now, so it can’t be that good!

3. Preferred method of travel: Plane, train, or automobile?

Ahhh, plane at the MOST pointy end?  Honestly though, there’s nothing quite like getting on long haul plane, from the international airport.  You know it’s a ‘real’ holiday, and there’s nothing that’s going to stop you relaxing…  If nothing else, those hours flying are phone and email free, which is often just want you want after the last week at work!

4. Top three travel items?

  • Thin cotton scarf: works well as an eye mask, for warmth, as a pillow case in icky places… and as respect for countries with other customs
  • Ear plugs: there’s some that live in my handbag, just in case, you know, I don’t plan to sleep wherever I find myself (at *any* time).  I have taught myself to sleep with them, and now can hardly not!
  • Wheelie suitcase: sure, there’s backpacking, but I don’t have shoulders like a front rower either… let’s just say, no matter the size, it’s so much easier to roll it!

5. Hostel or hotel?

If I’m single, and it’s in the developed world: hostel.  If I’m travelling with the BF, or it’s a country where standards of hostels might make them *cough cough* non existent: hotel.  Honestly, I want a clean and comfortable room for as little as possible.  Often, that’s in a hostel!

They just look like they are from a fairytale! source: www.travelweekly.com.au
They just look like they are from a fairytale!
source: www.travelweekly.com.au

6. Are you a repeat visitor, or do you prefer to explore new places?

I start planning my holidays as a repeat visitor (to NYC and Paris) and then logically tack on trips nearby (anything’s nearby when you live in Australia!!)  So with NYC, I have an itinerary planned in my head to see San Fran, Portland and Seattle.  The next Paris trip will perhaps include visiting the Balkans (namely, Croatia, Bosnia and maybe Serbia) and Romania.  But it could just as easily be a side trip to St Petersburg and Moscow.

7. Do you read up on your destination, or do you wing it?

Pretty much 100% wing it! I try, I really do, to read up, but I hate guide books.  I’d rather read a novel or ten set in the same places.  I love Poland for this reason, I’d read Mila 18!

8. Favourite travel website?

Not sure I have one, to be honest.

Watching the sun set on a tiny Greek island.  One of those yachts was ours.
Watching the sun set on a tiny Greek island. One of those yachts was ours.

9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit, and why?

Depending on the holiday, but I’d recommend Greece in a heart beat! So delicious! Warm, cheap, friendly, so much to see and do no matter what sort of holiday you prefer!

My business class seat - imagine first class?
My business class seat – imagine first class?

10. You’re leaving tomorrow and money is no option; where are you going?

First class to Paris and then NYC.  First class there too – the best hotels, best rooms, chauffer driven, personal shopper, 10 course dinners.

And this is exactly what I’m saving for – every week a little money goes to the fund that will make some level of this a reality in about 20 years time.

Want more answer: see MochiMac, eemusing and Chatter‘s responses

Fashion conundrums of coats and jackets

Oh readers – you’re all either wiser in years than me, or more experienced at these cold temperatures.  So please, enlighten me… are there rules to wearing jackets to coats and everything in between.

Exhibit 1: Trench COAT source: www.polyvore.com
Exhibit 1: Trench COAT
source: www.polyvore.com

So… I have a number of coats. They are either mid thigh (black woolen, navy synthetic trench), though some of hip length (cheapies in both grey and black, both double breasted).

EXHIBIT 2: Jacket source: www.polyvore.com
EXHIBIT 2: Jacket
source: www.polyvore.com

Then I have jackets: both a navy and a black stretch velvet, with button/s and square pockets.

If this wasn’t such a pressing issue in my mind, I might have even taken photos!  However can I wear a coat, such as the trench at work, during the day? I know a jacket = OK, but a coat, I’m less sure of…

And whilst we’re on cold weather fashion conundrums, is it OK to wear non silk scarves other than when outside?  Is the ‘thickness’ of the scraf hald the decision?  When I say ‘inside’ I infer ‘in the office’.

PS: What is Polyvore, and… why are their images so well ranked in search? Oh they’ll be making millions (or getting millions of visitors), cause did you know, it’s WAY faster to search images than words?  A lot of my early ‘hits’ form google were for well named photos?!

Private reading

In a post-cum-article innocuously called ‘To Read or Not to Read‘ I journeyed into the sorrow of a young woman making the final arrangements to empty the house she’d grown up in with her parents and brother.  There’s eight parts, and I’ve read at least half of them now.  The one linked above is about grappling with the decision to read her mother’s diaries.  I have, over the years, journalled intensely, then informally and now, not at all.  I have always wondered about the etiquette of the expectation of privacy, and should that be knowingly (and it is ALWAYS knowingly in my opinion) violated.

source: shopnectar.com
source: shopnectar.com

A while back, whilst tidying papers, I’d left a small sheet of paper on the kitchen table in the loft.  Whilst having a shower, the BF found, and read this sheet of paper, which was written in a moment of passion.  I use passion, but I mean the dark stormy fury and annoyance for which I’m known, and try to contain to the privacy of writing.  For some bizarre reason, I keep these notes, as a reflection of my moods perhaps. It was a very emotional night.

However, back to the path I plan to take this post in.  There is a paragraph in Olivia Judson’s To Read or Not to Read that speaks to me.

There are amusing comments on her suitors. One was “rather attractive, wrote well, but too intense and always convinced he was correct. We had violent arguments.” Another: “His solid presence and kind face and helping me to be cheerful. Bringing me beer and champagne and flowers. Dear sweet man … But he shares none of my interests. Doesn’t like reading or books, and I don’t know what he thinks about.” Another is “Very attractive, but somehow too wholesome.” And there’s heartbreak: “I adored that wretched man. He is hideous and small and unkind, but was like a snake and charmed … I was never so miserable in my life.” Another man caused her to write: “Oh God, what misery and sadness. I didn’t want to do anything except weep. I did that fairly well.” (Five years later, however: “He was very drunk by the end of the evening. Full of self-pity and himself. Really rather a bore. I couldn’t see what I ever saw in him. A middle-aged paunchy Communist.”)

I’ve often felt the need to summarise the thoughts and feelings after a failed romance.  Now, at a time that is separated from the heat of the emotion of a break up.  I pitched this concept to the BF and it spun off into the concept for a website called Letters to my ex.  I can see it being a huge viral success, as people anonymously (well, even with only first names, it would still appear somewhat anonymous in the world wide web) releasing their anger, or anguish.  Of the petty disagreements or arguments.  Of venting to others.  Perhaps of the things you’ve learnt, the mistakes that have helped you find the right sort of person to partner with.

I think my snippets might be a little less poetic than Olivia’s mothers.

Things like ‘He just oozed sex, to the destruction of all the lives he touched’ and ‘The charm that made him interesting enough to pursue was inevitably the undoing of the relationship.  It’s no longer witty on the n’th repeat’.

‘He thought his intellect was beyond compare.  He disapproved of the reading of anything fictional.  A authentic minimalist, one thing he didn’t think to flaunt for ‘cred’.

What would your one line snippets be about past loves?  What do you feel about the privacy of journal.

Things I wanted to buy

I went shopping for the BF on Saturday with a $120 giftcard. I got him two shirts and a pair of shorts spending a touch over the gift card. All the sizing was wrong – dar dum 🙁

I also used a $10 voucher to buy two gift cards (paper version) and some note cards at Kikki K, a Scandinavian styled stationary store.  I picked up a Mother’s day gift (thanks to an email from a company which prompted me to think ‘That’d be perfect for mum, and look, it’s almost mothers day’).  I also replaced my Burt’s Bee’s lip balm that had finished (the other one is AWOL and it’s becoming winter here).

I like the minty tingle when I put it on, and the light colour it gives.  It's not that shimmery at all source: http://www.burtsbees.com.au/natural-products/lips-lip-colour/lip-shimmer.html
I like the minty tingle when I put it on, and the light colour it gives. It’s not that shimmery at all
source: http://www.burtsbees.com.au/natural-products/lips-lip-colour/lip-shimmer.html

I also bought one dress whilst in the The Gap for the BF.  I can’t seem to ‘steal’ the photo, so you’ll have to go look here.  Regular readers and friends will be shocked it’s neither a neutral (black/white/grey) nor blue or green!!

And then there were all the things I could have bought…

From a distance: Marcs bag
From a distance: Marcs bag
Marcs bag - not leather
Marcs bag – not leather

Lime/blue bag at Marcs at $129.  It’s not leather, but I was worried the lime side would mark if it was internal or external, and it is the lime that really drew me to it.  I protectively carried it around the store, before returning it to the shelf.

Source: http://www.melissa.com.br/en/collection/ballet-ii
Source: http://www.melissa.com.br/en/collection/ballet-ii

Melissa ballet flats

Since I can recall, I’ve always wanted ‘plastic shoes’ and Melissa is the brand that does them.  They join up with all the big designers like Vivenne Westwood to make limited editions too.  The above shoe also comes in black (would that be more versatile?  But with jeans it doesn’t matter) and a ballet pink, which I’d be nuts to try.  I can’t help thinking plastic shoes are perfect for rainy but warm weather.

source: http://www.sportscraft.com.au/Bella-Luxe-Cable/9344961439259,default,pd.html
source: http://www.sportscraft.com.au/Bella-Luxe-Cable/9344961439259,default,pd.html

Teal jumpers at Sportcraft

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this colour, and I want to buy EVERYTHING in the colour in case it never comes back in fashion.

srouce: http://www.sportscraft.com.au/Bella-Luxe-Cable/9344961439099,default,pd.html
srouce: http://www.sportscraft.com.au/Bella-Luxe-Cable/9344961439099,default,pd.html

Lime jumpers at Sportscraft

Ok, so they call this colour acid.  It’s like the lime colour that I’m currently experiencing a strong affection for.  I bought lime running shorts whilst in Cairns.  Oh my, they are brief! And I have lime in cushions at home…  But I’m growing more and more in love with lime.  I really do want a lime scarf at the very least this season.

All in all, I spent a small fortune, ie most of my weekly ‘allowance’ on odds and sods.  The vast majority of the above, I sadly left in store for others.

Thoughts?  Is one of these items just too good to let go?  What are you window shopping currently and not buying?

Cairns trip round up

Be ready for a photo heavy post!

Well, in five days, we saw as much as we could – and we paid the price :p  Quite literally – travelling in Australia is most certainly not cheap.  However, Cairns clearly lives on the tourist dollar as it’s main export crop, sugar, has seen prices dip of late.

Our Vietnam holiday was incredibly leisurely, involving lots of lying around and ‘now what?’.  We didn’t go on one tour, and apart from the relaxing parts, we walked around places and ate. This is largely how my family travels, absorbing the country and the culture, rather than learning through day long tours and trips to even known monument and museum.

The rainforests!
The rainforests!

With Cairns, I decided we’d try the alternate side of the travel spectrum – try to do everything that appealed!  Being near the Great Barrier Reef, a cruise with snorkeling was a given.  Then there are amazing rainforests in all directions, so decided I wanted to walk amongst the rainforest canopy – until I saw I could zip line through it! I also thought it would be nice to swim in the pristine waterways, which converted into tubing down the river (instead of the more expensive white water rafting) and a tour that included swimming holes.  The result of this list was many number of calls to tour companies, and our wallets a WHOLE heap lighter!

Beach abutting the rainforest
Beach abutting the rainforest

Our first full day in Cairns I marked as ‘planning’ day – where we booked in all our tours, starting from ‘hardest to get into’ (the reef boats) to the easier ones, or at least so we thought.  As a result, we ended up with a half day tubing on day 2, a day in on a bus tour to the south on Day 3, a reef tour on Day 4, and THEN… a frantic scramble ‘up north’ in a hire car to Cape Tribulation to stay overnight, before leaving in the afternoon of Day 5.

Me, ready to tube
Me, ready to tube

Sadly, some activities, I managed to get no photos of.  Our tubing adventure saw us hike up river, and then proceed down three sets of rapids.  If only I had my waterproof phone still in action – or even a waterproof camera.  I heard they were (only?) $150!  Likewise, the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef trip were again underwater.

Happy tubing face?
Happy tubing face?
Patriotic footwear for tubing (of course, I BYO'd)
Patriotic footwear for tubing (of course, I BYO’d)

Here’s some observations of Cairns

  • tattoos are incredibly popular – and there’s always a parlor open no matter the public holiday!
  • children are incredibly well catered for.  There are great parks for playing in, and almost every ‘tour’ offered a kids price, and were equipped to handle children
  • not all rainforests is the same – between what we saw north and south of Cairns there was incredible difference.
  • the best advertising is word of mouth (every tour we went on, we were told this at the end!!)
  • housing is incredibly affordable, whilst consumer goods such and things like clothes remain at the national prices
  • there is no lack of places to drink in Cairns, and it appears there never was! There are SO many old hotels.  I suppose sugar cane also makes rum…
Running as the sun rose over Cairns
Running as the sun rose over Cairns
Returning from my run, the sun had crept higher.
Returning from my run, the sun had crept higher.
Of course, my favourite butterfly!
Of course, my favourite butterfly!

Sadly we didn’t see any butterflies like this, but we were able to see a cassowary in the wild. I did attempt to take photos, perhaps they are on the BF’s phone? We only slowed to see it because the car in front of us had stopped.

A relic of historic Australia - the 'old school' way for paying for parking!
A relic of historic Australia – the ‘old school’ way for paying for parking!

I’ve not seen a parking meter like this in Sydney, ever! So perhaps they are a Queensland thing only? In any case, I thought they were quaint.

All the warnings, and fishing zones and restrictions.  And vinegar for those who get stung...
All the warnings, and fishing zones and restrictions. And vinegar for those who get stung…

How generous, there was a bottle of vinegar at every beach we passed. There’s a season when you can’t swim without a stinger suit. Thankfully, we avoided that, but I did see the (sexy) Lycra one pieces around! They do nothing for you – I’d even go as far as say a wetsuit makes you look good in comparision!

Casulty of our car hire - that's a frog.  We didn't see any live ones :(
Casulty of our car hire – that’s a frog. We didn’t see any live ones 🙁

For Breaking Bad fans ‘Who washes a hire car’? Well, Skyler, we did, cause we didn’t want to be charged more for the mud splashes!! We found this when we were finished.

From the top of the rainforest, using the canopy walk at Cape Tribulation
From the top of the rainforest, using the canopy walk at Cape Tribulation

This was one of those things I was really hoping to do, it was great to see beyond the ‘ground’ level and walk among the trees, and then up and over them!