Ship Ahoy!

Dear Friends,

In 1770, as Lieutenant James Cook and his crew sailed up the east coast of Australia, they landed at only three places. Two are well-known: first at Botany Bay, where the British flag was unfurled and then at the mouth of the Endeavour River in northern Queensland, where their ship HMB Endeavour needed repairs after hitting a coral reef.

In between these two places was Round Hill Head, also on the Queensland Coast at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. On 24th May 1770, Cook came ashore to explore this beautiful beach, where the bush meets the ocean in a protected inlet.

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While they were there, the crew killed and ate a large bustard. It was the best meal they’d eaten on the voyage and Cook named the inlet Bustard Bay in its honour.

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Since then, the only change along this stretch of scenic coastline is the development of the small town of Seventeen Seventy, named after this conspicuous date and situated a little further round the bay.

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As I sat on the beach, alone and feeling contemplative, I tried to imagine what it must have been like for those intrepid sailors from long ago. When they stepped onto the gleaming white sand on a warm, cloudless day much like the day I was there, what were their thoughts?

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If I had been there, I would have been tempted to jump ship and stay forever.

Justin.

D is for Danger – Weekly Photo Challenge – Adventure

Dear Friends,

As you know, adventure is my middle name. If there’s something exciting happening I’ll be right there ready to join in, and if I’m adventuring with friends it’s even better.

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But there is a limit to how adventurous I’m prepared to be, not like some people who go in for extreme activities and then get into trouble. It all looks very painful.

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And I am not into self-inflicted pain!

Justin.

PS Here are some more daring adventurers!

 

All My Own Stunts!

Dear Friends,

There’s nothing more fun than revealing your inner child in a playground. When Manny and I came across this wonderful park in Frankfurt we revisited our childhoods and our imaginations ran riot. This park was a dream come true with swings, slides and even a Viking ship and we decided to try them all.

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First we rode the bucking broncos.

Then we were fierce Viking warriors sailing off to battle.

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After that we became bold stunt daredevils. The view from the top of the super high slide was great and we were the kings of the world.

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Unfortunately that was where everything came unstuck! It was all downhill from there, in more ways than one. These action shots tell the story!

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I won’t be filling Evel Knievel’s shoes any time soon.

Justin.

PS I’ve been to these playgrounds too.

Welcome to Mystery

Dear Friends,

Don’t you just love these guys? They are sweet and sassy at the same time and I’ve been following them on television for years. It was very exciting to meet them in person.

There were some other creatures with them and I still don’t know quite what or who they were. At first I thought Yellow’s friend was a hedgehog. He looked like a hedgehog and Yellow was handling him with great care.

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Now look at Red. His hedgehog-like thingy seems to be caramel-filled and, judging by the smile on his face, it was certainly tasty. He didn’t offer to share either.

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How mysterious. I wonder if I missed out on a special treat.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Justin.

 

Nice To Meet You!

Dear Friends,

Did you read The Eternal Traveller’s story this week about the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants? In her role as my personal assistant, Mrs ET comes with me on some wonderful adventures. We both loved seeing the giant red tingle trees from the top of the  walk, and being an alpine beaver I wasn’t scared of the height at all.

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What Mrs ET doesn’t know is that she was so busy looking up at the trees she missed some of the other oversized creatures at the Walpole Discovery Centre. I went for a quiet wander by myself and along the way I met some gigantors of the forest floor. A colony of ants was busy around their nest, while Millipede was scrounging through the leaf mould.

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Scorpion and Centipede were doing their best ‘looking fierce’ poses and Elephant Weevil…he was just weevilling around.

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With the benefit of hindsight I think it’s a good thing Mrs ET didn’t meet these creatures.

She’s not as brave as I am and her reaction might not have been pretty.

Justin.

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Don’t Look At Me!

Dear Friends,

Look at this bird…he’s trying to hide and hoping that if he can’t see you, you can’t see him.

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He’s hiding because he is very rude!

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I know I’ve had issues with birds in the past, but this bird took things to a whole new level.

His behaviour was disgraceful and his manners…well they were non-existent.

If I hadn’t heard it with my own ears I wouldn’t have believed anyone could be so thoughtless. He said I was the funniest looking creature he’d ever seen!

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I wasn’t going to say so, but I thought that was the pot calling the kettle black. Has he looked in a mirror lately? He’s not exactly what I would call handsome.

He looked me straight in the eye, insulted me and then he pecked me on the nose! Right through the fence! Thank goodness the fence was there or things could have been so much worse.

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He tried to tell me it was a kiss but I think I know a peck when I feel one.

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This emu is not my friend.

Justin.

Ice Cream Man

Dear Friends,

I’ve been doing some more work experience – at Simmo’s Ice Creamery in Dunsborough. It’s been voted one of the top 15 ice creameries in the world by USA Today and after working there I would have to agree.

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I never knew there was so much to learn about ice cream and I was lucky to receive my training from the great man himself. Simmo took me under his wing and taught me everything he knows about creating amazing ice cream.

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First I had to memorise the names of all 60 ice cream flavours. They are all so inviting – can you imagine tucking into a crunchy cone filled with Coconut Choc Fudge, Crunchie Munchie, Blueberry Meringue or Raspberry Cheesecake? How the customers are able to choose is beyond me. It really is a “Delicious Dilemma”.

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Once I knew all the flavours the next step in my training was taste-testing. Simmo says you can’t be a great ice cream maker unless you know how it should taste. I was particularly good at this part of the training and he was impressed by my quick learning.

DSCN3836Simmo and I discovered that we are true kindred spirits. We have so much in common. Firstly we share a love for delicious ice cream. And did you notice in the photo Simmo is wearing a trainee badge? That’s because he is very modest and prefers to work incognito; another thing we have in common! And, most importantly, we both follow this philosophy:

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At the end of the day my training was complete and Simmo presented me with a special award in honour of my excellent work.

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Simmo, ice cream and me – the perfect combo!

Justin.

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Say My Name

Dear Friends,

Am I the only person in the world who sometimes sees a person’s name and thinks “Thank goodness my parents didn’t call me that”?

For instance, I met this guy recently – his name is Ronald McDonald.

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What WERE his parents thinking?? How embarrassing to have rhyming names.

He was very cheery though and it didn’t seem to worry him. I didn’t ask him about it either. It might never have occurred to him before that his name is a little unusual and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

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I’m so grateful my parents didn’t have a sense of humour when they named me. I could have been Cleaver Beaver. How ghastly.

Maybe Ronald McDonald isn’t so bad!

Justin.

Let’s Have Another Cup Of Coffee – Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer Lovin’

Dear Friends,

I often share with you beautiful places I’ve been to combined with some exotic food or exquisite dessert I’ve been eating. So you might be surprised to learn that there’s something I really enjoy…and that’s camping in the summer. Camping means simple food that tastes great. Here’s my favourite – a steaming cup of freshly made coffee and a sweet and sticky finger bun topped with delicious coconut icing.

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I love Summer and I love iced buns!

Yum!

Justin.

 

Thorn Tree In The Garden

Dear Friends,

When I think of cactus, this type usually comes to mind. It’s like the ones you see in the desert.

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Now look at these thorny barrel cacti I found at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Who would have thought they grew in such amazing shapes?

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This snake cactus gave me the creeps – I kept imagining it was about to wrap itself around me. I felt very uncomfortable.

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Then I noticed this fellow. He wasn’t looking comfortable either.

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I wonder if he sat on a prickle!

Justin.

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