Born To Run

Dear Friends,

There’s no denying it! I’m no runner. With my short legs, I get nowhere fast.

But the athletes at the XXI Commonwealth Games were in a class of their own. These speedsters flew around the running track at a breakneck pace, all hoping to be in the gold medal position at the end.

Just watch these guys go.

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They all made sure to run between the lines.

Speaking of lines, read between the lines when I say my personal assistant Mrs ET isn’t the best at portrait photography. (I’ve mentioned this before) This is the only photo of me at the Athletics.

She needs to focus on her focus.

Justin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Lines

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Into the Blue

Dear Friends,

Since I’ve started travelling the world, I’ve met plenty of superstars and celebrities and, even though I’m famous too, it’s always a thrill when I meet another luminary.

Last week was extra-special because I spent a day with the world’s newest hot shot. He was handsome and sporty and, despite being in constant demand, he was completely down to earth.

Borobi the surfing koala was the mascot for the XXI Commonwealth Games on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast. He was larger than life and at first I felt a little dwarfed, but it didn’t take long for us to become the best of friends.

In his role as games mascot, Borobi had a busy schedule. He attended all the sporting events, greeting the athletes and visitors from the 71 countries belonging to the Commonwealth Games Federation.

But when he heard I was at the games too, he took some time out to give me a personal tour of the Borobi Fan Trail, a coastal walk named in his honour.

 The fan trail started at Broadwater Parklands and followed the coast south for 8.5 kilometres from Southport through Surfers Paradise to Broadbeach. It passed through peaceful parks, over busy bridges and along the esplanades by the beach. We couldn’t escape Borobi’s fame. His image was prolific, appearing all along the walk on bridges and fences and even on the iconic lifeguard towers on the beaches.

The games organisers realised Borobi and I might draw a crowd of enthusiastic fans, and I was impressed by the effort they put in to make sure our day went as smoothly as possible.

We were happy to pose for photographs along the way

and sometimes I took a step back while Borobi enjoyed the limelight.

Our walk finished at the Games Superstore, where everything from t-shirts to toys was decorated with Borobi’s face. While he resumed his role as the Games’ #1 sporting personality, I took the opportunity to leave incognito.

It was nice to let someone else have all the glory for a change!

Justin.

 

Join Restless Jo, who never stops walking, for more Monday walks.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Prolific

Hip to be Square

Dear Friends,

Did you know Becky’s been hosting a party all month?

No?

Neither did I until my personal assistant, Mrs ET, let it slip the other day.

It’s all about being square and, if you really want to go wild, you can go circular inside the square.

I’m particularly good at circles, especially the edible ones, and even better if they are giant-sized.

I might need to share – who wants to go one round with me?

Justin.

#MarchSquare – Squaring the Circle with Becky

Life in the Fast Lane

Dear Friends,

Last Saturday, I learned from the Colorado Traveling Ducks that it was National Squirrel Appreciation Day.  After meeting a fleet-footed squirrel in Manchester, I definitely have an appreciation for their speed and agility.

Did you know a squirrel moves fast? If you blink you’ll miss it.

That’s what almost happened to me.

I was admiring the view out of our Airbnb window when I thought I saw something moving. But, when I looked a second time, there was nothing there and I decided I was mistaken.

Then I saw it again.

Sure enough, it was a squirrel. He stopped just long enough on the wall for a single clear photo before he took off again.

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The cheeky little guy was stealing nuts from a bird feeder in the tree,

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and he wasn’t staying put long enough to share with anyone.

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I was entranced, and watched for ages as he went back and forth.

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His agility and graceful tail left me feeling a little envious,

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until I remembered I never need to work that hard for my breakfast.

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Thank goodness for that!

Justin.

Sky High

Dear Friends,

Look at this skyscraper! At 322.5 metres, it’s one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.

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Can you guess where it is?

The beautiful blue sky should give you a clue. It’s at the Gold Coast in the Sunshine State of Queensland; the Q1 building sits right on the beach at Surfers Paradise.

You know me – I love being up high! I had to visit SkyPoint, the observation deck on the 76th and 77th floors of the tower.

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On my way into the building, the word ‘adventure’ caught my eye.

Then I spotted a very adventurous looking man outside the shop.

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He was all kitted out for a SkyPoint Climb – 298 stairs on the outside of the tower to an elevation of 270 metres! When Adventure Man heard I was an alpine beaver and used to heights, he invited me to go with him. I was so excited…until I found out there wasn’t a Climb Suit or a safety harness in my size.

Oh, the devastation I felt.

Instead of joining Adventure Man, I had to sit inside, watching and waiting, as he ventured out into the open air and began the long upwards climb.

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Lucky the views were worth the wait.

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Justin.

Bite Me

Dear Friends,

I never thought the time would come when I wanted to do some work experience but didn’t get the job. It’s my own fault though. I’m just too debonair for my own good!

Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant on the Gold Coast was advertising for cast members and I decided to audition. With my yodeling skills and my flashy dress sense, I thought I would complement the cast perfectly.

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I must admit I saw the signs early on. The dancing skeletons, creepy chandeliers and chocolate coffins should have rung warning bells,

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but my pride got the better of me and I persevered.

I tried on a glitzy costume.

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I posed with the cast members.

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I even thought about growing a beard.

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Finally I came to the sad conclusion it was something I just couldn’t get my teeth into!

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It would have been fun though.

Justin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Fun

Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant

Love (and Ice Cream) On Top

Dear Friends,

 With one quick glance at this photo you might think I’m sitting on a snow clad mountain back in the Bavarian Alps.

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But when I add more detail you can see that what you thought was snow is actually ice cream. Yes, those are giant scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped off with a huge red cherry.

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And the mountain I’m perched on top of is not of the hard rocky kind. It’s a mountain of pancakes, drenched in warm caramel sauce!

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It’s only when you have all the details that you can fully appreciate this amazing spectacle. Imagine going into a pancake parlour, placing your order and having a stack like this arrive on your plate!

Would you be able to eat it all?

Justin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Details

Opposites Attract

Dear Friends,

Last week I went on a cruise with my personal assistant Mrs ET. While she was gallivanting around the ship, I spent my time watching the world go by and making new friends.

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Meet Mr Penguin and Mr Elephant.

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We had plenty in common: a love for travel and a keen sense of adventure. But at the same time there were some interesting differences. Mr Penguin is a snappy dresser like myself, but he wore the bare minimum. Mr Elephant didn’t enjoy the ocean views and always sat with his back to the window. (I think he had a delicate constitution.)

Mr Penguin and Mr Elephant had their own personal assistant, James. He was responsible for making sure they always looked their very best.

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He certainly did a wonderful job.

Justin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Opposites

Take The Long Way Home

Dear Friends,

Mr ET has a new favourite saying: When an Aussie says “Just down the road” they could mean anything from a block to a kilometre to a three day drive.

He’s not wrong. When he decided to go down the road, we ended up driving more than 14 000 km right around Australia!

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After cruising on the highway through western Queensland for four days, we arrived at Mount Isa, a mining town 900 kilometres from the east coast of Australia. This signpost was a timely reminder of how far we’d travelled and how much further we could go.

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Another 190 kilometres west, just up the road, is the outback town of Camooweal. It’s in the middle of nowhere and a long way from anywhere.

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After this, we had another eight weeks to go before we were home again.

So if an Aussie asks if you want to go out for a drive, be careful. You might be gone for a very long time!

Justin.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Numbers

Dressed For Success

Dear Friends,

There’s no doubt about it – Hawaiians are snappy dressers.

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Some Hawaiians don’t even need to be dressed to impress,

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while others accessorize to perfection.

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Even my best buddy Manny got into the spirit with his beautiful shell lei.

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I was filled with admiration for the relaxed Hawaiian style and I really wanted to fit in, so I went shirt shopping.

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I couldn’t choose, so I bought them both.

Which shirt do you like best?

Justin

Weekly Photo Challenge –  Admiration