Notice: there are no kangaroos in this blog post, so if you were expecting more kangaroo-news, you will need to wait. The Joey at the Gym continues to show up most days but she hangs in a sling on the doorknob and passersby would never know a baby 'roo was nesting there. Kangaroos are quiet!
Melissa and I are both officially singing outside the shower. She has joined her school choir and I am now a happy chorister in "Cool Harmonies", which is the local community choir. Yvonne, the director, is a joyous and bubbly Susanne Sommers look-alike. She leads us in warm-ups such as "Pops Got a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball" sung to the tune of The William Tell Overture. We sing gospel tunes, native American and Aboriginal songs, and lots of African rhythms accompanied by Yvonne on the drum. One of the first things I noticed is that my fellow singers don't sound Australian (or 'Strain, as they call it here) when they sing! We sing at a convalescent home in a few weeks, and then at a Choral fest.
Last weekend, in addition to a rainy day marathon Monopoly game, we took in a Mooloolaba river cruise. It's what the tourists do, so we were called to task. It was a smallish, tired boat and our trip was fairly short, but we had a nice overview of this busy fishing harbour which was dotted with mega multimillion dollar mansions. I felt so sorry for those poor homeowners who had to put up with us looky-loos cruising alongside their anchored yachts. A seafood lunch was included in the price so we opted for the freshly caught prawns. Our skipper assured us if we got too messy eating them he would hang onto our ankles while we cleaned off in the river. Funny guy.
OK, so ANZAC Day (Australia's Veteran's day) was this past Monday. I figured since I'm here, I might as well go whole hog and get up for the dawn service. Our friend, who lives 30 minutes from us is an ex-pat American named Don. This made for a bit of confusion for Tom, when I woke him up during the dark pre-morning hours, telling him it was time for the Dawn service. "Don? Service? what?!???...why is Don having a service?...." was his befuddled reply. When he finally registered I was speaking of the ANZAC services, he rolled over, muttered something about it still being dark outside, and went right back to sleep....
So, I got myself to the appointed spot in town and listened to the decorated military veterans speak about remembrance of those who gave their lives in battle. At 5:30 AM there were HUNDREDS of people gathered. This is a patriotic country! Pictured to the left is a tin of the special cookies (or "bickies") for the occasion...coconut macaroons in American-ese. They commemorate this addition to the basic rations for the soldiers in Gallipoli in 1915. America has candy for every occasion but I don't recall any veteran's day or memorial day confections!
Ever heard of a cane toad? These critters are everywhere, and they are poisonous too (and some say hallucinogenic too, if you lick them!) They are an invasive species that was introduced in 1935 in an attempt to control the sugar cane beetle..but oops the toads can't jump high enough to eat them. So here in Queensland they are now huge pests. One female can lay 20,000 eggs, and dogs and other animals will die when they eat the toads. Last year the government introduced "Toad Day Out" which offered prizes for the most and biggest toads brought in. In one town alone, in the northern part of the state, they euthanized over 10,000 of them!! Apparently, locals have no compunction about the rather vicious but effective toad eradication policies. I'll just mention blow torch and you can let your imagination go wild.
My heart sings during class as I glance over and see my hubby doing his downward dog pose keeping his head in the sinta of his outstretched ahms away from his boe-dy (rhymes with Cody) and his heels pressed toward the flo. He's enjoying the class and wants to keep it up post-Australia. Rumor has it they have classes in Arcata ........YA THINK???!!!!!!
Random one liners: Joan and Steve are coming on Monday Yeah!!-----I'm doin' Zumba, are you? -----all the pop music on the radio and in stores is American!!!!
P.S. Don't forget to check out Tom's article about our stay here in the April 28th edition of The Arcata Eye. below is Eli's entry in "Australia's got talent"