30 June 2013

The day of the ants

I recently agreed to swap our fridge with my sister's sewing machine and overlocker. I spent a dedicated two hours scrubbing out the fridge then placed a saucer of coffee grains inside it to remove any persistent odours. With my part of the deal done and the fridge ready for delivery, it was with great joy that I awaited the arrival of my 'new' sewing machine and overlocker. Unfortunately, I got more than I had bargained for. Along with my machines, I was delivered of approximately 100,000 dead ants. It appears that the sewing machine had been a perfect nesting place for Toowoomba's ant population. When my sister had taken it down from its storage space above the roof beams in the shed, the ants had oozed out of the box like one of those old horror movies where ants take over the world. Luckily, my father had the presence of mind to put the entire thing into a large plastic bag, spray copious amounts of bug killer into the bag and close it tight. Equals fumigation chamber. On arrival at my house, the ants had been well and truly gassed but I still had the job of cleaning them out...a job which took a good two hours and involved spanners, screwdrivers, brooms, cloths and toothbrushes...


29 June 2013

Troubles and dreams

An inspirational plaque that I purchased this week at Highfields near Toowoomba. This little sign will travel to Italy with us in a few months time and hang in our garden thereafter...


No food in the house

In the days before I return to PNG, I always challenge myself to minimise food wastage. I did very well this time. Twelve hours before I am due to fly out (tomorrow morning at 7am) I enjoyed a delicious homemade sanga consisting of a quarter of a roast chicken and leftover avocado, tomato, fetta cheese and aioli. I am proud to say that the only food remaining in the house now are 2 bananas, which will be my breakfast in the morning!


23 June 2013

A love of small people

I love gnomes. I never thought i would say that...but, quite simply, they make me happy.


A taste of Italy

We had a taste of Italy today at the Preston Peak Winery near Toowoomba. A good time was had by all.


08 June 2013


Today I made cinnamon scrolls (without the cinnamon...unavailable here...)! So I guess I made brown sugar scrolls really or caramel scrolls or something like that. Anyway, they were delicious.


06 June 2013

Our Daily Challenge

There are many challenges for us living in the dense interior of PNG...but the single biggest challenge must surely be the lack of plugs. Yes, plugs. We cannot find a plug to fit our kitchen sink. Neither in PNG nor Australia. This means that washing dishes becomes a race against time, as we watch our precious hot and soapy water leak past our ill-fitting plug. Often we leave the dishes to catch some breaking news on the TV, only to return to a sink full of still-dirty dishes, soggy cloths and a plug covered in food detritus. If stu wants me to look at something or to give me a hug, I tell him to WAIT! lest my dishwater disappears...

05 June 2013

At "home" in the fog

Our home in Papua New Guinea, is located just a few feet away from a deep drop down to a river. Shortly after the river passes by us, it meets another river and becomes a stoney water space stretched across a wide valley. Our home is one of about 24 townhouses which share a single street. Off this single street run several small gravel tracks from which 4 houses at a time are accessed. Here is our track. Our home is on the left closest to the camera. Because of our proximity to the edge of the plateau, we are frequently enveloped by mist and cloud.


04 June 2013

Rain, rain, go away...

We're well and truly into the rainy season here now. Last night it rained without stopping and continued well into the morning. We had a short respite in the middle of the day before it came back with a vengeance. As we sit in our lounge room struggling to hear the evening news it falls and falls and falls. Our bed is damp. Our throats are sore. Our spirits are heavy.

03 June 2013

As promised...

As promised, here are the flowers that I photographed yesterday. The first one looks positively alien...almost alive!



01 June 2013

Lazy Sundays - Hot Stuff and Strange Activity

We've had a lazy Sunday. What a statement! That makes it sound like it's actually possible to have busy Sundays here. But the truth is that there are only lazy Sundays to be had...which of course is special in its own way. So I've been taking photos around the house. I have more flowers to show you tomorrow. This morning we bought a pretty little arrangement of chillis from the local market which was worth posting immediately. This afternoon we heard nationals with sling shots over the fence and spent some time peering at them from the observation tower (our upstairs bedroom). They were hunting for something high up in the trees, unseen to us. Five men crept through the area just outside the compound fence and glanced over at us several times as if our attention worried them. We can only assume that they should not have been hunting there, that the use of a sling shot is illegal or that whatever they were hunting is protected. Ahh...ignorance is bliss...


A good sleep AND a good feed

Ahh...a peaceful night for an exhausted body...a breakfast full of goodness...followed by a lunch of incredibly successful pizza!




We had a sleepless night last night. Remember a few days ago I told you how special the noises of the jungle are? Well, I think I've changed my mind. Maybe we moved into a different season or something...but the spooks were certainly out in the dark foggy hours of last night. Sometimes we were woken by screeches, other times by chirps. There were also beeps, clunks, plops and bangs. At 3am we were both woken at once by a foreign object moving in the roof, then by another falling on the roof! Have I explained that we live on the edge of a precipice that falls two hundred feet to a wild river? Mmm... There are three threats to us here: trees falling on roofs, earthquakes and landslides. Last night "trees falling on roof" featured strongly. However, I must say that some of my "best" nightmares feature suffocation under mud.