A week of boat jobs in Coomera

Monday morning (18 May) we removed the stainless steel rub rails and picked up the new ones from the workshop. Annoyingly all the lengths did not exactly match the old ones (in terms of where the holes were located) as the stainless steel lengths apparently come with pre-drilled holes which meant that they had to improvise somewhat. Not a problem except that we now have to do more work to install them than we had planned.

In preparation for the first sanding of the whole rail we moved all the mooring lines away from the deck cleats and utilised our winches and anchor windlass instead. I then removed the tape from around the eyebrows as these were now finished and there is some residue left on the gel coat but as we will need to clean (and perhaps re-polish) the topsides once all this work has been finished we’ll worry about this later.

Preparation done we then sanded the whole rail down, cleaned off all the dust, and called it a day. We had a lazy evening down below with everything closed up as it had turned really chilly. And of course it rained overnight.

Tuesday we were up very early to get on with the varnishing as rain was forecast later in the day. We managed to get the whole rail finished by 10 am. Phew! Just cleaning ourselves up when Bevan from the canvas shop came by. We had asked him to give us a quote for hatch covers (x4), sunshades for the spray hood ‘clears’ (x3) and a cover for our outboard engine. As UV here in Australia is so strong and we are not moving for a while, we have decided that we would cover up the hatches and the clears to protect them from sun damage. His quote was acceptable so we took the spray hood off and prayed that it wouldn’t rain while he had it in the shop to install some fastenings. Within an hour he returned it and we got it back on straight away. At 5.30 pm, as forecast, the heavens opened. It was torrential but, thankfully, the varnish was dry enough to withstand it.

Wednesday morning and we had a lazy start as we were heading off to the heart clinic at lunchtime. Bevan came by to make up the templates and, once we were clean and tidy we headed over to collect our car and then drive down to Helensvale for the clinic. We had a good chat with the cardiac nurse and the pharmacist who gave Richard an ECG and took his blood pressure. The doctor has organised for further blood tests in two weeks and an echocardiogram for late August. We asked about moving on (when the restrictions have been eased to allow us to cruise the coast) but was told that they would prefer us not to go out on anchor until after that. Richard was disappointed at this news but was also pleased the medics were happy with his progress to date.

On the way back we did some food shopping and, when we were returning the car keys to the marina office, we heard some shouting and a loud crash – a boat had hit another boat. Chatting later we found out that the boat involved has since been moved to dry dock as it sustained damage to both its stern and bow as the gears got stuck in forward. Not a nice thing to happen, that’s for sure!

When we got back to Morphie we found that Bevan had been by and had installed all the covers – doesn’t she look smart with her new canvas?!?

We were very happy. We then walked to visit the solar panel guy to discuss his latest email. Currently we have three solar panels which give out a total of 210W. The smallest footprint we can get of the newer more efficient type of panel would give us 345W which is the equivalent of having virtually two additional panels. By going for these we can also use the existing mounts, wiring and the current Blue Sky controller is able to cope with the increased load. So we went ahead and ordered them.

Thursday morning we were up early again and sanded down the rail. Bevan also came by with the outboard cover which completed the job so we paid him. Then it rained really hard and we lazed down below for a while before tackling the laundry. This was followed by another quiet evening watching a movie. Oh yes we were wrapped in blankets at this point too as the temperature has plummeted to about 17 degrees during the day and single figures at night. It’s freezing and of course Morphie doesn’t have a heater. Certainly didn’t expect it to be this cold in Australia!!!

Friday morning we got up early and varnished again despite the forecast for rain – just fingers crossed that it would have enough time to dry. Oh yes and we also scrubbed the dock where the tannin from the new Merbau wood had leached into the concrete and pleased that it came off with a bit of elbow grease and bleach. It certainly looked much better – we don’t want to get thrown out for making a mess! To stop this happening again we have now sanded and varnished these wood planks to seal them. We then got ourselves cleaned up and changed the bed, did some more domestic stuff down below, and headed to the laundry again. Thankfully the heavens didn’t open again until much later in the afternoon so we survived another coat! Woo hoo.

Saturday morning and, sadly, no car available for us this weekend. So, yes you’ve guessed it, we rubbed the rail and the new boards down again and then hosed it all off. And that was it for the day. We just relaxed and read books locked in down below trying to keep warm.

This morning, Sunday and we have varnished the rail and the boards again. At least the sun was out this morning although still chilly. In addition this time we got the wood on the starboard side below the rub rail sanded and varnished too. We will have to turn the boat around and reverse her back into the slip over the next week or so when the new solar panels are installed so the trades can work from the dock rather than hanging over the water, so we can do the port side at that point. She is certainly looking shiny.

So that’s going to be it for the day – fingers crossed the rain stays away for at least another few hours – and another quiet night on board beckons. Next week we hope to completely finish the rail varnishing by Friday as we have a car booked for the weekend so can go exploring again…. Really looking forward to that. Hope everyone at home enjoys the long Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend (it is not a holiday here in Australia) and stays safe and well.

Bye for now


Boat jobs and more exploring in Queensland

Saturday afternoon (9 May) we managed to get the eyebrows and the edges of the capping rail rubbed down and varnished. We then had sundowners with Steve and Jo in the marina’s BBQ area before returning on board for an early night. We were lucky to get back just in time before heavy rain set in for the night.

Sunday morning and we sanded again, or tried to. The eyebrows were dry so I quickly varnished them again too. But the capping rail itself was much too damp and wouldn’t sand properly. So we called it a day and had a really lazy day and then stayed home alone.

Monday morning we sanded and varnished both the eyebrows and the capping rail. Woo hoo! At last we can see some progress…. In the afternoon we had sun downers and we cooked our dinner in the BBQ area of the Boatworks with Steve and Jo. And nobody came to join us the whole time we were there so that was a perfect end to a good day.

Tuesday morning we sanded and varnished both the eyebrows and the capping rail again. After that bit of exertion we rested up for a while. During the afternoon we were informed that Richard’s heart clinic appointment was deferred for a week – which was a disappointment. Oh well, never mind.

It was a difficult day for me emotionally as it was the second anniversary of losing Mum. Really can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I miss her so very much…..RIP Mum, love you.

Later on we headed over to SV Tamanu for dinner with Steve and Jo – definitely our last night together this time – and had a lovely meal. This was followed by a new dice game to us – and, of course, I lost again! So much for beginner’s luck LOL. We hope to see them again later this season once the restrictions are eased and we have the all clear from the medics to leave the dock and head north.

Wednesday morning, as rain was forecast, we got up really early and started sanding again. At around 8 am we waved goodbye to Steve and Jo as they headed out up the river. We will really miss them! The sky was very black and foreboding so we decided not to risk varnishing so called it a day and chilled out after finishing the sanding. Richard chased the trades up in the afternoon as we have a few outstanding jobs still to be completed – the Boatworks are still offering 50% off the hard stand / slips and this has generated a lot of work – so most of them are under significant work pressures at the minute. In the afternoon we had booked a car for the medical appointment so made the most of it and headed out to the shops for some further fresh provisions. And, of course, the promised rain failed to materialise….sigh…..

Thursday we were up at 7 am and varnished the rail and the eyebrows. At 10 am we had a courtesy UTE booked (Australian for an utility vehicle ie a truck) so we headed over to Richard’s favourite hardware store Bunnings to pick up some hard wood. We wanted to replace the wood we had been using to hold the cans to the rail (which were installed in 2015 and hadn’t worn well).

On top of that we some new stainless steel footman loops (or webbing straps as they are called here in Australia) from the chandlery. At 1pm, actually as forecast for a change, it poured with rain. Thankfully the varnish was dry and hard enough by then to withstand this onslaught – phew! We also received a bill from the Southport hospital for Richard’s blood tests….which we thought were free…but hey ho, it was only £30…so we paid immediately.

Later on we realised that the wood we had purchased was leaching colour onto the dock – so did a bit more research – to realise that this hard wood (Merbau) has a lot of tannin in, so we need to scrub down a few times. We really don’t want to risk staining the gelcoat so have decided to varnish these planks too before we install it all. Never mind, it’s not like we are going anywhere….

The rain continued heavily throughout the afternoon and we even heard thunder for a while but, thankfully, there was no lightning around. I also managed, finally after over an hour on hold, to get through to a real person on the Medicare telephone helpline – to only find out that we have not be processed yet and to call back in another week’s time. So damn frustrating…..but guess these are not usual times…..

Friday morning we sanded the eyewbrows and the outside rails. Then we varnished it all. This was the final (eighth) coat for the eyebrows and the last (third) for the edge of the rails….from here on we’ll be sanding and varnishing the whole capping rail. We still didn’t hear from the main sail worm drive guys – other than to confirm that the bearings were back from the machine shop – and will chase them down on Monday for a confirmed date of installation. We are really getting fed up with the banging from the foil inside the mast every time someone goes up or down the river and sets us rocking and rolling in our slip! But at least we have no live aboard neighbours right now.

Later on the solar man came to check out our solar panel installation. We are not getting as much input from these as we used to and thought it was worth getting them checked. Well, obviously, in the years since the original installation (two panels in 2008 and one additional panel in 2012) the technology has moved on considerably. So we have asked him to quote us for three new panels and a new controller and will see what they come up with on the price before we decide whether to go ahead and swap them out.

We then had another quiet night on board having picked up our small courtesy car for the weekend.

Saturday morning, after breakfast, we headed north first to Cleveland Point and had a walk around the area, admiring the lighthouse. The place was rammed because of the easing of the Covid restrictions and it seemed that everyone was out and about enjoying the great outdoors although everyone was keeping their distance.

Moving on we headed to Wellington Point where, at low tide, it is possible to walk across to King Island. We didn’t take the walk but lots of others were….. Was lovely to be off the boat and exploring local landmarks.

Heading back down the M1 motorway we came across a modern art installation which is a bit weird to be honest! Hope they don’t switch them on at night or the planes will be landing LOL.

As we had been a bit ‘naughty’ with our diet (chips and ice cream whilst we were out) we only had prawn salad for dinner back on board followed by another early night.

Sunday morning and we headed down towards Southport and parked in the Doug Jennings Park before walking around The Spit on the beach. Was lovely and we enjoyed watching the boat traffic although it was a bit manic for a while and not sure everyone knew the rules of the road LOL.

We then wandered out to the Gold Coast Seaway and watched a boat coming in. Looks really calm until you see the surf hitting the beach beyond the wall….

Moving on we headed north towards Labrador and made it just in time to see the wild pelicans being fed all the fish scraps from the cafe at Charis Seafood. Lots of people turned up and we struggled to find somewhere to park (which was a definite theme this weekend) but were glad we managed it in the end. Was a lot of fun to see so many pelicans up close.

We got back to Morphie just before the heavens opened again. The forecast for the next week is, of course, rainy as we are planning to varnish. But the forecasts we have found not to be totally accurate so we will take each day as it comes. We have lots of other jobs on the list to get on with anyway…..

Take care everyone, stay safe. Bye for now


Out and about in Queensland

Friday afternoon Richard had his scheduled telephone appointment with the cardiologist which he thought was a waste of time as it just went over the same questions that everyone else had asked him previously. Never mind, despite this, he is being monitored really well by a range of medical professionals.

We picked up our car for the weekend excited that we could actually go out and about now that some of the Covid restrictions had been relaxed. We had sundowners with Steve and Jo in the BBQ area early evening and, for a while, we were the only ones there before a large group of people turned up which made us uncomfortable – so we left as it was clear that social distancing would be difficult to maintain.

Saturday morning we headed off in the car towards the Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland. The road was pretty steep and chicane-like in places but I enjoyed the drive and laughed at the very different road signs that they have here in Australia.

First stop was Gallery Walk which is a small ‘high street’ full of restaurants (closed), breweries and wineries (open for takeaways) and open gift shops selling an eclectic selection of items such as German cuckoo clocks and Egyptian oils and glassware. It was pretty busy and we had to go around the block a couple of times before we found a car parking space. Then we had to dodge all the people to keep our distance. Was a strange touristy sort of place but it felt good to just have a change of scenery.

Moving on we headed to the National Park and into the rainforest. It is possible to hike to waterfalls from here on quite good paths but sadly the terrain was too hilly for us. Right now Richard is really only supposed to be walking on gentle slopes. Was fun for a while although pretty chilly out of the sun.

Leaving the park we headed over to the Sky Walk but, sadly, this elevated (flat) walk through the forest canopy remained closed. We continued driving around through the mountains and found the British pub. Sadly it wasn’t open but we enjoyed nosing around at some familiar sights LOL.

Driving back to the marina we stopped at one of the fresh fish stalls which is selling direct to the public from the trawler so we picked up some supplies including snapper and barramundi fillets for Richard and, of course, lots of prawns.

Back on board Morphie we got ourselves organised and then headed over to the BBQ area where we met Steve and Jo and had a cook up on the provided grills. Guess this could be classed as an Island Packet minivous? This time no-one else came along so we had the place to ourselves which is just how we like it. Was great fun and, yes, Richard is still abstaining from alcohol….

Sunday morning we were up early again and this time we headed down towards Surfers’ Paradise beach in Southport. We easily found somewhere to park on the promenade and walked about a mile along the beach even paddling for a little while in the rather chilly water. The lifeguards were monitoring the surfers and the bathers in the shallows and we really enjoyed people watching. On our return leg we walked the promenade and took a few breaks sitting on benches enjoying cold drinks from one of the open cafes. The police were patrolling the area in beach buggies and most people were being very careful to socially distance.

We then headed to the Southport Marina to have a look around – it is a pretty big place – and we were tempted by the seafood markets but did not want to queue up with lots of people so decided to give it a miss this time.

We returned to Morpheus via the supermarket to pick up some nibbles as we had been invited over to French Curve for the evening. We eventually decided to purchase sushi and, armed with our supplies, we headed over to the Gold Coast Marina next door. Funnily enough, Mark and Cheryl had decided to buy sushi too, so we had lots of very healthy nibbles. Was a lovely evening.

Monday morning and we decided to drive south again expecting everything to be closed as it was Labour Day (a public holiday). We headed to Paradise Point first and strolled around the small town which was pretty busy. Continuing on foot we walked to the river and just sat at one of many of the public seats taking in the scenery. There were lots of ibis around which the locals call ‘bin chickens’ as they spend a lot of time rooting around in the rubbish! Was really nice…. Funny that we sailed (motored) up this river on our way to the Boatworks but it sure looks different from the shore.

Moving on we continued driving down the coast road through Runaway Bay and into Biggera Waters. This whole Gold Coast area is pretty affluent and the houses reflect that with lots of expensive waterside homes with private docks. So lots to look at as we drove around.

On the return trip back up the coast we went to Hope Island where there are lots of communities being built, not all of them that attractive to be honest. We then arrived at Sanctuary Cove. This is a large up-market marina, hotel and gated community which we fancied taking a look at. Sadly the waterfront was largely (temporarily) sealed off so we couldn’t really see much but the shops / boutiques / restaurants / cafes / theatre all looked very nice and, perhaps one day we’ll return and be able to enjoy the facilities.

Back at the marina we popped down to see how Steve and Jo were getting on with their jobs and spent some time with them before having a quiet night on board.

Tuesday morning I taped up Morphie’s eyebrows and starting rubbing down. We are not taking the varnish back to the wood this time round (as we did that last year in New Zealand) but we definitely have lots of areas that need some love and attention after being exposed to the strong UV here in Australia whilst Morphie was in storage on the hard.

Richard wants to help but I’m banning him from varnishing as often you have to contort your body to reach everything. Which is exactly what he was doing in the cockpit when he had his heart attack! So way too soon for that but am letting him do other jobs so here he is working on the new dinghy wheels again. On his first attempt he hadn’t realised that the bar across the stern of the dinghy meant that the new wheels wouldn’t lock into place in the upright position. So he took them off again, made up some teak infills, and then reinstalled them. And, hey presto, they now lock into place. Good job!

Going through the onboard supplies I realised that we didn’t have enough gloss varnish and thinners to do the whole job so headed to the chandlery. Sadly Epifanes, our varnish of choice, is not available here in Australia. They have some excellent products but, unfortunately, are not compatible with the existing varnish. So we decided upon Goldspar Original. When I got the varnish ready for our first coat I was surprised to find it was red in colour and much thinner than we are used to. Anyway, I did the first coat, found that it flowed really nicely and was quite pleased with the initial result.

During the week I had received news that one of mum’s friends had reached the amazing milestone of 100 years old and had duly received his telegram from the Queen. I felt quite emotional to see photos of the occasion. Congratulations Don, hopefully you can have your large party to celebrate once lockdown is lifted at home.

Wednesday morning and I sanded down again and applied another coat. After that it was threatening rain and, despite best intentions of both of us, we didn’t get anything else done other than the laundry! Oh yes and Richard had a chat with his cardiac nurse on the phone who had got his blood test results back and relayed the news that everything was looking very good. They also discussed the heart clinic that he is going to start attending next week for a while. Late afternoon we had sundowners with Steve and Jo again which always rounds a day off very nicely.

Thursday morning and we picked up a courtesy car at 7.30 am and headed out to Woolworths for a bit of shopping – primarily fresh produce as we were running low. After that we headed over to BCF (Boating, Camping, Fishing) to get one of our gas tanks refilled. We had hoped to get our original US Worthington bottles re-certified here in Australia (which is why we can’t get them refilled) but, apparently, that is not going to be possible so we are using our NZ ones instead. We also heard that our in-mast furling mechanism is still in the machine shop as they make a replacement (plus a spare) for us. The price of the needed replacement parts (excluding the worm drive which is fine) from Sparcraft were stupidly expensive so we had gone with the local fabrication option. Hopefully we’ll have that reinstated next week and will get the main sail back on. Obviously we’ll need a very low wind day for that to happen.

Back on board we both cleaned up down below and I started cooking for the evening as Steve and Jo were coming for dinner for our last night together. In the midst of this Mark and Cheryl came over to see us so we caught up with them and their news. Later on Steve and Jo arrived bringing with them a lovely fresh prawn cocktail starter. After dinner we had a couple of games of Sequence (something that the Bracken / Pigram family introduced us to whilst we were home) and had a very social time. It was funny that in the first game Steve and Jo won (obviously beginner’s luck) and then it was boys -v- girls and the boys won…..Certainly not my best night as I was the only one on the losing side twice LOL.

Friday morning we popped over to see Steve and Jo and return their tupperware containers to find them a bit fed up – yes, the trades had let them down so they were definitely not leaving as expected and, on top of that, some cruising vagabond had nicked some of Jo’s bedding from laundry machines which are locked to everyone other than to people on boats within the facility. Really did not expect that sort of thing to happen here! Silver lining for us, of course, is that we get to spend more time with them before they head out.

Back to Morpheus I got on with rubbing down and applying the third coat of varnish on the eyebrows and was pretty pleased with progress so far. Richard was keen to do something so he taped up the rest of the boat in preparation for me so that I can start tackling the capping rail. In the late afternoon we met Steve and Jo and had dinner at our private BBQ area.

We recognised that it was a public holiday in the UK to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and to give special thanks to all those who served. We hope everyone enjoyed such a special day despite the lockdown restrictions in place.

This morning, Saturday, and I’m up early trying to get this blog finished and published before I start on the varnishing again….

Stay safe everyone, we miss you. Bye for now


Our week in Coomera

Saturday we did a few jobs and I finally finished the stainless steel cleaning. We also had a chat with Greg and Bev from SV Liberty as they were about to leave the marina. They were very supportive to me whilst Richard was incapacitated and had really looked out for both of us since. Hopefully we’ll see them at some point later in the season out on the hook.

During the afternoon Mark from SV French Curve came by to see us. He is currently located in the Gold Coast Marina next door with his mast down. He told us what had happened and, basically, without going into detail the relationship between him and the rigger had broken down. This was for a total re-rig of his boat and he had been in situ without a mast for months. The marina management had stepped in to mediate a way forward but, one of the future conditions, was that Mark and his wife Cheryl would not be present on board whilst the work was being completed. They were very fed up about this but need to get the job finished so they accepted the condition. As we are not doing much right now with Covid restrictions combined with Richard’s recuperation we agreed to ‘baby sit’ their boat and be their representatives whilst this was going on. Guess this could make the grade as another “international rescue” as they are from California…..

We had a quiet evening on board and watched another rubbish movie. Not sure what film the reviewers were watching but continue to be surprised at some of the official ‘ratings’. Never mind we have 2 GB of movies to get through, there must be a good one in their somewhere LOL.

Sunday morning we had a lazy start and come lunchtime we had a knock on the hull. It was Steve and Jo from SV Tamanu (fellow Island Packeteers) who had come into the marina a day earlier than planned. They are having problems with their engine turbo…. We said a quick hello and arranged to meet them for sundowners in the BBQ area later and had a nice socially distanced time catching up with Richard making do with coconut water as he has sworn off the booze right now. Steve and Jo had been great support to me whilst Richard was in hospital so it was nice for them to see Richard looking so well.

Monday morning we picked up our courtesy car from the marina and we drove to the doctors. Richard had his blood pressure tested, the GP listened to his heart and lungs and checked his ankles for swelling and declared his satisfaction with progress to date. Richard’s recovery is going so well it is hard to believe he has been ill at all. The GP is coordinating his recovery plan so we told them about other appointments that had already been made elsewhere. He also gave Richard a flu jab as we are heading into winter here in Australia and Richard is now in the ‘vulnerable’ category. We collected our printed prescriptions, paid our bill (yes still no Medicare) and headed off to Coles for the weekly shopping.

Back on board, car returned, we unpacked and put away all our fresh provisions. Currently there is a glut of huge fresh prawns around as the fishermen are unable to export them to the Far East because of the border closures. So we are supporting them by buying at least half a kilo each visit LOL. It is also advocado season so Richard is making the most of this superfood glut too. We met Steve and Jo for sundowners again and caught up on the events of the day.

Tuesday morning and we were picked up at 7.30 am and taken over to Mark’s boat. She sure looked strange without any mast or rigging. Mark and Cheryl vacated and then Jason (the rigger) came on board. We were a bit concerned that he would be difficult with us as we were there as Mark’s representatives but he was fine although did a lot of cussing and complaining whilst he was working.

During the day (which was a cloudy and gloomy one) Richard went for a walk and admired the amazingly sleek superyacht Dragonfly in the yard. This belongs to Sergey Brin of Google fame. What a beauty eh?!? Allegedly (and this is just a rumour which cannot be substantiated so don’t quote me) the yacht sailed through the massive pumice stone raft which was created last August by an underground volcanic explosion and floated from Tonga on the trades towards Australia. This scratched up the hull hence why it needed a new paint job.

We got back to the Boatworks late afternoon and had a quiet evening on board enjoying being back on Morphie.

Wednesday morning and Mark picked us up again very early. This was supposed to be the day that the mast was going to be stepped….but there was a problem with one of the new deck plates as the holes didn’t match and Jason had to make new holes to fix it in position. This delayed everything and, eventually, we were told that the mast would be stepped the following day. We were there until about 3pm anyway keeping an eye on progress until he called it a day.

On return to the Boatworks we headed over to see how Steve and Jo were getting on with their jobs and ended up staying for a while chatting. We also said farewell to SV Calagorm who were heading off to anchor out – we hope we see them again later this season too. Was a nice end to a long frustrating day…..

Thursday morning at 5.30 am we were picked up by Mark again. This was finally the day that the mast was being reinstalled. We got the boat ready to depart the slip and I walked the dock to the lift-out area and helped tie the boat up from above. So I watched all the action from this relative place of safety whilst Richard remained on board to check all was well and gave orders about the easing lines as the tide was still dropping.

By 9am the mast was in and secured. We motored back to the slip for the final fixings.

All tied up safely and Mark went off to collect Steve and Jody (SV Enavigo) to help with the remainder of the work as we had to leave to head down to Southport for blood tests. While he was gone we continued to watch progress on the final fittings.

They arrived, we handed over the baton, and Mark took us back to the Boatworks. We got ourselves cleaned up and changed, picked up the courtesy car, and then drove south. We had a bit of trouble getting the tests done for free under the reciprocal NHS arrangements and without a Medicare number as the GP had filled in a ‘private’ form rather than a public one. But we had Richard’s unique in-patient number so that sufficed and we were able to get this done eventually. We also got our prescriptions filled at the hospital on-site pharmacy and, because Richard was in the system, they were able to give them to us at NHS prices which was a result.

We drove back to Morpheus – the roads were pretty busy as more businesses are re-opening – and gave Mark a call to check on progress. They had been able to do most things, everything had been tensioned, and all the sails were reinstated. Around 4pm Mark picked us up and we headed over and the six of us had a nice dinner on their boat. Was a good end to a very stressful period for Mark and Cheryl so we were glad to have been able to help them out.

This morning, Friday, and we are (alone) in the cruisers lounge again whilst the laundry is going around in the tub. Later on we have a car booked as we had a consultant cardiologist appointment at the hospital but this is now going to be done by phone instead as they are trying to reduce the footfall through the hospital during the Covid pandemic. A bit of a shame as Richard was hoping for a repeat ECG / cardiogram to see how things were progressing but guess this will have to wait until we have the appointment at the heart clinic on 13 May. But this week, as well as the GP visit, he has had a chat with his specialist heart nurse plus the pharmacist to check his progress. He is being so well looked after, we just need that damn Medicare number!

This coming weekend is a Bank Holiday in Australia (Monday is Labour Day) and we have a car booked for the whole time which is great. The Covid restrictions have been eased a little (there have been no new cases in Queensland for the last two days) and we are allowed to go out providing we stay within a 50km distance of our ‘home address’. Well, around here, that includes both the beach and the mountains so we are going to enjoy just going for a drive. If there are too many people around we’ll stay in the car but hopefully we’ll be able to just relax on a bench somewhere taking in the breeze and a different view. Such simple pleasures but we are really looking forward to it!

So we have lots of sympathy for our UK family and friends who remain in total lockdown mode and hope that at some stage they will be able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures too. Stay safe everyone and take care.

Bye for now