Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A travelling chicken coop under construction
We are back in Langkawi now. It is very quiet and I am missing our family.  I wonder what they are up to??  We arrived back to heat and humidity and the Royal Langkawi International Regatta.  There are lots of racing boats in the marina and hordes of sailors and volunteers running around in matching t-shirts. I am feeling a bit miffed that we did not volunteer before we left for Christmas and we would have been in the thick of things, but Barry didn’t want to because we were going to be arriving back just the day before the regatta started.  Oh well, we have been busy getting ready to leave and hope to cast off the lines tomorrow. We will sail around the island for a few days and then head for Phuket, Thailand.  We went diving today, Barry cashed in his coupon I gave him for Christmas.  The visibility was very poor but there were tons of fish and some very interesting coral. We saw 4 tiny seahorses as well as a huge moray eel, and a somewhat irate lobster.  It was good to get a Malaysian dive in our log books.

Our last few days in Bundaberg were taken up with the construction of a chicken coup.  Trish really wants to have fresh eggs every day and so she is pursuing this goal.   In keeping with her recycling philosophy she has scavenged materials to build what will become a travelling chicken coup.  Apparently she will be able to move it about the yard so the chooks (as they are referred to down under) won’t totally destroy one part of her yard.  She got some material for the frame from a dumpster parked outside of a building site.  The conduit was found at the dump store and the tin roofing material was discovered a few days later in the same dumpster, which is just down the block and around the corner and I think the chicken wire was acquired from the dump store (which is a veritable treasure trove for Trish, she faithfully visits whenever she can to see what she can acquire, I spotted an almost new bodem and the perfect paper towel holder, a duck head and feet.) Graeme, the craftsman, went to work with his radial arm saw and his tape measure and pretty soon a travelling chicken coup was emerging. 

Trish with electric drill and screw driver went to work fastening bits together; these chickens are going to live like princesses.  I was sorry to leave before the project was finished, I managed to convince the kids to go for a bike ride with their Grannie one evening freeing up some quality building time.  The shots of the kids are when they were drawing on the grass just outside the construction zone.  The coup is plenty strong enough; the kids have been climbing all over it. 
Our three weeks in Australia just flew by.  It was wonderful to spend the holidays with family.  We really enjoyed sharing the time with Graeme’s parents.  We spent many days down at the beach with the kids while Trish and Graeme kite boarded.  It was impressive to see how they both improved with some quality time in the water. A couple of days there were some hot shots from out of town strutting their stuff and WOW were some of them good.  They would launch themselves in the air and do all sorts of tricks before gracefully landing and zooming away.  There were some awesome face plants and body slams as well. Too bad the gingerbread houses don’t suit the Australian climate. I said to Trish if she does it again, you would have to make the houses one day and eat them the next day, no leaving them on display for days. It was great taking the land cruiser down the beach one day, a typically Australian Christmas outing.   I am so glad we went!!!