Brisbane 2015-06-07 010w

Our Time In Brisbane

Brisbane 2015-06-07 010w


Our time is Brisbane started in Caboolture, the northern most suburb of the greater Brisbane area.  Juz’s former colleague Anne and her husband Chris moved here from Darwin and it was an absolute treat to catch up and stay with them for a few nights.




We then ducked out to Ipswich and Toowoomba before returning to Brisbane for a few nights, smashing out our $100 Day and reacquainting ourselves with the big city life with big city peak hour traffic (yikes!).


We were glad to have a few friends in Brisbane to meet up with.  One of Dave’s old workmates and his wife had moved there from Darwin so it was great to catch up with Richard and Monika for some pub trivia.  Our mates Parksy and Craig took a flight up to Brisbane and we had coffee and bagels together before they embarked on their road trip up the coast for the Labour Day long weekend.  We even went out to Ipswich again to meet up with another of Dave’s former colleagues, Lucy, who had joined the Army and was stationed at Amberley.




Brisbane took some time to get used to.  Apart from being a lot busier and more populated that what we had experienced previously, it was hilly everywhere.  While it’s not the easiest to get around in city traffic in a big heavy Troopy like ours, we soon started to enjoy the views at every hill crest.  There was a massive New York influence on the food and the bars, and while we were willing to try a bagel, there was no way we were going to try those wrinkly, cold Manhattan pizzas that were sold by the slice.  One way streets are common around town and to avoid our heads cracking open and our brains falling out, we used the navigation lady on our phones to get around and avoid getting lost.


Around this time, Dave had noticed that his right foot had become unresponsive – the muscle that flexes the foot was not contracting.  He’d had a similar condition in his right hand around five years ago and suspected that it might be the same thing, which would mean spending some time in hospital for treatment.  The condition is painless so if it was in his hand then it wouldn’t be so bad, but because it was in his foot, he was regularly stubbing his toes and almost tripping over, which could’ve been dangerous and frustrating when we were walking.  He needed to get this sorted out before we continued south along the coast.


Lucky for us, our timing was perfect – Dave’s friend Jackie had just moved to Brisbane with her partner Tim.  With a place to stay for a few nights, Dave made an appointment with the doctor.  Because the condition is so rare, there was a lot of head scratching and referrals, and by 9pm that night, Dave was admitted to the Royal Brisbane hospital and was expected to be stuck there for a week for treatment.  Every day, Dave would receive his intravenous treatment while being poked and prodded by medical students and nurses.  Juz would visit too and bring homemade pizza, books, crosswords and stories of the outside world.  She even loaded episodes of Futurama onto Dave’s phone to help keep him entertained.




After the fifth day of treatment, there was an inkling of movement in his foot, but the real recovery happened once he was discharged.  Within a week of leaving the hospital, his foot was flexing and his range of motion was back to around 90% – a massive improvement from dead foot!  We stayed with Jackie and Tim for another week before wrapping up our time in Brisbane.




The view from Flinders Street

Hiatus in Melbourne 2013

It was planned months before we left Melbourne that Juz would fly back to Melbourne to be a bridesmaid our mate’s wedding in March.  It wasn’t planned that Dave would come too until Juz’s mum offered to sort out his ticket so that we could both be at her big 60th fancy dress birthday party the week after the wedding.


We couldn’t refuse the offer, and decided to keep it a secret so that we could surprise Dave’s mum for her birthday, as well as the bride and groom and all of our friends and family.  Keeping the secret was the hardest part.  Juz kept slipping and said ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ many times, trying to cover it up with a fumble of words while Dave’s tactic was to be honest and only talk about what I was doing, without mentioning that he was going to be there too.



The 10 days we spent in Melbourne were intense.  After Juz’s mum picked us up from the airport, we went to Dave’s parent’s place on the other side of the city and presented Dave’s beardy face to his mum.  She was ecstatic and we left Dave there to settle in.  Juz spent the night at her mum’s place, giving Ali the cat and Funny Face heaps of sneeze-inducing cuddles before finally going to bed.



The next two days was all about the wedding.  After over two months of training and conscious (and at times, mindless) eating for Operation Bridesmaid, Juz got the chance to try the dress on for the first time since November.  The zip went up and there was a huge sense of achievement and relief.   Friday was dedicated to helping the bride prepare and relax, and Saturday started nice and early with hair, makeup, bubbly and photography before tumbling into the limo to get to the chapel.  The rest of the day was magical…



Dave’s involvement in the wedding was a little different.  While he was supposed to be a surprise, we didn’t want to steal the wedding couple’s thunder, so we had to pick the best moment to unveil the beard.  During the ceremony, all the guests had their eyes on the bride and groom while Dave slipped in via a side door and snuck up to the balcony to watch. After the “You may now kiss the bride” part, Dave took a couple more pictures before exiting the chapel like a bearded ninja.


Dave takes a ninja photograph of the wedding ceremony


The surprise would be saved for the reception later that evening. Dave waited outside until the bridal party were all seated and once the entrees were being served, Juz called him and handed her phone to the groom.

“It’s Dave,” she said. “He wants to congratulate you and Janet…”


While congratulating the groom, Dave started walking into the party, smiling at the astonished looks and pointing fingers of friends. As he neared the bridal table, the best man was pulling on the groom’s sleeve.

“Seb! Seb! Dave’s here!”

“Shut-up man, I’m on the phone with Dave!”


It wasn’t until Dave was a few meters from the newlyweds that Seb looked up, looked back at the phone and smiled “You bastard!”  The bride and groom were really surprised and Seb nearly ended up in tears.  Happy days!



The rest of the week was filled with family and kitty reunions, café breakfasts, pho lunches, casual dinners with friends and BBQs that flowed into the early morning hours.  Juz also made time to work on her Olympic snatch with dungeon master, Andrew Ellem at Pivotal Health and Fitness in Murrumbeena, and visit her krav crew at Guardian Defence in Brunswick.



Wednesday night was put aside for the Our Naked Australia VIP Night.  The party was so exclusive, there were only four people there – Dave and Juz and the Strong Intent & Co. crew who built the website, Cyn and Matty.  The night started off with a glass of Chimay and quick dip on the 23rd floor of the Rydges building before heading out for dinner and drinks at Trunk Diner.  After a great feed, we got a bit fancy and enjoyed some period cocktails at 1806.



The fancy dress party was a great success.  Juz’s mum stood out from the crowd as the Queen of Hearts while Dave and Juz went as Ned Kelly and Nigella Lawson. The party was also attended by big names like George Clooney, Kate Middleton, Penelope Cruz and Rove McManus, and great characters like Zorro, Mary Poppins and The Joker.



On the day of our departure, we had a big Easter lunch with family and gorged on lasagne, prosciutto and Dave’s mum’s amazing sticky date pudding.  It was a great way to wrap up our time in Melbourne and we were more than ready to get back to Perth and continue the Our Naked Australia story. We loved seeing our family and friends but our journey is nowhere near finished.  The best part is still coming – Broome, The Kimberley, Darwin, Uluru!  We cannot wait to get out there…



New Years Eve in Port Elliot

The Night Before NYE

Juz cooked an experimental Bolognese sauce with Jim’s Jerky biltong and served it with sweet potato noodles, which resembled the tentacles of jelly fish.  We sat at one of the tables on the deck, beside two Germans.  They were curious about our dinner so we sparked up some conversation.  Eventually, more people joined our table and a posse was established.


We figured this would be a great opportunity to prime ourselves for New Years Eve.  Because we had been going to bed before 10pm, it was important to stay awake so that we could last at least until midnight on New Years Eve.



As the sun went down, so did the drinks and the Trivial Pursuit question cards came out for some quizzical fun.  Juz was feeling the strain so she changed beverage from red wine to vodka, before moving along to white wine, while Dave maintained the beer trend until the very end.



New Years Eve

After a difficult morning and frustrating day with the Troopy, we had a nacho dinner with the leftover Jerky Bolognese before starting on the piss.  Dave was back on the beer while Juz worked on some vodka mojitos.


An evolution of the previous night’s posse were on the deck so we joined them for new years festivities.  When the sun set, we headed to Greens Bay, set up a fire, played guitar and got to know each other as the hours whizzed past.



Before we knew it, fireworks were being set off all around us, so we ran up onto the rocks to get a panoramic view of Encounter Bay and the light show at the distant Victor Harbor.



New Years Day

Urgh… another difficult morning.  We slept in as long as possible before we had to get up and help out with the post-NYE clean up.  As soon as the last dish was dried and put away, we headed to Lady Bay for some sand, surf and snorkelling.


Dave & Juz at Ladies Bay



We’d like to wish all of our family and friends a very Happy New Year.  We hope that you all had a safe and celebratory night and all the success and joy you want for 2013.


To the posse we hung out with on New Years Eve – Andrew and Rebecca, Tanya and Josh, Doug and Yuri, Darragh and Simon, Laura and Tracy – you guys are awesome!  Also Tim and Sebastian the Germans, and Penny and Cara.  We hope you guys had a fantastic night.

Last Drinks! All of us! - and a random in the blue shorts LOL

Last Drinks!

It was important to us to have one final round of drinks with our mates, who have been with us through thick and thin – Fitzroy pub crawls, midnight kebab runs, 3am blackouts and mid-morning breakfast cures.


We love you, we’ll miss you and we promise to have fun and take care of each other!



Spot the Movember participant...


It has almost been two weeks since we handed in the keys to our house and became homeless landlords.


It has been a bit strange – not having a fixed address or place to call home – but thankfully, we have fabulous friends and family who have let us borrow a bedroom so we have somewhere to sleep before we head off.


Our first ‘half-way’ house was with our mates Jess and Matt in Heidelberg.  We spent every night chatting and eating and drinking beer and we’d like to extend a massive thanks to you guys for letting us hang out.  You are truly awesome!

After three comfortable nights, we said sayonara to the northern suburbs and headed to our next location down in the the south-east. Dave’s cousin Glen and his girlfriend Mel live in Keysborough, close to where we grew up.  They kindly lent us a bedroom for the week – even though they’re in the middle of packing up to move house themselves!


On the last night of our stay we had a bit of a farewell party – for the house and us.  It was one of those houses where the door was always open and you were always welcome for dinner, to crash on the floor after a big night, or even to stay for a few weeks.

We are now sharing ourselves between our ever-supportive and ever-accommodating parents, who luckily live not too far from each other. We cannot thank you guys enough for all the things you’ve done to help us get everything prepared for this trip.