Need a mentor for your small business?

 

Very happy to let you know that our business experience and expertise is now available through the TAFE Queensland Small Business Solutions program, which offers business mentoring for a low one-off fee of $395. If you or a friend have a small business which could use the tried and tested advice and methods described here, please contact TAFE here and mention my name. Available all through Central and South-East Queensland. I have run businesses in publishing, retail, and (of course) small-to-medium sized journalism enterprises.

Cokley Mentor

How to vacuum clean a Jumbo jet

In the category of “you learn something new every day” … now I know how it feels to vacuum clean a Jumbo jet. Yes, a real one, at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum in Longreach where I have worked part-time as a tour guide since October 2014. I can report it takes about an hour of pretty stiff effort in January’s summer heat, equipped with a 5kg RocketVac backpack vacuum and a very long power cord. Here I am (below) at the rear of economy class, looking forward. Like most things, there is an easy way and a hard way. I now know that it’s easier to start down the back because of the design of the seats (you can get under them more easily from the rear) and how difficult it is to vacuum a spiral staircase up to the old Captain Cook lounge (lower picture) … now that’s an interesting exercise. Oh yes, I’ve also feather-dusted the 1979-vintage airliner throughout, as well as its 1959 cousin 707 across the museum parking area. It’s a whole new world out here in Longreach.economy

lounge

Today’s job advertisement in the media

Manger

Oh dear, and for The Daily Telegraph, too. Perhaps they fixed it on the site? Nope

Mangers2

It’s been a fascinating long day’s journey into the night of the living job seeker. Here are some examples of would-be employers looking for would-be staff.

conservative

 

Agreed, perhaps it’s one of those internet joke-meme thingys? But it appeared, nevertheless, on the Indeed job site.

Here are some more … (listen by clicking on each screen-shot image or here and here):

Lululemon
SmartjobsFeb18

 

And there we were … on the footpath

First night of our short break in Yeppoon and we were evacuated from our apartment in the wee hours … just before 3am. Everyone gathered on the footpath until the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services crew arrived and declared a false alarm. Thanks crew! Back to bed …

Yeppoon getaway

We’re not in Longreach any more, Toto. Welcome to the Oshen apartments for a three-day visit to Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.

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Prime spot

CatBirdSeat

Dined tonight at the fairly new (2014) Catbird Seat Bistro in South Brisbane and what a pleasure! Actually we had been steered along by daughter Erin who works there … mum and dad were invited to check it out … on her night off. Our 7pm booking (on a Saturday) started quietly enough but by the end of the evening we were surrounded by a happy chatty crowd of diners all being attended to with applomb by owner Erin (not our daughter, now there’s a coincidence). There’s only room for 40 so it’s cosy and intimate, just what we had in mind.

And the food? Gorgeous. We chose to share an entree plate of house-made charcuterie with pickles, preserves and bread, including yummy quince paste, caperberries, gerkins and sliced house-baked rye bread.

Then Pip took the high road with a fillet of barramundi and I chose the low road: a roasted poussin crown perched on an onion puree with a rye crumb, celery and radish salad. We shared sides of shredded red cabbage mottled with parmesan and spiked with sherry vinegar, and a plate of green beans rolling in peach, pecans and ricotta.

We sipped sparkling Hepburn spa water from Daylesford near our old stamping ground of Ballan, then moved on to a delightful 2013 chardonnay, Witches Falls Wild Ferment made by Jon Heslop at his Mt Tamborine winery south-west of Brisbane. We’ve visited and written about many wines in the wider Granite Belt since 1995 and this ranks among the very best.

We could not resist dessert so we shared an Earl Grey panna cotta with peaches, citrus and an innovative mint crumble.

This is “bistro at its best” and the tab ($178 including the wine) is definitely reasonable (very probably economical) for the style, location, preparation, presentation, intricate flavours and the professional service. In regional Victoria we have paid more for less and Brisbane is, after all, a capital city.

Best festival day ever …

We saw/heard these guys (Tjintu Desert Band) last night in the Songlines tent at Woodford. They were my first “live” experience of hot central desert Australian Blackfella pub rock … great new material and excellent band, especially the cool guy on the keyboards, (where I like to imagine myself). Were you there?

It was our first big day in the mountains north-west of Brisbane … started in the Concert tent with the Starboard Cannons, then to the Bazaar tent for Rachael Dadd and finally for the morning, to the Grande for the amazing Scottish wonders Tim Edey Trio.

Lunch at Govindas then setting up our camp in Tent City before returning to Blues Town for Brisbane band The Company, into the Palace tent for the Doogans, dinner at the Marrakech Express and back to settle in at Blues Town for the Empressarios and the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

Betweeners: We drank a bold new vodka cocktail called a Crapple at Bill’s Bar, sank a Champoine and a Champino Kolada and drank brilliant cold teas at Eshai TeaHouse. Where did you drink?

Here they all are:

Starboard Cannons:


Rachael Dadd:


Tim Edey Trio:


The Company (historic video, hairstyles have changed!):


Empressarios:


and finally the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

More fantastic Crowe

Went to see The Water Diviner yesterday and came away feeling greatly inspired. Had an idea this would be so, as we’re big fans of Crowe’s acting. Turns out he can direct masterfully too. See it … and in a nice touch, we understand US audiences will get their first taste on Anzac Day 2015.

WTF?

One idiot is all it takes! C’mon Longreach, tell the Eagle’s Nest owner he’s badly mistaken. And by the way, we won’t be eating there again until he changes his tune and publishes a retraction sign.

idiot

16 sleeps

It’s a little bit scary but a lot more fun … Christmas present buying steps up today with some new specials from Spinifex Collections in Longreach. When you live this far out, you need something naughty and nice. Happy shopping to all our viewers!

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