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Archive for March, 2009

You need friends

March 23rd, 2009 No comments

nickbloggingBlogging can be a solitary experience, but I’ve found that critical input can come from the most unexpected places.  Snickers (to my right) casts a critical eye over my post in her role as editor, whilst Twinkle proof reads the posts.  It can be difficult to discern their feedback, but they like to give it nonetheless.

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Window (and door) shopping

March 22nd, 2009 No comments

another homeWhat is the fascination with looking at things that are way beyond one’s purchasing ability?  We spent the afternoon with a couple of hundred other people gawking (snooping?) around properties in Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, “the most sought after location in Boca Raton”.  Every year, most of the properties for sale are subject to a grand free-for-all open house event.  This year, 44 properties ranging from $765,000 to $9.75m were thrown open.

At the lower price, the expectation is that the new owner will drive a bulldozer straight through the front wall and erect something new.  At the high end – well, who cares?  8000 sq ft under air, 6 bedrooms, 8.1 baths (what is 0.1 of a bathroom?).  The guest wing (yes, wing) is bigger than our house.  His and her bathrooms each several hundred square feet in size.  You could live in the house for a year and never bump into the other residents.

The surprising (and pleasing) thing was that after seeing eight or so properties all listed at over $4m we decided that despite their high ceilings, Sub Zero fridges and opulent furnishings we rather prefer our little home.   It might not have a club room with a billiard table and triple flat panel TV arrangement, but it doesn’t have a $100k per year property tax either.

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Little Miss Sunshine

March 21st, 2009 No comments

boat Last May we bought our first[1] boat.  It is a Hurricane Sundeck 24, with a 250 HP Yamaha outboard.  Despite its ability to do 45 knots and pull water skiers with ease, we spend 98% of the time doing 4 knots.  Why?  Two reasons.  The first is that we live on an ocean access canal with a ‘no wake’ speed limit; the second is that we mainly use the boat for sunbathing and going to waterfront restaurants.  The speed limit is to protect the manatees that frequent the canal.  (More of those in a future post).  But I digress.

A regular source of family discussion has been a potential name for the boat.  We’ve been looking for something that reflects the Florida lifestyle, is neither too macho nor too girlie, and won’t be too embarrassing when used in a mayday call.

We looked for inspiration at other boats on Lake Boca.  Punning seems to be the most common source of boat names, with such witticisms as ‘Weather Oar Knot’ and ‘Boat Tox’.  Suggestions for our boat included ‘Lazy Dayz’, ‘Blue Days’, ‘Blue Bell’, ‘Sun Bunny’ and ‘Blue Breeze’.

We have finally settled on ‘Sunshine’.  Not exactly uncommon (as a name or as a weather phenomenon) but we like it.

[1] First as in ‘first and only’ not first as in ‘and now we have eight’.

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Big news: Dracaena Deremensis is flowering

March 20th, 2009 No comments

dracaena_deremensis_janet_craig_floweringWho would have thought it?  A plant that flowers!  Linda has had this plant for quite a few years and never realised it flowered.  A couple of weeks ago we noticed that two flower stalks (inflorescences) had appeared.  Linda was thrilled but somewhat surprised.  After much research (Googling, mainly) it turns out that Dracaena Deremensis does flower, but only when chilled.

For years the plant was kept in doors, but several weeks ago it was moved onto the patio.  During the time it was outside we had a cold snap (cold for Boca Raton anyway).  Fast forward to last week and voilà: flowers.

Tonight we came home after visiting Linda’s uncle Jim (not this one, but his dad) to find the house smelled strongly of Jasmine.  Not only does Dracaena Deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ flower, but those flowers have a wonderful smell – especially at night.

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