2016 started just like any year. We went on a 47 day Cruise around the Indian and Southern Oceans, Visiting Singapore, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles' Islands , Mozambique, South Africa, Union Island and Mauritius. On the Sun Princess. Had a great time. Went on Safari, saw some amazing things, really feel in love with Cape Town.
But then it all turned to shit. The day before my 59th Birthday Ron was diagnosed with cancer. And not one that could be beaten. Just after 7 weeks he was gone. Then all my life changed. I have to say , I donít remember a lot of what happened for the first couple of months. I had decided to move out of our apartment that we were renting. I had a month to move out and to start making decisions on my future , which was a little hard to do.
Daydream Island gave me some gigs over there while I was packing everything up. I know all I wanted to do, was to get away from Airlie for a while. At that time , I couldnít make my mind up where I wanted to live. I had to make my mind up fairly quickly.
I decided to stay in Airlie Beach and just before I left I brought a house. I went away for about a month, to try and get my head together, went down to visit some friends on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. I had planned to just take it easy, but for some unknown reason I just wanted to get back to Airlie.
I did have a great time away, it was nice to be around good friends who understood what I was going through. Had not seen a few of them for many years. My mind was all over the place. I didnít really know what the hell I was doing, but I just did what I did.
I ended up just going back to Airlie earlier than I was going to, I think I just wanted to get settled . It took a couple of Months for Ronís estate to settle, so I just had to float around for a couple of months staying in Hotels and B and Bís. When I look back I should have just stayed where I was, it would have saved me a shit load of money.
I eventually moved into my house on September 17th 2016. It was a big moment for me. The first time I have owned a house. Some of my close friends helped me move in and got settled in. I know the first couple of weeks were a little strange, I just felt so alone.
It was not long before I had to go away again for 10 days down to . Had a great time in Sydney, Ron had planned this trip for a while, mainly to go to the Opera House for some shows. I ended up taking some good friends with instead. My good friend Tony Delroy looked after me a lot while I was there. Introduced me to some great people, who have become great friends since.
I headed back to Airlie to start to start my new life and get settled into my house, As I was turning 60 years old the next year , I didnít really know what I wanted to do, have a party or just go away and Hide, Ron and I had plan to spend my 60th and His 70th overseas, but that didnít happen of course. So I made a decision to have a party, so I started planning for that.
The Music festival was upon us, so I had VIP tickets for it, so spent a great weekend getting very very drunk. As Xmas approached I had decided to take a cruise with Tony and Terry on board the Emerald Princess, but I first went home to see my family, I needed to be with my family this year, by this stage Ronís family had completely cut me off.† So I headed to Adelaide and had a great catch up with good friends and my family. Then headed off to Sydney to catch the Xmas New Year Cruise around New ZealandÖ.
It was a great cruise and it was just what I needed, Tony and Terry really look out for me. New Years Eve was a little hard, the first one without Ron, but with all the new friends that I had made, they made me feel wonderful. The good thing is that all of them have remained good friends.
After getting back from the cruise I also caught up with some friends from England, who where in Sydney around the same time. It was a pretty full on Dec Jan for me. So 2017 now and time to get my 60th party on the go , I didnít really want to do too much, but I felt I needed to be over the top a bit. To my surprise about 70 people accepted my invite, my big brother Peter and his wife Mary, as was Matthew and Stephen my Nephews, plus friends from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane were all coming up for it.
It looked like it was going to bigger than Ber Hur, so as I started to get it all together, getting the house ready for the family and friends onslaught , Had a lot of support from my close friends in Airlie Beach, helping me get it all on track.. The party was going to be over 4 days.
As it was starting to closer to when everyone was arriving , the weather was starting to do itís Queensland thing THE WET SEASON, had arrived. I was hoping that we would not have a Cyclone. People started arriving on the Wednesday, and guess what a Cyclone was forming out in the Coral sea, this is not a good thing, the bulk of my interstate guests arrived in the Thursday. So let the fun begin. Come the 24th , the actual date of my 60th I just had my interstate friends there , we all went out for dinner , had a great night . Then come Saturday morning and then things started to go to shit, the big party for all my Airlie Friends was going to happen, but then we went on Cyclone alert, and of course Harbors and Some airports are closed, so my guests who where coming from Hamilton Island had to cancel, a great startÖ.Anyway the party went ahead, had a great night , there were still about 60 people there, it ended up being a Cyclone party instead, The latest report that the Cyclone was heading for Townsville, but within a few hours it was heading towards Bowen, and us, this is not a good thing, my guests and Family were due to fly out on Monday, some from Hammo and some from ProssieÖ..but the harbors were still closed and Hammo airport had closed down, some of friends managed to get out of Prossie Airport on the Sunday, which was lucky for them, the rest including my family will have to sit it outÖ
So on the Sunday afternoon , it was time to get the house ready for the Cyclone to hit, by late afternoon , it had changed direction and was coming direct to Airlie BeachÖ..This is differently not good. On the Monday it was frantic around town, people had no idea what to expect, I just told all my friends just to stay in there room and away from all windows. I had Matthew, and his two kids at my house. I was more concerned about them and hoping that my house would survive.