Sunday, July 14, 2013


My head I’ve lost many times, along with my heart; not always concurrently. I’ll lose my head again - as for my heart, I doubt I’ll lose it again any time soon…or later.  The last time I misplaced my heart, it took too long to find! I did manage to locate it again, however; I've had a far bit of practice is the misplacing of it and in the finding!

For the uninformed or uninitiated, a “Parrothead” is the nickname for Jimmy Buffett fans; kids of said fans are called “Parakeets” or “Keets”.  “Parrothead” eggs were laid and hatched at one of Jimmy’s 1989 concerts. Like sprouting bird seed, the term rapidly grew from those insignificant small pips into a humanitarian group raising millions (money, not parrots) for charities, education, cancer research and general welfare of the community. 

I must go in search of a parrot.  I’ve not visited Margaritaville in such a long time. I miss Margarita!

As an aside; this mountain greenery where I dwell has an abundance of parrots of various kinds; this is also true throughout other areas of Australia.  The colourful plumage and behaviour of the parrot species intrigue us humans.  They are a cheeky, fun-loving group. Cockatoos, Rainbow Lorikeets, Rosellas, Parakeets, Corellas are all part of the parrot clan.  The giant Macaws of Central and South America are relatives of this fascinating, intelligent group of birds, too.

Back to Margaritaville and Parrotheads –

In the past, I’ve enjoyed many good times in Margarita’s company; and unbelievable as it may seem, I remember them all! 

Nothing describes freedom and harmonious happiness quite like sipping on Margaritas with the ocean view as a backdrop. Margaritas must be of the true blue lime kind, of course; none of those evil pre-made mix frauds. 

Pure heaven is - being caressed by a gentle afternoon sea breeze as it affectionately strokes stress away. Relaxing with a Margarita to one side and a good friend or two to the other while relishing not only the drink and the company, but the final rays of the once-vibrant sun as it wearily strolls nearer the horizon at day’s end.
Naturally, the music of Jimmy Buffett has to be playing in the background!  That's a given!

What is a Margarita without “Margaritaville”?  One that’s not yet been mixed is the answer!

A few “Changes in Latitude” “Come Monday” would be required if that was the case! Until then, there’d be no “Cheeseburger in Paradise” for you over there with the “Pencil-Thin Moustache”!

Oh! Dear!  Sorry! I became waylaid meandering through my ethereal memories of late afternoons spent at the then Cairns’ Tradewinds-Outrigger with its salmon-pink walls, white plantation shutters and tropical palms. It’s now called “Country Comfort Outrigger; an unsuitable title for a resort hotel in a tropical city... in my opinion.

I became lost in recollections of sitting in the shade of coconut palms and she-oaks on the foreshore at Newry Island watching a tuxedo-clad, red-billed, red-legged Oystercatcher fluff his feathers as he bathes in a tidal pool. Joyously, he beckons his mate to join him.

Rapt, I sit recalling special moments when guests were few on Hinchinbrook Island. Late afternoon, pre-dinner Margaritas shared with guests at the resort’s bar on Hinchinbrook Island; or while leisurely lounging on the deck surrounding the pool with the ocean’s symphony accompanying those lazy, late afternoons.

With only one subtle nod to Johnno, my bar man, or a slight raising of an eyebrow, he knew that was the sign to put Jimmy Buffett on the restaurant’s stereo; and/or refills were needed!

I think it’s time I lost my head again (but not my heart – well….maybe)!

Donning my sarong; placing a hibiscus behind my ear, I’m off in search of a parrot and a Margarita. 

Dammit! I can never find a lei when I want one!

Grilled Fish with Lime-Coconut-Avocado Relish:  Relish: segment 1 lime. Cut off the skin and pith; hold fruit in your hand over bowl, cut each segment from the membrane. Roughly chop flesh; add to bowl with 80g grated fresh coconut, 1 small chilli, finely-chopped, 1 avocado, chopped, 5cm piece fresh ginger, cut into  matchsticks, 1c chopped coriander leaves, 1tbs fish sauce and 1tsp sugar; season. Heat olive oil in large non-stick pan over high heat. Slash skin of white fish fillets a few times; season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; add fillets to hot pan, skin-side down; cook, 2-3mins or until the skin is crisp and golden. Turn; cook 1-2mins or until just cooked through. Serve on rice; top with relish; serve with lime wedges. 

Coconut-Lime Prawns: Cut long strips off 1 lime with peeler. Combine 1/3c coconut milk, 1/3c finely-chopped coriander stems, 3 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 long red chilli, finely-chopped, 1tbs fish sauce, 1tbs soy sauce and lime rind; reserve 2tbs mixture. Add 750g green king prawns, peeled, tails intact; toss to coat; chill 3-4hrs. Heat barbecue grill/plate to med-high. Add lime juice to prawn mix; toss to coat. Remove prawns; discard rind. Thread prawns onto skewers; cook, brushing with reserved coconut mix, 2-4mins each side; serve with rice. 

Avocado-Lime-Coconut Ice Cream: Place 2c sliced Hass avocados, 1c coconut cream, 1/2c lime juice, zest of 3 limes and sugar to taste in blender. Blend until creamy; adjust taste to suit; pour into glass dish; freeze; stir a few times per hour; takes 4-5hrs to really set. 

Margaritas: Put 3 parts of top quality Tequila, 2 parts Cointreau and 1 part freshly-squeezed lime juice into shaker filled with ice; shake well to count of 10. Strain into glass of choice. If salting glass rim, don’t use iodised salt, and just salt half of glass rim


  1. I want to go to that Hinchinbrook Island restaurant! What a nice tropical interlude. Drats! Back to work!

  2. I wondered if that was going to be the same Parrothead connection I have, and it is. :) Buffett fans are everywhere, I guess.

  3. G'day Dexter. It is a magnificent area. Cyclone Yasi went through causing much damage a couple of years ago; a lot of work has to be done to restore it to its glory. New owners have just purchased the resort with that purpose in mind.

    I'm sure you would love it! :)

  4. Yes, Lynn...the same Parrothead connection! There's something very special about Jimmy Buffett and his music. And the life I was leading on those island fitted like a glove to the music. :)

  5. Oooh, now I want that ice cream and a nice day a the beach!

  6. You would have had a ball on those island, RC...particularly when I was living on them and running them! lol

  7. Well, this just goes to prove that I am not nearly as much of a Buffett fan as I probably should be. For I do not remember ever hearing where the term, "Parrothead," came from before! Sigh.

  8. Come on, Jerry..come on! Get with it! ;)

  9. I used to be a parrot, but I'm all right now.....
    I used to be a parrot, but I'm all right now.....
    I used to be a parrot, but I'm all right now.....

  10. I might have to knock you off your perch, sounds like you're stuck in a groove there! There must be a verse to follow, surely! ;)

  11. To think I've lived this long without knowing what a "parrothead" was! Nice post, Lee.

  12. Ahhh...every day is a learning day, Pat. ;)

    Thanks for coming by. Take good care.

  13. Hi Lee!
    I'm playing catch up. Lovely to read your stories of your island days. And your past amours as well ;) You've lived a very interesting life. Don't be too quick to shut the door on love .... you'd be surprised how easy it is to stumble upon it. Just sayin' is all ...;)


    (i'm an incurable romantic)

  14. Hi there RDG...always nice to have you call by. :)

    I'm always the romantic...but I'm not in search of a new love...I couldn't be bothered with all the hassles anymore! lol

    I love my own space and privacy too much these days, I think. Selfish of me, I know...but a leopard can't change its spots! I don't mind my spots! ;)

  15. The Country Comfort Outrigger looks positively magical! I could quite easily sink into that great big pool with Daiquiri or two :)

  16. used to be fabulous...I've not been there for years, but every time I had to stay in Cairns that's where I was so tropical and so inviting with the palms and the plantation shutters all about! It was great!

  17. Mmmm....a few nice recipes there I might steal...

  18. They are yours for the taking, Cosmo.

    Good to see you as've not been around much lately. :)

  19. Life has been a bit odd of late, there are nasty people out there, have tried to keep writing but visiting has been spasmodic. Also been in the country all last week and the internet connection was sooooo sloooow, it was a challenge to post, let alone visit. But apart from that, alive and well. :-)

  20. I'm glad to hear that, Cosmo. I have to admit, I thought I must have said something to upset you, but for the life of me I couldn't think what. We've been cyber mates for quite a few years now.

    I do agree with you...there are some very nasty people around; and it's very frustrating, disappointing and saddening that this has to be the case. It seems the way of the world at present, unfortunately...and I can't see it getting any better any time soon.

    As long as you and yours are fine...then that is good. Take care. :)