Ann's Blog

Published on December 3rd, 2011 | by Ann Rickard


Bruises, Black Eyes and Babies

  • Baby boy born to much joy
  • Do ourselves damage
  • Go to many lunches and fabulous dinner
  • Visit Gold Coast and stay at new Hilton
  • Family visit and create much havoc and mess 

Much, much happening my friends.  In fact so much it’s kept me away from my keyboard yet again.

First things first. 

We now have a baby grandson. Our daughter Dallas gave birth to Jacob Michael Dyer on November 4 and what a dear little man he is.

Dallas, unlike most expectant mothers, chose not to find out the sex of her baby so we were all agog to see what flavour would appear.  Just two days before Dallas was due we found out her sister, Jessica who is expecting a baby in April, is having a boy.  So you can imagine how bewitched we were when Dallas produced a little man.   So now we have two granddaughters, one grandson and will have another boy in April. Are we clever or what?

So that’s the baby bit out of the way.

The bruises and black eyes,

well, you’d think we’d know better at our age.   Geoffrey Rickard with the black eyes.  Me with the bruises.

 Here’s what happened.

Melbourne Cup Day – we went to a lovely party not far from our place hosted by very generous friends (the only kind to have) who always put on a ripper party with flowing French bubbles  and delicious morsels created by Noosa Catering who make the most creative, attractive and flavour-filled canapés in the country.

So there we were, dressed up to the nines, me with my feathers and bling, drinking champagne all day, watching our horses come last in every race, trying not to give our mates dark looks when they won hundreds of dollars, enjoying the lavish ambience of our generous friends’ (the only kind) home and generally having a top time.  Before we got too messy we walked home barefooted, me with fascinator askew, Geoffrey with shirt hanging out, our mate Jayne, who was staying with us not too tidy herself, and once safely home decided it might be a good time to paddle over to other generous friends (the only kind) who live across the water from us.

So off we paddled to their place, had some more champagne, came back, safely once more to our house whereupon the lovely and kind Geoffrey tripped and fell and stumbled and swooped and crashed his head on a bollard thingie and gave himself a nasty deep cut between the eyes and my oh my there was blood, so much blood.

“Ring 911,’’ I shouted.

I watch far too much American television and forgot we have 000 in this country.

“Ring 911, I repeated to my mate Jayne who, by this stage, was, quite frankly, too drunk to know we didn’t have 911 in this country and just kept shouting, “Geoffrey’s a Master Mariner, he’ll be okay.”

He was very much NOT okay (and he was only a Master Mariner for 10 minutes about 50 years ago.)  With blood spurting all over our jetty (and on me), we cleaned poor Geoffrey up a bit and put little strips of Bandaid on the cut which really should have had stitches but Master Mariner that he is, he said he didn’t need 911 (he forgot we have 000 too), and braved on.  With blood soaked towels and blood up the walls and on the floors, he soldiered on and we drank more champagne and had something to eat and flopped into bed.

Well, the next morning did that Master Mariner have two of the biggest black eyes you’ve ever seen.  He looked liked he’d been beaten up by a gang of burly bikies.

And then we had to go to a posh lunch at the very fancy berardo’s restaurant for those two MasterChef dudes, George Calombaris and Gary Meghan.  So Master Mariner Geoffrey got into my make up bag, covered his face with foundation and off we went to berardo’s.   Of course, the make-up didn’t hide a thing and everyone thought I’d beaten him up – and I let them believe that because I didn’t want them to think we were so irresponsible as to paddle across a river in a sloshed condition.  Don’t tell anyone I told you and we will never ever do it again.

My bruises.

A few days later I spent three hours at the spa having scrubs and wraps and deep tissue massage, and as you may or may not know you can get dizzy after a long massage session so I got off the table carefully, felt a bit swoony as well as dreamy and floaty as well as polished and buffed and scrubbed.  Later that night in bed I woke to a horrible cramp in my legs (common with me) and leapt out of bed with all the speed of a four year old and stomped about to relieve the cramp and next thing I know I am lying on the bathroom floor with a very concerned Geoffrey leaning over me with a wet towel bathing my face.

Fainted I had.  Out cold.  Crashed my head on the bathroom tiles, cut it badly, more blood everywhere and me not having any idea where I was or who I was.  But let me tell you, I very much liked the look of this gentle but black-eyed battered man leaning over me, with his soothing concerned voice gently urging me to wake up.   Poor Geoffrey thought I’d died.  I was out cold for about five minutes and then lost my memory for about half an hour and didn’t know who I was or that I had a daughter who’d just had a baby.  Very distraught was our Geoffrey to think he nearly lost me.  He got me back to bed – after I’d vomited all over him – and put a towel on the pillow to soak up all the blood and then laid next to me answering all my questions about who I was.

My memory came back the next day but I felt very woozy and out of sorts.

We have now decided Ann and Geoffrey Rickard cannot look after themselves due to over consumption of champagne and too many spa treatments and require full time carers.

Lot of lovely lunches

Been to many lovely lunches lately, and although I don’t usually do lunch because it takes too much time out of my day, I succumbed this past month and accepted all invitations and while it almost killed me to go out to long affairs and then go back to work to meet deadlines it was worth it.

Had lunch with the very generous (the only kind) Peninsula Hotel people.  They hosted a media lunch at Urban restaurant in Brisbane oh my, how fabulous was that place.  I urge you to discover it. We dined in plush surroundings in the private dining room and I enjoyed a light and tall cheese soufflé and loved all the Peninsula people very much because they kept telling me to visit them in Shanghai and Beijing and Manila, and then they told me they were opening Peninsula Hotel in Paris in 2013 and I had to visit them there.   If you’ve ever been lucky enough to stay in a Peninsula Hotel then you’ve experienced paradise.

Then I lunched at Sails restaurant right on the beach at Noosa with Annabel Langbein, that beautiful New Zealand cook who is blonde and soft and gentle and lovely and has a television show on Austar and makes delicious organic fresh food. Well, charming and attractive she was and if you’re into good cooking without fuss, you must buy her book.  It’s called Annabel Langbein Free Range in the City.

Then it was off with the gentleman, still black-eyed, Geoffrey to try out the brand new Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel.  We spent a weekend cosseted and pampered in the swish new hotel, a two bedroom apartment up on the 29th floor with sweeping views of the ocean.  We dined on grain-fed waygu at dinner in Luke Mangan’s Salt grill restaurant in the hotel which is elegant and swish and comfortable it makes you feel like a rich person just by being there.

After more pampering in the Hitlon spa, I was very carefully that night in case I leapt out of bed and fainted again, only this time instead of landing on the bathroom room floor, fell over the 29th floor balcony and landed splattered on Cavil Avenue.

The pieste de resistance of all the lovely parties and dinners came last week in Brisbane at the Sofitel Hotel in the Prive 249 dining room where Moet & Chandon launched their latest product, Moet Ice Imperial.   What a gorgeous occasion with all of Brisbane’s glam folk out in their bling and the delicious champagne served from three dimensional white bottles and a fabulous French man Philippe opening the champagne bottles with a sabre, yes, a sabre, and us eating food so sublime it looked like works of art.  We had pea crumbs with our waygu – took three days to prepare and appeared as tiny dots with the beautiful meat, but oh, my what texture they gave to the dish.  And we ate foie gras (better than I’ve had in France) with parmesan custard, and we sat with lovely people and it was one of those sparkling evenings you never want to end.

Family descend on Noosa

Last weekend I had the entire family with me in Noosa.  This doesn’t happen very often as beautiful daughter Jessica lives in Cairns and beautiful son Steven lives in Sydney and beautiful daughter Dallas about 15 minutes away.  Everyone came at once to congratulate Dallas on the baby, and we all spent three packed days together which I loved of course – but oh, the mess!   Steven came with his fiancé Julia, Jessica came with her beautiful baby Shaya (18 months) and Dallas stayed over with her energetic daughter Tilly (almost 3) and baby Jake, 2 weeks.

I don’t need to tell you how chaotic it was do I?  With toys and books and fluffy bears and building blocks all over the house and sticky fingers on windows and walls and all my beautiful object d’art thrown about the place like bits of flotsam and little girls playing tug-of-war over dolls and teddy bears and all of us getting in the pool and splashing so much we almost drained it of water and me cooking and shopping and cleaning and then cooking some more and shopping and cleaning some more.  I’ve forgotten what it was like to feed a big family and I’ve completely forgotten how special it is to be surrounded by little ones.  I spent the entire weekend, saying: “hello my sweetheart, hello my angel, hello my darling’’ every time a little one came toddling towards me…and do you know…I didn’t think to take a single photo of us all together.

So, now I’ve caught you up on all the Rickard news and I hope you’re having a lovely time wherever you are and are looking forward to having your own families with you for the Christmas break and I wish you all my best love because you’ve been loyal fans and you bother to read my ramblings and one day we might get together if you come to France with us and if you do, you’ll find out how fortunate I am to have a well-mannered and kind and caring husband who looks after me, because he will look after you in the same way caring, filling up your wine glass, ferrying champagne to you, helping you in and out of the car, escorting you all over the place like a gentleman and generally looking after you as though you were precious, which of course, you are.

Much love to you…


About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

2 Responses to Bruises, Black Eyes and Babies

  1. Meroli Mawdsley says:

    Hi Ann – an old wives remedy that works!! Put a cake of soap at the bottom of your bed (not dove) and you will never have leg cramps in bed again. A friend in NZ suggested this to me and i poopooed the idea at first but it works. Good luck Cheers and merry xmas Meroli

  2. Ann, have to say I stayed glued to your update, word for word, line by line, with a half smile turning to full smile and back again depending on the rhythm of what was happening next! I so miss Noosa (left in 2007 but back at least once a year), still have our house there so intend to return full time soonish hopefully. I live and work in such a different place now – no Melbourne Cup champers, no paddling accross the river or in any other kind of water, just sand that goes on forever…a far off Middle Eastern Kingdom. Looking forward to the next refreshing and fun filled instalment, keep them coming, Mary-Ann

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑