May 1 – Departure day

Location: On route – Monaco to Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat, France

Today is our first day of “paid” work. We both jump out of bed at 6am, dress in our new uniforms, bolt down a quick breakfast then I set about cleaning the boat while Bob disappears into the engine room.

It’s now 9am and Alfredo has just stepped onboard. Continue reading “May 1 – Departure day”

APRIL 28 – Knots in our relationship?

 Location: Monaco

I am in love with a word. It is my most favourite word in the whole wide world. That word is, “patisserie.” (Happy sigh.)

I’ve discovered the bakeries here, called patisseries, sell a huge range of the most delectable bite-size, melt-in-your-mouth miniature cakes.

Did I mention “huge” range? Possibly 10 to 15 different types of miniature cakes—chocolate éclairs, miniature vanilla slices, puff creams.

You name it. They have it or if they don’t, the next patisserie down the road has.

I can not stop eating them and find all sorts of excuses during the day to have at least one cup of coffee and cake. Continue reading “APRIL 28 – Knots in our relationship?”

26 April – Risking my life and beautiful tulips

You take your life into your feet here in Monaco. The traffic is chaos. A road that would only contain two lanes back in Melbourne, carries at least four lanes here, with cars almost scraping each other as they muscle for space.

There are a surprisingly generous number of pedestrian zebra crossings.

But local laws dictate that cars don’t have to stop until you actually step out onto the road in front of them. Continue reading “26 April – Risking my life and beautiful tulips”

24 April 2013 – Nodding and smiling routine puts me into hot water

Alfredo told us an interesting fact about Monaco yesterday.

The country operates under French employment laws. Under these laws, firing someone for non-performance may cost the company anywhere from six months to several years of that person’s salary, depending on their tenure.

Alfredo explained. “In Monaco if you hire someone, and they are no good, you have to pay them six months salary if you sack them before six months, and far more if they have been working longer. Continue reading “24 April 2013 – Nodding and smiling routine puts me into hot water”

23 April – Note to self: Don’t clog the head… again!

Location: Monaco

We have been invited to have lunch with Rhonda and Alfredo at their house today. I am very excited and put on my best outfit, again.

Continue reading “23 April – Note to self: Don’t clog the head… again!”

22 April – 15 ways to cure a black eye and thrush

Location: Monaco

Experienced my first disaster yesterday. Discovered that one of several bottles labeled ‘Ammoniaca’ is really gibberish for ‘hydrochloric acid’ and NOT something you should throw around with gay abandon when cleaning mould-spotted walls. Continue reading “22 April – 15 ways to cure a black eye and thrush”

20 April – Meeting our future neighbours

Location: Santo Stefano Marina del Aregai

Antifouling Caroline is a big job because she’s such a big yacht. The plan is to sail her to the boat yard and pull her out of the water for at least a week while she gets prepared for the journey. Continue reading “20 April – Meeting our future neighbours”

April 18 – Faking it

Location: Monaco

Sitting in the salon going through the photographs we took today. There’s one of me all dressed up in my best outfit, sitting outside the casino pretending to be a Montekest or Monegasque or however it is you say that word. It’s kind of difficult when you consider the average wage here is 186,000 euros a year, but I’m subscribing to the ‘fake it till I make it’ theory. Continue reading “April 18 – Faking it”