Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jessaholics Luncheon #4 - The Best Yet !

L to R : Greg, Annie, Clint, Brian, Jonathan, Chris,
Max, Faye, Sally, Pete and Collette

Collette and Miley !

Miley mingling with us mere mortals !

Miley belting out an impromptu tune !

Chatting with our friends and fellow Jessaholics
from across the pond

Clint having a grand old chat with "The Lady
from Across the Border"

Jess' personal video message to all of us !

Greg and Annie

Collette with her Jess-a-cupcakes

Hello fellow Jessaholics around the world,

The fourth Victorian Jessaholics luncheon was held last Saturday 27 Nov 2010 at Fishermans Pier restaurant, right on the waterfront in the city of Geelong (for our friends overseas, pronounced je-long) .

My word ! We all agreed that it was the best ever ! Now before I go any further, this is no longer just a Victorian event. We actually had our wonderful friends Annie, Greg and Brian travel in from Queensland and Tasmania respectively adding to all the usual suspects. We did miss Ailsa and Tony.

Collette did all the planning for the luncheon including picking the venue which was just perfect. This little collaborative gem by Clint, Max and Annie encapsulates our very special Collette :

There was once a girl from Geelong
Collette was her name for so long

Though blond may she be
Just between you and me

To organize, she can do no wrong !!!

She followed Jess every step of the way,

Through high seas and gales, Collette never missed a day.

As a loyal Jessaholic she really is a wonder,

(Although packing her suitcase she really made a blunder!)

That’s our Collette, our blond bombshell from Down Under!

and then this one from Brian :

There was a lady named Collette

who to Queensland was all set to jet,

But her plans soon came asunder

. . . it was only ONE small blunder!

That brought her on to fret.

So what was the cause

that made her there to pause,

When the friendly staff at check in

refused some extra mass in,

And stopped her at the doors.

In packing at her home,

somewhat more than just a comb,

Twelve pairs of shoes

…it’s oh so difficult to choose!!

Too late now to bemoan......................(truncated as the rest could not pass by the censors scissors !!)

........however, there were darker forces at work hatching and scheming a big surprise at the luncheon..........

A plan was afoot to smuggle all sorts of technological contraptions into the Pier without attracting any suspicion. Clandestine and coded communications were burning the airwaves and as the afternoon unfolded, we first had an unexpected and surprise whirlwind visit from another vivacious blonde......yes ! Miley Cyrus graced our Jessaholics luncheon with her presence, if not for a few minutes.

Next thing we hear behind us is a very familiar voice greeting all of us and telling us to enjoy our luncheon. We all jumped as we collectively recognised young Jess' voice and there she was on Max's widescreen monitor in a video shot especially for us. What a thrill ! Between Max and Frase (Andrew Fraser) and a tight schedule, this was pulled off in the nick of time !

The story does not end there..........the screen comes alive again and this time we have Bill (Georgia Guy) on Skype all the way from America ! The gods of bandwidth were taking a catnap because we lost audio with Bill but with the help of a notepad and pencil, we muddled on.

Then, it was such a pleasure to chat with Janell from Oklahoma and then Mark (Salty Dog) from the Pacific North West.

After that, the secret was out and it all came together for the rest of us when we connected with Soldiers Mum, the last link in the chain of the Sorcerers Apprentices who were the masterminds behind this scheme.

What an afternoon ! Once again, the best yet ! Just like everyone else, I can't wait for the 5th !

A very special "Sally by the Bay" trophy was presented to Max.......

To Max especially....I believe he has a trophy owing to him for ......not 1, not 2 but 3 firsts on the blog!!!!!!!
So drum roll please for.......Marvellous,Methodical,Memorable and Meritorious ...Max.


......and it still did not end there.....

Brian had quite an adventure getting home to's an excerpt ...

A delayed departure from Tullamarine (1 hr), a fog-bound Burnie/Wynyard airport, a diversion to Launceston, a tedious wait for a bus, a long and nearly disastrous (that’s another story!) trip back to B/W airport with diversions to debus various passengers. Then to double back from the airport, now in my own car, I pulled into my driveway at 1:05am!!

....and picture Annie and Greg looking for the seventh floor of the parking lot in Brisbane when it only had four ! To their defense it was 1 am.



  1. Oh dear Jonathan!

    Thanks so much for your adorable slant on our fantastic day. I laughed my head off at your account of it..and indeed it was accurate! (I thought our visitor was Hanna Montana impersonating we blondes though)albeit Miley!

    Thanks also for publishing those darn limericks you all had fun with whilst I was in Queensland without laptop and are literary pundits and hilariously funny!

    This truly was a memorable time, but just as memorable as every other luncheon.

    Because it demonstrates how we as a whole have grown in a tight-knit friendship over the months. And this is something very special in my life.

    I can't thank you adequately Jonathan,because you had the foresight to begin this site as a meeting place for us all.

    I'll try to put into better words at our next gathering.....

    My very fondeest to you all xoxo

  2. Taa Daaaaaaa Here it is Jonathan. For your fantastic efforts in creating a Blog to top all blogs about a luncheon to top all previous luncheons!!!

    It is my Joyous Job to Jet off to Jocular,Jaunty Jonathan the trophy for best entry on his blog EVER!!!!(apart from the amazing aerial photos of course!!!!)
    Thankyou Jonathan for a very entertaining summary and your comments which made me laugh for quite a while!

  3. Anonymous or an annoying mouse...sorry I just needed to sign off on my last comment ...Sally by the Bay....What verification word was EXTBRA.Now what is that and how would you wear it?

  4. Hi Collette,

    Oh pardon me....Hanna Montana it was ! To an old fogie like me, they all sound like and look the same ! Glad you enjoyed the blog and apologies for the lateness of the entry...its been super busy at the business.

    Oh Sally Dearest, that shall go up at the very top of my virtual showcase ! I love the alliteration !

    I can't stop chuckling about your word verification.......

    What a motley but glorious bunch we are !


  5. All I can say is...
    Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  6. Jonathan,

    This account of the Geelong Gathering was wonderful. Sorry my audio did not work but as you said, handwritten signs got the point across. It ended much too quickly.

    Loved the poetic account of Collette's trip.

    Wish we here on the "other side" could have attended but the airfare to come to lunch was a bit high.

    All the best to all of you.


  7. Great photos and dissertation, Jonathan. And thanks, Max, for your scheme that included us in the US. Bill, Janell and I schemed a bit also and decided to teach ourselves how to do a multi-video conference on Skype. It worked well when we practiced earlier in the day but the fickle cyber-airways through a bit of a clinker in our plans to have all three of us on at the same time. We had a lot of fun getting ready for the party though and it was FANTASTIC to meet all of you on the computer screen. Thanks again for including us. It was a total pleasure to drop in on all of you.

    Wear it proudly, Sally....


  8. Dear Jonathan!!

    What an entertaining account of your 4th luncheon with so many of the Jessaholics there in Oz and, even from Tasmania!

    It's fun to see that the bond has grown even closer, and that there are now a lot of family "inside jokes" to make things great fun for you all!!

    Max, you were hilarious as Miley or Hanna, or whichever!!! Where did you find that blond hair?? Too funny!!!

    Collette, you sure were a good sport . . . to take all that ribbing! But, then, would we have expected anything less from you?!!! Of course not!!!

    Glad everyone did finally find their cars, and safely make their way home, after what sounds like a truly wonderful reunion . . . with the promise of more in the future!

    JONATHAN, since Jesse sent messages to you all by means of that video, is there any way you can post the video here on this website, so that we can all enjoy it??? It would be truly appreciated if you could . . . or if someone else could. I don't know who is in possession of it, or if you each got a copy. (or If it was not a previously taped video, did anyone make a tape of it while you were watching it at the luncheon??? )

    It was wonderful seeing, and hearing about, this lovely get-together. Thank you so much, Jonathan, for posting here on your Jess-A-Holics blog and thank you to Collette for all your hard work!

    By the way, Sally-by-the-Bay, another terrific job on the award, you're a clever lady! And, regarding your verification word "EXTBRA" . . . ". . . how would you use it?" . . . only if you had an "EXTIT"

    Will be waiting to hear back about the video of Jesse!!! Hope there's some way that we can all get to see it!!

    Thanks, again, JONATHAN, and ALL of you who made this happen!!! Anyone who can vicariously enjoy a 210 day RTW (and that's all of us) . . . can certainly, also vicariously, enjoy your Geelong Luncheon #4!!!

    Thanks for "inviting" us in!!

    Carol Florida U.S.A.

  9. Time to proof read. I meant to say "threw a bit a of clinker" not "through." That's what I get for writing a comment so early in the morning before my eyes are open and 5 minutes before leaving for work, not because I'm blond. :-))


  10. Hello to ALL!

    Many thanks to you, Jonathan, for posting the pix and entertaining narrative (maybe I should call it a 'tale') of your recent Geelong luncheon. I could tell from our Skype conversation that everyone was having a great time together. Now that you have given us all the details, no wonder you were having so much fun ---poems about Collette, video appearance by Jessica, visit from Hanna/Miley aka MAX (great hair piece Max!), Skyping with Soldier's Mum and across the Pacific (we loved it!), trophies by Sally. And of course the follow-up tales of Brian's 'I can't get there from here' story, and the one that takes the cake --'Honey, our car and the top 3 stories of the car-park have vanished!'

    You all are truly a one-of-a-kind group. ....Perhaps Jonathan just wrote a Tale of True Spirits!

    Toodle-pip ya'll,

    Janell in Oklahoma

  11. Hi Jonathan and Jessaholics
    Thank you for the photos and great report on our weekend at Geelong, yes it was one to remember for a long time, everything worked out just perfectly.
    To Carol and others, sorry but Jessica’s video message was only on the internet until 2nd December, it is a very large file, almost 70Mb, so far too big to email, but just leave it with me and I will get back to you via Email to work something out.
    To Sally by the Bay, thank you for my trophy, I will treasure it always, but there is no way I am going to comment on your word verification !!!!!
    To Bill, Janell and Mark, your Skype contact was just fantastic, and a total surprise to the others. Thank you for taking part in this, we really appreciate you doing so, and it just added so much to the enjoyment of the day.
    To “O Devious One from across the border” thank you for helping set this up, it was great fun doing so, and we sure had a few chuckles along the way, didn’t we ???.
    To Janell, just letting you, and the others from the US, that we here on the mainland of Australia, can be very selective as to weather we include Tasmania as part of Australia. Just all part of the friendly interstate rivalry here. Sometimes, when it suites us, we even claim New Zealand as being part of Australia (but not very often) !!
    Ok, again Jonathan, well done on a fantastic blog with fantastic photos, and we really appreciate the work that you put in to keep this site so good.
    Cheers from Faye and Max.

  12. Hi All,

    Thanks again for the wonderful comments.

    I will attempt to compress Jess' video so that it can be transferred directly via email. I will also attempt to post it here.

    Well after a very hard 8 weeks at the grind, I am off to Hamilton Island with my girls this Thursday for a few days. I'll be back mid next week so will be off the radar for that period.


  13. Jonathan ... you're off to Hamilton island???!!! THAT's where OPRAH is staying! C'mon! Do tell ... is there something you're keeping from us mere mortals?! LOL

    ENJOY! :)

    And ... THANKS for this fabulous narration and the wonderful photos! TWO thumbs up! :)

    It was fun participating in the lead up and also on Skype. I do wish we could have been there, but alas ..... *sigh* :)

    Greetings everyone! :)
    I trust everyone is going along well and no doubt busy preparing for christmas. I wonder if Jess will have some of her famous patty cakes at christmas. Yeah, I know! I still call 'em patty cakes! LOL But hey! .. that's what we here in Oz always called 'em!
    Well ... we did out in the outback! lol

    Cheers to all!

    Soldier's Mum xxx

  14. Hi Soldiers Mum,

    Purely a coincidence, I promise you ! Just last night quite by accident we switched on Channel 10 and stumbled on to her show. She had Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews on reminiscing about the Sound of Music.

    Next thing, she had all the actors who played the Von Trapp children in the movie on stage with her. It was really interesting seeing sweet 16 Liesl now about 60 but speaking with that same distinct slightly nasal voice. Then little Gretl who is probably in her 40s and looking fabulous. Quite a show ! The four grandchildren of the actual Maria von Trapp sang Edelweiss and it was really quite moving.

    Well if I do happen upon Oprah, I will say hello from all the Jessaholics.....oh....who am I kidding ! I'm there to relax and soak in some sun and surf !

    Cheerio everyone,



    Enjoy a safe holiday season, and wishing you all good health and happiness for 2011.

    Fondest thoughts always,

  16. Thank you Collette for your Christmas Greeting, and may we wish you and all the Jessaholics a very safe and Happy New Year, and may this wonderful friendship continue with the Jessaholics. It has been our absolute pleasure being part of this group for the past year, and the impact it has had on our lives, will last for ever.

    Love and hugs to all

    Cheers from Faye and Max.

  17. An Irish toast to all Jessaholics:

    "In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want."

    Best wishes to all in 2011....


  18. Thanks Mark

    And our best wishes to all Jessaholics for 2011

    Love and hugs from Faye and Max.

  19. Hello Jonathan and everyone, I wish you all to have a happy new year and truly only the best and safe and no problems with health kind of 2011, may the next 12 months be full of more inspirational stories...and since this my first comment here since our latest lunch...yes it was truly one to remember I think the Skype links to other Jessaholics was just a ripper and to top it off a personal from Jess herself was just the icing on the cake...anyway as I type it 25 minutes to midnight and counting down to celabrate the new year...

    Happy New Year everyone...


    11:34pm 31/12/10

  20. Happy New Year, Jonathan, and ALL the awesome Jessaholics! It's been a remarkable . . . incredible, really . . . year, hasn't it?!!!

    Wishing you all "enough" of whatever you need to keep you, happy, healthy, and full of hope; confident, and positive, that this year will bring happiness and healing to all!!! God Bless You, and May there be Peace on Earth . . . especially wherever you are!!!! Love, Carol

  21. Hello Everyone,

    I thought I would drop in to wish everyone a (belated) Happy New Year but mostly to spare a thought and a prayer for the people of the great state of Queensland.

    I think what we see on telly is just the tip of the iceberg. First it was Rockhampton and surrounding areas now its metropolitan and Greater Brisbane. It was heart wrenching to see Toowoomba town centre just washed away.

    Brisbane is yet to feel the full effect of the onslaught as the river keeps rising and is expected to rise a further 5 metres (16.5 ft) which will effectively mean about 30 suburbs on the banks of the Brisbane River will be in a crisis situation within the next 48 hours.

    Its very hard to sit and watch this unfold and it reminds me of Black Saturday. Most rescue efforts are being stalled due to continuous bad weather and rising waters and I believe it will be another week before the water levels peak and start falling away.

    I'm sorry that I am focusing on this alone but when I see the faces of our fellow countrymen in Qld I find it very difficult to keep it together.
    I hope to connect with the Red Cross or a government agency in the next few days to determine how and where I can help. If anyone agrees to have me, I will travel up there at my own expense and help in whatever way I can. I find it hard, really hard not to do anything for these unfortunate people.

    In the meantime, if anyone has some ideas as to what we can collectively do for the flood relief effort, lets get a discussion going and take it from there.

    Stay Safe


  22. Jonathan,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding the floods with us. We've been receiving coverage on the news in the US and many of us have been keeping as informed as possible with information that's available on the internet. Several Jessaholics have shared with me that our Queenslander friends Annie, Fay (HomeSweetBoat), Carole and Trudy are O.K. I've been concerned about each of you and all of the other Queenslanders who we've got to know. Jessica has posted a new comment on her blog to inform us of how her family is dealing with weather. She also posted a link to a website where we can help out with a monetary donation to a flood relief fund. For us on the far side of the world, that's one way that we can help out in addition to our thoughts and prayers. There are many around the world who are very concerned and do care. Thanks again for keeping in touch with your blog posts and your emails, Jonathan.


  23. Jonathan, you express our sentiments exactly in your letter. It is so heartbreaking to see how those further North of us are suffering.

    Thank you dear Salty Dog for your concern. We, on the Gold Coast, are very lucky to have been spared the terrible situation that our neighbours find themselves in.

    Although we have been comforted with some sun and easing of the rain today, we know that the next couple of days are still going to be tough for many people.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

    Thank you dear Jessaholics for your love and support, from near and far. You are truly amazing!

    Warm regards
    Fay from the Gold Coast

  24. Hi Jonathan,
    Have a great New Year.
    I must've picked the right week to visit the Gold Coast.
    I echo all of Fay's comments.
    Hoo Roo ☺☺☺

  25. Hi all,
    Congratulations to young Jessica on becoming Young Australian of the Year. Wonderful news. She certainly deserves this recognition of her achievements - leading up to her journey, during her journey and everthing she has done since returning. Well done Jessica.

  26. Agree...I'm soooo happy for Jess, this is a fantastic achievement for a fantastic young lady doing fantastic things...but I reckon she'd love some time off right now and fined that lonely bit of beach where the Sun is shining upon her...

  27. I was so proud of Jessica when she was presented the Young Australian of the Year award that you would have thought that she was my own daughter. Sometime in February, the National Geographic People's Choice Adventurer of the Year will be announced. If she wins, it will be an indication of just how many people around the world appreciate her accomplishments. If she doesn't win, it means that we didn't do our job in voting her in.


  28. Hi All!

    Jessica's Young Australian of the Year Award is as good as it gets. I can't think of a higher or more prestigious honour.

    Like all the Jessaholics, I am absolutely thrilled for her, and feel quite contrite in that it must hush the critics once and for all.


  29. Lots of positive thoughts going out to Evie from the Jessaholics. I wish her the very best. You know that we're all thinking of you, Evie.


  30. If I have just one wish, it is for Evie to make a speedy, full recovery.

    Hang in there Evie, we're right beside you xxx