A few years ago, one of our waiters resigned and left Lord Howe to do a super yacht course. The course was marketed to young hospitality professionals who wanted to work in the glamorous super yacht industry. It was based in Cairns, and anyone who completed the internationally recognised 6-week course was pretty much guaranteed a job on a super yacht and a fascinating career spent in places like Monte Carlo, the Caribbean and the Dalmatian Coast. Apparently, lots of super yacht owners employ graduates of the course to be location scouts and try out fancy restaurants, 6 star hotels, dive sites and shopping districts for them, because they’re too busy to do their own research. …Read More
Every year I have to make a hard decision. Some may say they would know the answer automatically, but doesn’t it become difficult when you have to decide which side of the family you'll spend Christmas with? Annually my options are: A) spend it with my Mum and her family on our family farm on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, or B) spend it with my Dad and his family on Lord Howe Island. …Read More
We love TripAdvisor and we love hotel and restaurant reviews ‘by the people for the people’. It’s great - people sharing their thoughts from recent experience and offering constructive advice on how to improve the food, service or accommodation, and all of this without inducements or bias. You beauty! Better still, the reviewers remain anonymous and the business gets a chance to respond to the review – all according to strict guidelines and etiquette. Surely this sounds better, and more interactive, than the local Lonely Planet Guide? …Read More
Have you ever noticed how often your kids copy you? It can be disconcerting, embarrassing or downright humiliating at times. Before we had kids of our own, I remember our friends’ little boy putting his red balloon in the naughty corner in the kitchen and making it stay there for quite a long time, shouting at it if it moved. When he was a bit bigger, the same little boy said to Luke with a sigh: “I’ve been playing all day. I just want to sit down by myself and put my feet up for five minutes”. Of course, it sounded just like his mum after a long day at work. We looked at her straight away and it must have been an accusatory sort of look. She blushed and quickly changed the subject and sent her little boy off to wash his hands and have some afternoon tea. …Read More
Elsie started school this week at the Lord Howe Island Central School. I still can’t quite believe it!
Elsie went to a Transition class at the school for half a day each Wednesday last year, so she knows the school and the kids well and there were no tears at the school gate. We were also lucky to have a quick visit from the ever-reliable Nanna and Pa who came all the way from Sydney to help with last minute preparations for the big day. Nanna is a school teacher, and she quickly produced her own permanent marker and labelled all of Elsie’s uniforms and other school things in perfect black teacher-writing. She also has extensive knowledge of kindergarten etiquette. Nanna was the one who bought the bottle green undies to go under the school uniform. She thinks of everything. …Read More
Just before Christmas, one of our guests who was checking out said that he was disappointed that there wasn’t much Christmas spirit on Lord Howe. We were all a bit shocked. The Lord Howe Islanders love Christmas; we sing, we eat and drink too much and we wonder who will play Santa. But, like pretty much everything on Lord Howe, Christmas is kind of non-commercial. In fact it’s so low-key that one of our housekeepers went to the shop to buy some Christmas chocolates or candy canes to leave in the guests’ rooms on Christmas morning and failed to find anything suitable. …Read More
It can get cold at Lord Howe, honestly it can. On winter nights when we light the log fire at Pinetrees it gets down to 18 degrees or so. And some days, when I’m waiting at the airport to meet the plane in my shorts, it can feel quite chilly. Like everyone else, Lord Howe Islanders talk about the weather a lot. We say “beautiful day today” or “isn’t it freezing?”… although I once made the mistake of saying “isn’t it freezing?” to Ana, who’s originally from Estonia, and she said “no”. Not surprising, really. …Read More
About Dani Rourke
HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 85 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but recently escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance?