Brisbane, QLD

Monday, May 9, 2022


ANZAC DAY is on 25th of April. It is the day that we remember all the Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women who lost their lives in war. On 25 April 1915 ANZAC troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. By the end of the day, 2000 had been killed. The campaign was a failure, but the bravery, ingenuity, endurance and mateship shown on that day has become enshrined in the Australian character.

Each year the village has their own little ceremony, while much bigger ones are held in all towns in Australia. We have quite a few veterans in the village and they proudly wore their medals and laid wreathes. Children and grandchildren of veterans also wore the medals of those no longer with us.

Usually the veterans march around the village streets and then hold a ceremony at our little cenotaph but this year rain forced the ceremony to be held inside the Community Centre.

First we had a little Dawn Ceremony, which is held at the same time that the troops landed on the beach. We had it next to our rose garden but the rain kept a lot of residents in bed.

The gathering for the ceremony in the Community Centre.

I discovered at one of our dinners that this guy, Brian, and I were in the same year in high school in Sydney back in in the 50's.

All the veterans in our village with our managing director Chiou See Anderson and our local federal senator, Amanda Stoker. the wreathes are in the centre.

The ceremony was followed by a morning tea and a sausage sizzle for lunch. After lunch we had a social with music provided by our very own Elements Band.

It was a big day but quite successful despite the rain, which is still falling today. We have never seen so much rain at this time of year.

Saturday, April 30, 2022


Every month we have a dinner in the community centre of our independent living retirement village. The residents have a dinner committee, which organise the dinners and guest speakers. This year we have two teams of catering students from Rochedale High School and the team that was on duty this night also had musicians as well. So when we arrived we could get a drink from the bar, mingle and listen to dinner music.

There are between 70 and 100 people attending these dinners. We have a visiting chef and helper. They prepare alternate drop meals. We used to have a main course and a dessert but the format has changed to an entree and main instead. This is so the students can start cleaning the kitchen earlier so that they can get home on time and there is less for the residents to wash up. Each month residents of a different street are asked to wash up. We have two industrial dish washers that wash in 90 seconds. So it's not so hard. 

For the entree we had salmon mousse or vegetable pate with salad. The main course was deconstructed steak and kidney pie or chicken and leek pie. It wasn't one of our best meals but it was okay.

Our Guest Speaker was one of our residents, Robin Kleinschmidt. He is a member of the Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller and he told us about its 1000 year history. He is a Knight of Justice and wore his robes as he entered the room.

Students entertain us with singing and music.

Managing Director, Chiou See Anderson's mother had flown from Singapore to spend time with her daughter. The  first time since the pandemic started. Ann in the blue dress in front organises the dinners at age 82.

She explains to Robin where to walk through the tables.

Ann helps Robin disrobe before the talk.

Our Managing director, Chiou See, stands with the students and chefs while they were being thanked by our residents' chairman. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


We had a quiet Easter with village friends. It was very pleasant having a BBQ on Caren and Eddie's back patio in the warm Autumn weather.  Although our family were not with us at least they were with each other. Carol and David live in Sydney and Sonya, Bernie and the boys live in Melbourne. However, Carol and David are on the hunt for a rural property either in Victoria or Tasmania. They have had enough of city life. So they drove from Sydney to Victoria and found a place to stay in Macedon about an hour out of Melbourne. While there Sonya and the boys visited them.

The sisters were pleased to see each other again.

After playing at making a fake moustache, Banjo helped Aunty Carol make a Pizza. Sonya and the boys returned home but the next weekend was Easter. They all decided to meet at the bush shack retreat near Gordon and spend Easter together. Bernie and his brothers built the shack out of recycled materials. There is no electricity or water connected. Mobile phone reception is poor. They take their own water and use gas for cooking. They have a composting toilet. However, they love going there as it is back to nature and quite relaxing. The boys can run wild and they cannot use their iPads.

Driving into the property, I think it's about 40 acres.

There are also a few caravans on the property, which are used as bedrooms and storerooms.

It's quite comfortable inside. There are bunks and an open fireplace.

They all love mountain bike riding.

There is a dam nearby.
David, Bernie and Banjo, Carol and Fox.

Riding in the forest.

They stopped to collect chestnuts from an abandoned orchard.

On Easter Sunday too much chocolate.

It is nearly as good as being with them having all these photos sent to us.

 The saddest thing is that Bernie's family received a notice that this property is going to be claimed by Ausnet to put pylons through. The shack and everything will be bulldozed. The family will be compensated but they wouldn't be able to find another property for that price in the same area. So the family went to Melbourne with neighbouring farmers and protested.

Saturday, April 9, 2022


Our grandsons Fox and Banjo live in Melbourne, Victoria. We haven't seen them for a long time. During the worst of the Covid pandemic our state borders were closed and travel restricted. So we kept in touch with video chats. Their mum, Sonya, sends us lots of photos of the boys so we can see them growing up.

They spent a lot of time in lockdown and homeschooling but now they are free to spend time at their family's beach house and going boating and fishing. Their parents have bought a new house and they have been busy renovating it and that happened over the end of year school holidays so they were too busy to visit us then. Now they have started a new school and have just finished their first term there. It was their first term at school full time since the 2020/21 lockdowns. 

The good news they are coming to visit us in June for my 80th birthday. Carol and David are coming too and we hope to spend a week on the Gold Coast together.

Banjo caught a shark

Sonya and Bernie

First day at a new school. Banjo is 9 and Fox is 11.

Banjo loves art lessons. He drew this flying fox. 

Fox like his father enjoys acting. He has already appeared in a few movies. Here he is filming a new series. (the one with fake long hair and his knee up.)

Sonya loves her dog "Chief". He is good at helping her destress after work and when the boys have been difficult. Both boys have ADHD and Fox also has high functioning autism. Parenting is very hard.

Chief is good for keeping Fox calm.

Banjo loves him too.

Fox finds it very hard to go to sleep so Chief helps him but Chief also needs his ball with him.

During lockdown in their old house, Chief joined in with home schooling.

Sunday, April 3, 2022


We had fun at the annual Box Party in the community centre organised by Sandra and Gwen. Participants brought a box. They were placed on a table. When your name was pulled out of a bag, you chose a box. You opened it front of everyone. If you didn’t want to keep your present you could swap it with someone without their consent. We had lots of laughs.

The boxes are ready.

The people are ready. This event was held at Happy Hour, where we bring our own nibblies. We can bring our own drinks or buy them at the bar.

Eva got a pair of warm bed socks, they became one of the most sought after gifts. They were stolen many times.

Gay stole them from Eva, Tony stole them from Gay.

Terry got two little pigs.

He swapped them for socks from Herbie.

Julie couldn't believe she got a little green frog again, the same as last year. She said, "Not another stupid green frog." She had us in hysterics. Sandra and Gwen are the organisers.

Green frogs were a popular gift. Caren thought it was funny but she had it stolen by cheeky Bob, who gave her a calender of half naked volunteer Firemen. We thought that was hilarious since she is over 80.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


 We have some people in our village who are always on the go and looking for things to do besides participating in the regular activities available. Two guys, John and Allen, decided that the bamboo fence surrounding our special Japanese Zen Garden was starting to look a bit tatty. It had been erected over ten years ago and the bamboo was rotting. So they asked the powers to be if they could put up a new fence if the administration paid for the materials they would do the work. It was agreed.

So John, Allen and quite a few others pulled down the old fence and put up a new steel fence but they will install a new bamboo fence in the front of the garden to keep the authentic Japanese appearance. 

I thought residents came here to retire and relax and play not work like crazy. But I think these two enjoy it very much.

Allen fixes the gate

John makes a new entry to the Nursery next to the Workshop.

They built a handrail to the nursery and renewed the fence between the nursery and the back of the Zen Garden.

Other residents helped remove the old fence.

Allen prepares the posts for the new panels.

The finished fence on the western side of the Zen Garden

Looking into the Zen garden, you can see the original bamboo fence in the front of the garden.

Looking over the waterfall into the Zen Garden from the Workshop garden. The boys only put up a wire safety fence here as it looked good with the two gardens blending together.

The new fence on the Eastern side.

These two guys are doing an amazing job. Would you believe they are both having Knee replacements next week.