Burleigh Heads Beach, QLD, Australia

Sunday, December 8, 2019


As the University of the Third Age (U3A) year came  to a close we had a lot of end of year lunches and then came the village Christmas Party. Last week I had four lunches in a row. Travel Group Lunch, Tutor's Lunch, Photography Class Lunch and Play group Lunch followed by our Christmas Party last night. I forgot to take photos of the first two lunches.
This is our group of playgroup ladies we have kept up our friendship for over 40 years from when our children were toddlers. Now we share stories and photos of our grandchildren. I'm right up the back.

 The next day we were in the same hotel, Chatswood Tavern, with our Photography group.  Bill and I are not continuing to tutor photography and videography for U3A anymore. After doing it for 10 years we have had enough of volunteering and preparing lessons every two weeks. Now we are going to be U3A students instead. Our group were sorry to see us finish up but they were very appreciative of what we have done for them in the past. It was very rewarding to hear all the thanks and compliments.

 Last night we had the best Christmas party ever. Santa came too.

 There were 120 residents present and we had a bunch of great people at our table. Some I have known for years. Diane in front right I have known since playgroup days and Dot second left was in the next bed to me after our first babies were born (47 years ago). Now we all live in the same street in Elements Retirement Village. What a coincidence!

We were lucky to pick out of the hat number 2  for our table. So we  were second to go to the buffet. There was Turkey, ham, baked vegetables and salads.

 It was delicious. The caterers did well to feed 120 of us.

One of the desserts was Pavlova.

 Then we had entertainment. This couple were so good. Singing and acting songs from the 60's. It included audience participation. They were lively and funny.

 After dinner they played dance music. 

I enjoyed a dance with sSanta and too my surprise everyone else stopped dancing and clapped me on.
I will try to add a video next.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


My Story Continued

Sonya was four years old and she was starting Pre-School where they attend each morning of the week. It was part of the State School system. Now that both girls were at school, I applied to become a relief teacher. I would get a call in the mornings if I was needed at a local school to take the place of an absent teacher. So I wasn't working everyday. On the days I went to work, I paid another mother to take Sonya to her house for the afternoon until I finished work and could pick her up. We had become a two car family so that I could drive to work. I had a battered old Ford but it did the job for a few years.

First day of Year2 for Carol-Ann.
The neighbours went to the same school.
 We all walked to school.
Sports Day and Carol was in Dennis House

Carol in Year 2,  Springwood Central State School,
fifth from left, front row.
Sonya turns five. 

Pretty cute
Our beautiful brown eyed girls.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Brisbane Gaol opened in 1883. It became known as Boggo Road gaol due to the boggy quagmire of the road leading up to the Gaol. It has a colourful history and wasn't closed until 1992 after riots and hunger strikes to demand better conditions. Much of the old gaol has been demolished but the original red brick cell blocks have now become a historic site and tourist attraction. Bill and I went  on a guided tour. The stories and conditions made you gasp. We also heard stories about famous prisoners like Halladay who managed to escape twice.

The entrance
The visitor area

One of the cell blocks and a high security cell with a cat flap in the barred door.

The toilet bucket with a rim so as a head couldn't fit inside.
 Sometimes there were three men to a cell to share one bed and one bucket.

The exercise yard and through the door is where they cleaned the toilet buckets.

Monday, November 18, 2019


It was Birthday Bear celebration time again. (If you are not familiar with our tradition read here) This time it was Ann's Birthday. Birthday Bear came dressed ready to go to Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast for a School Reunion. Every year Ann and George hire an apartment on the 14th floor overlooking the beach. While there, Ann organises a reunion for the Staff of Kuraby School where we all used to work in the 90's. We have a delicious seafood spread for lunch. See bear is holding his plate of seafood. The Teddies in the apartment represent us having a feast. Helen dressed Bear this time.

  Happy Birthday Ann

Here are the real Teddies in the real apartment. Staff and spouses of Kuraby School from the 90's.

 The seafood spread

 dessert too

The view from the apartment looking south.

 Whale watching

The view looking north to Surfer's paradise.

 We had a nice lunch at the Glen Hotel. I didn't take many photos. It was very crowded. Helen took this for me. I didn't get one of Helen with the bear she dressed for Ann. So here is one from when it was her birthday.

Bear is going home with Chris so she can dress her for next time.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous annual horse race. It is a 3200m/ 2miles race for 3 year olds and over. It is held in Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November. It is the richest two-mile race in the world. This year prize money totalled $8 million. It is one of the most popular spectator events in Australia with over 110,000 people attend dressed in both traditional 'raceday' wear and all manner of amusing and exotic costumes. This year there was the lowest attendance (81,400) since 1995. It has been speculated that this could be due to the record drought and the scandal about how race horses are badly treated after their career is over.
Besides many people attending the track in Melbourne, people all over Australia and New Zealand have lunchtime functions and stop to watch the race at 3:00pm. It's called "The race that stops the nation." The staff at our village organised a Melbourne Cup Luncheon and one of our residents made hats from recycled stuff for us to wear. She hired them out and the proceeds she donated to the RSPCA. (animal welfare).

 Dressed up ready for the luncheon. Village friends Julie and Roy.

The lunch was simply chicken, prawns and bread rolls.

  But you could eat as much as you liked. 

 Our fabulous staff and partners.

Annie on the left is the lady who made 80 hats.

 Just one of the tables of happy villagers. When I met Brian in the blue shirt, we were surprised to find out we were in the same year at high school in Sydney in 1959.

The best dressed won a prize.

 Bill and his friend Eddie who came straight from England into our village. His stepson and family live nearby.

Bill won one of the raffles, a box of chocolates and a bunny rabbit.

He enjoyed pulling the rabbit out of his hat. We have lots of fun in our village.

Below is a little video Bill made for the Elements facebook Page.