Brisbane, QLD

Monday, February 6, 2023


 For those who have followed me for years (thank you), they might remember that I was writing "My Story". I was scanning photos from my many photo albums putting a story with them and publishing them on my blog and then into books for my children and grandchildren. However it has been a long time since I last posted a "My Story" entry. I have picked up again and been scanning like mad. That's why I haven't been posting often lately. So with the risk of boring the pants off you I'm going to continue with "My Story" here. If you want to read previous posts they are on my side bar.

Back in 1983 we were living in a small house in Springwood with the girls who were eleven and nine. My brother, wife and son lived in England. In 1983 my brother, David came to visit us for Christmas. He flew into Sydney and visited our mother and aunt, who lived together. He hired a car and drove them to Brisbane so we could all be together for Christmas, except for his wife, Ann and son, Michael who stayed in England. 

We visited the Art Gallery

We played in the swimming pool. David found it hot after coming from an English winter.

Christmas dinner with most of  my family, first time in ages. I can't believe Bill didn't put a shirt on and I didn't make him. What bogans we were!

Opening presents time.

Sunday, January 29, 2023


It makes sense in that we have a Singaporean Chinese Managing Director, who enjoys organising Chinese New Year celebrations for us in the village. She also cooks the different dishes for 200+ guests. She has a bunch of friends and family who help her on the night and her chef friend, Pozz. Besides these helpers many of the residents help too. Some help in the kitchen, some help setting up, some help cleaning up.

The Menu

The room is ready

Chiou See is cooking

A lucky banner is in its mouth

The lion gives Chiou See the banner for good luck.

Its good luck for the lion to eat greens and spit them over the audience. It plucks a lettuce hanging from the ceiling.

With the help of Chiou See the lettuce is thrown over the audience.

The drumming was very noisy. My Apple watch was sending warning messages that I was in a too noisy environment.
Then the guests fed the lions lucky red envelopes full of money. Everyone was asked to wear something red. Chinese lucky colour.
Yum Yum dinner time.

Our table is next.

I met a past student at the party. Her youngest daughter tapped me while I was taking photos and said, "Excuse me but I'm in Year 4 and you taught my mum when she was in Year 4." Then she took me to meet her mum and older sister. She is the niece of our village neighbour, who is an auxiliary resident.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


 On the 3 Jan I received this photo from Sonya in Melbourne:

She was about to get on a flight to Brisbane to come and see us . This was a surprise as we didn't expect her at this time. She had been having a busy time working and then looking after the boys by herself in the school holidays because Bernie was working full time.  So when Bernie finished work on the new year, she decided to leave the boys with him and his big family down at their beach house and she would have a well earned break. 

It was lovely having both girls here together. (Carol and David had come earlier by car from Melbourne) We played Articulate after dinner. It was fun and we had lots of laughter. It was Bill and I against the girls. The younger faster brains won each time.

Mince pies

Carol got the baking bug while she was here and I have put on the kilos. So we went for a walk in the forest every morning. Sometimes the girls went for a run. After the walk we did some stretching and Bill thought it would make a funny photo.

David and Carol keep fit by walking, running and cycling.
Off they go into the forest where there are many mountain bike trails.

They also enjoy painting. Carol is doing oils and David is doing water colours. Our back balcony serves as a studio and bike storage

We had friends drop in, who were from Sydney and we hadn't seen them for years. Bill and Ken had been work colleagues in the 60's in PNG. So we took them for lunch. They had a Winnebago and they were staying in Northern NSW near the border. So they came for day.
Like most parents we had been storing "stuff" from our children since they left home. Carol came and got most of her stuff before we moved here but Sonya flies here and can't take her stuff on a plane. I offered to send it by courier but they wanted $800.00. She said, wait till I sort it out and throw the stuff I don't want.
So with the help of her sister they sorted out box after box. I was so happy to see this after 20 years of storing and moving. The funny thing was when they found their trumpets, which they used to play in the school marching band. 

So they decided to have a 'rusty' jam session. Some of our neighbours came to see what was going on.
 Sonya was invited by her university friends to spend a few days with them in their holiday house on Stradbroke Is while she was here in Queensland. She had a lovely time on the beach in beautiful weather.

It was time for Carol and David to go back to Melbourne holidaying on the way for a week in the Snowy Mountains. They packed their car with all their gear including plein air painting equipment and David's portable music studio as well as some of Sonya's stuff.

On go the bikes and a sad farewell.

Bye bye! Sonya has come back from the island and is with us until tomorrow when she flies home to start work and get the boys ready for a new school year. Fox is starting High School.
It is nice to know they will all be back in February for a weekend when Bill celebrates his 80th birthday.

Saturday, December 31, 2022


The year has flashed past and we will have made it to a new year in a few hours. We have slowed down a lot this year. Past years are catching up with us. We do not travel far distances anymore Covid helped that along. I have had hospital visits, we have had family visit and we have joined in the many activities at the village. I have had two of my best friends die this year.  

Here are some memories from 2022:

In January, Carol and David said goodbye after spending a few weeks with us over Christmas.

In February, Bill celebrated his 79th Birthday with friends at a Daisy Thai Restaurant.

In March we had floods in Brisbane

In April, Fox and Bernie got a part in a TV series. Fox is being filmed below.
In May, Jan was diagnosed with cancer and a debilitating lung problem. I helped her around the village to take photos of gardens for a book she is making. She is an inspiration.

In June, I celebrated my 80th birthday in the community centre with family and friends.

In July, Carol, David, Sonya, Bernie, Fox and Banjo came from Melbourne to spend a week at Burleigh Heads with us to celebrate my birthday.

In August, our monthly dinner had a Gatsby roaring 20's theme.

In September, Chiou See (our managing director) and Brendan were married.

In October, my friend of 58 years, Joan passed away. We worked together and played together.

In November, we went on an excursion to a historic village in the Scenic Rim Region.

In December, Carol and David drove from Melbourne to be with us for Christmas Eve.
And so ends 2022. 

Wishing everybody a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 26, 2022


We always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve like they do in Switzerland which is Bill's home country. Our daughters are very happy with this because they can then go to their in laws for Christmas Day. This year Carol and David drove from Melbourne to us in Brisbane (2000km) to spend Christmas with us and David's parents who also live in Brisbane. Sonya, Bernie and the boys couldn't come this year and they will spend Christmas with Bernie's family in Melbourne. Bernie is in the stage show "A Christmas Carol" over the holidays. However, we facetimed when we were celebrating Christmas Eve and opening presents, which they had sent with Carol. They opened presents we had posted to them. So it was a nice family get together, which I was lucky to attend as I was in hospital for two nights until 21st.

I had stroke tests, which were ruled out and then I had a heart monitor for 24 hours. Still waiting for results and hope I don't pass out again.

The village singers walked around all the streets singing Carols. They stopped beneath our back balcony.

The next day our daughter and SIL arrived from Melbourne just in time to put me in an ambulance and send me to hospital to check if I had a TIA mini stroke.

I felt okay but I was worried and after lying down for two days my back complained when I bent down to put on my shoes. It remained sore for two days. Luckily it was better for Christmas.

The view from my room in the hospital. I can see the city in the distance. After tests ruled out a stroke I was sent home wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours. I'm still waiting for results which I don't expect until after the holidays.

On Christmas Eve Bill, Carol and David prepared the lunch/dinner. Bill made Potato Salad, Bean Salad and Russian Salad, which we now call Ukrainian Salad.

Carol made Green Salad, Mince Pies and Pavlova. David prepared the prawns and lobsters. We prefer a cold seafood feast rather than the traditional roast ham and turkey. However, we do have cold cuts of ham and turkey. It's too hot to be in the kitchen roasting for hours.

Only half the family this year but it is better than none. We had a lovely time together as we don't see each other in the flesh very often.

This was David's helping I had half that.

After the delicious meal we opened presents and facetimed the other half of the family as we opened the presents they had sent us. David was Santa and gave out the gifts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blogger friends and Happy Holidays to those of other faiths.