Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We are very lucky to live in Queensland, where it doesn't really get very cold in winter. We get very hot summers so when the temperature drops to 10 C (50F) in the early mornings, we feel very cold. During the day it can reach 20C-25C (68F-78F) in Brisbane even hotter further north. Yesterday we went to Sandgate a northern suburb of Brisbane to have lunch on the beach with our son in law's parents, Alma and Bill.

Sandgate lies on the northern reaches of Moreton Bay. When it is high tide like this day it is beautiful.

Looking south along the walkway.

Looking north towards Redcliffe Peninsular.

It has become a tradition to have fish, chips and salad with Alma and Bill every now and then.

It got so warm and sunny we took off our jumpers and BB had to make a hat out of the chip bag to keep the sun off his face.

Enjoying the winter sun.

Gulls enjoying the sun.

A typical old "Queenslander" style house over looking the fabulous view of the bay.

(I forgot my camera so we used our phone cameras.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Birthday Flowers

I love flowers and I was so lucky as to receive 3 bunches on my birthday last week. Here are some of the blooms.


Monday, June 22, 2009


To learn about the tradition of Birthday Bear click here.

As I am working on my birthday on Wednesday, we celebrated yesterday. We had lunch at the Foyer Bistro in the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in the city. It is situated on the South Bank of the Brisbane River, together with the State Library, the Museum, the Art Gallery, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (opera house), the Conservatorium and Convention Centre. This area is one big Cultural Centre on the banks of the river.
It was my turn to receive Birthday Bear and I was quite excited trying to anticipate how she would be dressed this time.

Here she is dressed as a gardener. That's me! She has on her overalls, garden gloves and garden shoes. Of course she has a visor and sunnies.

She even has a little wheelbarrow full of lemons (see my lemons here). She also has a watering can and fork and shovel, with froggy handles. I love frogs.

Ann and George (in front) did a wonderful job of dressing bear and making the props. Thank you. From left to right...Ann, Mary, Bill, Birthday Bear, Paul, me , Helen, George. We even booked a place for Bear, which the waitress thought was funny.

I had Pork Belly with apple and rhubarb sauce and side vegetables.

BB had Salmon and schwabi sauce with fries on the side.

Then Bear wanted to check out the view from the deck. The GoMA building at the side overlooking the new pedestrian bridge and the city on the other side of the river.

A city cat glides under the partially constructed pedestrian bridge connecting the cultural Centre with the CBD. We had a lively discussion about the asthetics and cost of the bridge. Some of us liked it and others didn't.

The very old William Jolly Bridge a few metres down stream.

After lunch we went to have a look around the modern art gallery, which was featuring Chinese artists but Bear wasn't allowed to come she had to wait in the cloak room and look after our umbrellas. Yes it has been raining for 2 days now, which is very unusual or this time of the year, but it is better than the drought we've had over the last 5 years.

We went up to the other floors and saw some really way out art. Some was interesting and some was rediculous.

This huge lady in bed was interesting

Up close her skin was almost translucent and very life like. Read more about her and the artist on BB's blog.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Big, Bad Banksia Man

The Big, Bad Banksia Man is a charachter from an Australian children's story called "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" by May Gibb. It is an old story as I remember reading it as a child but it is still in the stores today. I saw this Banksia Man in my garden today. Use your imagination and you can see his mean eyes and a mouth near the top. It is actually the seed cone of a Banksia Tree. There are many different kinds with fancy botanical names which I don't know.

This is how they look before becoming a Big Bad Banksia Man.

They start as a new cone and then develop a loopy, hook shaped petal (It probably has a proper name for these hair like structures)

See the looped, closed hooks?

Then they start to open. The one above has half open at the top and half closed at the bottom.

This one has them all open.

This tree has reddy, orange ones.

This tree has yellow ones.

Closed hooks

Open hooks.

I think they are beautiful but then they turn into the ugly Banksia Man.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Brilliant BB" or "Ode to a Good Bloke."

In our family, BB does the cooking and I do the gardening. Bill hates gardening and I'm a hopeless cook. He also has a dicky ticker and should take it easy. However, after my surgery I also was must take it easy. When we had the trees lopped we had some of the mulch left on the grass for us to spread. Now who was going to move it before it killed the grass and before it rained? "Brilliant BB" offered. So I supervised. I needed it on the pathway next to the vegie patch. Of course that was in a hard to get at place.

At the top of our back garden.

Filling the barrow.

Down the steep hill.

Through the narrow gate (to stop the wallabies from eating the beans).

That done he went inside and made some cookies.

Then he cooked lunch

Ham and eggs.

Haven't I got a "Good Bloke"?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Birthday Bear has his/her own blog now, so if you are not familiar with Birthday Bear you can read how it all started and the idea behind the tradition HERE.

Birthday Bear is going to the COTAH Restaurant to celebrate Mary's birthday together with a bunch of retirees. COTAH is the College of Tourism and Hospitality. The restaurant is run by the students.

The college is at South Bank in the city. I forgot my camera and used my phone. That was just one of the glitches we had on the night. On the way I received a text from the bank saying my keycard may have been copied so would I go and change my PIN, just what you need on the way to a birthday dinner with friends.
It wasn't an easy place to find but when we arrived Birthday Bear was already there, sitting up waiting to surprise Mary. Mary volunteers at a community Library and she is often wondering where to go on her next holiday. So Bear has thinking bubbles suggesting places of interest to visit. She also has travel brochures and her passport ready.
She is sitting in her Library (real photos of her library) She also has jigsaw puzzles and afternoon tea with a birthday cake ready. Helen and Paul did a great job of dressing Birthday Bear.
Unfortunately there were a few more glitches before the fun could start. Mary's taxi driver couldn't find the venue and got caught in grid lock going around the block trying to find us. Finally when he found the place Mary discovers she has lost her phone probably in the cab. So poor Mary was a little agitated by the time she arrived.

However, when she spied Birthday Bear she felt much happier.

The students did a good job with dinner. Calamari entree.

Chicken mains or
Tiramisu or
crepes for dessert.

In the end Mary was smiling and..... .

....we all had a good time.