Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Birthday Bear Goes Fishing

George's Birthday is today exactly one week after Bill's so we have two Birthday Bear parties within a week. (Who's complaining?) George has recently been to Far North Queensland to go fishing with his brother. He showed us photos of him holding a huge fish that he caught. So Birthday Bear came as a fisherman.

He is holding up a big shark, rod under his arm and a net at his feet. (It was our turn to dress bear)

George looks very happy with his present.

Then he showed us how big it was,"the one that got away."

We went to Sunnybank Hotel for lunch. Ann had collected "shopper dockets" for each couple so that we got the second meal for $7.00. It was a cheap meal but very tasty for pub grub. Much to Colin and Richard's (friends who don't like it) disgust I had Barramundi fish and it did not taste like plastic it was soft, juicy and delicious.

Bill loves sausages and I don't so he often has them when we go out.

Birthday boy, George had lamb shanks.(Richard thinks this is a strange meal for us to eat in the tropics in summer, but one can get sick of summer salads and the eateries are air conditioned so it gives us a better variety of meals.)

Ann had chicken wrapped in bacon , avocado and cheese sauce.

Mary had a similar dish.

Another Birthday Bear group outing. From the left: Bill, moi, George, Birthday Bear, Ann, Mary, Paul and Helen. To find out more about our Birthday Bear tradition click here

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday Bear Rules My Kitchen

For those who don't know, Bill is the chef in our house and he is in charge of the kitchen, cleaning it too, while I am the gardener. I guess that is role reversal. See we are modern old farts.

Bill cooked this spinach pie last week with silver beet from our garden.

It was Bill's birthday yesterday and Ann and George dressed Birthday Bear for Bill. Here is Birthday Bear in Ann's kitchen waiting to be taken to the birthday dinner and surprise Bill. The sign says, "I Rule My Kitchen". I love his table and contents as well as his chef's checked pants.

When we arrived at the Gloria Hotel Restaurant Birthday Bear was there to greet us. I gave Bill the new shirt and pants that he's wearing.

Bill was impressed with his bear.

I had lamb shanks.

Bill had barramundi fish

The Birthday Bear group enjoy having dinners for each of our birthdays. Instead of gifts we pass around Birthday Bear. He has to be dressed to reflect something of the recipients personality.

Friday, February 19, 2010

BB's Got the Blog Bug and Shot the City.

A few days ago we visited the city (Brisbane) for BB to take photos for his City Daily Blog.

He's got the blog bug now and swapped his video camera for my Sony Cyber Shot. We drove to Kangaroo Point and took shots of the city from the lookout or in American the overlook.(Isn't English funny) As you can see from the sky we are in our tropical wet season and that is why the river is muddy.

Looking down river towards the CBD.


Looking up river towards the Captain Cook Bridge and South Bank Parklands.

We drove on to the Kangaroo Point Park and then caught a little ferry across the river, passing old customs house.

We headed to the eateries for lunch. (So as not to disappoint Julie, who thinks we do nothing else)

We found a nice one with a great view of the river activities.

I had a Moroccan Salad and Bill had fish'n'chips.

The Kookaburra Queen sailed past on its daily luncheon tour.

The sky scrapers surrounded us.

The City Cat glides past commuting people from one end of the city to the other. It is a two hour round trip and a great way for tourist to see the city. The Story Bridge is the icon for the city there are tourist walks going along the top of the steal structure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Its Time to Say Goodbye

The young ones, Carol and David, have celebrated both their fathers birthdays and now it is time for them to move on and restart their lives in Australia. They are off to try their luck in Sydney. I was pleased to see that they went through their "stuff" that I have been harbouring in the cupboards since they left for England 7 years ago. They threw out lots and packed the rest to take with them. Yippee! One empty cupboard and one still to be emptied by her sister, Sonya.
So all this stuff has to fit into this small car. MY small car. Yes, I gain an empty cupboard and lose a car. Well we have two and don't really need them both, its just a luxury. Anyway it will be returned when they buy their own. I was happy to help them out. They tried to buy one here but it is difficult to get a loan when you don't have a job or an address, even though they own an investment apartment in Melbourne. They can get a loan to buy a house but not a car???

In goes one...

...and another.

With much juggling and squeezing all the stuff fits, only the shelf to manipulate back into place.

We did it!

The twin teddies have found a good spot for the trip to Sydney.

Hugs and kisses goodbye and they are on their way to a new adventure. (bye,bye little car). They will take a few days to get to Sydney as they are going to stop off at beach side towns on the way and enjoy their last few days of holidays. In Sydney,they will stay with their sister Sonya, and Bernie while they look for jobs and an apartment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sirromet Winery, Mt Cotton,QLD

On the way home from our early birthday lunch at Cleveland, we travelled through Mt Cotton a rural suburb, where I used to teach back in the 80's.

We stopped at the Sirromet Winery hoping to have coffee and dessert.

function room in the cellars

It is a nice building inside and they have a good air conditioned restaurant, however when we asked if we could just have coffee they redirected us to the cellar door cafe.

So we walked out of the main building around the back to the cellar door.

It was very hot and to our disgust the cellar door wasn't air conditioned so we found the coolest spot possible.

Under the shade of the trees (but it wasn't cool) overlooking the entertainment embankment and vineyards in the distance. I felt sorry for our young ones trying to adapt to the heat after recently leaving London. We had a cool drink instead of coffee and NO dessert.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Early Birthday Lunch

As Carol and David are off to Sydney they took Bill to lunch for his birthday which is next weekend. They asked me which restaurant he might like and we decided on "Hog's Breath" at Raby Bay near Cleveland. He loves the tender steak and curly chips.

Once again we had to sit inside as it was too hot outside, but the view of the marina was still nice.

Raby Bay canal estate.

After lunch we had a short walk along the boardwalk and admired the sailing boat sculpture, the boys are keen to get out of the heat so they head off towards the car.

There they go down the yellow brick road.


While Carol and I take photos the boys are nearly to the bright red car. Hopefully they will open up all the doors and windows to let the heat out and then rev up the airconditioning by the time we get there. The temperature in parked cars can reach 60°C.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Big Seven O

Last Sunday we were invited to Bill P's 70th birthday party. Bill P is David's dad.
Bill's family from the left, Melody, Adele, Alma, Jon, Bill and David. Bill and Alma were very happy to have Adele come from Sydney and David home from London to celebrate with them. Each of the four children had a turn at relating a funny incident from the past involving them and their dad. David is recalling their dad urging them up the hills on their bicycles. "Come on if we get up the hill you have to come down again and that will be fun."

Bill is a keen cyclist and still cycles every day. He is challenging himself to do a 70 km ride now that he is 70.

Friday, February 5, 2010


The young ones came over from David's parents' place to see us before they start their road journey to Sydney where they hope to find a job and a place to live. We decided to have a nice lunch together before they go. We chose the Lighthouse Restaurant perched on the tip of Cleveland Point jutting into Moreton Bay.

We passed this seafood display on the way to our table. We could have a table next to the water or one in a cooler spot under the veranda. We chose the cooler spot as David and Carol are still finding it very hot here after coming from freezing London a few weeks ago. This is an open restaurant so there is no air conditioning. It usually has nice bay breezes but they were a bit light today.

It is like sitting on the deck of a ship, being so close to the water.

Lunch has arrived...

..David and Carol had a seafood platter for two...

Bill had Moreton Bay Bugs

I had baked whole Sole

Everyone is pleasantly full

This is better than skyping to the other side of the world....ahhh to touch, hug, hold and smell the closeness of one's daughter is wonderful.