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

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh! To Buy a Car

So the young ones have come back from UK to settle in Australia. They have a challenge in front of them. They need to find somewhere to live, get a job and buy a car. They came to Brisbane to see family but now they are in Sydney.Their dilemma is what to do first. Find an apartment? Find a job? Buy a car? They decided they needed a car first so athey could: to drive around Sydney ;to look for somewhere to live; and to attend interviews; as well as transport their belongings to Sydney. Before they left for Sydney we took them car shopping............

As you can see David is quite a big fellow so we have to make sure that he fits comfortably in a car before buying.

We were driving them around in our BMW, which we bought just before Bill retired 5 years ago (in winter by the looks of the jumper). The young ones liked it and wanted to go to the BMW showroom to check out what was available.
The price of new ones, in the air conditioned showroom was a shock to the young ones, so we adjourned outside to the "used" ones. It was a stifling hot day, and the heat was reflecting off the concrete car yard.
They liked this small hatchback and the salesman took them for a test drive but first he took us into the cool air conditioned restaurant and told the assistant to give us a free coffee and muffin. He was looking at a car sale here!
While we waited in the cool showroom we were amused by this little number.
It is a BMW Isetta 300 3 wheeler. For more info on it see Bill's blog
The young ones returned but didn't go ahead with the sale as David found it too small. So they tried this Mini Cooper but he had the same problem. Later that day they found the car they want. It is a Mazda hatchback, but they couldn't get finance because they don't have a job or an address. So now they have borrowed my little Hyundai Getz, which is actually big enough for David to be comfortable. See my earlier post

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guess What ?

Can you guess what this is?

Does this help?

Mystery solved?

Here are a few more exhibits from our visit to the Gallery of Modern Art.

The above is:

Kohei Nawa’s sculpture PixCell-Elk#2 transforms the body of a taxidermied elk, purchased through an internet auction site, by covering it with transparent glass and resin beads. In the process, Nawa dramatically changes our perception of the original creature; the surface of the animal is fractured, magnified and distorted through the images captured inside the spheres. Viewed through this shell, the elk’s textures and colours are filtered through, and dissipated into, myriad individual surfaces, like the pixels on a computer screen. In using these media, Nawa aims to destabilise our sense of what is real and what is virtual.

X-Blind Spot by Yang Shaobin. This is one of a group of four paintings and two sculptures by Yang explores the consequences of labour, whether it be the chronic breathing ailments resulting from exposure to dust, the very real physical dangers of blasting and working with heavy machinery, or the erasure of individuality that occurs within such a large labour force. While X-Blind Spot in no way seeks to return to a heroic vision of labour, Yang’s project confronts the public invisibility of contemporary workers’ lives, remarking on the blind spot.

Unfortunately I didn't get info on this piece from the Pacific Islands.

(a good one for Julie to riff)

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.

Birthday Bear has his/her own blog and would love you to visit here.

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.