Brisbane, QLD

Monday, January 31, 2011


The people of Bowen in northern Queensland were hit by Cyclone Anthony last night. There were high winds and rain but minimal damage, boats sank, roofs lifted and trees uprooted. But now another monster cyclone is on its way.
These were our news headlines tonight:
Premier Anna Bligh says the cyclone bearing down on the Queensland coast has the potential to be the biggest the state has ever seen.
Ms Bligh is calling on Queenslanders to prepare for gale-force winds, torrential rain and massive storm surges when Cyclone Yasi crosses the coast on Wednesday night.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


When we last saw Fox, our cute and only grandson, he didn't have any teeth, just a gorgeous gummy grin.
He was chewing on almost everything he could get in his mouth so we knew it would be soon. He has a special necklace that is supposed to help with teething.

It didn't stop him from hoeing into the grub.

Any tub will do when you are on holidays.

We recently got a phone photo from his mum and dad with the caption"Toothy pegs"

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I must confess there are parts of my garden that are messy, like the bit below. Where the garden meets the grass, needs a lot of attention. For years I have kept the garden trimmed back and the edge weeded. The lawn mowing man edged the lawn with a whipper snipper.

However, with a prolapsed disc I am finding it harder and harder to do this job. 

One day the young lad from two doors up the road came by and asked if we wanted our cars washed and the lawns mowed, as he was starting up his own little business on weekends and after school. We thought this pretty enterprising and Bill hired him to do the cars. I took him on to do the lawns and let the previous man go because I wasn't happy with his work or price. Young (handsome) Locky, offered to cut the hedges and edge the lawn with timber to make it easier for mowing and easier for mulching and weeding.

Locky has finished school now and has a job with a landscaping company. So he organised the timber and battens and got to work. I prefer this to concrete.

He has a long way to go all the way around the house, as we live on a corner with a cul de sac curling around past the back of our house. He hopes to be finished tomorrow. (By the way I pay him I'm not taking him to the movies...he he he.... people would talk.) There are some good young people around these days unfortunately we only hear about the bad ones in the news.

Above is a Monsterio deliciosa plant with lots of fruit, some are still in their sheath others are nearly ready to eat.  I don't like them much but my friend, Helen does so she is in for a feast. They taste like fruit salad.

This is another one just opening.

A Lorikeet on a Banksia flower.

The Banksia flower changes colour as it gets older and looks great in the afternoon sun.

Friday, January 28, 2011


At the moment Brisbane and other flooded areas are still cleaning up after the floods. It will take a long time. However the victims have been overwhelmed by the enormous numbers of friends, relatives and complete strangers who have volunteered to help them clean up and repair homes and businesses.
We were lucky not to have suffered flood damage but my garden has suffered a little from all the rain. The plants and weeds have run rampant and the pathways were full of leaves and they were covered in black mould and slime.
Well I had my very own neighbourhood helper to clean my paths.

He is Alex, my eleven year old neighbour, who spent a few hours over a few days sweeping up leaves and removing the mould with his pressure hose. What an angel! Today I took him and his friend to the movies to thank him for a job well done.

Rampant Pentia.

Kangaroo Paw, taller than I've ever seen it.

A yellow Kangaroo Paw in the back garden. The grass has been hard to keep under control, it can creep into the garden within a week.

Some of the plants in the front garden have rotted and others are taking over. Nothing like tropical rain followed by very hot, humid days to make your garden grow, Mary Contrary.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


 How we celebrate Australia Day.  All over the country in cities and towns people celebrate in many, many different ways ranging from Flag Ceremonies to cockroach races. There are multi cultural and multi religious festivals, there are citizenship and honours ceremonies, there are concerts and fireworks, there are pig races, and dunny can (outback toilet) races and the list goes on and on. We usually have thong (rubber sandal not undies) throwing competitions but this year due to the floods we had gumboot throwing competitions. Many people have house parties too.The saddest part was that in the towns where lives had been lost in the floods, they had memorial services.

 flag ceremony

Most families have a traditional Aussie BBQ of steak sausages and prawns either at home, at a festival, on the beach or in the park.

The BBQ is followed by traditional Aussie dessert, Lamingtons and...


We didn't fancy joining the crowded roads to the crowded beaches or festivals or parks so we had our own little celebration at home in the cool air conditioning. It was a scorching hot day but with blue skies and sunshine, no rain in sight, which was wonderful. 
We have our Aussie hats on and had kangaroo sausage with salad and rockmelon (cantaloupe) instead of fattening Lamingtons and Pavlova. I even had the all Aussie spread, Vegemite, which only real Australians can manage to enjoy. Overseas people can't stand it and even Bill can't get to like it. We washed it down with a fruity Aussie Shiraz - Annie's Lane from Clare Valley, SA.

Besides all the festivities we also have  many important sports fixtures on this day too. The Australian Open Tennis, England v Aust Cricket, and my favourite sport Soccer Football.  My local heros, the Brisbane Roar played Wellington (NZ) and won 2-0 but best of all our national team, the Socceroos beat Uzbekistan 6-0 in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup, now they are in the finals against Japan. I had a great day watching these two matches. 


In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip arrived from England after 9 months sailing with 1487 people, 778 of them convicts, to start a new colony.

Phillip set up camp here in Sydney Cove on 26 january, 1788.

233 years later it looks like this.

We have a holiday today and many celebrations. Brisbane is relocating celebrations from flooded venues and we will still try to have a good time and especially celebrate our strong mateship bonds that have helped us get through this disaster. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


While we were on the Mornington Peninsula for Sonya's wedding we did a little side trip the day after.

We drove to Cape Schank right on the tip of the peninsula.

We walked through the National Park towards the sea.

I liked the twisted trees.

The board walk went right out to the tip of the point but there were too many steps for Bill and his sore toe and I wasn't too sure about my knees either so we didn't go all the way (wimps).

Instead, I admired the wild flowers and grasses.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Saturday, January 22, 2011


So, together with our friends Ann and George , we wound our way up to the top of Mt Gravatt in the southern suburbs of Brisbane to get a good view of the final hurrah.

Quite a few others had the same idea. We waited patiently for some time and we were entertained by late comers trying to find a place to park.

Finally, they appeared, They flew over the city and then towards us.

Two separated and went down to the Gold Coast City to say goodbye there.

The others turned to the west going right over our heads. They were noisy.

They have been in service since 1973 and are being replaced by Super Hornets.

After they disappeared most people left, but Ann and George surprised us by saying, "We have brought a picnic lunch to share with you." This table looked inviting and we hoped the grey skies were not going to rain on us.

We had prawn and salad rolls, cake , cookies and Swiss chocolate. Talk about being spoilt. George and Ann are checking their pics of the planes. Ah! It's grand to be retired. It just started to rain as we packed up and it hasn't stopped ever since. (A slight exaggeration)
A few months ago we heard on the news that our ageing airforce fighter planes, the F 111C Aardvark, were going to be replaced and there would be a farewell flight over Brisbane of those based here. It was a dull day threatening rain.