Brisbane, QLD

Monday, March 28, 2011


Woohoo! It is time to celebrate George's birthday with our Birthday Bear group. I know it sounds silly but we get excited when we know we are going to lunch with a teddy bear. However, we are always keen to find out how Birthday Bear will be dressed for the event because he will be dressed to reflect some personality of the person whose birthday it is. The birthday person keeps the bear until next birthday celebration takes place.

George is often tinkering in his shed with hammer and nails and making things. So Birthday Bear arrived at the restaurant dressed as a carpenter together with his tool box and saw horse. He has his hard hat on for safety but I don't know if he would pass the building site safety test with those shoes.

George was happy with his Birthday Bear's outfit.

We take it in turns to dress Bear. Mary did a good job as it is getting harder and harder to think up new and different outfits.

From L to R: moi, Mary, Ann, Helen, Paul, George and Bill 

We all had a superb chinese banquet at Kam Koon Restaurant in Springwood. We welcomed Helen and Paul back from their holiday in New Zealand and Ann and George back from their holiday in Cairns.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TWO DINNERS AND A LUNCH (No weddings or funerals)

My social calendar was a little crowded last week with two dinners on two consecutive nights and then a lunch the day after. Boom! There goes the diet.


Twice a year the playgroup mothers of the 70's get together for a girl's night out at a restaurant. We discuss the worlds problems and our travels. We catch up with marriages of our children and births of grandchildren and how they are all doing... blah blah blah. We share photos too of course...brag brag brag. And we all had a delicious Thai dinner. It was a good night out.


The following night it was the Logan Branch of the University of the Third Age dinner at a chinese restaurant. It was a good way to get to know people doing other classes than the one we attend (Camera Club). Not everyone came to the dinner but it was interesting listening to other people's stories and interests. Some of the subjects offered in Logan are Mah Jong, Psychology, Walking, Writing, Computers, Painting, Tai Che, English, Genealogy, Philosophy, Bible Study, Yoga, German, Spanish, Calligraphy and Camera Club.

Next post is Lunch with Birthday Bear, guess how he'll be dressed for George's birthday this time?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I am retired but occasionally I get offered a short contract to teach children who are having difficulties with Literacy and Numeracy. I have been working for the last seven weeks.  However, the contract has finished and I'm now freeeeeeeee again.

I was at a different school to the one I last taught at for 17 years. It was interesting to see how things are done differently and how education is changing with technology since I finished full time teaching.

I was at Robertson State School (Primary School, Elementary School). At the moment they are having a new Resource Centre (Library) built and there was a little chaos teaching in a construction site.

One of the Year Five classes all had to have their own laptop. I guess in the future there won't be any book lists, it will be a laptop or an ipad instead. It's a far cry from the slate in early days.

It was interesting watching the kids doing their lessons on their laptops. The parents have given consent for kids to be photographed but I still prefer to keep their faces blurred. I stopped using the flash on my point and shoot so as not to disturb them, so the pics are not the best.

 There is a teacher and teacher aide in the class. The teacher is sitting, helping a group centre left. The aide is centre right.

 This is a temporary classroom while the construction is in progress.

Every class has an interactive whiteboard. I have seen some amazing lessons done with this technology.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


This weekend we were invited to visit Ben and Lyn's house on the Gold Coast. Ben and Bill have been friends since before they migrated from Switzerland together in 1967. They both married Aussie girls and we have remained friends. We enjoy playing Jass, a Swiss card game. Ben and Lyn have a small but beautiful tropical garden. They have just recently acquired a new plant.......
A Bat Plant (tacca integrifolia) a native of Malaysia. The flower arrangement is a metre long on a spike also a metre long.

The bracts are white but can be purple or purple and white. The true flowers are purple hanging under the bracts. I've never seen anything like it. It was exotic to say the least.

It was very relaxing having morning tea on the back patio surrounded by the tropical lushness. Notice it is still raining in Queensland.

The fish pond

Lyn has a huge assortment of African Violets.

Other tropical beauties.
We had a great weekend chatting, playing cards, and eating. We went to breakfast at the Main Beach Surf Lifesaving Club overlooking the rolling surf covered by a grey showery sky. It was still beautiful. We walked around a new park and the Rock Pools, a water park for children and then returned to the house for another round of cards before coming home. I hate to say it but the Swiss boys beat the Aussie girls 4 games to 3.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


For the last few years our friends, Ruth and Bill, have invited Bill and other friends, who are Pisces, to a luncheon to celebrate their birthdays.
Ruth and Bill have a lovely apartment in a small block of units overlooking the Brisbane River at Indooroopilli. The other friends were Karl-Heinz, Renata and Maureen.

From their balcony we could see that the river is still muddy from the floods. Ruth said the water came up over the road but stopped before it entered their garages underneath luckily for them.
However, the road is still closed a little further up as there is chance that it will collapse into the river. So the people have to leave their bins here and walk to their houses.
On the other side of the river, the million dollar houses had water up to the first floor.We could also see where the bank had been washed away. Not only the bank washed away but hundreds of  pontoons were also washed down the river. The picture below was taken at the Pisces luncheon 2009.
Pontoon moorings before the flood.

Not only pontoons were washed downstream but hundreds of boats too. See below same place in 2009.

We had a delicious lunch of cold cuts and antipasto followed by figs and cheese and Bill's favourite Tiramasu. He says nobody can make it as well as Ruth.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The Roar won the A-League grand final for the first time!

We won the (toilet seat) I mean trophy.

They have been called the best A-League team ever.

It was a nail biting final, with many tries at goal from both sides. In the first half the Mariners looked the strongest. In the second half the Roar looked the strongest even in pouring rain. At the end of full-time the score was nil all. So they played for another 30 mins. In the first fifteen minutes Mariners scored 2 goals. Everyone thought, that's it, they have won but Roar didn't give up and by some miracle they scored 2 goals in the last 3 minutes. So the game ended a 2-2 draw. The Mariners were heart broken and the Roar elated. As it was a final they had to have a penalty shootout. My heart was in my mouth. Would our boys miss? Would our goal keeper save any?

Our fabulous goal keeper saved two and our shooters got them all in past their goalie. We had won. 4-2. Although Mariners were very good and nearly stole the championship, the Roar deserved the trophy (nicknamed the toilet seat for obvious reasons) after playing so well all year, only losing one match the whole season. They have now won 28 games in a row more than any other team in the world. Barcelona were the leaders at 25.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Yeah! My football (soccer) team (not really mine but the one that I support) has reached the finals. It is The Roar and yes their shirts are orange. They wear orange because when the team first originated it was called Hollandia as many of the players were dutch immigrants and they took on the Netherlands' colour orange. Later they were called the Brisbane Strikers and now The Roar.

The A-League finals are on Sunday and all the people of Brisbane have been encouraged to wear orange.

There will be lots of orange supporters. The team wear maroon shorts as that is Queensland's colours.

Brisbane is very proud because the stadium was flooded in January but the groundsmen have worked a miracle to have the pitch ready.

It has been voted the best pitch in the country. The change rooms and other facilities are still damaged but temporary ones have been made in the underground car park.

The Roar have a new coach this season and he has turned around a team that was on the bottom of the ladder last season to being the top team this season and they won the minor premiers' plate.

Mat Mackay is the captain. Here he is playing against The Central Coast Mariners the same team they have to play against in the finals.

Ange Postecoglou won coach of the year award.

The Roar have made an incredible turn around from last season. They hold the Australian all football codes record of being unbeaten in 27 consecutive games.
I am not over confident that they will win. The Mariners are a very good team, but I sure hope they do. We won't be going to the match because we were invited to a dinner party especially for Bill, before we knew if my team had progressed to the finals.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Sometimes it is too darn hot to go outside so I stay in the cool air conditioning and look out of the window and day dream. 
This is what I see over the top of my computer as I look out the study window and wonder what to write about.

This is what I see while I am doing the ironing in the back bedroom.

This is what I see when I wake up and look out of our bedroom window. It is a Macadamia Nut Tree.

The previous windows are at the back of the house now for the front. This is what I see when I am cleaning the front spare bedroom.

This is what we see from the dining room table.
Out the back door.

Out the front door.

This is what I see when I visit Bill in his office downstairs. The weather is starting to cool ever so slightly and it will be a joy to go outside to play in the garden.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


About International Women's Day

When:  Tuesday 8 March 2011
Where: Everywhere
What:   International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.
Why:   Suffragettes campaigned for women's right to vote. The word 'Suffragette' is derived from the word "suffrage" meaning the right to vote. International Women's Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women's success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women's Day event was run in 1911. 2011 is the Global Centenary Year. Let's reinvent opportunity for working women and all women. 

I was reading on one site where the reader was asked to nominate a woman who has inspired them the most.I thought about all the famous women in politics, business, medicine, arts, and sport etc but I kept thinking more about the women closer to me, like my late mother and my two daughters. 
My mother and me.
My mother left her home in Yorkshire as a teenager to study Nursing in a London hospital. She married and had two children and then suffered 6 years of war torn London. The little family migrated to Australia after the war with very little money. I am inspired by the way my mother struggled in her new country to build a home and educate her children and make a comfortable life for herself by working hard for many years. She was a loving, caring and supportive mother.

Meeting up in UK while they were both working there.
I am inspired by my fun loving daughters, who worked hard at school and university. They have travelled the world and had extraordinary experiences. They are both successful career women and one a loving mother.
These are the three women who have inspired me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Our friend Colin gave Bill  a bottle of wine for his birthday. When Bill saw the label he was very chuffed as it was his favourite French wine.
Chateauneuf du Pape
It is rather expensive and Bill thought it would be a nice idea to share it with Colin so we invited him over for lunch yesterday.

Bill made a Caesar Salad with chicken and.....

Peach Pie which we ate before remembering to take a photo.

Toasting the tripod. Colin is checking out our itinerary for our visit to USA in June. It was good to see Bill enjoying the wine as he doesn't drink red wine very often any more as it gives him AF (Atrial Fibrillation). Funny thing is, he didn't get it after this wine. That's how good it is. Another good thing about the day was that it was cooler, we didn't need the air conditioning. It would have been nice outside on the deck but it was a bit too wet. Yes it is raining in Queensland again with more cyclones predicted.