Brisbane, QLD

Monday, May 30, 2011


The chef picking silverbeet.
We have been trying to establish a veggie patch for a couple of years now, but without much success.
However, last summer things improved a little and we were able to harvest some veggies for the cooking pot.

Now that winter is almost here some veggies are coming to an end. As we are going away soon we are going to dig in the beans and pull up the lettuce for eating instead of just taking the leaves as usual.

Fresh lettuce for lunch.                       Wash and.........


There is something very satisfying about growing your own. (especially when you're new at it)

Chef will make his famous salad sauce with these ingredients. (notice there are 3 Swiss ingredients in the middle). But wait there is something missing.......

out to the garden again

Now the sauce is done.

Silly me didn't take a pic of the final meal of quiche (sweet potato, leek, zucchini and mushroom) with ham, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot, cheese, beetroot, asparagus, avocado, gornichons, pickled onions and olives. (We had a visitor for lunch)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


What is this coming down our street?

A pink Hummer!

It parked next door where the red carpet is out. (Then my Canon DSLR decided to crash with error 01)

So I raced upstairs and grabbed the trusty Sony Cyber shot just in time to hear the screams of delight from 16 thirteen year olds celebrating the neighbour's daughter's birthday. It was a surprise put on by the mum. So the excited girls piled into the Pink Hummer, while the anxious parents looked on.
It was rocking to the sound of Doof Doof music, with strobe lights dancing around.

Then off they went, with parents waving goodbye. They went for an hour's mystery drive. What a fun birthday surprise for Brooke. But no fun for me. My camera is broke. I have to take it to the store on Monday. I doubt that it will be fixed in time for our trip to USA in 10 days. Boo hoo sob sob. At least we have the point and shoot and it is much easier to carry.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Our friends and us find any excuse to go out for dinner. 

One of our friends, Karen, is still teaching as she is quite a bit younger than us. However, she is taking long service leave soon and travelling to U.K. and Europe for the first time. So we invited her to dinner to say goodbye and for her to tell us of her upcoming adventures.

Some of the yummy meals.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

BY GINGER! The Girls Won.

Last weekend our friends, Ben and Lynn from the Gold Coast came to stay with us. Ben and Bill migrated from Switzerland back in 1967 and they have remained friends ever since. Ben also married an Australian girl. The Swiss boys taught the Australian girls how to play Jass, a Swiss card game. So, whenever we visit each other we play Jass, the Aussie girls against the Swiss boys. Us girls don't often win but last weekend 'we took them to the cleaners'. We won 6 games to 2. The Aussies beat the Swiss at their own game. Yeah!!
Lyn brought me a bunch of Ginger flowers from her garden. They are beautiful.

When you squeeze them a sticky liquid runs out smelling of ginger.

It's a weird, wonderful flower.

Friday, May 20, 2011


My lemon tree has gone berserk and is producing so many lemons that the tree has almost collapsed under the weight of them. The branches are trailing on the ground and overhanging the garden bed. They are big juicy lemons too.

Now the dilemma is what to do with them all. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I keep loading up friends and neighbours with lemons. I have frozen some, juiced some and frozen it. I could  make yummy Lemon Meringue Pie and Lemon Tart but we are trying to keep our weight down, so I don't.

However, one of my dear friends, Ann, made bottles and bottles of Lemon Spread with our lemons and gave some to us. That's what I call returning a favour.

Ann's Lemon Spread

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today we went on an outing with the Redlands U3A Camera Club. I took my macro lens because I need lots of practice with it. I took portraits of some of the members.

Bill J is the Camera Club organiser.

The two Bills. Irish Bill and Swiss Bill.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Fox turned ONE this week!

Our gorgeous grandson, Fox lives on the other side of the world. Happy Birthday little one. Love your pants. LA fashion?

Sunday, May 15, 2011


We had an impromptu Birthday Bear celebration last week. Our friends Chris and Bob, who are members of our Birthday Bear Group, are on a working holiday around Australia. At the moment they are in Canberra but they had to return to Brisbane for a family funeral and it happened to be Chris' birthday in the same week. So, quickly we organised a dinner with Bear. Bear had to rug up because it is freezing cold in Canberra like 0*c to 12* C. Ann knitted Bear a scarf, which is big enough for Chris to wear as well. Bear had on a warm beanie and pretty pink slippers. Her legs are too long for her warm pants.

Ann, me, Chris and Helen 
We had dinner at Toscani's and as you can see it was a chilly evening. We have skipped Autumn and gone straight to winter but it is still nowhere near as cold as in Canberra.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The tropical weather is cooling down. It is the first day this Autumn that we have had a sweater on for most of the day. We put a blanket on the bed and we need a jacket when going out at at night. The temperature was 15* C this morning and rose to about 22*C.  To us tropical dwellers. ITS COLD!

The sky from our balcony last night.
Kam Koon Restaurant, Springwood. 

However, we had a nice sky last night. We had a  nice dinner too, for our anniversary. We had a chinese banquet and a complimentary bottle of wine from the owner of the restaurant, Kam Koon. We have been going there for 30 years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Forty two years ago, on 10 May 1969, Bill and I were married. We had only known each other for six months and many of our friends said, "It won't last." I think we have proved them wrong.

On the way to the reception. Someone plonked a present into Bill's arms.
Bill and I met in Papua/New Guinea, where we were working at the time. We thought it would be unfair to Bill's parents to be married in my home town, Sydney and we thought it would be unfair to my parents if we married in Bill's country of Switzerland. So we decided to get married in P/NG with our friends. Now I think that was a bit cruel, especially as my brother paid for my parents to fly to Pt Moresby for the marriage. Now I feel bad that Bill's parents weren't able to come. 

We didn't have a church wedding. We were married in the District Office by the District Officer of Pt Moresby. P/NG was governed by Australia in those days. We had a small private ceremony followed by a  reception in "The Purple Parrot Restaurant" We booked out the whole restaurant. 

This was the sixties in the tropics so I wore a mini dress, can you believe that? Poor Bill wore a suit and was sweltering in the heat. The photographer was a dud and we haven't any decent photos of our marriage. However, we have 42 years of happy memories. 
We are going out to dinner tonight.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Its a good day to remember my mum, Florrie. She was born in 1912 in Lankashire and died in 1999 in Brisbane, Aust.

Florrie was the daughter of a mine manager and the second youngest of 8 siblings. When she finished school in Yorkshire at Thorn's House, she went to London to study nursing in 1930. She made friends with a girl called Charlie. They had lots of fun together and often went on country walks. My mum was very fashion conscious and wore up to date clothes all her life. (I never got those genes, unfortunately). In those days it was frowned upon for women to wear slacks/pants. It was thought vulgar.

"Following the war, in the 1920s, women exposed their arms and legs, flattened their chests, bobbed their hair to look boyish, and got the vote; but pants remained taboo, except in the realm of sports.
When diva film star Marlene Dietrich appeared in slacks with flared bottoms in her United States debut film Morocco in 1930, she signalled the emergence of women's pants from sportswear to high fashion. Wearing them both in films and private life, she popularized the pants look."
(from the net) 

Mum saw Marlene in the movies and decided to wear pants but there were none in the shops. So she and Charlie bought mens pants and wore them on one of their walks. Naturally, it caused a stir, as this had been thought a vulgar thing to do. However, a newspaper photographer thought it would make a good story. So he photographed them and the caption was:

 "First Women to Wear Pants in London."

Charlie in front and Florrie at the back.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


 My weird cross bred lemon tree is producing so much fruit that it is collapsing under the weight.

 It is providing a home for Mr Spider.

 It is providing free lemons for us and all my friends and neighbours.

 It is squashing the tarragon plants underneath.

It is giving the Tarragon too much shade. I had to dig out the Tarragon and move it to another location in the sun.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


At the end of our walk on Sunday we came to the gate of the conservation park. Only rangers can drive vehicles into the park. The access for walkers, horses and bikes is to the right of the gate. It had bright red and white tape hanging off the posts not yet removed from when the park was closed due to flooding. I don't know why the access is designed like this with logs to straddle to get in or out. Maybe it is to stop cars and motor bikes from entering.

The horsey said, " No way ! I'm not going through there."
The rider said.' Come on , you can do it."

"No! You can't make me."

"Look , I'll show you how easy it is. Don't be spooked by the red and white tape. Now we are going back and try again with me on your back."

" C'mon , that's a good boy . No, no, don't turn away you can do it."
"I'm still scared of that tape, I don't want to do it."

"That's it ! Good boy! Keep going. See we can do it together, trust me."
This rider had so much patience and skill to keep encouraging the horse to go through the narrow access adorned with red and white tape. The horse kept turning away and tried to gallop off, but no, the rider would bring him back time and time again until he finally did it.