Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, December 30, 2012


On the second day of our Swiss visitors stay with us we took them to Brisbane City. We parked at South Bank Parklands and walked through the park to catch a ferry called the "City Cat" and we went for a ride on a City Cat up and down the Brisbane River. So join us for a quick tour of a little part of Brisbane.
A "City Cat"

 Boys out for some fun on the river.

 We passed the "Riverside  Centre". When we returned after an hour's trip towards the the bay we stopped here for lunch.

 The Story Bridge sort of Brisbane's icon.

 The historic old "Custom's House" building overshadowed by tower blocks.

 After lunch beside the river, we walked back through the Queen St Mall towards the Victoria Bridge and the Parklands.

 We went into an arcade for the visitors to buy sun cream and insect spray. Our sun and insects are pretty vicious on soft, white skin of Europeans.

 We passed the brand new ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) building.

 Then we were back in the South Bank Parklands to find our car.   Our young visitors wanted photos of themselves in Brisbane. (see the City Cats)

From the river to the carpark we walked along the beautiful arbour, which stretches the whole length of the parklands. It is covered in Bougainvillea.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Jurg, Sibylle and Marc.
Just before Christmas we had three young people from Switzerland stay with us for three days. I asked them what they would like to see and the first request was a rainforest. So ignoring their jet lag we bundled them into the car and drove to our nearest rainforest, Mt Tamborine, about one hour away.

Marc is a distant cousin of TOH. (The Other Half)

We took them to the Skywalk where we walked in the canopy of the forest.

Jurg and Sibylle emerge from the forest.

Our visitors loved the laugh of the kookaburra.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Christmas day has been and gone. We had a lovely time with our eldest, Carol-Ann and David but we missed the youngest, Sonya, Bernie, Fox and Banjo who celebrated in LA. We ate and drank and were merry. I hope you had a Merry Christmas too.
 SIL David prepares the Snapper Fish.

 TOH prepares the salads and wine. I help with a cuddle.

 We had a quiet lunch this year of fish, prawns, ham and salads. We had to eat inside with air-conditioning on instead of on the deck, as it was far too hot to be outside. Then we opened presents before dessert of mince pies, fruit salad and brandy sauce.

One of my presents was a  prime lens for my camera. I started practicing with it straight away.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I had  more parties to attend and visitors to entertain.
 I recently joined Curves Gym. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much better it is to any other gym I have belonged to. Last week the gym owner organised a Christmas Dinner at Lychee Village Chinese Restaurant next door to the gym. We filled the whole restaurant. I met lots of new people.

 But Joan (right) and I have been friends for many years. We met at Playgroup about 38 years ago. 

Talking about Playgroup! The mothers from Springwood Playgroup back in the 70's still meet twice a year for dinner.  We had a get together at the Carindale Hotel. It was very noisy but we still had a good time sharing photos and stories about our children and trips.

 Joan and I fronted up again for more out to dinner fun. We are with Maureen and the three of us walk in the forest together every Saturday morning. We'll have to do more of that to work off all these dinners. 

This week we have had visitors from Switzerland staying with us for a few days. We took them to Baan Thai, our favourite local Thai restaurant. We had never met these young people before but they were very nice house guests. Marc (right) is the son of a distant cousin of TOH's, they have the same surname and now that I look at this photo Marc reminds me of TOH when he was that age. The other two, Jurg and Sybill, are friends of Marc. We took them for sight seeing trips each day and they were very appreciative. Yesterday morning they hired a campervan and they are off touring Australia. Just after TOH dropped them at the van hire place, he then headed to the airport and picked up our daughter who has come for Christmas. I quickly changed the sheets and cleaned the house while he was dropping off and picking up our next guests.
 Now I know why you can't book into motels until after 2 o'clock. It sure is hard work having fun when you're retired.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Besides celebrating our birthdays with Birthday Bear we also enjoy having a Christmas lunch together. Ann loves dressing Bear for Christmas. He has been dressed as Santa, as a Christmas Tree, as a Social Butterfly, and as an Elf  but this time Bear is dressed as a Christmas Pudding. For those who are not familiar with our 
 Ann puts the finishing touches to Bear. He is inside a Christmas pudding with a white brandy sauce on top together with a sprig of holly.

Bear has written a lament for us. (Clever Bear)

He looked good enough to eat.

I climbed on a chair to take this shot of the top of the pudding. The things you can do when you're a silly senior.

L to R Mary, Helen, Ann, Birthday Bear, Bill, Paul, and George
 We chose to go to the Sunnybank Sports Club again. It is close to home and the food is good.
 I had salmon on a corn salsa with fancy potatoes which look like pineapple.

Another fun Christmas outing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The tennis ladies had a day out. This is one of the seven Christmas parties that I will have been to by the time it is family party time. They are all with the groups that I have joined since retiring. I go to more parties now than when I was a teenager. "Making hay while the sun shines" (before I'm too old to do it. Party that is).
Anyway this great bunch of old girls went to Cleveland for the day. We all went by train and bus so we could all be together and chatter all the way. 

 We stopped for coffee when we arrived at Cleveland by train. The service was quick and friendly. We were on the deck and the outlook was pleasant although it was a bit breezy. 

 After coffee we walked to the bus stop and caught a bus to The Grand View Hotel. It is the oldest licensed hotel in Queensland. It was built in 1851. We were early for lunch so we checked out the "Heritage Hall."

 The eating area is in the back garden overlooking Moreton Bay. We had booked our own little gazebo. It was very breezy and so the plastic walls had been dropped down , which was nice as we still had the view but no wind.

 The view of Moreton Bay and Stradbroke Island from our gazebo.

 The service, food and company was excellent. I had a chicken salad.

 We talked and laughed our way throughout the day. We also had a Secret Santa game.

 From L to R Kay, moi, Sandra, Judy, Helen, (Marie, Val, hiding) and  Bev.
 Merry Christmas everyone. 

Waiting for the bus in the shade of the Banyan Tree with its aerial roots.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12 at 12:00

On the 12.12.12. at 12:00 noon I was at a Christmas lunch with my friends from the U3A Walking for Fitness group. It was held at June and Kevin's house. They are the leaders of the group and take us on 2 hour walks every Thursday morning at 6:30. Kevin leads us on many different winding and hilly tracks through Daisy Hill Forest. He doesn't dawdle either but sets a good pace.

 June, second from left sitting, and Kevin far right are also splendid hosts.

 A delicious salmon pate and a cheese ball for starters, followed by a scrumptious ham and turkey salad, which I forgot to photograph.

 Fran explains a secret santa game. We all brought a small gift relevant to walking or camping.
 Then we drew a number out of the hat. When Fran called the number we chose a gift from the table and opened it and left it in front of ourselves visible to everybody. The person with the next number called could choose to take a gift from the table OR take one opened in front of anyone else.  The person who lost their gift had to go on the end of the list to choose another one and so on and so on.
 It was loads of fun and I ended up with a great little waterproof pack to clip on my belt when walking in rain. Fits my little camera well. 

Then it was time for a selection of mouth watering desserts.
Thanks to June and Kevin and all the good company for a nice time.

Now I need to go on a long walk to lose all the food overload.