Brisbane, QLD

Friday, September 28, 2012


I guess every city has its street of medical specialists. In London I think it is Harley St, in Sydney its Macquarie St, I don't know what it is in NYC someone reading this might tell me. Anyhow in Brisbane it is Wickham Tce. Last week we went to visit TOH's physician for a check up and after TOH* was given the all okay prognoses we went for a walk around that part of the city with our cameras.

Wickham Tce climbs up a steep hill, on top there is an old windmill which I featured on my last post. Opposite the old mill is one of our oldest hotels, "The Tower Mill" and as commenter Colin pointed out it was the scene of nasty anti apartheid demonstrations back in the seventies when the South African Springboks football team were staying in this hotel.

Tower Mill Hotel
Wickham Park opposite the hotel

The reason I say nasty is because we had, in my opinion an awful premier at the time. 

The Springbok tour party were staying at the Tower Mill Motel on Brisbane’s Wickham Terrace. They were separated from the 400 protesters by a line of 500 quasi-military style police officers. The turnout was poor partly because of the police intimidation and partly because Brisbanites bought the official line that “sport and politics should not mix”. That this cliché was a fiction easily exposed did not matter – the media at the time did not expose it.
Bjelke-Petersen, then still an untested Premier, used the tour to try out anti-democratic practices he would become familiar with over the next 16 years. Eight days before the game, he declared a State of Emergency to secure the Exhibition Grounds for the game suspending civil liberties for a month in the process. The legislation gave police carte blanche for the operation that followed against the protesting students.
On the night of the riot, the numbers of students, aboriginals and academics outside the Mill was swollen by plain clothes police as agent provocateurs. With no warning, the line of uniformed police marched forward and ordered the protesters to clear the footpath. The demonstrators were forced to flee down the steep and pitch-dark hill into Wickham Park. The police follow attacking with fists, batons and boots as their plain-clothes colleagues join in. Some protesters jumped an eight-metre high embankment into the busy traffic of Albert Street below. Others were simply thrown over.

One of those students, Peter Beattie, eventually became our premier and cleaned up the state and allowed demonstrations.

Wickham Park is a steep park dropping down to the lower part of the city. It is a clean cool place.

Unfortunately some people have made it their home. 

We have another new premier, Campbell Newman,who is axing thousands of jobs in the public service to try and get the state's finances out of the red. He has been likened to Joh Bjelke Petersen of the riots era. Heaven forbid.
*TOH (The Other Half) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The Old Windmill minus its sails is the oldest surviving building in Queensland.

It was built by convicts, supervised by the commandant, Captain Patrick Logan in 1828. Logan realised the penal colony of Moreton Bay needed a mill to grind the wheat and maize grown in the settlement, which is now the city of Brisbane.

Even though the windmill sits on the top of a hill, there was rarely enough wind to push the sails to power the mill so convict labour was used to turn two treadmills. In 1842 the penal colony closed and free settlers arrived to develop the city.

In 1861 the sails were removed and the windmill became an observatory and signal station. A time ball was added which fell at 1:00pm everyday until 1930 when the City Hall clock took over.

Later it became a fire tower and later still in 1934 it was used as a radio and television research station. Now it is maintained as an historic icon of the city of Brisbane.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Summer has arrived in Brisbane. Today we went to explore a Farmers Market that we haven't been to before. It is held in the nearby town of Beenleigh. When we arrived we saw hundreds of people flocking into the show grounds. We had to park a long way off but a good walk for TOH*.
When we arrived at the grounds we saw a sign saying "No Market Today." Instead it was a car show. Secretly I think TOH was quite pleased.

I took lots of photos of cars but then I noticed that some of the people were more interesting. I liked this matching dress and car.

 I was amused at the high heeled shoes tripping through the grass, which is almost dead due to the lack of rain over the last 3 months.

The lady on the right had leopard skin dress and shoes she also had a glittering handbag on the other arm. I just couldn't capture it as she ran off to greet someone.
These two were happy to pose for me 


 No comment.

 This guy was leaving  but happy to give me a wave. I wouldn't mind being beside him.

TOH found a Fairlane the same as he had as a young man in Switzerland. It was too big to angle park in his street. The police told him to move it.

I found a Morris minor for sale. It is the same as our first, second car. We scraped together enough dollars for a car for me to go shopping after we had our first baby, who used to be put on the back seat in a basket.  No child restraints in those days.
(*TOH The Other Half )

Thursday, September 20, 2012


In 1961, when I was 19, my brother came home on leave from working as a Patrol Officer in Papua/New Guinea. He was home for 3 months and he bought a car, a Herald Triumph. When he went back to work he let me use his car as long as I paid for the registration and insurance and maintenance.

Well I was like the cat that ate the cream. Here I was, still a teenager and I had my own car. I enjoyed taking my girlfriends to the beach and to the Saturday night dance. Boys didn't believe us when we said we didn't need a lift home because we had our own car. If we fancied the boys we would offer to take them home. Role reversal was pretty rare in those days.

 When I was eight, my best friend, Kerrie, asked me to join the Brownies and later the Girl Guides. In our teens we belonged to the Sea Rangers. One weekend four of us went camping at Engadine. We pitched our little tent in the bush overlooking the river. We wore our camp uniforms. It was fun being independent. We went swimming and hiking.
Left to right: Kerrie, Jean, Jeanette, me.
 Left to right: Me, Kerrie,  Jeanette.

The next morning we got dressed outside as there was little room for four of us in the tent. Just look at those stylish 60's knickers, no g-strings or bikini briefs in those days, at least not in my world.

Kerrie was the chief cook. It is interesting that much later in life she was camp cook for her outback fencing contractors.

I remember we weren't that impressed with the meal but we were hungry enough to enjoy it.
Left to right: Kerrie, me, Jeanette

It was a great swimming hole and we had great fun that weekend. I lost contact with Jean and Jeanette but I kept in touch with Kerrie on and off over the next 50 years. Soon I would be leaving the Terrible Teens, my awful secret and my adopted country to fulfil my dream and embark on an exciting chapter of my life.

Monday, September 17, 2012


A neighbour, Kathy, suggested that we go into town to see the light show, which is on every night during the Brisbane Festival. We all wanted to practice our photography skills. I have never taken good night shots. I still can't get them focused and clear but hopefully with more practice I'll get there.
 We found a spot on the river edge close to the barge which is the nucleus of the
 light show.

 After the show we wandered around South Bank Parklands for a while.

 In the forecourt there was a ceiling of lanterns.

 The wheel was glowing.

A sphere sculpture which changed colours and density of colour.

Then we said good by to colourful Brisbane and drove home for hot chocolate.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


When I returned from our trips earlier this year my garden was looking tatty from neglect. I have been doing a little each day to try and restore it. Just as I'm doing this the weather decided to dry up. We haven't had rain for 2 or 3 months. So my efforts have been cancelled out by the lack of rain. Almost everything is looking dry and half dead. My water tank is empty from me trying to keep water on the plants. So now I use our connected water but we have restrictions.

However some of the flowers are making a stella effort to look pretty, after all it is Spring. The weather is beautiful for being outside. Clear blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the low 20's C. Here are a few shots of my Azaleas and Daisies.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Some of my readers have asked me to let them know when our SIL, Bernard Curry, got a role in a  TV show or movie. When he and his family returned to LA from Sydney a month ago he scored two parts within the first week back. So that was heartening news for everyone and we hope this is the start of many more.

He was very excited to get a guest role in the TV crime series "NCIS", which I had never heard of but many friends have told me they enjoy watching it and it is quite popular.
He also has a part in, "Pretty Little Liars", another I haven't heard about.

Before he left LA to host "Beauty and the Geek, Australia", he got a role in a pilot  called "Bounce". When he returned to LA he was told that the show is going ahead so all in all things are looking good for him.

 Bernie the actor.

Sonya and Bernie
 Bernie loving husband and father of .........

 Banjo and... (photo taken from Sonya's fb page )

Fox, our gorgeous grandsons. (not at all biased)

One of the sidelines of being married to an actor and living in LA is that our daughter gets to know some famous people like...
Sonya and Ryan Gosling.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Summer was coming to an end but it was still nice to visit the beach. My very best friend, Kerrie and her family invited Mum and me to spend a weekend at Culburra Beach with them. They had a "weekender" there, that is a a small house a bit like a big garage with lots of bunk beds for family and friends. Culburra is on the South Coast of NSW not far from the town of Nowra.

There was lots of fun things to do at this quiet isolated beach (It's not any more). There is a lake as well as a surf beach. We watched the water skiers but we didn't have a boat unfortunately as I would have loved to have a go. (I did a few years later)

However, we did have fun sand skiing/tobogganing in the sand dunes and 
clambering over the rocks at the water's edge.

Our mums enjoyed the sun and a break from work.

Sometimes we tried fishing in the lake.

We enjoyed bush walking and just for something different we climbed the flagpole. (Oh to be that slim again.)

Best of all was surfing, but I preferred to take photos as the water was very cold. Kerrie , her niece and Mum had fun though.

This was a great weekend to cheer me up and get me back on track after a sad experience the previous year.