Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, August 31, 2014


We flew to Sydney last week to visit our daughter, Carol and SIL, David. They have taken leave from work for four months to travel around the world. So we went to say goodbye and spend a few days enjoying their company. The weather was wet and cold but it didn't dampen our spirit.

 Carol took us to the Sydney Tram museum, knowing that her dad loves transport museums. The Bondi tram became famous as a saying was coined about it. He "shot through like a Bondi tram." Apparently, the tram picked up speed down the steep hill to the beach.

 We went for a ride on an old tram from Brisbane. This made TOH nostalgic as he used to ride the Brisbane trams in the 60's. Trams stopped running in Brisbane in 1969 but we wished they hadn't. The tram took us from Loftus to Sutherland and back to The Royal National Park. This was nostalgic for me because I used to live at Loftus and catch the train to school in Sutherland and to The Royal National Park on weekends.

 The museum is manned and maintained by volunteers.

After our fun trip we drove into Sutherland for lunch in a cafe right opposite my old school. The memories came flooding back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Yesterday we went down to the Gold Coast to Rainbow Bay for a teachers' reunion at a friend's holiday unit. Our friends, Ann and George, have a unit on the 14th floor.
 The view was stunning.

 The surf was very good for board riders even though it is winter there were many riders in their wet suits. They either walk out on to the rocks and jump in or else they walk though a channel next to the rocks. This was a week day and we wondered how many of these riders should have been at work, but when the surf is up...........

 After the fabulous seafood lunch and the guests left we were asked to stay for a sleep over. So we were privy to the sunset.

 The next morning the surf board riders were out in force taking advantage of the waves whipped up by the wind. All the above shots were taken from the 14th floor.

But then we went for a walk to get a closer look at the crashing waves and the adventure seeking board riders. TOH stayed on the boardwalk while Ann, George and I walked along the sand. It was windy but when we rounded the headland we had to take off our sweaters.

 There were plenty of female board riders too.

I have been trying to get used to our little Canon G1X camera as it is smaller to take on vacation than my DSLR. I was pretty happy with today's practice.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


At last it is raining in Brisbane and my garden is happy. 
 For months it has been dry and the plants were dying.

 The birds were hunting for water and nectar. This is a Noisy Miner which is a native Australian honey eater. It is sometimes confused with an Indian Myna, which is an introduced bird and is a danger to our native birds. The Noisy Miner is predominately grey where as the Indian myna is mostly brown.

The sun was shining and making beautiful winter days but the plants needed rain. I like gardening but I am hopeless at remembering the names of plants. I just enjoy their beauty. This one gets coloured leaves or I think they are called bracts.

 It has been raining for a few days now. It is not a summer tropical downpour it is lovely steady rain. . It makes the plants droop with the weight of the water but they are happy. The garden is happy.

 The lavender  is bent over but it is happy. The rain washes the colours bright.

Unfortunately, the rain is almost too late for this tree it has many dead branches. Hopefully it will revive.  

Loving the rain.

Drooping but happy. My camera was getting wet, time to retreat inside. I'm happy for the garden but I have to go out this afternoon and I'm not happy on wet roads.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014



This is the story of a family in post war London deciding to make a new life for themselves in Australia as 'ten pound poms' in 1949. It describes their joy, their disappointment, and their struggle to survive in a new country. From the joy of eating freshly baked rolls for the first time in years, to the worry of not having anywhere to live and starting their new life living in a tent on the outskirts of Sydney.

Many bloggers were interested in 'My Story' and encouraged me to put it into a book. Well after many trials I have finally finished the first part of my story. It is available at BLURB if you are interested. Just click on the shopping trolly. The above is a sample only of what is inside, it is not the whole book.

Monday, August 18, 2014


When we visit TOH's specialist we walk from Central Station up the steep hill to the Wickham Terrace, Brisbane's street of specialist doctors.  There are stairs connecting Edward St. to Wickham Tce. They are called Jacobs Stairs, which is a biblical reference to Jacob's stairs which connected heaven to earth. When you look up the stairs only the steps are visible but when yo look down the stairs only the landings are visible.
Research tells me that the stairs were renovated in 2009 and painted red except the landings were painted different colours and at night there was a light show projected onto the landings.
However, my shot shows the landings are red too. I don't know what happened to the rainbow colours.
Did you notice some unusual sculptures at the foot of the stairs? I'll show you more closely below.

photo from the state Library of Queensland. 
In 1915 there was a path way leading from the shopping area up to Wickham Tce where well to do people lived looking over the city. In 1920 stairs were made. They were renovated in 1947, 1961 and 2009.
Next to the stairs is King Edward Park. It all looks a bit different today but a nice place to relax and wait for doctors appointments.

At the bottom of the stairs are four sculptures. I always thought that they looked like something out of 'Starwars' but I was wrong.

They are called 'Form del Mito' or 'Forms of Myth' made by Italian artist Amaldo Pomodora in 1983 for the world Expo held here in 1988.

 It was hard to fit all four pieces into the phone camera lens. The four pieces represent the characters from the Greek tragedy 'Agamemnon.' The pyramid is Agamemnon - power.

The round one is Clytemnestra - ambition.

The tall rectangular one at the back is Aegisthus - machine and the short one on the left is Cassandra - prophecy. Well it fooled me I still think they look like 'Starwars' characters.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


It was my friend, Helen's birthday and our Birthday Bear Group went to Sunnybank Hotel to celebrate. Helen and Paul recently went for a holiday to the fishing village of Burrim Heads north of Brisbane about four hours drive.  They went there to rest and for Paul to recover after his last lot of Cancer treatment. 
Helen enjoyed relaxing and eating chocolate biscuits. So Bear came to the birthday dinner looking very relaxed and enjoying a view of the sea from the window on her deckchair. 'TmTams' are a delicious Chocolate biscuits/cookies.

Mary did a good job of dressing Bear and Helen was wishing she could be so relaxed again. It is not easy for her watching and helping her husband through this difficult time of fighting off the ravages of mesothelioma.

We hope Birthday Bear bought a little bit of cheer to your birthday. Enjoy the TimTams.

Monday, August 11, 2014


We visited our local wetlands this morning with our U3A Camera Club. We were lucky that there was still some water in the lagoons as we are having a very dry winter. The garden is shrivelling up too.
I am not keen on bird photography as I am never happy with my shots but with the help of post processing I have found a few that are almost okay.
 There were many pelicans all sitting on a mud bank in the middle of the lagoon having a meeting.

 Three cormorants sitting on a branch surveying the lagoon. Unfortunately the middle guy was too close to the first one and their heads have merged.

 When photographing birds the background should not be too busy like this one.

 But I liked the colours in this one.

 These birds are Magpie Geese found in northern Australia.

Then I had a little play with this photo.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


My sister in law, Ann, is visiting Australia from England. I haven't seen her since 2008 when we met her and my brother in Switzerland for a few days holiday together. Since then my brother has died so I was keen to see Ann again while she was here. She was going to celebrate her 80th birthday in Adelaide and we flew there to join in the celebrations with her family. Unfortunately Ann fell ill on the way to Adelaide and I never got to see her. She is now recuperating at her son's home in Wodonga. Albury/Wodonga are twin towns on the Victorian and NSW border. I decided to fly there to visit Ann before she returns to England later this month. This meant flying south in winter not a warming experience at all. I flew to Sydney on a 737 jet, there I had to change planes to a small Dash 800 with props and the cabin under the wings.

 It doesn't fly very high so I had a good view of the country. This is the south coast of NSW where there are lots of coastal towns.

 Then we turned inland and flew over other smaller towns but this one was quite big and I'm guessing it was Canberra, Australia's Capital City.

 Then we flew near the Snowy Mts and they were covered in snow which only happens in winter. The props are whizzing around in the photo. Soon we started descending into Albury airport. My nephew, David and Ann were there to pick me up.

 David is a lovely person who takes good care of his mother, he is a great cook and he is mad about photography so we hit it off very well. He has amazing photographic equipment. My inadequate Point and Shoot made a blurry shot here. Poor David lost his wife not long ago, her photo is on the wall. Then David took a photo of us from his tripod..
When David went to work, Ann and I had a chat fest for the three days that I was there.

 In the mornings there was frost on the grass, this was something different for me as we rarely have frost in Brisbane.

 By the middle of the day the sun was shining but it was still cold by my standards 12°C/53.6F. David has a nice house in Wodonga.

 I braved a short walk one day. It is a pretty town surrounded by rolling hills. Too soon it was time to hug Ann and say goodbye. David drove me to the airport in the morning, it was very cold and foggy.
My plane had to come from Sydney and it couldn't land in the fog. It was delayed an hour.

There were 3 small planes circling in a holding pattern but finally they popped out of the fog and landed. Luckily my plane turned around quickly and headed back to Sydney. I was just in time to catch my connection to Brisbane. I had a good time chatting but I was glad to get back to the warmer climate.

Friday, August 1, 2014


 You may have heard on the news about a water main, which broke and shot water many metres into the air in Los Angeles. It tore a gaping hole in the road as millions of gallons of water gushed onto the roads and nearby properties.

It caused flooding in the area especially at UCLA (University Of California LA campus)  where my daughter, Sonya works. It just so happened that her children were visiting her when the main exploded.

She took some photos and videos and sent them to us.
A reporter took her photo with boys and it was in the LA Times.

 Fox was impressed but Banjo wasn't so sure about it all. Luckily her department and car park were on a hill and she was able to get her car out okay others weren't so lucky. Lower car parks were flooded.


My last post was about the inside of the State Library of Queensland well here are some shots of the outside.
  Last post I mentioned "The Red Box" reading area. Can you see why it is called The Red Box?

 Here is the "Terrace" with it's display cabinets full of  a 'cups and saucer' collection. Behind the terrace is an auditorium where we attended the keynote talk for the U3A winter school. Under the Terrace is a restaurant.

These two photos should be joined here, scroll up and down to get the idea.
The Library is two buildings joined with walkways . Another walkway goes right through to the other side where the modern art gallery stands. A great place to spend a day.