Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE YEAR THAT WAS

Just a quick trip through 2016
I experimented with abstract photography in January

We went to New Zealand in February

Our camera club had a photo shoot at Cleveland Point, near Brisbane in March

We went to the Blue Mountains, NSW with Carol and David in April.

I went to Cairns, FNQ in May

Kangaroo Island , SA in June

We went to Melbourne to spend time with grand children in July

Spring came early to my garden in August.

Fox and Banjo came to visit in September.

We went to a reunion in Caloundra, QLD in October

We found a sick Koala on our morning walk in November.

Christmas shopping in December.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS

Thursday, December 29, 2016

MOVING IN

Continuing "My Story"

1971 was rolling along. Bill and I were living in a flat in Red Hill an inner city suburb. We were having a house built in Springwood, a new outer suburb to the south of Brisbane. We were both working, Bill for Carrier Air Conditioning and me for Queensland education. 
 In June we attended the Carrier Air Conditioning Ball. 

 It took some time getting used to having seasons again after living in Papua/New Guinea for seven years and never having a winter just hot and wet or hot and dry. Even though Brisbane has mild winters, I found it cold . My mum knitted me a jumper (sweater).

 In September it was Spring but I still found it cool. However, we were very excited because we could move in to our house even though we didn't have a driveway or landscaping. We were going to do that ourselves to save money. On the first day our furniture from the flat hadn't arrived so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags. Springwood was so new that it didn't have a post office or shops. So our address was Lot 14 Springwood Rd, Eight Mile Plains, which was the next suburb. Springwood wasn't a recognised suburb yet. Springwood was actually the name of the estate which was being developed across the road from our place. Our address was to change three times while we in the same house because of all the development going on in that area.

We were very happy with our brand new home. It was only a small three bedroom, one bathroom house but it was big enough for us. However, it was on an acre of land and that was a lot of land to look after. We left most of it as natural bushland.

Because we were in a new suburb but not in an estate, we didn't have town sewerage and we had to have a septic tank toilet. When it was installed, Bill wasn't happy with the length of the outlet drain and he wanted to make it longer. Lucky for him, his friend Ben, borrowed a back hoe from his boss and the pair of them dug a decent sized drain. I think Bill enjoyed operating the back hoe. Boy stuff.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

MISH MASH CHRISTMAS

Well Christmas is over for another year. We had a good time with family and friends.  Here is a snippet of what we did:

Just before Christmas I walked in the forest with my friends and we saw many wallabies this one looked good in the morning sun.

Our neighbours went on holidays to Vietnam and left their pet bearded dragon with us to look after. He was in his moulting stage.

We made arrangements to go to Ipswich to meet old friends, Joan and Norm. We have been friends since we met in Papua/New Guinea back in the early sixties.


Our daughter, Carol, and son in law, David, came from Sydney to spend Christmas Eve with us and Christmas Day with David's Parents. Bill cooked them a cherry tart. It was delicious.

For Christmas Eve dinner we had what is becoming traditional Australian sea food fare. We had
two beautiful Snapper fish with Moreton Bay Bugs and prawns with a variety of different salads. David cooked the fish to Thai perfection. Christmas cake and brandy sauce followed.

On Boxing Day we went to visit David's parents, Bill and Alma. They have four adult children in their thirties and forties but for ages they didn't have any grand children. Recently their daughter, Melody gave them a grandson.
Uncle David is thrilled with his new nephew. Alma and Bill are over the moon with their first grandchild.
 Of course we had to have a cuddle of this very welcome baby, Billy (William) His jump suit reads. "I'm still living with my parents"

So it was a fairly quiet Christmas because our other daughter, Sonya and SIL. Bernie and Fox and Banjo stayed in Melbourne to celebrate with Bernie's family this year. Last year they were with us.
I hope all my readers had a happy Christmas too.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

THE WALL DIDN'T FALL BUT NEARLY

Our house sits on a corner block and the corner road sweeps around to the back of our house so we have two entrances which is handy because the front has stairs but the back doesn't. It means that we have a front garden, a back garden and a side garden. The back garden slopes down towards the house as we are on a hill. Bill built a bridge to access the door many years ago. We also needed  retaining walls to hold the hill back from washing under the house in storms. One on the left of the bridge and one on the right of the bridge. We had the walls made from logs because I preferred natural materials but after 25 years the logs shrank and the uprights rotted so we needed to replace the walls.
The back entrance.

The wall on the left was bowing and ready to fall.

My trusty gardener, Jeff and his two nephews came to renew the walls. The blocks were delivered.

 The work started. The logs were removed and then sadly some plants had to be removed. However, the spring blooms had finished and the rest are suffering dry summer heat stress. These guys were amazing working in 35°C heat. But the afternoon shade was creeping over them.


Soil had to be removed to make way for the blocks to be embedded in crusher dust next to the concrete walkway. It took two days.

Once the bottom layer is secured the others lock into each other like lego. Looks a bit neater now.

The wall on the right was also falling down.

 Logs removed, dirt dug out and first layer settled. 

 At least the workers had a little shade on this side.

Its going to look great when we have the walkways repainted.
We are impressed with the work done by Jeff from Blue Skies Property Maintenance .

Friday, December 9, 2016

BUILDING A HOUSE

Continuing "My Story"

We had returned from Switzerland in December 1970. In January we moved from Sydney to Brisbane and lived in a flat in Red Hill. Bill was re-employed by Carrier Air-Conditioning and I was employed by Queensland Education after waiting for three months for a vacancy. I started work at Mt Gravatt State School as a relief teacher at first but later I was sent to Mansfield State School as a classroom teacher for Years Two and Three composite class. 

We were keen to build a house on our block of land, so every weekend we went looking at display homes. Finally, we decided on a three bedroom boomerang shaped house. It was all a bit scary signing up for a mortgage but we were young, strong and healthy so we took the plunge.


The pegs mark where the house will go

I heard that you could grow pineapples from their tops so I planted some on the block before the house was started.


 Soon it was the day for the bulldozer to carve out a flat space for the house. Bill drives in front of the truck carrying the dozer along Springwood Rd. We didn't have a drive way so we used the neighbours.
 Bill shows the dozer driver where the house should go.

 Not long after the foundations were laid.

 The frame goes up and we are getting excited to see our first home taking shape.

 Bill is installing the electricity cables himself, as he was a qualified electrician. This saved us a some money.

 Almost finished. It was winter by now and we were looking forward to moving in by September.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TIME TO SETTLE DOWN


For readers, who have been following my blog for years will know that I have been writing My Story in post form now and then. I must thank those of you who left encouraging comments and suggested I publish my stories in a book. Well I have just published my second book titled "Butterflies in my Tummy", which covers my adventures between 1956 and 1970.  Now I am going to continue my story only because I am renovating my old photo albums and scanning the photos. Hopefully, the stories will continue to interest my children and some of my readers. However, after the adventures my family had as pioneering new Australians, my working and fun years in PNG and an exciting time travelling the world and living in Switzerland the rest of my story is a bit ordinary.

Bill and I arrived back in Australia after spending 1970 romping around the world. We came back from Europe  by ship with our car in the hold. On board we had made friends with a Swiss couple, who were migrating to Sydney. However, Bill talked them into coming to Brisbane with us. At first they were accommodated in a migrant camp in Sydney while Bill and I stayed with my parents. 

Even though Bill was promised a job in Brisbane we were short on funds to get there so we sold our nice new car, which was a model not available in Australia. We bought a second hand one and a trailer and loaded our belongings together with our Swiss friends, Silvia and Rene and off we drove to Brisbane. We had a block of land there and we decided it was time to settle down.

When we set off the weather was fine as we crossed over the Hawkesbury River.

 We showed Silvia and Rene our beautiful beaches on the NSW coast. I couldn't resist a photo of the old fisherman. Then it started to rain. Our trailer, full of belongings was covered with a tarpaulin but the water ran into the trailer and our stuff got wet.

Rene, Silvia and me.
When we arrived in Brisbane we found two flats  in the same old building in Red Hill. They were under the house like a basement. We hung all our wet blankets, sheets, towels and everything all around the flat to dry because it was still raining.

We spent the first week helping Rene and Silvia find jobs. (They were easy to find in the seventies) I applied to the education department but the reply was that they didn't need married women. Bill had a job waiting for him with Carrier Airconditioning. We spent some free time playing Jass, a Swiss card game.

 The view over the suburbs from our flat in Red Hill
The view of Brisbane from Mt Coot-tha in 1971. We were living in Red Hill on the right of the photo but we were going to build a house in a new suburb called Springwood, which is way in the distance to the south of Brisbane in the bush.