Redcliffe Pier

Saturday, September 23, 2017

THE CARNIVAL OF FLOWERS

Toowoomba is a large country town situated on the crest of the Great Dividing Range about 
700 m/2,300ft above sea level. It is 125km/78m west of Brisbane. It is one of few Queensland towns that experience the four seasons, with autumn leaves and fabulous spring blooms. The towns nick name is "The Garden City"as there are over 150 parks and gardens. Every September they have the week long "The Carnival of Flowers". This year is the first time we have attended the carnival. We only went for a day trip and it was the day after the parade. We booked on a tour run by the historic train company. (see last post). It included a coach tour of the winning private gardens but we were very disappointed that it didn't include the city park gardens, which are by far the best. (It wasn't made clear in the ads). Anyway we still enjoyed the day. Following a just a few of the many shots I took of the gardens.









We were also taken to Picnic Point which has lovely street gardens and a beautiful view over the Lockyer Valley.
We have had a very dry winter. It has been hard for the residents to maintain their gardens.

It only takes 90 mins to get to Brisbane by car but took us much longer in the steam train.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CHOO CHOO TOOWOOMBA

We went on a steam train trip to Toowoomba. Toowoomba is a city on the Darling Downs on top of the Great Dividing Range. It is 125 km west of Brisbane. It is known as "The Garden City" and hosts "The Carnival of the Flowers" each September. I have always wanted to visit during the flower festival time. Bill said he would like to take the historic steam train up the range to Toowoomba. I luckily got two cancellation tickets for the train trip which is obviously very popular. We set off at 6:00 am from home and drove into town to the station. The train left at 7:15am and arrived in Toowoomba at 12:30pm, it was a long trip. We spent a few hours visiting gardens on a coach and then returned by steam train to Brisbane and arrived at 7:45pm. We reached home at 8:30pm. It was a long day for the oldies, but something different.
 Everyone on the platform wanted to get a photo of the old steam train. It was a BB111/4 class and it is operated by the Australian Railway Historical Society Queensland Division. It has been in service since 1956 originally for an express passenger train and now as a tourist attraction.

 These Gentlemen were helping us get into the swing of the old days. The railway line was constructed over 150 years ago.

 We passed through the Lockyer Valley where most of our vegetables are grown before climbing up the steep range. Many bridges and tunnels were constructed to try to ease the climb, but there are still some very steep gradients. 

We stopped at Heliden for the train to be refuelled with water and other adjustments made. Passengers used the time to visit the engine.

 These volunteers never cease to amaze me. 

 We even had a dining car.

 At the risk of getting soot in my eyes, I ventured out on the verandah to get some shots of the train.

After climbing up the hills we finally arrived at Toowoomba where we had lunch with many of the other passengers.

 Lunch was served in the old dining room on the station. I should mention here that passenger trains no longer go to Toowoomba except for these special outings of the old locomotives. So the station is like a museum. Coal trains still use the line.
After lunch we boarded buses to visit some gardens, which I'll show on my next post.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

THE FIRST SIX MONTHS

Continuing "My Story"

For my regular readers you will be familiar with me writing occasional posts about my life story, which I then publish in book form for my family. It is a long time since I have done one of these posts. Moving and trying to find where I packed the photos is my excuse. I'm also aware that this part of my life is not that interesting for non family members, so I hesitate to post and bore my readers.

As all new mothers know, there is not much spare time in the first six months of a new baby in the house. Bill was working and I was at home. I was bathing, feeding, and changing baby as well as doing the housework. 
Carol-Ann 5 weeks
10 weeks
Bill was the photographer and he tried to take photos of our pride and joy to send to our parents. However, for the first few months, Carol wasn’t going to open her eyes and smile for anyone. She just wanted to sleep. 

From 10 weeks on we were able to get some nice shots for the grandparents.

Bill helped in the kitchen when he came home from work.

It was winter and it was nice to sit out the back in the morning sun. 

Ricky was the ever vigilant guard dog.
5 months
I loved hugging and kissing my baby.

6 months
At the end of the year (1972), we went to Sydney to spend Christmas with my parents. It was a very hot and long drive.(10 hours) It was before we had car air conditioning. We stopped to give Carol-Ann a feed, but the flies were in plague numbers. It was awful and the temperature was 40°C.

 Finally, we arrived at Grandma and Granddad’s house. We put up a little blow up pool for Carol-Ann to cool off. Our neighbour, Laila, back in Springwood, had given me a baby swing, which her children had grown out of but the fabric needed replacing. Grandma did that for us.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

IT'S SWELL ON THE BEACH

Every year for the past 15 years, the SWELL sculpture festival has been held for free on Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast in Queensland. We visited again this year. It was a beautiful Spring day.
Over 55 artists display their work on the beach. "They combine their skills of an engineer, an architect, a scientists, a philosopher and a poet to reveal works of art that speak to our soul." The organisers had a vision to connect "people, art and place through thought provoking public art in a stunning environment."

 Currumbin Beach stretches between two rocky outcrops. This one is called Elephant Rock and perched on top is the sculpture of "These Hands" Michael Van Dam. -" They love, give, touch, take, hate, hurt and destroy. They grow wary, they grow old."


At the other end of the beach is Currumbin Rock, where a giant crab has been installed. "The Crab" Joy Haylen. "It is an innovative blend of cutting edge technology and blacksmiths techniques." Many school groups were visiting the exhibition.

 In between the two rocks, along the length of the beach were other installations. I didn't take them all.
This one is called, "Safe" Clayton Thompson. It is made from about 60000 pool noodles. "It is a comment on the journey of domestic violence victims, 'Safe' represents a safe house and the moment when the individual moves from victim to survivor."

"A New Face" MJ Ryan Bennett. It is made from plastic chairs.

"Tidal Intersection" Manning Daly. It symbolises our connection with the moon and the oceans.

As well as installations on the beach there are others along the footpath. It was much easier walking than in the thick, soft sand for us oldies.
"Books and Mortar" Monte Lupo. "Made from recycled objects creating new stories. Books bring people together and provide a way to escape you are never alone when you are reading a book."

"Post Tree Museum 11" Jeanette Krohn. Made of glass. Depicts the state of the world's forests today.
"Conversation" Philip Piperides. "Human gestures are created daily without thought and so naturally."

"Love Birds" Miles Allen.  The Bower Bird builds a bower and decorates it with blue objects to attract a partner. This bower is 8 times larger than the bird's. It is decorated with blue plastic pieces. Viewers are invited to write messages of love.

"The Huntress" Sean Williams. "Based on the female Black Dragon Fish. She is a huntress in the depths of the sea. She produces light which attracts her prey. The title is from Greek mythology. Artemis the goddess of hunt.  Made from street found industrial objects. It has LCD lighting."
Next year we are going at night time to see the sculptures when the sun is setting and when the lighting comes on.

See more on Bill's one minute video.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Brrrm Brrm or Zoom Zoom

We went to a car show on the weekend. It was the Mustang car club but there were other cars there too. We went because we were trying to find reflections for our camera club challenge. I enjoyed looking at the beautiful cars but I also liked people watching. You get some interesting characters at these shows.
The mustangs are all yawning 

There were rows and rows of pretty coloured, shiny cars. Many had signs saying, "Look with your eyes. Do not touch!"

There were classic old cars as well. I loved this one with the picnic rug and basket. 

I wasn't sure what to make of this.

 I used to have a car like that but I didn't ever dress like that.

 Older car enthusiasts seem to have a uniform of black shirts, hats and white hair and beards.

 One of the reflection shots that I got.
I don't know what this guy thought when I was taking a photo through his legs. He was the owner of the car chatting to a bystander. When he saw me he politely moved so I could see his car. Little did he know.