Brisbane, QLD

Friday, September 29, 2017


Continuing "My Story"

We moved into our first house in Springwood Rd in 1971. There was a deep drain running down the side of the road which we couldn't cross in the car outside our house. There was no culvert or driveway. We had to cross further down the road and drive up the footpath to reach our house. In 1973 the council built a culvert and driveway across the big drain.  
The culvert with a maker post is just in the left hand corner of the photo. Then we had an almost proper access to the house.

This is the same road taken from the same spot in 2015. A four lane road with a nature strip in the middle.

 We had a garage built on the end of the house but Bill used it as his shed. So he decided to add a carport onto the house.

 I tried to establish a garden around the house but we left most of the acre in natural bushland. We had our first baby too. She was just over six months and sat in a little swing while mummy and daddy worked and our dog Ricky just wanted to play.

 The carport and little garden was finished. Bill was making two concrete strips as a driveway.

Carol-Ann 9 months and 10 months

At 11 months she took her first steps. She was our pride and joy

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


It was Helen's Birthday last month but we are being late celebrating birthdays this year. The old wrinklies are just too busy having other fun. A group of them went to Fiji for a Country and Western Music Festival. Helen was one who went. So bear is dressed to reflect Helen's trip to Fiji. Bear didn't go so she is making up for it now.

It was my turn to dress bear so I took a photo of her at home just before we left for the restaurant. She has her guitar and the flyer for "Tunes in the Tropics, Fiji. 2019". Bear is hoping she can go.

She is dressed in her Fiji outfit with sunnies and a flower behind her ear.

 Helen was happy with her Birthday Bear (if you are not familiar with our tradition click on the link)

LtoR Bill, George, Crystal, Ann, Mary, Birthday Bear, Helen, Chris and Bob.
Helen chose to eat at the Sunnybank Community and Sports Club. It has been updated since we were there last time and the service and food was much better. It was lovely to have Bob and Chris with us again, even though they have a long trip to make. Helen's daughter in law also joined us as she went to Fiji too.

 I get a big thank you for dressing Bear this time. Helen and I have been friends since 1990 when I was transferred to Kuraby School where she had been teaching for years. We soon became good friends and Bill and I, Helen and Paul went on holidays together. Sadly Paul passed away 18 months ago. Helen has been an inspiration in coping with her grief.

I really enjoyed my lunch of grilled Barramundi on some fancy vegetables.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


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


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


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


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.