Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, July 29, 2018


A few weeks ago Sonya and the boys came to Brisbane to visit us and to warm up, as the weather has been very cold in Melbourne. Bernie was in USA for a few days. They stayed with us for the weekend and then we went to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast for four days.

 Fox played ball with Grandaddy and the neighbour Trevor.

 While Banjo preferred to pick flowers for his mummy.

 Then they wanted to visit the zen garden. Fox is planning a game. Fox is 8 and Banjo 6.

 Later we walked into the forest next to the village and while Fox played football in the picnic area with his mum, I took Banjo into the Koala Centre. A place to learn about Koalas. They only keep Koalas there that need medical attention or joeys who have lost their mother (road kill or dogs)

 Banjo enjoyed being a vet for a while.

He tendered to the (toy) koala's injuries. They have lots of toy koalas for lots of children but there were not many there on this day even though it was school holidays.

Not long after he was off to the next activity. He was hard to keep up with. Its so nice to have them visit.

Friday, July 27, 2018


Oh dear I am so way behind with posts. Will I ever catch up?
Last month we celebrated Mary's Birthday at Club Southside. It was the first time we had been there and we were pleasantly surprised. It was newly renovated and the food was good.

Mary donates her time to prepare morning teas for her church group. So Birthday Bear has offered to help. If you are not familiar with our Birthday Bear tradition read here:

 We were impressed with our new venue.

 Mary was pleased to see she has a helper for baking for morning tea. Chris dressed Bear this time.

 Helen, Ann, Bob, George, Bill, me missing, Chris, Mary and Birthday Bear.
Five friends who all worked at Kuraby State School many years ago but have kept in touch ever since.

Monday, July 16, 2018


So after four days of living in luxury and being driven around sight seeing and eating scrumptious meals it was time to head home. We had been in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney a birthday weekend with our daughter, Carol and son-in-law, David.
We drove back to Sydney a different way. We set off from Bowral and headed towards the coast via the Kangaroo Valley and the town of Berry. On the way we stopped at the Fitzroy Falls.
 It was a little cold in the forest but the falls were awesome.

 It was pretty driving through Kangaroo Valley with the fog lifting.

 We stopped  for a coffee in the nice little town of Berry with its quaint shops.

It was unusual to see surf boats on a roof.

We continued on to the beautiful south coast of NSW. We stopped at Austinmere for lunch. I had fond memories of this beach because my parents brought us here every Boxing Day for a picnic on the rocks in the distance and a swim in the rock pools.

I had read about a new section of road which is a bridge over the ocean so I asked Carol and David if we could go this way back to Sydney. They were happy as they had never been on this road before.

Then we drove up the steep hill to Stanwell Tops and we were surprised to see many many para gliders and some hand gliders jumping off the cliff and soaring in the sky. It was fun to watch.
 Looking over Stanwell Park Beach

 It was fun to be here. It had changed a lot from when I lived in Sydney 60 years ago.

 Our wonderful chauffeurs for the weekend.

 This monument to Lawrence Hargraves was here before. It is in memory of the man who pioneered aeronautics. He experimented with box-kites, monoplanes and engines and shared his ideas with the Wright brothers. Much of his work was done here doing the same as the modern day paraglider. Wouldn't he love to join them and see the aeroplanes of today.

Friday, July 6, 2018


During our four day trip to the Southern Highlands, Carol and David took us for another drive around the district. We stopped in the little village of Robertson for morning coffee. The coffee shop was an old cheese factory converted into a coffee shop and cheese and souvenir shop.
 The old cheese factory.

Inside the old cold room and factory.

 I love the character of the old country houses. This one had the typical verandah and even the owner having a nap in the winter sun.

 A bit further down the main road we came across the "Big Potato", which was a bit worse for wear. It was quite a laugh really. Many Aussie towns have large statues of the products they are famous for. I have seen the big orange, the big banana, the big mango, the big cow, the big prawn and here we have the big potato. What next?

We continued our drive through a beautiful National Park to see the Belmore Falls. When we got there we found the pathway was closed due to damage to the lookout from a past bushfire. That was a disappointment.

 So we continued on to find a winery for lunch. Carol had done the research and found a delightful one at Mount Ashby Estate.

This was the driveway to the Cellar Door and restaurant.
It was a sunny, peaceful area.

 Inside was full so we sat outside in the warm sun. 

We chatted with Carol and David

and had a delightful lunch of Barramundi and Creme Brûlée .
After that we drove back to the hotel for a rest and that evening we had a dinner in the hotel's posh restaurant because it was my birthday. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018


After we explored the gardens surrounding the Milton Park Country House Hotel, Carol and David took us for a driving tour around the Southern Highlands. The highlands are just south of Sydney about 1.5 hours drive. The scenery is beautiful but in winter it is cold. Us Queenslanders, had to rug up. Luckily we had sunny days.

First stop was a little town called Moss Vale. We checked out the market but wasn't impressed so we pushed on to Hillview Sculpture Park.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much information about the sculptures or the artists.

 We guessed this is St George and the dragon. You can see why it is called Hillview, the park is situated on top of a hill with views of rolling hills and pastures. (See my new header)

It was quite a walk from one to the other sculpture so we managed a little exercise and warmed up. Then the next part of the tour included a few local wineries.

 We enjoyed talking to the owners of the wineries and hearing their stories of pioneering wine growing in the district. This Italian/Australian made very nice Chianti.

Carol found the best restaurant in the area but it was full so we had to wait some time for a free table because we hadn't booked. It was Bendooley Estate Wines and Berklouw Book store as well as the restaurant.

We scored a table next to the fire where we had a two great Pizzas to share for lunch. It was well into the afternoon when we finished so we decided not to go out for dinner. So we stopped by the supermarket in Bowral and stocked up with cheese, salami, apples, crackers and wine for a snack in our hotel room. It was a delightful end to a wonderful day.