Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, November 29, 2018


It is that time of the year when we have lots of parties or Christmas lunches or break up parties or whatever you want to call a get together of friends from various groups like U3A classes, tennis groups and village parties.

We had a street party for the people who live in Tranquil Ave in our village. We call ourselves the "Tranquilizers." It is a casual get together where we set up a few tables for food. Everyone brings their own chair, drinks and a plate to share. We had so much food that we couldn't eat it all.

It was a great way to get to know new people who have moved into the village and to consolidate old friendships. We were pleased to see that every person in the street attended.

An uninvited guest

Bill made a short video of us having fun.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Our neighbour Jan, a keen photographer, took us into town to photograph the "William Jolly Bridge" that is lit up. Being close to the art galleries, the bridge displays works of art. This week it is celebrating the opening of ‘The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT9) at QAGOMA, the bridge will be exhibiting artist Monira Al Qadiri’s ‘DIVER’ .

On the way back to the carpark I stopped for a silly photo.

We arrived early to check out the best place to stand to take the shots. Down on the river bank or on the next bridge, the Kurilpa pedestrian bridge.
William Jolly Bridge

Poinciana Tree

My love.

The Kurilpa Bridge

From the Kurilpa Bridge looking at The Victoria Bridge lit orange
 for "NO Violence' awareness.

Looking the other way to the "William Jolly Bridge"


We walked and walked carrying cameras and tripods and got home with tired little legs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


In September 1976 Sonya turned two. We belonged to Springwood Playgroup. Parents took it in turns to hold playgroup in their homes. The kids had fun and parents had fun preparing activities. We also got to make new friends. Some of us are still in contact today and we have reunion dinners twice a year. I'm going to one tonight. We catch up on what our children and grandchildren are doing now days.
 Sonya had her party at playgroup. Another little boy, Troy had his birthday too.  Troy is now a specialist nurse, who helps doctors implant pacemakers. Sonya is an operational manager for NICA (National Institute for Circus Arts). Who would have guessed then.

We had indoor activities and outdoor play. Carol was four.

During 1976, Bill was very ill for three months. He collapsed at work and was rushed to hospital where they saw he was having a Left Jacksonian fit. The doctors said he had plaque float into his brain from the Carotid Artery. So he had a six hour operation to clean out the artery in his neck. There was a chance of brain damage so that scared me. I was lucky to have the best neighbour, Moira, who looked after the girls while I went to the hospital. (We have no family in Brisbane) My parents lived in Sydney, Bill's in Switzerland. He is an only child and my brother had just moved from PNG to  England. 
The operation was a success and he came home to recuperate. But it didn't happen. He got severe headaches and was projectile vomiting. I called an ambulance and sent him back to hospital. Doctors spent ages trying to find out what was wrong. There were no CAT scans in those days but he had every kind of brain x-ray available even one where they drilled out a piece of skull and pumped air in. They were trying to find a brain tumour which they suspected was causing the pain in his head.
After this last test his eyes pointed in different directions and he could see more than double  of everything but I was happy that he didn't have brain damage nor could they find a tumour. They gave him huge doses of cortisone and he started to get better.
A year later after going from one specialist to another, he was finally diagnosed with chronic sarcoidosis of the brain membrane, which is kept under control with a low dose of prednisone everyday. 
This photo was taken on his first day out after three months. He was marching for the Lions Club at Brisbane's Warana  Festival. I was so happy to have him back to himself and so were the girls.

Carol and Sonya at the festival.

 Daddy enjoying the girls again.

 The girls were two and four and becoming good play mates.

They entered the Miss Naarilla Tiny Tot Quest again but didn't win this time. I thought they were cute though.


Grossmutti knitted the vests and sent them from Switzerland. They hadn't met their Swiss grandparents yet. With Bill being sick and me not working plus paying a mortgage with a whopping 18% interest, there was no way we could afford to fly to Switzerland then.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


After a few days road trip to Grafton and Ballina in northern NSW, we made our way home slowly through the back roads. We stopped at Killen Falls Nature Reserve and walked down to the river to see the waterfall.

The path led to a platform over the river but we couldn't get down to the bottom for better photos.

 We drove on through the Northern Rivers Hinterland and came to a lookout where we could see to the ocean.

 We found the yuppy village of Bangalow and had a coffee. Then we drove on down to the coast and stopped at Kingscliff Beach for lunch. It is just south of the border of Queensland.

 The boys.

So we packed a lot into our two day road trip and it was nice to be home again. However, I wouldn't mind staying for a week at one of these beaches.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


On our way home from our trip to Grafton we drove up the coast road stopping at Yamba for lunch and Ballina for an overnight stay. Ballina is another beautiful beach town that the tourists are starting to find. It is also a big fishing port and the town is famous for its prawns. As you drive into the town you are met by "The Big Prawn". One of our Travel Group members grew up in Ballina and so he took over the sight seeing program.

 Our friend took us to a lookout where we could see Lighthouse Beach to the south and the rock sea walls for the mouth of the Clarence River. That is where we went next.

Looking north  was a beautiful view of Shelly Beach. Unfortunately there has been a few shark attacks at this beach recently. (Not good for tourism)

 We walked out to the end of the north wall. It was a popular place for walkers and cyclists. We watched some dolphins playing in the waves but I couldn't capture any with my camera.

But this fellow kindly stood still drying his wings.

 Then I had fun trying to capture the rainbows in the spray from the strong breeze.

I was surprised to see a board rider so far out at Shelly Beach. Luckily he wasn't dinner for a shark.

Friday, November 9, 2018


On the way home from Grafton we pulled into Yamba, a pretty little seaside town where the Clarence River empties into the sea. It has been popular with fishermen and campers for years. Our convoy of cars all met up at the lighthouse, where the views were stunning.
 This is one of the many beaches and to the left you can see the river sea walls.

Over the other side of the peninsula is the river and more beaches. It is a lovely area not spoilt with high rise commercialism.

After a kiss under the lighthouse we all walked down to the hotel, which is perched on top of the hill overlooking a beach. We had a yummy lunch there with a beautiful view but the boys were on their phones. Michael the tour leader was checking out where we go next and Bill was sending photos to our girls while we waited for our lunch.

 The view from our table in the hotel.

 After lunch we all drove down the hill to the rocky outcrop near the river mouth. It is an area for surf ski riders.

They could ski to this little beach.

 Then come back to catch the next waves.

 They were having lots of fun.
Next stop Ballina.