Brisbane, QLD

Monday, January 28, 2019


It was Australia Day on 26th January.  We had a celebration party in the village hall. The residents organised Australian Food, Australian Games and an Australian Trivia session. There were also Competitions. where residents showcased their amazing talents.

So some of the Aussie food included meat pies and tomato sauce, Lamingtons (sponge squares coated in chocolate and coconut,) Pavlova and I can see some cup cakes coloured yellow and green our country's sports colours.

Our friends Eric and Gwen, who lent me the motorised scooter. Eric enjoying a Lamington.

 There were many games. This one is horse racing and there was throwing the thong (rubber sandal) into a bucket.

 There were also competitions. We organised a Photography competition and Gay won the "Peoples Choice".
Bill won the T-Shirt competition.

Julie won the overall photo competition. We made a power point presentation of all the entries and showed it on the TV. There were many other competitions too including, Art, Craft, and Cooking.
It was a fun event. 

Monday, January 21, 2019


I spent the last evening in our holiday house learning how to use crutches and navigate stairs and the bathroom. Wasn't easy. 
Lake Jindabyne outside our window.

Lunch with the family (Sonya took the photo). It was very hot so the boys wore very little.

Saying goodbye to the boys. They were travelling south back to Melbourne and we were going north to Canberra with Carol and David.

We drove from Jindabyne to Cooma where we stopped at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre. It showcases the history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. It is the story of people who persevered through harsh conditions to build one of the greatest engineering projects ever undertaken in the world. It is a hydro power and irrigation scheme. It was constructed between 1949 and 1974.
After Cooma we continued onto Canberra where we stayed overnight in a hotel. We were to drive on the next day to Sydney and stay with Carol for a few days before flying home to Brisbane. However, Carol's apartment is on the third floor without a lift/elevator this would be difficult on crutches. So we changed plans and went to Canberra airport and organised a flight change and flew home from there. QANTAS was very good at providing a wheelchair and a pusher to get me on and off the plane. (Bill says we are going to keep the boot and wear it every time we go to the airport to get on the plane first.)  I was happy to be going home to put my foot up.

When I got back to the village one of the residents lent me a motorised scooter. I found crutches difficult to use so we hired a knee walker. I had to keep off the foot for two weeks and now I can put a little weight on it and the pain has eased. I have to keep the boot on for six and a half weeks (three and a half to go). It wasn't a good start to the new year but it was still fun to be with the all the family for a week in a very scenic place.

Friday, January 18, 2019


The weather was fine the next day, so the families left early (without Bill and me) to hike to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. It is the highest point in Australia named after a national hero of Poland by the polish explorer Strzelecki, who climbed the mountain in 1840. 
The following photos were taken by Bernie and Sonya.

Today you can drive to Thredbo and ride the chairlift then walk 6k to the summit.

Off they go. As they set off Bernie had a $5 wager with Carol that there wouldn't be any snow because it was a hot day down at Jindabyne. However, it was cooler on the mountain and he lost his $5.

 The boys could make a tiny snowball.

 Finally they reached the summit. Sonya was proud of the boys 6 and 8 years old for walking all the way there and back in the wind without complaining or needing help.

 Banjo and Fox and the Hoary Sunray Daisy. (Leucochrysum albicans) is a pretty but endangered native alpine daisy.

 Our wonderful family on the top of Australia. Its great to have them all back 'down under' after Carol and David lived in the UK for 7 years and Sonya, Bernie and the boys lived in US for 5 years. Australia Rules.

Our lovely daughters who looked after me so well.

While they were having fun in the wind on the mountain I was resting my ankle with ice and red medicine. I was worried about the swelling and bruising getting worse. When the family returned from the hike I asked Carol to take me to the Snowy Mountain Medical Centre in Jindabyne. I felt bad because I knew she was tired, hungry and had a headache from the high altitude hike. The doctor guessed the ankle was broken and checked with his x-ray machine and then sold me a moonboot. He told me to buy crutches next door at the Pharmacy and don't walk on it for ten days, and I was on my way within half an hour. Better service than in the city.
Now how to get back to Brisbane?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


After twisting my ankle on a hike the previous day, I lay with it elevated and iced for the rest of the day except for hobbling up two flights of stairs to the dining room for dinner and socialising with the family. The next day Sonya and their family went out on the lake in their boat, which they had towed from Melbourne. Carol and David offered to take us sight seeing in the car since I couldn't walk very well.
First stop was Crackenback Ski resort. It was like a big park with a lake and buildings scattered around the lake like a village. In summer it is full of guests who like hiking and mountain bike riding. There was a new little family of ducks on the lake.

 Then we drove onto Thredbo, one of the oldest and biggest Ski Resorts in NSW. As we were driving I could see pockets of snow still dotted on the mountain tops. The temperature was 30° C/86°F.

It was New Year's Day and we were lucky to find a coffee shop open in Thredbo Village. The last time I was here it was covered in snow.

The gap in the trees is where the chair lift takes you to the top, from there you walk 6k to the top of Mt Kosciuszko or in winter ski down the many runs that are available. But no hiking for me anymore on this trip.

 We drove around the range to Perisher Valley and Charlotte's Pass. We were lucky to get a park close to the lookout at Charlotte's Pass so that I could hobble 30 metres to take some photos with my phone. Here we could see Mt Kosciusko, the biggest hump in the distance. It is our highest mountain at 2,228mm/7,310ft. As you can see we don't have towering alps in our country, which is the oldest geological country on earth. Our alps have been worn down from millions of years of weathering. However, in winter the area covered in snow is greater than the size of Switzerland.

 Carol looking after her hobbling mum.

 Charlottes Pass Ski Resort the lifts are behind me.

 Looking back from where we came

 David soaking up the beautiful scenery on the way back to Jindabyne.

Unfortunately in this beautiful National Park the Ribbon Gum trees are dying in their thousands. The National University researchers believe it is due to a weevil infestation and the climate becoming hotter and drier.
It is sad to see.

The next day the family walked to the summit of Kosciuszko while I nursed my painful, swollen multicoloured, foot. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


So we reached Rainbow Lake in the Perisher Valley after a short 2k walk. David and Carol had done it before and said this is where we turn around and go back but Bernie said, " But there is a little path going around the lake." So we all agreed to walk around the lake.

 So we followed the little overgrown track through the grass. It was fairly easy but sloshy with a few streams to jump over.

 We reached the end of the lake and it was very pretty looking back to where we came from.

We jumped over the little stream and continued around the other side of the lake hoping we would connect up to the bigger track to take us back to the car park.

As you can see the track was narrow and getting rough but Bernie, David and Sonya were finding a way through. Fox, Banjo, Carol and I came behind stopping to take photos. This was my last photo of this walk. We climbed a small rise then it dropped steeply down to a little stream. Banjo slid down on his bum. I took tiny steps and Bernie was there to hold my arm while I jumped the stream. Looked easy but I landed on a tuft of grass and my foot rolled off it and bent 90 degrees. Ouch the pain was severe. I sat down in the mud. Every one rushed to my aide. Sonya had a first aide kit with a compression bandage and she strapped it up tight. I got up and could put a little weight on it and so hobbled along the path hanging on to Carol's back pack strap so she could pull me up the hills. They found me a stick and on we went. We finally reached the main path and then it was a 2k hobble back to the car. I thought I had sprained my ankle. It hurt a lot to walk.

I was pleased to be back at the house and elevate it and ice it. It was hard negotiating the stairs up to the living area.

The view out of the window was pleasant and I had a good book to read but sadly I knew that I would not be achieving my ambition of walking to the summit of Mt Kosciusko in the next few days. However, we went sight seeing the next day.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Our daughter Sonya found a holiday house on the lake at Jindabyne for our whole family to stay for a week over New Year. Jindabyne is a mountain village in the Snowy Mountains. Lake Jindabyne is one of 16 dams built for the Snowy Mountain Scheme in the 50's to 70's.
 Photo from the net. three bedrooms downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs and huge living area in the middle.
The view from the deck of the living area.

 It didn't take long for the boys to be swimming in the lake. Even though it snows in winter it was 33°C/91°F while we were there.
 I enjoyed a paddle in a kayak which belonged to the holiday house. Son in law, Bernie, kept a watch out for me .

 The next day we were to walk to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia, but Carol and David checked the weather and there were high winds expected on the mountain. They have walked it before and said it is difficult and unpleasant when it is very windy. So we postponed the walk for another day.

 Instead Carol said we know of a more sheltered shorter walk in Perisher Valley to Rainbow Lake. So off we went.

 It was a pretty walk with little streams and wild flowers.

 and artistic trees 

After nearly 2k we were there. Sonya, Bernie, Banjo and Fox. David and Carol were up ahead.

"There's the lake Grandma!" calls Banjo.