Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, June 17, 2021


It was that time of the month when the villagers get together for a dinner and guest speaker. This month the  theme was winter. The menu was: 

Pedro Ximenez Braised Beef Cheeks with Winter Vegetables , Sweet potato and Cauliflower Mash 

Or:  Pork Fillet Vegetable Ragout with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash.

Dessert: Flourless Raspberry Cake with Pistachio Cream and Mixed Berry Coulis. (forgot to take a pic but it was delicious.)

The roll up was a bit smaller than usual probably due to the cold weather and people being away on holiday.

Each month we sit with different people so as to get to know everyone in the village. This time we sat with Irene, a lady from Finland, and Stewart and Elizabeth. Stewart is always reading or at the gym or riding his bike. Recently he fell off his bike. He's been told not to  ride anymore.

It was their 47 years married anniversary. The two behind are dressed up for the winter theme.

It was a special night for the village accountant. It was her 25th birthday. She is the daughter of our CEO/owner.

Our guest speaker was a resident, David, who gave us an entertaining talk about his experiences as a pilot.

Once again the catering students from Rochedale High School did a good job serving us. There are two groups this year. They alternate each month to come to us. The hours count towards their qualification requirements.

Chef Poz and his helpers

Monday, June 14, 2021


My story continued 

Carol-Ann was finishing her second year of school at Springwood Central State School.  It was the end of year school concert. The children sang and acted out Christmas Carols. Carol-Ann held the picture of Seven Swans a swimming in one act and she was a Twinkling Star in the nativity play.

Carol standing first on left. Singing in the choir.

Carol holding the picture of "Seven swans a swimming" in "A Partridge in a Pear Tree"

Carol a star in the nativity play.

We give family gifts on Christmas Eve like they do in Switzerland.

On Christmas morning the children open gifts that Santa left under the tree.

At the end of 1979 the girls were at a nice age. Sonya was going to start school in January 1980. I had been going to night classes at Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus to upgrade my teaching qualifications and I was hoping to get back into full time work. I had been a stay-at-home mum for seven years, which was to continue for another three years with part time work.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 Queensland Parks and Wildlife services are undertaking work in forests that abut urbane areas as the fire brigade have said there is a high fire danger risk to dwellings. So over the last few months we have had earth moving equipment forging wider fire breaks around our village. Trees and vegetation have been removed and huge mulchers moved in to munch up the fallen trees. The noise was loud. I tried to get as close to our border as possible to take some photos.

Dropping the logs into the mulcher.

The mulcher spitting it out at the other end making huge mounds of mulch, which they will spread later.

An amazing but noisy machine.

Once lovely trees turned into mulch but a necessity to keep us safe from bush fires.

You can see from this photo that I took from a plane when I was returning from Melbourne some time ago, how our village is surrounded by forest and neighbours with acres of bushland.

This is our street disappearing into the forest.

This is our apartment. My study is on the right.

This is the view from my study.
I love living here surrounded by bushland and close to forest walks but I am happy that we are getting a wider firebreak made around our village.

Saturday, June 5, 2021


HOTA is the Home Of The Arts. It is a cultural precinct situated in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast City, Queensland. Hota presents live music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, kids shows, art and cinema from local , national and international artists. It is surrounded by parklands and lake.

We were invited by friends to visit the new Art Gallery at HOTA and to have lunch in the HOTA Cafe. There were six of us. We used to be neighbours in the seventies and eighties and we have kept in touch by having lunch together three times a year.

We walked through the parklands and found some interesting sculptures.

Then we came to the new Art Gallery. It's a quirky building with five floors of Art and an observation deck and coffee shop. That's the bit sticking out at the top. We went up there first. The views were lovely.

This is the original Arts Centre. It now houses theatres, cinemas and cafe.

View from observation deck of Surfer's Paradise. The ocean is on the other side of the towers.

After coffee in the cafe we started going down floor by floor and enjoying the art instalations.
These are mimi people by aboriginal sculptors.
History piece by indigenous  artist.

I was remiss in not getting the name of the artists.

Then we went across the way to the other building where we had a delicious lunch. It was a lovely day with old friends and a new art gallery.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


It was our last days for exploring Armidale and surrounds.We went wine tasting, visited a museum and lookouts. We drove a few miles south to Peterson's Winery. It was a very cold morning.
The cellar door was a converted horse stable.

The tasting was done outside in the sun but it was still cold. The one hundred year old Palmerston Homestead was bought by Peterson's wines  and is now an upmarket guest house.

The vines had lost their leaves. We bought a few bottles and then headed off to Uralla and our favourite cafe in Uralla for a warm lunch.

Then we visited the McCrossin's Mill Museum. Originally built by Alexander Mitchell for John McCrossin in 1870. The old mill was bought by the Uralla Historical Society and converted it into a vibrant museum and function centre. It featured a series of nine dramatic paintings "The Death of Captain Thunderbolt", an infamous bushranger (highwayman) that roamed this area for some years in the early days.

There was an exhibition of Chinese artefacts from the Rocky River goldfields.

Then we returned to Armidale where we found the lookout where we could see the city below.

The next morning we drove into town for breakfast. We had a glimpse of some late autumn trees.

We walked past this mural and down the lane to the mall.
It was a very clean town.
(see more murals on Sami's Blog )
It was early and cold so not any people in the mall except those in the cafe.

After breakfast we set off for home and the warmth of Brisbane. We said good by to the coloured leaves.

We crossed over the Great Dividing Range and came home via Grafton and Ballina on the coast.
We said goodbye to the farmlands.

We had lunch in Grafton and stopped here in Ballina for a rest and then home sweet home. It is a five hour drive.