Brisbane, QLD

Monday, October 31, 2022


 Last week we bumped into friends who we hadn't seen for 10 years. They invited us to go to the Brisbane Jazz Club with them yesterday afternoon. We arrived early to get a close by parking spot. So we had a short walk along the riverside and found a park bench in the shade. It was quite hot yesterday.

We sat in the shade and watched the river traffic and caught up on the last ten years of our lives. One of our City Cat commuter ferries is going under our iconic Storey Bridge.

Soon it was time to walk back to the club, which is situated on the bank of the river at Kangaroo Point. Burke Park is on this side of the river and the CBD on the other.

We pass a huge beautifully shaped tree, so big I couldn't fit it all in the photo.

There is a strange sculpture outside the Jazz Club. It is called, "Flow" by Christopher Trotter. It represents water flowing through pipes, propellers wind in the water, and rivers wind through the land. ??

The Brisbane Jazz Club is 50 years old and it is only a small building which often gets flooded. Bill is ready to go in. He is excited because we are going to see a Big Band. Bill used to play the trumpet in a Big Band in Switzerland many years ago.

The Modernaires. Bill is second from left in the trumpet section.

Bill is standing second from the left.

The Pepperazzi Big Band at Brisbane jazz Club.

Later in the day the blinds were lifted and we could see the river rolling by. Earlier the sun was shining in the windows.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


 When I was walking in the forest last week the undergrowth had turned yellow. It looked very pretty but it was hard to capture on my phone.

The bushes in the undergrowth were blooming with yellow flowers. Some were like this with a touch of red and others were all yellow. They are a bush pea sometimes called egg and bacon. Their botanical name is Pultenaea daphnoides.
They lined the tracks and stretched as far as you could see but very hard to capture the scene on my phone.

It made our walk much more pretty than usual. However, it was quite painful for me as I have bursitis in my hip and it hurt going uphill. This has been going on for a few weeks so I went to the doctor who gave me a cortisone injection and the pain has subsided but I'm giving it a rest for a week and eating and getting fat instead.

Thursday, October 20, 2022


It is my favourite season. The temperatures are warm but not too hot. The birds and bees and flowers are filling the village gardens. Here are a few pics of them.

We have a beautiful Callistemon Tree near our front door. When it blooms in Spring we have a variety of honey eaters come to visit. This one is called a Brown Honeyeater-(That's imaginative).

It flits about very quickly and even hangs upside down. They are hard to photograph because they are so fast.
Many loud squawking Lorikeet Parrots come too.

It does acrobats as well.

The Blue Faced Honey eater arrives.

Unfortunately the Callistemon Tree reflects in our glass sliding door and poor old Kookaburra flew 'whack" into the glass and almost knocked itself out. It sat groggily on the balcony for a few minutes before it could manage to fly up to the fence, where it rested a bit longer before he flew into the trees.

They don't eat nectar but insects and small animals.

The bees are busy.

The flowers are stunning especially with the raindrops. We have been having lots of rain this year. At the moment NSW and Victoria have bad floods.

Sunday, October 16, 2022


 Yesterday I attended my best friend's memorial. Joan and I had been friends for 58 years. We met in Papua/New Guinea in 1965 when she arrived from Australia to teach at the same school as me. We soon became good friends being similar age. We taught in adjoining classrooms. I took her class for PE and she took mine for music. I am hopeless at singing and she didn't like teaching PE. So we did a swap. 

She was married with two children, Craig and Cheryl. Joan introduced me to baby sitting when she asked me to mind the kids when she and Norm went out. I was single at the time. When I met Bill I took him to meet my friends, Joan and Norm to see if they thought he was an okay boyfriend. They gave him the thumbs up. 

In 1967 Joan and I went on a trip around PNG. We were going to visit her brother, Wes, in Manus Is and my brother, David, in New Ireland and do some sight seeing as well. We were on the first Fokker to fly into Mt Hagen. All the locals came to see the biggest aircraft to land on Mt Hagen airstrip. So the pilot gave them a show by circling on its side around the strip which was surrounded by towering mountains. Then he gave the crowd a wing waggle. Joan and I grabbed each other and wished the pilot would just land the thing.

Flying into Mt Hagen

After that we flew to Wewak and saw a traditional Sing Sing.

Joan and I keeping cool under a banana leaf in Wewak. Joan is at the back.

The next day we flew to Laurengau, Manus Is and stayed in Joan's brother's one man donga which was made of metal and was the size of one room. The door wouldn't close properly. Wes stayed with a friend and said don't worry there is no crime on the island. 

Manus Island
Then we flew onto Kavieng, New Ireland, where my brother and sister in law gave us a tour of the beautiful tropical island. 

Kavieng, New Ireland
Then we flew on again to the island of New Britain and Rabaul. There we climbed a live volcano and peered down into the smoking crater. Joan and I had a great adventure.

Matupit Volcano, Rabaul, New Britain.

After Bill and I married we spent a lot of weekends with Joan and Norm. We went on picnics and had "Gumi" races down the fast flowing river floating on inflated lilos. Then we would buy fish and chips and go back to their house and lie on the floor and listen to classical music pumping out of Norm's huge Yamaha Speakers.

We returned to Australia before Joan and Norm but when they did return we were surprised to see they had bought land in the same street as us in Brisbane. It was just an amazing coincidence. They didn't know where we were living. So our friendship rekindled. Walks in the forest, weekends away and holidays together. I even got to teach at the same school as Joan for a short time.

Joan (and I) hiking in Lamington National Park
Joan and I taught together at Mt Cotton School.

We went on holidays together with our husbands.

Then they moved to a rural property where we would visit them and they would come to us and we would go to the theatre together. During this time Joan continued her love of weaving and felting as well as playing the mandolin and being an avid conservationist. After thirty years in the bush their age made it difficult to care for the property so they moved into a village near their daughter in Brisbane but an hour's drive away from us. But we managed to visit a few times where we saw Joan deteriorate with an unusual neurological disorder which affected her muscles and brain. She passed away on 18 Sept at age 83.

RIP my long time friend, Joan.

Sunday, October 9, 2022


 Our daughter, Carol and son in law, David drove from Melbourne to Brisbane (1,776km) to visit us and David's parents and siblings, who also live in Brisbane. We so love having real live visits from them instead of FaceTime talks. We have been out for lunches and drives. They do all the driving, shopping and cooking. I don't want them to go home next week. They love travelling and riding their mountain bikes.

Lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant.

They washed their bikes.
Then off for a ride in our forest.

At home Carol baked and David made dinner.

And we get flowers too.