Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, December 30, 2023


 I was excited. Our daughters and their families were coming from Melbourne to Brisbane to spend some time with us over the Christmas Holidays. Carol and David arrived first and celebrated Christmas Eve with us and Christmas Day with David's family. Sonya and the boys came later on New Year's Eve they had spent Christmas Day with Bernie's Family in Melbourne. Bernie had been working over Christmas and New Year. He was playing in the Musical, "A Christmas Carol". He came up later when it had finished.

So we had two Christmas Dinners and present giving days. One with just Carol and David and another when Sonya and the boys arrived.

Christmas Eve with Carol and David.

We had traditional Aussie Fare, seafood and salads. Tiger Prawns and Moreton bay Bugs (like small lobsters).

Then it was present time. We really don't need anything at our age but we do enjoy receiving books.

It is so nice having them here.

Another day we invited friends for afternoon tea. Carol loves baking so she made us a delicious baked cheesecake.
She also cooked Bill's favourite Swiss breakfast loaf. He enjoyed a Swiss breakfast of bread cheese and jam.

The stormy day ended with a pretty sunset.

Thursday, December 21, 2023


On the first weekend in December our village has a light up night. Where everyone who wants to participates turn on their Christmas lights and invite friends and family especially grandchildren and great grandchildren to visit the village and walk the streets and see the pretty lights. They can also join in with the village singers who are also walking the streets and singing Carols. They start at the top of the hill and walk zig zag down the hill and end up in the community centre for drinks and more Carols. We start on dusk (better for photos).
This was the sky when I left home. Our unit is on the left and Sue, my neighbour on the right. The building is a quadplex. There are two units under us. They access their units from the next road down the hill. So there are no steps.

The singers start with leader playing the keyboard on the back of the buggy. Then they walk down to the next street and set up again.

They collect more singers on the way.

Some people make a huge effort with their homes.

You can see here the units that are underneath on the right and the upper units above. The ones on the left are the next lot of upper units.

It's a tradition of David and Diane to ply the passers by with a port and snacks outside their house.

After walking around most of the streets it was time to go home and sit down and nurse my sciatica.
Bill sat on the bench just out of shot and chatted to the passers by.

Saturday, December 9, 2023


 Well its that time of the year when there are many Christmas or end of year parties. First we had a street party, then lunch with my Play group mum's from the 70's, then the village Christmas Party. I was supposed to go to the tennis ladies Christmas outing but I was in too much pain for a whole day's outing involving a lot of walking.

Bill enjoying a snack at the street party. The guy serving is also Bill and his wife is Diane just the same as us. They also own a red Mazda like us.

The village singers entertained us with Carols before the Residents' Christmas Dinner.

Our visiting Chefs serve the ham and pork.

Lois served the chicken and other resident volunteers served the salads and vegetables.

Ann at 83, the organiser of our dinners, serves the bread.

Elly is happy with her meal.

I was asked by friends to take a nice photo of Beryl and Rex because this will be Rex's last Christmas, he has a fatal illness and is not expected to live much longer even though he looks fine here.

We enjoyed the night too, but we couldn't join in the dancing. Me with sciatica and Bill who is wobbly.

It was a good night all organised by volunteer residents. Unfortunately, in the following days many came down with Covid. So far we have dodged the bullet and I hope it stays that way. We are up to the 8th wave of Covid and we have had our sixth jab.

Thursday, November 30, 2023


 I could have called this post 'A Tale of Woes'. I have been battling sciatica for a few months now. I've had X-rays, Cortisone injection, physio therapy, pain killers, heat packs and a bunch of exercises. But it still persists. As regular readers know , I regularly walked in the forest or Exilis Park with my walking buddies on weekdays for an hour. We walked about 4k . I tried to keep this up, even though I was in pain at the start of the walk it would wear off after 10 minutes but when I got home the pain would come back with a vengeance while I prepared breakfast.

Alas my phiso said I was walking too far and too fast?? So he says I should only do short walks and slowly. So sadly I have to leave my buddies and do shorter walks. I still go into the forest which calms me down and makes me feel happy but I miss my mates. 

I walk past our neighbours property and into the forest.

Along the new path made for disabled people.

After 10 mins I come to an intersection and look longingly up the trail going further into the forest wishing I could still go there.

But I turn around and start back past where new plantings have been done on the side of the new path.

Soon I see our village peeping through the trees and after 20 mins I am home. And the Physio was right the pain is not so severe when I get home.

It is car check day at the workshop in the village, where volunteer residents who used to be mechanics check our cars for air, water and oil. They also give them a vacuum. All free. Life isn't so bad.

We have advertising signage on our car because we get offered $1000.00 taken off our annual fees.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


We have been lucky to have light rain for the last few days after a long dry spell. On our first morning walk since the rain we noticed how clean the trees looked and there was even a trickle of water in the little creek that our footpath follows. We were surprised to see a koala too. The koalas in our area are dwindling in numbers due to their habitat being destroyed by urbanisation and also because they have the disease, chlamydia.  This morning we walked through Exillis Park and along Priest Gully. This area is a few hundred metres from our village.

The Koala was on the ground but ran up the nearest tree as we walked by and then he kept an eye on us as we tried to get a good photo in between the trees. This tree is a Paper Bark (Melaleuca). Koalas don't eat their leaves they only eat certain species of Eucalypt leaves. However, during the day they will sleep in any type of tree. They are nocturnal and hunt for the right trees at night. That is why it is unusual to spot them during the day.
Illawarra Flame Tree making a red carpet.

My walking buddies, Helen, Joan and Maureen. We solve the world's problems as we walk and talk. They need loads of convincing to get into one of my photos.

An unknown tree making a yellow carpet.

Back in the village the flowering gum tree is happy to see the rain.

The Kangaroo Paw is also looking good after the rain.

Thursday, November 9, 2023


 The Melbourne Cup is a famous horse race in Australia. It is called "the race that stops a nation" because everyone stops what they are doing at 3 o'clock on the first Tuesday in November to watch this race. The people in Melbourne have a holiday and many celebrations throughout the day. The rest of the country celebrates too except the animal liberation protestors. I must admit I'm not a fan of horse racing but I enjoy the celebrations. Our village puts on a prawn and chicken lunch every year. We are encouraged to dress loud and proud. Fascinators and hats are an important part of dress on the day. A lady in our village makes hundreds of hats and rents them out to villagers. She gives the money to an animal shelter.

Volunteers run the sweeps, where we buy tickets with horses names on it but you don't know the name  of the horses until you open the tickets. If your horse comes first, second or third you win some money.

The lady with the black hat is Annie, the one who makes all the hats.

Here are a few that were left over.

Nanette made all the salads. The chicken and prawns were bought from the shops.

The best dressed prize went to Terry and Liz.

Most of us watched the race on the big screen. The horses were just going into the stalls.

Some watched on the TV in the library area.

Kathleen got excited when number three hit the front.

That night I received a photo from Sonya, our daughter in Melbourne. She had been invited to go to the posh Chairman's Club with friends who were friends of the trainer of the horse that won the race. He let his friends hold the prestigious Melbourne Cup, made of gold and worth $660k. What an amazing experience for her.