Brisbane, QLD

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.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


We went to our local lake, Dennis Lake, named after the first settlers in this area and who built the original dam wall to collect water for their animals and orchards. Bill wanted to take some photos to practice editing with our new Luminar Neo program. Unfortunately it was an overcast windy day, not too pleasant. I even dug out my Canon camera for change instead of using the iPhone 12 Pro. However, I have forgotten  how to manually adjust the camera and the old brain is slowly learning the editing program. Hopefully I will improve.
When we arrived we saw that the lake is partially covered with lots of yellow water lilies. It looked very pretty.

I had to zoom in a long way to the other side of the lake to capture some of the visiting Magpie Geese. I think the male is courting her but she's not interested and flies off.

She flies to a tiny island with two sad little trees that have been there for many years and look like they are struggling to stay alive. No rain isn't helping either.

We walked along the path across the dam wall to see some turtles. The ibis was checking them out too. These birds have become a prolific pest in urban areas and have earned the nickname 'bin chickens'.

There were loads of turtles on the logs and under the water.

There was a Magpie Goose having a snooze on the log. A couple with a dog walked past and when the dog barked the goose popped up its head just long enough for a quick snap.

Trying to remember how to use a camera again.

Bill trying to remember how to walk again.

There are nice homes around the lake. This one has just been built. It is huge.

Sunday, October 15, 2023


 Our village social committee organised a bus tour for us to visit Tamborine Mountain, which is the name of a small town in the mountains. Our mountains are not very high but high enough to make the temperatures cooler than here on the coast. It is situated in the hinterland of the Gold Coast and is only an hour's drive from Brisbane. As you drive up the winding road the eucalyptus forests change into rainforest populated with a big variety of flora and fauna.

There are a plethora of walking tracks in the National Park, which was the first one in Queensland in 1908. The area has a history of farming, and timber getting but now it is a tourist destination for hikers, bird watchers and lovers of nature.  The local council have not allowed tourist attractions that spoil the natural environment. However, there is a treetop walk on a swinging bridge. When we were younger we often did hikes with the children. When we had overseas visitors we would take them there to experience a rainforest.
A photo from 2018 which was our last hike with visitors.

But now that we are over 80 we go to see other things. The area attracts artists, craft makers, wine makers and accommodation for holiday makers. So now there is a Gallery Walk in the main street. showcasing some of these activities. That is where our bus is heading. So no energetic hiking just a stroll down the Gallery Walk and then lunch at Cedar Creek Winery.

Besides galleries there are many shops selling just about everything and many coffee shops.

First up we had a coffee and a browse through the attached gift shop. I left Bill in the coffee shop with his friend, Patrick and I went to check out the Gallery Walk.

I found a Fudge shop with 40 different flavours.
How could I resist. I bought chocolate flavour and Turkish Delight.

It was time to walk back to the bus to go to lunch at a winery.

I was so proud of Bill who came without his walker and managed with a stick.

Lunch wasn't anything to write home about.

After lunch we walked to Frog Hollow to see a display of local frogs.

Then it was home after a big day out for us oldies.

Thursday, October 12, 2023


Since Bill came out of hospital, he has been improving everyday. He is back to his old self now except he still uses the rollator for stability and safety. However, he managed a walk around the lake at Underwood Park.  I was impressed. 

Around the lake we go.

Ducks galore.

We haven't had rain for some weeks. The lake is very low.

Melaleuca Trees love living in wetlands but they can survive in gardens.


The water was murky but the lilies brightened up the scenery.