Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, January 29, 2023


It makes sense in that we have a Singaporean Chinese Managing Director, who enjoys organising Chinese New Year celebrations for us in the village. She also cooks the different dishes for 200+ guests. She has a bunch of friends and family who help her on the night and her chef friend, Pozz. Besides these helpers many of the residents help too. Some help in the kitchen, some help setting up, some help cleaning up.

The Menu

The room is ready

Chiou See is cooking

A lucky banner is in its mouth

The lion gives Chiou See the banner for good luck.

Its good luck for the lion to eat greens and spit them over the audience. It plucks a lettuce hanging from the ceiling.

With the help of Chiou See the lettuce is thrown over the audience.

The drumming was very noisy. My Apple watch was sending warning messages that I was in a too noisy environment.
Then the guests fed the lions lucky red envelopes full of money. Everyone was asked to wear something red. Chinese lucky colour.
Yum Yum dinner time.

Our table is next.

I met a past student at the party. Her youngest daughter tapped me while I was taking photos and said, "Excuse me but I'm in Year 4 and you taught my mum when she was in Year 4." Then she took me to meet her mum and older sister. She is the niece of our village neighbour, who is an auxiliary resident.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


 On the 3 Jan I received this photo from Sonya in Melbourne:

She was about to get on a flight to Brisbane to come and see us . This was a surprise as we didn't expect her at this time. She had been having a busy time working and then looking after the boys by herself in the school holidays because Bernie was working full time.  So when Bernie finished work on the new year, she decided to leave the boys with him and his big family down at their beach house and she would have a well earned break. 

It was lovely having both girls here together. (Carol and David had come earlier by car from Melbourne) We played Articulate after dinner. It was fun and we had lots of laughter. It was Bill and I against the girls. The younger faster brains won each time.

Mince pies

Carol got the baking bug while she was here and I have put on the kilos. So we went for a walk in the forest every morning. Sometimes the girls went for a run. After the walk we did some stretching and Bill thought it would make a funny photo.

David and Carol keep fit by walking, running and cycling.
Off they go into the forest where there are many mountain bike trails.

They also enjoy painting. Carol is doing oils and David is doing water colours. Our back balcony serves as a studio and bike storage

We had friends drop in, who were from Sydney and we hadn't seen them for years. Bill and Ken had been work colleagues in the 60's in PNG. So we took them for lunch. They had a Winnebago and they were staying in Northern NSW near the border. So they came for day.
Like most parents we had been storing "stuff" from our children since they left home. Carol came and got most of her stuff before we moved here but Sonya flies here and can't take her stuff on a plane. I offered to send it by courier but they wanted $800.00. She said, wait till I sort it out and throw the stuff I don't want.
So with the help of her sister they sorted out box after box. I was so happy to see this after 20 years of storing and moving. The funny thing was when they found their trumpets, which they used to play in the school marching band. 

So they decided to have a 'rusty' jam session. Some of our neighbours came to see what was going on.
 Sonya was invited by her university friends to spend a few days with them in their holiday house on Stradbroke Is while she was here in Queensland. She had a lovely time on the beach in beautiful weather.

It was time for Carol and David to go back to Melbourne holidaying on the way for a week in the Snowy Mountains. They packed their car with all their gear including plein air painting equipment and David's portable music studio as well as some of Sonya's stuff.

On go the bikes and a sad farewell.

Bye bye! Sonya has come back from the island and is with us until tomorrow when she flies home to start work and get the boys ready for a new school year. Fox is starting High School.
It is nice to know they will all be back in February for a weekend when Bill celebrates his 80th birthday.