Brisbane, QLD

Monday, June 24, 2024


 Today is my 82nd birthday. It's good to know that I made it to another birthday. Health has been on a slippery slope since I turned 80 but soldiering on. We had a little family celebration on the weekend with Sonya and her family. It's so nice to have them living in the same city now. They asked if I would like to go to a restaurant or have Bernie cook for me. I preferred the latter where we could be in our comfortable home with our bubbly family.

Bernie likes cooking and he bought all the ingredients and set about cooking a delicious lemon pasta and salmon dish with apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

Banjo and Bernie serve up dessert.

It's so nice to see these kids more than once a year. Fox.

We both have sore backs at the moment so it is lovely to be looked after by the young ones.

We put two candles in the apple pie but they dribbled wax into the pie so they were quickly extracted and held by the boys for me to blow out on my 82nd birthday.

Today is my actual birthday so Bill and I went to the local cafe for lunch. A quiet time together.

Thursday, June 20, 2024


 Every year our Managing Director Chiou See organises and cooks for the local volunteers like Meals on Wheels etc. This year she did it for the resident volunteers who keep the village ticking over with activities. We were invited because Bill makes videos of events and posts them on YouTube and then on the village FaceBook Page. I collect photos to make posters for each month's activities to pin onto the Storyboard in the Community Centre. All the office staff and Chiou See's family did the cooking, serving and cleaning up. It was a lovely meal and we had the Queensland Police Pipe and Drums to entertain us.

You may be wondering what could all these residents do to help in the village. I will list some but I can't remember all of them. They organise activities like the Workshop where the keen participants make and fix things for residents as well as have a car check and knife sharpening days. They man the BBQ for other events. There is a group which man the Bar for events. The Dinner Committee put on our dinners, the social committee organise trips and events. Some organise Friday night Happy Hour. Others organise Pizza Night and Movie Night. We have a singing group, cards, games, darts, pool, craft and chat, line dancing and the Circle of Men. We have people who distribute the morning papers and others who act as balloon fairies in the dead of night tying balloons onto the fence of those celebrating birthdays. Eddie catches and removes snakes that visit now and then. Some help in the garden and the list goes on.

We are having state elections soon and we had a budding member of parliament gave us a talk. See Bill doing his videography.

We had the local council member attend and take photos for her FB page about what is happening in her division. See my posters in the background.

The band had us participating in their songs. It was a fun lunch.

Thursday, June 13, 2024


 Walking is good for healing back surgery so everyday I try to go a bit further. One bright sunny winter's day we went to Underwood Park for a walk around the lagoon.  We have had a lot of rain so the pond is a muddy colour.

There is a boardwalk which meanders through the Melaleuca trees which like growing in wetlands.

The trees make interesting patterns and reflections.

Walking slowly but it doesn't hurt while walking only when sitting and lying down but the sciatica has gone!

The ducks were very active splashing and flapping everywhere. The iPhone  camera is not the best for wildlife in the distance but they are a lot lighter to carry than my Canon Camera.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


 I haven't posted for a while. My recovery didn't go as well as expected and I have been laid up with unexpected pain. However, it is improving now. For the first two weeks things were as expected and I started participating in activities again. We even got to the monthly dinner, which had a 'Black and White" theme. We had to dress in black and white and the meal had a black and white component. Our guest speaker was funny and interesting. He was a local poet, Rupert McCall, who we had listened to on the radio some years ago.

My neighbours and friends including my cleaner gave me flowers after my operation to cheer me.

At dinner, most residents wore black and white. Ann our dinner coordinator outlines the night's proceedings.

Ann and poet Rupert McCall

Once again we thank the chefs and the Rochedale High School catering students for making our meal enjoyable.

Then Rupert entertained us with stories and poems from his career. 
 The sciatica in my right leg had gone but now pain started in my left leg and back. I had to have another MRI and I return to the surgeon on 6 June. In the meantime the pain has started to ease. Thank goodness, I'm starting to feel human again.

Sunday, May 12, 2024


 Some readers probably know that I have been suffering from sciatica since September last year. It gradually got worse and worse until I could hardly walk. I had physiotherapy,  I had a cortisone injection into my spine and all to no avail. Finally my GP said it looks like an operation. I was mortified. Many people I know who have had spine operations have not been cured and have had to go back for more. However, I went along to the neurosurgeon for his diagnosis. He was armed with my X-rays and showed me the problem and how he could fix it. He said you can take pain killers of have a keyhole operation to remove the ligament inside the spinal column which was causing the problem. I said I'll try the pain killers. He said okay but you'll be back.  After a few more months of pain, I bit the bullet and consented to the operation, which took place last week. I was only in hospital overnight and sent home dosed up with pain killers and an anaesthetic injection.

Our lovely daughters were here to help out at home. Carol flew from Melbourne for a week and worked remotely. Sonya has moved to Brisbane but she was learning a new job and settling the boys into a new school while Bernie had a job, which sent him away for a while. However, they came over to see me when I came home from hospital.

The moment Carol brought me home.

The next day Sonya and family came to visit with their cute dog, Chief, the Border Terrier.

The next day the meds had worn off and the pain kicked in. Every time I moved it was agony. Anyway, I upped the painkillers to real strong ones, which made me feel drunk and loopy, so I stopped them and took milder ones. Carol was a great help doing everything for me. Bill also did as much as he could. After a week and constipation, I finally am starting to feel human again with no sciatica.

Carol had to return to Melbourne on Saturday so on Friday night we had a get together with Sonya's family in their rented house in a Brisbane inner suburb. Carol drove us over to their house and she made a cake for Fox's fourteenth birthday.

We were celebrating Fox's Birthday, our 55th Wedding Anniversary, Mother's Day and the sale of Sonya and Bernie's house in Melbourne so they can buy one here now. It was my first outing since my op. Lots to celebrate. We ate cheese and crackers washed down with wine (not me on pain killers) while Bernie cooked dinner.

The best mother's day present is to be with our girls.

Bernie was home from his job and he whipped up a pizza party. 

We sang Happy Birthday

Then it was time to say goodbye. 
Carol took this photo of the Brisbane part of the family now. We are so happy to have them home. (But now Bernie is separated from his mother and four siblings and Sonya from her sister.)
Carol is back in Melbourne now and we are slowly getting back to normal. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024


 Sonya's family arrived from Melbourne two weeks ago. The boys have only had a few days at school. They have had to learn the route to walk home from school. So much for them to get used to. Then it was Banjo's birthday last weekend. He hasn't been at school long enough to make any firm friends so he had a family only day. 

His dad cooked him his favourite breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup.

He was excited to receive a book that he had wanted about "How Things are Made".

Then they had a restful time on their deck  before coming over to our place for lunch.

After lunch we had the cake and presents. Banjo loves lamingtons so I built him a cake from lamington squares and fingers. I am not a cook so this was easy for me and he loved it.

We gave him a few presents including my old iPhone 12 Pro. He was overjoyed as he was the only one in the family without a phone.

It is so good having them live in Brisbane. The next day Sonya and Bernie took the boys for a surprise visit to Movie World on the Gold Coast, as a treat for Banjo's 12th birthday.

Thursday, April 25, 2024


Today is ANZAC DAY, the day we remember the Australian and New Zealand members of the armed services who have fought and lost their lives in all the wars since WW1. We have a national holiday and many services around the country with huge parades in the cities.  We have our little parade and service followed by morning tea in our village. Residents invite their families along too.

Our flag flying over the village.

Residents who have medals and family members of those who have inherited medals wear them with pride.

 Then they march around the village to the community centre where there is a service held outside in front of our little memorial and flag post. 

The residents lined the streets and clapped in appreciation.

Then everyone found a seat for the service.

Ian, our chairmen tells the story of the brave ANZAC soldiers.

Brendan, husband of our managing director, Chiou See reads the ANZAC poem.

 Then wreaths were laid for all the different armed services and others who have participated in wars.

 Then we have a minute's silence and the flag is raised from half mast.

A photo of the ex-servicemen who live in our village plus Chiou See and Brendan.

Commerarderie in the community centre