Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


 When our family visited us over the Christmas holidays, Aunty Carol and Banjo enjoyed baking. Banjo has liked cooking for as long as I can remember. This day Carol and Banjo experimented with making a half chocolate and half plain Swiss Züpfe breakfast bread.

So proud of this boy.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


Our village residents organise a Happy Hour every Friday evening. Because Australia Day fell on a Friday this year the residents committee organised some Australia Day activities for Happy Hour. We were asked to dress with an Australian theme. There were prizes for the best dressed. There was a damper competition, a damper is a plain bread cooked in a pot over a fire but they can be cooked in an oven too. It is usually eaten with golden syrup. There was a tunnel ball competition and a thong throwing competition. A thong in Australia is a rubber flip flop not a piece of underwear.

Irene tries to throw the thong into the bucket.

The tunnel ball teams are ready.

Linda's team won the tunnel ball

The Village Singers helped us sing our favourite Aussie songs.

These amazing guys cooked for over 70 people and it was outside in 38°C/100°F heat.

Aussie BBQ lunch is ready.

Bob won best dressed male. He even coloured his beard to match the hat hair. He represents the early Australian shearers, drovers and bullock drivers.who walked from one sheep station to the next with a swag (called a Matilda) on their back for sleeping rough and a bag of belongings on the pole. He is on his way to Gundagai an outback town where there is a famous statue of a dog on a tuckerbox nine or five miles from town.  The story of the dog on the tuckerbox varies. Basically it is about an angry bullock driver who got bogged and everything alse went bad for him. His dog even shat on his lunch box. However that has been modified
 to 'sat on his tuckerbox'.Here is the poem by Jack Moses:
 I've done my share of shearing sheep, Of droving and all that,

And bogged a bullock team as well, On a Murrumbidgee flat.

I've seen the bullock stretch and strain, And blink his bleary eye,
And the dog sit on the tucker box
Nine miles from Gundagai.

I've been jilted, jarred and crossed in love, And sand-bagged in the dark,
Till if a mountain fell on me,
I'd treat it as a lark.

It's when you've got your bullocks bogged That's the time you flog and cry,
And the dog sits on the tucker box,
Nine miles from Gundagai.

We've all got our little troubles, In life's hard, thorny way.
Some strike them in a motor car And others in a dray.

But when your dog and bullocks strike It ain't no apple pie,
And the dog sat on the tucker box Nine miles from Gundagai.

But that's all past and dead and gone,
And I've sold the team for meat,
And perhaps some day where I was bogged, There'll be an asphalt street,
The dog, ah! well he got a bait,
And thought he'd like to die,
So I buried him in the tucker box,
Nine miles from Gundagai. 

He waltzed around the hall to our most famous Aussie song, "Waltzing Matilda".

Guess who won best dressed female?

Friday, January 26, 2024


 Today we celebrate our national day. It is 236 years since Captain Arthur Phillip raised the British flag in Sydney cove , where he was in charge of developing a settlement for convicts and marines. It has become a controversial date because the First Nations People remember that date as invasion day. However, the powers to be on both sides can't agree on a new date. So here we go again and celebrate.  We are not big on celebrations. Most people enjoy the holiday by going to the beach, having BBQ's, watching tennis or cricket. Our village is having a party with some typical Australian activities: Damper making, thong throwing, tunnel ball, trivia and BBQ. I'll post photos next time.

Today I'll share some of my favourite photos of Australia.

Lake Eyre South Australia

Stanthorpe Queensland

Mt Warning New South Wales

Gold Coast Queensland

Remarkable Rocks Kangaroo Island South Australia

Katoomba in the Blue Mountains New South Wales

Katherine Gorge Northern Territory


Sunday, January 21, 2024


In January, our youngest daughter, Sonya and her two sons, Fox and Banjo flew from Melbourne to have a holiday in sunny, warm Queensland. Her husband, Bernie couldn't come until later as he was acting in the musical,  "A Christmas Carol". Carol and David were still here and so we had a houseful for some days. It was noisy but fun. We had a heat wave at the same time and the poor souls used to the southern cooler weather found it hard to cope in the tropical, humid heat. So we had the aircon on 24/7. Carol wanted to do Christmas all over again to include Sonya and the boys. So we did! We had another seafood and salad lunch and present giving.

Sonya and the boys arrived. Look how tall they are. They have grown so much since we saw them last in February. Banjo in black shirt is eleven and Fox is thirteen.

Banjo was the helpful elf and gave out the presents.

Sonya receives a tote bag for swimming togs and towels from Carol.

I love to see my girls together.

Banjo's turn for a present.