Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, March 24, 2024


 It was our village dinner night last week and it was another St Patrick's Day celebration. The last one was Happy Hour but this one was dinner. We sure do like to party here.

It was a special night for the year 12 Rochedale High School catering students. It was the first night for this new intake of year 12 students. They come with their teacher to help in the kitchen and learn from our chefs. They also have to learn how to serve us properly and clear away too. They were very nervous kids but they did a good job. The chef even complimented them too.

Guinness Pie with a Trio of Beef, Lamb and Pork. Mushy Peas, Red Cabbage and Mash.

Ginger crusted Key Lime Pie with Lime and Pistachio Cream

Our dinner coordinator, Ann thanks the students and the chefs.

Some of the Village Singers entertained us and encouraged us to sing along. (12 sec video.)

We enjoyed the night.

Thursday, March 21, 2024


 Every Friday evening a band of volunteer residents organize  Happy Hour in the Community Centre. Last Friday they celebrated St Patrick's Day at Happy Hour. They advertised it as 'Fantastic St Patrick's Friday' on our residents email. The village singers sang Irish songs, the compare told Irish jokes, we had a trivia session and the line dancers danced to Irish music. The workshop boys cooked hamburgers for tea (not quite Irish).

The centre filled with residents dressed in green. They got their drinks from the volunteer bar boys.

Patrick McLaughlin far left really enjoys St Patrick's Day celebrations. Can you guess why?

The Village singers entertained.

Love the green.

After hamburgers we had cake. The little one was for someone special. 

It was Ruth's Birthday.

Irish line dancing entertains.

I'm sort of the village photographer and I circulate taking photos and videos of the tables and entertainment. The photos go onto posters on the wall of the centre and Elements Retirement Living at Springwood FB page as well as the newsletter. Unfortunately, the editor of the newsletter resigned and we haven't a replacement yet. Anyway, as I took a photo of this table, Steph said to me, " Here sit in my seat and let me take a photo of you. You never get yours taken."

So here I am.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


International Women's Day was on Friday 8 March. Our Craft and Chat group organised a morning tea for all women in the village who were interested. They arranged for a guest speaker too and each person brought a plate of food if they could. The theme this year was Invest in women:Accelerate progress. 

Lois one of the organisers, explained to us what the colours of IWD represented. Purple is for justice and dignity, Green is for hope and the feminist movement and white is for purity. The colours can be traced back to the WSDV ( Women's Social and Political Union) in UK in 1908. It was a faction of the suffragette movement. Many of us wore either purple, green or white.

Trish introduced Shannon, a local girl who, with two friends started the "Fair Trade with Friends" oganisation. 

Shannon's story was inspiring. She told us how in the beginning she loved to travel but was very concerned for the poor people she saw in some countries. They were usually in small villages in remote places but not always. She was amazed at the lovely handmade items some of the women made to sell to infrequent tourists. Shannon developed a passion for handmade goods. She also wanted to be able to help these people be more prosperous. 
She and two other women got together and formed 'Fair Trade with Friends' where they travel all over the world to buy handmade items from the poor and sell them in developed countries and the money goes back to the villagers. some of them have now formed little businesses employing locals to make their goods and sell them through Fair Trade with Friends. It is making a difference to a lot of people all over the world. More information and handmade goods for sale can be found at

We had a good roll up and Shannon had brought along some of the craft that the artisans had made for us to purchase. The items were not cheap but beautifully made and knowing the money was going back to help these people made it easier.

I bought a few items that I liked:

I got three of these for my daughter Sonya.

I got this for my other daughter, Carol. It's a sketchbook.

I got this for my neighbour, Louise who is a raging fan of the Lions AFL team.(Australian Football League) 

We also celebrated two ladies birthdays. Margaret (Left) turned 80 and the amazing Dorothy turned 90.
It was an interesting, fun and yummy morning tea.

Friday, March 8, 2024


 We woke up to rain pattering in the roof on the day that a bus tour was organised by one of our residents. It was to Canungra where the Mountain View Alpaca Farm is situated.  It is not far from home, less than an hour's drive through beautiful rolling hills of the Scenic Rim region. We stopped on the way for morning tea at the Bearded Dragon Hotel. 

Leaving the Bearded Dragon Hotel

Luckily the rain was easing off when we continued up the mountain to Canungra, a little village with interesting little shops for the city visitors.  We continued on to the farm. There was a shop selling alpaca goods and bags of food to feed to the alpacas.

The rain had made these cute animals look a bit bedraggled and scruffy. I laughed at their messy hairdo's. We have had a hot summer so the alpacas have been shorn and don't look like the usual fluffy. woolly, cuddly animals that they are. This one poses for Bill.

Love the eyelashes. Alpacas are a native of South America, especially Peru. The Andean people used them for sustenance. Eating the meat and using the fibre. The fibre is used for knitted and woven items such as blankets, jumpers, hats, gloves and scarves.

They are now found all over the world in captivity. They are farmed for their fibre. They are also used to protect sheep herds. They are good at fighting off predators like wild dogs, foxes, wolves and dingos.

They are starting to be used as therapy alpacas in aged care facilities because they can be trained to be good company for humans. However, if they get stressed or frightened they spit. They use body language to communicate to each other.

We enjoyed the short walk around the enclosures stopping to feed them now and then.

This one needs a blow dry but they do have lovely eyes. The ones in this  pen were ready to be taken for a walk in the surrounding paddock. Unfortunately we didn't do that.

Next door there is O'Reilly's winery where we could taste the wines and then it was back on the bus to go to lunch at the Canungra Hotel.

We had a while to wait before lunch so that we could have time to walk around the village shops. Bill and I found an interesting second hand book shop, Steph, above, found this cute handmade doll. Others found shoes and clothes or had a drink in the hotel. It took some time for all 38 of us to get our meals and then it was a chat with friends and onto the bus for home.