Friday morning saw us off to the Gold Coast where our daughter lives, to help out with her renovation.
Her new kitchen had been waiting quite a long time to have its final touch - splashback tiles.
This is a job we'd been putting off - never done tiling before -
so we enlisted the help of Aunty Roe - Tony's sister.
She works hard and loves her shiny blue car.
She's had this lovely car for 6 weeks.
Recently she was off doing a course so that she could learn a new technique to help improve her skills in caring for patients in the Intensive Care Ward of the hospital where she works. Works at helping to save people's lives.
While on the course she left her new car parked in the hospital car park.
She presumed it would be safe there as it was "secure" - even had a "security guard"!
Left it overnight as the course was out of town........
... and when she returned this is what she found.
She decided it was safer to park it in a nearby street in the future ....
and two days later this is what she found !
Senseless vandalism !.....
........ huge inconvenience and costly to get it repaired.
When they entered their eighties my parents decided that maintaining a four bedroom house with a large garden was beginning to be too much for them.
They still wanted a house of their own and Dad loves his garden so they decided to sell up and move into a Retirement Village in Hervey Bay.
In this village there are around 300 homes - mainly 2 bedroom but there are several with 3 bedrooms.
The amount of land around each house is small and there are no fences between houses but the gardens are lovely. The lawn is mowed and heavy work is done but residents can personalise their space or leave it to the staff. It's their choice.
With a smaller house and less garden to look after they can spend their time on other, more interesting passtimes.....
swimming in the pool or lounging in the hot spa
playing lawn bowls
joining in a spirited game of table tennis or billiards
meet friends to play cards, scrabble, mahjong, learn new crafts...
or just chat.
They have a fabulous meeting place they call the Grange
where daily drinks can be purchased at Happy hour and weekly dinners are held.
They have a library, gym and computer room....
and the latest inclusion in this list of occupations is this -
a community vegie garden where residents can acquire a garden plot to grow their own vegies.
It's been a roaring success - as you can see!
Small raised beds make it easy for old timers like my Dad to potter and grow lovely fresh vegies
It also provides a social focal point for the residents to chat ,swap and boast
about the quality and size of their produce.
No wonder the residents are so happy in this lovely place.
They have lovely surroundings and the company of lots of HAPPY people their own age.
Hope I can find something similar when I'm their age.
Being retired has lots of bonuses and today was one of them.
The sunny Brisbane weather has returned and so with a packed lunch we set off through the western suburbs towards Mt Glorious. ( good choice of name don't you think?)
It wasn't long before we left the houses behind us and began to drive through the bush.
As we began to climb the trees got taller and closer together as we headed towards the rainforest.
It's amazing how tall and straight these trees are as they grow straight up towards the light.
In Australia our mountains are not very high.
The highest, Mount Kosciuszko is only 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) high .............
and they are mostly completely covered with thick bush and trees.
Today's mountain, Mt Glorious, is only a baby mountain of just over 2000 ft but as you can see it is densely covered with trees - some of it is rainforest.
The rainforest part is a National Park - set aside to preserve it in its natural state and everything in it is totally protected.
These areas are very popular recreation places for family gatherings and picnics followed by a rainforest walk.
A section of the mountain has been cleared for picnics and there were a few others there enjoying the quiet of a mid-week picnic without the weekend crowds.
As soon as we unpacked our sandwiches this fellow appeared.
He's a Bush Turkey.
They are very common and are even found in the outer green leafy suburbs where they drive householders mad as they destroy gardens by scraping up all the mulch and leaf litter into huge mounds in which the females lay their eggs.
As they are totally protected there is not much you can do when they wreck your garden and even trapping them and taking them way out into the countryside before releasing them doesn't work as they are back
within a couple of days.
It was very tame and is obviously used to crumbs from picnicers and it wasn't long before the word was out in the bird world and we had Kurrawongs,
and a couple of Kookaburras descending on us in their numbers.
It felt a bit like that movie "The Birds" !
After consulting the map we opted for a short 2km circuit walk through the rainforest.
This is a Strangler Fig.
A seed, left in bird droppings high up in the host tree, germinates and the seedling sends out lots of long roots which snake towards the ground. The seedling lives off the tree till these roots reach the ground where they quickly establish themselves and the host tree is gradually squeezed out of existance.
You can still see the carcass of the original tree in the middle of all those roots.
There are palms everywhere.
as well as moss covered logs,....
......... Bird's Nest ferns high up in the trees, .....
........ lethal looking fungus, .......
......and Epyphytes ... ( we call these ones Staghorn ferns )
After a pleasant walk ( and no leeches !!!) we set off for home.
I was able to capture these views of the valley below as we came back down the mountain.