Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too

Friday, September 28, 2012


He's back!

I think I mention him every year  but it's so good to hear he's still around and seemingly doing well.
Migaloo, the pure white humpback whale is back frolicking in the waters off the Gold Coast beaches east of Brisbane. 

Naturally these are not my photos.
Isn't he astounding?

Click  here  if you'd like to see a video taken yesterday of this lovely creature.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012


We're really into Spring here in sunny Queensland.
In fact the temperatures have jumped very quickly into the high twenties.
It's time to get ready for all those Summer BBQs.

Our outdoor garden room ( that's our posh name for it anyway ) is in need of a spruce up to make it a cool, inviting spot to entertain over the Summer months.

It's looking rather bare - more of a garden look required.

I've started gathering plants to add more greenery...

and a splash of colour too if possible.

Out through the shutters you can see the back garden.
Thank Heavens for flowering native plants that don't mind the dry weather ( no rain for over 2 months now )
 This pretty plant that we call  "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" is filling the air with a beautiful scent

It started off yesterday with a purple flowers which fade today until tomorrow they are white.
They are really struggling in the dry weather and some plants are flowering very sparsely  indeed.

But then there's the hardy bouganvillea making a great show.
They love dry weather and neglect..... just right for our garden !!!!

( note our poor brown lawn )

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Saturday, September 22, 2012


Magpie Fact 1:

Magpie Fact 2:

 Australian magpies differ to those in other parts of the world. The magpie feeds mostly on the ground and congregates in territorial groups. They skirmish and play quite noisily. Their habitat is almost anywhere there are trees and open areas of bare, soft ground or grass; orchards, parkland, playing fields, golf courses, suburban areas and gardens.

I know I have posted   here   before about Magpies but I couldn't resist writing about them again.


It's not safe to walk or ride near trees at the moment for fear of the swooping terrors.

You never know when they will swoop on you from behind !!

Scarey aren't they?

They do have a lovely characteristic call... called a carol

(click here to hear it.)

and a group of magpies singing together is called a Madrigal of Magpies.
(click here to hear them)

Lovely isn't it?

So we put up with the swooping
 and take another route when we walk
'cos it only lasts for a little while
and the rest of the time they just sing to us.

Most Aussies love them.


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Thursday, September 20, 2012


Today began with an early start.
5:15am is very early for me!

Sally was arriving home from her overseas trip and as usual the plane was to arrive at 6:00am.
Allowing for at least half an hour to get through customs ( we are very speedy in Brissy ) and a 30 to  40 minute drive for us, the plan was to leave home at 5:45 and all should be good.

Last time we had to meet her we were about 10 minutes late and she was all forlorn that we were not there to greet her as she walked through those doors, so we were anxious to be there in time.

There were not many cars about at that time of morning and we made good time reaching the airport.

All good even though her plane was 15 minutes early.

A message arrived as we were parking the car to say they were picking up their bags to go through customs.
We hopped into the lift to go from the third floor of the car park to the Arrivals level
and that's when it all went wrong!

The lift stopped with a terrible jerk about half a metre from the Level 1 floor and there it stayed!!!!

In the lift with us were a mother, her 16? year old daughter all decked out in hiking gear and said daughter's 16? year old boyfriend. The young girl was off with a group of young people to hike the Kokada Track.

For a couple of minutes we looked at each other, pressed the Level 1 button and waited for the lift to resume its journey.
Only another half a metre to go for Heaven's sake !!!

No progress.
The only thing to do was to press the Emergency button.
Tony pressed it.
An alarm rang out over the car park and in a couple of minutes we could hear a phone ringing as the Alarm dialed out to the lift maintenance firm.
It was answered by an answering machine and we were told that:
 all lines were busy, 
our call was important to them,
and we were put on Hold !!!!

We looked at each other in amazement
but very quickly a voice came on and I told him that we were stuck in a Lift blah,blah, blah.

He gave us a few directions with buttons but nothing worked so he then informed us they would dispatch a Maintenance Man and he would be there in about half an hour as he was off site.

OK, we weren't going to be at those Security doors when Sally emerged were we?

Then the mother started to kick up a fuss.

She wanted someone there NOW !
Her daughter had a plane to catch !
( It was 6:10am and her flight left at 10:00am !!!!)
It wasn't good enough !

So she started pushing the button again and the alarms kept ringing through the car park.
Helpful strangers came up to the lift and tried to open the doors.
The Security people arrived.
We exchanged phone numbers with them through numbers written on paper and they rang Tony on his mobile to say the Maintenance Man was on his way.

"All good," said Tony.

"Not good enough," said the mother. " My daughter has a plane to catch !"
Then she dialed 000 ( emergency ).
"Fire, Police or Ambulance?" said the telephonist.

"Fire !" said the mother.
"We're trapped in a lift.
 I'm claustrophobic and my daughter suffers from life threatening asthma and she's having a panic attack !"

That was news to us. 
The daughter was busy trying to send messages on her mobile and posing for photos for the boyfriend. 
The mother was not showing any signs of claustrophobia just annoyance . 
She was going to sue if something wasn't done soon !

In no time we heard the Fire Brigade coming.
They had the Jaws of Life and other large thingies for breaking into lifts.

The security people were trying to tell them that the Maintenance Man was on the way.
The mother was telling them to break down the door or she would sue.
Then an Ambulance arrived - (claustrophobia and life threatening asthma remember ).
 They managed to jam a broom handle between the doors to let in fresh air for the (claimed ) claustrophobic one !
To one side Tony was communicating quietly with the Security people and assuring them that all was OK and not to break down the door.

I sent Sally a message and she arrived .

We laughed, waved and she took photos.

The Firemen could see there was no claustrophobia or life threatening asthma happening and decided not to destroy the lift by smashing the doors.
The Ambulance was sent away once they knew they were not needed. 

We would wait for the Maintenance Man.

The mother was still raving.
Someone outside the lift dared to joke about something.
She started taking photos of the fireman, the security people blah, blah, blah.

The Maintenance Man arrived, pulled out his key and unlocked the door mechanism.
Out shot the mother asking for names for her lawsuit/complaint.

Out shot the daughter and boyfriend with a story to tell on the plane and photos to go with it.

Finally, trying very hard to distance ourselves from the crazy woman, Tony and I stepped down the 18 in drop onto Level 1 .

At least we had a good excuse for being late this time!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012



Long photo laden post. Opt out now if you don't have the time or the inclination!

Recently Tony and I went for a walk around the grounds of the University of Queensland and I decided it would make a interesting post (I hope !) to show you around.
So yesterday afternoon we put on our sneakers, grabbed the camera and set out.

First a little background history for you.

"The University of Queensland was established by an Act of State Parliament on December 10, 1909 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queensland’s separation from the colony of New South Wales. 

In 1911, 83 students (including 23 women) attended the first classes in Government House, George Street, Brisbane. 
 The fledgling University outgrew the buildings in George Street, and the search for a larger campus began. 
 Between 1927 and 1929, Dr James O’Neil Mayne, in association with his sister Miss Mary Emelia Mayne, provided £60,000 to the Brisbane City Council to resume 274 acres of land at St Lucia and provide it to the University as its permanent home. 

Named after the sugar-producing island of St Lucia in the West Indies, the area originally was used to farm sugar, arrowroot, cotton, maize and pineapples. A sugar mill, washed away by the 1893 flood, operated where the University boat shed now stands."(INFO FROM THE NET !)

This is what it looked like then.

The first building, later named the Forgan Smith Building after the Premier of the day, was completed in 1939.

This is what it looks like now.

As you can see from the map below the University is almost surrounded by the river and the lower parts towards the top are occupied by sports grounds of all types.

The buildings at the bottom of the map are largely accommodation colleges where some out of town students reside.

We parked on the ring road by the river, risked a fine by not Paying and Displaying ( no coins ) and set off.

The path along the river is heavily used by walkers and joggers of all ages, most of them young.... probably students.

These lovely Bauhinia Trees line the road and are in full bloom (it's Spring here ).

Up close the flowers are quite large and come in two shades of pink and white.

The final City Cat ferry stop is here. From here it turns around and goes speedily back towards the city.

We crossed the road and made our way across the large number of sporting fields

towards the buildings in the distance.
 These fields were all affected by the floods two years ago but are all back and looking good once again.
There were lots of young people using the facilities as it was about 4:45pm and for many, lectures were finished for the day.
Many of these facilities are also open to use by the public. 

A new tartan track is in place to replace the old damaged one and the beach volley ball courts were very popular.

When I turn around here this is what I see.

( brown lawn = winter and no rain for 2 months )

When I was 18 this was the only University in Queensland.
 Now, of course, there are lots of them but none have the imposing grandeur of this one.

In those days a vast space of green lawn gave you an uninterrupted view of the whole facade of this large, long building but now there are other buildings and even a car park to spoil the approach.

 This is the main entrance. 

( who's that sneaking into the photo??)

The building stretches out on either side.

"Great is Truth  and Mighty Above All Things"

It is built of beautiful sandstone

that has lots of purples swirling through the creamy, yellows.

In through the front door...

to more of the lovely stone

The building is not very wide -about 3 rooms with corridors on each side - then you step out into the Great Court.

This large area of lawns and trees is enclosed by the original old buildings that made up the university.

It covers 6 acres

and is beautifully kept though it is heavily used by students as a meeting place and thoroughfare during the day.

It was quiet, with only a few students lingering or using it as a pathway to buses or cars on their way home.

As you might have noticed there is a colonnaded porch running the whole way around the Courtyard and I hear that a race in the style of Chariots of Fire takes place here every year.

This aerial photo I found on the Internet shows the whole building quite well.

Behind this structure there are lots of other buildings built in many styles as the university has grown rapidly over the years.

There are also shops : hair dressers, cafes, pharmacies etc- almost a whole self-contained little town

as well as theatres and gyms.

We walked past all this towards the car with the light fading and street lights beginning to come on.

Past the refurbished, Olympic sized swimming pool ( flood again!)

  It has a lovely cafe where you can have a snack or coffee after your training swim.

Still plenty of swimmers going up and down the pool.

Back to the car.

Well, if you've made it this far you deserve a medal! 

Now you know a little more about my home town, Brisbane.

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