Archive for June, 2013

321. Sunday 23rd June 2013. Exploring around Brizzie…


Monday 17th June


It was a quiet day much like many we have experienced lately. We went to see a Retirement Expo at the Brisbane Bronco’s Rugby League Club at Redhill.

Over the last 20 or so years on TV, I have watched interviews and training sessions of the Broncos. Now I have seen the clubhouse and training grounds for myself although the primary object of coming here was to see the Retirement Expo.

The good thing about the trip was we got to see parts of Brizzy (Brisbane for all those reading this who have never heard of Brizzy) we have not seen before and wondered why we did not bring the camera with us.

Hmmm! To say I was underwhelmed is a bit of an understatement. In all there were about 10 stands of people promoting retirement homes and or care centres. There were no options from the other side of the “retirement village” – that is, over 50 resorts or villages – no Government representatives to talk about retirement pensions, no superannuation experts, no medical people, no hearing or dental offerings, no travel agents, no camping and RV representatives. After making an obligatory stop at 9 of the ten stands and collecting brochures, pens and useless nick knacks, we left. Hmmm! Why did we not stop at the tenth desk??? It was more of the same and the sole representative was already talking with a much older than us person. Why wait to talk with somebody about all the same stuff we already knew about anyway. We did fill out of a couple of entry forms to win hampers and free bus trips and overnight stays. The nice carry bags will come in handy for storing stuff and the paper has joined the re-cycling bin while the nifty key ring with a lens cleaner inside will join all the other key rings we have accumulated over the years and now sit in a box in the hope we might use them one day.

Not likely!


Tuesday 18th June

Every morning about 6.30 I go for a walk (well almost every morning…if it is raining heavily I sissy out).

Every day my walk takes me through the park to the Brisbane River where I see the racing skiffs with one, two or four rowers aboard doing their early morning training as the wispy mist rises off the water. The road beside the river has groups of cyclists whirling along on their early morning training. As always I wonder why I have not brought the camera with me. Hmmm! The good camera is too bulky to carry with me on a brisk walk and quite frankly the small camera, although quite handy and with good megapixel count is not in the same league. Besides I am here for the walk. Maybe one day I will get up early and walk to take photos instead of walking for the exercise.

Donnis accepted another nursing shift tonight. I dropped her at the Carina Heights Nursing Home and took the opportunity to visit Carindale Shopping Centre.

Wednesday 19th June

We drove to a suburb called Gaythorne on the north side of the Brisbane River. While trying to interpret and ignore the GPS instructions what should have been a straight forward 20 minute drive turned into a 40 minute lesson in frustration control, traffic and a growing sense of impatience. Despite the GPS trying to send us on a toll road and while I was equally trying to avoid tolls, the GPS won!


I suppose all this driving in the city and suburbs we have never heard of let alone visited, is good for our education of the city of Brizzy.

My employer for 13 years, Maria D, often told me challenges were “character building”. I guess I got lots of character building Monday and today.

Thursday 20th June

Winter is here. Mornings and afternoons are cool. The middle of the day is usually quite nice…provided the sun  is shining. There was no sun today and we both wanted to get out of the house and just do a bit of wandering around and window shopping. It is too cool and overcast to polish WWWGO or TERIOS for that matter. It was too cool and overcast to do a river cruise so we went to the Westfield Shopping Centre at Mount Gravatt where Donnis found a dozen bargains in a dress shop. I love my Kindle. I can read it anywhere especially while the CO-PILOT is shopping.

Friday 21st June.

Lots of rain and again a cool to cold day. Ummm! Correction. I have been told it IS cold. The CO-PILOT was offered a shift at AR CARE Nursing Home at North Lakes. After dropping her at the facility I wandered around the nearby shopping centre before driving an extra 60 Klms to Kawana Island to visit friends Joan and George at their retirement village. We enjoyed dinner and afterwards they showed photos of their trip to the Northern Territory and Western Australia in July and August 2002.

Hmmm!!! Whoa!!! We visited Northern Territory and Western Australia as far as Kununurra   during July 2002. We were probably in the same campsite on Lilly Creek Lagoon

Lilly Creek Lagoon as seen from our campsite. The brooding purple grey mountain in the distance is known as Sleeping Buddha.

Lilly Creek Lagoon as seen from our campsite. The brooding purple grey mountain in the distance is known as Sleeping Buddha.    at Kununurra at the same time as Joan and George were there. We did not meet J n G until probably 2005 or 2006 and it was only while seeing their slides on their new Smart TV that I realized we saw the same sights including an air flight over Kunnunurra, Lake Argyle,  Argyle Diamond Mine  and The Bungle Bungles

All the photos of our trip, taken on my trusty oldPanasonic FZ7 digital camera, are stored on floppy discs…YES floppy discs, which are stored in the shed at our home in Airlie Beach. I do have one photo from our trip, taken at the caravan park on Lilly Creek Lagoon One day when we settle down I will have to transfer all those photos onto an external hard drive.

After the slide show and reminiscing about our travels I drove 60 Klms back to North Lakes to collect Donnis after her shift then drove the 30 Klms back to Fairfield. We were home by 11.30pm.

Saturday 22nd June

In the late afternoon we went for a walk through the park – comprised of three cricket pitches – past the three Australian Football League grounds, one of which had a noisy game in progress

AFL game in progress.

AFL game in progress.

and on to Brisbane River.

Eleanor Schonell Bridge at Dutton Park

Eleanor Schonell Bridge at Dutton Park

As the sun was setting we traced our steps home again.

Sunday 23rd June

Today we took a bus into the city and all the way to New Farm on the Brisbane River. As the bus crossed a bridge and ready to turn into Adelaide Street we were stopped by a motorcycle Policeman. A protest rally supporting similar rallies in Brazil which have occurred this week. The long ling of mostly happy well behaved protesters marched past the bus.

Agitated Brazillian protestors

Agitated Brazillian protestors

Our destination was to the Brisbane Powerhouse Museum.

This place is worth a visit.

This place is worth a visit.

The museum is in the original umm err Powerhouse, hence its name. Much of the equipment has been retained within the building. It is a place for art and photo exhibits as well as a venue for rock groups and other performing artists. Today we came to see the 56th Annual World Press Photo Exhibit.   It is also beside New Farm Park a popular family picnic park. The Powerhouse is also a popular eating and drinking and socialising focal point. Busy, busy, busy.  I started to take photos with the little camera but the @#$%^&* battery died after only a few photos. Grrr! . We also experienced a very loud rock band before catching a City Cat Ferry to SouthBank where we had a coffee before catching a bus back home.

Looking south across Brisbane River from the Powerhouse.

Looking south across Brisbane River from the Powerhouse.

The ferry passed under several bridges including the iconic Story Bridge which just this week has had the old lighting replaced by state of the art LED Lighting which is capable of being programmed to illuminate in different colours. We watched as the colours changed. Commencing tomorrow the bridge lights will be in Maroon to support the State of Origin Queensland team which plays against New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

Go Queenslander!

320. Sunday 16th June 2013. No! Not a boring week…


Monday 10th June

Today, with Tony and Dawn we had planned to take a boat trip on Brisbane River.

We woke to drizzle and decided against going anywhere in the rain. During the day the rain got heavier and constant. We spent the best part of the day teaching Tony more about his iPad, iPhone and Laptop. He is now a happy embracer of technology.

In the evening we had a visit from a young Ring Tailed Possum.  and It was wet and had used my hiking boot as a convenient nest to dry, stay warm and recover. It was never anxious about us being so close even when Donnis put a towel over it and a hot water bottle beside it. These nocturnal visitors can be a nuisance, thumping across a roof and in our circumstances they have been eating the leaves of a passionfruit vine. They eat the leaves but so far, have not touched the un-ripened fruit. However this poor fellow was distressed and in need of shelter.100613 possum 100613 possum1

Tuesday 11th June


The possum left some time during the night.

The rain went away for most of the day and we even had patches of sunlight. We visited a new Masters Hardware store… similar to a Bunnings. and  They are going head to head in competition with each other and the other hardware giant Mitre 10 is feeling the squeeze.

Afterwards we visited another giant shopping centre, Westfield at Carindale  we did not visit all three floors of shopping, just concentrated on finding something for lunch and a few items for dinner tonight. We enjoyed the experience.

Wednesday 12th June

Woke to rain…again.

Tony and Dawn packed up and headed out just after 11am.

Grrr! It is still raining!

Donnis accepted a nursing shift at a nursing home at Carina Heights. This is another new suburb for us. As well as her learning about the different nursing homes I am learning more about the suburbs of Brisbane and how to drive around the suburbs.

Thursday 13th May

The sun made an appearance today.

Donnis accepted a shift at a nursing home on the north side of the river at North Lakes around 40 Klms from our base. It is a 40 minute drive and involves using the tollways and tunnels. While there I explored the giant North Lakes Shopping Centre.  On my way home I decided not to use the GPS.


Somehow I managed to take a wrong turn in the toll tunnels and ended up on the north side of the river near the Brisbane CBD and headed in the wrong direction during peak hour traffic!

Hmmm! Welcome back GPS, can you show me the way to go home?

I went back at 10.30pm to collect Donnis and used the GPS in both directions.

Friday 14th June.


A quiet day at home enjoying the sunshine and getting a few loads of washing done.

An observation. During the January 2011 floods this house had water through the downstairs section. Downstairs has had plaster, wardrobes, bathroom and laundry replaced. It was all repainted. We are sleeping in the downstairs bedroom and notice that our clothes hanging in the wardrobe always feel cold and or damp, even on a sunny day.

Saturday 15th June

I found the body of the possum this morning, tucked into a corner of the garden. How sad. We have no idea of the cause of death although I found no traces of blood or violence on the body or indeed while it was huddled outside our door earlier this week.

The week has been slow as we have not explored in our usual travel way. I suppose that we have had other pursuits to occupy our time. Such as, visitors, new work commitments for Donnis and setting up the Airlie Beach house for sale as well as for the Virago motorcycle and WWWGO. We will of course advise the outcome of all of those as results occur. We are also looking at purchasing a villa. All these things take time and energy. We are being positive and believe all will sell. Being in one place for awhile has allowed us to sort of sit back, relax and enjoy doing…nuthin! Just for a change.

We are also learning more about the suburbs of Brisbane   and will take time while we are here to explore. This week we did not.

Sunday 16th June


A Quiet day at home. House cleaning, pool maintenance and all that sort of stuff.

Next week promises to be more exciting.

319. Sunday 9th June 2016. Fairfield, visitors and Noosa…


Monday 3rd June.

Hmmm! What did we do today?

Friends Glennise and Eric are on their way north in their caravan. They are stopped at Glennise’s daughters house at Stafford, a suburb on the north side of the Brisbane River. They hit the road tomorrow and today was the last opportunity we will have to catch up with them for some months. Thank you to the GPS for getting us there despite my unfamiliarity with the area.

I have an ulcerated tooth socket and am on two lots of anti-biotics. They act like a diuretic and make me sleepy. After a good lunch and catch up I fell asleep sitting on their bed while Donnis continued the visit. Sorry Glennise and Eric, I was just too tired and could not stay awake any longer.

Tuesday 4th June.

Donnis received a phone call offering an afternoon shift at a Wesleyan Aged Care facility at Sinnamon.

Sinnamon??? Where the heck is Sinnamon?

The GPS weaved its magic once more and a 20 minute journey only took 22 minutes even in afternoon traffic. I drove back to Fairfield, did a grocery shop, made Chicken and Vegetable soup for dinner then drove back to the hospital at 9pm to collect Donnis.

Now that she has a had shift in a large unfamiliar care facility her confidence is boosted and she is ready to take on more agency work within a 20 Klm radius of Fairfield.

Wednesday 5th June.

Today it was overcast and a little cool. Apart from a bit of tidy up of the garden and WWWGO and TERIOS it was quiet and easy day.

Thursday 6th June

Friends Tony & Dawn J arrived in their Jayco caravan for a few days visit.

Donnis received a late call for a nursing shift at Salisbury about 12 minutes away. I entertained, dined and not wined our friends.

Friday 7th June


After a lazy morning teaching Tony more about his iPad and Laptop, we downloaded music, books and a movie for him to use.

Donnis was asked to work again tonight at the same aged care facility at Salisbury. They asked for her by name. After dropping her at the facility we took a long leisurely drive to Redland Bay and stopped at a popular picnic spot at Cleveland Point where we caught the last light of a spectacular sunset.

Sunset over Cleveland Bay

Sunset over Cleveland Bay

We also saw the old Cleveland Point Lighthouse which has been restored and moved about thirty metres to its current location. This old lighthouse is a good example of the rare timber clad lighthouse style.

Old, restored Cleveland Point Lighthouse.

Old, restored Cleveland Point Lighthouse.

Afterwards we went to a Sizzlers Restaurant for dinner. Thanks for the meal guys. It may be my last visit to a Sizzlers for a long long time. I feel the prices are unrealistic and we could get a better meal or all you can eat meal at the local RSL club for half the price.

Saturday 8th June

We drove to Noosa to visit with my sister Enid and husband Ken who is home from work for a week.

In the afternoon we walked around Weyba Creek and Noosa River braving the approaching rain and chilly wind.

These people have a pair of cute Poodles cut in the traditional manner.

These people have a pair of cute Poodles cut in the traditional manner.

One of the people was embarrassed at being photographed with the Poodles. Awww!

One of the people was embarrassed at being photographed with the Poodles. Awww!

A piece of artwork has been installed in the creek supposedly to tell the story about the plentiful mullet caught and eaten by local aboriginal tribes.

Wood carving of a Mullet. The fins and flippers are made from lead light glass.

Wood carving of a Mullet. The fins and flippers are made from lead light glass.

In the evening we went to the Noosa Arts Theatre and watched (one of us was bored to the point of falling asleep) three one act plays, finalists in a competition. The highlight of the evening was the opportunity to vote on our favourite play of the evening.

Sunday 9th June

A cold wet day although Donnis, Enid and Ken went to the local Farmers Market and bought produce labelled organic and or alternative food.

Some people enjoy markets.

Others do not.


318. Sunday 2nd May 2013. A slow week in Fairfield Qld and a nice visit to the Gold Coast…



Monday 27th May

No dental or doctor appointments today.

As a background I will mention that Donnis has registered with a Nursing Agency in Brisbane. Our past experience with an agency is that she was sent to a Hospital, Henty in NSW, for a month and then the contract was extended by a month, twice. She, we, felt that was a stable and satisfying arrangement. It seems this agency works somewhat differently. The work is more casual, at the last moment. A regular nurse calls in sick and the nursing home needs a person for one shift. The agency sends a text message to all the nurses on its books and the first to respond gets the job. Tonight, at 11pm, just as we were about to go to bed a text message arrived. It offered a night shift at a nursing home a one hour drive to the north. The shift was from 10.15 pm to 7.15am. The message was sent 45 minutes after the shift commenced!!! We went to bed. We were woken at 11.55pm with a phone call desperately seeking a nurse. At the earliest we could not expect to arrive before 1am and in the dark find the entrance to start work three hours after the shift began.

Donnis declined.

Me too!

Tuesday 28th May

Last month around this time, we started on what I would call a passive diet.

No alcohol (well, an occasional beer or wine)

Reduced carbohydrate (no potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, bread, rice, pasta etc) it is difficult to totally eliminate carbs as it is an essential part of a sensible diet.

Reduce sugar intake (food, such as fruit, contains natural sugars) no cakes, sweets, ice cream, chocolate although once again we have not eliminated them entirely.

No happy hour. That period of time late in the afternoon before dinner when we would have crackers and cheese or potato crisps or something savoury along with a beer or wine or rum.

Good solid walk, not a stroll, in the park for 30 minutes every day plus any walking we do when going to the city or anywhere else for that matter.

When I started, my weight was 81.3Kg

This morning I broke the 77Kg barrier! My weight, after breakfast was 76.8Kg. That is about an average of 1Kg loss per week. It is not dramatic but slows a slow and steady progression downwards.

I sure hope I can tell you of a further 4Kg loss this time next month.

Thursday 30th May

Donnis went to the dental clinic and has to go back tomorrow to have the cap re-fitted.

Friday 31st May

Donnis returned from the dentist to show off her cap. A work of art is the way it has been described. *&%# after so many visits I would expect a work of art. We hope this one does not fall out!

Saturday 1st June

The first day of winter.

Apart from on and off rain the past few days there was no dramatic atmospheric change to make the day any different to autumn.

Sunday 2nd June.

Hmmm! First thing this morning, 6am in fact, I could not understand why our internet was so slow.

Reason? We have used all of our 8Gb mobile internet. Once we use up our allowance the service is slowed.


We do not roll over into a new accounting period for another two days. Therefore this blog will not be posted until sometime on Tuesday.

We drove to the Gold Coast to catch up with friends Tony n Dawn J, They are travelling in their caravan and slowly heading north. We had a great day just spending time together and when we left at 5.45 it was already dark. Donnis asked me to stop at Burleigh Heads to feel the wind, listen to the waves crashing on the rocks and see the lights of Surfers paradise in the distance.

BTW the work of art tooth cap has not fallen out. Fingers crossed this one stays intact.