Archive for September, 2013

336. Sunday 29th September 2013. We arrive in Noosa and the fireworks begin…

29/09/2013

Monday 23rd September

Up early for my usual exercise except this morning when I went to walk on the beach I started jogging. Yeah! It felt good. Better even than a walk along the beach. There was a cold wind blowing out of the south east but I was soon warmed by the jogging.

After breakfast we drove Alecia to Brisbane for her flight to Sydney. But first, a side visit to her aunt uncle and cousins. She has not seen them for at least a decade and it has been longer since Donnis has seen them.

Then it was on to the airport drop Alecia and head back to the Gold Coast. On reflection it would seem like a no activity day but we were both worn out by the time had dinner.

Tuesday 24th September

We were on the road by 10am and joined the M1 to travel about 234 Klms north to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Somehow I missed the Sunshine Coast Motorway exit but turned at Yandina and followed a road through the pretty Yandina Valley to Coolum Beach and instead of joining the Sunshine Coast Motorway we followed the coastal road through to Noosa Heads.

We parked in the street outside sister Enid’s house and joined her husband Ken for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. This will be our home for the next 12 days or more.

The television reception on their TV was constantly dropping in and out, probably due to the strong winds or more likely a weak tuner in the TV or even a combination of the two. We installed our Dick Smith special set top box and viola there was a strong TV signal with no dropouts. Problem solved, they need a set top box to boost the signal to their TV.

Wednesday 25th September

Ken took us to Sunshine Beach in the morning. By 9am it was quite hot. The type of hot which turns the sand into a bed of hot coals and walking on the sand becomes a series of ouch ouch ouches! We had our first of the season venture into the surf. In fact it was more of a struggle against the undertow and the rip (cross current) than a surf. The water was too deep for the waves to break well enough for a surf.

A group of young people, about 300 of them, looking happy and expectant of the day’s activities, came trudging along the beach. We guess they may belong to a church youth group as they all wore different coloured T-shirts with the same logo.

Shortly after the group passed by, a couple of whales cruised by about 300 metres offshore. They were easy to see as a large and a smaller whale, probably mother and calf.

Thursday 26th September

We took Ken to Cooroy at midday to catch a train to Gladstone where he will be working for the next three weeks. At sunset Donnis and I walked along Noosa Beach. It was our first day of relaxation.

These street light covers are made from cast bronze and are created in the shape of an iconic dried Banksia cone.

These street light covers are made from cast bronze and are created in the shape of an iconic dried Banksia cone.

A lady named May Gibbs wrote and illustrated a series of books about the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Gumnut babies. The first book was published in 1918 and the last 1949. As a child my mother read the stories to me. In turn I read the stories to my children. The books are still favourites and still available today. The books have villians, the Banksia Men. These men are modelled on the dried pods of the giant Banksia flower. See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snugglepot_and_Cuddlepie and http://www.bookworld.com.au/book/the-complete-adventures-of-snugglepot-and-cuddlepie/3438727/

A lady named May Gibbs wrote and illustrated a series of books about the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Gumnut babies. The first book was published in 1918 and the last 1949. As a child my mother read the stories to me. In turn I read the stories to my children. The books are still favourites and still available today. The books have villians, the Banksia Men. These men are modelled on the dried pods of the giant Banksia flower. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snugglepot_and_Cuddlepie and http://www.bookworld.com.au/book/the-complete-adventures-of-snugglepot-and-cuddlepie/3438727/

A dry Banksia cone.

A dry Banksia cone.

Friday 27th September

The CO-PILOT had an acupuncturist appointment at Kawana this afternoon. As the trip is around 100Klm return we visited friends Joan and George who live in  a retirement village on Kawana Island.

Saturday 28th September.

This is the day we have been planning for around three months. The culmination of the Brisbane Festival, RiverFire,  http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/as-brisbane-gears-up-for-riverfire-2013-plan-your-best-viewing-spot/story-fnihsrf2-1226727722861 was our destination today.   https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151599153332522    The return trip by road was 310 klms and we arrived home just after midnight, on the last of our stay awake energy. We were booked on the MV “MORETON ESCAPE” for a 7 hour cruise on Brisbane River.

This was our transport for the evening. The boat came right up onto the beach and we stepped aboard.

This was our transport for the evening. The boat came right up onto the beach and we stepped aboard.

Pre- dinner snacks is served.

Pre- dinner snacks is served.

The vessel is a car ferry with a smallish air conditioned passenger lounge and several open air decks plus of course the car deck where most of the passengers, the entertainment and the food was served. It carries a maximum of 300 passengers. The cruise included snacks, dinner, a band and solo entertainers. The cruise along the river was slow and peaceful while we saw crowds building up along the shore.

The "PACIFIC DAWN" has a tugboat at bow and stern ready to move it out into mid stream. By the time it got underway the passengers would not have seen the fireworks. Incidentally those little dots along the top deck are passengers.

The “PACIFIC DAWN” has a tugboat at bow and stern ready to move it out into mid stream. By the time it got underway the passengers would not have seen the fireworks. Incidentally those little dots along the top deck are passengers.

Surprisingly, although it should not have been surprising, this huge vessel anchored at the shortest reach of the river at one of our favourite Brisbane locations, Kangaroo Point.

This flotilla of boats, large and small was constantly being enlarged by the arrival of even more boats for the final hour up until the fireworks began.

This flotilla of boats, large and small was constantly being enlarged by the arrival of even more boats for the final hour up until the fireworks began.

We were in sight of two of these fireworks barges several of which were located on the river. A larger barge in front of SouthBank was control central while other fireworks locfations were atop the tallest city buildings and across the Story Bridge.

We were in sight of two of these fireworks barges several of which were located on the river. A larger barge in front of SouthBank was control central while other fireworks locations were atop the tallest city buildings and across the Story Bridge.

The Blackhawk helicopters were awesome, hoveringh over the river sending sprays of water over boat and shoreside spectators.

The Blackhawk helicopters were awesome, hoveringh over the river sending sprays of water over boat and shoreside spectators.

See the spray?

See the spray?

From here we could see two fireworks barges, the Story Bridge and several of the tallest Brisbane buildings from which co-ordinated fireworks would be fired. During the trip RAAF Blackhawk helicopters buzzed the river which by now was a traffic jam of small and large craft anchored waiting for the spectacular. The choppers came in low over the water and sent a spray of water over passengers and people on the shore. Then a pair of RAAF Super Hornets flew over the city and along the river. The precision flying was announced by the noise of the aircraft flying so fast that by the time we heard them they were past us.

Another of the many passenger boats with happy  tourists.

Another of the many passenger boats with happy tourists.

This is the Kookaburra Queen. The 3 hour cruise for the lower decks was $185 while the top deck was $220.

This is the Kookaburra Queen. The 3 hour cruise for the lower decks was $185 while the top deck was $220.

Chopper and paddlewheeler.

Chopper and paddlewheeler.

The Police launch, “BRETT HANDRAN” cruised by, slowly and so close you could see the people on board and gasp, gasp, what the? Was that, surely not, could it really be? Centre deck and all officers a respectable distance away from what appeared to be, HRH Prince Harry. Now we knew Harry is coming to OZ for a visit but we did not know he was already here. Hmmm! On checking Google, Harry is not expected to visit OZ until October so who was that look alike with the same HRH mannerisms and dressed in battle dress standing on the bridge?

Police Launch with "Harry" aboard.

Police Launch with “Harry” aboard.

We dined on the lower car deck and listened to the excellent entertainers

One of several entertainers on the night.

One of several entertainers on the night.

Waiting for the signal for RiverFire to begin.

Waiting for the signal for RiverFire to begin.

then as the sky darkened when at 7pm a lone Super Hornet blasted its way across the city and along the river dropping starburst fireworks from the fuselage and the 20 minute fireworks spectacular began.

The firts of twenty minutes of fireworks.

The first of twenty minutes of fireworks.

Gasp! Where to look? From our vantage point on the top deck we could look in several directions and watch the show.280913 fireworks4 280913 fireworks3

This view of the fireworks is looking over the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and the Queensland University of Technology. It appears to be on fire.

This view of the fireworks is looking over the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and the Queensland University of Technology. It appears to be on fire.

Each direction, although co-ordinated, had a slightly different show in pauses of the main spectacular. The finale was just awesome and extracted a huge round of applause from the boats and the half million people strung out along the river banks and along high rise apartments.

Fireworks from barge and buildings were co-ordinated.

Fireworks from barge and buildings were co-ordinated.

Whew! Wow! This was what we planned and paid only $85 to enjoy. The weather started out with rain in the morning but turned into a brilliant afternoon and night.

The Story Bridge lit up with LED lights which change in a routine which can be set to almost any colour in the spectrum.

The Story Bridge lit up with LED lights which change in a routine which can be set to almost any colour in the spectrum.

The weather was mild enough to not require a jacket. The passengers, young and old also enjoyed the entertainers on the car deck especially as we were arriving at our landing place as two women singers sang I Still Call Australia Home. The performance raised the hair on the back of my neck. I do not know who any of the performers were but they were top class and held the audience spellbound. Also holding us spellbound was the skippers intricate manouvering of the huge vessel through a bevy of small boats anchored in stupid positions just off the access beach. The skipper got a huge round of applause as well.

What a night!

Sunday 29th September

Can you believe we slept in???

Well, at least until 7am.

We took a stroll to the Noosa Sunday morning Farmers Market where we enjoyed a cup of coffee and a muffin made with non-wheat products. I would have been quite happy with a wheat and gluten product at half the price but we have to experience these things. I am always amazed at these places which sell “alternate’ products or sell “organic” produce which looks like the bugs got to the fruit first, or the growth is stunted and then they charge twice the price!

The morning was hot, around 32° but by lunchtime the clouds began to roll in and thunder rumbled before rain began and the temp dropped to 15° in an hour.

Hmmm! The trip to the beach was cancelled and we spent time watching TV. (and falling asleep…still tired from the late night

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335. Sunday 22nd September 2013. On the move again, at least to Palm Beach, but where to then?…

22/09/2013

Monday 16th September

While the almost last minute packing was being carried out I drove to Brisbane airport to collect Donnis and Alecia. After a brief lunch at Fairfield we drove to Woodridge where Alecia will stay with her brother Peter and in the morning they will drive to Bundaberg to visit their dad for his birthday.

Tuesday 17th September

Last minute packing. As always, my best efforts became secondary to the CO- PILOT version of packing. She went to the dentist and we drove WWWGO out of its home for the last 5 months. Not without incident I might add. The large hatch has been in the partly open position these last five months and the struts had seized. That meant the hatch would not open fully, or even close. With a bit of help from close friend, WD40 and Mike on the inside and me on the roof and gently easing up and down, the struts suddenly un-seized.

Yahoo! We could now leave. We had a final coffee and cake plus a flutter on the poker machines and a Keno ticket all compliments of the local RSL.

We were on our way at 11.45 am, south via the M1 and 78 Klms later found our new home – at least for the next 7 days – at Palm Beach Mobile and Tourist Park.

Wednesday 18th September

Ooops. I had forgotten school holidays. They begin on Friday night. The park will start filling up from tonight onwards. Part of the reason we were here isI had wanted to visit Currumbin Beach for their annual SWELL Sculpture Festival.

This was a fun project for children. For a fee of $5 each child was given a striped "artists" shirt and "artists" apron, a paintbrush and access to paints. They were encouraged to paint the parasols in any way they  wanted. This group was almost universally engaged in the splash and spray method. Even splashing and spraying each other.

This was a fun project for children. For a fee of $5 each child was given a striped “artists” shirt and “artists” apron, a paintbrush and access to paints. They were encouraged to paint the parasols in any way they wanted. This group was almost universally engaged in the splash and spray method. Even splashing and spraying each other.

http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/index.php  The event runs from 13th to 22nd September and this is the 11th annual festival.

This delightful mermaid was placed where it could be seen to best advantage by most visitors. Regretably that same position meant the features are never seen by the sunlight.

This delightful mermaid was placed where it could be seen to best advantage by most visitors. Regretably that same position meant the features are never seen by the sunlight.

The schoolchildren enjoyed becoming a part of the runners exhibit. The popular Vikings Surf Clubhouse is in the background.

The schoolchildren enjoyed becoming a part of the runners exhibit. The popular Vikings Surf Clubhouse is in the background.

A couple of local tourist lasses beside an umm err.

A couple of local tourist lasses beside an umm err.

The exhibition invites sculptures from local, intra-state, inter-state and overseas artists.

Hmmm! Sorry if this is not clear. Trying to find an angle which provided enough light and at the same time show detail and avoid including tourists was a challenge.

Hmmm! Sorry if this is not clear. Trying to find an angle which provided enough light and at the same time show detail and avoid including tourists was a challenge.

Iguanna.

Iguanna.

Along with friend Glenda who lives at Nerang we headed off to Currumbin.

This sculpture??? evokes memories of another time, another place. At a beach...somewhere.

This sculpture??? evokes memories of another time, another place. At a beach…somewhere.

So did the entire population of the Gold Coast and every school within a 100Klm radius – or so it seemed. It was crowded and trying to take a photo with all these people and children wanting to get up close and touch each sculpture began to get on my nerves.

What this is meant to represent is a mystery but it seemed to attract a great deal; of attention from visitirs, newspaper and magazine articles, website and TV news.

What this is meant to represent is a mystery but it seemed to attract a great deal; of attention from visitirs, newspaper and magazine articles, website and TV news.

Just a little.

Grrr!

This trojan horse stood out along the beach dunes.  Note that the names of the sculptures are my names, not the names given by the artist. The artists names are confusing and often seem to have no relationship with the sculpture.

This trojan horse stood out along the beach dunes. Note that the names of the sculptures are my names, not the names given by the artist. The artists names are confusing and often seem to have no relationship with the sculpture.

I'm in two minds what this is about...

I’m in two minds what this is about…

We have all heard the expression..."when pigs can fly..."

We have all heard the expression…”when pigs can fly…”

About halfway along the beach I noticed a man sitting on the beach drawing in a sketch pad. He looked familiar. Sure enough, it was Adriaan Vanderlught, an artist I knew from Airlie Beach but have not seen for many years.

This is Adriaans sculpture which also included an egg of which I was not observant enough to include it in the photo.

This is Adriaans sculpture which also included an egg of which I was not observant enough to include it in the photo.

http://www.vanderlugt.com.au/vanderlugt.com.au/Home.html    He has an entry in the competition and was looking at the other works.

How realistic is this??? She really could be said to have a "bronzed suntan".

How realistic is this??? She really could be said to have a “bronzed suntan”.

We spoke for a few minutes and I continued getting more and more stressed with the multitude of people pressing around many of the exhibits. We decided to come back at sunset and have a leisurely stroll around.

This funny houseboat sort of put me in mind of a nautical version of the old woman who lived in a shoe.

This funny houseboat sort of put me in mind of a nautical version of the old woman who lived in a shoe.

This Emu is made from layers and layers of compressed chicken wire and the result is amazing realistic.

This Emu is made from layers and layers of compressed chicken wire and the result is amazing realistic.

This was one of the popular exhibits where it still atop a low sanddune gazing out to the waves on the point.

This was one of the popular exhibits where it still atop a low sanddune gazing out to the waves on the point.

Umm err. It seems half the people had decided to do the same thing! It was just as crowded at that time as it was at midday.

Hmmm! Perhaps 5am with the sun rising over the water might be a good time!

View from the Vikings Surf Club dining room looking across Currumbin Beach and Surfers Paradise in the background.

View from the Vikings Surf Club dining room looking across Currumbin Beach and Surfers Paradise in the background.

Thursday 19th September

Donnis and Glenda caught the train to Brisbane and visited the Mt. Coot-Tha Planetarium. While they enjoyed themselves I stayed home and did several loads of washing as well as a bit of pottering around, re-arranging our packing but certainly not relaxing.

In the afternoon I visited a display home on the beach. It is a M$2 home to be won in an RSL Art Union.    http://www.rslartunion.com.au/Draw309   According to the promoters it has the potential to bring in a return of $140,000 per annum. I think those figures might be a bit rubbery but I expect that in peak summer season it could very well bring in a return of $12,000 per month for three or four months. Perhaps in the shoulder and off peak season you could expect a return of half that amount. The location is fabulous and adding up potential of rental and expenses I still bought a ticket. Yes, just one ticket. After all, only one ticket will win the prize. Besides, it was all the money I had one me at the time.

When the lasses returned from Brisbane I cooked up sausages on the outside gas cooker, prepared a salad and they brought fries from the nearby McDonalds. After dinner we walked along the beach towards Tallabudgera under a bright moon.

Friday 20th September

We spent another stressful day re-packing, sorting, throwing out clothes and books unused or unread for three years. The weather has been glorious for the past few days and we have barely visited the beach.

Saturday 21st September.

Instead of my usual walk I drove to Currumbin Creek to walk and take some early morning photos. Even at 6.30 in the morning the car park was almost full and people were walking, jogging, exercising, paddling and swimming. Across the estuary I could see the car park near the sculptures was chock a block full.

Currumbin Creek estuary.

Currumbin Creek estuary.

More of the Currumbin Creek estuary. A busy place in the mornings.

More of the Currumbin Creek estuary. A busy place in the mornings.

Currumbin estuary is a meeting place for all types to flock to.

Currumbin estuary is a meeting place for all types to flock to.

A beach Casuarina silhouetted in the morning sunshine. Currumbin Beach in the background is already busy with visitors to the SWELL exhibits.

A beach Casuarina silhouetted in the morning sunshine. Currumbin Beach in the background is already busy with visitors to the SWELL exhibits.

Stand up surfboards are becoming more and more popular.

Stand up surfboards are becoming more and more popular.

...and the surfboat crew were in training.

…and the surfboat crew were in training.

The remainder of the day was spent re-arranging the packing we have already completed.

Sunday 22nd September

Alecia arrived on the train for an overnight visit before she flies to Sydney tomorrow. She then returns to Canada on Wednesday. As a treat we went to the Vikings Surf Club at Currumbin Beach for lunch. We also struggled with the huge crowds who came to see the sculptures on the last day of the festival, and bumped into Adriaan the artist again. Afterwards we drove to Surfers Paradise so Alecia could do some shopping at Australia Fair Shopping Centre.

So ends our first week away from the house sit in Brisbane. We have enjoyed our hectic time here at Palm Beach. Next week we will start our new travels.

On this day in 2010 we had just started our travel adventure, we had left home and were camped at Pinevale west of Mackay and discovered a leak in the roof hatch when we were bucketed with torrential tropical rain. (fitting really as we were in the tropics)

See ya next week!

334. Sunday 15th September 2013. Ready to move, South Bank, Cricket

15/09/2013

This is a big post week with lots of photos.

Monday 9th September.

I forgot to mention, Errol, Nicole and the grandchildren arrived back from Bundaberg last night.

Today we decided to visit Southbank as they are here for today only and Nicole has never been to Southbank (for that matter the children have not been either) We took the bus as far as the Cultural Centre and walked about 200 metres to Southbank. The ferris wheel was too big an attraction to pass up.   http://thewheelofbrisbane.com.au/

Nicole Hannah and Amelia on the ferris wheel.

Nicole Hannah and Amelia on the ferris wheel.

Frank and Donnis on the ferris wheel.

Frank and Donnis on the ferris wheel.

Hannah and Donnis

Hannah and Donnis

Hannah is impressed by something "Poppy" had just said. In the background you can see the huge barge from where the fireworks and associated light shows will be launched and controlled on the night of RiverFire...28th September.

Hannah is impressed by something “Poppy” had just said. In the background you can see the huge barge from where the fireworks and associated light shows will be launched and controlled on the night of RiverFire…28th September.

Donnis and I have always wanted to try this wheel and now is a golden opportunity. Each gondola is air conditioned and has an audio commentary plus an emergency button on board. The views, suspended 60m above the ground are stunning. However now that I have the experience and despite the fact the RiverFire fireworks central barge is on the river opposite the wheel, I feel we will see more on the boat trip we have booked. Mark your calendars, 28th September for RiverFire on Brisbane River.   http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/events/view/sunsuper-riverfire   That is the night about a million people will line the river bank vantage points to see the fireworks, Laser Light, Sound Spectacular and Air Force Flyover extravaganza and then they will all try to go home at the same time. We will still be cruising the Brisbane River until 10pm.

Australia Japan Friendship Stone dedicated 13th February 1995

Australia Japan Friendship Stone dedicated 13th February 1995

Daejeon (Korea) Brisbane Friendship Stone. The SouthBank Parklands has a number of gardens including a tropical rainforest. There are number friendship stones around the site. http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/social/display/100225-daejeon-&-brisbane-friendship-stone.

Daejeon (Korea) Brisbane Friendship Stone. The SouthBank Parklands has a number of gardens including a tropical rainforest. There are number friendship stones around the site. http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/social/display/100225-daejeon-&-brisbane-friendship-stone.

This is another of the friendship stones scattered around SouthBank. This one is from the Taiwanese sister city of Kaohsiun.

This is another of the friendship stones scattered around SouthBank. This one is from the Taiwanese sister city of Kaohsiun.

We lunched at a Mexican Restaurant, the Burrito Bar in Grey Street,   http://www.visitsouthbank.com.au/eat-and-drink/the-burrito-bar   before wandering back to the Southbank  Lagoon and gasped at all the lithe and muscular tanned bodies packed onto the sandy beach and soaking up  melanoma producing sunshine.

Errol Nicole and Amelia paddle along the waters edge of the SouthBank beach packed with bronzed sun worshippers. Spring is herew although it felt like a full summers day.

Errol Nicole and Amelia paddle along the waters edge of the SouthBank beach packed with bronzed sun worshippers. Spring is herew although it felt like a full summers day.

Sigh! I suppose I did much the same thing when I was their age but we never knew any better.

We then caught a River Cat

The wind in the hair as the City Cat whips along at around 25 knots.

The wind in the hair as the City Cat whips along at around 25 knots.

to cruise the river as far as Queensland University and walked through the grounds and across the Eleanor Schonell Bridge (Or Go Between Bridge as it is also known) I caught a bus home to bring the car back and collect everybody else.

Wow! What a wonderful relaxing and interesting day.

Tuesday 10th September

It is hard to explain this feeling creeping over me. In fact Donnis and I have talked about our plans for the coming couple of weeks and it seems we may have that same funny feeling. These words sung by musician/comedian/singer/actor, Jimmy Durante, probably sum up what we are feeling.

Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still had the feeling that you wanted to stay,
You knew it was right, wasn’t wrong.
Still you knew you wouldn’t be very long.
Go or stay, stay or go,
Start to go again and change your mind again.
It’s hard to have the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still have the feeling that you wanted to stay.
Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, do.
I’ll go.
I’ll stay.”
― Jimmy Durante

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Durante

Here’s the situation. Our housesitting is coming to an end. Perhaps two or three weeks early. We do not know for sure. However, it is coming to an end. We have become used to living in a house…again… At the same time we have got itchy feet and the nomadic call is ringing in our ears…actually that may be my tinnitus ringing in my ears.Our doctors appointments are completed, dentist visits all but over. We have seen parts of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The time is almost on us to move and that is the part which gives us the funny feeling. That and all the packing we have to do. Some months ago in a moment or three of madness I made the decision to sell WWWGO and advertised it on Gum Tree. I included Terios as part of the package but offered to split the vehicles if somebody wanted just WWWGO. It never dawned on me people may want TERIOS by itself. We had one tyre kicker to look at WWWGO but several calls wanting TERIOS. We would only sell TERIOS if WWWGO sold first or part of a package. Today I withdrew the package from sale and little by little WWWGO is being packed with our gear.

Donnis has joined Errol Nicole and the grandchildren and they are driving in the overloaded car and plan on being back in Wollongong Wednesday night. Donnis wants to be at Hannah’s Baptism on Sunday. Donnis daughter Alecia arrives from Canada on the weekend to be godmother. The two will then fly back to Brisbane, Alecia will stay a night before flying north to visit her dad for his birthday. If we are still here when she finishes that visit she will stay another night before flying back to Canada.

Whew! Busy or what? We may or may not be here.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday 11th September.

My oh My! How things can change in, well not quite an instant but in this case overnight.

I received an email to say the owners are on their way home. No exact date given but I would expect them home Friday at the earliest or Sunday at the latest. Gulp! I may have to leave before Donnis returns from Wollongong with Alecia on Monday.

Gulp Gulp. I am packing WWWGO by myself and I have had to kick my efforts up a couple of gears as I would like WWWGO packed and ready to leave by Saturday…just in case. There were heat-wave conditions here in Brisbane today but I did not notice as I was simply too busy packing clothes and books and healing oils and food…did we really arrive with all this stuff?

I have called a halt to packing as it is 10pm, my eyes are feeling droopy and  have had enough. This sort of reminds me of packing the garage before we left three years ago. I recall how tired I felt at the end of each day. On that note, I will say, goodnight. ZZZZzzzzz!

Thursday 12th September

Today was a sort of repeat performance of yesterday. Hot conditions although inside the house and incredibly, inside WWWGO as well, it was cool. I have packed about 90% although things are not packed where they once were. We will have to go on a treasure hunt every time we cannot find something. At least the packing is done. Most of the food will be a last minute pack as will be some of the things to go into TERIOS. I have broken the back of the task and even had some time to start vacuuming the house. It will be another night of ZZZZzzzs.

Yesterday I packed away our pod coffee maker as well as our Moka pot coffee maker and our milk frother. I decided to go to Maccas for coffee. How disappointing. Not as good as I make at home.

Friday 13th September

When I left this morning for my daily walk, I noted a brief shower had passed through a few minutes before. Although the shower was barely enough to wet the ground, it was enough to cleanse the tree leaves of any dust and to bring out the fragrance of those leaves. It sort of gave the morning a freshness that was a pleasure to experience. No further showers or rain fell all day.

Saturday 14th September

Cricket team in a huddle after dismissing a batsman. Behind the house there are three cricket grounds. You can the players in white in the next field.

Cricket team in a huddle after dismissing a batsman. Behind the house there are three cricket grounds. You can the players in white in the next field.

Batsman on his way to making a run. Now that spring is here, every Saturday until the end of February all three cricket fields will be in use.

Batsman on his way to making a run. Now that spring is here, every Saturday until the end of February all three cricket fields will be in use.

Tonight I went to the Santos GLNG City of Lights display.

Santos GLNG Project

Santos GLNG Project

http://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/events/view/santos-glng-city-of-lights    I caught a bus with plenty of time to spare to arrive in time for the 7pm display and then catch a bus home.

Hmmm! So much for my plans.

The bus stopped at the cemetery to collect a passenger. He was young, drunk, aggressive and stopped the bus progress. He had no money nor a GO Card. The driver would not allow him to ride. The kid would not get off the bus. There we sat for around 10 minutes while he argued, talked to bus central on his phone and ranted and shouted. Eventually he got off the bus and we continued our journey. I arrived at SouthBank just in time to see the closing minute of the light show.

Just love the way the ferris wheel is lit up at night. Tonight there was a queue to ride.

Just love the way the ferris wheel is lit up at night. Tonight there was a queue to ride.

There are a fleet of these rickshaw bicycles pedalling around SouthBank

There are a fleet of these rickshaw bicycles pedalling around SouthBank

Sigh!

Main walkway of SouthBank lit up in multi changing LED lights

Main walkway of SouthBank lit up in multi changing LED lights

Wall of QPAC - Queensland Performing Arts Centre lit up during the light show.

Wall of QPAC – Queensland Performing Arts Centre lit up during the light show.

There was another performance at 8pm.

I apologise in advance for the quality of the photos.

Most were taken on full zoom and the camera was not tripod mounted.

Flash was not used – in fact it would not have helped.

I used night-time settings but given the distance to the light source the photos are very grainy.

As some of the crowd surged away from the riverfront to look for somewhere to eat I heard two girls talking. One said to the other, “I never knew there were so many people in Brisbane!”

I could understand her comments totally. This event was a nightly lead up to the big RiverFire at the end of the month. I imagined what it might be like when a million people line the banks of the river. Once more I am pleased we have booked tickets on a river cruise that night.

The light show started slowly with a hint of laser lights. Gradually as the stirring music built stronger, so did the lights. Then water was sprayed from beside the barge and the lights played on the spraying water. Then the framework on the barge dropped a virtual waterfall from the scaffolding. The crowd until now was talking but became silent. Suddenly, three people rose in the air, through the water. They were attached to a long pole which swayed in the cascading water. The lights shining on the “water nymphs” became red and yellow bathing them in “fire”. The nymphs swayed and held out their arms in the fiery water then in a burst of brilliant white light they were gone.   http://www.strangefruit.net.au/   and   http://www.strangefruit.net.au/popup.clip.php?clip=reel    The lights and music stopped and the silent crowd stood and really appeared stunned. Then as if on cue the crowd erupted in applause and whistling and shouting. Had we, the crowd, been collectively holding our breath? No wonder there were so many people who turned up to watch this spectacular light show. It is a free nightly show until 28th September and there are three sessions 7, 8 and 9pm. I suspect many people camp on the lawns for all three sessions.

Do not forget to double click to enlarge the photos.

Strange Fruits in the Santos GLNG Light Show

Strange Fruits in the Santos GLNG Light Show

More Strange Fruits

More Strange Fruits

Strange Fruits again.

Strange Fruits again.

and again

and again

yet again.

yet again.

All going well, Donnis and I will return Monday night and do it all over again.

Again I apologise for the quality of the photos.

Sunday 15th September

Mike and Joan arrived home today after 5 months on the road travelling Australia. Well they saw at least most of the parts they have not seen previously. There is still much they have not seen but the call of home was stronger than the call of adventure.

This will be our last post from this address as we plan to leave here on Tuesday to destination unknown. Well we do have a sort of plan but we will wait and see how it unfolds.

We have had a wonderful time here and if we had to live in Brisbane, this would be the area we would choose to live.

Today I finished reading a true life book, The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeannette_Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

I kept gasping at the true life story of Jeannettes poor role models her parents were. They were also useless as providers. However on the flip side, they did instill certain strong characteristics in their children. This book was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 100 weeks when it was released in 2005.

This week in 2010 we were completing the final packing of our furniture into a storage room at the back of the garage and were only a few days away from our life of adventure on the road.

See you next week.

333. Sunday 8th September 2013. Birthday boy, Computer returns and iPad training…

08/09/2013

Monday 2nd September

Errol, Nicole and the Grandchildren arrived back from the wedding on Stradbroke Island. Late in the afternoon we visited Nicole’s cousin, his wife and their three daughters.

A large family group.

A large family group.

We had pizza for dinner and I could feel the carbs going straight to my waistline.

Pizza at a three family gathering.

Pizza at a three family gathering.

Hannah

Hannah

Long time Friend Laurie H called to say my comments in last weeks blog post about the usefulness or otherwise of the iPad were not entirely accurate and with a bit of tweaking she can have the iPad performing “as it orta”.

Tuesday 3rd September

Errol, Nicole and the grandchildren went to visit friends on the Gold Coast so we caught up with Laurie who is at a Boy Scout Camp at Stamford. It was a productive afternoon as she showed me how to improve the performance of the iPad and a few things I was not aware it could do. I cannot see myself voluntarily using the iPad to update the blog or store photos but in a pinch I now know how it can be used.

The Toshiba repairer called to say the hard drive was replaced under warranty …YAHOO! As well the cloning of data AND PROGRAMS was successful so my laptop is back to where it was before the drama began.

Wednesday 4th September

71.5

In the morning I drove to Springwood and collected the laptop.

The family arrived back today and they had picked up Chris from School. Way back last century, in the mid 1980’s, Donnis sailed to Australia from Canada with her then husband and three children in their 50 foot ketch. From Mexico to the south pacific they sailed in company with another couple with their two children. One of those children, Daniel, is now living and working in Brisbane.

Nicole, Hannah, Amelia, Errol, Daniel and Chris

Nicole, Hannah, Amelia, Errol, Daniel and Chris

He caught a train to Fairfield so we had another family dinner and gave Donnis and Errol a chance to catch up with him. They have not seen each other for over 20 years. Donnis and I had visited his parents, Lionel and Rosemary at their home in Camden Haven NSW mid December 2012 and kept in touch since.

Thursday 5th September

The family left this morning to head further north to visit Errols father near Bundaberg before they turn around and head back this way again.

Today was, well, my birthday and I kept it pretty low key. Donnis did bake a rich chocolate cake but with all the family gone I will have to eat it all myself. Aww shucks. Even after one slice, with whipped cream of course, I am sure I have gained weight.

Friday 6th September.

Just for something to do (HaHaHa) we drove to the Gold Coast to catch up with my sister Sandra her beau Dave and her son Luke along with his friend Luke. No, that is not a spelling error, they are both Luke. The two Lukes were spending the day at Dreamworld so we got a chance to have lunch with Sandi and Dave and a walk along the beach at Surfers Paradise

Looking from Surfers back to Coolangatta. Usually my photos are taken from Coolangatta looking back to Surfers.

Looking from Surfers back to Coolangatta. Usually my photos are taken from Coolangatta looking back to Surfers.

A little early history of Surfers.

A little early history of Surfers.

A couple of young beach nymphs at Surfers Paradise _ Wahine Sandi and Wahine Donnis.

A couple of young beach nymphs at Surfers Paradise – Wahine Sandi and Wahine Donnis.

where they are staying on the 37th floor of the Three Towers of Chevron   http://www.chevrontowers.com.au/

Panorama from the 37th floor looking west over the Surfers Quays.

Panorama from the 37th floor looking west over the Surfers Quays.

It has been more than four decades since I last stopped at Surfers Paradise. I have driven through and past on many occasions but have not stopped. When I visited in 1965 along with three friends, with our surfboards all of us our luggage and boards squashed  into a Mini Minor,    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini   (we had driven, cramped and uncomfortable, 838 Klms each way for a long weekend just to say we had been to Surfers Paradise)   At that time the main road along the beach from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise was one lane each way.  It is now a variety of one, two, three or even four lanes, depending on the suburb. The worst bottleneck of one lane is at Surfers.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfers_Paradise,_Queensland   and   http://www.surfersparadise.com/about-surfers-paradise/history   On the beach side of the road there were many cheap and gaudy motels among the low level houses. On the other side of the road was almost all vacant sandy lots. There was not a high rise building in sight. (well maybe one or two of less than 10 stories) Now, sigh, it is all high rise apartments and shopping malls. Honestly in 1965 we forsook Surfers Paradise as a place to surf and returned instead to Coolangatta, Kirra Beach, Greenmount Point and Rainbow Beach as our preferred surfing locations. In fact that is still the case today. Very few serious surfers actually umm err surf at Surfers Paradise. It is however a mecca for nightlife, parties, food and a relaxed lifestyle. It is noisy, busy, frantic, crowded, chaotic traffic and wildly alive.

More Lifesaving modernisation.

More Lifesaving modernisation.

latest in Life Saving devices.

latest in Life Saving devices.

Friday afternoon is the beginning of the Surfers Paradise beachside markets and hundreds of stall holders were setting up their tents to commence trading in the evening.

Saturday 7th September

Today promptly at 9am we cast our democratic vote to elect a new parliament for the next three years. In Australia we vote for a party, not like in the USA where they vote for a political leader. Local political aspirants are standing for a seat. (yeah I know standing for a seat sounds weird) The party with the most seats wins the election. We currently live outside our home electorate so get to have an Absentee Vote. Basically the election is between two major parties, Liberal National Party and the Australian Labour party. All other parties fall into third fourth fifth places etc etc etc. There are some weird parties standing for election, believing votes cast for them will and can be used to support one of the two major parties. Some have straight forward names such as Democrats and Greens and Family First. Then the choices become stranger. Sex Party of Australia, Marijuana Party, H.E.M.P – Help Eliminate Marijuana Party, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, Coke in the Bubblers Party, Stop The Greens Party, Bullet Train Party, Pirate party of Australia and the list goes on – 77 parties in all. Of course some even are named after an individual. Bob Katter, Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenephon, Clive Palmer. Voting on the day can be confusing and it must be a nightmare for those people who count the votes. Of course with a nation of welfare dependency there are always those people who will vote for the party offering continued public handouts.

The result was a resounding victory to the Liberal National Party Coalition led by Tony Abbott.

Kevin Rudd the defeated Labour Prime Minister waffled for 24 minutes in an ungracious concession speech in which he continued to extoll his and his parties virtues ad infinitum.

Tony Abbott the incoming successfully elected Prime Minister took just 10 minutes to thank supporters and graciously accept his new position.

Enuff of politics!

We went to my birthday lunch with Sandra and Dave at the Summit Restaurant

From inside Summit

From inside Summit

on Mt Coot-Tha. Daves parents joined us after the first course.   http://www.brisbanelookout.com/  The restaurant is a little dearer than our usual fare but what the heck, I was asked where I would like to go on my birthday! The view over the city is an added bonus to the ambience along with the fine weather and delightful food.

Same group except Frank replaces Donnis.

Same group except Frank replaces Donnis.

Happy diners at the Summit Restaurant Mt Coot-Tha.  From l to r Sandy (Daves Mum) my sister Sandi, Donnis Dave and Ray (Daves dad)

Happy diners at the Summit Restaurant Mt Coot-Tha. From l to r Sandy (Daves Mum) my sister Sandi, Donnis Dave and Ray (Daves dad)

Frank n Dave

Frank n Dave

On top of Mt.Coot-Tha. These pink bunnies have been popping up in tourist hot spots around Brisbane. We have seen one in Queen Street Mall, one at Southbank and one here. I believe there are about 14 of them scattered throughout the city.

On top of Mt.Coot-Tha. These pink bunnies have been popping up in tourist hot spots around Brisbane. We have seen one in Queen Street Mall, one at Southbank and one here. I believe there are about 14 of them scattered throughout the city.

Enjoyable.

Sunday 8th September

What a lazy post-election victory day. The sun was shining and we packed a few items into WWWGO and I set the battery charger on slow charge. Later in the week I will get the compressor fired up and check air pressure in the tyres. Although we do not have an expected departure date we believe it will be sometime in the next four weeks.

This week three years ago I was putting the finishing touches on the storage bay in the garage, painting the floor and hanging a door and installing locks, getting it ready to start stacking furniture.

Today I looked at the garage photos I took as I gradually moved the furniture into the small space.

Preliminary gradual packing our furniture into the garage storage bay.

Preliminary gradual packing our furniture into the garage storage bay.

Packing continued beyond this point until furniture almost touched the roof.

Packing continued beyond this point until furniture almost touched the roof.

Good golly miss molly. Did we have a lot of junk umm err possessions! We had also given away tables and chairs, lounge suite, washing machine, giant TV, refrigerator and lots of kitchen appliances.

I will not be long before we are on the road again and a new adventure to ???? will begin.

332. Sunday 1st September 2013. Countdown to new adventures but first…

01/09/2013
Chris blowing out birthday muffin candles at his birthday a week earlier.

Chris blowing out birthday muffin candles at his birthday a week earlier.

We are still without our laptop.

We feel cold and isolated from the rest of the world and the little Toshiba NetBook is so S.L.O.W it is only one step above useless for working on the Internet. On the other hand the iPad cannot upload photos without the laptop so using it for updating the blog is also one step above useless.

However I am struggling along with the NetBook which has a tiny CPU so cannot process much data at any one time. Uploading and downloading on the internet is frustratingly painful. Or perhaps that would be better expressed as painfully frustrating.

Sob sob!

I want my laptop!

Thursday 28th August

Errol, Nicole along with grandchildren Amelia and Hannah arrived in the afternoon. They took a casual three days to drive from Wollongong on the south coast near Sydney NSW. Tomorrow they embark on the ferry to Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay. They are off to a wedding.

Amelia and Nicole

Amelia and Nicole

Amelia

Amelia

Regelyn and grandson Chris arrived before dinner and he, Amelia and Hannah met for the first time.

Amelia, Hannah and Chris. Cousins who have met for the first time.

Amelia, Hannah and Chris. Cousins who have met for the first time.

Old school friend of Errol, Chrystal Overs arrived as well and had a quick catch up before she left for a health meeting.

Regelyn. Chrystal, Donnis, Hannah, Nicole, Chris, Amelia and Errol

Regelyn. Chrystal, Donnis, Hannah, Nicole, Chris, Amelia and Errol

Later Peter arrived so he and Errol caught up with each other.

Errol, Hannah, Chris, Peter, Amelia and Nicole

Errol, Hannah, Chris, Peter, Amelia and Nicole

For a few hours we were a busy household.

Friday 30th August

I drove Errol Nicole and the grandchildren to Cleveland to catch the ferry.

Donnis nephew, Jason H is an airline pilot with Cathay Pacific. He arrived in Brisbane on a 24 hour layover.

In the evening we met up with Peter, Chris and Jason at Suncorp Stadium to watch a Rugby League match between Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights. Brisbane were desperate to win to stay in the final eight. The Broncos are my “B” team and support them if they are not playing the North Queensland Cowboys. Perhaps I should not have gone to the game as every time I attend theirs or a Cowboys game, they lose.

My record is 100% intact.

The Bronco’s lost and have no chance of being in the top eight for the finals playoffs..

We agreed to take Chris home to our place for Regelyn to collect while Peter and cousin Jason kicked on around several bars and nightspots.

Saturday 31st August

Peter and Jason finally surfaced around 2pm after a heavy night on the town.

Hmmm!

For some reason they would both only drink water water and fruit juice.

Wonder why?

We met up with them at King George Square in Brisbane

Jason, Frank and Peter, King George Square

Jason, Frank and Peter, King George Square

Peter, Donnis and Jason the Pilot at King George Square, Brisbane City.

Peter, Donnis and Jason the Pilot at King George Square, Brisbane City.

and wandered to Queen Street Mall where we found a place for dinner. Regelyn and Chris drove to town and met us there. It was a good chance for Donnis and Jason to spend some time over a coffee at the Nespresso outlet.

http://www.nespresso.com/?s_kwcid=TC|14510|nespresso%20brisbane||S|e|23670275872

We had dinner at a place called The Pig and Whistle which is described as a traditional English style dining experience.

Frank and Donnis Queen Street Mall.

Frank and Donnis Queen Street Mall.

Donnis, Frank Regelyn, Peter, Chris and Jason at the no flavour Pig  and Whistle

Donnis, Frank Regelyn, Peter, Chris and Jason at the no flavour Pig and Whistle

Hmmm! Little wonder the English cuisine is described as bland, lacking in imagination and tasteless. My English Fish and Chips was both bland and tasteless but somebody used imagination in stacking the two fillets, one on top of the other. According to Regelyn her Beef curry was bland. The meals were expensive and we will not return.

After dinner Jason returned to his hotel for an hours sleep as he is flying out later in the evening. We may get another chance to catch up with him on his next flight to Australia later in September.

Chris Peter and Regelyn Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City. This pink rabbits have popped up in various locations around the city and suburbs. So far noboby has revealed why they were installed in the early hours of the morning.

Chris Peter and Regelyn Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City. This pink rabbits have popped up in various locations around the city and suburbs. So far noboby has revealed why they were installed in the early hours of the morning.

Sunday 1st September

Fathers Day!

We spent a little time talking about but not actually packing things back into WWWGO as we expect to be back on the road and resuming the adventure at the end of the month or sometime early October. As we have already booked some entertainment for that time we will have to find somewhere in the area to camp for a week or two.

Bring on the adventure.

The countdown begins.

Thanks to our readers who have stayed with us through the “quiet”times. We will soon be on the