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