Archive for May, 2014

374.Sunday 25th May 2014. Franks Food Safari and Dingos on the beach…

25/05/2014

Today – meaning Saturday 24th May – I was awake at the usual ungodly hour of 6am. Somehow I can never sleep in. Well, sometimes I can. At least until 6.30 and occasionally to 6.45am.
On my morning walk which this morning was just as the sun was whispering over the ocean and beginning to slink across the land in readiness to kiss the Conway Range, I saw the remnants of last night’s cloud and mist at one end of my road.

The misty wispy foggy cloud moving up and over the Conway Range. Looking south along our road which ends at the base of that mountain range.

The misty wispy foggy cloud moving up and over the Conway Range. Looking south along our road which ends at the base of that mountain range.

It was scurrying to climb over the Conway Range before Sol arrived with that kiss. It was that period of half- light where some things take on a mystical half formed appearance before the light of day turns everything ino sharp tones of light and shadow. At the opposite end of my road a giant cruise liner, the second this week, was moored and appeared as a dark shadow in the morning light. It was the ship THE WORLD  http://aboardtheworld.com/our_story which is the largest, at 644 feet, privately owned ship in the world

Hmmm! It was a bit of a surprise to find it there at the end of our road this morning as it is not on any of the published schedules that I am aware of.

Looking north along our road on the way to Airlie Beach. The big cruise ship "PACIFIC DAWN"

Looking north along our road on the way to Airlie Beach. The big cruise ship “THE$ WORLD”

“PACIFIC DAWN” a passenger cruise ship is due to call into Airlie on Monday.

After breakfast I made a batch of those wonderful fluffy Lemonade Scones and by coffee time they were still warm, wrapped in a tea towel and ready to be lathered with butter, Berry jam and whipped cream. In the time between baking and stopping for coffee I pushed myself physically ragged trying to dig up tree roots which are invading our yard. After coffee I started again and also found time to chainsaw an overhanging branch which would be in the direct pathway of WWWGO next time we leave. No sense leaving a branch to scratch along the side of WWWGO or worse scrape along the roof and tear the waterproof membrane. By the time that was all finished I was wringing wet and shaking with exertion with my clothes drenched in sweat and dirt. About this time something bit me on the buttock (I kid you not) in a place which I cannot see no matter how many mirrors I use. It is painful to sit but being a man and practising the “suck it up” mantra will wait a day or two before I do anything.
Besides it is Saturday afternoon and all the doctors are sensible and having a weekend off.
No sleep in this morning. I woke at 5am and although I stayed in bed I tossed and turned until 6am when it was just light enough to find my clothes. After my walk and exercise routine I made an omelette for breakfast. The buttock is a little uncomfortable this morning but not stopping me from enjoying my day. I am sure I wrote about making an omelette way back in 2011 but it is no harm to mention it again. I love an omelette and on this occasion will share the recipe.

Fluffy Omelette
Two good size eggs (I only buy the biggest eggs although the CO-PILOT prefers what is on special provided they are free range)
Two or three tablespoons of water, your choice.
1 rasher of bacon, chopped
A couple of egg size mushrooms also chopped
I few splashes of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of any type of pesto (or herbs of your choice)
4 thin slices of tomato
4 thin slices of Spanish onions (oh all right then any onions of your choices but make em thinly sliced)
An equivalent amount of thinly sliced capsicum (Red or green or yellow – doesn’t matter)
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese.
¼ cup sliced black olives.
Anything else you might want to throw in – leftover veggies from a previous meal)
While the bacon and mushrooms are cooking in a separate heavy based pan I whip the eggs, then add the water, the oil and the pesto and whip until the mix gets frothy.
Heat a heavy based non- stick frypan. I do not use oil as the oil from the bacon and mushrooms will be enough. Transfer the bacon n mushrooms to the non- stick and reduce the heat to about a quarter ( we use a gas stove) spread the bacon etc around the pan so it coats the base but also spread the mix evenly.
Give the eggs another quick whip and add them to the pan ensuring they spread all the way over and around the bacon etc. Add the tomatoes onion capsicum and olives any way you like. Grate the cheese over the top and reduce the heat again. As the eggs begin to set the edge will start to lift away from the pan slightly. At this stage I transfer the whole pan under the grill and leave it until the cheese begins to brown. The omelette will swell at this stage so I slide an egg flip all around the edges and it just slides off, whole, onto a plate. In my opinion the pesto adds enough salt. If you just use herbs then maybe a bit of cracked pepper and salt in the egg when you are whisking it.
Have fun!
Chef Frank

My Omelette. Pity I did not put it squarely on the plate.

My Omelette. Pity I did not put it squarely on the plate.

Sunday, being the last day of the week I have set aside as a rest day.
In the morning it was anything but restful as I started to run the branches and tree roots through the shredder. By mid- morning I had had enough and I am sure the neighbours wanted some quiet as well.
I then drove about 45 Klms along the coast to Dingo Beach.

Looking to sea at Dingo Beach

Looking through the Casuarina’s  to sea at Dingo Beach

( http://www.dingobeach.com.au/ ) Dingo is near Hideaway Bay where Donnis and I visited for lunch several weeks ago. The Dingo Pub

 The Dingo Pub at Dingo Beach

The Dingo Pub at Dingo Beach

( http://dingobeachhotel.com.au/ ) has a live musician on Sundays and it is a local watering hole and meeting place. The dining area is mostly outdoors under the shelter of shade cloth and big umbrellas. The tables and chairs are solid lumps of hardwood and you need to be fit just to pull a chair out to sit on it. The ground is bare, levelled, decomposed granite. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposed_granite ) DG is popular and plentiful all the way from Mackay to Bowen.

The elite umm err quarter star dining area at the Dingo. It is the ntop dining experience in town. Umm err it is the only dining experience in town. It is a pub, accommodation, general store, video rental, post office and petrol station. There is not another store in town.

The elite umm err quarter star dining area at the Dingo. It is the ntop dining experience in town. Umm err it is the only dining experience in town. It is a pub, accommodation, general store, video rental, post office and petrol station. There is not another store in town.

Originally Dingo Beach was a bit of a remote location populated by cane farmers weekend retreats. Then it became popular with other fishermen who built similar weekend retreats. This was a place where serious fishermen and crabbers spent their weekends. Now there is a permanent population of serious fisherman but they have built really serious upmarket houses all trying to jockey into position for a spectacular view of the ocean.
As is usual along this stretch of coastline, there is no surf and the tides can be as much as 6m. Step out six long strides of roughly a metre and you will see what I mean. That’s a big variation in tide. I arrived at mid tide as the water was receding. At extreme low tide you can walk almost a Klm to sea walking on at worst, wet sand.
I had a Fishermans Basket for lunch and is usual with pub food it was frozen fare deep fried with a few chips and an excuse for a salad. $20 please!
Donnis and I spent many winter afternoons here at Dingo. We would take a picnic hamper with crackers, cheese, dips and pate’ along with a couple of chilled beers oraboleofchampagneand sit on the beach under the shade of the whispering Casuarina trees – also known as She Oaks –  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casuarina ) and as often as not fall asleep and drive home late in the afternoon.

Lovely place to park, under the Casuarina's beside the beach at Dingo.

Lovely place to park, under the Casuarina’s beside the beach at Dingo.

Today was one of those wonderful sunny clear autumn days which if Donnis was home we would have had our picnic under the casuarina’s.
I am looking forward to her safe return mid June.

This poor little Gecko was stuck under a milk crate filled with LP records. (Anybody want to buy some collectors items?) I have no idea how long he was stuck under the crate, probably around three weeks. You can see the crease across his back. Poor little guy probably has a broken back. He is still there tonight. I feel bad.

This poor little Gecko was stuck under a milk crate filled with LP records. (Anybody want to buy some collectors items?) I have no idea how long he was stuck under the crate, probably around three weeks. You can see the crease across his back. Poor little guy probably has a broken back. He is still there tonight. I feel bad.

 

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373. Sunday 18th May 2014. Bowen re-visited and other mumblings…

18/05/2014

Have I commented or complained about our fly screens? I found they were damaged when I first moved back into the house. I bought new fly screen frame material, new flyscreen and all the fixin’s  to make a set of screens. Well I made em and when I went to put them in the window the profile was 3 millimetres too thick. Three millimetres!! That’s about the distance between these two exclamation marks. !! Of course they fit into the window frame but do not fit into the window frame slot. In essence they sit there with nuthin’ holding them in place. When we get strong winds they usually start to fall into the room. Not good!  I have been so  pi**ed off annoyed I just stewed about it ever since. I could not buy the original framing material anywhere locally. Grrr! Last night I had had enough and located the name of the original window & screen maker and called them. Yes they have that same aluminium frame in stock and yes they can cut it to size. Hmmm! They are located in Bowen and I could be there and back (after lunch of course) and can get started on replacing the flyscreens…again.

Today I went to Bowen. It was blowin’ in Bowen. The wind was stronger than last week. I forgot to mention last week that Bowen is also famous, well at least around Bowen  it is famous, for a plentitude of wall murals on the buildings around town. According to the tourist brochure I was given on my visit last week, there are 27 murals scattered around town. The murals are designed to depict life in Bowen since its settlement to the current time. I saw several and took photos.

160514 aviation

Bowen Municipal Band

Bowen Municipal Band

Bank of New South Wales.

Bank of New South Wales.

Transporting a boiler to the new coalfields.

Transporting a boiler to the new coalfields.

Policing in the Bowen District.

Policing in the Bowen District.

Also this week I bought a shredder , yes Michael I bought a shredder… (that’s a play on the current Jeep commercial which has been plaguing our TV screens for around 12 months – the last car I would buy is a Jeep. I would buy a Nissan before a Jeep ) To finish our gardens I need a load of mulch. A load would cost around $80 plus $46 delivery. Every so often I would need more mulch. For around the same initial outlay I can buy a shredder and keep the gardens topped up with mulch and re-use the branches and palm fronds which continually fall around the yard. Today I also started using the shredder/mulcher and enjoyed seeing a pile of garden refuse being turned into mulch.

Saturday 17th May

Today I had several jobs planned and in my delusional state thought I would get them all done. But before I begin let me mention we have a strong wind warning issued for coastal waters in our area. Along with the strong wind warning is the forecast for scattered showers. The day’s weather went like this. Beautiful sunshine (the sort of sunshine I thought would dry the clothes which have been sitting on the clothesline since Thursday.) followed by a zephyr of breeze. A delightful, typical tropical Autumn day. Then, in what seemed like an instant, it would be cloudy and a heavy shower would drench everything and before you knew what was happening a wall of wind screamed down out of the Conway Range and slam against anything in its path. Ten minutes later the sun would be shining again and the pattern repeated itself all day. I managed to get a wheelbarrow load of shredding ready for the garden – between showers. During the first shower I got all the window screening material together in readiness to making the fly screens. Next shower I started to make the screens. WOT THE!!! Hiss spit fizzle snort grrr! The corner pieces which I had carefully saved from the original damaged screens will not fit the new screen frames. There is a slight difference in profile and I need new corner pieces. I had even taken those self- same corner pieces to Bowen and showed them to the supplier. The supplier made no comment.

Ok Ok move on to another job. Cut the grass. Fill the mower with fuel. Pull the starter. Nothing happens. By now the blasting wind and heavy showers had rolled over.

Ok Ok move on to another job. Clean the drain grid at the bottom of the driveway and the carport. No amount of grunting sweating swearing would budge the base of the grid. I bought in the big gun of the water blaster thinking perhaps the plastic base may have built up dirt, mung and drool over the years and needed cleaning. After ten minutes and after covering myself , the carport and TERIOS with aforementioned dirt, mung and drool, the plastic base still would not budge.

Hmmm! Perhaps I can do some housework which is not dependant on the weather!

Sunday 18th May

I woke sometime during the night to strong heavy rain. Not the sort driven by a strong wind warning but just heavy rain.

I woke at mid- morning, ( 6.30am) I had slept in, the rain was still falling and the view to the mountains was obscured by the mist of rain.

The clothes are still on the line.

Mid- morning I was raking leaves in the front garden when I straightened and suddenly the familiar back pain changed the rest of my day.

Hmmm! Perhaps there was a message telling me to slow down. At any rate it was light duties for me for the rest of the day. Perhaps the rest of the week.

In the afternoon, friends John & Lorraine S came for a visit. Lorraine brought a batch of freshly made Lemonade Scones. With jam and whipped cream they were an unexpected but welcome treat.

The sun came out long enough to remind me to bring the clothes in off the line!

372. The first pub crawl for 2014….

18/05/2014

Can you believe it has been more than 12 months since we did our last pub crawl. As our PUB photo album continues to grow, the photos have not made it onto the blog.

So let’s get started with this latest selection.

The Royal Hotel, Seymour, Victoria.

The Royal Hotel, Seymour, Victoria.

The Royal Hotel, Seymour, Victoria.    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Royal-Hotel-Seymour/65351230152   Way back in the dim dark past I had several drinks at thos hotel when  I was in the Royal AustraliaN Army – Armoured Corps. The strange this was our unit was part of the Prince of Wales Regiment but we never once went the hotel further along the street called, The Prince of Wales. Donnis and I visited this hotel in 2012 when she was working at Henty Hospital and we stayed in WWWGO at Culciarn. On her days off we tried to do day trips to old towns in New South Wales and Victorian side of the Murray River. Of course Seymour is a lot closer to Melbourne than it is to the Murray River but it was part of four day trip.

Mt Kembla Village Hotel, Mt. Kembla New South Wales.

Mt Kembla Village Hotel, Mt. Kembla New South Wales.

The Mt. Kembla Village Hotel has gone from a run down old mining town pub to an elegant must be seen iconic hotel in the Wollongong area.   http://www.mountkemblavillagehotel.com/    Mt. Kembla was the scene of a terrible mining tragedy in 1902 where 96 men and boys, yes boys, lost their lives. Mining continues to a much lesser extent on the escarpment face nearby.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kembla

 

Culcairn Hotel, Culcairn, New South Wales.

Culcairn Hotel, Culcairn, New South Wales.

The Culcairn Hotel was once a hugely popular and busy hotel not far from Albury on the NSW / Vic border. It is strange the hotel was built beside the railway line and Culacairn a major station that the hotel was not called the Railway Hotel or something equally appropriate  Now the hotel is crumbling into ruin and the few patrons who use it cannot keep it alive.  The rooms for which it was once famous are bow closed off and home to dust, spider, mice and other vermin. Incidentally Culcairnj was our base for exploring many of the hotels in the Riverina and Murray River Basin.

Joe's Waterhole Hotel, Eumundi, Queensland.

Joe’s Waterhole Hotel, Eumundi, Queensland.

Joes Waterhole Hotel at Eumundi    http://www.joeswaterhole.com/  has changed since it was first opened sometime prior to 1924. The strange name was given in 1962 when a fellow called Joe Whiting swapped his cane farm for the hotel. Locals called it Joes Waterhole (officially it was still called The Commercial Hotel) and in 1987 officially given the name it is still known by today.

Round Hill Hotel, Round Hill, New South Wales.

Round Hill Hotel, Round Hill, New South Wales.

The Round Hill Hotel (   http://www.roundhillhotel.com.au/   ) at Morven NSW is not far from Culcairn. It still continues as a family hotel, much as it has for decades.

Rutherglen Hotel, Rutherglen, Victoria.

Rutherglen Hotel, Rutherglen, Victoria.

The Rutherglen Hotel at Rutherglen, Vic is often mistaken by visitors for the Victorian Hotel at Rutherglen. Their outward appearance is similar, cast iron lacework adorns both verandahs and both compete for the tourist dollar and have re-invented themselves to attract the travelling public. This was another area we visited while staying at Culcairn.

Shakespeare Hotel, Barcaldine, Queensland.

Shakespeare Hotel, Barcaldine, Queensland.

The Shakespeare Hotel at Barcaldine advertises itself as a family hotel and I must admit to enjoying several meals there when I stayed in the town for a week for the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Rally in 2007.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shakespeare-Hotel-Barcaldine/266532860111529

Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, Victoria.

Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, Victoria.

More correctly this hotel is named Tanswells Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, Vic. Built in 1853 it has re-invented itself as a fine dining establishment.

.   http://www.tanswellshotelbeechworth.com.au/

This is another town we visited while staying at Culcairn

Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel, Henty, NSW.

Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel, Henty, NSW.

The Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel is a strange name for a hotel in Henty NSW> It seems the local swamp was called doodle cooma and the name somehow got affixed to the hotel. Donnis worked at the nearby hospital.

Walbundrie Hotel, Walbundrie, Victoria.

Walbundrie Hotel, Walbundrie, Victoria.

The Walbundrie Hotel at…Walbundrie of course is one of those pubs in small dying towns which is struggling along with the rest of the town to stay alive. This was another town we visited while staying at Culcairn.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walbundrie-Hotel/273087539413260

Courthouse Hotel, Howlong, New South Wales.

Courthouse Hotel, Howlong, New South Wales.

The Courthouse Hotel, at Howlong NSW was built somewhere in the 1850’s. It is now part of a chain of old hotels in the Riverina district converted to a fine dining experience. Another place we visited while based in Culcairn.

http://www.damicositalianrestaurant.com.au/damicos_howlong_italian_restaurant.html

Talmalmo Hotel, Talmalmo, New South Wales.

Talmalmo Hotel, Talmalmo, New South Wales.

TheAs with many pubs these days it is for sale. When we visited this little village the hotel was the centrepiece of only several buildings. The hotel was also closed and had been for some time.  It was once known as the Dora Dora Hotel. It has a view of the Murray River. Another of the places we visited while based at Culcairn.

http://www.gdaypubs.com.au/NSW/talmalmo/51159/former-dora-dora-hotel.html

371. Sunday 11th May 2014. It’s always blowin’ at Bowen and I have rocks in my head…

12/05/2014

Monday 5th May

The day started and continued much like any other workday. In the afternoon Donnis wanted to collect a final load of rocks from Preston to complete the garden outside the garage. In past excursions we parked TERIOS and RALLYE near each other and collected the rocks. Today Donnis insisted on looking higher up the steep hill and drove to a suitable spot and backed TERIOS into place. Due to the steepness of the hill she left the car in reverse gear, handbrake on and a rock under each front wheel. When we had a sufficient load Donnis started the motor and with the clutch depressed and rock chocks removed, allowed TERIOS to coast down the hill to where RALLYE was parked. I heard a strange sound from TERIOS and noticed oil gushing from underneath. I told her to drive to John & Lorraine’s house about 1 Klm away where it would be safe and we could get help. TERIOS ran normally with no strange sounds or difficulty with the gears. John and I inspected TERIOS as best we could but everything was coated with oil which was still dripping onto the exhaust, sputtering and smoking. We checked the dipstick and noted there was still a tiny amount of oil in the sump. We could not locate the source of the oil leak (expulsion would be a better word) and arranged for TERIOS to be picked up by a tow truck and taken to our mechanic. While waiting for the truck we dropped the load of rocks at John & Lorraine’s house.

It was a sad sight to see TERIOS leaving the property on the back of a truck, not knowing what had happened but quietly hoping it was a blown seal somewhere and no great damage had been done.

Tuesday 6th May

Donnis left this morning on the shuttle bus to Proserpine Airport where she caught a plane to Sydney then by train to Wollongong.

In the afternoon the mechanic called. TERIOS was “all fixed” and ready to go.

Huhh!!??

What the???

The only problem he could find was the oil filter was so loose it almost fell off in his hand. This was the source of the oil gush. But how did it work itself loose? We have no oil leaks on the carport floor and the car runs sweetly as it always does. Even with almost no oil the oil warning light had never activated. The mechanic, like me is still scratching his head. He did add that it was better to happen where it did than to occur when hurtling down the highway at 100 Kph. Real damage would have occurred at that speed.

Wednesday 7th May

I got a lift to work with my next door neighbor, Stan. After work I caught bus to the Centro Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Cannonvale and walked to the workshop. TERIOS was waiting and I was able to drive it home.

Our newly planted hedge on top of the rock wall.

Our newly planted hedge on top of the rock wall.

The rock wall looking the other way.

The rock wall looking the other way.

Thursday 8th May. The last workday of the week for me. After work I drove to J&L’s house and collected the load of rocks we left behind on Monday. I now have the task of building a little rock wall around the garden outside the garage.

Friday 9th May

In the morning I placed the rocks around the garden outside the garage. They look quite good but sadly there are not enough to finish the job.

Sigh!

That means another trip to collect more rocks. This time I will be alone and without help from Donnis I cannot lift the larger rocks. I arrived at the place I usually park on the steep hill. I could see the congealing puddle of oil and the track of oil leading up to it. I felt uncomfortable being there, alone, isolated and with the unreasonable feeling at any moment another incident will occur. I parked TERIOS facing down the hill. In first gear, handbrake on and rocks under the front wheels. I collected the rocks without incident although on leaving I put TERIOS in 4WD then in first gear allowed it to creep down the hill. Perhaps I am paranoid but taking precautions meant I had no problems.

Except!

When I got home and put the rocks around the garden I am a half load of rocks short of finishing the project.

Sigh!

Saturday 10th May

Last Sunday while visiting John & Lorraine, Lorraine made a batch of lemonade scones. They were light and fluffy and were delicious especially as they were warm, just out of the oven and suitable for a glob of butter, strawberry jam and a dollop of whipped cream. Lorraine gave me the recipe which I later found via Google   http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/lemonade-scones-L325.html    and determined to make a batch myself. Here’s the reasoning why I want to make them myself. I like scones, especially warm from the oven and with all those extras mentioned above. I can buy a pack of 6 from Coles or Woollies and pay $4 or $4.50 and not have a satisfying light and fluffy warm scone. They are usually heavy and they only thing they have in their favour is they are convenient. So, if you have 30 minutes to spare and do not mind a bit of washing up, these scones are ideal and if you know you are having visitors you can make them ready in time for when the visitors arrive. The other advantage is the ingredients and oven costs come to about $3 for a batch of 24 scones. Unfortunately I had no visitors but I enjoyed the scones anyway and set aside most of them in the freezer for the next time I want a scone or I have visitors. Oh, yes, they are light and fluffy and Lorraine we might have a bake off!

Fresh Baked Lemonade Scones.  They were light and fluffy and spread with butter, jam and whipped cream... delicious

Fresh Baked Lemonade Scones. They were light and fluffy and spread with butter, jam and whipped cream… delicious

I also washed both cars, cleaned their interiors and blackened the tyres. I moved some more rocks around and spread a load of soil around the gardens and raked leaves to use as a garden mulch.

The rock edging around the small garden beside the garage.

The rock edging around the small garden beside the garage.

This was a Hakea, a native plant. During the last three years a passionfruit vine (now as thick as my wrist) is using the Hakea as a support platform for the vine. When the vine has finished fruiting I will cut it out and allow the Hakea to grow freely once more. Look closely (double click to enlarge) and you can see the abundance of fruit.

This was a Hakea, a native plant. During the last three years a passionfruit vine (now as thick as my wrist) is using the Hakea as a support platform for the vine. When the vine has finished fruiting I will cut it out and allow the Hakea to grow freely once more. Look closely (double click to enlarge) and you can see the abundance of fruit.

This was followed by a bit of heavy duty gardening and used the chainsaw to cut down a couple of alien saplings hiding within a lovely Orange Jessamine   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murraya_paniculata   which I then pruned with electric shears. A bit of housecleaning rounded out my day. By around four thirty I had had enough. Although I had promised myself to “take it easy” today, I failed. Note to self – “I promise to have a day of rest tomorrow”.

Hmmm! Said self.

Sunday 11th May

In honour of the promise made to myself, I took the day off. As a reward for the honour and being honoured I drove to Bowen for day. Bowen is around 75 Klms north of Airlie Beach.

Bowen is famous for three things.

  1. Bowen Mangos or as they are known in the greengrocer store, Kensington Pride Mangos./ Bowen has a giant replica mango on the southern outskirts of town. Also on the giant mango is a Green Tree Ant.   http://rainforest-australia.com/GreenTreeAnts.htm  These ants can sting and if a dozen or more attack you it can quiote uncomfortable. It is easy to accidentally brush against a bush where they have built a nest. They will defend it to their death.             http://www.soe-townsville.org/greentreeants/
  2. The giant Bowen (Kensington Pride) Mango at the southern entrance to Bowen.

    The giant Bowen (Kensington Pride) Mango at the southern entrance to Bowen. If you enlarge the picture you can see a giant Green Ant. These ants are common in north Queensland.

  3. Tomatoes. Bowen Tomatoes are available in stores all across Australia.
  4. The wind. There is a local saying, “It’s always blowin’ in Bowen. Every tiome I visit it is blowin’. Today the wind was so strong to take photos of the lighthouse from on top of Flagstaff Hill with the zoom lens was nigh on impossible. I could not get the lens to hold still long enough to take a clear photo.

    This is the lighthouse at Bowen where I could not zoom in because the wind was too strong.,

    This is the lighthouse at Bowen where I could not zoom in because the wind was too strong.,

Bowen is blessed with many popular beaches. Bear in mind though, there is no surf at any of the beaches. I visited several beaches, Flagstaff Hill, the Bowen Boat Harbour where I had lunch in the Cruising Yacht Club.

360 Restauarant on top of Flagstaff Hill, Bowen.. As the name suggest it has a 360 degree view. That is from the top deck and that is only opened for special occasions.

360 Restauarant on top of Flagstaff Hill, Bowen.. As the name suggest it has a 360 degree view. That is from the top deck and that is only opened for special occasions.

Bowen Boat Harbour seen from Flagstaff Hill.

Bowen Boat Harbour seen from Flagstaff Hill.

Unknown wreck from Cyclone Dylan.

Unknown wreck from Cyclone Dylan.

I also visited Queens Beach and especially the Summer Garden Movie Theatre.

The delightful Summergarden Theatre at Bowen. We love it.

The delightful Summergarden Theatre at Bowen. We love it.

Looking across the bay from Queens Beach to Horseshoe Bay.

Looking across the bay from Queens Beach to Horseshoe Bay.

Donnis and I loved going to the movies here. Back in its infancy it was an open air theatre which was then built in and later a second smaller theatre was added. The floor in the original open air section has been retained in a sprayed on rubber. There are three classes of seats (all the same price) with several rows of original beach chairs near the front. The walls are decorated with around a dozen plinths with a bust of a Greek mythical hero on top. The owner of the theatre greets every customer at every screening and is always there at the end of the movie to say good bye and come again. He lives with his family in the accommodation above the theatre. The staff are friendly older folk and always welcoming. The world premiere of the movie “Australia” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman was held here. We saw the movie in the same theatre a few nights later.

Random Images around Bowen.

Scenic toilets at Rosebay.

Scenic toilets at Rosebay.

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay

Children playing atop the steep and slippery rocks at Horseshoe Bay.

Children playing atop the steep and slippery rocks at Horseshoe Bay.

A scenic public toilet located at Rosebay a suburb of Bowen.

A scenic public toilet located at Rosebay a suburb of Bowen.

Grays Bay, Bowen. Often mistakenly called Horseshoe Bay.

Grays Bay, Bowen. Often mistakenly called Horseshoe Bay.

Bowen Cenotaph. It is rather strange it was placed in the middle of the main street.

Bowen Cenotaph. It is rather strange it was placed in the middle of the main street.

370. Sunday 4th May 2014. Gardening, yard work, rock collecting and labouring…

06/05/2014

We have not had internet service as we had exceeded our monthly download and could not be bothered paying for extra download for a couple of weeks.

It has been a week with no trips, no visits and no photos. We have been too busy.

We started pulling down the old fence on one side of the block. It was a temporary fence made with bamboo stalks and supported by steel star pickets. It became almost a permanent fence as after a while it was forgotten and as long as I maintained the plants on our side of the fence and the neighbor on the other side cut the grass, it did not look too bad. With tenants the fence started to look what it was, a cheap temporary fence. We pulled it down and realised we needed more good soil before we planted  the planned hedge. Then we needed to build up the soil and a rock wall to hold the soil in. After a visit to friends John and Lorraine S, we obtained permission to visit a property in the Preston area near Proserpine and collect rocks. We made several trips in RALLYE and TERIOS to load with rocks. Then came the process of fitting them into the existing rock wall then backfilling with soil. In the process I discovered many of our watering system spray heads were damaged or clogged or would no longer spray either above the new rocks or through the foliage. Much of the watering system was replaced or repaired. We then found the watering system regulator was blocked by something and needed dismantling to find the fault and fix it.

We also found the beautiful Pandanus tree although still only small (about 1.5 metres) has a very aggressive root system which if allowed to grow would wipe out the plants nearby but also the roots would eventually destroy the rock wall. We spent a good two hours pulling it out and digging up as many of the roots as we could.

Then came the selection of plants to form a hedge and planting them in the newly formed beds.

Finally by sundown Sunday, the wall is complete, backfilled with soil and plants in a row. The watering system is working and all is well with the world. Now all we have to do is tidy up the remaining garden beds. We have planned to gather another load of rocks on Monday.

During the week Donnis booked a return flight with Tiger Air to visit son Errol, wife Nicole and the granddaughters Amnelia and Hannah in Wollongong. Her flight leaves Proserpine on Tuesday morning.

Shortly after booking the flight she was offered a three week nursing appointment at Coolah, Central Western NSW. (   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolah,_New_South_Wales   this time she will not have a car and has to rely on public transport as she will leave directly from Wollongong.

Sigh! Alone again for another 6 weeks.