Archive for November, 2015

467. Sunday 22nd November 2015. Just another quiet week on the Gold Coast. Oh, yeah there was a heatwave too…

24/11/2015

Monday 16th November

Today was basically a round of medical appointments for both of us. In between was filled with mealtimes.

Sigh!

We lived in our motorhome for almost 4 years and rarely needed to see a doctor or dentist. Now our days seem to be filled with medical appointments.

Tuesday 17th November

Hmmm! On face value, today was beginning to look like a repeat of yesterday. Then friend Glenda called and suggested we go on a picnic so she and her aged mum can have a day out. Glenda is a bit like the words to the song King of the Road by Roger Miller.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain’t locked, when no one’s around.

I sing, trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road.

Glenda knows all the parks and picnic spots and places to go when on a slim budget. This was another of her “finds”.

We went to a spot on the Spit which is another Spit within the Spit. One side is a lovely white sand beach, with Azure blue waters lapping at the sand and dotted with Casuarina trees … dotted with picnickers in the shade… overlooking

Stand up paddle boarders seen through the Casuarina trees.

Stand up paddle boarders seen through the Casuarina trees.

Hmmm! Perhaps some Casuarina grew, or were planted too close to the water. There are several dead and dieing trees on the side of The Spit.

Hmmm! Perhaps some Casuarina grew, or were planted too close to the water. There are several dead and dieing trees on the side of The Spit.

Another dead Casuarina.

Another dead Casuarina.

Several jet boat operators use this stretch of The Spit to carry out their high speed antics

Several jet boat operators use this stretch of The Spit to carry out their high speed antics

Surfers Paradise from The Spit.

Surfers Paradise from The Spit.

The Broadwater and a great view towards Surfers Paradise.

Two hundred paces the other direction leads to a calm lagoon with an equally white sand beach and Azure waters with boats tucked into anchorages. Grotty Yachties live aboard these boats.

View of Surfers Paradise from the (free I believe) laggon mooring area.

View of Surfers Paradise from the (free I believe) laggon mooring area.

A few hours here, eating too much – Glenda always brings enough food for many people (she does her own loaves & fishes miracle) washed down with a glass or three of a mild wine she brought. Well I had a few glasses, Donnis was driving so had to be a teetotaller. What a lovely delightful relaxing spot. We could see people on stand up paddle boards, Jet ski’s and all manner of bigger and smaller boats moving to and from the Gold Coast Waterway which leads to the open sea at the end of the Spit.

Officially, today was the beginning of heatwave conditions for the next few days.

Wednesday Thursday and Friday were spent at home in the cool of the house. We turned on the AC for a few hours on Friday.

We went walking at the Broadwater sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and twice today. As we walk we notice boats on the water doing what they orta.

Hmmm! Perhaps we are close to Christmas.

Hmmm! Perhaps we are close to Christmas.

We saw a home- made sort of catamaran powered by an outboard. 12 months ago this vessel proudly had the words Commando Knights painted on the superstructure. It carried the Australian, US and Israel flags. This year Commando Knights has been painted over and only flies the Israel flag.  See   https://www.facebook.com/Commando-Knights-Family-148181012038780/

Hmmm!

Commando Warriors in undercover mode.

Commando Warriors in undercover mode.

A sailboat which has been converted to a power boat. It looks strange compared to all other powerboats.

What the!!!! It looks like a sailboat and I could not help looking for a mast...but on the other hand the superstructure, cockpit and stern it is unmistakenly a power boat.

What the!!!! It looks like a sailboat and I could not help looking for a mast…but on the other hand the superstructure, cockpit and stern it is unmistakenly a power boat.

A home built trimaran.

Home made Trimaran.

Home made Trimaran.

Earlier this week we saw a sailboat rafted up with a houseboat on a mooring. Rafting is where two or more boats are joined together and swing on one anchor or mooring. Today we noticed that two boats have rafted up to the houseboat. Perhaps it is party central.

Two boats rafted with a houseboat.

Two boats rafted with a houseboat.

It looks like this is a well equipped, self sufficient fisherman on his paddle ski.

It looks like this is a well equipped, self sufficient fisherman on his paddle ski.

Saturday 21st November

Heat wave conditions were forecast for today so what better excuse to stay home, turn on the AC and veg out. On Thursday I installed a Google Chromecast device on the TV. This enables us to cast streamed movies through the laptop to the TV. Yesterday I got the device running correctly and today we watched two movies in the afternoon.

Before dinner we drove to Southport Beach for a walk. The wind had changed direction to the south and we could see big black storm clouds over the ocean and the wind was picking up. There were strong winds most of the night but no rain.

Sunday 22nd November

The heat wave continues but we stayed at home with windows and doors open enjoying the breeze off the ocean. We used our Google Chromecast and forgot that it was hot outside.

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466. Sunday 15th November 2015. A quiet week ending wind strong winds…

18/11/2015

Hello readers. I apologise for this post being three days late. My trusty 2009 model Toshiba Satellite L500 Laptop has begun to give us problems. Grrr! Hiss! Grumble! I had to take the laptop to the laptop doctor. According to him the problems were easily fixed and we got it back late yesterday afternoon.

Monday 9th November.

Hmmm! There seemed to be an unusually high tide this morning.

It was overcast and a chilly wind was blowing from the south when we went for our Broadwater walk.

In the afternoon we went back to La-Z-Boy to order our lounge. After looking at options – again-Donnis decided on a new lounge combo and we placed an order. Manufacture and delivery time is 16 weeks!

Tuesday 10th November

Hmmm! The unusual tide is higher again this morning.

Broadwater

Broadwater

As well on our walk this morning we witnessed some new Pelican / Shag interaction.

Pelican with one Shag

Pelican with one Shag the Pelican has its beak wide open. Enlarge the photo for a clear view,

One Shag seems to swim closer to the Pelican than the second Shag.

Pelican plus two Shags

Pelican plus two Shags

Pelican with Shag

Pelican with Shags

A third Shag seems to be involved in the same activity although it swims much further away, keeping a respectful distance between itself and the two main players. This morning a second Pelican tried to join the team. The first Pelican honked threateningly while the outside Shag swam at the intruder who quickly flapped itself airborne.

Pelican being chased by Shags

Pelican being chased by Shags

The combination of birds seems to take place at roughly the same time each morning AND in roughly the same location. The two extra Shags seem to be acting like apprentices or trainees.

Interesting.

Wednesday 11th November.

Once more the tide is higher.

Thursday 12th November.

Hmmm! We were a few hours late going for our walk this morning. The tide was unbelievably high. So high in fact much of the beach we walk along is underwater…and the tide was still coming in. I finally checked the tidal charts. The next few days will see even higher tides, easing back to the high tides experienced earlier in the week.

This morning I was trolling through my photos and a shot taken in Vancouver City in June caught my attention. It was a busy city street with a bike shop on a corner. They hire hundreds of bikes. (see attached photo)

This is just one of several bike hire and sales stores we saw in Vancouver.

This is just one of several bike hire and sales stores we saw in Vancouver.

One of dozens of bike hire stations located around Brisbane.

One of dozens of bike hire stations located around Brisbane.

I then thought about the bike hire in Brisbane.  There are hire stations scattered around the city with perhaps a dozen bikes at each location. (see attached photo) Brisbane has a long way to go to catch up with Vancouver, a cyclist friendly city.

Sunday 15th November

In the afternoon we decided to walk along the Broadwater despite the 60Klm per hour winds blowing  sand at dermabrasion speed.

Windy conditions.

Windy conditions.

It seems we did not do much this week. Although to be fair our days have been busy going to Doctors, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and so on takes up a good deal of our time.

For the record, my wrist, hand and fingers are still swollen. Pain has eased greatly but that could be as a result of the high pain relief does keeping the pain under control. Perhaps it is doing its job. The hand still looks swollen but many functions have returned. I am much more buoyant in my thoughts each day. I am now conscious that the hand will heal and the pain will go away.

Eventually!

My GP said to expect full, pain free use of my hand in 18 months. She added that on that day I will walk into her surgery with my coffee in one hand and her coffee in the other.

Looking forward to the day I can get back on the bike.

465. Sunday 8th November 2015. Donnis comes home and a Pelican fascinates us…

10/11/2015

NO PHOTOS THIS WEEK.

Monday 2nd November.

With Graham once more at the wheel we drove to Coolangatta Airport. We were precisely on time but Donnis had to wait as the baggage was late being unloaded from her flight. Coolangatta Airport has a shopping centre precinct on its grounds including FREE PARKING within 300 metres of the Arrival and Departures. We parked i30 until Donnis called to say she was collecting her bag. We drove and met her within 2 minutes and we were on our way home. Total trip time was just over an hour. Try that with any major airport. Even Townsville and Mackay Airports have no provision for short term free parking. Coolangatta is also an International Airport. Top marks to the planners.

That was the excitement for today.

Tuesday 3rd November – Melbourne Cup Day.

Ahhhh!  The Melbourne Cup. The race that stops a nation. The race which turns otherwise sensible people with no knowledge of horse racing into horse experts. The race, which generates huge sums of money to be gambled, really does stop the nation. The Australian Race which in a field of 24 starters only had one Australian horse. That one horse was a rank outsider with no chance of winning. It was offering odds of 101 to 1 and carried the only female jockey in the race. Some of the horse owners wanted her removed and replaced with a more experienced male rider. The trainers held firm and kept the jockey, Michelle Payne, in the saddle. The horse, Prince of Penzance, which was never considered able to win, won the biggest horse race on the racing calendar. The jockey, when interviewed  after the race praised the trainer and mentioned the owners by saying they could, “all go and get stuffed”. Michelle Payne has an amazing story   http://www.news.com.au/sport/superracing/incredible-story-behind-michelle-paynes-history-making-win/story-fnjsiw2w-1227595418956   and a bright future.

Goodonyer Michelle.

Donnis and I went to a Melbourne Cup luncheon at our clubhouse and took a $2 sweep ticket and drew horse 8, Max Dynamite. It came in second.

Yeehar.

We won $14!!!

Wednesday 4th November

I had a Physiotherapist appointment at 8am. Somehow in the morning I took two Lyrica tablets. Oh boy I was falling asleep while having a coffee and during lunch and went to bed totally snoozed out.

Friday 6th November

Donnis and I walked along the beach at The Broadwater. During our walk we noticed what appeared to be a Cormorant (more commonly known in Oz as a Shag) and a Pelican, working together to catch fish. The Shag swam beside the Pelican then dived while the Pelican followed and suddenly dove its head underwater, returning with a beak of small fish. The Shag also surfaced with a small fish in its beak. This partnership went on for ages as we watched.

In the evening, Iain,  the son of long- time friend Greg T, arrived for the night. Greg who lives in Guyra has Parkinsons Disease and for the most part has been living in a dignified way with the terrible debilitating disease. Just recently he has been diagnosed with a form of fast acting Dementia and has been hospitalised. The hospital at Guyra has no facilities for such patients and transferred Greg to Armidale. They in turn have insufficient facilities and referred him to Tamworth. Now it seems they also have no bed and are referring Greg to Newcastle. This is terrible news as Armidale was only a half hour drive. Tamworth on the other hand is a two hour drive whereas Newcastle is a five hour drive. We sure hope something can be sorted for the family.

Saturday 7th November

This morning Donnis, Iain and myself went for a walk along the Broadwater Beach. I was telling Iain about the Cormorant and Pelican story. (By the way Cormorants and Pelicans are related   see http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198577270.do   ) No sooner had I finished speaking when we saw, in the same location, the Cormorant and Pelican working together. Today there were two Cormorants working. We again watched for ages. Later in the day I researched other stories and at least one tells a similar story. Please have a look at this blog for more information   http://oldblockwriter.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/pelican-log.html

Later in the day Iain called to say Tamworth had found a bed for Greg. He will stay there while his medication stabilises him so he can be moved to a Nursing Home in Armidale.

Later still we drove to Brisbane to have dinner with Donnis son Peter and his son Chris.

Sunday 8th November.

On our walk along The Broadwater we noticed the Pelican working with two Shags in order to find a fishy breakfast.

Later in the morning thick black clouds rolled in and a storm was brewing. In less than two hours  around 120 millimetres of rain was recorded

In the afternoon we went shopping for a new lounge/couch for our front room. On our way home, somewhat disillusioned by what we had seen we stopped at the La-Z-Boy outlet to window shop as the store closed at 4pm. We arrived at 4pm just as the manager was closing. He invited us in and spent a half hour with us looking at several couches and a choice of models which have a chaise lounge option. Donnis was excited thinking she has found her lounge.

Sigh!

464. Sunday 1st November 2015. A long week of virtually nothing…

04/11/2015

Monday 26th October

With the help of Graham who lives here in the village we drove Donnis to Coolangatta Airport dropped her off and were home again an hour later. Donnis is spending a week in Melbourne.

Tuesday 27th October

The only noteworthy happening today was… I went to my GP to review my medication.

Wednesday 28th October

Walking home from my Physiotherapist appointment, I crossed a bridge over Biggera Creek. It was high tide and beneath the bridge was a long punt with the sign Canal Maintenance and a man holding the punt in place. We got talking while he waited for his offsider to return (he was on a secret mission) it seems this punt collects rubbish from the waterways and cuts down some of the grass on the riverbank. They travel a distance of 400 Klms per week to cover every canal and creek and river system from Alberton in the north to the Burleigh Waters in the south. To think these two guys cover the distance every week. They carry bins on the boat and when all are full they take them to a depot to offload and take on empty bins. The contractor, Wingbrook Marine, is well set up for all types of work in the canal system.    http://www.wingbrookmarine.com.au/   Hmmm! I would not mind a job on the Canal maintenance punt. Even in winter it does not get too cold here on the Gold Coast..

Thursday 29th October

I have reached another milestone in my recovery. I am now able to hold a shampoo bottle in my left hand and dispense shampoo, with some effort, into my right palm. I can use both hands washing my hair although the left hand is little more than a claw. I can now dry myself after a shower and hold the towel in my left hand. Hallelujah!

Saturday 31st October

Halloween, a craze which was once restricted to the USA and Canada, is growing in popularity here in Australia. Shops are selling more and more cheap scary outfits, masks and body paint. Kids love it and do not seem to be at all scared of the outfits. Here at the village we are protected by a gate requiring a passkey. The residents are over 50 and generally do not have any children although several have children above 18 years of age. We do not have trick or treating.

Sunday 1st November

I am sorry to say there are no photos and no travels to relate this week. Donnis is in Melbourne and I have to cope with my own meals and I certainly cannot drive.

I am pleased to say I have had several milestones achieved this past week and it seems my pain is diminishing.

Hallelujah!

Donnis returns tomorrow (another Hallelujah moment). Perhaps we can squeeze in a picnic to somewhere new in between doctor and physiotherapist appointments.

Until next week.