Archive for January, 2016

475. Sunday 31st January 2016. Australia Day, Hot Days, Storms and a road trip to Coolangatta…

31/01/2016

Monday 25th January

Today started off OK. Hot but tolerable.

I had a doctors appointment at noon to check results of recent blood and urine tests. I also had an important question to ask. The blood and urine were fine apart from a slightly lower Vitamin D level.

That’s all fine n dandy so I told the doc I wanted to start driving again.

I have dropped the pain medication (at my request) to 50% of the previous, high, over the top dose. That dose had caused dry mouth, speech hesitation, memory loss, weight gain, swelling of joints, wobblies when walking  and a bit of and I say this hesitantly and advisedly, depression.

The doc asked if I am tolerating the pain. Yes I am. I am also going to the Pain Management Clinic.

The doc agrees I can start driving if I feel confidant.

I do.

However, under the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act, Section 142 requires that all licence holders are to report ANY Medical or Optical, short or long term, disability, treatment or medication liable to impair my ability to drive, be reported to Qld Transport. Failure to do so could result in a loss of licence and a fine of up to $7,000.

Gulp!

So, to protect the doc and myself I need to complete a Form F3712. It must also be completed by the doc of course and by an Optometrist.

As luck would have it I had an eye test two weeks ago when I had a burst blood vessel in my left eye. With Form F3712 in my hand I rocked up to the Optometrist who ticked all the boxes and signed off on my good eyesight. All I need is another visit to the doc who already has my healthy vitals, for her to sign off on her part of Form F3712 and we have completed our obligations under the Act and I will then return the form to Queensland Transport and I should be ready to drive, fingers crossed, by the weekend.

Hallelujah!

The running around took up most of our day.

WISH ME LUCK…sorry for shouting.

Tuesday 26th January

AUSTRALIA DAY.

Methinks a little history would not go astray at this point.

During the years 1786 and early 1787 British Prisons were full and old ships still berthed on the Thames River near London, were used as an overflow to house prisoners. Britain needed a solution to the prison problem. The USA (before it became the USA) had been grudgingly accepting shiploads of prisoners. Finally they said enough is enough and started a revolution wherein they fought the British and drove them from the land with the message “No more prisoners” ringing loudly in their ears.

Next they tried Canada which was still a British Protectorate but Canada was having problems with the First Nation Peoples, the French who wanted Canada for themselves and relations with the USA were a bit strained. They also said, “No more prisoners”.

Captain James Cook “discovered” the east coast of Australia and landed at Botany Bay about 7.5 Klms to the south of Sydney Harbour. In his ships log and other reports he declared the bay would make an ideal harbour. Britain thought they had a solution to their prisoner problem. So in May 1887, eleven ships, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip set sail for Botany Bay with the intention of establishing a colony made up mostly of prisoners. Contrary to popular opinion, (which makes his first landfall at Sydney Harbour on this day) Phillip landed at Botany Bay on 18th January 1888 and found it unsuitable for his needs. (Shallow waters, fringing reefs, mangrove swamps, salty sandy ground unsuitable for crops and a lack of tall straight trees nearby) On 21st January, Phillip and a few officers and marines set off to explore an opening in the sandstone cliffs, noted by Cook in 1770 but never explored by him. What Phillip found was the most jaw dropping, deep water, natural harbour to be found anywhere, then or now. Sailing back to Botany Bay they instructed all ships to up anchor and set sail for Sydney Harbour. Not all ships left at the same time. A gale lasting three days deterred some ships. In the meantime two French Ships arrived, headed by Commander LaPerouse. Phillip set up a small company of sailors, marines and prisoners on the beach at Sydney Cove and in a solemn ceremony on 26th January declared annexation of the land in the name of Britain. The French were just two days late in their quest to declare the land as a protectorate of France. Over the next few days all the ships arrived at what had by now been named Sydney Cove. All prisoners, marines, officers and crew were landed ashore.

Colonisation had begun.

The local indigenous population were a bit affronted by this annexation and have kept up protests to this day. They call 26th January Invasion Day sometimes they call it Survivor Day. The full history of colonisation and the various Governors in the early days of the colony are full of drama. The claim that early Australia was made up of convicts is basically true.

An excellent book, called “Commonwealth of Thieves” by Australian historical author Thomas Kenneally, is a gripping read. I am happy to share my e-book copy with readers. Just write in the comments section and leave your email address.

We have come a long way.

Today at the village we celebrated Australia Day when a group of around 60 converged on the clubhouse. Everybody was asked to come dressed in typical Aussie clobber. Most did to one degree or another but some really went to a lot of trouble to create an Aussie costume. (Where is the camera?) On the bowling green we had a golf putting competition, toss the thong competition (Jandalls in NZ or Flip Flops in the UK USA and Canada) and kicking an empty 2 litre milk container the longest distance. Of course we had Australian Bushells Blue Label tea and Arnotts Plain and Cream Assorted biscuits for morning tea.

Before lunch we had indoor sports. Quoit tossing and darts.

Lunch was the good old Aussie dish, sausages in a blanket (sausages on a slice of bread and rolled into an untidy V to be held in one hand. No knife or fork – it leaves the other hand free to talk or hold a stubby of beer – that’s another story) with caramelised onions and tomato sauce.

For dessert a couple of ladies made a giant cake decorated as the Australian Flag with cream and Strawberries.

Grrr! It‘s moments like this I wish I took the camera.

The day was lots of fun and a good excuse to socialise.

Good onyer Aussie. Oi Oi Oi.

Friday 29th January

First stop the doctor. She signed my Dept of Transport Form F3712 and I was ready.

Brother in law Ken arrived and I seconded him to drive me to the Dept of Transport where I answered a few questions and was then given a certificate to keep with my licence. I have to get this certificate annually unless the doc issues a new Form F3712 declaring me fully fit.

After lunch we drove to The Spit where we watched the city slowly disappear from view under a  curtain of cloud and rain. Storms had been predicted all week and finally one arrived. Lightning struck about every 10 seconds. Have you any idea how difficult it is to photograph lightning?

Surfers Paradise as seen from the spit. Sea spray and a gathering storm is beginning to hide Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise as seen from the spit. Sea spray and a gathering storm is beginning to hide Surfers Paradise.

The storm, including thousands of lightning strikes, has almost hidden the city.

The storm, including thousands of lightning strikes, has almost hidden the city.

The city is still hidden as the storm moves further to sea.

The city is still hidden as the storm moves further to sea.

The storm swung around and was heading our way. Within minutes we were drenched trying to beat the storm back to the car. Visibility was reduced to almost zero. As suddenly as the storm appeared and was past, sunshine lit the wet streets and parklands.

Wind has blown sand across the path to The Spit. The approaching storm had a strong wind ahead of driving rain.

Wind has blown sand across the path to The Spit. The approaching storm had a strong wind ahead of driving rain.

Saturday 30th January

We enjoyed coffee at Budds Beach where we caught up with his sister Kirsty. Then we drove along the Brisbane Road towards Coolangatta trying to drive along every bit of coastal road and visiting beaches I never knew existed. Ken used to holiday with his parents when he was a teenager half a century ago. Ken was having a nostalgic trip along memory lane.

Large Sea Eagles have built a nest in this Navigation beacon at the mouth of Currumbin Creek. Surfers paradise is in the background.

Large Sea Eagles have built a nest in this Navigation beacon at the mouth of Currumbin Creek. Surfers paradise is in the background.

But, before we look at Coolangatta, you may recall that last week I promised information on the Lifesaver huts dotted along Gold Coast beaches. Surf Life Saving Clubs are also dotted along the coast in more substantial buildings often including dining and gambling facilities. Between those buildings are the smaller well equipped but a little more isolated huts. Hut number one is on the Coolangatta coast near the NSW Qld border on the Tweed River. So they are numbered 1 through to 45 the final hut located at The Spit. (Some huts have a further identifying number – for example 34A) The numbering system aids emergency services to quickly find a location by the designation number.

Now back to our trip with Ken. Most of the way was in very windy conditions with occasional rain squalls. We drove as far as Point Danger (or Point Dangar) where a light-station is built straddling the NSW Qld border.

Light-station at Point Danger straddling the NSW Qld border.

Light-station at Point Danger straddling the NSW Qld border.

This is one of many original fence posts erected sometime between1863 and 1866 when the border was being surveyed. The rock wall to mouth of the Tweed River is in the background.

This is one of many original fence posts erected sometime between1863 and 1866 when the border was being surveyed. The rock wall to mouth of the Tweed River is in the background.

Dozens of Frill Neck Lizards inhabit the rocky crevices in the cliffs above Duranbah Beach on the narrow patch of land designated as NSW. Note the lizard is in the process of shedding its skin. The same as a snake sheds its skin.

Dozens of Frill Neck Lizards inhabit the rocky crevices in the cliffs above Duranbah Beach on the narrow patch of land designated as NSW. Note the lizard is in the process of shedding its skin. The same as a snake sheds its skin.

The black bird sitting in the pandanus tree growing from a crevice in the cliffs is the Pied Currawong. Note the distinctive yellow eyes.

The black bird sitting in the pandanus tree growing from a crevice in the cliffs is the Pied Currawong. Note the distinctive yellow eyes.

A salt water washed pool. The waves break across the pool giving this pair an exciting dip.

A salt water washed pool. The waves break across the pool giving this pair an exciting dip.

The delightful beaches of Kirra, Coolangatta, Rainbow and Schnapper Rocks were visited. These are perhaps my favourite beaches on the Gold Coast. We spent some time looking at the many plaques and memorials in the park surrounding the light-station. After wandering a few of the streets of Coolangatta we drove to Kirra Lookout the highest point of land in the area. Coolangatta Airport is only three Klms away and we saw planes arriving and or leaving every three minutes.

Coolangatta Beach.

Coolangatta Beach.

Coolangatta.

Coolangatta.

Kirra lookout with the huge sculpture of an eagle looking down on Kirra Beach.

Kirra lookout with the huge sculpture of an eagle looking down on Kirra Beach.

Sunday 31st January

As usual the day dawned bright and sunny. (read hot)

Ken was on his way home by mid-morning.

We spent the day around the house, can you believe finally taking down the Christmas lights?

A few storm showers arrived and went while a big storm with lightning built up in the west. Time for a walk along the surf beach. Today was my first time behind the wheel of the car since the beginning of August.

Whooee! Liberation!

During the walk along the beach we dodged big fat rain drops while lightning cracked in the distance.

We saw fishermen dragging little bags of rotting fish bodies along the sand. They were hunting for  Sand worms to use as bait. At the top of the waterline, sand worms can be caught with rotting fish bodies, a quick eye, an even quicker hand and a pair of long nose pliers. When the worm pops its head above the wet sand to find the food it has smelled from somewhere below the surface of the sand, the quick angler grabs the slippery body in the pliers and begins the pull the worm from the sand. These worms can grow to up to a metre in length and can be almost as thick as a childs little finger. What I find most interesting is they can small or detect the rotting fish from beneath the surface of the sand.

 

 

474. Sunday 24th January 2016. Surf, kite flying and boats washed ashore on the Gold Coast…

25/01/2016

Monday 18th January

Well, this week has started off with activity.

Paul and Shelby-Rose left in the morning to attend the funeral of Paul’s uncle.

Anakin stayed with us. In the morning we went to Sheraton Beach (which is really Southport Beach only a few hundred metres further north in front of the Sheraton Mirage Resort – Actually the very long beach, stretching from Burleigh Heads in the south to The Spit in the north is broken into smaller beaches named for a location. Each section, with flagged safe swimming areas has a Lifesaver station and each one is numbered. The next beach to the north of Sheraton is called Sea World Beach because of its proximity to Sea World. Just to the south of Sheraton Beach is Southport Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and so on.

Simple?

Confused?

I live here and still trying to understand it. Next week’s lesson is on the Lifesaver station numbering system.

Anyway, I digress.

So here we are on Sheraton Beach and rolled out our new mattress style kite – a kite with no stays – the same style as used by kite surfers and sky divers. They are also known as Parafoil Kites. Within minutes it was up and flying and we spent a good half hour learning how to use it.

Anakin in control.

Anakin in control.

Launching the kite.

Launching the kite.

Anakin learning to fly the mattress kite.

Anakin learning to fly the mattress kite.

Frank chasing Anakin with the kite

Frank chasing Anakin with the kite

Full flight.

Full flight.

Next Donnis went for a surf – between the flags of course – and Anakin used my Boogie Board.

Anakin loved surfing on the Boogie Board.

Anakin loved surfing on the Boogie Board.

An hour later we literally had to drag Anakin away from the surf. Only two hours in glorious sunshine was enough for us all to come home with sunburn especially on the face. We had lunch at home then went to the movies to see The 5th Wave, a sort of Sci Fi young teenager bit of nonsense which had an ending designed to make a sequel. By then, hopefully, Anakin will be too old to want to see it.

Anakin asked for San Choy Bow for dinner but was too exhausted to eat much (I guess the giant bucket of popcorn at the movies did not help with his appetite.) Paul and Shelby-Rose were also tired from their day so we had an early night.

ZZZZZzzzzzz.

Tuesday 19th January

Anakin shows off while Shelby-Rose tries to hide behind her hand.

Anakin shows off while Shelby-Rose tries to hide behind her hand.

Paul, Shelby-Rose and Anakin left for the long drive back to Mackay.

Donnis drove me to one of my almost daily medical appointments.

Sigh!

Thursday 21st January

We drove to Brisbane.

We stopped at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital. Gulp! This hospital is about the size of a small town and is on multi levels. We stopped at the parking station I researched last night. The fee was $5 for the first 5 hours then $5 per hour thereafter.

Hmmm! That seems reasonable.

After entering via the main entrance (that’s always a good idea) we were overwhelmed by the various levels and signs. The HELP counter offered to show us to the GEM Ward. (Geriatric Education and Management) It seems the GEM Ward is at the back of the main hospital and has its own parking and she warned our parking station would be very expensive!!!

WOT THE!!!

We were here to see our very good friend Glennis M who has been diagnosed with tongue cancer and has been undergoing radiation treatment. When we arrived she was having re-hab for the wasted muscles while bed ridden for 28 days. We stayed long enough to tire Glennis until it was lunchtime (pureed meat, potato, broccoli and carrots) It is the same food every day as she still has trouble swallowing and talking. At night she is fed intravenous meals. Glennis normal sense of humour has been stretched beyond her limits.

Glennis, we wish you speedy healing and soon back home in the Daintree Rainforest

Back at the parking station we were charged $20 for a 1 hour 40 minute visit. No wonder most of the station was empty. It seems I misread the online fee structure. It seems what I thought was a sensible $5 for the first 5 hours was really $5 for the first .5 hour then each half hour is $5. Parking in nearby streets is next to impossible and carries heavy fines.

Sunday 24th January

The weather all week has been marvellous. Despite weather forecasts of storms we have had mostly sunny skies with a lovely breeze from the south east. Temps have been around 30° every day. This afternoon we went to The Broadwater so Donnis could have a swim after which we went on our walk. Did I mention how nice the weather has been?

(I should mention that last night a storm complete with wind, thunder, lightning and a splash of rain went past us) Other places copped the full force of the storm but we were basically dry.

On our walk we encountered two boats, one a monohull and the other a catamaran.

Monohull almost totally beached. The highest tide of the year is predicted tonight and with such a short scope of anchor chain it will probably lift clear and move further onto the beach.

Monohull almost totally beached. The highest tide of the year is predicted tonight and with such a short scope of anchor chain it will probably lift clear and move further onto the beach.

AS we move closer evidence of hurried maintenance is obvious. It has been a very long time since the hull has been antifouled.

AS we move closer evidence of hurried maintenance is obvious. It has been a very long time since the hull has been antifouled.

A simple knuckle hammer test reveals this is an aluminium hull with a fibreglass sheath on the deck.

A simple knuckle hammer test reveals this is an aluminium hull with a fibreglass sheath on the deck.

The keel is buried deep in the sand which will hinder it floating. The solar panels look in good condition while newish instruments are in place.

The keel is buried deep in the sand which will hinder it floating. The solar panels look in good condition while newish instruments are in place.

Yep the boats condition leaves a lot to be desired. The amount of bird droppings indicates nobody has been aboard for some time.

Yep the boats condition leaves a lot to be desired. The amount of bird droppings indicates nobody has been aboard for some time.

Both appear as if they are well beyond their use by date, have not had quality maintenance for years and both were in desperate need of anti -fouling.  I inspected both boats and each had an anchor in the water but with very little scope (That’s the amount of chain and rope under the water) and both boats probably dragged anchor during the storm last night.

This catamaran was equally in a bad way having beached during the storm. Antifouling must be a dirty word as the hull has not been cleaned or antifouled in a very long time.

This catamaran was equally in a bad way having beached during the storm. Antifouling must be a dirty word as the hull has not been cleaned or antifouled in a very long time.

Unless there is human intervention the cat will move higher onto the beach at the next high tide. Note the buried rudders and keels which will make eventual remove difficult.

Unless there is human intervention the cat will move higher onto the beach at the next high tide. Note the buried rudders and keels which will make eventual remove difficult.

We also noticed many boats at anchor and rafted (that’s when two or more boats are tied together on one anchor) up in nice anchorages beside Wavebreak Island and South Stradbroke Island.

One of several groups of boats rafted together in preparation for Australia Day. At least one boat is worth over a million dollars.

One of several groups of boats rafted together in preparation for Australia Day. At least one boat is worth over a million dollars.

A number of tents were set up on beaches as well. We were told boats set up the rafting a week before Australia Day so they can have the best position.

Hmmm! I guess we better start planning for Tuesdays Australia Day activities.

I cant help myself. The sun was shining on the city buildings and the image was saying take the photo.

I cant help myself. The sun was shining on the city buildings and the image was saying take the photo.

473. Sunday 17th January 2016. All quiet on the Gold Coast…

19/01/2016

Monday 11th January

Someday’s we do little more than go to the beach in the morning and then do very little for the rest of the day.

Surfers Paradise from Biggera Waters on The Broadwater.

Surfers Paradise from Biggera Waters on The Broadwater.

Especially on hot summer days.

Today was such a day.

On reflection, I wonder how we ever had time to go to work.

How did we organise our lives to get up, exercise, breakfast, put on clothes and a happy face and drive to work. Then, after work, still with that happy face, we come home and make dinner and wash dishes and clean house and do laundry and iron and socialise. We also did things like garden and paint and maintain a house.

Now we are flat out getting half of those things done.

Sigh!

Tuesday 12th January

When Donnis worked at the Collarenebri Hospital in the summer of 2013/2014, one of her workmates was Lesley. Lesley has just taken up a post at the Robina Gold Coast Hospital where her speciality of Emergency Care will be put to good use. She moved to the Gold Coast last week and Donnis suggested lunch to catch up. Lesley is not a beach person – too hot – and would have preferred to go to Robina Shopping Centre for the air conditioning and choice of lunch places. We ended up going to Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club for lunch. (we first lunched here in September 2013 at the height of the Currumbin SWELL Sculpture Festival) At that time the food seemed quite good. Today was a below par average meal.

After lunch we drove to Palm Beach Surf Living Saving Club about 3 klms as the crow flies. Yes, we did have lunch here only last week. Today we had coffee only. A review of the menu shows more choices, slightly cheaper prices and better meals. Although Palm Beach has great view, the views from Currumbin SLSC wins hands down.

The temp today was 32° with a strong northerly wind blowing, creating a sultry humid day.

Of course I thought we were going to the shopping centre so did not bring my camera. The colours of the water and sky were unbelievable.

Sigh!

Wednesday 13th January

Not much breeze today and 32° but we still managed without turning on the AC.

Glass canoe on the beach at Biggera Waters, The Broadwater.

Glass canoe on the beach at Biggera Waters, The Broadwater.

Today we finished the shelves in the laundry and put washer and dryer back in place. The finished result looks so good.

The rest of the day was spent lazing about.

I watched the movie “The Last Taxi to Darwin” starring Michael Caton. I liked the role he played and found it was emotionally moving at times. A good story, well told, with great cinematography and backgrounds.

Sunday 17th January

We both slept in.

Son in law, Paul, arrived along with Grandchildren Shelby-Rose and Anakin. They have driven1,100 Klms from Mackay. They left at 2am and arrived here a few minutes short of 2pm. They all fell asleep shortly after arriving.

It has been a quiet week.

474. Sunday 10th January 2016. A walk in the forest and a walk on the beach…

11/01/2016

Wednesday 6th January

We joined sister Enid, Ken, Kelly and Jas for a picnic lunch at Springbrook National Park. Oh of course Kel and Jas little balls of energy, Coop and Ollie were there requiring constant watching. Actually to be totally accurate we lunched at the  Tallanbana Picnic Area in this Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

After lunch Enid, Ken, Donnis and I decided to do a walk to Purling Brook Falls. Details are as per the National Park website as follows.

Distance: 4km return

Time: Allow about 2hrs walking time. Note: it is easier to walk the track in a clockwise direction. If including the Warringa Pool track, which leads downstream from the base of the falls, add another 2km and allow another 40mins to return.

Caution: Sections of the Purling Brook Falls circuit and Warringa Pool track are part of Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk: arrow markers indicate the walk. This is an arduous walk. Please do not attempt it unless you are a Great Walker and have a copy of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk topographic map.

Details: Pass through open eucalypt forest of New England ash Eucalyptus campanulata, where fire-adapted species such as lepidozamias, hakeas and various wildflowers grow, before descending into the gorge to view the falls from below. After crossing the suspension bridge a steady climb through forest brings the walker back to the picnic area. Water flowing over Purling Brook Falls is high quality because its catchment is protected in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Walking in this area is a privilege. Be responsible for keeping the catchment clean—practice minimal impact bushwalking.

Note: After significant rainfall, parts of the Purling Brook walking track may be closed for public safety. Access is generally still available to the western lookout during these closures. Please ensure you check the Park alerts before you visit this park.

We decided to review our walk regularly as Donnis is still recovering from Bronchitis and I have a case of the “wobblies” due to my medication. We finished the walk with me bringing up the rear instead of leading as is usually is the case.

Ken and Donnis stop halfway along the walk at the bottom of the first sheer drop.

Ken and Donnis stop halfway along the walk at the bottom of the first sheer drop.

Tall palms at the base of the escarpment beside the less than tranquil pool.

Tall palms at the base of the escarpment beside the less than tranquil pool.

The walk was worth the effort especially as we stood near the valley floor watching the falls from below.

This is the best place to view the waterfall and the pool at the bottom.

This is the best place to view the waterfall and the pool at the bottom.

Tall palms at the base of the escarpment beside the less than tranquil pool.

Tall palms at the base of the escarpment beside the less than tranquil pool.

Purling Brook Falls.

Purling Brook Falls.

Pool at the base of the falls.

Pool at the base of the falls.

The lower falls at the pool.

The lower falls at the pool.

We cross the Ranger John Stacy Memorial Suspension Bridge, opened in 2015, the bridge takes walkers from one side of the fast flowing Little Nerang Creek (which flows into the Little Nerang Dam several Klms further below in the valley) to the other in order to access a trail to the rim of the escarpment in a loop walk

Entrance to Ranger John Stacey Memorial Suspension Bridge.

Entrance to Ranger John Stacey Memorial Suspension Bridge.

Suspension Bridge over Little Nerang Creek.

Suspension Bridge over Little Nerang Creek.

. From the top of the falls we could see down the valley below to the north end of the Gold Coast, way, way in the distance.

At the end of the walk. Only another 300 metres to the carpark. Sigh!

At the end of the walk. Only another 300 metres to the carpark. Sigh!

Thursday 7th January

We lunched with friends from Bundaberg, Gerry and Pam L, along with their friends and extended family. Lunch was at the Palm Beach Surf Club which is right on the beach with magnificent views to Surfers Paradise to the north and Currumbin Alley to the south.

We noticed flights lining up on the flight path to Coolangatta Airport several Klms to the south. Every three and a half minutes we counted commercial flights from Qantas, Jet Star, Virgin and Tiger Airlines. Currently flights are direct from Hong Kong but flights from mainland China will commence this month. Coolangatta is a smaller domestic airport now equipped for International passenger flights, including Customs and Immigration. Can you imagine with an incoming flight every three and a half minutes to land, taxi to terminal, offload passengers and baggage, be cleaned, re-fuelled, re-provisioned, take on passengers and taxi to runway to a new destination or to be parked at the airport for use later that day or the next. How busy is that airport? It is now rated at the 5th busiest International Airport in Australia.

The Commonwealth Games are to be played on the Gold Coast in August 2018. Imagine the passenger numbers from domestic and international flights and the tourist dollars pouring into town. Town Planners have worked on this increase in tourist numbers and have worked on upgrades to our road system, the airport and keeping our beaches clean and tidy.

Surfers Paradise seen from Palm Beach Surf Club Dining room.

Surfers Paradise seen from Palm Beach Surf Club Dining room.

Another view of Surfers Paradise from near Currumbin Alley.

Another view of Surfers Paradise from near Currumbin Alley.

Afterwards Donnis and I walked along the beach. At one stage we saw a stingray washed up on the beach shallows. As I walked out to photograph this beautiful creature, a wave washed it towards me so I had to jump to avoid being stung as it passed between my legs.

Sting ray in a little bother. It did manage to swim and or get washed into a deeper gully and was able to swim away. Note the barb on the end of the tail. Steve Irwin was killed by one of these barbs on a much much larger sting ray.

Sting ray in a little bother. It did manage to swim and or get washed into a deeper gully and was able to swim away. Note the barb on the end of the tail. Steve Irwin was killed by one of these barbs on a much much larger sting ray.

Friday 8th January

We spent some time shuffling stuff from one location to another. The new cupboard space in the garage is now 50% full. We also shuffled off to Bunnings to find some specific shelving for the new Melamine wall. Bunnings has the required shelf brackets but do not sell the Melamine shelves. In fact I went on line and could not find any supplier who makes the shelves…at least to the size we want.

Sigh!!!

I will have to make them myself.

Or, better yet, have the men’s shed cut them to size.

Saturday 9th January

One of many direct flights from China arrived and passengers were interviewed. The most popular things the passengers want to do is play in the surf and play on the beach.

 

473. Sunday 3rd January 2016. All quiet, including a quiet New Years Eve…

05/01/2016

Tuesday 29th December

Woke to an overcast cold day.

Cold day! What a joke. We are so used to comfortable temperatures of 28° to 32° every day. Today the temp dropped to a freezing cold of 21°!!! There are places in this world which achieve a maximum high of 16° at the peak of summer. I would not even get in the water at the beach if the water temp was 21°. Oh how spoiled are we?

Wednesday 30th December

This morning I received an email from WordPress.com who are the domicile providers for our travel blog. They supplied an annual report of activity on our blog. I will share some of the statistics with you.

We had 17,000 readers during the year. (2014 there were 15,000readers) This is roughly the equivalent to 6 sold out performances at the Sydney Opera House. For the mathematically inclined, the Opera house has a maximum seating capacity of 2,700. Hmmm! I wonder why with that many readers I do not have more comments. Do I need to post controversial subjects?

Your comments please.

Included in my posts were 995 photos. At least 25% of them are pretty good. (That last is my observation) That’s double the photos from 2014. It could be I am taking better photos with my Lumix FZ200 after I damaged the Lumix FZ50, beyond repair, in February 2014.

Readers came from 118 countries.

The majority of readers came from Australia with the USA and Germany not far behind. Hmmm! I thought Canada would have had a larger representation of readers. Perhaps readers through facebook are not counted or if so, counted as being from the USA.  Hmmm!

I have never had a comment from Germany. Come on Germany. Post a comment even if it is in German. I can have it translated.

Hmmm! For that matter not many comments from USA either! Thanks to US readers who do comment.

For all my readers including those who did not comment, thank you.

Some trips are planned for 2016 so please stay reading…and commenting.

In the afternoon we took a walk along our favourite beach (well at least the favourite within a quick drive of home) and saw our happy Asian people enjoying their first view of the beach and splashing about like little children even in their good clothes.

Happy Asians enjoying the wind at the beach.

Happy Asians enjoying the wind at the beach.

Although it may not look rough in the photo the surf was very rough with a strong undertow,

Although it may not look rough in the photo the surf was very rough with a strong undertow,

We also saw a wedding photographer struggling to take happy snaps in the 30 KPH winds. The poor bride in her strapless gown struggled to keep smiling and had difficulty hiding her shivers in the cool wind.

Lets do our best to get some nice photos. I am so pleased my white shoes matches your billowing white wedding gown.

Lets do our best to get some nice photos. I am so pleased my white shoes matches your billowing white wedding gown.

Oooh hug me tight I am so chilled in this 30 MPH wind.

Oooh hug me tight I am so chilled in this 30 MPH wind.

Almost done. My almost bare legs and feet match your back.

Almost done. My almost bare legs and feet match your body.

Thursday 31st December.

New Years Eve. Thanks goodness it has finally arrived. December seems to be the longest month, despite the fact it has the same numbers of days as 6 other months.

One of the residents here, Graeme, has started building a cupboard, inside the framework of an inner garage wall. Instead of a small inaccessible cupboard in the laundry we now have twice the capacity, in a usable location. It gives us the added advantage of having a nice clean wall in the laundry on which we can install shelving. Being a small villa any extra storage space is handy.

Anyway. We invited Graeme and his wife Wenke and our friend Glenda and her mother DeeDee to have a New Year Dinner with us. Donnis had bought a large boned and stuffed Turkey (Donnis loves Turkey…me, who cares, give me chicken any day) but we needed other people to help us eat it. Donnis spent much of the day preparing dinner  while I helped Graeme or at least stayed out of the way of both of them and helped as and when they called for me to help. Dinner was a huge success with Turkey and the trimmings including gravy, Cranberry Sauce and a Cauliflower whipped to a mashed potato consistency. Donnis also prepared a Pavlova with whipped cream, passionfruit, cherries and blueberries on top for a dessert.

Wenke, Graeme, Frank, Dee Dee and Glenda.

Wenke, Graeme, Frank, Dee Dee and Glenda.

Dinner New Years Eve. Left to right Wenke, Graeme, Donnis, Dee Dee and Glenda.

Dinner New Years Eve. Left to right Wenke, Graeme, Donnis, Dee Dee and Glenda.

After dinner we went to The Broadwater at Labrador to watch the fireworks then drove around Coombabah to look at Christmas lights. Yeah Yeah I know! We are at least a week late for that. We stayed up late enough to watch a delayed telecast (Sydney are on Daylight Savings time while Qld is on Eastern Standard Time) of the NYE fireworks from Sydney on ABC TV. For some reason none of the networks broadcast the fireworks from Brisbane. I was impressed with the aerial view of the harbour from within the fireworks. The video must have been sent from a drone. Naturally I cannot find any mention on the internet of how the TV cameras were placed.

Friday 1st January 2016.

New Years Day.

We slept in!

Saturday 2nd January

The work goes on in the garage.

Sunday 3rd January

At last we have had a chance to take a walk on the beach again. Today was overcast with some big black clouds building in the south. Shortly after arriving home the rain began. We expect the next few days will be rain, rain, rain.

The rain clouds approach over Southport.

The rain clouds approach over Southport.