Spring is here. Callistemon-Bottlebrush


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TRIP TO THE OUTBACK TO SEE DINOSAURS

On my bucket list for a long time was Winton and the Dinosaurs. Finally, we made the trip. We were supposed to travel with friends, Kathy and Rob but Kathy got a chest infection  just before we were to leave so she had to stay home. However, Rob did come with us.
 Winton is 1357k way out in Western Queensland. We caught a little regional plane to Longreach stopping at Blackall on the way.
After more than 3 hours, we finally spotted the town of Longreach where we were joining an 'Aussie Outback Tour', which would take us on a 6 day coach tour of the outback including Winton and the dinosaurs. (Bill kept reminding me that the dinosaurs were no longer alive.' Western Queensland has been in drought for seven years. We saw first hand how the cattle and sheep farmers are suffering and how they are diversifying.

 After we settled in our motel in Longreach, Rob and I walked into town while Bill had a rest and tested the internet access.

The walk was very pleasant through a 2.5k linear botanic garden showcasing plants that can tolerate a dry, hot climate.

Soon we arrived in the main street of Longreach, it was a typical country town.

Rob is checking out the old farm vehicle together with a bull on board. It was parked outside the Cob and Co. museum.

 We passed the Information Centre, which used to be QANTAS headquarters in 1921. Our national airline QANTAS was started in Winton in 1920 but the HQ moved to Longreach in 1921. The airline was started by two war pilots, Fysh and MacGinness, who felt that airplanes were the way for people in the outback to travel and receive mail and goods. So they started Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services. It will be 100 years old in 2020.
 A typical country Post Office

I found myself a new man, a stockman (cowboy).

 We had a cool drink and then started our walk back to the motel for a 'meet and greet' dinner.

Everywhere was dusty and dry. The temperatures were mild in the day and cold at night.
(to be continued)

Monday, August 6, 2018

BIRTHDAY BEAR'S BELATED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

It is two months since my birthday but our calendar was so full that we couldn't find a day when we were all free to celebrate. So on the last day of July instead of at the end of June we finally all got together at Club Southside to have lunch together. Birthday Bear was there to greet me when I arrived dressed ready for Zumba. Someone found out that I have started Zumba lessons at the village. So now Bear can come with me and have fun getting fit.

 Mary did such a great job at dressing Bear in a Zumba outfit plus a list of all the benefits, book of instructions, CD and boom box, dumbbells, drink bottle and sweat towel.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

WINTER ON THE GOLD COAST

During the school holidays, Sonya and the boys flew from cold Melbourne and we spent a week on the Gold Coast in an apartment at Burleigh Heads Beach. 
 Sonya loved the apartment and the view of the beautiful beach across the road.

 We unpacked and took the boys for a walk along the boardwalk and onto the beach. It was getting late and a bit cooler.

 The next day they were keen to play on the beach.

 Banjo even went into the water.

 I enjoyed watching the clouds

 and takng arty farty shots but its not easy getting up again at my age.

The Melbourne family enjoying the Queensland sun.

 One day we went to the river. After that I returned home but Sonya had a voucher for a free night at the Star Casino Hotel, so I dropped her there before going home. That morning she had a call from husband, Bernie, saying that he was back from USA and he would fly to Brisbane to spend the weekend with his family. Bernie had been given the voucher together with many other rewards because the TV series he stars in (Wentworth) won 3 Logi awards.
Needless to say, Sonya and the boys were very happy to see him. A few days later they flew back to cold Melbourne.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

WARM UP IN BRISBANE

A few weeks ago Sonya and the boys came to Brisbane to visit us and to warm up, as the weather has been very cold in Melbourne. Bernie was in USA for a few days. They stayed with us for the weekend and then we went to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast for four days.

 Fox played ball with Grandaddy and the neighbour Trevor.

 While Banjo preferred to pick flowers for his mummy.

 Then they wanted to visit the zen garden. Fox is planning a game. Fox is 8 and Banjo 6.

 Later we walked into the forest next to the village and while Fox played football in the picnic area with his mum, I took Banjo into the Koala Centre. A place to learn about Koalas. They only keep Koalas there that need medical attention or joeys who have lost their mother (road kill or dogs)

 Banjo enjoyed being a vet for a while.

He tendered to the (toy) koala's injuries. They have lots of toy koalas for lots of children but there were not many there on this day even though it was school holidays.

Not long after he was off to the next activity. He was hard to keep up with. Its so nice to have them visit.

Friday, July 27, 2018

BIRTHDAY BEAR PREPARES MORNING TEA

Oh dear I am so way behind with posts. Will I ever catch up?
Last month we celebrated Mary's Birthday at Club Southside. It was the first time we had been there and we were pleasantly surprised. It was newly renovated and the food was good.

Mary donates her time to prepare morning teas for her church group. So Birthday Bear has offered to help. If you are not familiar with our Birthday Bear tradition read here:

 We were impressed with our new venue.

 Mary was pleased to see she has a helper for baking for morning tea. Chris dressed Bear this time.

 Helen, Ann, Bob, George, Bill, me missing, Chris, Mary and Birthday Bear.
Five friends who all worked at Kuraby State School many years ago but have kept in touch ever since.

Monday, July 16, 2018

LAST DAY OF LUXURY

So after four days of living in luxury and being driven around sight seeing and eating scrumptious meals it was time to head home. We had been in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney a birthday weekend with our daughter, Carol and son-in-law, David.
We drove back to Sydney a different way. We set off from Bowral and headed towards the coast via the Kangaroo Valley and the town of Berry. On the way we stopped at the Fitzroy Falls.
 It was a little cold in the forest but the falls were awesome.

 It was pretty driving through Kangaroo Valley with the fog lifting.

 We stopped  for a coffee in the nice little town of Berry with its quaint shops.

It was unusual to see surf boats on a roof.

We continued on to the beautiful south coast of NSW. We stopped at Austinmere for lunch. I had fond memories of this beach because my parents brought us here every Boxing Day for a picnic on the rocks in the distance and a swim in the rock pools.

I had read about a new section of road which is a bridge over the ocean so I asked Carol and David if we could go this way back to Sydney. They were happy as they had never been on this road before.

Then we drove up the steep hill to Stanwell Tops and we were surprised to see many many para gliders and some hand gliders jumping off the cliff and soaring in the sky. It was fun to watch.
 Looking over Stanwell Park Beach

 It was fun to be here. It had changed a lot from when I lived in Sydney 60 years ago.

 Our wonderful chauffeurs for the weekend.

 This monument to Lawrence Hargraves was here before. It is in memory of the man who pioneered aeronautics. He experimented with box-kites, monoplanes and engines and shared his ideas with the Wright brothers. Much of his work was done here doing the same as the modern day paraglider. Wouldn't he love to join them and see the aeroplanes of today.



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