Month: June 2017

559. Sunday 25th June 2017. Brisbane War Memorial, Commonwealth Games and Canals…

Monday 19th June

Whoooee! Today I took a train trip from the Gold Coast to Brisbane. It was far cheaper than taking i30. No traffic, no parking fees, no fuel, no city traffic woes. I was able to sit back and read or use the WiFi provided by Queensland Rail.

On arrival I went to Anzac Square which lies across the street from Central Station

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Central Station is located behind this tiny facade. Buildings have been erected around and over the station. Inside it is huge with 6 platforms in constant use.

and stretches between Ann Street through to Adelaide Street.

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Anzac Square with the clock tower of Central Station in the bottom right.

The Doric Columns and most of the memorial walls and floor of the Memorial Shrine are made from a rock which looks like dressed sandstone. It isn’t. I believe it is made from a local rock known as Brisbane Tuff.

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Doric Columns of the Brisbane War Memorial in Anzac Square.

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Brisbane Tuff  is a type of rock, formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. As the name suggests, it is a type of tuff found around Brisbane. It is a form of welded ignimbrite and was quarried extensively in the early history of Brisbane at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs for use in construction of Brisbane’s earliest buildings.

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The popular Kangaroo Point Parklands. Evidence of the quarrying of Brisbane Tuff is easy to see.

Brisbane tuff comes in a variety of colours: pink, green, blue (grey) and purple. The different colours are due to the extent of oxidation of iron and manganese.

A Perpetual Flame burns in a bronze urn. Anzac Square was opened on Armistice Day 1930 and is included in the Queensland Heritage Register.

The square, the shrine, the pathways, the lawns, trees and shrubs are all specially chosen and tended as being of a place of solemn significance.190617 ice

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While ice skating is conducted in King George Square the ever popular meeting area now has a temporary food alley.

Tuesday 20th June

I attended a group hype session and a personal interview to be a volunteer driver for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

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Volunteers posed for photos.

The first thing which was obvious was the amount of planning and implementation so far. The games entire volunteer crew is planned to be 15,000 people. Almost 50,000 applications were received and this has been narrowed down to 25,000. Now comes the interview process to bring in the final 15,000. On the fleet drivers section they need a crew of 2,800 and are going through the process of bringing the 4,000 applicants down to that number. The games will have a fleet of 771 official cars which will move sports people, officials and dignitaries around on a 24/7 basis. In fact in the lead up to the commencement of the games will be a lead in period of one month when attending personnel will require transport. If I am chosen it will be a busy period during March and April year. There are about 8 different types of cars to be used from small 4 seaters to larger 6 seaters to 12 seaters and Toyota Coaster 30 seaters. I can drive all of those vehicles except the bus which requires a LR or MR type license. It was interesting to note that even in my group there were those who were nervous about driving anything bigger than a 4 seater and some were restricted to automatic cars only.

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Volunteer interviewees are encouraged to leave a paint fingerprint in a stylised aboriginal dot painting of the main area of the Gold Coast being used for the Commonwealth Games. My fingerprint is at the bottom of the photo shown by a red arrow.

Wednesday 21st June

Game II State of Origin.

What can I say about tonight’s game?

Qld lost the first game three weeks ago at home in Brisbane to NSW.

Tonight was played in the NSW home arena against the pumped up unchanged side. Qld had 4 debut players and the return of 2 key players. One from injury, the other from simply not being selected for the first game. At half time NSW led 16-6 and the game looked all but over. The NSW side was dominant until a little into the second half. Then the game changed. It changed almost suddenly. Qld scored two converted tries, the second, two minutes from full time. They looked set to put on another try but the full time siren closed the game. Qld won 18-16 setting the stage for a final decider in Brisbane in three weeks. It should be a sellout.

The star player, Jonathon Thurston injured his already injured shoulder. Medical advice is he should never play again. That means his representative career for Queensland and Australia as well as for his home team is all over. All Rugby League fans will be sorry to see Jonathon leave the game but we all believe he will be back in some capacity either as a coach or a highly paid TV commentator.

Friday 23rd June

Today I went to the Runaway Bay Shopping Centre to collect my laptop which has had a new solid state hard drive installed plus a few tweaks.

The shopping centre backs on to a canal system. For those who do not know, the Gold Coast has a huge canal system of residential land. Every house on the canals has a water frontage many of them have landing jetties and pontoons.

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A tiny part of the Gold Coast Canal system.

All canals are part of a creek or river system which flows into The Broadwater, one of the premier waterways playgrounds in Australia, if THE premier waterway. The shopping centre knows that much of its custom comes from yachties who live on their boats in The Broadwater, local home owners on the canal, visitors on hire boats and houseboats, fishermen even jet ski riders. The shopping centre provides two jetties and associated pontoon berths so boaties can land, do their shopping and return to the boat.

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Runaway Bay Shopping Centre Boat berthing facilities.

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The canal in this instance gives direct access to The Broadwater.

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Canala Entrance at unaway Bay where it merges with The Broadwater.

558. Sunday 18th June 2017. A model, a long walk a beach walk and a head cold…

Thursday 15th June

It has rained all week. On Sunday I left a bucket on a table in our back yard. The bucket is almost full. Weather reports state we have had about 300mm of rain this week. My bucket gauge supports that information.

The sun has been allowed to make brief appearances through the cloud today. Those brief appearances are important. First I was able to get a load of washing on the line and dried. More importantly it was an opportunity to get out of the house for a wind in the hair and salt air in the nostrils experience at the beach.

As I arrived at The Spit the sun broke through the clouds and shone on what I thought was a navigation beacon out of place.

I saw this model in the distance and enjoyed lots of poses.

Those building in the distance are on The Broadwater at Lands end.

Nope. It was a photo shoot with a professional model, lovely gown, flowers, hairdresser, wardrobe stylist, photographer and director. Whew! All I had was me. The sun shone just long enough to fire off almost thirty photos. Then the sun took the rest of the day off. Still the results were great so I selected the best half dozen.

Photo shoots are wonderful especially here on the Gold Coast with so many attractive background locations. Sometimes I stumble across a shoot and can get my own photos. Shoots are good in that they are not a closed set but do have several people involved often with more than one photographer. Movie shoots on the other hand are usually a closed set with lots of security. Much of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie were shot here on the coast in 2015/2016 and all locations were closed.

Despite the unpleasant weather and the confused seas I still managed this great photo of the beach, the ocean, the sand pumping station and Surfers Paradise in the background.
This sand pumping station has a small kiosk at the land entrance and charges a 42 entry fee to allow a walk to the end. Fishermen enjoy the opportunity.

Friday 16th June

I drove to Southport Surf Life Saving Club and parked i30. Then, armed with camera I set off to walk to Surfers Paradise for no other reason than I wanted to, It is a 3.2 Klm walk both ways. About halfway to Surfers I noticed what appeared to be a strange dark coloured, rounded hill in the distance where there has not been a hill previously.

Sand pumping ship and the brown hill it created.

The day was overcast with threatening rain and a strong southerly wind so visibility was a bit limited. As I got closer realised there was a ship where there ought not be a ship. It was spouting a huge dark arc of…sand and water slurry.

You can see the sand particles suspended in the spray.

It is being thrown towards the beach. There is a distinct lack of information about this particular sand pumping ship but locals say it arrived yesterday and began pumping sand around the Miami Beach area. Within 10 minutes of me taking photos the ship stopped pumping, moved offshore and gradually moved further north to begin another pump to bring sand off the sandbars and to build up the beach.

The sand is ejected out of this 25mm pump.

I stopped at Hogs Breath Café for a lunch of Flathead fillets and a cold beer before walking 3.2 Klms back to the car.

It was enjoyable but I really felt the effort after I arrived home. I need to keep the walks to build up my stamina.

Sunday 18th June

Maybe I have overdone it

Went for another long walk, this time along Southport Beach.

I know its winter. It’s not summer, it’s not spring. Judging by the number of people on the beach a lot of them think it is still summer. It was a glorious day to be on the beach.

Perhaps I have taxed my capabilities to the limit and my resistance to infection is severely limited.

Feel terrible tonight.

I think I have a blocked node and a hed gode.



557. Sunday 11th June 2017. Guess who went to Canada so lets open a few Doors…

Monday 5th June

Up bright an early to drive Donnis to Brisbane Airport. Generally the trip is around an hour give or take 5 minutes. The flight leaves at 10.40 and she has to be at check – in 2 hours before the flight. That is peak hour traffic time so we believe leaving home by 6.30 will be enough time to allow for traffic on the M1. Hmmm! The first 50 Klms were normal traffic conditions. Lots of cars all zooming along at 110 Kph or greater but traffic was flowing. Once we reached the southern fringes of Brisbane (some say it is the northern fringes of the Gold Coast) on ramps were loaded with cars joining the M1. Five lanes became four lanes then three lanes and traffic stopped. From here until we turned off on the Gateway Bridge Motorway traffic crawled along, stop start with those usual cretins who weave from one lane to another thinking they are getting somewhere faster. All they do is push the other cars a little further back making traffic worse behind them.We wave at them as we pass them 50 metres further down the road. Ur time plan has paid off. We arrive at the airport at 8.10. By the time Donnis finds a trolley for her bags and works her way to check in it is 8.20. I have breakfast at McDonalds until I get the message that she has checked her bags and has a boarding pass. There was a complication. Last night we checked her in on line. Today the Air Canada staff told her that dual passport holders are treated differently and they have to check her in manually and there is no point checking in on line. WOT THE!

She’s leavin’, she’s leavin’, she’s on the ship now and leavin’

Standing by the gangway, tossin’ streamers over my way

I find it kinda hard believin’

(With apologies to singer songwriter Kevin Johnson)

Sob sob boo hoo.

Sunday 11th June

Nothing much to report since Monday. Just doing little jobs around the house, playing bowls, Table tennis, helping other people in the village with their computer, tablet and mobile phone problems.

This week we will have a look at some doors which caught our attention over our years of travel.


The town is on the Warrego Highway, 340 kilometres (210 mi) west of Brisbane, the state capital.

It has a twice weekly railway service.

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Miles Railway Station located about 350 Klms northwest of Brisbane.

It was formerly known as Dogwood Crossing located as it is beside Dogwood Creek. That was its official name in 1844 when there was little more than a few tents scattered along the creek. Formerly named Miles in 1878 when the Post Office was opened. Originally an agricultural location growing such things as wheat, sorghum, barley and cotton ( a water hungry crop). Later it was also found to be ideal as pasture for sheep farming and so it went for the best part of about 140 years. Now it is a centre for controversial industries such as electricity generation, coal mining and thereally  big controversial new industry, Coal Seam Gas and the dangers of fracking. On the one hand the town was beginning to feel a decline in wealth and population but the new industries are bringing people and businesses back to town.

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Old Bank Chambers at Miles Qld.


Coledale and Scarborough are northern beachside (or should I say Cliffside) suburbs of Wollongong. Here the escarpment, which is part of the Great Dividing Range _which runs along the eastern Australian seaboard from the tip of Cape York all the way to Victoria – comes to the closest point to the sea. In fact the cliff edges for around 10 Klms falls sheer into the sea. Once upon a time the entire area was a maze of cola mines dug into the cliff face.

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Private residnce on clifftops at Scarborough NSW.
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Private residence on clifftops at Coledale NSW.


Inverell NSW is a town nearly 600 Klms northwest of Sydney.

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Inverell Town Hall

The town is on the Gwydir Highway and the first commercial building was a trading store on the McIntyre River in 1853. Originally the area was known as the Green Swamp. Apart from sheep pastures the district owes its original wealth from diamond mining. Imagine that! When we think of diamond mining we think of De Beers in South Africa or Argyle Mines in Western Australia. Inverell NSW is not well known for diamonds since mining ceased there in 1922. However in recent years, a possible new mine is being proposed at Bingarra, not all that far from Inverell.


Highgate Hill

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Strange homemade door.

The Hand Made Naturals store makes and sells skin care products. In their spar time they collect fallen tree limbs and branches and make doors. If you want to know more about natural skin care products then have a look here.


Lightning Ridge

Aaaah! The Ridge. I do not know why but this dry and dusty outback NSW town has a sort of charm which entices us back. All the eccentric people live here. (does that mean we are eccentric?) The Ridge is world famous for Black Opals. On this occasion we visited the site of the original shaft dug by Charles Waterhouse Nettleton in 1902.260115 nettleton Many hundreds of shafts have been dug in the area since then. Many thousnads of shafts have been dug at The Ridge and surrounding districts since 1902. A few people have made a vast fortune. Many live on pensions hoping for a big find…one day. The builder of this house came for a visit and stayed. Looking for some of the worst roads in Australia for your next outback adventure movie? The Ridge has the worst roads umm err tracks some disappearing into the unknown becoming nothing more than dry and ancient creek beds leading I know not where.

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Open doorway of a private residence at Lightning Ridge. The house is made from bottles and has not yet had a dor attached to the doorway.

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Airlie Beach. Qld

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The Port of Airlie Qld, Marina and Cruise boat harbour is a very modern facility opened in November 2013.

The builders of Port of Airlie spent a lot of money, time and effort building a new first class marina and harbour. The owners of a Morrocan Restaurant went to a lot of trouble and very little expense converting modern premises into an old bazaar style eatery. On Tuesday nights diners can sit on cushions on the floor and watch old black and white movies…about Morrocco.

Uralla NSW

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Private residence at Uralla NSW.

Uralla is an old mining town probably more famous for a bushranger who is buried here.Captain Thunderbolt terrorised the district robbing the rich and giving to the poor…Thunderbolt was poor.

Mt Tamborine Qld

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Hand Made Mt Tamborine Qld

First opened up for settlement in 1878. It calls itself the Green Behind The Gold referring of course to the Gold Coast. These doors are on a retail property called The Handmade Cottage. Mostly the handmade are dolls. Dolls of every description. Dolls everywhere. Some handmade timber bits and pieces but the crowning glofry are the dolls.

556. Sunday 4th June 2016. National Schools Mountain Bike Championships – Nerang Qld…

Sunday 4th June

For the last three days we have lent support to grandson Anakin who is competing in the Mountain Bike Association of Australia Schools National Championships. His school, Mercy College from Mackay were competing in individual Time Trials on Friday at Bond University,

Day one time trials at Bond University on the Gold Coast. Anakin happy after

Individual Bush Track at the Gold Coast Criterium Circuit at Nerang located on the fringe of Nerang State Forest and Teams Relay event at Nerang on Sunday.

There is still some debate about speed on the track. Is it faster to keep the wheels on the ground at all times or become airtborne over two or three bumps. What is not under debate is the manouvre looks spectacular.
Approaching the finish this rider is no doubt airborne over the last hump is the quickest.

The team event involves 4 riders to a team and the team which completes the most circuits in 4 hours is the winner.

The incoming rider tags Anakin to sgtart his ride.

Anakin was hugely disappointed on his first lap of the day when he punctured a tyre midway through the course. He had to push his bike back to the finish line and his effort did not count. His second ride was much better and dissolved his disappointment from the first ride.

Anakin comes around a steeply graded “berm”. He wears a helmet “Go Pro” camera as the schools videographer.
Anakin exits out of a series of bumps.

Lap three saw him puncture another tyre in the same place and once again his lap did not count. After pushing the bike back to the finish he was physically and mentally exhausted. Team mates and school staff rallied around him and he was soon smiling again.

This is what you look like when you arrive back at the “pits” after having blown a tyre for the second time and you feel you are in “the pits”.
After the first puncture, team mates and mates from Anakins previous school, Mackay Christian College come to help
This is how you look a few minutes later after encouragement by team mates, teachers and ahem grandma and grandad.

The weather was very kind and the location was hard work even for spectators, officials and photographers to walk around.

Berms and bumps, rocks and roots all add to a challenging course.
Downhill, bumps berms and tight corners maintains the challenge.

The events were Boys and Girls Under 19, Under 17, Under 13. The strange system sees Anakin, for example, who is not yet 15, be placed into the Under 17 team due to birthdate.

The boy on the second bike is calling out “I am going to pass on your left. Move over”.
These three riders are having a toussle with the third rider desperately trying to find a safe passing section.

Riders came from all over Australia but seemed to be dominated by Queensland Schools.

There are times when I should wear this Tshirt.

To close off this week I have to mention my Co-Pilot, Donnis, leaves for a two month visit to Canada tomorrow.