Month: November 2018

649. Sunday 25th November 2018. Venetian blind blues, walks along the Broadwater and Rock and Roll…

Monday 19th November

Today I continued the search which I have not mentioned before. In 2015 we bought venetian blinds for 7 windows in the house. We bought from Curtain Wonderland and installed ourselves. Two of the 7 blinds have a problem with the slat controller. It has stopped working and after taking the blinds down and removing the mechanism we found a little cog wheel in both has the teeth broken off. I called Curtain Wonderland and long story short, they do not keep spares. I started checking blind installers, retailers and repairers to find a spare parts supplier. I found one about a half hour drive away in Burleigh Waters. I will go there later in the week. Nobody else has spares and with so many different styles and brands and manufacturers it would be surprising to find spares at all. We may have to modify. Our only other option is to buy new venetians and at an average of $150 each I do not think so.

Tuesday 20th November

Now for something totally different. Today I went to Brisbane for the RACQ (Royal Automobile Club) AGM. The invite did not mention anything about food so I expected they may provide a cup of tea and scones after the AGM. I planned my trip to arrive an hour before and dined at a nearby McDonalds. On arrival at the AGM I discovered there were lashings of food for all those people who arrived early. I was too full to eat anything. Those scones jam and cream looked nice though.

The AGM followed the course of other AGM’s for other organisations I have attended. (Of course Queensland Country Credit Union had their AGM at the western Queensland Mining town of Mt.Isa. They put on the food and drink AFTER the AGM. Local members attended for the opportunity of imbibing lots of free booze.) They pat themselves on the back for all the things they have done during the year and which is written in the Annual Report. Still it was fun being welcomed by the Chairwoman of the Board, the CEO of the RACQ Roadside Assist arm and the CEO of the banking arm

Wednesday 21st November

In the morning I was at The Broadwater at 6am to experience another MORNING. Yeah I wrote that in capitals because morning on The Broadwater is capitol.

191118 lagoon
Six am at The Lagoon on the Broadwater. This is why I like being here.

It was a hot humid windy day with an expected thunder storm in the afternoon.

191118 southport
Southport across the Broadwater

It never arrived although the clouds built up and later in the evening I could see lightning to the west. A fresh weather forecast told us to expect thunder lightning wind rain and hail to arrive in the early hours of the morning. It did not arrive either.

191118 lagoon1
Storm clouds pushing the blue skies away.

In the afternoon I visited Australia Fair Shopping Centre to do a bit of shopping and enjoy a photo competition

I also enjoyed the cool air conditioning while I was there. I wonder if everybody else was there to escape the heat and humidity?


Thursday 22nd November

No storm overnight. Losing faith in the weather forcasters.

211118 lagoon
High tide at The Lagoon

6am at The Broadwater – again. This morning it is overcast and a cool wind is blowing but it is hot and humid. After a busy walk to Loder Creek and return I noticed once out of the breeze I suddenly felt the humidity and sweat began to form.

211118 broadwater
The Broadwater

I also had another cheeky moment of taking a photo of The Lagoon at near high tide and sending it to Donnis. She spent all day yesterday on several flights to travel from Calgary to Prince Edward Island via Ottawa, Ontario and Hallifax, Nova Scotia. She called me about the photo.

Meanwhile back home I logged on to Facebook Picture a Day and found 34 Notifications. It will be a busy day.

A big storm rolled in after lunch. The usual noise and wind etc. I drove to Burleigh Waters for a part to repair the venetians. Alas. Even the specialist no longer has these parts. Grrr!

I am also planning some time away next week visiting friends Tony and Dawn at Port Macquarie NSW. I am looking forward to some exploring.

Friday 23rd November.

Tonight was the BIG NIGHT for which we have been learning to dance Rock and Roll. Wow! What a night. I actually got up and danced, not particularly fancy but well enough for people to notice and congratulate me. It also helped that two of the ladies I danced with are forgiving very accomplished dancers. The other was an equally forgiving partner, who like me is still learning. Yeah we made mistakes but only we noticed and we kept trying. Often it was just as enjoyable to watch the others who dance three, four or more times a week. Those that dance to what I would call freestyle are just amazing to watch.

I was a little more at home doing line dancing and seeing 20 or more dancers doing much the same step, except for freestylers (I am considered a freestyler and have been doing this for about 2 years) to a live rock band and bringing applause from the audience was satisfying.

I was home by 11.30 pm and looking forward to bed.

Saturday 24th November

Some days nature seems to be an attraction you cannot ignore. Several weeks ago a large number of baby birds were born in the park near my house. There were the baby plovers and ducks and even a few magpies. This last 10 days a young magpie has been following the mother as they walk up one side of our street, exploring small patches of grass then turning around and walk back along the other side. All the while the young bird is chirping constantly as if asking questions, just like a two year old child. The mother makes a sudden dart forward as if to catch a worm or bug then stops to allow the youngster to finish the action. It’s all very fascinating but the constant chirp, chirp, chirp for a couple of hours is distracting.

This afternoon was a bowls tournament followed by drinks and nibblies after which I was so tired and ready for bed.

Sunday 25th November

Awake at 5am so went and washed and vacuumed i30 ready for the road trip to Port Macquarie tomorrow. The rest of the day was spent finalising finances involved with Rock and Roll night. Everybody has been paid. It works out that including the cost of the band, raffle prizes and the marvellous supper came to $8.44 a head.

Early to bed tonight, early to rise tomorrow and an 8 hour drive to Port. See you next week.

648. Sunday 18th November 2018. The usual no routine, a walk along the Broadwater and a trip to Mt Tamborine…

Wednesday 14th November

So far this week I have done my usual of Rock and Roll lessons and Line Dancing and Table Tennis. The weather has been great.

Thursday 15th November

Woke at 5am and could not get back to sleep so I drove to The Lagoon on The Broadwater and went for a walk.

151118 lagoon
The Lagoon at low tide. In less than an hour there were about 20 people swimming here and by midday it was crowded. High tide sees the sand groin on the right covered.

What an absolutely glorious morning. So glorious in fact that I decided to share. I use my Samsung Galaxy A3 to take a photo of the Lagoon and send to Donnis via Facebook Messenger to show her what she is missing over there in snowy Calgary. Within a minute she called me and I turned on the video camera to show her live footage of The Broadwater.

151118 broadwater
The Lagoon on The Broadwater. lovely still water at low tide about 5.30 am.
151118 broadwater 4
This one we call the dragon boat.

I know she loves the area.

151118 broadwater2
Calm water, sunrise, houseboat, canoe all framed by Casuarina.
151118 broadwater3
Pelicans are waking too. Their early morning chatter and making plans for the day.

Sunday 18th November

We had a big storm last night with thunder lightning strong winds and lots of rain. Other places got damage from hail but we escaped the worst of the storm. I took a drive to Mt Tamborine but it is a lot colder in the mountains and my shorts and Tshirt were not enough for the cool, mountain air.181118 heritage I noticed that the town of Tamborine does not include any big name businesses or franchises. Big supermarkets or food outlet chains do not exist here.  That is a good thing and a bad. Good that it gives a local a chance to maintain a business but at the expense of not being able to buy products in bulk and pass on savings. There are many people here who call themselves artisans or craftspersons or artists, photographers and so on.

181118 stump
This tree was reported cut down over a century ago by timber cutters with a long bladed two person hand saw. Notice the moss and lichen.

Many people came here to escape what they call the rat race and live according to their state of mind. Unfortunately for many their state of  mind cannot keep up with the cost of living so many houses are for sale. The only people thriving are the real estate agents.

I also noticed that houses and fences etc have lots of moss or lichen growing. That is due to the high moisture laden humid air. Although the mountain location is cooler in summer it still produces a high humid and high rainfall every year. Trees and roof lines also have this thick carpet of green. Living so close to nature can be a good thing but the high cost of maintenance  also shows, as the houses has many trees growing around them. I shudder to think what would happen should a bushfire break out here.

181118 chair
An old lichen and moss covered chair outside the house known as Bandicoot Cottage.

Before leaving I stopped at a lookout on the western side of town which overlooks Canungra and took the first Panoramic photo with my Panasonic FZ200.

181118 panorama
Panorama looking over Canungra Valley. Somewhere about 60 Klms over the cloud shrouded hills on the right is Brisbane.

I ate my prepared lunch and drove back down the mountain via an alternate, steeper route and went to Southport Beach to finish my lunch. Oops the clouds had rolled in, the wind picked up and it was just as cool here as in the mountains.

647. Sunday 11th November 2018. Melbourne Cup, Line Dancing, Rock and Roll lessons and Remembrance Day…

Tuesday 6th November

Melbourne Cup Day. The race that stops a nation. Well, if it does not completely stop the nation, most everybody is at a party somewhere and very few people are around to answer the phones or serve in the shops.

The Social Committee organised a Melbourne Cup Luncheon for 50 people. Instead of the usual cold roast chicken, coleslaw and a bread roll we went a few steps better. Committee Vice President Wayne spent the day doing a roast beef, potato bake, vegetables and a dessert of Pavlova and a choice of several fruits, cream and ice cream. He had chicken cooked and cut into 4 supplied from elsewhere. Our new Bay Marie’s were utilised and along with gravy there were seconds but no leftovers. We, that is Wayne, received lots of compliments. President Graham kept the ball rolling with games and constant patter and organising tables to take turns to be served. The new big screen Smart TV and our 6 speaker surround sound system ensured everybody could see and hear the race. We put a lot of effort into organising the event so it could go off smoothly and impress our residents. It did. It helps when we re-arrange tables and chairs for maximum seating. That is why we have several meetings and plan ahead including dry run with TV and sound system. There were lots of happy people. The air conditioning was put on early and temp set at 18 degrees. Overhead fans were kept on slow. Blinds were lowered to stop sunlight and reflected sunlight off the pool bringing heat into the clubhouse. It was needed as it was heat wave conditions outside.

Next comes the planning for our big Rock and Roll night where we expect 80 people plus a 50’s Rock and Roll band. Approximately half the attendees are from the Gold Coast Rockers. Eighty is about the maximum number we can comfortably cater for and provide tables and chairs so that everybody can get in and out without a crush. Sometimes we think we need a bigger clubhouse.

Wednesday 7th November

In the morning we had Line Dancing. We have so much fun every week.

To prepare for the big Rock n Roll Night, about a dozen of us are taking dance lessons. It seems we sort of forget what we did last week and spend about 15 minutes going through the basic steps once more Us guys are supposed to be the leader but with both male and female learning we are followers. It is not until we dance with real Rock and Rollers that we start to look almost the real deal.

Saturday 10th November

In the afternoon I played lawn bowls. Midway through the game one of the players tripped stepping down onto the green and cracked his head against the step. It was quite a loud thump and he was knocked unconscious for a short while and opened up a nasty wound to his scalp. Our in-village Ambo Barry ran home to get his Paramedic kit and applied first aid and wrapped his head in vinegar and brown paper. No not really but he did wrap the head in a swathe of bandages. The Ambulance arrived and the Paramedics commented that was the way a head wound should be dressed. Not bad considering Barry has been retired for more than a decade.

As the Ambulance was leaving via the back gate another was entering the front gate. Our oldest resident, Myrtle, who is 97 had a fall at home.

Eventually we got back into the game and my team lost. As usual.

Sunday 11th November

I was up at 5am and rode to the Broadwater then up and down the shared pathway beside water. What an absolutely magical place. Lots of people walking, jogging, cycling, scootering, pushing prams, wading in the water and swimming. I know I have said it before but I should get there more often.

Later in the morning we commemorated Remembrance Day at our Cenotaph.

111118 group1
People arriving
111118 group
Getting ready for the 11am minute of silence, It was too hot for anybody to get dressed up…except Hardy and myself. I was dressed in All Black (No I am not a Kiwi) and my beret with regimental badge.

This year it was a bit unplanned, at least until the last moment but we still had 22 people attend.

111118 barry louisa marilyn
Barry, Wally, Louisa and Marilyn
1111187 wally graham
Graham assists our oldest male resident Wally.
111118 wally
Wally raises the flag.


See you next week.

646. Sunday 4th November 2018. A quiet week, Donnis in Canada so I review years gone by…

Monday 29th October

Donnis flew out to Canada yesterday and I do not expect to hear from her for a day or two.

This date in 2011 we were in Mackay.

Up at first light for a walk around nearby The Gooseponds.

I noticed a strange fruit lying on the ground under an equally strange leaved tree. Another walker stopped to tell me she thought it was a Sausage Tree. What the…!!! Sausage Tree. Since childhood I always thought sausages were made by the butcher! A bit of research shows, in fact, it is a Sausage Tree. You would not want to eat the fruit which was very heavy and seems to have a skin as tough as Rhinoceros skin. The Google results explain better than me. and

sausage tree
Sausage fruit tree

Tuesday 30th October.

Donnis has arrived in Calgary but jet lag has caught up with her.

This date in 2012 I was in Guyra NSW. I had only just arrived to take up house sitting duties.

The house I will start sitting duties in on Saturday was built somewhere around 1912 and had seen additions built on several times over the last 100 years. It was believed to be a haunted house, way back in 1921. See

Hmmm! I am sleeping here, alone, for at least the next 4 weeks until Donnis returns. The current owners and their dog are quite comfortable and have had no weird experiences.

041112 view
View from haunted house at Guyra

Tuesday, quiet days just doin nuthin. Bonding with the dog Toto.

Went grocery shopping in Armidale. Nice town umm err city.

Wednesday 31st October

Donnis doing OK. Weather forecast tells me heatwave conditions will arrive for at least the next 5 days. My planned trip over the Great Dividing Range to Lamington National Park for photo opportunities has been put on hold until the weather cools or I find somebody foolish enough to join me.

This day in 2013 we were in Airlie Beach with what we thought was a brief 3 month sojourn. Little did we know our plans will change dramatically as the following comments show. We were camped at my sister Sandra’s house in Mackay.

Shoal Point Sunset

Today was a slow day. We didn’t do nuffin” Well not quite. We did prepare WWWGO, TERIOS

Terios and WWWGO at Boulder Creek.


011113 subaru
My favourite Subaru Liberty AWD Rallye

for the trip to Airlie Beach.

I start work as a casual on Monday.

No, this is not the end of our travels. We will still have short trips, a bit like we did when we stayed at Culcairn NSW for three months in 2012. The work will allow us to finance some improvements to our houses and RALLYE and future longer travels in WWWGO.

Niece Jo-Elle, Shan’s daughter has been entered in a Barista competition. She was a little reluctant to attend as she thought she had no chance of winning. An excited Jo-Elle called Shan to say she had won! Woo Hoo Jo-Elle. Way to go girl. We have a champion Barista in our midst!

Thank you Shan for allowing us to set up camp at your house. We really appreciate spending time with you and the family. It was wonderful to have a friendly happy base in Mackay. In fact we have spent time with all three sisters and my brother over the last three years and we have enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality.


Thursday 1st November.

Today it was hot but nowhere near as hot as the forecasters led us to believe.

This day in 2014 we were in our village in Biggera Water.

I drove our Potential Buyer – of WWWGO – to the Coolangatta Airport for his flight home while Donnis attended a Tai Chi class. Tonight, while watching TV we heard two loud thumps on the wall outside the dining room window. I got a torch and shoes and went outside to investigate. Hmmm! A plant stand had been moved from the garden to under the window and a wheelie bin had been moved away from the window to make room for the plant stand. The plant stand had collapsed and fallen against the wall. Most likely from the weight of a person.

We have had an intruder!!! A prowler!!! A burglar casing the premises!!!

I walked two houses away to speak with the Home Owners Committee chairman. He was away but after I explained to his wife Julie what had happened she called security from the van park next door. Soon we had two men patrolling the streets. They also mentioned an intruder had been reported in the van park an hour before and they had a good description of the alleged perpetrator and this was passed to the Police. I joined the security guy in checking the fence line. Near the creek I was about to step on some rocks but decided to shine a torch on where I was about to step. Good thing I did as I almost trod on a snake. Although a Google search later showed it to be a non- venomous Childrens Python I am sure if I had trodden on the snake it would not have been happy and would have reacted. In turn I would not have been happy either.

Hmmm! An interesting night.

The intruder had stolen an Electric Outboard from a neighbor but being a silly criminal did not plan very well. He hoisted the motor onto the wall above our letter boxes where he thought nobody would see it. Security did see it so they and the Police waited. Sure enough within a short while the short on brains thief, returned, on the other side of the wall to collect his booty. Once he took the motor down the Police took him down too!

Friday 2nd November

It got hotter during the day so I stayed home and played photos with the several Facebook Photo Groups I am a member of.

On this day in 2015 we were at home in  Biggera Waters.

Donnis and I walked along the beach at The Broadwater.

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.

081115 pelican1
Cormorant and Pelican working together.

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 for the family. 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 3rd November

Another hot day although nowhere near the record temperatures predicted. I had planned a walk along the surf beach but played lawn bowls instead.

On this day in 2016 I had nothing recorded in my diary notes. Nothing! Much the same as this year really.

Sunday 4th November

What can I say? Another hot day but so far none of the hot days has required air conditioning although I did turn on the fans.

On this day in 2017 we were at home preparing for the Melbourne Cup. Hmmm! We are doing the same this year.

Today we organised prize envelopes for each of the nine sweeps already completed and paid for. Tonight we discovered one of the favourite horses has been scratched.

Grrr! Now we have to re-do the prize envelopes and shift one person from each sweep into a new, as yet not fully subscribed sweep.

We also found our main catering and cooking person, Wayne, is in hospital with an infected foot from an injury last week. Hope all goes well for Wayne. Our fallback catering team of Marie and Lyn will take over the duties.

This year Wayne is doing ALL the catering for the Melbourne Cup. This year we bought some Bay Marie’s to keep the food hot for catering and serving.