Month: March 2019

669. Sunday 24th March 2019. Heavy rain damage, i30 goes to the smash repairer and food, glorious food…

Monday 18th March

Boy, did we have a lot of rain last night. Probably in the region of 200mm or more. I know we had two buckets in the back of the house and they were both full this morning. Other people with rain gauges are also reporting the same 200 mm or more.

We noticed a leak in our back room behind the garage. That was last night. This morning the carpet and underlay are soaked. The water came from two places. The two clear roof panels have deteriorated over the years and some hail a month or so ago has weakened them further and they leaked enormously. The floor level is lower than the river pebble path beside the house. The volume of rain flooded the near level pathway and seeped into the back room which is little more than a simple built in at the back of the garage which itself was a filled in carport some time in the past.

The room is used mainly for storage and our bookshelves. We emptied the bookshelves and moved all the furniture into the garage. The carpet and underlay were pulled up and set aside ready for the tip.

We have to replace the 2 clear panels in the roof and that will be done this weekend.

I also took i30 to the panel beaters for assessment. The work will take two weeks. Three panels have to be replaced while three can be repaired. The front and rear wheels need to go on wheel aligner to check for problems as well as the rims themselves if still OK will have the scratches polished out.  I left the car with them. A taxi took me to Europe Car where I picked up a near new Toyota Corolla and was home in time for coffee.

The Club laptop which went pop 10 days ago was returned from Singapore this evening.

Tuesday 19th March.

Rode the bike beyond Southport Bridge this morning. Later a friend, Frank, helped take the carpet and underlay to the tip in his trailer. He has the same model Corolla as our hire car although it is 3 years old.

Thursday 21st March

Very heavy rain again tonight. We were not long home from Table Tennis when down came the rain in a thunderous roar. I checked the back room. The damaged alsynite is right above the opening for the inner and outer wall. The water was pouring down on the inside of the window, hitting the window sill and splashing on the floor as well as overflowing and running down the wall beneath the window sill. All going well this should be fixed by Saturday.

Friday 22nd March

The days are still hot and Donnis is melting. Temperatures are hovering around 30° or even a degree or two below. Yes it is untypical of Autumn weather but there have been similar instances in the recorded past.

Donnis son Peter, lent us, at his insistence, a large and heavy, Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. The first recipe in the book is called Basic Vanilla Ice Cream. I was not expecting much of a result but we followed the instructions, plus an additional 15 minutes and placed it all into a 1 litre container, in the freezer. We will test it tomorrow night.

Saturday 23rd March

Actually somebody, who shall remain nameless, could not wait to test the ice cream as I found two scoops missing when I went to open it tonight. Hmmm! Ok Ok, I will jump ahead to tonight. Fresh peaches lightly blanched with a couple of scoops of our home -made ice cream. ( Just as a matter of interest Donnis had bought a case of peaches for $5 about a week ago. Yes, that is correct, $5. After she peeled and cut them she froze the slices. Then, today, she found another case of peaches, probably the last of the season. They were not so good, only half worth eating. She peeled, cut and blanched this lot but we still ended up with a lot of peaches) Well, I just have to say it was very nice, great texture, nicely frozen but not icy, strong taste of vanilla and lovely and creamy. Hmmm! I did not expect such a great result. I have not yet done the maths but it probably works out a little dearer for a litre.

I should mention that Donnis seems to find fruit and veg bargains. Usually a case for $5. Our freezer is packed with, blueberries, apples, peaches, strawberries, cherries and mango. She also bought a case of capsicum a few weeks ago so peeled and roasted them and packed them in jars in olive oil and Italian Spices. We have a fruit and veg shop across the street in Harbourtown Shopping Centre. The shop is open 24/7. Yes, 24/7. Even I have gone there at 4.30 am to buy milk and eggs. At that hour the staff are packing and checking produce is suitable, shelves are packed and a cashier on checkout.

Our friend Graham and I replaced the two damaged alsynite panels in the room behind the garage. Now all we need is some heavy rain to check for leaks!

Late in the afternoon we drove to The Broadwater 230319 boatsat Labrador and were amazed at the number of people down by the waterside. Family barbecues, couples win wine or coffee, individuals with dogs all taking in the view.

230319 wreck
I showed this wreck last week describing it as perhaps a fire. On close inspection it it just simple, total, inexcusable neglect. I have no idea why the houseboat is within a metre in shallow water. The houseboat on closer also looks neglected.
230319 wreck1
More abandoned than wrecked. All worthwhile parts including motor have been removed.

We saw a huge boat on the other side, just in front of Sea World. This luxury Trimaran is a monster capable of carrying 400 passengers. It was on its maiden voyage of a sunset cruise which had been booked out for weeks. Tomorrows cruise is also booked out.

230319 YOT
Monster passenger boat. See the YOT Club website.

230319 YOT1


It was low tide so walked along the sand all the way to Loder Creek and back.

The Broadwater Caravan Park is set on Loder Creek and faces The Broadwater. A two bedroom waterfront cabin will cost $1,300 a week in the shoulder season.

230319 vanpark1
These cabins which have a creek side outlook are available for around $1,200 per week.

That price jumps to $1,700 around December and increases again in January.

230319 vanpark1
These cabins which have a creek side outlook are available for around $1,200 per week.
230319 sunset
Just as we were about to leave the sky turned a pink and orange colour.

We wanted a simple dinner tonight so had smoked salmon on toasted Rye Sourdough with a sprinkling of capers with a nice salad including fetta cheese. So simple so tasty.

What’s wrong with having smoked salmon 3 or 4 times a week? Donnis bought a huge half kilo slab at the 24/7 fruit shop and froze it in small 2 serve packages. It is a light meal but satisfying.

Sunday 24th March

Another hot day. It was simpler to stay indoors, turn on the AC and I spent time working on Aussie Photography for Beginners the Facebook Photo site I was thrown in the deep end as Admin two weeks ago. I have increased membership, had inactive members now active. increased participation from around 7 photos a week to 142 in two weeks. I also introduced a photo competition and have been quite busy.



668. Sunday 17th March 2019. Hot days, big storms and riding the ebike…

Monday 11th March

We are back to summer temperatures. Actually we never left summer although there was a couple of days of sub 30° and a little rain, we are still having hot days of over 30°. Today was expected to be a record around the state. Some towns did have temps around 40° but here on the coast we have those cooling sea breezes. That said the humidity made it feel like 40°. We turned on the AC and hid in the house.

I was up early and rode eBike to Southport Bridge and back. Naturally the only rain which fell during the day was while I was riding. I came home soaked.

Tuesday 12th March

Up early and rode to the bridge again. The round trip is about 20 Klms

Today WAS a record temp for this time of year. I went to Australia Fair to do a little shopping for a shirt. Whoops, normally I can find a parking spot easily. Today I needed to go to the rooftop parking but managed to find a parking spot under cover. The shopping centre was busy especially the food outlets. It is because of the heat, people just go shopping for three hours. The first three hours of parking is free.

Wednesday 13th March

At 6.30 am I walked at a fast pace twice around the village. Summer was a bit of a bummer as far as exercise is concerned. I am keen to get back into a routine and even walking along the surf beach during the afternoons. Autumn should arrive soon.

Temp had dropped below 30 today so we did Line Dancing in the morning. It is a good cardio vascular form of exercise for 30 minutes.

Once again we are planning another Rock and Roll night and will do refresher lessons. That is also another good form of exercise.

Thursday 14th March

Another ride to the Southport Bridge and back.

In the evening, after table tennis, we just arrived home when the heavens opened with what was probably the longest, loudest and constant thunderstorms we have experienced. The house was constantly lit by lightning and vibrated with shock waves. There was not much rain, at least for us but in other locations they had fallen trees, golf ball size hailstones, 50 mm rainfall and power outages. Between lightning strikes we could hear the people in the high rise next door, oohing and aahing with every strike.

Friday 15th March

Happy Birthday to my Daughter Averyl.

It was overcast and humid all day and a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued. We drove to Australia Fair and parked on a mid level spot

150319 carpark
Level 2 of Australia Fair. Most people by now were heading home, hoping to beat the storm.

where we could get a view over The Broadwater

150319 broadwater
Across the Broadwater as the storm approached.

to Marina Mirage

150319 broadwater1
Looking across The Broadwater to Marina Mirage and Versace Marina

and all the way to Surfers Paradise.

150319 southport
Southport and Surfers Paradise.

We walked all levels to the top and took photos until even the heavy rain was being driven in and making it difficult.

150319 surfers
The storm is getting closer. The showers of rain are arriving.
150319 surfers1
Looking to Surfers Paradise as the storm is approaching.
150319 marina1
The lights in the Marina Mirage sails are turned on and Sea World helicopter is making a final flight before the storm halts activity for the day. Actually it was finishing time for the helicopters anyway.
150319 marina
The lights in the sails will take on a bold and bright set of night lights as it gets darker. The lights will become a vivid red, blue and purple,

Naturally we could not get any lightning photos so drove back to The Lagoon at Labrador for more photos. Just as we arrived home once again the rain came down by the bucketful. There was another spectacular lightning and thunder display which went on for hours although not as loud or long as last night.

150319 yoghurt
Before leaving Australia Fair we stopped at the food court. No we did not buy any snacks. We did stop to look at a frozen yoghurt machine which the man had spent all day installing and was just testing it on unsuspecting passers by. Such as Donnis. You select the amount and flavour of yoghurt, then select the toppings and the robot does the rest, delivering a paper cup of yoghurt while displaying a video of each step.

Saturday 16th March

Another humid day with on and off rain. The humidity was so bad we closed the windows and doors and turned on the AC. Around 5pm the rain started in earnest and rained steadily for a few hours then sporadically for the remainder of the night.

Sunday 17th March St Patricks Day.

Woke to a lovely sunny morning and high humidity levels. The clouds rolled in and threatened rain. We had a St Pats Day celebration planned at the clubhouse for 48 people. As we walked to the clubhouse we could see the very dark and ugly clouds around Southport to the south. Shortly after we started serving espresso coffee and pikelets the heavens opened to heavy, very heavy rain. Soon the gutters were overflowing and our library which is on a slightly lower floor level (about 100mm lower) looked as though it would be in danger of water build up and flooding the floor and the new carpet tiles laid only a few months ago. As it turns out the carpet tiles did get a soaking. In the meantime we were all comfortable and happy doing silly St Pats Day stuff. We were dry and never in any danger of getting wet or water damage. We had a great Irish Stew for dinner. Meanwhile the rain continued to fall, if anything even heavier than before. News reports and Facebook pots told us about flooding nearby but we have no problems within the village.


667. Sunday 10th March 2019. Meeting relatives, a Gastro Enterologist and a car accident…

Nonday 4th March.

In the afternoon we went for a walk along Main Beach from Southport Beach to SeaWorld Beach and noted the huge amount of erosion after the severe storm weather.

040319 erosion
At this part of Main Beach (Southport) the erosion looks mild.
040319 erosion1
Further along the beach at Seaworld Beach the erosion looks more severe.
040319 erosion2
Here you can see the roots of the dune stabilisation grass is quite deep below the dune surface. It gets thicker at the base where the roots are probably getting their moisture for the apparently healthy plant on top of the dune.
040319 erosion3
The steep access to the beach walkway at Sea World Beach. Normally this is just a gentle slope.
040319 happy
Every day busloads of tourists arrive at the beach. Many have never seen a beach before and stand at the waters edge with arms outstretched many with long dresses, trousers and shoes. They get a surprise when a big wave comes in and suddenly they are thigh deep and struggling to stand upright. They just love it. Wet and covered in gritty sand they just laugh and pose for more photos.
040319 happy1
This is a typical pose.
040319 surfer
Although the surf was rough and nobody else within 300 metres this guy just spent 10 minutes paddling through the rough surf to finally catch a wave only to discover the rip had moved him 100 metres along the beach.

Tuesday 5th Match

Today I saw a Gastro Enterologist. For a number of years I have been self- conscious about my stomach. It is larger than it should be, harder and twisted to one side. The stomach alone cannot be explained away by bad diet, too much booze, overeating or lack of exercise. In fact during previous attempts at dieting I reduce weight but maintain a big belly which makes it look worse. The GE does not think my diet is bad but wants me to exercise more, make small change to diet and take a product called Iberogast which seems to be a group of about 20 herbs I take twenty drops three times a day in water with Mint leaves. I have to return in 4 months and lose 4 Kg. The Iberogast is supposed to stop bloating because I have Fatty Liver and that is what the treatment is all about. I cannot understand why I have fatty liver as I have never been a fan of deep fried foods (which seems to be the main culprit) and certainly over the last perhaps 30 years I have never deep fried foods at home. I do not like pizza and rarely eat it. Beer, wine and Spirits are taken in moderation and often it will be several days between drinks. I can take or leave desserts but I do enjoy fruits especially fruit salad. I may have two pieces of bread a day and I prefer an Organic Sourdough Rye bread as I have done for at least 8 years. No I had the belly problem more than 10 years ago, Some days I might have one slice of bread and other days, none. I have a bland cereal which looks and tastes like cardboard. I have half a cup of cereal with a handful of Walnuts and a handful of Sultanas helps as well as a piece of fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is the key. Never used canned stuff but Donnis often buys fresh fruit in bulk and cuts it up an freezes it. Mango’s, Cherries, Blueberries and Peaches to name a few. I prefer leafy salads in preference over boiled or steamed or stir fried veggies. The GE is not unhappy with the diet.

Wednesday 6th March

We were up early, breakfasted and away by 7.30 am. Donnis cousin Howard and his wife Merrilynne are on a world cruise on a small but luxurious ship the OCEANIA INSIGNIA. Today is day 55 of their cruise and they are only docked in Brisbane for a few hours. We collected them at the terminal and immediately went to the Apple store at Chermside as they need to update their iPhones and iPad as the WiFi onboard is slow and has limited download. Howard is missing 500 photos and although they should be in the “cloud” he cannot access them. Once sorted and after a cup of coffee we drove to Mt Coot-Tha for a peek over Brisbane and lunch at the café.

060319 us
Howard, Merrilynne and us at Mt Coot-Tha.
060319 m and d
Merrilynne and Donnis.
060319 brisbane
Brisbane City from Mount Coot – Tha

After lunch we drove back along the Brisbane River so we could cross the Story Bridge and so back to the Portside Cruise Terminal at Hamilton.

All too soon the day was over and we left Howard and Merrilynne chatting with one of the stewards and we caught the 2pm bumper to bumper shuffle on the M1. Road widening works are in progress but it will be more than 12 months before the new lanes are completed.

Back home and after a snooze we drove to Glenda’s house for a birthday party for her brother Kevin. We also met Kevin’s South African wife who is in Oz for a week.

Thursday 7th March

In the morning I rode the eBike to Southport Bridge and back to regain my old training routine and comply with the GE orders.

090319 wreck
I cannot find a story for this wreck on the Broadwater. It appears there was a fire. From the looks of it perhaps it was in the engine room which is normally located under the cockpit as are things like batteries and gas cylinders.

This afternoon a strange Notification dropped into my Facebook. It was an invitation to be the Admin for an Australian Photo forum site called Aussie Photography for Beginners. I thought it would be interesting joining the current Admin person and sharing some of her workload. I sent a reply asking a few questions and the reply floored me. She is finding the task more than she anticipated and the site is neglected. Membership has not grown, very few people post their photos and even less comment. She wants out and wants me to take over the site. Phew!!! I have to do some thinking about this. I am already an Admin for an International Group. Most days it is quiet while other days it keeps me busy. Do I want full responsibility for a site which clearly needs to grow the membership, encourage participation, establish rules and guidelines, promote regular challenges and competition and keep everybody happy?

I will sleep on it.

Friday 8th March

Today I accepted the challenge and I am now Admin for Aussie Photography for Beginners. I have no idea how the site is set up as there is not a separate Admin page. I need to ask the previous Admin how things work but somewhere between my acceptance and her post to say I am now in charge she has removed herself entirely from the site. I am on my own with a huge learning curve ahead.


So I rolled up my metaphorical sleeves and started work.

Fist I changed the photo banner to one of my own photos.

I wrote a long message to members inviting them to get involved again. I wrote to somebody I know from another site and invited her to join…which she did. The rest of the day was watching as comments and photos started to appear. Hmmm! The site had more traffic in one day than in the previous week.

Once I was established as Admin the previous Admin removed herself.

I am on my own.

Saturday 9th February

The steep learning curve became a sheer perpendicular climb with no hand or footholds. For some reason the site has no Settings, Rules or Tags.


In the afternoon while struggling with trying to make sense out of the Facebook page the phone rang. It was Donnis. Her first words were, “Bad News”. Some young driver pulled out of a parking spot on the street and ran into her. He damaged his front driver side front panel and headlight. He managed to damage 6 panels on our car. Donnis is uninjured and the car is driveable. Looking at i30 I can see the first point of impact of his car was with our passenger side front wheel. It could be that apart from all the panel damage the wheel, suspension, tyre etc could all be damaged. There is also evidence he had damaged the rear wheel as well. The car does handle a bit wobbly so the assessment will find ALL the damage.

090319 i30 damage
Damage to i30

We called RACQ and lodged a claim. We have an appointment with the panel beater and a hire car has been organised already. As we are not at fault the excess has been waived.

Sunday 10th March we took a drive to Victoria Point a suburb of Brisbane to visit Donnis son Peter. Afterwards we bought fish (barra) and chips and drove right to the point where the ferry leaves for Coochiemudlo Island. None of the scenery was inspiring enough to justify a photo. At least now I can say we have been there, done that.

666. (Oooh a bad number) Sunday 3rd March 2019. A Wedding Anniversary and the words in sickness and in health sprang to mind as we are both still sick…

Monday 25th February

Tonight a good friend pointed out that over the last several years I/we have had more episodes of illness than the average person. Probably true. I did counter that with, I/We also travel and attend more public events than the average person our age. When travelling overseas your body is put through an unusual set of physical circumstances. For example lining up at security screening where bodies are pretty much close together, while on the plane itself we are confined with another 300 odd people for 14 or 15 hours straight and breathing re-cycled air. Add to that the body clock and natural rhythms are upset giving us jet lag and putting our natural immunities on high alert. It is not just International flights where we are exposed to germs while waiting for security and sitting in a plane for a couple of hours. Of course when you visit family there are young children who carry illness around unknowingly. To start off the process I am not a good public transport traveller and find timetables and security checks and waiting a bit stressful. Stress lowers the immune system.

Last year when we flew to Canada and USA, although I felt tired I was pretty much OK until we caught two flights. One from Prince Edward Island to Montreal and from there to Calgary. Just prior to the flight we spent four days in a car on a roadtrip with a young child. Also travelling from the damp cold of PEI to the hot dusty interior of Calgary was a bit of a shock to the body. Apart from the cold and the damp in one location then dust and heat along with stress there was some interaction with young children on arrival in Calgary. I was sick for the next ten days.

This year we flew to Melbourne – stressful flights – and an intermingling with young children I was sick for most of our visit.

More recently we flew to Mackay and again I got sick within a day of arriving.

Maybe, like the Asians, I will start wearing a mask when I travel by plane.

Of course that is my explanation of getting ill.

It does not cover the subject of injuries! That subject will need a full week long explanation.

Tuesday 26th February

Wednesday 27th February

Thursday 28th February

Happy Anniversary to us!!!

All this week we have been keeping a low profile as we are still not well. We watched the Academy nominated movie, The Wife where Glenn Close missed out on the award yet again. The movie was a bit slow and tedious with dialogue yet somehow I sat through the whole experience which is more than I can say about A Star is Born.

We also watched the short animated film BAO which also won an Oscar.

We even missed out on playing table tennis tonight. My mind wanted to play but stepping outside in the cool night air brought on a coughing fit. We stayed home.

We have promised ourselves a day out, when we are better, to celebrate our anniversary. Perhaps a lunch cruise on the Brisbane River, or a lunch cruise on the Gold Coast Broadwater, one which exits the Gold Coast Seaway and out into the open ocean. Then of course we could take a drive to Brisbane and catch the car ferry to North Stradbroke Island and drove to Point Lookout, perhaps later in the year when whale watching season begins. Or maybe even a day long whale watching cruise. Or even just drive to Cabarita Point to watch the whales and have fish and chips at the best Fish and Chippery in the region, the Stunned Mullet.

Friday 1st March

Getting better.

Sunday 3rd March

Friday and Saturday we watched more movies as it was raining, heavily at times, off and on and a cold wind was blowing. Not good day to venture down to the beach for a walk.

Tonight we watched a documentary called Three Identical Strangers. It was about triplets, separated at birth, adopted to three different parents and grew up not knowing they had brothers. A coincidence occurred when one triplet started a new school but students all seemed to know him…by a different name. The story escalated how the brothers met and the story made the news. Another family saw the news and the photo and now there were three brothers who met for the first time after 19 years and they all looked the same and their mannerisms were the same etc. A good but sad story if you can get hold of the movie. I am sure it would be on Netflix.

This week in 2011 I was house sitting on top of what is called a mountain at Traveston in the Sunshine Coast area. I was still putting up with storms, thunder, lightning, rain plus sunny days and humidity. This is the view from my bedroom window in WWWGO across the valley to Mount Cooran. Somewhere out there are the beaches around Noosa etc.