My granddaughter Georgia and her boyfriend Cam arrived today. I dropped them at Harbourtown so they could sample the delights and leave some money behind which they did by exchanging money for plastic bags. In the afternoon I took them to The Spit but the wind was blowing from the south and was quite chilly so any thoughts of a walk on the beach were forgotten as we hastened back to the warmth of i30. From there we followed the beachside road through Surfers Paradise, past Cavill Avenue and on to Broadbeach and watched an amazing sunset along a waterway beside Isle of Capri.
Thursday 23rd May
Georgia had seen some photos of Snapper Rocks on the internet and wanted to see if it was as nice in real life.
We drove through Coolangatta, past Greenmount Beach over the steep hill to Rainbow Bay and the little street to Snapper Rocks.
We got an additional surprise.
Apart from it being better in real life, we also got a parking spot.
This is a lovely area and the surf was running with perfect little half metre waves and all the Pandanus trees and photogenic rocks abound.
I recall surfing from Snapper Rocks and riding a wave all the way across Rainbow Bay and into Greenmount Beach.
Once upon a time, way back in 1956 a Sea Baths was built, followed by a shark pool and later still a dolphin pool and aquarium. The aquarium was operational at that time .
We then drove up another steep hill to the Light Tower, which straddles the Queensland New South Wales border at Point Danger.
On the beach below, Duranbah, surfers were struggling against a really stiff south easterly wind. Also below is what is known as Lovers Park which has been taken over by a film company making a movie called Monster Problems. In a small area walled in by steep volcanic cliffs on one side and the ocean crashing against the rocks on the other. The entrance to the movie set is another wall of shipping containers on which scenery backdrops are hung or built while stores and supplies are kept in the containers.
Security below was tight as lots of machinery was moving around and carpenters were creating a set. The movie is called Monster Problems and stars Dylan O’Brien is this Sci-Fi thriller. There were no actors on the set today -0 just set workers.In the distance we could see the Fingal Head and the lighthouse just poking above the trees and Cook Island a little way offshore.
On our way back up the coast we stopped at Currumbin and climbed Elephant Rock but it was too windy to take photos. Next we stopped at Burleigh Heads and it was one of the few occasions I was able to get a parking spot but there was only three surfers today as the wind was chopping the waves.
On the very steep hill was a bus where a bus is not meant to go. It had tried to turn, lost traction and used the gutter as a brake. That was a mistake as the back end of the bus was stuck on the ground and all he could do was spin his wheels.
That was at 9am, we arrived at 2 pm and a big tow truck had to winch the bus away from the gutter wall and with a bit of manouvering the bus was able to reverse down the hill. Later we saw it on the TV News and I managed to get lots of photos.
From here I drove Georgia and Cam to Cavill Avenue in the heart of Surfers Paradise where they asked to be dropped and would find their own way home.
Friday 24th May
Georgia and Cam spent most of their day at Harbourtown. After lunch I took them to Coombabah Wetlands Reserve where I know we can see hundreds of Kangaroos in the wild. They are wild too. They are used to humans but not tame and do not like to be approached too closely. I also know there are Koalas here as well. We were not disappointed with the Kangaroos and after a bit of help from a man riding by he showed us a Koala high in a tree.
He also pointed out a pair of Tawny Frogmouths.
Unexpectedly we saw another Koala in an adjacent tree and as we headed back to the car we found another Koala even higher in a Eucalypt.
I drove Georgia and Cam to Surfers Paradise where they are meeting a friend for dinner.
Saturday 25th May
Georgia and Cam were back at Harbourtown again today.
In the evening I drove them to Surfers Paradise to meet their friend again.
Sunday 26th May
Today, bright and late we drove to the Carrara Markets which was on Georgia’s bucket list (along with several other places she never got to). Just as we arrived at the markets, Cam’s mother called to say she would arrive at 12.30 to take them back to Brisbane. At the markets they went shopping for almost an hour while I filled in my time with a coffee and people watched.
Shortly after we arrived home, Cam’s mother arrived to whisk them away. I know they had a good time here on the Gold Coast and they want to move here.
My doctor has given me two free visits to a Chiropractor as part of the Federally Funded Health Plan for Ancillary treatment. I have a total of 5 visits to ancillary care and I chose two chiropractic visits. Notice at the beginning of this sentence I used the word FREE. My first visit to the chiropractor was at 8am. He went through a lot of Q&A with me then did a body strength test and as expected he shook his head and proclaimed my body, a miracle of biological engineering, was in need of a tune up. He was the man to do it and all I had to do was let him make adjustments and listen to his dietary advice. Every bit of food we discussed was bad and only he had the key to what constituted good food. Like a trained zombie I made an appointment for the second visit. That was when the lady told me the fee was $50. I pointed out the 2 free visits on the Care Plan. Oh yes, she said, those visits are free but the initial consult is not covered by the Care Plan. She offered a bone. You can pay $10 per visit. Hmmm. Something is not right here. I will get the next visit on the Care Plan but that will be my last visit.
Wednesday 15th May
I am the sole Administrator for a Facebook Photographic Group called Aussie Photography for Beginners. When I landed in the role in March, the group had 169 members and 167 of them were inactive. I hoped to turn the group around by getting more members active and some new members. I sort of had a target to reach 200 members with at least 25% active by the end of 2019. Things started to move along faster than anticipated. Today we have 230 members with more than 25% being active. The problem is that I am spending more and more time doing the admin tasks such as approving new members, sometime 10 applications in one day. Also monitoring all the posts adhere to the rules, ensuring there is no nasty stuff being posted, running two photo comps and a whole lot more. Today I made myself another promise and a new target. Once we reach 250 members I will take on two Administrators, one to look after new members, one to do the policing and I will look after everything else.
Thursday 16th May
Had another visit with the Chiropractor but have made a decision not to rush back for continuing treatment. However apart from the diatribe of verbal patter I did take something else with me. Once before, about 2012, I went on a 3 month no carbs diet. Well not entirely free of carbs but enough to prove I could lose weight and girth. The Chiropractor awakened that time so I resolved to dramatically reduce the amount of carbs and or sugar from my diet. I had already cut back on potato and rice so a few more items would not be difficult to achieve. I will take a few carbs in my meals but most days there will be none. I will concentrate on eating mushrooms, capsicum, Brussel Sprouts and salads along with small amounts of meats and fish. I have lost 2 Kg in the last month but want to lose 4 Kg or more by the end of June.
Sunday 19th May
Well, Well, Well. It seems Bill, Penny, Anthony etc were not listening to the people but only listening to their union mates.
Following on from my trip to the Scenic Rim last week I thought I would go again today, only somewhere different. First stop was Canungra where the streets and pubs, and lunch places were crowded with motorcyclists.
A Vintage Motorcycle Show was in progress and they wanted $10 entry. Hmmm! No value there.
$10 to look at old motorcycles for 15 minutes did not appeal.
Instead I walked around town looking at whatever took my fancy.
I had some lunch in a quaint little coffee shop and walked some more to settle the food.
I then took the road to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, a steep narrow 35 Klm winding road.
In places it was single lane, cattle grid, narrow bridges, warning signs, long drop offs to the valley below, 10 KPH corners, blind corners, give way signs, a partial tunnel carved through volcanic rock, and spectacular views if you can find the courage to take your eyes off the road for a moment.
At every clearing, off in the distance I could see the unmistakable peak of Mt Lindesay where I visited last week.
Soon I was in a tunnel of rainforest and the air temperature had dropped 8 degrees and it was so dark I turned on my lights as did every other car on this road. It took an hour to drive the short 35 Klm route. O’Reilly’s is in Lamington National Park on the Green Mountain section and is 935 metres above sea level. If I had more time and few $$$ to spare this would be a great place to stay overnight or maybe get here earlier in the day and bring a picnic lunch.
On my way back down the mountain in a winding narrow give way section, a car coming up failed to give way at a blind corner and we suddenly came face to face on a narrow stretch wide enough for one car. I could not back up as it was 100M in reverse with a steep drop away and no safety fence. The oncoming car backed up a few metres then stopped. He only had to back up a few more metres where there was ample room for two cars side by side. The fear in the drivers faced was plain to see. I edged up to him and had to bring in my side view mirrors and my wheels on the passenger side were on the tiny gravel verge. I eyeballed him as I drove past with only centimetres to spare. Yep, just as I thought. A hire car with tourists from overseas. The posted speed limit for the entire mountain range was 20 Kph and due to the road conditions that is about all the speed you could average.
There is a replica Stinson Aircraft which crashed here in 1937, killing 4 of the 7 on board.
The replica plane which crashed was purchased from an Aircraft Museum at Wangaratta in Vic and shipped here in pieces in 2003. This same replica was used in a movie called Riddle of the Stinson in 1987 and starred Jack Thompson. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Riddle_of_the_Stinson As a matter of interest the movie is available on YouTube.
About 10 Klms from the summit is a turnoff to Kamarun Lookout which is within the Lamington National Park.
There are great views from here and a van was parked at a great vantage point. A man and wife and their little children were waiting for the sunset. He had several cameras and a video camera. As there is also a full moon tonight he would probably stay to capture the moonrise as it peaked above Binna Burra across the valley.
I would love to do that myself but as the worst part of the drive including all the blind corners and a steep drop to the valley below I did not feel like tackling that challenge in the dark. Besides, I wanted to be home in time for dinner.
It’s a public holiday in Qld, probably in other states also. It is Labour Day or what used to be called May Day which started in Russia 100 years ago and was taken up by Australian Unionists. The Labour Day Movement started about 1896 when protests about working conditions and hours finally led to the adoption of an 8 hour working day and a holiday to mark that occasion. By the 1930 and 1940’s the Communists had taken the day and somehow convinced us it was really May Day to follow the Russian lead. By 1948 some states legislated to change the date to another month so the association with May Day did not occur. Marches and rallies still have an element of persons who still call the day, May Day.
Wednesday 8th May
In the morning I did Line Dancing as usual. The weather is just so stunning at the moment. Warm to hot days, clear blue sky and even the ocean water temp is around 22 or 23 degrees. However today I went on a photo shoot drive to a place I have never been and only sort of heard about. Mt Barney. I drove over the mountain range to Canungra, a town which deserves another day of wandering around looking at old houses. Next it was on to Beaudesert a town I have only passed through at night. Again it deserves a return visit. Next was the small community of Tamrookum on the Mt Lindesay Highway.
There was the interesting community hall on the corner of the highway
and Tamrookum Church Road.
Then I noticed the huge church up on a hill.
The All Saints Church Tamrookum. Built by Robert Martin Collins 104 years ago who died shortly before the church was completed.
Mr Collins is recognised as the father of National Parks in Queensland. All the timber (mostly Cedar) was cut from trees on his property.
This is an impressive building, well maintained by a resident caretaker and is often used in sunset photo shoots and theme events. For example this Sunday is a Vintage Car Club barbecue, with members dressing in period costume. The caretaker gave me a guided tour and included all the history.
Next town was Rathdowney but enticing as that was, my destination was still ahead. I had already spent too much time at the church. As it turns out I took too many photos. I turned onto the Mt Barney Road but stopped at a vantage point to photograph Mt Lindesay and spectacular rock formations and cliffs.
This area is part of a volcanic caldera which could even be a part of the Tweed Valley and Numinbah Valley caldera.
Where I was now was only a dozen or so Klms from the NSW border. In fact the border runs through parts of both Mt Lindesay and Mt Barney.
At the junction of Mt Barney Road and Barney View Road I stopped at a convenient picnic shelter with a table.
Across the street were some old sheds with a view of Mt Barney as a background.
After taking photos and planning to move further into Mt Barney National Park I decided on lunch. While eating I decided to look at my photos but the camera would not display. There was a flashing red battery on screen. A flat battery. I always carry a spare but to my dismay it had not been charged since I last discharged it. Grrr! I followed the road to the park entrance and noted several places to take photos and used my phone to photograph some Grass Trees before deciding I might as well go home and come back another day.
It was a 2 hour drive home.
Thursday 9th May
I had just finished lunch when I heard a timid voice calling my name outside. I knew it was my neighbour Bill and called out “come on in Bill” but did not hear him approach. I went outside, Bill was standing at the bottom of my steps with his hand on his face and blood everywhere and dripping off his arm. He said “how bad is it?” Bill I cannot see for the blood lets clean you up first. Bill explained his wife Marie was up the street visiting someone. It seems Bill was gurneying his garage and driveway and tripped on the hose and hit his face on a dog barrier. Another centimetre and he would be in trouble with damage to the eye. While Bill washed his hands and arms in the bathroom vanity I cleaned off the blood his face using tissues and told him I thought he would need stitches and lets get you looked at by a doctor. I drove him to his doctor where they cleaned him up some more and decided the wound was closing itself and would not need stitches but instead a couple of butterfly stitches and a covering for at least 5 days. Well, that was my excitement for the day but Bill is going to have a black eye for a week and a headache for day or two.
Saturday 11th May
Some months ago we (Harbourside Gardens Social Committee) started planning a Progressive Dinner. The theme was Italian and we asked people to dress in the colours, Red, White and Green. We placed a limit of 40 attendees, first in first accepted basis as there was limited room at two venues. As it turned out we had 25 attendees which was a good thing as it was our first venture of this type and it made for a more intimate group dynamic. I spent lots of time on the computer, setting up 235 photos which had to be edited and enhanced for a slide show. In the morning Frank and Frank set the tables in a configuration which allowed for an intimate atmosphere while at the same time leaving room around the tables to move about and mingle. The setup shown in the photo was done deliberately so no overhead lights were used just two table lamps and four tea light candles.
First course at my neighbours house was sherry and bruschetta type finger food. We had two problems. Too much food and once people were seated and chatting it was a struggle to get them moving for the next course in the clubhouse.
While my slideshow was playing in the background our friend Wayne had been working most of the day to create a meat and a vegetarian Lasagne, Italian vegetables and garlic bread. We supplied beer, wine and soft drink. Once again too much food and people were enjoying the meal and the socialising but we had to get them moving to the next course.
At Grahams house it was a choice of two desserts, Port or Tia Maria, tea and coffee and chocolates. Normally at functions people start drifting away at 8.30 but tonight they were still enjoying themselves at 10pm!
I have not completed the maths but we charged $8 a head and probably the food and booze cost around the same.
I fell into bed at midnight promising to help clear the clubhouse in the morning.
Sunday 12th May
I took myself on another road trip today. A 270 Klm round trip to Lennox Head in northern NSW.
I returned via Broken Head and Byron Bay. There was not much to see at Broken Head and I did not stop at Byron Bay. Lennox Head was a different story. On the trip down the highway I could see dark clouds to the south and I expected miserable conditions. Once I arrived at Pat Morton Lookout the sun was shining, a stiff breeze was blowing from the south and about 100 boardriders were enjoying larger than metre high waves spread over about three different breaks.
About 100 people were sitting on the hill overlooking the surf.
The scene was one of blue sky, blue ocean and white of breaking waves. Like the other people I could have sat here all day perhaps even dozed in the soft grass lulled by a warm sun and an occasional soft breeze which had escaped the stiff breeze blowing on the exposed parts of the hill and clifftops.
I love watching surfers and this is an ideal spot. A woman sitting nearby on the grass mentioned another surfing spot and all I could remember is a name called Broken Head. After tearing myself away from the hill with a view I drove into Lennox Head and found the narrow street was chock a block with cars parked and very few off street parking facilities. It meant a long walk to find food.
Later when I found Broken Head
it in no way inspired me as a surfing location and as it was getting late and a good hour or so of driving ahead of me I passed through Byron Bay without stopping – except for pedestrians – and arrived home just after sunset.
Last week I had a photo issue which I did not write about. Today another photo issue occurred which I feel compels me to mention. Especially if anybody shares a photo on Facebook OR The Internet for that matter. It does not make any difference if your photo is an unfocused happy family snap or a carefully arranged creative image which has been sensitively edited to achieve a work of art. It is especially true if you share on Facebook which is after all, supposedly a friendly, caring, sharing and embracing outlet. Although I use Facebook I do not like Facebook. OK here comes the long story. Get a coffee before you start to read.
I am sole Admin for an Australian based Facebook photo sharing group. When people apply to join they must answer three questions and obviously must be a Facebook member. Included in their application is a link to their FB profile. As a matter of interest I like to look at their profile or more correctly at their photos, if any. What their profile might reveal in terms of idealogical, political or other personal beliefs has no bearing on their application. (Although if the person was paedophile or terrorist that might take some soul searching on my part). One applicant had answered three questions so I looked at his FB photos where I was confronted by a photo which I knew I had taken way back in 2010. I compared the two side by side. To me they were the same in every way, not only visually but edit points were the same as were the number of pixels. I sent the two photos to a trusted source for a second opinion. The result was the same. Same photo in every respect including light shining from the same source direction.
I wrote to the applicant and said I had not yet approved the application and explained I was uncomfortable with the photo and could he provide an explanation (By the way one of the rules of every photo group I am involved in is that any photo must be your own work). Several hours later he replied saying he saw the photo on the wall of the Hebel Hotel which sits in a remote part of the Qld/NSW border. He took a photo of the photo and put it on his FB page. Hmmm. I realised I was dealing a very talented photographer and super talented photo editor who could take a photo of a photo and edit and crop perfectly. So perfect it is the same number of pixels! All cameras are different and have photo image of different sizes. How he managed to get his photo of photo image cropped to the exact size is brilliant. I wrote to the applicant again and included a copy of our rules, bringing his attention to those relating to your own work and copies of photos not being acceptable. I asked if I approved his application could he abide by our rules? I did not get a reply. That was a week ago and still no reply. I declined his application.
I also reported it to FB but not unexpectedly, they have not acknowledged my report let alone given any feedback.
Today on another group of which I am a member was a photo taken from the air of a small water course. The Admin asked the member if it was his own work. He replied, of course it was. It was taken in the Amazon – that’s a big area – from his Dad’s private helicopter. Another member asked the same question and this time he replied he used his own Phantom 4 Drone to take the photo. The Admin posted a link to a website where the photo was used to show some devastating eco damage in Africa! So far that member has not responded further. I did an International Tin Eye reverse search engine hunt on the photo. It has appeared on-line 52 times since 2016. Although the original photographer is not named there are enough resources to show where the photo came from. None were the person purporting the photo to be his own.
Why am I telling you this? If you are comfortable with your photos on FB not falling into the wrong hands than that is fine. If however you post family photos or as sometimes happens with younger people, more intimate or revealing photos, they can be taken and used by anybody anywhere, claimed as their own or used in a way not intended by you. As seems to be the case, FB is not prepared or not capable of follow up and will not or cannot help if you have a problem. Although FB state that photos always remain the property of the photographer, proof that it is your property is up to you. FB is tarred with the same Political Correctness brush that has invaded our world. They are too busy telling us how to run our lives they do not have time or resources to follow up on artistic or intellectual theft or piracy. Simply be careful what photos you show of your family, especially your children and even more especially your teenage children. Do not expect any help or guidance from FB.
Friday 3rd May
Up at 5am to take Donnis to Coolangatta Airport for a flight to Melbourne as it is granddaughter Hannah’s 6th birthday next week. Although there is a 7.30 am flight, Donnis is on stand-by. There is usually drama on arrival as there are 3 options. The flight is only partially booked and she gets a boarding pass immediately. That does not happen often. The flight is full or nearly full so we wait, along with the other stand by passengers to see if a passenger does a no show. Any spare seats are then allocated to seniority and then arrival at the airport times. The third version is the plane is fully booked and there are lots of stand by ahead of you. This is worst case scenario as you then wait for the next flight. Or the one after. Or the one after that and so on.
I dropped her at the airport and started to drive to Kirra Beach to see the surf and take a few photos. Before I arrived at the beach Donnis called. She has a ticket.
The surf was sloppy, the sky was dark with storm clouds and it was beginning to rain.
There were no surfers in the water.
Time to head home and make myself bacon and egg for breakfast. Despite the rain I had a nice drive home along the Gold Coast Highway.
Saturday 4th May
A bowls match was planned at our green today. Within 20 minutes of starting it began to rain. The game was called off but it continued to rain anyway. The bowls committee had gone to a lot of trouble preparing meat pies, mashed potato and mushy peas with gravy plus a dessert. While some sat around socialising the table tennis players got in some match practise. Then it was time for a pie and couple of glasses of wine. We all had a good afternoon anyway.
Sunday 5th May
After a cool morning around 12° the day warmed up. It was brilliant sunshine so I decided to drive to Coolangatta for a day out.
I forgot it was a long weekend and traffic along the Gold Coast Highway was heavy but from Surfers Paradise all the way to Coolie it was a good drive. Parking on the other hand was impossible. I drove into NSW and found a spot about half a Klm from the beach.
Oh the sun was shining the water was warm and clear and the surf was only about 60cm and gentle.
The surf from Kirra to Greenmount to Snapper Rocks was just rolling in wave after wave and was simply annoying.
I was annoyed I did not bring my boogie board and not out there enjoying it.
Almost every board was a Malibu.
The waves were probably too slow for the hot dog boards.
I recalled my first visit from NSW to Qld many years ago. We arrived at Kirra and the waves were perfect as was the water temp.
The next day we surfed from Snapper Rocks all the way through to Greenmount.
After walking around and going bananas taking photos I had lunch and drove through Tweed Heads and onto the M1.
The weather forecast is for another prefect day tomorrow with even better surf.