Month: August 2019

596. Sunday 25th August 2019. Seniors Week, photographs in the park and a new beer…

Monday 19th August

It’s Seniors Week. We both qualify. A local parliamentary member put on a week of activities.

Today was a free breakfast in the courtyard outside the Helensvale Library. The queue for bacon n egg rolls was longer than I was willing to wait. Then again with my low carbs diet perhaps it was a good thing I missed out. However the long life milk in my cup of tea was not pleasant. The rock and roll band was playing in an area surrounded on three sides by concrete and based on a concrete courtyard. The sound just echoed and bounced back into the street where cars and trucks and people were making noise. Any sound I could hear from the band was unrecognisable. The folks putting on a line dancing and rock and roll demonstrations had to dance on that unforgiving concrete courtyard and unless you came with a group, people seated at the tables wwere not interested in chatting. Then again it could be the noise was too loud for comfortable chatting.

There was a piece of artwork in the library foyer which has been entered in this years SWELL festival to be held at Currumbin Beach in September. 190819 artThis piece of sculpture captured my imagination and at least justified going to day one of Seniors week. Look at the eyesa. It seems they are watching you although the entire piece is made from chicken wire.

Apart from the wonderful piece of artwork I found the event… Boring.

We left after half an hour.

Tuesday 20th August

We decided to skip the rest of the Seniors Week activities.

Today I visited James Overell Park in Southport. It is situated on the Nerang River, just near the Sundale Bridge after which the river becomes The Broadwater which itself becomes The Coral Sea. I had some difficulty finding naming information about this park but finally found the following information on the ABC Local, Facebook page.200819 james overell park4200819 james overell park1

James Overell Park is a sports park in Southport.

It is fittingly named after James Overell who wasn’t only involved in local council, but was a keen sportsman.200819 james overell park

James’ son, Peter Overell, says that in his younger years his father attended TSS (The Southport School) and was one of very few students who represented every sport that was played at the school, and did so at first level.200819 james overell park6200819 james overell park3

“He still actually holds the three-foot-six hurdles record, because they moved to three-foot-three hurdles, so they can never take that record away from him,” Peter says.

But the story of the Overell family and how they became a Southport household name goes back to 1883 in Brisbane.

Peter’s great, great grandfather owned a department store in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley called ‘Overells’.

He says Overells was one the dominating department stores in the retail scene of Brisbane at the time.

In 1955 the Overell family sold the Brisbane store, and Peter’s father (James) moved to the Gold Coast in 1956 to start a store here in Southport.

“It was an old burnt-out restaurant and he commenced a drapery and menswear, ladies wear, general store business, again called ‘Overells’.”

Peter says the store plays a big role in Southport’s retail history, staying open until 2002, when the retail game changed.

“Shopping centres were much more then… the whole nature of things had changed, Southport as a business centre changed a lot.”

Overells used to supply most of the school uniforms to schools including TSS and St Hildas.

“And then the schools decided to do it all themselves which in turn changed the whole nature of the town because the kids didn’t come down from the schools on a Friday afternoon the way they used to, they used to come and support all the other business in town – when there was no need for them to come down anymore a lot of those businesses just didn’t keep going,” Peter says.

He says in its heyday Southport was very vibrant and “was really a busy, busy town – back in the 60s/70s/early 80s in particular.”


Typically this park is ideally situated to see the waterway, the large exclusive houses, boats and high rise tourist buildings.200819 james overell park5200819 james overell park2

Saturday 24th August.

We supported our village bowls group by taking part in a Triples team afternoon. It is a bit amazing that considering Donnis may only play once or twice a year she still manages to put in a creditable performance. After the bowls we had almost 40 people attend a Pie, Peas, Potato and Gravy dinner. It was a nice social evening. We tried a new beer, Strumans Organic Lager. Usually I steer away from Organic because it is just an excuse to sell poor produce at twice the price. In this case the beer costs about the same as non- organic and has a pleasing taste as well. Well chosen, even if I do say so myself.

595. Sunday 18th August 2019.Caesar Salads, a walk along the beach and jet ski’s…

Friday 16th August

It has been a quiet week. Just doing stuff at home that needs to be done. Weeding is one of them but half an hour of weeding leads to an all- day pain in the back. Every day I weed a little and feel pain a lot.

Lighting is another job. The spare toilet room, the main bathroom and our front steps all have LED battery powered movement activated lights. All three rely upon a double sided tape, supplied by the manufacturer, to hold them to a wall or bench or under stairs. All three tapes just gave up and the light just keeps falling down. Grrr!

Solution? I ordered some super gel, super stick Nano tape which should arrive Monday. If it performs half as good as the ads claim it will be fine with me.

The toilet seat in the spare toilet room has a soft close feature and it has never soft closed. It is one of the few Aldi products I have bought which has not performed as it should. As well the very fine thin metal slot which holds the bolt which attaches it to the toilet bowl has bent and as well as not soft closing the seat slides around. Enough is enough! I took measurements and called on a plumbing specialist at Bunnings. I was soon home fitting the toilet seat, Wooee! What a difference that made. The toilet seat closes softly and it does not slide around on the fitting.

Saturday 17th August

It is grandson Chris 15th birthday today. Mum Regelyn organised a lunch at the Carindale Hotel which is part of the mega Carindale Shopping Centre at umm err, Carindale. It was an hours drive from home, but first we had to buy a birthday card and then buy fuel. It seems my favourite United Service Station has fuel at least 20 cents cheaper than anywhere else nearby. We had to queue with about 50 other cars to get fuel then as we neared roadworks on the M1 near Rochdale traffic slowed to a walking pace. Finally we reached Carindale and like all the other cars lined up in front of us we went looking for a parking spot. We were almost 45 minutes late by the time we arrived. Whew! This is not a typical pub with pub food  prices. Pete and Chris had a steak each of which was $35. Donnis and I had a Caesar Salad which did not have anchovies – which it should – so it was a bit of a mild salad, not as good as I make at home. Each salad cost us $12.

170819 dcp
Birthday boy Chris with grandma and dad Peter.

170819 dfc

Chris plays a Rugby League semi- final tomorrow.

Sunday 18th August

As usual, Sunday dawned fine and sunny and stayed that way all day. I could not find a cloud in the sky.

180819 phillip park entrance
Entrance to main beach at Phillip Park near Sea World.

It was warm (hot) in the sun but a cool breeze was blowing off the ocean.

180819 main beach
Main Beach north looking to the Sand Pumping Jetty.

We went for a walk along Main Beach

180819 main beach1
Main Beach looking south.

180819 main beach2

and found a team of Lifesavers undergoing jet ski in surf training. It was fun to watch them punching their way through breaking waves.180819 jet ski1180819 jet ski2180819 jet ski180819 jet ski3180819 jet ski4180819 jet ski5180819 jet ski6180819 jet ski7

There were more people walking the beach today and all car parks were near enough to full capacity.

180819 sailing
Sailboat racing.

After our walk we drove to Mondarewa Beach to watch the boats coming and going on The Broadwater. We had a picnic lunch on a beach blanket and in general just relaxed in a fabulous setting. We have so many family friendly beaches and parks to choose from and it seem the entire population of the Gold Coast were also out enjoying themselves.

180819 aquaduck
The Aquaduck takes passengers along regular Gold Coast streets then plunges into The Broadwater. I did a similar trip at 1770 some years ago and I confess the first time the duck goes into the water you feewl it will sink and your heart begins to race.

180819 aquaduck1180819 aquaduck2

Yesterday we had a Caesar Salad (seniors menu) at the Carindale Hotel. Tonight we prepared a huge Caesar Salad which included anchovies – as it should. The serving size would have been double what we had for lunch yesterday. I estimate the cost for two huge servings would be $6. We had a much tastier, fresher meal prepared at home. That is probably why we do not eat out all that often.

BTW Chris team won their Semi-Final match 20-18.

180819 seaworld
Looking at Surfers Paradise in the distnace with Sea World on the right.

180819 seaworld1

594. Sunday 11th August 2019. Back in the Gold Coast, a big beach walk and rugby league…

Monday 5th August.

Man I had a dreadful flight. All the way a paperback was on my knee. Really, it was not such a good flight. The seats seem to be narrower and closer together than ever before. The flight was delayed and delayed again. There was lots of turbulence.

Arrived Brisbane and as always am amazed at the number of people populating the airport. All those people waiting for a flight, boarding a flight, disembarking from a flight, eating, buying stuff, collecting baggage, checking in and being delayed by security. Somehow it all works and despite complaints, most of us get our flights on time and arrive safely at the other end.

I am always grateful for that.

Gee it’s good to be back home.

If you have seen the movie, YESTERDAY you will understand some of the lines in this paragraph.

Friday 9th August

I spent the last few days just settling back into life on the Gold Coast.

First up this morning I had an appointment at the skin clinic where a couple of biopsies were taken and sent away for checking. If things go as they usually do, I have no doubt that next week I will have a couple of surgeries to remove Basal Carcinoma cells. We have no idea when as a teenager, enjoying our days on the beach, in the sunshine that it will come back to haunt us. Some more haunted than others. If any young people read this, please learn to cover up. The old adage of SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a hat is as pertinent today as it was 30 years ago, In fact as teenagers we always thought nothing would happen to us.

How wrong we were and if only the message we want to pass on is heard and listened to by a younger generation.

I had a read back through my Blog for this week in 2007. Donnis and I took our original motorhome, the converted Toyota Coaster bus, to the Gemfest held at Rubyvale each year. We stayed in our motorhome on a friends Ruby mining lease at umm err Rubyvale. The Gemfest, is a like a local market. It takes me about 5 minutes to look quickly at whatever is on display and then another two hours of boredom waiting for Donnis to finish her detailed browsing. Thank goodness for coffee, I only wish I had my Kindle in 2007.

Saturday 10th August

Today was sunny and very windy with a distinct chill. Just before midday we drove to Main Beach. We were both surprised at the number of cars at the beach and in fact had to choose our second preferred option to find a car park. As it turned out we would have been better choosing the third preferred option to park. When we left home and discussed our walk it was with the intent of walking a few hundred metres and walking back. After a few hundred metres Donnis suggested we go as far as the sand pumping station and have lunch at the kiosk before heading back to the car.

100819 sand pump
The sand pumping station at The Spit. This station keeps the north drifting sand from piling up around the breakwall and in the Seaway. The seawater and sand slurry is pumped via 10 jet pumps along a pipe system which is 11 metres below sea level and pumped onto the beach at South Stradbroke Island.

100819 sand pump1

Hmmm! That is about 5klms along the sand and will take about an hour or even more.

100819 spit
It only looks a short distance from here but it is around 5Klms

So that is what we did. We had fish n chips at Seaway Kiosk. Originally I thought we would share a serve of fish n chips and take it to a bench seat somewhere and struggle with the wind. As it turned out we ate in the bright and cheerful dining area, drinking lots of water for the return walk.100819 fandd

About 300 metres into our walk I started having back spasms and found it too difficult to continue. Donnis trudged on alone while I gingerly dawdled over the sandhills to The Spit and sat and walked slowly until Donnis arrived just over an hour later.

100819 sand pump2
Excess seawater ius pumped back into the ocean below the jetty.

100819 sand pump3

We quite enjoyed the walk and the lunch so will keep the Seaway Kiosk in mind for future lunch options.

100819 seat
Walkway beside the sand pumping jetty.
100819 sand pump4
It seemed this was the best surf along the entire stretch of beach today. The strong north westerlies flattened the swell.

Sunday 11th August

I went to the doctor at 9am as I have had a pain in my left side all this week. It seems my old friend Di Verticulitis has paid a visit. My doctor thinks 4 antibiotics tablets will clear up the inflamation.  Its nice to be abl;e to see your doctor on a Sunday if you are in pain.

A last minute decision saw us driving to Narangba in the far northern Brisbane suburbs. Chris was playing a Rugby League match today. 110819 chris1It was a long way to drive to watch his team win 56 -6 but was also an opportunity to see another part of Brisbane. 110819 chrisIt is a very large suburb and seems very well laid out with lots of parklands and trees and green space scattered among the houses. I would not feel comfortable living there in bushfire season.110819 chris2

593. Sunday 4th August 2019.Italy tourists arrive home, Campwin Beach, Sarina Beach, Townsville and Ninja antics…

Monday 29th July

A quiet day for a change. No driving up the valley, up the coast down the coast. No visiting historical sights or looking for abandoned houses.

Today I collected Sandi and Dave from the airport. They have returned from 3 weeks doing hiking and sight- seeing in Italy. They have come back bearing new phrases such, Ciao. Or Espresso. Or Limoncello. It seems they have also brought back a Mediterranean way of eating, especially Dave who was a Pizza fanatic before he left but has gone to a new level of pizza. It seems a new version of Balsamic Vinegar has captured his tastebuds.  Sandi also brought back some blisters on her feet she did not have when she left.

The bottle of Limoncello in a bottle shaped like the high heeled boot of Italy they brought me was a pleasant surprise. I like Limoncello.

Thursday 1st August


Today I took a drive to Campwin Beach which is on the other side of the inlet to Grasstree Beach which I visited last week.

010819 campwin point
Campwin Point with usual array of predominant Pandanus palms.

There are some pretty amazing expensive houses and duplexes and holiday cottages here.

010819 campwin point1
Campwin Point

I am not sure why. The views are not all that spectacular, the beaches are ordinary, there is no surf but I understand the fishing is good – if you have a boat and can go offshore.

010819 campwin point2
I seem to like taking photos of bench seats. This one is at

Next stop was Sarina Beach which is also a bit ordinary and with a strong south easterly blowing . It was not a pleasant day on the beach.

010819 sarina beach
Sarina Beach

However I did go for a walk which is what I needed. Sarina has a substantial surf club premises but unlike the busy clubs on the Gold Coast do not have sufficient local population to have a restaurant or even a coffee shop.

Next was the Sarina Inlet which once upon a time also hosted a large fishing fleet.

010819 sarina inlet
Sarina Inlet

Like Grasstree Beach they have all but gone.

010819 sarina inlet point
Sarina Inlet

The inlet here is much larger and deeper but the boat ramp is a bit old.

Back in 2005 the local community built the Sarina Inlet Trail which starts near the old fishing fleet jetties and continues behind the line of mangroves beneath a hill until it exits at the inlet beach.

010819 inlet trail
Sarina Inlet Trail

It is only a few hundred Klms but an interesting walk and one which took a lot of effort by locals to clear and line with rocks.

010819 inlet beach
Die back Sarina Inlet

After the walk I drove to the top of the hill overlooking the inlet and was surprised to find the  Captain E P Blackwood RN lookout and memorial plaque as he first sailed into this inlet in  the survey ship HMS “FLY” in 1770. The plaque also covers a time capsule intended to be opened in 2070, 100 years after the capsule was “buried” in 1970. I would like to see the opening. I only have to wait another 51 years. The entire hillside is covered in wild vegetation except where members of the historical society have kept the path and staircase trimmed.

010819 sarina inlet1
Sarina Inlet Beach note the rough brown sand.


Friday 2nd August

Today was the long drive to Townsville to visit my daughter Shelley and her family.

I turned off the highway at Proserpine to visit Airlie Beach where our house is undergoing a big tidy up and facelift. Nobody was working today but at least I could see the work that has been done. I was a bit disappointed as I expected to see workers cleaning the roof of accumulated eucalyptus oil, pressure cleaned, base coat and two coats on both house and the garage. The house external walls will also have a few coats of paint to match the new roof colour.

After a coffee and a toasted ham cheese and tomato sandwich at McDonalds I resumed the trip calling in to see my daughter and the house full of kids and friends before I continued a few Klms to stay with a friend, Karen, in her big empty house. It was a long and tiring trip of over 400 Klms so I should sleep well tonight. I arrived in Townsville to a downpour of rain which has been threatening all day.

Karen is a wonderful hostess, ensures I am well fed and have a comfortable bed and is a good communicator.


Saturday 3rd August

After Karen gave me a giant breakfast of bacon n eggs I drove to Shelley’s house where Mathew was waiting excitedly for me so we could go to Ninja Parc.030819 ninja6

Ninja Parc is a place designed on the TV series Australian Ninja. 030819 ninjaIt is a challenging circuit for all ages. Mathew has a season pass and although he struggles with most of the equipment, he continues to try and try and try. He tried to the point of a lather of sweat and near exhaustion but at least it used up much of the excess energy he has.030819 ninja2030819 ninja1030819 ninja3030819 ninja4030819 ninja5030819 ninja7

Georgia on the other hand felt it was all too boring and just wanted to go to Hogs Breath for lunch…which we did. Actually I think Hogs Breath is quite a good alternative to McDonalds as they have now extended their weekday $9.90 lunch to every day. The menu has about six offerings but from my point of view the Beer Battered Whiting Fillets and Sweet Potato Wedges was more than enough as it was quite filling.

Dinner at Karens and I fell asleep on the lounge watching TV.


Sunday 4th August

Another long drive from Townsville to Mackay.

Tomorrow I fly home to the Gold Coast.