Month: September 2019

601. Sunday 29th September 2019. Galaxy A30, sorting pebbles, bowls, country music and historical buildings…

Monday 23rd September

My new phone, the Samsung Galaxy A30 is working wonderfully, especially as a Hotspot for Internet on the PC. I am a little lost as many of the icons are different from the A3. However the much larger screen is easier to use with a bigger keyboard.

Tuesday 24th September

The work of creating a new back yard goes on. I need to be careful with lifting the heavy pavers and buckets of pebbles. I cannot have a back problem again. I am sorting and sieving the pebbles and today used them to great effect. On one edge of the carpet grass I have made a small garden with edging and placed some succulents, namely, Echeveria Benimusume still in their pots.succulent The remaining area has been filled with the cleaned and sorted pebbles. I have now started digging the pebbles and pavers from the last section of yard so I can prepare the ground ready for the final roll of carpet grass.230919 yard

Wednesday 25th September

Regular readers may recall I have, from time to time, given a progress report on my weight loss. I started at 82 Kg and told my Gastro Enterologist I would like to be at least 72 Kg by our next appointment on 1st October. With just over a week before I see him I can proudly report my weight is hovering just a little below 71 Kg and I expect will be 70 Kg by the appointed date. The weight loss has been slow and steady since I started in March this year. Although I have lost 11 Kg, it has been in places other than where I want to lose it, namely the stomach. Granted I have lost some stomach, but most of it has come from the rest of my body, mainly my bum. At least I am back in trousers and shorts I once wore when I was working, circa 2010.

Today while sieving pebbles a Water Dragon paid me a visit. He/She is only young and lives part time under my house. It also lives part time under the other houses too. They are wonderful creatures and although a little scary to look at, are harmless and help keep vermin away. I found I was talking with it and it was kind enough to pay attention and not run away. Most of the people here feel the same way about the Dragons, it is nice to have them here and watch as they sun themselves on our driveways and roadway.

Friday 27th September

On my early morning walk I met neighbour, Rita, walking in the opposite direction to me. We talked about the Dragons who live in our village. I was surprised and pleased that she also talks to the Dragons.

Saturday 28th September

Worked on sorting and cleaning pebbles.

Sigh!

Will I ever be finished?

In the afternoon I played bowls then joined the other players for happy hour and watched, off and on, the Grand Final AFL match between Richmond and Greater Western Sydney. The winning margin was so great you would be forgiven for thinking GWS had packed up and gone home after the first quarter.

In the evening I watched the Rugby League semi- finals between Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm. The Storm were there but did not play like the well- oiled machine they are.

Sunday 29th September

We started the morning with a Social Committee breakfast put on by Wayne and Deb at their home and followed up with a Social Committee meeting. As usual Wayne worked hard to provide a great meal enjoyed by all.290919 guanaba bicycle

Afterwards I joined neighbours Frank and Kay, Graham and Wencke and Linda at the Guanaba Country Music Club Paradise Kids Charity day at their clubhouse at Heritage Park, Pimpama.

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Lots of old dunnies scattered throughout the park. None are in working order.

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Bench seats were everywhere.

Seven Country Music Clubs attended along with seven bands

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One iof seven bands at the event.

and a handful of guest artists.

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Little guest. She won a music scholarship during the year.

The day kicked off at 10am and ran through until 6pm. The entry fee was only $5 for the entire day of entertainment.290919 guanaba shed

290919 guanaba benchseat
Bench seat with a bit of old rusty machinery. One thging we had to be careful of…sankes are on the move. Mating season. This area has lots of brown snakes.

Linda and I took a walk through the heritage park looking at all the old buildings and machinery which had been transported there.290919 guanaba dunny1

290919 guanaba windmill

The Heritage Village is being slowly constructed from some old some new materials or buildings transported to the site and will be a working historical village one day in the future.

290919 guanaba machinery290919 guanaba signwriters shop290919 guanaba windmill2

One of the buildings which caught my attention was a Single Man’s Workers cottage built around 1920.

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A single man’s workers hut.

The walls were lined with wide pine boards which were used as packing material to ship Ford Automobiles from the USA to Australia.290919 guanaba windmill1290919 guanaba first aid

290919 guanaba sawmill
Two level sawmill. The blade extended into the area below. WQorkers stood on the upper platform to ensure timber was guided through the saw and the rollers.
290919 guanaba jewellers shop
Was this once a Jewellers Shop?

It was a great afternoon of music and dancing and lots of laughs.

A man, apparently well known for living his life as an Elvis impersonator did some pretty good Elvis songs while dressed in the authentic jump suit, worn by Elvis in his Blue Hawaii Tour. He apologised for being a little rusty as he has been keeping a low profile for the last 40 years!

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Elvis is in the building.
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Linda, Graham,Wencke, Frank and Kay with Rock and Roll teacher, Sue.

Back home and after dinner I joined other neighbours Tony and Jenny for some heavy duty table tennis competition. Tony was exhausted after two games but Jenny and I battled on for another hour before I finally called it quits. I was also ahead on the scoreboard so it is better to quit while you are ahead.

My muscles will make me pay tomorrow and the next day.

 

600. Sunday 22nd September 2019. SWELL Festival, Rock & Roll, Whales and Fingal Head…

Just in case you have not noticed/realised/understood the meaning of the first number of the post each week. Just so it all makes sense this weeks number is 600. That means I have posted an article, mostly on a weekly basis, on 600 occassions. That is the equivalent of a post a day for almost 2 years. In real terms that is at least one post per week for 12 years. Think about that. Hopefully you stay with me for the next 12 years.

Wednesday 18th September

At last the phone account is now swung over to my name, I have a new Samsung Galaxy A30 which I will use as a Hot Spot to provide Internet to the PC and laptop. I retained my phone number and will still use my email address.

All is right with the world.

Or so I thought.

I drove to Currumbin Beach for a look at the Sculptures at the Swell Festival for a second time but mainly to photograph in the setting sun. My first problem was no Internet. Everywhere I walked along the beach, there was no signal.

180918 currumbin alley
Currmbin Alley is included in the SWELL Festival.

Grrr!

Although the time was pushing 5pm the number of children, with or without parents, were moving in front of and playing in on and around the sculptures. The chances of getting a clear photo was almost nil.

180919 currumbin alley rock
This rock at Currumbin Alley gets more kids climbing on it at festival time than it does for the rest of the year.

Unless I waited them out.

What was worse were the children, young and not so young, accompanied by parents, who thought it was a good idea to climb on the sculptures despite at least two signs in front of each piece, printed in large type, asking not to climb on the works. I guess the children AND their parents never learned to read while at school. Or is it simply, the parents do not care.

180919 bower
I am still puzzling over this. I know it is meant to be art but it looks more like an eagle or hawk than a Bower Bird.
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Called “I’ve Been Everywhere”. So it is basically a tyre which I understand rewpresents travel or the ability to travel while all the spoons have a place name and a location depiction (available at tourist shops everywhere)
180919 mouse
The giant mouse/rat is sniffing the air and enjoying the smell of food coming from the surf club.
180919 nude
Yeah yeah I know I showed The Nude last week. So here it is again.

It was getting on for 6pm, light was fading fast, a chill wind was blowing off the sea when a pod of whales cavorted just off the beach.

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Here is one of several whales cavorting off the beach at Currumbin just on dusk.

They did breaches and tail flaps and flipper flops and generally hammed it up for the people on the beach.

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and spectacularly splashes down.
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More blurry whale shots.

That said, most of those on the beach never noticed the spectacle. Unfortunately with fading light and using a hand held camera on full zoom is not a recipe for successful, clear, sharp in focus action shots. Regardless of the negative aspect I felt elated to be in a position to see the whales on their way back down the coast. It sort of made up for not having Internet especially as I was to meet with another person from my photo group with whom I have only ever communicated via Facebook. Perhaps I should arrange a day at Fingal Head or Cabarita Head at suitable whale watching locations.

My Internet problem was solved later when I turned off the phone and re-booted.

Grrr! If only I had thought to do that when at Currumbin. Normally that would be the first thing I would try but today had a mental blank.

Thursday 19th September

Went to a morning tea function at the clubhouse where we had a guest speaker from Emergency Medical Services Pty Ltd. Basically they are selling a SafeTwear pendant which is monitored 24/7 anywhere in OZ including up to 25 Nautical Miles to sea. If you have a fall or any type of emergency the pendant will send a message and somebody will call you (the pendant is like a phone which has a speaker and microphone). If there is no reply they will send an ambulance to the position indicated by GPS tracking within the device. You can even wear it in the shower. Several people came up to me and said I need such a device as I have a reputation for going to adventurous places.

Friday 20th September

In the morning I went to art group for coffee, cake and conversation as well as to show my photos.

The local Telstra store has still not fully transferred my details onto the account as requested and as they promised to do. I cannot access Telstra 24/7 in order to see what usage has occurred. Today I was at Helensvale collecting some photo blocks I ordered and decided, on impulse, to visit the Telstra shop there. I made an appointment and viola, within 5 minutes my details were fully transferred and my new user name and password were set up. They also did some tweaking on the font size on my phone and I was on my way to my appointment at the bank.

So far my new Samsung Galaxy A30 has delivered fast internet via Hot Spot. According to my account I have used 1.2 Gb of data in the last week. Allowing for say, 2 Gb per week that would average out at 14 Gb per month and would be below my 15Gb per month allowance. I will monitor over the next few months. While at Telstra I noticed on their private screen that somewhere in the future I will be offered 40 Gb – at no extra cost I would hope. Maybe then I can stream movies but so far I am not interested in that. My TV and DVD recorder gives me all the entertainment options I need.

I did a download/ upload speed test. When using an ADSL Modem I was getting a download of around 10 Mbps and an upload of 3Mbps. On Hotspot via the Galaxy A30 the download speed is now 37.4 Mbps and upload is 10.2 Mbps. That is  4x times faster using the phone.

Saturday 21st September

Tonight I went to the Guanaba Country Music Club Rock and Roll dance. Top Rock and Roll Band, Dance On, was featured. My friend Frank went a couple of hours earlier so he could get the preferred table for his group of dancers. As it transpires most of the usual attendees were at another dance. Frank’s wife Kay stayed home with Bronchitis so the number of dancers from Brisbane and the Gold Coast was about half the usual number. As you know by now I am a total novice at Rock and Roll so I expected to just be a listener and only join in for some Line Dancing. A couple of ladies had other ideas and got me up for several dances. One partner, a dance instructor, who is nicknamed The Pocket Rocket, took me way beyond my comfort zone by getting me to join her in a Rock and Roll Waltz. I have never done this and was totally at sea as I was twirled around the dance floor. That said, I had a fantastic night and my dance confidence levels just took a huge boost.

Thanks Marcia.

Sunday 22nd September

I had planned to go to Fingal Head today to see the Whales and that is what I did. One of the ladies in the village had eye surgery during the week and is unable to drive and is frustrated at not being able to get out and about. I offered to take her with me.

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Looking south at Fingal Head.
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This is a tiny island of basalt separated from the headlanbd by only a few metres. This entire headland as well as Cook Island was created by lava flow from the Tweed Volcano millions of years ago. The man with folded arms may very well be contemplating how he is going to get back from his perch as the waves were slaming into the rocks around him from behind as well as from in front.

There was lots of traffic on the M1 but all considered it still took just on an hour to arrive at Fingal in northern NSW. There was a strong wind blowing from the North East which put a lot of chop and white caps on the water. We did see a couple of Whales, way out past Cook Island but too far to photograph. A pod of Dolphins swam along the cliff face, then as Dolphins do, swam out beyond the waves and started surfing. Of course they were surfing where my camera was not pointing.

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I got to see the Dolphins a biut closer but the move so fast.

When I first visited Fingal Head four years ago, the lighthouse was in good cobndition and there were lots of Pandanus trees.

230919 fingal3
Fingal Head lighthouse.

Sadly vandals have started to tear up the 100 year old forecourt of the lighthouse and many of the trees are dead or dying. 230919 fingal1There are still lots of trees but not as many as there once was. I wonder if vandals have done something or if climactic conditions means the soil is dryer these days. Pandanus on other nearby beaches do not show the same signs of dieback.

230919 fingal2
FRom Fingal Head looking south to Kingscliff in NSW.

We took the scenic route home along The Gold Coast Highway turning off through Currumbin and getting caught in traffic. Today is the last day of the SWELL Festival and there were people and cars everywhere. I am glad I did not plan to come here today.

599. Sunday 15th September 2019. Working with pebbles, Swell Festival, sunrise, Mt Tamborine and 8 Street….,

LOTS OF PHOTOS THIS WEEK.

Monday 9th September

It seems every day I put in at least an hour working with the huge amount of pebbles I dug out of the backyard last week. I put a bucketful through a sieve and end up with a small pile of larger pebbles, a large pile of smaller pebbles and a sand soil mixture which I have picked over to remove the old weeds and plant material. I suspect the pebble originally were a low grade mix, probably taken from a beach, unsorted and unwashed as there seems to be a large number of small seashells in the smaller pebbles. I have also found a couple of sinkers, bits of fishing lines, a hook and a swivel on fishing line. I suppose there is no rush and I can take my time. In fact although my back hurts I find the routine somewhat mentally soothing. What is a mental challenge though is the fact that an equal amount of pebbles and pavers still has to be dug up and the ground levelled so I can put down more carpet grass.

Wednesday 11th September

Today I caught the bus to Southport. I used my Event Theatres card to buy a ticket to see the movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It is the ninth quirky movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. It lived up to the quirky theme you associate with such a director and the two leads, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt really give the impression of good buddies. Australian actress Margot Robbie played the part of Sharon Tait and although the story line had her as a side plot it all melded together well. The movie is about 3 hours and the first 2 hours is building the story line, slowly, ever so slowly until finally it all comes together in a dramatic fashion. Despite the length and the slow build up, I enjoyed the movie and the realistic depiction of Hollywood life in the 60’s.

Friday (ooh its scary) 13th September

Took i30 for a 75,000 Klm service this morning.

Next was morning coffee at the art group and to show a few photos.

I walked to Harbourtown to talk with Telstra about the new phone plan. My Samsung Galaxy A3 is not going to be powerful enough to be used as a Hot Spot and the battery is quickly wearing out. Yesterday I purchased a Samsung Galaxy A30 and charged it as soon as I came home. I took it off charge at 10pm last night and at 1pm today was still at 100% even after updates and transferring data etc. The A3 on the other hand was taken off charge at 7am and was 100%. At 1pm battery was down to 28% so it confirms that the battery would not last and the power of the A3 would not be sufficient. However I will still need a couple more days before the system is all in place and my old number – SIM Card – is installed in the new phone. I have to shut down the old account first and transfer that to my name. It all takes time. Telstra have been helpful.

Saturday 14th September

My intention was to be at Currumbin Beach to see the sunrise and photograph the sculptures with the dawn as a backdrop and to avoid the crowds. Within half a Klm of leaving home I saw the sun just above the horizon, glowing as a big red fiery ball. I suppose the dust in the atmosphere from the dust storm last week and the smoke from the bushfires helped give it that extra glow.

140918 tower
Not a piece of artwork but it siuts among the sculptures and pretends.
140919 washed out
This piece is called Washed Out and seems to be made of laundry baskets. It also seems to be the shape of a human brain so I instantly recognised it as such and know the turmoil of being washed out.
140919 nude
Two sides of the one piece, called The Nude. It is lit as a neon piece at night and I am sure it would be wonderful to see in the dark. In the day it does not have the same impact.

140919 nude1

I arrived at Currumbin Beach and was lucky enough to get a parking spot although even at 6.30 am it was getting full.

140919 sunny one day perfect the next
This piece is called Suny One Day, Perfect the Next. Yes, I get it and understandit and can relate to it especially where it is located on the beach where the real life buildings it portrays are in the background. I wonder how it would look in a gallery or public sopace without the imposing built in inspiration.
140919 tide
This piece is called Tide. I am sure there must be a story behind it. I see an open door and in this case the sea is reflected and seen as if through an open door. What I do not understand is why the door is on a slant.

The crowds were already here, oohing and aahing around each piece of sculpture instead of standing back and admiring.

140919 barcode
This is a collaborative work by three artists. I spoke with one of them. The piece is called Barcode hence the numbers on some panels. One of the artists was inspired by the black door at 10 Dowling Street.
140919 the host
This is called The Host. Why? It could be a large mouse, or rat or a kangaroo. Once again I am sure the artist had a reason to name it the way it was.
140919 hand in the sand
Called Hand in the Sand. What you see is what you get. Get it?

The pieces are arranged along the beach from Currumbin Alley Rock to Elephant Rock and along the park behind the beach.

140919 little tree frog
Called Little Tree Frog. Yep. A bit angular perhaops but recognisably a tree frog.
140919 sea spirit
This is called Sea Spirit. Hmmm! You need to make up your own mind.
140919 migration
This piece is called Migration and the artist hails from Canada. Instantly, when I saw it, before reading the information, it put me in mind of the Sand Cranes, common in USA and Canada.
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Great early morning wave at Currumbin Beach.

As usual there are about 50 entries and although many are from Queensland there are entries from around the world, including one from Iran.

140919 big fish
The imagination of the artists knows no bounds when it comes to being creative and making a piece of art. For some reason the creative juices are turned off when it comes to creating a name. This is called Big Fish.
140919 angler fish
This little beauty was a hit with the kids. You can turn a crank handle outside the fence and the mouth will open and close and a deep throated growl would rumble through the mouth. Looks like this one needs to see a dentist. It looks like an Angler Fish from the deepest darkest part of the ocean. The little bait dangling over the head, lights up at night.

This is a family friendly festival and even at this early hour there were lots of families on the beach and as I discovered mid-morning at all the little coffee shops having a late breakfast.

140919 wesley
This piece is called Wesley. Wesley the Whale? It’s a bit rough but art is in the mind of the artist and those that can see what he saw…OR… they see what they think he saw.
140919 village bike
This collection uis called Village Bike. Yeah, I get that.
140919 tribesman
I photographed this several weeks ago at the Helensvale Library. Unfiortunately I was there just after sunrise so the sun puts the face in shadow. Despite that, you can still see the life in those eyes.

All places selling coffee and food were packed.

140919 balcony
Across the street was a piece of work from a past Swell Festival. It was in a prominent position on a balcony overlooking the park and beach. It is a sort of Venus de Milo meets surfing culture.
140919 mothers wisdom
Mothers Wisdom. I guess it is all about sharing a cup of tea, having a chat and disussing your problems and your world with your mum? Perhaps!
140919 bower
Unfortunately the rising sun puts this, Bower, in shade. To me it looks like an eagle rather than a bower bird.
140919 look again
This piece is called Look Again. I did. On this side it looks like a Piuth Helmet. The other side is much the same. On tghis side there is a eyepiece to look into. On th other side there are about a dozen keyholes to look into. Nothing to see.
140919 concrete fish
For reasons best known to the artist, this is called, Cobncrete Fish. Really?

I took 331 photos in 3 hours. Amazing! Now have to narrow my choices down to about 20 preferred images for final editing.

140919 fiat
What is this all about? I am sure it has a name and a significance.

140919 fantasy

140919 different ape same stick
This is called Different Ape, Same Stick. I instantly thought of North Korea. It is a missile mounted on a crossbow. Sort of a modern destructive weapon mounted on a archaic destructive weapon.

Later I wandered into Currumbin RSL for an early lunch. This gem of a place is situated on  Currumbin Creek between the M1 Motorway Bridge and Thrower St bridge and surrounded by a ring of trees which hides it from view. The views across the creek from The Deck Creekside are stunning. Hmmm. Maybe I should have joined here instead of Surfers RSL.

Sunday 15th September

I really wanted a photo of the sunrise yesterday.

150919 broadwater 1
The tide has washed the beach clean and removed yesterday’s foot prints. Readty for a new day of walkers and runners and dohs and children playing and digging.

150919 bench seat

For some reason I woke at 4am this morning and went to The Broadwater and waited for the sun to make its bold, colourful journey out of the sea.

150919 trees
All along the Broadwater especially at Labrador are these Norfolk Island Pines. I was waiting for the sunrise when they caught my eye.

150919 lone tree150919 broadwater4150919 broadwater3150919 broadwater

I was not disappointed.150919 broadwater 2

150919 sunrise
Drum Roll. Let the SUNRISE begin.
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Slowly, steadily it creeps above the treeline, showing a flaming ball made more “red” by the dust and smoke in the sky.
150919 sunrise2
It almost looks like a planet.

150919 sunrise6150919 sunrise5150919 sunrise4150919 sunrise3

150919 sunrise7
SUNRISE.

I spent some time sorting pebbles and for a few hours went to the St Bernards Hotel at Mt Tamborine and listened to a Jazz Band called Galapagos Duck. I recall seeing this band many years ago when they performed in Wollongong. Two of the original members are still playing and they are now based on the Gold Coast. I had a cold beer and as the afternoon wore on it got colder. It was so cold I was shivering.

Time to go home.

As a treat I went to the Harbourtown Outlet Shopping Centre and had wonton soup at 8 Street.   http://www.8street.com.au/  which is like an Asian street food locale. eight8 Street is an Asian hawkers market style street food precinct combined with a beer garden. 8 Street is designed with traditional Asian architecture in mind, the stalls feature wooden fixtures and fittings and allow shoppers to see their food being made to order in front of them.

eight 1
This looks like a street food scene from somewhere in Asia. Nope. It is right here on the Gold Coast.

In true Hawker market style, 8 Street stalls are compact and provide takeaway food as well as dine-in options. 8 Street beer garden offers a large range of Asian and international beer, cider, Japanese sake, Korean saju, and Australian local wine.

The many choices of street food and simple bench seats and you really feel you are in a street in Vietnam, or Malaysia etc. I had a bowl of soup which had a dozen wontons but also included another 6 steamed dumplings. It cost $12.90 and very filling.

598. Sunday 8th September 2019. A new back yard, Rugby League, bushfire destroys Binna Burra and a birthday…

Monday 2nd September

Work continued in the backyard, digging up pebbles, roughly levelling and creating an edge to keep pebbles off the carpet grass. I laid down a sand base to finish the levelling.

Tuesday 3rd September.

Drove to Australia Fair to watch a movie. The session I wanted to  attend was Gold Class only and the ticket price was $25 instead of the usual $12.50. I chose to come home.

I laid the first 3 metre section of carpet grass and partially pegged it to the ground and replaced a couple of the stepping tiles.

Wednesday 4th September

The weather has been a lot like summer and no rain in sight. Woke to a smokey smell and a smoke haze across the creek. I went for a walk along the Broadwater to Lands End. Then it was back to work in the back yard, preparing the ground for the next lot of carpet grass.  I must have 20 bucketloads of pebbles. Now that I see the pebbles up close it seems there is a mix of reasonable size pebbles mixed with a sort of smaller sixed pebble and small gravel. Yuk. I am going to have a hard time sorting good size pebbles from smaller rubbish and the soil which is mixed in.

The smoke haze is from bush fires in the valleys of the hinterland a few Klms to our west.

Thursday 5th September – Happy Birthday to me.

With nothing planned I drove to Surfers Paradise and took a new route. I am not sure if it was any shorter or quicker but found myself on Chevron Island. It was coffee time so I stopped for a coffee and banana bread. I had a walk around the shopping centre and realised it is a pretty self- contained residential area with a good variety of shops. All of this is shadowed by the high rise just across the bridge.

I knew that parking would be a problem in Surfers so left the car at the coffee shop and walked to Surfers, along the beach and then back to Cavill Avenue where I rubber necked at all the shops and tourists and street people. I walked into an arcade and saw a sign saying Surfers Paradise RSL Club and renovations almost complete, come on in a have a look. So I did . Umm no you cannot come in as you live within 15 Klms and you must be a member or member of any other club or a visitor from outside the 15 Klm radius. Oh Ok then. But, they said, you can join for three years for $2. So I joined. Beer is discounted for members as are meals in the dining room.

050919 rsl
View from Surfers Paradise RSL balcony.

There is a nice little park and cenotaph just outside the club and a memorial to a dog called “MATEY” who greeted visitors to the beach for many years.

050919 dog
MATEY the dog memorial.

I have not been a member of a club for many years and had been thinking I should join an RSL so this was an ideal opportunity. Talking with a neighbiour who was President of the Southport RSL Club for 13 years he commented their fees are $6.50 per annunm so $2 for three years is a bargain.

In the afternoon I continued working in my backyard.050919 backyard

Tonight, friends Deb and Wayne invited me for dinner before Deb and I went to table tennis.

Friday 6th September

A bit of work in the back yard then I attended the Art Group for a coffee, display some photos and a chat. It is always fun.

Then back to the yard and finally rolled out the second three metres. Again I have roughly pegged it in place. Put down a couple of concrete pavers and started sorting and washing the pebbles. OMG this is going to be a mammoth job. I suppose the easiest way is to just select the best pebbles one by one by one.

Tonight on the news it was announced that several fires in the hinterland are out of control and with the forecast strong westerly winds, high daytime temperatures and no rain in sight, Catastrophic Fire Conditions are forecast for the next few days.

I did not win Powerball last night.

Again.

Saturday 7th September.

I spent most of the day sieving through the bucket loads of gravel. I have ended up with three piles of medium to acceptable pebbles, smaller pebbles better suited to being called gravel and a third pile of dusty soil. Looking around at the 6 milk crates lined with garbage bags all filled with gravel/pebbles, I see a lot of work ahead which will keep me off the streets in the coming days and weeks.

Tonight I went with friends Frank and Kay and Ken and Glennis to the Woongoolba Hall monthly dance. The hall is located in the middle of a sugar cane field which itself is surrounded by sugar cane all of them located between the M1 and the small coastal community of Jacobs Well about 45 Klms from home. In other words in the middle of nowhere. Luckily most of Frank and Kay’s Rock and Roll Group attended along with two other dance groups. Most of the locals who would normally attend were at the final night of the Beenleigh Show. The band, “Bittersweet”, was really a husband and wife duo with a good repertoire of songs. So the night went with some Waltzes, Gypsy Tap, Line Dancing, Rock and Roll and a mix of whatever you wanted to do. The last song was the Hokey Pokey. Even if you cannot dance you can do the Hokey Pokey.

The hall committee also put on a lavish supper of all the foods I normally do not eat in my diet. However not having eaten dinner I had a couple of small helpings and gasp shock horror, two beers during the night. I also had a cup of tea but the tank water did not have a pleasant taste. Yuk.

It was a fun night, something different and gave me a chance to learn more about the R&R group and the people and their dance abilities. As has been the case, every time I go to one of these events I am in awe of the dancing talent. They make it look so easy.

My parents were very good ballroom dancers and my aunt was a dance instructor so I guess somewhere in my genes there is a gene crying out to be let loose. Perhaps that’s why I found myself quick stepping back to the table after a dance.

I had a good night and was pleased I had friends to share it with.

Sunday 8th September

I did a little sieving and sorting of pebbles in the morning then headed off to Browns Plains in Brisbane.

Yesterday and overnight the fire got much worse and about 11 properties were destroyed in the Binna Burra, Beechmont, Saraba and Springwood areas. The original wonderful Heritage Listed Binna Burra Lodge Resort, built in 1933 was totally destroyed.

For the last time this season I went to watch Chris play in a Rugby League Grand Final at Browns Plains. Chris had his own cheer squad of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts to cheer him on. Sadly the team lost, by an uncomfortable margin. I decided not to take the camera so you not be subjected to endless photos of Chris on the leagues ground.

After the game we went to The Glen, an overpriced hotel at Eight Miles Plains.

The Rugby League season is over.

Unless Chris gets chosen for an under 16’s representative side.

That is a real possibility.

597. Sunday 1st September 2019. Fathers Day.Drive to the airport, phone plans, Audiologist, Dentist, Fathers Day and Rugby League…

Monday 26th August.

Up just before daybreak and on our way to the airport. Donnis flight to Melbourne left on time at 8.40.

Nuff said. Stay tuned.

From the airport I went to Robina Shopping Town. Of course I was there early. They had not opened any of the stores yet. Except a few coffee shops were serving staff on their way to work. Also a few early morning regulars were there for their cosmopolitan brew. Me? I would prefer a coffee in some place as close to the sea as possible. Not tucked away inside a shopping centre.

Finally the shops began to open. I had wandered around the shops for almost an hour. I was here at the Samsung Shop to ask if my Galaxy A3 is capable of maintaining good strong signal as a Hot Spot device. I am considering getting rid of our landline (which we never use) which has a modem attached. I want to increase my mobile data allowance and use the phone continually. Yes the man said my phone is powerful enough although the A20, A30 or A50 may be more suited. The A3 may suffer occasional dropouts. Hmmm! He also mentioned that the NBN may be a better proposition when it arrives. Neither my phone nor the other A series phones are suitable to 5G and the Samsung 5G device would cost over $2,000.

This needs a bit more thought.

In the afternoon I had an appointment with an Audiologist. All good. Hearing graph is almost identical to last year. They tried to promote the idea of buying a new hearing aid. I knocked that idea on the head as I rarely remember to wear the hearing aid I have now so spending another one or two thousand dollars to upgrade to a new model which I will forget to use makes no sense to me. She did point out that my hearing aid is 5 years old and they usually have a life of around 8 years before parts are no longer available. So theoretically I have another 3 years before I need to worry about upgrading by which time there will be more options.

Tuesday 27th August

Dental appointment today. Instead of driving I caught the bus. The Griffith University Dental Hospital provided me with an access code to the car park. Usually it is full unless you have an early or a late appointment. It was easier to bus it. It also gave me an opportunity to walk around some of the University campus grounds and as it was midday I got to see all the eating places feeding the masses. The huge library was also very busy as were tables and chairs and patches of grass where students etc were eating or reading. Or both.

The check-up showed I am all good for another year although my teeth were given a clean and a dose of fluoride.

I have a tale of woe today. I bought groceries at Coles and used the self -serve checkout and got $20 cashback. I left without picking up the $20. Oh woe is me.

Wednesday 28th August

Line dancing in the morning and indoor carpet bowls in the evening.

I also visited Telstra to discuss phone plans and came away without any clear choice. Basically if I keep the home phone, mobile phone and modem and it will cost about $100 a month. Or switch to increasing the data plan on the mobile and use the phone as a hot spot for the computer. With about 60 Gb of data it would cost $60. The downside is battery drain and tying up the phone when updates are done. I need to determine how much data I use per month now. That is not so easy to do when two of us have shared WiFi on the modem plus I use the PC regularly.

Thursday 29th August

I spent a casual couple of hours going through the linen cupboard selecting towels, tea towels, hand towels, serviettes and table cloths which are most likely to be used. The rest I have packed away in a plastic box. Now at last I can find what I am looking for – at least on two shelves. I will tackle the other two shelves of blankets and sheets on another day.

Friday 30th August

Swept the tiled floors in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry. I followed up with the steam mop.

Earlier this week I ordered some Photo Blocks from KMart. I collected them today. They can be displayed as a stand alone on top of a shelf or wall unit or hung on a wall. They come in various sizes so I chose a 13mm x 18mm size. I think they look quite good.

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Here are the three photo blocks and my biggest problem was…do I display as a stand alone on a shelf or hung on the wall. At present they are on the wall

Saturday 31st August

I have a little backyard, about 1.5m wide by 9 metres long. Currently there are concrete stepping blocks surrounded by pebbles. Weeds grow in the pebbles and I am sick of weeding and SWMBO will not permit me to use poison although that will no longer be the case. I started the laborious job of pulling up the stepping stones and digging out the pebbles. The depth of pebbles was deeper than anticipated so I have a job every day over the next week as my back does not appreciate the work. Once it is all dug out I will lay down a bed of sand then cover it with carpet grass.  The concrete pavers will be placed back on top of the carpet grass. – Maybe – Along the 500mm edge I will lay down an even deeper pebble garden but put down plastic matting first. Perhaps even plant some nice flowers.

Sunday 1st September –  Fathers Day

I was awake a 5 am. What to do? Ait was a cold morning so I rugged up and drove to The Broadwater for a 3 Klm walk. On the return leg I was warm enough to start shedding clothes. As always walking or riding along this path the scenery is something special. I never tire or it, any time of day and even at night the lights across the bay and of all the boats moored here and the high rise of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach with their brilliant lights reflecting on the water is always enticing.

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The Broadwater. Photo taken with my mobile phone. It would be a whole lot clearer with the camera.

So, what does a father do on Fathers Day? Why, he gets down on his hands and knees and digs up pebbles for an hour until the back protests too much.

After my mid – morning cup of coffee, I drove to Browns Plains an outer suburb of Brisbane to watch Chris play Rugby League. His team won 38/6010919 chris2 and Chris scored two tries. His Dad Peter had offered him $50 per try.

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Chris uin the process of passing the ball while being tackled. Chris has been selected with 22 other boys, Under 16, to be chosen for a team as opening round for a Phillipines verus Italy event in Sydney in October this year. Chris is number three on the list and after his two try performance today should be in the final 17.
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Go Chjris. Try number two coming up.

Next week – Grand Final.

In the afternoon it was time to put in another hour digging up pebbles and weeding.

.I also contacted Telstra and asked for my data usage over the last 3 months. Including constant downloads by Donnis and my photo uploads we have never exceeded 30Gb. Telstra were able to say that over the last 12 months we have never exceeded 30Gb. (Even with doing regular updates on the PC, laptop and two phones. Changing the phone plan to just one single mobile with 60Gb seems like a better idea the more I think about it.