Author: frankeeg

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.

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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.
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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.

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Monster passenger boat. See the YOT Club website.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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Across the Broadwater as the storm approached.

to Marina Mirage

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Looking across The Broadwater to Marina Mirage and Versace Marina

and all the way to Surfers Paradise.

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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.

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The storm is getting closer. The showers of rain are arriving.
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Looking to Surfers Paradise as the storm is approaching.
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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.
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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.

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At this part of Main Beach (Southport) the erosion looks mild.
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Further along the beach at Seaworld Beach the erosion looks more severe.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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Howard, Merrilynne and us at Mt Coot-Tha.
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Merrilynne and Donnis.
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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.

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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.

665. Sunday 24th February 2019. A flight home, escaping from illness, hot days and a cyclone hovering off the coast…

Monday 18th February

I had a rough night of some sleep. Mostly troubled by chest pain and the urge to cough which produced more pain but I felt well enough to travel.

Shan dropped us at the airport at 9am for our 11.30am flight. Yes we were 90 minutes early but we can relax and wait with no rushing. On arrival at the ticketing counter we were told the flight was delayed until 2.30pm !!! Donnis wanted to take the bus into Mackay, find a doctor, any doctor, get medication for me and take the bus back to the airport. I countered with the suggestion we take the bus to Canelands and drag our carry on baggage with us around the shopping centre. Both proposals were vetoed by the opposite person. Instead we spent the next 6 hours (the plane was further delayed until 3pm) sitting in the Ibis Airport Hotel, TurBARlance Bar, and in the airport food area and in the waiting area. Somehow we managed to fill in all that time. I used the time wisely by making a doctors appointment for tomorrow morning.

After a couple of misunderstandings about where to wait for the Gateway Airport Parking shuttle bus we were on our way but not before heading over to the International Airport and filling up the shuttle with a full load of passengers AND their luggage. Soon we were at the depot, handed our car keys and we were on our way. I must say the Gateway crew are very well trained and know their role. It is a smooth operation and the price is reasonable.

I was not well enough to drive but with Donnis driving and me navigating we were on the M1 motorway within 5 minutes and on our way home. Although traffic was heavy it was moving. I had a couple of spoons of soup, showered and in bed by 8pm.

Tuesday 19th February

I woke feeling like baked beans for breakfast while Donnis woke with a headache, sore throat and a cough.

Uh Oh!

My doctor checked me out and said Bronchitis and gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

Donnis had an appointment with her doctor who prescribed the same medication although her symptoms are a bit different.

The rest of the day we spent resting, relaxing or sleeping.

My appetite returned in a limited way and I had a bowl of soup for dinner. Yay!

Wednesday 20th February

Nothing much happened. We both stayed near a lounge or a bed, took our meds and coughed a lot. We did manage to watch a couple of movies via Popcorn and Chromecast. We saw a documentary about a man who climbed a rock called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He climbed the sheer rock face alone and without safety gear. The movie was called Free Solo and is nominated for an Academy Award.  We had both previously seen Bohemian Rhapsody and despite myself enjoyed it. The performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was stunning. He deserves a personal Oscar for his performance. We also watched Green Book and know it has been nominated for Academy Awards and quite honestly there must be an award for this movie. Finally saw A Star is Born. Yawn. Yep seen it. I suppose the music may have been great but I could not understand  what the words were. I suppose it will win an award.

All this week, Cyclone Oma has been hovering off the coast bringing strong winds, huge seas of more than 5 metres but no rain.

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Even on the Broadwater the wind was whipping up whitecaps.

I took a drive out to The Spit to photograph the big seas and King tides.

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Although there have been high tides, strong winds and bigger than average seas, the beaches were not yet closed. This was the last day this week when surfing lessons can still be carried out. Note the dune erosion. By the end of the week some erosion walls are as high as 4 metres,
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Last day of surf lessons.

I can see where the big tides and waves have carved out the sand dunes but waves are no larger than a good day.

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The wind was whipping at around 75 klms per hour and you can see the dry sand being blown off the beach.
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This houseboat, blown up on the beach is a bit of a puzzle. If it was being blown by the wind it would have ended up on the opposite shore.
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I could not see all the damage and getting in amongst the tree branches and roots was too much of a challenge.

Friday 22nd February

We both went to The Spit to look at the big swells and strong winds. The beaches are closed all along the coast. Donnis elected to stay in the car. The wind is so strong it was difficult to hold the camera steady and sand is being whipped off the beach and it tears against exposed skin of the legs and face.

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Two days later and the wind is even stronger.

Five minutes in the open and my eyes had a cake of salt around them, my ears were gritty with sand and my hair is filled with sand. This is no fun. Although the beach is closed with signs and barriers there are still stupid people who want to risk being blown or washed off the seawall.

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I am struggling to hold the camera steady as well as trying to keep the wind driven sand off the camera.
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Trying to hide from the sand was near impossible.

Sunday 24th February.

Today marks the 46th straight day where the temperature has been above 30°. A coolish change is predicted for tomorrow.

The cyclone has started to move away from the coast but the strong winds and big waves remain.

We are both beginning to feel better although we are as lethargic as walking through wet cement.

664. Sunday 17th February 2019. A security scare and theft, researching CCTV, a flight to Mackay and a drive to Airlie Beach, an 18th Birthday and sickness

Monday 11th February

Today I want to talk about someone, a stranger, an intruder, coming into your house and stealing stuff. What is worse is they do it while you are at home.

Think about that for a moment.

The thief knows what he/she is doing. Has done it before, is probably known to the Police. All the thief wants is to get in, create two escape routes, find something to steal and escape within about 30 seconds.

This event occurred between 6pm and 8pm last night. From where I was sitting on the lounge (maybe I was dozing) I can only see a small sliver of our bedroom through the doorway and can see nothing of the second bedroom and nothing of the laundry or the door which leads from the laundry to the garage.

Donnis is in the bedroom trying on clothes and I can only see her moving around as she moves in and out of view. Mostly, unless she comes to the bedroom door she cannot see anything either.

The thief has the element of surprise on their side. They came into the house knowing they might encounter the occupants. We, on the other hand would be in total shock trying to understand a stranger in our house perhaps even one who is armed. Access was most likely the wide open garage door then through the laundry door and first bedroom on the right, finds two handbags, grabs them and is gone. Neither of us saw or heard anything.

We did not know the handbags were gone until today when we were going to the doctors. Donnis went to get her handbag and it was gone.

While driving to the doctor we phoned the bank and cancelled the credit/debit cards. Unfortunately they are both on the same account so my card is also cancelled. Grrr! We have no access to funds until the new cards arrive.

We have reported it to the Police, the property owners, our own Home Owners Committee and neighbours. Nobody saw anything.

Forensics arrived, dusted for prints and found NO PRINTS, not any at all. Every surface was wiped clean and the Chux cloth thrown on the car windscreen. This type of theft is pretty common these days.

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours with friend Val R who has priced out some CCTV equipment.

Tuesday 12th February

Today I spoke with the land owners and they are looking at additional security measures but nothing has been decided. They have priced a drone which fly’s the boundary and roads within our village every 20 minutes and records what it see’s. That is an option.

I decided to walk the bank of our creek frontage, about 150 metres, with river gums, casuarina and mangroves growing along a steep bank. I hoped to maybe find Donnis handbag.

I did. It was still floating in about a metre of water at high tide. Her phone earbuds were dangling from a casuarina branch and her glass cleaners were on the ground. The handbag was empty. I went back two hours later as the tide turned but it was still too deep and murky to look for the cards or her card wallet. I did find another wallet belonging to one of the residents here. He had not reported the loss to the Home Owners Committee but may have reported it to the Police. I will go back at 7am for the first low tide to search amongst the rocks.

Donnis went to Motor Transport and reported the loss and applied for a replacement license.

The loss of the $15 is something which you cope with but on top of invading our privacy comes the cost of replacing the license, $75, being without our credit/debit cards and the replacement of Medicare card, Pension card, Fly Buys cards and all the rest.

Wednesday 13th February

One of the hottest days of the year. It was easier to stay home and keep cool in the air conditioning. We packed a suitcase ready to leave tomorrow.

I continued to research CCTV and decide that if I proceed what is the best way to install and where to install. I do not want to drill holes in the ceiling or floor but believe a hole in the floor may be easiest with all the cables fed through the one hole.

Thursday 14th February

Up at 5am and we were on our way by 5.30am. Today we drove to Brisbane Airport but first stopped at Gateway Airport Parking. This is the first time I have ever used such a facility. i30 will be parked under cover and they will drive us to the airport and collect us when we return. The cost is only $74 for 5 days. I compared that to catching the train to the airport which is $30 each, each way. A total of $120 and we still have to find our way to and from the train station. No sooner had we arrived and unpacked our bags than the shuttle driver was ready for us, packed the bags in the back and we were at Jet Star ticketing 10 minutes later. Although on stand -by we were issued tickets immediately and even had time for breakfast.

If we thought Brisbane was hot we were in for a surprise at Mackay. Hotter and more humid. It was energy sapping. We caught the bus into town and I collected sister Shan’s car from her work then drove to Canelands for lunch in air conditioned comfort.

Mackay has suffered with the heavy rain over he last 10 days. Although the rain was not as heavy and prolonged as further north and west,  (they still had 1.4m in 24 hours) there was some minor flooding and some damage to local roads. The rain contributed to the extreme humidity.

Friday 15th February

We took the borrowed Mazda 3 and drove to Airlie Beach to meet with a Real Estate agent and to do an inspection of our house there. I always come away feeling dejected. Although Donnis is happy, the inside of the house is well maintained and clean I cannot say the same for the outside. We have a lot of trees around the property and the roof and guttering is full of leaves and palm fronds by the dozens are littering the pathways and once again bushes have completely overgrown the back of the garage. It is annoying that tenants will not carry out any work other than the simplest cutting of the grass. Donnis suggested  – half jokingly – maybe we should just move back but I no longer feel like being a slave to yard work.

We had a pie at Cannonvale Centro Shopping Centre and were amazed to see Lou Tuck a Marine Surveyor, Himalayan hearing advocate, yachtie and all round hippy. Although we both knew each other we had forgotten each others names. Lou makes a trek to the Himalaya’s each year to support free work being carried out to provide hearing aids to the locals. Lou also just bought himself a new 35 Beneteau Yacht. I always liked Lou and got along with him despite many people avoiding him. Lou has always been an individual, always wearing grotty yachty clothing, no shoes, very opinionated and loud. He has changed. Today he was wearing shoes.

Afterwards, and before heading home we drove to Cedar Creek Falls as I expected it would be pumping after all the recent rain.

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Cedar Creek Falls

It was falling but not pumping.

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This couple know how to cool off. They had a little esky with cold drinks. Were tethered together and kept in the shade. A few paddles with free hand and a bit of kicking with feet was all they needed to navigate.

The word is out though as there were many backpackers enjoying the falls and the clean water and just somewhere cool to laze around.150219 cedar creek6 I was pleased none had climbed to the top of the falls where, in the past, young heroes have jumped to their death.

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ME Tarzan. Having swum here many times I can tell you the weight of water slamming onto your head and shoulders is quite intense. You can only tolerate it for a few minutes. Shoulders become red and sore as if massaged too long and too hard.

They all seem to forget the rocks just under the surface.150219 cedar creek5

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The sheer rock wall is covered in slime and handholds and footholds are hard to find

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Saturday 16th February.

That’s odd! I woke with a splitting headache which seemed to get worse as the day wore on. I also felt my appetite had disappeared. A sore throat has joined the other symptoms. We met sister Enid at Canelands Shopping Town for a coffee. I struggled with the coffee. No, there was nothing wrong with the coffee, I was unwell and felt bloated after drinking just half the coffee.

We went back to Shan’s house and I had an afternoon snooze.

By the time I woke I knew I had either a head cold or worse a dose of flu. We drove to Mackay and went to a restaurant on the riverside, called Ashtart, a Lebanese inspired eatery.

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Is this the face of a man brimming with good health and enthusiasm and joy and pride at his granddaughters 18th birthday? The beer beside had no taste but I managed to finish it. No there was nothing wrong with the beer.

We were there for my granddaughter Shelby 18th birthday.

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Happy Birthday Shelby.

Unfortunately whatever it is I have, got worse and I struggled to drink a beer and only had two bites of a kebab. My taste buds AND appetite had both run away. The smell of meat, herbs and spices cooking did not make me hungry at all.  All I wanted to do was curl up in a fetal position and sleep.  I’m sure Shelby had a great night surrounded by family and friends. I was too ill to be a part of her celebration. We left by 8.30 pm.

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Daughter Averyl and Granddaughter Shelby.

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Gerry and Pam, Shelby’s other grandparents. Pam is on oxygen 24/7.
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The Forgan Bridge across the Pioneer River. The original bridge was opened in 1938 and named in honour of Mary Forgan, mother of the former Premier William Forgan Smith. The bridge was built to replace an earlier bridge simply known as the Sydney St Bridge. The latest 4 lane bridge was opened in 2008.

Sunday 17th February

I had a rough night and the day didn’t get any better. I dozed frequently and Donnis kept insisting we cancel our flight home and wait for me to get better. I would rather be sick at home. As the day wore on Donnis was looking at alternate plans to stay longer and seek medical attention in the morning. On the other hand I want to be well enough to travel and be sick at home in my own bed.

Shan made dinner but I was still not well enough to eat more than a few mouthfuls.

It looks like a long uncomfortable night ahead.

663. Sunday 10th February 2019. Donnis arrives home, beach walks and beach weddings, skin cancer surgery, a runaway car, Australian Outback Spectacular and a home robbery…

Monday 4th February

While waiting for Donnis flight yesterday I was at North Kirra Beach. There is a rather large monument to a ship, “COOLANGATTA” which sank here in 1846.

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“COOLANGATTA:” Memorial.

Eventually the nearby town was named Coolangatta. Details are in the photo.

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Plaque commemorating the loss of the ship “COOLANGATTA”.

A small beach carnival was also in progress and a festive atmosphere prevailed.

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Mini surf carnival at North Kirra Beach with Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise in the background.

Today was a mirror image of yesterday weather wise. Most of the day was spent hiding from the heat and late in the afternoon we drove to Main Beach ( I still call it Southport Beach) while Donnis got washed around in the surf I went for a walk. Imagine my surprise, well not really, when an Asian Wedding arrived on the beach all dressed in gowns, suits and heavy clothing. 040219 wedding1We often see weddings on the beach. Why not have wedding photos or even a ceremony here? It is a wonderful setting albeit a bit public.040219 wedding2

After taking a multitude of photos it was time to find Donnis who by now would be covered in wet sand and a giant smile on her face. She was and she did.

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Wedding party with invited guests and uninvited guests.

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Tuesday 5th February

Another day of 31° and an excuse to stay indoors although the AC was not required.

Wednesday 6th February

There was no Line Dancing today. Kay our dance co-ordinator is away and I had a Skin Doctor appointment.

First before I get to that I should mention an incident. I was at the PC messing with photos and Donnis was at the table when we heard a loud bang outside. WTF was that? Checking outside we found a car we have not seen before, wedged up in our garden without a driver. More WTF’s!!!

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Runaway car.

We thought it may have come from the neighbour across the street and the car has rolled down the driveway and into the garden. 060219 crash2I checked the neighbour but no response. I called her. No answer. After another 10 minutes I tried again. This time a care worker answered the door. She had been showering our neighbour and not heard my calls or the phone. It was her car and the handbrake was off. Ooops! The car flattened a few plants that I wanted to get rid of anyway and narrowly missed hitting the house of our other neighbour. I now have an excuse to re-do the entire garden.060219 crash1

Last week I had a Skin Doctor checkup when he noticed something on my upper arm which said he did not like to look of. To me it looked like a little pimple but he took a biopsy punch and today was follow up. The lab report said the biopsy showed a superficial multifocal basal cell carcinoma.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) of Skin is a malignant cancer affecting the skin. It is a slow-growing tumor generally observed in older individuals, in both men and women,,,Hmmm! I’m in this category.
  • This malignant carcinoma, which may be present as a lesion on the sun-exposed areas of the body, has the potential to metastasize (spread) to the lymph nodes… he found a little lesion which looked like a little pimple
  • Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin is one of the most common types of BCC that is usually present as an erythematous (red) patch on the skin of the chest and back
  • Some lesions may grow to large sizes and ulcerate. They can also infiltrate into the adjoining soft tissues and nerves. Larger lesions also have a greater tendency to recur after treatment…mine was on the upper arm.
  • The cause of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin is unknown, but factors such as chronic sun exposure, smoking, and ionizing radiation, etc., are known to contribute towards its development. Also, fair-skinned Caucasians have a greater risk than dark-skinned Africans and Asians…ok I’m a fair skinned, albeit olive complexion, but still fair skinned and spent most of my youth and a good part of middle age out in the sun.
  • Any combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and invasive procedures (surgery) are used to treat Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin. Small-sized tumors and tumors that have not metastasized can be cured through appropriate skin surgery… I had the appropriate skin surgery.
  • The prognosis for metastatic tumors depends upon many factors including the stage of the tumor, health status of the individual, and treatment response. The prognosis may be guarded…fingers crossed and I have regular check ups.

I still spend time in the sun but wear a shirt, often long sleeved and if I am swimming in the surf wear a long sleeve rashie. I have always worn sunglasses since about age 11 and wear a hat with appropriate brim for different conditions.

So, he performed a local bit of surgery, put in 6 stitches and we await the results of sending the tumour to the lab. When my brother was 18 he had a tumour which got into his lymph gland and he had major surgery to have it removed. You cannot be too careful. Better I have a few stitches now than a life threatening tumour later on.

Tonight 26 of us from our village went to the Australian Outback Spectacular.

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The tickets are normally around $110 PP but includes the floor show, a 3 course meal and drinks, wine, beer or soft drink followed by tea or coffee. It also includes a yahoo type souvenir hat. I did not know what to expect once we were ushered into a big barn like bar/waiting room.

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Main foyer bar at Australian Outback Spectacular

I think the idea is to wait until everybody who is coming has arrived and so they can sell a few drinks and souvenirs beforehand. Then we got ushered into an even bigger barn like building with tiered seating and a serving platform in front of each row.

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Main auditorium

The entrée which was a delightful quiche with a spicy mango sauce was served immediately and cold beer and other drinks followed.  If all I got all night was the quiche and a couple of beers I would have been happy.

The spectacular floor show began and the immense spectacle was a combination of light, videography, live action and a story. I think everybody who saw this presentation were enthralled by the video presentation of a waterfall on a screen and the water flowing along the creek was shown on the sandy arena. It really was so lifelike and the magical sound effects including sound through the floor and bench tables. This was impressive.

Midway through the show a chuck wagon comes into the arena and the outback cook announces dinner. Suddenly wait staff were delivering 2 inch thick fillet steak drizzled with a red wine sauce, a potato concoction almost good enough to serve on its own plus beans and pumpkin. More drinks arrived and the show continued.

During the show horses gallop around. Cattle are herded, utes and 4WD careen around gun battles on horseback and so many things to take in.

At one stage a helicopter flys into the arena does a few circuits and buzzes out. Obviously it not a real helicopter….but it is. It is made from real helicopter parts but the spinning blades and rotors are operated by batteries and the engine noise comes from the sound system. It is realistic enough for the show presentation.

A super rich chocolate mousse dessert arrived and although I heard people saying how rich and sweet it was, all the plates were licked clean. The only downside was the tea and coffee but I guess you cannot expect espresso coffee when you are feeding hundreds.

All in all a great night out, value for money and recommended.

Thursday 7th February

Donnis wanted to go to the beach for a washing machine experience in the dumping surf. I went for a walk.

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I have never seen Japanese, umm err Chinese or maybe Korean writing on the beach before.

As I approached where I saw the wedding I saw the photographer again and thought “aha, another wedding”.

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Hmmm! It was about here where I saw the wedding the other day. Wait! Hmmm! That looks like the wedding photographer striding over the sand dune.

Sure enough a wedding party came over the hill and the photographer got busy.

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Here comes another wedding.

So did I.070219 wedding3 It seems the time for wedding photos is around 3pm. 070219 wedding1I must keep that in mind when we go to the beach next time.070219 wedding2

Friday 8th February

Today we had a walk along the Broadwater and Labrador and Donnis has a swim at The Lagoon.

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Tourist boats are now landing guests on sandbanks so they can run around or even do a spot of fishing.

Sunday 10th February

Today was hot and dry and an uncomfortably hot and sticky wind was blowing from the north east. We prepared a picnic lunch and drove to Broadbeach and had lunch in a picnic shelter. The shade and wind blowing through the walls was pleasant. Afterwards we went to Marina Mirage for an ice cream. We took a walk across the footbridge to

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Walkway over the main road connecting Marina Mirage with Sheraton Grande Mirage.

Sheraton Grand Mirage

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Main road to Sea World and The Spit.

and checked out the twin Rolls Royce parked in the forecourt of Palazzo Versace

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Palazzo Versace including the twin Rolls Royce.

next door to Marina Mirage before going to The Lagoon for Donnis to have a swim.

Tonight, somewhere between 6pm and 8pm somebody came in through our unlocked back door, OR more likely through the open garage door, propping the door open and threw a cleaning cloth on the car windscreen. Nothing seems to have been taken but it is a bit of an invasion.  The key which usually sits on a hook beside the door was left on a small desk. Several other events have happened to other villagers these last few weeks. We need to beef up security.

Update written Monday. Change of situation. Donnis handbag containing such mundane things as money, credit cards, license and so on plus a white purse were taken from the spare bedroom. That now explains why the back door was propped open to provide a second escape route. It also explains the dirty cloth, it was used to wipe down anything he/she touched. The scary thing is we were at home at the time! Donnis was most likely in the bedroom sorting through her wardrobe and I was on a lounge in front of the TV perhaps asleep. Police Forensics arrived and checked for fingerprints on the door. The door is clear. No fingerprints at all. Not even ours. Forensics believe the thief is most likely in the system, that is why the door was wiped down.

Today with the help of friend Val R who researched security camera systems for me has made a suggested kit of a 4 camera system. It will not stop a thief but will give us a measure of comfort knowing we can provide CCTV footage in any future event.

662. Sunday 3rd February 2019. Hot days and lighthouses of PEI…

Monday 28th January

Another hot humid day.

Yesterday my cousin Vicki called. She is on the Gold Coast to celebrate her sister Lyns 70th birthday. Lyn has dementia and she would have struggled understanding I am her cousin. Vicki will have lunch alone with her today. I arranged to collect her from the Miami motel where she was staying and have coffee at the North Burleigh Surf Club. I decided we would walk from the motel. It was a wise move. There was no parking at the surf club (it is the Australia Day Holiday and last day of school holidays and perfect weather for the beach the coffee shop is underneath the club so the high ceilings and totally open entrance meant the ocean breeze kept the area nice and comfortable, I could have stayed all day.

On the drive home I saw thick smoke across The Broadwater. There was a big bushfire in the native bush across from Sea World. The fire brigade had the fire under control within a few hours but people at Sea World and it accommodation were evacuated and people at the north end of The Spit were to leave and the road was closed.

The rest of the week was the same, weather wise. Humidity of around 90% and 31° temperature. I had a full blood test carried out as I have not been feeling well for some time. I also had a skin check and the doc took a biopsy on something on my arm.

For Christmas, Alecia gave me a book called Lighthouses of Atlantic Canada.

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Victoria Seaport Range Light. This is an unusual lighthouse for a number of reasons. It is built across the road from the open ocean. It is a range light, that is it has two lights built into the single structure. It is also a lighthouse museum. Built in 1879 and became a museum in 1990. As this is a frigid part of Canada the opening hours are limited during summer months and totally closed during winter. It is well maintained.

I have only had a chance to read some of it but I thought this has been a slow week and I can share photos of lighthouses.

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Seacow Head lighthouse serves a dual purpose as a typical lighthouse and as a lead range light.
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Seacow Head Lighthouse and range light. Used to guide seacraft into the town of Summerside.

One of the first things that stood out in the book was a comment how many lighthouses became de-staffed and automated, many were taken over by local interested persons or groups or historical societies. That sentence went a long way towards explaining for me why so many of the lighthouses are in such poor state of repair or maintenance.

rustico PEI
This lighthouse at Rustico Harbour appears well maintained. It is stark contrast to all the other buildings around the harbour which all look like they need replacing.

Although the lights still operate automatically only that maintenance which is vital to the operation of the lights is still carried out by the appropriate authority. Maintenance of the building, especially timber structures became a local responsibility. Often those communities are small and with scattered houses often in the middle of potato fields. There is little or no community spirit or money.

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This maintained lighthouse at New London sits slightly below the sand dunes in a swampy area filled with bulrushes.

I looked at a number of lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

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UIndian Head Lighthouse PEI. Maintenance is not an issue. It simply is not maintained. It is in the bay where the second largest town of Summerside is located. It is quite a large community.

The best lighthouse by far was one at Cape George in Nova Scotia and it probably had the smallest and most scattered community. The building was in immaculate condition and had a brass plaque installed by the proud community.

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Cape George Lighthouse. It is a credit to the tiny isolated local community as it was probably the best presented of all the lighthouses we saw.

The worst kept lighthouse was in a small scattered community called Cavendish on Prince Edward Island. Pieces of the timber structure had simply fallen or been blown off in the potato field.

cavendish PEI
This poorly maintained range light is at Cavendish Prince Edward Island. Most of PEI has a brown or reddish soil and sand. Cavendish has a freaky white sand beach.

Considering the terrible weather conditions on this Arctic windswept island it is easy to understand why the timber structures do not fair well in the face of snow, ice and screaming winds blowing in, unopposed from the Atlantic.

Often there are two lighthouses and these are known as range lights. They are used by boats and ships and skippers line up the two lights to enter a harbour or passage.

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Lead light at Fort Amhurst PEI
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The second range light sits high on a hill at Fort Amhurst PEI.

There are 35 lighthouses on Prince Edward Island and we did not have time to visit them all.

At Wood Islands there are three lighthouses, all operational.

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Somehow the tiny third lighthouse is part of a range light for ships coming from the sea.
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The first of three lighthouses at Wood Island was built in 1876. This is the departure point for car ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia. In conjunction with another structure they also operate as a range light.
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The largest of the three Wood Islands Lighthouses. This one also includes a museum.

From here the ferry service goes to Caribou in the Province of Nova Scotia. The ferry service only charges a one way fare…off the island. Coming to the island is free. The ferry shuts down services during winter months and does not re-open scheduled services until 1st May. The only way off island in those winter months is by the 13 Klm bridge and in high winds and snow and ice conditions that becomes a bit risky.

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Borden Lighthouse is still operational and reasonably well maintained. This location was also a point where the railway finished and goods leaving the island, including cars went by ferry to Cape Jourimain on the mainland. That is until the 13 Klm bridge was built.
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Borden lighthouse with the 13 Klm bridge in the background. The toll is $47 per car to leave PEI and to travel to the Province of New Brunswick. There is no toll to travel on the bridge TO PEI.

For the same reasons airline flights in and out during winter are a hit and miss situation.

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Purely a decorational light to house a clock in the seaside town of Pictou Nova Scotia.
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I am unsure if this is a functional range light in Pictou Nova Scotia. The paperworks across the bay is now the main focus of ships coming into the bay.


Sunday 3rd February

Donnis arrived today after a few failed attempts ate getting flights to line up with Errols work schedule as a pilot. The only way Donnis can get to the airport is when Errol is rostered on as a pilot departing from Melbourne and when his work day starts in the morning. Donnis cannot get flights when he is afternoon or evening shift as most flights are booked out.

On our way home we stopped at Palm Beach Surf Club for a cold beer and to just sit in the shade, listen to the music, feel the ocean breeze and enjoy the beautiful sun drenched scenery.

661. Sunday 27th January 2019. Some time in Kinglake, back home,lost notes and winning photos…

Monday 21st January.

Kinglake is about 60 Klms or so from Melbourne depending which road you take. As the crow flies it is a lot less. That said, Kinglake has a micro climate compared to Melbourne’s mini climate. Melbourne is known for 4 seasons in one day but Kinglake has as many as six seasons in one day. Overnight Kinglake had heavy cloud cover, some would call it fog, others mist. Whatever it was, it  delivered moisture in the form of clinging to everything rather than rain in the traditional sense. The cloud/fog/mist stayed around much of the morning, keeping the temperature below 18°. Mid morning it suddenly disappeared and the temp jumped to 30° and climbing.240119 hay

After lunch Donnis and I borrowed Nicoles car and drove into Whittlesea for a look around and buy some fencing material for work on their block of land. By the time we left Whittlesea the temp was 37° but a dry heat almost totally lacking in humidity.240119 tree

About 5pm Errol asked us to help him on the block for an hour. Three hours later we had planted 10 trees on the front boundary, watered them. Covered in hay, then cardboard then mulch and watered again. We rounded up the 7 goats which had found their way out of the top paddock. By getting a half scoop of goat food, shaking it and calling the goats they follow you and nudge you until you have them back in the top paddock then giving them a few morsels as a reward.

The chickens are likewise rounded up although in their case you do not even need bribery. As soon as they see you they follow in the hope you have something to eat. They follow and run in and out of your legs. Watching them run is comical.

The lone young Goose is a bit anti social and tends to hide away.

About 8pm we could see the big blood red sun setting but by the time we drove home to grab the camera and then on to the lookout, the sun had disappeared behind the traditional and annoying Kinglake haze. This is different to the cloud/fog/mist in that it seems to be comprised of smoke/dust and a bit of Melbourne smog.

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Melbourne at sunset through the smokey haze.

Tuesday 22nd January

Another hot day around the 35° mark. So we stayed home and stayed mostly indoors to remain cool. Errol put a brisket of beef in the barbecue while Donnis created a potato bake and put it in the barbecue as well.

After Dinner we drove to the lookout to see the sunset. 220119 sunsetOnce again we were a little late but managed to get some good sunset photos and even 220119 sunset1220119 sunset8220119 sunset012Melbourne was visible.220119 sunset4220119 sunset010220119 sunset7220119 belles220119 sunset 011220119 sunset5220119 sunset6220119 watchers220119 sunset3



I am Royally !@##$% off. Instead of offering an explanation I will save us both some time and say that all my notes from 23rd January to 27th January have been lost. I am disinclined to try to re-write from memory so will say it is all lost.

I can say I am home and Donnis is still in Kinglake and will be home next week.

I forgot to mention last week I won a photo of the week competition in the Whitsunday Amateur Photographers Facebook Group. The photo was apparently published in the Whitsunday Coast  Guardian newspaper during the week. I was quite chuffed with the win. My photo of a reflection of rocks in a lagoon on Tasmania’s Bay of Fires Coast.

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Bay of Fires Lagoon.

Well this week I have won again. This time a photo of a disused trestle railway bridge at Boggy Creek in Victoria’s alpine region.

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Boggy Creek Trestle Bridge.

The photos will tell some of this weeks story.


660. Sunday 20th January 2019. Air travel to Melbourne, up in the mountains and a big 40th birthday…

Monday 14th January

This morning we were at The Broadwater just after 6am. While Donnis walked along the beach and then went for a swim in The Lagoon, I walked all the way to Lands End and return. We then had a breakfast of cereal, fruit and yoghurt (Actually I had milk on my cereal) I am not a fan of yoghurt. While we ate we watched the passing parade of walkers and swimmers and joggers and cyclists and the exercise classes. The location is so alive.

We also came to a decision. Our friends Graham and Wencke have planned a 21 day cruise around South East Asia next month and invited us to join them. Naturally we got quite excited by the idea and by Friday last week we were almost ready to pay for the trip. We told them and the travel agent we had some thoughts and would decide over the weekend. On this occasion we have decided to pass on the trip. We have had so much travel last year and Donnis has just returned from 2 months in Canada and we have quite a few other plans in the first half of this year. I was beginning to feel rushed and besides I feel more comfortable on a 10 day cruise and one which operates out of Brisbane. I am sure other opportunities will come our way for overseas and other cultural travel.

Tuesday 15th January

Weatherwise today was pretty much a carbon copy of yesterday.

We have finalised plans to fly to Melbourne on Thursday and will be away, up in the mountains at King Lake for a week.

It is a good thing we cancelled the Asian Cruise. We have lots happening in February and March.

Wednesday 16th January

Weather is a carbon copy of the last week. Blue skies virtually free of cloud, a light sea breeze and temps around 30°. Hot, humid and have we put the air conditioner on yet?

I am not looking forward to flying to King Lake where temps have been in the 40’s and predictions it will stay that way for several days.

Sister Bev called to say to expect an invitation to the wedding of their son Mitchell in March. The wedding will be in Gerringong on the south coast of NSW. Naturally we will attend and for a change we will fly to Sydney and spend up to a week with family. We have decided it will be easier and cheaper than driving although we will be without a car we have Bev and or public transport.

Thursday 17th January

We both woke at 5am far too early but not enough time to do anything other than have breakfast, finish packing, tidy the house and prepare to leave.

Friends Tony and Dawn called, they are heading to Mackay next week and want to call in to see us. We arranged for a key to be left with neighbours so they can stay at our house to break their journey. They will probably stop in again on their way back to Port Macquarie in a couple of weeks.

Friends Wayne and Debbie collected us at 9.15 and drove us to Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. This is a regional airport but has been used as an International airport since 1995, mostly for flights from China and now has flights to and from Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Japan. Yes it was busy. Because we are travelling stand -by we had to wait until 11.15 before we knew if we would get tickets for the scheduled 11.45 flight. We finally got the go ahead at 11.20 and still had to get our bags checked then make it through security and on to the departure gate. As always at security we had to unpack our carry on bags including camera and laptop. Grrr! Then we had to repack our bags. Just as we were rushing out of security, after repacking the bags, the sign on my forehead must have been visible to the man who gives a final pat down check and looks for drugs etc. He called me over for a pat down etc. I got a bit grumpy because we were rushing to get to our flight. Every security check point in every airport in every nation always manages to call me out to check me. There must be a sign on my forehead that only they can see! We made it to gate 6 with a couple of minutes to spare. That is when we looked at our tickets. Donnis was assigned row 3 while I got row 36 down the back. Later, on arrival in Melbourne and the long wait for our suitcases we found my bag had a big tag attached. “THIS IS THE LAST BAG”. It was also the first bag off and on the conveyor belt.

Gee it was a bad flight, noisy groups of children. Teenagers being boisterous teenagers and as we came in to land the plane swayed side to side then bounced on the runway where it again swayed and never seemed to slow down. Strange as it seems, this had the effect of quieting the noisy passengers. It further quieted the quiet passengers. On arrival the outside temp was 36° without the humidity.

We had a couple of hours wait at Melbourne. We pushed our luggage over to the International Airport then had lunch before meeting Errol.

An hour later the car was climbing the long slow road to the top of the Great Dividing Range. This is almost the end of the range which stretches from the very tip of Australia and passes through 4 states and over 3,500 Klms, finally ending at The Grampians. Here in King Lake we are at an elevation of 550 Mtrs whereas in places, such as in the Snowy Mountains where the height is 2,238 Mtrs above sea level. This mountain range is the third longest in the world. The ranges carry a diverse fauna and fauna and stretches from Tropics with heat and humidity in the north to temperate with snow in the south.

Friday 18th January

Woke early to an overcast morning and as I sat up got a feeling the world was spinning. Uh oh. Vertigo!

Donnis and I took a walk to Bollygum Park just on the outskirts of town. A good description can be found here   but I do not have any information on the land. Was it burned in the bushfires and was it used for something else?

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This is the entrance to a delightful childrens playground and park at King Lake.
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Platypus Cottage
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Carved seating with a background of young Tree Ferns.

We drove to the block where Errol is building his house, met the flock of goats helping to clear the block of unwanted vegetation such as noxious weeds,Lantana and Blackberry but Instead of joining Errol working on his house or driving to Wittlesea with Donnis and Nicole I stayed home and rested, trying to slow the spinning world including a snooze. By evening the world was still spinning but at a slower rate.


Before dark, clouds started to roll in across the tops of the trees then descend to ground level like a pea soup fog. Slowly everything disappeared. The clouds brought in a dripping sort of rain. The temperature dropped from around 32 to 22 in a couple of hours. By bedtime the temp had dropped again to around 16° and a chilly breeze was entering through the open window. We like fresh air so tonight we added a doona to the bed. Funny that 24 hours ago even just having a sheet on the bed was too hot.

Saturday 19th January.

Wow! Cold night air is good for sleeping. Went to bed at 10pm and woke at 6am. I have not slept that long in ages. That said, the rest of the household was still asleep. I dressed warmly and went for a walk. The community of King Lake has worked together to form a bigger stronger community with lots of new houses and a lot less trees around houses. That said there are still those who want to be surrounded by trees and unless they are legally forced to adapt and conform they will always be a risk in this bushfire prone area. They will also be a risk to their neighbours.

New shops and businesses have opened and a new shopping village is being created which will be good for the community as they have to travel long distances to do their grocery shopping. The village now has a new Fire Station as well as a new Rural Fire Service, a new Ambulance Station and a new Police Station as well as a huge State Emergency Services building and a big fancy gleaming office for Parks Victoria.

Previous bushfires in King Lake were in 2005/2006, 1969, 1926, (60 lives lost in several fires around the state). The good news is local councils are imposing stricter restrictions on new building submissions and requiring blocks be cleared more, access roads within the block and access roads be outside be opened up so emergency vehicles can attend. The bad news is many of the older homes are not subject to such measures of reducing fuel for potential fires. Added to this are more houses and more people.

It was cold tonight and we were very grateful to hunt up the doona we had taken off the bed last night.

Saturday 19th January

People started arriving from near and far. Today is the reason why we are in KingLake. We are meeting at the KingLake Hotel to celebrate Errol’s 40th birthday. The hotel is a lovely new building built on old foundations surrounded by trees which have regenerated after the fire.

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Kinglake Pub

About 36 people were there to eat, drink, be merry and sing happy birthday.

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Scott and Donnis

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Half of them were children. Four friends from University days (three of them pilots) gave speeches as did I.

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Merilyn & Monica

The party went on until 1am when the publican called TIME ladies and gents.190119 errol & others.

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Donnis and Errol
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Ben Michelle and Liam

My laptop crashed about mid morning and I spent several hours re-setting it, in the process losing any Apps previously installed.. Data was not lost.

Sunday 20th January

I woke early to find people sleeping in the lounge area and one in the pop top caravan parked in the front yard. By 9.30 those bodies were beginning to wake and the smells of bacon and eggs made sure they woke. The University friends staying at the hotel also arrived for a big noisy breakfast. Today is officially Errols birthday so he received another round of well wishes and presents he did not receive yesterday.

The rest of the day was spent doing as little as possible. We did walk around the back yard where chickens were in the process of sitting on eggs or teaching little chickens about their role in life. The poor young orphaned Goose was shown how to use the little wading pool and some fresh eggs were collected.

There was also a miracle of sorts. A young two week old chicken disappeared a few weeks back and it was feared he was a meal for a fox. There came a report of a young chicken, matching the missing chook description, living with several horses on a nearby vacant block. The youngster is the missing meal and has been surviving on water from the horse trough and eating their droppings. He is also bigger than the others who did not escape..

Facebook photo sites and downloading missing Apps onto the laptop occupied most of my day.