Tag: Australia day

622. Sunday 2nd February 2020. Australia Day, pain,Chinatown and looking back…

Monday 27th January

We had our Australia Day celebrations at the village today.

Wayne cooked up a storm of pies, peas, potato and gravy for lunch.

There was damper, also made by Wayne for morning tea.

Dessert was Pavlova with fruit salad and cream or Lamingtons with fruit salad and cream.

Typical Aussie tucker.

Graham did his usual MC task to keep the games rolling along.

I was Barista and prepared fresh coffee.

Frank and Marie kept everybody happy by sorting problems before they became umm err, problems.

The day progressed along happy lines. A few hiccups were quickly sorted and no complaints.

My back got steadily worse during the day. Lucky I have a doctors appointment tomorrow.

Tuesday 28th January.

The doctor repeated that I have a Chronic Pain condition. In fact I am intoo much pain at the moment to consider any physical manipulation – such as physiotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy, even massage. He increased my Lyrica dosage to 75Mg twice a day and will increase that to 100 Mg twice a day after a week. He also prescribed Targin twice a day. If I get the wobblies, discontinue the daytime dose. At the end of the day there may have been some relief but I know the Targin is messing with my head plus it makes my skin itch. I have heard the itch is similar to what heroin addicts get!

Most Opioids, including heroin , can cause intense itching. This itching is related to the way the opioids interact with the immune system and the central nervous system. Opioid- induced itching will usually go away when a person stops using the drug.

Targin is an Opioid!

Wednesday 29th January

In the morning, two things stand out as things I look forward to.

The first is a walk along The Broadwater early in the morning. Today I met up with other walkers, Bill, Doug and Mark for a coffee at Beach Café in the Aqua building on the corner of Marine Parade and Imperial Parade Labrador. What a wonderful location for coffee or breakfast.

The second is, as good as breakfast is at the Beach Café I also enjoyed making my own mushroom and capsicum omelette and eating it on my verandah with a light breeze coming off Biggera Creek.

Friday 31st January

Hmmm! It seems the Targin is doing its job of making me drowsy which helps me to have a good sleep at night. During the day I often struggle to stay awake so have accepted the fact and allow myself a snooze after lunch.

Saturday 1st February.

Sister Enid arrived today and carried out, in her usual whirlwind, cleaning house and gardening. The work got the better of her as she lost track of time. She planned a walk along the Broadwater, then cocktails at the Grand Hotel followed by dinner in Chinatown. We started our walk but as it was already after 6pm we had to postpone, yet again, the cocktails. Darn, I was so looking forward to a Pina Colada. Next stop, Chinatown where parking was not going to be easy. It meant walking only 2 blocks then wandering around the food places. I started off by looking at the budget places run by mums and dad’s and gradually worked our way up the more elaborate establishment. Surprisingly the prices were not much dearer but included full waiter service, a larger choice of dishes and a liquor licence. We finally settled on an upmarket place called YuYin https://www.facebook.com/yuyinchinesecuisine/

The food was good, the service was excellent and as expected, Enid finally found a restaurant which serves jellyfish. In this case it was a chicken and jellyfish salad. As expected it was served cold. We had this many years ago in a Chinese Restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown. It’s a dish I can take or leave. I chose to leave it tonight.

Afterwards Enid suggested we go to Harbourtown and have cocktails at Crafty’s.   https://www.craftys.com.au/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb

When we arrived, customers were packed in, shoulder to shoulder, three guys were providing music and the noise levels were toxic. Nup. This is not the place to be if you want to sip on a quiet cocktail.

Sunday 2nd February

Enid did more gardening for me and headed back to Brisbane after lunch.

I should mention here, as I have not mentioned for awhile, my back pain is no better and in some respects it is not worse. In other respects, it is worse.

I still take the Lyrica and Targin although neither seems to stop the pain. However it could be that the meds are screening the worst of the pain. Sitting in some chairs creates a painful experience and then makes walking painful for about half an hour afterwards. Getting g in and out of i30 is painful but once seated I am virtually pain free.

This week in 2011 I was housesitting at Traveston on the Sunshine Coast.

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I was housesitting on a mountain top at Traveston. Although I used the house for watching TV and cooking, I used WWWGO for sleeping. Oftren various wildlife came down the hill to eat and have a look at me.

The weather was unsettled with many days of rain.

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This is the underground carpark at a new shopping centre at Gympie. It was opened only a few weeks before Christmas. Then the rains came and flooded the Mary Valley. Although the Mary River is across the road, the floodwaters never reached the shopping centre. However there was so much rain the shopping centre itself was flooded, The water also permeated from the shopping mall above and down to the carpark. The centre was closed for weeks while a cleanup was carried out. Hmmm! Either a design flaw or poor workmanship.

Of course earlier in the month there were the flooding rains which devastated Brisbane, parts of the Gold Coast, Mary Valley including Gympie and parts of the Sunshine coast.

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While housesitting at Traveston I yook the opportunity to explore the Sunshine Coast. This guitar picker was sitting on a little verandah of a shop at Eumundi selling Hemp clothing.
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The local; watering hole at Pomona.

The weather here on the Gold Coast has been hot and humid. It is typical summer weather.

Heavy rain is forecast next week.

621. Sunday 26th January (Australia Day) 2020. An unexpected road trip…

Monday 20th January 2020.

Went to the movies at Star Casino at Broadbeach. I went with Linda and Ngaire and we saw Judy. It is the story of the final months in the life of Judy Garland. It was very emotional.

The Star Casino! Wow! I became a member when it was Jupiters Casino way back in 2014 or 2015. I needed to update my card but that only took 5 minutes and I have all the benefits of a base member. Way back when we first joined we went with a friend who is a Gold Class member and she took us to exclusive places including a free buffet. Naturally you are expected to gamble. I suppose I am like the majority of members who go there for the cheap or free stuff the casino offers.

Lynda took a small back cushion for me to use. She was very insistent. Good thing she was too. I needed that cushion.

Friday 24th January

Today the colour of the water in Biggera Creek has changed from muddy brown to mild black tea. The reason for the massive water coming down the creek at low tide last Saturday was the release of water at Biggera Dam. The Biggera Creek Dam, or formally the Biggera Creek Flood Mitigation Dam, is a dam established for flood mitigation purposes over the Biggera Creek, located in the suburb of Arundel. It is operated by the Gold Coast City Council. The dam has a capacity of 3,700 megalitres and the height of the dam wall is 12.5 meters. Because its sole purpose is flood mitigation, the retention basin behind the dam is almost always empty of water. At times like this with exceptionally heavy rainfall, the dam is opened as the tide is going out. The idea is to avoid flooding rather than collect a domestic water supply.

Saturday 25th January

As I do every morning at around 5 or 6am, I go to The Broadwater for a walk. 250120 broadwaterIt seemed there was a light mist or haze of some sort. 250120 broadwater1The water is returning to its normal clarity and cleanliness after the heavy rain this time last week.250120 broadwater2 It’s still not pristine but is looking good.250120 broadwater3

As I watched a group of 17 Stand Up Paddleboarders paddled past. They were followed by a couple of pods of dolphins rounding up a school of fish just a few metres off the beach. I was standing with three guys who I know and who were about to go for coffee. While watching a group of ladies stopped to ask what we were looking at.


I chatted with the ladies and found the men had already left for coffee.

It is nice to be able to begin to recognise and know people on my morning walks.

Sunday 26th January AUSTRALIA DAY.

Last night I received a phone call from my grandson Anakin. Long story short, he is stranded on a farm outside a town called Bungunya about a 6 hour drive from the Gold Coast. The next nearest town is Goondiwindi a four hour drive away. It seems he has been abandoned by his drilling contractor employer. He has to find his own way to town and the next bus service from Goondiwindi (pronounced Gun Da Windy) is Monday. Well if you are gunna be stranded for a couple of days there are worse places than Gunda. I like the town.

After a troubled sleep I was on my way to Goondiwindi at 4.30 am. By the time I reached Cunninghams Gap, the steep and winding pass over the Great Dividing Range, it was full daylight but low cloud cover meant it was not only dark but constant moisture, not rain, meant I needed the wipers turned on. I caught a few glimpse of cliff faces but due to the switchbacks and low speed and poor visibility I needed to really concentrate on driving. The few glimpses I saw reminded me there would be some good photo opportunities here. Then once over the pass I was heading to Warwick and a much needed stop for coffee, toilet and walk to ease the back pain. Naturally I saw lots of photo opportunities but I was on a mission of mercy and needed to stay focused.

By now the sun was up, temperature was climbing to mid 30’s and it was apparent there had been lots of rain over the last 24/48 hours. I passed through towns which screamed photo opportunities. That is until I reached Yelarbon and making good time.260120 yellarbon The Silo Art just had to be photographed. In fact the small town is worth a day of photographing. https://www.goondiwindiargus.com.au/story/6247657/yelarbon-on-silo-art-trail/

260120 yellarbon1260120 yellarbon2260120 yellarbon3260120 yellarbon4About this time Anakin called me and asked if I would bring his friend back to the Gold Coast. WTF! The original plan was to bring Anakin home with me for a few days until we could organise a flight. It seems his friend was also abandoned by the same employer except the friend had been injured on the job and taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs. I asked that they have the friends mother call me first. She did. I agreed to bring him back but only if I could get a copy of hospital discharge papers and details of any medication and or treatment he may need.

On arrival I found the friend in lots of pain but no serious injury, no broken ribs but bad bruising including bruised ribs. Another long story. The hospital would release him to me but by now his mother had organised air flights out of Brisbane this afternoon. This meant I was on a timetable to get them there on time. I was a bit annoyed the booking was made without consultation with me. That was a 5 hour drive including stopping for toilet breaks and fuel and food stops. The quickest route was via Toowoomba  and I dreaded the long slow drive through the main street. However just out of Toowoomba I found a new Tollway which detours the town saving us about 20 minutes. It avoids 18 sets of lights and was only opened in September last year. I have no idea how much the toll cost but by now all I wanted was to stop but still had to deliver the boys. By now my back was sending messages to stop and rest and walk around for awhile.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time then I had another hour to drive home. By the time I arrived and tried to get out of the car my back was in spasm including the muscles in the thigh. I had trouble standing let alone walking.

Bugger it. If I am ever called upon to be a guardian angel again I am going to take time for my own needs.



591. Sunday 28th January 2018. Commonwealth Games Training, Australia Day and Fish n Chips beside the Broadwater…

Wednesday 24th January

Instead of riding the bike along The Broadwater at 5.30 am I walked twice around our village. The walk through our own park beside Biggera Creek is very relaxing and picturesque.

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Our park with Biggera Creek and the beginnings of the canal system and high rise buildings at Lands End.

The reason why I walked instead of taking a longer bike ride is because I had an Open Day Training Session as a driver for the Commonwealth Games at 9am.

The training session today was similar to last week. However instead of following a turn by turn guide to various sporting locations we “buddied” up and chose our own destination. Part of the “rules” was to use as far as possible the preferred routes laid down by the CG2018. The only other rule was to be back at the depot by 12 noon. Most of the locations were known to me but not my buddy. I chose to navigate so he could learn the routes, locations and planned parking, pickup, set-down and holding bays. The planned app which is to hold all  of our jobs for the day and to link via Android Auto to the vehicle and show all route maps is not yet up and running. Each vehicle is fitted with a Samsung Galaxy J3 mobile phone and the App is simply not working as it orta. I suppose there are still 10 weeks to the games opening to solve the problem. There are only 8 weeks remaining until we start collecting passengers from the airports. In the meantime we are learning the manual method. At the end of the session my “buddy” and I arranged another Open Day drive for next Monday.

Thursday 25th January

In the afternoon we set up the clubhouse for the Australia Day function tomorrow.

Friday 26th January – Australia Day

Originally we expected between 40 to 50 villagers would attend the FREE morning tea, luncheon, afternoon tea and a series of fun games complete with prizes. We ended up taking down the nomination form when numbers reached 84 as it is close to the capacity our clubhouse can cater for. Committee member Wayne took on the task of catering for the event including cooking damper. Wayne, Marie and Lynne spent most of the day working to cook up a storm in the small kitchen. We agreed to keep residents out of the kitchen by putting a screen across the doorway. It is only a small kitchen so workers do not need unnessesary people making it smaller. I offered to provide real coffee (well at least pod coffee which is 100% coffee) as an additional option to the Billy Tea or instant coffee. Some other villagers with similar pod machines as mine offered their machines to make several cups at a time. We were overwhelmed by the response and on the day made about 60 cups of coffee. The day was a total success, despite the heat, thanks to the efforts of our hard working social committee and Graham who is the glue which holds us all together. Much of the events were able to be held inside the clubhouse. Although suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Graham ran the event all day as MC ensuring there were as few delays as possible. He ran on adrenaline until the day concluded then went home to rest body and voice. All of us needed a good rest as well.

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Fun games on the bowling green.
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Ladies in waiting
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Welcome at the front door.
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I was going to wear a silly hat just like this one.
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Sisters Lynn and Marj.

Saturday 27th January

We have somebody jumping our perimeter fence and cutting a hose with a sharp knife, It does not sound like a giant problem but the person has been seen before and has usually run away by climbing the fence. Some residents are concerned as anybody who carries a sharp knife and is prepared to cut a hose could very well be prepared to use it if confronted. As well as reporting to the Police we will set up our own movement activated spy camera.

Sunday 28th January

It rained overnight and in the morning but the sun came along and managed to bully the clouds away leaving a glorious hot sunny day. As usual on days like this the beaches get populated. For a change we bought Fish n Chips from the Harbour Seafood Market    http://www.harbourseafoodmarket.com.au/   (worth a visit just to look at the range of fresh and frozen seafood) and drove to Broadwater Parklands, a wonderful park and beach and swimming enclosure and playgrounds and so many things to do with the perfect weather we have most days.

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Free enclosure.

The scaffolding work around the swimming complex and diving area is reaching new heights to be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games.

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Scaffolding and high rise seating at the swimming and diving venue.

Located beside the free swimming enclosure is Aquasplash   (https://aquasplash.com.au/ ) a fun filled swimming enclosure with inflated equipment to bounce on or off and into the water. The water temp today was 26°. Everybody was either looking for shade or looking to get into the water. It costs $16 for an adult ticket for 50 minutes of fun. Once each swimmer is equipped with a life jacket and the alarm goes off on the hour a mad dash of children, teenagers and adults rush into the water in a mass of splashing and shouting humanity.

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Aquasplash waiting for starters orders.

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Nearby is another seething mass of happy people enjoying The Big Wedgie   (https://thebigwedgie.com.au/ ) an inflatable set of three water slides.

Are big older – much older –  kids allowed on these rides?

I’m game!

530. Sunday 29th January 2017.A week of 30 degree temperatures ending off in the surf…

A Thursday 26th January

Australia Day

Aah, Australia Day. The day we set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation and consider the uniqueness of our land and our people.

A day celebrated in song and dance.

A day which is a public holiday and if it falls on a Thursday many think it is quite OK to take Friday as a sickie and have a long weekend so we can drink for 4 days .

A day we can all join together as one people, our hearts swelling with pride  and enjoy a barbecue on the beach, in the park, in a high rise balcony or in our own backyards. As we enjoy our barbecued sausage or beef pattie we make hamburgers topped with the Australian tradition of canned beetroot – which is grown and packed in Chile or China or Vietnam.

A day when those of us who enjoy a cold beer or twenty feel the need to consume as much beer as possible before we pass out and miss the rest of the day. Later we tell anybody who stands still long enough how we had a great day and got pissed. We think the proud tradition is to get pissed and have no interest in any other reason we may have to celebrate.

A day when we wave patriotic flags, wear clothes in our flag design or our National colours, wear hats which look like our flag, decorate our picnic table with a tablecloth which looks like our flag, serve food and drinks on paper plates and plastic cups all adorned in our flag or National colours. All around us are constant flag and colour reminders of how proud we are to be Australian.  Yet, we fail to recognise all those cheap flags and clothes and throw away picnic paraphernalia are all made in China, or Pakistan, or Indonesia. None of it is made in Australia.

Yet, there are those among us who truly respect this country. Those people who were born here or arrived as an immigrant or refugee and have taken on our Nation as their home and contributed with pride and dignity. Those countless families who respect our day of remembrance, reflection and thanksgiving and contribute in their own quiet way to our one day where we can call ourselves Australian, we can celebrate and enjoy our day other than by the number of beers we can consume.

As it happens, we celebrated Australia Day with a barbecue at our clubhouse. There was a thong (and for our readers elsewhere a thong is sometimes known as  “flip flops” which you wear on your feet – cheap and nasty footwear) throwing competition, a hole in one putting competition, quoits and darts. We also sang and did dances. Naturally we had a beer. A nice family type of celebration only we are a family of families.

Friday 27th January

Eldest daughter Melissa and husband Steve arrived for an overnight stay.

Saturday 28th January

For us we got an early start, that is wewere in the car and on our way by 8am. We wanted to show Melissa and Steve a little of the Gold Coast before they have to leave for their flight home to Mackay.

Melissa Frank n Steve standing on the rocks at the Gold Coast Seaway with the Broadwater and Lands End in the background. A heavy fall of rain had passed through just before we arrived and the heavy rain can be seen in the distance.
Frank does his tourist guide explanation for Steve.

As we approached The Spit it was obvious something was going on. There were sailboats thick on the water all heading for the Gold Coast Seaway.

Boats heading to the start line are already beginning to raise their sails.
Monohulls and Multihulls compete against each other.

Not only sailboats but a veritable flotilla of jet skis, tinnies, power boats, Coast Guard and Police Boats. This was the beginning of the annual race called the Surf to City where boats  start the race just behind the surf and depending on boat size will race inside South and North Stradbroke Islands via the Broadwater.

The fleet is beginning to build. Sails are being raised and boats are jockeying for favourable start position.
The fleet continues to grow. Outside boats will start further offshore. The smaller boats on the inside leg will actually start by sailing back in through the Seaway before heading north along The Broadwater.
At a strategic position at The Seaway is a diver safe entry and exit location. Note the snorkellers and divers with jet skis and more boats rushing to join the race start.

The larger boats generally race offshore of the islands. The official race information provided by the Southport Crusing Yacht Club probably explains the race better.

No other race in Australia consists of two fleets, an offshore and inshore fleet, both starting and finishing at the same place. The Surf to City Yacht Race is also one of a handful of races that see both monohull and multihull yachts compete against each other. Held in January, the Surf to City is now in its 24th year. In 2016, the Surf to City attracted over 110 of the most influential yachts in Queensland and northern New South Wales ranging in size from the mighty Black Jack to 7m trailer sailors. The Inshore Fleet is usually a day race. The course follows the main channel from Southport to Brisbane past all of the islands in the southern part of Moreton Bay. The Offshore Fleet is a day/night race. Starting off the Southport Seaway, the yachts head north around Cape Moreton to enter Moreton Bay and then to the finish. The race is organised and hosted by Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and run in association with Southport Yacht Club.

The rain is heavy looking towards Lands End.Naturally with the heavy rain and temp already hovering at 30 degrees the humidity levels increased to around 95% and the temperature felt more like 35 degrees.

It was wonderful to have Melissa and Steve join us even if it was only overnight. Thanks for your visit.

Sunday 29th January

Today dawned bright and sunny much as it has for the past few weeks. As usual the temp got to around 30° and stayed there all day. The Co-Pilot and I went to the beach at Sea World Beach where Life Station 42 overlooks the surf. We swam and surfed between the flags and my Boogie Board got a workout. Water temp was 25° so I was able to cast off my cold water sookiness and leap straight into the surf. On days like today the beach is the place to be. We forgot to bring our shade tent so shortly after our swim we walked back to i30 and drove home.

The time spent st the beach was invigorating and the constant pummelling by the waves is as good as a workout at the gym.

Only 12 more days until we embark on a big adventure.

Stay tuned.