A quiet gardening day. Actually it is still sorting pebbles day.
Tonight we had Rock and Roll lessons. There were only four of us tonight plus Frank and Kay giving the lessons. I asked if we could learn the Cowboy Cha- Cha as well as the refresher lessons. Despite a shortage of numbers it was a good night.
Thursday 10th October
I do not know how I have these bright ideas. Today was windy. A chilly strong wind from the south -west. Knowing it would be cool and blustery I chose to drive down the coast into NSW and visit…somewhere – anywhere. Preferably somewhere on the coast with surf. I originally thought Evans Head then recalled that is a 3 hour drive.
Naah. Too far.
Undecided I hit the M1 and was doing the speed limit as I passed the Byron Bay turnoff when an idea came along. Lennox Head with good views, good surf good places to eat.
I rolled into Lennox and my clock said midday but NSW is on Daylight Saving Time so it was 1pm. I did not realise that until later, much later.
The surf was pumping and so was the wind. I took a walk over the headland and tried to take photos but the wind was too strong, making the camera shake. I drove to Boulder Beach where the surf had been whipped into a brownish foam sitting on top of the water.
Then finally back into Lennox for some fish and chips at Fishy Fishy.
Then drove the road back through Byron Bay and onto the M1, noting the town of Billinudgel to pay a return visit in the future. I turned off the M1 onto the coastal road to visit Pottsville, Hastings Point, Cabarita Beach and on to Kingscliffe for a drink at the bowling club right on the beach. It was here I realised I was in the wrong time zone. My car clock was telling me 5pm but it was really 6pm. That explained the crowds of people at the club.
Oops time to get on the road so I could be home in time to play table tennis.
Friday 11th October
A bit of gardening in the morning.
In the afternoon I saw the movie JOKER. This is a psychological thriller and I do mean psychological. Be prepared to have your mind played with. The actor Joaquim Phoenix will undoubtably be nominated for an Academy Award.
It’s a public holiday in Qld, probably in other states also. It is Labour Day or what used to be called May Day which started in Russia 100 years ago and was taken up by Australian Unionists. The Labour Day Movement started about 1896 when protests about working conditions and hours finally led to the adoption of an 8 hour working day and a holiday to mark that occasion. By the 1930 and 1940’s the Communists had taken the day and somehow convinced us it was really May Day to follow the Russian lead. By 1948 some states legislated to change the date to another month so the association with May Day did not occur. Marches and rallies still have an element of persons who still call the day, May Day.
Wednesday 8th May
In the morning I did Line Dancing as usual. The weather is just so stunning at the moment. Warm to hot days, clear blue sky and even the ocean water temp is around 22 or 23 degrees. However today I went on a photo shoot drive to a place I have never been and only sort of heard about. Mt Barney. I drove over the mountain range to Canungra, a town which deserves another day of wandering around looking at old houses. Next it was on to Beaudesert a town I have only passed through at night. Again it deserves a return visit. Next was the small community of Tamrookum on the Mt Lindesay Highway.
There was the interesting community hall on the corner of the highway
and Tamrookum Church Road.
Then I noticed the huge church up on a hill.
The All Saints Church Tamrookum. Built by Robert Martin Collins 104 years ago who died shortly before the church was completed.
Mr Collins is recognised as the father of National Parks in Queensland. All the timber (mostly Cedar) was cut from trees on his property.
This is an impressive building, well maintained by a resident caretaker and is often used in sunset photo shoots and theme events. For example this Sunday is a Vintage Car Club barbecue, with members dressing in period costume. The caretaker gave me a guided tour and included all the history.
Next town was Rathdowney but enticing as that was, my destination was still ahead. I had already spent too much time at the church. As it turns out I took too many photos. I turned onto the Mt Barney Road but stopped at a vantage point to photograph Mt Lindesay and spectacular rock formations and cliffs.
This area is part of a volcanic caldera which could even be a part of the Tweed Valley and Numinbah Valley caldera.
Where I was now was only a dozen or so Klms from the NSW border. In fact the border runs through parts of both Mt Lindesay and Mt Barney.
At the junction of Mt Barney Road and Barney View Road I stopped at a convenient picnic shelter with a table.
Across the street were some old sheds with a view of Mt Barney as a background.
After taking photos and planning to move further into Mt Barney National Park I decided on lunch. While eating I decided to look at my photos but the camera would not display. There was a flashing red battery on screen. A flat battery. I always carry a spare but to my dismay it had not been charged since I last discharged it. Grrr! I followed the road to the park entrance and noted several places to take photos and used my phone to photograph some Grass Trees before deciding I might as well go home and come back another day.
It was a 2 hour drive home.
Thursday 9th May
I had just finished lunch when I heard a timid voice calling my name outside. I knew it was my neighbour Bill and called out “come on in Bill” but did not hear him approach. I went outside, Bill was standing at the bottom of my steps with his hand on his face and blood everywhere and dripping off his arm. He said “how bad is it?” Bill I cannot see for the blood lets clean you up first. Bill explained his wife Marie was up the street visiting someone. It seems Bill was gurneying his garage and driveway and tripped on the hose and hit his face on a dog barrier. Another centimetre and he would be in trouble with damage to the eye. While Bill washed his hands and arms in the bathroom vanity I cleaned off the blood his face using tissues and told him I thought he would need stitches and lets get you looked at by a doctor. I drove him to his doctor where they cleaned him up some more and decided the wound was closing itself and would not need stitches but instead a couple of butterfly stitches and a covering for at least 5 days. Well, that was my excitement for the day but Bill is going to have a black eye for a week and a headache for day or two.
Saturday 11th May
Some months ago we (Harbourside Gardens Social Committee) started planning a Progressive Dinner. The theme was Italian and we asked people to dress in the colours, Red, White and Green. We placed a limit of 40 attendees, first in first accepted basis as there was limited room at two venues. As it turned out we had 25 attendees which was a good thing as it was our first venture of this type and it made for a more intimate group dynamic. I spent lots of time on the computer, setting up 235 photos which had to be edited and enhanced for a slide show. In the morning Frank and Frank set the tables in a configuration which allowed for an intimate atmosphere while at the same time leaving room around the tables to move about and mingle. The setup shown in the photo was done deliberately so no overhead lights were used just two table lamps and four tea light candles.
First course at my neighbours house was sherry and bruschetta type finger food. We had two problems. Too much food and once people were seated and chatting it was a struggle to get them moving for the next course in the clubhouse.
While my slideshow was playing in the background our friend Wayne had been working most of the day to create a meat and a vegetarian Lasagne, Italian vegetables and garlic bread. We supplied beer, wine and soft drink. Once again too much food and people were enjoying the meal and the socialising but we had to get them moving to the next course.
At Grahams house it was a choice of two desserts, Port or Tia Maria, tea and coffee and chocolates. Normally at functions people start drifting away at 8.30 but tonight they were still enjoying themselves at 10pm!
I have not completed the maths but we charged $8 a head and probably the food and booze cost around the same.
I fell into bed at midnight promising to help clear the clubhouse in the morning.
Sunday 12th May
I took myself on another road trip today. A 270 Klm round trip to Lennox Head in northern NSW.
I returned via Broken Head and Byron Bay. There was not much to see at Broken Head and I did not stop at Byron Bay. Lennox Head was a different story. On the trip down the highway I could see dark clouds to the south and I expected miserable conditions. Once I arrived at Pat Morton Lookout the sun was shining, a stiff breeze was blowing from the south and about 100 boardriders were enjoying larger than metre high waves spread over about three different breaks.
About 100 people were sitting on the hill overlooking the surf.
The scene was one of blue sky, blue ocean and white of breaking waves. Like the other people I could have sat here all day perhaps even dozed in the soft grass lulled by a warm sun and an occasional soft breeze which had escaped the stiff breeze blowing on the exposed parts of the hill and clifftops.
I love watching surfers and this is an ideal spot. A woman sitting nearby on the grass mentioned another surfing spot and all I could remember is a name called Broken Head. After tearing myself away from the hill with a view I drove into Lennox Head and found the narrow street was chock a block with cars parked and very few off street parking facilities. It meant a long walk to find food.
Later when I found Broken Head
it in no way inspired me as a surfing location and as it was getting late and a good hour or so of driving ahead of me I passed through Byron Bay without stopping – except for pedestrians – and arrived home just after sunset.
Wow! It is May already? Where did April go? Or for that matter what happened to those wonderful summer months of January February and March? The mornings and nights are cooler but days are still shorts and Tshirts weather. Next week we will be in Wollongong and Sydney. (By the time this blog page is posted we will already be in Wollongong.) I hear they are already in warm winter clothes and have the heaters turned on some nights.
Brrr. That is not my kind of weather but Donnis loves it.
Wednesday 3rd May
Instead of my usual bike ride or walk, this morning I drove to what I call Southport Beach and went for a walk in the surfside park and the nearby marina and park. I wanted to see the sunrise and photograph the city wakening and going about its day.
Gradually the numbers of people out and about increased. I watched the Surfers Paradise Outrigger Canoe Club members training in their canoes.
Even by the time I arrived they had already been paddling the Nerang River and Broadwater since 5am, in the dark although with the cloud cover the light still appeared dim. Across on the surf beach surfers were already catching waves and had been doing so since before it was light enough to see clearly.
Saturday 6th May
Up early for an quick start to our road trip. As usual, instead of getting away at 8am we were an hour later. First stop was over the border in NSW to the coastal town of Lennox Head. For some reason road signs to Lennox Head may have been on the bottom of the road sign budget. The signs to the caravan park were even lower on the budget. Sigh! I should have used Google Maps. Finally we caught up with friends Graham, Wenke, Laurie and Yvonne. Lennox Head looks like a nice town with a wonderful busy right hand surf break and bears another visit.
Soon we were on our way again this time with Port Macquarie as our destination. We arrived in time to have dinner with friends Tony and Dawn.
Sunday 7th May
For a reason not known to us we all slept in until the ungodly hour of 9am (I don’t suppose sitting up talking until the am had anything to do with it). By the time we got organised, breakfast was at coffee time and we did not get to see the Port Macquarie Iron Man Race until early afternoon. You have to admire these sports men and women who swim 3.8 Klms, cycle for 180 Klm and run 42.2 Klm for most of the day and the only reward for most competitors is to say you have competed the course.
We took a walk to a knoll of land at the end of Oxley Beach.
We climbed a timber staircase to Flagstaff Hill Lookout which was once a Naval Lookout Station.
It is interesting that all along the coast there are pillboxes and gun emplacements and lookouts and ammunition storage placements. All are now over 100 years old and were originally established for an expected invasion by naval fleets from Russia. Obviously it never happened but is still part of our history. As is usual with history much of it is forgotten by most of the population.
The following is an excerpt from Town and Country Journal 1885.
Russian Invasion Scares, 1885
The death in 1885 of General Gordon at Khartoum caused an upsurge in Imperial loyalty. New South Wales sent a small contingent to help Britain in her war against the Mahdi’s forces in the Sudan, the first time Australians volunteered to fight overseas as part of an official Australian colonial government initiative. Then, a few months later, fighting broke out between British troops and local people in Afghanistan, which once again raised fears of war with Russia, highlighting the vulnerability of Australian cities if faced with a naval attack.
The rumoured approach of a Russian fleet, having for its object the invasion of Australia, is evidence of a danger that we have never yet had to contemplate. During this century of our life as a British country, no powder has been burned in anger in Australasian seas, and the rude shock of war’s alarm is as unknown to Australians as though the millennium had arrived. But we are likely to be rudely awakened from this paradisiacal condition, and before we are a month older may possibly hear the unwelcome roar of Russian cannon along our coast. As a matter of course, the capitals of the various colonies will be attacked first, and Sydney being so near the coast, will probably by selected as the initial point of attack. Melbourne is well protected by the Cerberus and her torpedo boats, while Adelaide has her new gunboat, the Protector. Hobart can well defend herself by torpedoes, the approach by river affording peculiar facilities for this mode of defence. Fremantle, it is asserted, will be guarded by the Nelson, and in this case Sydney, having the most need of naval protection, will be left absolutely defenceless. For, although the harbor of Port Jackson is probably amply defended with its double line of batteries and sunken torpedoes, yet on the coastal side, save at the South Head and La Perouse, not a solitary gun could be brought to bear against a fleet. Consequently a hostile fleet could lay at its leisure, and bombard Sydney from the safe shelter of Bondi or Maroubra bays, holding the city to ransom, or destroying it, as suited the sovereign will of its commander. Or again, a force could be landed at Coogee under cover of the ships, and seizing the water works, starve the city into submission.
Under the circumstances, it is absolutely necessary that gunboats of a type suitable to deep-sea warfare should be obtained. The Nelson alone would not be sufficient; as, even if she could hold a force at bay, there would be nothing to prevent part of the fleet menacing Newcastle, the only other vulnerable city upon our coast. We can fairly request the British Government to grant this protection, having shown our patriotism in giving England help unasked. But to be of any value it must be sent quickly, and therefore the newsthat the Australian squadron is to be strengthened is welcome indeed. The fact must be stared in the face that Sydney, to an ironclad squadron even of no great strength, but armed with weapons of modern type, is absolutely defenceless.