Sunday, May 23, 2010

Things you see

On the way back from buying my bathers at Boobah, we were walking back up through 'the valley' to our apartment.

(This is looking from our back stairs.) Just opposite our building is the NEC office building with a bit of a garden around it - nothing special.

Just past the green sign there is a big swept-up pile of leaves.

We are not sure if this Scrub Turkey has lost its way and fancies this as a good place to make a nest!

Looking out the window

So this morning Peter was staring out of our window at the traffic and stuff - as we do - and he saw this:

Ergh! Whassat?

Take a closer look:

Bit of a worry, really. It was peak hour, and it's a heavily populated area, can't imagine where he came down.

Things that arrive

Finally today my package arrived - although it was earlier than the 'at least 8 weeks' they said on the advertising.

I had to purchase 6 packets of soup to get this - we still haven't consumed them all.

Of many things

Decent Bathers

Over the last five years or so I have bought and discarded bathers across 3 continents, and my last pair were an end-of season special at KMart in Rockingham.

Anyone who has swum regularly in a pool will know that there are certain fabrics that are 'chlorine resistant', and those that are not ... So last week I went to the pool and swam with great trepidation as I noticed my bathers were developing thin spots. Time to go hunting for new bathers - and of course this is not the right season for that.

After searching the 'net and finding dozens of sites willing to send bathers, I decided that firstly I really needed to try something on, and secondly I didn't want to wait days for the mail. Finally we found a place in South Brisbane, and decided it was time to practice our 'Go-card' skills and hop onto some public transport.

We have only ever gone one stop on the train (so far) and this time we wanted to go three stops ... We got on the train to Cleveland, and (having no idea where that is) got off quickly every time the train stopped to check with the man on the platform that this train would be going to South Brisbane - well, really, we were spooked by the annoucements each time that if we wanted to go to certain other places (and we didn't know where they were either) we should change trains.

Arriving safely in South Brisbane, we walked a couple of blocks to Boobah. Wow! She certainly does have a lot of bathers of all sorts (even some that fit me) and all Aussie made.

I have no idea of the derivation of the name (Boobah), but today I went swimming for the first time in my new togs. There I was, skimming across the top of the water feeling appropriately attired and suitably supported ... like a chocolate Humpty with a snorkel. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting some CULTURE!

We find that we study through the weekend - not much point in going out with the madding crowds - so we thought that we should take a bit of a break in the week.

Today we decided to get cultivated, or cultured, or something.

We joined the culture crowd in the hallowed halls of the art gallery.

Actually what we went to see was the Ron Mueck exhibition - you know the one:

The one with the odd sized odd people. This big head is really just a face, like a mask.

These two ladies are quite small, but wouldn't we all like to hear what they are saying - and we all know someone who they could have been modelled on!

There is a huge, ugly, but true-to-life baby girl. And there are some very sad ones like "Dead dad" which was apparently the sculpture that launched this chap's career.

This lady was clearly embarassed by all the attention, and we all wondered if she really had knees under those blankets.

Both of these were fascinating, and left us with more questions than answers.

Brisbane is such a beautiful city (... and we've seen some that are less than beautiful!) We went out of the gallery and walked across the messy bridge.

I know it has another name ... it must be new because I can't even see it on Google maps ... I think it is Kunilpa, something like that.

We walked up to Central Station, caught a train to Fortitude Valley (one stop) and walked up the hill to our half-brown half-yellow (still being painted) building.

And back to study ..:)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brisbane Weather

It rained a bit yesterday - view from our kitchen window.

Now we know where the pot of gold is - other side of the Story Bridge.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Beach Hunting

We've had a week of "getting-ready-to-study" - so many things to do. We spent one whole day (well, four and a half hours) in Centrelink applying for Austudy! And we were still in the throes of putting in an application for Advanced Standing with this university.

We were surprised this morning when we each received a package in the mail containing four text books for our four courses - we are quite impressed.

The whole thing has been quite exhausting. So we decided to go out a bit, and Peter has still been hoping to find a place to go fishing.


So we went across to the coast, to Nudgee - a little community with marshlands on 3 sides and a bit of a beach.

It's not as muddy as it looks! It was a long walk out to the actual water, but the water was quite clear out there with little ripply waves.

And obviously something is alive and busy under that sand/mud. We did see one tiny crab, but it looked like it was dying.

No sign of anyone fishing, although there was a boat ramp ... but not enough water to launch a boat at the moment. There was one of those special metal fish-cleaning tables (with a light overhead for when you come in at night), but not a hint of anything ever having been cleaned on it - not a single fish scale.

We came out of the marshy area, and worked our way a little farther along the beach, and came to


There's a fairly familiar beach name! No pavillion here, but a lot more sand than at the British Brighton beach!

Pleasant enough - but no fishing to be done here either.

So we consulted our maps again, and came across a spot a little further inland on a river, called

Deep River Bend

That sounded like the place to go.

Well, it is a lovely spot. Green shady trees and picnic facilities (complete with the odd mozzie), and specially built fishing platforms ... and a fish cleaning table that sported some good-sized fish-scales!

Peter got among the fishermen, and swapped fishing stories.

Well, it seems like it is at least theoretically possible to catch fish here.

Another day, grab the Aeroguard and let's do it!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What about the workers?

Today is Labour Day in Queensland. It occurred to us that we have never seen a Labour Day march, and here we are living in the centre of the city and they will be almost marching right past us.

So we walked a few metres down the road, and arrived in a shady, slightly elevated spot on a corner they would all come around, just as the first marchers arrived.

The police had closed off several streets, and the traffic lights were turned off. Even so we saw one elderly Chinese man come and press the pedestrian crossing button and stand there hopefully for a long time before he just headed across through the crowd.

Many of the unions had employed a marching band, or in several cases a Scottish bagpipes band to lead their procession.

There were truckloads of children, and some travelled in buses or car trailers.

Most groups were chanting about not selling off Queensland. But these live animals had a different protest to make.

There were lots of balloons, in many different colours - but these chaps had the biggest (and best!) ones.

The Prime Minister himself (K. Rudd) was supposed to be here, but we didn't see him.

But, other than that, it was pretty much every man and his dog (with his ball).

So ... that was my first Labour Day march. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

7 little Ducks

I was exploring our area, flying around (as you do) with Mr Google, and I noticed that if we walked right down to the end of Gregory Terrace, there are extensive parklands near the Roma Street station.

THE Park!

What a glorious park it is! You could wander for hours and still not see it all. There are winding pathways and boardwalks among beds of all colours, textures and shapes of plants, with the occasional whimsy of (for example) a long section of trimmed and shaped hedge suddenly turns out to be a huge caterpillar with eyes and a mouth bugging out at the end.

There are waterways that wind through the park from the top of the hill down to the bottom.
Is some places the water is calm, such as where there are floating pot plants, and in others the water is refreshed as it pours over one of the many waterfalls.

Notice how carefully this father holds his son's wrist as they walk past the biggest waterfall - where the little boy had a few moments before run eagerly towards the amazing sight and sound of it.

The Duck Tale

Everyone was delighted to see this little duck, with her seven babies, swimming in the calm stream. We all watched her as she swam about with her ducklings always sticking close to her tail.

Some observers became quite concerned as the little group floated closer and closer to one of the many waterfalls ... and then over they went!

It was only about a 1 metre drop (see on the right here), but it was followed by a couple more drops ... and the ducklings were so tiny and fluffy!

Only 3 of them appeared at the other side, and swam eagerly after mum. The others somehow got tangled up under the waterfall, and some of us were sure the water would have pounded and drowned them.

A couple of these long-legged birds were wading around nearby, and it was feared they would fancy a mouthful of half-drowned duckling. The mother duck was stretching her neck at them in threatening manner.

Suddenly another duckling popped out of the swirling water, then another and another. Mother duck was swimming around with her six ducks ... and cheeping could be heard somewhere. Everyone wandering in the park today was so relieved when all seven were back at her tail. One of the ladies gave the mother duck a severe telling off for being so careless.

Other wildlife

There are notices everywhere warning people not to feed any wildlife.

This chap only wanted sunshine and insects anyway.

Remember Turkey

As we were leaving the park, I was a little surprised to see a familiar figure.

I have seen this face in this form so many times, but not in this country. You see this in every school and public building in Turkey. Ataturk! See here. This as a slightly unusual war memorial.