A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

I would just like to take a minute now to wish all you lovely readers a happy new year, 2012. I'm here having a whale of a time and sincerely hope you are finding some enjoyment reading all about it. Thanks for being a part of it all and please, please, please, keep coming back. We have another 18 days to go yet and then some so don't give up on me right now.

Oh and by the way... did you know that this year would be the Chinese year of the dragon? No way you may say but believe it or not it is true. Take a look at what just walked in through the front door here... A cute little chap isn't he?

Excuse the smoke by the way but he has just returned from lighting the local firework displays around here. Another surreal kind of something is not quite right experience for me. Remember I'm a brit and to us brits, you usually get fireworks in the middle of winter not summer. 

So watching all of the fireworks welcoming in the new year with cloudless skies, warm temperatures, no rain, sleet or snow is a real brain teaser and as good as the noisy fizz bang crackle bang fireworks actually were, they still seemed far from right. No wonder my brain often hurts. And then there's the time element to be aware of too. 11 pm here (Brisbane) is midnight in Sydney. So who really knows when the australian new year should really begin.

Anyway, that's enough from me for now. Have yourselves a really good 2012 and don't get too drunk tonight while getting there if you haven't already, or if you did have too much, feel free to join me in enjoying the first of many strong coffees to come.

Happy January the first to absolutely everyone!!

And now, if you don't mind, I really must take my leave. I'll be the one sitting in the corner waiting for the voices (Screaming in my head) to stop... All the very best guys.

HAPPY NEW YEARSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

You know you're Australian if…

* You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.

* You're liable to burst out laughing whenever you hear of Americans "rooting" for something.

* You understand that the phrase 'a group of women wearing black thongs' refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.

* You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bun'.

*You believe the letter 'L' in the word 'Australia' is optional.

* You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.'

* You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with giant bananas, prawns, lobsters, oysters and sheep.

* You call your best friend 'a total b#stard' but someone you really truly despise is just 'a bit of a b#stard'.

* You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.

* You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

* You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.

* You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'.

* You believe that cooked down spent beer yeast makes a good breakfast spread. You've also squeezed it through Vita-Wheats to make little Vegemite worms.

* You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.

* Beetroot with your Hamburger... Of course.

* You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' and "Living next door to Alice ".

* You believe that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.

* You wear Ugg boots outside the house.

* You believe that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.

* You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them.

* Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.

* You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude, while 'scuse me' is always polite.

* You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.

* You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron.

* Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.

* You shake your head in horror when foreign owned companies try to market what they call 'Anzac cookies'.

* You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours'.

* If working at a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order a low-alcohol beer.

* You know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in "o" arvo, combo, garbo, kero, lezzo, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc.

* You know that there is a universal faraway place called "woop woop" located in the middle of nowhere.

* You know that none of us actually drink Fosters beer, because it tastes like sh#t. But we let the world think we do, because we can.

* You have some time in your life slept with Aeroguard on in the summer.

* You've only ever used the words - tops, ripper, sick, mad, rad, sweet to mean good. And you place 'bloody' in front of it when you REALLY mean it.

* You know that the barbecue is a political arena, the person holding the tongs is always the boss and usually a man and that women always make the salads.

* You say 'no worries' quite often, whether you realise it or not.

* You understand what no "wucking furries" or "no wuckers" means.

* You have sucked tea, coffee or Milo through a Tim Tam biscuit.

* You own a Bond's chesty, in several different colours.

* You know that roo meat tastes pretty good, but not as good as barra or a meat pie.

* You know that some people pronounce Australia like "Straya" and that's ok.

And lastly, you will immediately forward this list to other Australians knowing that only they will fully understand it.

Apparently....SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Shoes or chocolate? Shoes or chocolate? Shoes or chocolate?

Or how about going for the chocolate shoes option? (Oh should I wear em or  eat em, wear em, eat em and on it goes)? Well if ever there was a man who could help you ladies ever decide, it could be this guy.... Welcome Max Brenner.

We stumbled across this little shop of his, one of many around the world apparently, while we were eyeing up which boat to steal over at the marina while we were in Surfers Paradise t'other night. And having been previously taunted by the aromatic 'come and eat me' smells coming from other fine fooderies all around us, it wasn't a hard decision to go for it and enter into the world of the somewhat universally famous chocolatier to stuff our cake holes if not our whole faces.

Problem was, there wasn't much in the way of real food available there. So, making the best of a bad job, we opted for a bowl full of crepes with bananas and a plate full of waffles with more nanas and strawberries... all covered in various forms of chocolaty stuff. There was chocolate sauces, chocolate creams, chocolate ice creams and chocolate drinks all available in dark, white or milk varieties and although it all looked so very very enticing and 'heart attack waiting to smack you in the face for even considering it', it was however quite disappointing, gritty, richly gloopy and considerably over facing when we finally got to plunge our spoons into it all.
Click here to get smothered in chocolate
Maybe it was just us plebs with the untrained palettes of wannabe millionaires, but it wasn't quite right for us. It was a love it or hate it acquired taste thing, much like Marmite for us brits and vegemite for the aussies. Which was a damned shame really because the place offered so much in the way of promise. I mean take a look around the shop itself, it was the dogs danglies in every conceivable respect. 

I just don't know what it was we ever did wrong in a different life to not get to enjoy it, but like I said earlier, it simply left a lot to be desired from where we were sitting.

Apologies to you readers too, because even the photographs this time were a little disappointing (something to do with not wanting to use flash with the shaking hands of a choclate addict bereft of his fix - that sort of thing). But alas, in the true "please come and be bored shitless with my holiday photos" tradition, I have still included an album of sorts to help try and wet your appetites.

Maybe I should go back to just eating pies again. There's still plenty of mileage left in that for a hobby... Mmmm, I'm hungry again... Where did my Cadbury's go?

One for the Ladies..SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here for the full Surfers Paradise album
What more can I say Guys? Stunning isn't it?

Yesterday we took a quick 24 km south easterly trip to Surfer's Paradise after work and also took in the nearby Wave Break Island where this photo was taken or the Break Wall at the Spit as the locals prefer to call it. And once again, with very little effort on our part, we were less than an hour away from home and surrounded by stunning scenery, clear blue skies and crystal clean waters.

Like almost everywhere else, the place is awesome and well worth a visit even though it was a litlle too hustle and bustley for my liking. When buried inside the heart of the city area, there is little to distinguish it from any other large city in one respect, but on the other hand, it is also a major tourist destination, home connurbation, business emporium and playground for the rich and possibly famous (so I should fit in there somewhere).

Apart from the expansive surfing beaches along the front there are high rise hotels, apartment blocks, shopping centres and the usual city like amenities along with large expanses of marina real estate including the myriads of general boats and ocean going yachts (many costing millions of dollars) to match the millionaire scenery.

I almost got wet taking this for you...
The place is also highly populated by Chinese and Malay people and you can often see many of the Australian men's Thai brides, dotted along the coast, taking part in their daily rituals of fishing the local and spectacular waters.

As the name of the place suggests, it is a haven for surfers, swimmers, boating, paddling, jet skiing, fishing, walking and photographing too. And if you are anything like me while in tourist mode, there is also plenty of opportunity to go nosying around places you wouldn't normally think about visiting. Take for example the boat yard/ marina place we were at where we could walk up to and touch boats (some of them nearer ships) that we could only ever dream of owning.

Not particularly this one... There were boats here that wouldn't even  fit in
the image frame without first having to go out to sea to shoot back at them.


Surfers Paradise...at the SpitSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

We have passed this place a few times now while batting up and down the highways of the Gold coast (Pacific Highway, Burleigh Heads apparently). It looks kind of awesome as you go speeding past it from a distance so I had to beg, plead, no collapse on the floor kicking and screaming in supermarket isles to get the good lady to take me back for some photos (Well it works for kids doesn't it?).

Oh no, it even has it's own album
I hope you think it was all worth while. 

Where Shelby Cobras go to die
It’s history I tell you. And you probably reply with it's possibly art too...

Looks better than some of the motors I have driven all the same
Or is it just rubbish?

Did you know if you click on any of the pictures on this blog, they will instantly appear full size for you? I thought you might like to know that. Enjoy!!

A Little HistorySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Boxing Day… is traditionally a day following Christmas when (in the good old days) wealthy people in the United Kingdom would often give a box containing a gift to their servants. Today, Boxing Day is better known as a bank or public holiday that occurs on December 26, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws.

It is observed in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations. Did you see that? They observe it in AUSTRALIA!!

So what does one traditionally do on a boxing day? If I were back in England, it would generally mean either a choice between queueing up for the sales to begin (Or camping out the night before if they were half as good as they used to be in the seventies), or impatiently waiting for the television companies to air their latest exclusive to our ‘bloated on turkey leftovers’ eyes.

What about over here in Oz though? What would I be subjected to for a good old Australian boxing day? Well the answer to that came in the guise of a phone call at around 9 am. It was Sharon Pearson again. She was the one that suffered the presence of the water dragon with us a few days earlier.

Our jollies for the day
Without giving away the plot too much, the day would involve a further 60 Kilometres of travelling, temperatures in the 30 degree plus region, much sand and water, very few clouds, crossing time lines and territory borders, eating stuff, getting nicely browned, 6 hours away from home, around 300 photos and generally having yet another fantastic day. “Surf’s Up!!”Was the cry for the day and we were heading off towards the territory of New South Wales and yet another beach… or two… or maybe even three.

 Click here for the Kingscliff beach album
Like the map suggests, our first port of call would be Kingscliff. Which just happens to be where Jodie attended Kingscliff public school from 6 to 11 years of age (not that it did her any good). Kingscliff Public School opened its doors in 1957. The numbers of children attending Cudgen Public School, 3 km away, were overcrowding its small site. Classes were being held in the local hall. A school of eight classrooms was built to cater for the children of the growing seaside village of Kingscliff. 

Anyway, we headed to the town centre, parked up, crossed the road, and there was the beach. Unfortunately, this bit of beach was closed due to tidal erosion of the beach front but undeterred we doubled back over the road and had lunch at Pizza Capers (Check out the day’s special in the photo albums).

After lunch, it was a quick jaunt down the front while taking in the shops and then we all piled back into the car and travelled a few hundred yards up the road to access the main beach area for Kingscliff. The day was to be an exercise in exploration more than anything else so we walked up to the water, got our feet wet, and generally took loads of photos for your edification and delight. 
Click here for the Carbarita Beach album
And then it was time to exercise the chariot once more (this time a Hyundai i30 not a putt putt) and head off further down the coast to Carbarita Beach. It was a heavenly place where it was virtually impossible to take a bad photo. There were specially constructed walkways around the main beach where it seemed the views had been specifically engineered for near perfection. I recommend you take a look at all these albums even if you skip all the others.
Click here for the Hastings Point album
With every bit of beach we came across, there were hints of better beaches beyond and it was with that in mind that we continued even further south to Hastings Point. Once again, the views were stunning, the seas (oceans more like) were crystal clear with multi-hued shades of bluey greens and brilliant whites sprays, the skies were near cloudless, the sun blazing and the whole day perfect.

How many Brits are lucky enough to experience a boxing day like that I asked myself as I sat and remembered the cold ice laden roads of back home this time last year. There really is no comparison. 

Oh and just in case anyone noticed. It's not what you were thinking... no it's not an affair... there's only ever been the one hat I ever loved and wanted. It was just a moment of weakness. I was sorely tempted by that Jodie woman. Yeah she made me do it!! I was weak.... and that flappy hat caught me at the wrong moment...


Checkout the new opinion poll in the right hand column of this blog. Your opinion counts as much as any other's so go drop your vote today. You never know, the future of Australia could depend on it one day.

BOXING DAYSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Christmas was coming, the goose was getting fat....

A good old Christmas Dinner....

But our's was nowt like that.

Somebody please tell me this is just a starter

Despite the barren looking spread on the table (photo deliberately taken too early because I can't have you all spying on me now can I?) there were salads galore (Salad WTF?), plenty of meats (More like it), good company (Naturally, I was there) and so too was an old friend Kat Lloyd, good conversation (Nom, nom, nom), plenty to drink (Burrrrp!!) and plenty to do (ZZZZ). 

The day as a whole, was a hugely successful one with plenty of time and energy for the inclusion of the likes of :

Board games (not spoiled by the presence of kids), 
Wii console games (not spoiled by the presence of kids), 
movies to wind the evening down (not spoiled by the presence of kids).

The movies were... Paul and Tomorrow when the war began, if anyone is asking. We thought they were good anyway.

Besides all that however, many extra sources of finger foods were provided throughout the whole day which I appear to have over indulged in (not spoiled by the presence of kids), There was still more than enough to drink (not spoiled by the presence of kids), there were Christmas puddings and trifles (not spoiled by the presence of kids), and the conversation was exceedingly invigorating (not spoiled by the presence of kids).

And believe it or not, we still managed to get ourselves totally stuffed
 (not spoiled by eating any uninvited kids).

Maybe on reflection though, it might have been nice if there were a few kids there. After all, Christmas is all about the kids isn't it? And when you have kids, you tend to get kids toys to play with when the buggers go to bed don't you? I knew there was something missing...

CHRISTMASSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

As you sit here reading this blog on what is probably your Christmas day morning or maybe within the couple of days just after it, I would like to remind you all of the sterling voluntary work of all the Queensland State Emergency Services that so often get overlooked at times like this.

Lightning over Brisbane
And as I have already intimated a few times within this blog, Australia isn’t always the dry and arid semi desert we often take it for. It has weather and like with most other things in Australia, the weather here has more than its fair share of extremes too. For example, from September/October through April it is storm season, which means storms capable of ripping the roof off your home, gusts of up to 100Km an hour, torrential rain, thunder that will scare the feathers off your birds and leaves small children crying while clinging to their mother’s skirt hems, as well as power outages (oh no warm beer, that will never do).

And then as if that wasn’t bad enough, during the months of December through February there are usually flash floods along with said torrential rains and cyclones to boot. Couple that with the bush fires from September through January (strangely running in unison with school holiday season) and you can easily see the need for extraordinary people running emergency services to help rescue, retrieve and generally clean up the mess afterwards.

You don’t believe me? Then take a look at this lot… This particular incident was a culmination of the dam not being let out in time and when it was released, it was done so during a king tide resulting in massive flooding throughout the area. And this is just a little of what went on at around this time last year. Check out the full associated album for more.

More pictures are available in the online Emergency Services Album
This wasn't just Brisbane either, there were other places across Queensland being hit with cyclones, torrential rains, flash flooding and other forms of storm damage. Places that we have visited during the progress of this blog among others. Places like Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Dalby and Rockhampton. 

And that is why Queensland in Australia has in reserve, a small army of volunteers (around 75,000 individuals), the State Emergency Services, on call for all kinds of trouble, and the emergency services cadets (which we have already established, Jodie spends all her spare time coordinating) fall under the wings of these services.

Queensland,  has it's normal everyday paid emergency services for day to day stuff; QFRS - Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. (meet Billy Bob Wombat, Michael Sharman, Coach Dudley among others (all seen found terrorising G+ as am I)), and QAS - Queensland Ambulance Services.

Rural Fire Service
And then there are the volunteer services:
QRFS - Queensland Rural Fire Service (assisting with bush fires etc).
SES - State Emergency Services (general assisting with disaster management and supply of buildings and vehicles).
EMQ - Emergency Management Queensland (own the cadet program)

There is another branch to all of this too and that would be the State Corrective Services. Not so much for the management of disasters, but there all the same as part of the overall funding package.
Together the corrective services, QFRS, SES, QAS, QRFS all supply monies for funding the cadet training program and while EMQ actually takes ownership of the program, it supplies very little in the way of finance, any shortfalls having to be made up through fundraisers or external donations.

State Emergency Services
And apart from the many life skills these kids learn while participating, the cadets, starting with an intake at between the ages of 13 or grade 8 at school up to the age of 15 and a half, can come out at 18 with certificate 2 in community safety which is exactly the same as that that the adults get in the SES only it also has complimentary fire awareness and first aiding courses too.

There are all forms of accident response scenarios for them to practice, triage, radio and communications, map reading, land searches (looking for missing bodies, dangerous weapons out in the open etc), along with participation in community events in policing things, helping to set up, and even raising public awareness about their individual units.

And on leaving the cadets these young adults will have gained real world recognised qualifications for inclusion on their CVs, they can continue on as adult leaders within the cadets or should they choose, they have entry into SES and QRFS or even both with their recognised skill sets. After which, 2 years of continued voluntary service serves as a recognised pre-requisite for a professional career within the paid fire and ambulance services.

Emergency Services Cadets
And as is the case with many other countries I’m sure, if these volunteer services were ever to be paid for through everyday governmental spending, Australia would have bankrupted itself years ago. And likewise, but for the sterling work these guys do or are currently learning to do, including fire services, land searches, flood control, boat patrols, rescuing trapped individuals and the like. Australia probably wouldn’t even be the modern world land we know of today. 

So, for the likes of myself and many others who have maybe been at the receiving end of the help and care given by these emergency services, these guys must surely be the true heroes of the 21st century and my hat truly goes off to them as I salute them all and wish them a really peaceful but nonetheless happy Christmas. Particularly with the impending approach of the latest tropical cyclone, Grant which is currently off Darwin in the Northern Territories. No doubt these guys are already impatiently waiting to be activated.

21st Century HeroesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Well even if it still doesn't seem to be the case at all from where I'm standing, we finally got indisputable proof through the door that it is actually Christmas time over here in Australia. We had the external fairy lights now (without going overboard... remember global warming?), the eighteen inch Chrissy tree on the dining table and now the ultimate in really telling it like it is, a Christmas card. And it had my name on it too WTF?

A huge thanks goes out to Cath Slater once again (but don't think I have forgiven you
 (or ever will) for burning me so badly that day at Newcastle..). Grrr
So, without further ado, may I take this opportunity to wish all you lovely readers the very best wishes and compliments of the season (Nice pressies... best compliment I could come up with at such short notice). I hope you guys get all you wish for and all the Christmas trees in all the world have Holden utes parked beneath them (because our resident commenter Godders, probably thinks the world would be a much better place if they did).

OK, Now for the bad news... Do Koalas actually exist? Without labouring on the point too much, it's been nearly six weeks now and there's still no sign of them. And at least the card above didn't show the old cliched scenes of snow, wise men, nativities etc which is good because I haven't seen any of those either (especially the wise men or at least, 3 of them all at once). LOL

The sandy beach and surf boards are really bang on though because to many over here, that is exactly what Christmas is all about. It's a day at the beach where the tourists ie me are usually dragged along and fed copious amounts of beer to render them unconscious and then left out to bake in the 40 degrees centigrade, midday, summer sun. There's only Cath Slater can ever burn a tourist any faster.

And besides all best efforts on my part, including putting up sparkly tinsel decorations, carol singing, finding recipies for roasting the resident cockatiels (don't tell Jodie) etc. I still cannot find the all so elusive Christmas spirit, it STILL doesn't feel right here. Not right at all. 

I know, maybe if you all came along and adorned me with rich and expensive gifts. Maybe that would provide me the missing link. And even if not, I could do with a new library of iThings and the like. And I would definitely make sure I had you thinking (if no one else) I felt it was more Christmassy for all your efforts (purely because I'm like that).

Seriously though, while over here on my jollies, it is hard to keep up with the everyday struggles of the real world and with this in mind, I would appreciate it if you could all return again tomorrow for the much awaited blog entry in appreciation of the voluntary emergency services that we have been spending so much time with. The service members that give up their time freely at the least opportune of moments and do so without want of recognition.

I've had a wonderful first five weeks here now, the weather has been brilliant if not milder (as in cooler) than normal, the temperatures comfortable, not too overbearing with excessive humidity, and the rainfall minimal, a far cry from last year. Yes it has all been fantastic but it could have all been so very different. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you all what I mean. And for those of you who can't make it, please come back real soon. 

And finally to all of you lovely readers, I demand you have a very merry Christmas and continue to drop by for a few words of wisdom from the silly old Englishman (git more like) who continues to boldy explore this amazing continent while forever continuing to dodge deportation at every step of the way (hope all is well back home).

xxx Merry Christmas from Oz xxxSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Somewhere pretty close to Dragonfly Mansions, lays a local bar type restaurant thingy place just around the corner. And the reason I am mentioning this now is that the other evening, a friend of Jodie’s, Sharon, had turned up and we had planned to all go out for a meal there.

The Boathouse Tavern... Coomera QLD
It wasn’t a great distance to travel, just a couple of hundred yards if that, so off we all hopped (made it more interesting that way) down the road (yes we didn’t drive), across the field, over the railings and through the traffic until we finally reached our destination… The boathouse Tavern

Once inside, the surroundings were refreshing and comfortable and we were only let down by the standard of food being served being as how the place was staffed by microwave technicians rather than fully fledged chefs. Having said that though the servings were still ample, the food edible and very little went to waste.

It was supposed to be a meal between just the three of us that night, but half way through and completely unannounced, you wouldn’t guess who had the audacity to just come along and show up...


He was in fact what is commonly known as approximately 24 inches head to tail of water dragon. And he has probably claimed the pool laiden tavern as his home; being able to feed on any scraps the 'awed at the sight of him' punters might throw him. Providing that is, that the punters weren't so hungry they might pick him up and eat him in the first place.

Now these days, it is quite rightly scorned upon when dogs turn up in restaurants, but what is the ruling on lizards? Surely anything that shits and walks at the same time, or is even capable of thinking of doing so (sorry granddad), should all be classed together in the ‘undesirables’ list, even if this particular chap brought us many smiles all round.

He didn’t really do much while there it must be said, but as far as any mid meal entertainment goes, he has some of the thousand dollar a gig performers well and truly licked as he calmly wandered through the dining masses, head held high and generally not giving a toss.

He knew the place well and felt just as much at home in the pond waters as up on dry decking. It was easy to know this place was surely his and we were the passers by that night.


Unexpected Dinner GuestSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

With breakfast firmly rammed down our necks, we were ready to go tackle another day of mystery touring ahead of us. We had said the previous night that it would be a good idea to just go where the car takes us and that was what the plan now was. (We really must get the steering fixed you know).

For more building pics, Click Here
So we headed back into Bundaberg town centre to look at some of the buildings there. We have done a lot of buildings during this last few weeks. Mainly because that’s what I do for a living and Jodie has a keen interest in them from a developer’s point of view too. So yes there are a few building pics and there will probably be a lot more to follow.

And after leaving the town centre, the next place we came across of any interest was Bauple Museum, a community based project where the local history had been collected together and put on display for all and sundry to come along and witness. What a brilliant idea. It would be great if more places would do the same. We had a great time noseying around and there was some really good stuff in there too. Only problem was, with just having had another birthday recently, it was thought I was one of the crusty old exhibits and it was really hard to get away again.
For the latest in communications, Check out the Bauple Museum Album
When I eventually did escape however, we high-tailed it down the road fast enough for nobody to catch us which meant that in little to no time at all, we had reached another hidden treasure along the way, Alford Lake Park, Cooloola, just on the outskirts of Gympie (please, no visions of pervy old men in ball masks here). Recently flooded, the place has undergone a total rejuvenation extending its boundaries even further. And it is really quite beautifully done and it really was a pleasure to wander around it to take it all in.
Check out the turtle near the lower tree stump
and check out the Lake Alford Album here
Further yet down the Bruce highway is a building that seems to defy gravity in much the same way as do the Ripleys world of strange things buildings situated on coastal regions. Except where as Ripleys might have a car hanging out of the front fa├žade, this place has a ute parked on the roof. We are of course talking about the Ettamogah Pubnear Noosa. The Pub claims to be the most photographed pub in the world - probably because it was built to appear as if it were falling down (it's based on a pub in an old Aussie cartoon series).

More pics here
The pub is an everlasting tribute to all things quintessentially Australian and its location halfway between Brissie and Noosa makes it a handy rest stop for a drink or a steak. We however chose neither, preferring instead to rush home and get naked as the housemate was away test-piloting a blisterpack of viagara and a packet of ribbed pleasure seekers this weekend but I cannot really go into that kind of detail here.

Of course there were other places of interest along the way like the double bridge that spans the mouth of the Brisbane River which looks quite spectacular from within the confines of a passenger seat in the old Rolls c’nardly. Another local masterpiece of engineering well worth a look at sometime. But for now our journey reached another end and the welcoming door of Dragonfly Mansions awaited us weary travellers.

Bye Bye BundySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here for the Kacy's Restaurant Album
After taking as many pics as we pleased back in the Bundy Kegs cooperage, it was getting desperately close to the next meal time for my delicate body and so we decided we would head up towards the coast again for a pretty stretch of beach at Bargara. It's not a huge place by any standards and we entered it near enough in the middle where we accidently stumbled across a restaurant come motel, come hotel, come hostelry called Kacy's.

It was a delightfully pleasant place fully equipped with its own wine cellar and the food was good too. And with a choice of comfortable surroundings both indoors and outdoors, we chose to sit inside by a large fish tank (more photos hopefully and having seen the tank shots, maybe not) and as far as we are concerned, it comes highly recommended to any would be venturers.

Having refuelled for the afternoon, we headed straight across the road for a small but charming gift shop having gotten in the mood of dressing the hat. Unfortunately for the hat though there was nothing in the line of pins or other appropriate adornments. So the hat was in a mood and left in a huff.

Click here for The beach at Bargara Album
Shame that, because having left the shop we strolled over the road to another great Australian beach, Bargara where even more photos were taken. It was around about now that with the frequency of photography being undertaken, the photographs we took actually began to look something half decent (if you still exclude the fish tank back in the restaurant).

We were on a roll (photographically at the very least) now and so travelled further up the beach to a place called Mon Repos, a turtle breeding area along with its own information centre. And although we didn’t get to see any turtles (mainly because it wasn’t early or late enough) we did manage to see some stunning scenery without the need of travelling too far to get it. All we did was follow the pathways to the beach set up specifically for night parties to go down and see the hatchlings run for cover.

Click here to see the full Mon Repos Album
I know it must seem silly to many to have travelled so far and not stayed to capitalise but there is one thing you must learn about Jodie’s mother and step father… Being as they live in a really rural area, they have spent the majority of their lives living under the sun which means rising and falling along with it. And as we had previously arranged to meet them for dinner that day, we had to rush back at around what felt like 4ish in order for the old biddies to be bedded down for seven – Bless!!

So you can guess what happened next can’t you? Yes we returned home to meet the parents, got a take away instead of going out, stayed up together until ten (wooooo) and then sat and twiddled our fingers and toes for a couple of extra hours before it was closer to our normal bedtime. We had to be up early in the morning… for kangaroo hunting (but rgular readers will know that already).

It was needless to say, six o’clock the following morning and I was already sat adjacent to Clifford, bombing down the road in an old white Toyota run-around, heading toward an open paddock where kangaroos were known to gather at such a stupid hour. And sure enough they were there waiting for me. It would have been nice to say with their autograph books at the ready, but they were kangaroos dammit. They can’t read can they? And so with the joeys in the bag so to say, it was back home for breakfast before we packed and set off back for Brissy once again.

A Bit of Bundy part 2SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Some of my more popular posts

Search This Blog

About This Blog

Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

Please, please, please, dive in and enjoy this blog and all that I will ever ask in return, is you add a few comments whilst passing through.

And if you've enjoyed reading the contents as much as I have compiling them, help spread the word through your friends.

Thanks again for dropping by, hope to see you again real soon.

Need a little more?

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP