Monthly Archives: January 2013

Well, we wanted rain ….

but not a year’s worth in 60 hours. Following on from devastating bushfires in the south of my country and record-setting heatwaves throughout the land, we’ve just experienced Cyclone Oswald creating havoc in our northern and central coastal parts.

On my morning cycle – after a long weekend of being cooped up while the storm raged – under beautiful blue skies, I saw the Brisbane River carrying debris and flotsam. After our terrible flood of 2011, I couldn’t believe there was still infrastructure to get loose and take to the current, but there it was.

Debris on river

The swollen Brisbane River carrying debris toward the sea

Trees snapped or leaned every which way.

Snapped tree at UQ

What’s left of a tree at University of Queensland – grounds staff had already been to the scene

Water lay around the playing fields.

Ibis at UQ

The birds were happy (where do they go during these wild storms?)

The water was up over the walking path.

Flooded Brisbane River

Tides had brought the flood water up over the road I was on

This year, the boats were saved.

Grammar School boats

Grammar School’s craft all high and dry

The state of the walkway along the cultural precinct hadn’t deterred a few cyclists.

Muddy walkway at Brisbane River

Except me – I decided to spare the back of my cycling shirt and beat a retreat.


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Joys of cycling (5)

On yesterday’s morning cycle, I took a route that follows our South East Freeway, more or less between the ‘burbs of Greenslopes and Annerley. There’s plenty of hideous graffiti vandalism to observe, but there are some nice pieces of artwork along the way. But first of all, I passed a homeless person in a hammock. It looks pretty blissful, but it did shower during the night…

Man in hammock

Just hangin’ ….

And near the railway station, we have a thong fence in the making! Now, for the uninitiated, thongs in Australia have always been footwear – known as flip flops in some countries. And increasingly so here, as well (and not just because we have lots of Kiwis – New Zealanders – living here now, and we’re always visiting NZ and can’t talk about thongs without cracking people up). Just so you don’t think we wear these things on our nether regions. We have that sort of thong too. Say no more.

fence with thongs

Trusty, next to the beginnings of something silly

Trusty next to a depiction of a very strange bicycle:

Building art

These two are on the same building in Stones Corner:



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Tootling around Bruns…

On our recent weekend at Brunswick Heads in coastal northern New South Wales, we went to the beach and saw Nippers …

Nippers at Brunswick Heads

Our potential surf lifesavers start training young

… to the river and saw a happy dog strolling along …

Dog on river at Brunswick Heads

“I’m bored with that blow-up island”

… admired the catch …

Man with catch on Bruns river

“Yes, this is my ironing board .. and the problem is?”

… cycled to the Nature Reserve and visited the feral chooks …

Chooks at Brunswick Heads

Now, this is free range!

… and enjoyed the delightful soft bark of lovely paperbarks:

Genus Melaleuca in the family Myrtaceae, mostly endemic to Australia

Genus Melaleuca in the family Myrtaceae, mostly endemic to Australia

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Brunswick Heads: home of weird headwear

Last weekend, after visiting Ballina, Ron and I tootled north to Brunswick Heads to join friends for a weekend of wood-chops, wine and music (+ the beach of course!).

Every January, Bruns hosts the Fish and Chips Festival: a terrific four days of blokes and sheilas whacking blocks of wood with axes (and saws) – and there’s fishing too. Our mates volunteer – clearing up chips from the arena (ring crew) and selling merchandise (shirts, caps, stubby holders) and raffle tickets. This happens during school holidays, so the town is full of visitors and the place is buzzing.

This is wood-chopping in action:

Wood-chopping at Brunswick Heads

Brad Delosa on the right is an international champion

They start young.

Youngster wood chopping

This little cove is 7

Ring crew members like to dress up for the occasion.

Ring crew member Brunswick Heads

Nice legs fella!

Spectator with sun protection:

Man with flipper on head

Flippers have so many uses!

Nothing goes to waste – eat the melon, wear the skin.

Melonhead at Brunswick Heads woodchops

Does he have an unfair advantage with that cooling headgear?

It wasn’t all wood-chopping at the festival. The Cobra Club of Queensland displayed their sportscars in the main drag.

Cobra cars at Brunswick Heads

American-engined British sportscars

At the pub on Sunday, more of the local liking for novel headwear:

Man with bottle on head

This bloke can dance wearing his hydration equipment

The band, Fyah Walk:

Band at pub Brunswick Heads

Footwear is optional

And an indigenous musician:

Musician Brunswick Heads

Now THAT’S a didgeridoo!

sheilas = women
cove = bloke
didgeridoo = Australian Aboriginal musical instrument
stubby holder = container for keeping a small bottle of beer (stubby) cool
main drag = main street (drivers are sometimes known to ‘drag’ one another off – race – on the main drag in Aussie towns)

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Ballina: beach, bikes, beauty

Partner and I headed off on an early weekend to visit friends in Ballina, a pretty seaside town in New South Wales. We camped near Shaw’s Bay at a terrific resort-style caravan park and cycled on the levy to the pub for dinner. A wild wind was blowing but our trusty tent held up well.

On our cycle next day, we visited an 1866 lighthouse.


Richmond River Lighthouse, Ballina, with trusty Trek

And looked down on Lighthouse beach:


Pandanus in the foreground

On the breakwater, we looked across to another artificial sea wall of striking appearance.


“Tombstone” point?

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Summer cycling….

On this morning’s cycle (Gladstone Road hill puff-puff, Dornoch Tce downhill Wheeeeeeee!, Orly Park – mind the buses, South Bank – mind the walkers, Annerley Road traffic weaving) I saw:
One young woman walking to work reading a device called a book;
Two runners with dogs on leash;
One LARGE man setting out to cycle for the first time in a loooooonnnng while (“I’m not sure about this helmet…..”);
The Scribe:

Man at table

I feed these birds because I’m a nong

This chap always has flowers or a leafy branch on ‘his’ table while he writes or paints in the early morning. Trolley courtesy of Coles. Birds courtesy of population explosion among nuisance critters in our fair city.

These amphora decorate a Turkish restaurant on my route:


The wall of Caravanserai, West End

The noble steed at a Brisbane landmark:


What the?? Yes, Orstraya is part of Asia

And some of the neighbours hanging out at the Buckinghamia:

Spiders in Tillot Street

Time to move to another tree?

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Boats, Buddhas and Buckinghamia

Yay! the Buckinghamia celsissima are in flower. One of Brisbane’s favourite street trees is showing off. These blonde beauties are flinging their ivory curls about and filling the air with perfume. Nice.

Don’t you just love a bit of alliteration to start the day? The blogger’s friend. I pedalled past this Buddha and just had to sneak a photo – what a smile to come home to every evening! He’s laughing, the yard needs work, but who cares? Be happy!

Buddha in front yard

Messing about in boats: rowers on the river on a (thankfully) much cooler morning. The heatwave is taking a holiday and it’s great cycling weather.

Rowers on Brisbane river

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