Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MY BOOK IS OUT!


FRESHLY BAKED ROLLS WITH LASHINGS OF BUTTER by diane bohlen | Make Your Own Book

Many bloggers were interested in 'My Story' and encouraged me to put it into a book. Well after many trials I have finally finished the first part of my story. It is available at BLURB if you are interested. The above is a sample only of what is inside, it is not the whole book.

Monday, August 18, 2014

BRISBANE'S STAIRS TO HEAVEN


When we visit TOH's specialist we walk from Central Station up the steep hill to the Wickham Terrace, Brisbane's street of specialist doctors.  There are stairs connecting Edward St. to Wickham Tce. They are called Jacobs Stairs, which is a biblical reference to Jacob's stairs which connected heaven to earth. When you look up the stairs only the steps are visible but when yo look down the stairs only the landings are visible.
Research tells me that the stairs were renovated in 2009 and painted red except the landings were painted different colours and at night there was a light show projected onto the landings.
However, my shot shows the landings are red too. I don't know what happened to the rainbow colours.
Did you notice some unusual sculptures at the foot of the stairs? I'll show you more closely below.

photo from the state Library of Queensland. 
In 1915 there was a path way leading from the shopping area up to Wickham Tce where well to do people lived looking over the city. In 1920 stairs were made. They were renovated in 1947, 1961 and 2009.
Next to the stairs is King Edward Park. It all looks a bit different today but a nice place to relax and wait for doctors appointments.

At the bottom of the stairs are four sculptures. I always thought that they looked like something out of 'Starwars' but I was wrong.

They are called 'Form del Mito' or 'Forms of Myth' made by Italian artist Amaldo Pomodora in 1983 for the world Expo held here in 1988.

 It was hard to fit all four pieces into the phone camera lens. The four pieces represent the characters from the Greek tragedy 'Agamemnon.' The pyramid is Agamemnon - power.

The round one is Clytemnestra - ambition.

The tall rectangular one at the back is Aegisthus - machine and the short one on the left is Cassandra - prophecy. Well it fooled me I still think they look like 'Starwars' characters.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

BIRTHDAY BEAR CHILLS OUT

It was my friend, Helen's birthday and our Birthday Bear Group went to Sunnybank Hotel to celebrate. Helen and Paul recently went for a holiday to the fishing village of Burrim Heads north of Brisbane about four hours drive.  They went there to rest and for Paul to recover after his last lot of Cancer treatment. 
Helen enjoyed relaxing and eating chocolate biscuits. So Bear came to the birthday dinner looking very relaxed and enjoying a view of the sea from the window on her deckchair. 'TmTams' are a delicious Chocolate biscuits/cookies.

Mary did a good job of dressing Bear and Helen was wishing she could be so relaxed again. It is not easy for her watching and helping her husband through this difficult time of fighting off the ravages of mesothelioma.

We hope Birthday Bear bought a little bit of cheer to your birthday. Enjoy the TimTams.

Monday, August 11, 2014

BERRINBA WETLANDS

We visited our local wetlands this morning with our U3A Camera Club. We were lucky that there was still some water in the lagoons as we are having a very dry winter. The garden is shrivelling up too.
I am not keen on bird photography as I am never happy with my shots but with the help of post processing I have found a few that are almost okay.
 There were many pelicans all sitting on a mud bank in the middle of the lagoon having a meeting.

 Three cormorants sitting on a branch surveying the lagoon. Unfortunately the middle guy was too close to the first one and their heads have merged.

 When photographing birds the background should not be too busy like this one.

 But I liked the colours in this one.

 These birds are Magpie Geese found in northern Australia.



Then I had a little play with this photo.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

FLYING SOUTH

My sister in law, Ann, is visiting Australia from England. I haven't seen her since 2008 when we met her and my brother in Switzerland for a few days holiday together. Since then my brother has died so I was keen to see Ann again while she was here. She was going to celebrate her 80th birthday in Adelaide and we flew there to join in the celebrations with her family. Unfortunately Ann fell ill on the way to Adelaide and I never got to see her. She is now recuperating at her son's home in Wodonga. Albury/Wodonga are twin towns on the Victorian and NSW border. I decided to fly there to visit Ann before she returns to England later this month. This meant flying south in winter not a warming experience at all. I flew to Sydney on a 737 jet, there I had to change planes to a small Dash 800 with props and the cabin under the wings.

 It doesn't fly very high so I had a good view of the country. This is the south coast of NSW where there are lots of coastal towns.

 Then we turned inland and flew over other smaller towns but this one was quite big and I'm guessing it was Canberra, Australia's Capital City.

 Then we flew near the Snowy Mts and they were covered in snow which only happens in winter. The props are whizzing around in the photo. Soon we started descending into Albury airport. My nephew, David and Ann were there to pick me up.

 David is a lovely person who takes good care of his mother, he is a great cook and he is mad about photography so we hit it off very well. He has amazing photographic equipment. My inadequate Point and Shoot made a blurry shot here. Poor David lost his wife not long ago, her photo is on the wall. Then David took a photo of us from his tripod..
When David went to work, Ann and I had a chat fest for the three days that I was there.

 In the mornings there was frost on the grass, this was something different for me as we rarely have frost in Brisbane.

 By the middle of the day the sun was shining but it was still cold by my standards 12°C/53.6F. David has a nice house in Wodonga.

 I braved a short walk one day. It is a pretty town surrounded by rolling hills. Too soon it was time to hug Ann and say goodbye. David drove me to the airport in the morning, it was very cold and foggy.
My plane had to come from Sydney and it couldn't land in the fog. It was delayed an hour.

There were 3 small planes circling in a holding pattern but finally they popped out of the fog and landed. Luckily my plane turned around quickly and headed back to Sydney. I was just in time to catch my connection to Brisbane. I had a good time chatting but I was glad to get back to the warmer climate.

Friday, August 1, 2014

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE....

 You may have heard on the news about a water main, which broke and shot water many metres into the air in Los Angeles. It tore a gaping hole in the road as millions of gallons of water gushed onto the roads and nearby properties.

It caused flooding in the area especially at UCLA (University Of California LA campus)  where my daughter, Sonya works. It just so happened that her children were visiting her when the main exploded.

She took some photos and videos and sent them to us.
A reporter took her photo with boys and it was in the LA Times.

 Fox was impressed but Banjo wasn't so sure about it all. Luckily her department and car park were on a hill and she was able to get her car out okay others weren't so lucky. Lower car parks were flooded.

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My last post was about the inside of the State Library of Queensland well here are some shots of the outside.
  Last post I mentioned "The Red Box" reading area. Can you see why it is called The Red Box?


 Here is the "Terrace" with it's display cabinets full of  a 'cups and saucer' collection. Behind the terrace is an auditorium where we attended the keynote talk for the U3A winter school. Under the Terrace is a restaurant.

These two photos should be joined here, scroll up and down to get the idea.
The Library is two buildings joined with walkways . Another walkway goes right through to the other side where the modern art gallery stands. A great place to spend a day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

LUV A LIBRARY

We booked up for a tour of the State Library of Queensland with our U3A winter school. (University of the Third Age.) It was something I have wanted to do since the new building opened in 2006. It has taken me a while to get around to it.  However, I am glad I did because it was really interesting.
 The building is made up of two buildings side by side and five storeys high. The buildings are connected by bridges and the roof. There is a walk way between the buildings which leads to the art galleries in the adjacent buildings We started the tour on the 4th floor. There were too many different areas to showcase here so I'll show just a few from each floor. There was some lovely art on this floor especially in the Black Opium Rooms.  They are very small rooms for only one or two students to study in. The walls are decorated with art created by Fiona Foley an aboriginal artist. She depicts a sad part of our history when aboriginal labourers were paid with opium. There is also acknowledgement to the traditional owners of the land that the library stands on.
The famous John Oxley Library is housed on this floor. It is a collection of historical ephemera  of Queensland's history.

 On the the third floor, one area was the Tim Fairfax Reading Room which was a comfortable lounge with draws containing the latest newspapers from around the world. There were also televisions with earphones to get the latest news from around the world, as well as microfiche readers for newspapers from years ago.
 From the music collection area we could see down into the Asian/Pacific design section on the second floor. It covers design in all areas.

 We could look over the balcony and see the Poinciana Lounge, named after the huge Poinciana tree outside the window on the bank of the Brisbane River. This was a beautiful area for reading and research.

We walked down to the second floor to The Red Box, so called because from the outside it is a big red box shape sticking out of the building almost over the river. It is an area for reading but it can be hired for talks or other functions.

 The view from The Red Box is a great one of the river city, Brisbane. See the huge Poinciana tree outside.

 Also on the second floor is the Queensland Terrace. An open area with a mirrored ceiling and walls made of cabinets full of cups and saucers. I tried to catch the reflection of our group in the ceiling but I couldn't move back any further without falling over the balcony into the gardens. This area is often used for weddings. The collection of teacups is part of a project called "Tea and Me". It is about sharing stories and memories over a cuppa the cups have been donated together with stories about the cups.

Finally the ground floor has a special area for aboriginal people to come and tell their dreaming stories as well as studying it even has an outside area around a fireplace. There is also a fabulous Children's Corner area where activities for children are on everyday. "Infozone" is here too where you can pop in to use computers or charge your devices. There is an adjacent building called "The Edge" mainly used by young people for using all kinds of digital media. They can record songs or make movies all equipment is provided and a cafe as well. There is a restaurant and a book shop near the "Knowledge" walkway. Naturally there are loads of activities and exhibitions going on all the time. All in all it was an enlightening experience. Anyone can book free tours.

Monday, July 21, 2014

BRISBANE IN WINTER

I dropped my 'Fossil' watch on the bathroom floor and broke two links of the ceramic band. Because I bought the watch in USA, Fossil didn't have any matching bands here and they had to get one from the States. I got a call saying the band had arrived. We caught the train into town and found the FOSSIL shop in Queen's Plaza.
Queen's Plaza has an entrance on Queen St Mall. After we picked up the watchband we went for a coffee in the Mall.

We sat outside and I couldn't help thinking about the difference in temperature compared to Adelaide a few weeks ago.

After coffee we strolled through the Mall. We saw an Arcade similar to the one in Adelaide.

I noticed a lot of people in shorts, summer dresses and sandals. I assumed that they must be tourists from the northern hemisphere or our southern states and they think our winter is very warm. 

However, the locals like me were dressed in pants and jumpers(sweaters) and soaking up the sun. Still warmer than down south.

We came across this statue artist. I couldn't believe he was pretending to sit with only one leg on the ground and he was motionless. The boy in T-shirt and shorts in winter is also amazed.

I loved the splash of colour the balloon man gave to the Mall.

We walked over the bridge to South Brisbane Station, which is a lovely old preserved building.




Soon we were on a train returning home after a sunny winter's day in Brisbane. I'm glad that I don't live in a place with freezing temperatures. We find the 'Park and Ride' system is really good for trips to town. Senior rates and no parking worries or expense. Sometimes we use the train and sometimes the busway. (see an old post)