Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A TROPICAL ISLE WITH A DARK SIDE

Continuing my last post where I was remembering my trip around New Guinea with my friend, Joan,  in 1967. We flew from Pt Moresby to Mt Hagen in the mountains then over to the north coast to Wewak for a few days. Then we flew to Lorngau on Manus Is. A beautiful Tropical Island not far from the equator. See map on previous post.
 We were met by Wes, Joan's brother, who worked on the island as a teacher. Later he married a local girl from an important family on the island. He was accepted well into the family and he was well respected in the community. He left teaching to help the people of the island set up a cooperative to sell coconuts and other produce. He made PNG his home. He also developed a tourist business and motel in Lorengau. In 1975 when PNG gained independence his wife became a member of parliament so Wes and his wife and three children moved to Pt Moresby. During this time they became aware of corruption among some members of parliament. Wes and his wife wanted to expose the corruption. Sadly Wes was murdered before this happened. Needless to say Joan and his family were devastated.
We were taken around the island, it was beautiful.

We stayed in Wes's little house called a one man donga. He bunked in with a friend while we were there. This was the view from his house. I remember his door wouldn't close properly but he said not to worry there is no crime on the island everyone is safe. That was in 1967 how things have changed now. 
Last year, the PNG government agreed to have an Australian detention centre on Manus Is. to house illegal immigrants who have tried to enter Australia on people smuggling boats from Indonesia. Recently there was a riot at the centre and one person was killed by the guards.

Joan outside the Post Office, a left over building from WW2. There was a big Naval Base on the island .

The Manus people had quite big ocean going canoes or lakatois. It was an idyllic scene way back in those days. Soon it was time for us to board a plane again for Kavieng on New Ireland Island, where my brother lived.

Friday, September 12, 2014

PARADISE IN THE PAST

(Another post in the series 'My Story'.) 
By 1967 I had worked for three years in Papua/New Guinea. I was no longer on a bond and I could return to work in Australia. However, I was having so much fun up there. I had found lots of friends and a boyfriend so I returned to continue teaching in Pt Moresby.
During the first term school break my friend, Joan and I planned a trip around New Guinea. We were teaching colleagues and we are still friends today, 47 years later. We both had brothers working in New Guinea (we lived in Pt Moresby, Papua) so we decided to visit them. Joan's brother, Wes, lived in Lorengau, Manus Island and my brother, David, lived in Kavieng, New Ireland. 
We bought a plane ticket to take us from Pt Moresby to Mt Hagen, Wewak, Larengau, Kavieng and Rabaul. When we arrived at the airport there was much excitement as we were booked onto the inaugural flight of the Fokker Friendship into Mt Hagen. The airstrip there had been made longer so that bigger planes could land. (Not that a FF is a very big plane)
 When we arrived the valley was full of cloud and we had to circle for some time waiting for it to clear. At last we could see the ground and we descended into the valley surrounded by high mountains. All the towns people had come to the airport to see the "big" plane. The pilot banked the plane on its side and circled the airport skimming the mountain sides and then gave a wing waggle to the crowd before finally landing. I must admit I was a tad nervous with the aerobatic celebration.
 We didn't stay in My Hagen long before we were winging our way over the mountain tops to Wewak on the northern coast of New Guinea mainland. We could see the mighty Sepik River winding its way to the sea.

 We were met by friends of a friend who had offered to put us up for a few nights and show us around Wewak. The beaches were lovely with white sands and tropical seas.

 A magic place for a picnic in the shade.  It was a tropical paradise except you had to look out for crocodiles and snakes.

The local people fishing with a big net.

Joan and I (in front) walked along the river edge using a banana leaf for shade.














I was impressed with the height and thickness of the trees, which were all covered in vines. The jungle came right down to the river's edge.
I was wrong about this building earlier. It is a church not a mens house.

We were lucky enough to arrive in this nearby village when they were having a 'sing-sing' (traditional celebration). It wasn't for the tourists' benefit as there weren't any there except us with our friends who lived in the town of Wewak. The head dresses were amazing. They were  made from Bird of Paradise feathers. Their grass skirts were also thick and colourful.
(See more by clicking the label 'My Story' or going to the links on my side bar.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

OVER THE BRIDGE City Walk Part 2

After walking through the city, along the river and through the Botanic gardens we came to the "Goodwill Bridge". We crossed over the Brisbane River and stopped for lunch at the Ship Inn Hotel, once a rough place where dock workers and sailors behaved badly. Now it is a historic building spruced up for tourists.
Over the bridge

 From the bridge we can see the CityCat on the right and the baby CityHopper on the left. The CityHopper is free.

 This is the new Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, named after Lady Phyllis Cilento, a physician, who championed children's and women's health.

 Then we walked through Southbank Parklands. Firstly we walked along the river and.....
 past the children's wading pools then.....
 past the man made beach where people believe winter is over and .......
 through the arbour to......
  the street leading to ........

the bus station. We are impressed with our bus service to and from the city. They have pak'n ride carparks at bus stations and the bus travels on a purpose built bus lane. There is no other traffic except buses. They run every 15 minutes and take 35 mins to get to town from Loganholme about 30k away. We have a concession 'Go-Card' and it is much cheaper than paying to park in town and easier than finding a park in town.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A CITY WALK Part 1

We went into the city to visit the Apple Shop to get our iPod fixed. I nagged TOH into going for a walk after our business was done. He didn't complain too much as he enjoys walking in the city rather than in the forest (go figure). Anyhoo we set off from the Queen St Mall down to the river side.

I felt dwarfed by the tall.tall buildings but the architecture was interesting. The city council was so excited to have TOH walking around the city that they rolled out the red carpet for him. He is giving the royal wave. (Actually the city is preparing for the Brisbane Festival, which started today.)

We have two ferry systems now. The CityCats, which are quite big hovercrafts and these little ferries called CityHopper. These little ones are free and you can hop on and hop off all along the river.

We walked along the river edge passed the posh Stamford Hotel towards the City Botanic Gardens. We took a rest and admired the visiting yachts.

Behind us were apartment towers and the iconic Story Bridge. It looks like the council should provide bike stands for those who cycle into town.

We checked out some old buildings. The old Naval Offices dated 1900.

The Port Office, both are now businesses.

Then we entered the gardens. This tree obviously knows Spring is here. The weather was beautiful,  not too hot or too cold.

There are many walkways and cycle paths through the gardens but I spotted an interesting sculpture off the main walkway in a mini rainforest.
 It is called “Jemmy Morrell and the Brolgas” by Lindsay Dean. Jemmy Morrell was a sailor who was shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1840’s. He lived with aborigines for 17 years.
After a few snaps we were back on the path heading towards the Goodwill Bridge and South Bank. (next post) 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I HEART ART


When I was in Sydney last week we visited the New South Wales Art Gallery to view the finalists of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prizes. The Archibald Art Prize is Australia's favourite and most prestigious art prize. There were 884 participants and a $5000 prize.


The Archibald prize is for the best portrait.
The winner was Fiona Lowry's portrait of Penelope Seidler a well known architect. It was an unusual technique, a misty monochrome.

My favourite was Andrew Mezei's Morpheus, a portrait of Professor Kate Leslie a well known anaesthetist, who has won awards in medicine. Her research is to do with dreams and awareness under anaesthetic. Thus the title, Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams and sleep. Mezei also included opium poppies. I love how Mezei has shown the light.

The Wynne prize is for the best Australian landscape or sculpture.
 Michael Johnson won with this piece called 'Oceania high low.'

 My favourite was Max Mannix's "Where I'd Like to be."

The Sulman Prize is for the best subject painting.
 The winner was Andrew Sullivan with T-Rex. (I didn't like it at all)

But I was attracted to this one "The Archer" by Michael Peck maybe because it reminded me of my Grandson who has just discovered archery.

After our stroll around the gallery we had lunch with our daughter and SIL at the gallery cafe and then returned to their apartment overlooking the sea.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NOSTALGIA TIMES TWO

We flew to Sydney last week to visit our daughter, Carol and SIL, David. They have taken leave from work for four months to travel around the world. So we went to say goodbye and spend a few days enjoying their company. The weather was wet and cold but it didn't dampen our spirit.

 Carol took us to the Sydney Tram museum, knowing that her dad loves transport museums. The Bondi tram became famous as a saying was coined about it. He "shot through like a Bondi tram." Apparently, the tram picked up speed down the steep hill to the beach.

 We went for a ride on an old tram from Brisbane. This made TOH nostalgic as he used to ride the Brisbane trams in the 60's. Trams stopped running in Brisbane in 1969 but we wished they hadn't. The tram took us from Loftus to Sutherland and back to The Royal National Park. This was nostalgic for me because I used to live at Loftus and catch the train to school in Sutherland and to The Royal National Park on weekends.

 The museum is manned and maintained by volunteers.

After our fun trip we drove into Sutherland for lunch in a cafe right opposite my old school. The memories came flooding back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A SLEEP OVER

Yesterday we went down to the Gold Coast to Rainbow Bay for a teachers' reunion at a friend's holiday unit. Our friends, Ann and George, have a unit on the 14th floor.
 The view was stunning.

 The surf was very good for board riders even though it is winter there were many riders in their wet suits. They either walk out on to the rocks and jump in or else they walk though a channel next to the rocks. This was a week day and we wondered how many of these riders should have been at work, but when the surf is up...........

 After the fabulous seafood lunch and the guests left we were asked to stay for a sleep over. So we were privy to the sunset.

 The next morning the surf board riders were out in force taking advantage of the waves whipped up by the wind. All the above shots were taken from the 14th floor.

But then we went for a walk to get a closer look at the crashing waves and the adventure seeking board riders. TOH stayed on the boardwalk while Ann, George and I walked along the sand. It was windy but when we rounded the headland we had to take off our sweaters.

 There were plenty of female board riders too.


I have been trying to get used to our little Canon G1X camera as it is smaller to take on vacation than my DSLR. I was pretty happy with today's practice.