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Monday, February 20, 2017

A fun packed weekend!

Last weekend was spent with friends; most of them I have met over the years through blogging. On Saturday we had arranged to all meet up at Browns Plain for a lunch with a very special visitor from New South was Donna, aka Chookyblue!

But there is a patchwork shop at Browns Plain so most of us left home early so we could visit the shop before lunch...😉

I was quite restrained in my shopping...

Then it was time to head off to the Browns Plains Tavern...

It was a lovely catch up with blogging friends and our lovely guest of honour...

My lunch was a pumpkin salad with grilled chicken...delicious!

We staying chatting for quite a few hours, enjoying catching up and also enjoying the air conditioning  in the Tavern.

Most of these friends are also Sunday Stitchers too! And of course the next day was our February Sunday Stitchers meet up at Orneau.
So on Sunday there were comments about 'how it was ages since we'd seen each other' wink wink! Lol

We had some delightful Show and Tell on Sunday...
From Michelle...

From Marilyn...

From Helen...

At Sunday Stitchers we all work on our own projects. I worked on some EPP using some of my Liberty stash...

It was a great weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Playing Tourist in our home town!

Our granddaughter's New Zealand grandmother came over for the first birthday celebrations last week. Our son in law and DsD2 of course had to work most of the week that she was here, so DH and I offered to 'take her around' on the Wednesday. It's always fun showing visitors around our city.
First stop was at the lookout at Mt Coot-tha. Val had been here before, but only at night to see the city lights. In the daytime it certainly looks different and you can see out to the islands in the bay. DH is fabulous at pointing out landmarks...

After a coffee in the Kuta Café on Mt Coot-tha we headed off to our next destination, Redcliffe, which is just north of Brisbane. We travelled north on the Gateway Motorway. Near Bald Hills the motorway was swathed in smoke from a scrub and grass fire in the area...bit of excitement!

Once at Redcliffe we headed to the Bee Gees Walk. When they were children, this group lived at Redcliffe and a few years ago the council there decided that something honouring these famous former residents should be built. DH and I first visited this in 2013, not long after it first opened. I wrote about it here...and I had taken lots of photos on that day which I included in that post.
Over the years we have taken visitors from interstate and overseas there as it's something so different to the norm...and very well done.

And Val loved it!

DH and I enjoyed seeing what had been added in Stage 2, including a large screen with a number of videos of the Bee Gees running continuously.

Lunch was at the Belvedere Hotel at Woody Point which is also on the Redcliffe Peninsula...lovely food and views out over the sea...perfect!

 After lunch we had one more stop before heading back to home. We took Val to Shorncliffe; a beach suburb of Brisbane. We regaled her with both our childhood memories of travelling to this beach by train...always a favourite outing. The old Shorncliffe Pier was demolished a few years ago and has been rebuilt. The locals had won their fight to have their beloved pier rebuilt. It was very quiet the day we were there; it's normally crowded with people fishing and walking.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bingil Bay, North Queensland...

Recently I commented that I had been sifting through photos on my phone and iPad with a view to clearing some storage space by getting rid of photos already used in the blog or other social media posts. And I have found quite a few 'future blog post photos' which will mean a bit of 'to-ing and fro-ing'; both in time and place!
So this post is going back in time to November last year and the place is North Queensland. In my mind, I had made 2016 the year of meeting up with longlost relatives and after meeting up with cousins in Western Australia, New South Wales and even my home city here, the year was running out and I still had to visit 2 cousins in North Qld. My cousin was quite concerned that it would be November when we finally got there; she warned of really, really hot weather and bad storms which feature at that time of year.
Yes it was hot (ish) but luckily there were no wild storms while we were there. On our first full day in the Innisfail area we had visited relatives of my dad's first wife for morning tea. The plan was that we should then have lunch at a favourite Cafe of my cousin. This Cafe was in South Johnstone.

We followed in our hire car and stopped behind my cousin's car, in the little main street. You could see the smoke stacks of the town's sugar mill...

We could also see that the Cafe had closed up and gone out of business.

Not to be deterred, my cousin took us to another favourite Cafe at Bingil Bay.

We sat at the side of the Cafe in a little covered area.

It was hot (ish) and I was absolutely entranced by the 'ceiling fan'...

Isn't that a delightfully vintage fan? 😃

As we waited for our order I noticed the public phone box near our well camouflaged it was!

I had noticed a bit of purple in the decor and this extended to some outdoor seating near the entrance

What a fun place, and our salads were delightful too. 

Some more on Australia Post...

My recent post on Australia Post certainly struck a chord with many readers...both here in Australia and overseas. It seems like many of us suffer poor service and pay high rates for it at that! And some of us have stories of mail going astray.
Not long after I published that post, Vireya sent me a link to a news service with an article about Australia Post. A report on salaries of AP Executives had been released publically despite opposition by AP hierarchy.

What a coincidence that I should write a post about AP ( and it's price hikes and poor service) at about the same time that details of the salary of the CEO of AP should have been made public.

Yep! The CEO receives a salary of $4.4 million plus a bonus of $1.2 million. He receives 10 times the salary of our Prime Minister and 119 times the salary of the postal workers...except those 5 executives of AP who receive $1.8 p/a. So there you go...and they said that AP is making losses and prices had to go up????

NannaChel commented that she could remember 2 postal deliveries per day Monday to Friday and one on Saturdays. And I can remember that too...but it seems so long ago. After reading Chel's comment I remembered an item that had belonged to DH's mother. I guess it's a family heirloom...and at present, DH is the 'keeper' of my MiL's treasures.

It is a postcard...

It is dated 1909...

The postcard was sent from Brisbane city to the suburb of Kangaroo Point...not a great distance, but then again in 1909 Brisbane wasn't very big and roads weren't the best.

The postcard was written by DH's great aunt, who at 16 years old worked in the city. She wrote the message to her mother in the morning and the card was delivered in the afternoon of the same day. yep! Same day! Great Aunt Ethel wanted to let her mother know that if she wasn't home by 8pm, she had gone to see a play.

Now in light of the present day era of phones, mobile phones and emails it may not sound impressive, but to me it was amazing!
Just a few more details about that 1909 postcard...the photo on the front is of the Toowoomba Hospital. Even though after Federation in 1901 and the setting up of the Post Master General's department to oversee postal and telegraph services, the stamp on the postcard is issued by the Queensland government. It wasn't until 1911 that the federal government issued stamps. In 1911, Aussies could send a letter anywhere in Australia for 1 penny.
So there we have a bit of history.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The little red stool...

Last December DH and I checked out the children's section at IKEA with the idea of finding something for our granddaughter's Christmas present. I noticed the little step stools and my interest was piqued.

The 'teacher part of me' could see what a versatile gift this could be. Obviously for use as a set of steps, a seat, or in imaginative play the stool could become a  car or boat, but also a possible 'stage'/ dolls house for games with the Duplo people or other toys; or whatever Anthea's imagination could come up with. 😃
But then that same 'teacher part of me' thought of such scenarios as the stool falling on little feet/toes/squashing little fingers, or a little person falling off the stool and hurting herself. My vivid imagination also could 'see' the possibility that the said stool could be used to open doors etc for a potential Houdini!

But we still bought it! And yesterday at a family get together at DsD2's place, I watched Anthea having fun with her IKEA stool.

She has learned how to climb steps and how to go down steps safely on her bottom...

I think she likes her stool!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Australia Post...

From the subject line of this post, it sounds like I might be writing about our major postal service here in Australia. But it's not really an informative piece about how the service's just some observations. And as well, I'll show off some items I have received recently in the post.

Last year Australia Post (A.P.) raised postal costs considerably as they asserted that the organisation had been making a loss. Stamps for a basic letter went from 70 c to $1. The dollar only gave you what was classed as second class mail service and if you wished your letter to be delivered faster, you could pay more (40 cents more) . So in essence, they upped the price but slowed the service. (We had never had classes of ordinary mail before, mind you!) Postage on parcels also went up in price and delivery dates were extended.
Over the years, I have had a few items of mail that have been sent to me, go astray and never turn up...and that was only mail that I was expecting. ( the latest missing letter was my 'all clear' letter from Breastscreen Q'land) Who know what else has never reached me??? And if the sender hasn't paid for insurance on the parcel or letter, AP's response was always, 'Too bad; we can't do anything'.

For a little while, a member of K4BN who lives in NSW, has posted parcels of yarn to me to hand on to other members. Rosanne posted me a big 5kg pack last never arrived. For months Rosanne and I were 'hounding' AP, wanting to know where the parcel had gone. ( I had filed a disputed delivery complaint)
They seemed to take our complaints a lot more seriously than I've ever experienced before in my dealings with AP. I got text messages and screenshots of the data they had about the delivery...

Eventually one AP employee ringing from Sydney stated that the parcel was delivered to a #24 in my street. (the contractor said he left it on the front stairs). I don't live at #24 and my friend is adamant she put the correct number. However I knew something that obviously the contractor didn't know. Gleefully I informed the AP employee that there is no # 24 in my street...that number disappeared when 2 houses were demolished to build a big block of units. There are a number of scenarios for this but the main thing is that the parcel didn't arrive at my house.

But they made us wait another 6 weeks and last week Rosanne finally got some compensation for the lost parcel...although even that has a sting in the tail...they will only pay up to $50 if expensive insurance hasn't been taken out, and the contents were estimated by Rosanne to be at least $90 worth...but it was a small win.
So lately I've been a bit anxious when someone says they are sending me a parcel. Just like recently Sue from This n That blog sent me word that a parcel was on its way to me; it didn't go astray and I was thrilled when I opened it.

Sue sent me some of her hand painted cards and notelets...absolutely gorgeous!

And as I looked through all these lovely goodies, there was one that was extra special!

Sue had painted Eduardo, my cat. Isn't it wonderful!!!

To be absolutely fair to AP I couldn't write a post about them without mentioning that Seniors can apply for a MyPost card that enables them to purchase a set number of stamps per year ( up to 50) for 60 cents each instead of a dollar. (I think that there are a lot of 'baby boomers' and older people in Australia and we have the time to complain/hound officials etc.)

A few years ago I wrote a post about Rosanne and her New Year Resolution to visit as many Spotlight stores as possible throughout Australia. She planned to buy 2 balls of yarn in every one she visited. Hearing that she was coming to Brisbane, I had offered to meet her and take her to my local Spotlight. The photo below shows Rosanne on the left holding her purchases. The store manager came out to speak to us when she heard Rosanne was visiting the store. There had already been an article about Rosanne's quest published in the Spotlight magazine, so we were with a bit of a celebrity! lol

Rosanne, me, the store manager and another member of K4BN

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wool on Sunday...

My Wool on Sunday post for this month is about the K4BN Knit and Natter that I went to last week at Zillmere. When I first started attending this Knit and Natter at the Zillmere Community Centre, the group would be allocated a tiny room with very inefficient aircon. Now we get a very spacious room and that aircon is working well. ( a previous state government reduced funding to a number of community groups, including some who used this Centre and these groups no longer can afford to use their allocated rooms...their loss was our charity's gain.) 

At Zillmere, two members sort all the donations brought in to the meeting, count them, record them and then repack the items ready to go to the storage shed. I took some photos of Jenny and Elaine repacking those blankets I'd made from donated squares.
The final count for last Tuesday's donations was 181 items and a lot of them were blankets.
Linking this post with Janine's Wool on Sunday over on her Rainbow Hare blog. Janine's post this moth features a lovely baby cardigan she has just finished knitting.