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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cruisin' on the River...

A week after we got home from our recent trip overseas, DH and I went on another cruise. This one was a lot more modest but very enjoyable nonetheless!
My brother had given me a Red Balloon gift card and when it was in danger of 'expiring', (the card had been put away safely and forgotten for a bit) I had used it to purchase a Lunch Cruise on the Kookaburra Queen.

The 'Kookas' started business in 1988 when Brisbane hosted Expo 88 and these paddlewheeler replicas still operate cruises on the Brisbane River. There are, for example,various lunch time cruises, dinner cruises, special occasion (RiverFire) and charter cruises and showboat cruises and I chose a Lunchtime Jazz Cruise.
I don't know why, but I didn't expect the meal to be anything but average...but I was soooo wrong! When we arrived, we were served the appetizer/entree which was a delicious plate of antipasto and dips with toasted Italian breads...I didn't take photos of this though...too busy eating! lol. DH did get a photo of yours truly with a glass of wine...

The boat then started cruising upstream...
On the southern bank of the river, we cruised past the Maritime Museum and travelled under the pedestrian Goodwill Bridge.
From the boat we caught a glimpse of a  lovely old building in South Brisbane; it was the old South Brisbane Town Hall, from the era when Brisbane was a series of townships and shires before the amalgamation into a city council.

Then we approached Southbank Parklands...this was where Expo 88 was held. The area had been wharves and associated warehouses and pubs before most was cleared ready to build the infrastructure needed for Expo.
Southbank also has a man made beach which is very popular with locals and tourists...

On the 'edge' of the Southbank Parklands is the Brisbane Eye Ferris Wheel and just beyond that is the Performing Arts centre with theatres, which then segues into the state library, art galleries and the Museum.

The Kookaburra Queen continued cruising upstream to the Victoria Bridge...and then turned around.

Looking towards the northside of the river and the central Business District of the city...

We don't have many historical buildings left in Brisbane and unfortunately from the river it's hard to see through the freeway. In this next photo, the old building on the left is the Treasury casino but the beautiful building was once the actual Treasury building for the state. The building which appears to be in front of the Treasury is one of two convict-built buildings in Brisbane; the Commissariat Store. I've written about this building before, here, here, here and here!
The building on the left of the stores building is not nearly as old;it is part of a precinct of old state government buildings.
Taking in all these views was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And then the main course was served. DH and I had both chosen the was delicious! As were the sweet potato crisps that were served with it.

There's a good view from the river of a new government building; a rather ugly government building was demolished to make way for this one.
 There's still a way to go before it's completed.
The boat then came to the Gardens' Reach of the river. These City Botanical Gardens were originally planted by convicts in 1825 but a lot has changed in those years! lol
Part of the City Reach...
The iconic Story Bridge...

As we cruised on downstream we passed the Riverwalk...

As we got closer to the suburb of New Farm, we kept an eye out for the little house that DH had rented in the 1970s when he first left home...there it is, nestled between apartment blocks, but still there!
The cruise continued on downstream.

The old Sugar Refinery (CSR) site at New Farm has been redeveloped for housing...

New Farm Park...and the old Powerhouse which is an Arts' Precinct now...

At this point we could see the lights at the 'Gabba' (cricket and AFL football) on the southside of the river...

The bridge over Norman Creek...(southside)

Apartments and more apartments!!

And all the while as we cruised we were entertained by a duo who not only sang jazz numbers, but lots of 50s and 60s hits...

It was a great afternoon!

Highly recommended!
 And I'll finish with a photo of 2 of the 'City Cats'; not painted in the normal BCC colours...
Quite artistic! 

A morning spent playing...

Yesterday I minded my niece's little boy Maximo, while she attended a training session for her job. Together we did some craft...
First, I helped Max make his crown...
Like all little people, Max loves stickers so I had made sure we had a supply! :-)
We went for a walk down the street to a building site as Max loves 'diggers'. It had been raining so no one was working on the site that morning...
So we didn't have to dodge trucks etc, coming and going from the site...
The excavator was a relatively small machine but still pretty terrific to a 2 year old.
When we walked back home, it was time for morning tea...Max regularly told me during the morning that he was hungry! Lol
Then we played with the play dough...this seemed to be the most favourite activity of the morning.
I had bought a pack of play dough 'utensils' from Riot, but the 'pusher' required a Herculean effort to push dough through the I got out my garlic press and it worked much better, squeezing out 'sketti'! ( my girls had always played with the garlic press when they were little)

Max loves my exercise bike...
But no matter how he tried, his feet didn't touch the pedals! 

The box of Teddies came out for a while too...
And it wasn't long before my niece arrived to collect Max...where had the morning gone; it had passed so quickly?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An Etsy Purchase and other crafty 'stuff'...

I've mentioned previously that I have been working on some 'secret projects' recently. These kind of projects usually involve a fair bit of 'stalking' of blogs to discover likes/favourites etc of those certain persons who are my swap partners.

One of the secret projects I have 'on the go' at the moment...

Well I discovered that one of these unnamed bloggers rather liked mice, so I went looking on the 'net' for crafting ideas which incorporated mice.
There was a designer on Etsy who had some lovely stitching patterns using mice but I really wanted a knitting theme. So...I wrote to this designer asking if she had ever considered developing some embroidery designs of 'knitting mice'. Susie Layman from Threads on my Socks answered my query saying she had in fact, some ideas for her mice characters, Miss Mousey and Lily, using a knitting theme. Susie said she would work on these ideas and get back to me. I didn't expect to hear back from her for several weeks, but it was only a couple of days! Needless to say, I loved the 'knitting mice' and promptly bought the pattern.
The pattern was instant download and includes 'mirror image' outlines as well as a page of motifs that can be incorporated into the larger stitchery or used on their own in various way. All this makes it a user friendly pattern and very versatile.
So Miss Mousey and Lily: A Knitting Kind of Day, here enjoying a Knit and Natter them!
(Screen shot from Threads on my Socks Etsy Shop) 
And talking of knitting, Master Eduardo has been sitting patiently beside me as I continue on with that other project...
It's well over half way so 'right on target'! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Another BCC Library...

I recently wrote a post about my visit to the Grange City Council Library. There is another Northside library which has been a favourite of mine for quite a few years and not just for borrowing books! And that is Chermside Library.
There were even parking spots for seniors near the library steps...and seniors in this case meant 55+!

It was one of the first libraries to open on a Sunday and I have spent many a Sunday afternoon there, browsing the shelves or sitting in a comfortable chair looking through quilting mags while I sip a cappuccino. Yes, this library had a coffee shop!
After I retired I started going to Sisters of Stitch; a group who meet fortnightly in a meeting room in this library.
I once wrote a post about a visitor who came to Sisters of Stitch. Bob had taken up tapestry when he retired and he stitched his own designs.
This 90 year old charmed us,and we all loved his work especially his Tewkesbury Cathedral tapestry which had won a first prize in show.
I've been to an author talk in this library as well.
William McInnes
Then early this year I found out that the library was going to be demolished and a new 'you beaut' multi level building would replace it. There would be 2 levels of car parking, the library and also Council Offices/Business centre. This is all predicted to take 18 months. The library closed on July 19. Until the new library and Business Centre is built, there is a temporary Chermside library in some council offices on Gympie Rd,just past Chermside Shopping Centre. 
The temporary Chermside Library is inside this council offices building
Luckily Sisters of Stitch were allocated a meeting room in this temporary library accommodation. I've only made it to 1 SoS afternoon so far, and the new meeting room was fine, but I've heard that finding a park has become a bit of a problem. 
Yesterday I went to check out what was happening at the redevelopment site on Hamilton Rd...
The library building is well and truly gone now...and there is a huge hole. 
 While I was there, trucks kept leaving the site filled with dirt.
Very dusty!
The Chermside Pool Complex is still operating so the roadway is there for patrons to access the car park. 
Here is an artist's impression of what the finished Library/Business centre will look like by the end of 2016.

Just hope the cafe comes back! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Every picture tells a story; tales from the 1950s.

Once a month, the church that DH and I attend has an informal morning tea; a very relaxed affair with parishioners sitting around talking, sipping tea or coffee. DH is always at golf so it's just me who heads off. We are usually asked to bring an item along for a 'share' session. This month it was 'baby photos'.
I took along 2...this first one isn't a very clear image but it shows my father and I sitting somewhere in the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens...

 So I took another photo which wasn't blurry but I'm not a baby...rather I'm a toddler...

My friends 'picked' me straight away in the second photo but didn't recognise me in the first photo.
This photo was taken at our home when a 'door to door' photographer came around the suburb. My father always wanted photos to send to his brother back in Sicily...this uncle was my godfather. Below is a scan of 4 of the 6 proofs that the photographer left with my parents. They apparently had the 'proof' in the top left hand corner printed and sent overseas. I preferred another one of the proofs and as an adult I had prints made of it.(which is the one I took to the morning tea)
Well you know how 'every picture tells a story', so let me tell the story of these photos.
As I said it was a 'travelling photographer' which was common in those 'earlier times'. (Years later,with my own children we went to Pixie Photos which travelled around to shopping centres/malls and I also had their photos done at Photography Studios.)
Then there is the dress that I'm wearing which was made by my Nanna (mum's mum) who had been a tailoress. Nan made identical dresses for her then 4 granddaughters, made out of light floral cotton with eyelet lace. I know that somewhere there is a photo of 2 of my cousins wearing the 'same' dresses.
And that big bow in the hair! A few years ago, some of my friends and I posted photos on Facebook of our 1950s hairstyles...all very similar and with a BIG bow! lol

Next I draw your attention to the jewellry that my little 3 year old self was wearing. I believe that it was a special privilege to wear all those pieces; they usually were put away in my mum's dressing table. When I started school she let me wear the bangle all the time but there was a reason. I couldn't remember my right from my left as a 6 year old so the bangle went on my left arm  to remind me! lol. It had been a Christening gift to me from dad's niece and her husband.
The chain and pendant was a gift from my uncle in was a beautiful chain with a 'holy medal'...very delicate and typically Italian. When I was in Grade 7 I sneaked this piece out and wore it at school without telling my mother...and lost it. I lived in fear that she would find out but I seemed to have 'got away with' that bit of naughtiness! lol
And then there was the tiny ring which was a Christening gift from my godfather.
And look what I still have tucked away in a dressing table drawer...
They obviously don't 'fit' me any more! Lol