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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Malanda Dairy Museum and Cafe...

Recently I've been going through photo files on both my phone and iPad and have found quite a few photos which I've taken previously with the idea of using them in a blog post. Today's post is about our visit to the lovely town of Malanda last November, and of course using some of those photos.

 This town is on the Atherton Tableland to the west of Cairns in Far North Queensland. Cairns is in the tropics, but because of its elevation, the Tableland enjoys cooler weather. This meant that a dairy industry was a viable proposition and Malanda is very proud of its rich dairying history. Malanda Milk factory still produces dairy products to this day. Despite the declining number of dairy farms on the Atherton Tableland, the area produces a million litres of milk per week.

Outside the museum is a tableau representing those early pioneering days...small family run farms, milk churns rather than milk tankers, the little sheds where the filled churns  were placed ready to be taken to the factory, the farmer's children wearing old hessian bag rain 'capes' etc. ( I didn't grow up on a farm but those hessian bags were used for all sorts of things even in suburbia!)

Inside the museum there was lots to see...
The magpie pecking the foil top of the old milk bottles and drinking the top of the milk...I'd heard people talk about this when I was a child, but far as I know none ever stole our milk as the milkman brought it up on to the covered veranda...

To one side of the museum was an old red, wooden railway carriage...we had fun walking through that! And I took that photo of the ornate overhead luggage rack. Again, I'd heard stories of people climbing up and sleeping on those racks on long distance journeys...obviously a bit more agile than me! lol

There was old farm equipment adjacent to the carriage...all beautifully restored.

And from that side area of the museum, the modern factory was visible.

After a cuppa, we went through more of the exhibits.

During WW2 this area became a huge army base and this is reflected in the history of the area...

I never miss an opportunity to be photographed with statues...this soldier is dressed in the uniform of more like the time of the Vietnam war...

And of course there were thousands of US army personnel stationed in the area during WW2 and I just loved this tableau of 'milk bar' complete with a serviceman (airforce?) and an Aussie army nurse...and I 'pushed in' to get my photo taken with them. :-)

We spent a very pleasant couple of hours here.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Australia Day 2017

Today, being January 26, is the public holiday here known as Australia Day. This date commemorates the date that Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived here to start a British penal colony in 1788. (The Aboriginal people already lived here but that is a whole other story, as it is in other countries colonised by more powerful nations.)
There are plenty of things to do on Australia Day, and being summer here, much of these activities focus around beaches, parks, clubs and pubs. DH and I are enjoying a quiet day...not even a family barbeque this year. Our young ones, (extended family included) now they are all grown up, 'have places to go' but I must admit I've enjoyed having the chance of working on a stitching project and DH is enjoying the sport on television.
One year I wrote a post here, about Aussie sayings and our tendency to shorten words and put an 'o' on the end of that!

This year I'm posting about some trivia and a tea towel I own...and some photos of that tea towel :-)
I'll let the photos 'speak' for themselves...'s comparing sizes of a few other countries and 2 continents with the size of Australia. Those early settlers must have been quite overwhelmed with the size of their new home after what they were used to in the would those who came out in the big migrations from Europe after WW2.

I guess the tea towel wasn't big enough to show comparative sizes of Canada, Russia and China...having flown over the latter two I would say that they are much larger than Australia. And Canada is probably a lot larger too.

DH and I will dine on a 'good old fashioned Aussie roast dinner' tonight. Sorry to any readers who are will be roast lamb. Most years we have a BBQ and maybe some seafood...the typical Aussie food is varied but today I predict that a lot of lamingtons and pavlovas will be scoffed.

Wool on Sunday...

Regular readers would remember that for a little while I've been linking with Janine's Wool on Sunday on her Rainbow Hare blog. I've 'met' some lovely fellow knitters/crocheters this way and it's such fun thinking up yarn related posts to write. Janine has published 137 Wool on Sunday posts which is phenomenal! But from now on, instead of being weekly, the WoS posts will be monthly. latest yarn themed post...
There must be something about January, because this time last year I was writing about my big push to lessen the number of the bags of donated squares in my sewing room, by joining them into blankets. And this year has seen the same frenetic activity. The blankets go to Knitting for Brisbane's Needy ready for distribution when the weather starts to cool down. The weather has been rather hot here lately so in the last 2 weeks, the air con has been turned on, and the TV turned on, and I've just sat and joined the stacks of squares/rectangles that have been donated to K4BN.
You might say, I've been on a roll...
This was the one that I put together last night and crocheted a border on it this afternoon at Sisters of Stitch. ( which is held at a council library with air con!) My DD1 crocheted the majority of the 36 squares in this blanket.

 The 11 blankets I've made this last fortnight, folded and stacked...lots of people have contributed squares to enable me to make so many blankets.
Yesterday DH helped me collect some bags of yarn/unfinished knitting projects from a young woman who had gone to school with my girls. This woman's mum had recently passed away and Amanda remembered that I belonged to a knitting charity and asked if the group would like her mum's yarns etc. So we picked up all these bags, and the yarns are gorgeous. Lots of lovely items will be made for the needy, that's for sure, as I will give out yarns to my 'outworkers' and also take bags of yarn to Knit and Natters.

( There is a possibility that that big stack of blankets will be used in one of my 'yarn bombing' photo shoots, sometime soon. )
So now the bundle of squares to be joined is quite depleted...

But I've been told there are some bags of squares for me to collect, so some more joining coming up! lol

Monday, January 23, 2017

Two evening meals out...both totally different!

Back last November, DH and I spent 3 days in North Queensland, visiting family. DH had a few things he particularly wanted to see during our short stay, and one of these was to see a cassowary up close. A cassowary is a native bird which lives in the tropical rainforest areas of FNQ, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and islands in between PNG and Queensland. . They are a similar build to emus but have a colourful 'lump' on their heads. ( they are related to rheas, emus and ostriches)
Lump was my word but apparently it is a 'keratinous skin covered casque' which increases in size with age.

My cousin said that cassowaries could always be seen walking around nearby Etty Bay. She suggested we take a picnic tea down to the bay and DH could get lots of photos of the birds that just might be there. We got there before sundown and it was definitely a beautiful spot for a picnic tea.
The waste bins even have cassowaries emblazoned on them...

Oooh...and there could be other creatures hereabouts too!

It wasn't long before we saw a cassowary striding around the picnic area...

While DH walked around taking photos, my cousin and I set up the picnic table...

Just as we started to eat, all of a sudden a cassowary decided that our food looked too good to pass by...

It was quite insistent; my brave cousin flicked a teatowel at it and eventually it did move away! Phew! I'd heard stories of cassowaries becoming angry and had been know to kick out at people and dogs with their strong legs and feet.
So after that drama, we enjoyed our salad and chicken in peace.

Just before the sun went down, we saw the 'stinger' nets being wound in. Without the nets, people in the far north of the state can't swim in the ocean for a majority of the year because of the dangerous marine stingers.
 Obviously the nets get put out each morning and then brought in each evening.

The next night we were in Cairns as the next day we were flying home. We walked along the waterfront in the late afternoon, enjoying the views...

and the lovely sea breezes!

We decided that somewhere on the waterfront would be a nice place for dinner. DH had always found the RSL club (Returned and Services League) in Cairns to be good, so that's where we went. I think it was one of the nicest RSL clubs that I've ever been to. We chose a table on the footpath but didn't expect any of the drama/entertainment of the previous night. Then I heard bagpipes...and drums! Across the road were some bagpipers and drummers who proceeded to play for the next 30 minutes or so...what fun!

And our food was pretty good too!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Delving in the past...

The Saturday before last I experienced the feeling of being a bit of a 'stickybeak' on a visit to the Queensland Archives at Runcorn. A friend had planned a visit to the Archives to look for some  documents pertaining to her family history, and suggested I might like to come along for the same reason.
I had been fascinated by the fact that documents relating to my dad's divorce could/would be available. I mean we are talking 1945-46 here! I had already read a newspaper report of the court case of that time, so was interested to see what perspective the 'official' documents would present.

I felt quite emotional when I found the relevant documents in the rather large brown paper parcel that had been brought up to the public research area for me. My friend had been so helpful in finding the details of the file we needed, as were the Archives staff.

And then I started going through the contents of the file.
Pages of ledger entries...

The fees and charges' statements were interesting. It became obvious that my father had paid out rather large sums of money, as was the norm for that time; divorces were notably an expensive process.

 There were a number of affidavits in the files...

In the photo above, you will notice a rectangular shape holding down the page. These little sandbags are used to hold down documents so they can be read and/or photographed. You must not flatten documents by pressing out the creases as this has the potential to damage old documents. 

I gradually worked my way through. Most of the files were from the solicitors but just near the end of the pile was a letter handwritten by my father. What a rush of emotions to see his handwriting...all 7 pages of it! The letter was to his estranged first wife. It was in English and was so eloquent for someone who had only had formal schooling to a Grade 3 equivalent and for whom English was a second language. I decided to pay for this file to be photocopied and then emailed to me. I then sent it to family members, many of whom had not met my father as he had died in 1967.
The letter may/must have been torn at some stage as the pages had been repaired with sticky tape, which had caused brown stains. The letter was dated 1940, but the rest of the documents were from 1945-46. What a find!
So that part of my visit to the Archives had been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but there were also some lighter moments. While waiting for my father's file to be brought up from the storage area on the floors below, I checked out old school registers of my primary school which have been digitised. I found the entries for myself and my classmates when our parents had enrolled us. But I felt like a voyeur when I saw something else in the same admission register for 1957...the full names of the teachers and their addresses no less! When I went to school, students often didn't know the first names of their teachers...unlike in my teaching career.  :-)

The headmaster of the school always was known as Mr T.V. Perry. We use to make jokes about the TV part of his name as television had finally come to my home city in 1959. Well all these years later, I know that the T.V. stood for Thomas Victor!! lol. He was one scary man by the way!!

My friend and I also ordered a ledger from the Court of Petty Sessions of 1917 to be brought up to the public research room that day, as I was also looking for records about DH's great aunt who had been a victim of crime that year. We didn't find anything about Auntie Josie, but we had fun reading through the traffic misdemeanours/crimes that had been written are 2. Remember this is 1917 and cars would have been scarce!
Yep! Try enforcing the speed of less than 4 miles per hour while turning from Stanley St into Annerley Rd now!
Oh dear...a speeding ticket for driving faster than 12 miles an hour!

Spending time at the Archives has given me a taste for another form of family research...I've already got another topic that I think I would like to research in the records.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Back on course...

Yesterday, DH played his first game of golf in 5 1/2 weeks; the time which has elapsed since he collapsed on the final hole of that same golf course, early in December.
This was his chest a day or so after the pacemaker was implanted...still a bit swollen then of course. 

The plastic adhesive over the wound meant he could continue to shower as normal. The dressings were taken off a week after the operation and over the weeks the swelling and soreness had completely disappeared. Golfing was off the agenda for a while as the electrodes which had been attached by tiny screws into heart tissue could be ripped out by the action of the golf swing and the  follow through. After 4 weeks the electrodes would be anchored firmly by tissue growing around them.
Yesterday's game went well with him being placed 18th in a field of well over 100 players. So he came home feeling rather pleased.

But one day last year in July he was even more pleased with his game. After 40 plus years playing golf, he finally achieved that 'hole in one!' And in November we both attended the club's presentation night so that DH could receive his trophy.

The table all loaded up with the various trophies...

The main guest speaker for the night was another member of the club, who happened to be an Australian tennis champion from the 1950s to the early 1970s, Mal Anderson. My mum had been a really big fan of Mal and I remember how chuffed she was when her granddaughters had tennis lessons with him at their school. Mal was a very entertaining speaker having embraced golf after his 'tennis days'.  
After speeches, it was time for the trophies to be distributed...DH receiving his...
A close-up; it is the actual ball that he used that day. The club takes it and sends it off to the trophy maker to be incorporated into the piece. There were a few 'holes in one' winners last year; not all on the same hole as DH. His achievement was on the 16th.
So it's good to report that DH is now back golfing and possibly hoping to replicate last year's achievement; the hole in one that is...not the collapse or 'dispsy doodle' as he described it! lol

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Golden Gumboot...

In a recent post I wrote about the signs that rain could be on the way, i.e. the 'visits' from ants and the green frog. Well it did rain last Sunday...quite a bit in some areas but by Monday, Brisbane was once again sunny and very hot.
All the talk of rain though, had reminded me of our recent trip to Far North Queensland. We had lovely fine weather during our short stay back in November, but the area has had lots of rain in recent weeks. Three towns in FNQ vie for the wettest town in Queensland; Innisfail, Babinda and Tully. The higher rainfall is the result of monsoonal rains and cyclones.
My cousin took us to Tully for a look around. It is a town 'built on the sugar industry'. And in a park there is a tribute to the early days of dad started cutting cane in 1926 so I reckon the display with horses being used to cart the cut cane would have been like when my dad was a canecutter.

Many of the sugar mills in north Queensland have closed but the mill chimneys at Tully dominate the  skyline and it is very obvious that it is still a working mill! 

A big tourist attraction in Tully is the 7.9 metre ( 25.9ft) Golden Gumboot, which was erected in 2003.  This height represents the highest rainfall recorded in Tully and this was way back in 1950.

A couple of interesting points;- the floods that Tully experienced in 1967 and 1973 were caused by rainfall greater than 8 metres and Babinda has had even higher rainfall levels than Tully in the last 40 years.
So here are our photos of this tourist attraction...

Little me standing beside it to give an idea of its height...

A closer view of the frog details too...

My cousin has some favourite shops in Tully and we went to a few...a wonderful toy shop, a kitchen wares shop, a fish shop and a popular teashop/café/florist. Many of the stores had art deco frontages...just like Innisfail! I also took photos inside the café.
I loved those novelty clocks on display in the café!