21 September 2009

Wallabies Rugby, Riverfire, Wynnum-Manly Cycle

September's been an exciting month so far! On the 5th we donned our Wallabies shirts & slung our Gold jackets over our shoulders in the hope that it'd get cold enough during the night to wear them. Alas, it was a balmy night & the jackets just remained accessories! The occasion? The Tri-nations game between the Wallabies and the Springboks!

For those of you who don't know, we support the Wallabies 100%! Our reason.... we support the country (team) that supports us. This is something we decided to do before we arrived.

Our awesome Wallabies jackets - the outside is like parachute material with a hood with a fleece lining.

And you turn it inside out and you've got this!

We hopped on a bus which took us through to Roma Street station in the city. For special events like sports matches & concerts, public transport is free when you show your ticket. What a great way to keep the cars away from glogging up the streets around the stadium! While we were waiting for the McGuickens (Kerry, Shawn, Megs & her friend Ashleigh) to arrive on the train from the Gold Coast, we decided to pop into the closest hotel - The Transcontinental - for a game of pool and an ice cold beer. Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but the hotels here are pubs. It's something to do with the liquor licence act & trading hours of pubs during the war (someone correct me if I'm wrong please).

After whipping Scott's backside on the pool table, we decided to take a bet on the game. The first time we've ever put a wager on any type of game - except of course for the odd coin drop in the slots. We each bet for Oz to beat SA and then I bet on Matt Giteau scoring the 1st try while Scott bet on Adam Ashley-Cooper scoring the 1st try. And we won BIG time! The odds were apparently for the Springboks to win so we walked away smiling - not only because our team beat the Springboks, but because we made a pretty packet out of the game. I wasn't so lucky with Matt, but Adam scored the first try which made Scott EXTREMELY happy! :-)

So here are a few photos from the evening. Enjoy!

We got there nice and early so we could grab a bite to eat at the Caxton Hotel. After our nibble, we headed for the beer garden which is set up in the parking lot next to the hotel on event days. Megs in her SA flat jumper, Kerry in her Springbok jumper, Aussie Ashleigh hiding in the background and Scott in gold!

Scott & Shawn


Meg's fairy wings converted to Saffer supporter gear!

Kerry was THIRSTY so asked for a large beer.....

We managed to get hold of one of these Bundaberg Rum Wallabies coveralls for Shawn to cover up that green jumper... He was a great hit with everyone - there must be plenty people around Brisbane with a photo of Shawn on their PCs. I'm not sure about Scott's imitation of P!nk..... not quite working for you there hon'!


Shawn found a buddy - they had a blast running around the beer garden for photo requests LOL!

Scott with 2 old school mates from Grey PE - Jebbo on the left who now lives on the Gold Coast and Julian who flew up from Sydney for the game.

Megs in green with Ashleigh

Jebbo, Jules, Scott & I

Sharing Kerry's large beer

Gold & Green in perfect harmony!

Adam & Scott. Adam's folks own the cycle shop we frequent in Indooroopilly. They're originally from Zim and moved here about 8 or 9 years ago. While chatting in the shop the other day, we discovered that their first house when they arrived in Oz was the one we're living in now. Small world!

Kerry with her beautiful African design face paint

Game on at Suncorp Stadium!

Me along with 40000-odd other rugby union fans

Woooohooooo!!!!!! We won! We won!!! Walking up Caxton Street after the game.

Scott with his golden accessory over his arm. Big smiles after the Wallabies won & our $$$ win!

The rest of the night is a bit of blurr.... ;) We headed over to some or other "cigar bar" to meet up with Scott's school mates. While we were standing in the queue out side, I noticed that there weren't any other women in line..... I started to suspect..... And once inside had those suspicions confirmed by the semi-naked woman pole dancing centre stage. At least I wasn't the only female there - not counting the "dancers". And the beer was cold & the conversation lively so it was all good. We caught the last bus out to Moggill shortly after midnight. The following day was spent trying to recover from a rare tropical disease... must've caught it in all those crowds of people..... :-)

A week later we were back on the bus for Riverfire - the opening event of the Brisbane Festival. While at Wang Dynasty on South Bank for lunch a few weeks back, we made a booking for Riverfire dinner with the McGuickens. Ryan, otherwise known as Mac, (Kerry's hubby) works as an electrician on a cruise ship. He arrived back during the week so it was awesome to get together with the whole clan. We headed down to Streets Beach at South Bank and spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing in the sun, people watching, catching up.

For Riverfire, they whole of the South Bank precinct gets fenced off. If there are too many people, they close the gates - I'm not sure what the cut off number was, but there certainly were heaps of people about. Although Riverfire doesn't just happen at South Bank, it's a great vantage point because of the walkways and grassy areas along the water's edge. People do tend to line most of the river in the city region for the fireworks display.

Scott with Shawn & Mac in the pool at Streets Beach.

Scott & Mac - I'm not sure what they were looking at... either someone in a bikini or at something electronic. These 2 just didn't stop yabbering about electronic stuff ALL day! :-)

Kerry relaxing poolside

Yip, that's me in a dress!

Kerry with some chick in a scary rainbow mohecan!

Yikes! Looks way better on Scott!


This is a video I made up of footage we took on the day. There were aerial displays by the Roulettes - the Royal Australian Airforce Aerobatic Team, an amazing fireworks display and last but certainly not least, the F1-11's "dump 'n burn".

Crowds across the Brisbane River at sunset

Shawn & Megs in Wang Dynasty. Megs glued to her mobile!

Plenty of people! We were SO glad we'd booked at the restaurant. Alot of these people had been camped out for hours.

Our view over the river from the restaurant

The pics I took of the fireworks weren't great - you really need a tripod for good ones. But the fireworks display was truly spectacular!

The food was delicious - and plentiful! We ended the evening with desert which was a work of art.

We left the restaurant at about 10.30pm and were pleasantly surprised to see police all over the place hearding everyone out of the fenced South Bank precinct. The most amazing thing was that everyone was going peacefully. The whole area was supposed to be a no-alcohol zone for the event. Obviously there were some people who brought booze in so there were quite a few drunk youngsters around. They were loud and boisterous, but everyone was obeying the police and heading towards the exits. The only problem with everyone leaving at the same time was that the public transport was pretty full. But they'd put on extra buses, everyone stood in the queue for their particular bus. It was just so orderly and even though some people had been drinking and were loud, we at no point felt unsafe or threatened. There are so many moments of every day that we realise just how fortunate we are to be living in this fabulous country. The only downside is not being able to share them with friends and family.

Adding in a few $$$ to my JB HiFi voucher, I went and bought a new digital camera. An Olympus Mju 9000 - 12 megapixels, 10x zoom, wide angle lens and it's a quarter of the size of our other camera. The old one has a slighter wider lens but it's only 6 megapixels and also has a 10x zoom, but has way less usable features than the new one.

I took this pic to show the difference. The new one is such a pleasure cos it can just fit into your pocket. BTW, this pic was taken with my mobile phone. :-) Way too many cameras in this house!

One of the things that this new camera does is panoramic shots. It's really clever. You can either stitch the pics together in camera or take separate shots and stitch them together with the Olympus software on the PC. The stitching isn't perfect - you may notice a bit of distortion or strange angles - I think it's going to take a little more practice to get it right. Its amazing how much more perspective you can get with the panoramic shot. Click on the panoramic shots to see a larger version.

Our lounge with the kitchen on the left, patio doors and then at the far end, the door to our "office".

Standing next to the bookshelf looking towards the front door. The dining room (which we never use!) is in that front room behind the kitchen. The main bedroom is behind the picture wall. The laundry leading thru to the garage at the end of the kitchen.

The pool area. On the left thru the gate is the patio. The lounge window is out of picture to my left and the office window is at my back.

The patio taken from the doorway leading out from the lounge. That's the kitchen window on the left and the pool is somewhere in that bright sunshine glare off to the right.

The weather has been absolutely stunning since the beginning of August. We've been swimming - yes, actually swimming since late August. But time needs to catch up! It's still only getting light at around 5.45am which is too late for us to be able to ride in the mornings before work. So we're trying to get in a decent length ride over weekends. We're trying to build up to a 60km ride that we've signed up to do next month in aid of the Heart Foundation. It's called the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle but we're doing the shorter version of only 60km.

We found a great book on our grocery shopping expedition on Saturday morning - Where to Ride: South East Queensland.

We chose Ride 12 - The Wynnum - Manly Loop. We ended up cycling a total of 20km.

So we got up early only Sunday morning and headed out towards Pandanus Beach on the Wynnum Esplinade.

Moreton Bay from the esplinade

Trying to get the camera set for panoramic...

Got it! A whole lot of this cycle path is through mangroves. Very pretty.

A section of the cycle which was on road - clearly marked for cyclists. And there were PLENTY of them about!

I had the camera on a lanyard around my neck so that's as much of me I could get in the shot.

Caught in the act!

Some of the houses along here - I reckon these are pretty pricey!

It was still early so not many people out 'n about yet. The local councils are big into promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor exercise. This is one of the outdoor exercise areas they've built. There's also a covered picnic area and a free electric barbie on the right with a free hot water cyclinder so you can head down in the mornings & evenings for coffee/tea.

The Manly Boat Harbour - the 2nd largest of it's kind in the Southern hemisphere. The largest is in Freemantle, Western Austrlalia. There are just masts as far as the eye can see! You realise just how big it must be when you realise that alot of the boats in front of you are motor boats so don't have masts at all.

Nearly back where we started and they'd set up a market.

Scott pulling faces behind me for the camera - most of the pics I took blind over my shoulder. :-)

A cheesy smile this time! That covered area in the background are more picnic/barbie areas with the same free amenities.

Scott had the little Sony Cybershot in his pocket which he managed to coax into taking a few photos before it finally died a peaceful death.

Shame, that was my first digital camera & the first Cybershot which came out. It was a tiny thing which fitted in the palm of your hand - it was only a 1.3 megapixel. It was used by Sony as a promotional thingy for their new range of digital cameras. My sister-in-law was working in media in NZ at the time and managed to get her hands on a couple. They cost a small fortune at the time too. RIP little Cybershot - thanks for the memories.

This is the Wynnum Wading Pool. Outward bound there were a couple with their radio control boats. But on our way back there already quite a few people swimming.

This gives you a better idea of the pool - this is not my photo. I took the one above this from the opposite side of the pool. The pool was built in 1933 and is 200m long. They use pumps & valves to keep the level constant and unaffected by the tides.

Scott at the entrance to the pier with the wading pool pump house behind him.

Pandanus Beach on the right & the pier heading out to sea

The wading pool is just out of shot on the right

A well earned rest after 20km in the saddle

That's us! At the end of the pier.

Looking back towards where we'd ridden

Looking back down the pier. To the right in the foreground is a fish cleaning table. Cleaned daily and with running water. There are a couple along the pier too.

Looking back towards Wynnum & Manly from the edge of the pier.

Sunday night was definitely a barbie evening. The weather had been perfect all day, we'd been on an awesome cycle, lazed in the pool for the afternoon. What better way to end the day but to open a couple of cold ones, flash up the barbie & cook a flattie.

For those who don't know (yes YOU Michael!), this is a spatchcock chicken. Otherwise known as butterfly chicken or just a "flattie".

Ta da!!! Behold the wonder which is a spatchcock chicken! :-)

I hope you've enjoyed reading about our latest adventures. We love reading your comments, so please leave one. Just remember to sign your name!

Until next time....


Graham Dickason said...

Great Stuff! You certainly get out and about. More cycling might be a good idea!
Can't say I enthuse about you Wallabies, yisslaik, man, you'll forget to shout Vrystaat!

GRANT said...

Hi All

At Flipping last...have had the DT's, BT's and every other kind of withdrawal due to the lack of "bloogin" blogging. Its great to see the adventure continues...thanks Mands

P.s The boks won the trophy!!!! (go vrystaaaaaaaaaaad)

Love to all


Anonymous said...

Wait till we take the Aussies on in Ladies athletics. We have incredible choices for athletes. We can send ladies, or we can send men, or we can send a combination of both. Beat that!!!!!!
One game out six, losing the ashes to England, sounds like world champions.
Blogg is fantastic, I think you should give up your job Mands, and write bloggs. Great future in "blogging" !!!! or was that bonking. Dad and Hermit