27 March 2009

Just Another Week...

On Tuesday I had to take my car to a place called Goodna for an insurance assessment. Just before we left Sydney, some idiot in a parking lot left a ding on my car & didn't have the decency to leave a note. Grrrrrr.....! Anyhoo... So I had to take it to this assessment centre in Goodna which, if there was a bridge over the blinking river, would have taken me about 15 minutes (about 8km) to get to. However, because we're in a semi-rural area, there's not much in the way of a road network and the lack of bridges over this very windy Brisbane river is startling! So I had to go the long way around.... Which took about 45 minutes to travel 14km!

A map showing A (home) to B (assessment centre) via the blue line. The red line is my wish-road/bridge.

But I have the luxury of time, so I enjoyed the drive and was quite chuffed that I got to go over the river on the Moggill Ferry! Now I was expecting something like this....

Malagas, South Africa - February 2007

Malagas, South Africa - February 2007

Malagas, South Africa - February 2007

Malagas, South Africa - February 2007

As I rounded the last corner of a beautiful countryside drive, this is what I was presented with....

The queue for the ferry - that's the ferry at the bottom of the road about to reach our side. (Click on the pic to enlarge)

These are the ferry fares and times

Ready to board! Here we go!

$1.60 and a 3 minutes later, I was over the river!

The ferry can take approximately 18 cars but it does take trucks as well so that would mean less cars. Also, pedestrians and people on bicycles are free.

Yesterday Scott had to go and do a repair down in Lismore. From home, Lismore is about 220km away down South into New South Wales. It took us about 3 and a half hours to get there and Scott finished the job in about an hour! *sigh* What to do with the rest of the day......? Hrmmmmm...... Byron Bay is less than an hour's drive from Lismore..... And it was a perfect day so we didn't hesitate.

Home (A) to Lismore (B) to Byron Bay (C)

We hadn't thought to take cozzies or a change of clothes for Scott. Hey! It was 5 o'clock in the bleedin' morning, give us a break! So we went on our quickest & most successful shopping expidition ever! A pair of boardies for Scott, 2-for-1 special on a couple of Byron Bay t-shirts, a pair of thongs (slip slops!) for Scott & a cozzie for me. All within 15 minutes! Oh, and two el-cheapo beach towels - also a 2-for-1 special.

But before we hit the beach, we had lunch at the Beach Hotel

A nice refreshing rock shandy for me....

Talking about rock shandies.... which consists of half soda water + half lemondade + Angistura Bitters. Here they have a similar drink called a lemon, lime & bitters which is lemonade, lime cordial and bitters. Yikes! It's sweet! Rock shandy isn't known here so each time I've got to explain to the barman how to make it. Maybe oneday I'll have educated them all! LOL!

Me coming out of the water in my new cozzie. Don't click on this one to enlarge - I'm large enough as it is! ;)

The perfect beach....

This lady was just making this beautiful sand sculpture of a naked figure lying in the sand - brilliant!

Mupersan in his new boardies!

On the way home, we decided to take the "shortest route". This is definitely very different to the "quickest route" by about an hour - and only 3km shorter! This route involved going back over the Moggill Ferry which we thought would be fun because Scott hadn't been over yet. Hrm.... we JUST made the last ferry! We got in the queue at 6.19pm - the last ferry left at 6.25pm. If we'd missed the last ferry, we would've had to detour 27km to get home! Yikes!

Cheers for now!

23 March 2009

Hello Brisbane! The Mupersans have arrived!!!

What better way to make a house feel like home that to have family and friends over for a barbie?! I can only give you an impression of our housewarming on Saturday..... blue skies, sunshine, family, new friends, the smell of boerewors on the barbie, laughter, splashing in the pool, squeels of children's laughter, beer bottles & wine glasses clinking, happiness, laughter, an afternoon downpour, stomping in puddles, piggy in the middle in the pool, great conversation, laughter..... *sigh* What a fabulous day!

Food's up!

Geoff trying out the "orgasmatron"

More boerewors anyone?

Splish splash! Jazzy & I splashing in the rainwater after the downpour

My neice has a shoe fetish! Jazzy walking around in my shoes

Little Miss!

I can't believe how much Jazzy looks like I did when I was her age! Mons, I forgot to show you those photos so I thought I'd scan them for you....

Mandy in 1976 (3 going on 4 years old)

Mandy in July 1975 - just over a month until my 3rd birthday

Mandy in July 1975 - just shy of my 3rd birthday

Sunday night we went off to Brisbane to see Chris Isaak. He was playing at a spot called Riverstage which is in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. What an absolutely stunning venue! We got there quite early and took a stroll through the gardens to the gates for Riverstage only to find that we had another hour to kill....

Scott strolling through the gardens

Mandy in the botanic gardens with the city in the background

Scott under the Banyan tree - I fully expected a hobbit to invite us in for tea!

We decided to take a walk down towards the Brisbane river until the gates opened. What a great surprise when we came to the Goodwill Bridge. It's a pedestrian & cycle only bridge - no cars or bikes. This bridge takes you over to South Bank where, over weekends, there are markets during the day. There are also restaurants, gardens for picnicking, play pools with fountains for the kids and a man-made beach complete with lifeguards. It was a great walk and a place we'll definitely be back to visit.

An aerial shot of the Goodwill Bridge. The Maritime Museum is in the foreground with South Bank along the left hand side of the river. Riverstage on the other side of the bridge.

Scott on the Goodwill footbridge over the Brisbane river

Mandy at South Bank

Scott at South Bank

Scott at the fountain pool

Mandy in the man-made lagoon

Scott on the bridge between the lagoon and fountain pool

The man-made beach

Mandy @ South Bank

And then it was time to head back to Riverstage for the Chris Isaak show. There were thousands of people queueing when the gates opened at 7pm. No one pushed or shoved, no one got agro, everyone just moved along in the split queues, joking, laughing along the way. Bags were checked, tickets scanned and wrist bands put on. No hassle, just unbelievably efficient!

The venue itself is an open air theatre. Think Kirstenbosch on a steeper slope and more space and a large, permanent stage with dressing rooms and a viewing deck. The majority of the area was booked seating - about 3500 people. Behind that, was unreserved seating so people arrived with cushions and blankets. There was also a demarcated area where people could sit on their own camping chairs right at the back. So no hassles like at Kirstenbosch with rude people sitting on chairs in front of you! There were food and drink stalls - apparently they ran out of white wine before the show even started! Scott and I grabbed a burger and cooldrink each and sat down just in time to see the opening act. Mark Spano! He came third in last year's Australian Idol - he was my favourite. So it was a real treat.

And then it was Chris Isaaks' turn to hit the stage. And boy, did he! In a bright pink suit with sequins! What a great performer!!! I'm not entirely sure how to classify his music..... crooner, rock, rock 'n roll, country.... it's all there. And what a sense of humour! For his encour, he came on in a suit made entirely of mirror squares! Yip, mirror squares. He's a character of note and it was an absolutely amazing show in such a beautiful setting.

The pink dot in the middle is Chris Isaak - nope, we didn't have the VIP seats to this one!

The pink suit...

The mirror suit...

Just a couple of snippets from the show

And that was our weekend! :-)

19 March 2009

Moving to Moggill

Well hello again!

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The house is kinda feeling like home. I think we've got so used to moving now, that as soon as all our stuff is unpacked, it's home!

Got distracted for a while there... busy watching a kookaburra hunting in the garden.

So where was I... Right, so the move went off without a hitch. We signed the lease on the Saturday morning and I collected the keys on Monday morning. The movers were due to arrive at 7am on Tuesday which meant that I had to be up at 4am to get showered and dressed to be at the house before 7am. Yikes! But it was a relatively easy drive at that time of the morning - except for the torrential rain of course!

The before & after pictures below will pretty much explain what I've been up to over the past week 'n a bit...

The dining room

The kitchen

The lounge facing the front door

The lounge facing the back garden

The main bedroom

The walk-in wardrobe off the main bedroom (notice the snazzy drawers?)

The office/study

The patio

On Saturday morning we decided that we needed some decent drawers for the cupboard last weekend. Or maybe it was Scott's need to build stuff.... We headed off to IKEA for a bit of shopping. The whole IKEA concept is absolutely BRILLIANT!! (Check out my previous post for more.) Dad, go and check out their cool Room Planner!

After thoroughly enjoying our shopping expedition, we headed through to Geoff & Pearl's. So Scott had to wait until Sunday before he could get his building fix!

There was some very important business to attend to..... watching the Sharks vs Reds game at Suncorp Stadium! Now, you may be wondering why we went ALL the way down to Robina to come ALL the way back to Brisbane to the stadium.... Well, there were 8 of us going. The other 6 were all from the Gold Coast (Robina & Helensvale) and were catching the train into Brisbane together. In the interest of comaradary and, hell, just pure adventure, we decided to join them. If we'd known that the whole trip would take nearly 3 hours, we would've considered meeting them at the stadium. As it turned out, we had to swap from train to bus to get to Yoorongpilly (yip there were plenty of cracks about yoorightpilly!). But the real cracker came just as the bus was leaving and one more guy jumped onboard. There was standing room only...

We were nearly rolling on the floor!!! The tears were streaming down my face, I couldn't talk for laughing so much! And then Jason started with the one-liners..... We were all literally cracking up!

So Mr McCracken helped make the journey to Yoorongpilly a little more entertaining - or gross - depends on your point of view.

From Yoorongpilly, we then took another train into the city where we walked to Caxton Street for some highly anticipated beer. The huge bonus is that it's right next to Suncorp Stadium. Think Lower Main Road in Obs in the good old days when there were trendy spots, dives, restaurants & plain old pubs - and no Nigerians. A great night spot with the obligatory greasy kebab takeaways for those late night munchies.

Caxton St during the day. Next time we're there, I promise to take pics.

Geoff, Doug & I taking the LOOOOOONG route to Caxton Street.

The Caxton Hotel converted their car park into a beer garden before and after the game.

Doug, Scott & Jason - with BEER!

Doug, Scott & Geoff - with MORE beer

Scott, Doug, Geoff & I with even MORE beer

Ellie & Jason in their Sharks gear outside the stadium

The fact that we lost the game didn't deter us from going back to Caxton Street

Add ImageAnd drowning our sorrows.....?

And then off back to the station....


We got to the station only to find that the next train was only leaving in an hour's time. So it was off for MORE BEER!

The result, when we finally boarded the train...

Boys will be boys......

Yip, beer will do that to you!

After several hours of speculation, the security footage will reveal how the footprints really got onto the roof of the train.....

After the boys all calmed down, we found out that once again we had to swap to a bus. Damn! So after checking for obvious cracks on the bus, we settled in for a loooong trip. The bus would take us all the way to Robina - about a 2 hour journey. There was a need for some loud singing to while away the time - someone's birthday perhaps? Well, there was a very serr-i-us security guarde on the bus who informed us that there was to be "no sin-ging on the bus!". So we all took a nap until we got back to Robina. Pearl's taxi service wasn't too pleased to be called out in the early hours of Sunday morning! (Thanks Pearl!) Scott & I headed straight for bed while Doug & Geoff made toast, more toast and then just another slice of toast while watching the Stormers game on TV (at full blast!).

What an excellent night out!

Sunday saw us having a delicious early breakfast of smoked salmon, egg & avo on toasted muffins. Yummy! And STRONG coffee - not a beer in sight!

Doug left to spend the day working and we headed back up to Brissie so Scott could build stuff.

The box is open and the instructions are out

All laid out... now what goes where?

Nearly done

Easy as pie! IKEA ROCKS!

Sunday was incredibly hot - mid 30's with about 120% humidity! But the pool had SO much chlorine in it from the shock treatment, that the pool guy had told us that if we were going to swim, it was advisable to do it nekkid as our cozzies may bleach! I wasn't sure I wanted to risk my delicate skin in that water. But Scott was all hot 'n bothered from buildin' shit that he decided to go for a skinny dip...

Scott's first dip in the pool - I can confirm that he is intact - nothing eaten away by the chlorine!

The pool as it is today - all clean, swimmable and with it's new Kreepy

Looking up to the patio

Funky Kreepy eating machine! It's tiny but cleaned the entire pool within an hour.

This was my pet project for yesterday. There's a perfect wall in the entrance hall for a photo wall. Now I just need to get some more frames.

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. Scott took me off to Sono - a beautiful Japanese restaurant on the banks of the Brisbane River. We shared a sushi platter and had a glass of bubbly each to celebrate. We woulda made it a bottle of bubbly but we had to drive home. We'll open a bottle of something tonight instead.

This sculpture is called "The Bouquet" and was outside the restaurant.... The sign says "Sculpture for Sale or Lease" Any takers......? Scott didn't like the idea of it adourning our front garden!

Hand roll starters...

Yummy sushi platter!

And here's to another year of adventuring!

Chow for now...