23 April 2009


My Auntie Jane passed away last week and was laid to rest yesterday in South Africa.

Our sincere condolences to Uncle Jannie, cousins Shane, Naomi, Delice & their families, my dad, gran and grampa. Our thoughts are with you all during this very sad and difficult time.

Wife, mother, sister, daughter and aunt - Auntie Jane, you are loved and will be missed.

Mandy & Scott

Jason Mraz Live!

Tuesday, 14 April FINALLY dawned!!! The day we were to go and see Jason Mraz live at the Convention Centre with support acts Eric Hutchinson and Lisa Mitchell.

Scott went off to work with a bag packed with his "civvies" and I got all my chores done before heading off with my backpack.... I took my first bus trip from Moggill to the city where I wondered around for a while before meeting up with Scott at his office. After that we took his car to the Convention Centre, parked, checked out where the venue was & then went off to have supper before the show...

King George Square Bus Station....

When the bus entered the city, it took a side road which ended up being a bus only street. They're all over the city - at the backs of buildings & you can't see them from the normal roads. And there's also a whole network of underground roads for busses only. King George Square Station is one of the stops. Apparently it's all new. It's HUGE and very empty at around 2pm. I suppose it gets really busy during rush hour though. There is also a separate bus road running parallel to the Pacific Highway down to the Gold Coast - I don't know if this runs north as well cos we haven't been up that way yet.

City Hall - didn't go in - just walked past this time

The outside of the King George Square Station

The old & the new... There's plenty of this in Brisbane

Brisbane Square facing the Treasury building

These massive ball sculptures of varying sizes are all over the square. This city has hundreds of sculptures throughout the city - figures incorporated into everyday life. I saw kangaroos sprawled out on a sidewalk bench, a man sitting on the ledge of a mezzanine floor, a funky half man/half animal with a backpack standing at a traffic light. I plan on doing a day trip with my camera to find as many as I can.

A bus tunnel exit at Brisbane Square

Brisbane Square building. You can see how the balls are dotted all over the square

Bank of NSW building

A very exclusive shopping gallery I walked into off Queens street. That man standing in the doorway on the right was so miserable. He obviously didn't like the look of me in my denim shorts, t-shirt & trainers! LOL! As I said, VERY exclusive.

A sculpture inside the gallery

After we'd parked our car, we headed off to Decks Seafood & Steak Restaurant. We both had the catch of the day which was grilled yellowtail.... YUMMY!!!! What a wonderful find this restaurant was! At last - a restaurant that doesn't serve enormous portions! And the food was absolutley scrumptious!

Now I don't have any more photos of the night..... :( We had to check my backpack as only normal handbags were allowed into the venue. So we couldn't take the camera in..... So the only thing I can do is give you a taste with videos from other shows....

This is Eric Hutchinson's music video for Rock & Roll - a really catchy song they've been playing on the radio here. He was fabulous live & really got the crowd going - not too shabby for a "support" act.

And then came Jason Mraz......

Live High
What a voice!

The Dynamo of Volition
What a performer! This video shows a much smaller venue than we were at, so imagine the whole "high five" thing happening on a HUGE scale. Every single person, on their feet, doing the high five boogie! It was absolutely incredible!!!

I'm Yours
The version we saw was a little more up-beat but with the same island style. And the whole crowd singing along. Real goose bump stuff!

This was an amazing night of live music which came second only to Billy Joel!

Easter '09

On Easter Saturday we had friends and family over for a barbie. We met John & Mel through the online forum for Saffers moving to Oz, SAAustralia.org. And Doug & Mons brought the kids over. We were having too much fun at the barbie to take any pics but the camera came out on Easter Sunday morning for the Great Easter Egg Hunt. Doug & Mons stayed over and Scott & I played Easter Bunny at 5am on Sunday morning!

Everywhere Jazzie went, she dropped chocolate! Mons here picking up bits - I'm still finding bits of chocolate in the oddest places!

Chris with another haul!

Can YOU spot the hidden egg?

Far too many eggs for just two kids! But that's what aunts are for! Parents get to pay the dentist bills! LOL!

Jazzie taking the next one while still clutching the remnants of the previous one... So she'd forget about the old one and crush it in her little fist - hence the choco pieces all over the place. :)


Choco face!

I think he was showing me the chocolate in his mouth!

Chris thought that if he had a video camera in his hand, I wouldn't get him with my camera!

Jazzie found my goggles...

My snorkel tastes like chocolate! LOL!

We had a great time! I made us a slap up breakfast with bacon, mushroom, tomato & Scott made yummy scrambled eggs. The rain started as Doug was backing out of the driveway.... and didn't stop until halfway through the next week! So needless to say the rest of the Easter weekend was spent vegging at home.

22 April 2009

Mount Coot-tha, Ferries & a Ferris Wheel

A message to Leon who left a comment about seeing us at the rugby: Please email me on mupersan1@gmail.com & we can get together for a beer.

Easter Friday saw us heading 23.3km up the road to Mount Coot-tha (pronounced Cootah) where there's a fabulous view of Brisbane city and across to Moreton Bay. Although calling it "Mount" is a little ambiguous..... Big hill would describe it better - but that doesn't really sound good, does it? ;) Funnily enough, having just said that, I was reading about the history of the reserve and it used to be called "One Tree Hill". The following from the Brisbane Lookout website: "A name derived by virtue of a solitary Eucalypt tree that stood at this southern most point on an otherwise bare knoll. The name 'Coot-tha' or 'Kuta' was taken from the Aboriginal name for the area which meant 'honey' or 'the place of wild honey'."

The route from our house to the Lookout at Mount Coot-tha

$2 for a few minutes with the telescope thingy - shoulda just brought the binocs!

The Summit Cafe in the background

Scott's turn! He was checking out Archerfield airfield...

There must've been a plane landing or taking off!

Brisbane city centre - as the crow flies, only 7km away

Summit Cafe & the function rooms - not a bad spot for a function

Brisbane City centre - a bit of a hazy day - there was a fire near the airport which created the haze (you can just see it to the left of the city).

A very strange lady offered to take our picture - thank you strange lady!

A little pavilion on the summit with a marble & brass compass floor

Love this photo!

Cappuccino & a muffin for breakfast

Came across this little walk further along the same mountain road

So we decided to stop and take a look

Most parks and open areas have these drinking fountains - notice the bottom tap & bowl for dogs

Gold Mine picnic area - everything is so well maintained and clean

The path leading down from the picnic area

Oops! Forgot to get the exploring hat!

Gone exploring...

Scott diving into a sea of ferns - the pic doesn't do the mass of ferns justice unfortunately


So it seems that they actually found gold here - not very much or of a very good quality, but they found some. An excerpt from the other half of this sign: "This track leads to the Ghost Hole Mine on East Ithaca Creek, one of the original mining leases on Mt Coot-tha. The mine was first worked in the 1890's, and again in the 1920s-30s but most of the mining activity occured during the 1940s-50s."

Tracks from the old tram they built to transport the gold (not so) rich ore - no mean feat! This couldn't have been easy terrain to work in.

The camera was wrestled from my paws!

Ghost Hole Mine - of course Scott had to leave the path to check it out. He's obviously not the only one - the mine has been filled in except for this small hole.

He didn't pay me enough to keep this out of the blog! LOL!

Indie...? Scott...? Indie...?

A termite infested tree cut down and left to rot

Some of the gum trees had this beautiful rust coloured trunks which added the most stunning colour contrast amongst all the green.

A butcher bird hunting

Let your imagination wander...

As we got back to the car after our walk down to the mine, it started raining. It had been threatening for a while.

Having been in Brisbane for just short of 2 months, it was time to get onto the river and ride the ferries. We parked the car down near the Regatta Hotel in Toowong and hopped on at Regatta & just rode.....

(Click to enlarge) We got on at Regatta (far left of map) and rode all the way to Apollo Road (last stop) and then all the way back to Southbank 2 (middle somewhere). After lunch, we took the ferry back to Regatta to hop into the car.

The City Cats really move! It even managed to blow my hair back!

Scott with the William Jolly Bridge in the background (also known as the Grey Street Bridge)

The Kurilpa Bridge under construction - for cyclists & pedestrians only

Close up of the Kurilpa Bridge construction - the red supports are temporary & will be taken away once the two sides have been connected and all the white bits are connected. They bring each section of the bridge on a barge and lift it up & connect it. There has been significant progress just in the 2 months we've been here. The bridge is due to be opened in 2010.

Brisbane Square - funky design! That's the Pacific Highway coming into the city in the foreground

Looking across the river at the Wheel of Brisbane & the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) - where we're going to see Chicago at the end of April

Back across the river towards Brisbane Square and the Victoria Bridge.

This is a City Cat - similar to what we were on

Walking & cycle paths stretch all the way along the river

Looking back towards the city - you can just glimpse the Story Bridge

My explorer! We actually met a Saffer on the ferry - Mike - who was on a whirlwind tour of Perth & Brissie to decide which city to move to. You can just see his shoulder & backpack on the right. It was his last night in Brissie so Scott went to pick him up from the city later that afternoon while I made spagbol (good old page 1 - my folks always say that this is page 1 of my recipe book) for supper. Mike, if you read this, please mail us & let us know how you're going!

The back of the stage at RiverStage in the Botanic Gardens where we saw Chris Isaak live a few weeks ago

An Aborigine at South Bank who wasn't really playing the didge - just blew on it every now and then when someone looked like they were going to stop. No one was impressed and the dude packed up & hopped on a ferry after a little while.

A beautiful walkway at South Bank - the plants they're growing over the walkway are bouganvilla. It's going to look stunning once it's completely covering the walkway.

Camera got snatched away again!

The Nepal Peace Pagoda at South Bank. This was Nepal's representation at the World Expo '88 and was hand carved by 160 Nepalese families in the Kathmandu Valley. Some 80 tonnes of indigenous Nepalese Terai forest timbers was felled specifically for the Pagoda. The Pagoda took 2 years to complete.

The Peace Bell

The carvings are absolutely beautiful and so intricate. I could've stood there all day looking at the detail, but boys get bored..... ;)

And so on to the Wheel of Brisbane!

Looking up...

Me? Nervous? No way!

Powered by Pirelli

Okay.... maybe a little nervous....

The Peace Pagoda from above

Looking North on the way up

A "Green Cab" at South Bank

Playing the fool

Scared? Funny!

You get to go around about 4 times so after the first scary bit at the top, you start to appreciate the beautiful views from so high up. QPAC is just on the left.

A bit of video footage I took while we were up on the Wheel

I thought those of you in Sefrica would find this funny - a speed limit for bikes & rollerbladers on the footpaths. Imagine being able to police THAT in SA!!!

One of the beautiful mosaics on the river walkway at South Bank - this one of a rainbow lorikeet

We stopped for lunch at Wang Dynasty - a fabulous Chinese restaurant on the river. The food was EXCELLENT and the beers went down a treat!

People out for a stroll at South Bank - a view from the restaurant

Also from the restaurant

Must be one of the old ferries...

Scary Mandy at Wang Dynasty!