Time for change…

I arrived back home from extended travel in January, that was 6 months ago, now I’m sleeping in the same bed every night. My days and weeks have become structured. I have enjoyed watching the garden change through the seasons.  See the garden in its summer glory hereIt is now mid-winter, but in Queensland that means slightly cooler days and nights and no humidity, ideal for working in the garden.

Back in January I planted vegetables and tomatoes in pots.

The tomatoes have done very well and kept us in a steady supply.

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But, annoyingly,  the birds also found them. A bird net over them solved that problem.

I keep the salad greens and herbs in pots so I can move them around to follow the sun. They are now down the far end of the garden in a sheltered area, protected from the winter winds, and they get all day sun.

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The raised bed for herbs, in the front garden keeps on keeping on.

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So that is my vegetable supply and my entry into Jude’s (earth laughs in flowers) weekly/monthly garden photography challenge and for July the theme is “the edible garden”

But while you are here I will take you for a garden walk to see what is happening in July in my garden.

Today winter has arrived it is a rather grey and dismal sort of day, showers are forecast and the temperature is only about 18c degrees, but until this week we have had some warm sunny days and this flowering shrub is bursting into flower. I inherited this shrub when I moved in and don’t know its name but it has a most beautiful soft scent and flowers twice during the year.

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I wonder if you remember the bat plant, the most unusual plant in my garden (see it here) It is a true tropical plant and look at it now.

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It certainly does not like the cooler temperatures. (this is for you Sue)

The compost bin is full and quietly decomposing. It has been a busy time of pruning and mulching as this year there has been plenty of rain and the growth has been phenomenal.

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After that wander around the garden I would like to invite you inside ( joining Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Indoors), through my front door. (Joining Norm’s “Thursday Doors” challenge)

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Come into my very untidy “studio”. That is possibly a rather pretentious term for where I now like to indulge in my new passion.

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So for a while I am going to be loving and leaving you all.

I took my first tentative steps into  the virtual world of the blogosphere in 2009. Since then it has become a major part of my life, journaling my daily and weekly happenings, joining in challenges, searching through thousands of photos in my archives to find the perfect submission for the themes. Taking photos with the ever-present thought of “will that be suitable for a post”, and, of course, making many dear friends from all over the world in this wonderful virtual world of Word Press. Enjoying the connection of “chatting” and commenting with other bloggers and the community spirit of friendship.

Now I want to take a break, spend more time practising art, trying and learning new techniques. Immersing myself in the flow of creativity, reading more books and of course spending time in the garden.

I’m sure I am going to have withdrawal symptoms, 7 years of regular posts is a major commitment, so I will occasionally pop by to say “G’day” and keep in touch with my blogging buddies.

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The hammock hangs forlorn and unused waiting for summer.

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Maybe I will find time to do some house-work, but I will not disturb this spider I think they do a good job of catching mosquitoes.

So that’s it for now. I hope you all have a really great weekend. Bye for now…

 

Categories: Australia, garden, Garden photography challenge, indoors, photos, Thursday Doors, tomatoes, travel, travel theme, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

Vintage Cars, 50’s Fashion and the art trail…

A weekend away immersed in the art trail and the incredible Phoenix Sculpture Garden made for a memorable 2 days. But that was not all.

Look what else we stumbled across…

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A vintage car show. Blokes drooling over relics of the past, buffed to a high sheen and sparkling chrome. (The cars, not the blokes…)

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Others a-flame with air-brushed beauty.

Then I spotted that icon of the flower children from the 1960’s, now the back packer’s darling for trundling around Australia. The VW in all it’s rusted glory…

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Covered in stickers and the memorabilia from that era.

Of course the iconic Holden FJ with bench seats made for smooching had to be there too.

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This young women stood out in the flamboyant style of the 50’s. But the mobile phone is a sign of these times…

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She is in a hurry. I wonder where she is hurrying to, so I follow along.

And I am taken on a trip down memory lane to my teenage years.

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To the background sound of rock n roll these locals strut their stuff all dolled up in the fashions from the 1950’s. Do you remember them?

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It was so much fun.

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This was one of the more unusual studios. An old train carriage, surrounded by a glowing garden, converted into an art studio.

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So that is just a small taste of the weekend. It was varied, interesting and very inspiring.

The icing on the cake was the Airbnb accommodation we stayed in. A delightful, well-travelled couple invited us into their home surrounded by bush, warmed with a wood fire and sharing a glass of wine and good conversation. A comfortable bed lulled us to sleep and birds woke us next morning. And it only cost $50 with a light evening meal and breakfast. I LOVE Airbnb…

A perfect weekend away.

Categories: Airbnb, art trail, Australia, photos, Samford | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

Travel Theme : Harmony

Sometimes when visiting and exploring a new area I come across the unexpected. A discovery that leaves me feeling overwhelmed with the beauty and harmony of nature and man’s creation.

So it was 2 weekends ago.

The weather was perfect, crisp, invigorating winter days,  excellent to spend 2 days following the art trail around the Samford area, approximately 150 kilometres north of home. 32 artists displaying their art, some with their studios open, some in mass displays in the church hall and local art gallery. I revelled in being immersed in the creative atmosphere from all these enthusiastic people. (more of these later).

But the moment and place that will be etched in my memory is on the second day, the last place we visited was found at the end of a windy, narrow track, along a rutted road. The rain forest embraced us as we reached the end of the track and entered the Phoenix Sculpture Garden.

The weather had changed, unlike yesterday it was cold and bleak. A sharp breeze brought the temperature down and the sky was covered in grey clouds.

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But the cold was forgotten when I entered the 2 hectare rainforest Garden located on the peak of Mt. Glorious, 632 metres above sea level with magnificent views across the escarpment. More than 100 marble and bronze sculptures, the life time work of Graham Radcliff, are on display in this peaceful setting.

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Graham is softly spoken, small in stature but at 82 years old he is a creative genius having devoted his life to fulfilling his vision of combining the beauty of nature and his life’s work of sculptures and paintings.

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We spent over 2 hours admiring the sculptures, touching and stroking them, looking at them from all angles.

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They were sensual and the marble seemed to take on a life.

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Walking slowly through the towering rain forest trees. The smooth grey bark of the gums are the magnificent sculptures of nature.

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Graham calls this “the green cathedral” and the seats invite you to stay awhile and meditate on the beauty surrounding you.

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While the dove of peace watches over this space.

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Dotted around on trees and attached to the sculptures were many sayings, quotes and philosophical thoughts, each one to be read and thought about.

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I took hundreds of photos so I will finish with a gallery of just some more of these amazing sculptures.

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We drove away from this small part of the Australian rain forest that has been transformed into a harmonious retreat where one man, with skill, dedication and hard work, has achieved his dream and is sharing what he has created.

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Ailsa has asked us to think about Harmony this week. Sadly the world at large is far from harmonious, but I found a small haven of peace and harmony to share with you. I hope you enjoyed the virtual visit as much as I cherished the time spent here.

 

Categories: Australia, harmony, Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Queensland, Samford, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 37 Comments

Still life…

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This is a still life painting by Margaret Olley, a much-loved Australian artist, who died in 2011 at the age of 88.

I love her style of realistic painting, her colours glow. But she famously hated house work. This is very evident in the reconstruction of her home that has been painstakingly recreated, piece by piece, in a specially built extension at the Tweed Regional Art Gallery. (see another post I did about this remarkable woman)

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It was carefully catalogued, thousands of articles, the exact position noted, then all brought from Sydney to be displayed here.

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You walk round the outside of the house peering in through the windows and doors at a conglomeration of articles that made up the creative person that was Margaret Olley.

As the gallery is only a short drive away I’m lucky to be able to visit regularly and this was where we came after the delicious lunch at Teavine House.

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To me it looks like a life times collection of eclectic junk, but Margaret insisted she knew where everything was and would not let anything be moved. Everyday the gallery staff put fresh flowers in the vases, as they were when she painted them. Classical music plays softly in the background.

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I visit this gallery every few months to see the ever-changing exhibits and always enjoy looking at this still life recreation of an amazing artist. So much to look at I notice something different at every visit.

It had been an enjoyable days outing and as the day faded we had one more cup of coffee, being the only ones in the café, it was almost closing time, it was quiet and peaceful and as the sun went down a stillness surrounded me. Life is good…

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Ailsa (where’s my backpack) ask us to create our own post and title it Travel theme: Stillness

Categories: Australia, Margaret Olley Art Centre, photos, stillness, travel theme, Tweed Valley Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

Thursday Doors : Teavine House…

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A friend told me about this restaurant. It is in the country and not a place that you would just stumble across. I’ve never seen it advertised, so it is one of those places that survive on word of mouth. It would have to be good.

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I liked the look, Queenslander style with large open decks.

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The door was open with 2 elegant inlaid panels.

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We were welcomed by Chris, the smiling and friendly owner of this delightful French Provincial Teahouse. It specialises in high tea. The range of teas was impressive, 15 blends from all around the world, a page of choices. I chose Peony tea because I had never heard of it before, it was light and flowery, quite delicious. Served in delicate, exclusive fine china on lace table clothes it was an impressive start to our meal.

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We also ordered lunch and while waiting I looked around.

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It wasn’t long before guests started to arrive.

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I think it was a celebration.

Our lunch arrives and a photo is worth a thousand words…

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Notice Jack is straight into his stuffed chicken and flower salad. Mine is a vegetable stack piled high with a variety of goodies, I found asparagus, mushroom, capsicum, kumera, courgette, onion and egg plant, home made pesto, fresh salad, small roast potatoes and crusty bread.

This is just one of the deserts that tempted us…

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But we resisted them…

After lunch we looked around the garden area.

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This looks like a very special High Tea function. I checked their web page and this is what it said.

History of High Tea

According to the legend of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, the Duchess of Bedford is credited as the creator of Afternoon Tea.  At first, the Duchess had her servants sneak to her chambers with a pot of tea and bread.  The Duchess then invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal.  This menu centred around small cakes, bread and butter, sandwiches and assorted sweets and of course tea.  This practice was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

At Teavine House, we specialise in the experience of High Tea “a cup above the rest”.  For centuries, Tea Houses have been important venues to socialise, for special parties and to conduct special business affairs.  We believe the experience of High Tea opens up conversations and helps people to connect.

Our dedicated team at Teavine House are committed to making your special occasion memorable.

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I loved the attention to detail that made the atmosphere quite special.

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A boutique gift shop next to the restaurant beckoned, so I had a look around.

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After a memorable meal it was time to move on to the next stage of our day out.

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time)

Categories: photos, Teavine House, Thursday Doors, travel | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

Travel Theme : Eye to Eye…

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A few months ago** (See footnote) when visiting the Brisbane Art Gallery I took a photo of this life-size elephant sculpture. It is rather magnificent, but a bit puzzling. Why is he standing on his head like a giant book end? I checked Google when I got back home…

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“More than a million dollars was spent on this single piece of art,  commissioned by an artist who doesn’t live in Queensland or Australia for that  matter.”

Ms Bates insisted her comments about government waste were “not a smear on  the artist or the sculpture” but argued the state funding would have been better  spent helping the Queensland arts sector.

The sculpture was funded by the state government’s art+place Queensland  Public Art Fund and the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation.

Parekowhai was one of three  internationally acclaimed artists shortlisted to produce a sculpture to be  located between GOMA and the Brisbane River.

The Queensland Art Gallery argued the proposed sculpture responded to the  cultural and historical significance of Kurilpa Point.

“A life-sized bronze elephant, which on closer inspection is revealed to be a  bookend, is flipped on its head. Its eyes gaze directly into those of a kuril,  the native water rat that gives Kurilpa Point its name,” the gallery  said in a statement to the ABC earlier this year.

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On that day I only looked from one point and had not seen the “Kurilpa”. So decided that next time I went to the art gallery I would look at the other side. This weekend I went back to the art gallery

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Look what I saw…

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A footnote to this story: I did not take my camera, so for the first time I pulled out the IPhone and was very surprised, on an overcast day, at the detail the phone captured. I think I am a convert…

A second footnote: When I checked back I was astonished to find it was three years** since I took the first photo. Unbelievable! Where did that time go…

A third footnote : I am linking this to Ailsa’s (Where’s my backpack) “travel theme” of “close”

Categories: art gallery, Australia, Brisbane, close, photos, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

The pureness of light

My gypsy feet were getting restless and wanted to go exploring, after all it is now 4 months since my last trip. So yesterday it was time for a day’s outing into the country side. Discovering a new and delightful place for lunch. (more on this in another post) On to Murwillumbah art gallery to be immersed in art. Then sit on the deck of the gallery café with a cup of coffee as the sun went down. 

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It is dusk and, thinking the sunset was finished, it is time to head home along the highway. The sugar cane fields on one side and the Tweed River on the other. Suddenly the sun illuminates the sky with a final burst of  iridescent red, it is breathtaking and I had to stop and try to capture this pure moment of nature’s glory. I am oblivious of the vehicles rushing by, people encased in their metallic shells. Are they even aware of the beauty around them. The place is a perfect spot for photographs as the cirrus clouds reflect in a pool of blood in the river.

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Ten minutes and the show is over…

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For this week’s challenge, share a photo of something pure — it can be a person, an object, or a moment.

 

Categories: photos, pure, sunsets, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

All Aboard the Blues Train

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Steam train “Special 1079” (numbers) Is a very special heritage train and has been puffing along for 150 years (more numbers) and is now used for special excursions and, in March, I had booked for an excursion to the Glasshouse Mountains in search of the “blues”. (If you are a train buff and would like more information go here)

 

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The passengers milled around, the excitement was palpable. The train guard kept us all behind the yellow line till it was time to board.

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Do you remember these old trains? Shiny, hard leather seats, racks for the luggage, room to move around and windows that opened to let in the fresh air tinged with smoke,smut and cinders!!!

Time to settle down, get to know the passengers around you and take a photo or two.

One complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink was included with the price. After this first drink there was plenty more at a price $9 per, small, glass of wine or beer…

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So with the windows open, wind in the hair and wine in hand the journey began.

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With 6 carriages and over 150 people (more numbers) it would be a fun journey. Blues musicians entertained in each carriage. The train was rocking and rolling along.

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This lovely lady and her backing guitarist belted out the blues in our carriage, she was good, a strong husky, blues voice and sang all popular songs. Really set the atmosphere. And look at that figure…

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The joint is jumping…

The scenery swished by lit by the late afternoon sun and for a while I stood on the open deck, outside the carriage, watching the world go by

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Then the unusual shaped Glasshouse Mountains, glowing in the late afternoon golden light, came into view. We are almost there.

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The Glasshouse Mountains Tavern is next to the railway station and everyone heads for the bar.

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It is a bit like the old-time six o’clock swill. (Who remembers those days?) Standing 2 and 3 deep waiting to be served, the barmaids are going as fast as they can. Then find a seat and wait for the “gourmet” bar-b-q to be served.

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Here it comes…

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Here it goes…

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It is a beautiful balmy night and some people find a table outside.

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But I heard they breed large, hungry mosquitoes around here. One of my new friends had brought her mossie repellent and I, gratefully, used it too. Then found a seat inside.

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Now we had a 2 hour blues show. Just look at this blues singer, she really looked the part and she could belt out the blues.

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We shared a table with Rob and his partner and made an instant connection with them. Lots in common to talk about. I went over to get another drink and when I got back to the table the music had started and Jack and our new friend could not resist the rhythm so they became part of the show…

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Jack loves to dance and in New Zealand, when he followed many of the blues musicians over there, he became known as the “detonator” he would be the first one to start dancing, then every one would join in dancing. So it was this time. At the next song the floor was filled with grooving, happy people.

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I was surprised how many times numbers popped up in this post. So I am linking it to Ben’s photo challenge of numbers.

Categories: numbers, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , | 29 Comments

Final few hours in Brisbane…

It had been a busy day when we went to Brisbane a couple of Saturdays ago. We visited the art gallery, strolled around South Bank and had lunch there. But the day was only half gone…

 Passing through the University grounds on the way to the Botanic Gardens I went in search of “The Cube”

“The Cube is one of the world’s largest interactive digital display systems. It is two storeys high, has 170m2 of high-definition screens, and includes 48 touch panels. It took our developers more than two years to build.

The Cube offers unprecedented learning and research opportunities for the community – from school students to scientists and engineers. Our researchers use the Cube to showcase their ideas and to visualise, model and manipulate big data sets.”

With help from a security guard we found this impressive display and spent an hour pressing buttons and marvelling at the vision of being back in the time of the dinosaurs.

It was a few months ago that we came to see this but that was the day Jack fell and ended up in hospital. I’ve just checked back and found it was last August,  (do you remember that? Check it here) certainly doesn’t seem that long ago. Since that unfortunate accident we have been meaning to come back. So at long last we have made it…

But we did have another reason to be here today. We were meeting the family at 6pm at Kangaroo Point to see them rock climbing.

Still another couple of hours, so with a cup of take-away coffee we wandered over to the Botanical Gardens next to the university and sat watching the world go by.

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Walking along I was drawn toward this magnificent display of marigolds. In the late afternoon sun they glowed.

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Families made the most of this glorious weather.

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In the background children frolicked in the playground.

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Jack found another unusual seat/bench to rest on and after taking the photo I joined him.

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But it was time to catch the ferry and go over to the other side of the river to find the family.

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Can you see the ferry on the other side of the river? We will have to hurry to catch it.

The sun is going down behind the hi-rises of the CBD but the cliffs of Kangaroo Point are still painted vivid orange by the glow from the sun. (This photo has not been touched up at all, I could hardly believe the colours when I downloaded it)

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I spot someone setting up the ropes for the rock climbing enthusiasts. Our family must be around here somewhere.

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It is an interesting walk. I see a bridal party having a photo session.

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Then I see the rock climbers.

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That’s our grandson almost at the top after scaling an almost vertical wall. What a great activity.

The sun has gone down now and the lights of Brisbane are turning on as the sun highlights the horizon in one last muted, orange glow.

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What a day it has been. At 7-30pm we catch the train back to the Gold Coast. Arriving home, tired and ready for a cuppa, at 9-00pm

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I am linking this post to Paula, “Lost in Translation“, you may have guessed her theme this week is “glow”…

I would also like to join Jo “Restless Jo” and her intrepid band of world-wide walkers.

Categories: Australia, Brisbane, glow, Jo's Monday walks, Kangaroo Point, photos, QUT, Thursday Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Immersed in the Blues

The Blues came to Broadbeach this weekend with 62 musicians, both local and international playing their hearts out. For 4 days the sound of blues, soul and rock n roll wowed the crowds as thousands flocked into the Gold Coast for this iconic FREE event now into its fifteenth year. The atmosphere was electric. Stages set up in the streets that were closed to traffic. Bands playing in venues from the hotels to the shopping centres. Every where the music followed you, heavy rock, morphing into soulful jazz then beating into rock n roll as you move from venue to venue. And the sun beamed down in typical Gold Coast style.

We chose to go to the Pacific Fair shopping centre at lunch time to watch a 2 hour concert by Juzzie Smith, a favourite of ours, an immensely talented entertainer, a one man band who composes all his own music.

“Juzzie is a walking, talking, singing example of how it pays to follow your heart. Not that money is the point here – far from it. The real point is that Juzzie is one of those truly creative souls who makes a living out of doing something he absolutely loves.” (from Juzzie’s web page, see more here)

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We are huge fans. Look at this unusual guitar made from a cigar box. It makes a terrific blues sound. He also has 2 other guitars, his feet are his percussion, he has a belt full of harmonicas and then he has “chukka chuks”. “What ever are they?” I hear you ask. Well be amazed, I took a short video…

The kids found him irresistible and I had to get another video of these 2 young boys. With the spontaneous abandon of youth they grooved to the rhythm.

Then on to music central in the heart of Broadbeach. We mingled with the happy crowd and stopped for a while to watch another one man band.

Taking photos of the artists was very difficult as the crowds gathered around intent on hearing the music. So we just wandered around, stopping for a coffee and listening to acoustic, lyrical guitar for a while, then joining the crowds at the main stage in the mall. The big attraction was “Big Daddy Wilson”

“As soon as you hear Big Daddy Wilson’s voice, whether speaking or singing, you hear his southern country roots. The sound of the original blues people comes through loud and clear, reminding you of a bygone era when music came from people’s front porches instead of iPhones. Wilson has a voice baptized in the river of African-American song – a voice with the power to heal. His repertoire encompasses spirituals, blues, country & soul, delivered in his unique, heartfelt way.” (from his web page)

The crowd was packed tight around the stage so we just found a bench near the water feature and listened to the rich sound of a mellow blues man and soaked in the reverent atmosphere of the crowd.

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I love people watching and there are plenty to see here. I think this bloke is on to me!!!

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But time to head home. We came on the bus, to find a car-park would be impossible. As we sauntered back in the late afternoon sun I couldn’t resist getting a photo of these 2 lovely ladies in front of us.

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As we stopped at the pedestrian crossing Jack told them how we admired their dresses. Debbie and Cherry were pleased to let me take a photo. These are more than dresses they are works of art. Just look at all the detail and they are designed and created here on the Gold Coast, not one stitch was produced in China.

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They then put on these funky jackets from the same designer.

 

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Jack loved chatting to them as I took the photos and then gave them a big hug as they went on their way and we crossed the road to catch the bus home after a day immersed in the Blues…

Categories: Australia, Broadbeach Blues Festival, Goldcoast, photos, travel | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

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Birthplace of James Madison and Southern Plantation

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Every picture has a story to tell

Memories are made of this

I need photos to keep my memories alive

soitgoes1

Just another WordPress.com site

the vibes

Dreams of a Free Spirit

livingforcreativity

Living a life of creativity, via music, books and films.

In My View

The world as I see it -- by R C Norman

endeavor

my journal of creative expression

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