Library loving…

I love the local library, in fact I am a library junky, I visit 2 to 3 times a week.

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It is only a 10 minute bike ride away

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 As well as books, it has computers, magazines, newspapers, music cd’s, movie video’s and most importantly it has air-conditioning. Apart from these it also organises a large number of workshops, information sessions and group activities from baby reading groups, computer training, book clubs, movie discussion groups, author encounters even knitting groups. The list each month is extensive and varied and this month I noticed a “snap happy” workshop presented by Jeff Licence the local area producer for ABC Open (the National radio and TV station) Now that sounds interesting. So I booked for a three-hour, free session.

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 Jeff is the ABC radio and TV coordinator for this area and for the first hour explains how we can share our photos on ABC’s “pic of the week” and also discussed aspects of photography composition skills.

We were a small group and shared our views about the sample photos Jeff put on the screen.

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Then it was time to take our cameras outside and put into practice what we had talked about.

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It was a drizzly sort of day, and the challenge was to find something to stir the imagination. So for the next hour we all prowled around taking photos of each other and anything else that caught our eye.

Taking from different angles.

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A council worker having his lunch break was fair game for some of us.

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I thought maybe I would show the damp day and use the rule of thirds in this shot.

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Jeff was available to help and give pointers.

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Then I concentrated for a while on angles and leading lines.

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And of course I had to take this photo of a bench (for you Jude)

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Then it was back into the library to show our photos and have the group offer feed-back.

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It was amazing how a dozen people wandering around the same, rather limited, area could produce such a wide variety of photos. Not one was the same. Sometimes the same subject but from different angles.

It was a very enjoyable 3 hours.

Categories: Australia, Books, Goldcoast, library, photos | Tags: , , , | 47 Comments

Pauline relaxing with Tyke the dog_

025 Pauline relaxing with Tyke the dog_, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

It has been a really good break from travelling to stay with Dave and Donna and do some work in the garden and of course the great experience of Forest Flying is a highlight of our journey so far. I’ enjoying a cup of coffee with the company of Tyke the dog.

Donna gave us a book, “Boomerang Road” by Quentin van Marle. Chapter 6 describes his visit and experience of the “Forest Flying” it is a good read, especially as he is biking through a lot of the places we are visiting.

Categories: australian travel, Books, Finch Hatton Gorge, flickr photos, foresr flying, photos, travel, WWOOFing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Getting ready….

The van is now checked out and ready to go, so now it is time to get our check ups.

  • Skin scans, I’m ok, the doctor said the years between 6 and 14 are the vulnerable years for forming of skin cancers. I was living in England and did not get much sun exposure. Jack on the other hand had 4 big ones cut out a month ago, and, thankfully he now has the all clear and they have , almost, healed.

From Jack’s jottings…. I love a sun burnt country, I lived down by the sea, and except for melanoma there’s no better place to be. So when you are in Surfers keep an eye out for a shadow obscured by SPF30, a shadow cast by me.

  • Doctor check up, blood tests, flue injections including the swine flu injection, and a top up of pill prescriptions. Both checked out OK.
  • Eye test. Jack no longer needs glasses after the cataract surgery and his eyes are good. This time I needed new glasses, oh so expensive, and the optician said that I will need the cataract surgery “soon”….
  • Dentist check for me…This was the most painful of all as I need major overhaul. Don’t even like to think of how much that will cost…



Jack is reading a good book and he keeps saying “listen to this one” and “I will just read you this”

This quote is so appropriate for us that I think it could be our “mission statement”

Life is mostly about what you do on your way to your destination.

This was from “Pursuit of Perfection” by Tal Ben Shahar

Categories: Books, photos, preparing to go, random thoughts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Taking stock…

It has been all go since the new year began. Time is certainly speeding up and it is now time to take stock of were we are at and how much is left to do.

It all started back in October, and that seems a decade ago now, when we read “The best  life money can’t buy” written by Andy Deering. It inspired us to get out of the complacent life we had slipped into and follow a dream to travel around Australia.

We were now fired up and enthusiastic.

In the “third age” of our lives if we didn’t seize the day and “just do it” it would quickly become too late and life would then just be a case of  “if only”.

I made lists. We set a date. Then cruised along.

Suddenly we found the perfect camper van to take us on our journey.

"Sunny boy" our home away from home.

We were just looking and had not planned to buy a van till approx February, but this one was too good to miss. Suddenly our plans and dreams became reality…

  • Since then we have sold our Toyota Corolla car.
  • Had a garage sale
  • Sent surplus “stuff” to the Salvation Army.
  • Thrown away lots of “junk”.
  • Moved all our belongings into storage in the basement.

The last major things on the list is to give the house a complete, top to bottom, clean. Then find tenants…

So we are on track. Of course there are still a hundred and one little things to do, but the big ones have been accomplished and in 10 to 12 weeks we will be on the road.

Categories: Books, photos, preparing to go, random thoughts, travel | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Another word press lesson…

I am going to write this post in Microsoft word and then see if it can be pasted to my blog. I am also using the font “Georgia”, will it reproduce this also?


I have inserted the following from word, very easy, but it didn’t reproduce it in the font “Georgia” and reduced the size to the normal size font used by default in the word press posts…

Christmas 2009 is now behind us and we are racing toward 2010. I have great expectations for the coming year and the adventure that lies ahead of us.

 In the meantime I am having a lazy few days and devouring a good book. “What the psychic told the pilgrim” written by Jane Christmas (very appropriate surname for reading at this time of the year). A story of a 50-year-old woman’s pilgrimage along the Camino trail. Told with inner feeling, humour and great insight of human nature.

The first couple of paragraphs rang so true I couldn’t stop reading….

Impulse is intuition on crack. If intuition is the prudent angel who carefully directs your spirit, impulse is its mischief-making twin, the “imp” in “impulse”.

Impulse scoffs at the notion of second thoughts. Before you can apply a smidgen of rationale to your actions. Impulse has dragged you to the launch pad of adventure, where you find yourself staring bug-eyed at the bungee cord around your waist and asking “How did I get here?”


But I think without impulse to charge you on head first into adventure, you may have second thoughts, and would miss out on some of the most memorable moments that as you get older you look back on with satisfaction.

This coming year is in many ways fuelled by impulse….

How I did it…. Click on this small symbol in the menu bar and it opens up to show the “kitchen sink” among these extra symbols is one to enable you to paste from word. That will be very useful as I can prepare posts as we travel along then insert them quickly when we have an internet connection. So I am trying it out to see how it works…..



Categories: Books, random thoughts, travel, Wordpress lessons learnt | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A good read…

My favourite type of book is the travel book, especially when the author has travelled slowly and the hard way, by foot or bike or similar, through challenging and difficult terrain.

I have just finished “The year we seized the day” co- authored by Elizabeth Best & Colin Bowles. It fitted into all the above categories. They walked the 800km pilgrim trail of the Camino in Spain. They write alternate chapters and the chapters are short, mostly 2 to 3 pages each. Colin writes with a cynical look at life while Eli is more lyrical but both write from deep within their heart and soul and take us on a journey which is far more than just a travelogue. The reader is taken, step by blistered step with them and at the end I had tears in my eyes as they finally reach their destination.

I came across this very appropriate quote….

“Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are”

Categories: Books | 2 Comments

More free accommodation

Another way to help the travel budget stretch is to contact <> This is a world wide organisation with a list of people willing to let you sleep on their couches, or any other thing they have available. A hilarious account of one Aussie mans attempt to travel and only use the couch surfing network can be read in “Sleeping around,a couch surfing tour of the globe” by Brian Thacker. I have not tried couchsurfing out yet but when we take off next April 2010 we are looking at all ways to make the $$’s go further and this sounds a great way to also meet people.

Another way to “sleep around” is to join the “WWOOF” organization. The details are on This is not totally internet based as you have to buy their book of farm hosts and register with the WWOOF organisation, which you can do over the internet. Also you are required to do 4-5 hours of farm or related type jobs to “pay” for your full board and lodging. I have “WWOOFed around Australia and met a very interesting and friendly group of people. From picking and packing bananas to helping on a seahorse breeding unit and weeding endless veggie patches I loved every minute and the meals they all served where made from home grown, organic produce, cooked with love. I can recommend the experience…

Categories: Books, free travel accomadation, travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The resurrection of a dream.

Cooking breakfast in the grear outdoors.

1996 Cooking breakfast in the great outdoors.

The catalyst that started the yearning to begin travelling again was reading “The best life money CAN’T buy” written by Andy Deering. His philosophy was to own nothing and be open to all opportunities. Jack was also fired up by the book and he said “Let’s do it”

We discussed the possibility of travelling on a very small budget. How could we survive on our pensions? Gradually a plan took shape. If we rented the house for a year and bought a pop top camper van, travelled very slowly, found as many free camping spots as possible, even contemplated contacting  “WWOOFing” hosts to park on farms and properties in exchange for light work to help the budget stretch further.

We had done this in 1996 when we spent 6 months travelling around Queensland in an old, blue, rusty, 1984 Mitsubishi Starwagon that we had converted  into a bed by putting planks from front to back and buying a foam mattress to sleep on. The “Blue Heeler” as we affectionately called our home on wheels has a very special place in our hearts and we had always intended to one day do it again but the next time would be the “BIG LAP” right round Australia.

But day-to-day living took over and time passed, we were involved in our clubs and other activities. Then I had a heart attack 31st July 2008. That, I thought at the time, would be the end of travelling and I mourned the end of a dream…

How wrong I was. After a year of carefully watching my diet, going to the gym, and walking every day, I lost kg’s and feel fitter than I have for years. So the gypsy in me has bubbled back to the surface and I am ready to go…

Categories: Books, travel | 6 Comments

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