Posts Tagged With: Goldcoast

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…

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

Chinese New Year Dinnertime : Weekly Photo Challenge…

The Gold Coast China Town precinct has only been established for a short while, but it is expanding and now extends through 2 streets. Just in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year the first set of traditional Han gates arrived.

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“And, as befits an auspicious addition to the precinct, a consultant ensured the gate’s feng shui was appropriately adjusted. We had a feng shui master examine the gates and his analysis showed we needed to put a lucky charm in each of the gate’s towers,” Cr Crichlow said.

“So we buried a set of eight Chinese coins connected with red Chinese knots in each tower.

“Eight is the luckiest number in China and because the towers are twins we had to get two sets of eight.

“We also had to bury them at a particular lucky time and date to maximise the feng shui.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)

It was February 20th 2016, Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. China Town was crowded, parking was at a premium, so we went there on the G:Link, the new light rail system.

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The stall holders were busy preparing the food.

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And the hordes of people, locals and tourists, tucked in…

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On a stage traditional Chinese dancers entertained the crowd.

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I even managed to get a photo of a very rare 2 headed Chinese lady…

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Meanwhile round the corner a magician was enthralling both children and adults with his sleight of hand.

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It is getting darker but still the food stalls are supplying dinner for the crowds.

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The fairy lights are twinkling and some people find a seat.

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Others squeeze on to whatever they can find to sit on…

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While others have to be content with sitting in the gutter.

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But everyone seems happy.

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This week, Michelle asks us to focus on dinnertime: share a meal with us, or shoot during your dinner hour. Blogger’s choice!

I hope you enjoyed sharing dinner in China Town and celebrating the start of the year of the monkey.

Categories: Australia, Chinatown, dinnertime, Goldcoast, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

Going up in the world…

For 6 years a very small, one room Granny flat has been our home base. For 4 years we meandered around Australia in Matilda our small, very small Toyota Hiace camper van. (Jack called it our sardine can!!!) Usually coming home for a few weeks over Christmas before setting off again on another adventure.

Then we began doing more house sitting. So for the next 2 years we flew around Australia to various locations, enjoying the opportunity to become part of a community for the duration of our house sit. And we sold Matilda.

After 6 years of almost constant travel we could feel another change of life style creeping up on us. It was time to settle down again. The catalyst came 2 weeks ago, when our dear friends, who had cared for our house and garden for those 6 years, decided it was time for them to move on too.

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The Granny flat is behind the bottom right hand window and over the past 2 weeks we have slowly, very slowly, transported all our worldly goods, piece by piece, up those 15 steps and arranged them in a minimalist style in our new habitat. (not much furniture was needed in the Granny flat and we had down-sized in a big way 6 years ago). We now have the luxury of 3 bedrooms. One to sleep in and one each as our play room…

So life has changed. Time to settle down. Spend more time in the garden and getting back into our various hobbies, or just sit on the sunny decks and reflect on life.

From the back deck I can now see over the top of the trees and shrubs into the neighbour’s garden and just look at what is in flower…

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This Tibouchinas is in full flower. I have planted one in the front garden but it will be a few years before it is flowering like this. I have put this in for my blogging buddy Meg who has just gone to Warsaw for a year to stay near family and share in the life of her 2 mischievous twin grandchildren. Her descriptions of life in her adopted country will take you on cyber wings to experience life in Warsaw. (follow along here)

Being up 2 stories I am now on a level with the top of the Grevillia tree and I spotted this blue-eyed honeyeater and he defiantly eye-balled me right back.

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Jude is looking for wild life in the garden in her “garden photography” challenge. Take a look here.

Being home for Easter is a novelty, so tomorrow we will be inundated with the family, 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 5 Grandchildren. What a lovely way to start this new stay at home year.

I wish you all a very happy Easter however you may celebrate it. And if you are travelling please take care.

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast | Tags: , , | 55 Comments

Thursday Special : Tall…

In 1977 Pacific Fair opened it’s doors and became the iconic shopping centre on the Gold Coast.

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Tourists travelled from around the world to experience this new style of shopping.

But in the last decade new shopping centres have opened, modern and up to date, they eclipsed Pacific Fair. In contrast it looked drab and dated. So in 2014 a multi million dollar redevelopment started. The first stage opened late in 2015.

This is the new look…

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So what has this got to do with “tall” the theme for this weeks challenge from Paula at “Lost in translation”?

Well I went for wander round the new and improved “Pac Fair” and I found these very tall, rather old-fashioned looking, ladies strangely promoting the new look stores.

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The final stage of the redevelopment is due to open later this year. I imagine it will be with lots of fan-fare and I will be there, camera in hand, to see what they have spent all the money on…

Categories: Goldcoast, Pacific Fair, photos, tall, Thursday Special, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : Golden Hour…

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Categories: Goldcoast, travel, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

Sand Safari at Surfers Paradise…

Earlier in the week I went again to Surfers Paradise to see how the sand sculptures were progressing.

Some were still a work in progress.

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Three sculptors were busily scratching away at the large piles of sand. A total of 50 tonnes in 3 piles.

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The theme this year is the DreamWorks Heroes. Characters from Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and more.

But some were already for viewing and photographing.

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Others were waiting for finishing details.

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Not many people around midweek, a good time to look around.

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 The expressions and detail fascinated me.

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This sculpture of a dragon with Donkey received the people’s choice award for the favourite sculpture.

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How cute is that. Look at the peaceful expression.

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They also had a pavilion set up with piles of sand for you to create a masterpiece.

Along the back wall were instruction sheets. I was amused to see this mother having ago, but it was just watching for her son. The ice-cream obviously more important.

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Streets ice-cream company are the sponsors and an ice-cream was very welcome on this very hot day.

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The sculptures were situated along the beach front. Where the life guards were keeping watch over a small group of beach goers.

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Of course, like every where in the world today, the cell phone is never far away.

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The judges will be announcing the overall winner this coming weekend.

So I’ll leave Shrek to say “Good bye”.

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Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, photos, Sand sculpture competition, Surfer's Paradise | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

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

The Changing Seasons, Version 2 : January

During 2015 Cardinal Guzman hosted a monthly challenge. The challenge was to choose one place and visit it every month to record the changes. A fascinating project. But unfortunately, last year I could not visit the same place every month because of my Gypsy wanderings.

Fast forward to 2016…

I was delighted to discover that the dear Cardinal has decided to continue his challenge but to add a version 2.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

Now this year is also a year of change for me. I plan to stay, more or less, put. After 5 years of roaming far and wide around Australia, I’ll be exploring the Southeast corner of Queensland and Northern New South Wales, the place I call home. No distant travels (to a galaxy far, far away) to far-flung parts of Australia.

So yesterday I went out to search for an image that says “January on the Gold Coast”. The bigger challenge being to do it in ONE photo…

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This is Burleigh Beach, my local beach, and it is the last weekend of the school summer holidays. It is hot, it is humid and the surf is pumping. Just look at the crowds, but it is still possible to find an oasis of calm with a book, a coffee and your loved one under a tropical Pandanus palm. Room for a couple of young boys to play ball and a young woman heading for the ocean to catch a wave.

In the background, just visible through the fronds of the Pandanus, the Burleigh Heads National Park keeps a majestic watch over the scene.

Thousands of years ago this was known as a favourite meeting place for the Aboriginal tribes of the area. They would gather for ceremonies and share the bounty of the sea, leaving middens of shells to tell the tale of times long gone.

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Categories: #monthly photo challenge, #the changing seasons v2, Australia, Burleigh Beach, Goldcoast, January | Tags: , , , , , | 47 Comments

Bye, bye beach…

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Tomorrow morning I will be going to New Zealand and it will be quite a while before I see my beach again. So this morning I made a monumental effort and biked down to see the sun rise.

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The surfers also arrived to catch the early morning waves.

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The seagulls preened and watched the passing parade.

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Then I went up the steps, at a more sedate pace than this young woman. To walk through the bush.

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Then it was time to go home, have breakfast and start packing.

Bye bye to my blogging buddies I may not be around for a while. I’ll miss you all.

Categories: Australia, beach, Goldcoast, photos | Tags: , , , | 31 Comments

Home From the Hills…

Back to the flat terrain of the Gold Coast.

What is the first thing I do? Go for a walk around the garden.

Would you like to come with me?

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This is the view from the kitchen window and the bottle brush is in full flower.

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Tucked away under the bush is a clump of Pentas rivalling the bottle brush in colour.

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Further round the rocket and coriander have gone to seed, but still taste good in a salad.

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The nasturtiums are climbing every where.

In front of this bed the tropical lilies are showing off.

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Above the pond the Hoya twine through the bare branches of the frangipani tree.

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Overseeing this area the Bougainvillea create a canopy of colour.

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A swamp orchid has burst into flower in the shade of the “Bali corner”.

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Peer closely at this unusual plant. It is only about 6 inches high but is deadly to any insects that come near.  Drosera Carpensis.

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Watch it here in action.

Now I will go into the front garden to see what is flowering.

Just look at the silky oak, Grevillea Robusta.

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It is covered in flowers. I wanted to have the top pruned but because it is a native it cannot be touched. I hope it doesn’t grow much taller.

Clustered around its base is the pretty pink pelargonium.

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Tucked behind is a red geranium and the lobelia and primula are still flowering on.

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Under the trees in the shade the Clivia is a burst of orange.

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Finally I stand in front of the powderpuff lily pilly ( Syzygium wilsonii ). I love the way the branches droop and drip through all the other trees and plants in this bed and each branch finishes with a burst of fluffy red.

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I hope you have enjoyed this stroll around my garden. I love this time of the year as spring is the best time. In another couple of months summer will be here and in the heat the plants will go into shut down, survival mode, and so will I…

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I’m joining Jo’s cyber walking group this week, pop over to see where every one else is taking you this week.

 

 

Categories: Australia, garden, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, photos | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

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