Sunday, July 12, 2015

Noosa, Brisbane, Sandy

It's been a week of warmth and sunshine, reconnecting with extended family and lots of seafood lunches!

This was one of the best seafood lunches this week - at the Marina looking East towards the mouth of the Noosa River - a favourite childhood picnic/swimming spot.

It was pretty hard to say goodbye to our lovely apartment 12 on Thursday, with its spectacular Noosa views.
 .....and on to Brisbane. We stayed at West End on buzzy Boundary Street just a short walk from different from when we lived here in the 50s & 60s...

We crossed the river over the Victoria Bridge and admired the old Treasury building and this gorgeous building that used to be the Q'ld State Library. I used to spend a fair bit of time here (such a nerd) and loved the books, the architecture and the ambiance. I am so pleased it hasn't been demolished in amongst all the frenzy of Brisbane city newness.

It's NAIDOC week so we were pretty stoked to catch some of the family fun day celebrations at Musgrave Park on the way back to our West End apartment......hipster buzz, city sights, great food and bars and NAIDOC .....this is a great inner city suburb!

We ended of our short Brisbane city stay with a family catch up breakfast at the Gunshop Cafe. It was our first chance to meet gorgeous baby Charlotte..the latest addition to Granny Bobbie's collection of exceptional great grandchildren. She is just a divine honey bun (of course) and lucky enough to have a Mummy and Daddy (and extended family) who all absolutely adore her.

We're ending off our winter break at Sandy Beach..with more great company with family, gorgeous seafood and sparkly blue ocean views ....

Monday, July 6, 2015

Travelling warm

It's been a welcome relief to find ourselves in a warmer place in the middle of July winter.  We've had a night with Ros and Pete at Sandy Beach and squeezed in a Saturday morning at Sawtell to celebrate their annual Chili Festival.

......Then a two night stay at Kirra Beach, house guests of the L family in their penthouse holiday apartment with 360o views of this spectacular coastline - North to the Surfers Paradise high rises - and South down to the Tweed.

On Sunday there was time for a long morning walk South towards Coolangatta and an opportunity to soak up 23oC worth of brilliant winter sunshine and beach side sparkle.

We walked as far as Point Danger, overlooking Duranbah Beach and the mouth of the Tweed River (in NSW).

Sunday afternoon we drove down the Tweed River Valley through Tumbulgum to Murwillumbah and the beautiful Tweed River Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre. The views from the gallery looking out to the beautiful Tweed Valley and Mt Warning in the distance were a huge distraction from the excellent art work on show on the gallery walls. 

But we'd come to see the Margaret Olley Art Centre, primarily.....and the wondrous recreations of areas of her home studio at 48 Duxford Street Paddington.  The interiors (The Hat Factory and the Yellow Room) are filled with over 20,000 items that were subjects for her still lifes over many many years.  The rooms created here have a very strong presence. It is so easy to imagine M O living and working here in amongst this tactile and evocative chaos.......

Both nights in Kirra we enjoyed eating great meals with all members of the L family.... My Gelato on Douglas Street proved to be the most popular dessert spot both nights.

I woke up early this morning and attempted to catch the sunrise over Kirra Beach from our rooftop terrace, eleven floors high......the start to another perfect day in sunny Queensland.

We dropped off the young things at Dreamworld on the way up to Brisbane this morning, picked up Rob's Mum and made our way further North to Noosa by way of the beautiful Blackall Ranges and a lunch stop at the pretty village of Montville.

We're booked into our favourite apartment block (number 12 this year) overlooking the beach where the Noosa River meets the Pacific Ocean.  The sunset views from our living room are to die for.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Low key birthday

We celebrated Jeremy and Claire's birthdays this year in a "low key" (but astoundingly good) way  with a live performance of the VIP Band...right here in this very living room!!

Rob joined the boys for an ACDC intro set.  They all really rocked!!...but Rob eventually found he needed a bit more rehearsal time to keep up with the boys.

Ollie plays with great maturity, precision and expression and Angus plays drums like an absolute demon - way beyond his tender years.....he surprises everyone, including his drum teacher - in fact.

 The VIP Band is awesome!

 Even the guest grand daddy.

The girls LOVED their cousins' performance. Abi smiled and danced and showed off how she can now wink (which I didn't quite catch in this low light).

and Ella smiled a lot too, took over filming duties and organised stacks on games with the boys in between sets.

 It was great to welcome Maxie & Rod back too after their OS travels...

As the night wore on the boys played a few more outstanding sets with their teacher Gav........ They were really rocking and AWESOME!

Thank you Claire and Jeremy for sharing the VIP moment - unforgettable!
(and Happy Birthday too)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday nights

We're well and truly back into our Sunday night routine - roast dinner, fine wines and some hilarious conversations around the dinner table with the young things (but especially Ella).  Everyone is happily settled in at the new house. 

There's a fireplace in the living room and a wood fired heater in the kitchen/family room. The wood fired heater is a bit of a chick magnet on these cold winter evenings.

Joshy has transferred all his super roast cooking skills to the new venue without a hitch....

Despite the low temperatures as dusk falls (along with another spectacular sunset) the terraced backyard calls out to the girls (and Grandpa) for one last game of kicks and throws. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The move

I think this pic of Miss A sitting at the family room table of her new home just about sums up the way most members of her family are feeling right now about "the move"!

They are all revelling in the extra space (including the bathrooms), the changes in levels and the beauty of all the timber (and exposed brickwork). It's a great winter house too with all the living areas bathed in sunshine, a working wood fired heater in the family room and every night a dress circle view of a spectacular sunset behind the Brindabella Mountains.

The move has been mostly completed over Saturday - Sunday. By Sunday evening the kitchen & laundry were fully operational and the girls' bedrooms and living room organised.  A glass of Majella celebrated a successful start to happy times at the new abode.

It was terribly considerate of Her Majesty to proclaim a birthday holiday today so there was a long weekend to consolidate all the hard work and excitement of the big move.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Rob's surgeon runs a regular clinic in Bowral in the beautiful Southern Highlands. It's a great excuse for an overnight stay and a little bit of indulgence for us - extra pleasurable this time because Rob got such a good report - he'll only need annual checks after this!

Our first stop was for lunch on Friday, at Mount Ashby Estate vineyard on Nowra Road a few minutes drive outside Bowral on the way to Fitzroy Falls.....

 ..and a chance to try the well recommended La Pallette Cafe, overlooking the green paddocks and clumps of very contented looking Holstein cows, in the property's restored original dairy building.


We were the first to arrive for lunch - very hungry after an earlyish start from Canberra......
We chose a sunny table looking out to the grassy terrace (and the cows).

The menu was very French inspired. My pumpkin, feta, caramelised onion tart with pear, blue cheese salad with pesto lived up to expectations - especially teamed with our bottle of Ashby Estate Cabernet Merlot (very good). Rob was also delighted with his Beef Bourguinon Pie, potato and beans and our shared (local) cheese plate with honey glazed nuts.

This visit we stayed at Peppers Craigieburn - a charming older style hotel a few minutes drive out of the main township of Bowral. Our room had beautiful views out to the golf course and the undulating hills beyond.  The weather turned quite cool during our stay and it was great to enjoy these views from the other side of the big picture windows.

Our previous choice in Bowral had been Links House, a much smaller hotel on the other side of the township.  Given the choice we'd go back there next time as we really enjoyed the cosy ambiance and the beautiful a la carte breakfasts. The Craigieburn breakfast buffet left a lot to be desired and we missed all the cosy personal touches of the much smaller guesthouse!

We were all smiles after seeing Rob's surgeon - and it's good not to have to see him again for quite a while - despite the charms of this pretty town in this beautiful part of the world.