Sunday, 29 October 2006

Sunday 29 October 2006 - Rockhampton - Yarrawonga Point - Yaamba




We are back in Rocky!

I flew back on Monday 16th and Darryl drove back and arrived on Tuesday 17th. My first job
was to extract Shane from our bedroom - really not that difficult, as he had started shifting into the second bedroom. The biggest trouble was all of our stuff which was in that bedroom!


I managed to get it mostly out (there are still a few shelves in the cupboard to be cleared) so
at least he can walk to his bed. On Wednesday we started sorting out stuff in the house and Darryl worked on the garden. The biggest problem was that I walked out to the porch and

spied a big white-ants nest in the tree right next to the house. Now, this tree provided a lot of shade, but also a lot of very small leaves everywhere, so for me it was a bit of a love-hate relationship.....but it still had to go. Our gardens are also full of green-ants (which bit quite
viciously) so the whole thing was a rather painful affair. On top of that we had a beautiful grey
triangle palm (admittedly planted - by someone else - too close to the back of the house), which had died, so also had to go.....it was quite a sad day, and Darryl took about 5 truck-loads to the dump. The gardens now look completely devastated, and will need a lot of work - AND there is still one garden bed to be cleaned up! In the middle of it we had our

neighbour's parents-in-law stop by to chat. The walk an hour twice a day. They are from
Beijing and don't speak much English, in fact the wife doesn't speak any, which make the chats interesting!


We are just trying to get the tidying up done a bit at a time, but that boring monotony was delightfully punctuated by Brett and Rebecca's wedding on Saturday. Bec looked stunning, and, of course, Brett was handsome, (as you can see from the photo), and it was a lovely wedding at the Catholic Church just near us, followed by a very enjoyable reception at the
Rockhampton Heritage Village.


Sunday was necessarily a rather quiet day, although we had Mark and Lois Gillespie drop by. We were planning on going camping for a few days, and really didn't know where to go, but Lois suggested Notch Point, just south of Cape Palmerston (south of Mackay), so we headed there on Monday morning.


The actual location we ended up at was Yarrawonga Point which is the point just south of Notch. On arrival we could see beautiful bright blue water and a couple with a van setting up under some trees. We drove up over the hill and down onto the front where there was a lovely grassed area with lots of coconut trees. Sadly, there was a lot of rubbish around, as many campers have not taken what they brought home again.

This part was very exposed and the wind was really blowing hard, so after enjoying a salad under a coconut tree we headed back to the more sheltered part and set up camp.



We enjoyed fresh coconut then headed down to the water where Darryl set a crab pot, and did some casting. He caught a couple of small flathead (which he threw back) and a couple of mullet which he kept for bait. Despite a high fire danger, due to the drought, we were able to have a campfire in the protected stone fireplace. The rump steak that we cooked was rather tough!

In the morning Darryl went fishing. He came back with the news of a very small male sandcrab in his pot and re-set it. He continued fishing and I went for a dip. The water was reasonably warm, but due to the wind the waves were pretty rough, so I didn't go in far. I basically spent the entire afternoon lying around napping and reading. Once again we had a lovely campfire, and due to the toughness of the meat from yesterday, I decided to use the camp-oven and make a stew with onions, mushrooms, steak and wine - it was delicious!
















Wednesday revealed the same male mud-crab in the pot and two large females which Darryl said was full with eggs - what a shame! Despite all the fishing, there seemed to be none around the area. Two seagulls hounded Darryl for the remains of his bait fish!



We decided to pack up and head home, while checking out beaches on the way back. Using the gps and maps we took some quite interesting roads...most of which just petered out. One place showed a road heading to the beach and some houses, and when we drove in and discovered it went no-where turned around to leave only to be confronted by a farmer literally 'blowing his top', and totally not accepting our apologies....I suppose it was lucky he didn't have his gun!



That was the end of our adventurous attempts, and we stopped at Marlborough
for a 'loo break before heading down to the Fitzroy River at Yaamba to have lunch under a shady tree on the bank (while keeping a keen eye out for crocodiles). The photo is of the old pump station which supplied water to Rockhampton for many years.



On Thursday Darryl dropped me at the airport before he headed to the Dentist for some work to be done. I flew to Brisbane to help the rest of the project team celebrate the end of the project. We had a lovely afternoon at Merthyr Croquet Club at New Farm Park, learning to play the game. It was a lovely environment which I would recommend to everyone. I was thrilled to see the trophy that the project had won - the national IT Service Management Forum Australia Award for the best ITIL Implementation for 2006! Sharon McKinnon, Sharon Rowland and I continued celebrating way into the evening and enjoyed a wonderful meal at a Thai Restaurant on Gympie Road, before they dropped me back at Sue's for the night. In the morning I was really chuffed to do a little shopping and discovered the shoes I had wanted to buy (Magic Carpet) at the pharmacy at Westfield Chermside shopping centre. I arrived back in Rocky around 3pm.


We have had a rather quiet weekend, but today we visited Archer Park Railway Station (the beautiful old Railway Station in Rocky) which was hosting an open day, and travelled on the Purrey Steam Train and viewed the various railway historical displays.


Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Monday 16 August 2006 - Brisbane

Wow! I did it! All the time we have been in Brisbane, Darryl has been riding his bike to Mt Cootha, locking up the bike at the bottom and then walking up. All round this is a trip of about 25km. On Monday we did this together! Mind you, we stopped at Toowong Cemetery on the way, so that I could sort out the problem I was having with the location of the grave of Daphne Anderson. While at Toowong Cemetery we also discovered the last resting place of Darryl's great-grandfather, William Daniel Miller, and one other grave.

After looking at the graves, we locked the bikes to a fence at the bottom and walked up the road. It only took about 1/2 an hour for the walk up, and gave me time to cool off, and take in the view before lunch. This was the whole reason for the trip, as we had organised (while we were at the Butler Reunion) to catch up with Donna and Michael Channing. They brought along Irene and Bev who had both been at the reunion, and I had also invited Graham and Diane Smith. It was great to see them all again, and we had a lovely catchup.

Tuesday I spent at Qld State Archives. On Wednesday morning we got up really early and headed down to Binna Burra at Lamington National Park. It is a beautiful spot with rainforest, and scenic views. When we arrived the kiosk to check in was closed until 10am, so we decided to go on a bit of a walk.....the signs said it was 5km to a particular waterfall, so I thought 5km return and thought I could just about manage that....well it turned into a 12km walk! Mind you, it was lovely. Lots of the rainforest trees are fruiting and we saw many types including the blue quandong fruit (we had a nibble, but they are pretty tasteless). There were many birds flitting around and calling, and Darryl tried on many occasions to get photos, only to have them hide behind branches! Despite their photo-shyness he did get some good shots. This rainforest has lots of 'Wait-a-while' (Lawyer Vine) and Gympie-gympie, with it's huge soft-looking round leaves which contain excruciatingly painful stinging hairs. There was also Elephant Ear (Elocasia) which is supposedly a native cure for the gympie-gympie, although I don't want to ever have to try it. We saw a huge black skink ( http://www.reptilepark.com.au/animals.asp?catID=10&ID=78 http://lamington.nrsm.uq.edu.au/Documents/Rept/Mul.htm ) which we were later told is called a 'Land Mullet'- info on the URLs say that it grows to 30cm, but the one we saw was much bigger than that. We also saw an echidna when we were almost at the end of our walk, and Darryl got some good film of it. The camp ground seemed reasonably busy, but we got a nice spot under some trees. The facilities, even though they are temporary as the previous ones burnt down 12 months ago, were very clean and tidy. On Thursday morning we headed out on a caves walk. Although the cave was large it had a forward-sloping floor, so it really wasn't all that exciting. After returning and having lunch we headed home again. That was really exciting as we ended up driving up Logan Road around 4pm, and of course it was really busy with traffic at that time of day!

On Friday and Saturday I headed back to the Qld State Archives (with Darryl coming along to help on Saturday). I found heaps of information, and got through lots of packages on the Saturday with Darryl's help (I think the guys who collect them from storage might be happy that it was my last trip!).

Sunday was spent cleaning the apartment, and packing our bags. Darryl did most of the work, and did a fantastic job. This morning was our last day, there was final cleaning and packing to be done, and the car to be packed. Darryl headed off about 11.30am and we had the final inspection. I fly back to Rockhampton tonight. (I have just realised that I don't have my photos with me, so will have to post them tonight once I get home).

Sunday, 8 October 2006

Monday 9 September 2006 - Brisbane





This last week I worked until Wednesday. This was to do some finalisation work after go-live. On Thursday Darryl and I headed to State Archives where he helped me with looking up number on microfilm and also finding the required files in the packages. It made the process extremely quick and we got through heaps of packages during the day. On Friday Darryl rode his bike to Mt Cootha and I headed back to the Archives alone as I had to get more numbers to give him. I also looked up a couple of police record files, which were very interesting (one was James Alexander Smith and the other John Thomas Morris - one from each side of the family!) At night, we headed down the the riverside walkway to take photos of the Storey Bridge (see above) which had been lit up with pink lights in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness week.

On Saturday, my lack of internet got to me and I headed to the City Library to catch up on any important mail. In the afternoon, I decided to try and buy a pair of the shoes I like (Magic Carpet) which are only available through selected chemists. I thought that I would go to Toombul Shopping Town, where I had been told I could get them, and sms'd Sue to catch up for coffee. Unfortunately, the chemist there no longer stocks them, but Sue and I had a great time, before I caught a bus back home.

Sunday dawned as a beautiful day, and I was up really early as it was the day Bec (Sue's daughter) and I were booked to climb the Storey Bridge! It is one of only 3 bridge climbs in the world. Sue picked me up and Darryl rode over and met us at the office. The preparation seemed to take ages, with 11 of us going through indemnities, blood alcohol testing, suiting up, safety, and removal of watches and even earrings! Once we had our harnesses on, there was even a simulator 'bridge' to show how to ensure the safety latches moved over the joins etc. At last we were heading out and up onto the bridge....there was a walkway built specially underneath by the climb company and it seemed to shake a bit when cars were going overhead, but once we were on the actual structure of the bridge there was no movement at all. I was wondering how we would actually get from underneath the bridge to above the traffic, but it was really easy through a hooded staircase going through the bridge and it seemed like no time at all until we were heading up the steepest stairs above the traffic. The views were spectacular, and we were kept enthralled by the tour guide's talk about the history of the bridge, history of Brisbane and pointing out of various landmarks. The 2 1/2 hours just flew by, and it was certainly something that Bec and I will remember for a long time, and recommend to everyone.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Wednesday 4 October 2006 - Brisbane


Go-live was exciting. I headed into InfoService Centre early, and it was decorated up beautifully (see the photo above). These guys were really prepared and all seemed fine. The big hit on the system happened just before 9am when lots of people obviously arrived for work and tried to log in. Due to the same restrictions on licences as the previous application lots couldn’t get in and there were a few hiccoughs, but all-in-all I think it went well.



On Saturday I took the train to the Qld Family History Society library and did lots of school records research. Sunday was really exciting for us as we headed up to Toowoomba to attend the Butler Family Reunion at Drayton Hall.

 

The photo is of Donna Channing (one of the organisers), Hilda Mann (the eldest surviving child of the reunion couple), and Shirley Eaton (Hilda's daughter).



Sydney Edward Butler married Beatrice Maud Smith 4 Jul 1906, and many descendants attended the reunion. Arthur Smith, my great-grandfather, was Maud’s brother. There were lots of photos, which were displayed beautifully, lots of food and it was lovely to meet all the people who had previously only been names in my tree (see the group photo below).






Today is my last day working on the project in Brisbane, and I am taking leave until the end of the month. At this stage we head back to Rockhampton on 16 Oct.

28 September 2006 - Brisbane

Whew – well we have been out of contact via the internet since Veridas went belly-up and our ISP, Aunix, was a reseller. So, don’t expect rapid replies to any communications, as it is very hit and miss at the moment.



Wednesday a week ago, (20 Sept) we had Murray, one of my workmates from Rockhampton stop over for the night, as his Mum had suffered a brain haemorrhage and was in Royal Brisbane Hospital. We weren’t sure how long he would be here, but she had her operation and was doing very well, so it was only the one night.

Then on Thursday evening I got a call from my brother, Steve, that Dad had collapsed during the night, fallen and knocked himself unconscious. He had been admitted to hospital. I called Mum and discovered that Mal, my other brother, was coming to Brisbane for Thursday and Friday. I sms’d Mal, and it turned out he was on the way from the airport in a taxi, so he checked into his hotel, (which was just near Storey Bridge) and came to us for dinner. We had a lovely evening, despite the worry about Dad.


I went out to the Qld Family History Library on Saturday afternoon, and solved some mysteries, and then wandered around the Riverside Markets for a while on Sunday. On Monday, Sharon, my boss at work, asked me to go to Cairns and Townsville to do testing on our new application. It was an early start on Tuesday morning, as we got up at 5am. Darryl had decided to go up to the Sunshine Coast to meet up with some of his cyclist friends from Rockhampton, so he dropped me at the airport. I arrived at Cairns at 10am, successfully conducted the testing and then headed to Townsville, arriving after 5pm. Steve took me to Mum and Dad’s where Dad (who had been discharged the day before) was sporting a couple of real shiners! We drove to Steve’s place, where we were amply entertained by a little energy bundle nephew called Justin. I had not seen him for 12 months and he has really grown into a little man.






When Mum and Dad were too tired, I drove them home. In the morning I caught the bus into the hospital, successfully completed the testing there and flew back to Brisbane. It was just absolutely wonderful to be able to catch up with the family, despite the short time-frame.



There was a huge storm which swept through Brisbane yesterday (Thursday), and it looked like there would be a smaller one today, but nothing eventuated except a beautiful sunset.
Today I have been very excited, as it is Go-Live for the program we have been working towards on the project. Others are working late tonight and by tomorrow morning we will find out how it went.

 


Monday, 2 October 2006

No Internet!!!!! - Brisbane

Gee..things are grim down in the Big Smoke at the moment! Veridas, a company which supplies Broadband has gone belly-up. Unfortunately, our ISP, Aunix, bought their broadband from them so we have no access at home! Because we are leaving shortly there is no point signing up with another company...so you might have to wait a while for my next update - which will be very exciting...I promise you.