Monday, July 30, 2007

Goats to be moved soon - ha ha!

The goats in the morning, they are nudging each other, being friendly I hope.
They are near their block of salt and near the gate. The dogs are out of view as they are nearer to me!
We will move the goats next week to another paddock where the grass is longer. That will be fun - Val has sent us full instructions how to do it ie:- let the dogs go through first - easier said than done I reckon but I am sure we will be able to do it with a few rude words thrown at each other - ha ha!
This grass here looks very dry but further up this paddock, where they spend most of the day, it is fine but going gradually as they chomp their way through.

Sunday afternoon at the ranch

What a lovely picture. Max under my chair relaxed. Kaz next to me and Brian getting over his roast pork lunch.
The verandah area is so good to sit in and look at the countryside beyond. Today there are three fires in the distance, we can see the smoke. I am told, by a neighbour, it is a controlled fire. I certainly hope so.
The large wood table is outside the kitchen and we are sitting outside the big living room. I will take some photos of the inside shortly. Perhaps when I have written a few more chapters...

Brian at Pottique pretending to be working

This is in the garden at Pottique Lavender Farm.
Just look at that red soil in the background.
I am surprised Brian can bend down that much to pick the wheelbarrow up after eating two scones!
As you can see another sunny day in the middle of winter in Queensland.

Cream Tea at Pottique Lavender Farm and Antique Centre

One of our favourite places. Always come here on a Saturday after shopping in town. Have a Devonshire tea :- lavender scones, strawberry jam and darjeeling tea.
We also come to see Lyn who works here on a Saturday. She has told us about a market held the first Saturday of the month - in Nanango, the next town. Starts at six in the morning and she says if we want a bargain to get there early.
The antique centre behind me isn't a real antique centre. We can only find a handful of old things. Most stuff is new and for tourists from other parts of Australia passing through. Although saying that, there is a rather nice old meat dish for about $55!


Kaz asleep at my feet on the same Sunday afternoon. He has a rest with us for a while then he is put back with the goats - where Pol is waiting with a wagging tail!

He has vivid dreams and runs in his sleep - like Henry used to do!

It is so nice having dogs around us after losing Henry and Chica. Very Nice!

Relaxing at home

Sunday 29th July - we went to a hotel for a Sunday roast. Even though it was sunny we had to sit inside... Too much food. Layers of pork sliced thick - far too much and no roast spuds!
We wanted to go to The Bell Tower restaurant but it was closed for a week. Next week eh!
We came home to relax and found fruit muffins in Val's freezer! With jam they were excellent.
Lovely day, really sunny and hot.

A visit from Bob

Bob popped round for a cuppa and offered to order more logs as he had heard from Valerie we were running out!
We told him we have enough now the tree was cut. He stayed awhile - three hours = talking to Brian on the veranda. He is born and bred in Kingaroy. He lives nearby and has a wife called Vida (which in Spanish means life).

We heard many tales from Bob and he kept us amused and happy all morning. He went away happy with a dozen new-laid eggs.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goat Dogs - Castor and Pollux (Kaz and Pol)

I am presuming Kaz is nearest to me - not timid like Pol.
Pol seems to have found something interesting.
We are in the paddock and Kaz is watching the goats.
We walk them around the paddock checking water troughs, they like that. Sometimes the horses on the land next to this paddock make them bark.
See - I do get some exercise!

Castor (Kaz)

Here is Castor (Kaz) by the water tank, in the shade.
His brother, Pollux (Pol) is in the paddock looking after the goats. Pollux is timid and it is difficult to get near him.
Valerie did manage to pick him up and take him to the vet on the day she left, for their jabs. Well done val.
The mural I promised you! Who did it Val?

New kid on the block

I MUST share with you all the newest one in the family - our 1st great grand child - Harvey George Matthews born 19/04/2007 here he is.

Mark - Cristina - Harvey

Now awaiting another grandchild in August - watch this space.

Koala Bear in Yanchep

Angie kindly sent me this picture, Claire took it while we were out on the Monday we left Perth. it was a super sunny day and the koala was trying to hide. Double click on it to see clearer.
Koala - a tailless, grey furry, arboreal marsupial of Australia - about 75cms long. Hows about that then...

Guess what we found sitting on a tree stump?

This large reptile was sitting on a log in the drive as we drove past. I picked up courage to take a snap at it. Sweet isn't it? It was about 16" long, honest. Val will tell us what type it is. He sat there as if frozen, not a whisker of a move. We left him to sit in the sun, as that is what they like to do...

Peanut Country

Kingaroy is the peanut capital of Australia, the aroma hits you when you get out the car in town. Lovely. Here is part of the factory.
This is the main road into the town and Dave's car is the silver one (don't know what sort!!).
Not much traffic about here at this time of day, 3ish.
This was the day it was cloudy, sorry folks.

The Drive

This is the drive from the house down to Burtons Road. If you click on the picture twice it will enlarge and you will see the post box at the bottom. There are some new trees growing on the left. You can also see the red soil. It is a dull day, which is unusual.
I think I might walk up and down the drive to lose weight, but haven't so far, should though, what with all those apple pies and cream teas.
I'll start in the morning - how about that!

Val's 4WD

Our transport, a roomy vehicle for us to use while here. I haven't driven it yet! I will try it on Burtons Road first. Then I will be away. Behind the 4WD is a water tank with some rather lovely murals covering it. You might see them later when I show a photo of Kaz - one of the dogs. The house is on the left.

Hill top look out on a cloudy day

Dave and Brian on a cloudy, somewhat nippy afternoon. We drove around the town and also to the Museum, Winery to taste wine and sample the cheese.
Brian looks cold but it is about 18C there, Dave is wearing short, shorts!
We leave there to go into town and have tea and a hot slice of apple tart and cream.

Tree Felling

On Tuesday we were going to the mountains with Dave our neighbour... the weather wasn't so good and by chance the men from the electricity board came to chop a tree down and cut another at the top, the one Brian is standing next to. The cables are above. The men are working in the other paddock and you can just see the logs already cut. They work very fast.
It is a good thing as we need logs as it is pretty nippy here at night.
Brian watched and waited until they had finished. They came back the next day to mulch the bits and pieces. Brian and I will scatter this around the trees and plants.
No mountains this morning but a good thing it is done. Perhaps this afternoon we will go out with Dave for a drive, not so far.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My cousin and I

Here I am with Angie on a lovely Sunday afternoon near to Yanchap National Park and the golf club. Her friend, Claire, took photos and Angie has sent this on to me. It is impossible to think we haven't seen each other for FIFTY YEARS.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Singapore Race Night

Don't I have a fat stomach. Oh dear, only just noticed that. Will have to cut back on pumpkin scones.
Here is the lovely Raywyn at the races.
We talked all the way through the races and they came along and made us stop chatting. Brian put our bets on and we loved the evening. So classy too.
I am pleased you can't see my ankles - they are bigger than my belly from the flight, if you look carefully, you can just peek a foot. I think I am full of air and water, that is my excuse...

Dinner at the races in Singapore

Brian is eating John Dory fillets with prawn balls while he watches the racing.
I met a new friend the lovely Raywyn from New Zealand - we did have fun while Brian won.
I will try to put more pictures on this page but as I am a novice at this blogging it might not happen. Wait and be patient!

The View From The Study

Here I am sitting at my desk while Brian sorts the wood, checking for snakes as he goes... It is a cloudy Sunday and we have been watching Beckham play his first game for LA Galaxy, he came on for only 12 minutes. They lost. Chelsea won.
We are using more wood than we thought, perhaps it is because we stay in and around. Perhaps it is because it is the coldest winter in Queensland since living memory, they say! Anyhow we need more wood and Brian will have to find it - somewhere.
He is wearing a hat Dave brought round last night when he came up for a roast dinner. I think we are supposed to wear them on Tuesday when he takes us to the Bunya Mountains, but it looks like Brian is cold and is wearing it now. We haven't got coats here so will have to wear a layer of fleeced jackets on Tuesday. We have joined the library and look up places of interest to go to. We are still hanging around here for a few more days cos we want to get used to the routine and also feel more at home with the place.
Some of our neighbours have introduced themselves and we give them eggs as we can't eat that many eh! In return we have been given avocados and pumpkins. I have made soup with the pumpkin and very good it is too.


Brian can remember going to Raffles Hotel in Singapore while he was in the RAF during the Fifties. Here he is in the hotel with the bust of the guy who started it all, I think, I am sure he will correct me if wrong! It was hot and humid that day. Too hot to hang around.
We went to an American diner in Raffles, not the garden with tea, not the restaurant with buffet, too expensive.
I was surprised how Singapore is - very clean, very friendly, and so interesting. It was a shame I was tired and too hot to do much. We will come back and stay longer - next year perhaps. There is so much more to see, two days isn't long enough.
Our hotel Miramar was just right, it was beside the river and at night we walked down and sat in a bistro and had tapas... it was very hot and very much alive. Stunning with the lights. The people. We liked it there, by the river, with our wine and prawns - tiger prawns.

House and Paddocks

This is the paddock where the goats are, the house is in the background. You can see why we just love it here. Val will have to dig us out when she comes back. There is still plenty of grass for the goats to eat. But, once it is is a little lower we will move the goats to the lower one, the one with the trees in. Look at that blue sky, it is about three in the afternoon and the temp is 21C.

We walk around the paddocks with the dogs, picking up wood and checking fences. Brian does it mostly! I do sometimes... If it is a day like this I do walk a bit.

I think it all looks pretty green but I am told of course it will change and become dry like Menorca I suppose in the summer, only hotter.


This is Max.
He likes to sit
in the sun.

Max likes to sleep on the sofa on his tartan rug at my feet. He sleeps usually all day and goes out all night. He has a collar with bells on and shakes himself outside our bedroom window each morning to wake us!
The Bell Tower Winery our first day in Kingaroy


This is my cousin's house in Yanchep near Perth. Angie and Brian are in the porch. We left there on the 8th July to fly to Brisbane.
Drive north-west from Brisbane on the D'Aguilar Highway and you'll climb into ranges clothed with hoop pine and eucallupt forest. Past the forestry towns of Benarkin, Blackbutt and Yarraman, where scenic drives and walking trails lead off through state forests and you enter the historic town of Nanango.

Then the country opens out to lush farmland around Kingaroy, the paddocks forming a chequerboard of green crops and deep red soil. This is peanut country and wine country.

With a detour into the low hills past Kingaroy teahouses welcome you with freshly baked dainties, townships entice you with craft shops.

In the south-west lies the brooding hills of the Bunyan Mountains.

Kingaroy has long been renowned as the peanut capital of Australia

These days, many of the hills around Kingaroy are decked with carefully tended vineyards. We can spend a day exploring these and having a Devonshire cream tea at Pottique near to our house.


A rather pensive Brian waiting for his pud at the winery on our first day. The views are stunning, I don't think he can believe he is Australia.


Brian being shown the ropes the first morning. This is the paddock behind the house, the one I look at while I write. I can see the goats and the dogs as well as trees and grass, it is very inspiring.
It is now 10 days since the photo and Brian has his tasks down to a fine art. His first job is to let the chooks free range in the lower paddock and collect eggs. He takes Kaz and Pol (Castor and Pollux) their food too. They eat side by side in the paddock where the goats are kept. It could be the top paddock or side or lower. The grass is still long where they are but we will keep our eyes on it and move them once the grass looks like it needs a rest.
I feed Max the cat. Look at emails. Not a lot but it keeps me busy until Brian comes back from checking water troughs and counting goats, hens.
This is the normal morning until about 9.00am. Then we breakfast outside in the sun.