Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Whoops here is the tree

It is a trick of the camera, didn't see it until I put this up - looks weird eh? Like the car is pushing the tree over.

Car washed and polished and ready to go to the bus for Val. She flew in from Vietnam this morning and is resting at a friend's until the bus at 4.15pm it takes three hours.

We will have a supper together and she will go out and hug the dogs and cat (her words on the phone this morning).

We can't tell you how much we have enjoyed it here, you only have to look through this blog and it's not over til the fat lady sings. Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Singapore, London - be prepared!

A last look around and a memory to take

You can't see the lovely bush with white flowers on the corner of the kitchen, I ought to know what it is but I don't.
The orange flowers just fading are the same as we had in Cala'n Bosch and we loved them - fading fast as summer starts here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Waiting for Mum

I made up Val's bed ready for her return and later, only five minutes, found Mr Max waiting for his mum to come home. He normally goes on our bed, but he found Val's door open and ready for her. Sweet!

Possum in Bob's den

This little fellow was up in the rafters of Bob's den where he has his siestas. Another possum was on the other side of the den - fast asleep.

We had our last afternoon tea with Bob and Vida - home made cakes and tea. Lovely.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


We are reaching the end of our stay. It has just gone too fast and we are really sorry to be leaving Queensland and esp Kingaroy and Burtons Road.

We have made many friends here, neighbours and otherwise. Namely Dave who was the first to make friends and take us out and about the area. Pauline and Geoff for their hospitality and friendship most weekends while they were here in Burtons Road. Damien O'Sullivan for helping us with a couple of bad days of confusement over water and electric fences and of course his family - invited us for dinner and lunch with his mum and dad too. Lovely people and I haven't finished yet.

For Bob and Vida who offered to get us logs for the winter, can't imagine it right now as it is in the 30s now. For our afternoon teas at theirs. Wanda and Steve for making us laugh.

Peter Wynn MD who saw us '2 for 1' when I found a spot on my face (nothing at all) and Brian's back pain.

Gaylene and Shane and their family, without them it would have been so different. We got to see how people lived day by day - how they survive with drought - how they make ends meet and how friendly these Aussies really are. They took us into their hearts and they will be missed dearly. I have adopted them as our kids so now we have 12 instead of ten. They are only 43 after all!

Gary and Kathy from Nanango we met on Brian's birthday and caught up with again a month later. Greg who took Brian up for his flight and the onlookers! My wine man who made it easy for a quick turnaround in the drive-in licquer store.

To Angie - because this wouldn't have happened, it was her that made us come, made me go on that plane for 12 hours. For Samantha for being just her, my new cousin and how many years we've missed.

To Elizabeth my helper and advisor on my novel in US - I don't know what I would have done without her guidence.

Last and the most important Valerie Sapin the woman who took us on to look after her beloved home, dogs, cat, goats and chooks. To her we give thanks to help us carry out Brian's dream of visiting Australia. He has done it and ticked it. But, I think he will be back in the 'out of flies' season.

Tara with Bubbles her brown calf plus her two new calves

Tara adopted Bubbles about three weeks ago. He is blind and is stumbling about, but Tara has also taken these two young ones on and they love Bubbles to bits. He will improve with age and will be good with eyesight in around six months hopefully.

Their horse is having a bit of a nose around I reckon. Taking a slight interest in the young calves.

Terry with his trophies for bull riding

Terry came second last weekend for his bull riding at a rodeo, we didn't go to see him but he is showing us his trophies at his house.

We are at Gaylene and Shane's ranch for a lovely roast lunch all done on a bbq with English roast spud esp for us. It is a hot days and the many flies made us go in to eat. There were nine of us in all. Lovely day.
Not sure about his hat, but look at the buckle on his belt. Wow!

My secretary Max

He isn't working hard enough in the office - here he is after a night in the paddocks, he falls asleep near to where I am, or on my bed.

I will miss him.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Three week old Alexander

No, not one of my grandchildren, my Alexander is 16 and lives in Sweden! This is a neighbour's grandchild and I believe it is his first evening party! He is gorgeous and was just over 7lb when born, think about it? That is over 2lb heavier than Tabitha was!
I can't wait to have Tabitha in my arms, only two weeks now - well a day or two more...

Pauline's 70th birthday surprise

Jeff held a surprise party for Pauline. We all turned up at Bob's to wait for them and it was a surprise. They thought they were going up for supper. We were about 14 and had a great time eating cold meat and salad and the lovely birthday cake.

Pauline blowing out candles.

Wanda and Steve (neighbours down the hill) looking merry.

Bob and Brian in conversation

Jeff and Pauline have now gone back to Brisbane but will meet us off the coach from Kingaroy on the 19th and take us to a seafood restaurant overlooking the sea. After a tour, on to their house and a cuppa - then we go to Brisbane Airport to take a Virgin Blue flight to Sydney where we stay in the Intercontinental Hotel for only one night - overlooking the harbour with a 'bridge view'. We don't arrive until 9pm so we will take a snack in our room and then next day just wander about and have lunch in the hotel before heading off to the airport for our flight to Perth.

OK one day in Sydney might not be enough but we will come back if we like it! We want to see Angie and Samantha in Perth again before leaving Oz so we changed our itinerary - otherwise we would have gone direct to Singapore from Brisbane. Life is hectic, specially after all this lovely time in the country methinks!

Dogs and horses

I just love this picture of Caz and Pol sitting while we look at the fence. They have walked with us around the big paddocks and are tired out by the heat of the sun. Every time we stop to look at the fence, they sit down. Don't blame them, I would too, but might sit on a snake or something else.

There are wild dogs the other side of the fence, with pups. We hear them howling at night and want to make sure the fence is working. As it happened it wasn't at this time so Damien came up and helped Brian find the short, think I mentioned that before. Once mended it went quite for a time - then they started howling again so we moved the goats down to just below our house. The grass is greener there too so they should enjoy a good old chomp on that.

The other picture is of Caz coming to the fence for a bone. The horses in the picture ' double click on the pic if you can't see them' belong to Alice and Wade our neighbours on the left of Val's property. An hour after this photo was taken we had a tremendous storm with lots of rain, good. We should have some healthy grass and our tank should be full. Brian will have to push it up to the main tank in the morning...

Damien and Neralie and their 'for sale' house and one of me!

It certainly looks very comfy and all mod cons inside including air con and stove in the sitting room. Main bedroom en-suite. Shame it is too far away for us but we could always rent it out I suppose?

The gardens are to die for and the views too. Quiet with only two other houses nearby, that is all I could see anyway. A seven minute drive into town without passing one other car! Well almost!

Brian and Damien looking at the paddock

Damien is showing Brian the extent of the land included in the sale of this house. The paddock they are looking at could be rented out to someone with horses or cattle to keep the grass down.

At least there won't be any new homes built on this piece! There are many estates popping up in Kingaroy and we have been to see them but not very much land, if any, goes with them.

Neralie taking cuttings

This is the orchard with every type of fruit you can imagine - including banana.

This day is beautiful and the sky is the bluest blue and the heat is coming up more than I can stand - it is about 33c and it is only ten in the morning and this is spring!

House for sale. Damien and Neralie are selling this one.

This is the brick house they are selling, they moved from this one to the Queenslander with the acres for their new life.

This house is lovely, we have come here today to look at it and for Neralie to take some cuttings, to rehouse them, for her other garden.

This house has 5 acres including a paddock and a fruit orchard.

Damien is standing looking at the house and I wonder what he is thinking?

Neralie and Damien's Queensland House

This is a typical Queensland house and Damien and Neralie have only been in situ for 10 months. They have made plans to renovate and lovingly restore it to how they want it.

It is set in about 420 acres of lovely paddocks. The soil here is the typical red soil of Kingaroy and the grass is the greenest we have seen.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Damien and Neralie O'Sullivan at their ranch

Damien is our main man. He comes up to fix our electric fence when Brian can't find the short. Only been up twice so Brian did pretty well in the three months.

Promised an evening to this house so he invited us to have pizza with the family. Here we are on a balmy October evening.

They bought this typical Queensland house a year ago - it is huge with very high ceilings, a very big verandah and the kitchen is Shaker style - is that right? think so!
Neralie works as a teacher for special needs and Damien works at an agricultural research station where Val worked. Damien and Neralie spent two years in the Falklands before buying this farm of 420 acres.

Damien O'Sullivan and Noel O'Sullivan

Noel tells us his family is from Cork, so we have more links with Dessie Kavanagh and Luke Kelly, all hailing from the same area. You never know they might all have known each other, in the past, their grandparents...

Neralie, Damien and Monica

Monica (on the left) is Damien's sister and lives in Haywards Heath, Sussex with her husband, who isn't here, but she is doing her annual visit to the family. Monica and Noel are going to visit her next summer and we might to another house sit for them to look after their dog. I think it will be June if we do! You never know!
Notice the ladder with the kitchen utensils? Good idea isn't it?
Neralie is serving the pizza and concentrating on the portion size I reckon.

Grandma Maureen with Callum

I don't know how Callum managed to eat two slices of pizza after his giant bag of smarties we took him.
By the way, it is ginger beer Callum is drinking, not gin and lemon.
Maureen and Noel brought along a big bag of lemons from their garden, huge they are too.

Damien made the pizzas and cooked them in the pizza oven outside - we were going to eat outside but we seemed settled in the cozy kitchen and also there were a lot of flying insects, mostly moths. And you know Dad with moths!!!!

Marita tries to attack Jacob

This is the second attempted knife attack in Australia. Weird eh? Only joking of course. Jeff picked up a knife in an earlier photos of us, if you look back.

Anyway back to Jacob and Marita - they have been doing the washing up after our pizza meal and look full and happy.

Lovely Ozzie family meal and really privileged to be invited along.

Earlier Neralie took us out to see her cow feeding two calves, one of them adopted. They have 420 acres and the soil is the famous red soil found in Kingaroyshire. Beautiful farm and good luck to them, they have only been there since December.
Neraline and Damien spent two years in the Falkland Islands with the family and we spent time looking at the photos on the pc.

Damien, Noel and Kyra

Kyra gave a musical performance just before this picture was taken, I will try to upload it on to this blog, might not be able to though... watch this space.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pokies in RSL

Pokies - that is the name of the machines played here. Most pubs have a room full of them and this one is at the RSL Club in Kingaroy. You can just make out Gaylene and Shane in the aisle.

RSL is for people who served in the armed forces - if I am wrong, let me know, but that is what I understood it to be. Gaylene took us there for a Full Australian Breakfast with all the usual suspects including mince ( I know!).
We filled up on everything and Dad finished off with scones and cream with strawberry jam so I reckon that is where he got his energy to climb the mountain we went to later. But then so did I.

Roast Dinner at Ours

Pauline - Jeff - Dave - Brian making their way to the table for a roast.

One of the hottest evenings, about 29 degrees still at 5.30pm. It gets dark here at 5.55pm - quite early. They don't put their clocks forward in summer like we do so they have shorter days in the summer than we do in UK and Spain.

Wondai Museum Hospital and Brian

The museum in Wondai is the best yet - sorry Kingaroy! We spent at least an hour looking around and then two hours talking to the folk running it. Such care and attention taken in everything and cold water offered and a chair when you finish walking around.

We went for a meal in a hotel after this and it was a hotel that Pauline's parents used to own way back... We sat on the verandah and ate scallops, prawns and calamari - very nice.

Didn't take a picture of it, sorry.


We drove to Wondai last Saturday and had a super day there. We looked in the antique centre but didn't find anything in our price bracket - as you can imagine stuff from UK was really expensive. Did see a lovely set of silver spoons and tongs Edinburgh 1921 for a hundred quid - so put them back on the shelf. Hm! Too expensive for us.

We took this picture of the hotel in town, typical of Queensland, lovely building.

Happy Team's foal and Louise

Happy Team is Louise's mare and this is Happy Team's foal with Louise standing by. I have no idea what his/her name is - so let us know Louise?
Must have been one of those rare sunny days in Somerset this summer?

Bob and Vida

This was taken about a month ago at Pauline's BBQ evening. Bob has many tales to tell - he keeps us amused and amazed at the tales of Australia.

Parrot on my head

This was taken last weekend, I forgot to put it on - mainly because I look so silly. I do look like I'm frightened to death and after all it is only a parrot.