I am trying to catch up with all the updates I have to do! I have been so busy but I guess that is no excuse. One has to MAKE time, I know. Well here goes. We had to go to Brisbane or Brissie as we call it on September 17th. We decided to go by train to give Nan the opportunity to experience the joyride. That is something one wouldn’t dare to do in South Africa, far too dangerous. We travelled from Helensvale station (our closest station on the Gold Coast) to Brisbane CBD. The seats are very comfy and one doesn’t mind the time it takes to get there, which is little over an hour. On our way back we walked along the pretty path in Southbank. Please feel free to view some of the photos we have taken by following this link. I wish I had more time to elaborate on this but for those who want to know more please visit their website. Tonight is André Rieu’s show and I am counting the hours! Be back for more! J
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As I have mentioned earlier we went to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the heart of Lamington National Park on Sunday. A perfect day, as usual! The drive takes about 1½ hours from home. Narrow and ascending its way up to about 920ft above sea level. One doesn’t mind though because the views are breathtaking! Pity there isn’t much room to stop on your way to take photo’s. We arrived there just after 10am. We did the tree top walk first where we met the king parrots half way and explored the lovely garden someone lovingly created. We jokingly gave our donation in the fixed metal boxes and told Nan that she had to ‘pay’ too to avoid being prosecuted as there are camera’s around. There is controlled bird feeding everyday at 11am. You buy a ticket for $4 and receive a bowl of specially selected seed. A small donation for getting up close and personal with these gorgeous feather friends. Please take time and have a look at their website : http://www.oreillys.com.au/ Here are some of the photos we took. Enjoy and remember all comments are welcome. J
Monday, September 14, 2009
On September 2nd we "discovered" the Outback Spirit with Australian Outback Spectacular, an evening dinner show presented by R.M.Williams, filled with outback music, drama and action. This is a permanent attraction on the Gold Coast is set in a giant 1000 seat arena with a cast of larger than life characters and amazing animals. (Cameras are strictly forbidden so one has to go on their website to see more of the venue itself.)
Guests are split into two groups after they receive their free stockmen’s hats with maroon or oatmeal coloured head-bands. The different head-bands depict the station the members of the audience will be barracking and cheering for as they 'battle' it out to bring home the ultimate prize of “top station”. The competition between the stockmen and women of Austral Downs and Wondoola Station gets underway.
We were from team Wondoola. Crack riders from each station show what they are made of as they hang from their saddles at full gallop to race their flags to the finish line. Who will hang the most hats on the homestead and win the title of “top station”?
The tradition of bush-storytelling and bush-poetry around the campfire is an old one; Lose yourself in a mystical campfire rendition of Waltzing Matilda and our national epic – The Man from Snowy River as a mouthwatering and tantalizing array of Aussie food is served during Australian Outback Spectacular! May I add that the red wine we had was out of this world. I rarely drink alcohol but when I tried it, I had to have another glass!
One has to be there to experience the true spirit. Wish you were there!
One has to be there to experience the true spirit. Wish you were there!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Coolangatta … some of you will know that this is my favourite place to be! Its beauty can not be captured by photo’s… one has to be there! We took Nan there last Sunday not only to show her around but also to browse among the stuff at the Flea Market. Marlize was lucky not to be working so she went along. As you can see it was a perfect day! Sometimes I wish I could have you all here so you can enjoy it too. Have a look at the pics.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
There is a reason why I haven’t updated my blog .... Apart from getting everything ready for her, she arrived here on Monday night! Yes I am talking about my mom! We haven’t seen her for almost 3½ years! Welcome Mom! Hope your time here with us will be nothing but unforgettable! Oh and by the way: we have a H U G E surprise for her! Please keep it a secret!!! We bought tickets to see André Rieu!!!!! He will be at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on October 22nd! She is going to be blown away when we tell her! I am just as excited! In the meantime I will do my very best to keep you updated on what is happening in our lives.... :) ♫♪ ♪ ♥
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The view to the South East where one can see Coolangatta in the far end
The view to North West where one can see the Broadwater
Surfer Paradise is the very heart of the Gold Coast. I also gathered when someone spoke of the Gold Coast they actually meant Surfers… The Gold Coast is huge…. it’s situated just below (Brissie) Brisbane on the map. (Gold Coast’s beautiful coastline is 40km!) This is what I call home. It has so much to offer and if you are a keen explorer, this is the place to start! The Hinterland is has a beauty of its own. We have all the fun attractions here as well, naming Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n Wild, Dream World and more! What I’m saying is that this is the place for old and young. This is tourist world! Lol! On our honeymoon in 2005 the famous Q1 building was still being built. Tourists were allowed to view the display apartments which were on the 40th floor. We were at the right time at the right place so we took the opportunity.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I dedicate this post to a dear friend… Hmm she knows who she is. LOL! The particular photo (of me) were taken at Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville – and you guessed it: it was a dream come true! They are so soft and cuddly – the closest I could describe it was to a sheep’s skin. Hubby took this photo while we were on honeymoon. Much to his relief because all I could talk about was holding a koala! I would never forget this day, or the feeling of a living toy in my arms! Just look at the close up of the little one's face - a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!
These were taken at David Fleay Park on the Gold Coast. It was hard leaving him behind...
Friday, July 24, 2009
I wanted to do and informative post about them but decided not to. The reasons simply because one could easily Google it and find all you want to know, in detail. I’ll just share the experience I have had of them. Apart from finding them in your back yard a good idea is to visit your local Sanctuary. Why? Because they are extremely laid back there. I am talking about our famous Currumbin Sanctuary. There’s a vending machine where tourists can buy a bag of mixed seed/pellets and hand feed them. Some Roo’s hang around the machine, not because they don’t have small change but because they know too well what it’s all about! LOL!
When you handfeed them they don’t even open their eyes. They just munch on everything in slow mode. So funny! Then when there’s a Joey in the pouch they even look more hilarious! I could not imagine myself being curled up like that and have my legs dangling halfway outside. Flexible is not the word. But they can be dangerous too. Not under normal circumstances. Only if they are wounded or cornered, as most animals can be. When they fight, they do so by grabbing each other with their front paws and kicking with their back legs.
These photo’s are living proof just how laid back they can be. Marlize puts her hands under his body, then slowly lifts him up and then, even higher. He is not even bothered! Doesn’t he know we could have easily have kidnapped him that day? I mean seriously, they are cool dudes. Cute and cuddly too.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The common wombat is the largest burrowing herbivorous mammal. The closest relative of the wombat is, in fact, the koala. Who would have guessed? With its short tail and legs, characteristic waddle and 'cuddly' appearance, the wombat is one of the most endearing of Australia's native animals, and of course almost the cutest! This one I am holding weighed a whopping 20 kgs! If you think he is adorable you should see their young! This was photo was taken in Northern Qld, Townsville’s Billabong Sanctuary.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I was about to post this last night when my pc just shut down. It has a mind of its own LOL – so here goes: We had another blissful day out there in the sun. We went to Burleigh Heads again to see if we could get a glimpse of the whales…. No luck! However we finished the full circle of the walk we have done last time. It was awesome. I wish I could post all the photos. Once I have my new computer/laptop, I’ll do that!
So where were we? I guess I have to post some pics of JJ and me in Sydney. Please bear in mind it was taken in 2005. Sydney is a great place for a week end getaway or if you love the night life. I wouldn’t want to live there because I recon it is too busy.
You know I am so glad to be here in Australia. I couldn’t help myself for feeling so grateful for the life we have here. I have
already taken so many things for granted (unknowingly!) and today I pondered upon the reasons why we migrated here. Maybe it was because our friends whom had only being here 7 months, wanted to go back to the RSA. I gave them a list of the things I reasoned for them to reconsider moving back. Well, or at least give it another thought. A serious thought. Migration isn’t for sissies. I certainly wouldn’t want them to regret going back. Anyway, people live up to their own decisions – meantime I’ll stay focused on my journey and enjoy the ride.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Just to satisfy your curiosity I thought I should add these two photos as well. In my previous post I had a photo where Queensland and New South Wales met and just to get your direction right, the airplane was turning towards the sea, in other words facing East where it was going to turn in a Northern direction, then left again, which is West. (Confused? Don’t worry!) In other words the aircraft almost made a full circle. So in the one photo you can see Burleigh Heads (remember we went for a morning walk there?) and the other, Tugun closing in on Gold Coast Airport. On that specific day we came all the way from Sydney. My goodness I should tell you how all started! Hmm let me take you on my journey! Buckle up!
I don’t want to bore you with all the details but (for the sake of my million Followers) I shall try to tell all in a nut shell. LOL! When JJ and I got married we both decided that the honeymoon was going to be in Australia. Instead of honeymooning on an Idyllic Island, we wanted to explore Queensland as much as we could in the three weeks we had. Maybe I should have started in Sydney! Hang on I’ll get there! LOL! If you don’t want to hear this, skip to tomorrow’s post! J
We got married on Saturday March 5th and had our flight booked for Monday afternoon. (In those days there were no week end flights available) So on Monday at 6pm on March 7th we boarded flight QF64. The plan was to fly to Sydney and then to Brisbane where one of JJ’s friends will meet us at the airport.
We got two boarding tickets and thought it was a bit odd and then just indulged into the blissful time awaiting us.
Oh and I have to tell you that I had a special journal with me where I wanted to record every thing we experienced – why not? This was our honeymoon and the first ever overseas trip in my life! I was super excited! So we boarded the plane, cuddled up like lovers do and counted the hours to Paradise! I gave my journal to one of the hostesses for the Captain to sign! The whole crew did! Got the journal back with well wishes and a bottle of French Champagne! How sweet was that! (Made me feel like a queen)
Anyway when we landed at Sydney the following day at 16H00 we just took off in a cab and booked in at the cutest Hotel. Dropped our bags and set off to the Opera House. We explored the streets, the beautiful parks and just couldn’t get enough of how romantic all was. Later we sat in the Harbour and watched how people enjoyed supper at candle light and listened to musicians playing beautifully outside. My heart was in heaven! JJ took million of photos – which I will share soon. At around 22H00 we got a bit tired and decided to go back to the hotel. JJ said he will call Daniel tomorrow just to make sure he meets us at the airport. I don’t know why but I suggested he call him right away, since they were an hour behind Sydney. He did and to our surprise Daniel was worried sick about us but glad to hear from us. Why? Well, you guessed it: we missed our connection flight to Brisbane! We totally and honestly forgot that we were actually going to fly into ‘the future’ from South Africa! Yeah, Sydney is 8 hours ahead of Johannesburg! That is why we got 2 boarding tickets! Duh! Anyway we booked another flight and this time to Gold Coast … cost us about ZAR1200 but worth every cent!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I came up with a great idea this morning – I would post one of my favourite photos on my blog everyday. Okay, I’ll try to do it everyday! JJ took this photo from the airplane as were about to land on Gold Coast Airport in Coolangatta. The interesting thing about this photo is that we had no knowledge of this place at all until then. Who would have guessed that we would call this home in future? Me at the least!
Anyway by doing this everyone reading my blog would come to know more about Australia, its people and wild life here. One thing I can say is that the beaches here are just as beautiful as those in South Africa. I would never have imagined that I would become so fond of the beach because way back in South Africa I was a wild life warrior! LOL Yeah mom had a farm bordering on the mighty Olifants River where are animals roamed freely. I remember my first experience hearing a lion roared far away as a little girl vividly. It sent tremors down my spine! Some day I would love to share more about it.
Today was another perfect sunny day. This is paradise! When you hear the parrots, watch them while they enjoy their feed it is hard to believe it’s not! Look out your invitation to watch them at my house soon. J
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When we got up this morning we decided to head down South. After we ran some errands of course. It might be good just to recharge so to speak. Always good for the soul. There was another reason as well: Marlize is seriously considering a career change. (Who can blame her, her mom took that brave step!) It so happens that the Defence Force's recruitment offices are located there. At first I was a little concerned but I have to set my feelings aside and let her make her own choices. She is still young and have the world at her feet. Afterwards we drove to Point Danger to see if we were lucky to see some whales migrating north. Unfortunately not today.
When we got back home I got a text message from an old friend of mine. They also migrated to Australia and lived here since November last year. She said they were on their way back to South Africa. I was totally shocked and thought of it to be a joke. Turns out that she was dead serious. Her husband settled in well in his new job and her son was just as happy as a year 11 student. She couldn't adapt. She said that she missed her country too much and that after trying for months now, she couldn’t get her heart settled here. I couldn’t convince her to give it another go - at least for another couple of months. It is very sad because often families settle in well, all but maybe the wife or the children. Some just can't cope with the 'demands' a migrant has to put up with. Migrating is not for everyone. You give up everything and have to start all over. There is the initial culture shock. Yes, I do admit there are things here that differs like day and night from South Africa. So it should be because this is Australia. There are literally thousands of South African families living in Australia and I thought it might of helped her to get in touch with them. She lives about an hour's drive from us and I so wish I could have made the difference for her.
My fears for them are that they would not settle back into life in South Africa again - after tasting life here. It is so safe here. You don’t have to live behind bars to sleep soundly - you don’t have to have armed response on top of your electric fencing... I could go on and on. Yes I do miss my friends (both black and white) dearly but I also have many new friends here. They might not be as close as the ones I had but Rome wasn’t built in one day either.
I am sad for them. I am grateful for what we have here. This is where we chose to be. This is the future, for us. I am not in her shoes so I can't say she has lost her marbles, although I seriously think they should reconsider.
Friday, July 3, 2009
I am super excited and I recon I'll be totally stress free in no time! Does this make sense? LOL! Who cares, you know what I mean! We are about to launch our application for Permanent Residence! So this involves a lot! We had most of our documents ready: as a matter of fact being a Virgo, ahem, I always have everything organized! Yep! Right, so the documents have been sent to our Agent and the only things outstanding are our (1) Police Clearance from South Africa (although we have not gone back since we arrived here 3 years ago), (2) Australian Federal Police Clearance and lastly our (3) Medicals.
We saw the Doctors on Monday to get the paperwork ready and had gone for our chest x-rays as well. That is to check if we have Tuberculosis. So on Thursday we had to go back to do a blood test (HIV) and a general check up. So it was with my x-ray the doctor questioned the ‘stuff’ in my neck. LOL! Well I replied that I have declared in my form that I have had a neck operation - although I didn’t have to. (It was done more than 5 years ago and one only needs to declare those done within the last 5 years.) Okay so I had to explain why I said I had two disc prosthesis fitted in my neck. I was the first person who had those plastic 'rings; fitted instead of them using part of my hip bone and fuse everything together. (At that time in 2003) Well I could clearly see the surprising look on his face and he said: If you had that done in South Africa and have been pain free till today, it is clearly a miracle. I immediately knew what he meant between the lines. Well, Dr. What'shisname in South Africa the lions and the buffalo don’t roam in the city streets as so many people think! (If you don’t know much about Africa I don’t blame you!) South Africa has highly respected specialists operating in state of the art hospitals... The only thing I could say was, yeah the operation was a huge success. I told him that they prepared me mentally that it might be necessary to take some bone from my hip. The very first thing I could remember when I came to was wriggling my hand down to my hip only to find NO covered wound!
I was told that was the part of any neck operation that would be the most painful afterwards. I was ecstatic! So my dear Readers this wasn't a ‘normal’ fusion but I have two disc prosthesis in my neck, one between C5&C6 and one between C4&C5. An operation done by both a Neurosurgeon and Orthopedic surgeon. So why am I doing this silly post? Well just to let people know South Africa was once a first world country. One day I would tell little by little about that small place on earth. Oh and also about the Game Farm we had alongside the famous Paul Kruger National Park. Back to our application: I have to go see an Orthopedic/Neurosurgeon to get a report. For interesting sake I post a pic of me in hospital and a scan of the famous plastic in my body!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Since it has been raining for the last ten days I have nothing else to put on my lonely blog.. But this pic is super cute don’t you think? JJ and Gramps enjoying a rugby game… or let me re-phrase: JJ is so into the game and Gramps is in a coma-like sleep.;) Anyway because of the weather we had to
explore stay indoors on Sunday. I could post some photo’s on my web album which Readers might find interesting but… My computer is not in the mood to co-operate. It is so slow and appears fragile… Well since I grant everybody/anything to have a ‘bad’ day I’ll forgive this attitude for now!. J To my Followers: Hang in there and please be patient, you won’t be disappointed.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Those of you following should know by now that we love exploring places on Sundays. Well JJ decided that today was the day to climb the hill at Burleigh Heads… It was
as usual worth it.
The sun was out and smiling so were the scenery! I always have my camera handy and JJ had his. (Last week his memory card decided to be no more… LOL) He then had to scale down his image quality to be able to use his memory card he got with the camera. I think he can only take up to 16 photos with that one. What a joke. I’ll remind him to replace the better one. We lost beautiful photos he had taken the previous week from the Q1 at night with the reflection in the waterway. Talking about the Q1 building: it became the landmark for the Gold Coast. Situated in the heart of Surfers Paradise, called Surfers for short, the 80 storey building is the highest residential building in the world. We still have to visit the deck for appreciate the view from there. Want to know more? Go to http://www.qdeck.com.au/
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Today we celebrate my eldest daughter’s birthday. We had a lovely Aussie
brekkie breakfast this morning at the Oasis Centre in Broadbeach. There are more restaurants than shops but hidden on their upper level are a few boutiques! We didn’t plan to shop but a bit of window shopping never killed anyone! As we passed a funky shop where half the stock were marked down to $10 it really got our attention! I have never been an impulsive buyer but was curious to see what they had. Two things I don’t ever do is: I don’t buy clothes I don’t need and I hate wasting food. I don’t know why some restaurant serves such huge portions. Before I get carried away – we did indeed buy some nice shirts. I would also like to post this photo taken at the restaurant where we had brekkie breakfast. The people that had left before us just left the bill together with the cash on the table. To some that is normal but to us coming from South Africa, it brought back memories. Let me explain: you would never do that there, the cash will be stolen before you say “Bob’s your uncle’! Yeah Oz is where people should appreciate what they have taken for granted so long.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
This ‘festival’ is an annual event held at Coolangatta/Tweed Heads** during June. It is a must see for any car enthusiast! It takes you back to the Rock ‘N Roll era and some of the attractions include live performing bands, dancing, a flea market and of course the cars! (That’s the main reason we go every year!) We just walk amongst them all, admiring and taking
millions lots and lots of photo’s. Bless the Founder of digital cameras! Imagine all the film rolls I would have wasted. LOL! You know all the time and money spent restoring those beauties amazes me! Mostly they are restored to their original state. I have posted some of our photos on my web album - it is impossible to upload all of them as there could be well over 1200… I would have loved to select the best of them I simply don’t have the time. It was a lovely sunny day – didn’t even feel a breeze! That’s how we experienced the Gold Coast: the lovely weather outweighs the windy, wet and tropical cyclones so often heard of happening right here in the South East corner of Queensland. Actually when they talk about the South East of Qld they mean from Brisbane to the Southern border aka Gold Coast. (Coolangatta is the very South East end of Queensland and Tweed Heads is the very North East corner of New South Wales)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Oh my dear! I have been awarded again! I am so honoured Jen! Thank you! ( Have a look at Jen’s blog http://lilyangelinesmommy.blogspot.com/) She has become very special to me.
Phew, naming my top 10 favorite blogs is kinda hard so I am just going to list them in no particular order. Jen you would have been on the list anyway!
Last night we went to see the Buddy Holly Show in
Brissie Brisbane with friends from Maroochydore. While we were waiting for them (since they came from the opposite side of Qld) we enjoyed wandering around in Southbank. We came across which looked like a temple memorial from Japan. I couldn’t resist and pretended to be a tourist while JJ took the photo. I jokingly said I should send it to Erika who now lived in Beijing – pretending we had been in Japan for a weekend! Lol! I would then tell her that this was the only pic we could save! As if she’ll fall for it! Well, the show was awesome! I haven’t had that such a great time in a long time. You know one needs to see similar shows like that more often. It is so good for the soul. J
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Tim Tams need no introduction in Australia and I have seen some in South Africa too! They are simply
delicious irresistible! One bite and you’re hooked! You can have them as a snack treat at any time. It’s a healthy alternative filler and if you do search the origin you’ll find that it is made of a vegetable! So according to my thorough research, it is good for you! J Beware of imitations …. The yummiest way enjoying them is by biting two opposite corners then use it as a 'straw'! (True Australian tradition) Feel the melting goodness in your mouth!
Jen you are cordially invited for a cuppa with an original Tim Tam! Followers and all other readers are welcome too!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Lilly's mommy, Jen ( http://lilyangelinesmommy.blogspot.com) gave me this award! Thanks JenJen! I love all awards ' cause it makes one feel special! Everybody wants to be special!
Those who don’t know, here are the rules:
1. When given the award, you write about seven things that you love.
1. I love the Lord: He’s the One who raised me up.
2. I love my husband just for being himself. He is truly my better half.
3. I love my children. I couldn’t imagine my life without them… with them my cup runneth over!
4. I love my mom. She is a very, very special lady.
5. I love my cat, my wild garden birds …. Oh can I say I love ALL animals? ;)
6. I love little old me… because in my Father’s eyes I am perfect and made whole.
7. I love Tim Tams….actually I am addicted to them! They say there is no cure...
Here is the 7 Bloggers I nominate:
Little Miss Hopeful
A Pity I can not award all of you... Well to all the Bloggers I follow: Awards to you too! :)
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Am I lazy or am I too busy? Neither really! Oh and there is a twist in the tale ... I had to give up Miss Ashes. Yeah I was kinda torn between keeping her or searching for her owner. I would have hate having her only to surrender her later to her real owner. She had a microchip so there was no way of bypassing that. :) Too make a very long story short, I found her owner. She lived close by and had her only for two days when she went missing. She was so relieved that "Lizzy" was well and alive she couldn't thank me more. To her it was okay for Lizzy to visit us every now and again... but you know and I know it doesn't work that way. :) Cats live where they feel loved and safe, not that this wasn't the case. I think she was just lonely as her owner works from very early till late every day. Lizzy was to be kept indoors for at least three weeks so she knows where her home is. Well needless to say, she was there for one night and came right back to us.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Yes, I know it has been a while. I was so busy reading other blogs that I follow religiously that I couldn't get myself to sit and update my own! Don't worry you didn't miss out on anything! Just a quick update though: a cat walked into our lives! Exciting! Yes I hear you laughing.... didn't I say that my blog can be very boring! Hmmmm. Anyway since my last post we have had a little visitor who we named Ashes - a beautiful 'domestic' cat? I don't know but she pretty much look like a Russian Blue! I wish! Since I love all animals, I took her in. I did not really made a good effort in searching for her owner - to be quite honest I haven't had the time to go and do just that. She is still very thin and needs a bath. She must have been on her own for quite some time. She just adopted us rather than the other way around. I am actually a dog person but had a cat when I was little. She is so lovely and one can see by her manners that she was taught well. She even had stitches on her belly but all her hair has grown back - it must have been a while since she has been desexed? My husband had since snipped it. I promise I will take her to the RSPCA to check if she has a micro chip. What else? Oh the de-cluttering of the house is still on track. I have made tremendous progress. Still a little more I want to do. I won't stop untill I feel it is perfect. Well here is a pic of Miss Ashes....