Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Forty-five

Monday saw me celebrate another year, in this case it was my 45th Birthday.

I didn't have any plans except to spend the day with lovely hubby after the kids had gone to school.

How well he knows how much I love to go for a drive, even when it's cool, raining and misty.  That's usually the perfect stay-at-home kind of weather but it was nice to be driving around in it as long as I wasn't the one behind the wheel.





We headed up Maleny way and the more we climbed, the cloudier it got.  It brought back many memories of taking the same route in the school bus when I was in high school although the road was a bit more of a goat track back then.

Hubby was going to take me somewhere so we could go for a bushwalk but the weather wasn't very walk friendly and we weren't dressed for it either so we sort of did a bit of a funny loop through many of the hinterland back roads, avoiding most of the traffic.



He ended up taking me to Rick's Garage  for lunch which is a bit of an institution in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.




It's an old garage and auto workshop that has been converted into a diner chock full of memorabilia.  Everywhere you look there's something to capture your attention or read and the atmosphere is pretty fun.




The place is popular for its live music on the weekends and also has a Whiskey Bar which is open on Thursday's through to Sunday (I think..).




Being a diner, burgers are the main food staple of the place but there is also a choice of a couple of seafood meals as well as some salads if that's what you prefer. They also serve Ribs later in the week but as it was a Monday it was the basic menu for us.  We went for the burgers of course which were huge and very filling.




The bar area reflects the restaurant's former life with plenty of chrome and memorabilia throughout.




There's even a beer garden to one side which is on the site of the old scrap yard (cleaned up now of course!)






Thank you lovely hubby for a wonderful 'me' kind of day for my birthday.  I do love a drive and good food.

We also celebrated with cake once the kids got home from school and other members of my family came to visit to help eat the cake because there was plenty!  No photos though.

Wishing you all a wonderful week and for those of my blogging friends who are struggling a little right now for various reasons, I send you hugs, warm thoughts and good luck wishes.

xx Susan


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Brisbane Part 3- The Commissariat Stores Museum

I wasn't going to do another post on my trip to Brisbane but I decided that I really had to talk about the Commissariat Store Museum that I had never heard of and found out about by chance.

It was incredible and right in the heart of the city, only a couple of hundred metres from the Queen Street Mall so it's very easily accessible.




The Commissariat Store Museum is the oldest habitable building still standing in Brisbane and was made by the convicts during 1828 and 1829.  Well the bottom two floors were made then and the third floor was added on in the early 1900's.





The lower two floors of the current building are part of the original building and the bricks for these were cut from the Kangaroo Point cliffs just around the bend in the river.




The retaining walls surrounding the building were made from other various quarries around the area and the mortar was made from crushed shells from the Aboriginal middens over on Moreton Island where there was another convict settlement at the time.

The shells were mixed with sand which created a lime mortar to help hold the walls together.




The building still has the original beams holding it all together and you can see the rough hewn marks in them from when they were first made.








The lower floor is home to the early history of the city itself and how it was built around the convict settlement at this site.  There's plenty of models of the different buildings that were built there over time and other interesting information about the early days of the city.




There's even a clear panel in the floor which shows a section of the original drainage system under the building.




I was fortunate enough to have a lovely volunteer named Barbara as my guide.  You can explore the building and the museum on your own if you wish but if one of their volunteer guides are available then I highly recommend you take up the offer.  The extra stories and history that you find out is pretty incredible.




The middle floor has more Queensland history, not just Brisbane and includes a display on many of the shipwrecks as well as a section on the Great War.

I can't say any kind of straight jacket would be comfortable but this one looks pretty horrendous to me.


There's even a nice corner where you can sit for awhile and read some of the history of Brisbane and Queensland as well.

I'm so glad that I stumbled upon this wonderful little museum in the heart of the city which has also been the home of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland since 1981.

  If you ever get the chance to be in the city and have an hour to spare then I highly recommend you pop in for a visit.




Just to prove it is in the heart of the city.  The next photo is one I took on my first afternoon from South Bank looking across to the city centre before I had even heard about the place.  I've circled where the Commissariat Store Museum is for you.




The Commissariat wasn't the only Museum I visited.  There is also a very small, and free museum on the third floor of Brisbane's Town Hall.

I had about half an hour to spare before lunch one morning so decided to pop in and have a look.




The Museum itself only takes up a few rooms and has information regarding the history and the growing city of Brisbane.  Exhibitions are also held in rooms off the main museum area and there is usually a charge to go and see them.

Even if you don't head up to see the museum, it's worth walking through the front doors to look at the amazing foyer.




The foyer is really beautiful from the marble staircases one each side to the tiled floor.




The roof is pretty gorgeous too and then I remembered why the floor looked a little familiar.

If you have ever seen the movie The Phantom starring Billy Zane, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kristi Swanson and Treat Williams, then the New York Museum scene was filmed in this foyer (just a few thousand kilometres away on the other side of the world!)

A little movie trivia for you.


I hope you all enjoy the rest of the week.

xx Susan

Friday, 10 May 2019

Yarn Trail - Crochet Australia

You may remember back in January that I had the idea of heading off on my own personal yarn trail to find sources of yarn locally to me.

Well I've found another place a little closer to home this time (just over 30 minutes drive) at Yandina here in Queensland.

The place is called Crochet Australia and I had been on their website before but didn't realise that they were so close to me.




The warehouse itself is easy to get to as it's just off the main highway and easy to find as well.

It's also like an Aladdin's cave inside and I  was pretty excited and a bit overwhelmed when I walked in the door.




There are floor to ceiling shelves full of lots of yarny goodness.  

There were plenty of acrylics which I didn't even have a look at the day I was there as thank goodness I was on a mission and knew what I wanted.  Trust me when I say I saved myself lots of money as I could have stocked up quite a bit.

If it's crochet cotton you're looking for then this is definitely the place as there was so much to choose from.  I won't admit as to whether a few balls of Catona cotton may or may not have ended up in my basket. (Not pictured as I was too busy checking out the colours - gorgeous!)





The main reason why I was there was for the Scheepjes Whirl which I had looked up online and had decided which one I wanted to try for a particular project.  That's when I found out that Crochet Australia stock it and it was in easy driving distance.

I could have gone home with quite a few balls as some of the colour combinations are amazing.  I was very good though and bought the one I wanted although don't praise me for my incredible will power just yet as on the shelf above they had some Scheepjes stonewashed which is a cotton blend.




It was too squishy and gorgeous to not to buy some of it, especially the Turquoise which was screaming at me to jump into the basket.  I had to oblige of course.

So I've worked on a reasonably quick project this past week and have made my Posies in a Row shawl in the turquoise Stonewashed.





I did have to make a few adjustments to the pattern as it's written for 4ply and this is a 5ply yarn.  I changed hook size and a few other things and have written the changes in the notes section on my Ravelry page here if anyone is interested.




The Whirl is being used too although the project is a little slow going at the moment.  The name of this one is Slice 'O' Cherry Pie and I can't wait until the pinks and purples start to ease their way into the shawl.  I'm enjoying making this one and will keep you posted on its progress.




We have a busy weekend coming up with family time and Mothers Day on Sunday.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

xx Susan

Nearly forgot:  Crochet Australia also hold classes on a Tuesday morning and you can either work on the particular monthly project they have or take your own projects along if you wish.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Handbags

I feel like we're slowly settling into our usual school term routines again.  It's taken awhile and I feel like I'm getting back on the right track after travelling on a parallel one for a little while that was the same, but not the same if you know what I mean.

First it was two weeks of school holidays which always send the routines a little off track, then I headed off for my little jaunt in the city until I got the phone call that Miss R was in hospital.

She was home all last week and has recovered well and headed off to school today quite happily which made this Mum very happy too.

In the midst of all that, I managed to crochet quite a few things.  I had started on a shoulder bag just before my few days away which I worked on while travelling on the train and finished early on my first morning there.

It ended up not being as big as I wanted it to be and I made shorter handles to make it into a handbag rather than shoulder bag because I didn't have enough yarn.  It was a Caron Cotton Cake (not a full ball), leftover from a previous project and I was trying out an idea I had.

I do love the stripes and the texture of it though.




I did take some other yarn with me to start working on a scarf but decided that I really wanted to make another bag.

Luckily for me I found one shop in the middle of the city, open on a public holiday, which sold yarn. 

Yay! 




The 8ply cotton colour selection wasn't that great but I did find some that I knew I could make work and be happy with.

Thank goodness I had this project as it certainly calmed me while on the train home not knowing what was going on with my girl.

It was also the perfect project to work on while sitting around at the hospital and especially when Miss R was in surgery.




I now have one finished shoulder bag although it's not fully completed yet as I want to add a lining to it and maybe a small embellishment but I don't have any fabric in my stash that matches the colours.

Until I get the chance to go to the fabric store, I can start on the next bag.  I've got enough of the chocolate and parchment colours to make another one but with the lighter parchment as the main colour.  I also bought some navy and silver which I'll mix and match so I should get another 3 bags out of what I have.

The first handbag has also turned out to be the perfect size to hold my cotton stash in too so I don't think I'll bother lining it with fabric as I can see this will be the main use for this bag in the future.




As for getting back into routines.....

Patch and I have also been for our first walk in our favourite place in over a month.  We have both desperately missed our morning walks.  The track is still quite muddy from recent rain and it's getting a bit overgrown but we don't mind one little bit.  I think we both had huge grins on our face this morning as we trotted along (well he ran then trotted and I just walked).




I hope you are all having a wonderful week where you are.  We are experiencing the most gorgeous Autumn weather here right now.  Clear skies, cooler days in the mid  20 Celsius and cooler nights where we have to pull up the blankets and snuggle under.  LOVING IT!!

xx Susan


Sunday, 5 May 2019

Brisbane City - Part 2 The River

At the heart of the city is the Brisbane River which meanders and snakes its way from the upper reaches, through the outer suburbs, divides the city centre and then spills out into Moreton Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Jumping on a City Cat is one of the best ways to explore the city.  They depart every 15 minutes and head up and down the river passing many iconic city sights.  The trip from one end of the City Cat route to the other takes about one and a half hours (3 hours round trip) but you can just do sections of it if you wish.





One afternoon on my recent city break, I decided to hop on one of the city cats and explore the river.  It was something on my 'to do' list of things to do in Brisbane but for some reason had never got around to actually experiencing it.



I'm so glad that I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it and it reminded me a bit of going on the boats when I lived and worked in the Whitsunday's when I was in my early 20's.

I hopped on at the South Bank terminal and decided to head downriver which was about a one hour trip but obviously the return journey made it into a two hour trip and a great way to spend an afternoon on a public holiday.  (It also only cost me $2.65 for the whole two hour trip.  Yes, you read that right!)




One thing to remember about the City Cats is that they are passenger ferry's so the main purpose of them is for commuters.  That means no commentary about the various sights along the river.  There are other tourist river cruises you can do which will give you more information about the city and the river but I was just happy to be out on the water.


Some of the sights you will see are the Maritime Museum which is situated at the southern end of South Bank.  It's accessible via South Bank or from one of the smaller ferry's which service the river.

Kangaroo Point and it's iconic cliffs are seen best from the river too.




This area is known for it's parks and picnic areas and the cliffs are especially popular with rock climbers and abseilers which you can see in the above photo.





There's plenty of other ways to explore the river too.  As much as I love kayaking, it looked a bit too strenuous for me on this particular afternoon.




Jet skiing is another great way to see the river but a little too fast and noisy for what I was wanting.





There are paths and boardwalks all along the river and on a long weekend, there were plenty of locals out enjoying the inclement weather.




I also love that instead of walking or catching a bus from one side of the CBD to the other, you can hop on one of the ferry's which will take you around a bend in the river and presto, you have arrived with very little effort.




Being on the river means that you pass under the many bridges which join the two sides of the city including the heritage listed Story Bridge.  I'm much happier going under the bridge in a boat rather than doing the bridge climb as I don't do heights very well.





Another iconic thing to see on the river is the Kookaburra Queen paddle steamers which serve lunch, dinner or even a high tea as you tour the city. 

 I can remember when I was young and had watched the tv series All The Rivers Run with Sigrid Thornton, all I wanted to do was go on the Kookaburra Queen.  I haven't done that yet so maybe that will be on my list of things to do next time I head into Brisbane.







I love seeing the little glimpses of everyday life too and I have to say that the two dogs in the photo below were having the best time on the beach.




The river widens as you head down river towards the docks area and the City Cats really pick up speed in some sections.  It was fun although jeans or shorts are the best clothing option if you decide to stand on the front or back deck rather than sitting inside.  

Ladies, if you wear a skirt, wear pretty knickers underneath because everyone will see them when the skirt flies up!




What I really loved about the trip was the looking at some of the beautiful houses along stretches of the river nestled in between high rise apartment complexes.




There are many older ones that have seen the city grow and been through a few floods.




There are also plenty of new houses too with some spectacular views.




Then there is Newstead House which is probably the most famous riverside home in Brisbane.

It's Brisbane's oldest surviving residence built in 1846 and is now a museum furnished to reflect the  late Victorian period.

I remember visiting on a school excursion when in primary school and of course we were more interested in stories of the resident ghost than anything else.  Pretty typical of 10-12 year olds, although I would love to go back and tour this beautiful building again.  

It was a little difficult to see it well with all the trees surrounding it so it looks like I'll be adding this to my list of things to do on another visit.





 I know the 2011 floods were pretty devastating to many of the riverside properties and I couldn't help wondering how many of the buildings and houses I saw were affected.  That's something you would probably learn on the tour boat I suppose and maybe I'll do that another time too.




I did do a second trip the next day but went up river towards the University of Queensland terminal which was only about a 20-25 minute trip so I was back in the heart of the city in under an hour.

The western stretches of the river are much more residential with a few less iconic sights to see but still enjoyable if you only have a short time available.




I really enjoyed my trips on the City Cats and at only $2.65 per trip, I certainly couldn't argue about the price.

For anyone in Brisbane the best way to pay is if you have one of the transport GO Cards which you can use on the trains, buses and ferries.  I have one as I caught the train down too and it was a much easier option for me but you can buy a single ticket on board the boats if you don't have a Go Card.

The cost is a little more at somewhere between $4 and $5 but is still very cheap if it's the only public transport you plan on using while in the city.

After I just wrote all that I remembered that I took a photo of the current fares.  I won't delete what I wrote but will add the photo in for anyone wishing to know.





And for those who like maps I'll add the city ferry network map with the blue line representing the City Cat service.




I hope you've enjoyed a peek at my river trip.  I certainly enjoyed it at the time, then reliving it as I was going through the photos.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

xx Susan