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Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Watery Wednesday - Sept 2009

We took a daytrip cruise while we were holidaying in Queensland.
3 Whitsunday Islands in a day - good fun
I took these while we were tied up alongside one of the jettys (Long Island I think)
waiting to pick up more 'cruisers'

Click on the photos for a clearer view

For more Watery Wdnesday participants or to join in click hereThen open the Linky button

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Granny funnies

These arrived in our inbox today - Enjoy
Some Grannies may have to click and enlarge
the punch line is more legible that way :))
Not telling you how I know lol

Wrong Time Wrong Place

Feeling a little out of sorts at the moment. Last night we watched 4 Corners on ABC, which was about a bomb plot.

So what’s new in that you ask, with all the problems in the world these days its nothing out of the ordinary.

Well this very interesting programme was about a plot to cause damage to aircraft over the Atlantic and from all the evidence gained by British surveillance and presented in this doco it was to take place in August 2006.

The perpetrators had taken an interest in several American airlines and also a Canadian one, Air Canada. I was ok watching the programme until I heard that mentioned and then it all came back to me.

We took an overseas trip in 2006 – to visit friends and rellies in the UK and then on to Nova Scotia for Dh’s aunt’s birthday. We flew to Halifax on August 10th but not after a very long wait in Heathrow airport for that was the day all this came to a head and travel to and from that airport and airports around the world ground to a halt.

There was mention on the 6am news about problems at Heathrow so we left where we were staying very early to take the hire car back and see what all the fuss what about. Good job we did as the expected 20-minute drive on the M25 took an hour and a half and it was a nightmare. It’s not the easiest road to drive on at the best of time and traffic was banked up for miles, some Heathrow traffic but most commuters on their way to the City.

Flying isn’t one of the joys in my life and often I’m not in the best of moods as I approach airports at those times (meeting and greeting is different as I know we are turning round and driving straight home again) so the traffic problem certainly didn’t do much for my attitude let alone my BP that morning.

Hire car is returned and we catch the bus to the terminal, b……….traffic jams again and the driver wasn’t much help as he’d turned the radio off and hadn’t a clue what the problem was.

As we enter the terminal it was a sight to behold - Heathrow is always busy and crowded with travellers but this was something else.

You couldn’t see the check in areas as there were enormous queues everywhere as well as people just sitting along the walls or wandering around dragging their luggage and looking weary – this was at 8.30 in the morning. We managed to locate the end of the Air Canada check in line and so the slow journey to the front began.

We were advised that the only things we could take on board in our hands were our travel docs and they had to be inside plastic bags, in other words no cabin baggage ‘cept ID, travel docs and clothing eg coats. There were staff roaming around with plastic bags of all sorts of shapes and sizes some of which had to be replaced at check in as 'they' had stipulated a certain size and a certain size it had to be. Also another part of the hold up at check in was people stopping in their tracks in the line to open their cases and try and fit other goods inside.

Ladies were not happy with not being allowed their handbags onboard, if they didn’t fit in the case there was one of those plastic film wrap machines to wrap them and they went into the hold as is. No food or drink allowed to be taken airside so kids were gorging on food (mainly chips and lollies/sweets brought along for the journey) and drinking water and soft drinks till it came out of their ears (or the other end lol)

The departure board indicated our flight to Halifax was delayed so we think we’ll get a coffee in one of the cafes upstairs before going through airside security – that was till we came out of the lift.

More queues – looked like thousands of people wending their way crocodile fashion from one end of that floor to the other. Staff walking up and down calling out, no drinks, no food – jars of baby food included, no papers or books and of all things no chewing gum allowed airside, documents to be in plastic bags - over and over again. Lots of speculation and no real reasons but it seems there were concerns about minute detonators being carried in the pages of books and jell like substances maybe being used as well.

So we find the end of the queue and start shuffling.

There was no shouting or anger; no pushing or shoving, nobody showed any annoyance at all just accepted all the disruptions. It was a bit like queuing for tickets to a concert or like, people chatting to complete strangers and even ‘saving places’ in the case of toilet breaks or even hunger breaks – the cafes were right alongside us at one point and the smell of bacon sandwiches was just too much for the lady in front of me.

About 90 minutes later we reach the security area and get through after a very thorough security check, through the ‘door way’ scanner and then a hand held scanner and pat down, as well as the standard shoes and belts off, any removable clothing off, Waiting in line I watched as security insist a baby have its nappy/diaper removed and lots of creams and other things removed from the toiletries bag the family had for the baby, then an old disabled lady was made to get out of her wheelchair and go through the ‘door way’ scanner before almost collapsing into it again. All these passengers were for many different airlines and routes so no wonder the lines were so long!!

So we start to walk forward taking everything in and I stop in my tracks. Facing me are several large British policemen with very large guns (don't ask me what they were, some sort of automatic things) In all my travels I've never been so scared in my life, suddenly it all became real and I just wanted to be out of their and on my way.

Our flight was still delayed and as we are where its relatively quiet with some semblance of order I fianlly get that longed for coffee and then went to buy a bottle of water, none on sale.

There’s one thing I don’t do when flying and that’s eat, self explanatory - my stomach is churning that much there’s no point in putting food in it as it will all come back up again – so there’s one thing I do do and that’s drink water.

Rather than tip it away I’d drunk the two bottles I had brought with me – it had been so hot in the departure area one went down there and the other in the queue upstairs so I wasn’t happy about not getting any to take onboard. So many people walking around looking dazed didn’t much for my peace of mind either.

We finally got on board after even more security checks, several hours later than we expected, those who had bought papers and books from the airside newsagents thinking it would be ok had to leave them behind – don’t ask we never found out why things that were ok airside one day were suspect the next.

Duty free goods had to be handed over and then identified with a big luggage label for collection at the end of the journey. For some reason seeing all those bags with the labels attached reminded me of film I’d seen of children being evacuated during the war with names on labels attached to their clothes lol

It was a strange flight; most passengers very quiet and subdued wondering if all was well in the hold. The hosties were fabulous, lots of soft drink and water available, papers as well, not just for Business and First but for Economy as well.

When we got to St John's in Newfoundland we had to clear the plane of all luggage to go through their customs (as is the way) and it was so funny as we all just stood up and walked off the plane – there was no hand luggage, so no groping around in the overhead lockers, just us and the plastic bags we took on board.

I did get a laugh at the baggage carousel watching grown men making sure their duty free bottles of grog were safe and sound before handing it over again for the next leg to Halifax.

Just one of those days to remember

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Would the real Magpie stand up please

The weather here in Melbourne this past week has been a bit nippy and wet.
Wet I don't mind (I would almost welcome wet) its the nippy bit I don't like.
All the summery clothes have been washed and put away but I didn't think I'd be wearing the winter ones again, the ones I wore before we went away
or that we'd be turning the heating back on:(

So to keep me occupied I've been sorting out the holiday snaps.
Looking at them I noticed a few things
But first - you know I love the sight of the Australian Magpies pottering around my garden.
I snapped this little family the other day.

This is 'my' Mr Magpie and some of his lady friends, bright white back on the male and a grey colour on the females
click on the photos to see a larger image

But whats this in the next photo - looks like an imposter.

Same shape head and beak.

It's the Australian Magpie I saw in sauntering round the van park in Bowen.
Just one difference - look at his back.

He's got black wings there - the white stops at his shoulders
The next photo will give you a better view, also a look at another little black and white bird.

Its the little Mudlark (Pee Wee/Magpie Lark) that seemed to be everywhere. This two wandered about the grass together like old friends and seemed to have little chats.

Well, maggie was carolling away and the pee wee was calling just that in that shrill voice he has.

Those little monsters seem to take a fancy to cars - windscreens and side mirrors aren't safe when they are around

Now heres a photo I found on the web of a Butcher Bird we have here in Melbourne
Not one of my photos tho'

Look at this fine looking black and white bird
This is a Butcher Bird I photographed in Bowen
His colour is much more defined and he is very confident looking.
At first I mistook him for a magpie but then realised he didn't have a black chest. I was able to confirm his breed from my picture and my friends bird book

Heres the caravan park buddies again :))
These sites will give you more information on these black and white beauties
Also explains about the different Australian Magpies in different states

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ducks from me too

For her Watery Wednesday post, Denise at an English Girl Rambles showed us some ducks - reading it reminded me of the night we stayed the night at Goondiwindi and the ducks I saw on the billabong at the bottom of the camp ground
When we arrived at our cabin I spotted the water and left Dh to unpack the car whilst I wandered down to see what was what.
We'd driven the whole of the day (with a few stops) up the Newell Highway from Parkes
so I was pleased to be able to stretch my legs
click on the pictures for a better view
As I walked onto a bridge like structure it was like heaven just to stand and gaze at the reflections in the water and not at a long straight road
Then I came to and remembered Dh - oops - he'll be wanting a cup of tea
But then I saw the ducks
Looked like it was feeding time for them as well

Didn't even have a stale slice of bread for them either lol

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What to do today

Well this is what the sky looked like at about 9.30 this morning - Not very promising :(

It had rained overnight, same as it has done for a few days now and it felt like winter had returned

Same view an hour later, bit of broken cloud but not much better.

So it was on with the knitted slippers - this is a pair I prepared earlier haha - and wander round the house thinking of what to do

Saved by the bell - the phone rings so all thoughts of housework go quick smart lol

After that I gave in and made a coffee - not quite like this one I had served to me in Longreach, not sure why I was surprised to find such presentation in the Outback 'cose after all they have coffee shops and baristas all over the place.

Then I rang my cousin back to say yes I'd meet her for lunch after all

Monday, September 21, 2009


Hello there
I have had to change to comment moderation - just for a while till a problem disappears
Please don't let it put you off leaving comment tho:))

One Day in September

Well its that time of the year again

The Footy Finals

(AFL that is - aka as Australian Rules Football)
are well and truly on the go and the burning question this week will be:-

'Who will win the Grand Final on Saturday September 26th 2009 ?'

The Cats (Geelong) and The Saints (St Kilda) are the two teams
that will be battling it out attempting to win the Premiership Flag this year

The Hawks (Hawthorn) had that honour last year but this season,
much to the disgust of several family members, failed dismally

The Bombers (Essendon) also didn't do much either,
much to other family members dismay (me included)

So the question is - will it be Geelong or St Kilda that holds the flag up high this year?

Not sure I'll actually watch that game
But then again I'm not planning much for Saturday afternoon
So I might as well turn on the TV and weep for what might have been lol

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Horseshoe Bay Road Market

Most Sunday mornings we were up early and pottered down the road to the Lions Sunday market. Each time we went it was quite warm so I spent a bit of time in the shade when I wasn't actually looking at goodies on the stalls.
Lots of nice craft stuff as well as all the trash and treasure but I could only take a few shots as people didn't want me to photo their craft. I asked nicely but a lot said it was their livelihood and I might go back and copy it - shame as there were some nicely presented stalls :((
for a cleaer view click on the photos to enlarge
Now heres my friend Vivienne looking very embarrassed as she is carrying a plastic bag.
Coming out in hurry she left her shopping bags back at her caravan and as I had no more room in mine had to give in and accept the placcy one

This is some of the fabulous fruit and veg on sale.
All grown locally and freshly picked - and at very good prices too.

This market is 'run' by the local Lions and they man a breakfast stand each week.
Right next to the music stand so there was lots of foot tapping going on

This is another group playing and even tho' its not a great shot with them being in the shade I love the look.
Theres a casualness about it thats shows the pace of life in Bowen
The two 'old' fellas leaning on the post chatting away oblivious to anyone else and the younger musicians enjoying themselves.
Click to enlarge and you'll see the details more clearly

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What did Dh do?

Well, he spent time with his friend putting the world to right
This time on the day we spent at a great place called 'Montes' near Hydeaway Bay
click the photos for a better view

Then he also enjoyed those daily walks on the beach
bare chested, soaking up the sunshine and looking 'quite nice' for an old fella of 71

He walked with me through various National Parks - note the phone to his ear,
The family caught up with us here.

But this would have to be his favourite time
Guess where he was going :)

Yes you guessed it, off the Golf Course.

Here we have both him and his friend from Adelaide looking a bit ordinary in their long shorts but ready to try their hand at another 18 holes

I love notice boards and what they represent
Laying the law down!!
This is how we do it here lol

BTW the stubbies referred to aren't bottles/cans of beer
but a brand of short shorts favoured by some men

Looks like the groundsmen think the golfers have it all their own way

Just one photo of the course

I don't know how the golfers can concentrate on their game

when they have a view like that just the other side of the green

Thinking about things

Thinking of walking on an empty Queens Beach with a certain fella

click on the photos for a clearer view

Thinking of all the driving we did over long distances on long straight roads

Thinking of not being happy whilst being overtaken by great big long trucks
(another day I'll show you photos of what happens when we meet up with this truck further down the highway)

Thinking of how I loved looking at things from times gone by

Thinking of how I enjoyed meeting up with friends - all of a long way from our actual homes

How I enjoyed eating 'basic' meals
How I enjoyed lookouts and the scenery

How I enjoyed ice cream

and how I enjoyed just lounging around

These are just a few of my thoughts since we got home
Will tell more another day