Posts from the ‘Blog’ category

G20 Lunch Run

G20 Lunch Run

Six vans, two cars, three police cars, four motorcyclists plus a few extras ……. how many had lunch at Augustine’s on George today?

Augustine’s, one of the top restaurants in Brisbane hosted some VIP’s for lunch.  Although the empty street would suggest that Brisbane is a ghost town this not the case. Within a few moments after this shot was taken the traffic started moving and us pedestrians were free to proceed as if nothing had happened.  Smooth as silk.  Our fingers crossed for the next couple of days, bearing in mind that the big event hasn’t even started.


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Military Helicopters

Military Helicopter 3

Military Helicopter 2

Military Helicopter 1

I’m guessing that come November 2014 when Brisbane hosts the G20 Summit we will be seeing a lot more of these chaps.

Four choppers put on a display as part of this years River Festival. Perched over the river the pilots showed off their skills and demonstrated how nimble these choppers can be at the same time terrorizing the Brisbane River ferries.

Opps ……. perhaps I should not have used ‘G20 Summit’ and ‘terrorizing’ in the same paragraph. I’ll probably have to explain when ASIO call.

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Ekka….. the annual agricultural show of Queensland. Formally known as the Royal Queensland Show, held at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground.

I’m on the bus heading home from the Ekka.
Aching feet, head spinning and a full tummy, exhausted after a day at the Ekka …… and I didn’t even get to go on a ride.

I paid my money at the gate and off I went with thousands of others from one pavilion to the next. No pushing or shoving ….. everybody is here for a good time.

So many exhibits to see, farm animals and produce of all types,cats, dogs and other household pets as well as handicrafts of the highest quality.

The show-grounds are crammed with the best of just about everything you can think of. As if that were not enough there is also entertainment, lots of rides in sideshow ally and the most important thing of all – if you are a youngster, the show bags.

With so much to see and do its not surprising they expect some 400,000 visitors to see the show this year.

I’ve done my bit, come face to face with some interesting poultry and meaty bovine. Admired the skills of the cake decorators, painters and sculptures, dogged the Dagwood dog and waffles but succumbed to the delights of the strawberry sundae and toured sideshow alley.

Exhausted but what a brilliant day.

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The resting place of Henry Charles Rawnsley who died in 1873

“Queens-land-er, Queens-land-er”, screem the fans from the terraces.

State of Origin is here once again. Queensland versus New South Wales. the sport of rugby league.  A game where 26 men knock seven bells out of each other for eighty minutes.  A game that would not have been out of place at the Colosseum back in Roman times.

Physical contact is full on.  No armor or padding for protection, these are modern day gladiators, fighting for the pride of their State.  For supremacy. To prove who is the best.

The ball skills ….(oops,  I’ve neglected to mentioned this is football…. well, ‘throw ball’ if you want a more accurate description) are to be admired,  fast hands and accurate passing, all in the face of a bunch of opponents  as they attempts to knock you down, these are tough men.

Brisbane’s Colosseum, Lang Park (or as the sponsors would prefer, Suncorp Stadium) is built on land once used as the final resting place for many the States first gladiators. People who also did it tough, the people who carved out the foundation of our city.

Paddington Cemetery as it was dates back to 1843 and over the years some 4000 people were buried on the site.

Today all that remains is a quiet sanctuary, a memorial garden with 21 monuments, at the southern stand of the stadium.

Along with a small Church the manicured gardens sit jammed uncomfortably against the massive glass and concrete wall of the stadium.

Between events this is a restful place, somewhere to pause and reflect, a sanctuary to escape from the busy city.


The World’s Longest Party – Remembered

For six months in 1988 Brisbane entertained the world at what locals labelled the ‘worlds longest party’, World Expo 88.

Nearly sixteen million visitors turned up to enjoy the spectacle, at what was the biggest event in Australia’s bicentennial celebrations.

Twenty-five years on the event is still fondly remembered.  Partly for the success it achieved in promoting Australia and Brisbane to the world but also for the fun and entertainment it provided to all those who made it through the turnstiles.

Expo Oz

Expo Oz

Many would remember receiving a hug from the giant platypus named Expo Oz – the mascot for the event.  Plenty of souvenir merchandise and promotional materials featured this fellow with the slouch hat (as worn by Australian soldiers) and a green and gold safari suit,  Australia’s national sporting colours.

Luckily, many of the exposition’s sculptures and buildings have been retained and are still on display around the city for all to enjoy.

In 1988 all we knew was to loaded film into our cameras, so I’m guessing that there are millions of faded images stored in albums around the world.  To reflect this I have added a vintage look to the images in this gallery in an effort to add to the nostalgia.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture – ANZAC Day


Someone has to be in charge.

ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

ANZAC Day (celebrated on 25 April each year) is a national public holiday and is considered by many Australians to be one of the most solemn days of the year.

Ceremonies of remembrance and marches take place in cities and towns throughout the country.  It’s a time when then Nation shows its gratitude and pride for all our men and women who fought and died in all wars.

This poem by D Hunter captures beautifully the sentiment of the day. – Be aware though, if you are like me it will bring a tear to your eye each time you read it.


I saw a kid marchin’ with medals on his chest.
He marched alongside Diggers marching six abreast.
He knew that it was ANZAC Day – he walked along with pride.
He did his best to keep in step with the Diggers by his side.

And when the march was over the kid was rather tired.
A Digger said “Whose medals, son?” to which the kid replied:
“They belong to daddy, but he did not come back.
He died up in New Guinea on a lonely jungle track”.

The kid looked rather sad then and a tear came to his eye.
The Digger said “Don’t cry my son and I will tell you why.
Your daddy marched with us today – all the blooming way.
We Diggers know that he was there – it’s like that on ANZAC Day”.

The kid looked rather puzzled and didn’t understand,
But the Digger went on talking and started to wave his hand.
“For this great land we live in, there’s a price we have to pay
For we all love fun and merriment in this country where we live.
The price was that some soldier his precious life must give.

For you to go to school my lad and worship God at will,
Someone had to pay the price so the Diggers paid the bill.
Your daddy died for us my son – for all things good and true.
I wonder if you understand the things I’ve said to you”.

The kid looked up at the Digger – just for a little while
And with a changed expression, said, with a lovely smile:
“I know my dad marched here today – this is ANZAC Day.
I know he did. I know he did, all the bloomin’ way”.

D. Hunter
(A veteran of Shaggy Ridge with the 2/12 Battalion in WW2)

Here are just a few images from this years march in Brisbane.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Byron Lighthouse

Up on the cliffs, lighting up the way is Cape Byron Lighthouse.

A two hour drive south of Brisbane, Cape Byron is the easternmost point on the Australian mainland. A well known stopping off point for tourists including backpackers traveling along the Australian coast, the lighthouse attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Colours

Rainbow Warrior-6

Colours of the Rainbow

Over the past couple of days Brisbane has hosted the Rainbow Warrior.

Promoting Greenpeace’s “Save the Reef” campaign the vessel was berthed at our Cruise Terminal on the Brisbane River, and for a short while was open for public viewing.


You may be wondering why its necessary for Greenpeace to run a campaign in 2013, aimed at saving the Great Barrier Reef.

I can only say that over the past few years our State and Federal politicians have ‘entertained’ us with their antics, so much so that serious issues such as the health of the Barrier Reef hardly get a look in.  It takes an outsider with a high profile such as Greenpeace to put these issues back on the agenda.

Why in 2013 ….. well you won’t be surprised to know, its election year.   Make enough noise and the pollies may just get the message.

PS.  “In 2012, the UN World Heritage Committee sent a delegation to Australia to investigate threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Its report was scathing, noting that the unprecedented scale of development in the World Heritage Area poses serious concerns over its long-term conservation”. Greenpeace

For more on the Greenpeace campaign Save the Reef.


The Canvas is Full

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The Canvas is Full

A blaze of colour, the pungent odor of aerosol fumes, the haphazard layering of the art and the unexpected tidiness of the footpath, its all too much. A first time visitor to the area I’m trying to take it all in.

Odd though! the lane-ways are clean and tidy. A pleasant surprise but somewhat out of character …. then again perhaps not so surprising when I stop to think. Why would any tourist visit the area if it was dirty and covered in litter and garbage.

Underfoot the build up of fine pigment adds to the impression that every inch of usable space has been painted, over and over and over again. Even the rubbish skips have received the treatment.

The Battleground

The Battleground

Glancing along the walls all I see is chaos and clutter. But I soon realise that the only way to really experience the place is to look and keep looking.

I ask myself, “What’s here?” “What’s it all about?”

Tags are plentiful, single colour, scrawled without much imagination. Artistic colourful tags, some of which are quiet large. Past-ups and stencils, some making short statements others are far more ornate. And then their are the blockbusters, colourful spray-painted pieces that dominate whole walls. Plenty to see and take in.

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As I work my way around it occurs to me that this is a battleground, a fight for space. On the one hand are those with skill needing a ‘canvas’ upon which to create their art, and on the other the simple ‘taggers’, laying down their scrawl wherever they can, often with no respect for the art in place.

Its easy to see that this gallery is continually evolving. New creations just muscle in, there is no order, its every man or spray can for himself. This is the appeal of the place and I can see that a one-off visit will not be enough to truly understand what its all about.

As for the artists, their talent and creativity is on display and an endless stream of visitors stroll these lanes and many others around Melbourne viewing their creations.

In an earlier post I featured Marcus.

Without question the young lad can handle a spray can. I watched as he confidently created detail where none existed, considered his next move and applied his colours with care. It may be a generational thing but giant tags unfortunately mean nothing to me. Having said that I’m guessing this is an apprenticeship for him, one more step on the road to bigger things.

Hopefully you can get a feel for the atmosphere of the Hosier Lane from these images.


Eyeballing Melbourne

Eyeballing Melbourne

Not Crazy John but one of the ‘Three Businessman’ by Alison Weaver and Paul Quinn. Located on the corner Swanston and Bourke streets, its one of Melbourne’s better known pieces of public art.

The city of Melbourne is well known amongst other things for its coffee shops and street art.

So having fueled up on a coffee I set off to check out the art.

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I found Macus at work on his latest creation.

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The finished piece.

Working on an iPad with a slow internet connection has finally got to me. More images to follow once I’m back in front of the big screen.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

WPC detail

The Elusive Trifecta

Sometimes Queenslander’s cross the Tweed and head south. Not so much Ambling Around Brisbane but rather meandering around Melbourne at present.

I’ve been in a few Hotels, Motels and Apartments over the years and living out of a suitcase is not new to me.

Gambling though is not one of my vices and I’m reminded why this is so …… by a simple trifecta.

1. A clean room. Tick
2. A comfortable bed and pillow. Tick, Tick
3. An adequate shower. Cross

Two out of three ….. this time it’s the shower.

I’ve found from experience that the odds of winning are not shortened by the price of the room and certainly not by the prestige of the establishment – six stars though is a little beyond my wallet.

I don’t want to crouch, twist and gyrate to get wet, nor bang my elbows, knees and what have you on walls, doors and fixtures, all I’m asking for is warm water that covers me when I stand beneath the shower rose and enough room to do my business.

I’m not a large man. All Right! yes I could loose a few kilos, but I wonder how my bigger brothers and sisters manage incarcerated in these torturous cubicles.

So why is it that winning the trifecta is so difficult. Is it just me or does something gets lost in the detail.

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