Tag Archives: Australia

North Queensland, Australia, 1998

1 Apr


In August 1998 Peter and I did fly to Cairns. 60 km north of Cairns is tropical Port Douglas, where we stayed at a Radison Reef Resort. Our travel agent had booked everything for us. Quite a few coach tours were included during our wonderful five day stay in North Queensland.

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Views of Cairns and the lush coast from the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway

One of our tours led us to this beautiful Scenic Railway.

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This is an aerial view of Cape Tribulation where two World Heritage areas meet, The Grat Barrier Reef and the rainforest.

One of our bus tours took us as far north as Cape Tribulation.

Concordia Club, Tempe, NSW

23 Mar

Today we visited the Concordia Club. It was still quite warm as though the summer did not want to leave us yet. We did meet our family at the club for lunch.

There were our two daughters and our son with their partners, as well as our twin grandsons. One of them was there with partner and beautiful son, who is our great-grandson!Also one of our grand-daughters, who turns seventeen early next month, was also there.


Lucas, our little great grandson soon found company on the lawns in front of the club and kept tirelessly running around.

Lucas, our little great grandson soon found company on the lawns in front of the club and kept tirelessly running around.



We had great fun watching the kids from where we were sitting down for lunch.

We had great fun watching the kids from where we were sitting down for lunch.







Australian Bushfires Jan. 2014

19 Jan

I think just about every Australian would have heard by now about all the bushfires that are raging at present.

If you are  outside of Australia you may perhaps  be interested to find out how we are faring with the bushfires at this time of the year.

I am sure a lot of information can be found in the above ABC’s write up.

This morning I heard on the ABC radio news that a lot of aircraft is at present surveying new outbreaks of bushfires within the southwest of New South Wales.


The ABC’s Transcript about Bushfires:

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Southern Australia is heading for the fourth day of an intense heatwave that’s brought record-breaking temperatures.

The scorching heat has put a strain on electricity supplies and stretched ambulance services.

Tomorrow Victoria is potentially facing its worst bushfire threat since Black Saturday.

Strong winds and temperatures over 40 degrees are forecast across the state and South Australia has also issued a severe bushfire warning for tomorrow.

Lisa Whitehead reports.

LISA WHITEHEAD, REPORTER: Retired kindergarten teacher Kate Porter is used to living with the threat of bushfires. For 49 years she’s lived on this bush block on Melbourne’s northern fringes.

Kate, do you brace yourself every year for bushfires?

KATE PORTER: Oh, you have to. You never know what’s going to happen. You just have to be prepared.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Her two-acre block backs on to state forest in one of the highest bushfire risk areas in Victoria. Two days ago, a grass fire took off in nearby kangaroo ground and was burning out of control.

The phone tree in Kate Porter’s street swung into action. Two of her neighbours who were monitoring the blaze rang and advised her to leave.

A thousand fires ignited across Victoria in the past three days as the state baked in over 40-degree heat. In SA it was a similar scenario, with 350 fires breaking out across the state and there could be worse to come.

GREG NETTLETON, COUNTRY FIRE SERVICE CHIEF OFFICER, SA: We’re confident that we’ve got sufficient resources to deal with the current situation, however, that could change quite rapidly tomorrow, particularly when the hotter weather and the winds come through.

LISA WHITEHEAD: 39 fires are still ablaze in Victoria today with most concern focusing on the Grampians in the state’s north-west.

CRAIG LAPSLEY, FIRE SERVICES COMMISSIONER, VICTORIA: It’s a fire in very steep bush country. It requires aircraft, significant aircraft, and not many firefighters can get into the exact area of the fire, so it’s difficult in that sense. So it’s causing us concern and will continue to do so through the night and into tomorrow.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Severe fire warnings have been issued for tomorrow as strong winds and searing 43-degree temperatures are predicted in parts of Victoria.

Is tomorrow the worst conditions we’ve seen since Black Saturday?

CRAIG LAPSLEY: It’d be up there, without a doubt. It’s not the same conditions as Black Saturday. It’s not a code red day. Across the state, it’ll be severe and extreme fire danger ratings. It’s got potential.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Today, Adelaide’s temperature soared to 44.2 degrees. It’s recorded three consecutive days above 43.5 degrees for the first time.

The intense heat in Melbourne has played havoc at the Australian Open. When the temperature topped 42.1 this afternoon, the tournament’s heat policy was finally activated. Roofs were closed and play was suspended on outside courts.

A Climate Council report released today says the number of hot days across Australia has more than doubled and that climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and severe.

SARAH PERKINS, CLIMATE COUNCIL REPORT CO-AUTHOR: There’s certainly a fingerprint of climate change in the trend in heatwaves that we’ve been seeing. So this means that the change in average temperature that we’ve seen, which is due to human-induced climate change, has had an impact in the severity and frequency of heatwaves that we’ve been experiencing.

CRAIG LAPSLEY: In emergency management, I think we’ve known for some time that there is a whole heap of challenges. Some will argue whether climate change is a reality. I think it’s quite clear. We’ve got challenges in climate, we’ve got land use that’s different, we’ve got different farming scenarios, we’ve got people that have taken tree change or sea change. It’s a whole heap of things.

LISA WHITEHEAD: With no relief from the extreme temperatures in sight until Saturday, the elderly, the sick and the young are being urged to continue to stay indoors, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. But some householders have struggled to cope after experiencing blackouts as the heatwave and increased peak demand impacts on electricity supply.

In Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Nelum Soysa lost power in her Coburg street for eight hours on Tuesday night.

NELUM SOYSA: It’s like an oven, it’s like a furnace. We couldn’t open the door because it was just so hot outside.

LISA WHITEHEAD: The local GP says she was concerned for her elderly neighbours.

NELUM SOYSA: Elderly people get dehydrated. They can get confused. They get irrational. They can get tachycardia and then they get heat distress and that’s very difficult because they sometimes can’t ask for help or don’t know to ask for help.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Ambulance Victoria is warning people to prepare for yet another sweltering night with the overnight temperature in Melbourne not expected to drop below 29 degrees.

PAUL HOLMAN, AMBULANCE VICTORIA: What happens overnight unfortunately is the body doesn’t get enough time to recover. So we’ve had one night, then two, then three and now four and that’s – so people that are already ill or the elderly, they’ve now got a cumulative effect and their body’s not getting enough time to cool down.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Kate Porter isn’t taking any risks with her health or the weather conditions. A Baptist church agency that regularly checks on her welfare found her a place in respite care.

KATE PORTER: If you’re not able to defend your own home, that you should actually leave. I don’t think it’s wise to stay, because you don’t know how fierce the fire’s going to be. Every since I’ve lived there, I think every year, “Well, if it goes, it goes,” and I go.

Ausflug mit der lieben Sylvia, Sonntag 29.12.2013

6 Jan


An dem Sonntag zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr waren wir mit der lieben Sylvia zusammen. Sie machte einige Fotos von uns und schickte sie uns heute zu. Hier sind die Fotos:







DIARY, Wednesday, 11th December 2013

11 Dec

I am  off the Hook!

I do not need blood pressure tablets anymore!

Well, this is a long story. It actually started the day I had my Carpal Tunnel Release operation.  On that day at six o’clock in the morning I was allowed a cup of tea and a very light breakfast. Then I had to wait for more than twelve hours before I could have as much as a glass of water or a cup of tea. I was told ‘nil by mouth’ before the operation, which was to last for only a short time, maybe twenty minutes. Unfortunately I was the last one on the list. Which would have been all right, if everything had gone to plan. However there were some unforeseen delays during the day, which meant my operation was postponed for many hours. I sat in the hospital waiting room, waiting, waiting, waiting.

Finally, well into the evening, it was my turn. What a relief! A lot of precautions, needles stuck into me here, there and everywhere while I was lying on the trolley waiting to be let into the operating theatre. The anesthetist thought I was very relaxed. Then my surgeon came out to greet me. After a little while the doors opened and I was rolled into the room where the procedure was going to take place. There was some background music which I thought wasn’t soothing at all. However I didn’t complain. The surgeon must have felt that this was not my kind of music. He asked me what kind of music I liked. All I could think of saying was: Something ‘classical’. Whereupon the lovely surgeon saw to it that ‘Sound of Music’  with Julie Andrews was put on.

I had been given local anesthetics only. So I could listen to the music during the whole operation. Everything went smoothly, except as they later told me, my blood pressure went up a bit much. They advised me to see my GP (General Practitioner) about it.

To cut a long story short. I did indeed see my GP. My blood pressure went sky high that night when I saw the doctor after many hours of waiting. He did consider to put me into hospital. Luckily the blood pressure came down a bit after a little while. So the doctor let me go home. He prescribed blood pressure tablets and even valium. Peter and I did get my prescription drugs at a close by late night chemist, which delayed us getting home by another half hour. I took the blood pressure tablets as prescribed, but not the valium. I really felt relaxed enough by the time I got home and had no trouble going to sleep.

The GP had asked me to see him again the next morning so he could check on me whether I was all right. By the time I got there at 8 am, there were already eight patients in front of me. So I had to wait again. The tablets turned out not to agree with me. They made me feel sick. Eventually the doctor  organised a 24 hour blood pressure test for me. This test showed that my blood pressure was up only slightly during the day, and during my sleep it was absolutely perfect.

Yesterday I did get the marvellous news that I did not have to take the tablets anymore. The doctor said to me, on a day when I felt under a real lot of pressure, I may perhaps take a valium tablet. But not to do this too often for these tablets can be addictive.

After he said all this we wished each other a Happy Christmas and I left his office in a really great mood! :-)

Bulli Beach from Friday, 6th December to Sunday 8th December 2013

10 Dec


RIMG0962We stayed at Bulli Beach for two nights only, namely Friday night and Saturday night. Sunday morning we went back home again. On Sunday morning it was a bit cloudy at first.  We were able to take lots of pictures of the sun rising. Here are some of them.


Soon we had visitors for breakfast.

Sunday morning we had a visitor for breakfast.


We went for an early morning walk.

We went for an early morning walk on Saturday.




Diary, Saturday, 16th November 2013

16 Nov

More than a week ago Super Typhoon Haiyan went on its way across the Philippines. Three islands of the Philippines suffered catastrophic damage. Many aid organisations in lots of countries immediately organised aid transports to the Philippines. However the aid to the worst struck areas arrives for the survivors of the typhoon only slowly. Too great is the destruction on these islands. This makes the transport of these aid supplies very difficult.

Some people say there have always been typhoons and bush-fires. Of course this is true. But did they always occur with such frequency and severity? Do these people really believe that our way of life does not make any difference at all?

These days all first world countries have an extremely high standard of living. Would it really hurt us people in first world countries very much if we all cut back a bit on carbon emissions? Some economies in some first world countries may suffer a bit from time to time. But do we really make it a better world and a better society by spending more and more? I do not say we should not spend on ourselves anything extra at all. For Christmas for instance it is important for the economy that people should spend a bit extra. However I do not see that there has to be an increase in last year’s Christmas spending. Why not aim for a slight decrease? Why does there always have to be an increase? I don’t get it.

And here my thoughts on our Aid Budget in Australia: Why do we have to reduce it? Are we really so bad off that we cannot afford the previous level any more? And why is our Defence Budget so much more important than our Aid Budget?

Refugee looks back on ordeal of seeking asylum and being detained in Nauru

23 Oct



Reading the above story online (ABC 24)  I feel this is a story that would be of interest to anyone who is interested in what happens to Asylum Seekers in Australia.

‘Learned helplessness’ leaves people in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters

23 Oct



This is a special Lateline report by Margot O’Neill.

Fleet Review Celebrations in Sydney, October 2013

7 Oct

Tall ships on display in Sydney

Continuing the fleet review celebrations, more than a dozen tall ships were on display today on Sydney Harbour.

The public were also able to board international warships at Barangaroo and Garden Island, to get a glimpse of life at sea.

On Saturday, Prince Harry and Governor-General Quentin Bryce performed the official review of warships from 17 nations.

Up to a million people are estimated to have watched a huge light and fireworks show which lit up Sydney harbour to end the day’s celebrations- the biggest since the Olympic Games.

The dazzling fireworks display was launched from city rooftops, barges, the Harbour Bridge, and the decks of Navy warships.

Images of key moments in the Navy’s history were projected onto the Opera House along with archival sound recordings, honouring Australian sailors who have lost their lives at sea.


The above is a news item which I copied from the Sydney Morning Herald webpage.





On Sunday, the 6th October, we made it to Central Station in Sydney. From there we took the tram to Darling Harbour. It was already late afternoon. However there were still huge crowds everywhere. Some of the tall ships had made it from Sydney Harbour to Darling Harbour. If you wanted to go on board of one, you had to buy a ticket and then join a large queue to be let on the boat. We did not feel like waiting around for so long. We promenaded instead along Darling Harbour. Peter took a few pictures. For refreshment we bought some lovely ice-creams and listened to some beautiful Lebanese music.






Someone who had seen Peter taking pictures of me asked whether we wanted to have a picture taken of us together. We thought this was very kind of him.

Someone who had seen Peter taking pictures of me asked whether we wanted to have a picture taken of us together. We thought this was very kind of him.




We took the tram back to Central Station. From there we could catch our train back home to Dapto. It was nearly 9 pm by the time we were home. We had left home some ten hours earlier because we had been invited to a talk about the environment that we did not want to miss out on.

By the way to our great shock we noticed yesterday morning that we had lost one hour: Our clocks had been set forward onto Daylight Saving Time!


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