Our last Day in 2017

Today we had lunch in the GOSSIP LOUNGE, namely pots of tea and Hamburgers. My Hamburger was vegetarian. The filling was spinach and Ricotta Cheese! Very tasty. And I had some yummy salad with it. We also bought some great products at the fruit shop in the Figtree Shopping Centre. And last but not least we were able to buy Berliners in that shopping centre.
Soon we were ready to drive to Nan Tien Temple. The place was packed full and we had to park outside a bit further away from the Entrance Gates. The rain had stopped. So we experienced another beautiful walk to this magnificent building. Peter took some photos as we walked towards the building. The open inside area at the upper level was decorated in celebratory fashion for the year’s end. We listened to some music and watched some of the dance performances. At one of the stands with a lot of things for sale I bought a colourful windmill.

Our New Year’s Eve is going to start with “Dinner for One”:

Here now are Peter’s pictures that he took today:










Australian Defence Force on heightened alert during Russian military exercise in Indonesia Exclusive by Defence reporter Andrew Greene Updated 24 minutes ago


Australian Defence Force on heightened alert during Russian military exercise in Indonesia
Exclusive by Defence reporter Andrew Greene
Updated 22 minutes ago

Two TU-95 bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces sit on the tarmac.
PHOTO: Two nuclear-capable TU-95 bombers flew their first ever patrol mission over the South Pacific. (Supplied: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
RELATED STORY: Why Russia and the West can’t get along
MAP: Australia
Defence personnel in Darwin were operating at “increased readiness” earlier this month as Russian strategic bombers conducted navigation exercises close to Australia, flying out of an Indonesian military base.

Key points:
RAAF Base Darwin placed on a “short period” of heightened alert
Russian Ministry of Defence claims it “carried out air alert mission over neutral waters of south Pacific Ocean”
Defence Department would have been concerned about Russian intelligence collection, defence expert says
The ABC can reveal RAAF Base Darwin was placed on a “short period” of heightened alert, while over 100 Russian personnel and several aircraft were stationed at the Biak Airbase in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province.

During the five-day stopover two nuclear-capable Tu-95 bombers flew their first ever patrol mission over the South Pacific, prompting concerns they may have been collecting valuable intelligence.

The Russian Ministry of Defence claims its strategic bombers “carried out air alert mission over neutral waters of south Pacific Ocean” in a flight lasting more than eight hours.

In a statement to the ABC, Australia’s Defence Department said “the ADF maintains appropriate levels of readiness and posture to respond to evolving circumstances,” but did not specifically refer to the Russian activity.

“There were no instances of unalerted or unscheduled foreign aircraft operating in Australian airspace during this period,” the Department added.

Defence also insists RAAF Base Darwin was never in lockdown, but did acknowledge “in early December there was a brief period of increased readiness” at the facility.

Two Russian Ilyushin-76 transporters carrying 81 personnel arrived on Biak island in Indonesian Papua on December 4, and were joined shortly after by a pair of Tu-95 bombers, bringing the total number of deployed troops to 110.

Russian aircraft ‘likely gathering Australian intelligence’
Two Russian Il-76MD aircraft arrive in Indonesia.
PHOTO: Two Russian Ilyushin-76 transporters arrived in Indonesia on December 4. (Supplied: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
One of Australia’s leading defence experts believes the Defence Department would have been concerned about the ability of the long-range Russian aircraft to collect intelligence during their visit to the region.

Executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Peter Jennings said this month’s deployment was a significant step by Moscow.

“For the Russians to send a couple of aircraft this far down south I think is really proving it’s got the capacity for that long-range reach,” he said.

“It doesn’t surprise me in the least that our own military forces raised their alert levels in response.

“I’m sure there would have been concerns about Russian intelligence gathering because they wouldn’t have come this far south without wanting to look at the one significant [United States] allied presence in this part of the world, which operates out of [RAAF Base] Darwin and RAAF Base Tindall a little further south.”

Topics: defence-forces, defence-and-national-security, world-politics, australia, russian-federation, indonesia

First posted about 9 hours ago

31st of December 2012

(A REBLOG of the POST I published on the 22nd of January 2013)

Our day on the 31st of December 2012 started with a trip to Bondi Junction, where we met our daughter. We had a cup of coffee with Caroline (sorry no photo). Then Caroline had to go shopping. We strolled back to the station. This time to a different entrance to the station, one that we weren’t familiar with yet. A beautiful large rest area opened up in front of us. Lots of different food and drinks were on offer at different outlets. In the middle of the plaza some delicious looking (homemade) ice-cream caught our eye. Peter and I each had a cup full of this very refreshing treat. It wasn’t expensive but tasted wonderful. There were plenty of seats everywhere to have a rest. We took the lift down to the platform. Only a few minutes and our train departed. We got off at Town Hall Station. Uta in front of the Christmas Tree     Later on we looked at the displays of some cake-shops. We were hoping we would find some Berliners. It is our tradition to eat Berliners on New Year’s Eve. We had no luck. We couldn’t find any.  We went back to Town Hall Station to catch our train to Dapto.  While we were waiting for the train we took some photos. The trip to Dapto took nearly two hours. Some shops in Dapto Shopping Center were already about to close when we arrived there. We knew we had a bottle of Bubbly at home in the fridge for our end of year celebrations. But we were still without any Berliners. I felt a bit tired and was sitting down for a while. In the meantime Peter rushed into another shop that was still open. Surprise, surprise, he came out with some delicious looking Berliners in the form of stars! He got them at half price for they were the last ones that were left! At home we watched “Dinner for One”, which is a tradition with us to watch on New Year’s Eve. It is a sketch about Miss Sophie’s 90th Birthday. Very, very funny! We’ve seen it so often and every time we laugh our heads off again. Peter tried out to take a few pictures from the TV showing Sydney Harbour. At midnight he took also some pictures of the fireworks. Soon after we went to bed. But of course we did have our Bubbly and did eat the heated up little stars with it. They tasted delicious, just as good as the balls, called Berliners, do taste. Of course we did get messages and phone calls from our children before we went to bed, wishing us a HAPPY NEW YEAR.



Inside Queen Victoria Building
Inside Queen Victoria Building

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So, this is a REBLOG of what we did on New Year’s Eve of 2012 (five years ago!). This year we plan on staying home again to watch ‘Dinner for one’ and the Fireworks on TV, also to have some bubbly and hopefully also some Berliners. For lunch on that last day of this  year we want to go out with some friends

Here are the comments and my replies to the above post from January 2013:

  1. .

    auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm Edit #

    Near the Queen Victoria Building we found a lovely little place where we could have a bit of lunch. The fish tasted so good, I managed to eat both large pieces! And imagine, the lunch in the center of the city was a special for ten Dollars! Great value indeed.

  2. Three Well BeingsJanuary 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm Edit #

    The Queen Victoria Building is really beautiful. And I was just thinking today how quickly we moved on from the busy Christmas and New Year’s activities. It was nice to have a reason to look back and see how you spent your last day of the year! The food looks delicious, too! 🙂

  3. auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm Edit #

    Thank you, Debra. 🙂

  4. likeitizJanuary 22, 2013 at 6:43 pm Edit #

    You both look great!

    • auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm Edit #

      Thanks, Mary-Anne. It was a good ending of the year.

  5. The EmuJanuary 22, 2013 at 9:11 pm Edit #

    What a delightful and beautiful way to spend new years eve, love your tradition.
    The pics are great and I must admit the one with the fish in it is more to my liking.
    May you both relive your tradition for many more years to come.
    Emu aka Ian

    • auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm Edit #

      Hi, Ian, I’m glad you liked my little post. The fish I had for lunch was really great, very fresh tasting the way I like it. Normally I would eat only one piece of fish that big, but it tasted so yummy that I finished off the other piece as well! And I did eat most of the chips and all the salad. As a drink we only had water, which was for free.
      The young friendly woman who served us asked us whether we were planning on seeing the fireworks that night. But we said, no, we were going back home to watch it on TV.
      After the scorcher we had last Friday we had some cooler weather the past few days. When you go out in 40+ temps it’s like going out into an oven, isn’t it?
      Hope you’re keeping well, Love, Uta.

  6. catterelJanuary 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm Edit #

    Lovely post Uta – and so pleased for you that you can upload your photos again. I’m very impressed by your starshaped “Berliners” – they look very posh. “Dinner for one” is shown on all the German-speaking TV channels in Europe over and over again on New Year’s Eve – for some Germans, it’s the only English film they know! But surprisingly enough, although the actors were very well known in Britain, hardly anyone in the UK knows that little film. Glad you are carrying on the tradition down under!

    • auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm Edit #

      So pleased, Cat, to be able to share some of my photos again. You probably know that Germans call these “Berliners” Pfannkuchen.
      I heard about it that “Dinner for One” for some reason is hardly known in the UK whereas in Germany it is very popular. There’s one channel here in Australia who always have it in their program for New Year’s Eve. Some fans in Australia watch it every year too. 🙂

      • catterelJanuary 22, 2013 at 9:58 pm Edit #

        I guess the ex-pat German-speakers were homesick for it so the TV people do them the favour!

  7. auntyutaJanuary 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm Edit #

    We belong to the people who are really hooked on it. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. The Butler asks: Same as every year, Miss Sophie? And she answers: The same as every year! It’s so good the way they’re acting it. But I’m afraid I don’t know the names of the actors. Poor 90 year old Miss Sophie. All her companions are already dead. And the butler has to pretend they’re still alive and have come to the dinner party.


Maxim Gorki’s play “Children of the Sun” was shown at the Drama Theatre in Sydney’s Opera House. We saw this play last Saturday. There was a matinee performance at 2 pm which suited us for we prefer to be home at nighttime. Before we went to the theatre we met Caroline for lunch in the city.


Caroline had a salad and Peter and I had beer battered fish and chips.
Caroline had a salad and Peter and I had beer battered fish and chips.

We told Caroline that we had lunch at the same place on the last day of the year 2012. Later at home I looked up the post I published from that day. Sure enough I did find the lunch pictures and was able to republish them.




Paul – GetUp! Reply| Sat 9/12/2017


Paul says this at the beginning of his letter:

“In a shocking abuse of power, the Turnbull Government’s just introduced a ‘GetUp Clause’ devised to attack our independence.1 ”

[1] Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017, Section 287H, 7 December 2017 


[2] GetUp! readies for court battle over bid to link it to Labor and the Greens, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 2017
[3] Getting GetUp!: Foreign influence laws target crowdfunded activist, The New Daily, 7 December 2017
[4] ‘Chilling effect’: Charities slam foreign donations ban, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 December 2017
[5] GetUp: Activist group in fight with Australian Electoral Commission over funding disclosure rules, 23 October 2017
[6] Ban on foreign political donations is both too broad and too narrow, and won’t fix our system, 7 December 2017

If you read on here


you can find out more about the Australian Government’s shocking abuse of power and what can be done to halt this kind of abuse in some way. People like the Get Up people and their  supporters give me hope that maybe not all is lost yet in our so called democracy.


Five Years ago

On the 21st of December 2012 we had our 56th wedding anniversary. On that day we went up to the highlands for a visit to Bowral. Did I publish a blog from that anniversary? So even if I did, I cannot find it anymore. But in ‘my pictures’ album I did find some photos. As I remember it, Peter and I had an excellent time  up in Bowral on the day of our anniversary . Looking at these old photos brings back memories. So here they are:

Here we had our Lunch







These pictures were taken in a Bowral shopping centre .









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In the morning we had visited the Bradman Oval:


At the Bradman Centre there was a nice cafe where we had had some morning tea:





Looking up old Diaries


“5th of December, our second daughter’s birthday; the youngest daughter’s birthday is coming up in four days. The two girls are exactly twenty years apart!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is Thai Yoga for beginners with Chaija Noradechanunt from the University of Wollongong. In the pamphlet it says:

‘Enjoy stretches, breathing work and relaxation practices in a women only place.’

On Tuesday, the 13th December, is going to be the last class for this year.

I like these Thai Yoga classes. I hope they’re going to continue next year. For the Thai Yoga I go to Coniston, which is two trainstops away from where I live.  The Older Women’s Network hire the Community Hall in Coniston for these classes. They say:

‘You’re in good company with Illawarra OWN Wellness Centre. What is a Wellness Centre?

A Wellness Centre provides older women with a different model of health and wellbeing. We offer a holistic approach to improving and maintaining health and coping with illness by providing a variety of choices for healthy living. The Wellness Centre provides an informal, friendly and supportive environment.

We are committed to:

.  Flexible, “drop in” attendance

.  Learning from each other, as well as from health professionals

.  Consumer involvement & participation

‘Social isolation is a threat to the well being and health of us all. As women tend to live longer than men, they are more likely to feel isolated. Being on a limited income further restricts many people and decreases our ability to lead full and productive lives. To enjoy healthy senior years our minds and bodies need to be active and we need to do all we can to ensure we foster a willingness to stay well by keeping active.

An older woman is generally considered to be 50 years and over. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women aged 45 Years and over. All are welcome at the Wellnes Centre.’

Thursdays I usually go to a class here in Dapto. It’s a gentle exercise class with Marta Venegas. This class is to improve core strength and balance. I  like these classes. Marta always brings stimulating music along. She sees to it that we keep up with a bit of dancing and also some more serious fitness training. Some of the exercises can be done sitting or standing. This class is breaking up next week. The break lasts to the beginning of February! I must aim at going to the swimming pool more often to maintain some kind of fitness.

My laptop is playing up sometimes. I think I need to take it for another service.”



“This week we’re going to celebrate our youngest daughter’s birthday: She’ll turn 33 on Friday. Yesterday another daughter of ours turned 53!

Here is a picture of our lovely baby with me at North Wollongong Beach.

I am 44 in this photo. I think our dog was already 13  or 14 years at the time.”

Birthday Celebrations two Weeks before Christmas 2017

On Saturday, the 9th, it was Caroline’s, our youngest daughter’s, birthday. She and her partner gave us a special treat when they came to visit. They presented very fresh Steak Tartar. Everybody liked this:


For Sunday, Peter had baked a hazelnut cake. It had been our daughter Monika’s birthday a few days earlier. So she and some of her family came to see us on Sunday afternoon for coffee and cake.

Two of our great-grandsons, Lucas and Alexander, were among the guests. The boys are three and five now. It was a pleasure to have them around, and I think they liked to spend a few hours at our place. Even though they had not been to visit for a while they could still remember a lot of things, for instance boxes with games and some children’s books. I think their favourite book right now is PUMUCKL, who is a ‘naughty’ goblin (kobold). They went through every page of the book to see where  PUMUCKL was and what he was up to.



They also went with their Dad and later with their Mum into our backyard, where they looked at a lot of the plants and also did some running around from one end to the other. I had great fun watching them! I showed them some ripe black berries which they were allowed to pick.There were many, many green tomatoes in all different sizes. One very nice firm tomato had already turned a lovely red and could be harvested.

In two weeks on Sunday the whole extended family is going to come to our place for some Christmas Eve celebrations. We are all looking forward to this.