Friday, October 31, 2014

Skywatch Friday: Sunset at Minnippi

Our local lake is only 500m walk from home and a great place to take in the beauty and serenity of sunset. These shots are from a little over a year ago.
Unfortunately due to severe lack of rain this year, the lake doesn't look much like this anymore. The section where the water lilies are is totally dry.

This is the same evening, up the hill to the right of the lake.

There are 1440 minutes in every day... 1440 opportunities to capture a moment of beauty. What moment of beauty did you capture this week?

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Historic buildings of Maryborough, QLD

Mid last year, my husband had to travel to Maryborough for a 5 day Music Conference. As I was not working, he asked if I wanted to go with him. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I had never been to Maryborough but I knew the town had an interesting history.

Settled in 1847, Maryborough's fascinating past is easily recognisable in its gloriously preserved colonial architecture, magnificent riverside parks, heritage characters, unique events and quirky heritage tours.

Maryborough is one of Queensland's oldest cities. In early colonial times it was the second most important port on the East Coast of Australia after Sydney and at one stage was the rival for Brisbane as the site for the new state capital.
The original wharf district is now an exceptional heritage precinct called Portside, where stately colonial buildings have been lovingly reinvented as pubs, restaurants and museums and art gallery. Portside was voted as one of the top "Must Do" experiences in Queensland.

(Info above from Visit Fraser Coast website)

The first day I was there, I decide to investigate the rich history and heritage buildings of this fascinating town.

Considered by some as one of the most attractive country courthouses, the Maryborough Court House is also the longest serving courthouse in Queensland. It has been in continuous use by the supreme, district and magistrates courts since 1878.

Customs House was built in 1899, replacing the original customs house built in 1861 after is was damaged in the 1873 floods. It is now known as the Portside Centre, and reflects the history of Maryborough as a thriving river port in the early days of Queensland. Discover the history of the state's pioneering industries through interactive displays and more. The original

Customs House Residence. This grand home was built at the same time as the Customs House for the Customs Sub-Collector and his family. It is now home to Muddy Waters Café.

Bond Store Museum. This brick building, on a sandstone base, was built in three stages, in 1864, 1870 and 1883. It became the Bond Store Museum in 1993. It includes collections celebrating the early history of Maryborough and is one of the city's oldest buildings. It was part of the Customs complex to provide storage for goods that attracted a tax for Her Majesty's Customs Service.

Walk through the Bond Store, and you're stepping on history. The earthen floor and ancient handmade bricks in the original 1864 building downstairs still exist, as do many of the liquor barrels left over from that time.
The rear corner of the building also records levels of the major floods over the years. 

Built circa 1918, the Maryborough Branch of the Waterside Workers Federation used this heritage listed timber building with its unusual recessed doorway as a meeting place and centre for members. The building was used until 1963 and is currently used for storage.

The Maryborough Heritage Centre is a two story rendered brick building prominently located on the corner of Richmond and Wharf Streets since 1878. It was originally a branch of the Bank of New South Wales and is now home to some of the nation's leading genealogy research facilities.

J E Brown Warehouse. This once busy warehouse is now a leading Military and Colonial Museum with over 7,000 items and memorabilia . You can learn about heroes who fought in distant lands and the courageous and determined pioneers of the area.

Maryborough City Hall was completed in 1908 to replace the original timber Town Hall which stood on the opposite side of Kent Street. It is a fine example of the work of renowned Queensland (Brisbane) architects Hall and Dods.
Behind the majestic columns of Maryborough’s grand City Hall are thousands of stories more than one hundred years in the making.

Maryborough Post Office opened in 1866 and is the oldest surviving masonry Post Office in Queensland. In those early days, attached to the top of the tower was a wooden pole holding a Time Ball, which was lowered each day at 1pm. The tower was extended in 1879 for better visibility and to house a clock with four faces.

The Post Office Hotel was built in 1889 and designed by Italian architect, Caradini. During the Second World War it was a popular meeting place for navy personnel.

More on Maryborough later.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Unexpected Joy

Those who have been following me since I started this blog in July 2011, may remember that I had a prodigal son who left "for good", with his partner and young son 3 1/2 years ago. Since then they have had 2 more children (daughters) and were married in January 2013.
I have only seen my grandson for 5 short weeks, when my son was living with us back in Feb/March 2011.

Dan, Matty & me, March 2011

I have some wonderful, and unexpected news!!

In early September, I received a phone call and, then shortly after, a knock on the door... It was my oldest son, Dan! His return has not been under the best circumstances... He and his wife have separated. I knew deep down that it may have to come to this for us to ever see him again.

He has currently been denied access to his beautiful children, Matthew (4), Annabelle (almost 3) and Sophia (almost 1). I do hope he is able to resolve this for their sake and his! It is always the innocent children who suffer in these situations.

Here is a relatively recent photo of the children (it's all I have):
Bella, Sophia & Matty

The entire situation has been incredibly difficult for him, but I am so glad that he knew that he could turn to his family in any time of need. Although he turned up on the doorstep totally broken and a shell of the young man he once was, it has been wonderful having him home and watching him gradually relax over the last 7 weeks.

He has finally had the time to begin the long process of rebuilding his life and finding himself again. To see him smile and laugh again daily is an incredible gift. His witty and cheeky sense of humour is remarkably intact.  He has so many gifts and talents that have been squashed deep down over the last 7 years; he is a brilliant musician, artist and writer. He also loves surfing... another passion he gave away over the last 7 years. He's looking forward to some visits to the Gold Coast over summer.

This is not my son but I hope to capture some images of him surfing over summer.

His step-Dad & step-siblings are finally getting to know the Daniel we have always described. He is a wonderful, loyal, loving and caring son and brother. He is a survivor, and I know he will make it out the other end; much stronger, happier and more at peace.

The light at the end of the tunnel has finally been switched on...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday: Noisy Miner

The Noisy Miner is a bold and curious bird. It is identified by its mostly grey body and black crown and cheeks. The bill is yellow, as are the legs and the naked skin behind the eye.

Noisy Miners range from northern Queensland along the eastern coast to South Australia and Tasmania. They are found in woodlands and open forests. They have also become well adapted to suburban situations and are a common sight in parks and gardens.

In suburban parklands and lightly timbered agricultural lands, an increase in population numbers may impact on local wildlife by displacing or excluding other native bird species. As a result, some people regard them as a nuisance.

Linking with Stewart's meme:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cabarita Blues

Whether you love body-surfing or serious wave riding, swimming in safe, shallow waters or long beach walks, the beaches of the North Coast of NSW are just about perfect. This is the most accessible coastline in Australia, with national parks, nature reserves and headland lookouts.

As I may have mentioned before, one of my favourite beaches on the Northern NSW Coast is Cabarita Beach.
We were blessed with the gift of 4 days away in early September for Michael's birthday. I have posted on Cabarita a few times before but mainly focusing on the headland area & the southern beach or the rocky coves & surf spot just north of the headland.

Staying 4 days at Cabarita Beach gave us the opportunity to explore even more of the area than we have during our day trips in the past.
North of the headland and the rocky coves, there is a long white sandy beach that stretches all the way to Kingscliff. This is the southern end, right near the Cabarita Beach Surf Club.

The beauty of Cabarita is that it's so peaceful.

I even managed a fence for Theresa's meme  "Good Fences".
You can see the headland of Kingscliff in the distance.

All the little coves make it a wonderful and fascinating beach!

There is something about the beach that draws me in. Blue skies, fluffy clouds and the ocean are definitely a happy place for me.
It was a perfect day!

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