Heading west from the Toowoomba range to Millmerran, Queensland

This weekend just gone I took a five day weekend and headed south of the border. Well really more south west but it was definitely across the border. I put on a number of caps for the trip, I was an interstate removalist,  a fruit wholesaler, a handy person, a providore,  a general hand, a driver and countless other caps.

Yep, I packed up the car and went to visit Mum. I left Brisbane on Wednesday night and after a taco dinner (south of the border … ) with some dear friends I headed to Millmerran for the night. I penned typed this little rhyme after getting to my accommodation for the night. It pretty much summed that leg of the trip up.

Drove on the Gore,
It’s a bit of a bore.
Catching shut-eye in a donga,
Going to read about Beluga.

Of course, I didn’t actually read about Beluga but it was the only word that I could think of that was even close to rhyming with donga.

If you need a place to stay in Millmerran, I recommend the Millmerrran Village Caravan Park. Clean, tidy and very helpful staff.

My donga in Millmerran ticked all the boxes for somewhere to crash for the night and I had the best shower there I’ve had in some time, oh the water pressure!

Arty shot of autumnal plant in the caravan park.

Breakfast shot. The contents of that PET bottle? Orange juice squeezed by me (well perhaps the Kitchenaid), good hit of Vitamin C.

Cacatua galerita! Lots of them. These birdies were part of my first mass bird sighting of the trip. There would be many more. The size of this flock would be chicken feed to what I would see south of the border. Still, I do love a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. They are just such personable birds.

Bye-bye Millmerran.

From Millmerran I headed onwards to Goondiwindi or Gundy if you speak the speak. My stopover in Gundy will be another post, ahh sweet Gundy. Gundy was where the op shop deities started to shine on me. Oh sweet Gundy.

Props to you if you picked the source of the post title. According to last.fm, I’ve played this song nine times, I’ve actually played it whole lot more than that, the OCMS CD had a period of very high rotation in the car.

That sums up the first leg of my road trip. What I’ve not told you about is the fact that I managed to get lost take a creative detour both going into and out of Forest Lake on my way to dinner (all those darn changes to those roads) or that the cloud was so thick heading up the range and through Toowoomba on Wednesday night that I barely got above 20km/hr for that stretch …

Modernteering across Brisbane

Last Sunday, I joined in the company of about 40 people in a Modernteering adventure (a word to describe an “orienteering” adventure where the control points are examples of modernist architecture) across Brisbane.

The starting point was a house in Aspley. When I heard the adventure was starting in Aspley I knew it would be a good day. There are so many nice houses in Aspley and every time I drive through Aspley I go down another street looking for those perfect modernist houses or design elements that are scattered over Aspley. This house was one of them and and the owners have spent the last couple of years working on the inside and are about to start working on the exterior. My favourite feature of this house was of course the balustrade but I did love the soaring sloped ceilings and the delightful lounge area below the corner window.

The next house was in Ashgrove and was an example of a  extension/conversion of a classic Ashgrovian post war timber house with a slightly modernist bent. The wall storage system was just gorgeous. 

Next up was Tarragindi to a house that I would cross the river for. Yep, I would become a southsider for this house. It is a house that was perfectly designed for the site it sits on. Perfectly sub-tropical and modern and Brisbane. It had lines,  more lines and more lines so much so that I  just kept getting lost in my admiration of the lines of the house. I would stand outside the house or in a corner of the room just absorbing all those lines.

The house was designed by an architect as his family home and was built in two stages as money allowed completion of the build. The current owners bought it from the architect about a year ago and one of the best things about the house tour was that the architect was actually there to talk about the house, the design and anything else you wanted to ask. I spent a lot of time pouring over the plans trying to soak up as much of the house as I could.

The last house of the tour was in Carina for a house designed by Donald Spencer and the current occupants are the third to own it, the house is quite “Palm Springs Modern” in style and when you look at the other houses in the street it would have been something really quite out there and I’m sure that the residents of the street at that time would have looked through their net curtains and wondered what that house was. I can almost here them whispering “It has now dining room!”, “The kitchen is just two tiny strips of bench behind a three quarter height wall that backs onto the living room”, “They have to eat outside!”

It really is a house and a half and it seems quite fitting that one of the current owners is a Tiki Carver! I adored, all the glass walls which brought so much light into the house and the way in which the house just flowed from one room to the other and from outdoors to indoors.

The last point was lunch, where we enjoyed delightfully kitsch sandwiches with fillings such as chicken and pecan, salmon (tinned of course) and two others that I can’t remember now. All on white bread of course!

The tour was run by Chris at Australian Modern and it was a fantastic morning out not only to explore delights of Brisbane but also the chance to catch up with other Brisbane bloggers (Brismod and Carmel of the now hibernated Make Mine Mid-Century) and to meet a whole bunch of new people who all have a place in their heart for Modernist architecture and design in many forms.

I’m very much looking forward to the next MAD (Modernist Architecture + Design) house tour when ever it happens 🙂

Winter Days

On the beach

I took some photos for a friend of her little family down the coast and gave my camera some love last weekend. It has been some time between shots for my baby. Was quite good to have fun with the camera again as uni/work/house “reno” has pretty much consumed my life for the last X weeks. Uni however is just about finished for the semester and I’m looking forward to that day in 2.5 weeks or so when it is all over 🙂

The Tawny Frogmouths return so I blog again

The birds reappeared in the Silky Oak this morning. I woke up, looked out the window and there they were; preening their feathers in the early morning light. As per usual it has been about a week since they were last in the garden.

What else have I been up to since then?

Making use of one of my Christmas presents – a jam funnel, thanks Mum!

Using the above leads to this. Mulberry Jam, yummo.

Stocking up on mangoes, then slicing and freezing so there will be golden mango goodness way past the mango season. A whole tray of mangoes for $8 <– that’s my kind of bargain.

Look at all those bags of goodness.

After a few years of umming and ahhing over different digital radios, I finally picked one up. A Pure Elan II, whilst I dearly loved the Orla Kieley and the look of the other Mio radios they didn’t offer a pause feature. If I was getting a new kitchen radio I wanted to be able to press pause and come back to the radio when I’m off the phone/finished shooing away the sales person/bible promoter at the door etc.

I’m loving it, it’s great having ABC Jazz in the kitchen without either having to have the TV on or having my laptop on the kitchen table.

The house currently looks like a cross between a bomb site and a warehouse as Mum packs up as the ticker counts downs the days till she departs, we are almost in the single digits!

I leave you with this.

That’s my attempt at making a Mango Juice Bali style -> mango, ice, sugar syrup. Blend it together and drink up the sweetness.

Well it seems that I can speak to the trees

Guess who was back in the yard today?

Yep, it seems my request to the trees for the Tawny Frogmouths to return worked. I went out to garden this morning before work and did my usual scan of the trees and there they were. Perched in the Silky Oak, just hanging out. Even better, they were still there when I got home, there is hope it seems that they will hang out in the back yard for some time to come.

The birds in our yard

We have many birds in our yard but on Christmas day there were two special birds in the yard.  This feather tells all. Do you know what bird this feather comes from?

 

It’s not from these birds (Trichoglossus haematodus or Rainbow Lorikeet)

and it’s not from these birds either ( Cacatua roseicapilla or Galah)

nor is it from this bird (Egretta novaehollandiae or White-faced Heron)

It’s not from my magpies either (Gymnorhina tibicen), the magpies (and the butcher birds) are something I’m going to dearly miss with my upcoming move from the balcony suite to the master wing, no more will the magpies on the washing line be the first thing I see and hear in the morning.

It’s not from the crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes) either

 

nor is it the Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) who sometimes comes to visit and it is most definitely not from the Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis), it is also most definitely not from the  Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) who think they rule the roost in the front yard.

The feather comes from the birds known as Podargus strigoides, which bird is that you ask? Why it is this delightful creature.

Yes, that is a Tawny Frogmouth, well not just one but two! The above photo was taken on Christmas Day, we were patching some holes in the tent before my departure for Woodford the following morning when I looked up and saw these fellas in the tree. The one at the front of the above photo is a juvenile whilst the mature one is in the background. Mother and I were quite tickled pink at seeing these birds in our yard, if Pabbi was still alive he would have been tickled pink to see these as well, he adored taking photos of the birds in the back yard. On that note I’m sure Grandad would have been chuffed as well knowing we had Tawny Frogmouths in the the yard as well.

The parent bird is watching us.

 

We weren’t sure how long they would stay in the yard so imagine my delight when I came home from Woodford and saw this face in the Silky Oak. It’s the juvenile! Hello you Tawny Frogmouth.

Oh hello Tawny Frogmouth!

 

Sadly though, I’ve not seen them in our yard in the last week, each day I scour the trees hoping that at least one of them has returned. I do so hope they make an appearance when my brother Karl and his partner Kata come to visit in February. I am so dearly looking forward to not only finally meeting Kata (she was unfortunately in Russia when we were in Iceland last year in 2010, we met one of her sisters though!) but also to having Karl “home” for a little while. Whilst Kata is going to see sooo many things on their seven week jaunt to Australia as Karl shows they lady who has his heart Australia the country in which he was raised it would just be quite something special if there was Tawny Frogmouths in the backyard when they arrived. I’ll just have to talk to the trees and see what they can arrange.

I remember the first time I saw a Tawny Frogmouth, were were on a pre-school excursion to Coochiemudlo Island and there was one perched in the rafters of one of the toilet blocks. We were ushered in ever so quietly by our teacher to look at it.

Well that is the story of some of the birds who like to hang out in the back yard. Their stories are not quite as adventuerous or humerous as the blue tounge lizard clan that resides over at MMMC but I wouldn’t trade my birds for all the world.