Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A bit from the garden

 My backhousia citriadoria (lemon scented myrtle is looking a picture.  I have been slightly disappointed that I planted this tree as I did not realise it does not attract the birds - but the insects and bees love it!  I love the smell of the crushed leaves, but I am not a fan of the flavour in cooking - though it is very fashionable these days.
I have no idea of the botanical name for this basket fern.  The new leaves have suddenly shout out, changing the appearance dramatically.  Ten days ago it was a danger to our eyes, with long sharp spines protruding everywhere. I spent an hour or so getting rid of them while I was waiting for a boring business visitor of Bill's to leave!  Bill collected this fern about forty years ago from a site in far north Queensland, along with the orchids - you can see the tail end of their flowering in the photo.
The season has been strange, many plants are hanging on to their flowers for months instead of  weeks and others are flowering right out of season.
I suspect the El Nino has something to do with this.  We are not getting our usual rain, but thankfully neither are we getting the super cell storms of Southern Queensland.  I think the ants are giving me a message though, the sugar is definitely back in a screw top jar instead of its open bowl, and we are inundated in our bathroom.  We had black cockatoos a week ago, but they have vanished this week - they are always supposed to be a sign of rain coming.  Bush lore is fascinating.
Christmas has caught up with me and I have realised all the stuff which I need to do with so little time left - it seemed like months away till this week!  At least I have bought most of the ingredients for my Christmas cakes and puddings, also the Christmas cards, but I haven't started to write any yet.  I also need to perforate 900 raffle tickets - after Bill has produced them - for our annual Christmas in the Gardens event at the Botanic Gardens in just over two weeks!  At least we are not going away this year so I don't need to worry about that.
Time to do some weeding - they are growing so big even I can see t hem

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Positive news

Well, I have to say I am now getting quite excited about the move of the library into the CBD.  Friends of the Library had a presentation and a walk through the empty building this morning.  One of the major concerns we had originally was that the Heritage Collection, a very important repository for Mackay's history,  had no place in the new library.  We complained loud and long - and won!!!  The plans we saw today have a larger designated room than we have in the current library.

Libraries are changing so much these days with all the new technology, many fewer books and more interactive computer driven stuff - way beyond my comprehension at present, but this is the way the young people like it, so the library has to stay relevant.

The library is supposed to be finished and open by August next year, so look forward to some exciting photos then.

 My friend Shirley and I went into the CBD early for the presentation so walked around to see what the revitalisation has supposedly done. These tow photos are of some more of the street art, which i rather like.
  The inspiration apparently came from the collection of gingers in the Botanic Gardens.  Sadly, we found very few open shops and none which would bring us into the CBD to shop.
I was talking to the architect who designed the Library, who had been to a conference recently where Bernard Salt, a well known demographer, was talking.  he thinks Mackay and Karratha in West Australia are likely to lead the way to recovery in the next few years.  I certainly hope he is right.
Now I had better get back to some boring bookwork for the company. 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Brisbane and back

We had a quick trip to Brisbane for a couple  of days late last week and it has taken me till now to find time to post!
The prime reason for visiting was so Bill could receive an award at a function of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute recognising his 50 years of membership - now he no longer has to pay to belong!
My sister came down to spend a day with us just being tourists.  Bill and I had visited the Ccity Hall a couple of years ago when it has just reopened, which is when I took the photo below.
 This time we were able to go up into the clock tower, which is a looong way up.  I had not been up there for over 50 years and workplace, health and safety has take over. We are not allowed out at the middle floor where you can really see the workings of the clock, and neither are we allowed to be at the top when the clock chimes!  In the old days there used to be a rush to get there when it chimed twelve.
 The Albert Street uniting church looks so tiny from up at the top.
When City Hall was built in the 1930s and right up till the 1960s it was the rallest building in the CBD and you could see it from everywhere - but not now.
 The guide told us a lovely story about the clock tower, which should have had a lot more carvings added to it as well as a peace angel at the very top.  Times were tough and the money ran out, but the worker adding the final bits was determined to have something up there.  He raided the local tip and found pipes and an old hand basin and other bits which I can't remember and fashioned it into a decoration which is still there  - not sure if you can see it in the photo.  I am afraid I shoot and guess!
There is an excellent art gallery in the building and one of the exhibitions on at present is the works of William Bustard.  I have only taken photos of the wonderful stained glass, including a working cartoon for the construction.  he did the stained glass in my local church where I grew up and I had always loved them.  He was a very talented painter of oils and water colours as well, but somehow I did not manage to take any photos of those.

 By then it was time for lunch. Barb had not been to the reconstructed Shingle Inn which is within the building, so we had to try that out. It is still just as good.
 Bill opted for traditional fish and chips and this is what came.  They have had the paper specially printed, with old time stories on it, al good fun.
 Following lunch we took a trip down river on the City Cat, always a lovely experience.  I was trying to get photos of the jacarandas, but you need grey skies to make them show up properly and they were also a bit past their best, but still lovely.  Brisbane is full of these lovely trees.
The storms treated us well and stayed away when we were out and about.  We were able to have a family get together with our son, Barb's son and wife and their 15 month old toddler, the get back to the hotel still dry.
 Bill and I went up river on the City Cat the next day.  This interesting bridge is one of the later day additions to allow uni students easy access from the southern side of the river to the university, saving at least a half hour trip through the CBD.
 This is not the photo I wanted to show you, just a general shot of the river.  I can't manage to delete it and I can't find the one I rally want!  I know I have downloaded it from my phone, but obviously my filing is not up to scratch.

We had some wonderful rain while we were away, our rainwater tank is full again.  There are some more storms around today so hopefully some more rain is on the way.  So far this year we have only had 45% of our average annual rainfall and there is not much time left to catch up.
This last photo is of the brunsfesia in the corner of my neighbour's garden.  The perfume is glorious, I am enjoying hanging clothes on my clothes line just near it.
Now I had better go and water some of my pot plants which the rain will not reach.