Monday, 31 December 2018

The Year that was 2018

So many friends post their best of the year just past, so I thought I would give it a try this year. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful time waster it was, sifting through my multitudes of pics, with so much joy reliving the adventures of the year. From travel overseas, hiking with friends, photos of Ben, wildlife on the golf course, sunrises, sunsets and the local beauty of my early morning walk, I have been truly blessed. 
I am so grateful to have the health and time to enjoy it all.

It has been with great difficulty that I have kept to two photos for each month!

Australia Day falls in January - this flag was spotted on my regular early morning walk route. The flowering gum is quinessential Oz!

The Gaitor Girls, dear friends, hiking the magnificent Coomera River trail - 18 kms of soaring giants and endless creek crossings and waterfalls.  Now my favourite rainforest hike.

February - The Hungry Hikers posing beneath our shady tree ferns on a hot summer's day hike.  I would be lost without this wonderful group of friends.

Sunrise at Pottsville Beach. Another wonderful few days away in the campervan.

March and my birthday. My very special friend Laurel, knows how much I love Lady Birds.

The perfect setting for the wedding of my niece Emma to her soulmate Dale.

April - the local beauty of our birds and lagoons.

Sewing for darling Ben.

May - visiting Ben, Gunner, Stuart and Kim on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Oh, the joy of these 3 special weeks with them.

It was also the joy of witnessing the arrival of spring.

July - Our magnificent cruise of the Rhine and Danube over two weeks. Here we are onboard playing darts, as one castle after another comes into view.

I think the photo says it all.

August - The Hungry Hiker's weekend away and the amazing winter sky above the Stanthorpe landscape.

In contrast, travelling north to visit my brother in north Queensland.

September - another family wedding. This time in Sydney with my nephew Jacob, marrying his lovely Kym. The morning of the wedding we explored the local public gardens in full spring bloom.

The day after, we explored downtown Sydney and its Botanical Gardens.

October - On this occasion a city walk was the order of the day for the Hungry Hikers. Our meeting point was King George Square, which we discovered was hosting a free breakfast.

This month the Gaiter Girls returned to the rainforest and completed the Twin Falls walk.

Oh dear, this is number 3 for October, but I can't omit the beauty of our jacarandas in flower.

This is either October or November. Yes, I am hopless at culling. 
Included because, this early morning walk through the countryside just across the motorway and only 5 mins away, was a glorious find. Fields glistening in the early morning sunlight after several days of rain, cattle grazing and a sensational bird chorous beckoning us on - impossible not to have that glad to be alive feeling!

November and our own stunning Melbourne Cup luncheon.

The bliss of another escape in the campervan. This time to the sleepy beach town of Evans Head.

December - a time of carol singing with my choirs and missing my sons. Matthew in Perth and Stuart with Kim and Ben in Canada. Decorating the house lifts ones spirits.

Christmas day with our wonderful neighbours and close friends, Reg and Laurel and their extended family. The weather was perfect making for just the most relaxed and happy day.

Well 2019 has been rung in, in the company of wonderful friends. Time now to wish you all a year of sunshine, laughter and all the love your hearts can possibly hold.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Christmas Colour

19 December, 2018.

It has become a tradition that my Wednesday Bush Walking group, now officially known as the Hungry Hikers, meet in the city the week before Christmas, to enjoy Brisbane's Christmas colour.

In past years we have met at the historic Plough Inn, Southbank. [1864]. Our venue changed this year with the completion of the renovation of the old wharf area beneath our wonderful Story Bridge. This area has been an eyesore for far too many years. We discovered, along with hundreds of others, that the Howard Smith Wharves have come to life again. Finding a table to sit at was pure luck. Thanks Steve from Birmingham for sharing with us. This was the perfect vantage point to enjoy a cold one and watch the twilight descend and the city lights turn on.


Jocelyn entertaining us with Christmas trivia.

Sunset to Twilight.

At about 7pm we set off on our walk, passing under the colourful Story Bridge, along the Riverside to  Creek Sreet and the nearby St Stephens Cathedral.

The Custom House building. [1884]

Courtyard of St Stephens - church on right and Mary McKillop Chapel on the left. This is the first year that St Stephens has been illuminated. 

Watching the changing patterns on the chapel.

Note the 3/4 dark circle or pram shape - it was the countdown for the children's animation. A happy story highlighting the need to share and take care of those around you. 

When the childrens animation was completed, nativity scenes were screened until the countdown recommenced. 

It was all just wonderful.

Our path now took us through Queen Street Mall, [city centre] where we took a right turn to join the crowds enjoying the City Hall illuminations. 
It was a warm evening but not too sweaty. I don't think I have seen so many people, politely crowded together, moving everso slowly along, creating an amazing happy atmosphere. The crowds were as thick as a football stadium emptying after a match. These crowds stayed with us for the remainder of the evening, but it was worth it.

Laurel snap.

Joc snap.

My snap.

Looking back to City Hall as we make our way to the Enchanted Gardens of the Roma Street Parklands.

Finally the entrance.

Above is Laurel's pic. I went above the crowded path and snapped this one.

I dream of a white Christmas, but it's pretty good down under too, when the temperature is kind. A wonderful evening with friends. Given the excessive temps we had been experiencing, our Christmas weather has been just perfect.

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