Monday, 27 December 2021


Christmas is not a time of year I look forward to with all our family overseas. Visits cancelled because of Covid haven't helped. My dear friend Jocelyn made it her goal this year to lift my spirits.  I can only say she excelled herself, along with other friends and unexpected surprises.

First on the list was a Sunday afternoon at the Brisbane City Hall, for The Messiah, beautifully sung by the Queensland Choir. Their voices filled the City Hall's cavernous spaces with glorious sounds. The Hallelujah Chorous was spine-tingling.


A week later the Hungry Hikers returned for an evening of entertainment, hosted for senior citizens by the Lord Mayor. The High Tea followed by a marvellous concert of variety performances was totally spirit lifting.

Meanwhile my lovely husband was decorating our home and Stanley and Stanlietta made a lengthy return visit to our entrance.

Overseas snow was falling in early December.
Matthew woke to a white world which I captured on webcam. A few days later my Grandchildren were super excited to discover the white transformation in their garden.

Here in Oz, the day looked lovely, but was hot and humid to the extreme!

Wednesday 8 - Jocelyn had booked tickets for West Village's Carols on the Common. [West Village is an old inner city suburb that has been redeveloped quite beautifully with outdoor areas and coffee shops.]

Alas, as I left to drive in, a torrential thunderstorm hit. It caused traffic chaos but changing to public transport meant I arrived just in time. Thankfully my husband rescued me for the return journey.
The Carols were unable to be sung on The Common. A remodelled, old icecream factory within the complex became the new venue. Sound wise we were very happy with the change, as we were up close and personal to the 4 sensational singers - alto, soprano, tenor and base.

Saturday 11 saw me at a Community Christmas Craft Market selling my cards. All preoceeds went to the Fred Hollows, Restore Eyesight Foundation. Such a lovely friendly atmosphere.

Sunday 12 a most pleasant afternoon was spent at St Mary's Anglican Church, found nestling on the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, overlooking the city.
The Canticum Chamber Choir presented 'Sing Noel", "community carols and other seasonal music including Poulenc's 'Motets for Christmas and excerpts from Handel's Messiah." 
Again, magic moments as their voices echoed through the rafters of this tiny, historical church.
It was an extra delight to be asked to join the choir on the lawn for wine and Christmas cake, after the performance.

To extend a perfect afternoon, Jocelyn and I drove to Government House, open to the public for just a few hours on this evening. The joy on the children's faces as they enjoyed the Christmas light display was very special. It was also wonderful to meet our new Governor, Dr Jeannette Young, only recently sworn in. 
Dr Young stepped down from her role as Qld's chief medical officer to take on this role. Her leadership since Covid hit, has to be admired. 
Here is a message from the nurses union on her departure from her role as Chief Medical Officer.

"It is in her role as  the State Health Incident Controller since January 2020, where she has led Queensland’s COVID-19 response, that she has become a household name, not only in Queensland but across the country. For more than 21 months, Dr Young has worked tirelessly, leading the efforts to keep our community safe.  

We have watched her at daily media conferences clearly and concisely provide the latest COVID-19 updates and explain how we can all act to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our community safe in unprecedented times. Science and the evidence has always been the basis of her decision making. Her calm demeanour was always so reassuring. She gave us confidence and reassurance when it was so desperately needed, and for this we will be forever grateful. 

Dr Young’s career exemplifies public service - a service that will continue in her role as Governor. 

On behalf of the nurses and midwives of Queensland, I say thank you most sincerely for your stellar leadership, unswerving commitment, passion and hard work in the most challenging of circumstances."

15 December - My previous post told of the joy of seeing Beaudesert yarn bombed for Christmas.

The morning of the 17 Dec, I was woken at 4.30 am by the raucous dawn calling of flocks of Corellas. On this morning I chose not to roll over and cover my ears, but to rise and leave early for my morning walk. Thank you Corellas for alerting me to this glorious dawn. A hundred or so images were taken but I will only share a few.

It was on this morning that I added my 5th bauble to a lovely tree on my walk. I didn't get to add as many as I would have liked, but I hope they brought a smile to those passing each day.

Midday saw another friendship group meeting in the city for a Christmas lunch. Seven of us took the train into Central Station and enjoyed a leisurely walk to our favourite Greek Restaurant, overlooking the Brisbane River.

18 December - a final visit to the city [before Christmas] with the Hungry Hikers. Jocelyn had organised tickets to the the Concert Hall's "Spirit of Christmas" performance. We dined together at the Casino, then walked across the Victoria Bridge to enjoy another sensational evening of Christmas singing and entertainment. The orchestra were divine and our favourite tenor, Rosario la Spinos moved me to tears as he sang Jerulsalem. The journey in was fraught with incidents for some. Our train wasn't running during the weekend so we took the bus, and what a wonderful bus it was! For three of the group the buses were cancelled because of Covid protesters blocking the bus routes. They had to hot foot the last couple of kilometres. Once we were gathered we made up for lost time and enjoyed ourselves as only Hungry Hikers can!

Sunday evening, 19th - Prior to Covid I enjoyed being a member of 2 choirs. I love singing but I am not a singer. 
The choirs have regrouped after Covid lockdowns, but I no longer feel that I can sing with them as their make up has changed. On this Sunday afternoon it was arranged that any choir members of the last 12 years would meet on the lawn of the home, where we annually sang Christmas carols for 6 or 7 nights prior to Christmas. 

Christmas Eve singing was always very special to me with my family absent. I was a little reluctant to attend but so glad I did. 

The evening temperature was very pleasant. We shared food and sat around in a very relaxed circle. As the sun went down, the song books of past years were distributed and the taped accompaniment switched on. So many beautiful voices joined in. Their ability to harmonise naturally made for a wonderful hour of singing. As in the past, many locals looking at all the street displays stopped to listen and then wandered on. Just beautiful.

Wednesday 22 - our offical Hungry Hiker walking day! We met at the Wynnum Bay foreshore at 6 am, dressed appropriately for the season. We were amazed at how many folk were thrilled to see us and openly wished us a happy Christmas.
Laurel was our driver from this end and had gone to the extra effort of decorating her car as well!

Six, hot sweaty kilometres [even at this time of day] were walked, before we settled to a delicious breakfast picnic.

Friday 24 - on this day we had invited a long time friend to an early Christmas lunch. His sister lives in Toronto and we had gotten to know her very well when she visited Chris at the beginning of Covid and couldn't get home for 10 months. 
Only minutes before Chris's arrival, there was a knock on the door. I was stunned to see that the scarecrows had just taken delivery of a floral arrangement sent from Toronto. You can't get much more special than that! We enjoyed a lovely time together.

And so Christmas Day arrived. Thanks to Joc and so many friend's well wishes, I welcomed the day. 
We chatted with the Grandies before they went to bed on their Christmas Eve and could feel their excitement. In the evening we watched them open presents, exclaim, laugh and cry when the littlest wanted her brother's toy! Lunch was with our neighbours and friends. Then we chatted with our son Matthew, as he skied  between Austria and Switzerland and back again. After he has just been through another month of lockdown we are relieved that he was able to do this and not be entirely alone in his unit.

I am truely blessed with the warmth of friends, near and far and my wonderful family, who I will hopefully see again sometime this year. If not, I know the time will come and I am far more fortunate than so many.

Every best wish to you and yours for the New Year. May it be filled with love, laughter, good health and friends as caring as mine.

Secret Santa time!

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Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Christmas in a Country Town

 Wednesday 15 December

A chance comment led me to discover that Beaudesert, a rural town just 40 mins from home, had as a community, yarn bommbed their streets with a Christmas theme.

The Hungry Hikers had planned to walk at nearby Mt Tamborine. We quickly included Beaudesert in our day. Alas, we didn't make it to Tamborine. Our enjoyment of the yarn bombing meant very slow progress and Tamborine will still be there for a later date.

Morning tea in the park was a must before our walk commenced.

How lovely are these hedged little trees?

The walk commences with us delighting in the many Christmas banners under the shop awnings.

Brisbane Street and our first decorated street pole.

Our excitement begins to mount when we discovered this beautifully clothed bench seat.

Many more were to be found and delighted by.

The street bollards were very cute!

And the trees were not forgotten.

The War Memorial Park in the centre of town, hosted the Christmas tree and decorated sunshades for enjoying a coffee or cool drink beneath.

Driving home we agreed with this sentiment. The previous day I had happily had my booster.

This property owner regularly delights one and all with their minions, that welcome each celebration of the year.
This Christmas scene is perfect in this country setting. Feel the heat? Note the green!

I wish you and yours a time of joy and happiness and peace and good health for 2022.

I would love to read your comment.