Thursday 29 December 2022

The Dobbin Men Celebrate Christmas

Christmas Day 2022

Matthew travelled by train to Val Gardena in the Dolomites and enjoyed magnificent scenery and well-groomed skiing slopes.

Stuart and his family had a rough lead-up to Christmas, with sick children and a severe storm of wind and rain which passed through 23 /24. Power was lost for a couple of hours.
They were thrilled to wake up to a white Christmas!

Back in Oz, Santa found Frank and judged him well-behaved enough to receive a present or two.
After breakfast at 6am, we drove to Tweed Heads for coffee and a swim before joining his sister Mags, for lunch. Frank had slipped, slopped and slapped, but still managed to get sunburnt on this very pleasant 27 C Christmas Day.

Let it be filled with joy and peace.

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Thursday 22 December 2022

The Hungry Hiker's Christmas Celebrations

 December 2022

Christmas 2021, like this year, saw the Hungry Hikers have many wonderful outings. It was observed that we were similarly dressed. Photographer Jocelyn took this on board and a dress code was issued for each of our evenings in the city, enjoying the various Christmas entertainment.

2021 - dressed for the Concert Hall Christmas Carols with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Red and black was the theme on December 8 at 5 pm, for the Lord Mayor's High Tea and Carol Concert for Brisbane Seniors! The theme of the concert was Rockin' Christmas and it really was marvellous entertainment.

Time then to go Christmas Tree hunting!

The Brisbane Quarter Hotel's tree was very contemporary.

Queen Street Mall scenes.

Not an original idea, but our technique improved as the night went on.

A fairyland of lights at the Queensland Institute of Technology, as we made our way back to the train station. A perfect evening of laughter and joy, on a very warm summer's evening.

Wednesday 14 December

Rain cancelled our visit to The Enchanted Garden, last year. The previous year everyone entered en masse and it was difficult to fully appreciate the wonder of the colours. The staggered entry this year and the massive expansion of the garden spectacle had us spellbound for over an hour, as we slowly moved with ease, from one delight to another.  Listening to the wonder in the children's voices added to our joy. 

The Candy Cane Hearts were a Joc innovation, with green and white the colour theme.

It was a short walk back to City Hall to watch the 10-minute visual and audio display of Santa's reindeer, saving Christmas. It ran every 15 minutes, so we didn't have long to wait.

The candy cane poses also added to the fun of the evening.

A short video of some of the garden's animations.

Friday 16 December

A return to the Concert Hall for this year's Carols. One and half hours of pure spine-tingling, goosebump joy! 
The code this night was Christmasy. The lovely Leanne arrived, unexpectedly, with these Santa hats that she had sewn bells onto.

Leanne had also organised a post-show picnic on the river bank. As we arrived there was a very light drizzle and lightning to the east. The radar image wasn't promising, but the weather Gods are always kind to the Hungry Hikers, and our faith that we would stay dry remained intact. The rain did, however, belt down as we ran from the train to our cars.

Our everso lovely, Jenny!

Laurel and the lightning.

Wednesday 21 December

The city festivities had come to an end. Time to get back to walking! Margot had planned an evening, suburban walk for us, but at the last moment discovered that her favourite basketball team had changed their playing night and had to opt out. The result was, that 5 of us met at the small country town of Boonah to view their Christmas yarn bombing at 4 pm. Last year we were thrilled by the display in the nearby town of Beaudesert.

We were not disappointed with Boonah's display, and I have so many more ideas for my tree next year, I may even have to plant more trees!

Arriving in town we were greeted by this stunning horse sculpture, which had been decorated. Photo on the L was taken by Laurel.

The theme was 'festive', but we colour-matched well. The locals were delighted to see us.

We were to have a light picnic in a park but the wind has been so strong and "cold", Jayne invited us back to her home.

Monday evening, the Gaiter Girls got together for a Christmas drink. There had been a cool gale blowing all day and by 6 pm the temperature had dropped to a cold - "20C" !  The blankets were very welcome as no one had come prepared for "winter" in summer.

Very special times, with very special friends. 
During this year we have continued to try to live, laugh and celebrate, as we know all too well, that each and every day counts. Our darling Jenny lost her husband, Mother and Mother in law. Jayne's husband has Parkinson's. Joc and Leanne farewelled their Dad. Margot's sister had a stroke this time last year and worked hard to recover mobility, only to be told this week that she has stage 3 breast cancer. My dear friend Pam, Laurel's sister in law, lost her husband in August and discovered she has lung cancer in October. She has never smoked.
We are fully aware of how fortunate we are to live in the freedom of our wonderful country.

An Irish Christmas Blessing

May you be blessed with
the spirit of the season
which is peace
The gladness of the season 
which is hope
And the heart of the season 
which is love!

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Monday 12 December 2022

The Frangipani Walk

 Monday 12 December

The Gaiter Girl numbers were depleted and the forecast was for hot and sweaty, so an early morning local walk was chosen. A circuit walked on many occasions, but one always finds something new to find joy in.

Today we were thrilled by the perfume and vibrant colours of the frangipani, throughout our 10 km amble. 

The colours of the bougainvillea and the poinciana were vibrant too.

And this morning my heart soared with the beauty of my Haemanthus or Blood Lily. It is a unique South African plant with the most delicate geometric detail.

Rain droplets from last night's storm.

It is a busy time of year but it is always worth stopping and finding peace and calm through nature's beauty.

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