Sunday, July 28

Catch and Release Fishing.

We have caught a few fish around Beachmere this past week, but not one was of legal size, so we decided to try Ecopark south of Beenleigh.  It was sunny when we left Beachmere, but soon rainclouds appeared and we experienced occasional showers and one or two more heavy downfalls, but it was lightly raining when we reached the park.  (It is on the Beaudesert Beenleigh Road, just south of Beenleigh.)

We booked to fishing roads and all the tools we needed (hooks, bait, net) and set off.  A young lad (staff member) directed us to a pond where the bigger fish were and in no time (well, it felt a long time for her!) R pulled in a fish.  Later she caught another.  Sadly they have to be released back into the pond, but the message is that they taste awful as they live so much of the time in muddy water.

There is a cafeteria, a collection of animals to visit, and a small souvenir shop.  There are great facilities and a good place for a full day trip.

Saturday, July 27

Long Way to Brisbane

We were invited to afternoon tea at my daughter's home at Hemmant, so decided to go via the scenic route - Scarborough and Redcliffe, so set off around 11.30 am.  O had woken only a short time before we left, and manage to eat a bowl of muesli in haste before we departed.

Just after Burpengary  I drove onto Deception Bay Road and followed the "Northern Scenic Route" which took us out to Scarborough and Morgans.  It was hard not to exclaim "OMG" frequently as the development in the region was enormous.  So much has changed since I was last in the area.

At Scarborough we "toured" the fresh fish side of Morgans Seafood  before deciding to have some hot food - fish and chips, calamari, etc.    It was a short wait really for our meal - there certainly was quite a line, and we were glad we were not there at a very busy period!!!

Outside to the seating overlooking the boats we went, but R would not sit anywhere where nasty birds were!!!  Of course there were plenty of seagulls and the odd ibis.  So we sat well away from any of the feathered visitors to Morgans, though one of each species did wander over to us which caused some drama.  And a PeeWee screeched beside us which also unnerved my Chinese visitors.

After we had eaten we ventured to Redcliffe - such a glorious day, and so wonderful for taking photos.

Looking south to the pier

On the pier/jetty.

Boats moored in the calm water at the end of the jetty.

Looking back from the end of the jetty. 
When we had finished at Redcliffe we headed to Hemmant arriving not long before the family arrived home and soon the celebrations were in full swing.

What a cake!!! So yummy chocolate and gold stawberries.  Awesome.   Made my Sally the Cake Lady.

And just before we left for the return journey to Beachmere we were shown three of the new budgerigar babies  

Traffic was bad on the highway - usual traffic jam around the Nudgee area, but we soon were on our way safely to Beachmere.

Friday, July 26

A Strange Birthday

R had promised to awake early as she wanted to go fishing at the mouth of the Caboolture River, but of course I was up first, checked the crab pot (one smallish crab and one small bream!), before R awoke, but she was keen to go fishing so we loaded the car and off we went.  The tide was going out and it was muddy and slippery (but thanks to my cheap look-alike Crocs I kept my feet clean), and we cast our lines in to the left of the boat ramp.  I had bites immediately and pulled in two whiting.  Not legal and they were cast back to grow!!  The photo looks impressive though.

There was a cool breeze, the sky was pink with the sunrise and not a cloud in the sky which turned bright blue as time progressed.  How lovely it all looked.  I almost envy the blokes that live on the boats here.  Not sure I could cope with the confined space though.

Interesting layer of shells in the river bank.

R did not get any bites, so soon tired of it, so back to the house.  Brother still sleeping.

I had invited neighbours and friends from Caboolture over for afternoon tea, and R had bought a silicone cake mould of a castle, so we had to make that first.  It was ok, but I wasn't sure how one should ice it!!!  And she didn't like it anyway.

We went to the supermarket and the wonderful Beachmere Bakery (for bread for the sandwiches) and I was surprised that the lovely young lady behind the counter asked about my friend who had been sick when we were there a few weeks ago.  I bought some of their wonderful freshly baked white and wholemeal bread and all were later impressed with the bread on the sandwiches.

Back home again and I made some Devils on Horseback, Sandwiches and a Sponge cake which I decorated with fresh cream and strawberries.  

Wednesday, July 24

Fishing and Crabbing

I had two rods, and one reel, so purchased a new reel from BCF at Morayfield, and a crab pot.  We did go fishing at the boat ramp on the Caboolture River at Beachmere, but the results were disappointing.  Quite a few puffer fish which mostly I had to extricate from the swallowed hook, and occasionally I had to put a new hook on the line.  I cast a rod a few times, but was usually busy sorting out a challenge with one of my guests, and occasionally on the phone.

I didn't throw the net in at the river - I didn't have anything (legal) to attach the rope to, so when we returned home, and my guests (exhausted from doing very little all day!) went to rest, I took the net out to the lake near my home and cast the net into the water.  Rather surprised at how deep it is at the spot where there is a little landing which has more to do with the water inlet/outlet to the sea.

Looks like good crabbing spot.

I really must have exhausted my friends yesterday, but typically they are still asleep and it is 8 am.  Maybe another hour or so before they will surface.  I seem to do all the work (well, not seem, I do do it all) and they get to rest.  I went down to the lake and pulled pot out - and there were two mud crabs.  Yeeha.  I threw the pot back in, as I would like my friends to see my success.

Today we have on the agenda (a) a visit to a beach where R can collect shells.  Mmmm. That could be a hard one as shell collecting is not legal in some places, and (b) making a castle cake.  R purchased a silicone castle cake mould.  Not sure what we will make of it.

I plan to drive up to Nambour and see the Big Pineapple, then on to  Eumundi and wander the markets and go to the beach somewhere around Noosa.  Full day.  Maybe time for cake making..

I am finding it challenging to find food for R and O, as they are very fussy, but they do provide me with great things to ponder.  R bought passion fruit - with wrinkled skin.  Too old she said.  I like smooth skin.  So she bought smooth skinned passion fruit - but it was not sweet.  I explained that the wrinkled skin passion fruit is riper than the others.  Hence the fruit had not matured and gained the sweet flavour.

Monday's evening meal was Quiche and Salad (but they don't eat leaves nor shallot), and they had corned beef and salad at the Caboolture Historical Village with mustard pickles.  "The beef tasted funny" - perhaps they had never eaten "corn" beef before, and the unfamiliar taste of mustard pickles did not please!  O only wants to eat rice.

Their perception of healthy food is not the same as mine.  Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast?  Healthy?  Not!  Salad - leaves.  Yes.  Oh, well.  They are on holiday.

Tuesday, July 23

Train to the City

I thought it would be easy.  Get my Chinese guests up early (hmmmmm) and then head for Caboolture Station, park the car, catch the train.....   It had rained all night and was looking like more rain was to come, so seems everyone drove to the station.  I drove around and around and found no (legal) park, so drove to Morayfield.  Luckily there were more parks there.  I think next time I will head straight to Morayfield!!!!

Train trip, meeting,and then Sushi in Anzac Square before catching the train back.  It must be very tiring playing on one's mobile phone constantly for my guests slept on and off during the journey.  They wanted to go fishing so I called into BCF for a crab pot and a new reel for one of my rods, but they were too tired and wanted to stay in the car.  While I was at the checkout I got a text message "Hurry we are burning".  

Good job I don't take the messages literally - but it was hot in the car apparently, despite the windows being down.  R had a thick coat on and a hat.  When I suggested taking the coat off, she looked at me shocked!!!  "I will get sunburn".

Called into Beachmere shops and bumped into one of my new friends, and then bought some things for dinner and some bait for the crab pot.

"Hurry - we can now go fishing."  

I explained that I had to set up the reel, and the crab pot and do some other items.  Fishing will happen when I am ready.

I need a rest - which I won't get as we have fishing and cooking on the agenda for the rest of the day, and a few other minor things.

The agenda tomorrow?   Seeking BIG seashells on a beach.  Mmmmm.

Sunday, July 21

Nearly done.....

Today as I look around me in my new abode I am filled with pride.  It is all neat and tidy, and functional and almost completed.  I bought three bookshelf back pack from Masters and put them together.  One has books in already but the other two are waiting.  I have not had time to open some of the boxes that remain in my garage and place them in the shelves.  The whole place is neat and tidy.

It is almost 8.30 am - my Chinese guests are still asleep, but I am up and dressed.  I opened the vertical blinds to reveal the park at the back of the house - and the ducks are busily wandering around the wet grass finding worms and other morsels for their breakfast.  There's barely a sound anywhere.  Just so peaceful.

Last night I dined at a friend's place here in Beachmere.  Nice to know I have at least one friend here!!!

Earlier, I had walked around to the lake, talking with a friend on the phone, and I saw a photo opportunity.  Despite it being somewhat overcast, there was a lovely view across the lake, so I headed back and picked up my Canon camera, and took these two photos.
The lake is connected to the sea - so changes with the tides.  

The lake is mostly surrounded by houses - though one or two vacant lots await their fate.  At the far end of the lake is a park, which I visited the previous day on one of my quick jaunts on my e-bike between rain showers.  It is lovely spot and I look forward to sitting there one day with a book, and perhaps a fishing line dangling in the water.  I saw someone had a crab pot out too, but I couldn't see any crabs in it.

The park is someone 'wild' - the lawns are mowed occasionally and there's no swings or anything in it.  It is just 'natural' and the trees are home to a great variety of birds.

Every day there is someone in the park - perhaps a group of children playing, people practicing their golf, or walking their dogs.   Just a peaceful spot.

The park behind my house

Friday, July 12

Settling In

I have moved, alone, to a duplex at Beachmere, and it has been a great learning curve.  Previously I have moved as a couple, so these days it is all up to me, and I have had to learn to do some things that normally the man of the house would do.

However I have found an extra ordinary amount of friendship and support that I have never experienced before.  The real estate agent has been very helpful, and when I requested a new tv antenna I did not hear from them for a week - they had to contact the property owner, and as the days progressed I wondered if my request was to be denied.  However, yesterday I had a call from my friendly maintenance man Tim - he was on his way to install the said piece.  Whoo Hoo.  Last night I was able to lie in bed and watch my TV.  Warm and cosy in my bed.

I have a Dick Smith TV - in part because their models have a DVD player and all the requirements that I want in one simple machine and I don't need a whole heap of remotes!!!    Great price and simple to use.  Tim had to make a hole in the wall to do it, and has been working today to repair and paint so that  no one will know that the wall had been damaged.

I have also met lovely people here at Beachmere - and on Bribie Island where I went to lunch yesterday and met a lovely group of women that meet regularly at a restaurant there.  The restaurant Blue Anchorage Cafe Restaurant served wonderful food and I am keen to go back there.  I have connected with two ladies from the lunch and will be catching up with them during the next week.

One of the great benefits is that the traffic around these parts is pretty "laid back" and I enjoy the country driving though on Beachmere Road I guess I have irritated other drivers by driving a little slower than the speed limit.

I do my shopping at Morayfield (Caboolture) which has an amazing selection of retailers.  I have almost everything I want there, and there is also good shopping at Bribie if I want to go on a relaxed drive to the island.  It is such a beautiful place.

On Bribie Island looking north.

Sand build up on the beach hiding the steps.

Saturday, July 6

Chinese Friends Arrive

When I was teaching at Yuexiu University in Shaoxing China in 2010, I met Rita Hu and she subsequently visited Australia several months after my contract finished.  Today I met her again at the airport in Brisbane, this time towing her younger brother who is hoping to improve his English while here.

His English is very basic, though I know he understands me a lot more than he will admit.  He is a very tired young man though (he is 18) and the travel has worn him out so lessons will start more seriously in the morning.

Today he slept most of the day - but we did manage some communication as I waved toy animals in a shop for him to identify in English.  Bit of crazy fun really.  He wanted to see the beach so we made our way to Beachmere where the tide was way out.

There were thousands of tiny soldier crabs racing back and forth along the shallows - and quite fascinated the Chinese siblings, who seldom visit the sea.  Rita of course has visited beaches here in Australia, but her brother was seeing it for the first time.

They chased and chased the tiny crabs and caught one without being bitten, and took a few photos.

Soldier crabs racing into the water.

Back home Owen slept, Rita did and I spent an hour on my bed resting.  I made a stir fry for dinner, and helped Rita make an apple dessert on puff pastry.  I had to teach them to peel an apple.

It has been a long day.

On the Bribie Beach - Woorim13 year

13 year old grand daughterrunning on the sand

The Lifesavers - almost finished for the day

The Lifsaver's Tower

The sand has buried the steps to the beach

Wednesday, July 3

Birds of Beachmere - The Feathered Kind.

One of the great things about my new abode is the bird life.  My property overlooks a park adjacent to a lake and the bird life is amazing.  Almost all day there are bird sounds from the trees or the birds on my back fence.

I have on my shopping list at item to purchase to encourage them more.  Pet mince.  I remember when I was house sitting at Paddington in 2010/2011 that the home owner supplied frozen balls of pet mince and each day I had to feed the many birds that visited - mainly butcher birds.

Some of the birds I have seen or heard:

Butcher Birds

I have seen a number of other birds flying overhead - including pelicans as there are several waterways nearby.

I am sure there are a variety of finches in the trees as I have heard sounds that I can match with any bird species yet.

Tuesday, July 2

Why Beachmere?

Here I am sitting in the tranquility of Beachmere - watching the sky alternate between blue and grey.  Watching because today I have washed sheets and other items and want them dried.  I decided that I did not need a clothes dryer but this strange (for Queensland) winter weather has me pondering my decision and hoping that the weather will be good for me at least today!

When I had decided that I needed to settle down after my travels and house sitting I researched places around 100 kms or less from Brisbane.  I travelled back and forth and researched the rental market.  Clearly I don't have enough money to buy, and even renting is going to be challenging but there was no choice.  I did look at some over 50's "resort style" accommodation but it was small, pokey, expensive and in many case one had to dine on whatever food was dished up in the dining room.  Yuk!  That was not for me.

Beachmere came up in my research and a friend and I took several trips to see what it was like.  Quiet, small, rural, near the beach (important for me!) and best of all some interesting rental properties.  So I applied and secured this delightful  place - brand new too, which was a bonus, about 1 km from the shopping centre of Beachmere.

So I moved.  The contents of the shipping container which sat at our daughter and son-in-law's property was emptied into a truck "Two Men and a Truck" and put into the garage at the new abode.  I am slowly checking out the boxes and sorting things out.  It could be a week or more before the car sees the inside of the garage.

In the past two weeks I have been leading somewhat of a chaotic life - finishing off a house sit, travelling to Adelaide for the Ragless family reunion,   (My mother was Ida Joyce RAGLESS), attending a Griffith Friends of the Library Advisory Board meeting in Brisbane, and taking care of up to four grandchildren!  Yesterday I travelled to Brisbane for a regular meeting with two other writer friends, and today I am "taking it easy" at Beachmere.  Washing, unpacking and finding time to write in peace.

Beachmere is some 45 minutes drive north of Brisbane, just off the Bribie Island Road.  It is as if the world has forgotten Beachmere, but there is a small shopping centre, a tavern, a library, a community centre and club, and lots of rural properties with horses, cattle, sheep and more I guess.  I certainly have much to explore.

My abode is, as I have said, brand new, with three bedrooms, the main with an ensuite and a walk in wardrobe.  I have never had either of these!!!  There is a garage with remote, and a huge living dining area which looks out onto a park and if one is situated in the right spot one can see a lake which I am told is good for fishing and crabbing.  I've yet to try that!!

The major local shopping area is Caboolture - which is about 10 minutes away with an amazing array of retail outlets.

Beachmere only rates about two lines in Wikipedia, and not much more in other sites.

Now it is home to me.  

Monday, July 1

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

My apologies to any readers who have visited this site and wondered what has happened to me.  I know I have done little here for nearly three months.  I won't make any excuses, but promise that from today, July 1st, I am back in action.

So much has happened in the last few months.  My drive from Broome across to Katherine (NT), then up to Darwin, then back down via Kakadu to Katherine and onward to Tennant Creek, before doing a u-turn and going back to the Barkley Highway, across to Mt Isa and then made my way back to Brisbane, arriving on April 30th.  Knackered!!!  Worn out!!

Since then I have done a house sit, found a new home (rental property) at Beachmere, and moved in as well as spent time in Adelaide.  Knackered?  Exhausted really, and only now can I feel a little more relaxed and ready to settle down and write again.

Beachmere is a little settlement really with two small shopping centres, east of Caboolture on the edge of the Caboolture River across from the southern tip of Bribie Island.

My new abode is part of a duplex, with (so far) very quiet neighbours on both sides, wonderful view from the back of the home over a park and a lake (which I am told has crabs and fish for the catching.)

I am so happy to be here and starting another phase of my life.