Walking with Kangaroos and Galahs

Getting up early to go walking in summer, brings you some delightful surprises. And let’s face it, it is SO much cooler when you live in the sub-tropics. It is also a time when the animals are more active, as they too struggle in the heat and like to rest when the sun is high.

Like this family herd of Kangaroos. You won’t see any around at noon, as they will be resting in the shadows, but go walking early morning and you will see them, enjoying the free grass shoots that emerged with the recent god given rains.

Perhaps you will join me on this walk as we take a glimpse into Australian fauna.

Photo Cred: Facebook

The gorgeous roos were making the most of the recent rains and although you cannot see them in the photo, One mum has a baby, called a joey, which we have often seen at the newly created and yet to be used, sporting fields at theend of a nearby road. The roos seem to be co-existing well with the encroaching development. Let us hope it stays that way.

“One man’s trash can be another’s treasure.”

The rain gives happiness to animals and people alike. For me, rainfall and cooler days are invigorating. After years of drought, and months of never ending bushfires, the rainfall last week of showers and the occasional thunderstorm is so glorious in all its wetness! Truly manner from heaven. The drought may not be over but the grass and plants respond.

I often think about that disconnect between feelings about rain. The folks in the Northern hemisphere have had enough of it and down here we crave it more and more. There never seems to be enough, for all of Australia, or if there is, it comes down in bucketloads, far too much for us and our fragile land to absorb.

Do you get how we feel about rain in Australia?

The ducks and swans frolick in the overflowing pond, and yes, our feet get muddy.

Yet it is this lifegiving substance the earth needs to rejuvenate, to heal, for water is the essence of life.

With blue sky as far as the eye could see in the other direction, I turned and headed back home. By the lakeside, I was greeted by the local birds. They were really happy too. Except perhaps, the baby galah!

He was probably pretty hungry by the sound of his raucous call.

Along with all the other walkers around the globe, Jo’s Monday walks inspire me to share a little of my home by the sea with others around the globe.

Have a wonderful week. I plan to do so.

A Home by the Sea Blog Logo

Sunday Morning Beach Walk

Hi there!

Would you like to come for a walk along the beach with my dog and me?

I like to be up early in the morning. It is a magic time down on the beach. This is the entry to the beach at Redcliffe, Australia.

As you might have suspected, it is called Redcliffe for the red colour of its cliffs. Unfortunately, they are not really visible at this point and we’re walking in the other direction today.

beach path

Let’s go!

Are you okay to negotiate the stairs?

This part of the beach is popular with shore fisherman. The gentlemen on the right had just caught a stingray after the photo was taken. He then cut off the hook and kicked the stingray back into the water with his bare foot. The ray seemed fine with its ordeal, as it swam enthusiastically away. I suppose its take away from the experience was a small breakfast of fisherman’s bait.

Some of the houses, fronting the shore, have magnificent views towards the ocean, although some are showing their age. They may be weathered and beaten by the elements but are still standing strong, much like most of the trees.

beach house view

Until that is, the Council might decide the tree must be cut down.

I am unsure of the reason for the lopping of this tree as it was massive. I recall it being a Moreton Bay Fig, which blogger Margaret mentioned just the other day. One major concern is the stability of the bank, once the roots are removed.

I love that some of the staircases are equipped for bicycles, or kayaks on wheels. Not that I would be riding down there. It looks far too steep for my skills.

A man and his Schnauzer

I continued on for another 500 metres or so.

The recent summer storms have taken a toll on this old cottonwood tree. I think the Council will try to salvage this one.

The walk along the beachfront here is special becuase there’s a fantastic feature tree further along that forms a Tree Tunnel. This is the first time I have ever seen a warning sign saying: Beware – Low Tree Branches.

Watch your head as you walk underneath.

It is low.

I had to bend my head down and my husband says I am part ‘Hobbit’.

At this point, we decided to turn back to our starting destination exiting back through the tree ‘cave.’

The perfect frame for the distant container ship on the horizon. The water between Redcliffe and Moreton Island forms a major shipping lane to the port of Brisbane.

We took a detour on the way back inorder to check out a nice cafe we spotted on the way up. After all, isn’t it a tradition of Jo’s Walks that the walk ends with cake?

Captain Cook and Whitby Abbey

history

History buffs might want to pay attention to this part of the walk. The smaller rock to the left is a piece of the ruins of the Abbey at Whitby, England. Whitby was the home of Captain James Cook, the first Englishman to chart the East Coast of Australia. The larger rock commemorates Captain Cook’s Journey past this point, way back, in 1770.

From this point, maintaining a southerly direction will find you at a Sunday Market adjacent to a long cafe and shopping street complete with modern pier and jetty, where you will find many more fisherman.

Here is what it looked like in years gone by:

Redcliffe History

The town’s name originates from “Red Cliff Point” named by the explorer Matthew Flinders, referring to the red cliffs at Woody Point.Redcliffe was originally the site of the first penal colony in Queensland. It was discarded when the colony moved further inland and slowly it evolved as a small seaside retreat north of Brisbane until the construction of the Hornibrook bridge which linked Brighton, an outer Brisbane suburb, to the Redcliffe peninsula.

http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/redcliffe-qld

Now, I am hungry. Where IS that cake?

Catch you next time at

Wait there's more to come

Our little estate by the sea is set to grow and thrive. The developers have not just built houses. They want to build a community.

The development will also include a shopping and dining precinct.

I am looking forward to it. No fixed date yet, but it will include cafes, a fresh food and small market and a ancillary health suites. Good for those wanting to retire by the sea.

Some people are concerned about the high density that more development may bring. To me, it is part of living in an attractive part of the world. Near services, close to a major capital hub, or at least within commuting distance, and a waterfront lifestyle.

For many that is paradise. And of course, it represents profits for the developer, who commenced the original part of this peninsular development about fifty years ago.

Any development always represents a tussle between losing the natural environment and the needs of a growing population, and an economy that pushes and supports progress and profits. How to balance the two?

Not easy.

There is a community group that is opposing the increase in height from 5 stories to 7 stories for mid to high density townhomes and apartments.

Am I concerned? Normally I would be, and if it was right on my doorstep, yes I would absolutely be against it? But really they are arguing about air space. The air between five and seven stories!

In New York, air space about floor level has a price, and can be transferred, bought and sold, just like any real estate lot! Can you believe that?

As far as environmental concerns go, the debate between five and seven stories is not so relevant, but it does set a worrying precedent.

What are your thoughts on development? Pros? Cons?

Change and the New You Challenge

Day 18 – Spend time with those you love

Does I need a prompt for this? Absolutely not.

It is the most precious time for me. My family. My children. My dog. There is only one of each of us, in one moment, in one space. Make life special.

Approach each second with loving kindness.

Day 19 – Celebrate how far we’ve come

Definitely some positivity in this prompt.

Look back but only to see how far you have come, how much you have grown.

Almost one year ago, we embarked on a new path in life. A year of new chapters and starts and of course,a few hiccups along the way.

I have never felt like making a #seachange has ever been a mistake. Perhaps others might disagree.

For me staying ‘put’ would equate to to stagnatation. In stagnation, disappointment and regret thrive and life ebbs away til the only thing left is routine or despair.

Be brave. You have almost nothing to lose if you embrace some change in your life.

If you do not have the luxury of changing your environment:

Change perspective

Change attitude

Change preferences

Change thoughts

Change your life

30-day New You New Year challenge

I’ve been working my way through this challenge mostly every day, but sometimes every second day. After all, life does get in the way of blogging challenges at times, doesn’t it?

Day 14 – Done
Day 15 – disconnect from the phone
Gosh so many of us seem to spend inordinate amount of hours on the phone. Either in scrolling social media, doing work, reading emails, reading books, scanning pictures or social media.
It’s endless and the phone seems to take more and more of our valuable communication time. I have even seen older people are scrolling through phones at coffee shops, bus stations or on trains. Even my 90 year old mother in law sends texts and uses an ipad.
Can a human race no longer tolerate boredom or sitting with nothing to do?

That valuable time to imagine, to dwell and to think.

Have we completely are we on the way to completely eliminating that from Society because we must be occupied 100% of the time?

 Today I thought of it about that and read the prompt.  I managed to disconnect my phone, no strike that, didn’t manage but chose to disconnect from the phone for about 8 hours at work. 

It is not so hard to disconnect from the phone for more than that length of time, at work. However, I am still working on a screen.

When i have a social engagement the phone is away in my bag and ignored.

I do not check the phone while I am out with lunch with friends or having a coffee with a mate. Do you?

Join me for Tea – Spice Cake

Tomorrow it will be six weeks since I moved into the Home by the sea and I haven’t really cooked a lot since then. Besides working and unpacking, and showing visitors around my new home, I haven’t found time to do any leisure baking. By that I mean more than what is required to sustain life!

I travel a long way to work so I often get back home late in order to avoid the peak hour traffic jams, so on those nights, the MotH [Man of the House], improvises or uses the spouse approved and proven C.Y.O. method. Read: (cook your own).

First cake in the New Home

Having a quiet morning this week, meant I was ready to bake something and Ju-Lyn, over at All Things Bright and Beautiful, provided the final piece of motivation I needed to get me started, posting her Honey Spice cake recipe, (which she had adapted from Anita Bean).

I was determined to try it this morning. The MotH loves having a morning tea with freshly baked treats to the point that morning tea with him has become an art form.

Sitting together over a cuppa gives us a good chance to talk in a way we don’t for the rest of our busy day – he is often at the hardware or Hi-fi shop or pet store and I am busy pottering about getting the house in order, if I am not at work.

So back to the delicious cake. It was a throw-it-all together kind of recipe – they are really the best kind, aren’t they? No stress and it cooked beautifully in my new Westinghouse oven. [smile]

I was a little short of ground almond for this recipe, so I topped the measure up with a little extra flour. The recipe adapted beautifully.

With a light dusting of vanilla or icing sugar on top, to serve, this Spice Cake is light and tasty and just the perfect accompaniment for tea.

Ju-lyn had topped the cake with lemon icing, whereas I added a dollop of home made lemon butter, on the side, for a decadent indulgence.

As the recipe worked so well, I was thinking I could even be a little adventurous and add walnuts, next time. Or even try a gluten free version for my diet conscious son.

Will you try it?

Morning Tea Spice Cake Recipe

Adapted from Ju-Lyn’s Honey Cake which was adapted from Instagram @anitabean1

Ingredients

  • 165g self-raising flour
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g runny honey
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 eggs (mine were 700 grams each)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • glace icing (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a 20cm baking tin, I used one with a hole in the middle.
  3. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth surface with spatula.
  5. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  7. Dust top with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream, or lemon butter.

I have got to go have another piece now. Join me for morning tea at the Home by the Sea. I will begin posting weekly morning tea recipes.

Will you join in – posting a recipe? #joinmefortea

It's All Happening at the Home by the Sea

The workers have really ramped up the action a notch.

This is happening just outside our backyard, right now.

Perhaps the tradies are getting a bonus to finish before Christmas? the MotH asks.

Tradies or Tradesmen?

I’m not sure if other countries call workmen on construction sites:-‘tradesmen.’

We don’t either.

In Australia we always like to shorten things, especially names, so tradesmen and not called tradesmen, but “Tradies.”

If someone says they will, “See ya in the arvo,” or “See you thissarvy”– they don’t mean they will meet you in some seedy bar in town, they mean they will see you after lunch, in the afternoon. If I was to say to a friend, see you in the afternoon, I would almost sound British!

But I digress.

Tradies might be Electricians, Carpenters, affectionately also called ‘Chippies,’ Plumbers, Crane drivers, Tiler’s, Glaziers, Concreters or anyone that performs a trade and often this is related to construction.

These guys and girls, do a certain amount of study at a vocational college but most of their training is practical, on the job. It is usually an apprenticeship of three or four years. They are often very fit, strong and heavily tanned young men and their language is often colourful.

So whatever you do, when you visit Australia and the Home by the Sea, don’t ask for few ‘chippies’ with your meal! See you later on thisarvy!

P.S. There goes on view to the East!

A Natural Visitor

There is a new visitor to the Little Home by the Sea. And his name is Billy!

We have decided. And he can’t disagree too vocally.

Isn’t he cute?

This little green tree frog has made our yard his home and is eating the annoying moths that we seem to have in our patio area. (Not the MOTH, of course).

Frogs are indicative of the health of the environment, so I feel this is a good indicator for our new estate, where wildlife would be greatly disturbed by the earthworks.

This is a good sign for our nearby wildlife corridor.

Did you know that you should always have wet hands if you try to touch or pick up a frog?

Otherwise, your touch can burn their skin.

Last night I swear I even saw a Joey in our street but it ran like a cat and no hopping was evident, so perhaps it was just a feral cat.

I will be watching for it, tonight!

Sea change Completed

The wind in your hair, the smell of salt water in one’s nostrils, and the laid back lifestyle. That is what we think of we most of us think of living at the beach.

Four weeks ago, we moved to a home by the sea, after more than 35 years living in the suburbs but that wasn’t the original plan.

The key to the Door

After selling the house my husband had built with his own hands, we went looking for a minimalist low maintenance lifestyle close to family and friends. We were, for quite some time, set on re-locating to a townhouse in the inner city and having a weekend flat at the beach. The Minimalist Inner city lifestyle. Close to restaurants, all kinds of services and facilities and unfortunately, the sort of place, workers and commuters all love to live. So it is busy, too busy for us now that we are nearing retirement and the quieter lifestyle that provides.

Sometimes, the universe intervenes. We searched and searched to find the right townhouse for us. It wasn’t there. Or, if it was, someone else got there first and outbid us. I must admit we had a contract on another, but it didn’t feel right and there were problems so the contract was terminated. We decided the townhouse hipster lifestyle wasn’t for us. All the time, the universe was sending us here, to the sea, where we wanted to be.

The city life Millenials love

The adult kids moved out, as there was no way that they were going to live up near the beach, some 20 kms away from the trappings of work, friends and the inner city lifestyle.

So it is quite a change – a sea change to move in to the house we have been designing and building for the last year.

There have been frustrating times, and some problems along the way, but overall the building process was a lot of fun. And we made it. Yay!

The Moving process, of course, is not at all fun. Most of our old furniture didn’t fit into a townhouse – so we disposed of it. We had so many boxes packed away in storage, and a lot of new boxes for the new furniture. They all had to be unpacked and removed.

But that is all behind us now. The boxes have been recycled, the packing materials dumped and we settling into our new routine.

The Universe was right, and we were lucky to find the right piece of land, negotiated with a builder at the right time and voila, now our house is our home.

Now we are ensconced in our new house and we are happy. We’ve met many new neighbours, many in the same stage of life as us, and travelling to work hasn’t even taken near as long as I thought.

The MOTH is busy with little tasks around the house, and happy again, and the Schnauzer is thrilled she has a yard to play in once more.

Would I build a house again from scratch? Yes, most definitely.

Would I move again? No, definitely not.

So here we stay! We are putting down roots.

Us