Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Traffic Stopping Art (number 60)

This fabulous signal box can be found on the corner of Upper Edward Street and Astor Terrace in Spring Hill, near the Queensland Art Society building. It's by Francis Rowland Wregg whose work I have featured in the past two signal box posts. The bird design is a nod to the work of the brilliant M C Escher.

See a silly short film based on another one of his famous paintings here

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


One of the fountains near the not-so-popular viewing wheel in South Bank.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Keeping Watchful Eyes On The Ice Cream Cake

When the temperature outside is really muggy like it was over the weekend, the only real solution is to stuff your face with ice cream cake. This one was lemon sorbet on the outside and chocolate ice cream in the middle....yum!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The New ABC

The ABC in Brisbane has been through a lot in the past few years. The old ABC building in Toowong had to be abandoned after several staff members working in the same area developed cancer. The staff were spread across several buildings around the city. The TV staff came up to Mount Coot-tha with the other TV stations and rented part of the Channel 10 building for 5 years, working in the basement with a pretty basic set-up. The other day, I went to visit the ABC's brand new digs in the middle of South Bank which houses all their staff comfortably. This is their TV MCR and Media Exchange area. Not too shabby!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sunlit Cottonwool Skywatch

 It's storm season in Brisbane right now which makes gazing upwards very interesting. In one afternoon you might go from crystal clear blue skies to an angry dark purple to a soft billowy sunset.

Gaze upwards with other photo bloggers at Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Masonic Temple, Ann Street

Completed in 1930, this impressive sandstone building sits on Ann Street. Being a Masonic Temple it has an air of mystery about it but if you check out the leaflets in the doorway, they give free tours, Monday to Friday at 2pm. Provided you perform the correct under-the-knee handshake.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I need to gar-gull.

I got a shock when I first came to Australia. The seagulls all sounded like they had a cold. Unfortunately my Field Guide to Australian Birds by Pizzey and Knight doesn't describe the call of the gull I was used to hearing in England so you'll have to make do with my attempt to put it into words: it is a high pitched "co-loy co-loy co-loy co-loy!". The book does have a fair bit about the Silver Gull which is what I reckon this photo is of.

   "Voice: "short, harsh, gutteral 'korr' or 'keow'; longer, harsh descending 'karrr-karrr-karrr'." other words like they have something stuck in their throats. Anyway, reading into it a bit, I see that there are several different types of gull in Australia with different voice descriptions. At the risk of going into it far too much:

Pacific Gull: shouted 'ow! ow!; muffled 'auk, auk' gruff chuckles; whining stutters
Kelp Gull: yelping or laughing 'yo-yo-yo-yo' (I think that might be the one I know from England)
Black Headed Gull : high-pitched harsh screams in quick succession: 'kreeooo' or 'kraaahr'
Black Tailed Gull: plaintive mewing
Franklin's Gull: shrill 'kuk-kuk-kuk'; also nasal 'kear, kear'
Laughing Gull: strident laugh or variety of low chuckles
Sabine's Gull: harsh grating and tern-like 'k-year'
Lesser Black-Backed Gull: similar to Kelp Gull.

There now. More than you will ever need to know about the various calls of Australian Gulls.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PJ's Roast Inn

If you like your lunch old school - and by that I mean things like hot roast meat rolls or a big banana smoothie - then this take-away place is going to float your boat. Not a balsamic reduction or mini herb in sight... or, if I may speak London for a mo, it's not "poncey".  It does a roaring lunchtime trade on Adelaide street with punters of all ages and walks of life.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunrise Beach a bit after sunrise

We won a competition for a weekend up at Sunrise Beach on the Sunshine Coast which is about a 90 minute drive from where we live in Brisbane if you take the scenic route and stop for ice cream. The beach is long with tumbling surf and fine golden sand... great for walking or saluting the sun first thing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Traffic Stopping Art (number 59)

This traffic signal box sits on the corner of Milton Road and Park Avenue in Milton and depicts the pretty little McIlwraith Croquet Club just down the road. The artist is Frances Rowland Wregg, creator of the previous signal box in this series. Find out more about the painted signal box project here. And if you fancy popping down to the croquet club  for a spot of mallet fun or just want to know a bit more about it, visit the club's website.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lunch Special at The Red Hen

Crispy skinned salmon with lemon and garlic roasted potatoes and a pear and pea puree. The pear aspect was interesting. I'm not sure it worked for me but the rest of it was just fab. Particularly the potatoes.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I was right behind you and it was far too humid for a long sleeved shirt!

For readers who are familiar with the blogger 'Z' from Z Captures, you'll recognise this at once as I have completely ripped off his idea! He has a whole series of shots of the back of people in New York called 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

Ah, the joys of learning a new instrument.

Have you ever been up close to someone playing one or two long notes loudly on the trombone? It sounds similar to a foghorn and your head vibrates...I think she was laughing because I had gone cross-eyed. And a beginner blowing through the reed on a clarinet can produce squeaks that will make your hair stand on end.

 The bottom photo is my daughter and the top one is her friend and they have both been playing for about 2 weeks. I expect to see them busking in Boundary Street in a few years. In the meantime, if you are in about a 2 mile radius of that trombone when it's being blown then you'll get a bit of a preview.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yesterday's rainbows over Bardon

It was only very faint but there was a definite hint of a double rainbow after yesterday's afternoon rain. I love rainbows. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nearly done

The under-whelming "Soleil" building is nearing completion and has taken it's place on the Brisbane skyline, dwarfing everything nearby. 464 apartments, 74 floors high. Prices start at A$370K.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Orange Flowers in Cathedral Square

The council gardeners have planted a sea of orange flowers in the square opposite St. John's Cathedral - oooh lovely!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You're Welcome!

I think this might be a Welcome Swallow. Allow me to consult my bird book (it was a Christmas present)
...yes 15 cm, tail deeply forked, upperparts glossy blue-black...

"Courting males descend on stiffly downheld, quivering wings... Voice: single 'chep' usually in flight; spirited twittering song; rising 'seep,seep,seep'; in alarm, high pitched puny 'seeet'."  

My favourite thing about my bird book is the was it tries to convey the voice of the bird in human terms. To be found in most places in Australia with the exception of deserts and the Kimberley Region. This one was flying around the river in St. Lucia and sat still on the front of the CityCat while I raced to attach my zoom lens. 

It doesn't say in my book how it got it's name.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


This huge house is slowly succumbing to the elements. What I find remarkable about it is that it has been left like this despite it being huge, in a really posh expensive area with the back garden backing onto the river... (This photo was taken from the CityCat)  I'd say that water tank has been there since the floods a year ago. It might not even belong to the house.

Maybe it costs too much to repair but the owner can't knock it down because it is heritage listed? What a great place it must have been once.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heading to UQ for a swim

The wait is finally over - the pool at the University of Queensland Aquatic Centre opened yesterday (pity we went on Sunday)! Read more here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lazy Sunday at Musgrave Park

Chilling out by the pool at Musgrave Park which always seems to be too empty.

This one's especially for my family in the freezing snow in London.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Heritage Tomatoes

These are also called Heirloom tomatoes. I suppose $10 a kilo a bit more expensive than the bog standard tomatoes you can buy in the supermarket but they taste better too. And if you like, you can save a few and squash them into the ground for your own home grown! The difference between these and the normal hybrid varieties is that these seeds will produce top quality fruit season after season. 

I am still working on that possum-proof enclosure.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Boundary Street, Friday

Boundary Street in West End has a mix of restaurants, bars and independent traders. Friday evening sees it come alive with delicious food smells, a wide variety of music and general weekend excitement. You get an eclectic mix: office workers, people dressed up in all their going out finery, hippies, transients, young and old, black and white.  There's also a big mosaic lizard under some trees - a shady place to hang out. This was taken yesterday afternoon where, with lunch out of the way, the atmosphere was one of quiet anticipation. I stuck the camera on top of the big lizard's head.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What I like about 'tu'.

One of the things I love about growing turmeric in Brisbane is that for several months of the year it hides away. The only sign it's there is when you dig underground and find the orange root which looks a bit like ginger or galangal and is excellent grated on just about anything. Then, in spring, tiny green spears poke through the soil for what seems like only a moment before they shoot upwards and unfurl these huge thick leaves. After a season or two you start getting the flowers which, as you can see, are really beautiful. But the BEST thing for me is that they seem to thrive with no attention whatsoever. My kind of plant.

My favourite recipe using turmeric at the moment is Parsi Scrambled Eggs. It's the breakfast of champions. Use the powder in the cooking and then grate the root over the top. Delicious!

P.S. Australians born in Australia tend to pronounce this plant/spice without the 'r' and with the 'tu' and in Tuesday. ie ' Tu-meric'. We all know that this is wrong and that the correct pronunciation is with the 'r' and the 'tur' as in 'turban': Turmeric. Feel free to argue with me but I know I am right.

Anyway to make the title work I've adopted the Aussie pronunciation.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paul brought us back some yabbies from Somerset Dam

If I had been on the ball a bit more, I could have entered this one in the Animal theme day yesterday but my mind was elsewhere. They are like mini lobsters. As a matter of fact, I was tucking into some this time last year. Excellent in a curry or just chargrilled on the BBQ with lime and chilli. Mmmm.

Again, apologies to vegetarian readers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yesterday's Birthday Lunch at Pearl Cafe (and Animal theme day!)

My thanks to Joanna. I had completely forgotten about the theme day but she pointed out in the comments that as today's City Daily Photo theme day is "Animal" I could still enter! (apologies to my vegetarian readers)

Being that a friend and I share the same birthday, we felt like we should make a bit of an effort so we trotted off with a few of our frocked-up mates to the Pearl Cafe in Wooloongabba. I had the ploughman's lunch because I am a bit sentimental it reminded me of home.... except it was much fancier than any ploughman's lunch I've ever had in England. There was smoked Wagyu, leg ham, homemade pickles, pommery mustard, cornichons, sourdough, French butter, mature cheddar and a mouthwatering dark brown pickled onion which I think was preserved in balsamic vinegar and a watercress salad. It was glorious.

It probably should have been washed down with a mug of real ale if I was being a purist. I plumped for several glasses of ice cold sparkling wine instead. You need it in this heat, really.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants and hopefully to see pictures of animals more alive than this one.
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