25 April 2013

A quick Trip to Tamworth

During our recent trip tp the Hunter Valley, I used the in-car camera to film the road ahead. I've now speeded up the footage from Ipswich to Tamworth, to show the trip in 8 minutes.

The distance is 573 km (356 miles) and takes usually 7 hours.

20 April 2013

Photographic Art

Photography can be used as canvas for art. It's raining today and we're cooped up in our unit at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, So I searched through my photos from the trip and had a go at photo painting.

The Barn

Standing Stones

Equestrian Centre

Chad and Friend

Parting Friends

After Lunch

17 April 2013

A Bit More From Tamworth

We're leaving tomorrow morning, but we had a great day looking around Tamworth today. After a rainy night, we awoke to a glorious sunny day. Graham and Diana took us to all the popular places starting with our own Motel.

I mentioned before, that Tamworth is the Australian Country Music capitol of Australia which was evident in the pool here at the Sundance Park Motel's guitar shaped swimming pool.

The Swimming Pool at the Sundance Park Motel

Then they took us to the relatively new equestrian centre for a look around.

The new Equestrian Centre in Tamworth

From here, the group travelled to the famous Golden Guitar, the music centre here in town.

At the Golden Guitar at Tamworth
Then we drove up to the local lookout to enjoy the view over the town.

Overlooking Tamworth
Then a walk through the Botanic Garden.

A miniature waterfall in the Botanic Garden
We finished up with a stroll through the local shopping centres before returning back to the motel.

Tonight, we had our farewell dinner with plans to meet again this time next year, in Brisbane. It was a fabulous reunion with a good bunch of friends. Well done, Graham and Diane for organising it, You excelled yourselves.

So, tomorrow morning, we heading south

15 April 2013

Glen Innes - Tamworth

We stayed overnight in Glen Innes last night. Glen Innes is a parish and town on the Northern Tablelands, in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the centre of the Glenn Innes Severn Shire Council.

The Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes pays tribute to the Celtic heritage of the early European settlers to the district. The site serves as a cultural gathering place for people from the Celtic communities; the Irish, Welsh, Cornish.

The Glen Innes District is renowned for its unique rock formations, one of the most unusual is Balancing Rock, 12 kilometres south of Glenn Innes on the New England Highway. The gigantic boulder of granite rests precariously on a 300 millimetre point.

The New England Highway, which starts in Toowoomba, Queensland runs all the way to Newcastle in New South Wales. We joined it a little before Warwick and will stay on it into the Hunter Valley near Newcastle.

There are some interesting sights on the way

Thunderbolt's Rock is a time-worn cluster of granite boulders located six kilometres south of Uralla on the New England Highway.

Originally known as Split Rock, the boulders afforded 'gentleman bushranger' Frederick Wordsworth Ward, better known as Captain Thunderbolt, the perfect vantage point for monitoring the approach of unwary mail coaches. He first visited the site in 1863 when, after a daring escape from Sydney's notorious Cockatoo Island prison, he and fellow escapee, Fred Britten, used the rock as a hideout. They were surprised by passing troopers while lying in wait at the rock to bail up an approaching mailman. Thunderbolt was shot in the knee during the fiery exchange of gunshots that ensued.

A dilapidated Barn on the way

The odd windmill used to power bore water pumps.

Then we were on the way to Tamworth where we've caught up with our New Guinea friends. Tonight we had dinner at the Wests Rugby Leagues Club.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.


13 April 2013

On the Road Again

We're off again on a road trip tomorrow morning. We're on the way to the Hunter Valley to meet up with daughter Carol and S-I-L David. But first we'll stop in Tamworth for a reunion of the Blogger's Judo Club back in Papua New Gunea. We get together annually with them somehere on the way, or in New England.

Tamworth is a nice country town in the middle of New South Wales and is the place where the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival is held. Tamworth is also known internationally as the 'First City of Lights', being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888.

One of the main features is the beautiful Post Office Building.

More posts when we get there.


10 April 2013

Time for another Movie Review

Aftter attending the funeral of a very dear friend this afternoon, a very sad occasion, we needed some cheering up, so the Blogger and I went to the movies to see

Hyde Park on Hudson

One of our regular readers and good friend Ann requested a review of this movie, so here for Ann it is:

We had seen the trailer and the gist of the story, the King and Queen of England visiting the American President for a strange weekend tickled my fancy. The film could easily be subtitled 'Franklin and his Mistresses'.  Franklin D Roosevelt (Bill Murray), may have been in a wheelchair, but according to this movie, that didn't stop him from having a several mistresses on the side, one of which, his cousin, Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney), is one of the main subjects in this film. Franklin invites cousin Daisy to visit him at his mother's house at Hyde Park on Hudson, where he lives, after Eleanor moved out to live with her female friends somewhere else. Franklin frequently takes Daisy for drives in the countryside, where on one of those trips, they become 'very good friends.'

Bill Murray and Laura Linney as Franklin D Roosevelt and cousin Daisy
The main theme, however is the visit of King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman, one of my favourite British actresses). West portrays the King, complete with stammer, very well.

The occasion of the Royal visit is twofold. No King or Queen had ever visited the United States of America, and with another war looming, the King had been sent by the politicians in England to enlist the possible help of the Americans, should war indeed outbreak.
The President and his household meet the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England
The matron of the house, Franklin's mother (Elizabeth Wilson), who rules the house, realises that they haven't got enough dinner plates for the planned banquet and asks one of her rich neighbours to lend their dinner set.

The difference in background of the English visitors and the President's family and staff are soon obvious which lead to humerous interludes, especially when they all try to conform to each other's ettiquertte and when, during the dinner several accidents occur including the demolition of the rich neighbour's dinner set.

When, the day after the banquette, there is a picnic planned where hot dogs are on the menu, the King and Queen, not sure what a 'hot dog' is, first take it as an insult, but realise they must be nice to the President if they want to enlist his help.

However the picnic goes off well and the Royal couple are happy to eat the hot dogs which puts them in good stead with the Americans.

It's also on this weekend, where Daisy finds out that she is not the only mistress to share Franlin's affections. She storms off in a huff but eventually forgives him, becomes good friends with some of the other mistresses and they live happily ever after as the saying goes.

The film was written by Richard Nelson, who was inspired by the story of Daisy Suckley, after reading a posthumously collection of her letters and diaries. The film was brilliantly directed by Roger Michell.

Go see it now.

Here is the film's trailer, if you're interested:

There you are, Ann just for you!

06 April 2013

U3A Blogging Class

We've just successfully ran two blogging classes here at our house for the local U3A (University of the Third Age) and we're very pleased with the students of the second course. Six of them have taken to blogging with gusto and have their blogs up and running like they had been blogging for a long time. This is very rewarding for us, the tutors.

Naturally, we created the lesson notes on a blog.
The Lesson Notes on a special blog

So for four Wednesdays, we met with the students in our living room converted class room.

The Blogger is teaching the class C76 the ins and outs of setting up a blog.

The students are very keen to learn.

Sometimes with the help of a little individual attention.

The lesson notes were projected up on the screen.

The projectionist at work.

Blogging was also the topic during the coffee break.

We're travelling for the rest of this term but we've been asked to run the course again later on this year. It was great fun for us to introduce more bloggers to the world.

02 April 2013

An Outing to Mt Coot-tha

Bernie's Mum and Dad are cruising around Australia. They docked in Brisbane on the Dawn Princess this morning. We picked them up and took them up to Mount Coot-tha. First to the Botanic Garden where, after a walk, we all had lunch, then up to the lookout for a few shots and coffee.

My family gave me a HDR (High Definition Range) program for my birthday, so I had a chance to try it out. All of the images here are in HDR.

The Dawn Princess where we picked up Helen and Neville.

We admired the star gazing statue at the Observatory first

We saw a funny chair in the Fern Garden at the Botanic Garden 

Not being a botanist, I just had to admire the plants

A bird of paradise plant


And a stone rose

Overlooking Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha

We had a good day and enjoyed Helen and Neville's company. They sailed out of Brisbane just after 6 PM and now on the way north to Airlie Beach.