Early Summer

Summer seems to have come early on the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland.  Hot sticky nights that are normally the preserve of January and February have begun to test the powers of getting a good night’s sleep.

Now this might sound like a good old whinge, but as I sit here enjoying a coffee in my “today” office at Banjo’s Bakery and Cafe on the Sunshine Plaza at Maroochydore, I find have discovered a tiny micro climate where the breeze is sweeping along the banks of Cormeal Creek.  How pleasant is this welcome break from the oppressive heat I have so recently stepped away from?

The view today, is somewhat less inspiring due to the development of the Plaza building on the opposite side of the creek, but in the fullness of time this will transform into a relaxing and tranquil space.

Banjo’s is one of my favourite coffee spots in the Plaza.  I am particularly fond of their Danish, be it the apricot or apple version, and it is the latter that is the pick for today.

 

After a very torrid week at my other job, I am taking a bit of me time to reflect on places where I have recently been and work through the photo’s that I took along the way.  The travelling, it seems, is the easy part of this travel writing business.  It is the editing and writing that take up the time.  Still I find playing with words a satisfying pass-time, made all the better by a good latte.

Some years ago I started taking photos of letterboxes that I came across along my travels.  The ingenuity that goes with the crafting of some of these is astounding, and this is especially the case the deeper into the bush one travels.  On a recent trip to Rockhampton, I drove along one stretch of road and found several examples, each seeming to be trying to outdo it’s neighbour for uniquisity.

GMail…..If you are handy with a chainsaw you can whip one of these up in a few minutes.  Good use of an old dead stump at the gate.

Cream Anyone?  There will be some who can remember the old cream can.  Some even who have dragged them onto the back of a truck before carting them off to the milk factory.  This one has weathered the years well and is still doing stirling service in its new role as a mail box

Shades of D’Arth Vader…….  Turned on its head, this “passed its use by date” gas bottle could be a reminder of Ned Kelly from the past or maybe D’Arth Vader from the future

This Hollow Log has found a new life set up on a tree fork and keeping the weather off the few letters that get delivered in this day of electronics.  Maybe it also doubles as a shelter for a wayward possum on a cold night.

 

 

 

      44 Gallon drums were common place on rural properties back in the day.  They still can be found storing liquid and, with the tops cut off, make an excellent storage bin or, like this one, a mail box.

 

Not sure obout this one….  Cooked the motor, perhaps

 

A bit more traditional, but liked the attention to detail with the tin coping around the eaves

All of these boxes were scattered along one short stretch of country road I travelled as I headed out to Seventeen Seventy and are probably the highest density of odd-ball mail boxes I have come across.  There are others out there that are weird and whacky which I will bring to you as I see them.

If you enjoy this post please feel free to share it with your friends and if you would like to leave a comment I’ll be happy to respond.  Thank you for taking the time to drop by……….

 

In A World Of So Many People, I Will Meet 100 Strangers

 


Jesse Taylor is today’s new Stranger. I meet him as I was taking out my garbage. He was headfirst into the back of his van sorting out some wiring. I noticed the guitar and music gear and stopped for a chat. 

Jesse appears to be living the dream… He has taken his love of mosaic and combined it with surfing and manages to keep it all together travelling and singing in his renovated tradies van. Currently he does his gigs, mainly around the Sunshine Coast but nest weekend will find him playing at Byron Bay in between hitting the waves.

Writing most of his own material, Jesse describes his style as Folk but will dabble in other genres such as Jazz and Reggie.


Check him out online… Jesse Taylor Coastline will find him in a search engine. Good start to the project and after listening to a few of his songs I also get a new artist to follow as I do the long miles down the road


This picture is #1 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the www.flickr.com/groups

Ocean Street’s World Festival

 

 

 

Ocean Street in Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, is no stranger to hosting street parties and Easter Sunday 2017 was a street party of epic proportion.

And so, I took myself down to see what all the fuss was about.  Parking was almost non-existent but I did manage to score a slot when someone pulled away just in front of me.  Even so, I still had a walk of a couple of blocks before I reached the site.

Daye, Seug, Haetnim, SunHo, and Choi from Korea take a few moments by Cornmeal Creek before heading to the Ocean Street World Festival

Down along beside the Cornmeal Creek I ran into a bunch of young Koreans who were taking a time out and enjoying the day.  They decided to ham it up for the camera and so will send them this shot as a moment of their day here in Maroochydore.

 

What is now an annual even, hosted by the Maroochydore Revitalisation Council, the festival is a celebration of culture from all parts of the world. This year there were artists from Japan, Budapest, Jamaica, as well as many other countries.

This marquee was packed as folk watched a display of ethnic dance

They presented their own particular brands of art and workshops across four different stages, scattered among the myriad of stalls, that had sprung up along the closed off street providing entertainment to the forty thousand odd folk who came to spend an evening travelling the world.

Preparing burgers for a hungry crowd didn’t stop this vendor from flashing a smile for the camera.

Food was a big feature of the street with street stalls dispensing everything from prawns to curry and rice along with the traditional and not so traditional burgers and fries. With queues lining up to satisfy their hunger, the stall owners had more than their hands full just keeping up with the demand.

Keeping up with the demand for Satay Sticks was a never ending task for these guys on one of the many Food stalls at the festival

While the flavour of the festival was whole world, there were many local businesses displaying their unique products.

Dale helps out on the Planet Macadamia Stand serving up a range of roasted nuts coated in sugar and cinnamon

I stopped off at Planet Macadamia to sample some of their roasted nuts.  These are roasted and then coated with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and they were absolutely delicious.  One could buy a small bag for just $9.oo or double the size for only $3.00 more.

Ester works a design on one of her customers at the festival

Nicki and Arnaud Coquillard set up their Devine Henna Design stand and when I came along, Ester Bodnar was painting an intricate tattoo onto the hand of one of her customers. With care these designs can be quite durable, reaching their best after just two days.

Ester from Divine Henna design paints an intricate design for one of her many customers.
Jed and his lady at Bunked Clothing took a moment to tell me about his range of bamboo cotton clothing.

One stall that caught my eye was Bunked Clothing.  Owner, Jed, was on hand to tell me about the unique properties of Bamboo Cotton.  Needing less water than cotton and being far more pest resistant, bamboo cotton leaves a minimal environmental impact on the planet.  All Bunked products are produced here in Australia and each design is limited to only 100 garments This means that there is only a limited chance you will turn up at a function and see your arch rival in the same outfit.

Along with his line of Bamboo Cotton clothing, Jed was selling this range of Caffeine scrubs for a mate

Jed also had on his stand, a different sort of cleansing product. He told me he was selling this on behalf of a mate.  Bayberrie Caffinne Scrubs are a coffee and citrus scrub which, only adds to my conviction that coffee is good for you.

 

This headgear has a wire through it so that one can create all sorts of ways to wear them.

 

Another local vendor, Anti Craft, sold hand made headwear that looked similar to a bandana but by the clever use of a piece of wire was able to be fashioned into any number of styles.

Kim demonstrates the way to tie these nifty headbands infused with a wire to make holding them in place a synch

 

 

Kim took some time out to explain the workings of the gear and demonstrated a couple of twists that gave the gear totally different looks

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of gypsies

The Gypsy Collective had a successful day with their stall selling all things of fine design.  Here one could purchase the brick a brac that goes to making a house a home. From artwork to wall hangings, photographs to homewares and jewellery, there was something that could tempt everyone.  The online shop has the full range for those who missed out

After a great days selling the Gypsy Collective stall was getting low on stock

After wandering through the stalls, watching the shows and sampling the food I felt that I have travelled well that day.  It was another example of the talent and entertainment that is available on the Sunshine Coast.  If you plan an Easter Holiday here, then the Ocean Street World Festival would be a fine addition to your bucket list.

The Naughty Corner

 

Ships leaving Brisbane Port in the early morning Sunrise Heading past Cotton Tree Beach On the Sunshine Coast

 

 

 

It has been more than a year since I took any serious time off work. To remedy this most serious of situations, I have taken some weeks off during which I intend to spend some time in Sydney, the Philippines and hopefully some other Asian countries as well.

The journey for me starts by heading to Sydney where I spent a week with my son, Sean, who lives in the Eastern Bays area.  After spending some time tossing up whether to drive to Sydney or fly, I finally decided that I would take advantage of the extra time a flight would give me and went on line to book a seat.

The cheapest fare I could find was with Webjet and so I commenced the process of securing a ticket.  Now here is where things began to become a little unstuck.  Each time I got to the point of making payment, the screen would freeze and I would have to start again from scratch. After the third attempt, I resorted to calling a consultant.  He was happy to help and finally put through the transaction around $30 more than the online price.  I asked why the difference and he explained that the fare I had online would have been sold out, and this was the next cheapest.

I pondered that for a while and thought I’d try again.  Sure enough, my cheap fare came up. I called my agent back and after some reluctance, he agreed that I should be refunded the difference. The catch…… They would credit my account for my next flight.  Really!!! Why would I use Webjet again? Again with reluctance, they agreed to refund the balance to my account.  So much for always getting the cheapest price when you use Webjet……

So much for my rant.

The day finally arrived when I would begin my next adventure. After a late night packing the last of my gear, I snatched a few hours sleep and woke to track down a ride to the airport.  This problem was solved with UBER. I downloaded the app and within ten minutes I was on my way.

Although it is an international airport, the Sunshine Coast Airport is small enough that it is not necessary to get there too much before departure but I planned on taking time for a coffee before the trip.  Not such a good idea as, as in all airports the cost of coffee was a little on the high side. Still, it was wet and strong and I used it to wash down an omelette.

I arrived at Sydney domestic after the short hour and thirty flight and caught the bus over to International to meet up with Sean who works there.  The rest of my day was spent wandering the Airport which is always a fascinating place to fill in time.

 

And so begins my latest travel adventure