Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

2013 Jupiters National DanceSport Championship_QLD Open

Peter + Rebecca Beardsley (QLD Professional ballroom champions)

Peter + Rebecca Beardsley (QLD Professional ballroom champions)


The Easter long weekend coincides with one of the biggest dates on the Australian DanceSport calendar: the Queensland Open, National DanceSport Championship at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast.

This year, the turnout was fabulous and the competition, fierce, in a beautiful way. Congratulations to organisers, competitors and support crews. I was there in a supporting role. With camera in hand some of the time, I thought I’d try to honour the efforts of others by snapping and sharing. My gear for those who care: Canon EOS 5D Mark2, with 70-200mm 1:2.8L.

If you competed on Sunday and can’t see yourself in the images below, feel free to message me via the sidebar, with your competitor # and age bracket (and event # if possible) and I’ll have a look through what I’ve got. I’m happy to email people privately with their photos, free of charge, copyright free. If you use any of my images, though, please acknowledge me as the creator and refer to this blogsite. Also, if you appear in any of the images displayed, and wish them to be taken down, please send me a private message on the sidebar.

For those who didn’t participate, but would like a glimpse into this very special world, please enjoy. There were plenty of new frocks on the floor and feathers made a comeback. I wasn’t around for the professional events, (bar one floorshow) so, what you see are pictures of amateurs of all ages who love to dance. Their efforts are inspiring. If you’re looking for a social way to get fit, perhaps ballroom dancing will be for you. The great thing about it is that children can do it as well as adults of all ages: there is no limit, only your attitude.

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Link to this site through FaceBook / WordPress etc and let other competitors know that images from the comp are available.

UPDATE: Thanks for all the lovely comments through the sidebar. This has been a great opportunity to promote the sport, with about 1500 views already.

Cake Girl WOWs Daffodil Day

September 16, 2012 1 comment

Friends and co-workers know I can disappear cake faster than you can say ‘Seconds?’ But this Daffodil Day, I was met with stiff competition from my fluffy-walled podmates who didn’t PAUSE while I went to get my camera-phone. I HAD to share this day with you, because it was so inspirational and involves lots of cake.

Gillian Bell aka Cake Girl

Gillian Bell of Cake Girl wows Daffodil Day in our office yet again. And makes us all forget our diets.

Cheesecake *faints*

How gorgeous and what a great idea.

Lemon cake

Red velvet cake, anyone?

Lucky ginger is so good for you…

Thank YOU, Gillian. What you did for this cancer fundraising morning tea was astonishing.

Cake Girl is a Brisbane-based business.




Olive festival: Watercress Creek Olives & Limes

March 16, 2012 5 comments

Scandals plague the oliveĀ  industry from time to time: be it oil that isn’t what it’s claimed to be, or Aussie farmers being bought out by Chinese business interests. Now, more than ever, it’s worth knowing who’s growing your food and where it’s actually coming from. Buying local isn’t a quaint legacy of a 1980s green-and-gold advertising campaign; it’s actually smart, environmentally sensible and fair (if you believe that what goes around, comes around).

But this is a good news story, so let’s get to the good bits.

Watercress Creek Olives & Limes

If you’ve ever wondered where places like Brisbane’s Cloudland source their delicious olives, I can let you in on a well-kept secret: Watercress Creek Olives & Limes, at Pine Mountain.

The property is near Ipswich and has bounced back remarkably after Queensland’s devastating floods of 2011. If you’re a dedicated foodie, you should contact the Mahon family by email and request an invitation to their next Olive festival. Entry is free, but unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a year.

Tour of the grove

I had the pleasure of attending on 11 March 2012: the day was a stunning success, beautiful food and scenery. Be sure to get a tour of the olive and lime grove. And instructions on how to marinate your own olives.

Bernie giving a tour of the grove. What goes into growing your olives is simply amazing.

Some of the delights of the day…. There were products featured from other locals, including sheep milk cheeses, honey, natural soaps, woodturning pieces, to name a few.

What came home with me….

Limes & olive delights

The sheep-milk cheese was a lovely surprise, quite unlike cow or goat milk products. It made my Sunday night ironing in front of the tv something special, along with a few olives, figs and dark bread.

A tip for using limes: the green ones are best for your Coronas (beer) and other drinks; the yellowish ones are sweeter and best for marinating fish. A tip for storing limes: freeze them either whole (wrapped in plastic) or squeeze them out and store the juice frozen in ice cube trays.

I’m going to have a lot of fun cooking with my variously infused olive oils. They’ll make great gifts for the people I most love to visit at dinner time, also. Just sayin’.

The Queen, Super hornets and B105’s Stav.

October 25, 2011 2 comments

It’s been another great week for Brisbane. There have been several good reasons to skive off work ….

The streets near the Brisbane River, full of people waiting for THE PLANES.

Twenty Super hornets ...

First, we took delivery of another four Super hornets. Half the city came out to the river, looking in precisely the wrong direction (down the Brisbane River, ‘cos that’s what happened for River Fire, all right?!) when the cluster of twenty Super hornets whizzed over the city, from behind us. It was a moment of WOW, quickly followed by WAS THAT IT? And, ARE THEY COMING BACK? Sadly, a few thousand people had to go back to work sooner than they had hoped.

Then, a certain classy lady came to town on Monday 24 October 2011.

Photo by Anthony Cox, used with permission. Copyright Anthony Cox, 2011.

Sure, she only spent 4 hours in the state that bears her name, but she made the most of the time. We’re still twittering about it. Kids have embedded the day in their memories of childhood (and somewhat embellished it – thanks S for tricking us all into believing that you shook her hand!)

Today, feeling almost sad that there was nothing big going down in the town, my luck turned. Local FM radio personality, Stav, from B105, came to my local cafe as the coffee-making apprentice. Being in the right place, at the right time, I scored my favourite gluten-free coconut biscuit and lactose-free flat white for free! Sure, we had to shout FASTER STAV! but he managed in the end, and that’s what matters.

Who could resist?

Stav from B105, probably wishing that he was back behind the microphone.

Occupy Brisbane, Part 3. In honour of the Queen’s visit.

October 24, 2011 3 comments

Possibly in honour of the crowds drawn into the city today, on occasion of Her Majesty’s visit, Brisbane’s Occupiers found some friends and pitched a few more tents. They probably, very nearly reached the overly generous estimate of 40 tents, which I published yesterday. They also kindly put out some new signs for me to photograph today and most generously did not display the offensive anti-American anti-Jewish sign of last week. So, everyone’s happy. More or less.

Great juxtaposition.

The Occupiers' camp-craft could do with some up-skilling. They wouldn't survive in the wild.

Art lessons for those who hate cats.

Why are animals going extinct? (Why is literacy dead?)

Nice, for cannibals.

Now I get it. The signs were written by science students. (Where are the arts students? CHOGM?)

Occupy Brisbane, or not…. Part 2

October 24, 2011 2 comments

This is Part 2 of the riveting story around Occupy Brisbane. If you’re missing the plot, you’re not the only one.

Imagine, peak hour Brisbane City, in Post Office Square...

People are on their way to work and the Courier Mail warns us that "Jobs are on the line"

Our Occupiers have put out some signs saying “What does our society value?” and “This is what I fought for”. To be honest, putting a sign on a statue of a serviceman is disrespectful. Servicemen and women fight for something, namely their country (the whole 100%). Five people and forty borrowed tents doesn’t quite equate, no matter what your perspective.

Finally, an explanation of the 99% and 1%. Poor Occupier was sticky-taped inside his tent all day (poster being on his door and all. What commitment.)

Why not bring Einstein into it? Makes it seem ...clever?

Occupiers looking occupied, but clearly not here...

Sign says, "Love is the Answer. What was your Question?" Well, after a whole week, I'm still wondering what your point is.

To be fair, they eventually found 2 people one morning, late in the week.

Newspaper columnists, keen to seem edgy, have put all sorts of intelligent arguments forward for this group. But, investigative journalists (as opposed to creative writers, such as myself), might’ve come down, taken a look at the empty tents and nonsensical signs and made a rational assessment for themselves. Anyone who’s a camper from Queensland, knows that you’re not going to be sitting inside a zipped-up tent at almost nine, on a humid October morning. The pram parked outside of one of the tents was theatrical but again, an unlikely prop. Anyone who’s been camping with a baby or toddler knows that said baby or toddler is up before sparrows and will not under any circumstance, stay silently inside a zipped-up tent.

Taking people for fools is impolite. Professional protestors should know better.

Occupy Brisbane, or not…. Part 1

October 23, 2011 1 comment

People would be familiar with the Occupy movement which started on Wall St and spread via social networking to a city near you. Including, to my fair city, Brisbane, Australia.

It just so happens, that I walk past this spot on my way to work most mornings, so I took a few pictures to show you what it really looks like, on an average day (without the promise of a news crew and time to assemble a rent-a-crowd.) Those who believe in genuine demonstrations or who have weak tickers, look away now.

View from the Adelaide St footbridge

So much foot traffic coming their way, every morning, from Central Station....

With so much traffic in the general vicinity, anyone with a bit of chutzpah would be able to do something with a good cause….

So, what's the cause, again? And why is there no-one around to give information at peak rush-hour?

To be fair, read the helpful sign. This cause is about the 99% of us who are apparently represented by this group, except that all of us are on our way to work, except them.

Wow. That's lots of people. (Not).

Must try: aja coffeehouse, Elizabeth Arcade, Brisbane

October 19, 2011 4 comments

Looking for a new place to eat in Brisbane City?

aja coffeehouse, Charlotte St, Brisbane

Opened 8 weeks ago, aja coffeehouse offers a fresh and well-priced menu of Asian-fusion dishes, Aussie burgers and continental breakfasts or simply a place for coffee and a dessert.

Service is quick and professional and the premises are spotless. You could go there for a work-lunch (as I have done, several times), girls’ catch-up, brekky or casual date and feel welcome.

Stylish, spotless and relaxed. What's not to love?

I’ve taken some of my fussiest friends there, and aja hasn’t missed a beat. The salt ‘n pepper calamari is unbelievably good and the presentation, lovely. Take my advice: Say YES to the fries (crispy, salty, sweet and spicy!). Your low-carb day can wait.

Salt 'n pepper calamari to die for

aja is located at the Charlotte St entrance to Elizabeth Arcade and is open Monday to Thursday 7am-6pm, Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 9am-9pm (closed Sunday). Catering is available with 48 hours notice ph. (07) 3161 2691.

Opening a business in this economy is gutsy. Aja is a young, family outfit and they’re really very good. Give them some love, Brisbane.

Categories: Brisbane, Review, where to eat

Cookie Monster cupcake YumYumYum

September 5, 2011 2 comments

Here’s a little something to brighten up your morning. Who doesn’t love Cookie Monster after all?

It looks easy to make, using Oreo biscuit for the mouth. But what do I care about that. I’ll take it, thanks. The hyperactive blue food colouring will nicely assist the effects of caffeine. It’ll make me work faster. Or something like that.

Happy Monday!

Categories: Australia, Business, Cake, Craft

Beautiful book bag

August 3, 2011 2 comments

I love my latest book-ish thing…

Book bag

It protects my precious books in transit.

A pouch for a writing pad, a slot for pencils and a snug spot for my beloved book...

Order yours from

And, because caring is sharing, here’s a quote from the book I’m reading (The Story of a Novel). These words of Thomas Wolfe were originally published in 1936, but the feeling still holds true for those afflicted with the need to write. At pp.36-7:

It seemed that I had inside me, swelling and gathering all the time, a huge black cloud, and that this cloud was loaded with electricity, pregnant, crested, with a kind of hurricane violence that could not be held in check much longer; that the moment was approaching fast when it must break.

Categories: Australia, Books, Craft, Review, Writing