Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fete's in Brisbane - Ashgrove State School Fete

I haven't been a very active Blogger of late, but every now and again I get requests for items which pique my interest, and here's one of them. Fete's are still a big activity throughout Brisbane, and one of the oldest State School's in Brisbane is having their fete this upcoming Mother's Day weekend on Saturday the 7th May.

Ashgrove State School was established way back in 1877, thirty five years after Brisbane became a free settlement. It has a long and proud history with a strong community spirit. The fun and success of the fete is based on local sponsorship, generous support and many hours of volunteer commitment. During the build up to the Fete and on Fete day, there is a noticeable feel of this community spirit. Ashgrove is about 4km out of the central business district of Brisbane, so heading out to the school fete isn't a difficult activity for most Brisbanites!

Fetes in Australia have a great history, particularly as a celebration of school activities each year. At Ashgrove this year the fete runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with a range of fun activities to suit everyone's taste. If you want action, there is plenty of family fun to be had on rides such as the Dominator, Dodgem Cars, Sizzler, Giant Slide, Tea Cups, High Flyer, Mega Castle, Laser Skirmish and UFO and many more. For a scary thrill, you could try the Ghost House and for the little ones there will be Barnyard Babies and pony rides. If this sounds like hungry and thirsty fun, you won’t be disappointed! There will be the traditional fete favourites, home-made cakes, jams, sweets and morning tea, as well as gourmet pizza’s, hot dogs, burgers and hot chips.
Entertainment includes dancing, singing, and performances by the school bands. For Dad’s and kids who have forgotten Mothers Day, there are Flowers and gifts available, or why not grab a bargain at the incredibly popular Fete Auction.

Hopefully, I'll see you there!

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brisbane Flood Disaster - Personal Perspectives 3

One of the guys I know, Mark, who was directly affected by the Brisbane floods, took a series of professional photos of the flooding event from his perspective. Living in the Fairfield area, he had direct access to the river and the subsequent inundation around him. If you click here you can get to his flickr collection of the full suite of images.

Looking at Mark's recollections on Facebook, it all began with the movies. He outlined that he was thinking about going to the movies at Southbank, but then thought better of it. Someone suggested he should go see "Waterworld". How appropriate. Instead he went out and about and started to document visually what he saw. The river was angry that day, and around the University of Queensland, you began to get an idea of what the next few days were likely to bring if the river didn't recede.

As he wrote on Wednesday, "The water rose very quickly on day 2. After helping some friends move a few things to higher ground, I did a tour around the local area." Returning home, he had no power. Must have been hard for an IT guru but the good fortune of not having water in your home was probably worth the inconvenience. These shots from around the area now provide examples of some of what he saw.

As he commented about Dutton Park Cemetry, "Floods have no respect for the dead. Or the living. :)"

On Thursday, day 3 Mark was out around 4am at the time of the flood peak. He commented, "I went down to have a look - nobody else was about and it was incredibly eerie." This small selection reflects this. Note how by this time, the rain had stopped and at the peak it was a clear, warm morning.

Cross Street, Fairfield.

Flood peak at 4am, corner of Ashby Street and Cross Street, Fairfield.

After the peak, watching as the water slowly recedes.

Again, if you get a chance, have a look at Mark's full group collection of the floods on flickr to see both his and many other's images.

Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post (Fairfield).

All Images Courtesy Mark Cocquio.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brisbane Floods Volunteering and The Lighter Side

Watching TV this morning, I'm encouraged by the generosity and support we as Queenslanders are able to provide our community by volunteering our services to support the clean up effort. If you're in Brisbane, you can volunteer at several locations around Brisbane at:

  • Doomben Racecourse, Hampden St, Ascot – Main entrance Gate 5.
  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Melaleuca Drive, Boondall – follow signs to the main foyer.
  • Macgregor State High Assembly Hall, parking at Eight Mile Plains bus station or Upper Mt Gravatt park n ride
  • Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium, Mt Coot-tha Rd.

Hopefully I will see you there!

I don't discount that this event has significant tragedy, with loss of life, lifestyle and personal possessions. With this community spirit I am also reminded of the lighter side of this event. There have been elements of this spirit which help lift our moods, and here are some examples of both the sublime and the ironic from friends.

I've already shown some of the shots around Suncorp Stadium. Outside Suncorp, someone had given the statue of King Wally Lewis a little bit of extra equipment. Wally is a true Queensland icon and like his efforts on the Rugby League field, these are being replicated in heroic fashion across the state. Now he's got the equipment to cope too!

Another friend, Mark, has been out and about in the Fairfield area where he lives. On the lighter side, one of his mates shows how hanging onto a street sign. As Mark wrote, "Andrew's problem was not jumping onto the sign - it was getting off without getting wet. This was unavoidable but we all agreed the pics were worth it. A little light-heartedness in the midst of a disaster goes a long way. :)"

Finally, on the ironic side, Karina took this shot of the Dick Smith store reopening in the City, with this interesting piece of advertising. Phones that float? How appropriate!

The cleanup is well underway. Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Images courtesy of Mark Cocquio and Karina Honey.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brisbane Flood Disaster - Personal Perspectives 2

One of my good friends, Kev, had an interesting personal experience as the floods hit over the past week. On Monday, as the deluge continued, he was in the city as it was recommended that businesses be evacuated. Looking out the window, he had previously had this incredible view of the church across the road through the full impact of one of the storms.

He quite rightly decided to get out of the city early. As he had caught the train into work, the train was the option to get out. As he recounted on his Facebook page: "I just don't want to be sleeping under the Storey Bridge tonight mate.... It's bloody hellish down here". Suffice to say that the trip to the train that night was a drenched one. This also provides some indication of the amount of rain that fell in the region, and that had begun on the weekend. Over the Wivenhoe Dam area, several 100mm of rain fell in a few short days.

On Tuesday, his place of work sent out the company wide e-mail telling people that the building would be closed, and urging people to leave the city. On returning home, Kev took a number of shots around home and his local area near the Logan River, which had also flooded. Here, you can see the backyard of his house, as he mentioned, "It began to create a new pool". Going down the street, he took shots of the River from the bottom of his street, and also the street signs at the local boat ramp. A day later, and you get the full impact of how much the River had risen in just that one day. Kev was fortunate in other than the impact of lots of rain onto his house, the flood waters didn't rise up to the levels that his house itself was flooded.

Hi did, however, experience something that many Queenslanders have experienced this past week on a visit to the Supermarket. Empty Shelves!

If you have a similar story you would like to share, let me know and I will attempt to post it to this Blog. After all, we All still Love Brisbane!

Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post (Logan River).

All Images Courtesy Kevin Spink

Brisbane Flood Disaster - Personal Perspectives 1

I feel its appropriate to reflect on the Flooding from a personal perspective. As I have said, I was fortunate in both my personal and work life to have not been directly affected by the floods. I know many, however, who have. I will attempt to record some of their stories on this blog, and if you have a story you wish to share, just drop me a line.

From my own perspective, after the main flood peak on Thursday, I went to my workplace to see if there was any cleanup required. Our offices had been sandbagged in Eagle Farm, but fortunately the drainage system in the area held and no water came into the office park. Once we were assured things were ok we went to have a look at the river from Hamilton.

At the actual riverside, the river was fast flowing and full of debris. The ever present silt and dark brown cover meant visibility in the water was non existent. Someone had obviously been on the shoreline and attempted to clean up some of the debris, creating this small pile.

From Hamilton Hill, and below, the streets around Hamilton and Albion had localised flooding. A common site around Brisbane this week has been "tinnies" on the roadways. In some flooded areas either these, jetskis or canoes have been the only method of getting into the areas. Sandbags are also another common site.

On returning home, I was again greeted by details of the flooding throughout the city, but in particular within the City itself. Areas where I used to walk were now well underwater. City intersections covered in the slick mud will be the order of the day as the River water recedes. There is a large excavation area on Mary Street, which became a 30 meter deep pool. The images speak for themselves.

Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post (Hamilton).

Suncorp Stadium Underwater

Over the past few days, we've seen lots of images of areas underwater in Brisbane. One which has struck me is seeing Suncorp Stadium flooded with brown, murky water. This morning, they are showing that at least the water is receding, however, now there is a carpet of mud over the playing surface. On the first day of the floods there were reports of fire in the stadium, though I believe this was confined to an electrical substation which hadn't been able to have been switched off.

This stadium is the home of Rugby League in Brisbane. To give you some idea of what it looks like in its "natural state", I had the good fortune to attend a game there last year. The lush, green turf shown here will now need to be relaid in preparation for this year's season, although they're now not sure whether that will be achievable. We shall see.

The stadium also has seen it's fair share of large scale international concerts. These have included Robbie Williams, Andre Rieu, U2, and Bon Jovi. The last two were as recent as December last year. What would Bono think of the stadium where he performed just last month? U2 performed an amazing show, with a strong collection of their hit songs and recent album. The stadium provides an intimate and close up view to these international artists, so has proven itself an excellent venue both close to the city and easily accessible. I was fortunate enough to attend the U2 show, and here is another shot which shows some of the stadium from the inside in concert mode.

So now the cleanup begins. Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Waking up to Flooding

I awoke this morning well aware of the likely consequences of the rising Brisbane River, like everyone here. The morning's media reports showed a lot of the impact. With their courtesy, here are some of the images being shown on morning television here. The image above shows the South Bank Parklands, and in particular Streets Beach which many tourists would know. Now, its a dirty, murky pool. All around the precinct is underwater. GOMA, one of my favourite places in Brisbane, looks to be submerged. Similarly, another relatively new tourist icon, the Wheel of Brisbane, is also underwater.

Another amazing image which greeted me was sections of the Brisbane Riverwalk breaking free and floating down the river. The tug boat operators did a magnificent job in ensuring this massive slab of concrete, weighing close to 100 tons, didn't hit any of the other infrastructure on the river. This walkway conneted the Brisbane city area around to New Farm. Having walked and run on this walkway many times, its sad to think that this is now gone.

Across the city, various parts that people who have visited may know well have been flooded. As these next few shots show, the Albion Park Paceway is underwater, as is the Breakfast Creek Hotel, and the Brisbane Tennis Centre at Tennyson.

While it is easy to show icons and the impact to our Tourist Industry, we must also consider the impact to our local homes and businesses, which truly bring home the tragedy of what has occurred here. Drift, a restaurant on the river at Milton is totally underwater. This business can be rebuilt, but will need to be done from scratch.

Finally, this shot from Fairfield shows the scope of the impact to my fellow Brisbaneites. Houses are totally underwater, where only the roofs are showing. My heart goes out to these residents, but thankfully, despite the material damage, as long as people and families are together and safe this will allow us to clean up this mess once the waters recede. The extent of these floods not only here in Brisbane, but throughout Queensland and now Northern New South Wales is massive.

Please, if you can, I urge you to donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brisbane Flood Disaster 2011

I haven't run an update post to this Blog for a few years now, however, this unprecendented event in Brisbane has made me get back to the site and post this unfortunate update.

By now, many of you may have seen the devastation of flooding which has been experienced throughout the State of Queensland here in Australia. There are various sites, like the ABC, Yahoo7, NineMSN, Brisbane Times and the Courier Mail which all have pictures, video and information. Tragically, lives have been lost, and many homes destroyed. Right now, as I type, the Brisbane River tonight will hit a peak close to the 1974 flood levels, over 5 metres above the base waterline.

I personally have not been directly affected, however, I have many friends and colleagues who are. Many of the sites and icons I've posted about on this site are being directly affected. Whilst I know we as Queenslanders will respond and bounce back, it is easy to be dispirited by these events. With our heads held high, the recovery will be quickly started to get us back on track, and back to the great city we know and love.

If you can, please donate to the Queensland Flood Relief on the Queensland government website.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Queensland photography competition

Well, it has been a long time between drinks, as they say. I haven't done many posts on this Blog due to a lot of personal changes. Recently, however, I received an e-mail about a Tourism Queensland promotion for their Where Else But Queensland web site. Basically, it is for an amateur photography competition, which offers the chance to win a $10,000 Queensland holiday. And of course, where better in the world could their be for a Holiday, and you'd have to make sure you came to Brisbane!

The competition is open to any Australians with a digital camera, a taste for photography and a personal photo from their Queensland travels. It runs through until September 2008. They are lookng to invite Australians, whether they are now based in Oz or abroad, to enter the competition and go in the draw to win $10,000 worth of Queensland holiday vouchers. Given my focus on Brisbane, they thought "I Love Brisbane" would be perfect for reaching others that are passionate about Queensland.

I must admit I was pretty stoked to get the e-mail, as even though I haven't been posting, this blog site still gets lots of visitors who drop in and see some of the great things Brisbane has to offer. I've taken so many photo's around Brisbane, that its been hard to pick a favourite, and you can all look back through previous posts to get a sense of the kinds of things I'm in to, be they local attractions and events, sculpture, heritage architecture, pubs or shopping. The Story Bridge photo I have in the banner is one I love, but I might submit this one from a post I did on Streets Beach. To me it represents so much about Brisbane that I love: A Beautiful Day; The Beach in the City; People Having Fun! Let me know what you think!

Streets Beach South Bank Parklands

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas in Brisbane

Aidan Brisbane Peace Love and JoyI know I've been slack of late, but it would be remiss of me not to do a post about Christmas in our fair city. Unlike our Northern Hemisphere neighbours, Christmas Down Under is not about snow and shovelling driveways, but rather about beach swimming, sand and sunburn (all of which I've been doing!) Queensland knows how to turn it on, and even though it has been a relatively mild Summer, its still Summer none the less. Even with the sun, Brisbane still does bring out some of the regular sights of Christmas, so I thought I'd bring them out here to share with you in the spirit of Peace, Love and Joy of the Season. My son and I had a walk around the city on Christmas Day, and here are some of the things we found.

Santa in Brisbane Tourist Shops
Commercialism is still alive and well on the city streets. There were a lot of people in and around the city, and the main restaurants on the Mall were doing a brisk trade. There were also a number of souvenir shops open, and this particular Santa took my eye. Although he's didn't seem as "tanned" in the flesh before we took the photo, the camera doesn't lie. Obviously he'd been out in the Queensland sun as well! Probably taking in the new swimming pool over at South Bank Parklands after his evening of present deliveries. Hey, what better place in the world to have your after work break up?

Uno's Garden Myer Brisbane WindowsAt the Myer Centre, the tradition Christmas Windows this year featured "Uno's Garden". Based on the excellent illustrative story by Graeme Base, it depicts a forest, filled with wild and wonderful animals, Uno's unique family and friends. With animals such as the Snortlepig, you know it is going to appeal to kids! Graeme has created some wonderful characters, and it is great to see them brought to life, or at least 3D, in this format. Each year, the Myer window decorators depict scenes like these, along with a traditional Christmas themed window for everyone to enjoy.

Angels in the Queen Street Mall
Christmas on the I Love Brisbane Blog wouldn't be complete without a few sculpture images. Within the Mall there are a number of Angel sculptures which have been used to stunning effect overlooking the shoppers and reminding them that it isn't all just about bargains. Surrounded by snowflakes, these works are spectacular, and at night are lit up with small lights to add to the dynamic effect. These sculptures were created by Iceworks Design of Paddington, who spent several months designing and creating sculptures to adorn the Mall.

Santa Scultpure Queen Street MallAlong with the Angels and snowflakes, at the top of the Mall beneath the Christmas tree is a large sculpture of Santa and his reindeer. Riding his sleigh, with it packed full of gifts, he's ready to go. The intricacy of the design is quite astounding, and you can see the immense effort which has gone into these works to highlight the skill of the sculptors. The sculptures are all handmade from stainless steel and acrylic and are illuminated by thousands of LED lights. And on that note, as this will probably be my last post for 2007, I would like to wish everyone a post Merry Christmas, and more importantly a fantastic and Happy New Year. All the best to the readers of this Blog, and I look forward to more posts into 2008.

Christmas Tree Queen Street Mall Brisbane

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post. (The Queen Street Mall)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Cliffs Boardwalk

The Cliffs BoardwalkIf you cross the Goodwill Bridge from the city side, and venture around to your left, just under the Captain Cook Bridge (the Riverside Expressway) you'll find the start of The Cliffs Boardwalk. The walk runs adjacent to Lower River Terrace on the South Bank side of the Brisbane River. It stretchs along this reach of the river through Kangaroo Point Park to the Riverlife Adventure centre.

The Cliffs Boardwalk View
The Kangaroo Point cliffs are a results of a violent volcanic event which is estimated to have occurred some 220 million years ago. When the volcanic material settled, it was so hot it welded together. The fine grained rock which was formed is known as Brisbane Tuff. In the early years of settlement in Brisbane, convicts would quarry these cliffs to obtain the building stone which would be used in many of the city's original buildings.

The Cliffs Boardwalk City View
This is another of the great walks within easy reach of the Central City area of Brisbane. The views and atmosphere are fantastic, and you'll often find people scaling the cliff walls in search of their own adventure. The park areas include barbeques, play areas, grassed lawns and even a nature reserve. Both bike and walking tracks are available. As an afternoon of outside exercise there aren't many other things which come close as part of a family activity.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Gabba

The Gabba Panorama
Whilst not strictly part of the Brisbane CBD, the Gabba is one of the two major sporting complexes at least within walking distance, or a short taxi or bus ride from the city. Otherwise known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground the name "Gabba" comes from the suburb of Woolloongabba in which the ground is situated. Major sporting activities held at the ground include Cricket and Australian Rules Football, along with Soccer and Rugby Union. The Gabba is the home ground for the Queensland Bulls cricket team.the and the Brisbane Lions AFL team.

The Gabba QCCThe history of the Gabba dates back to 1895, when the land was designated as the site for a cricket ground. The first event conducted there was a cricket match between Parliament and the Press on 19 December 1896. Whilst now the ground is considered one of the premier venues for cricket in Australia, there was no state or international cricket played their until 1931. Aside from Cricket, it has also been a venue for cycling and later greyhound racing and trotting, amongst those other primary sports listed earlier. Over the years the ground has been redeveloped in stages, gradually becoming the modern concrete colosseum beheld today. The seating capacity of the ground is now 42,000.

The Gabba Cricket
I had the good fortune over the weekend to attend the Sri Lanka versus Australia 1st Test. Unfortunately, it was an overcast day and the game was broken by intermittent rain showers. The crowd was also down because of both the rain, and the slow play of the Sri Lankans. The ground is also now fully enclosed, so gone are the old days of "the hill" and drinking until you fell down it. The Australian's won yet again, and now are on a run of 17 matches won at the Gabba in a row, having not been defeated here since 1989!

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post.