Hotel Ma Chong, Stafford Heights.

Trip Start Sep 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, May 14, 2012

Well the sun was out in Brisbane for the first two weeks we were there, it was warm and beautiful!!!!

First off a big SORRY to all the family and friends that we did not get to catch up with in Brisbane and the rest of the countryside while we were in Brisbane. We got into Stafford Heights to mum and dad's and we did not DO much at all. I was just in recovery mode and let my mum just look after me and the family, it was so nice.

My mother is one of these ladies for those of you who do not know Keli Ma Chong who will not sit down and just keeps going and going. So I let her go for it. I did try to do my best to help her and my dad but she just always seemed to beat me to it.

It was so good to see them and spend time with them. It was very low key and our mornings included trips to Aldi and Stafford City for supplies.

We did manage a bike ride around the city on the Brisbane City Council Bikes. On our trip only Samuel managed a bike ride on the rental bikes in Bordeaux in France, he had to go by himself because I had maxed out the credit card and couldn't use it again to grab another bike. They are tricky enough to figure out the rental terms and conditions in English let alone in a foreign country like France. But it was a beautiful day for it when we went out with my sister Lavinia. Out by the river in Brisbane is lovely and as busy as Brisbane is it is not as busy as Sydney and Melbourne so very managable. The Botanical gardens are full of the big Moreton bay fig trees and big leafy foliage plants. In Southbank the Bouganvillia Arbour is still coming along and the flowers are a bright vibrant purply colour. We ended our afternoon with a late Nandos lunch and photos by the river.

We were often visited by my nephew Teancum and neice Kanika while at my mum and dad's as they loved visiting with their cousins. Kanika would engage Hannah in beauty and craft sessions while Teancum would challenge the boys to some kind of Mario defeat or beat down.

On our last Saturday we visited with Andrew's ever delightful Aunty Beryl and Uncle Jimmy who were preparing their big move in with her daughter, cousin Terri. It was Aunty Beryl's birthday so she was in fine form and animated after a day with a house full of family with birthday wishes and preparing the house for the big move. She is a spritely 86 years old with such energy but as per most 80+year olds they have bodies that don't match the energy. She offered Hannah and Campbell books from her bookshelf so they came away with:"Walks with the dead" an Aunty Beryl favourite and Diseases and Cures, one of Uncle Jimmy's favourites, classic books from their book collection that will be treasured and read.

Andrew headed home after a week to spend time with his mum Lesley and organise somewhat our hastily left belongings at Lesley's. He was sad to leave his constant companions of 9 months, but we were all learning to breath again without the aid of each other.

Samuel headed home the following week on the Tuesday. He wanted to get back and make the Soccer season and the end of school term. So he made it back for Winter House sport and the Grade 8 social (we figured it was for the social...girls).

I did get to catch up with an old friend Janis who came over and we had a sleep over the kids had a big giggle over that, it was like old times when I was 19 and Janis used to come over.

We did manage to get into mum and dads vege patch and give it a good weed and turnover. It was nice to be able to be out in the warm not hot Brisbane sun and get our hands working in the garden.

One of the tragic moments of our stay in Brisbane that has to be mentioned ... over the course of the trip packages were sent home to Brisbane and Tassie. One of the packages that was sent to Brisbane had some of Hannah's excess clothes. When we arrived I asked my mother about the clothes but we couldn't find them, so we thought they would turn up. Well after about a week we started spotting rags that resembled some of the clothes Hannah had sent home and then one morning I was in my dad's shed and a light came on and I dared look into his rag box to discover the remnants of Hannah's clothes. It was such a shocking moment that all you could do was laugh to NOT cry at the tragedy it was. Hannah was upset, no devastated, she had a good cry and then emerged with and then posted on Facebook  "going to clean my tears with my fancy rags" what a trooper. My dad in his senior moment of pottering around and not bothering to check first had cut up Hannah's clothes oblivious to the heartache he would cause. As furious as we were with him getting mad at him wasn't going to bring them back...we have moved on and we do not mention the "fancy rags".

Leaving Brisbane and my parents was hard this time. It was deep breaths to stop myself from crying. It had only been 9 months since we had seen them and over the last 9 years we have had times when it had been a couple of years between visits but it was hard to leave them this time. My sister Lavinia had headed up to Alice Springs for work for 4 weeks the week before and my brother William who is staying at mum and dad's goes away for work regularly. Mum is still able to get them both around but it is a little things like helping dad get to appointments at the hospital and doctors that I wish I could be nearby to help them with. I don't think parents should be allowed to get OLD and fragile!!!! But hey we do what we can. We have had to stop mum driving at night though. On our second Tuesday night, it was a seafood night at my brother Liahona's in laws Tol and Nola. My nephew Adam had caught some fish and crabs so they were off for a feast and I was invited because I am a grown up now! I had to pick up Kanika and Michelle (my sister in law) from the hospital (Kanika had had a big blood nose at school) first so I was going to meet mum and dad there. I did have the thought for us to travel home in one car and I would pick up the car in the morning so mum would not have to drive home (she had mentioned that when she drives at night that the oncoming car lights are very bright and she has trouble seeing the road, ahhhh not good). So after a good filling of fish and crabs mum jumps in to move her car out of the way for someone then goes on ahead of dad and I. We get down to the main road though 4-5 blocks away and mum is on a funny angle at the lights trying to correct herself and to the right of the intersection is a police car!!!!! My thought: this isn't going to end well! So the lights turn green and mum goes and so does the police car following her arrrrhhhhggghhh! So I follow them down the road until the police lights go off and mum turns off the main road down a side road to pullover. She is so cute, I walk up to the site of devastation to find mum trying to explain that she had gone into the wrong lane at the lights so they had caught her trying to get into the right lane but she had no vision out the back window because of the dew hence she was looking dodgey and she didn't bring her licence. They breathalised her, cautioned her and told her that her driving was endangering others and herself and suggested no more driving at night. She was calm and a very good sport and we all agreed NO more night driving and then I took them home in the one car and we picked up the car in the morning. Dad nearly got into a panic when they went to pull her over and I told him to CALM down, he was good after that and waited patiently in the car. Like I said, I don't think parents should get old and fragile!

Our flight home, Hannah, Campbell and myself was smooth and quick and the end of our fantasical tour, which all came to an end when we hit Hobart. It wasn't a bad thing because once we landed we remembered all the good things we missed and liked about Hobart plus the sun was shining. Driving over the Derwent River on the Tasman Bridge with a view of the Botanical Gardens to the North and Mt Wellington it was good to be home.
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Andrew on

I was there too.

Tina on

Yes he was, just no photo evidence. Oh I forgot to say that he had a sleepover at His best friend Graham's one night. Hey stayed up very late and went out on Graham's motorbike. Actually there is a photo, I will dig it out.

Campbell on

Not to mention minecraft

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