Australia, blogging

Dog Friendly Cafes and Bars

Unlike a lot of Europe, dogs are not welcome at all eating venues around Australia. The select ones that do welcome dogs, were so few a decade ago that I started a social media group to identify and share information about their location. It now has almost 9000 members. That is a lot of folks wanting to take their doggy with them to eat/have coffee.

Mostly the allocated dog friendly space at an Australian Dog Friendly Cafe is outdoors, without a fixed roof, if the venue is serving any kind of food. I do understand that dogs are unpredictable and can bark or become a nuisance. If this is the sort of dog you have, you probably would hang out at a park instead of a cafe.

Bearing this in mind, it was with much excitement that I attended Dalgety Public House located on the riverside fringe of the CBD. Not only did this Gastropub welcome dogs, they offered wide range of events, lunchs dinners, and weekend breakfasts. The meal we had was scrumptious and the Barista was a talented coffee artist who decorated our coffee crema with our own pet or animal of choice.

Here is some of her creations. Guess which one is my pup?

Are dogs accepted at cafes, pubs in your area?

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A Covid Wedding

Getting engaged six months before a Covid pandemic begins was always going to get complicated.

Choosing a wedding date back then, (before Covid), seemed so simple, as long as this particular engaged couple gave both sets of parents enough notice to organise travel to Australia, from their home in Malaysia.

Perhaps it isn’t widely known that Australia has had a pro-active policy of shutting borders to most overseas visitors since early in the pandemic and because of this, my dear friend’s wedding had to be postponed. The Bride was an only child and rightfully couldn’t bear the thought of getting married without her parents seeing it happening irl.

Closed sign
Photo by Ellie Burgin on

A twelve-month postponement of the wedding seemed reasonable in early 2020, but as we know, Covid has a longer lifespan than anyone thought. Going ahead with a wedding in 2021, meant neither of the couple’s parent would likely be able to attend.

Sad and courageous, but a wise decision was made to get married as this couple had wanted long enough to start their life as husband and wife together. They love each other, right?

Fast forward to three weeks before the wedding date.

We had hen’s and buck’s nights, dinners out with friends, life was resuming normality and then, suddenly, another problem!

Two weeks before the proposed wedding day, our state authority imposed a snap Covid lockdown. The virus was loose in the community! Medical staff treating Covid patients in quarantine had inadvertently transmitted the UK variant of the virus to our community. It was out there.

Gatherings of any type including weddings were instantly restricted to 10 people. Oops!!! Ten people at a wedding? Not fun when you have paid and prepared for 80 +.

Queenslanders and the wedding couple went into panic mode.

One of the medical staff in question had even attended my local restaurant, the local Sunday markets and the hardware store during the virus incubation period for Covid 19. News of this raised an alarm at the Home by the Sea, as the Moth’s second home is the same hardware store!

Frantically checking the contact tracing information on the Government website and liberal splashings of same across social media, we determined the Moth was at the same location, but four hours after the infected man attended.

Folks living outside Australia and New Zealand might find this concern ridiculous, given the level of Covid infections they deal with every day. Here, two community cases caused societal pandemonium.

We saw protests of lockdown measures, many others complaining stores should remain open or unhappy to wear masks; some were irate at shoppers at the supermarket spotted wearing mask pulled down with nose protruding.

Within minutes of the lockdown announcement being broadcast on media channels, toilet paper, paper towel, disinfectant, rice and pasta disappeared from store shelves and queues were a mile long at the supermarket checkouts. It was crazy.

After a very tense week which was by then, less than one week out from the wedding date, we all breathed a sigh of relief when gatherings over 30 people were once again permitted to resume and non-essential shops could re-open. The Wedding could go ahead!

A huge sigh of relief.

The wedding ceremony was a beautiful and very happy ceremony to remember, even with us all wearing masks and or socially distancing for most of the night.

Both sets of parents of the bridal couple connected via Zoom and Skype thereby being able to witness the ceremony and reception. Other guests connected from Canada and South Africa. A truly international affair.

This truly was a unique wedding to remember!

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Tech of the month: Long exposure

Long exposures allow you to blur motion and to collect as much light as possible. They often yield unreal yet beautiful images with vibrant colors and a large depth of field.

These are some experimental photos my daughter and I took on my Nikon D3100

2013-07-09 20.51.30


Connect the heart

Torch shutter speed


and the following two were taken with the Phone camera’s settings.




ToM is a monthly photo challenge. To participate, take a picture according the theme, and when you post the picture, create a pingback to Lucile’s post here or here to share your achievement.

Something to Ponder About

Australia, Community

30 Day Book Challenge – A Book You are Embarrassed to Say You Liked

DAY 24.  – A Girl Most LikelyRebecca Sparrow

2004 runner up One Book, One Brisbane ( an annual award based on a fiction book set in Brisbane) Why would I be embarrassed? Read on…..

This is a great teen and young adult comedy  based on a girl growing up, not only in my hometown, but also in my home suburb, so it was a bit of a nostalgic read, albeit like a weird conduit back to my growing years.

I read this book in  just a few hours. It is not in any way a stretch for the brain, but the local references of my home town made up for that.

Here is the blurb:

 On leaving school Rachel Hill was nominated as “The Girl Most Likely,” but now she’s turning 27 and facing a bleak future. Unemployed and living back at home, with a secret marriage turning into a secret divorce, Rachel confronts the future – a future complicated by her unknowing mother’s enrolment of Rachel in a beauty Pageant, a love affair with her ’talent’ coach, a sexual harassment case for ‘hotslicing’ the local priest and the interventions of an erotic-porn writing lesbian. Rachel is set to ride a vicious pendulum of success and set-back. Is there a way out of her quarter-life crisis? Can Rachel come to terms with who she really is before she’s exposed? And what is a hotslice?

Rachel Sparrow is entertaining as a speaker and writer.  There was moves to make this into a feature film, again I imagine, would be aimed at young adults, but it seems this didn’t happen.

  • This book does not pretend to be an esoteric study of a young woman’s life in the ‘burbs’ but is peppered with humour, and if you up for a light fun read, pick it up.
    After all, it won’t hurt you. That’s a good thing about books.
    Something to Ponder About

DAY 27. – Book that has been on your “to read” list the longest.
DAY 28. – Favorite quote from a book.
DAY 29. – A book you hated.
DAY 30. – Book you couldn’t put down.


Australia, Community, History & Traditions

Phoneography challenge – Week 5 Challenger’s choice – street photography

Phoneography challenge - Week 5 Challenger's choice - street photography

Historic arcade, Brisbane Australia:

A heritage listed arcade with up market shops, built in  1924, that even has its own bomb shelter, in the basement, no longer used as such. This was the subject for my challenger’s choice photograph for this week’s challenge. To join in with your phone’s best photos, see below:

Since the deaths of owner, James Mayne in 1939, and Mary Mayne in 1940, Brisbane Arcade has been operated by a board of trustees acting on behalf of their estates, with operating proceeds benefiting the University of Queensland School of Medicine, (according to Wikipedia).

LensandPensbySally runs a regular phoneography challenge, every Monday, for photos taken with your smart phone, as your lens. Each week there is a different focus:

1st Monday: Nature

2nd Monday: Macro

3rd Monday: Black and White

4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).


“Life, we learn too late, is in the living ,  in the tissue of every day and hour.” Stephen Leacock.

A quote to ponder about today.


Australia, History & Traditions

Hurra for Norge – May 17th

fjord Lars Stana

Ja vi elsker dette landet,

Som de stiger frem ….

In fact, Norway has had three national anthems. The first, written in 1772, by Johan Nordahl Brun with talk of “blood on the teeth…” Bit scary! But then they are Vikings… Then in 1819, Henrik Hans Bjerregaard wrote Sons of Norway, and finally, in 1864, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsson wrote the words in the video which remain the anthem today.Not only was the anthem heard, but also “Mellom bakker og berg et med havet” was sung by the Scandinavian singers in the Thyme interactive Restaurant at the Sofitel Luxury hotel in Brisbane today.


Because it was a “fest” for Norway’s birthday… 198 years old today, (since separation from Denmark) or if you prefer, 107 years since independence from Sweden. Gratulerer med dagen Norge.

Hurra Hurra Hurra!

The celebration started officially last Thursday, when on Syttende Mai (17th May) the Norwegian students from QUT university here organized the street march through Brisbane.  This really confuses the people of Brisbane who can’t really recognize the flag. I love seeing their faces as all the Norwegians walk along singing at the top of their voices. And street marches are illegal in this state of Queensland, so I like the fact that one can legally stop the traffic in this way.

And the celebrations really got up and going with the “Constitution Day” buffet at the Thyme restaurant at the Sofitel Luxury Hotel. The roll-up each year just gets bigger and bigger!! Over 80 diners this year combined to eat, feast, sing and celebrate. Me included.

And the seafood on offer would make a Viking proud….. Chilli crab, Prawns the size of a large man’s fist (Scandinavians take note!) Whole baked snapper, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Scottish peppered mackerel, as well as several roasts, pappadums, curry, salads, veggies and I won’t begin to discuss the desserts. I will let the pictures tell the story.


Now I am several kilos heavier, and that is something I don’t want to ponder about for too long. What I will ponder about is that England stuck its nose into Scandinavian affairs making Norway war spoils in return for Sweden backing England against Napoleon.

In fact, forcing Norway to accept Swedish control or else they would blockade all imports to Norway in 1814. What bastardry was this? Forcing people to starve so that they could win economic and political advantage in the region? Abhorrent. And dare I say, typical of England self-important ego.

So this is how Norway had to wait almost another 100 years until they gained full independence as a country.  Not a good day for Napoleon, Denmark or Norway. I guess a good day for Sweden!!

Something for Swedes to ponder about…