Fifth Archive
Items from 8 October 2009 to 13 December 2009

December 5 to 13 December, 2009

Mackay tree

This tree grows just outside my fence and several times a year I undergo frustration because I am not able to climb up and neaten all the dangling bits of bark. It gives me great joy when I sit on my deck and helps to shade my secret garden. The Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a novel, written by Betty Smith and published in 1943. It must have been republished in the early 1960's when I borrowed it from the library at The Age. I loved the book then but am not game to reread it in case I am disappointed.


Monstrosities on the Pioneer River banks Mackay

From the beautiful tree I move to the awful apartment buildings on the banks of the Pioneer River, fronting River Street, in Mackay. Buildings like these destroy the whole ambience of the river. No doubt many people are delighted to live in the concrete prisons like those above.

A relatively new boardwalk along the Pioneer River provides a great place to spend an hour or two, as long as one keeps one's eyes firmly on the river views. The new Blue Lagoon is a focal point for families, just a pity it is overlooked by the monstrosities.

Blue Lagoon, Mackay
Blue pavillion on the Mackay Pioneer River boardwalk
Pioneer River boardwalk, Mackay

November 28 to 4 December, 2009

Louise (facilitator), and Val at the seniors' consultation

Louise and Val

The conference room at South's Rugby League Club was packed with representatives from a wide array of organisations and with interested members of the community for the Positively Ageless consultation forum. The consultation, which was opened by Karen Struthers, Minister for Community Services and Housing and Minister for Women, was organised by the local Department of Communities.

A wide variety of issues were brought up at the various discussion tables involving health, housing and transport. The elderly in Mackay are in the invidious position of having to drive more than 400 kilometres to Townsville to access specialist advice and for operations which cannot be performed in Mackay.

Link nurses celebrate

Suzy and Mary Anne

Link nurses from Sarina Aged Care Residential Home, Resthaven on Quarry, Homefield Aged Person's Home and Good Shepherd Lodge gathered at Sorbello's Restaurant to celebrate the end of an interesting year of education events. The link nurses, who are organised by the Rural Palliative Care Project run by the Mackay Division of General Practice, will continue to receive education next year.

Ros and Eleanor
Martin and Kim

November 23 to 27, 2009

When it's a frog!

Denese' frog mouse

My new mouse is operating well, in fact it is frogtastic. My house is full of frogs and I plan to add a Frog of the Day/Week page to this site within the next few weeks which will probably totally delight everyone.

A different type of house

A house made of Lego

Here is a clear indication that little boys grow up to be big boys. The photograph above shows early construction of a house for humans made of Lego. More than 1200 volunteers worked on the building and used 3.3 million plastic bricks. A further 1500 people who wanted to play were turned away. Sadly, after the house was completed it had to be torn down however all the Lego was donated to charity. Tragic note, a Lego cat, called Fusker, who was on site, was stolen. One hopes it has gone to a good home. The house was built on a wine estate in Dorking, UK. No comment.

Pencil me in for a ring like this!

A ring made of pencils

The unusual item, above, is a silver ring which is embellished with fragments of coloured pencils. The ring is one of many pieces of jewellery which have been designed by Maria Cristina Bellucci who began her working life as a maker of theatre costumes, accessories and jewellery used in performances. Her early work was made from thin metal sheets and wires but she has now moved onto solid pieces which are very colourful. Ms Bellucci was born in 1964 in Italy and has worked and lived in Rome since 1988. Exhibitions of her work have been presented in Italy, Germany, Portugal, USA, Switzerland and Slovenia.

November 17 to 22, 2009

A slow stone chateau

Building made of stones

When I recently completed my university degree as Bachelor of Multimedia Studies, I thought, having so much more time, that I would be able to update this site every few days. That hasn't happened but I have had the time to do a lot of searching online on many different subjects which interest me, health matters, architecture, literature and film, and one of the interesting architectural oddities I found is pictured above.

The fascinating building was begun more than a hundred years ago as the result of a postman tripping over a stone! Ferdinand Cheval began marking stones when he covered his postal walk and every evening he returned with a wheelbarrow to collect them and to build, very slowly, Le Palais Ideal which is at Hauterives in France. Numerous architectural ideas including gargoyles, mosque motifs and Hindu temples were included.

November 12 to 16, 2009

Joh enjoys the view on the waterfront at the Mackay Marina

Joh at the Mackay Marina

But look down....

This is what the area, on the land side of the marina, looked like, when I took photographs there on 5 September 2006.

And now...

Below, this is the carnage I photographed at the weekend.

November 10 to 11, 2009

Dean and his father, Charlie

Dean Dudley and his father Charlie

Many congratulations to Charlie Dudley who has celebrated his 95th birthday surrounded by his wife, children, and their families, and Charlie's siblings. Many thanks to Charlie's granddaughter, Jen Dudley-Nicholson, who has taken all these photographs most of which will expand if you run your mouse over them.

Jen, who made the decision to be a journalist when she was nine, is The Courier Mail technology editor. She studied for her Bachelor of Journalism at the Queensland University of Technology and has won a Country Press Award for Feature Writing. She has been a finalist in the MEAA Queensand Media Awards three times.

Below left is Charlie and Doreen with her siblings. To the right is Charlie with his sister, Betty.

November 6 to 9, 2009

Ros (MDGP) and Will Cairns from Townsville

The photograph above shows MDGP's Ros Laspa, who runs the Mackay Rural Palliative Care project, with Dr Will Cairns, our guest speaker, who attracted a full house of gps, nurses and allied health professionals for his recent presentation.

Dr Cairns is the director of the newly established Palliative Care Centre which has been built on the grounds of the Townsville Hospital. The $8 million centre provides 20 palliative care beds and is staffed by people who specialise in providing palliative care.

Quoted in a recent story in the Townsville Bulletin, Dr Cairns said the building was a tribute to the Cancer Council of Queensland and to the local community which showed Townsville's compassion when it came to death and dying.

Mary Anne is the first to arrive!

Mary Anne from Resthaven is the first to arrive

In a sad reflection on health workers, who should be in the forefront of advising patients about the need for powers of attorney, wills, and advance health directives, a show of hands of members of the audience proved very few of the attendees had arranged for any of these for themselves. If the professionals don't set the example, how are they to educate their patients?

These are important not only for the elderly, but for all adults. There is nothing worse for children than being unable to help organise their parents bill payments if the parents become demented, and particularly there is nothing worse than being unable to provide clear medical directions.

Guests at Will Cairns night

Below Angela, Ros and Melanie set out resources for the education evening.

Andela, Ros and Melanie set out the resources

November 1 to 5, 2009

Bolwon spaceship type houses

Many years ago, in Darwin, I wrote a story about a local architect, who had designed, and lived in, a very similar house to those pictured above. Dutch architect Dries Kreijkamp, whose flights of fancy led to the houses pictured above, called bolwoningen, is also a lecturer in sculpture and design. In addition to houses he has designed clothes and images and when he worked at the Dutch Royal Glass Factory, his crystal spheres were considered remarkable.

Katrina and Emma

Katrina and Emma

Facebook Users Beware

Mary Landesman, who puts out a regular blog, says Facebook users need to be aware there is a bogus e-mail, which claims to be from the Facebook Team, which says the user's password needs to be changed. The e-mail says the attachment contains the new password but it actually contains a malicious trojan. This site, Mary's Antivirus Software Blog, is very useful and helps to keep people up-to-date with what is happening on the internet. Subscribe for weekly e-mails so you can protect yourself.

October 26 to 31, 2009

Mary Anne, Sister Pauliine, and Suzy

Above, representing Mackay residential aged care facilities at the pain workshop, are Mary Anne from Resthaven on Quarry, Sister Pauline from Francis of Assisi Home, and Suzy from Sarina Aged Care Residential Home.

The TAFE theatrette was once again the venue for an event run by Ros and the Mackay Rural Palliative Care Project. Mundipharma provided the speaker and resources for the Pain Workshop for Nurses. The evening was very well attended by a range of nurses representing residential aged care facilities, community organisations, and GP's practices.

The photographs above show Mundipharma speaker, Chris, with project officer, Ros, and some of the audience. This event is the second last educational night this year for Mackay link nurses who are being provided with additional training through the palliative project.

October 19 to 25, 2009

The biggest basket ever

One wonders what on earth would be manufactured by the owners of the building above

October 12 to 18, 2009

Willow guards

Willow is now ten years old but he remains a vigilant yet gentle dog. I miss him a great deal.

Down among the fishes

I am no longer enchanted by the Weekend Australian, indeed I am frequently discombobulated. The magazine section has a new clean layout, unfortunately the content is lacking. If I wanted to read about stuff like fashion, food and/or wine, I would buy magazines which target those areas. I continue to enjoy the book reviews and discovered in a review by Peter Kirkwood of Jim Eames book, Six Feet Under or Up In Smoke: The Aussie Way of Death, that if you wish, you can have your body buried at sea, however you will need 52 kg of ballast to make sure you remain down down down beneath the waves. Such burials are governed by the Environment Protection Act 1981.

My children and their families

Above are recent photographs of all of my children and most of their families. Top left shows my son, Nick, with his wife, Denese and their daughter, Lakeda, taken during a birthday lunch. Top right is my daughter, Suzanne, and her daughters, Tahlia and Isabella. Below is my daughter, Amanda, and her daughter, Alishia.

Below is a photograph of the Mackay Rural Palliative Care Project advisory committee following our recent meeting. We are very lucky at Mackay Division of General Practice to have such a passionate and competent group which is complemented by our working committee. The committees include residential aged care facility dons, domiciliary nurses, consumers, an oncologist, GPs, a psychologist, and Queensland Health.

Mackay Rural Palliative Care Project

Advisory Committee

October 11, 2009

I have had a delightful couple of days reading a book by Norman Doidge called The Brain That Changes Itself. The book includes numerous case studies which show people, who were in a compromised mental state, improved radically following a variety of exercises both mental and physical. The book also discusses the importance of continuing to learn and enjoy new skills as one grows older. I loved a quote, attributed to Pablo Casals, who, when asked at the age of 91 why he continued to practice, replied, "Because I am making progress".

October 9 and 10, 2009

Happy birthday

Happy birthday Nick!

And now it is my son's birthday - hope you had a very happy day.

Public Forum

A number of interested people gathered this afternoon at the public forum, "You don't have to have cancer to be palliative" at TAFE. Chaired by Brian O'Neill, the forum was organised by Ros of the Rural Palliative Care Project which is part of the Mackay Division of General Practice.

The strong panel included local people involved in all facets of palliative care.

Below left is Brian and to the right is a photograph of Carmel, Ros and Liz, who, as a zone co-ordinator for the Rural Palliative Care Project looks after 12 projects in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

October 8, 2009

Above, a happy face at work - and Ros and Nicole provide a lovely lunch

Below, be careful online

The WindowsSecrets reveals a worrying trend where some of the sponsored advertisements on Bing and Google will dump malware on your computer if you click on them. To be safe it is a good idea to install the free program McAfee SiteAdvisor on your machine. This works on Firefox and IE and will be green if the site is safe. Even then sometimes SiteAdvisor is out of date so if you suspect a site may be unsafe, do not click.

I use a cut down version of Google which does not contain advertisements. You can find scroogle at

Also be very wary indeed if a pop-up advises you you have a virus on your machine. These sites are malware and are very difficult to remove.

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This page was updated by Diana Kupke (Diana Mann) on 8 January 2022