A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Gladstone Proper What's In A Name ?

Was meaning to mention right after first arriving in Gladstone. The name 'Gladstone' comes from William Ewart Gladstone. Apparently he was 4 times the Prime Minister in UK. I did not know that.Gladstone town was originally called Port Curtis and had been ear marked to be a new town for development made up of a mixture of new arrivals from England and 'expired' convicts from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). That was back in the 1830's. It all come to nothing but later the Governor Fitzroy announced in 1853 that the town officially be know as "Gladstone'.So there you have it. This fact might, I say might with a small 'm', come in useful if you attend lots of Pub Quiz nights and they have run out of questions or have decided to concentrating on a 'University Challenge' type thing based on what you know about Gladstone, QLD. Otherwise not much use is it!?.......
Where did I get all this useless information. See attached prints!!!!

Goondoon Street

Lovely day which I had not expected as it is a Saturday. I think I mentioned that for the last few weekends it has been horrible. Just rain so today was a welcome change. Saying that I still went to work for a few hours and then popped into the library for a couple of books. The library was after work and after a 4-5 kilometer detour to the Harley Bike shop!!!
The shop had some beauties and I was sorely tempted but my wallet told me to slow down... Later. Let me just settle down a bit first.
Library is good. Its free and had a surprisingly good collection of books, cassettes and new range of DVD's. Borrowed a couple of cook books. Also noticed a 'dummies guide to electronics'. But that can wait I'm not taking on any more new projects this year.
After the library I stopped on the main Goondoon street, (Aboriginal for Water Bag!!!) and took a few shots. All very typical of a small Australian town with some colonial buildings intermixed with more modern stuff. As expected in a small town on a sunny Saturday afternoon not many people around. All gone to sailing or fishing. No doubt followed by a BBQ!!!
The photo with the green entrance is a 'bottle shop'. Its a drive in boozer!!! Yes that's right drive in and stop. Don't even have to get out of the car. Just order you beers and flip the boot. They drop it in for you and after parting with some cash off you go. Now what could be easier that that!!! Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Gladstone 22 Cooking

Decided not to write about Gladstone. Don't know why but soon. So in the meantime I can tell you I did my first puff pastry's! Good turnout. I had expected something flat and boring but I was verb pleased! So for the record..... Puff Pastry chillies meat pies. Excellent even if i say so myself.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Gladstone Day 21 - 2011 03 21

The day started off well. Beautiful sunshine and the view form my room was excellent. I had an early morning cup of tea and watch a very large cargo carrier arriving.Earlier last week I had looked on the web of photos of Gladstone. I found one showing the main street clock tower. Taken about 100 years ago. The tower is still there.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gladstone Days 1 to 20

View Gladstone in a larger map

Been in Gladstone for just under 20 days. That includes 3 weekends if you count today Saturday 19th March. The last two weekends it rained both times. So any exploring has been through the windscreen wipers while driving around. Kid you not! 26mm of rain over this last weekend.

Had a lovely few days in Thailand before jumping on a plane to sunny Brisbane. And I think I have finally got over the bike accident. Leg still badly covered in scrap marks but they are going down and I’ve finally stopped hobbling around. So all in all time is a good and possibly the best healer. It certainly did not create the best of impressions arriving the first morning to work hobbling in covered with a lot of injuries. Still all that is in the past.

Initial impressions of Gladstone. Lovely spot. Much better than I imagined. I cannot think why the guy at Brisbane airport was so utterly dismissive. Its a small place with a population of about 30,000 people. It is a country town but the industry is heavy engineering, coal export etc. But that really does give the wrong impression as the Environment Control are very strict leading to a clean place.

It took quite a trip to get here. Starting off in Khon Kaen to Bangkok and then changing planes on to Brisbane and up to Gladstone. The total flight time is probably only 11 hours but add in changing planes and the waiting between flights and I was looking at more like 24 hours. I was met at Gladstone airport by Nicole our Office Manager. She was excellent, warhaving organised a first class apartment and had even though to but a ‘welcome’ kit of bread, miles etc. And of course Vegemite!!!!! Where would Australia be without Vegemite.....



I’ve done a bit of cooking. Bought some puff pastry and made my first lot of chicken pies. Very good if I say so myself. And today I bought a new guitar amplifier so the neighbours will know all about it this evening!!!

Pictures of Gladstone? Lots to follow. I am planning a trip out tomorrow and will start including a small map. We expect to be here for a few years so I am going to use this forum to keep my diary and let you all know what we are doing. I did earlier say I world add a photo most days. Well no more excuses...

I did read recently that Blogs were not as popular as before. People moving over to Facebook etc. I’m staying here.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ruwais To Thailand And Onwards To Gladstone

Finished in Ruwais and returned to Thailand. Spend a few days in Khon Kaen and then down to see Owen in Pattaya. He is totally immersed in golf. Which for him is good but would drive me nuts. Anyway back up north and time disappeared. Quicker than Ruwais. I think I was packed and on a plane before I knew what had happened. Well not quite true. I nearly did not make the plane as we had an hour before leaving Ban Muang decided to call in and see Terry and Steve, Terry was not in and so round to Steves. Well a bloody dog came out onto the road and started running wild. In fact there were about 4 dogs. Needless to say we hit one of them. He died and we went flying across the tarmac. Wanna suffered a sore hip, scratches on her arm and the rest was luck. I also went sprawling and ended up with a bump on the head and scratches on the leg and chest. No problem except I had a plane to catch! Needed to be at the

Airport within an hour. So rushed back to the house, bike still worked. Thank God. Had a quick shower and smothered my cuts with local herb oil, which I use for everything!!!!

On the way to the airport we stopped at the doctors. He is actually on the way, with no diversion. We stopped outside his office and were seated in front of him within 2 minutes. Fantastic service. He checked us both. Cleaned up the cuts and added some bandage. Then on to the airport. Fortunately I was travelling business class so plenty of room to spread out and relax.

So with all this we still made it to Khon Kaen Airport. Booked in and started my trip. Khon Kaen on to Bangkok and then another plane onto Brisbane. Which is where I am writing this blog waiting the final trip up to Gladstone.

First impressions of Oz. It is about 3 years since I was last here. I came for an afternoon to Brisbane whilst working in Karachi. Had a quick interview and then back on a plane. So not really sure that qualifies as having been here. I did however spend 9 months in Perth about 10 years ago.

So memories through 'rose coloured spectacles fell off on arrival this time. Everyone very friendly but also dreadfully efficient! If you appeared to jump the que someone told you!!! Bit of a shock after Thailand. But good to be here.

I've added a few photos of our garden orchids just as a memory. Plenty of Gladstone stuff to follow.

One last thing. Just before sitting down to wait on boarding I had to go through yet another security check. Then one chap asked my if I would do a 'random' explosives test. Sure.... Chatted.

He asked me where I was going?

Gladstone. You know it?

Know it! I come from there.

What's it like?

It's a shit hole...

Well there you have it. He clearly did not work for the Gladstone Tourist Board. So you knows whats up there. I'll make my own mind up. But let me tell you that I have already decided that irrespective of how it is, shit hole or not, I've already decided I'll enjoy it.

So more to follow.


He was wrong. Gladstone is a lovely little place and I am sure we are going to enjoy it immensely!!!