Scone Bypass Community Walk

Locals getting ready at the beginning of the walk

Today we did the Scone Bypass Community Walk to celebrate the completion of the town bypass. For years, the town's main street has been blighted by thundering freight lorries coming through both day and night. Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Michael McCormack, said," This five-kilometre bypass will improve road safety and reduce travel times for freight and long-distance traffic, by providing an alternative route around the town". The townspeople were invited to walk across the bridges of the bypass as part of the opening ceremony.

I walked the bypass with Janie and Andrew

Fortunately, there was a slight breeze on this beautiful morning

 The pristine road stretched out before us, as we crossed the bridges.

Lots of people joined in the walk, and we got to enjoys the views from up high

 This is the Scone Golf Course, taken from the bypass bridge

The Smoking Ceremony

As part of the opening ceremony, there was a traditional Aboriginal Smoking ceremony. This is an ancient custom among some Aboriginal Australians that involves smouldering various native plants to produce smoke which they believe has cleansing properties, and the ability to ward off bad spirits. This particular ceremony was to ensure the safety of travellers on the road, and to ward off any evil spirits that may harm them.

During the ceremony, he fed the leaves into the fire and wafted the smoke around

Michael McCormack MP, and the local dignitaries attending the ceremony

The walk was a lot of fun, although, I have to admit, I only walked one way, and didn’t complete the return journey as there was a bus for the elderly and infirm. Sometimes being older is an advantage. But well done to Janie and Andrew. Not only did they complete the walk, but they did so after having been to a CrossFit session earlier that morning.

Elizabeth Coughlan


40th Wedding Anniversary

Margy and Bernard’s special wedding anniversary

The main reason we were in Cleethorpes was for the 40th wedding anniversary of David’s sister Margy, and her husband, Bernard. Members from both sides of the family gathered together for the happy event at the local Golf Club. Her two bridesmaids flew in from South Africa, and the two flower girls also arrived one from Abu Dhabi, and one from Mongolia.

40 years ago in Zimbabwe

Now, celebrating with Margy

 The bride and groom with the Bridesmaids and Flower girls

 Margy and Bernard with their 4 children

Cutting the cake

After the cutting of the cake, it was time to eat.

 Margy’s side of the family

Bernard’s side of the family

The Coughlan cousins

 Finally, we all lined up for a memorable photo of that memorable day,
One we will never forget.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Cleethorpes, North Lincolnshire, UK

It's official - Cleethorpes Beach is named the most beautiful place outside of London.

We arrived in Cleethorpes ready for a special family gathering. But more of that in my next post. Cleethorpes is a seaside resort on the Lincolnshire east coast of England, on the south bank of the mouth of the River Humber. The Humber has big tides, so the sea goes out a long way, as you can see from the image above, leaving a vast expanse of mudflats. It is wise to check the tide times before venturing far out, as the sea comes flooding back in very quickly, and can fill channels behind you to cut you off.

Cleethorpes began as a fishing settlement but evolved instead into a seaside resort when the 19th-century fashion for sea-bathing developed. This was greatly boosted by the arrival of the railway. It thrived until the 1960s when the Med became accessible to British holidaymakers, and traditional resorts declined.

While in Cleethorpes, we visited the Boating Lake.

The Boating Lake is actually two lakes joined by a connecting channel.

The lake abounds with wildfowl like ducks and swans,
but also, more exotic ones like Barnacle and Greylag geese.

Two Barnacle Geese

 A pair of Greylag geese

We really enjoyed our stroll around the lake. As we came out of the parkland around the lakes, we noticed The Signal Box Inn, also known as the Smallest Pub on the Planet.

The Signal Box Inn measures 8x8 feet

Another interesting landmark nearby is The Bus Café, run by Emma and her sister. Emma used to run Emma’s Café from her home, providing homemade meals, cakes, customized salads, fruit pots, and much more.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Emma’s daughter didn’t like working from home as she felt she was living at work. They thought of running their business from a truck, but then there were many people doing that, so they thought, “How big can we go?” That’s when they thought of a café in a double-decker bus.

 Emma and her sister, Amy, run the Bus Café in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

Within a week of coming up with the idea, Emma had bought her bus and acquired the plot, so she was up and running. She opened her Bus Café on June 2018, and it was very popular.

Emma in The Bus Cafe

Unfortunately, in October of that year, some low-life scumbags broke into the bus one night, stole whatever they could, and then set fire to the bus. Emma was devastated after all her hard work, but the amazing person she is, determined to fix it all. She ran the café through home deliveries, until she was able to refurbish the bus, and had it up and running again the following March, with the help of her family.

The upper deck of the Bus.

Customers enjoying a coffee

Today Emma has a thriving business. You can follow her success on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Bus-Cafe-1302146153257892/ and get a glimpse of the wonderful food on offer.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Revisited

 Harbour is a great location for any tourist visiting Sydney.Darling

We stopped off in Sydney, on our way back to Abu Dhabi from the Upper Hunter Valley, and decided to go for a walk around Darling Harbour. It really is an interesting area; Darling Harbour is constantly renewing itself, there is always something new to see, or experience.

(If you are interested in the history of this area, here is a link to my previous article: http://geriatricgapper.blogspot.com/2016/04/darling-harbour-sydney-australia.html

One thing we noticed immediately on arrival, was the Ferris Wheel. This is a new attraction on Darling Harbour, and definitely wasn’t there the last time we visited.

Although much of the harbour is surrounded by high-rise buildings,
there are lots of trees, and cool fountains to calm the atmosphere.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is close by, with its Guardian Lion at the entrance.

You could easily spend a whole day in Darling Harbour, with all the activities and sights to see. Here are just a few:

1 Australian National Maritime Museum
2 WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo. ...
3 SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. ...
4 Madame Tussaud's. ...
5 Flight Experience Flight Simulator. ...
6 Chinese Garden of Friendship. ...
7 LG IMAX Theatre and 9D Action Cinema. ...
8 A multitude of Shops and Restaurants.

Reflections in the glass front of the International Conference Centre, Sydney, in Darling Harbour

Although buildings are sprouting up all over Darling Harbour, innovative architecture has ensured the area isn’t overwhelmed by them. The International Conference Centre (above) is Australia’s largest convention, exhibition, and entertainment centre. It has over 70 meeting rooms, three theatres and two formal ballrooms. Large spaces in front of the building, and the glass front reflecting the sky gives a feeling of light and air.

Darling Harbour’s relaxed and laid-back atmosphere,
makes it an ideal place to stroll around

Tourists, and locals, enjoying the open spaces.

I particularly enjoyed this angle of the ICC,
Where the building seems to vanish into the sky.

We plan to be back in Sydney in November. I can’t wait to see any new developments. I am sure there will be some.

Elizabeth Coughlan

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!