It’s winter time.

After 5 months in Australia it’s now mid winter. This week is very cold. Maximum temperature during the day is sometimes below 20 degrees and at night incidentally below 5 degrees. Maybe it doesn’t sound that bad and of course it’s relative, but we don’t have a central heating system in the house which isn’t isolated as it is usual; in the Netherlands. So in the evening we have to use the wood burner and/or the reversed air-conditioning. The differences in temperature are sometimes amazing. Last week, early in the morning, we noticed some ice on the windscreen of the car and the next day the temperature was 27 degrees. It seems that the oranges and lemons in our garden don’t really care. They just keep growing initiating battles between the Possums and us to conquer the full grown fruits.

This is the time of the year for garden changes. That’s why we are removing many plants, stone tracks and large stones to extend the lawn. This will give the children more space to play on lawn. Buffalo grass is the type of grass we have and is doing well in the local weather circumstances.


Although we didn’t discover any dangerous animals (spiders, snakes) around the house, removing the plants,
brushes and stones will reduce the chance of meeting them close the house significantly and will make it a safer place to play. We created a sandpit and got sand delivered to fill it up. The children use it frequently now. In the bush Jan made/improved some tracks with the brush mower. This makes it easier to walk around and spend some time jogging.

Our first feedback on the snake skin found on the lawn was that it would be of a brown snake. We didn’t like the idea, so we brought the skin to the Queensland Museum for examination. Based on the shape of the skin segments the experts said it was a harmless non-venomous “Green Tree Snake”. That’s good news. With the cold weather the animals are not very active. This keeps the spiders and many reptiles away. Nevertheless, we still see several Lizards, and the Bush Turkeys are still ruining our garden. When we are working in the garden and sweating, the laughing Kookaburras are watching and laughing at us. When we remove plants small animals show up and Kookaburra know how to catch them rapidly. They eat lizards, frogs, (small)snakes, worms and insects and their sound is looks like laughing. (player at bottom of page)

During the winter holiday we all took a week to relax after a busy period. We were invited for a BBQ at the Alma Zoo which also gave us the opportunity to see some special animals. Alma Zoo is only around 15 km from our home, giving us the opportunity to visit the animals there so now and then.



In Redcliff we enjoyed the beach. It’s a long beach with many seats, BBQ’s, playgrounds and other facilities. It’s a great opportunity to relax for people of all ages. We were not very lucky with the weather since it became clouded as soon as we arrived, but still it was nice to stay In the Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art we went to the exhibition “Picasso and his collection” showing his personal collection and sources of inspiration. Brisbane was the first time that this collection was shown outside Europe, so we took the opportunity. To see some of the paintings click. here.

  In the Queensland Museum we looked around (and got our snake skin examined by local experts). The children enjoyed themselves in the State Library where they can do a lot of creative activities with local teachers helping them. They love it.

During the holidays Nicole went for a week to Vacation Care where she could play with other children.

Since we left our 2 and 3 seater in NL, we also went looking to buy new ones which we did. It will be delivered in September.

After the holiday Jorick started at his new pre-school “Little Genesis Early Learning Center”. It took some time before he got used there, but now he is enjoying it. Last Saturday he went playing with a friend from his previous pre-school and both of them really loved to see each other again. Jorick recently started with private English lessons form the same teacher that has helped Nicole. It shows that Jorick still finds it difficult to express himself in English, so that’s why we expect that these lessons will help him further. At least he loves to follow those lessons.

Nicole has catched up so well that we reduced her number of lessons and are considering to stop it. She is doing very well and surprises everybody with her language skills.

On the 31th of July it was Nicole’s birthday. She got a Barbie doll house, a cat that can move and several other toys. In the morning we had breakfast with cake (what a bad parents we are) and at school she pointed out some sweets. On Saturday the 2nd of August was her party. She invited all the girls and a few boys from her class and some
other children she has met here. In total around 20 children and some parents, so it was fun. In effect she got a lot of presents as well which kept her busy (unpacking and) playing for days. Anita had prepared a creative session where everybody could make his own flower. The flower could be completed by doing several activities during the treasure hunt and finally they found the treasure with bags of sweets. It was fun.


Last Sunday we have visited the Doulos in the Brisbane harbor. It’s the oldest passenger ship that’s still operational. It was launched in 1914, making it 2 years younger than the Titanic, and will be decommissioned in 2010. It was bought in 1977 by OM with the mission “Bringing knowledge, help and hope“. The ship is run by volunteers and on the ship is a large bookstore with relatively cheap books, so we couldn’t resist buying some books and we had an on-board tour. We still enjoy living here and are looking forward to spring.

Wish you all the best.

Kind regards,

Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick

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