Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Picnic in the Alps

It is now 5 months sine I enjoyed a picnic lunch in a spectacular location it the Alps on the Frence/Italian border at the Col du Maddalena.
We were en route to Pra Loup to watch stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It was a clear windless day and it was a pity to have to leave that idyllic scene. Our little dark blue car can be seen at the roadside.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Oasis in the City

Today we visited Boyce House in the suburbs.  This is an impressive historical property that was donated to the university by the former owners.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Spring is Here

After a slow start with colder temperatures through September, we have now launched into Spring with some spectacular days.
This morning we enjoyed the blue sky and the calm conditions to have a walk in the park.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Oldest and the Youngest

We have just had a wonderful time with Stephen and Melinda and Caleb.  It was a rare chance to see the Oldest Doyle and the Youngest Doyle together.
They arrived yesterday afternoon and after a short talk, we went round to Joanne's place and enjoyed a meal with lots of talk and fun. Then today, they again called in to see us and we joined all the Bainbridges for a walk through the botanical gardens, and then we drove up to Picnic Point for coffee and chips before Steven Melinda and Caleb departed for the Gold Coast.  Here are a few photos taken today.
It was a most enjoyable 24 hours - we are so glad that they made the effort to come and see us up here in the "high country" at Toowoomba.

Friday, 4 September 2015

A look at the Past

Sometimes in the midst of all the technology of the future, it is good to remember a little of the past.
Today we saw some of that at Cobb and Co, where the Australian Light Horse division was remembered in a display of ancient warfare, set with an appropriate background of windmills.
It was rather co-incidental that adjacent to the display was a small car that would not have been too far out of place with the horses in those past years.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Surveying the Jungle

It was not all sightseeing and cycling on my recent trip to Canelli in Italy. Occasionally there was some work to do.
One task that I set myself, was to survey the undeveloped area of land that extends from the house up the valley alongside the Valle Oscura creek. Until recently this strip of land was pure jungle - difficult to walk through and impossible to see the extent. But as Stuart had slashed his way into it and formed a basic track, I got to work and attempted to measure it to set out the boundarys. My main primitive instrument was a long string line which I had previously marked out in 10 meter sections. By stretching this along the embankment, I was able to establish the key points that I wanted to mark.
My reward for doing this job, was a cool beer in the shade of the Fienile.

Monday, 24 August 2015

A Day at the Tour

The peloton passes at Pra Loup on stage 17.
What a great day in the French Alps

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Fly-in

Today was a unique and one-only opportunity for light aircraft to fly into the new Wellcamp airport. The local aero club took full advantage of the chance and about 30 light planes arrived and parked on the apron. Landing was not a great problem, for most of the planes only needed about 300 meters of the 3 kilometer runway that stretched far into the distance.
Craig was the pilot, and Sam was the co-pilot and they arrived to share a coffee and ice cream with the family.  The terminal was not exactly crowded.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Big Slide

It is not often a city will close the main street for a giant water slide.
But this was the situation on Saturday in Toowoomba. It is a twin water slide 325meters long, running almost 2 blocks down the gentle slope of Margaret Street.
It was well supported by thousands of customers both young and old.  The entry fee included a large yellow plastic tube on which the people splashed their way down the full length.

Monday, 9 March 2015

A Day of Good and Bad

Yesterday was 9th March - Its significance may not be immediately apparent, and the date might have passed without any special note except for a couple of events in recent history.
1. It marks the fact that we have now been in Toowoomba for 4 years exactly - the best move we have made, but where has the time gone?
2. It also marks the day of the heaviest bombing raid of World War II. On that day 70 years ago, the US launched 860 B29-Superfortresses on Tokyo and they delivered more than 6000 tonnes of incendiaries and explosives over the city, causing unimaginable damage to the city.
I am currently reading "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, which gives an excellent graphical account of one American serviceman who endured the dreadful conditions of a POW in Japan for 2 and a half years. It is a coincident that yesterday I just happened to be reading the section which described this massive bomb attack on Tokyo. It should have signalled the immediate surrender of Japan because their air force had been substantially decimated, ships sunk, and most of their outlying islands had been captured as the allies advanced on the mainland. Yet the Japanese continued to pursue their insane policy of "fighting to the last man", and they endured another 5 months of intense destruction until the atomic bombs hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when they finally surrendered.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Rare Sight

It is a unique sight to see a blend of a placid country scene and the intense action of a contest on the roads. It was a peaceful day at the roadside until the flurry of almost half a million dollars worth of bikes raced towards their climax at the finishing line 140km along the road.

Monday, 9 February 2015

An Epic Space Encounter

Every hour NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft gets 31,000 miles closer to its July rendezvous with the former planet known as Pluto. Last week, to mark the 109th anniversary of the birth of Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, NASA revealed a new image of Pluto and its largest moon Charon.
As you can see in the image above, Pluto and Charon are finally more than a pinpoint of light to New Horizons. The image was captured on January 25, 2015 when New Horizons was was still 126 million miles from Pluto. 
New Horizons has been in flight since early 2006 and has travelled more than 3 billion miles. It will speed through a close approach with Pluto and its five moons on July 14, 2015. During its encounter with Pluto, New Horizons will map the global geology and topography of Pluto and Charon, determine their surface composition and temperature, measure Pluto’s atmosphere, study Pluto’s smaller moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, and search for new moons and rings. It will be an epic encounter.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Its That Time Again

Yes the Summer and Autumn brings the best of cycling to Toowoomba.
This month we have the Oceania Cycling Championships at Goombungee, and in May we have the 5th edition of the 4 stage Tour of Toowoomba.  There is a small chance that they may select me for one of the events, so I went out and rode a fast 30km this morning. As I now sit and recover I think that maybe I have left my run a bit too late.