Sydney Opera House (Small)

By Patricia Newell-Dunkley photographs by Reginald J.Dunkley

Greetings from down under as tropical cyclone Marcia category five batters the Queensland coast. Described as extremely dangerous and causing widespread destruction as parts of Yeppoon and Rockhampton are smashed losing 400 homes and causing much devastation.  While at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast surfers take advantage of the four foot waves as they practice for the Quicksilver Pro surfing Tournament.  Meanwhile South Australia’s heat wave continues with temperatures reaching over forty degrees. Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere, December to February is Summer, March to May is Autumn, June to August is Winter, and September to November is Spring.  A scorching summer was predicted and that is exactly how it has been.



Kenny Rogers makes his “Farewell Tour of Australia” promising to do all of the hits that made him a squillionaire . Forty years after his first visit the five times married entertainer now wants to settle and raise his ten year old twin sons.  The silver-haired 76 year old is not retiring but making the really difficult trips for the last time. Swinging into Sydney, Tamworth, Newcastle, Melbourne, Launceston, The Gold Coast, Townsville, Perth and Adelaide, before crossing the ditch to New Zealand for Christchurch and Hamilton. With sold-out venues Rogers only gets finer with age.

Cate Blanchett stole the show at the recent Australian Academy Cinema Television Awards in Sydney admitting that she was “knicker-less”, the forty-five year old actress appeared in a ravishing, plunging, powdery pink silk gown, made by Alexander McQueen.  The old Hollywood-style frock which clung to her form, complimented the Oscar winner’s alabaster complexion, slight blonde finger waves, with simple hoop earrings, and towering black heels with over-sized bows. Hosting the event along with Deborah Mailman handing out 47 awards, Russell Crowe’s WW1 drama “The Water Diviner” and Jennifer Kent’s horror film “The Babadook” tied for the best film award and the ABC’s “The Code” won best Television Drama Series.

The Socceroos win their first Asian Cup 2 – 1 over South Korea in Sydney. James Troisi etched his name in Australian football history with the win late in extra-time, lashing home from close range after superb work on the by-line by Tomi Juric.    Congratulations.

Bird male wren

Bird male wren

The Australian Open Tennis for 2015 was won by Serena Williams for the       sixth time.

Twenty year old Scott James wins the World Championship in Snowboard Half-pipe in Austria. Five years ago, the Aussie snowboarder became the youngest male winter Olympian for 50 years when he made his debut in the Half- pipe in Vancouver, and now he is the World Champion.  His next adventure will be to compete in the winter games in Aspen, Colorado.

Frontier Touring is thrilled to announce the return of the “Eagles”, renowned for their hit laden sell-out concerts; the iconic group are bringing their critically acclaimed “History of The Eagles”. Performing in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Hunter Valley, as well as New Zealand Auckland and Victoria’s Hanging Rock in February/ March.

Legendary Rod Stewart is also touring Australia and New Zealand, the irrepressible Stewart will be singing “Maggie May” the song written by him from his own experience about the first woman he made love to and launched his solo career.

Following him is Leo Sayer featuring his latest CD “The Restless Years”  The show will introduce his new Australian Band.

Fraser Island is a heritage-listed island located along the southern coast of Queensland, 200 kilometres north of Brisbane. The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world; it is also Queensland’s largest island.  It has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps and coastal heaths.  It is altogether a delightful and scenic place to visit, with 300 different species of birds, unique flora, bush tail possums, and many other fascinating mammals.  There is much to see and do on Fraser Island or you can just relax and enjoy the exceptional beauty.

It is nearly one year since the disappearance of MH370 with no success of finding the aircraft.  A new book maintains that someone is hiding something and the notion that a plane “disappears” from tracking is not credible.  More sinister scenarios are suggested, Cyber hijacking, Space Aliens, Time Travellers or beings from another dimension were involved in the plane’s disappearance, even Life Insurance scams have been suggested, but nothing alters the fact that the plane has disappeared.

Tuggerah Lake surfer

Tuggerah Lake surfer

Here at Shelly Beach the birds are still doing well in the garden, and Pixie is settling down and getting plump.  Holidaymakers have disappeared and students are back at university. The next break is Easter which is not that far away. My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady – The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain – Wallis the Woman I Love.”  Are available at Amazon and my website     Cheers. Patricia.