Day trip to Bangalow.

Oldest son has his L plates, he has to log 120 hours of supervised driving before he can sit the test for his P plates.

So a few weeks back while we were all still on holidays, we decided to pack a lunch and go for a day trip to Bangalow and Nimbin so he could get a few more hours under his belt.


We’ve been to Nimbin before and found it quite interesting and we were all keen to go back for another visit.  We went for a walk, exchanged pleasantries with one or two of the locals, had a coffee in a grungy cafe and then drove back towards Bangalow.


Bangalow is such a contrast to Nimbin!   It’s  a lovely little town approximately ten minutes from Byron Bay.  The main street is lined with beautiful old  buildings full of boutique shops, cafes and restaurants..(with big city prices to match!)

Up one of the side streets is a rather overpriced antique/collectables shop but it’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasures and worth the look. I took some photos anyway.




On the same street is this leaning building.  It’s an old Masonic Temple.


How cute is the Bangalow RSL.


Last year we brought as a souvenir from our travels two cast iron rockets from a shop called Waxjambu Emporium.


This year I came home with Olive Oyl and a cowboy .  Sadly they’d sold out of Popeye’s


Joni Dress in Clovelly

Bangalow is also the home to a Lazybones shop.  Its full of beautiful clothes, homewares and collectables.  I was very tempted and even tried on a dress, I love the pom-pom trim (above) but knowing that Mr F and the three boys were waiting outside  bored and hot, kind of put me off.  I need to go back with some female friends I think….


So where did Pearl and Charles go?

It’s not very exciting, I had a look at the Australian electoral rolls and in 1943 found Pearl and Charles living at 6 Ridge Street, Northgate. It’s definitely a bigger house than this one.  They must have needed a bigger house because at some point they had two sons, Keith and Colin.


The 1943 electoral roll has Pearl’s occupation listed as ‘home duties’ and Charles as ‘bus driver’ and this is how it stayed until records stop in 1980.


In 1954 Keith is listed as ‘labourer’, 1958 as ‘grocer’ and in 1972 as ‘shop assistant’.  Colin is also listed in 1972 as ‘shop assistant’.

Hang on this is where it gets really exciting…. in 1980 Keith had MOVED OUT!!! his address had changed.  He was living in Chermside.


I’ll start from the beginning!!

Before I do start this blog. I have to quickly say that I am a complete novice. I’ve never done anything like this before. So please excuse the odd sized photos, photos that are placed haphazardly. It’s all new to me and I will be learning as I go.   Some of the photos may not look the best either, I’ve used the camera on my phone.  So here goes nothing….

Late  2011 we brought a new house to renovate.  It’s a little house, a very little house and  we are a family of five (three sons), two cats and two possums (they were here  when we moved in).

We moved from a bland yet spacious brick and tile, four bedroom, two bathroom, media room, swimming pool etc… in an equally bland suburb. To a much smaller two bedroom + sunroom, character house. But this house is oozing with personality.  It’s in an older suburb closer to Brisbane city that’s bursting at the seams with vibrant, interesting people and beautiful older homes. We love the house and the location but the house is just a little too small for us lot.

So… the renovations began!  We started with clearing the back garden. The house has been a rental for many years.  The previous tenants had kind of  let things go.  Please don’t be fooled by the photograph above.  It was sent to us by our lovely real estate agent.  I think it has to have been taken at least five years ago.  As there is now an enormous tree by the back steps.

This is what we were up against on a stinking hot day in January.  It was quite a satisfying job. The neighbours on one side didn’t seem too impressed though, the overgrown jungle had given them privacy and she told me so.  I felt bad for a few moments, then took the opportunity to explain to her in  the nicest way possible that we’d brought the house to live in. It was going to need some work,  but hey ” No more tenants ” !!

Old Pearly JenkinsOld Pearly Jenkins

She   just  snorted and walked away.  But you’ll be pleased to know that since this first meeting we’ve got to know her quite well.  It took a while for her to warm to us (remember the three boys) .  so anyhoo we’re  keeping  our neighbours well-informed of whats going on and I think she’s secretly pleased that the ‘old girl’ is getting a makeover at last.

It might not  look like much when you look at the photo above  but it was a great start.

A month or two later the lovely neighbours on the other side gave us some fence panels that had been removed from their place and they had no need for them.  A couple of bottles of wine, a dozen beer and the new/recycled fence was  passed over the fence .

We cleared the mess down the back, demolishing the bits and pieces that had for many years been some sort of property divider. Then replaced it  with the new/recycled back fence.  A few trees from the house behind us  needed a few limbs cut off and one particularly ugly one that had been planted too close to the old fence line had to go. We were given the thumbs up from the owner, we just needed to find the right person for the job .

We decided to try using to find a suitable person for the job. We placed a job description and waited for the quotes to come in.  We decided to go with a man called Grady Simon.  His passion and knowledge was incredible and he was extremely well priced.  I would recommend his services to anyone needing something done in the garden anywhere in Brisbane (North and South side), Ipswich etc.


The next job to do was to build  a low retaining wall to level out the garden.  We wanted to put a small swimming pool at the far right hand corner.  The cooler winter evenings set in and it was harder to motivate Mr F to do anything outside.  But with a little encouragement and acting as his labourer, we completed the wall in time for the hole to be dug for the swimming pool .

The new recycled back fence and the markings for the new pool.

The  company that we chose to construct our swimming pool was Thomas Pools. They’re based in Capalaba but have been putting in pools all over Brisbane for many years.  They did my parent’s swimming pool in two of their houses.  My dad, who does everything ‘by the book’ was very impressed with them and so by late August, Brian from Thomas Pools  ( ) came over and measured up and sent the diggers in.

I think I’ll just fast forward this week. We had a few hiccups with Brisbane City Council, we had to get a permit to have a fence over two metres on the boundary. As usual the paperwork disappeared and then ended up on the wrong person’s desk. It was a massive delay but FINALLY last week we got the certification and started to fill the pool.

Woo hoo its been so hot these past few weeks and looking at an empty concrete hole was pretty rough.

We did use the time however to have Indo, from Pro Fence ( build a hardwood deck around two sides and install the pool fence. In our previous house we decided to have glass panels installed instead of the standard powder coated type. We found it to be a bit of a pain to keep clean. So this time we have gone with the  standard powder coated type. Pretty boring, I know  but its one less job to do on a weekend.

It’s nearly done. We just have to clean and seal the pavers, clean up the decking (tradies just don’t seem to care about making a mess), lay some turf and we are set for Summer. Bring it on!!!!

So this is what the pool looks like currently.