Monday, January 26, 2015


Australia Day 2015

Today is Australia Day. Every year we try to get into the spirit of things by wearing something that says "We are very proud to be Aussies". This year we have gone for the minimalist approach and used stickers to give the message. We didn't do as much as other years. We just had a quiet day doing craft, watching cricket and going down to our favourite spot to watch the fireworks. The shores of the lake are packed with people during the Aus Day events, so we watch the fireworks away from the crowd. Of course, it is India's special day as well and at the moment I am watching a cricket match between Australia and India. Now those of you who are cricket tragics like me will recognise that the photo is not of this game, but a Big Bash game from a few days ago. All cricket is great, and it will be even better if Australia wins the game tonight.
p.s. Drat! The game had to be abandoned due to rain. We really need more  sports stadiums with movable roofs in Aus.

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Friday, January 16, 2015


Bart's Boats

OK, before the purists among you jump and clammer loudly that these are SHIPS, not boats, I admit that is the proper term, but "ships" doesn't alliterate with "Bart's". I absolutely love cruising and these are the ships that I have cruised on so far. "Dro Ki Cakau" was a happy ship. I did three cruises around various parts of Fiji on her. The photo shows her moored among the northern Yasawa islands. She was damaged beyond repair during a cyclone in 2010, and replaced by "Reef Endeavour". I cruised some of the Great Barrier Reef on "Reef Endeavour" in 2005, while she was based in Cairns. The picture shows her at Cooktown. What can I say about "Queen Mary 2"? She is the ultimate cruise liner, a superb mix of classic Cunard luxury and modern technology. I only had 5 days on her in 2011 and hope that we can afford a longer trip sometime in the future. The photo shows her arriving in Fremantle harbour. "Voyager of the Seas" is my favourite ship, so far. Dad was lecturer on her on a New Zealand trip in 2012. Although not as "posh" as the QM2, "Voyager" is a well-run and happy ship with lots of activities, live music of various types, and interesting places to eat. The good news is that we are taking Mum on another "Voyager" cruise for her birthday and Christmas this year. "Celebrity Millenium" was a bit of a let-down because the ship was kept too cold and lots of the passengers got really sick. The ship was OK, but didn't have the excitement of the others. However, the cruise from Hawaii to Sydney via French Polynesia took us to many places the Oldies wanted to see. There is a blank space in the mosaic for my next ship. This will be "Radiance of the Seas", which Dad will be lecturing on in April during a cruise to New Caledonia. I am looking forward to returning to Noumea and investigating a new ship. Love cruising.
You can see many images from these cruises on my blog, just search the ship name in the search window at top left of the page.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Mobile Chair

Mum has been slow to recover from her back problem and occasionally we have hired a wheelchair to get her around the shops. It looked like fun to me, although Dad says it's not much fun for the pusher. So when I saw this item in the window of "Build-a-Bear" I just had to have it. It actually is fun to be pushed around in it. Not so much fun when Dad aims me down a steep path and lets me go. OK, it's fun while I am zooming down at speed, but no fun when I meet the steps or the wall at the end of the incline. Sometimes Dads can be a bit cruel, can't they.

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Thursday, January 01, 2015


Happy New Year From Bart

Well, 2014 has finished and we have another year to work with. 2014 was a traumatic year for our family and I am not sorry to see the end of it. Now here's hoping that 2015 will be less stressful. I always stay up late on New Year's Eve so that I can see the fireworks on TV. If you can't actually be there, seeing them on TV is the next best thing. Watching the cricket  which filled in most of the earlier evening helped me stay awake this time. I think that Sydney has the best fireworks most years, although Melbourne is getting better. I like the ones from around the world that are shown next morning as well. Anyhow, have a good 2015, may it be a better year for all of us.

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Santa Sent Me A Vespa!!

Wow! What a surprise. Of course I was up early on Christmas morning. What small bear wouldn't be. Thinks: "What? Only one Bart present near the tree? Wait on, it's a big one, maybe something extra special." I needed help from the Oldies to get the Santa bag onto the table where I could undo it and see what was inside. My very own Vespa motor scooter. And with extra features added to make it fit a small bear. With Royal Aussie Bear Force insignia, like some of my other vehicles. Extra control panels - I am still trying to sort out what some of the dials and switches are for. Working headlight and horn. A motor that turns on and revs up when I push the right paddle down. Bling buttons to work the break levers. Everything that a small bear's scooter should have. How does Santa know what the special, sensational presents for everybody should be? Actually, I have a bit of a clue in this case. I caught Dad working on modifying one of these Vespas a few months ago. He said it was a special Santa job for a special small person living nearby. Does Santa employ Oldies as helpers? Hmmm... Dad does have elf ears that he wears to parties sometimes. There just may be a link here.

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