All posts filed under: Australia

Piles of Excess

There was a vast difference in the standard of the ‘junk’ piled high on the curb at the height of Brisbane’s flood clean up. Some of the poorer suburbs whose inhabitants were uninsured, were cleaning what they could. The ‘save’ pile was bigger than the one headed for land fill. Having helped out in several affluent suburbs, I could only wonder if some of the mud-coated items could have been salvaged and given to a worthy recipient in a poorer suburb. I understand the panic and insurmountable task of cleaning the putrid, mud-coated contents of a home but amidst all the heartache, someone should have had the foresight to take charge and redistribute. It was simply not politically correct to even suggest such a thing. In the aftermath of the devastation, no-one was willing to take up the charge. Yet, as I observed the clearly new washable wicker furniture lying alongside a perfectly good stainless steel fridge (which according to my electrician source, could be hosed and salvaged,) I couldn’t help thinking they could be …

Brisbane rentals shortage

While most of the flood clean-up of Brisbane’s flooded homes is drawing to a close, flood victims unable to return to their ravaged homes, are now facing a rental shortage. Rentals are ‘like gold’ according to one flood victim forced to pay $800 a week for a four-bedroomed home in Brisbane’s Western suburbs. She considers herself fortunate. If she hadn’t instantly agreed to pay the premium rent, someone else would have snatched it from under her nose. There are hundreds who are yet to find somewhere to live. Many families are still staying with friends or relatives but sooner or later, they will need to find some semblance of normality. Agents are inundated. Traditionally, finding a rental home in Brisbane from December through to January was difficult enough. Locals competed with throngs of interstate or overseas house hunters and university students needing accommodation for the start of a new year. Now they are faced with former property owners entering the rental market too. Estate agent, Cathy Lammie, a top seller in one of the Western …

Exclusive suburbs hard hit by flood

A month ago, I enjoyed a work Christmas lunch at an up-market jetty restaurant overlooking the Brisbane River. And then, at the height of Brisbane’s floods, I watched in fascination as the jetty housing its outdoor restaurant, floated down the Brisbane River, collided with a bridge and sunk. Ironically, it was called Drift. Stranded in our own little outlying semi-rural suburb, we could only watch in horror and disbelief as we saw footage of familiar stomping grounds swamped by water. Friends phoned to say they were leaving their home with the water lapping window sills. In another picturesque upmarket suburb, two more friends and their families had left their homes with one saying water was expected to reach roof height. The South African couple were renting the property but as many in the suburb, submerged in the 1974 floods, were unable to get flood insurance. They managed to remove a few items including treasured paintings, a washing machine and fridge but feared the worst. As newcomers to the country, we bought our very first home …

Dynamic Decorator launches in Brisbane

Interior decorator, Nicci Freeman, has launched her Brannic Interiors website in Australia. With her years of experience working for a range of clients in South Africa, Nicci brings an exciting new element to Brisbane’s interior decorating scene. Her love of fabrics and textures, and above all, her ability to transform a home into a sumptuous haven is a hallmark of her creativity. Whatever your requirement – renovating, starting a room from scratch or simply needing decorating advice – remotely via email or through a personal consultation, visit www.brannicinteriors.com.au Ph: 0413 445 628 (Australia), +61 413 445 628 (International) Email: info@brannicinteriors.com.au Twitter: www.twitter.com/niccifreeman Facebook: Brannic Interiors  

Sydney’s Bondi Beach, New Year’s Eve and Opera House

Forget the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach and even the thrill of being in this stunning city during the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks. It’s a celebrity sighting that got my daughter’s vote. “I’ve just seen ‘Stretch’ from The Fantastic Four and he said hello!” she beamed, hardly able to contain her glee at seeing her first real celebrity face to face. I have to feel a tad sorry for the said celebrity (Ioan Gruffudd is his name for those out of the loop). Here he was, innocently enjoying the spoils of Aus on a remote little hideaway only accessible by boat, and he comes face to face with a fan. In the flesh, I have to say, he passed for any other fun-loving tourist pumping up a tube for his young sons to be towed behind a boat – and to his credit, he was amiable and appeared quite happy to be accosted by yet another star struck female. More of a challenge was finding Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar’s (‘I love a sunburnt country, …