A visual antidote to Red and Blue

We just had to get away from it.

The news is full of it. My phone feed is full of it. I keep hearing soundbites everywhere. We needed a break from the relentless meltdown. (And while I’m at it, my utmost sympathy to my US readers for having to live with the hype as well as the consequences).

We headed out for a little diversion. After a brief detour to the beachfront at Seaforth, we headed for lunch at one of our favourite places: The Old Station Teahouse. We held one of the outings of the 2018 National Rally of our motorbike club there, and it received rave reviews from the 80 members who attended.

Tasty food, whilst relaxing on the ‘platform’ of a preserved old wooden station building set down in peaceful, beautiful, tropical gardens. Birdsong. The rustle and rattle of palm fronds.

The scent of murraya and gardenia. Vines, huge leaves, brilliant flowers. You get the idea… We brought Mouse along, as he loves the place, and the staff adore him and present him with scraps of chicken, mugs of puppacino studded with flakes of beef jerky, endless strokies, and best of all in his view, permission to lie on the comfy sofa!

He took full advantage, of course. Most of the customer seating is around tables in the gardens or on the event deck. There are a couple of tables on the platform, and one three-piece suite of two armchairs and a small sofa. We got the armchairs…. of course. Mouse was ushered onto the sofa in person by the manager, from where he issued his demands requests for sustenance and we were granted an audience with His Exaltedness.

At one point, it struck me how perfectly he was placed against gorgeous bright colours. I can almost see a quilt growing from those: saffron, orange, magenta, emerald and black. Or maybe not so much of the almost!

 

It’s certainly more to my taste than Red and Blue just now…

On the road again, part 2

Between Townsville and Atherton, our most northerly stop, lies something I’ve wanted to see for years.

It’s called Paronella Park, a sort of fantasy romantic castle and grown up playground, built by Spanish immigrant José Paronella and his family in the 1930s. And it’s unlike anything else. For years it was abandoned and neglected, but has been slowly restored to some magnificence, and a condition safe for visitors to the buildings and the superb gardens around it.

I’ll leave you with first my photos, and then a link to a YouTube video. I’d recommend turning the sound off, the commentary is a bit treacly.

castle-turret

castle-back

fern-shadow

through-to-the-fountains

kauri-avenue

castle-front-with-fountains

helliconia

teresa-falls

shell-ginger

The promotional video for the place. Go to full screen if you can, it’s worth it.

Paronella Park is not supported in any way by the state or federal government, but by volunteers and visitor entry fees. It’s totally remarkable, and I have a pass to return any time in the next two years, because believe me, I’ll definitely be wanting to… It really is quite magical. If anyone out there gets the chance, do yourself a huge favour, and visit.

I just wish my photos did it justice.