I have 9 old, wrinkly friends, who are retired or semi-retired. Five of them all used to work together and the other four are husbands. They didn't want to lose touch when they retired so they decided to meet and have lunch or dinner when it was their birthdays. However, they got disenchanted with buying a present every time, and decided instead to give a Birthday Bear (thats me.) I get passed from one birthday person to the next each time they meet. The fun part is, that I get to be dressed differently each time, usually to reflect some aspect of the recipient's personality or life.
PS: Two of my wrinklies, Chris and Bob, have gone on a working holiday tour around Australia so they don't celebrate with us very often.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I insisted on a Christmas get together with my wrinkly friends. After all it is Jesus' Birthday that we are celebrating so I reckon Birthday bear should celebrate..

This year I came dressed as a Christmas Tree with bauble earrings and a star on top.

Ann is the one who helped me get dressed for the party.

We had a buffet dinner at the Greenbank RSL Club. From the left Kathy, Paul, Bill, Diane, ME, Ann, George, Helen, and Mary.

Ann took this shot and named it, "The Three Wide Men".

Ann also made up a poem about ME and included all the characters that I have portrayed (She is the clever one):

I am the no-sexual Birthday Bear;
And my personalities I would like to share;
I have been a fisherman – twice in fact;
And once I wore a fisherman’s hat;
I have also traveled by coach outback;
Was a film producer not long after that;
Became an author of no-renown;
As a grey nomad hit the road to travel ‘round’;
On a boat trip I was a teacher;
As a dancing diva a glamorous boa did feature;

A blogging bear created some talk;
Another time I was decked out for a walk;
Once I was depicted sipping wine;
Whilst enjoying a boat cruise down the Rhine,
A Scotsman who in his cupboard, had a skeleton or two;
A theatre audience member – I’ve been that too;
Why, even as Christmas came my way;
With sled and Rudolph, Santa Clause I did play;
I have been a cowboy riding a “cobweb broom horse”;
Cruised on the Brisbane River as the other fisherman, of course;

Flew to Townsville in the tropical north;
Taking my bikini, sunshade and money purse;
A volunteer in a library – I was that also;
Even a gardener watching the lemons grow;
An elegant chorister in a CWA choir;
A lawn bowler decked out in white bowls attire;
My breath was taken away and almost my speech;
As a whale watcher – witnessing their amazing breech;
My varied personas have been filled with glee;
But what’s this – now I’m a green CHRISTMAS TREE!

Ann Dec 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009


I've had a lovely time at Helen and Paul's house and I went to play bowls with Paul. Now it is time for me to surprise Ann for her birthday. Helen and Paul are getting me ready to go whale watching on the Gold Coast.

I am going to surprise Ann at the Gem Hotel in Jacob's Well. I have my mobile, camera and binoculars with me. I'm also wearing a sun hat and sunnies to protect my white fur from the sun.

Ann was happy to see me ready for a holiday on the coast. She is reading the brochures. After Ann and her friends stuffed themselves with a huge lunch we went to buy some prawns.

I don't think I like them, I would rather some honey.

They had some interesting toys made out of beer cans.

I liked the aeroplane best.

Now I am home at Ann's house and I know I'm going to have fun here because Ann and George go on lots of trips away. I can't wait, and I think they are taking me to a Christmas party too.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Here I am dressed and ready to go to Paul's Birthday dinner at Kam Koon Restaurant. Yum, I love Chinese food. Now Paul plays bowls every week for Salisbury Bowls Club. So I am dressed in my bowling whites ready to go with him next time.

I have my Salisbury hat (Helen made that for me) and shirt (Diane made that for me) . I have my bag with my bowls inside (Bill made that for me) I also have my rag stuck in my belt for cleaning the bowls. The reason that I can stand up now is that George made me a wire stand that helps me with my posture.

I enjoyed having dinner with the men, Bill, George and Paul.

The ladies too, Karen, Helen and Ann. Mary couldn't make it tonight but I was very happy to meet Karen for the first time. She used to teach at Kuraby School with the other ladies.

Paul was excited to see me and when he gave me a hug my hat fell off.

I think he enjoyed having me for his birthday. I can't wait until he takes me to play bowls.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Yoo Hoo its birthday time again!! Look at me! I'm all dressed up in my best choir outfit because I belong to the Oxley Country Women's Association Choir. I have just finished a concert. Thanks for the flowers and chocolates. I'm looking forward to my friend Helen, arriving. She sings in the choir with me and it is her birthday today so she gets to take me home. We are celebrating at Sunnybank Hotel today.

It was Mary's turn to dress me for the party today. I think she did a super job. This is the prettiest I've ever looked and I love the dress she made me and all my jewelry. I hope Hannah and Sophie like my dress.

BB is holding my sheet music for me.

Yeh! Helen has arrived. I hope she likes me. I think so she has a big smile. I love making people happy on their birthday

"She is checking out my music, but she's not sure If the song is appropriate. " Yellow Submarine"

Mary, Bill, Paul, ME, Helen, Ann and George had a great birthday lunch.

Sausages and Mash

Grilled Snapper

Sunday, June 21, 2009


As Diane is working on her birthday on Wednesday, we celebrated yesterday. We had lunch at the Foyer Bistro in the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in the city. It is situated on the South Bank of the Brisbane River, together with the State Library, the Museum, the Art Gallery, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (opera house), the Conservatorium and Convention Centre. This area is one big Cultural Centre on the banks of the river.
Diane loves gardening so I came dressed as a gardener. Ann and George helped me get dressed and made me a stand and a little wheelbarrow.

I have on my overalls, garden gloves and garden shoes. Of course I have a visor and sunnies.

I even have a little wheelbarrow full of lemons (see Diane's lemons here). I also have a watering can and fork and shovel, with froggy handles. Diane loves frogs.

Ann and George (in front) did a wonderful job of dressing me and making the props. Thank you. From left to right...Ann, Mary, Bill, ME, Paul, Diane , Helen, George. They even booked a place for me, which the waitress thought was funny.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I am going to the COTAH Restaurant to celebrate Mary's birthday together with a bunch of retirees. COTAH is the College of Tourism and Hospitality. The restaurant is run by the students.

The college is at South Bank in the city. Diane forgot her camera and used her phone. That was just one of the glitches we had on the night. On the way Diane received a text from the bank saying her keycard may have been copied so would she go and change her PIN, just what you need on the way to a birthday dinner with friends.
It wasn't an easy place to find but I was there, sitting up waiting to surprise Mary. Mary volunteers at a community Library and she is often wondering where to go on her next holiday. So I have thinking bubbles suggesting places of interest to visit. I also has travel brochures and my passport ready.
I am sitting in the Library (real photos of my library) Ialso have jigsaw puzzles and afternoon tea with a birthday cake ready. Helen and Paul did a great job of dressing me.
Unfortunately there were a few more glitches before the fun could start. Mary's taxi driver couldn't find the venue and got caught in grid lock going around the block trying to find us. Finally when he found the place Mary discovers she has lost her phone probably in the cab. So poor Mary was a little agitated by the time she arrived.

However, when she spied me she felt much happier.

In the end Mary was smiling and..... .

....we all had a good time.

Friday, May 22, 2009


It was Paul's Birthday and he is very proud of his Scottish heritage and spends a lot of time studying genealogy. He recently visited Scotland and met his relatives. So here is I have a Scottish Tam on my head and a bottle of Scotch whisky in my lap and I have opened my cupboard full of skeletons. We enjoyed lunch at Hog's Breath Cafe.
When it was Chris's birthday, I came dressed as a teacher of prisoners, as that is what Chris was doing at the time. Unfortunately for us, Chris and Bob have left our group to join the Grey Nomads travelling and working their way around Australia. We had lunch at the Blue Parrot on Macleay Island in Moreton Bay. When it was Diane's turn, I came as a blogger together with my cardboard laptop and camera. I was also sporting identical glasses to Diane and white hair like hers. We had lunch at my favourite Chinese Restaurant, Kam Koon.

Here I am blogging bear.

Helen had just returned from a River cruise in Europe on the blue Danube, so I came to the lunch dressed in my sun baking bikini , sunnies and a holiday hairdo. I am sipping a cool drink watching the boat sail down the Danube. Lunch was at Fish 52.

Kathy loves bush walking and walking her dog every morning. I came in my jogging track suit with bum bag and water bottle. I was wearing a black sunhat which is Kathy's trade mark as well as the long blond plait. In my hand I have the dog lead. Lunch at Sunnybank Hill's Tavern

The first time Paul received I was dressed as a fisherman as Paul loves fishing. Lunch at Runcorn Tavern.

On Bill's Birthday, I came as a videographer,with a white beard and glasses, holding a Swiss chocolate, Bill's favourite. I also brought a cardboard T.V. with a paper roll of a video. You could turn the handle and get the pictures scrolling.

But Igot distracted by some chocolate coated lychees that Kathy made for Bill. Lunch at Runcorn tavern.

Ann is always off travelling around Australia on coach tours, so here I am in a coach, together with my maps and crocheting. Lunch at Runcorn Tavern.

George loves reading. One of his favourite authors is Robert G Barret, he has written a series of funny books with the main character being Les Norton. Les is a bouncer and is always getting into strife. I came to lunch as Les Norton, sporting a black eye and his baseball cap. I also brought a sequel to the series including George as one of the characters. Lunch at Michael's Chinese Restaurant.

When it was Bob's birthday I came in my camping gear. I had my tent ,Esky( ice box), I even had a campfire and frying pan with fish in it. I also had an Aussie camp hat with a fly net all around. I had a map of Australia as Bob and Chris are just about ready to set off on a tour around the continent. Lunch at the Services Club.

Now Mary enjoys a good night out. So this night we went to Jupiter's Casino for dinner and a show. I came in all my glitter, baubles and bangles ready for show night.

Next time our birthday group went to a cafe at Mt Gravatt called "Bean Out". It was to celebrate Ann's birthday. Of course I came dressed as Ann, who enjoys going to the theatre and movies. She just about sees all the theatre productions that are on at any one time and she goes to the movies in between.

So here I am at the theatre, dressed in my theatre finery, clasping my tickets and programs, not to mention the popcorn and streamers for the final performance party at the theatre.

I had my hair done too.
Happy Birthday Ann.

Last Christmas the Birthday Group decided to have a Christmas Lunch at Springwood Hotel.

There was Diane, Ann, Kathy, Mary, George, Helen, Bill and Paul. Guess who else was there.........
........its Santa! Ho, ho, ho.( its really me) Ann did a fabulous job of dressing me up for the occasion

And there is Rudolph pulling my sleigh.
There I am at the head of the table. By the way the meals were good and the service excellent and the price all right.

On Bill's birthday, his choice of venue for our birthday group was the Australian Outback Spectacular show and dinner. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to go, I had to wait to join the others when they had supper at Diane and Bill's place after the show.
They arrived early to pick up tickets and then all visitors were corralled in a hall and entertained with bush songs while They waited for the doors to open. There were photos, drinks and memorabilia on sale.
They opted for a silly photo. Everyone is given a stockman's hat with either a red or yellow band to indicate which side of the arena to sit, and which station (ranch) they belonged to.

Bill and Diane with George waiting for the show to start in front of the horse stables. The horses were magnificent animals and so well cared for. No photography allowed in the show.
The show and meal was very good. They witnessed a multitude of riding skills, an incite into station life and the early pioneers. They listened to bush ballads watched sheepdog mustering and wild colt breaking. They cheered for our station/team in the pig races, camel races, and desert boat races. They saw Honda Quads verse horses in a time trial around an obstacle course and many more wonderful acts. They all enjoyed ourselves immensely and told me all about it when they all came home to find ..........

...that Ann had dressed me as a stockman on my horse for Bill. Diane had a senior moment and forgot to use a flash so pics not so good.
I had fun riding on my horse, which has it's head in the chaff bag. (or is it a web brush?)

Bill had a happy birthday.

I had my shotgun at the ready. I look smart in my jeans and checked shirt. Ann and George did a great job.

Bill cooked his own birthday apricot pie, isn't he a "bonza bloke?"

Paul, Bill, George, Mary, Helen and Ann. We miss Chris and Bob who are working their way around Australia actually they could be swimming around at the moment as they are in the flooded area of Queensland. Kathy couldn't make it tonight either.

Next time our birthday group celebrated George's birthday. He decided to have lunch and a river cruise on the Kookaburra Queen, paddle steamer.
Paul. Helen. Ann, George, Diane, Bill, Mary and guess who is in the sriped bag next to Mary? (I was dying to get out and have a look around) It was Mary's turn to dress me for George.

We arrived a little early so Diane took some shots of our surroundings. Here are the two Kookaburra Queen restaurant cruise boats.

Upstream is the Storey Bridge..Brisbane's landmark.

Looking up they see some of the office towers.

Then the tour guide calls us on board (what a character)

The photographer came.
My friends settled down for lunch but I wasn't allowed out of my bag until they had finished eating and made room for me on the table.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE.....George has just recently retired and I am dressed as a retired fisherman.

My hat has hooks and sinkers on it, my shirt is covered in fisherman's excuses for not catching any, I have a tin of bait over my arm, a bottle with a wriggly worm and of course my fishing rod.

And a book on 101 things to do in retirement.

After lunch the boat did a U turn and we headed back. the CBD.

Goodbye Brisbane River. I went home with George and Ann on the train, Helen, Paul and Mary went home on the City Cat ferry and car, Diane and Bill went home on the bus and car.
They did their bit to keep traffic out of the city, saved on parking fees and got off peak, pensioner concession tickets on all the public transport.

14 May 2009
This is going to be my most exciting birthday yet.
Unfortunately, Chris has missed all our birthdays this last year as she and husband Bob have started on a working tour around Australia. At the moment they are working in Townsville in Far North Queensland. As it was Chris' birthday this week the group decided to surprise her by taking me to Townsville. Bill rang Bob and made the arrangements but kept it secret from Chris. The lunch was to be on Saturday. The group decided to make it a 3 day getaway, so on Thursday, we flew to Townsville with I had a free flight in Ann's cabin luggage, he he he. It is a 2 hour flight.

The view from my hotel window.

Jupiter's Casino Hotel.

The group didn't want to be seen by Chris, so they thought they would leave the town and get a ferry to Magnetic Island.

Bob rang Bill with the startling news that Chris was taking her son to visit the island today. This was going to be tricky! Luckily she had gone early and was due back at 2:00 pm. The group's tour started at 1:15 from the ferry terminal. They had just got onto their bus when another arrived and they saw Chris and son alight and head for the ferry home. That was close!

The next day we were to walk to the Rock Pool Restaurant where Bob had arranged for us to surprise Chris, she thought she was just having lunch with Bob and neighbours from the caravan park.

I was clamouring to get out of the bag and check out the hotel before going to lunch.Here I am in casual holiday attire, bikini and sarong. Accessories included a bead bag with sun screen and insect repellent, bucket and spade, and a booklet with photos and stories of all the lunches, which Chris had missed. Ann dressed me and I was very suitably attired for Townsville.
I checked out the pool area and had a sun bake.

Then I ordered a drink....

...and chatted with friends, Diane, Ann and Helen.

I contemplated having a swim......

....but decided on a workout in the gym.

I needed a nap before the long walk to the restaurant.

We walked 2.5 kms along the beautiful Strand Park. The tropical views are magic. There is no surf because the Great Barrier Reef stops the waves.

Sadly you cannot swim in the sea at this time of the year as there are dangerous marine stingers.

However, there are netted enclosures where it is safe to swim. But I just wanted to get to the restaurant.
"O.K. I'm ready for Chris to arrive and give her a big surprise."

Here she comes with Bob.

She is so happy to see us all that she.....
...cries.....but not for long.....
I think she enjoyed the surprise for her 60th birthday.

Then we all settled down for our birthday lunch I was at the head of the table.

Ann, Pam, Troy, George, Bob, Chris, Diane, Helen and Paul.(Bill took the photo)

We watched the sun go down. It was a beautiful sunset to end an exciting day.

Bye, bye Townsville, bye bye Chris and Bob. I wasn't allowed to stay, I had to come home with the others to get ready for Mary's birthday on 12 June. Mary couldn't come with us to Townsville as she was on holiday in Victoria.

So now that you have met me. In future posts you will be kept up to date with my antics. (and what silly seniors do when they are retired)