Sometimes a Dog's Bite is Worse than it's Bark!

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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Warwick
September 14th 2010
Published: September 20th 2010
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First of all, apologies as the publication of this blog didn't work so it is out of order by one entry so please read this and then the one called "Paddling in True Brit Style" again(!)

Monday was designated as a ‘chores’ day so, while we ladies were doing some inside cleaning, Graham got busy mowing the grass. There is a surprising amount of grass in David’s garden - it surrounds the house with patches spreading in amongst the many shrubs and trees. It’s tough stuff - not like the delicate lawns of an English garden! (but we do like your garden David!) Fortunately David has a tough motor mower - self propelled so Graham was dragged into the shrubs on a few occasions when he forgot to use the clutch in time!! When he’d finished it looked as though he’d been in the gym for an hour or two so it must have been good exercise for him and the garden did look smart!!

When he had recovered we strolled into town and checked on the sculptures which were progressing well. We had a chat to Jeffrey Frith who was having a well earned tea break - he is the resident sculptor at the Mirramu Creative Arts Centre by Lake George, Bungendore, NSW. He told us that the blocks of sandstone being used came from the nearby Tanamerah Quarry and is world class, beautifully textured and coloured and ideally suited for outdoor locations.

Alas, a very pleasant day was rather spoilt when, as we strolled back to the house, a neighbour’s dog rushed out of a driveway heading straight for me. The dog was barking and growling - I thought it would stop but it didn’t - it lunged at me, ripped my trousers and gouged my leg. There were a couple of children playing on the drive but they didn’t know what to do although I think one of them got the dog into the back yard. I asked to see a parent and when she eventually appeared, disappointingly, she was totally unsympathetic and didn’t seem to care less about what had happened. We were all shocked at her attitude and then an older lad appeared and started mouthing off. Graham tried to intervene to secure a little sympathy and perhaps some compensation but they were having none of it. He phoned the local police station for advice. They said it wasn’t really a police matter and suggested it was reported to the local Council. When I had a good look at my leg it wasn’t too badly damaged, mainly surface scratches fortunately, but my trousers (old but very comfy travelling trousers) were ruined. So at 8.30 on Tuesday morning we went to the Warwick Council office and the very nice receptionist took all the details. She advised me to complete a written report and email it to the relevant officer so that’s what I did that evening. We didn’t hear anything until Friday morning when I received a reply telling me that the people concerned had been visited and warned to keep the dog under control. Any further incidents could result in a prosecution. It was such a shame that something like that happened - until then everyone we had come into contact with in Warwick had been really friendly and chatty but we know now that even Warwick has it’s anti-socials.

Anyway, back to Tuesday - it's my brother Rod's birthday today and it's a special one as he is 65. Happy birthday Rod. He will be retiring soon so we hope he enjoys his retirement.

Once we had got the Council visit out of the way we were off on our travels again. Today we were going to the Sunshine Coast for a short ‘break’. We were heading for Alexandra Headland, between the better known resorts of Maroochydore to the north and Mooloolaba to the south. We had decided to go on the more scenic route via Somerset Dam - the same route we had taken with David and my Mum many years ago. On that trip, though, we must have started off at the crack of dawn as we went on up the coast as far as Noosa Heads and on the way back to Warwick we called in at a place called Indoorapilly, a Brisbane suburb, to watch the flight of a colony of large fruit bats at dusk. These huge bats are regarded as pests as they do huge amounts of damage but I think they are wonderful creatures. Today though we only had to make our way TO the coast and as navigator in chief, I directed us towards Gatton. It was a very picturesque route along windy and hilly roads but it was a bit more time consuming than I had planned.

The valley around Gatton must be very fertile as it was a big vegetable growing area and we were surprised at the dark richness of the soil. We had a tea break on the outskirts of Gatton and then bashed on through Esk towards Somerset Dam and tried to remember where we had stopped all those years ago. All we could recall was a large open picnic area overlooking the lake. We went past one pretty looking but very busy spot called The Spit which, in hindsight, must have been the place but found it difficult to stop there and at the lookout at the top of a hill because of other traffic - it was surprisingly busy. There were no more obvious spots until we reached Kilcoy, which is at the head of the lake, where we found a pleasant picnic area and had lunch. It was a bit disappointing not to have views of the lake but we enjoyed the lovely sandwiches that Daphne had made. It took us another hour to get to the coast - some of the countryside views were stunning. We could see Glass House and Tambourine Mountains in the distance. We went by the entrance of ‘Australia Zoo’ at Beerwah but didn’t stop as we had visited the zoo on our last trip seven years ago and you need plenty of time to do it justice. It was extremely busy and it’s great to see the zoo thriving but sad that Steve Irwin, who was the inspiration behind it, died in such tragic circumstances a few years ago.

Soon after, we could see the sea! We were just as excited as we would have been when we were kids. We drove along the coast road a bit to find our bearings and then checked into the apartment. I had booked it on the internet so it was really a bit of ‘pot luck’ and one of the main criteria had been the cost! The receptionist was very apologetic and said that because workers were in the next door apartment and the previous occupants of our apartment had complained about the noise, they had decided to move us but the room wouldn’t be ready for a while. Graham enquired about “sea views” and ascertained that our original room had one but the other one didn’t. We thought we would probably prefer to have a sea view and tolerate any noise so we decided to go for the original room. We were so pleased we did as it was a great apartment with a balcony and beautiful views across the beach over the ocean and to the islands beyond. It was fantastic and we were never aware of any noise. The apartment block came with indoor (heated) and outdoor pools, a spa, a sauna and a games room - we were in our element and we wondered why we had only booked two nights here!

After we had settled in we went for a stroll towards Mooloolaba. Once across the road, which is quite busy, there is a grassy area with foot and cycle paths all the way along that stretch of coast. Of course in Aus the outdoor lifestyle is well catered for and the paths are always busy with joggers, walkers and cyclists of all ages, shapes and sizes. Quite often it’s a mum or dad jogging with their baby in a pushchair! The only trouble is you do have to watch out or you are likely to get mown down! We meandered along, passing the campsite where we had stayed eight years ago - it looked much the same and was very busy. We strolled back on the shops side of the roads and although it was still early we were starving hungry so we had a bite to eat at a Moroccan restaurant. There were plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from so how we decided to plump for that one I’m not sure but the meal was delicious and pretty good value. A lone guitarist/singer in the place next door sang gentle songs (including some Beatle’s songs) which added to the atmosphere. It had been a pretty long day so we then strolled back to relax, unwind and get a good night’s sleep in the very comfortable beds!

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20th September 2010

Friuit bats
Just be careful in future and whatever you do, don't walk under the fruit bats. Their'bark' is definitely worse than their bite!
25th September 2010

Dog Bite
Hi Jan, Sorry to hear about the dog bite, what an awful experience - in more ways than one, I do hope there are no lasting effects. Anyway, glad to see your adventures continue onto the sunshine coast, I love Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland, Andy and I had our apartment in Alex when we first arrived in Aus (almost 2 years ago now!!) I long to go back there. I must try and catch up reading your blogs..... just a bit behind... Caroline
25th September 2010

Dog Bite
Hi guys - my leg is fine now thanks. Yes, it's difficult to keep up with all the blogs and blogging and not let it take over your life! (how Sarah did such an amazing job we'll never know!) Jan

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