Welcome to this blog, the story of a great big Australian adventure. It documents my travels, life in Australia, and a subject close to my heart – environmental conservation. 

Bye-bye Bulimba; hello New Farm

I have just moved north of the Brisbane River. Deciding to live on one side rather than the other is always a major step in a big city bisected by a significant waterway.

This move meant lifestyle changes: from detached house into apartment block; from rattling around to shoehorning belongings; from minimally rule-bound to body corporate world; from garden to balcony; from parkside to riverside; from bridge and tunnel tolls to shorter journey times to work and the CBD; from bottle tree to fig; and from magpie to crow.

The Sunday before moving day the Bulimba Festival was held, a fitting farewell to an enjoyable year and a half in a very pleasant inner suburb. It was a warm day and Bulimbites turned out in their droves. Australian families throw themselves into this kind of thing: they love it and they really know how to make such occasions buzz.

Oxford Street had a stage by the Memorial Park. There were several bands lined up but while we were there Ross Wilson, of Daddy Cool, was playing. He was very popular with the crowd, who sang the words of the last song in the set instead of him, so well did they know them. It could have been 'Eagle Rock', the band's first hit single, which occupied the No 1 spot in the Australian charts for 10 weeks in 1971, and 30 years later was voted the second-best Aussie song of all time*.

There were lots of stalls selling the usual kind of stuff, from 'natural' beauty products to politicians, and plenty to eat, from the best churros we've had since we've been in Oz and in-demand Greek lamb wraps to a posh sit-down 'Long Lunch on Oxford' (beneath the portable canopies, below) – just the $150 per head (with funds raised going to Queensland RSL).

And then we were gone...

...to New Farm, to an apartment from which we can peer deep inside a splendid fig tree beside the river on one side...

...and admire the ever-changing cityscape from the other.

The night after we moved in, there was Riverfire to celebrate the start of the Brisbane Festival. We didn't even have to leave our balcony (firework photos courtesy of my friend).

And yes, from a fifth-floor apartment with views I think the possibilities for weather effects are going to be endless...

* 'Friday on My Mind' by The Easybeats was voted the best. I have only just realised The Easybeats were Australian. Am I alone?

Bridge to Brisbane 2011

Family and other animals