Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 23, 2023

Farm food x 2

Recently we visited The Farm near Byron Bay. It is a working farm with a nursery, bakery, restaurant (Three Blue Ducks) and produce shop.

The hinterland of Northern New South Wales is beautiful. We drove from Bangalow towards Byron Bay through the gorgeous green hills.

The Farm is well set up and probably deserved a longer stay. It would be easy to spend a few hours there exploring.

We had a quick brunch and bought some delicious items from the produce shop as we wanted to go to Byron Bay for a swim before returning home.

Unfortunately it was blowing a gale at Bryon Bay and the beach was not inviting at all…pity.

11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale.

Ph.6684 7888

A friend of ours has taken many years to develop the Wellington Point Farm in Brisbane. The Redland Bay area has a farming heritage. Its excellent red soil was perfect for farming but it is now residential with just about all of the farms gone. From the 1800s until the late 1900s fruit and vegetable growing was the dominant activity in the Redlands, which was known as “Brisbane’s Salad Bowl”.

My great uncle had a farm there when I was young. We loved to visit him and pick strawberries and anything  else we could find. We lived briefly in Ormiston where my father grew beans when he wasn’t being a carpenter. It is a pity to see the area given over to houses.

Wellington Point Farm is a working farm, growing strawberries, tomatoes and vegetable crops. These, along with other food items are sold through the Market Hall and Farmhouse Restaurant.

We had a delicious lunch in the restaurant.

It is excellent to see a tiny example of the area’s heritage being retained…and the food is great. We will return.

The Wellington Point Farm,

625 Main Road, Wellington Point.
Ph. 3822 9476

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 1, 2023

Fun at the Museum of Brisbane

The Museum of Brisbane on Level 3 of City Hall is always excellent, but right now there is a fun exhibition that is great for children…and their parents. It is called Play Moves and it encourages interaction…”Surrender yourself to the sublime art of play.”

The first place to stop and play is at the giant looms where you are invited to weave your own creation on the walls.

In the next room adorn yourself in a furry cloak or sit in the fur lined bath and listen to music.


In the same room are installations of all shapes and sizes.

Walk down a corridor with weird creatures on one side and pull the tails on the other side for some unexpected sounds.


The office space looks fairly normal until you look more closely. The office plant dances for you and changes the lighting when you stand in front of it. The coffee cups need to be kept in the correct place. The coffee ring on the desk top will let you know the correct place. It is a fun space. Take time to look at everything.

The last room lets you control the giant images on the wall.

The exhibition is a fun and interesting way to spend a few hours. It is free and is on until 16th of April, open from 10.00am – 5.00pm.

There are other exhibitions to see as well. It is a great museum in the heart of the city.

For more details check the website… 


Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 17, 2022

I’ve been sewing

When I am home in Brisbane I like to keep busy. I like to sew and there is only so much I can make for myself so I make things and sell them in my friend’s shop. Savva has been a friend for almost 30 years and his shop is an easy walk from my house. It all started as a Pop Up but now I have a permanent space in Savva’s shop.

This year, as well as making clothes and accessories, I have been making tablecloths and napkins. I have also made lightweight cotton sleepwear. I have a stash of cotton and linen fabric collected on my travels and I am gradually working my way through it.

Here is a sample of what I have been making. A friend makes the cute Santas and another friend makes raffia baskets and earrings.




Savva  specialises in made to measure and alterations. He made this fabulous Christmas dress which is now in the window and ready to find a new home.

Savva’s shop is at 239 Boundary St, West End, on the corner of Corbett St, beside the Pasta Club restaurant.

I will be at the shop from tomorrow, Monday, and every day until Christmas from 10.00 – 2.00pm. After Christmas I will be there from Wednesday to Saturday 10.00 – 2.00 until I go back to Italy in late February.

If I don’t see you there have a wonderful Christmas!

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 29, 2022

Noosa, my favourite beach

I have been visiting Noosa since my 20s. It is my favourite beach in the world, particularly Little Cove, a tiny, rocky cove near the main beach.

The first day we arrived in Noosa there was a fierce wind, not the best conditions for being on the beach. We were up early the next day to be there before wind came up.

The trees along the edge of the path make the beach more secluded.

Early in the morning there were few people on the beach. The sand looks a bit darker than usual because of the overnight rain.

I love that first dive into the wave, the salt water, the clean, white sand, and occasional fish swimming at my feet…what more could you want?

The trees at the back of the beach offer some shade and a place to hang a beach bag.


From the rocks at the end of the beach you can see the main Noosa beach.


A carefully placed rock is clinging on despite the waves trying to knock it off.

We walked back to the main beach along the lower track. There are great views of the beach.


On the track I overheard two little girls discussing Noosa. One said “The best things about Noosa are the beaches and the ice cream.” The other one agreed. I do too.

Noosa is a 2 and a half hour drive north of Brisbane, on the Sunshine Coast. I wish it was closer.




Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 23, 2022

John Rigby exhibition

This week I visited the exhibition of well known Australian artist, John Rigby. He was born in Brisbane in 1922 and began painting while he was a teenager. His work has been exhibited since 1941. His service in WWII offered him the opportunity to study in the East Sydney Technical College in 1948 until 1950 with fellow artist and friend Jon Molvig.

His career spanned more than 60 years. He was awarded many painting prizes from the 1950s to the early 1970s, including The Australian Women’s Weekly Art Prize, the H.C Richards Prize (Brisbane), the Sulman Prize (Sydney), the Melrose Prize (Adelaide.

As well as his art, he contributed to the arts community. He was a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery from 1967 to 1987. He acted as head of Fine Arts at Queensland College of Art from 1974 to 1984. In recognition for his services to the Arts he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 1994.

We were guided through his lifetime of painting by his daughter. What a lovely insight we were given, making the exhibition come alive for us.

He was inspired by his world wide travels. Some of my favourite paintings are of Italy, where he spent a couple of years in his early painting days. The dark colours reflected a country recovering from the war in the early 1950s.

His work became more colourful over the years, particularly with his Australian and South Sea Island work.


I particularly liked his Brisbane paintings.

His portraits often featured his wife.

This one is not his wife. This painting is enormous. I would love to have a space big enough to hold it.

John Rigby’s art was described by art historian Bernard Smith in 1964…”His art is for the most part joyous and frank, figurative painting full of air, light and colour”.

The John Rigby exhibition is on at the Royal Queensland Art Society Gallery at 3/162 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane. It finishes on 27th November, so there are a few days left to see it.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 20, 2022

A Bangalow visit

Back in Australia I still have the travel bug. Recently we had a short visit to Bangalow in northern New South Wales. It is only a 2 hour drive from Brisbane, but we decided to stay overnight so we could spend some time in this lovely town.

The town was established around the 1880s  after timber cutters built a camp on the banks of Byron Creek in the 1840s. A school was built in 1884 and later a church. The town now has a population of about 2000 people…and lots of visitors.

The town is full of charming old buildings and pretty houses.

There are excellent shops. The first photos are of Island Luxe, a white cave full of delights.

There are lots of excellent places to eat.

This restaurant is You Beauty, where we had a great dinner. The food was great and the service excellent.

We drove a short distance out of Bangalow to see Harvest, a restaurant that was recommended. It wasn’t open on Sunday night, so we visited the deli and a couple of the shops in tiny hamlet of Newrybar. The restaurant is popular and we will return to try it.

We stayed at Bangalow Guesthouse. The property is gorgeous. We enjoyed wandering in the well kept garden. We can appreciate how much work it takes to keep a garden looking this good.


Jacaranda trees are almost finished blooming, but this one is still looking great.

Bangalow is set in a beautiful part of the world and well worth a visit.


Bangalow Guesthouse, 99 Byron St, Bangalow.


Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 14, 2022

Goodbye baby blue Fiat

Our baby blue Fiat is 13 years old and it is time to say goodbye.

She has been a wonderful little car and we will miss her. We have only driven 100,000 kilometres in the car and there is nothing wrong. We want a car that will last until we have to buy an electric car, hopefully several years away.

She looks tiny, but when we bought her we called her the Tardis because she seems much bigger on the inside. My 6 foot 4 inch son fits quite comfortably in the driver’s seat.

I wrote a post about her not long after I started my blog…I love my baby blue Fiat Bambino

We are looking for owners who will love her has much as we have. Our new, bright red Mazda 3 is on a boat coming to Australia right now.

We won’t be completely Fiat free. We have a Fiat 4×4 Cross in Italy.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 12, 2022

Perfect Portofino

Portofino was once a sleepy fishing village on the Ligurian coast south of Genoa. The bay is mentioned  by Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – AD 79) when he called it the Port of the Dolphin. (Portus Delphini) It has had a rich and colourful history.

The gorgeous little harbour with its pretty houses attracted European aristocracy in the late 19th and early 20th century. Wealthy families built their summer homes there, some of which have since been transformed into hotels.

Visitors would arrive by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. One of those visitors was Elizabeth von Arnim who arrived in Portofino and fell in love with it. She wrote a novel, The Enchanted April, about her experience in 1922.

It was made into a movie in 1991, starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson and Polly Walker. It was filmed in Castello Brown where the author stayed. Enchanted April is one of my favourite movies about Italy and I watch it regularly. The book is excellent as well. It is about 4 women who leave the dreary London rain to spend spring in Italy and how their lives are transformed.

The 1950s saw a boom in Portofino’s popularity. The yachts of the super wealthy began to arrive in the harbour and still do today.  It now welcomes all kinds of visitors from all over the world.

It is only a 2 hour drive to Portofino from our apartment and each time I go there I wonder why I don’t visit more often. The harbour is spectacular and the piazzetta surrounding it is one of the prettiest in Italy. The town has lots of restaurants, cafes and pretty shops, making a visit fun, interesting and delicious.

We were there at the end of the season, found a car park easily and walked down to the piazzetta.

A walk on the path up the hill offers beautiful views of the harbour and you can do some shopping along the way.



The church of St Giorgio sits at the top of the path.

Views from the other side are lovely too.

I spotted excellent green doors and some steep steps up to accommodation.