Monday, April 30, 2018


Sunshine Beach
A section of Noosa's North Shore
Noosa North Shore...Forty Mile Beach
Randall and me in the Austin Healey Sprite...circa January, 1965

Goggomobil Dart
"Fire Truck" on Teewah Beach...Me and Troy, who was our chef when Randall and I managed a Noosa Restaurant...on a Monday...our day off.

Many years ago when I was a “we”, not a solo “me”, or just solitary “Lee”...when my then husband, Randall and I lived at Sunshine Beach, we purchased a four-wheel drive so we could drive, fancy free, along the North Shore beaches, from Teewah to Double Island Point. 

Back then, in the late 70s and early 80s, I drove a 1958 MG Magnette Varitone; a saloon/sedan, not a sports car. I loved that black and grey car with its wooden-panelled dashboard and leather seats.  It had style; it had class; a vehicle hard to surpass. 

We named the MG, “Remy”, the same name as one of my furry male cat, “Remy”...who is presently, along with his sister, Shama, snuggled up asleep on "our" bed!
You may have already guessed...I like the name.  I used to love Remy Martin cognac, too, in moderation – although, a number of years have passed since any has passed my lips.

Years before Randall and I married – when we were still in our late teens and early 20s, an Austin Healey Sprite was our wagon of choice. Randall sold that little Junior Navy Blue chariot before he headed off overseas in late 1965 – an odyssey that was to endure for nine years.

Before the Sprite came along, a little white Goggomobil Dart was our fun machine– another story from another decade for another day, or decade.

At the same time the MG Magnette was part of our lives, we also owned a Ford Cortina Ghia – cream with a tan roof - having sold the mustard-coloured Volkswagen Passat we'd owned in the prior couple or so years.   

Somewhere in between and along with the Passat, the Cortina and the MG-Magnette, we also had a Holden EH Wagon.  

The Holden wagon was red, with a white roof. Imitation wood-panelling ran along each side, which made the vehicle not unlike the American Ranch Wagons of the Fifties. 

We christened the wagon “Tonto”, and I, because I was the one who drove it most of the time, was known as “The Lone Ranger”. ..a portent, perhaps, of what was to come a few years into the future.   (Previously, I’ve written about these vehicles).

Not wanting to take either the Magnette or Cortina over rugged bush tracks or sandy, salty beaches, somewhere  around 1981-1982, we purchased a 1948 Land Rover from a Noosa hinterland farmer, solely for off-road use.  With its steel box-section chassis and aluminium body, the vehicle had been well-maintained. Under its bonnet was a reconditioned Holden motor. 

Feeling like light-hearted teenagers once again, we painted the Land Rover fire engine red.

Going a step further, we sliced off its top, which made our converted Land Rover look like a high-rise sports car. 

We christened our freshly-painted and altered acquisition - “Fire Truck”.    (There is an anagram there somewhere....if you give it a little thought)!

The sturdy old Land Rover, having been given a new lease on life, gave us many, many hours of pleasure.

Not once did it let us down on our trips through the bush or along the beach of Noosa’s North Shore. 

In fact, on many occasions, “Fire Truck” went to the rescue and towed much fancier, newer four-wheel drives aka SUVs out of bogged conditions. 

Minus a top, our high-rise sports/fishing vehicle was naturally air-conditioned.

I can’t recall ever getting caught in the rain; no doubt we did one time or another.  If we had, it wouldn’t have mattered. 

 We never wore our “Sunday Best” when heading off to the beach for a day or more of fishing and camping.   Our best beach gear consisted of shorts, t-shirts, sarongs and bathing suits.  Nothing more fancy was required.  

And, it didn't matter if sand, salt, fish and bait enhanced the charm of "Fire Truck".  When we got back home to Sunshine Beach, we'd hose it out and then put the garden sprinkler underneath it and let the sprinkler finish of the cleaning job.

The freedom felt when we climbed aboard “Fire Truck” was immediate.  More often than not smiles and waves greeted us as we drove through Noosa Junction towards Noosaville en route to Tewantin and the ferry. Once the river was crossed we bounced along the rough track that led to the beach. 

With the wind in our hair, the sun warming our bodies and the ocean’s incomparable aroma filling our nostrils as we drove along the beach, there wasn’t much wrong with the world.  If there was (there always is), we felt exempt from external controls and restraints over which we really had no control – even if the sense of total freedom was only temporary. 

Everywhere you look, and everywhere you go these days the place is inundated by SUVs - big, shiny and new SUVs.  I wonder how many, if any, are used for off-road exploration - their original purpose.  Or are the sparkling “beasts” for the most part only for show?

One day a few weeks ago as I was driving back home from IGA (which is only a distance of 3 or so kilometres away), to my dismay, and agitated annoyance, a huge, glistening SUV aggressively tail-gated me most of the way; urging and pressuring.  

Breathing down my neck, his unnecessary intimidation continued unabated.  My eyes instead of concentrating on the road ahead were mostly concentrated on my rear vision mirror, for the reason of which I am sure you are aware.

I wasn’t travelling at a snail’s pace, which is very annoying if you're travelling behind someone who does, when there appears to be no apparent reason for them to be travelling at a slow rate.  I freely admit, it annoys me.   Usually, those who do creep along are tourists, with their heads swinging back and forth, mouths open, like those side show alley clowns.  And, strangely, not one of them know how to use their indicators...either that, or, perhaps, their vehicles don't have indicators.    

I do digress....

The speed limit along the particular stretch between where I live and North Tamborine where the supermarket is, is 60kms per hour.  I definitely wasn’t travelling below the speed limit.  The only times I do travel below the speed limit are when the situations make it necessary to do so.

If, perchance, the other day, I’d cause to stop suddenly, the idiot and his vehicle would’ve crashed into and over me and “Lady”, my little Toyota Echo.

Eventually, although I shouldn’t have had to do so, I found an area that allowed me to safely pull off the road; indicating what my intention was.

The impatient, ignorant clown roared past at a rapid rate.  
If he’d followed me into the area, I bet it would’ve been the first time he’d taken his SUV off-road. 

I felt like giving him a large slice of my mind, not just a piece!  

Feeling no shame, I admit, as he sped past, I did give him a recognisable “finger”.... thrust with powerful purpose out my driver’s side window.   The meaning of my gesture would have been impossible not to recognise or understand....if the idiot could see beyond his blinkers, that is.

Savoury Kumara Slice: Preheat oven 200C.  Line a 17cm x 27cm slice tin with paper: leave an overhang on all sides. Cook 400g kumara until just tender; drain; set aside.  At the same time, cook 4 bacon rashers in a frying pan to brown; cool. Whisk 6 large eggs and 1/2c milk; add kumara, bacon, 1c grated cheddar and 1/4c chopped parsley; season. Pour into prepared tin.  Arrange tomato slices over top.  Bake 35mins or until set; serve warm or cold.

Salmon Slice: Preheat oven 170C. Lightly grease 2L capacity baking dish. Place 2c cooked white long-grain rice, 1x415g can red salmon, 1x375ml can evaporated milk, 2 lightly whisked eggs, 2tbs olive oil, 2tbs chopped dill, 1-2tsp curry powder and 1/2c grated cheddar in large bowl; season; mix well. Pour into prepared dish; spread to edges. Sprinkle with grated cheddar; bake 40mins or until set. Cut into pieces.  Add corn kernels and grated zucchini to mix, if desired. 

Apricot-Coconut Slice: Grease and line 18x29cm rectangular slice tray with paper. Finely crush 200g plain biscuits, such as Marie biscuits; add 250g chopped apricots to crushed biscuits. Melt 125g butter and 80g brown sugar. Add crushed biscuits, chopped apricots, 50g desiccated coconut and 200g condensed milk; mix well. Spoon into prepared tray; press down firmly. Sprinkle with coconut; chill several hours. Cut into slices.

Date-Lemon Slice: Preheat oven 180C.  Grease and line slice tray. Melt 125g butter and1tbs golden syrup. Combine 1c plain flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1c coconut, 1c chopped dates and 1/2c caster sugar. Pour over melted butter-syrup; mix well; press firmly into slice tin. Bake, 20-25mins. Spread lemon icing over warm slice; sit 20mins before cutting into slices


  1. I am certain that most of the SUVs we see are for show. And that their owners wouldn't/couldn't cope with any terrain which wasn't fully tarred. More money than sense.

    1. I agree completely, EC. There are many SUVs here on Tamborine Mountain...and don't be fooled by the word "Mountain"...all roads here are sealed rough terrain in sight!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  2. Interesting read about your cars etc.
    Nice memories there Lee.

    1. I'm sure you've been off-road many times, your many travels which you so generously share with us.

      We had some fun cars....and lots of fun times with them.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  3. Before I read the whole thing I must comment on the MG Magnette. One of my favourite cars of all time was its sister car the Riley Pathfinder but I'd have been content with the Magnette!

    1. G'day, Graham....back in the early to mid Sixties a friend...a teacher who had been transferred to teach at the Gympie High School, and who, for a while, dated a girlfriend of mine, drove a Riley Pathfinder...a black one. I can't remember what year his car was...but it was a few years old...but it was in very good nick.

      We purchased the Magnette off an old friend of elderly gentleman...ex-Second World War veteran. He was also the first Doctor of Dentistry in Queensland.

      Another string to his bow was....even though he was Queensland born and bred....he was the Chilean Ambassador.

      Dr. Robert Wright was his name...he is now deceased, having passed away in 1990, aged in his 80s. A fine gentleman he was.

      Robert left his home that was situated at Kangaroo Point, a Brisbane inner suburb, to the RSL...the Returned and Services League (Australia).

      The Magnette had belonged to his sister-in-law,and upon her death he inherited. Robert refused to sell the car to anyone else....just me.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  4. Okay. I've read it now. I haven't managed to work out why so many large SUVs are owned by people living in towns where the most a vehicle is likely to do off road is parking on the pavement/sidewalk and where their pristine appearance indicates that they have never sen dust never mind mud. Anyway I digress. I suppose I was really hoping that the story would end in disaster for him.

    On the subject of kumera I have to say that kumera chips and roast kumera have a texture that does not really appeal to me very much. On the other hand in soup with butternut squash and blitzed it is a wonderful vegetable.

    By the way your picture of Noosa beach is upside down. Noosa is on the East coast! I just cannot get the hang of pictures on the East having the sea on the left and vice versa for the West coast beaches.

    1. Hey again, Graham. Kumara (as we spell them down her)I love...and I eat them often. I'm never without them in my stock of food/vegies.

      No...the pic of Noosa's North Shore is not upside down, Graham. The pic is taken looking to the south - from the Double Island Point end of the beach. In which case the ocean is on the left-hand side.

      If taken from the southern end, looking north...the ocean would be on the right-hand side. :)

      Whatever you're drinking...can I have some please! :)

      I should know, I spent many years visiting as a child and teenager (and my late brother was a lifesaver with the Noosa Club)...before going there to live in the years from 1979 to the beginning of 1986! lol

      My hope, at least, was that the clown in the SUV saw my gesture towards him for his idiotic behaviour! (There's life in this grey-haired old woman still)!!!

      I'm glad you came back...thanks for doing so. :)

    2. My mis-spelling of Kumara was just carelessness. The are not called Kumara in the UK. They are called sweet potato. Having lived in NZ though I still call them Kumara which suitably confuses people here.

      Of course I knew where the photo was taken from it's just that I like my long beach pics taken from the South! Which isn't good in Oz or NZ because you are then taking it into the sun which is in the wrong place in your country.

      As for drinking it was first thing in the morning here and even when I did enjoy a nightly glass of wine it wasn't until 1800 hrs. I had had some Red Bush Tea. So not even caffeine had passed my lips.

    3. Oh! I was only teasing you,Graham...kidding around. No offence intended. You should be familiar with the crazy sense of humour we Aussies and Kiwis have...both are very similar on that score. :)

    4. I know that Lee and I certainly didn't take offence (I leave that to horses). I couldn't resist replying all the same.

  5. Oh I'll have to let dh see your vehicle photos, those beaches are to die for, weren't those the days? will have to come back for the recipes. white rabbit to you.

    1. They sure were the days, Linda. :)

      White rabbit back to you....I hope this month is kind to us all.

      Thanks for coming by.:)

  6. What a handsome couple you and Randall were. Now cars of the 50s, 60s and 70s are something I know a good bit about, and of course I know of the Riley Pathfinder Graham mentioned, the Austin Healey Sprite and all the other cars you mention. However, I do not know about the MG-Magnette. It is a beautiful car with an inspired colour scheme.

    Before you got to Remy Martin, I already had a crack in mind about Remy, but you said it yourself.

    The Cortina was a pretty rubbish car, but the Ghia model had a lot of extras and was quite nice and very comfortable.

    I saw a video the other day about two guys taking something similar to your cut down Land Rover through an automatic car wash. I just hoped it had drain holes, and I hope after you cut down your Land Rover, it had some drain holes.

    Only once that I am aware of, have I been aggressively tailgated, by a young blonde female. The reason was not apparent to me. I moved the mirrors so I could not see behind me and the problem was gone. I rather like ignoring aggressive road behaviour and not give such fools any oxygen.

    I don't know too much about Goggo...Gogomomobile...give up. I will be interested to hear of your experience with with Gee Oh, Gee Oh.....

    Great colourful post.

    1. Hi Andrew...our Cortina Ghia was straight from the factory floor. We loved gave us no problems at any time. But..the body of the Magnette was far tougher as we discovered after a hail storm in Sunshine Beach one day. We'd left both cars out of the garage...and we had to have the dents taken out of the Cortina (the vinyl covered roof of the Ghia was fine...but not the rest of the body). However, there was not a mark on the MG-Magnette.

      No water ever got caught in the Land Rover.

      The Goggomobil Dart was a ton of fun....the Dart was produced in Sydney. Further info here.....

      I will write a post in the future regarding some of the fun we had with that little car.

      There was no way that I was going to ignore that clown, not when it was my life he was putting in jeopardy.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  7. Driving along coast roads with the wind in your hair sounds heavenly. I remember TV ads about a goggomoblie, vaguely.

    1. Hi River...yes, there was a Yellow Pages television commercial featuring the Goggomobil Dart (no "e" in the spelling of "Goggomobil). It was a memorable ad. :)

      Beach...ahhhh...there is nothing quite like being on a long stretch of golden sand!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  8. Oh yes, there was a feature in our local RACV car magazine about the arts and crafts for tourists in Gold Coast hinterland, including Mount Tamborine.

    1. Yes....this area up here on the hill is of much interest to tourists, Andrew. It's quite a crafty village...filled with many talented folk in the field of arts and crafts.

      Nice to see you again so soon! :)

  9. I do not like or drive SUVs. I like a sporty car and have driven one for the past 20 or so years. I am one of very few who are low on the road while everyone else looks down on me from their much higher seats. I just read the other day that Ford will stop making cars, except for the iconic Mustang, and will only make SUVs now.

    When someone is on my tail and coming too close for my liking, I always pull over and let them pass. I try to be kind and assume that they have to get someplace important very quickly. It takes the tension, that I don’t need, away.

    1. G'day Arleen....I have no need for a huge car. The only person I drive around in my car is my little Toyota Echo suits my needs just fine. Many other drivers look down on me and my little "Lady", too...too bad.

      My pulling over wasn't done in kindness! I did it for my own safety - for my blood pressure, too! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  10. Gosh you have had an very interesting life there Lee - love your food and the ocean photos. I hate when people follow me too close!

    1. G'day, Sandie...There were lots of good, fun times tossed into the mix...and for those I am thankful. :)

      The beach..the ocean...wondrous places.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  11. A gripping story., Lee. You have a great memory. I only wish I did. It kept me on the edge of my seat reading that.

    1. Hey there, Terry. Fortunately, I've always had a good memory...I hope the status quo remains.

      Take good care...thanks for coming by. :)

  12. Interesting read about the various cars mentioned in your post!
    Anyway, the road is full with 'killers' nowadays, and one has to be very careful when driving on it.

    You and Randall were such a beautiful, young couple!
    The food displayed makes one's mouth water.

    1. G'day, DUTA...There is a lot of selfishness, unnecessary impatience and greed shown by drivers. I don't travel far afield these days...and I would hate to be tackling the highways/motorways nowadays. Not my cup of tea at all.

      Thanks for your comment...and thanks for coming by. :)

  13. What a lovely post. I know others have also said the same, but you do seem to have such a good memory and when I read your post I am there! Wonderful.

    Loved your recipes too ...I just love salmon.

    Happy month of May to you.

    All the best Jan

    1. Hey, Jan....I love salmon, too...fresh and canned.

      My mind is always in overdrive.....I'm a typical Scorpio. The memory abilities of Scorpios have been likened to those of elephants. I;m not sure if that is a good thing or not!! There is little we forget! :)

      May May treat you and yours kindly, too....thanks for coming by. :)

  14. Drivers like that are infuriating and a menace. He deserved your one finger salute.
    I love that you've always had and I'm sure always will a zest for life.
    The beach is beautiful.
    Enjoy your week, Lee.

    1. G'day Sandra...they certainly do, and unfortunately there seems to be more selfish drivers around these days, too.

      Particularly when scooting along in the little Goggomobil, one couldn't help but be happy! :)

      Thanks for coming by...I hope you have a great week, too. :)

  15. I love that black and white picture of you and Randall. You look so carefree and happy - like Hollywood starlets of long ago. This was an enjoyable post to read and I think you did the right thing - pulling off the road to let that SUV nitwit roar by. Driving cars in real life is not like driving cars in computer games and no points are lost for letting an aggressive idiot go by.

    1. Hi Yorkie. They were carefree days....we were young, free and enjoying life...those were the days, my friend.

      There are too many selfish, greedy, aggressive drivers on the roads...there is no need for that type of behaviour...not just here on our tranquil mountain, but anywhere.

      Thanks for coming by, Mr. Pudding. :)

  16. You and Randall look like stars in a 1960's beach movie!

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