Brisbane 2032

A feeling of slight trepidation (see glossary below) and anxiety had been growing in the people of Brisbane and South East Queensland (S.E.Q.) on Wednesday, 21st July 2021.  This was because the host for the 2032 Olympic Games was to be announced that evening.

Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane CBD, opened in 1930

It may have been surprising to some that there was concern about the result as Brisbane appeared to be in a one-horse race. It was the sole city being looked at by the I.O.C. (International Olympic Committee) to be the host of the Olympics and Paralympics in 2032.  However, Brisbanites had been warned “don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”.  Perhaps this had been said to help build suspense and, if this was the case, it proved successful as there was a palpable sense of relief when Brisbane was announced as the host of the XXXVth (35th) Olympiad.

Redcliffe Jetty, Redcliffe, South East Queensland

It is eleven years until the biggest international sporting event in the world comes to Brisbane.  I am looking forward to seeing the changes that take place in the city in which I was born and raised.

The City of Brisbane, the view from Mt Coot-tha Lookout

If you live in Brisbane or S.E.Q., what changes would you like to see happen?  If you have never visited, what do you know about Brisbane and S.E.Q.?  What would you like to find out? 

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trepidation – fear or worry about what is going to happen

anxiety – an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future

one horse race – a race or competition that only one of the competitors has a real chance of winning

Brisbanites – natives or inhabitants of Brisbane (i.e. people who were born, or live, in Brisbane)

don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched [saying] – said to emphasise that you cannot depend on something happening before it has happened

palpable – (of a feeling) so strong that it seems as if it can be touched or physically felt

Olympiad – an occasion on which the Olympic Games are held

raised – to take care of a person, or an animal or plant, until they are completely grown

Have you been to the Ekka?

First things first, what is ‘the Ekka’ and is it somewhere you’d want to go?  The ‘Royal Queensland Show’, more commonly known as the Ekka, is the largest agricultural show (see Glossary below) in the state of Queensland, Australia.  It celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2016, so this year it’s 143 years old.  Although many things have changed over the years, it still represents great value for money for a full day’s entertainment.

The animals have ‘right of way’ at the Ekka

The ‘Ekka’ which is short for the ‘Brisbane Exhibition’ goes for 10 days and is held annually in August.  The admission fee allows you to enjoy a wide variety of activities.  You can applaud the winners in the canine competition, see all the young animals in the nursery, be awestruck by the speed and power shown at the woodchopping or get some style tips at the fashion show.

A winning Samoyed in the canine competition

You can get free snacks at the Fresh Food Pavilion and, if you have time, stick around in the evening for the EkkaNITES show which includes live music and a fireworks display, at no extra cost.

Fresh food pavilion and strawberry sundae stand

If you don’t mind parting with some of your hard-earned cash, then why not try the ever popular strawberry sundae?   This is a wafer cone with vanilla ice cream, chopped strawberries and strawberry ice cream, topped with a bit of fresh cream and a whole strawberry.  Yum!  The strawberry sundae stands are run by volunteers on behalf of the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation in Brisbane and all profits from the sale of these delicious treats go towards funding important medical research.

Yummy strawberry sundae!

Head straight to ‘Sideshow Alley’ if you’re looking for more excitement!  Here you can enjoy, for a charge, a range of amusement rides and games.

Showbag Pavilion and Sideshow Alley

Other ways of spending your dough include buying a sample bag (or three!) from the Showbag Pavilion, enjoying some of the award-winning food and wine available or picking up a handcrafted item from one of the many stalls.

Handcrafted pearl jewellery

There really is so much to see and do at the Ekka that you’ll be wanting to go back again and again…

Some prize winners in the Cookery competition

Creative Art and Craft competition

A ‘district exhibit’ in the Agricultural Hall

…and again!  No matter how you spend your day at the Ekka you’re sure to learn something new and make some precious memories.

Have you been to the Ekka?  If you have, I’d love to know how you spent your time there.

If you’d like some help with your English, you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for news and special offers.


agricultural – relating to farming

show – Australian English term for fair or carnival

value for money – when something is well worth the money you spent on it

annually – once every year

admission fee – the money you need to pay to enter a place or event

applaud – clapping your hands to show enjoyment or approval of something

canine – dog or relating to dogs

awestruck – to be filled with feelings of respect or admiration

woodchopping (also wood-chopping or wood chopping) – a sport where skilled contestants try to be the first to cut or saw through a log (or thick piece of wood)

Pavilion – a building or temporary structure used at public events or for shows

stick around – to stay somewhere for a length of time

parting with (some of) your hard-earned cash – spending money that you’ve worked hard to make

stands – small shops or stalls, usually outside, where things are sold or where people can get information

funding – providing money to make a project possible

Head straight – go without delay to

Sideshow alley – Australian English for an area of attractions which is attached to a larger event (e.g. an agricultural show)

for a charge – you have to pay a fee for something (e.g. activity or ride)

dough – money

sample bag – another name for a showbag

showbag (also spelt ‘show bag’)- Australian English for a bag of goods, often small trial sizes of products or publicity material commonly available at a show

picking up – buying

handcrafted – made by hand rather than by machine

stalls – large tables or small shops used by sellers to display their items for sale at a market or somewhere similar

Brisbane + Winter

= The Perfect Combo*

On this sunny winter’s day in Queensland, I feel motivated to write about the benefits of visiting Brisbane (the capital of Queensland) during this season.

Brisbane City Hall on a lovely sunny day in June.

On a typical winter’s day in many countries you need to wrap up warmly,  before you go outside, in order to stay warm.  However, Queenslanders don’t need to worry about that most of the time.  Often all they need to do is to throw on a jumper over their summer clothes and they’re ready for the day!  In fact, they sometimes need to remove clothing during the day as they can get too warm.  This is more likely to happen if they’re outside in the midday sun, which is still strong even in winter.

Lavender flowers all year round in Queensland.  Here’s some in front of the Old Museum in August.

Australia is a very big country and, depending on the area you visit, you’ll experience very different conditions within the same season.  Cities in the southern parts of Australia, like Melbourne, Sydney and, the country’s capital, Canberra, have cool or cold winters.  Brisbane, on the other hand, has a subtropical climate, so the winter months of June, July and August are usually quite mild with mean temperatures of 11-21°C.  Although nights and early mornings can be crisp, we rarely get minimums below 9°C.

Queensland’s cooler months occur at about the same time as Japan’s and Korea’s hot and muggy ones.  So, if you don’t like the heat and humidity, and you’re looking for somewhere new to visit next summer, why not ‘escape’ and enjoy some comfortable winter temperatures in the Sunshine State (i.e. Queensland)!

Have you already been to Brisbane or Queensland?  What time of year did you visit and what was the weather like?  How was your stay?  I’d love to hear your stories.

Brisbane’s South Bank (June)

If you’d like some help with your English, you might consider studying with S. and L. English Lessons.  Get in contact today to arrange your free trial lesson and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to get news and special offers..

* Glossary:

combo – Australian slang for ‘combination’

capital –  the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.  E.g. ‘Tokyo is the capital of Japan and Seoul is the capital of South Korea.’

wrap up – to put on warm clothes

Queenslanders – people from, or living in, Queensland

throw on – to quickly put on clothes

on the other hand – in a way that is different from the first thing you said

subtropical – parts of the world that are directly south or north of the tropics (= the hottest areas) and have very hot weather at some times of the year.  E.g.  ‘Kyushu has a mostly subtropical climate.’

climate – the average weather conditions in a particular area over many years

mild – not extreme;  neither very hot nor very cold

mean – an average;  to calculate the mean temperature, you add up two or more temperatures then divide by the number of temperatures.  E.g.  21 + 20 + 24 + 24 + 25 + 26 + 24 = 164 ÷ 7  = 23.4285.  The mean maximum temperature for the last 7 days in Brisbane is 23°C.

crisp – cool, fresh and energising

muggy – humid