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Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26. Day 270. Cry like a baby




I'm a strong believer in what-goes-around-comes- around or, if you prefer, karma.
My dogs love to chase birds.
Actually, strictly speaking that's not true. The dogs love the concept of chasing birds but rarely get beyond barking at them because mostly they are safely on a leash.
When on a beach or in an off leash area they give it a red hot go but birds have an obvious advantage. They can fly. Still a barking dog would be a bit threatening to a small bird even when the dogs are as fluffy and nonthreatening as my two. Today, a bit like a Hitchcock film, the birds had their revenge. We were walking to the duck pond at South Bank. The noisy miners were especially noisy. And then on mass they started swooping at the dogs. It seemed seriously out of character. And then I saw it. A fluffy little miner chick was sitting in the relatively low branches of a strelitzia. It was quite well hidden and sheltered but it was also making a fair bit of noise drawing attention to itself. The adult birds had set up a perimeter squad. Humans seemed to know the secret password to enter. Dogs did not. And who could blame them? There is nothing more fundamental to just about every species and that is a determination to protect the young and vulnerable. It's what we all do but hear this noisy miners. You protect your young but don't  blame me if I protect mine. OK? 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25. Day 269. Sun day. Fun day


 I'm relatively sure we are not the only family who find that a billion competing commitments sees very little time left for designated "family time".
We have made a renewed commitment to Sunday being funday. This usually mean brunch or a family movie night. Last Sunday we did both but today was brunch at our favourite Lift cafe just down the road.
We can walk there, it's dog friendly and the gluten free waffles are pretty special. Perhaps it was the sugar hit from the milkshakes or smoothies but the boys were in a slightly crazy mood this afternoon.
Drama Teen started it by trying to water bomb me.
He dropped the bomb and wet himself. Then like father, like son Charles decided this looked like a great deal of fun and started filling up balloon bombs. He missed too but I suppose that wasn't the point. The dropping of the bomb and not the target. And it's all in good fun plus a little water never hurt anyone on a warm Spring day.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24.Day 268. Going off with a bang

Brisbane is quite the party princess; a sparkling, shiny, dazzling party girl. And good old BrisVegas' biggest annual do is the Brisbane Festival. It's the sort of festival that refuses to go out with a whimper but with a great big bang as befits the princess she is. I have a childlike love of Riverfire. I love how it brings the community together. I love the sense of expectation but most of all I love the skies exploding in a sea of colour. And I love how it celebrates the river. I also love that I live close enough to walk home ....

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23. Day 267. Good Mornin'. Good Mornin' to you


Good Mornin', Good Mornin'. We've marked the whole night through. Good Mornin. Good Mornin to you.
My apologies to the cast of Singin' in the Rain which opens in Brisbane tonight. It's a weird thing. When you have been up all night solving the problems of the world with a tap dancing super stud, sleep deprivation is a non issue. When it is university assignments robbing you of shut eye, the equation is all together different. So I may or may not have been Captain GrumpyPants when I walked through South Bank this morning. In truth I can not blame marking alone (but I totally will). Three Brisbane Festival shows in three nights was another commitment this week but one I do not resent for a second (where I resent every second of marking). I love the festival and feel just a little bit sad that there is only three days to go. It is a wonderful celebration of the arts and everything that is awesome about Brisbane. And might I say pink hats off to the festival organisers, this year's program was a triumph.  But now that it's all but over we can all get some sleep ... well I could if it wasn't for the never ending pile of marking ... and the opening of Singin in the Rain.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 22. Day 266. Holy Moly


Phone calls at 5.30am are never a good thing. They just aren't. I mean, to the best of my knowledge the Lotto office keeps regular hours. The Nobel prize committee may operate on Swedish time and ring at all hours but as that is never going to be a problem I'm faced with my default is fearing the worst when the mobile buzzes at stupid o'clock. Seeing my elderly neighbour Margaret's name light up did nothing to ease the anxiety, although in my sleepy haze I did think that at least she was still able to pick up the phone so it could be worse. She'd had a fall, she said. She was on the floor unable to get up. We've been there before and I know what to do. Grab the spare key, find someone able to help lift and go to the rescue. It played out as it has too many times before except for two things. This time there was a nasty bit hole in the wall where her head struck and this time she said she thought she needed a panic alarm. Seize the moment, I thought. As soon as it was office hours I was back with the laptop and the phone. I took the dogs as backup and while Rumple licked her feet we ordered an alarm. I even paid for it (she will reinburse) because Margaret doesn't believe in fancy modern things like credit cards. I mean, she doesn't believe in toasters, kettles, radios or microwaves either and I learned long ago there's no point in arguing the toss. You just work around it and wait for her to decide it's her idea and then pounce. The alarm will be with her on Monday. It won't stop the falls. It will offer some comfort.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21. Day 265. Food for thought


There was this story on the radio this week about crows. Apparently crows in a couple of different parts of the world have learned to create tools. The New Caledonian crows, for instance, have been recorded creating hooks to remove food from hard to reach nooks. Researchers say they are the only birds believed to be tool makers. Frankly I am only a bit surprised that birds and not just higher order mammals have the ability. Anyone who has watched birds faced with an eating challenge will know they are both innovative and determined. Today it was the noisy miners at a cafe at the Gardens Point campus. I don't often visit GP but a meeting today took me away from Kelvin Grove. There was lunch provided. You can't argue with that. But before the meeting I had another meeting with a student at a cafe. It was raining. actually, it was bucketing down. Everyone, including the birds, was sheltering under the covered eating area. The humans were ordering and paying for food and coffee. The birds were just stealing everything they could get their beaks into. And they were showing a great deal of creativity in filling their bellies. I love them for that (in fact, I may have borrowed some of their techniques at the buffet table just a few minutes later at the catered lunch meeting). And neither of us was actually bothering too much with "proper" tools.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20. Day 264. Driven to distraction

I know plenty of people with furry fur friends who conduct home hairdressing services. The mere thought makes me a little pale.  My dogs are adorable but on the squirmy side. The distance between the delightful facial hair and the eyes is far too close to be a margin of error I'm prepared to accept. There are risks that you accept and try to mitigate and those you just avoid. So I outsource grooming. They don't love it but they put up with it and I know this is one of the instances where you have to be cruel to be kind. No trimming. No seeing. It's a job that needs to be repeated every six weeks conducted by the lovely people at Grand Designs Dog Grooming. Today was that day. It's a six hour process that makes my grooming needs seem amateur. I'm always sure to be ready to pick them up right on 3pm. I was on my way there when a car drove up my arse. It was hard enough to give me a serious jolt and a serious scare but not enough to damage either car. The male driving the other car was incredibly apologetic. He said he had been distracted for just a second which is, of course, all it takes. It can happen to anyone and that's the point. I don't blame him at all. I do, however, blame the drivers of at least eight cars that sped through the zebra crossing when I stood there with the freshly groomed dogs waiting to cross. The thing is cars are mobile killing machines if not handled with care and drivers who don't see a woman with two dogs standing at a zebra crossing are not handling the vehicle with care. That worries me immensely. Fortunately we eventually all managed to make it home safely and the dogs look awesome.