Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30. Day 151. Energised

Duracell or Energizer?
So asked one man on the beach when Rumple and Winkle arrived at sunrise this morning.
The lead came off and Rumple charged up the sand and Winkle leaped and leaped and leaped.
She might have been auditioning for a replacement for that Energizer bunny.
For all of us, the beach recharges the batteries.
We dragged ourselves from bed in the dark and were there as the first rays were appearing on the horizon.
Of course, some show offs were already leaving having completed their morning routine.
Others were out in the surf ocean swimming.
Big gold star for them. Personally I like to see sand beneath my feet and not just feel it (perhaps because I can trip over my feet in bright sunlight.
I don't need the handicap of darkness).
Also I like birds and even the early bird doesn't choose to start work until dawn.
We had a good long walk before having to pack the car and head home.
Boo hoo.
But the really great thing about this long weekend away was it showed me there was a really awesome dog beach at Caloundra.
Until this point, we've headed considerably further north into the Noosa Shire for our slice of dog beach action.
Finding the Currimundi section of dog beach has opened up a new possibility much closer to home.
So excited was I by this that I booked a beach front house for two weeks at Christmas.
But if you think that's it for me and the beach until December 17, you are dreaming.
My little Energizer Doggies will be on my case long before that. We all need a recharge at fairly regular intervals.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29. Day 150. Nice play

She played me too well using a trigger word she knew I was not capable of resisting. Beach. According to Dictionary.com, a Trigger Word is "a word that initiates a process or course of action". So just as Pavlov's dogs, salivated at the sound of a bell asking if I had plans to go to the beach would, inevitably, get my fingers hitting the keyboard keys necessary to bring up dog friendly accommodation on my computer. My delightful niece Scarlett and her boyfriend Alex were involved in lacrosse games at Caloundra this weekend. They could either drive up and back from Brisbane each day or find somewhere to stay ... Who do we know who might be staying at the beach any given weekend? Well played, I say. Of course, I was totally complicit in this. They may have put bait on the hook but I allowed myself to be reeled in. Truth is there was little or no resistance. I don't need much of an excuse and Drama Teen and both fur friends were willing bycatch in the cunning plan. Having been taken in hook, line and sinker, I was determined to make the most out of every moment of it. While the three teens slept, the dogs and I left the house early and hit the beach. There I had a long chat to three blokes collecting bait fish. They explained that they walked along the beach each morning looking out for the schools of bait fish. When they are located they throw bread in the water to bring the fish close to shore then cast their nets. For old blokes, they said, it saves money on bait and helps fund their hobby. Now all I need is to find a way of funding mine ...
*Today's match was an 8-8 draw but Alex, number 23, did score. I was left wondering how anyone survives a pretty ruthless game.
**Today's step count, thanks to two beach walks and a few laps of the lacrosse field: 15 126

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28. Day 149. On a high

 It would have been so easy to stay home this weekend and put my head under the doona.
I can't say I didn't think about it.
But the easy way is rarely the best, at least in my experience. You reap what you sow.
 So the dividends for finding dog friendly accommodation, booking, paying, packing, driving 100 kilometres and unpacking are huge.
The beach is my happy place.
I am pretty sure it is the dogs' happy place too but they haven't actually said owing to the fact that they can't actually speak.
However, in this and in some many other things actions speak louder than words and the level of excitement from the time the suit case appears is palpable.
By the time we hit the sand and the leads come off they explode into action.
If that's not joy, I don't know what is.
It has been a very, very long time since Caloundra has been my vacation destination - I estimate 30 years but given the high we are all on tonight it will be a much, much shorter gap before we return. Life, for us, is a beach.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27. Day 148. Climb every mountain

Brisbane traffic you suck. It's not "peak hour" as such but the school peak that really sucks. People  expect a 5pm rush home but not gridlock mid afternoon. Who made 3pm a peak in anyone's language? Well Brisbane, especially on a Friday. I decided after a week of marking and health hell that what we all needed was to escape to the beach. And the dogs, of course, agreed. I promised them we would be romping on the beach by late afternoon. I lied. By mid afternoon I was on the Bruce Highway. By later in the afternoon I was still on the highway just a closer to the destination. The journey should have been no more than 90 minutes on a bad day, this was clearly a very bad day. Realising we weren't going to make it to the beach in daylight, I reassessed and turned off along the old highway, now known as the Steve Irwin Way. Even though I drove that highway for five years not once did I turn off and follow the sign to the Glasshouse Mountains lookout. Today I did and the dogs and I sprinted along the 800 metre circuit. Trust me, even though light was fading, I would have been prepared to take it more slowly. The excited dogs refused to play along. So we may have arrived too late for the sand and sea but we did get a rather nice view of the hinterland. I'll take that (and the dogs clearly weren't complaining).
Today's steps:15, 923

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26. Day 147. Switzerland

QTC's executive director Sue Donnelly on opening night

Let's play a game. A word game. When I say a word what are three words that pop into your head without thinking. Ready?
My guess is that somewhere at least one of these words featured: Alps, chocolate and neutrality.
It doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong. This is my game and I make up the rules.
Alps: Let's start there. Amazing peaks. Snow covered, offering the possibility of a wild ride to the bottom if you dare.
Chocolate: Rich, delicious. It's only when it melts that you can fully know what's hidden at it's core.
Neutrality: A place that doesn't take sides. When there are two parties at war, Switzerland famously sat back watched and as we now know profited.
At various times watching Switzerland by Queensland Theatre Company tonight I felt all of those things.
Let's go with Alps first. Amazing natural beauty, great heights but prone to clouds that can sweep across in an instant casting a long shadow. Anyone who has been there will not fail to notice the light, Beautiful light. Light that creates mood, light that illuminates as well as obscures and signifies the passage of time over a day and as day turns to night turn to day.
Now chocolate. Especially that Swiss piece of loveliness the Toblerone. First you notice the angles. The set was like that. Raked to draw you in. High at one side and the front but falling away in both directions. But like that Toblerone what you see is not what you get. You know that there is more, far more that's hidden inside. It will be revealed.... slowly.... as the outer layers melt away.
Now neutrality. You don't take sides. Like an umpire in a tennis match, you watch as one scores a point, then the other and back. There will be a winning shot to end this rally but you watch in awe trying to figure out who will hit it and when. You know it's coming but you sure as hell don't know whether it will be a gentle drop shot that just skims the net or a surgical backhand down the line.
This is an amazing two hander. Andrea Moor plays Patricia Highsmith the American writer famed for her psychological thrillers and her famous serial killer Tom Ripley. She's in Switzerland, an exile in the last days of her life revelling in carrying to the end her childhood trauma that began with her mother trying to abort her with drain fluid five months into the pregnancy. Into this walks Matthew Backer, as Edward Ridgeway who arrives from New York to coax the writer into one last deeply dark brilliant murder.
The warning says: This production contains a blackout, coarse language, adult themes, sexual references, violence, replica weapons and herbal cigarettes. It probably should say make sure you have a nightlight. And chocolate. You may just need both.

Total steps today 10, 337. (I walked to QTC. Even if I walked home via Moscow it wouldn't have made up for the chocolate I ate at the opening night party)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25. Day 146. Slow and steady ....

 I'm pretty sure that the whole hare and tortoise thing was written to make life's tortoises feel better about themselves. It is, of course, insane. The tortoise may win a popularity competition, an intelligence test or even pick up $10 for second prize in Monopoly's beauty contest but will never win a race based on speed. That's the truth. It is a truth I have long since accepted given I am one of life's tortoises. Speed is not one of my virtues. But slow and steady I can do. This is why for the next 100 days I will be taking part in the Global Corporate Challenge. Hundreds of thousands of participants across the globe are taking part in program supported by the employers. The aim is, of course, to improve the physical and psychological health of employees. We all benefit from that. I am in a QUT team of seven called the Super Slugs. That's a team that suits me down to the ground. The truth is for a variety of reasons I have been even more sluggish than usual in recent weeks and  intend to use this challenge to start turning that around. At a minimum, a very minimum I WILL take 10,000 steps a day even if it means running around the house in the minutes before midnight. I will take steps not make excuses. As well as the six other team members I have recruited two honorary ambassadors. I promised the dogs 10,000 human steps a day. I don't know what that is in dog steps but I don't think they can count anyway. So today the challenge began and we walked to the University of Queensland lakes. Nice it was too. In any event, when the alternative is marking anything looks good. I can think of no better time to sign up for something that will improve your mental health....

I shall be adding my steps daily.  
Today's Step Total: 12, 123

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24. Day 145. Bring out the bubbily

You know you are getting old, or sensible or something when the "bubbles" you consume on your birthday are of a carbonated water or soft drink type. Well it is a school night after all. The Toy Boy I married turned 51 today. Technically I get to call him a Toy Boy - and by association make myself a honorary cougar (not that there's anything honourable in such a thing) - because I am the senior member of this couple. Fifty-three days longer on this earth has to count for something, right? Yeah, not really. Not even in dog years. But no matter how old you are, a birthday boy is still a birthday boy and deserves a special something on his special day and as the old saying goes the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. A strong stomach it must be for kippers, possibly the most disgusting smelling substance on earth, to be considered special but it has always been his favourite so who am I to argue. As they say Mad Dogs and Englishmen ...With that for breakfast there was probably enough fermenting going on to not need a demon drink with dinner.