Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12. Day 285. Crazy dog lady

Any day now the Wikipedia definition of Crazy Dog Lady will be updated to contain just two words: Susan Hetherington. The entry will contain an image of the poor deluded woman trying to walk two dogs this afternoon. How hard can that be? It goes like this. Small and furry fur friend decides he doesn't want to walk and would much prefer to be carried, somewhat redefining the meaning of the word walk. Larger and more-hairy-than-furry fur friend also has his own definition of walking. He thinks it involves lots of pulling and sniffing. So the picture would be the crazy dog lady with one dog one her shoulder being pulled over by the second dog in a traffic-stopping performance that greatly amused commuters travelling home along Gladstone Road. The question "who is walking who?" would spring to mind if it wasn't abundantly clear that it certainly wasn't the human in charge.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 11. Day 284. Open Wide. Come inside

 For reasons I don't remember and I'm sure made absolutely no sense at the time, when we were kids my father decided to take us on tours of Brisbane's old and unusual buildings. I don't recall the full itinerary but a Joss House in Albion, St Brigid's Church at Red Hill and the Albert Street Uniting Church were on the list. Turns out my dad was a man ahead of his time because this weekend two of those buildings were included in Brisbane Open House, a fantastic scheme that allows residents to get a look inside buildings they might not know exist or might not normally have access to.
Although he is much older than I was when I took the family history tour, today Drama Teen and I hit the streets to join other families across the city in peering behind normally closed doors.
Our first stop was Spring Hill to the underground reservoir which once formed an integral part of the city's water supply.
This hidden treasure is now occasionally going to be used as a performance space, a fact that excited Drama Teen no end (in fact he's decided Sweeney Todd must one day be performed here).
We then walked to The Albert Street Uniting Church and joined a tour. I wondered about the wisdom of including a church, which is pretty much open to the public all the time, in an Open House scheme but the tour opened my eyes to many facts about the building I knew nothing about. Besides you don't normally get into the crypt or the choir vestibule so there were secrets to be discovered.
 From there is was across the road to King George Square.
 Here you could join the tours of City Hall or take part in the special children's activities. When a mountain of Lego and a giant Jenga set is on offer, I'm afraid there's not much contest.
City Hall isn't going anywhere but the games were going to be packed away after today so games it was (some people never grow up and by some people of course I mean me).
This is probably the fourth time I've joined in the Open House scheme and I've only just touched the surface of the buildings on offer. This may be a young city but there are still plenty of old and interesting buildings to explore. My father tried to tell me this. Like most kids, I suspect I wasn't listening.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10. Day 283. Jump. Go ahead and jump

When I was eight my parents took the very brave decision to relocate the family to England for two years. Probably even now I don't fully comprehend the magnitude of that decision and logistical effort. Back then long haul travel was prohibitively expensive, slow and pretty much unheard of. These days half the eight year olds in any class have probably holidayed over seas. We tend to think of kids today as living in Virtual reality existence but when you think about it their reality is pretty exciting too*. It is the big things but also the myriad of little opportunities and experiences that didn't exist. So at the shops this morning on a fairly typical Saturday. Kids were trying the bungy trampoline, inflatable maze, jumping castle, rock climbing wall and even face painting. Not one of these things was available when I was a little person,  a fact that makes kids roll their eyes in disbelief in much the same way as if you mention the VCR or even more primitive black and white TV. Sure we don't have hover boards which Back to the Future promised would be a 2015 reality but still what we do have is pretty exciting.  So jump to it kids.

* (I am VERY aware that this is a very First World perspective but it is the reality of the children whose paths I cross. For many of the world's children the existance is tragically not that).

Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9. Day 282. Walking on water

At the risk of sounding like I have a messiah complex (which I can assure you I do not) I felt a bit like I could walk on water at times today. Mind you if you had to choose one biblically-inspired superpower that turning water into wine business would be rather handy on a Friday night. But I digress. The walking on water feeling was a new lightness of load brought about by the fact that yesterday I taught my last class for 2015. Woo hoo. I genuinely love teaching but having a break so I can help navigate the teen during the final weeks of Year 12 is most welcome. Not, of course, that my paid work for the year is by any means over. Not even close. Sinking feeling returns at the thought of my evil nemesis marking. Being able to turn water into wine would be pretty handy when faced with a bundle of papers too. I rather suspect that drunk marking would infringe many a clause in the Manual of Policies and Procedures which govern every aspect of my working day. I expect  it would be career ending but the alcohol truth serum might make my comments a good deal more entertaining. Now if I really did think I could walk on water ....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 8. Day 281. Winging it

It is my totally unqualified opinion that the noisy miner has small man syndrome. Now let's be clear I am fully aware that SMS is a hideous stereotype that is doubtless offensive to all those males of short stature. It's as politically incorrect as a blonde joke but I am quite happy to make blonde jokes at my own expense so I shall plough on regardless. I know many, many gentle lovely small men but then there are those who do their level best to keep the stereotype alive and kicking. Aggressive little bullies, always going out of their way to draw attention to themselves, making up for a small number of centimeters by a great big burden of attitude which is surely overcompensation. The noisy miner is that and more. They are on the small side but have an incredible ability to draw attention to themselves. It's not just the noisy bit that earns them both the name and the reputation. If there's a bird fight going on there's most likely going to be a miner in the thick of it. The magpies get all the reputation but the miner has a lot to answer for. I'm pretty sure the one at Roma Street Parklands today's putting on a show just for the camera. There was lots of swooping and preening and splashing in the lake. Yeah, I  get it. You want to be noticed. Well mission accomplished my small friend. You came up with the goods. Small in size you may be but it was one big act and you winged it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7. Day 280. Finger lickin good

Salad Days: An expression of when something is in its heyday. Seriously?  It's not there's anything WRONG with salad its just that when compared with other food groups, the salad just can't compete with a carb. Carbs, the food of the gods. Still there really is such a thing as forbidden fruit (or in this case vegetables). I'm in the middle of a three-day protein blitz and let me tell you never has greenery looked quite as appetising. Nothing is more likely to make a person look enviously at the green stuff the chicks at South Bank are eating than being restricted to only protein. It's s weird old diet that says bacon and eggs are okay but a carrot isn't but still it seems to be working and you can't argue with that can you?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6. Day 279. Open mouthed

At a recent performance, the wonderful Kitty Flanagan ranted about bloggers, particularly the Mummy Bloggers. He points were solid. They very word blog sounds like something coined by a person who could do with more fibre in his or her diet. And further that the mummy bloggers spend much of their lives blogging about how totally exhausted they are instead of taking the quite obvious path to improving the situation - shutting the computer and having a nap. Oh, God. If I wasn't too old to be a mummy blogger she could be talking to me. But here's the thing Kitty doesn't understand. Blogging is addictive. If anyone had told me when I started this on January 1, 2012 that I would still be playing away whinging about how tired I am in October 2015 I would have told them they clearly needed more fibre in their diet. Further, if anyone had told me that at this point I would have notched up 200,000 page views I would have also questioned their sanity. I look at the figures with open-mouthed amazement. But you do it one day, and then the next and then it's a habit that's hard to break. There's probably a 12 Step program out there somewhere .... but the first step to change is wanting to change and right now that's not me. I'd rather just continue to bleary eyed blog and whinge about my fatigue.