Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15. Day 15. Balancing act

I tried rock climbing once. I was crap at it. I have about zero upper body and arm strength. None. The very last thing I needed was any sort of a handicap. It would make no sense to make it more difficult than need be. But addiction is just that. It makes no sense. Watching a climber on the Kangaroo Point cliffs attempting to scale the rock face with a cigarette in either his mouth or his hand reminded me of two things: 1) never to take up smoking and 2) of my father for most of my young life. Dad was rarely without a smoke. Most things he did he did either one handed or with a ciggie pursed between his lips. It was just the way it was. It taught me a fair bit about addictive personalities. I reckon I've inherited the gene if there is one. I know my addictive tendencies may not be as obvious as a cigarette in a hand to the outside world but they are there just the same. With everything from poor food or caffeinated drink consumption to exercise, there is no medium. I do a lot or none. Balance would be good. Balance wouldn't be me. So I just go on trying to climb that metaphorical wall with a hand tied behind my back. It makes life interesting if nothing else.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 14. Day 14. Moving pictures

We have this family thing where we try to see most, if not all, of the movies with Oscar buzz prior to the awards night. I like to think this will assist me in predicting the winners. In this regard it has failed spectacularly. The Academy and I do not see eye to eye. It is, however, a entertaining family adventure. Our venue of choice is the Blueroom Cinebar because the fries with aioli are superb and the occasional cocktail never hurt anyone (apart from me obviously what with the still slightly dodgy liver). Anyway, tonight it was The Post. It should come as no surprise to anyone that as a one-time journalist I found this fascinating. Some say it was a little preachy in the Fake News Trump era but to me it summed up everything that makes journalism great. It was also like it stirred a muscle memory of what it is like to stand in the press room when someone hits the go button. I'm sure it's not quite like that now but it made me feel all nostalgic and reminded me again of how important good journalism is, even if the world thinks of journalists as bottom dwelling poo feeders. If the ending was preachy, it needed to be because somehow the message is being lost. A free press is important, now more than ever. For what it is worth, while I loved The Post (see rant above), I don't think it will win much on awards night because of the competition. Given my success in past years you should immediately put all you money on it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13. Day 13. It was twenty years ago today ....

It was 20 years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to play, I gave birth. This, of course, makes it MY birth day since I did it just the once. You can't beat perfection or something. The 20th birthday is a strange anomaly in the birthday rankings. We tend to go all big on the birthdays that end in zeros. But while 20 marks the departure from the teens it lacks the significance of either 18 or 21. It's like here we revert to an imperial system while for the rest of our lives we are all very metric. But odd man out birthday or not, I feel it is a milestone well worth marking. My little boy is all grown up and I have to retire my preferred nickname Drama Teen. Such a shame. I loved that nickname almost as much as Mr O hated it. I am sure there is a direct correlation between the two. So I raise a glass and eat a slice of gluten-free chocolate cake. May the next decade be an exciting new decade and may I find a new nickname fast.

Friday, January 12, 2018

January 12. Day 12. They're a weird mob

There are so many things that you just accept as normal until you have the opportunity to see them through the eyes of an outsider. Once again I was playing tourist guide to our English visitors today.  They'd spent the night at the Gold Coast and we picked them up at Roma Street in the afternoon. A view of the city from the Mount Coot-tha lookout seemed like a no brainer. But then on the way home I decided to stop by one of my favourite haunts, the University of Queensland Lakes. As always there was an abundance of native wildlife on display. Some of my favourites - the corellas, the cormorant, the turtles were all doing their thing. There was even an added bonus of mother and daddy duck and their ducklings waddling along. As I suspected my new photography buddy was dead impressed. "God Australia has some weird wildlife," he said. Yeah we do. When you see those lakes and those birds
 as much as I do it's really easy to become a little blase. But even I admit they are odd which is probably what attracts me to them. I hope they never lose their magic.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

January 11. Day 11. Red faced

I was left feeling pretty bloody red faced today. Here I am not just talking about the impact of the weather and hot flushes. Let us be honest neither of  those things help. At all. But this is more psychological red faced. It's Thursday. That's take-Margaret-to-the-hairdresser day. It's always a pretty huge ordeal getting her out of the house and in to the car and then out of the car and into the hairdresser. And then you get to do it all in reverse. The heat wasn't helping her either. It was slow going. While she is having her hair set and today was tint day I go off into the cafe, set up my laptop and work. We have lunch and I leave Margaret in the cafe while I buy her groceries. Today there was more than usual. Navigating Margaret and her wheelie walker the shopping trolley back to the car was a nightmare. Getting everyone and everything into the car without any implosions due to heat was worse. We made it. we got home. Everything was unloaded and then I saw there was no laptop. My heart stopped. Last year I killed two work Mac Books in quick succession. Losing one would be IT death. My heart stopped. I thought I might implode. I knew exactly were it was. In the shopping trolley in the carpark behind the hairdresser in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre. It's quiet and away from the main shopping centre carpark. The staff in the hairdressers know where I park because they help me with Margaret. I called them. They went and looked. It was still there. Normal heart rhythm restored. Just about.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10. Day 10. Hot in the city

We have a full house at the moment - and I am seriously outnumbered. For starters, there are five (human) adults and I am the only female. Also, I am the only one eligible to run for Australian parliament. All the others, under our Constitution at least, have allegiances to the Motherland. This means I have a hometown advantage over the visitors. And I have been blessed with a visitor who owns a Canon camera and has a desire to photograph city skyscrapers. Bring it on. So at dusk, after the pool cool off, I led Susan's Snappers City Skyscraper tour. We started at the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, moved the the boardwalk at the bottom of the cliff and then headed to catch the view of the city and Story Bridge from Wilson's outlook at New Farm. I even conducted a very short lesson (based on the very short boundaries of my knowledge and abilities) on the use a slow shutter speed, a tripod and remote shutter release for awesome city lights photographs. So much fun to have a captive audience.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January 9. Day 9. Well trained

My dogs are very well trained. Granted Winkle is inclined to wee on the carpet rather than go outside if it's raining and the ground is wet. Granted Rumple will still steal underwear from the clothes basket and destroy them. Either or both of them has a habit of climbing up on the dining room table when you are not looking (or some times even when you are). So not exactly perfect but well trained where it really matters by which I mean when it comes to being photographed. We went to the Kedron Brook off leash area this afternoon and the dogs were running around like crazed creatures, or more accurately like dogs in an off leash area. Then they stopped, stood next to each other and looked up at the camera. A couple walking past with their dogs laughed. I heard them say to one another: "Did those dogs just pose for the camera? I'm pretty sure they did." And then the dogs were off chasing birds again. In honesty, I may have trained Rumple to beg and Winkle to dance but neither dog has been trained to smile for the camera. However, the camera, the dogs and I spend an awful lot of time together and I wouldn't even be surprised if there's an element of reading what makes me happy and trying to deliver. It may be more "let's just get this over with". They also do like to check out where I am and not stray too far. In the end it doesn't really matter. In my eyes they are gorgeous in a way no photograph can adequately capture.