Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17. Day 260. Food for thought

I am constantly battling to find the answers of two of life's great questions.
1) What will I wear today?
2) What will I eat?
Naturally of those, the second I ponder more often than the first mainly because I eat a great deal more often than I get dressed. Also, I like food more than clothes and you'd only have to take a very brief passing look at me to work that out. On top of that I still feed my family but most of the time I let them get dressed all by themselves. ...occasionally I will send my husband back to rethink a colour combination or tie but if he thinks mismatched socks are a fashion statement that's his problem. But the business of food, that's a whole other category. Hours of every day are spent planning for, shopping for, preparing for and finally finally eating. Then you get to clean up afterwards and repeat. It really bugs me. But what's the alternative? Raw food? That's strictly for the birds

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16. Day 259. Riding high

I learned a lot about the ethics of skate parks today. My tutor was Dale, a nineteen-year-old I met practicing his tricks in Musgrave Park, a venue which is nowhere near a skate park. I'm not sure how the conversation went to bowls and ramps but Dale informed me that these venues were a great training ground for young riders BUT the little ones and their parents often needed a bit of education. A few simple lessons can make the bowls safer for everyone. When young ones arrive it's important the more experienced riders recognise they are there and give them space. At first parents sometimes resent the older kids taking charge, he said. Their attitude seems to be "who died and made you skate park boss?"  But by watching a bit, the parents realised an ordered use of the park was safer for everyone - especially young and less experienced riders who are less able to read the situation around them and act fast enough to prevent injury.
As Dale sees it, it's like surfing. You don't drop in on someone's wave. Learn that and the ride is safer and more fun for everyone

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15. Day 258. Like sands through the hour glass

In my kitchen there is a plaque that reads "Housework is like threading beads on a string with no knot on the end". It is a never ending battle. I should note that the friend who gave me the plague has four children and thus, in theory, her clean quest is four times as intense. But I argue in my defence that all children are not created equal and the cyclonic force of Drama Teen has destructive power beyond that of any passive breezy child. In any event, we know that there will be much effort involved and much of the time the results will be short lived and yet we do it (especially when visitors are due). It may be fleeting but at least you get to admire it when it's done. I can only presume this is the same attitude the sand sculptor working his art on South Bank beach in the fading light late this afternoon has to his craft. Because I had the fur friend with me and the South Bank Beach is a dog free zone I was unable to have a good chat to the master. But for a few brief moments he returned to his backpack at the edge of the beach to collect a new tool. He told me his creation - a whale - would be finished by about 8pm and would almost certainly be gone by the morning. He had been working his way around the country creating sand art as he went. And with that the sand sculptor was off, back to resume his masterpiece and I was forced to head off home for dinner full of admiration for a bloke with a swag having a whale of a time touring the country.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14. Day 257. Flapping about

 Exam week. Senior school sucks, it really does. I was the type of senior student teachers loved. Dedicated, polite and hand working (no really). But what that hid was a huge level of ugly I put myself under. I lived in fear of failure. Good marks equalled everything. To fail a piece of assessment would have meant being a failure and it has taken me a very long time to realise they are not the same thing. No one mark defines you. No one aspect of your life defines you. A person is the ultimate package deal.
For this and so many other reasons I laugh out loud when Drama Teen says accusingly that I want him to be like me. Why in God's name would I want that? The teenage me was a stress ball of the type I wouldn't wish on anyone else.
But whether I want it or not there's a lot of stressing going on around our place as we move into exam week. The flapping about that is going on is quite extraordinary (and that's just by me). I guess that this is just a right of passage all students go though. Frankly the notion that school days are the best of your life is cruel. Sure there are not the same pressures to earn a crust or make adult decisions but the pressure to perform is immense.
So I try to ignore the flapping, support where possible and provide food and assistance where needed. And then I hide and try and keep out of the way. It's the best I can do.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 13. Day 256. Quite a catch

The buffet breakfast.
Never has there been an invention more delightful and more disrespectful to the millions of food poor in the world. The amount of food returned to the kitchen after the staff cleaned up from breakfast at the Intercontinental Hotel would have fed the people of three third world nations - smoked salmon, cold meats, fresh fruits,cereals, juices, yogurt, pastries, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, porridge, eggs any way you want them, baked beans, sausages, tomato, mushrooms, hash browns, wedges, mini pies, breads, preserves.
And those are only the bits I can remember.
We really do take food (and many other things) for granted. The buffet breakfast is something I do very rarely and this is probably just as well.
It is something to be savoured and the recovery time is long.
There was only one problem with this morning's feast - it was too good.
When we'd finished, we strolled to the marina in an optimistic attempt to walk off some of the calories just consumed.
There we met David Patane who was on his prawn trawler the St Omer.
He was selling his catch direct from the trawler at the Sanctuary Cover Marina. He only had "medium" prawns left. Given the size of them I can only imagine what the large ones looked like.
David, quite the character, offered me a prawn.
I left like Mr Creosote, the fat guy in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. I could easily have replied: "Look - I couldn't eat another thing. I'm absolutely stuffed. Bugger off." .. and the rude bit that comes after that.
If you know the wafer thin mint segment of the film you'll know exactly what words I speak of. 
So I politely declined. Next time David, next time. 
You'd have to be a prawn to knock those back.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12. Day 255. Love is in the air

It's taken 16 years but we finally went away "child" free. It was only one night but was just what the doctor ordered (although I rather suspect the doctor would also order antibiotics for the hideous cold/cough that eight weeks later still lingers like a very bad smell and refuses to budge).
I'm not sure exactly what the doctor would make of the time we spent in the Intercontinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove but for my money room service with pizza and champagne was just the bill. Crisp white sheets, someone to clean after me, a long hot bath and a stack of magazine - all these things equal awesome to me. And just to make it special they laid on fireworks. How thoughtful. Okay, it is just possible the fireworks were not for us but for the just married couple having their wedding reception  at the resort. I have no idea how much they forked out to add that "special something" but for the person who got to enjoy the benefits of their largess it was totally worth it. We also got to enjoy their wedding band and their somewhat curious song list. Marvin Gaye's I Heard it Through the Grapevine is indeed a fine song but
a) is a song with the lyrics "not much longer will you be mine" really the type of tune to be putting out there at a wedding and
b) I really hate to think how "that" relative (normally an uncle sitting close to the bar) who seems to be at every wedding would have gone at dancing to that tune.
But from the safety of our room with our champagne and pizza and stiff white sheets none of that mattered. And with only weeks until our 20th wedding anniversary I'm not too worried about the "not much longer will you be mine" business either

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11. Day 254. My favourite things

I am very slow but finally it has dawned on me. I've worked out why I love the theatre so much. I thought it may have to do with escapism. Or may be it was an insight into others' lives. I love storytelling. I love the creative process, the melding of lights, music, costume and the human character. I love the sense of occasion, the reason to get dressed up and the rising sense of anticipation before the house lights go down and the curtain opens and the way applause thunders through the space when the show hits the right note. The look on the actors faces when they can tell the audience loves it is special and it is an awesome thing to be part of. All of these things live theatre delivers to me in a way other entertainment choices do not.
But I now know I've missed one key element and it took a giant mirrored sign placed in tyres as part of the Brisbane Festival to show me. It was right there in the Theatre Republic sign on the parade ground at work - the word EAT. So there it is. Food plus performance equals pure joy for me