Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25. Day 177. Mister Cellophane

You know it's all an act but when an actor nails it that fact is quickly forgotten. I know I'm his mum so I would think that but I could feel the desperation in just about every bar my boy sang in Mr Cellophane in Fame's senior musical today. In the otherwise very, very upbeat musical Chicago, this song is a so tragically sad it's hard to believe. Being invisible is a state few aspire to (sure there are times we all crave invisibility and a cloak is a super power but it's something people want to use selectively).
So when your boy is up there in pain I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him he was far from invisible, just the opposite. But then I'm his mum. And anyway, by the second act I know he's okay because he sings about it "I'm not yet dead" from Spamalot. And that's the beauty of the theatre and the power of the actor: so many roles and such an ability to transport. You have to love that.
Today's steps: 16, 606

Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24. Day 176. Fly free my friend

Big bird close-ups are a bit of a thing for me. Almost always, however, they are taken with my telephoto lens. Not today. Today, these up close and personal pics were taken with a wide angle lens which means I was close, very close. It says a whole lot about the birds. They were friendly and cheeky and clearly a great liking for people. Big personalities and clearly a great love for food. It all seemed rather fitting really. These fellows were hanging around the afternoon tea following the funeral of our family friend (and mum's bestie) Nita. Nita was one of life's characters, a great free spirit with a huge sense of fun and an ability to light up a room. I love my mother's story from her hospital bedside less than 24 hours before she died. Mum was reading an article from a women's magazine, "some ridiculous thing", Mum said. "Well, that's bullshit," Nita said from her death bed. A sense of fun until the end. So fly free, my friend and soar into the heavens.

Today's steps: 15, 837

Thursday, June 23, 2016

June 23. Day 175. Out of the Box

When my son was in Year 3, his enlightened teachers decided to ditch the idea of conventional homework and replaced it with a homework grid. Sure there was maths and English but on rotation there might be drawing or sport or housework or even culture. However while that was the vision of the person who devised the grid homework system, arts and culture never appeared in our homework. The teachers told me this was because for many families this would be a step into unfamiliar territory and the kids would have nothing to write about or record. That rather makes me want to weep but not as much as when I was at the theatre about a month ago and I heard a woman in her 20s confess to her date that this was her first ever theatre visit. Say what? Devastating. There is so much exposure to the performing arts can teach a child and so many ways in which they can enrich a young mind. It warms my heart to see little ones eyes light up when watching a performance. There is nothing, nothing as perfect for this as the Out of the Box Festival which comes to our city every two years. Everyone one of the theatres in our premier performing arts precinct is given over to performances especially for children aged 3-8. How good is that. Add to that workshops and hands on activities and what you have is eight days of the best of the best for under 8s. Today with my little mate Elliott and his mum Alison there was Bollywood Dancing, a gong garden in the grounds of the Nepalese Pagoda and the Gazillion Bubble Show. That's pretty special if you ask me.
Today's steps:15,889

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 22. Day 174. Games people play

So I was on my way to the theatre when I heard a bit of a commotion. Naturally that caught my attention and I followed the noise. There were these blokes, big, big blokes covered in tattoos and logos or perhaps it is the other way around. They were having quite a nice time kicking a ball about until one of the got a bit over-enthusiastic and kicked it on to the QPAC roof. Isn't that how every game of back yard ball sport end up with some big shot losing the ball? You'd think that by the time you'd made a State of Origin team you'd be able to kick well enough without kicking the ball over the neighbour's fence. Okay, okay, I may have no interest in the game but that does not mean that
1) I can't recognise a maroon tracksuit and JT and Sam Thaiday. I would be hard pressed to name the others but that's a start.
2) I don't appreciate the hard work, dedication that goes into becoming an elite sportsperson.
I just have more interest in what is happening on the other side of the performing arts complex wall and what's more I rather wish the banks and beer brewers would provide as much support to theatre as they do to rugby league.
Today's steps: 15,003

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21. Day 173. Food for thought

There was a time when McDonald’s urged us to Keep your Eyes on Your Fries. I gulp slightly when I realize that was 1978. Holy crap. It doesn’t feel like yesterday but possibly last week. Where do the years go? Anyway, while the advice is almost 40 year old it is good but doesn’t go anywhere near far enough, at least not at South Bank. Keep your eyes on every single thing that could count as a foodstuff. It’s guard it or lose it. The ibis have appetites that are matched only by my own and I at least pay for my food. It was morning tea time when I was at South Bank yesterday and a woman nearby ordered a coffee and muffin. I hope she enjoyed the caffeine because a temporary distraction saw the muffin fly off. To be fair on the ibis, something I am not sure they deserve, they may be the worst offenders but they are by no means the only ones. While sitting near a coffee shop, I watched a noisy miner swoop in to the counter steal a sugar sachet and fly off with it in his beak. I should have been appalled. I was secretly impressed. You just need to be vigilient and keep your eyes on the prize.
Today's steps:  20075

Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20. Day 172. Shell shocked

Given that curiousity killed the cat, it is just as well I'm a dog person. When something takes my attention or puzzles me I find it hard to let it go. Today's question involves a turtle I have named Marilyn, on account of the fact that it she a blonde (bomb)shell. I spied Marilyn on Saturday and it started me thinking. Albino turtle: what are the chances?  UQ sustainability had no record of albino turtles in the lakes and nor did UQNews (although they were the ones who made me realise a nickname was essential in this day and age. Think Migaloo the albino whale). Now a "normal" person may have left it there. Yeah, perhaps it was marking avoidance´but for whatever reason I wasn't leaving it there. Time for an email to the Queensland Museum. There I learned that Marilyn was probably leucistic not albino which means she has a partial loss of pigmentation. It's in the eyes, apparently. The pigment cells in the eyes are not affected by the condition. My expert says colour mutation genes are probably not uncommon in populations but are most likely recessive. And here'e the kicker: "there is often strong selective pressure against the survival of individuals that express these genes in a visible form. For example, a predator will often selectively target the unusual individual from the rest of the flock etc". It appears it is not only humans that target those who are different. The email went on to say that a turtle with colouring like Marilyn's "probably experience more attention from sight predators such as herons and are unlikely to survive to adulthood, yours is a lucky one!" So there you have it. With all that information I went back looking for Marilyn but I couldn't see her. There were, however, plenty of other turtles sticking their necks out
Today's steps 15 032

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19. Day 171. Singin in the rain

I don't sing in the rain, mainly because even in torrential rain like today there is a risk of someone hearing me and there are laws against that sort of public nuisance. If there aren't, there should be. It actually puzzles me why the birds were in such fine voice.
This would be enough to take the song out of the heart of all but farmers and keen gardeners.
For those whose only shelter is that offered by leaves or the rafters of my pool house, there would seem to be very little to sing about.
In any event, I am less Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds Singin' in the Rain and more the old man who, when it's raining and pouring, is found snoring.
As soon as the rain starts pattering on the tin roof it screams sleep to me. Given I don't need any encouragement to nap, the rain call is irresistible.
Into my warm nest I go, happy and officially following the official advice to avoid non-essential travel.