Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27. Day 239. Birds of a feather

Cyclists, motorists pedestrians. It's a big issue around where I live with high numbers of all three competing for a sadly inadequate amount of road space. Each faction feels that their voice isn't being heard by the authorities. Well, I'm here to tell you there is one interest group certainly without a voice in the debate or at least without the ability to put its concern into words. What about the animals? We love our furry and feathered friends around here. The poultry is decidedly free range. Why did the chicken cross the road? Why the hell, not?" The roosters roost wherever they please, the cats go about their secret cat business unimpeded and the dogs, well, let's just say I am not the only crazy dog person around these parts. At least Rumple walks when we go for a walk (well, most of the time. Some times he likes to be carried on my shoulder like a parrot). Where's the cat lane, council? What about the dedicated dog owners with pram parking? Exactly. How human focused you are. It's pretty fowl, that's what I say.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 26. Day 238. Gull-ible

 It's not that I'm fixating about the prospect of going to the beach, it's just that I really, really like seagulls - and if you believe that ...
It's now less than a month until my next beach holiday. This excites me greatly. I would put a countdown calendar on the fridge except I'd probably melt down when I saw how little time I had to achieve an awful lot. It's a double-edge sword. Knowing the holiday is approaching is awesome but...
Anyway, for now as close as I'm going to get to the beach is the artificial beach at South Bank where the seagulls know me and my camera quite well.
Strangely enough it might not be a long stretch of Sunshine Coast sand but watching the gulls provides a moment of relaxation just the same.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25. Day 237. While you were sleeping

It has been suggested to me, by my mother of all people, that I might like to enter politics. Seriously? I don't hate my family that much. But there's more before we even get to the small matter of policy and my inability to not to call out hypocrisy when I see it. Funnily enough, a really good reason not to enter politics is my deep and emotional attachment to sleep.Politicians seem to wear their ability to survive on 1.7 hours sleep a night like a badge of honour. I see no honour in that at all. I celebrate the nap like a lottery win. But of late, sleep has been hard to come by and I feel like I am operating in a deep fog. The outline of how things are meant to be is clear but the details are very, very fuzzy generally worse in the morning and clearing as the day progresses, a bit like Brisbane today. Thing is, the fog engulfs you like a big wet blanket and when that happens I'm just as likely to say or do all sorts of weird stuff. So a career in politics? Let me sleep on that .....

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24. Day 236. Watch the birdie

Twitter. Twitter. Anyone who knows present me, knows I am a bit of a fan. Anyone who knows present me will also know that birds are a bit of a thing too in that I just love pointing my lens at them and going click. I'm frequently dead impressed at what I come up with (and then I go to Google images, see what proper bird photographers come up with and give myself a bit of a reality check). The thing is, it really is no surprise that I took to the Twitter thing like a duck to water. Most journalists love it because journalists love to tell stories and it doesn't really matter if that's in 140 characters or something we know call long-form journalism. But the bird thing, that's a surprise even to me. Especially to me. There's nothing in my past that would scream twitcher. Nothing at all. But when you do take time to actually watch birds, it's hard not to be fascinated by their antics. They seriously have so much personality. And frankly, I'm pretty sure while I'm watching them, they are watching me not because I seem like prey or predator but because they are curious. I reckon some are even posing, especially at places like Roma Street Parklands where bird photographers are a dime a dozen. Posing or not, I'll take it. Now watch the birdie ....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 23. Day 235. Scarecrow

One of the most important lessons I try to impart on journalism students is that you have to learn to talk to random people and get their stories. There is, of course, an inherent risk in that because some people are nut jobs.
So it was for one poor University of Queensland journalism student putting together a visual communication exercise on the Parks Alive event which today moved to South Bank.
The young man saw a woman with a dog dressed in a pair of distressed jeans (the dog not the woman, obviously) politely introduced himself as a journalism student and asked if he could take a photo.
"What university?" the woman asked.
"UQ," the young man replied. "Well then, no," she said and when he went to walk away she said "I'm only messing with you. Sure you can take a photo. I teach journalism at QUT."
So the photo session happened and the very professional young man asked all the right questions and collected all the contact details. As he was about to go, Crazy Lady asked if he could send her a link when the visual project was complete. He explained that he was not planning on putting it anywhere online just to submit it for marking. Wrong answer, Crazy Lady told him before ordering him to sit down next to her and delivering a lecture. "You've got to market yourself. You've got to build your brand and that means building a online profile. Potential employers will search you and they will want to see what you have published and what you can do. You've taken photos, put them on a blog for the world to see. Waste no opportunity." The polite young man said he had been thinking of starting a blog but didn't really know what sort of writing he wanted to do in the future. "Here's a perfect opportunity to experiment and find out," Crazy Lady said before she and the dog in the jeans took their leave. For the record, Parks Alive should have made an excellent visual journalism project. There was so much going on, all of it free. A person who wasn't lecturing random strangers may have tried her hand at making a scarecrow or a kite or finding out how to grow ginger.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22. Day 234. Going parking

So it's not actually Spring for another couple of weeks.
Try telling that to anyone who ventured outside today. Spring has sprung no matter what the date on the calendar says.
Such discussions generally make me think of that authoritative source Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the rather epic quote “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
Think about that too long and your head will explode.
Anyway, at a time I would consider appropriate for lunch on a day in winter that felt like Spring, I decided today's outing would be to Roma Street Parklands for the Parks Alive celebrations.
Good call Susan, no matter what time or season it was.
The park was abuzz with families enjoying the free entertainment, workshops, tours, roving performers and of course the free games and activities for the kids.
It is such a beautiful setting only a very, very short stroll from City Hall and the CBD. Even if there is nothing official going on there's never a shortage of things to do and people to see.
I made a pact with myself today - return more often. Don't wait for Spring ....

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21. Day 233. Head above water

 Wonderful creatures, humans. Except when they are not. Today I witnessed both. After a week when keeping afloat has been a trifle difficult, today was panning out to be a "going down for the third time" sort of day. But it didn't happen and it didn't happen because friends rescued me. Two work colleagues volunteered to cover tutes to allow me to deal with "stuff".  The space, time and I confess a nap made all the difference. I love them for it. And then rested, it was off for an afternoon walk to South Bank. Here I saw the other side. A group decided to feed a whole loaf of bread to the critters (despite all the warnings of how human food is not in the best interest of wildlife). When the birdlife didn't seem that interested they thought it would be really fun to just see if they could hit the ducks with the bread. First roll up the bread in a small hard ball then hurl it directly at a duck. That is just the lesson they should be teaching the cute little girl in the group. If you are bored, just go throw things at small defenseless creatures. And we think we are a higher order species.