Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 22. Day 234. Light and shade

I'm a slow learner but finally I am seeing the light. It has only taken me about 200,000 photos over 965 days (yes I have been counting actually) to realise the true importance of light. Not the obvious things like stand with your back to the sun or that variable light will most likely lead to variable (read ugly) results. Not even that it's harder to take photos in poor light or artificial light or that the harsh midday light is unforgiving. But that the kind of light really makes a difference. South Bank is one of my favourite places to go when I have nothing else and I have learned that the time of day and the kind of weather plays a huge role in the type of photos. Sure the pool is more likely to be empty when it's raining like today but it's not just that. The lighting quality varies and so does the image according to the time of day and the time of year because of the light. All of which has nothing and everything to do with today's photo. Sure it was taken from South Bank (not of South Bank but from South Bank) and sure the highlight is the city lights on a rainy old winter's night. But it's not that. This photo was taken at the intermission of the Last Confession starring David Suchet. And what a beautiful thing that was. Wonderful set, top class performance and a tight captivating script. I'm pretty sure every person in the Lyric Theatre tonight would have noticed and applauded those things. But on top of that the lighting person needed a round of applause. It was a beautiful thing and while it is not often appreciated good lighting like good sound can make or break a production. Yes, finally I have seen the light.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 22. Day 233. A bit of perspective

Too many emails. Not enough hours in the day. How many times have I wished that they would all just go away. But be careful what you wish for. A catastrophic system failure at work killed the email server and several other bits of the university IT system today. What was still operational was tragically, pathetically slow. The fact is, a modern university copes very badly without modern technology. It all makes for a very frustrating and most unproductive day. I could have screamed (in fact I probably did about the time the fire alarm meant walking out on about the only functioning piece of equipment in the place). Telling myself to try and keep it in perspective while trying to sort out an online exam without the online was completely useless. But now, like the Story Bridge from this angle, it doesn't seem quite so big with just a bit of distance. It's all water under the bridge. In any case, without a functioning email system no-one at work could email me either. See there is an upside ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20. Day 232. Turning heads

There are rules we all must follow in a polite, orderly society. Rules my mother taught me. Rules I try to teach my son. We are told to say "please" and thank-you", to not speak with our mouths full and that it's rude to stare. Mothers are, of course, always right but there are exceptions to every rule and thus I today declared that the don't stare rule needs qualification. Some people are just do striking that I actually believe it is rude to not admire and not just in a fleeting, furtive way. On occasions, you do need to take a good hard look. So it was today when I met Jesse. It was Jesse's job to apply the colour to my regrowth, a polite word we all know means grey hair. Immediately I was transported back to the Underground Nightclub in Brisbane in the early '80s, a somewhat strange reaction given that young Jesse would not even have been born then. But that was the era of Boy George and Marilyn where the men wore as much make-up as the women and were often better at applying it. That was the era Guy Liner first came to my attention although I don't remember it being called that at the time. Funnily enough, that was also the era of UB40 a band which Jesse told me was one of his musical inspirations. Modern music, he said, was noise and the saxophone player added most of the music he chose to listen to was by people now dead. Behind an ear was the tattoo of a treble clef which he said represented his love of music and at $30 cost more than any of the other tattoos on his body. All of his family are musical and inspired by that tattoo most now have a musical note behind an ear. The other tattoos were were all done by tattoo artists who are family and friends - the first for his 14th birthday. In New Zealand, where he is from, he explained no-one seems to have the same "problem" with tattoos. He only realised it was an issue when he briefly went to school in Australia. He recalls sitting in a school office with his mum and the principal - a man with little style and a bad comb-over job. The family was told they would need to do something to cover up the tattoo on Jesse's calf because appropriate standards needed to apply when you entered the school gate. The enraged mother replied "and how, exactly, is that haircut appropriate. Mum said she would "do" something about the tattoo - get another one. And so she did, because as I said mothers are always right, just not about the staring thing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19. Day 231. High flyers

You know you have to fight it. No matter how overwhelming the urge is, you can not give in; you have to push through. Nothing totally throws a human body in quite the same way as the jet lag from a long haul flight. Many a wise man has come up with a jet lag solution but today I discovered a group of international exchange students recently arrived  in Brisbane who had one of their own - a competitive game of park Frisbee. It was the middle of the night in California but rather than hit the sack the students decided the best plan was to remove all temptation and hit the park. That should get the blood pumping if nothing else. It was a strategy I was applying in my own way. My body clock was totally whacked from sleepless nights due to coughing followed by hours of day time sleep. Then repeat. Either I needed to beat this or become a shift worker. So at afternoon nap time, I was also in the park with the dog avoiding the call of the pillow. Let's hope it works - for all our sakes.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18. Day 230. Lead by example

It's taken me almost 50 years but I finally worked out what I want to be when I grow up. Actually not what but who. I want to be Peter Pan. I don't want to be a grown up.
I am fully aware that this is the snot talking. This is the cough talking. This is nights of interrupted sleep talking. But sneezy, wheezy, drowsy Susan just wants someone to tuck her up in bed, rub Vicks on her chest, feed her chicken soup, read her a bedtime story and turn off the light. Being an adult and having to make adult decisions can be tough when you are on top of your game but downright tiresome when you just want your mum. Who want to be a grown up? Not this little black duck. Right now I do not feel like being one of life's lollipop ladies. I want others to check the road is clear and hold up the traffic. I just want to skip across the road knowing that it is safe to do so. Of course this will not last. When  the snot and cough and sleepless nights disappear the control freak who doesn't much like being told what to so will surely re-emerge. Until then, anyone want to make me cup of tea? I'll be in bed. It's past my bedtime.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17. Day 229. This place has gone to the dogs

 It was all about the dogs today.
1) There was a beagle sized hole on the bed this morning with The Fed going home with my brother last night after his holiday with us. A beagle, I have to tell you, can take up quite a lot of space on a bed and a beagle pup is a fur covered weapon of mass destruction. I will miss him, I already miss him, but rather appreciate the quiet and order that has returned to the home
2) Margaret got to resume her puppy love with Rumple. The two dogs were too much but it was clear Rumple and Margaret were well overdue for a contact visit.
3) It was RSPCA cupcake day so Rumple and I headed out to the dog park for the big fundraiser. As I remain sick as a dog, I probably should have opted for the canine treats but instead invested in a box of human cupcakes and came home to bed. Neither Rumple nor I felt much like a hydrobath either

August 16. Day 228. A bit of drama

All of fiction's best tragic heroines seemed to fall victim to some form of lung disease.
The consumptive cough, the fevered brow, the vigil of the loved ones at the bedside. That could have been me today - except for the loved ones bit. The dogs hung around but the humans - rather tired of the death rattle - preferred to keep their distance. To tell you the truth I would have run a mile too, but I didn't have the breath to do so. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit quite a lot but the hacking cough is really starting to give me the sh*ts (and those around me too). I know I'm a bit of a drama queen, but frankly being able to breathe is, I believe, a basic human need. Anyway while I might have an award winning cough I prefer to leave the real performance arts to the professionals and tonight I managed to enjoy most of Fame Theatre Company's annual drama recital. Theatre etiquette meant I missed bits because the person with the phone they refuse to turn off is about the only thing that gets up my nose more than the audience member with the annoying cough who stays to put off everyone. But I got to see my baby perform from the Ugly One, about a man who is unspeakably ugly. I may be his mum but clearly this was not type cast. But if they are looking for someone to play Fontine I can do a very credible performance of death by TB. Speak to my people.