Thursday, December 12, 2013
Why would I think you would care? Because I suspect no topic is subjected to more closer analysis than what the weather gods are up to.
Today was one of those pre-Christmas days that had me charging between shops, government departments, medical offices, food outlets etc, etc earnestly marking off entries that I had carefully added to the to-do list (naturally, because of the season, it was a list I had checked twice).
Everywhere I went the greeting was the same "what's the weather like outside? or variations on the theme".
I rather suspect had I said "the snow is really closing in now" the person asking the question would not even have raised an eyebrow and just parroted "I know, right".
The thing is that there is something safe, familiar and comforting in conversations about the weather.
No-one can be offended in seasonal small talk. We all have an opinion. Everyone can join in. It's never going to get you into much trouble. It's common ground.
And it must have been nice for the common ground I was walking on to have received a light sprinkling this morning. A bit of a cold shower for everyone rushing around to get things done before Christmas was quite welcome. If only it had the same impact on my credit card now smoking hot from all the love and attention it's been getting of late.....
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Had I not been in work clothes I would have been under this water play feature at South Bank before breakfast.
By the time time I had hiked up Highgate Hill I was - like the water feature - dripping. It was a day where you didn't need the weather forecast to tell you a thunder storm was coming. The personal comfort meter was all the evidence a girl needed - that and the desperate need to crank up the air conditioning in full awareness that the resulting power bill will probably require a second mortgage to pay. Roll on summer, roll on. Or perhaps that should be roll on deodorant, roll on. It was that kind of day.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
It is so satisfying to see another group of students don the cap and gown and parade across the stage of the Queensland Performing Arts Complex. But it is always just a little bit sad to see students you have nurtured go out and make their way in the world.
Today I was reflecting on how the heels grow higher and the skirts shorter with each new group of graduates but the sense of excitement remains the same. And rightly so. Three, four or even five years of hard work and study is well worth celebrating.
And it is such a delight to see the pride (and perhaps the relief) in the faces of the parents cheering on from the auditorium. Their support (and often their $$$$) normally plays a huge role in getting the students to where they were today.
As an academic it is gratifying to know you have played at least a small part in helping some of those students achieve this very significant milestone.
So good luck to you all. You will achieve great things. Please remember to send me an email when you do.
|Bachelor of Media and Communications students Kathy Tong, Luciana Leung, Keziah Reyes and Bokie Chan jump for joy after graduating today.|
Monday, December 9, 2013
I hate to think how much I've spent on bottled water in the past year. There's been water with bubbles, water sourced from sparkling mountain streams, imported water and now even water in fancy pants bottles wrapped in a label designed to look like a famous model's swimwear line.
But you know what? It's all H20.
There are plenty of spots in the world where it has to be bottled or boiled if you don't want to risk life and limb or at the very least totally ruin your holiday. Brisbane, Australia, is not one of those places.
And yet while we may whinge about paying the "outrageous" price per litre for petrol (about $1.50 at the moment) we had over $3 for 600 mls of water without a second thought.
And what's worse, last time I checked water was pretty freely available from the tap. A little organisation might be required to bottle and chill it before leaving the house but it's not actually a big ask.
(Fuel, on the other hand, does not come straight from the tap unless you have a coal seam gas fracking industry gone wrong in your area. Google it, if you don't know what I'm talking about. In any case, we don't and that's a column for another day).
So there I was in Musgrave Park this afternoon with the dog and a $3 bottle of Natural Australian Spring Water when I saw a water bubbler and a procession on Noisy Miners lining up for a drink.
Which one of us has the bird brain? I might have a drink on that.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
So some smarty pants once said you should never work with children or animals. I actually feel very sad for people who believe this but also just a little bit jealous. Let me explain myself. There is something really, really special about the approach both children and animals have to the world. They have a great sense of fun, a real joy for life, a quest to learn new things and boundless energy. Yep, harnessing all that can be challenging but the rewards are worth it. Look at the joy on the faces of both my Fur Friend Rumple and his new buddy Charlotte in the park today. Charlotte is the daughter of a work colleague had she has a joyous free spirit. I popped round to visit Charlotte's family today because her mum had been injured in a car accident.
We all spent an hour or so playing in the park and Charlotte decided to help with Rumple's trick training. It was such a delight watching the two of them. Why wouldn't you want to work with that? I'm sure we all felt far better for having the fun in the sun.Which leads me to why I feel a bit jealous of those who think working with children and animals is a burden to be avoided at all costs. I can only assume that people who find kids and animals "difficult" to work with have only even encountered working adults who are more energetic, more free thinking, more rational and fair minded and kind and reasonable than dogs and kids. Yes, children and animals can be unpredictable and stubborn and selfish and inclined to the odd temper tantrum but I have worked with adults who display the same personality traits even though they should be old enough to know better. More disturbingly their rewards are normally far greater than the odd Schmacko or sweet. Quite frankly, sometimes working with children and animals is a walk in the park.
Susan has my permission to attend your concert at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane tonight
Seriously, I think that the vast majority of the audience at tonight's concert were of an age that they would either have needed their Mum's consent or have been in the presence of a responsible parent or guardian.
That is only one reason I was a surprise starter at the concert.
There's also the fact that until two hours before kick-off my plan for Saturday night had included a mug of green tea and Midsomer Murders on the tele.
Also, there's the small matter that I could not sing a single line of any song by Ms Swift if you paid me.
But my mate Megan had a spare ticket and there's a lot worse things that a girl can do on a Saturday night than hang with one of your nearest and dearest girl buddies.
Besides, I lost my big concert virginity at that same stadium to Simon and Garfunkel on February 15, 1983. And further, I lost my dignity to Robbie Williams again at Suncorp on December 14, 2006.
Also I have seen both One Direction and Justin Beiber perform live (long stories) and eventually my hearing came back so all good really.
It was one of the best concerts I have been to. Ever.
Taylor is an amazing performer. The show was part musical theatre, part light and sound show and quite simply a piece of theatrical magic.
One minute we were in a fair ground, then channeling Madonna when she was a Material Girl and later all Alice in Wonderland.
She was Billy Joel at the piano and dancing like Fred Astaire.
She can sing, dance, play the guitar and drums and boy can that girl work an audience. And let's face it, she looks pretty good in high waisted shorts too.
I'm in awe. I may never fully regain my hearing but I'm in awe.
I think that concert tops Midsomer Murders (if only because I stayed awake to the very end even though it was past my bedtime. Please don't tell my mother).
Friday, December 6, 2013
I'm running out of suitable hiding places, which is surprising in as much as the presents seem to have shrunk in size over the years. No longer do I have to secrete trampolines, cubby houses or puppet theatres.
No, teen presents tend to be much, much smaller in bulk although even more capable of making a giant impression on the bank balance.
The male residents of my house, that is everyone but me, do not like surprises. They are incapable of keeping them and they would prefer the joy of finding the hidey hole than the joy of unwrapping the unexpected on Christmas morning.
I will not give in to this. With the house vacant for several hours today I was able to seek out new places to stow gifts. And then I rewarded self with a walk where I found the reptiles at the University of Queensland lakes were also seemingly looking for somewhere to hide.