Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23. Day 23. One for sorrow

 When I was in high school a girl in my class ended up in hospital with a broken leg because of a magpie. Technically it was the car that broke her leg not the bird but she was so traumatized trying to escape a swooping magpie that she walked into the path of the car.  This may be why since the 16th century magpies have been considered a bad omen. One for sorrow, the rhyme starts. So if I was superstitious I would say this explains why I have been feeling like I have been engulfed by a great big ball of sadness today given that the total number of magpies I encountered was one. But let's be honest. I have been feeling like crap all day and I only saw the magpie late this afternoon.  But that's the thing about superstitions. They are not rational. If you are a believer you can make the facts fit. The FACTS are the magpie did me no harm unless you count eating stale rice crackers from my mum's back deck. It may even have done me a favour given the age of some of the food in my mother's pantry. I can't find any proper explanation for the black dog feeling but it has nothing to do with a black bird, of that I'm pretty certain.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January 22. Day 22. In a spin

I'm too old for this. Someone of my age and (im)maturity should know better. And yet I woke up with that spinning head, dry mouth, queasy stomach feeling that says last night I got up to no good. Actually last night was great. This morning, not so much. It's true, I've felt a lot, lot worse in days gone by but not recently. It was tempting to hide all day but I decided I needed to try and push through, at least a bit. And my friend Tiania refused to let me get away with that. She lured me out of the house to the University of Queensland lakes for a picnic. It was a beautiful peaceful Sunday thing to do on a day much milder than in recent weeks.  And if the happy giggles of a three-year-old don't make you feel better nothing will. I'm not sure watching her and her dad playing swinging games is exactly what my body needed but still the smiles were infectious. And my dogs always love Molly's company because she insists on feeding them. So we'll call that a win. We agreed on future picnics. I made a deal with myself to behave the night before.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 21. Day 21. For crying out loud

In aviation it's English.  In judo it's Japanese. Tennis relies on French. Esperanto never really took off but I contend there is already an international language.
If you read tone and body language, words are not really necessary.
I mean, who hasn't watched a couple in a car next to you and just known there's a full blown barney going on even if you can't hear  word (if normal people don't do this, you will have to take my word that it is true. I do like to indulge in a bit of people watching). And in the botanic gardens with the dogs this morning I knew exactly which birds were whinging at their mums for food, which were calling for their young and which were saying "back off."
You just know. The problem is not what's being said. It's more who's actually listening.

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20. Day 20. Bucket loads of fun

Smart ways to deal with the Brisbane heatwave: Air conditioning, a swimming pool, cool beverages, ice baths.
Dumb ways to deal with the Brisbane heatwave: Putting a bucket designed for fried chicken on your head, sitting beside giant exploding open flames, packing into a sell out stadium.
All of which means there are about 35,000 dumb people in Brisbane today and my family are included (although we stopped short of the fried chicken buckets).
The thing is a Twenty20 cricket match is a bucket load of fun. It's fast and furious and about as far removed from the gentleman's game as can be imagined. I like Test Match cricket but I do understand it's not everyone's cup of tea. My guess is it is not even a beverage of choice for a great number of those in the ground tonight. This version of cricket is like the game on steroids for those with ADHD. There was loud music, fireworks, dancing, kissing, bongo drum playing and a huge party atmosphere. Oh yeah and there were actually cricketers out on the pitch smashing just short of 400 runs in 40 overs. That's good entertainment in anyone's money. But here's the thing. There are some conventions of the gentleman's game I wouldn't mind seeing applied here. For instance: the bucket on your head might get you on TV but take it off during play so people behind you who want to watch the game can do so
 Also, protocol has it that you don't move from your seat during an over. A little more of that wouldn't be bad. I love the party but it's the contest between bat and ball that actually brings me to the stadium. With just a little planning everyone can have both. Still it was a great spectacle even if the home team lost.
 We all walked away happy we went and relieved no-one in our party felt the need to wear a chicken bucket.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 19. Day 19. Nocturnal activities

There are things that go bump in the night around here. Actually it's not just bump but also thump and bang and a whole pile of sound effects reminiscent of the 1966 Batman series with Adam West. Possums may be small but they are extremely noisy determined little things and they drive my dogs crazy. They employ the same tactic as the cat next door. Sit just out of reach and watch the chaos you cause. The problem is separating the barking dogs and the sheltering possums involves dragging the dogs indoors and locking all doors and windows near the deck. So face charges for noise nuisance or die of heat exhaustion in a sweltering airless hot box. And all because of a small and kind-of-cute native animal. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a one-off.  But it's like the back deck is a diner on Route 66. All the possum traffic from the street to the gully behind the house stop here for a bit of a pit stop. The dogs, like attentive wait staff, linger around the table. But no-one's getting a tip here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18. Day 18. Going under

 I had a very important date today.
It was a date I would have put off appointments with the Pope, the Prime Minister or the Premier.
I certainly would have had zero issue telling the President Elect where to go.
The air conditioning repair man was coming.
There has been a perfect sh*t storm of imbalance in supply and demand for air conditioning mechanics.
 In January just about everyone goes on holidays which equals low supply of tradespeople.
 In January it is stinking hot and people tend to be at home needing air conditioning which equals high demand.
 So you book in and swelter until your number comes up.
I've been ticking off the days as you do when some really, really big life event is about to happen.
And now I feel like a bride abandoned at the alter. He came. He left. The air conditioning is still not working.
He delivered the bad news that it is dead, buried and cremated (as I think some politician said which is why it makes no sense. Even if you wanted to, how could you cremate something that's already been buried?)
So now we wait - first for a quote for the replacement and then for the replacement itself.
If you want to find me any time between now and when the heatwave breaks, I will be in the pool or the air conditioned car or bedroom.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 17. Day 17. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil

 When it comes to an ability to ruffle a few feathers, no-one has the skills quite like our nearest and dearest. Sometimes the intent of using the power is good, even if the person on the receiving end fails to see that. But there are times when the button pushing power is delivered with the clear and deliberate intention to upset the apple cart. I would say it's human nature except I'm not sure that's true. Sure humans do it but are they alone? I watched the birds at the University of Queensland lakes today. They would be sitting there all buddy, buddy and then for no particular apparent reason one would lean across and not so gently nudge another. My dogs do it too. Most of the day they'll lie side by side content in each other's company until one - normally Winkle - will get up and jump on Rumple or steal one of his favourite toys and parade it in front of him or sit in his spot. Sure it might mean nothing but it's the sort of thing we used to do to each other as kids just for impact. There is a flip side to this coin, however. Siblings may say the meanest things to each other but watch them jump to the defence of their own should someone else say the same sort of thing. Because even if we want to kill them some of the time we love them to death. It's just one of life's great big ironies.