Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1. Day 274. Flying high

Holidays are for thrills and spills and doing lots and and lots of nothing.
On paper, today would have looked to many like a "wasted" day but for me it was just about perfect.
The picture perfect morning began by the pool for an interview with ABC Radio Brisbane followed by the walk on the beach with my friends Alison and Megan along with the fur friends Rumple and Roland. The teenagers were just about ready to rise when he returned in time for breakfast by the pool. Swimming, eating, card and board games followed, then lunch, a nap and back to the beach. A strong afternoon breeze had picked up and the kite surfers were achieving amazing heights and speeds. It was captivating to watch and doubtless pure adrenalin to take part in. But these days I am quite happy getting my thrills without a harness.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30. Day 273. The friends that you keep

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company (s)he keeps. If this is so, I must be awesome. The fact is I have awesome friends and this week two of my besties and a couple of their teenage children and a giant Golden Retriever joined Drama Teen, Rumple and I at our beach holiday. This was a stroke of genius for a couple of reasons
1) A four bedroom house is a trifle excessive for a woman, a teenager and a dog
2) Card games and board games are part of a great holiday but need numbers
3) Just because my husband and my mother are overseas and can't join me doesn't mean I can't have drinking buddies
4) A dog should have friends too
5) I love the beach and it's an experience that's even better with friends. As these photos show, it's an arrangement that works for all

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29. Day 272. Feeling blue

I tell you, it's not fair.
Nature has a way of rewarding the evil, the nasty, the cruel and the vicious with the best looks - think tigers, wasps and super models.
Even though blue bottles are micro balls of nasty, I have never thought the maker compensated the stinger with great looks - until today.
The beach was littered with the remains of bluebottles each more captivating beautiful than the last. Even a giant bird of prey couldn't compete for my interest.
For some reason the delightful lyrics of Monty Python's Dull and Ugly sprang to mind:

All things dull and ugly, all creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty, the Lord God made the lot
Each little snake that poisons, each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom, He made their horrid wings
All things sick and cancerous, all evil great and small
All things foul and dangerous, the Lord God made them all
Each nasty little hornet, each beastly little squid
Who made the spiky urchin? Who made the shark? He did
All things scabbed and ulcerous, all pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous, the Lord God made them all

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28. Day 271. Just what the doctor ordered

Time, they say, heals all wounds.
And it may just be time that has finally allowed for a cough-free Sunday.
Or it could be the double dose of antibiotics followed by the steroid puffer but for my money it is the beach and the sea air that is just what the doctor ordered - I have enough of them, I should know.
It is just a shame I can't apply for a Medicare-funded rebate for a beach vacation on the strength of it but still. We arrived for a week at the beach today and I wasn't the only one jumping for joy at the sight of the sand.
The fur friend Rumple started pulling at the lead and barking as we emerged from the path to cross the road to the beach.
As soon as he was off the lead he was off and in the water.
For two hours we walked up the beach. I collected shells, paddled and chatted to other dog owners.
Rumple chased balls and birds and dogs, sniffed bottoms and annoyed fishermen.
He pounced and paddled, he ducked and dived.
He rolled in the sand and in anything he could find that smelled.
It was hard to believe this was the same dog who sat like a sad sack on my lap at the emergency veterinary surgery for hours yesterday, like the sick little puppy he was.
The beach, it would seem, is also just what the vet ordered.

September 27. Day 270. Sick little puppy

There was this one time when I was about to go on holidays when a dog bit me on the bum. I was knocking on a neighbour's door to check they were right to clear the mailbox while we were away when their normally passive dog bit me. I had to detour via the GP's for a tetanus shot. Today I feared another dog might ruin another holiday, but my concern for my sick little puppy far, far outweighed any thoughts of holidays. For two hours he sat on my lap in the waiting room of the after hours vet looking so sad, barely moving, not even reacting to the other dogs around him. Then he lay on the flood of the treatment room while his blood sample was being analysed looking so tragically, pathetically sad. When your child is sick you heart hurts, and Rumple is my baby. I know non-dog people might not understand this, and plenty of people have plenty of good reason to think my relationship with Rumple is a little over the top. But spend a few hours waiting and watching in an emergency vet surgery and you see pet owners at their most vulnerable, The image burned into my mind from today was one of a family, Mum, Dad and two kids probably in their early high school years who arrived, I suspect to say their last goodbyes. They were clutching each other, eyes red and checks wet. The boy was holding a roll of toilet paper, because I box of tissues would not have been sufficient to deal with the flood of tears. They were escorted behind closed doors and I didn't see them again. And this is why the $338 I paid to learn Rumple most likely has a bout of gastro from something he ate was a fine investment in peace of mind. We left with drugs and a special diet and a bucket load of reassurance. Hopefully a holiday at the seaside will do us both good.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26. Day 269. The early bird

Happy blog day to you
Happy blog day to you
Happy blog day dear Susan
Happy blog day to you
One thousand days. Every day. Consecutively.
In the early days when it was fresh and new the business of photographing and writing stuff was fun and then in the middle of the the first year it got old. Very old. But having made a commitment to myself that I would do this blogging thing for a year, I was going to see it through come hell or high water. Then this weird thing happened. By the end of Day 366, I felt like I had unfinished business so I launched into a second year and then a third. And so today was Day 1000. Now it is just something I do, like cleaning my teeth or whinging about marking, it's part of the routine.
It takes time, quite a lot of time, and commitment but today's images explain everything about why I keep doing this.
1) It was taken on a morning walk with the fur friend and school friend. The days when I try to talk myself out of walking, I remind myself that I need a photograph and the contents of my fridge might be a great scientific experiments but good phonographic material they are not
2) Sure marking is creative. Finding new ways of expressing "this is shit"  in a way that passes as constructive criticism requires a great deal of creative genius but it is not always enjoyable. There have to be better ways to exercise your creative genius. Blogging fills that need
3) My photography is so much better than it was at the beginning, especially when it comes to birds. Before this project I'm pretty sure I'd never taken a photo of a bird, at least not intentionally, and not of the feathered type. But now birds are kind of a thing and so it is fitting that Day 1000 is a bird, and a bird who has got the worm, because grub is also a thing with me. I consider this a perfect blog day present.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25. Day 268. Ahoy there



 Me: I'm heading to the Maritime Museum in the morning
Teen: Why?
Me: It's Pirate Week
Teen: Really? What are they pirating?
Face palm moment.
I like to think he was joking. He probably wasn't. Pirating now is less about walking the plank and more about clicking a mouse and downloading something illegally.
But for the little ones, pirates still evoke images of the high seas, parrots on a shoulder and more than a few "ahoy there me hearties"
Quite simply kids love pirates and if you are going to have pirate theme day there could be no better place than a maritime museum. The children, many dressed as pirates, got to crawl all over the ships on display, learn fun facts about the high seas and take part in pirate craft.
A loyal band of volunteers all decked out in their pirate finery led the activities and all seemed to be having as much fun as the children.
And best of all for someone who gets seasick just thinking about the concept of a voyage at sea, all the craft on display were in a dry dock. Now, that's like discovering buried treasure.