Sunday, March 31, 2013

March in review

March 31. Day 90. Nectar of the Gods

There is something very special about Easter. Even those with who don't celebrate Easter as a religious festival, can't help but love a time of year where the traditions all seem to involve chocolate.
This morning Mr O ate chocolate for breakfast. In bed. As he has done every Easter.
Okay, I admit I'm not always as good at setting boundaries as I should  but even I won't allow the C Word at breakfast time, not even Coco Pops which I am sure have all the nutritional value of fairy floss.
But sometimes rules are made to be broken and once a year, well that can't hurt anyone can it????
I, however, held off and had my normal bowl containing a sensible amount of sensible cereal.
While all those around me - including this noisy miner on the tree out the front of my house - were sucking back the sweet stuff like it was going out of fashion, I refrained.
I could say that I have learned to act my age. That would be a lie. I will be 48 tomorrow. Forty-eight.
That is sooo old. But do you know what the worst of it is and the real reason I held out until 4pm for my first bite of Cherry Ripe? I have a big fat pimple on my chin.
Seriously, what kind of hormonal joke is the universe playing? If it wanted to let me know I should be a little more careful about what I eat, a Post-it Note on the fridge would  do it.
Anyway, it's not fair. The noisy miner consumes nectar all day and has circles around its eyes but still manages to look delightful hanging from the tree. I eat anything bad and it's on my thighs (or chin as it now turns out) and the panda eye effect is far from fetching, I tell you.
Still, I can't let one small (okay huge) zit spoil everything. No point being silly about it.
Dinner will be a family affair at one of those specialist chocolate restaurants. Chocolate fondue. Liquid pleasure. Suck it up sister. You don't have to start acting your age yet. Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30. Day 89. Music to my ears

Give people a uniform and so often they seems to think that gives them permission to act like complete arseholes. I'm not talking here about police, ambos or firies. It's more the bouncers, security guards and traffic control people who take a bit of authority and turn it into a power trip.
Of course there are exceptions that make and break every rule and I have to say the security people are South Bank have got the firm but fair thing perfectly sorted.
Twice in the past couple of weeks I've seen the security personnel in action. The first time, a schoolgirl was busking without a permit near the river. The guards politely walked up to her mum as the little one played violin and told her the rules. they directed her to the office where the permits are issues.
A second instance happened today. Members of the hip hop dance troupe Empire were rehearsing at the piazza in preparation for next week's Hip Hop Street Dance Championships at the Clem Jones Centre in Brisbane. The parklands were packed with families enjoying the Easter Saturday sunshine and a large crowd had gathered to watch.
Then the security guards appeared. Again politely they told the group they had no problem  with them rehearsing or with their music but the power cord snaking its way across the concrete piazza was a serious health and safety risk especially with all the small children running around and would have to go. 
They suggested that if the group wanted to use the space on an ongoing basis they should talk to the managing authority to get a safer access to power.
Firm but fair. 
It could have been ugly. It wasn't. A break was called and I'm not sure what the dancers did next but I did notice that as he walked away Manuel Grundy was still doing backflips. He may not have been head over heals with the situation but he was doing a great job of hiding it.

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29. Day 88. Photography for dummies

As I boarded the shuttle bus from the Redcliffe Showgrounds to the Festival of the Sails at Suttons Beach, a woman commented on the impressive camera around my neck.
She told me she had a PhD is camera use where PhD stood for Push Here Dummy. Appearances, I assured her, could be deceptive. The camera was impressive. The photographer was not. Almost all the time I use the Push Here Dummy automatic method. Yes, there are manual settings but that would require reading the manual.
Today, as it turned out, I didn't even get to push the f***ing button because doing so would have required taking the memory card out of the computer and putting it back in the camera. That didn't actually happen so the only button I got to push was on my iPhone.
But given it was a beautiful day, there was nothing to lose. Kite flying, beach cricket, sand sculpting, swimming, rock climbing and fresh sea air, it would have been churlish not to do what all the other families at Redcliffe were doing and just enjoy the day.
So I persevered and did the best I could with what I had. While I don't have a PhD, I do have a Research Masters and in the first semester we joined with the PhD students in a one research methods seminar. I remember just one take home message from that semester-long torture. The first presenter opened with this thought: "Really stupid people get Masters and PhD degrees. The difference between those who graduate and those who don't is not how smart they are but how prepared they are to persevere, to stick with it". So I could have come home with nothing but I stuck with it. Sponge Bob Sand Pants by sand sculptor Dennis Massoud may not be the best photo I've ever taken but it's better than nothing and that's exactly what I would have achieved if I'd taken my bat and ball and gone home. So today I award myself the Photography for Dummies prize. If the lens cap fits...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28. Day 87. The pillow fight

I swear I walked in on an American teen movie today.
It was celebrate-the-end-of-the-school-term sleepover night at my niece Scarlett's house and I was instructed to bring over a spare mattress.
I could hear the noise well before I got to the front door.
Six teenagers who have just finished the first round of Year 12 exams can make A LOT of noise. Music was blaring and when I walked in the girls were all collapsed on the bed screaming and laughing. Then the selfies, the  pillow fighting and hair doing began - all straight out of Textbook Teen Movie.
I suspect there won't be much sleep happening tonight which again leaves me to question why the activity ever got the name sleepover, probably because Over doesn't sound like much of an activity.
Anyway, the girls deserved it. Year 12 is ridiculously stressful. Might as well throw a few pillows to let off some steam.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27. Day 86. Hanging on

I'm not actually a hoarder but I do have a problem with letting go. Whether it's clothes that might fit again some time, people who used to be best, best friends but now I have little in common with or Tupperware containers whose lids somehow disappeared into the great overpriced plastic black hole, I like to hang on to things just in case.
In part it's laziness, in part it's nostalgia, in part it's because I like things to be the way they are. There is comfort in the familiar - like old shoes something I also have a problem with getting rid of.
Two things had me thinking about hanging on for grim death today. The first was this drop of water on a Cows Udder I photographed Roma Street Parkland today. (I bet you think I either made that name up or read it on a sign in the parkland. Not so. There was no sign so I asked one of the volunteer guide who also told me it was a relative of the egg plant).
Anyway, the droplet really looked like it was defying gravity by staying on the fruit. Then just around the corner at King George Square three abseilers were hanging off the side of the City Hall Clock Tower. Nice. It would appear others don't have such a problem with hanging on.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26. Day 85. Getting in early

Body fluids. Snot. Vomit. Wee. Poo. Toe Jam. Belly Button Fluff.
There is no shortage of it in children's entertainment.
Yep bums, nostrils and ear wax are hilarious. Totally hilarious - but there is more to life.
As I see it, there are two types of kids entertainment. There's the type where, as an adult, you endure the performance but love watching the joy on your youngster's face.
Then there's the entertainment where you actually getting your money's worth in your own right. Surprisingly I've seen body-fluid-inspired entertainment of both types.

But one of the great things about  your kids growing up is that there are more and more things you can enjoy together and less and less times when the idea of having to point your fingers and do the twist one more time makes you want to have a little lie down after consuming a medicinal drink. The number of body fluid jokes also trails off a little until you get to comedy festivals and then they are back with a vengeance.
Twelve years of reviewing family entertainment means I've seen it all - the good, the bad and the snotty. Kids entertainment is now big business. Where there are $$$$ to be made there is no shortage of dubious operators ready to cash in on parents willing to invest big bucks to expose their kids to a full range of entertainment opportunities.
And there are the professional, really professional outfits.
Today it was a pleasure to be the audience of a Queensland Symphony Orchestra's Kiddie Cushion Concert. It's been a long time, but the thrill of seeing and hearing the orchestra so close up in such an intimate space is such a delight.
What I especially love is that there are the Kiddie Classics such as Bananas in Pyjamas and Do You Put Your Hat on Your Foot but they are performed alongside music from Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker Suite. A guest performance by a ballerina sealed the deal.
The kids seemed happy to dance and clap along to the full range of the orchestra's offerings. They also got to meet the different sections of the orchestra and hear the story of Peter Rabbit with an orchestral accompaniment.
And an hour later they were out the door and home in time for a nap (Perhaps that was just me).
I'm pretty sure everyone felt they got their money's worth with not a single fart or bum joke. Quality.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25. Day 84. Appearances can be deceptive

Quick someone. Send someone around to inspect my house and present me with a domestic goddess award. With any luck the amazing level of cleanliness won't last. It's not that I don't like a clean house. I like nothing more. It's just, well, I don't like cleaning and given we don't have a cleaner that presents a problem. The males who inhabit the same living space really couldn't care if it was clean or not hence the plaque in my kitchen that reads "Doing housework is like stringing beads without a know in the end". The destruction causes by Cyclone Oliver as he tears through the house in the afternoon after school is enough to make any sane individual turn off the vacuum cleaner and have a little sit down.
But there is one exception and that's why I today award myself a domestic goddess award even if you won't.
When I'm stressed I clean like a woman possessed. And with mounting piles of marking and a lot to get through before the Easter break there was a whole lot of "purposeful" cleaning happening today.
It's like things will be more in control if things look like they are in control. Which just goes to show appearances can be deceptive. Like this scene at the Lakes at the University of Queensland this afternoon. How peaceful and serene it looks. Except it was anything but.  It was witching hour and the noise was extraordinary. The feeding frenzy was on and everyone within kilometres would have known about it. These guys were showing the same level of purpose that I applied to cleaning. I suspect the results will last about as long. By tomorrow morning it will be like it never happened. Sigh

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24. Day 83. Some things never change

I had reason to be back within the gates of my old Alma Mater today and might I say how things have changed.
My presence was not on any school-related business but as a paying member in the audience of a show in which Theatre Boy was performing.
Letting boys through the school gates - that's change number one. Wouldn't have happened in my day.
But we parked the car in the underground carpark (new) and walked by the purpose built water polo pool (new) to the fully outfitted theatre (also new) it became clear that the fees my parents and those in the years since had paid had been put to good use. Schools these days have such impressive facilities. It blows your mind what is on offer to the kids of today.
But some things never change and here I mean pigeons. The school yard was filled with these flying rats.
Pigeons are either the smartest or the laziest animals alive - possibly both.
Personally I think they have it sorted. Why on earth would you hunt or even gather if you can just find yourself a nice town square or school playground and wait for the humans to arrive?
I'm thinking the pigeon diet would have improved just a bit since my day when it was all Vegemite sandwiches which had been sitting on a hot port rack in the sun all day. It's all sushi, wraps and hummus these days.
No wonder the pigeons were looking just a bit pleased with themselves. And paying guests on a Sunday when the pickings are normally thin on the ground. Bonus. Nice work if you can get it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23. Day 82. Such a pushover

Almost without fail whenever I am at South Bank someone is taking a fall. When there's a large body of water around there's an almost irresistible urge to climb on someone's shoulders and make yourself a target. "Look at me. Look at me! You know you want to give me a shove." Today was no exception. What fun these young men were having.
On dry land being a pushover is not always such fun. I know this because I'm just a girl who can't say no. Actually that's not true. Just ask my husband. I say no all the time. (Naturally I am referring to requests for extra pocket money. If you were thinking of something else, shame on you. Get your mind out of the gutter). Now as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself. I find it hard to say no. Sure I'd like to coordinate that subject, be on that committee, supervise that student.
The thing is that I believe strongly in Karma. What goes around comes around. Do the right thing by others and they will do the right thing by you. There are some people who will always disappoint you. Most don't. And when push comes to shove, as it did at South Bank today, I'd rather be a a bit of an easy target than a constant obstruction. But please don't tell my husband.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22. Day 81. That's quite a performance

At the Tony Awards in 2012 the totally fabulous Neil Patrick Harris posed the question (in song of course) Why Can't Life be More Like the Theatre? Well let me tell you Mr Harris, when you live with a teenager who has awards for both acting and debating, there is a surreal performance-like quality to day-to-day life and it's not always for the better.
Yes, everything's a drama around here.
So I felt totally at home at the launch of the Everywhere Theatre Festival today. This is a great festival which in May will take performances out of traditional theatre spaces and land them anywhere from a shopping mall to a train. So fittingly the launch was at the EcoScience Precinct at Dutton Park. While the employees went about their daily business, a man, naked from the waist up, hid behind a towel in a glass stairwell and cried into his tissues. In a science lab, a barrister singing James Bond theme songs stripped out of his robes to reveal a dress and then set about fixing his hair and make-up. Move outside and in the courtyard garden segments of Bard Wars V: The Empire Stiketh Back a Shakespeare meets Star Wars mash up were being performed.
Just like home really. Just last week Romeo and Juliet was being rehearsed as a Facebook conversation through the eyes of the slighted Rosaline. And in Year 5, there was the yet to be discovered play Larry Rotter and the Order of Weetbix performed for classmates.
But the real drama today was the soap opera being played out by email. At some point the 14-year-old girls emailing my son will learn that the email address they have is the shared family one.
OMG their correspondence is, like, totally eye opening. And in case you think I'm spying, The Boy knows I see the emails first and doesn't care. I think he sees the theatre in it. Yes Neil Patrick Harris, life is like the theatre. Now excuse me I need to contact my understudy. I don't feel like performing on Monday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21. Day 80. Something's brewing

I made an excellent find today. Truely excellent. The type of find that takes you back to a different time and a different place. Quite bizarely I made this find in a tea shop at South Bank.
There among the fancy pants tea pots and smelly brews was a sealed bag of Turkish orange tea.
The last time I had Turkish orange tea was in April 1990 in Istambul. Apple tea I've had many a time since in just about every Turkish restaurant I've visited (and there have been many). But orange tea was, I thought, a distant memory.
On that trip of a lifetime to Turkey we drank a lot of orange tea. (We also drank a lot of Raki, an anaseed-based rocket fuel which led to many an adventure including finding myself on an Australian naval ship in Istambul harbour at 3am drinking in the NCO's mess but I digress).
Everywhere you went in the Grand Bazaar the stall keepers tried to lure you into their treasure trove with the promise of apple or orange tea.
The apple brew was good. The orange one, excellent. As I recall it was extraordinarily sweet tasting rather like OrangTang only hot.
It was a sport, like bartering over the price. I'll give you tea. You'll at least check out my carpet, my leather jackets or my Turkish pants.
The stall keepers also saw white women as a bit of a sport. There were never any change rooms so they would promise to leave and invite you to change down the back. They would leave - but only for as long as it took to go and find their mates so they could all look.
Try on a jacket and they would insist on adjusting it to ensure it was sitting properly. Inevitably that meant putting their hand into the jacket in the breast area. Yeah, yeah whatever.
Looking back it sounds incredibly tasteless and pervy but at the time it was all part of being in a strange place and breathing in the strange culture.
It was as unfamiliar and interesting as the wailing sounds from the mosques. Now I'm sure I would react differently but on the other hand it is most unlikely anyone would want to look at my thighs now.
But there's no harm in nostalgia is there? Just let me but the kettle on. I want to breathe in the sweet smell of hot orange.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20. Day 79. Shattered

Whoever said time flies when you're having fun got it wrong. Well partly.
Double blind scientific tests would prove that a 60 minute massage does not take the same amount of time as a one-hour staff meeting. I'm thinking of putting in the grant application for the research right now. Remove all time keeping devices and get people to estimate how long they sat in a meeting or had a full body massage. The proof is right there. Time is relative.
But as I was saying before my mind was lured off to dreaming about massages, time doesn't fly when you are having fun. Time flies when you are getting old.
Remember how long a school day was, looking at the second hand on the clock crawl? Remember those six week school holidays which seemed like forever.
But now there aren't enough hours in the day and somehow we've got to March 20. How did that happen?
I can assure you this lack of awareness of where the first quarter of the year has disappeared to is not tied to having a rip snorting good time. The Year of the Snake is proving to be a vicious little viper full of venom. I feel shattered most of the time.
I suppose it's not so much that there's not enough hours in the day, it's that I don't spend enough of them sleeping. And I'm a bit of a princess crossed with a bear with a sore head when I'm tired. You've been warned. Stand clear.
Anyway, I promise it was not me who took out my frustrations on this large glass panel at State High. But I like it and I know how it feels - shattered but holding it together.
Perhaps I just need a nice long massage.
As my family is fond of saying when I'm blocking the TV "You may be a pain but you're not made of glass". Take your time to digest that one.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19. Day 78. He's begging for it

From the time he was a little boy, my darling child worked out how to get what he wanted from me.
1) Rule one. Never ask me for anything when I'm hungry. When I'm hungry I'm grumpy and immune to the power of suggestion. No point begging. You can not reason with a hungry mother.
So we'd be at the shops and The Boy would suggest we might stop for lunch. Then when the contented well-fed haze set in he could move in and apply
2) Rule two. The puppy dog eyes. I can not resist those sad, droopy, teary, begging eyes. I know I'm being manipulated but I can not help myself. I melt. The battle is lost.
Today RSPCA Queensland hosted the World's Biggest Beg, aiming to set a record for the most dogs begging at once and to promote the Million Paws Walk fundraiser.
Human Libby Morgan brought along three -year-old English Bulldog Buddah along but quite frankly Buddah couldn't be bothered to beg on cue.
But he didn't need to. How could you resist those eyes?
The cute little rolls of fat and that tongue roll sealed the deal. Impossible not to start talking in that cutesy high pitched, sing song voice reserved for small children and four legged balls of fur.
I think I may have missed the point of who was supposed to beg but I'm okay with that. Buddah let me pat him and take his photo. I think we were both happy with that deal.


Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18. Day 77. The Juggle

Some days the juggle of being a working mother totally sucks. I call those days Mondays.
Don't get me wrong. I love being a mother and I have no problem working but together they combine to form a deadly cocktail that can leave a girl feeling about as in control of what's going on as she would had she spent a few hours at the bar downing Black Russians.
Too many balls in the air, not enough hands. You know the businesses.
So I kind of feel for Gerald. The barman was practicing his best Tom Cruise Cocktail moves by the river at South Bank today. A couple of bottles. A couple of shakers and all the turns and moves you would hope for in a cocktail master. From a distance I thought it was a circus performer or busker rehearsing but it was only when I got closer that I realised it was a master barman at work.
Unfortunately for Gerald, today he was having to contend with one thing he never gets in a bar - a strong cross wind. Things were getting out of control so in the end he decided to pack up his bottles and go home. Practice session over.
That's the thing about keeping all the balls or bottles in the air. You need all the environmental factors on your side or can all go horribly wrong. And if something's going to smash it always seems to be the expensive liquor and never the pineapple juice. It's enough to drive a girl to drink.
But these days, the closest I come to a Black Russian on school nights is a steaming pot of Really Russian Caravan, a black tea blend from one of those trendy specialty tea shops.
I need all my wits about me if I am to face the second worst thing about being a working mother. I call that thing Tuesday.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17. Day 76. Sun sets on another weekend

I don't know if it is the Catholic school girl, or the mother or the Goody-Two-Shoes in me but I follow rules. I am the type of person you will wait patiently for red lights to change at 3am even though there is clearly nothing coming. Red means stop. No point arguing about that.
So it was that I stood obediently behind the barrier on the Eleanor Schonnel Bridge as the sun was setting thinking how much better the angle would be if I jumped the concrete and stood in the middle of the road. But I didn't.
Then a man came up walking two adorable puppies so I had to chat. He told me I was the second person he'd seen taking snaps that afternoon.
As if to tempt me he added: "the other bloke jumped the barrier and stood in the middle of the road." And then he walked off.
It was almost like he's given me permission or at least put the challenge out there.
But Jiminy Cricket was sitting there on my shoulder reminding me to be brave and true. (I've always thought it a little unfair that the Blue Fairy never appears to reward my good behaviour but the voice of my conscience screams at me all the time). So I got my perfectly nice if not great photo from behind the barrier and walked home.
But ... there is a bit of rebel there after all. Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have taken this photo of Josh Thomas at the Brisbane Comedy Festival tonight. But I did. Just call me James Dean.
Given that much of the show was about things Josh shouldn't have done in Bangkok, I refuse to feel bad. Besides if Jiminy appeared I obviously didn't hear him for the laughing. Sometimes rules are there to be broken.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 16. Day 75. Finding balance

If I had to list the three things that help me maintain any sort of balance they would be
1) Sleep
2) The Theatre and
3) Exercise
In no particular order (although it is probably not coincidental that sleep is first among "equals" on this list and Snoozen has been my nickname since I was a little girl and it also my Twitter handle).
This afternoon I scarified the Saturday afternoon nap for a trip to La Boite Theatre to see Holding the Man a totally compelling and confronting piece. For more than two hours you are immersed in another world and you can't worry about your own. Excellent.
This also meant that the normal exercise routine was thrown out and it was 5.30 before the camera and I were out on the streets.
I stopped at Musgrave Park where a delightful French woman called Joanna was practicing Long Lining or a 75 metre long line suspended more than two metres high between two trees.
When she eventually fell and her Aussie boyfriend Keith took to the wire Joanna talked revealing that during the week she was working on a snail farm at Beerwah to allow her to stay in Australia.
On the weekend, she puts her body on the line, literally.
She told me that 60 metres has previously been her maximum and the longer the line gets the harder it becomes. Keith, I noted, was very good. Yes, she said, but he would be feeling it inside. You can think of nothing else, you have to be completely focused, you have to escape and find your balance.
You get hurt a bit but everyone is very supportive, she said. It's not at all competitive. Everyone just wants to bring out the best, to find their balance.
Dead impressive but I think I'll stick to the theatre for stress release. The only thing that's likely to break is the bank balance.

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15. Day 74. Splashing out

I swear the Ibis at South Bank knew that it was Friday afternoon.
They were pumping and preening, picking clean their own feathers and those of their mates.
Some were showering. Others were drying themselves in the sun.
Like many other "birds" across the city they appeared to be getting ready for a big night on the town.
Not me. My Friday night will be putting on my PJs and crashing on the couch.
This is not an Oh-Poor-Me moment. A quiet Friday night in is just what this little black duck needs after a busy week.
And not only that, I promise I will feel better in the morning than most of the others who do hit the town tonight.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14. Day 73. Close encounters

Today I was sneaking around in the bushes watching a couple mating. No, that doesn't sound dodgy at all, does it? I'm sure I'm not doing my case any favours by admitting that while secreted in the undergrowth I was also taking photos with a long lens.
I was so engrossed I lost my iPhone and only recovered it two hours later thanks to the technology of findmyiphone #BestAppEver.
The fact is, I wasn't the only one engrossed. Frankly I could have had a crow bar and there would have been no separating them. The mating dance went on and on and on. It was a beautiful thing.
Previously I have lamented how hard I find it to photograph butterflies because they flutter by . Not today. This pair was not moving - well they were but not away from each other.
So I blame them, not me. If they didn't want me to look perhaps they should have chosen a spot further into the gully and not right by the path.
As they say "Don't go kissing by the garden gate, love is blind but the neighbours ain't."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13. Day 72. Shocked to the core

I know. I know. He's right. I'm wrong (not about the wearing of white swimming attire that's never right).
I'm referring to core exercises. I know all the reasons I should exercise my core muscles and yet I don't. Frankly I would refer to the strength of my core muscles as shocking but I suspect it's worse than that. I don't do core exercises because I am crap at them, really crap at them. So the reason I should do them is exactly the reason I don't. Life's so like that constantly attracted to the things that are bad for us while running away from the things that are good.
Anyway, it's not just the muscle strength of this bloke that impresses me. He has an inner strength of a different kind.
There's a special strength that enables a person to strip off to skimpy swimwear just after dawn and shut out the world while you exercises in public by the pool at South Bank.
I congratulate this bloke for that. Not ever, never, would you catch me doing that even if I had the muscles that made it possible.
But I will award myself one gold star and an elephant stamp for at least getting out of bed before dawn and walking to South Bank where this photo was taken. There has to be some intestinal fortitude buried deeply somewhere in that flabby untoned core.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12. Day 71. Never too old

Turning 18 really is a big deal. Old enough to drink. Old enough to vote. But rarely old enough to know better.
I teach a lot of 18-year-olds. In many ways they are so much older and wiser than I was at the same age (which isn't saying a lot because although I thought I knew EVERYTHING I now know I knew every little about the things that matter).
Not today's kids. They have access to so much so early that it is easy to forget that they are really just kids, kids in adult bodies but kids just the same.
Often when I walk through South Bank Parklands in the middle of the day it will be the students and not the kids playing on the swings.
Today it was birthday girl Yesim and her friends from Southbank Institute of TAFE who were getting into the swing of things.
Such youthful exuberance proving that growing older is compulsory but growing up, that's strictly optional and why rush it?

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11. Day 70. Banging and crashing

There's was horrible fog accompanied by groaning, crashing and pounding. Huge chucks were being gouged out.
That was my head felt at 4am. A searing pain behind my left eye radiated out and was accompanied waves of nausea. It was the type of pain that wouldn't have been out of place had I spent last night draining the contents of a well stocked bar. Except I hadn't. Not a single alcoholic beverage crossed by lips which made the same feel so unfair.
I'm not sure if I admire or pity those who say they never take painkillers. What I do know is that I don't understand them. Without the God-given relief afforded by the delicious combination of Ibuprofen and codeine, I'd still be lying in a darkened room whimpering. Now I still have a shadow, I can feel where the pain was but because mothers aren't allowed to get sick I was able to get up and get on with it.
Fresh air and sunshine helped - the noise and dust at the demolition site at QUT not so much. But the destructive scene with its frayed edges reflected my being today perfectly. I only hope that unlike this building I am able to greet tomorrow feeling far more intact.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10. Day 69. Do you see what I see?

If I stay at home I know exactly what I'll see. I'll see the pile of washing waiting to be put away. I'll see the bundle of assignments demanding to be marked and I'll see the huge fight brewing over homework.
Outside the front door the world is far more unpredictable and that's how I like it.
Every day when I step out my elderly neighbour, Margaret, asks where I'm heading. Every day I give her the same answer "Not sure, Margaret. We'll see."
Margaret is rather deaf so it's possible she never hears what I say or she thinks that eventually I'll work it out. She's probably wrong.
The conversations I have with strangers on the way start in the same predictable way. They see the camera and ask where I'm from. They seem confused when I say I live just up the hill. Tourists walk with cameras round their neck not locals, apparently.
So they ask what I plan to take photos of. They tend to look at me like I'm mad when I say I have no idea. But that folks is the joy. Not knowing and being constantly surprised at what's out there is the joy. Today there were the young men skateboarding at QUT near the Goodwill Bridge, the families at play in the pool at South Bank and the people crossing the Queen Victoria Bridge dressed in giant puff suits. I have no idea what that was about and while I was tempted to ask I decided I'd rather not know. Sometimes it's better to make it up as you go along and never let the truth get in the way of a good story.