Friday, May 31, 2013

May 31. Day 151. Into everything

No-one stole my socks or chewed my boots as I was trying to get dressed this morning. Pulling on my leg-ins this morning was a simple without a set of razor-sharp puppy teeth on the other end of the tights turning getting dressed into a game of tug-of-war. There were no poos to clean up and no attempts to raid the dirty clothes basket for stinky undies. In short this morning would have been a breeze if it wasn't for the puppy sized hole in our house.
Let's face it, dogs are people too and a puppy has a way of working its way into your hearts. A puppy also has a way of getting into EVERYTHING especially anything made for humans not pups, hence the overnight stay at the vet's as reported yesterday.
The good news is that our little man came home this afternoon after a night having his stomach coated and kidneys flushed as a precaution. My guess is the Rumple has learned nothing from the exercise. Hopefully I have. Handbags, especially those containing pain relievers, do not live on the floor. Puppies might not know better. Their mums should.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30. Day 150. The vet

My baby is spending his first night in vet hospital on a drip.
It breaks your heart when you see those nearest and dearest suffering. This is Rumple and I sitting on the floor of the West End vet, my little man still with vomit on his furry chin.
The worst of this is that it was completely avoidable and all my fault.
Rumple had to have induced vomiting and then have his kidneys flushed because I left my handbag on the floor and he was able to help himself to Nurofen Plus. Exactly how much he ate is unknown but best guess from the packet and pieces on the floor probably about one tablet. It could have been far, far worse. It would have been far, far better had it not happened at all.
It will end up being a costly lesson but in instances like this you do what it takes. Like the ad says some things are priceless.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29. Day 149. Reflective

My baby is growing up and today was another step on that road to independence.
It's Year 11 information night where students and their parents gather at the school to learn about subject selection and career pathways for next year. It's the first tangible evidence that senior school is just around the corner, a fact I have chosen to ignore until this point. This little black duck isn't ready to be the mother of a senior school student just yet.
Mind you I was reflecting on something else when I was staring into the duck pond at South Bank this morning taking this photo.
I can't actually tell you what I was thinking about but I can tell you it wasn't the information evening because I didn't yet know it was on.
My baby may be on the verge of starting senior school but he's still no closer to remembering to bring home and deliver school newsletters.
Thank heavens for the combined wonders of the parent network and online newsletters. Without that I would be a duck out of water.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28. Day 148. Puppy training

Why they call it puppy training escapes me. The truth is that it is actually owner training and our first class with the fur ball Rumple was today.
Let's hope we learn more from this series of puppy training than we did the first time round 16 years ago.
You see, we are puppy training veterans. Been there. Done that. Got the certificate. Oscar, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, apparently passed puppy training. I think he bribed the trainer. I can't recall that he we learned anything other than to run the other way and hide from the other dogs.
Lesson one with Rumple tonight started much the same way with the trainer assessing that our little man thinks he is the centre of the universe. I don't believe that's correct. He KNOWS he is the centre of the universe.
But like I said, that's not a puppy problem that's an owner problem. I think the teen summed it up best when he said yesterday "Mum, you're too soft on him".
Yep, and he should know. I think the same parenting rules apply to the human and the canine kids.
I should be tougher but when they look at me with those puppy dogs eyes...well.
Perhaps I should enrol in tough love classes instead.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27. Day 147. Seen the light

It's funny how you don't always notice what is right before your eyes.
After far too many hours staring at a computer screen today, this afternoon I escaped to South Bank.
Most of the local families had packed up and left for the day but quite a few die hard tourists continued to play in the parklands. It was interesting watching them with their phones and cameras out snapping away at things we locals take very much for granted.
With the last of the light gone, I set off home via West End and the grocery shops walking by Stefan's Sky Needle.
The giant reminder of Expo 88 dominates the West End skyline but after a while it's just there.
I probably would have walked straight by had it not been for a tourist who had stopped to take a photo.
A fresh set of eyes alerted me to the fact of just how interesting the dome looks as it fires up for the night.
Finally I've seen the light.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26. Day 146. Catch!

Brisbane came out in force to celebrate everything African at the annual Africa Day Festival organised by the Queensland African Communities Council today.
African food, African music, the traditional clothing of Africa were all being enjoyed equally by those of African origin and those who just enjoy heading out in the sun on a beautiful autumn day to enjoy a multicultural festival.
But while the festival was definitely walking to the beat of the African drum it was clear that for kids some kinds of fun are universal.
Football, fairy floss and face painting seem to translate pretty well no matter what the festival or your ethnic background.
Here's Apollo, aged almost six, and Marcellus, 5, having a ball at the festival.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 25. Day 145. No-one in their right mind ...

No-one in their right mind would do this, laughs Dom.
The head of the Slackline Academy is gently ribbing one of the slackliners going through his paces in Musgrave Park.
It's the peer pressure that keeps people getting back up on the line and giving it a go, he tells me. The support and encouragement plus a little bit of shit thrown in is what motivates people to keep getting better.
Mostly getting your head right is the trick to getting it right on the high wire strung between the trees, he says,
Earlier, up on the line, Dom (pictured doing through his paces) confessed that he needed to relax but couldn't before trying a particularly complicated trick.
"It's a bit hard when you are worried about being decapitated," he laughed. But then he gave it a go anyway.
I asked one of the other slackliners watching on what he was working on.
"Mostly not freaking out," he said. "I can do it on the ground but when I get up on the line I just freak out a bit and go all wobbly and lose it."
But he said he was working on that.
"I just need to practice a bit more," he said. And he did and his mates were there to give him advice, encouragement and a little bit of stick. After all, that's what friends are for, right?

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24. Day 144. The Truth Is?

The Truth Is ... I really have no idea what the industry I am training students for will look like.
Journalism is, according to one of its young stars, undergoing an existential change and where that will end no-one knows.
But as Hamish Macdonald told journalism students at QUT today there are a few truths about the industry.
There is a greater hunger for information than there has ever been in the past but how people want to receive that is changing and the industry has to change to meet that. Falling audiences tell us we can't just keep doing more of the same.
Macdonald doesn't purport to know all the answers but he has developed a new way of telling journalistic stories.
The Truth Is? will premiere on Network 10 next month and if the reaction of the next generation of journalists is anything to go by he has a hit on his hands.
Macdonald today delivered a shot in the arm for any student worrying about the state of the industry they are entering, reminding them that more Australians watch the news and the average news viewer is younger than in other countries.
On top of that, the new journalism students - those who check Twitter and Facebook before turning on the radio, television or picking up the newspaper - will be the ones leading the change and they should seize the day.
And Macdonald's top tip for how to get that elusive journalism job - go overseas. The world is your oyster go grab it. The Truth? I reckon they can handle that truth.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23. Day 143. Gone fishing

Dinner time. Given how much I love to eat and I quite like to cook, it's a mystery why I find the business of dinner to be such a daily grind.
I think it comes down to decision time. I'd love to be one of those people who could plan out a week's meals in advance and shop accordingly. But I can't. How can I possibly know on Saturday what I'll feel like on Thursday?
So I decide every day and that means every day the same question. It's the question asked of mothers almost as much as "why?" and even more than "Are we there yet?"
Yes. It's "What's for dinner?" Perhaps we are all just too spoiled for choice. There are just so many food options.
Life would be so much easier (albeit more boring) if it was the same every day as is the situation for most of the creatures on earth.
This bird at the University of Queensland lakes seemed to have no problem with dinner. Dive under. Get a fish. Eat it. Repeat. Simple.
I might even be convinced to take up fishing if my success rate was anything like his.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 22. Day 142. All types of discipline

What a grey old start to the morning today; the kind of day where is takes all types of discipline to get out of bed.
I was in Year 10 when Brisbane last experienced a May day as cold as this and I am afraid to say that was a long time ago.
It would have been easy to give in to the lure of the doona but apparently humans aren't allowed to hibernate, more's the pity.
So out of the cave and into the big, bad cold world.
The thing is even though it takes discipline, when you do start the day with a little heart-starting exercise it does improve your outlook all day. I can see what the martial arts devotees at South Bank are on about although that is just a little too disciplined for my liking.
Still if that's your thing there would be far worse places to train than by the river with the Goodwill Bridge as your backdrop even on a grey old Brisbane day like today.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21. Day 141. Gold digger

On the weekend Musgrave Park was a hive of activity as huge crowds descended on the area to enjoy the annual Paniyiri Festival.
Today a much smaller but no less determined band was in the park picking up where the festival goers left off.
The crows and ibis were in heaven, the rubbish collectors were kept very busy and in the middle of it all was Maurice with his metal detector and shovel.
A relative new comer to metal detecting, Maurice says it's the thrill of the chase that attracts him to treasure hunting in the park. It's something he's wanted to do for a long time but now with a bit of time on his hands he's joined a club and invested $1000 on equipment.
The problem is, he says, the metal top of a soft drink or beer, will give about the same reading as a gold coin.
But big crowds tend to leave a lot behind and one couple had just left the park $100 richer, says Maurice.
Metal detecting has so far netted Maurice about $200 in coins which still leaves him well short of what the gear cost but he's philosophical.
"It will only take a find of one $3000 gold necklace," he says. "You have to hand big items like that to the police but after 60 days if no-one claims it, it's yours."
That would be gold.

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20. Day 140. Greedy guts

Perhaps it is because it is autumn and the birds are trying to fatten up ahead of winter, but the birds were going off today eating like there will be no tomorrow.
There seemed to be plenty to go around but on my walk I witnessed more than one cat fight between birds each apparently trying to get a better share of the prize blooms.
I love the look of the noisy miner, it's beak still coated with nectar looking for the next flower to gorge on. (I also love the way the angle of the bird and the colour of its bill mimics the petals of the Bird of Paradise. Isn't nature a wonderful thing?)
Frankly, I know how the bird feels. As soon as the weather turns and the mercury drops, the desire to eat comfort food grows. I am sure there is some good survival reason for it, something about building up a layer of fat for when food supplies dry up during the winter.
Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Now where's s sticky date pudding? I'll fight you for it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19. Day 139. Beached

I'm pretty sure it has happened to all of us. You think there is somewhere or something your little one will just adore, a new experience he or she will take to like a duck to water ... and then you realise just how wrong you can be.
That was pretty much the story of Rumple's first trip to the dog beach. In my mind he would charging through the water, ears pinned back creating quite a splash - a bit like Lulu in the first photo.
But it wasn't to be. Rumple took one look at the water and ran the other way. He wasn't even interested in playing his favourite game on fetch on the shore.
So according to the original assessment criteria today was an epic fail. But as this is a piece of self assessment I shall just change the criteria (*note to my students, this is a privilege I extend only to myself. You will be judged by the original set criteria like it or not).
It was an absolutely stunning day. We had a long walk along the beach watching the families with their dogs playing in the water or fishing or just splashing about.
As an added bonus, I also collected a few unusual shells for my shell collection.
While the water wasn't Rumple's cup of tea he did seem to enjoy meeting the other dogs and I was impressed at how well behaved the dogs were and friendly their owners were.
Yep, that's a successful family day out without even getting your feet wet. We'll be back and I'm pretty sure with age Rumple will enjoy actually going in the water. Or not. Whatever. I'll just rewrite the rules.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

May 18. Day 138. Just warming up

Eisteddfods were huge when I was growing up, although I never actually competed in one.
My younger sister Lisa, however, did once compete in a speech and drama section and for years she would tell us about getting a little tongue tied so Honey the Sugar Glider came out as Honey the Sugar Glue. I'm pretty sure she didn't enter the following year.
I actually thought eisteddfods had died out, gone the way of the dinosaur. Try telling that to the thousands of dancers who today were competing in the second of six days of dance group and solo competitions.
The dancers have taken over the performing arts centre at my son's school and I was one of a small army of volunteers brought in to help feed them (for such waif-like creatures they sure can knock back more than their fair share of hot chips).
Although I didn't enter the venue it was great watching the girls (and the occasional boy) warming up, stretching and even carting mountains of costumes to and from the venue.
Never have so many sequins, so much Lycra and so many pairs of false eye lashes been gathered in one place.
I felt so sorry for the Mums who stood by hearts in mouths and watched the girls squirting tomato sauce dangerously close to costumes that looked a million bucks (chances are they also cost a small fortune).
What struck me was:
1) that no matter how serious the competition is, the competitors are still having a great time (as this photo of some of the Dance Force dancers warming up clearly shows) and
2) If you want to wear your furry slippers out in public take up dancing. there were pink fluffy slippers EVERYWHERE
And these girls are just warming up.

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17. Day 137. As good as it gets

It does not get any better than this, it just doesn't. The weather gods got it just right today. Beautiful clear blue, blue skies, warm but not hot sun, clear, clean and a stunning, stunning day.
For city dwellers with time to kill the place to be this morning was South Bank Beach where families were making the most of the day, in the pool, on the sand and  in the aquativity water play area. Why wouldn't you?
The crowd was modest in the morning but grew as the day progressed in recognition of the fact that it's Poet's Day (yep, P*ss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday). Let's  hope the weather gods continue to smile on us.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16. Day 136. That's just showing off

If you've got it flaunt it. That makes so much sense but it is a fine line between selling yourself and being totally up yourself.
There's no arguing this bird has it. What an amazing figure the Anhinga novaehollandiae - The Australian Darter - cut at the University of Queensland lakes this morning. All its undeniable assets were on display for all to see.
Must be nice to have that much confidence. I admire those you can put on such a display without any self consciousness. It's not something I'm good at especially when it comes to those "sell-yourself" moments - promotion documents, job interviews Facebook profiles that sort of thing.
Perhaps I need to learn to spread my wings a bit more. After all, as the mother of a teen there's always a voice to bring me back to earth should it ever appear it's getting out of control.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15. Day 135. Breaking the fast

Someone was hungry and he was not afraid to let mum know about it. In fact, for such a little chick he was making quite a racket at South Bank this morning.
I know how the little one feels. If I haven't had breakfast I am not a person to mess with.
The funny thing is, it wasn't always like that. Just the other day a school friend sent me an email reminding me that as a teenager I would pour the orange juice, freshly squeezed by my mother, into a pot plant as I walked out the door to catch the school bus.
And orange juice was a compromise position. Mum had given up trying to get me to eat food so thought fresh orange juice was better than nothing. Of course Mum didn't know that nothing was exactly what I had for breakfast.
Parenting can be so difficult some times. You can lead a little one to orange juice but you can't actually make her drink. Sorry about that Mum.
Can I just say you were right? It took me a long time but I now know breaking the fast is vital. Now I just have to learn not to break it with such vigour.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14. Day 134. Afternoon delight

Five hundred days in a row. I can be a stubborn little so and so when I want to be.
Many doubted that I would last a year. My family, however, expressed little surprise that when I completed the first project 366 I decided to back up and start again. Truth is I don't know when to stop. Truth is that I am an all or nothing person.
I'd like to think that after taking a photo every day for 500 days my photography has improved. It probably has but then some days I can't come up with anything better than a sunset. That's something else I've learned. Some times you just have to work with what you've got and move on.
I have also learned that walking around with a camera in your hand makes you notice things that pass you by unless you are focused on your surrounds. I like that. I like stopping to talk to strangers and finding out what they are up to. I also like that having a project forces me to find a unique view every day even when it it feels like same sh*t, different day.
So 500 days and more than 100,000 actual photos later, I think the experience has been largely positive even those days when the best I can come up with is a sunset. At least it's an impressive sunset

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13. Day 133. The gloves are off

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and not recognised the person staring back? That first thing in the morning appearance can be terrifying and in my experience is best dealt with by avoiding mirrors until after breakfast.
The word is, much the same principle is behind these water filled gloves I spied hanging from the ceiling of a Korean restaurant in West End at lunch time.
They made quite a fetching decoration but I knew there had to be more to it than that.
The chef, whose English was far better than my Korean, was very patient as he explained the theory behind the gloves.
Apparently they ward off flies. When you consider how many flies a single barbecue can attract, a restaurant with a barbecue at every table would be one hell of a fly magnet.
But the gloves attract the flies and according to the the chef their surfaces reflect. In a way they are like carnival mirrors that distort and magnify so the fly finds itself staring at great, big terrifying fly eyes and the only reasonable choice is to buzz off. Well that's the theory.
I have no idea if this works any better than the milk containers filled with water which were supposed to stop dogs from pooping on your lawn. They didn't work and even if they had they looked worse than the poo they were supposed to stop. In this case whether they work or not the gloves still looked great. Quite handy really.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12. Day 132. I can see a rainbow

A rainbow appeared in the sky on this mother's day morning. The span went from horizon to horizon (although my lens wasn't wide enough to capture its true glory).  You can never capture the true beauty of a rainbow on film. You have to be there. That's what makes it special.
Anyway I saw the rainbow as kind of a metaphor for the whole mothering thing.
There will be clouds and there will be rain but there's also something very, very special about being a mother.
Yes there have been stormy moments but the bright colourful moments make it all worthwhile.
So I want to thank my mum and I want to thank my son for lighting up the sky, for expanding my horizons, for being there on the dark days.
And I continue to hope that my boy will deliver the pot of gold his mum deserves (no pressure or anything)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11. Day 131. The Amazing Race

When I met them the only place they were running to was the toilet.
But with that over the plan was to get to the Lolly Shop to mark off the next goal in the Amazing Race.
This is the Rock Star team. Out there somewhere are Doctors and Nurses, Steve Irwins, a Bridal Party Super Heroes and more all competing for race glory.
A friend set up the challenge and by the time I ran into the Rock Stars they had already marked off catching a bus, busking for money, eating Milo and more on their challenge list.
After a wee break, they were off to find the South Bank lolly shop.
That's a pretty good use of a rainy Saturday afternoon if you ask me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10. Day 130. Follow the leader

If you ever want proof that children learn through imitation just renovate. Those were the words of my neighbour Mike who with son Mitch was out sanding the fence this afternoon. I'll have to take his word for it because renovating is something I will NEVER take on and not at all coincidentally it was not something my parents did either.
But I know Mike's right. How often do we hear our own words come back at us through the mouths of our children - the good the bad and the ugly.
With all the talk about sports stars and pop stars being role models for kids it is really important to remember one thing. There is no bigger role model than you. It's hard to live up to some times but it is important to never give up trying.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9. Day 129. Caught in the act

This wasn't going to be today's photo. I'd chosen something else. Edited it. Uploaded it and written a post.  I was just about to hit publish when I realised it was unnaturally quiet, the kind of quiet that tells a parent that a little one MUST be up to no good. So I went to investigate and there it was. Caught red handed (or brown pawed as it happens).
Would you look at those big, brown innocent eyes? What? Me? No....
Funny isn't it? If any of the humans in the household decided they wanted to redecorate the hall with shredded toilet paper the response would be less than favourable.
But the big, black ball of fur can get away with murder. I mean, how could that face be guilty of anything except criminal cuteness? Rumple, you are a devil but I love you. And now you have discovered where the toilet paper is, perhaps you could use it to clean up your  own mess.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8. Day 128. Razor wire

It totally serves me right. Last week I was putting shit on The Boy and his "Man Flu".
Yes, I supplied the necessary drugs, kept up the fluids, made a doctor's appointment and even removed the used tissues from the bedroom without (much) complaint.
But there was not a whole lot of sympathy.
So karma has come to get me and now I have annoying virus presumably from over exposure to used tissues.
I maintain, however, that the situation is different.
I am up and at 'em. It is business as usual even though the throat feels like the razor wire I photographed under the South-east freeway this morning. (It would be quite wrong to let the small matter of a cough and cold stop the morning walk).
So I suppose I can't expect much sympathy on the home front. If anyone else feels like delivering a hot lemon drink that would be fine. Thanks. Now excuse me while I go and die.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7. Day 127. What motivates you to get out of bed

The former PM and The Boy who one day wants that job
I used to think it would take a bomb to get my boy out of bed early. It turns out there is another way - a former Prime Minister will do it.
For reasons I can't explain the only thing that comes close to motivating Theatre Boy like the stage is politics. So when the school put on a breakfast exposing the students to the many and varied political and public service career options The Boy signed up even though it meant being in the school grounds at 7am.
The messages from all the speakers - which included former PM and local Federal MP Kevin Rudd, State representative Jackie Trad, councillor Helen Abrahams and Queensland Board of Studies chairperson Bob McHugh - was that being in a public service role offered great rewards.
For students weighed down with the burden of working out what they want to do when they grow up, there was also a strong message that their career would and should take them in many directions and to follow their passion.
Kevin Rudd delivered five key messages to the students
1) Work out what you believe in. What are your core values? What do you care most about?
2) Work out your passion. What is it that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
3) Work your guts out to be the best as you can be at whatever it is you are passionate about. Mr Rudd told the boys to think of the television talent show contestant full of passion who is still awful. Passion alone isn't enough. You have to work at it
4) The happiest people are those who give back and the saddest people are those who think only of themselves and
5) You guys can change the world. This, he said, was not just KRuddy words. The students should lift their vision and work to make change.
OK, it's been said before but it doesn't hurt to remind young people especially when the words come from someone who is the political equivalent of a rock star - where taking photos on one mobile phone isn't enough.
All in all it was worth getting out of bed for.

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6. Day 126. Kiss and make up

Oh to be young and beautiful.
When you get to my age you need all the help you can get. Not so much make up but more cover up, hide, disguise as best you can.
Still while accepting that I fully need it, I refuse to accept the application of make-up as a spectator sport to be indulged in on the busy centre stage area of the Queen Street Mall at lunch time.
Then again, I also refuse to see anything relaxing about getting a massage  in a crowded Saturday market. For someone who get a real job out of people watching I display a quite hypocritical attitude to being watched.
But my heighten sense of privacy is not universal and there were many who were happy to volunteer to let the make-up artists work their magic. I admit I was impressed. How gorgeous is she? (mind you I don't for a minute think that make-up can take all the credit for that one).
Perhaps if I was that young and beautiful I would be happy to line up for a public make-up session. I doubt it but if they could promise I'd come out the other side looking like that I suspect the arm could be twisted.
I know. I know. It's only make up not a magic potion.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5. Day 125. The right way of looking at things

 Religion has a lot to answer for. And yet if we were all to live by the key philosophy of just about any religion the world would be a better place. Hard to argue with Christianity's Love Your Neighbour as Yourself. If only people
a) actually lived by these ideals and
b) took the time to understand more about other creeds.
Today Buddhism was on display at the Buddha Birthday Festival at South Bank.
It's every much an East meets West annual festival where medication, harmony, and peace with nature and your surrounds were being shared through everything from a baby blessing and interfaith service to food and fireworks.
Wandering through the crowds were the mascots encouraging the crowds to: Say good words, Take good actions, Think good Thoughts. Hard to argue with that. Large numbers of families were enjoying all the festival hard to offer from kids workshops and games to a fun rides and crafts. It was an excellent way of enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon whether on the ground (my preferred option) or from the Bungee trampoline (as favoured by five-year-old Sophia). Either way it was a great opportunity to examine a different culture from another angle

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May 4. Day 124. Wash Day Blues

The neighbours probably thought they should call the RSPCA. The noise emanating from our house today doubtless sounded like a clear case of puppy abuse. Not so. I promise. It was wash day, a development which Rumple considered quite unsatisfactory and he was determined to let the world know. The worst thing about being a "parent" are those times when you have to force the "kids" to do things they find really unpleasant but you know are actually good for them. Immunisation. Homework. Going to bed at a reasonable hour. That sort of stuff. And for Rumple bath time.
Hopefully eventually they will thank me or at least not need therapy.
For Rumple I think the trauma today was short lived and I'm forgiven - until next time.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May 3. Day 123. Does what ever a spider can

It wouldn't take much to get caught in Matt's web.
The totally out there young man in the Spider Man suit had clocked off duty for the afternoon when he hit South Bank on his skateboard. But he was still captivating the crowds as he weaved his way through the grand arbour on the way to a watering hole for a Friday afternoon drink.
"Why the Spider Man suit?" I asked in a way that was somewhat presumptuous given we hadn't even been introduced.
He told me he had just come from work where his job was to get children interested in the rock climbing.
It would seem that someone with his attitude would be a super hero for getting children involved in an active lifestyle. I reckon he earned that Friday afternoon drink.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2. Day 122. Revealing itself

Sometimes it is right there in front of you but you just can't see it. This is an afflication that particularly seems to affect that males of my family who quite frankly are masters of the "Boy Look". "Mum, have you seen my ... bag, phone, hat?" "Dear (well we'll go with Dear), have we got any milk, cheese, bread?" Almost invariably the truth is I haven't seen said object because I haven't beening looking for it but when I do it's actually not that hard to find. The phone cunningly hidden on the phone charger. The hat cunningly hidden on the head. The cheese secreted in the dairy tray of the fridge, that sort of thing. Ah, the Boy Look defined by the American Dictionary of Slang as "The way a boy looks for lost items ineffectively (opposite of girl look)".
Yep, it can be right in front of you and you just can't see it because you are not looking hard enough.
This morning, however, even with a proper Girl Look it was impossible to see the University of Queensland from my back deck. The view is one of the things that makes my home such a beautiful place to live. This morning under a blanket of fog that took just a little time to reveal itself. But when the sun finally burned off the clouds I am pretty sure even the males wouldn't miss UQ. I'd ask them if I could find my phone to send them a text .....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1. Day 121. May Day

May Day 2013 - the dawn of a new era. For as long as I can remember - actually for far, far longer than I can remember because it goes back to 1891 - Labour Day has been celebrated in Queensland in May. So right now I would normally be getting to celebrate International Workers Day with a public holiday next Monday. I rather like the irony in that. Celebrate work with a day off. But not this year. This year, May Day will be celebrated in October. Try getting your head around that. And just to complicate things, the holiday is in October but the march through the street will go ahead, as it has always done, in May.
While I'll take a public holiday whenever anyone cares to give me one, I find the whole public holiday debacle we have been living through in Queensland to be a sad reflection of what I hate most about politics. So much of it is partisan without any good reason for being so. Always blame the former government, never credit the opposition with a good idea etc, etc
So someone decided we have too many public holidays in the first half of the year and one must be moved.
The Labor Government  - less aligned with the Monarchy - moves the Queens Birthday holiday from June to October. But before we can get that into out heads there's a change of government and a change of public holiday.
The Queen - whose actual birthday is in April - goes back to having her celebration in June where it has always been.
The new conservative government - less aligned with the workers - decides the holiday best able to be moved is the Labour Day one, no matter that it has more than a century long association with May Day.
It is all so petty.
But what it all means for an average worker like myself waking up in Brisbane on this May Day is that there is no public holiday next Monday. Hi, ho. Hi,.ho. It's back to work I go.
But come October, there's every chance I'll be celebrating.