Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30. Day 242. Slow and steady

That business about slow and steady winning the race is crap, total crap,
Slow is pretty much my only pace (reduced to very slow now that I am frequently carrying six kilos of fur on my shoulder as a result of a Rumple sit down strike). I can assure you I have never won a race and am never likely to. In fact the turtle and Steven Bradbury, the Olympic ice skater who won only because every one else fell over, were the only ones ever to win by going slowly.
So I might not have the turtle's winning ways but I am a plodder and like this bloke at the Lakes at the University of Queensland this afternoon I frequently feel that I am only just keeping my head above water.
But I have a plan to be a winner in the great race of life.
This afternoon I interviewed someone to save my life. She will cook or clean or help facilitate homework or be a ear to the teen, whatever it takes. This, hopefully, will give me some much needed breathing space. Watch out hare, Susan is back up and running.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29. Day 241. Birds of a feather

They say that you can tell a lot about a person from the company she keeps.
If this is the case I must be a bit of a bird brain and constantly in a bit of a flap. That's about right, as it happens.
Anyway, for what ever reason I seem to regularly find myself in the company of bird fanciers. Today it happened twice - in the form of my present neighbour Margaret and a former neighbour Clare.
Mid afternoon, Margaret called me across to sign her postal vote form. She'd spied me from her window where she was feeding her feathered friends. While I signed the form, Rumple got to sample a little of the bird mince.
Later in the day, Rumple and I went to visit Grandma and dropped in on John and Clare, the neighbours of my childhood.
Again it was bird feeding time and the clothes line was weighed down with a load of coloureds in the form of rainbow lorikeets.
They were screeching louder than a roller coaster full of children. But what a pretty sight. Yep, birds of a feather do flock together.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28. Day 240. Go with the flow

It's back! One of my favourite places at South Bank - the Aquativity Water Play Centre - has been closed for renovations but when I was there this morning it was back in business. At 7am it was still empty but with the (winter) day hotting up to 29 degrees I'm reckoning it would have been swarming with small people later in the day.
But this early bird and a few seagulls got to enjoy the attraction in peace before the crowds.
I like this water spout because it appears to be following all the laws of nature, doing what is expected of it - to a point. Let's face it if you go with the flow most of the time there's nothing wrong with bending the rules occasionally. Have a bit of a wobbily if you must but then get back on track.
That's me at the moment - trying to keep to the straight and narrow but just a bit shaky at times.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 27. Day 239. Suits me to a tea

When it comes to talent, my delightful niece Scarlett has got it in the bag (the tea bag).
I mean, being able to not only envisage an outfit constructed out of only tea bags but them to actually see idea through takes a vision way beyond any thrown my way when the great lottery of natural gifts was drawn.
Today, on her 17th birthday, Miss Scarlett was putting the finishing touches on the skirt for a Year 12 art assignment with equally lovely little Sis Cleo acting as model.
Home-crafted clay teapots will eventually adorn the top. How cool is that?
One suspects there will be many more hours before the project is submitted on Friday but for tonight at least it was a well deserved birthday dinner.
So Happy Birthday Miss Scarlett. Have a cup of tea for me (and make sure you wear that Angry Birds onsie we gave you although perhaps not with the tea bag skirt)

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26. Day 238. I thought that part of my life was over

Being a dog owner has changed my life in a good way and, of course, that was the plan.
But I was realistic, totally prepared for the downside, aware I would have to make changes. 
One of the first causalities I envisaged was my obsession with bird photography.
Until January 1, 2012 I pretty sure I'd never taken a bird photograph but since embarking on Project 365 I discovered a passion for it and found I am not totally dreadful at it either. Also, it has proved to be far easier than I would have ever imagined.
But easy come, easy go. You'll never get a bird to hang around and play for the camera when you are walking with a dog, I told myself.
Once again, I have proven myself wrong. Rumple and the birds either don't notice or don't care about the presence of each other. This may be because Rumple considers himself human and does not indulge in bird chasing. It may be the birds also fail to see him as a canine.
This afternoon they may have been forgiven for thinking he was one of them. He'd staged a sit down strike so I was carrying him on my shoulder, parrot like, when I spotted the Pale-headed Rosella.
He stayed there while I fired off my shots. I think we've got it sorted. Rumple will indulge my photography if I indulge his occasional bouts of walking patheticness. This is why dogs are (wo)man's best friend.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25. Day 237. Bad hair day

I used to think that when it came to pure destructive power, my son was unrivalled.
When Cyclone Oliver whipped through previously tidy (well tidy-ish) house, it was impossible to miss the trail of destruction left behind.
I now know he is but a novice. The real force of fury in our home is the five kilos of fur known as Hurricane Rumple.
His puppy enthusiasm knows no bounds nor does his ability to get into everything. Everything is put up out of reach but he manages to get it anyway. I've lost count of how many rolls of toilet paper have been shredded. Now the battle for the non-fur family members is actually getting to some when nature calls since the most convenient spots are well within the grasp of the evil one's paws.
I've tried sitting him down and having a good eye to eye chat but there are three problems with that
1) I'm not all the fluent in puppy speak.
2) It's impossible to find his eyes under all that fur and
3) He knows I find him too damn cute to be angry for too long.
So he just sticks his tongue out at me and gets on with it. Just as well you are cute Rumple, just as well.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24. Day 236. Tree huggers

Here's something I could have been good at. Today the Queensland tree-climbing titles - and national selection trials - were held at Murarrie. Who doesn't love climbing a tree and I was quite good at it as a child except for one small detail - I could climb up but was completely useless where it came to getting down again. Frequently my father had to come up and get me. I'm reckoning little Leni will have no such issues.  The 18-month-old from the Gold Coast took to a harness like a duck to water when let loose in the Kids Climb area of the event. She really got into the swing of it. Mind you, Leni had one small advantage over me - her Dad Campbell is an arborist and the family own a climbing business. Something tells me she will be scaling trees like a professional in no time at all.But even those kids without tree climbing in their blood were having an awesome time harnessing up and scaling some of the beautiful gun tress in Comslie Beach Reserve. Not one of them seemed to need Dad to come to their rescue. Hmmm, perhaps I wouldn't have been a champion after all. But who cares? It was a beautiful day and they all seemed to be having a great time just hanging around in the trees.

Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23. Day 235. Credit where credit is due

There has, as part of this election campaign, been quite a bit of mud thrown at the Murdoch press.
I'll let others decide whether that is justified or not but I will say that whatever you might think about the organisation the editorial staff are a fine hardworking bunch of people. In fact, much of the sh*t levelled at journalists as a whole is unfair, unfounded or just ill-informed. Well, I would say that would say that wouldn't I? Anyway, it's true and for today's photograph I have not one but two members of the Murdoch press to thank.
Firstly Marc Robertson, the night photographer at The Courier-Mail, who gave me a masterclass on night camera use a couple of weeks ago. I remain determined to practice what I learned.
And secondly journalist Felicity Sheppard whose contribution is perhaps a little more esoteric but no less valuable.
It goes like this. When I tweeted that I was heading out for a late afternoon walk, Felicity reminded me that it is Magpie season and as such I should carry a large stick as a precaution.
Wise words Felicity. So I looked around for such a weapon and came up blank. But then it hit me.
There is this tripod thing that gathers dust in the cupboard. That's like a big stick AND if I head down towards the river I might even be able to use it for the purpose its makers intended.
So here you have it. A wheelie nice photo of South Bank at night.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22. Day 234. Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

Does a one-legged duck swim in circles? It's one of those rhetorical questions in the same line as "Is the Pope Catholic?" or "Do bears shit in the woods?" that is often put in response to a question where the answer is yes, obviously.
But while I know the Pope is Catholic and I'm pretty sure bears shit in the woods I have it on reliable authority that one-legged ducks do not swim in circles. A vet friend told me they learned very quickly to adapt and today I saw it for my own eyes.
Rumple and I were down at the University of Queensland lakes for the walk again today and to photograph the ducks. I stopped to talk to an older bloke who was sitting looking out over the water.
"It's amazing how well a duck can do with only one leg," he said. Until that point I hadn't noticed a one-legged duck. So I looked more closely. "Animals are better than humans at just getting on with it."
Yep, I considered. So called lower life forms are even able to grow back bits that drop off.
But as I walked off I thought about it further. I think we do adapt. We can learn to deal with the new normal and get on with it.
At least I hope so. Of late things have not been travelling smoothly. I do feel like I've been swimming around in circles. But hopefully with time I can and will be back in the air. *Note, only one of these ducks is lacking a limb. I'll let you work out which one.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21. Day 232. Clean up after yourself

In the communal kitchen at work there's a sign. Clean up after yourself. I am not your mother.
Signs like this have been in common areas of every workplace I've encountered.
But here's the thing. I am the mother of one of the residents in our house and I'm stamping my foot.
Wouldn't it all be just a bit easier if everyone picked up his or her own rubbish? (in our house it's always his as even the dog has boy bits)
See this bird at South Bank this morning? There was a leaf in the lagoon. Did Birdy wait for Mummy to pick it up? Did Birdy just pretend not to see it? Was Birdy prepared to ignore it knowing someone else with a lower mess threshold would come along?
No Birdy did not. Birdy dealt with it and a big gold star and an elephant stamp for her efforts.
So if it's good enough for the birds, what about the blokes?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20. Day 232. Photobombed

It would be total pot calling the kettle black stuff for me to say that we spend too much of our lives seeing the world through the viewfinder of some device or other.
Go anywhere of note and instead of just enjoying the moment most of us will be framing it through some device or other. And then at the tap of an app it's shared with the rest of the world via some social media site or other.
There are those who take great delight in exploiting this modern phenomenon by photobombing - that is jumping into the frame just as you are about to go snap.
And so it happened to me today. I was focusing on a Kookaburra but when I looked back at the frame there it is. Well it made me smile.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19. Day 231. Two's company

Students. You've got to love them.
No seriously. There is no end to their energy and ingenuity when it comes to the important things like finding a relaxing way to have a drink at the end of the day.
Take these two UQ students Tim and Chris who late this afternoon where climbing up a big old tree by the Lakes at University of Queensland to find just the right place to hang Chris's new two man hammock.
Then when it was positioned just so, the pair - both from Germany - settled back for a pear cider.
They offered me one but two's company and three plus a dog might be stretching things.
You have to admit they have things sorted. I hope Tim, who is working towards his PhD, is as successful in his research. I'd tell you exactly what he was researching had it not gone right over my head but apparently it has something t do with finding a cure for cancer. Now I'd drink to that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18. Day 230. Heading for a fall

I suppose that it's an attempt to make sense of the world that drives us to want to categorise and stereotype everything and everybody. We like to fit things into neat little boxes that accord with our world view to simplify things.
So it is with parenting. We first world mothers tend to divide the world into two parenting styles - the free range parents and the helicopter parents.
Helicopter parents hover and protect. We are always there ready to catch them when they fall or to stop anything that might lead to the fall in the first place. These are the cotton wool parents.
Then there are the free rangers who believe in letting children's spirits run wild, in learning by experience. Having scraped knees and bumps and scratches are all part of the game.
For my money, I think we actually need a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. By all means learn wild jumps on your skateboard but make sure you have on some protective pads - that sort of thing. And if that means poor mum has to close her eyes and just not watch well so be it.
Anyway, the free range kids were out in force today displaying their skills in the annual Billycart Championships.
There were thrills and spills aplenty but other than injured pride there appeared to be no damage done. Every kid who took a fall, jumped to his or her feet, grabbed the cart and finished the race on foot.
If nothing else there was a huge display of resilience. Free range or helicopter, that's something every parents wishes for their kids.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17. Day 229. Going, going, gone

At the 66th Tony Awards, the totally fabulous Neil Patrick Harris sang and danced his way through "What If Life Were More Like Theatre?".
Well I'm here to tell you Neil, sometimes life is one big stage production.
Here I am not talking about the Shakespearean tragedy that is living with a very "artistic" teenager where every day is a new drama.
Nope, I'm talking about the auction across the street this afternoon.
With the audience were potential buyers but mostly all of the other residents of the street out for a look.
Someone should have brought the wine and cheese.
And, oh the drama. Bidding started at $600,000 with a mystery phone bidder kicking things off.
It kicked around the garden a bit and every time it stalled the phone bidder would up the ante. And then at $700,000 with the bid against Phone Man, the connection was dropped.
The auctioneer paused to get instructions from the vendors, declared the property on the market  and did a song and dance act Neil Patrick Harris would have been proud of but still no phone connection.
So finally when he could delay it no longer... Going once, Going twice, Going three times and sold to the man on the deck. And then the phone rang. Too late my friend, too late.
No that's theatre and there was no admission price.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16. Day 228. Hanging out the washing

I bet you thought the Emperor's New Clothes was a fairy tale, right?
Well, I am here to tell you that magical cloth invisible to the human eye not only exists but there is plenty of it at my place.
Like the fairy tale, only those with special qualities are able to see it.
Any item of clothing dropped on the bathroom or bedroom floor around here has these magical properties. I'm the only family member able to see it.
The clean washing ready to be brought in off the clothes line - invisible.
The piles of sorted laundry ready to be returned to drawers and cupboards, also invisible.
In fact, I rather suspect the other residents in my home think we have a laundry fairy who drops by, puts on a load of whites and then disappears.
All I can say is that at least when I talk about hanging out washing, I just get to use pegs.
Today's picture is extreme hanging out washing; the bloke with the power cleaner on the side of my work today. Apparently not all males are incapable of seeing dirt.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15. Day 227. A picture of moderation

When it comes to my diet, I am a picture of moderation where moderation is defined by never eating more than
1) I can pay for
2) I can lift and
3) I can fit in my mouth.
But just say a person could expand her mouth diameter and capacity in an instant - and massively increase the swallowing ability at the same time? Watch out all-you-can-eat buffet bar.
This is why I have so much admiration for the pelican. Those birds have an eating ability I would die for (or more likely I would die as a result of but still).
Today Rumple and I took a lunch time walk across the bridge to the University of Queensland lakes. We both found the pelicans endlessly fascinating. I wanted to be able to eat like them. Rumple just wanted to eat them.
In the end we settled for a photograph. See we can exercise some self control occasionally.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14. Day 226. Spreading my wings

The birds around our place are happy.
A week after a midnight fall and admission to hospital my octogenarian neighbour Margaret is back home.
As she walked in the door and settled herself in her chair by the window Margaret asked for a tray of mince from the fridge. Her first thought was that the birds would have missed her.
For me today was a bit of an exercise in spreading my wings. I try to treat people as I would like to be treated but this was the first time I really got to test my good neighbour skills.
I collected Margaret from hospital, assisted her up the stairs, paid her pharmacy bill for her online, went through the emergency alarm brochures with her and we discussed the different wheelie walker options.
And, of course, I took her fur friend Rumple over for a visit.
In the scheme of things, not much but her gratitude was obvious. The birds were grateful too.
So here's today's photo. A seagull at South Bank also spreading its wings and making a bit of a splash. That's today for you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13. Day 225. Not going to end well

It will surprise everyone (okay no-one) to say that when the world is divided into cat people and dog people I would put my tick firmly into the canine column.
And here is why. When my fur friend and I went for a walk this afternoon (does anyone take a cat for a walk?) Rumple took a fancy to many of the scrub turkeys we encountered on the way.
Had I not been a responsible dog owner and had Rumple on a lead, he would almost certainly have tried to catch one. He almost certainly would have failed.
But here's the thing. He would have been very upfront about it. There would have been no doubting his intentions. Dogs are genuine and honest and loyal. They don't sneak and sulk and stalk. You won't die wondering what's on a dog's mind.
Cats on the other hand ... endlessly cunning and scheming. Just check out this feline. Poised, ready to strike. Clever and cunning. This is not going to end well.
In the end the turkey would have ended up equally dead had either of the creatures hit the mark but I prefer a foe prepared to look me in the eye before striking.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12. Day 224. Blue skies shining at me

I know I'm not the lone ranger when I say that Mondays are a struggle. The nicer the weekend, the more severe the bout of Mondayitis.
Knowing that half the population of greater Brisbane was enjoying a public holiday today because of the bizarre sliding Show Day certainly didn't help.
Nor did the predicted temperature of 29 degrees. That's right 29 degrees. In August, a month which the calendar calls winter. This was not a day for the office.
So at lunch time I escaped to the beach at South Bank.
Will you check this out? Does this look like winter to you?
Clearly not. I can almost smell the sun screen. I heart you Brisbane.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11. Day 223. By George, I think he's got it

It is hard to imagine how a winter's day could feel any less like winter than today.
It was simply stunning and thus it was decided a day at the beach was in order.
It is hard to imagine a beach less deserving on the term beach than that at the Nudgee foreshore. In fact calling Nudgee Beach a beach is an insult to every other Australian beach but
1) It's the only dog beach close to home and
2) You can't really call it Nudgee Mud Flats.
Anyway, despite the fact our first and only beach trip in May was less than spectacular we decided a family beach trip was in order.
And .... We should have checked the tide because there was no beach. However SUCCESS. Rumple went into the water and fetched a ball.
And it was a stunning afternoon enjoying the sunshine with so many other families. I'm not a winter person at all but if this is winter, I'm in.

August 10. Day 222. The stage is set

Back at my old school today and once again I was struck by how much things had changed.
I was there to see Theatre Boy perform in his Senior Musical the big number on the annual performance calendar.
And that's change one - a state-of-the-art theatre. Very nice too. In my day, there was the school hall and we'd sit crossed legged on the floor. That was it.
But while I was waiting to go in I watched the Breaka Queensland water polo team practice in the water polo pool. Nothing like that in my day. The school now has a rowing team and sheds, too. I love that schools embrace the many and varied interests of young people and foster those as best they can. I rather figure that the three sets of school fees my parents paid for my sisters and I to attend that school helped build those facilities.
I also know that the 10 years in drama fees I've paid have helped build my young man into the performer I saw on stage.
Today he received his 10 year certificate, one of three in the group who have passed the decade mark.
Given he was only five when he started I am proud of his staying power and his commitment. While other interests have come and gone over than 10 years, never has the love of the stage waned. Not once.
So it's just a piece of paper but it's well earned.
But I have just one question. Where's mine? Where's the recognition for the fees, the Mum's taxi duties, the reward for sitting outside at all hours waiting for rehearsals to finish (and for sitting through some of those performances in the early years waiting to see that one line delivered)
I joke of course.
Whether it's water polo, rowing or musical theatre behind each young participant there's the family cheer squad.
We wouldn't have it any other way and as long as he recognises me in that Tony Award acceptance speech ...

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9. Day 221. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I love my digital SLR camera. Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea how to use it.
a) is why God invented the automatic mode and
b) would require RTFM. I never read manuals.
So I push buttons and for the most part I'm happy with what I see.
So this evening on a walk along the Kangaroo Point boardwalk I stopped to randomly push buttons as I do.
Just up from me was a bloke also taking photos but he had a serious looking camera and obviously knew what he was doing.
"Did you get anything good," he asked. So I showed him one.
"Did you deliberately over-expose it?" he asked. That didn't sound like something I'd want to do.
"I don't know,"" I replied. "Did I?"
"Well, was the arrow in the middle of the bars?" asked my new friend.
"Oh, you think I'm shooting on manual." The penny dropped. "I've no idea what I'm doing."
So after a bit he came over and showed me. Showed me were the manual setting was. Explained how I wanted to over-expose and shoot with as long a shutter speed as possible. Thirty seconds would be good. And the F stop should be as high as possible. We went for 22. The higher the f stop the less light per second. Right. I think.
He even loaned me his mobile phone so I could prop us the lens to get the angle right.
And then my new buddy told me he was Marc Robertson the night photographer at The Courier-Mail.
He didn't have any jobs on tonight so he was sent out to snap the city lights. He wasn't paid to spoon feed novices but he did it anyway with patience and grace. I thanked him and told him about my Project 365. Experiment and pick up a few tips along the way and you'll be great by the end of the year, he said.
And then he was off. The phone I had returned without dropping in the river rang and suddenly that empty job diary had a new entry. "A dead body in Ipswich. Very decomposed. Looks suspicious."
Personally I was happy to be able to stay and play with the city lights.
So my take home message for today. Read the *ing manual. And no matter what my mother told me it isn't always bad to talk to strangers.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 8. Day 220. What a side show

At this time of year all eyes in Brisbane are meant to be one one place and one place only - the RNA Showgrounds and the annual Exhibition that started today.
You've gotta love the Ekka. Like a moth to a flame I find the flashing lights of sideshow alley call me and bring out that child-like excitement that stays buried for most of the year.
Today I didn't even make it through the gates but peered over the fence like a jealous neighbour.
In any case this year, when it comes to side shows, there was another contender.
The federal election campaign is underway and just when we thought we'd seen it all, right out of left field came former Premier Peter Beattie. Years of denying any Federal aspirations forgotten, former Premier Pete is now standing for an outer Brisbane electorate. I, for one, didn't see that one coming.
Looks like we might be in for a bit of a wild ride between now and polling day on September 7.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 7. Day 219. Highly strung

highly strung (adj) tense and easily upset; excitable; nervous. Yep, that about describes it.
Three weeks into the semester and the tension levels are starting to rise as the due date for the first piece of assessment rapidly approaches. And I feel I am responding accordingly with my need for a calming camomile tea growing with each hysterical, demanding, slightly irrational email. Hey people, didn't your mother ever tell you to ask nicely? Try to get a bit of balance about this, will you?
As always, my way of coping (apart from the tea) is to take a big long walk. That brings me back down to earth.
This morning this led me to my favourite South Bank just as the sun was coming up.
So here's my image representing today. Highly strung and desperately trying to find balance but definitely looking at things through rose coloured glasses as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6. Day 218. Man's Best Friend

The other day I ran into a work colleague at the coffee shop (yes you Stephen) who wanted to know where  my furry friend was.
"I thought you two were attached at the hip," he joked.
I wouldn't  take Rumple to work because:
a) The Manual of Policies and Procedures - The MOPP - prohibits dogs on campus (yes, I did look it up. No-one knows everything the MOPP says. It's an impossibly large document covering every possible scenario relating to life at university)
and b) Rumple would quickly find that being able to lie on the couch or sun himself on the lawn are far preferable options.
However, it has to be said that there's nothing most pooches like more than to be with their human. And the feeling is generally mutual.
Which is why I was attracted to the window cleaner and his pooch going about their business at Kelvin Grove today.
I didn't get the full story because the human was at work in the cafe and the puppy was remaining tight lipped. I couldn't stick around because I would have been late for a lecture - something I may have been prepared to risk had I not been the one giving the lecture. So for the second time today I had to turn my back on a cute puppy and go to work. Paw me.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5. Day 217. Bending over backwards

I believe this is a Pennisetum. At least that's what Doctor Google would have me believe. My gardening knowledge = zero. Anyway should my Google research skills be correct this is a hardy native grass. Certainly there is a lot of it around and it's very attractive. For the most part it's also very upright, very straight, very proper. But not this one. It's bent over. Looking in on itself. Kind of going around in circles. It's yielded to some pressure in its environment.
That's me right now. I used  to be firm in my ideas, so firm. But I'm bent, I'm being moulded. My form is changing shape under the environment that is parenting a teenager.
In some ways that can be attractive. In some ways it can just leave you in a whole world of pain.
But like this strand caught in the glow of the setting sun at Kangaroo Point there's no getting out of the spotlight. The change is there for all to see. Hair-raising really.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4. Day 216. An interesting Segway

This is not a sponsored post*. I totally love the Riverlife Centre in Brisbane.
We've tried many of their activities. We've abseiled down the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, an activity I was especially good at because falling is a special talent and in this case you have a harness.
We've tried rock climbing, an activity I was especially bad at because it involves quite a lot of upper body strength an area in which I sadly lacking.
We've also tried kayaking which was a bit of a struggle against a tide but was huge fun.
So when I found out there was a new adventure to be had, I simply had to give it a go.
Segways, or Personal Transporters, became legal on Queensland footpaths and bikepaths on August 1.
As long as you are over 12 and over about 40 kilos (I qualify on both counts - just) they'll let you join a tour.
A beautiful Sunday such as today demanded a bit of outdoor fun and even The Teen was quick to agree to exit the Man Cave for a ride.
My goodness it was fun. We were both rather wobbly at first given balance and coordination are sadly lacking from the gene pool. However, there's a training circuit and obstacle course first (see video below)  and the trainers are very patient. It wasn't long before we were ready to ride.
Out 30 minute ride snaked along the Kangaroo Point pathways, along the river and under the Storey Bridge. At the half way point, our guide JJ decided to stand on his hands. Fortunately, this was strictly optional and the rest of us just admired the view.
At $59 per person for a half hour ride, Segway tours are not exactly cheap but they are huge fun, so much fun that Mr O thinks he would rather like his own machine to ride to school. Yeah right.  Not going to happen Sunshine.
*Sponsorships available. I'm easily bought.

August 3. Day 215. The Times they are a Changin

80s band Skeletones at Exhumed
I'm stuck in the '80s, I admit it.
Yes, the fashion was woeful. Yes the hairstyles were ghastly but the music, well, that was my era. And I spent much of today back in my heyday, transported to that great decade of the university and early working years. Oh happy days.
Eighties moment one. Brisbane Powerhouse and a play called School Dance. How that took me back to 1982 and All Hallows dances. Human League, stone washed high waisted jeans, big hair, Furbies, leg warmers, Smurfs and just about every 80s cultural reference you could name . I laughed until I snorted.
But the times they are a changing. For one, never before have I seen a play at noon. But what's acceptable for viewing by students in Catholic high schools sure has changed. In my day hell would have frozen over before we were allowed to see a play with the "F word" in it. But today's theatre visit was to meet curriculum requirements for the Catholic school boy being raised in my home. And within minutes of the pay opening the F Bomb was dropped. Yep, Toto we ain't in Kansas any more.
Eighties moment two. Kedron Wavell Services Club for the ABC 612 Brisbane Exhumed final. This is a competition for nor has-beens, not wanna-bes but never weres. In short, it was a celebration if the bands that should have been great in the 80s. Well that's my take on it.
This was the vision of ABC Sydney presenter James Valentine who in my mind will always be of The Models fame. I was a total fan girl. I saw The Models perform 13 times in the 80s, at least once in a venue that later became a furniture mega store. James was there tonight so I insisted on a selfie. They hadn't been invented in the 80s but who cares?
Anyway in yet more evidence that times are a changing, the event kicked off at 6.30 and was over by 10pm. It was a great night out and I still got to be home in bed at a decent hour. That wouldn't have happened in the 80s. 
The Dustbin Hoffmans

Old 45s

One of the joint winners - The Roseberys


One of the joint winners Diddly Squat