Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31. Day 365. Celebrate good times. Come on

 There's this moment when you realise you've become your mother. Here I am not talking about when you open your mouth and your mother's words come out although that's totally part of it. I'm talking about when you start making the holiday bookings, when your mother calls for advice when buying a new appliance, when you host the major family functions etc. The transition between the generations is gradual so at first your don't notice it but it's there. I think tonight I made one further step along the road to a transition to the next generation. Tonight I  had to cancel any plans to make plans for a New Year's Eve celebration because Drama Teen was out with the "ladies" and I needed to pick him up. I pretend to be annoyed but in fact I tend to find New Year's Eve annoying in any case and I shall feel much better tomorrow without partying tonight. Besides, I got to hang out with my sister and her extended clan and we had a very large box of party blowers, poppers and sparklers. That's a happy new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 30. Day 364. Letting your hair down

Some time in the past decade or so, it became compulsory for young women to have long hair. It's not that I don't like long hair. I do. It looks awesome. But short hair suits some people better and it seems to have been taken off the table as an option - but as a short haired person I would say that wouldn't I? To be clear, I absolutely think my sister-in-law Karin and niece Jess totally rock long hair and secretly I'm very jealous because even when I decide to let my hair down, I'm completely incapable of doing so with the same style and flourish as they do. They make quite a splash. And also rocking is my new underwater camera which took the big close up of Jess's grin.

Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29. Day 363 Howzat!

At this time of the year their are only two sports that count - cricket and water sports. More's the better if you can combine the two. Like the song says "I don't like cricket. I love it". That being said, standing out in the blazing Australian sun all day really doesn't do it for me. But combine water and cricket and you have a combination as appealing as Warner and Rogers. Beach cricket is a summer must but in our place a game of classic catches is the water is also a huge hit. Today it was Connor and Jessie showing us their form (at pool cricket and inflatable dolphin races) Howzat for summer fun?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28. Day 362. It's so special

Little people are wonderful. Among the many things that make them wonderful is the ability to remind us of the joy in the little things. Spending time with nine-month-old Elliott this week took me back. I got to see the joy of the little man walking down the street and looking at the birds and the planes and the cars. He patted a dog for the first time and the joy of seeing the Christmas lights on a neighbour's fence was something to behold. And there as well as being delighted babies delight. How sweet it is to see Grandma Margaret reading a story book with her first grandson sitting on her knee. Special times.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27. Day 361. Challenges, challenges

At this time of year, everyone wants to be in the pool, some more than others.
Truth is a pool is like a magnet to metal filings. It has an irresistible pull power. But frankly I'd lay bets that the water dragon wasn't really after a dip. The dog, however, didn't want the water dragon on the pool deck. In fact he REALLY didn't want the lizard around anywhere in his territory and he wasn't afraid who knew it. But even if Rumple had the home ground advantage, the water dragon is just that - a creature very much at home in the drink. So every time the dog got too close the lizard took a swim. It was a battle of wits that continued most of the day and frankly I think it ended in a stalemate and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a round two tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2014

December 26. Day 360. Food, glorious food.

There are few opinions of George Bush which resonate with me. But I see where he is coming from when it comes to broccoli even if it's not exactly a genius thing for a president to say. The broccoli farmers were certainly up in arms when he said  "I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." I don't exactly hate broccoli but I don't like it much either and I would be happy to go the rest of my life and never eat it again. Not my friend Alison. You know that came where you have to nominate one food to eat on a desert island for the rest of your life? Al would have that green leafy vegetable. I'd be looking for a spaghetti bolognese tree. But like mother like son. You should have seen her baby wolf down his broccoli, peas and mince mix. Some of it even went into his mouth. And as you can see, he was happy as a pig in mud.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 25. Day 359. It's a gift

Nothing beats the first time. It's special and precious.
Of course Christmas is a special time of year in any event but baby's first Christmas is a gift. Today, I got to share that gift with my friend Alison and her nine-month-old Elliott. There may not have been turkey and roast vege for little Elliott but he certainly didn't seem to care. In his cute Santa bib those mashed vege were going down a treat. The little man may not have known it was Christmas but we did. Merry Christmas baby boy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24. Day 358. Ho, ho homicide

Frankly given his huge belly, passion for milk (or beer) and cookies, sneaky sly kissing of mummy under the mistletoe, mistreatment of reindeer and that stalky naughty and nice register he keeps, it's a wonder something untoward hasn't happened to Santa earlier. And imagine how anyone would go today if they invented a character who liked to have kids sit on his knee in shopping centres and later climbed down chimneys in the middle of the night and snuck into their bedrooms leaving them gifts while they slept. Anyway, Santa's ho, ho horrible lifestyle came to an untimely end tonight at a Who Killed Santa Murder Mystery night at our place. Everyone got into the spirit (and some of us the spirits as well) but not one of us successfully managed to work out who sleighed Santa. Still it was a great night for all (except perhaps Santa who found it a bit of a dead end job).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23. Day 357. Bad mother

It is a mother's embarrassing bodies nightmare. The phone call from the school informing you your little baby has headlice. You tell yourself  lice like clean hair. You tell yourself every child gets them but the truth is you are embarrassed not just that there is lice but worse that you didn't know. That your baby is infested and uncomfortable and it happened on your watch. Well that's what happened today. Sort of. The groomer called me to say Rumple had fleas. Fleas that I had looked for and hadn't found. He was itchy and fleas are always the first suspect but I couldn't find any. So I decided it was sand and salt and beach itch and treated it appropriately. Clearly I couldn't see for looking. Worst. Mother. In. The. World. But now I know what I am dealing with and $111 worth of state-of the-art flea treatment later and we should be all good. And all groomed and flea treatment later he is pretty as a picture and I'm pretty sure all is forgiven.
Best bow ever

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22. Day 356. Thinking outside the Square

It was a $28 million redevelopment that didn't actually have the ratepayers of Brisbane jumping with excitement. In fact words such as hot, concrete, barren, soul-less and lacking shade were levelled against the new-look King George Square when it was opened to the public. Truthfully, I preferred the fountains and the grass the square sported before the very, very expensive face lift. During the day it is a glarey, uninviting space BUT at night it's undergoing a transformation of Cinderella-like proportions. The nightly City Hall Light Spectacular is just that. Whoever came up with the idea of using City Hall as a screen on which to project an animated version of the Nutcracker is a genius. Crowds are flocking to it and although it runs for less than 10 minutes (repeated every quarter of an hour) it is well worth the trip into the city. But hurry. When the clock in the City Hall clock tower strikes 12 on Christmas Eve the light show will come to an end. Tick, tick tick.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 21. Day 355. It's a kind of magic

If you want a visit from the fat man in a red suit this week then pouting, shouting and crying are strictly off limits. The problem is the rush, crowds, demands and to-do list that seem to inevitably accompany the Christmas countdown can very easily bring you to a place far removed from the spirit of the season. In fact peace and goodwill can be as hard to find as a carpark in a shopping centres or a shop assistant in David Jones prepared to serve you. Having just returned from the beach, I am determined to at least try to leave the shouting, pouting and crying to others. So I took one look at the crazy massive crowds fighting to see the Christmas parade through the Queen Street Mall and decided to not just turn the other cheek but turn my whole body and run. Instead I took in the entertainment being provided by the buskers further up the mall - the living stature of a farmer and his blue heeler and the magician. There was magic enough in that for me.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December 20. Day 354. Naughty but nice

 I think conversations with Santa fall into the privileged categories like those with your doctor of lawyer. As a result, I don't know what went down when Rumple sat on Santa's knee. I suspect there were vows that he had been a very nice boy all year. This is true. He is loyal and loving and the sweetest most delightful little fur friend a woman ever had. But let's be honest (and I won't tell Santa) he can also be a very naughty boy. No pen, no toilet roll, no shoe is safe with Rumple around. He's eaten glasses, and computer cables and books. Anyone would think I had a fetish for crotchless knickers given how many pairs I have ended up with thanks to Rumple's ability to seek out, steal and destroy undies. But I can't stay mad with him for any length of time and he knows it. My world is a better place with Rumple in it.Which I think should put him on Santa's good books. I reckon he'd probably ask for five minutes alone in the chicken coop next door or the ability to be able to catch just one of the birds he so loves to chase.  I think a big bag of Schmackos might be a better bet. That Brahminy Kite we saw on the beach this morning might look nice but I reckon he's got a naughty steak too.
Brahminy Kite
Brahminy Kite

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19. Day 353. Afternoon delight

I an a bad mother. I went to the beach without a ball for the Fur Friend. I know, right? That's grounds for seeking a new owner or improvising. Fortunately Rumple was in a forgiving mood and everyone on the beach this afternoon was happy to make their own fun. There are no waves? Ride down the sand wall on your board. There's no ball. Well chase the other dogs on the beach, or chase Cousin Cleo or just play jump the waves. On an perfect summer afternoon like today there are many different ways make your own fun.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 18. Day 352. Weight off the shoulders

The great thing about holidays is that they have the uncanny ability to lift a huge weight off your shoulders. Water gives you a huge buoyancy. I'm in holiday mode and I like the holiday-mode me. Bank fraud division sends a text to say my credit card has been used in an attempt to pay a $3000 hotel bill in Spain. I hear only the word "unsuccessful". My card might have been cancelled the week before Christmas but I refuse to let that worry me. Bank stopped it. All good. Car gets towed. Repair firm offers a loan vehicle. All good. Non holiday me stresses. Big time. Holiday me walks the dog, goes to the beach, collects shells, throws the ball, swims in the pool and hangs out with family. I'm determined to keep the holiday me for as long as possible.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17. Day 351. Fringe benefits

There is room at the inn, which as I understand is the opposite to what is associated with the Christmas season both in biblical times and on most coastal resorts at this time of year. But having a dog has come with somewhat bizarre and unexpected fringe benefits at least if you treat a dog as  a family member and insist on taking the canine to the Coast as I do. Units will not allow dogs so you have to rent a house. Houses are bigger and come with multiple bedrooms and in our case more bedrooms than we actually need. So if it's a family holiday why not open up the spare room to other family members. My mum has been to stay and today my sister Marie and her daughter Cleo joined the beach party. And when you have Noosa beach practically on your doorstep you can be pretty sure things will go swimmingly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16. Day 350. Getting to know you

Let me tell you a story. It's about my dog, except of course it isn't but we will go with that. Rumple used to be very discriminating about the company he kept. Some may have called it discerning. Some may have called it a sensible precaution but it was what it was. He would have nothing to do with dogs that were bigger than him and what's more he would also run away from canines of the short haired variety associating only with small but furry small friends. He was scared so it was safer to stay with what he knew. Let's face it, it's easy to make judgements on external appearance and choose to shun and avoid without knowing any better. But then he was introduced to The Fed his Beagle cousin. Feddy is not only much bigger than Rumple but also short haired. He learned that Fed wasn't scary and eventually Rumple started to get the picture. Perhaps big dogs were okay. Perhaps short hair is just different not bad. If you just take the time to get to know people rather than make snap judgements on the basis of appearance we would all be better off. Besides, big short haired dogs are a lot of fun to chase up the beach. Ask Rumple.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15. Day 349. And hey, hey, hey it's a beautiful day

Ah Queensland. Beautiful one day. Perfect the next. That's what the advertising slogan says, a slogan so effective that even US President Barack Obama used it his G20 speech in Brisbane. Unfortunately this part of the State hasn't been living up to its part of the bargain in the last week. But today. Today was the real deal. Just glorious. And possibly the best part of the world to spend a perfect Queensland day is Main Beach at Noosa. Clear blue water, white sand a cloudless sky - this is the sort of day they feature of post cards, not that any postcard could really capture the magic of floating in the warm water while the gentle waves lift your body. This people is what holidays are all about. And the good news is the forecast for the rest of the week is more of the same. Yep today was beautiful and tomorrow, hopefully, will be perfect. Bring. It. On.\

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14. Day 348. Head over heels

I learned something very important about myself today. I am much better at throwing a ball assisted by a 35 kilometre an hour tail wind. I also learned that when seagulls fly backwards that's a sure sign the journey back up the beach will be hard going. Rain didn't help. It was "beached closed" kind of weather but sensible adults wouldn't have needed a sign to stay out of the water. But children and animals don't work by the same rules as adults. And having to stay out of the water and staying off the beach aren't the same thing. It can take a young person or a small furry animal to remind adults of this. Harry and Hunter were certainly head over heels for the dunes as were Rumple and his new mate Archie, who charged up the beach side by side like they'd known each other for ever. I would have missed all that if the dog hadn't decided to he wanted to take us for a walk.