Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31. Day 90. Scratching around for food

How can you have a cupboard and fridge food of food and nothing to eat? I'm pretty sure whole Rwandan villages could survive on my pantry supplies but I find myself scratching around to find anything that seems vaguely appetising. As it happens, scratching around to find something I "want" to eat or could be bothered to cook is one of my least favourite jobs (a somewhat bizarre situation given how much I love to eat).
All of this came to mind in Musgrave Park this afternoon while I watched the birds purposefully foraging for food. And there is. It's all too easy. Food is plentiful (you only have to look at my butt to see that) and thus I've become too picky (literally). If I had to work for it I MIGHT be more grateful. Or not. Because of course I do work for it. not in a hunter/gather sort of way but as in a whinge about staff meetings and swear while marking sort of way. That distance is what makes all the difference - that and the fact that the cupboard is bare of chocolate. That I never reject.

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30. Day 89. Beauty and the beast

Mother Nature has a perverse sense of humour to put it nicely. Why would you make the most attractive looking things the most dangerous for you? That's just cruel. The food that looks, smells and tastes the best always has the most calories. The most colourful and visually appealing insects always have the worst bite. I found today that the most scenic of dog parks has a hidden danger. I found myself with the fur friends at the riverside Colmslie Recreation Reserve dog park this afternoon. At first I didn't notice but once seen it couldn't be unseen. A woman at the park said "aren't the sandflies dreadful. I'm being savaged". And there it was. I was like that man in the Aerogard ad from old - swatting and scratching. For little blighters they sure have a big bite and frankly I think they should pick on someone their own size. The dogs, however, did not seem to care - about the view or the sandflies. There was a fine collection of other dogs to chase which seems to be the only criteria they care about in dog park selection.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29. Day 88. Week End

Warning: Dad joke.
Every dog has its day but a dog with no tail has a weak end.
Yep, it's appalling (And as it happens I am pretty sure I first heard it from my Dad, a man quite adept with the Dad joke). Anyway, my dog was pretty sure today was his day. It was so good it was better than a day but a weekend's worth of fun. His favourite buddy The Fed came for a "surprise" visit.
The visit was, in fact, a surprise for all of us. Fed belongs to my brother and his family but has been a regular guest at our place since he was a little beagle when his family travelled. But as we are going away for Easter this time Fed was going to stay elsewhere - or so I thought. Those plans fell through at the last minute so where else would Feddie go except to his second home? Well I have booked a dog-friendly holiday home so we might as well put it to the test. And it is a family holiday and that includes the extended family dogs and all. Rumple certainly isn't complaining.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28. Day 87. Flashmob

Somehow I missed the memo. I did not, however, miss the action.  It was International Rueda de Casino Multi Flashmob 2015 day and at 4pm across the globe Latin music started to play and from out of nowhere people gathered to join a circle and start salsa dancing. In Brisbane Jay El Gato from La Rumba Llego was leading the mob and I just happened to find myself outside QPAC when the action was happening. It was hard to tell who was having more fun. The crowd or the dancers. Certainly I get to tick off "be caught in a flashmob" from the list of things I think would be totally fun to do. I was right. It was totally fun and in addition in confirms my belief that there is ALWAYS something worth photographing at South Bank. The best bit is I am never exactly sure what that thing will be. That is part of the magic.

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27. Day 86. Home is where the housework is

The nesting instinct. It's a real and powerful thing. It's what makes a dusky moorhen drag a great big leaf across the pond. It's what prevents me from allowing my home turning into a complete tip. I mean, I have to create a safe and habitable living space for my lot. But there's no need to be silly about it. Friday afternoon could be a time to get a jump start on the weekend chores or it could be a moment to grab all interested family members and head to South Bank. No contest. There ain't no magic in housework - so South Bank it is. There we found James James the magician working the crowds (he also offered to turn my dog into a balloon as you do). Yeah home is where the heart is but sometimes the heart is allowed to wander just down the road, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26. Day 85. Going up

 Politicians tell us that cranes on the horizons are a sign of an economy's health. They also look rather dramatic against a colourful sunset. An ability to scale a sheer rock cliff face as if it is a set of stairs is a pretty good sign of a person's health. I might say that's not hard on the eyes either. These are just two of the things I noted when I went for a walk with Rumple this afternoon. You will note, I said I walked with Rumple rather than took Rumple for a walk. This is a fine distinction on paper but the actuality is quite different. My dog has yet to learn that when we go for a walk he's also supposed to put one foot in front of the other. He prefers the scenic route perched parrot-like on my shoulder watching the world go by. Nice work if you can get it. I think it's a sign of the health of our relationship that I let him get away with it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25. Day 84. Good morning but ....

Oh what a wonderful morning ..... yeah the day started with great promise. Stunning light, all soft and reflective and full of possibilities. And then the storm clouds brewed. Now, if you live in Brisbane you may be thinking "storm clouds? What storm clouds?" Fair point because these clouds you would see only within my head. For a day that started off so well it sure managed to go to hell in a basket. All thunderbolts and lightning, howling and raging and destructive wind gusts. Year 12 is known to be difficult and the brewing storm finally unleashed its fury . In such moments taking shelted is the best course of action but one I rarely take. I should have waited for it to blow over but I manged to walk into the eye of the  and got sucked in to its tempest. To be clear this is all metaphorical but I find storms of a mental kind harder to deal with than something tangible and physical. But it burned out, hopefully not just regrouping to cross the coast again later.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24. Day 83. Bottoms up

 The battle to secure the prize for my favourite four letter F word would be a hard fought one. There would, however, be only two contenders - food and free. Free food would certainly win but as the rules of this completely arbitrary competition which I just invented allow only one stand alone word I reckon food has the edge. My love of that F word also explains my battle with two others that start with the same letter - Fat and Fit. One I have a lot of and the other less every day. I need to do more about the whole fitness thing and thus one would think the prospect of free fitness classes at South Bank would appeal. They do not. At all. I have no desire at all to lie on my back with my legs in the air in public thank you very much. Probably more than anyone else alive I am well aware that people with cameras walk around the parklands all the time.  The best things in life may be free but honestly I think most of them are also private.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23. Day 82. Rats!

Rats! I'd hate them even if they weren't responsible for carrying the fleas that spread plague. Actually, rats are just fine if they stay away from me. But this one rat decided to push its luck scampering through the house with gay abandon. Well unless you pay rent Ratus Ratus, that's not going to happen. Besides you were turning Rumple into a total ratbag. He managed to get the rodent cornered behind a bookshelf that once lived in my grandfather's newsagency and he ran from one end to the other to try and evict the rodent. No luck (and no sleep due to the incessant barking and scratching). So it was time to call in the big guns. Enter Shaun Nevitt of Peter the Possum and Bird Man. This straight talking bloke was on to the problem like a rat up a drainpipe. One rat eliminated. Four traps set and 20 minutes later he was gone. Best $198 I ever spent

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22. Day 81. Going under

 Where in God's name is your Ark when you need it? Seriously I've been flooded more times than I care to recount in the past two days. This included INSIDE the Schonell Theatre during a performance. As if that wasn't weird enough, I also got a little extra liquid down my leg when my devoted fur friend decided to use my limb as a tree during a walk. I know right. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Anyway, with Drama Teen performing all weekend at the Schonell, I spent a great deal of time going back and forth to the venue to drop off, pick up or see the show. The Eleanor Schonell pedestrian bridge became my friend except that every time, without fail, I got drenched. I guess there's nothing like a physical drenching to take your mind off the symbolic going under in a work sense. Or maybe it just reinforces it. Still I did get to spend a bit of time by the lakes on each journey checking out the turtles. I love a turtle. They are nature's reminder that you can survive to be a very old age despite being slow and uncoordinated - and wet as it happens.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21. Day 80. The show must go on

It would have been just awesome had it been a production of Singin' in the Rain - but it wasn't at least not according to the program. What I was seeing was Fame Theatre Company's annual open clubs performance an event I have now attended in my role of Dance Mum for 13 straight years. A  veteran audience member I may be but this was a first. A combination of a wicked Queensland storm and a leaking roof meant it was raining on stage. But like the stoic little performers they all are they carried on regardless with just a few brief wipe-the-stage breaks. As every true performer knows The Show Must Go On. I admit I may have smiled when the littlest group were singing "catch a falling star and put it in your pocket. Save it for a rainy day"  while the roof leaked on them. That's the great thing about live performance - you never know what you're going to get on the night.

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20. Day 79. Things that REALLY bug me

Well wouldn't that give you the sh*ts? Some time today I put my camera down and walked away ... or it walked away. I can't be sure. I remember taking a photo of me getting my annual flu shot as you do and after that I can't be sure. What I am sure of is it wasn't there when I went to download pics tonight. I assumed it was in my office but I went back to work and it wasn't safely locked away. Lost property and the medical centre remain closed until Monday so I just have to cross my fingers and hope and in the meantime you get a mobile phone pic of a gecko (an animal about as annoying as my day). May the camera return fairy be my friend. Clearly I could also do with making friends with a window cleaner

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19. Day 78. On a school night

I avoid going out on a school night but I'm prepared to make an exception. I reckon a civic reception in the Grand Hall of Parliament House to mark the centenary of Drama Teen's school is well worth the effort. My late Dad was a Lauries' boy as were my uncles on both sides of the family and a cousin and yet my boy almost ended up somewhere else. He could have been a Nudgee Boy and it would have been a disaster. It is hard to think of a less suited combination. I must write to the person who rejected our application and thank him. That interview process led us to Lauries and it was the best decision ever. I get all To Sir with Love when I think about what that school has done to help my son navigate the high school years. In a few short months the senior school journey will be over but the lessons learned will be with my boy forever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18. Day 77. Spitting chips

I reckon there are more social rules relating to the consumption of food than just about anything else we do.
Some make sense. No-one wants to see you talk with your mouth full, for instance.
Some I still don't get despite half a century of reinforcement. I read somewhere that the reason we are not supposed to put elbows on the table relates to long Victorian benches where all the diners sat along one side. Too many elbows on the table would cause the whole lot to tip over and guests would wear their food. This may be true or it may be a great big lie but in any event it hardly applies now when chairs are on both sides of a table, just saying.
Some food rules are of course, cultural. Burping and belching a no-nos here but are signs of great appreciation in other cultures.
I am not sure what the etiquette for crow eating is but my guess is displays of spit are probably nowhere near as unacceptable in the avian world as in human circles. After all, if your diet comes from road kill and rubbish bins there isn't a lot of reason to stand on ceremony. Which in a way shines a light on how insane some of our eating rules are. Half the world is starving and we worry about which knife and fork to use and whether you should break or cut a bread roll. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate good manners and like the formality of fine dining but I don't think it's the end of the world if we get it wrong and sometimes people are too judgy. Yeah, I'm not the tidiest eater but I love me food and that has to count for something, right?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17. Day 76. Perfect Match

I do love to accessorize. Some days I can barely remember to comb my hair but will always make a point of finding a necklace to match. Yet, in proof that opposites attract, I'm married to a man who can't see the point of wearing matching socks. From a young age it was apparent our son had got my colour coding gene. There was this time at day care when he wet his shirt and the staff pulled a dry one out of his locker. He went and changed it because it didn't match. I trained him well. So I appreciate the effort of the dog groomers today. When I went to collect Rumple from his six-weekly treatment he was ready to go but minus the bow. The groomer instructed his assistant to find a red and white one to match the new harness he was wearing when he arrived. This attention to detail appeals greatly to me. Rumple hasn't said anything but I'm pretty sure he appreciated the gesture.

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16. Day 75. Pooling resources

 From the time we are little, our parents treat sharing as one of those incredibly important life lessons.
Which parent hasn't at some time said "share your toys with your sister/brother"? (Well, me obviously because my offspring has no siblings but I digress). In fact one of the biggest arguments you will hear against the only child is that he or she will be a spoiled brat never having learned to share. Yep, as a society we talk about sharing as a good thing but in so many practical ways we are very bad at practicing what we preach. Listen to talk back radio any day and you'll hear what I mean. Just about every discussion about government policy seems to be couched in terms of "what's in it for me" rather than what's good for us collectively. And just in case you think I being all preachy, I confess I am as guilty as the next person of indulging in the every-man-for-himself philosophy especially when it comes to important matters such as chocolate. I think it is not only human nature but a universal norm that makes us defend what we think is rightfully ours. Which brings me to today's image. It would be impossible to overstate just how annoyed the fur friend was today at the water dragon's decision to take up residence first beside and later in the pool. He was barking mad, to put it mildly. Rumple has only been in the pool once - that time he misjudged his step when chasing a possum - but that didn't stop him from claiming the pool and all its surrounds as his own. Pool resources? Not very likely. It's a dog eat dog world where you have to learn to sink or swim (or hold on to the Kreepy Krawly lead for all it's worth)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15. Day 74. Guilty by association

Sundays. Fun days. I actually really like the Sabbath although the idea of a day of rest is a great, big, stinking lie - at least in our house. Having said that compared with the other six days Sundays are a more relaxed family kind of day. The rainbow of relaxation tends to lose its pot of gold towards the middle of the afternoon and by dinner time its gone. Quite simply, Sunday afternoons are guilty by association suffering from their proximity to Monday mornings. But this Sunday I decided to milk every last minute of the joy of the weekend. The destination was Raby Bay which despite its relative proximity is a place I've never visited. My mate Google recommended the foreshore at Raby Bay as a nice dog and family friendly destination so we set off for a late afternoon beach jaunt. Good plan. It was a pretty much perfect afternoon for a paddle. It may not be the best beach in the world but it sure beats folding washing or fighting over homework.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 14. Day 73. If you are game

Some times you just have to be game. It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone and just do it. It takes guts to take your first tentative steps on a slackline. All your self preservation instincts say that trying to walk a thin line a meter or so in the air is a risky business but at South Bank today Sharni was giving it a red hot go. She'd never tried it before but she was rockin it. A little further up South Bank I met Maryanne Hutchison at the markets. Maryanne sells T Shirts and there's more than one from her stall in Drama Teen's slogan shirt collection. But she's got a new venture. Since Australia Day she's been operating The Game Puzzlers, a stall that sells old style wooden puzzles and games. You have to be game to start a new venture. You also have to be game  to dye your hair half red and half blue and wear a domino ear-ring too but Maryanne rocks that too. She's a real character.

 I also showed real character today. I had to be very game to buy yet another pet accessory for Rumple and take him home in it. But I threw caution to the wind and money at the stall holder to buy Rumple a Dharf harness and lead. It was just too damn cute, Australian made and fully machine washable. Some times a girl just can't say no.

Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13. Day 72. Nectar of the Gods

Quittin' time. Friday afternoon and everyone in the city seemed keen to knock off and head out for a drink. From the workmen catching the river barge back to shore to the crowds at the beach, the weekend was certainly in the air at South Bank. I, for one, was happy to join them. Rumple and I met my friend Sue for a walk along the river and then pulled in to one of the restaurants for a cider (side note. I love that fur friends are welcome if you choose an outside table and it was far too nice to be inside this afternoon in any event). I have to say that drink was so sweet, like the nectar Blue-faced Honeyeater found to feast on in the bougainvillea  opposite where we sat. After a long work week, a drink is a small but well-earned reward. And like I said, everyone was up for a drink.