Thursday, November 30, 2017
But today I broke a dad habit of a lifetime. It's about holidays. When the holidays were done we packed up and went home. There were no detours, no delays. It was - to borrow a Monopoly phrase - go home, go directly home, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
I even remember one family holiday to Port Macquarie where he refused to stop to let us eat or drink. If the car hadn't needed petrol there probably wouldn't have been wee breaks either. He just wanted to get back to home sweet home.
I might not be quite so crazy rigid about it but I also don't delay at heading home. Questions about a car full of valuables or wet togs and towels or perishable food always bother me.
But not today. Today it was raining when the dogs and I should have had our last walk along the beach. I felt cheated. Also without a big run we would have a whinging Winkle to deal with all the way home. So with the car packed and the keys returned, the dogs and I hit the beach. Drama Teen stayed in the air conditioned car to help alleviate my normal concerns. The weather was threatening but the run was excellent (even if the car is now buried in sand).
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
I'm sure my mother loves me, really. But I do test her.
Mum traditionally joins us on holiday. She pitches in and does what we do.
I "reward" her with a few surprises. One year we went for a "short walk" through the Noosa National Park to the nudist beach. Anyone who knows the area knows that the reason this unofficial clothes optional beach is allowed to flourish is because it is well off the beaten track. You can approach it from two different park entrances. Neither is a short walk. But she did it. Today we took the dogs to the Maroochy River North Shore where the river meets the ocean. The plan was to start the walk at the ocean entry and walk around the headland and arrive park at the car park at the river entry. It's a fine plan. What I didn't mention was that although it is beach most of the way there are detours.
Fallen trees and the like mean that in places you have to head inland. In one section you have to wade through water about knee deep.
I'd done it a couple times on this holiday. Drama Teen has conquered it once. We both knew what to expect. My mum did not.
The dogs loved it. The humans embraced it. I think my mother, knowing my sense of direction, was just pleased that we made it back to where we started.
I rewarded her with Pad Thai for dinner. It's her favourite. She rewarded me with doing the washing up. Deal.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Sunday, November 26, 2017
My late cousin Dominic was born on exactly the same day as I was. Somehow my family has a way of being in sync. This latest generation hasn't quite managed to line things up quite so precisely but they are not far off. Sixteen years ago, my sister Marie and sister-in-law Karin gave birth to two beautiful little girls five days apart. Today Cleo and Jessica celebrated at a combined Sweet Sixteen party. We are still on holidays on the Sunshine Coast but 100 kilometres isn't that far to travel for such an occasion (especially considering I commuted from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast for work for a couple of years). Besides I was able to make the most of the journey with . trip to the theatre by a trip to the theatre to see Scenes from a Marriage and have a chat to the production's stars. That's totally worth a 90 minute drive.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
But honestly I'm totally fine with Cute Canines cuddling with Claus. On my personal insanity scale, I don't think this even measures.
My dogs happily sat on the man in red's lap.
My dogs happily accepted a treat.
Many a toddler has shown considerable more distress at the Santa photo opportunity.
It's the silly season and it doesn't get much sillier than Santa Paws.
The silliness continued later in the day when we all trekked to the Maroochy River.
There was splashing.
There was swinging.
There was sand EVERYWHERE.
There was mud throwing and barely a dry seat in a car on the drive home.
Recently a friend of mine said she didn't like the beach but went on to add that she did really enjoy the beach lifestyle. She liked the cafes and a refreshing drink overlooking the ocean.
To me, that totally counts as liking the beach.
You won't catch me riding a wind surfer.
You are most unlikely to even catch me riding a wave.
But I am in a happy place walking along the sand, watching the dogs romping and collecting shells.
The dogs love chasing the ball and chasing each other. They sniff the bottoms of other dogs and chase birds and swim.
For Drama Teen the joy is losing himself in a podcast while splashing in the shallows and throwing the ball to the dogs over and over again. However you find it, unless you a lifesaver or council inspector the beach is a place of relaxation where you can put work behind you.
It's a beautiful thing.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
I love pelicans. Anything that has evolved to have a mouth capable of opening that wide and fitting that much in has my total admiration. There's a kind of ugly elegance about the pelican. They are kind of big and awkward looking. Given their size, in theory they could be quite threatening. Having spent time almost nose to nose with one today, I'd say they are remarkably placid. We were on the bank of the Maroochy River very close to where the river meets the ocean. A couple of fishermen were trying their luck. A pelican decided to check out how they were going. Clearly they do it a lot. They didn't see humans as a threat. We watched each other until the pelican got bored, clearly having figured out there was nothing fishy about me. It joined one of its mates just up the beach closer to the fishermen. We continued the walk. Life is good.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Some time today a village sprung up on Mudjimba Beach. My best guess is that some time between the morning beach walk and the afternoon beach walk, a school group descended tasked with building and decorating in sand. They looked great.
The dogs showed their approval by peeing on the constructions. I would have considered that most inappropriate except for the fact that the sand castles were clearly not long for this world in any case. It was a race against time and the elements.
It was hard to tell whether the incoming tide or the approaching storm would get their first.
Certainly the storm nearly got us. We had turned for home and had our backs to it.
A gust of really cold wind made me turn and ... holy crap, it looked like the world was about to end.
I did my best interpretation of a run. We made it home just in time.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Bloody annoying things cicadas. I'd rather not have to listen to them but at the same time I normally avoid watching them being consumed whole. Okay, the natural order of things dictates that noisy friar birds eat cicadas. They just do although until today I've never actually witnessed it. At this time of year the cicadas are swarming and when that happens an opportunist bird is going to pick off one or two. I mean, those little suckers don't exactly take steps to avoid detection. Just the opposite. The sound of the cicada is a sound of summer, just like like the cricket. Officially we are still a couple of weeks short of the start of summer but I'm prepared to go early. My evidence is as follows: 1. I'm at the beach. 2. Second semester marks were locked and loaded today. 3. The Ashes test starts at The Gabba on Thursday. 4. The Schoolies have descended on the Gold Coast and 5. The ads for mangoes and cherries have begun. Roll on summer. Just remember the insect repellent.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
I think today's weather may have been decided by committee. It was like a compromise decision where no-one ended up with a satisfactory outcome. But it could have been worse. All night it rained. It would ease off and then bucket down. Repeat. By morning it looked like it may have cleared. It turned out to be a false dawn but the rain respite held up for long enough for a trip to the beach to allow the dogs to run wild and our young visitor Molly to jump in the sand and collect shells. And then we retreated before the rain returned - plus it was time for breakfast. The birds had a jump on us. On the path from the beach a grey butcherbird was already grazing. According to BirdsinBackyards, this avian preys on small animals hiding uneaten food in the fork or branch of a tree or impaling it. That explains exactly what I saw going on. I love it when I see a creature behaving exactly as the guide predicts. And then I went home and ate the food I'd hidden uneaten in the door of the fridge, just the way nature intended.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
I've found myself in weird positions in pursuit of "the money shot" but today's antics were right up there. The dogs and I made it as far as the front gate when it started to pour in the style of Noah's Ark. I don't mind drizzle on my walk but not torrential downpour. So we retreated. No beach photos today. But rain or no rain, the birds still need to eat so they settled in the bottlebrush outside. They were soggy and the best place to capture that was from the bathroom. It seemed kind of ironic to be taking a wet photo standing in a bathtub but there you have it.
Friday, November 17, 2017
I LOVE a zoom lens. It is my lens of preference and the one I use 95% of the time.
My old one has taken a battering.
It was near retirement. But the issue was forced yesterday when it went missing. Two weeks on the beach without a zoom lens felt unthinkable (although the wide angle works pretty well for the sunrise pic). Anyway, I bought myself an early Christmas present.
The universe applauded my decision by sending a very large flock of yellow tailed black cockatoos to play exactly where Drama Teen, the dogs and I take our afternoon beach walk.
And it's not as though black cockatoos are the type of bird you have to crawl quietly through the trees to spot. These guys are noisy, really noisy and big fat posers. Perfect.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
The postal vote results are in. Our nation has supported Same Sex Marriage. This is, of course, awesome. This is, of course, well overdue. But I can't help but feel seriously annoyed. Our politicians are weak and spineless. Our politicians are crazily cavalier with our $$$. We are somehow supposed to be over-joyed that the vote "only" cost $100 million. Sure that is $23 million cheaper than the projected cost. It is also $100 million more than should have been spent. The result was pretty much exactly what the opinion polls predicted and they cost the public nothing. But rather than except the public will, rather than do what they are paid for they outsourced the responsibility. Sure in a democratic system, the public's opinion matters bit we exercise that through the ballot box not the mail. Yes, we achieved the right result. But hell we went the wrong way about it.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Wasteland at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Today they invited me in to check out their rehearsal and explained the philosophy behind their show. Exhibiting wisdom far beyond their years, the performers talked about using the physicality of circus and waste and reclaimed products rather traditional circus equipment to talk about the damage we are doing to the environment. We need to clean up our act - literally - or we will all have to leap over mountains of junk. Expect tumbling, aerials and juggling in a show about resilience, survival and the collective need to do better. And expect to see plastic shopping bags in ways far beyond what the makers intended. I'll miss this show because I'll be out of town. The rest of you shouldn't let the opportunity go to waste!