Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15. Day 166. How much is that doggy in the window

 There's this episode of the Brady Bunch (series one, episode 5 to be exact) where Jan apparently has an allergy to Tiger, the dog that belonged to Mike and the boys. The dog has to go. WHAT?! That is not a thing. Surely any self respecting man would have introduced the dog to the potential new wife and kids long before it came to this. The puppy seal of approval would be required before this group could form a family. The actual story is far sadder (and even more improbable). The dog playing Tiger escaped on set during the filming of this episode and was run over and killed.  A Tiger double was brought in but the dog had no training and its lead had to be nailed to the floor.
Fortunately I don't think you would get away with that today. Dogs are people and have rights, right? Stories of animal cruelty make me so sad and so mad. I just don't get how people can abandon a family pet. Circumstances change but the love of and for a dog does not. But it happens.
Today during my rounds, I passed an RSPCA pop up adoption centre at Bulimba. I looked at the dogs and my heart broke. Those dogs deserve a home. Those dogs deserve a life something like that enjoyed by Rumple and Winkle (not quite the same. Not every home needs to be quite as neurotic). Hopefully the pop up worked and right now those pooches are curled up on a bed or a lap somewhere. It's only right.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14. Day 165. The colour purple

Apparently Brisbane mourned when The Riverwalk washed away. News reports after the 2011 floods say 3000 plus people a day walk the Riverwalk from the CBD to New Farm. I was never one of them. Indeed, I hadn't actually walked the 870 metres since the $100 million project reopened. But last week, I changed that and I was hooked. So this week, I decided to do it again. It's pretty awesome. It's flat, well lit, and has places where you can wash and scale fish (if you are into that sort of thing). But for me the thing that is awesome is the uninterrupted views it offers of the Story Bridge. How did I not know this? I'm sure the designers hadn't planned it but the fence makes for an awesome tripod for those of use who always forget such things ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13. Day 164. Talk of the Town

I love a good story. I love a good story teller. Also, I love a bit of theatrics. Who would have thought? So my interest was captivated when a little while back a friend told me about Talk of the Town. It's history (or as they put it Her-story), meets guided tour, meets drama. It's the vision of  Natalie Cowling who channels novelist Rosa Caroline Praed to lead tours through the city and inform about the life of the women who walked the streets before today. My friend and I vowed we must take a tour - she may have done so. I never put the plan into action. Today I was reminded of my failure to actually follow through when I saw a woman in distinctive period costume leading a group through the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. The group seemed to be hanging on Natalie or Rosa's every word. It was unmistakably the Talk of the Town. I asked, just to make sure. Mental note to self. Just do it

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12. Day 163. Brotherly love

Babies change almost overnight. So in a year a little bundle of joy is almost unrecognisable. So technically I have met Owen before but he sure as hell doesn't remember it.
I do, I wouldn't have picked him out in a line up. He's such a little man now. But his big brother Elliott, he I know. He's bigger than he was but the smile is as cute and the insatiable curiosity is even more so. And he clearly loves his little brother. And little Owen wants to do everything his big brother does and be everything his big brother does. Such simple joy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

June 11. Day 162. Head above water ... just

Control C. Control V. This is a post I could have, would have, written at this stage every semester. It's marking season. The nostrils are just about water, or just about most of the time. Then in the late afternoon, I get sick of the imploring puppy dog eyes but mostly I'm just sick of marking so off we go for a walk. Rumple is in charge and he leads. He says University of Queensland Lakes, by which I mean he charges off in that direction with a great deal of determination. We follow. Same sh*t, different semester.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10. Day 161. That's incredible

This story begins in the UK in 2004. That was when we saw The Incredibles with Oliver, then aged 6. It was such a joyous experience.  It's taken 14 years but now The Incredibles is back and today we got to see what the 2018 version looks like.
It looks and feels like the level of awesome one would expect from a Pixar movie 14 years in the making.
But more than that, it took me back. It took all of us back. It was really special to see how many teenagers and twenty somethings were lining up to see it. These are the kids whose now days whose superheroes are super-charged, super violent and the stars of big action blockbusters. But their inner child still has a soft soft for the Incredibles. It was all very sweet. 
And then I went to the Powerhouse via New Farm Park to meet friends. There were people with their own brands of superpower. These are human freaks if only because of the trust they put in others. It was incredible.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

June 9. Day 160. With a song in my heart

I am a truly awful singer.  On the rare occasions I do sing, my darling son will remind me just how bad I am. My response is always the same: "well my mother didn't pay for singing lessons".  It's a standing joke. Truth is 1) I never, ever wanted singing lessons and 2) every cent I have invested in singing lessons is a cent well spent.  I saw what the money paid for tonight at a concert featuring former Fame students. It just proves you can take the kid out of Fame but you can't take Fame out of the kid. These were people who perform just for the love of it which is, in my opinion, the best reason ever.

Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8. Day 159. Queen of Hearts

Wind the clock back two years to June 10, 2016. I was at the annual Multicultural Development Association Luminous Lantern Parade at South Bank. I met my mum there and her friend Lois. I'd been to previous parades but they hadn't and they were in awe. They wished someone had told them sooner. Later we had dinner and later I introduced them to another thing I love to do at South Bank - drink cocktails. It was a bloody good night. I'm glad I had that opportunity. Today was the 2018 parade. Today was also the day of Lois's funeral. She was 83. It was a lovely service. One of the things that stuck out was a choice of reading, a letter from Saint Paul to the Corinthians. It's commonly read a weddings. Indeed it was read at out wedding. "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist of its own way; it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. If they can say that about you at your funeral, it's been a life well lived in my book.

June 7. Day 158. Hats off to these blokes

 Exam time has the ability to send us all slightly batshit crazy. It's pretty unforgiving. My solution when the weight of marking threatens to tip me over the edge is to go for a walk. Others have other methods of dealing with assessment-related stress. On our walk this afternoon, the dogs and I came across a group of engineering students at UQ. They were watching their mate Grant try to throw his cap and have it land on top of a high pole. Apparently he'd been trying for half an hour. He got close a number of times (to loud cheers) but never actually landed it.
Finally, another member of the group Charlie could stand it no more. He decided to take fate into his own hands. He climbed up on a wheelie bin beside the pole and had a few throws from there. It was dangerously unstable so he shimmied up the pole and carefully placed the cap on the pole. Job done. I told the boys that they were crazy. They pointed out I was the one taking photos.  I had no come back to that. As I said, exam season sends us all over the top.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 6. Day 157. Squashed cane toad

It was an omen, I tell you. 

This afternoon, walking through the botanic gardens, I saw a cane toad. 

It was being consumed by an ibis.
The cane toad was no more. It was well and truly defeated.
As a dedicated follower of State of Origin football (not), I knew immediately what it meant.
It was a sure sign that the Queenslanders were going down tonight. Naturally, I didn't bother to actually watch the defeat - that will be 109th game in a row I've missed. I was at the theatre. Had I not had a pressing prior arrangement, I would have been cleaning the fluff out of my belly button or something.  At least I can be happy at the fact that one less cane toad is around to destroy the native wildlife.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5. Day 156. Horror movie

Crows have a bad reputation. Depending on which culture you align yourself with they are associated with bad luck or even death. They make very regular appearances in horror films, at least so I'm told.
I like watching crows even though horror movies are not actually my thing.
There's enough to frighten me in real life without seeking it out in my recreation.
On the other hand I do love a great movie and excellent acting and there has been a lot of buzz around Hereditary. Also it stars Australia's own Toni Collette and we should support our own.
So I joined the crowd at the Brisbane preview screening of the movie dubbed setting a "new horror landmark".
On the plus side Collette proved to be a most convincing scream queen. Her performance was disturbing to say the least.
But as for the film? Rotten Tomatoes puts the film at 92% positive. I'm in the 8%.
It's not my thing, so perhaps I was never going to like it. But I didn't find myself covering my eyes and grinding my teeth as I expected. I just didn't feel moved. I'd rather watch the crows. I'm weird like that.

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4. Day 155. Testing time

Me, reading from the consent form: "Are you pregnant?
Margaret, laughing: "No... not yet".
The wicked Margaret is back.  It started as an ear infection but probably as the result of the impact heavy-duty painkillers can have on the brain, Margaret has not been herself. She's been dazed and confused and not really in command of mind or body. Today she was sent for an MRI to rule out anything sinister or as she put it "to shake my brain and see if sawdust will fall out". I went to leave when they arrived to take her for the scan. She told me I could/should stay. "You can take photos," she said.
The wards person was very amused by all of this.
Apparently documenting "A day in the life of" doesn't happen that often. But then again you won't come across someone like Margaret very often.
It's so good to have the feisty old Margaret back.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

June 3. Day 154. Plastic fantastic

Her first ever Tupperware Party. Will she cope?

I met Colleen today. She's successfully navigated her way through 46 years on this planet avoiding Tupperware parties. That's quite an achievement. I can't count how many I've been to. I know it's a lot. I've even hosted my fair share, more than my fair share if I'm honest.
To tell you the truth, I find the whole Tupperware thing curious. The product is quality and I love a party.
But let's be honest, Tupperware parties are not really the same as cocktail parties on the hierarchy of social engagements.
And how is it that party plan buying has survived when bricks and mortar selling is struggling?  Our hostess is a newbie so I asked her how she found herself in the job. She revealed she signed up at the Baby Expo. The new mum had discovered Tupperware through her won mother an found herself talking to the folks on the stand. It seemed like a good fit.
She also said she thought presenting would be good for her self confidence. She did a great job. Any my sister, who was the hostess, ensured the champagne flowed and the tummies were well fed. It may not have been a cocktail party but there were cocktails - mixed up in a Tupperware product of course.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2. Day 153. Oom pah pah

 I had a Fawlty Towers moment today, specifically episode six The Germans. Anyone who knows anything about Fawlty Towers knows what I am talking about. It's the one where Sybil is in hospital and German guests are at the hotel. "Don't mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it." Classic Basil. Well here in Brisbane we have had a German invasion of sorts and it's at South Bank. There are two places in Brisbane where a German theme makes absolute sense for a restaurant.  Nundah, where I used to live has a very strong German heritage from the early white settler days. But in more recent history there was a real German flavour at South Bank and that flavour was beer.  Anyone who was in Brisbane in 1988 will know what I'm talking about.
 The German beer house was an Expo 88 favourite. It was where we all learned the chicken dance. And now a very short distance from that beer hall and just under the only surviving Expo 88  statue on site is a new German restaurant. It's all lederhosen  and dirndl. It's beer steins and sausages. My guess is there is probably sauerkraut too but I didn't hang around too long. I had places I needed to be and besides, I didn't want to risk mentioning the war.

Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1. Day 152. In sickness and in health

Unless you count bootie calls, a phone call after midnight is unlikely to be good news. This was definitely not a bootie call. When I saw Margaret's number come up on my phone two thoughts clashed. 1) This can't be good, negative Susan said. Positive Susan had another version. 2) It can't be that bad if she has managed to get to the phone and dial my number.  True it wasn't THAT bad. She had a really, really bad ear ache. She wanted me to call the after hours doctor and she wanted company. I went over. June 1. First day of winter. It was freezing. I made the call and administered pain relief. She was still hurting but clearly it took the edge off. She talked. Mostly I lay curled under the doona on the couch and listened. The doctor came and went. An ear infection was diagnosed and drugs administered but the doctor said a follow up  at the GP in the next  24 hours was advised and if things got worse hospital outpatients. I couldn't leave her. I settled in for the night.
By morning the pain was back and she was shaky on her feet. I could see no reasonable way of getting her safely out of the house. The ambulance came and off she went to hospital. The ear was syringed and an ear wick inserted. The doctor was lovely. He said she could be admitted but inevitably that would mean exposure to the sort of germs a 90-year-old woman does not need if it can be avoided. So we went home with drugs and the promise of a night with more sleep (given neither or us slept last night that wouldn't be hard). Tomorrow back to hospital to have the wick removed.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31. Day 151. Gone to the dogs

 There's no such thing as a free lunch. Today the cost paid for rather nice burgers was a two-hour staff meeting. It was about change and coping with it. For some reason the graphics came from studies based on changes related to grief. To that I say "good grief".   Clearly my powers of adapting to change are not what they should be.
But if there is one thing that can reset my equilibrium it's dogs. And nothing has quite the power that is dogs at the hairdresser. The dogs like the hairdresser like I like a meeting. We were both very happy to see each other. Happiness is dogs fresh from a haircut, so beautiful, so pleased to see me. Bless.  This is a reward far better than a hamburger.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30. Day 150. Nice night for a walk

 I was "meant" to go walking early. I am "meant" to do quite a lot of things I never get around to.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak or something. For whatever reason the day was almost over before the walk began. This could be to do with the early sunset because of the rapid approach of winter. The days are noticeably shorter and the transition from day to night very rapid. So while we started the walk by day it was dark by the time we arrived back home. In part this had to do with a stupid amount of time the dogs and I sat outside shops and waited. My two-legged child had errands so came along for the ride, or walk as it was. While I sat on bus seats with the dogs and waited it struck me how quickly people are to make judgments and act accordingly. There are homeless people in the parts of the city where I was hanging around on park benches and waiting. Many of them have dogs and do much the same thing. I rather suspect  strangers don't come up to them and chat and ask to pat the dogs. It could be that my dogs are irresistibly delightful (they are) but I doubt that's it. We are a judgy lot aren't we? And I do mean "we" because I do it too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29. Day 149. Kids these days

I caught a bus today ... pauses to allow people to run outside to see if hell has frozen over.  No, entirely of my own free will and with a vehicle in perfect working order in the garage at home, I decided to take public transport. Well, kind off. I was given a lift to work and I walked a large section of the journey home but there was a bus ride between campuses for one segment. I am trying to keep up with this exercise business but accepting of the reality that only so much is possible if you are up until 3am marking. But back to the bus. The trip told me two things 1) I still hate bus travel and 2) that saying about being as old as you feel isn't true. I felt about 104. Late night extended marking sessions are most unkind to body and soul. But if I was 104, then by rights those fit, healthy young things on the bus should have given me a seat. Nope, not a movement. Kids these days. Still, I said I wanted exercise and hanging on for dear life has to expend some energy even if only of the emotional kind.