Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 31. Day 31. Once in a blue moon

I own a tripod. I almost never remember to take it with me when I need it. This time I was on it. I left it in the car. Unfortunately it was not the car I brought with us on holidays. So given the super/blue/eclipse moon tonight I decided to improvise. I found a step ladder in the holiday home store room. It was good but not quite high enough. 
So the very solid four slice toaster was placed on top. That made my solid base just about high enough. It also made everyone in the house look at me like I'd lost the plot. It didn't matter much. I only managed to take a couple of shots and the clouds rolled in and it was game over. The only total eclipse was of my heart.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January 30. Day 30. Aerial antics

 Is it creepy to approach a young man on the beach and ask to take a photo? I know that had the shoe been on the other foot and a man my age had asked the same question of a young woman from the Solomon Islands it would be 100% creepy.
But Mike didn't seem to care. I think that he was actually a little pleased someone was interested in his aerial antics.
Also being with your mum, your son and your dogs does go a bit of a way to reduce the creep factor. And I have a kind face.
And I promised to send photos. See.
Nothing creepy about that.

Monday, January 29, 2018

January 29. Day 29. Counting your eggs before the hatch

According to popular wisdom, you should not count your chickens before they hatch. You can, however, count your turtles. Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday: frolicking dogs, squawking galahs and arriving at the beach to the sight of a turtle team attending to a nest laid over night.
Today, I had the chance to have a lengthy chat to the turtle team. The mamma turtle who visited the beach last night laid her crop of eggs too close to the high tide mark. To protect the eggs they had to be moved further up the beach. While this went on, I watched and talked. I found out that between November and March members of the Sunshine Coast volunteer turtle squad walk every beach between Bribie and Noosa just before the sun come up. Every nest is documented and the work has ensured 90 per cent of the eggs laid survive.  The eggs are laid about 50 centimetres deep and there are about 140 each time. When the eggs are laid they are soft and can easily survive the drop. But they harden and so have to be handled with extreme care when they are moved. The eggs look remarkably like ping pong balls. In 60 days they will look like hatchlings. Awesome.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

January 28. Day 28. The early birds

As I understand it, "normal" people use holidays as an opportunity to sleep in.  I get up early. A walk along the beach at dawn is an excellent start to the day.  Even if this wasn't my "thing" this morning sleeping in was a virtual impossibility. The early birds were putting on a dawn chorus right outside my bedroom window. I don't think I've ever seen as many galahs and sulphur crested cockatoos in one place. That place was metres from my bed. Besides, the dogs insist on a morning walk along the beach. Just as well I listened to both the birds and the dogs. At the bottom of the stairs to the beach which are 33 metres from house (I know this because a sign says so) a small crowd was gathering. It grew during the time we were on the beach. It turned out a turtle had laid eggs during the night. There was a distinct path and a mound. Indigenous wildlife officers arrived. Measurements were taken. Some time before the end of Match there will be tiny footprints from above the high water mark when the hatchlings make their way to the water. Perhaps I should book another holiday ....

Saturday, January 27, 2018

January 27. Day 27. Going swimmingly

We're back at the beach. As everyone knows, I love the beach. The dogs love the beach. I love my dogs enough to pay a significant excess for the right to bring my dogs on holiday. But, of course, I am not alone. We know this because 1) there wouldn't be high cost dog holiday homes if there wasn't a market and 2) I know two other families at the beach this weekend with ALL their family including the dogs.
Shadow and Rosie will be enjoying this long weekend with their two-legged families in Surfers Paradise and Coffs Harbour respectively. Dogs. It makes perfect sense. Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me smile quite as widely as a happy dog frolicking on the beach. That I'll pay for.

Friday, January 26, 2018

January 26. Day 26. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

 Of course the date of Australia Day doesn't really bother me. Why would it? I'm a white Middle Class Aussie. But that's exactly why my opinion on the date doesn't count. I see the issue as not all that different from same sex marriage. For the majority, the date doesn't matter that much. But for those it matters to, it matters to a whole lot. The needs of the many, don't always outweigh the need of a few. And nor should they. Just change the date. It's the right thing to do. The only question is which date. It needs some sort of significance but it can't be offensive.
So to save Australia from a long and probably pointless argument I have chosen a new date. October 25. October 25 in 1923 was the day Vegemite first sold in Australia. It doesn't get any more Australian than that. In the meantime, I still think Australia and being Australian is worth celebrating. So I will be a patriotic little Aussie and a happy little Vegemite and celebrate Australia Day with a barbecue with friends, prawns, the pool and pav. But I shall also happily accept a change of date.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

January 25. Day 25. A cut above

It has to be.
It's the only possible answer.
There is no other credible explanation as to how Aimie manages to get both Rumple AND Winkle to sit still and be groomed.
Rumple is fairly chilled most of the time but Winkle, that one is never chilled.
But she is a crowd pleaser. When I picked the dogs up this afternoon, Aimie said she could have sold Winkle many times over today.
Let the buyer beware.
Beauty is only skin deep. Crazy goes all the way to the bone.
Having said that, I can hardly criticise appearance when I'm the one who books the dogs in for very regular haircuts and assists on bows with every clip.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January 24. Day 24. The heat in on

Every time we have a heat wave like the one we are enduring at the moment the message is the same - check on the elderly. For what it's worth, I do that. I visit Margaret next door every day. I've offered to buy her fans. I've offered to bring her into my air conditioning but you can't convince her. I find the heat almost intolerable when I visit. I'm a big ball of sweat. My fur babies pant. Rarely, Margaret will actually concede it is hot. She will eat an ice block for dinner. But if it really bothers her, she does a really good job of either hiding it or being in complete denial. Margaret's guilty pleasure is watching The Bold and the Beautiful every afternoon at 4.30. She leaves her seat at the verandah window, locks the doors and windows and goes into the lounge. I break out in a sweat just looking at it. I think she thinks the rest of us are just soft. She's lived in this house for more than 80 years. That's 80 plus Queensland summers and she sees no point in changing her habits now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

January 23. Day 23. Seafood diet

Scrub turkeys don't have a great reputation.
You know you are not top of the popularity stakes when the first sentence on Brisbane City Council's web page about the bird says the turkey is "a native Australian bird protected under State Wildlife Legislation. It is a serious offence to harm bush turkeys.
I admit I'm no a huge fan but I feel a natural affinity. They are one of nature's garbage gutses. The one I saw at the base of the Kangaroo Point cliff is clearly  following a seafood diet, much as I do. In the turkey's case, the seafood was a prawn shell it had scrounged from a barbecue. In my case, I see food. I eat it. This is going to change. Soon. I have ordered Lite'n'Easy. A combination of the delay in orders starting and a fast approaching holiday means it will be another couple of weeks before I begin in earnest.  But things must change. And they will. I will be a picture of virtue and diet goodness. Or something. But at least not dreadful.

Monday, January 22, 2018

January 22. Day 22. Hair today

 My "colourist" told me today that she loves doing my hair because I always do something different. Clearly she hasn't been at the salon too long because I'd had variations on the same style for about three decades until about last October. I was sick. I was tired and something needed a quick fix. The thing with hair is it grows. If you don't like it, time will heal. I cut my hair shorter. I dyed it brown and added purple streaks. Not bad I thought but I could do better. Next time I said "keep the purple but let's go blond".  The result was more corn than blond. That, the "colourist" told me, was because there is only so much bleach your hair will take in one go unless you want to kill it. One more go and you'll get very blond. Bring. It. On. Then came the question of the streaks. I nearly went purple again but at the last minute had a change of heart. "Pink," I said. "Pink?" she asked. "Are you sure?". Sure. Rule one. If you don't like it, remember time heals all bad haircuts. But honestly I think it's me. I may think differently the first time I wash it but for the moment, I'm pretty in pink.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 21. Day 21. The holiday is over

School's back tomorrow. Once upon a time, that sort of thing used to bother me greatly. I've grown out of it, or more specifically my son has. I hated the end of holidays. I also hated things such as ironing uniforms, polishing school shoes and covering books. Therefore, I put it off . The day before school returned I would have been at home frantically doing these things instead of enjoying the last moments of summer. Clearly others are far more organised.
The pool at South Bank was still being well used by families late this afternoon. Tomorrow it will be back to situation normal. Traffic will go through the roof, shopping centres will be empty in the middle of the day and the rates of holiday apartments will fall. So the holidays are over for others but mine are about to begin. I can't wait until Saturday.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 20. Day 20. Card carrying

You can always expect a bit of crazy when the family comes around. Actually, you can expect a whole lot of crazy which is what makes it so enjoyable.
Tonight was no different.
It was a belated family celebration for the 20th birthday of the person Formerly Known as Drama Teen.
There was pizza and play on the table. Cards Against Humanity would have to be the most politically incorrect game ever invented which is why the kids (young and not so young) love it.
The crazy competitive streaks were on display as well as a great deal of good humour.
And then we all took up a seat for a movie night.
The movie was good. Watching it in company made it even better.

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 19. Day 19. It's a pelvic thrust

I have seen Rocky Horror both the stage and the picture show many, many times. You know pretty much exactly what you are going to get. Lots of pelvic thrusting and lewd behaviour. Tonight was guaranteed to be the same but different. Tonight was a bit of an unknown. The lead was replaced just before the Brisbane season. The understudy gets the big break every understudy always dreams of. And while all eyes are always on Frank in the Rocky Horror Show, this changes everything.  There's a very different dynamic, especially as the original Frank stood down because of accusations of inappropriate conduct. I feel torn, and this has nothing to do with the fact that I've seen and delighted in Craig Mclachlan's performance as Frank before. What worries me is a seemingly impossible balancing act. You must have zero tolerance for abusers. You must have zero tolerance for those who seek to cast doubt on whistle blowers or victims. But we must also hold dear a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. This is a moral imperative not just a legal one, and it applies to the court of public opinion as well as trial by media not just in the law courts in my book. I wish this was possible. I don't see how it is. It's a question for greater minds than mine. In the mean  time in the best theatrical tradition, the show must go on. Not doing so would be to victimise the rest of the cast and all the other creatives and others in the entertainment industry invested in the show. And Brisbane came out frocked up and ready to do the Time Warp again.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

January 18. Day 18. A hard day's work

Rest break at South Bank

They say hard work never killed anyone. Nonsense. I have proof, although not my hard work obviously. It goes like this. Yesterday some lovely men cleaned all the glass around my home. Glass panels on the deck, glass panels down the outdoor steps and around the whole rear garden. There's glass all around the pool. Put it this way, the saying about not throwing stones in glass houses could apply to me. The glass was really dirty. Thanks to the hard work of the window cleaners it is now sparkly clean. And thanks to that hard work a lorikeet is now dead. It smacked into a glass panel. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It's shuffled off this mortal coil, kicked the bucket, pushing up the daisies and everything else Monty Python had to say about dead birds. Fortunately, I wasn't home and didn't have to deal with the poor things remains. I was at South Bank looking at very much alive birds when I received the photo from the Person Formally Known as Drama Teen. "Is it dead?" I asked. "Just pinin' for the fjords," he said. Good work.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17. Day 17. Welcome back

 It's rather special to have one's own cheer squad.
If you are a B List celebrity having people following you around watching your every move might be tiresome. That's a one way transaction. With my fan club it's quite different. The dogs are always pleased to see me and they make their joy known. Dogs can't slam doors, or use rude words or bully you either in real life or in the cyber form. They are pretty bloody good at letting you know if they want food, or water, a pat or a walk or a game of ball but mostly just having you around is enough. There's something special about being greeted when you return from checking the mail box to a greeting as if you've been out of the country for a month. I pretend  hate cats. I don't. I'm just allergic to them so tend to keep my distance. As a result, I really know very little about cats as pets but I can't see how anything can match a dog as a pet, other than two dogs. There's a reason they are considered man's best friend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16. Day 16. The shape of water

It's a hideously cliched thing to do but I'm trying to cleanse my life as a new year's resolution kind of thing. This involves both my person and my home. The body work is not yet proceeding at a cracking pace but I have started walking again, I've started to tackle a few medical issues.
The first Lite and Easy order has been lodged. It's a start. The domestic front is proceeding a little faster. Days of repairs, carpet cleaning, window cleaning and a world championship purge of clothes, books and DVDs. With the assistance of a cleaner, a mowing man, a carpet cleaner, a window cleaner, a pest control man and a handyman things are starting to sparkle around here. A new lounge suite should be arriving by the end of the month, there are new cushions on the balcony furniture and new linen in Oliver's room (turns out the room also has carpet on the floor. It's been such a long time since I've been able to see it, I wasn't sure). There's a long way to go but I feel progress. I also feel tired. But the beach beckons. 10 more days and I'll be back at the coast in what never fails to deliver the best type of cleanse of all, that of the soul. For now South Bank, where these photos were taken, is the closest I get to the beach. It will do, for now. Then in February it's back to work to cleanse the credit card statement.

Monday, January 15, 2018

January 15. Day 15. Balancing act

I tried rock climbing once. I was crap at it. I have about zero upper body and arm strength. None. The very last thing I needed was any sort of a handicap. It would make no sense to make it more difficult than need be. But addiction is just that. It makes no sense. Watching a climber on the Kangaroo Point cliffs attempting to scale the rock face with a cigarette in either his mouth or his hand reminded me of two things: 1) never to take up smoking and 2) of my father for most of my young life. Dad was rarely without a smoke. Most things he did he did either one handed or with a ciggie pursed between his lips. It was just the way it was. It taught me a fair bit about addictive personalities. I reckon I've inherited the gene if there is one. I know my addictive tendencies may not be as obvious as a cigarette in a hand to the outside world but they are there just the same. With everything from poor food or caffeinated drink consumption to exercise, there is no medium. I do a lot or none. Balance would be good. Balance wouldn't be me. So I just go on trying to climb that metaphorical wall with a hand tied behind my back. It makes life interesting if nothing else.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

January 14. Day 14. Moving pictures

We have this family thing where we try to see most, if not all, of the movies with Oscar buzz prior to the awards night. I like to think this will assist me in predicting the winners. In this regard it has failed spectacularly. The Academy and I do not see eye to eye. It is, however, a entertaining family adventure. Our venue of choice is the Blueroom Cinebar because the fries with aioli are superb and the occasional cocktail never hurt anyone (apart from me obviously what with the still slightly dodgy liver). Anyway, tonight it was The Post. It should come as no surprise to anyone that as a one-time journalist I found this fascinating. Some say it was a little preachy in the Fake News Trump era but to me it summed up everything that makes journalism great. It was also like it stirred a muscle memory of what it is like to stand in the press room when someone hits the go button. I'm sure it's not quite like that now but it made me feel all nostalgic and reminded me again of how important good journalism is, even if the world thinks of journalists as bottom dwelling poo feeders. If the ending was preachy, it needed to be because somehow the message is being lost. A free press is important, now more than ever. For what it is worth, while I loved The Post (see rant above), I don't think it will win much on awards night because of the competition. Given my success in past years you should immediately put all you money on it.