Friday, November 30, 2018

November 30. Day 335. Weddings, parties anything

Life is weird. There are just so many stories about the best laid plans that fail and the complete accidents/coincidences that work out.
Today may end up being just one of those. Although Margaret's birthday was weeks ago, the nursing home holds a monthly birthday celebration. November birthday boys and girls were the honoured guests at today's party.
We were at Margaret's table. Normally the Friday happy hour has a singer but today the entertainer didn't turn up. Some of the residents were a bit disappointed. "Can anyone sing?" one of the staff joked.
"Oliver can," I said "volunteering" him.
And so sing he did without a backing track.
He was great. I was proud. One dear old man called a staff member over when he'd finished and said "more singer...."
A female resident requested something from Les Mis next time. So there it is. They said he could come bak any time.
It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

November 29. Day 334. Wonderland

What do sex toys, circus in a Glad Wrap Box and fractured fairy tales have in common?
That was what I experienced tonight. Perhaps that sounds like over-sharing or the punch line of a bad joke. It's neither.  The Wonderland festival at The Brisbane Powerhouse is all about the off beat theatrical and tonight I experienced it by the bucketload.
In four hours, I managed to squeeze in threes shows covering stand up, circus and cabaret in a theatrical threesome that was extremely entertaining.
The Wonderland Festival is pretty new to the Brisbane scene and I must say it's a welcome addition. As we head full steam into the silly season and the main stage programs start to dry up, this is just what the city needs. I applaud it heartily.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

November 28. Day 333. Go with the flow

 At Southbank there are A LOT of public displays of affection or PDAs. You get kind of used to it. Public displays of theatre, well that's less common. Technically what we saw today was site-specific but ...
Anyway, the production by Elbowroom at Flowstate was very, very specific to Southbank.
This piece has performers leading the audience through the parkland while talking about the area's history.
It was incredibly interesting. It's kind of weird watching the public enjoying Southbank watching the performers and the spectators in headphones and trying to figure out what is going on.
But being among people going about their Southbank business is the point.
I'd love to see a version of this being an added attraction to the site.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

November 27. Day 332. Little drummer boy

 The New Farm Park/Powerhouse precinct is one of those places in Brisbane where I can be sure something will attract my eye.
There's always something on, or something striking or pretty or interesting. You can count on it.
But today I was lead by my ears not my eyes.
I heard the drums. I walked to the beat of the drum to the bandstand.
There was a bloke in a kilt mentoring a bloke in business wear.
I walked up and asked if I could take pics.
They were cool.
In a break I quizzed them, as I do.
They were part of a pipe band. They were the first to arrive. The others would be there soon.
Normally they rehearse in doors at Clayfield College but with school now out they were out in the bandstand. I reckon it was pretty hot in those clothes. But they still had the music in them and it was infectious.

Monday, November 26, 2018

November 26. Day 331. Life's a beach

 I am counting down the days until we get to the beach.
It's close but not close enough.
So even though it was late and I knew the sun would be almost gone before I got there I went to Bribie with the dogs.
They loved me for it.
After a really steamy Brisbane day it was bliss.
It was so worth it.
The dogs are in their happy place on the beach.
I'm in my happy place on the beach.
I throw the ball. Some times they chase it.
Some times they don't bother and chase each other or chase waves or other dogs. It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter that the car is full of sand after wards.
It doesn't matter that EVERYTHING is full of sand after wards. It doesn't matter that there are two wet dogs. It's the beach and that's everything.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

November 25. Day 330. Santa Paws.

 I like it when I'm proven right.
For years the world thought I was crazy. I was on the lunatic fringe.  Only crazy people would take their dogs to sit on Santa's knee. I didn't care what people thought. I did it anyway.
But now it's very mainstream. It's not only happening in Westfield Shopping Centres but all the spaces are fully booked.
Take that doubting Thomases.
But I was not going to let the wee small problem of over booking beat me.
Given that I am most experienced at this sort of thing, I know all the places.
I signed on. I took the dogs. I have the photographic evidence.
Job done.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

November 24. Day 329. Birthday bash

 Aren't they adorable? Cousins born six days apart. My family have a bit of a thing for that. I had a cousin born on the same day and another 12 days later.  We had a three way christening.
I suppose you could feel ripped off at not having your own special day all to yourself.
Or you could embrace the shared love. This is definitely the latter - but we did only get one cake.
I'm on a diet. I suppose I should be pleased.

Friday, November 23, 2018

November 23. Day 328. Flighty

 Everyone needs something to raise them up.
I find watching birds strangely uplifting.
I find watching dogs run and jump and chase birds really uplifting.
Right now, while on sick/stress/who-knows-what leave, I need a whole lot of this self care.
So we visit Margaret and we visit the creek.
It's good for all involved.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

November 22. Day 327. Thunder bolts and lightning

 As storm goes this was fast but it was also furious.
It was one of those storms that you feel coming.
It was oppressive. 
You know the storm is a must-needed cleanse even though there is a real menace.
At our place it was not terrifying to humans but Rumple at least was having none of it.
As dogs go, Rumple is my scaredy cat.
He sat on my lap and was moving nowhere.
We swerved the worst of it getting the rain and the wash down without any damage.
So weather gods, a job well done.
Rumple, you got your cuddle. Grass you got your rain. Easy as.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

November 21. Day 326. Fire!

Oh for goodness sake, I thought. 
I'll be 30 minutes. Ten minutes to get there. I'll be there 10 minutes then 10 minutes to get home.
And at the 20 minute mark the phone rings repeatedly. Seriously. You need what that is more important than what I'm doing... You see what I was doing was getting portraits of the dogs taken. This is in the very important basket. This is in the Do Not Disturb basket and yet ...
Reluctantly I answer. The home around the corner is burning down. The flames are huge. The smoke is really black.
Okay. That IS a big deal.
The journalist in me knows this. The nosey neighbour in me knows this. The photo shoot is over anyway. I'm coming home.
There were still flames when I got there but it was mostly out. But the news crews were still there. I can smell a news story in the air in the smoke. I can see it in the faces of the residents. I feel a tiny bit nostalgic for a former career but like the resulting asthma it passes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

November 20. Day 325. Life's a beach

Some days you just have to escape.
For me, that means the beach.
Today was a I-need-a-beach day of the first order.
It was late afternoon when we got there.
It was short, sharp and excellent.
I felt the stress flow out like the tide. It was still there. I could feel it but at least it was washed out there a bit.
Watching the dogs frolic on the sand makes me happy.
I love the beach. I know that.
But sometimes I forget just how that feels until there is sand between my toes and waves lapping at my feet.
And then we had fish and chips and the world was better, just a a bit.

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 19. Day 324. Keep off the grass

A whole pile of boring chores took me into the city today. I like the city but don't generally go there without a reason. When I do I think I probably should do so more. The shops offer things not always available in the suburbs or in the big Westfields. It can be hot, what with all the concrete and reflective glass but there is the river and the gardens. The city botanic gardens are hardly Central Park or Hyde Park but it's a bloody nice space just the same. So I spent time there on my way to the serious things - and on the way back. It was well worth it. Until next time.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

November 18. Day 323. The day of rest

 I thought I had a movie preview today.
Turns out it was yesterday.
Too late now. I went back to bed. No sense crying over missed popcorn.
I suspect I needed the rest more than I needed The Grinch as much as I would have enjoyed it.
But the dogs need a walk and Sunday is a good time for that kind of thing so off we went.
The dogs love the off least area along Kedron Brook with the combined benefits of both the chance to run and swim. My job is just to make sure no-one gets lost and to have the plastic bags on hand just in case. Even on a day of rest I can manage that. To do otherwise would make me a Grinch.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

November 17. Day 321. What a load of rubbish

I know the State is better for the plastic bag ban. 
I know how reliant we were on them. 
I know how wasteful and complacent we all were.
I have seen the horrible pictures of turtles and other wildlife who have met a painful horrible end after coming off second best to a plastic bag.
So to be clear, I am not advocating a return to being a nation of bag ladies (and gents).
But I admit I'm still in a period of adjustment. I forget to take bags to the supermarket more often than I remember.
And I do miss having a supply on hand for bin liners and kitchen scraps. In time, I will forget I ever did those things - but that time has not yet come.
But now there's one more thing I'll never be able to do - make a dress out of single-use shopping bags. Let's be honest it was never on my bucket list and I would never have done it but the one I saw at Reverse Garbage today was pretty spectacular. I love how Reverse Garbage recycles, reuses and up-cycles. I love the vision of the creatives. I love the $2 beads I purchased ... I just wish I had a plastic bag to put them in (joke).

Friday, November 16, 2018

November 16. Day 320. Doggy business

 Rumple is a sweet natured little man. He needs to be.
Winkle puts him through a whole lot and he lets her.
Actually she gives him little choice. She's a bossy little miss.
Today it was over a treat - several treats in the end.
They were given one each. Winkle stole them both.
I gave Rumple another one.
She stole that too and then ate one and lay on the other two to prevent Rumple from getting anywhere near them.
Rumple begged for another one. It seemed kind of pointless. There was little doubt she'd have those too.
But if there's one thing Rumple likes almost as much as treats it's affection - especially when it's one on one time because Winkle is otherwise occupied.
So that's what he got.
And I love him for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15. Day 319. Time to let your hair down

Year 12 is about as stressful as it gets. Finishing Year 12 is huge. It's little wonder my niece Cleo is so excited. Tomorrow morning, her final day at school, begins with water play. The girls go in their togs and there are water slides, foam machines, hoses and more.
But that's tomorrow. Today there are no school rules to stop soaking a uniform. So she indulged me, just as her sister Scarlett did when she finished school and just as her cousin my son Oliver did.
I mean, if you can't jump into a pool fully clothes after 12 years of schooling when can you?
Look at that happy smile, will you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 14. Day 318. So long, farewell

Big day. 
1. I watched the last of Margaret's furniture being loaded on to a truck
2. I interviewed Danielle Cormack.
3. Margaret's house sale settled.
4. I had by first singing lesson.
If that isn't a day of contrasts, I don't know what is.
Probably best to concentrate on the good bits - the Danielle Cormack interview
Logie Award winning actor Danielle Cormack is no stranger to public admiration.
Yet the Rake and Wentworth star admits there is nothing quite like the buzz and energy you receive from an engaged theatre audience.
“In theatre when you get laughs or any immediate response, it’s an aphrodisiac for us,” Cormack said. “We keep playing for the response for the laugh.”
If it was a response they wanted it was a response they will get when Hedda opens at Queensland Theatre Company’s Bille Brown Theatre this week, if previews are anything to go by.
Cormack is Henrik Ibsen’s dangerous and feisty heroine in a re-imagined version that has moved the action of the 1890 classic to the Gold Coast mansion of a bogan drug pusher.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November 13. Day 317. Closing hours

 I'm allergic to flowers. I'm even more allergic to dust.
Today was the final onslaught in the clean out of Margaret's home.
That meant the odd treasure, a lot of stuff that is almost certainly trash and more dust than I can handle.
I went outside and stood next to the native flowers.
Margaret loves those flowers. They were planted by a neighbour.
I should have picked some while I had the chance.
I didn't.
I guess the flowers aren't actually going anywhere but I won't be able to go and just pick them any more.
It's kind of sad but it's best not to dwell. Anyway, my eyes were already legitimately watering from the dust.

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12. Day 316. A cut above

I'm told some women love getting their hair cut.
I am not one of those women.
I find it torturous, a necessary evil. 
I hate the loud music.
I hate the chemical smell.
I hate the small talk but most of all I hate doing nothing. Sure the head massage business is bloody awesome but it's a small reward for a bit payout.
Today was complete and utter, utter torture by which I mean five hours.  There was cutting, bleaching, toning and keratin treatment as well as blow drying but OMG.
I admit I was pleased with the results but  .... it would want to be good.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 11. Day 315. Remembrance Day

I genuinely meant to go to a Remembrance Day ceremony today. I barely remembered to get out of bed. Well, I remembered I just elected not to. I reminded myself that I was on sick leave and that gave me a little bit more licence to hang around the house and do not very much if that's what my body called for. Late in the afternoon we did all go and visit Margaret with a bundle of things rescued from under her house. What a little fishing trip that has been. The autograph book was a doozy. So many memories of an Australia of days gone by - the good, the bad and the ugly. Still what was written in an autograph book in 1941 is probably no worse than what's written on Twitter every day. Only the medium has changed.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 10. Day 314. I could have danced all night

I witnessed something today that was off the scale magical
If Only I Could at the Judith Wright Centre brought together residents of the Zion Aged Care Centre at Nundah with professional contemporary and ballroom dancers in an arts project that proves you can teach old dogs new tricks (absolutely no disrespect intended. ) Under the guidance of choreographer Lizzie Vilmanis, the professionals and more mature amateurs worked together to present something that was touching, funny and stunningly beautiful. It gave the amateurs permission to set their own limits rather than having limits set upon them, to be silly and to shine. The dancers showed compassion, leadership and a great deal of humour as well as grace  and skill. It was real, it was touching and I may have shed a tear. Right now this is still a work in progress. I can't wait to see here that progress takes it.

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 9.Day 313. Clean bill of health

Everything about who my dogs are as individuals is showcased at the vet.
Winkle will try to jump off the vet's table and do a runner to explore.  She's mischief.... and she knows it.
Rumple will look at me with his big brown eyes. I will move closer to reassure him and he'll climb on to my shoulder and perch there like a parrot. It turns out that the parrot perch isn't so bad when it comes to the vet administering medication. You have a good hold on the patient. The one trying to escape is the one you need to worry about. But it's worth it and today Winkle got a clean bill of health.... I just got the bill.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

November 8. Day 312. Ballot box

It is hard for someone like me really, really understand the conscription debate in World War1, Brisbane.  The fact is it is really hard for me to understand conscription at all. I don't really understand how you can force someone to enter a lottery that might lead them to fight to the death. I can't even really get my head around how a conscripted soldier would be an asset. But I'm a 2018 mother.  If I was a mother of a 20-year-old who was fighting in World War I, I would like the troops to support him. The Blood Votes, a Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble production which had its world premiere tonight, was able to shine a light on that position. It didn't seek to present a preferred position just to explain how the conscription vote was so close. Tonight's audience wasn't swayed but we were enlightened - and entertained and that's what good theatre is about.