Thursday, February 28, 2019

February 28. Day 59. Caught in the net

If netball and I had a Facebook relationship status it would be "it's complicated".
As a child and into my early teens I loved it.
But then I realised I was actually crap at it and I had serious school business so I gave it up.
Then I was lured back on to the court to fill a spot on a mixed team. It would be just a laugh, they said.
Everyone just wanted a bit of fun.
And so it was until we got on to the court.
These guys were good and they took no prisoners.
I felt useless and a big, fat let down to the team.
All of this was front of mind at Squad Goals at Metro Arts tonight.
This was about players who would do anything to win and the weakest links had to be let go.
It was funny and sad.
These people were crazy which in my mind isn't far from the truth.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February 27. Day 58. Hair we go again

 "Bring out that photo of Debra," Margaret instructed.
I pulled out my camera  and handed it to Rea, the stylist.
 "I'll have my hair like that," she laughed showing the picture of the most stylish entertainment officer at her aged care centre.
Margaret was in her element, back at her old hairdressers.
She'd been itching for an excuse to pay the old salon a visit and this week I agreed.
She was able to reconnect with her friends at the salon, at the kebab shop and the post office. She told them all about the birds and the dogs and the people like Debra.
And we had fish and chips for lunch.
And then she loaded up with goodies to take back with her.
It was supposed to be a one-off. I expect that's not the last I've heard of it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

February 26. Day 57. A cut above

Yes it is tragic how much I love my dogs. Actually, it isn't. It's proportionate to how much they love me and how much love they bring into our lives. They are a source of great joy every single day. I'll admit I'm especially joyous after a haircut when the cuteness factor is ramped up to off the scale. After a delay for a beach break and a Rumple skin infection, the grooming was overdue. If anything this only pushed the before and after makeover to a whole new level. They were most pleased to see me and I figured they needed a reward.  We went to the dog park where they decided to roll in the dirt, as you do when your mum had just paid $140 for the two of you to get haircuts. Winkle managed to keep the bow in her hair until 20 seconds after we walked through the front door. After that she made it her life's mission to remove Rumple's bow. Even so they are too damn cute. Even their mother says so. Especially their mother says so.


Monday, February 25, 2019

February 25. Day 56. Walking the red carpet

 What kind of a sad individual is waiting at the bar for opening time to get her first drink? This kind, actually.
And while I'm at it I'm the kind of sad individual who frocks up and blings up for 10am.
In my defence this is a once a year thing. It's Oscars day and that's as good an excuse as any to paint the town blue.
Most years I tend to sit on the couch in my PJs but not this year.
This year I decided to join the beautiful people for a big screen experience complete with bubbles and bling.
There was the red carpet, a tipping competition, best dressed and a lot of good cheer.
It was great fun and as good a way as any to spend many hours on a Monday.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

February 24. Day 55. Dressed to impress

It's my fault. I'm an enabler.  I can't help it. I do love a male who has a sense of style .
From the time my son was a small boy I spent far too much on his outfits.
I spent too much on the tailor-made suit for the formal. And so on and so forth.
I can't help it. From the time he was little he he enjoyed formal occasions and he liked to dress the part.
I appreciate that. I endorse that. I pay for that.
If we are at the theatre and we see people wearing what we like to refer to as "gardening clothes" we get annoyed.
It is not appropriate to the occasion. It is not respectful of the performers and the performance.
You don't have to wear a ball gown but you do have to dress to impress. If I ruled the world I would have minimum dress standards at the theatre just like  do at some nightclubs.
But I don't rule the world. I do, however, rule the house (or I like to think I do). And so I am happy to find myself in a male clothing shop with my credit card ready smoke.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

February 23. Day 54. Home visit

My dogs are familiar faces around the nursing home. The staff all know them. The residents know them. Most of the visitors know them.
They know the routine. We park. We stop outside for a wee break and we take the lift to the second floor stopping to say hi to anyone who shows an interest.
If the occasion is right we'll stay around for a bit for a cuddle or a pat (I never get either but I digress). "Those dogs always look so happy," one resident is fond of saying.
And happy they are. A visit to Regis at Lutwyche is a visit to Margaret and for both parties it is just like it always has been. There's a cuddle, a scratch and a bit of a feed. The dogs will sit on the bed or under the chair. They'll clean up the deck and let anyone who knocks on the door know they are on duty.
And if it's cool enough we then walk by the creek and stop under Margaret's window on our way back. She whistles at them and they wag their tails just like they used to do at home. And everyone is happy.

Friday, February 22, 2019

February 22. Day 53. Art on the line

Important safety tip. If someone asks you to pick them up from Brisbane airport late on Friday afternoon suggest they get the train, or the bus, or an Uber, or walk or something.
This afternoon I found myself in an airport traffic jam I could have done without.
When it cleared and my husband was safely in the car we needed to stop for groceries. The airport Woolworths was the closest port of call.
The dogs had come with me for the drive so we dispatched Charles to buy a few things for dinner and we went for a short walk around the SkyGate precinct.
I have to say the public art was unexpected.
There were plenty of dog sculptures - dogs peeing, dogs drinking and scratching and dongs sleeping.
But I have real live dogs that do all those things.
So my eyes were drawn to the line of the naked women.
They were pretty awesome but also a bold choice for  a shopping precinct.
But who am I to complain?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

February 21. Day 52. Going swimmingly

It's been a wee small while since we walked along Kedron Brook, mainly because I thought there was a real and present danger of dissolving into a pool of perspiration.
And that's even before I consider the fact that my walking companions are covered in fur.
But today was a little cooler so we went for it.
The dogs were so excited.
The second the leash was off the dogs were off and running.
This didn't surprise me.
This is true to form.
The surprise is which of my little darlings decided to take advantage of a dose of freedom (hint it was Rumple).
He went down to the creek and kept on running and swimming.
He was always going to return but when he was good and ready and not when I said so.
I think the fact Winkle was already back on the lead only added to the attraction.
He came on his own terms and then we were off to play again another day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 20. Day 51. Orientation Week

Oh. What a week. It's Orientation Week and for the first time in 20 years it's going ahead without me.  The sick leave continues. It is probably too soon to tell but I think the early signs of the treatment are on the whole positive. At the very least there have been no negative interactions which is positive in itself.
So while I did visit the uni briefly today to accompany Oliver to an appointment, O Week continues without me. It's weird but not thinking about the place as much as possible has to be. I can re-orientate myself later.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 19. Day 50. Colour my world

 Back in the 1980s there was this TV show called The New Inventors. It was a bit like Shark Tank but without the sharks.
The judges would question the inventors asking about scalability, functionality etc. But then there was Diana Fisher . She asked really probing questions such as "Does it come in other colours?" I thought about that tonight at the Powerhouse. We were at an event featuring author Graeme Simsion and autism expert Tony Attwood. Simion's book has a lead character with ASD and the questions were largely about that. This is, of course, a subject I feel very invested in. I had a question they didn't get to - which is fine. But it did hurt when the final question went to a woman who started with the fact that her book club had just finished reading the first in the trilogy (shoot me now) and then asked "is there any significance in the colours of the book covers?" Oh FFS... Some of us actually wanted to find out stuff.
And the answer... in case you wondered ... was that the graphic artist just thought they would look pretty. Thank God I now know that.

Monday, February 18, 2019

February 18. Day 49. What About Me?

I've got the memory of a gold fish. That can be really annoying - but there are advantages.
I've been to many a Matilda Award ceremony but this is the first one where I was on the judging committee.
Potentially that takes some of the excitement out of it. But here's the thing. While I was part of the voting process I actually couldn't remember half the winners.
That means I could clap and cheer with amazement with the rest of them.
This is good. But even though there were some categories I did remember I still enjoyed the night. The entertainment was awesome. A good time was had by all.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

February 17. Day 48. Ladies who lunch

 I could say I eat like a bird - but that would be a lie unless you were talking about a bird of prey that devours and destroys.
What can I say? I like a good feed and I'm prepared to go a long way to get it.
Today my mum, my sisters and I travelled to the Gold Coast for lunch.
Brisbane to the Gold Coast via Camira is not exactly fast food but that's the point.
I was designated driver - designated by myself because I am the world's worst passenger. I'm not a control freak but I do like to be in the driver's seat (literally).
It was one of those menus where everything seems awesome. If that is the case the possibility of ordering envy is every real. There is nothing worse than eying off the meal at the person on the next seat or at the next table and wishing you were having what they were having (to misquote When Harry Met Sally). Not here. I didn't see anything come out of the kitchen that looked less than awesome.
So for dessert I had the trio ... three desserts on a tasting plate. Why stop at one, right?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

February 16. Day 47. What light at yonder window breaks

 This is a heart-warming little story about community, and friendship and humanity.
Margaret loves to interact with the world from her window. When she lived next door to me she knew every person in the street and everyone who walked by. She's continued that in her aged care facility. She's told me about the people she sees each day walking their dogs or their kids to school and how she waves to them.
And then this week she received a hand written latter and flowers "To Our Friend in the Window, Second Floor Corner Apartment overlooking the Brook". It was from Em-Jay who waves to Margaret every morning about 5am when she walks her dog. It was so special it melted my heart. There was an email and a mobile phone number and today we met Em-Jay. She brought cake. We had a lovely chat and she promised to visit often. My dogs approved. Just when your faith in human kindness is tested ...

Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15. Day 46. Drip feed

This better work.
If you don't want to hear a girl speaking shit, turn away now.
If you are still reading, Don't say I didn't warn you. Much discussion about body functions and fluids will follow. ..
So about 20 years ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It's been a "journey" (which is code for how I imagine a trip on a cruise ship with an outbreak of gastro would be ...).
I have been hospitalised on a steroid drip a number of times, I had my appendix out (because there's a suggestion it harbours inflammatory material) and I've taken an awful lot of pharmaceuticals. I've learned a couple of things along the way. 1. Once this disease gets a head of steam in my innards, it's hard to bring it back into control and
2. Stress, really, really doesn't help. At all. It pours petrol into my already steaming gut.
Conventional options have been exhausted but still the cramping, bleeding, and pooping continues.
But there are new wonder drugs delivered by infusion. Today was day one. I have very high hopes. Bring it on

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February 14. Day 45. Stairway to heaven

Time to go home. Time to go home. Andy and Pandy say time to go home. At least that's how I remember the theme song from the kids show. Anyway, I have to head home from the beach today. This makes me sad. I love the beach (I hide it well, right). And I love my dogs. And I REALLY like playing with my dogs on the beach. It's pure joy. The house we were staying in was right at the top of the stairs to the sand. You really could not be closer to the action. Perfect really. It's hard not to love a place where the birds in the trees wake you up and the waves breaking on the beach lull you to sleep. But all good things must come to an end ... unless I win Lotto in which case I'll be back. I'll be back anyway but only in short affordable doses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 13. Day 44. A free ride

 If they created class year books for dogs, Winkle would probably be voted the girl most likely to sign up for a reality television program. She loves the limelight that one and has a unique ability to make sure she is always the one in the sun.
She's the ultimate good-time girl.
She's also a bit of a cruiser.
Today she showed her true colours once again.
We were in the lagoon. She swam up and swam around.
And then Winkle being Winkle climbed on my back and lay there.
She walked all over me and like a small child played silly buggers on my back.
She's such a cutie. Rumple, who would be voted the most reliable, just watched. They are yin and yang. They balance me completely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12. Day 43. Flying high

 By very early this morning it was clear it was going to be stinking hot.
By the afternoon a sea breeze had picked up and while it did offer some respite it was a bit like a fan forced oven by the time it came inside.
So we found a spot in the shade and pulled up sun lounges. I had a book which I read a bit.
Anyone who saw the types of things I read at the beach would be forgiven for questioning whether I faked my qualifications. Serious reading is for work. For the beach, the trashier the better.
 The book today was one of the detective novels James Patterson pumps out before breakfast. I find them delightfully readable but today mostly I just chilled and watched the birds above. There were lots of them. Lorikeets, kookaburras, corellas, cockatoos, galahs - and all those without moving my position on the sun lounge. The dogs didn't even seem to mind, possibly because it was still too hot to give a rats or possibly because they were lying in my shadow under the sun lounge. That's enough to block out any distraction. Then as the worst of the sun's heat passed we hit the beach. It was glorious. This people is what I call a holiday.

Monday, February 11, 2019

February 11. Day 42. Morning has broken

The advantage of staying this close to the beach is that you don't have t lift your head off the pillow to see what the beach conditions are like.
It looked bloody beautiful as the sun rose.
I went to the loo. The dogs eyed me carefully trying to ascertain whether I would give in to the call of the pillow..
The voice of Lazy Susan wickedly suggested that it would still be beautiful on the beach in two hours.
The voice of Sensible Susan countered that it would be hotter and more populated in two hours. Also there is only a small window in which you can take sunrise photos.
A compromise was reached ... I would go back to bed after hitting the beach. Seemed fair. It was well worth the effort. It always is but that doesn't mean I won't have the fight next time and the time after. Victory is sweet, even if you are only defeating your own evil twin. Actually, defeating your own evil twin is especially sweet.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

February 10. Day 41. Surf's Up

I talk a whole lot about how much I love my dogs.
Some days they like to show me the feeling is mutual.
Today I was heading down to the beach to take photos of Dan and Peter surfing. This could have taken me to the no dog area of the beach. So I had a plan. Charles and the dogs could head off first so as not to upset them.
Then when they were safely out of eye shot I'd follow.
By the time I'd reached the steps to the beach the dogs were there waiting. As soon as Charles let them off the leash they ran back to get me.
That's devotion for you.
So we all went back to the beach.
And the surfers were just out the front in a position where I could watch both the dogs at play and the boys in the surf. It was pretty much perfect really

Saturday, February 9, 2019

February 9. Day 40. Riding high

I used to throw myself out of planes for thrills. Sky diving, abseiling, bridge jumping, bungy jumping ... at one time or another I've done it all..
These days, I find joy in much simpler (and less dangerous things).
I love spending time at the beach, I love watching my dogs frolic, I want to spend time with friends and play stupid card games.
I love food. I love a chat. I love a nap.
Today I got to do most of the things I love with people I really enjoy spending time with.
Good food, good company, the beach, the dogs.
Why would you want anything else ... except a Lotto win so I can live at the beach and enjoy this forever.

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 8. Day 39. Shell shocked

When I stayed two doors up just before Christmas,  I saw the turtle team. A mumma turtle had laid eggs on the beach the previous night. They were counting and documenting them. Today I saw the fruits of their labour. The hatchlings made their way from the dunes to the water.
Oh my goodness, this is too much. Way too cute.
I was a little bit late to the party. I'd seen people gathering up the beach but hadn't paid much attention. I'd been playing with my dogs and  introducing them to puppy Winona. They already know Noni's big brother Roly and Noni and Roly's human parents are their vets so it's only fair they meet Noni. After the play date, we headed up the beach and everyone else went home. See that lead around Oliver's neck? It went home too. So when we reached the turtle hatchlings I had no way of holding them back. Winkle I picked up. Rumple I secured between my legs. There are easier ways of watching the turtles and taking photos but it was so worth it and so unexpected.