Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April 30. Day 120. Dogs make everything batter

I had a day that can only be described as shit ... literally. That's the thing about ulcerative colitis.
When it decides to behave badly it really knows how to make a girl feel shit.
I came home after a trip and it was ugly.
The dogs knew that. They could smell it on me.
After a brief interlude when we cleaned ourselves up. I went to bed and decided to stay there - with a doona over my head.
The dogs stayed guard.
On the couch tonight, they stayed guard. Rumple sat on my lap.
Winkle sat on the couch over my head.
Where I was, so were the dogs.
They seem to know when a girl needs her dogs.
The pain wasn't any less painful but it hurt less.
Dogs make everything better.

Monday, April 29, 2019

April 29. Day 119. Let there be light

 Brisbane is a seriously interesting city. People who don't live here could easily miss that.
People who live here could easily miss it if they aren't looking or choose not to see or don't know where to look.
But it's a diverse city.
It's a city with fun stuff happening if you choose to both look for it and engage in it.
Buddha's birthday festival is one such example. 
It's a whole new world of both entertainment and fun.
It's food and culture and religion that's outside the Brisbane mainstream but at the same time it's very Brisbane - outdoor fun that is inclusive and enlightening.
People from all walks of life love it. I love it.
It's still a week away but the lanterns are already shining a light.
Bring it on.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

April 28. Day 118. Take a dog to water

If it wasn't the end of a quasi long weekend, I would have taken the dogs  to Bribie Island this afternoon.
It was perfect beach weather. It was perfect dog beach weather. But it was the sort of weekend where you could find yourself in traffic for many hours.
That is something I could do without.
So there needed to be a compromise.
I decided the dog off-leash run off Kedron Brook was the best call. It was a compromise position.
I enlisted my mother.
I was most surprised that I had never taken her to Kedron Brook with the dogs.
She was keen.
We were keen.
The dogs knew what lay ahead. As soon as the lead was off, they were off.
They were running.
They went straight to water. There were other dogs there on the same mission. It was just right. Everyone was behaving like the constraints were off ... and so we let it go.
It was just as it should be.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

April 27. Day 117. Watching paint dry

 For one horrible moment today, I thought I had just driven 90 minutes to watch paint dry.
We travelled from Brisbane to Burleigh Heads to the first of three Bleach Festival events.
It was called The Cleaners. In this Shock Therapy Productions production, performers  Sam Foster and Hayden Jones are situated in a shipping container 7 metres above a beach-side park at Burleigh Heads. They are painting a white room white. Okay. Fine. As an audience member, I'm watching paint dry. And then shit hit the fan, or more specifically brown paint balls fired from a sling shot hit the white walls and painters.  This is crazy. This is fun. This is audience engagement and site specificity at its best. If this is what watching paint dry looks like, I'm good with that.

Friday, April 26, 2019

April 26. Day 116. Thai me up

I was too young to remember when I had no grandmothers: not yet two years old. My last grandparent died when I was 18. So really I don't know a whole lot about what it means to be an adult grandchild. My son and his cousins are different. 
My mum is going strong. They all have grandparents on the other side of the family.
It is a very different world in which they exist. This is a new Australia. This is an Australia where Thai food is as much a thing as meat and two veg. So tonight my mum took me, my husband, and two of my nieces and nephews to a meal out.
I can not imagine suggesting Pad Thai  or green duck curry to my grandfather.
But he was dead in an era where Chinese food was about as ethnic as it got. Australia is evolving. My family is evolving and a plate of red duck curry is as good a place to start start that conversation ... it's grand, right?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

April 25. Day 115. Freedom

I will not pretend to be a person with an intimate understanding of the Anzac tradition.  There are no veterans in my past. But, I have been to Anzac Cove on Anzac Day. I have stood in the trenches. Literally.  I looked down to the beach where the troops arrived. Where the lambs were sent to the slaughter.  But here is my understanding. Honouring the Anzacs, is about honouring the freedom we now enjoy. Being free, means a lot of different things to a lot a lot of people. To me, freedom is the ability to take the dogs for a walk. To me, I feel most free when my dogs and I are off leash doing whatever we want. When the reigns are withdrawn. When we are able to do whatever we please. So as well as honouring a minute's silence, I observed a moment of reflection of the bigger picture.
And that'd freedom for you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April 24. Day 114. Feeling the buzz

Psychiatrist appointment today. It may be that I'm not supposed to say that. Well too f***ing bad. 
Some things are not improved by pretending it's not so.  I have been on sick leave for seven months. There is a whole world of pain in that - a lot of that is physical. Actually it is a pain in the arse. It is a pain in the gut. It is just painful. But the physical and mental are closely intertwined.  I get stressed. My gut clenches. My gut clenches. I feel stressed. Shitting yourself in public is psychologically damaging. It just is. 
There is a sting in that tale, My psychiatrist understands that. He assesses me by speaking about politics. It would be weird if I didn't know a wee small bit about how these things work. My mother's psyche talks golf to her. 
My son's talks musical theatre (yes we are all mad). 
If you can't rise to the bait about your "special" interest, you mood is low, really low. I'm low... I'm sad...I'm lacking clarity and direction. 
But I think the real Susan Hetherington is still in there, somewhere. 
I talk about work.
 He talks about how work might be good for me. In small doses.
 The devil is in the detail.
We agree. 
The real Susan Hetherington is there. She just needs to find a way out. She's injured. She's down. She's not out.
She will emerge. Somehow. Eventually. But for now I shall stop and suck on the nectar of the flowers.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April 23. Day 113. Kingfisher calling

“The river is such a tranquil place, a place to sit and think of romance and the beauty of nature, to enjoy the elegance of swans and the chance of a glimpse of a kingfisher.” 
― Jane Wilson-Howarth, Snowfed Waters

I love my birds. It's weird really. I don't have a bird thing. But I think my camera has a bird thing. When I have a camera I see birds. I hear birds.
With no camera, I am Susan a crazy dog lady with no actual interest in in dogs. Today I had both camera and dogs. Talk about conflict of interest. I hear a noise in the trees on the boardwalk near the Powerhouse. I have the dogs on a lead.
 have a camera around the my neck.
Which Susan am I?
I take a quick look.
A Kingfisher.
I don't have a single photo of a kingfisher in my album.
Photographic Susan fires into action.
She hands the leads over to Oliver and squats down on to the boardwalk.
The camera fires off. I am pleased with the results.
I love that small feathered friend.
That beautiful flash of blue. That beak.
You are a stunner, kingfisher.

Monday, April 22, 2019

April 22.Day 112. Wattle it be?

Wattle. Personally I think it's rather pretty. It does make me sneeze and wheeze but I still think it's pretty and given it's Australia's floral emblem clearly other people think the same. Well a lot of people do. My "neighbour" Margaret is not a wattle fan. There is an arrangement on my dining room table made from wattle. I actually bought it for Margaret. She told me to take it away. She is no wattle fan. Apparently it is bad luck to have wattle in your house. I Google searched. There is a reference in that highly acclaimed source The Lakes Mail. It agrees Wattle is bad luck. Well that settles it. My care factor is zero. I like it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

April 21.Day 111. Egg-cellent adventure

The Easter Bunny was still politically correct when I was a young thing, despite the fact that it was almost three quarters of a century after work began on a rabbit proof fence in Australia.
Such is the threat to agriculture and natives species posed by the rabbit that here in Queensland you can't even keep the introduced species as a pet.
And yet attempts to replace the Easter Bunny with the Easter Bilby in the hearts and minds of children have been largely unsuccessful. I mean who ever heard of a bilby delivering chocolate eggs? Next thing you know Santa will be on the outer because we shouldn't let children think it's okay to have a strange man enter your bedroom in the middle of the night to give you things. Also the fact that the man has clearly been spying "he knows if you've been bad or good..." is deeply problematic. 
So I propose the Easter dog.
Problem solved.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

April 20. Day 110. Super Saturday

 For weeks now Margaret has been reminding me about the upcoming Easter market.
She was looking forward to it. She reminded me that I would need cash.
Today was the day.
I rocked up with the dogs in Easter bunny outfits, as you do.
We went to Margaret's room but she'd decided she'd rather not go down. That really didn't surprise me. This is a scenario we've done before.
It didn't actually matter. I'd rather suspected that would be how it would play out. But I'm at the aged car facility a lot and I know many of the residents and the staff and they know me. My dogs are well loved.
So we went down to the market anyway.And the a family came in that I knew.  Turns out the Lovetts, a Fame family, are also a Regis family. That's such a Brisbane thing. There's only ever one degree of separation.
So I bought jewellery and flowers and took treats up to Margaret's room. She may not have wanted to go down but she did want to know everything about it.
I told her about the Easter egg hunt and the happy kids.
She enjoyed the coconut ice I took her.
So the morning may not have played out as I expected but it was fun just the same.

Friday, April 19, 2019

April 19. Day 109. Good Friday

It may be an urban myth, but I'm sure I heard somewhere that the good in Good Friday was actually a corruption of God's Friday.
This would make a whole lot more sense. There is not a whole lot of good in a holy day to mark a flogging and crucifixion.
It used to be a day when everything was closed but gradually the strict religious observances of the day have waned with an increasingly secular society
But there are traditions we continue to hold steadfastly to.
It is a meat free day in our house and a time to eat hot cross buns.
Normally my mother joins us because no-one should eat a six pack of hot cross buns alone.
And one must never, ever eat an Easter egg before Sunday. Ever. But with prawns and hot cross buns on offer, that's not exactly a sacrifice.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

April 18. Day 108. Food for thought

It's considered the rat of the sky.
It's a bully that literally poos in the nests of native birds. It spreads disease and eats the native animals out of house and home. The Indian Myna is a garbage guts.
I saw one in action today.  It was limping, clearly in pain or at least discomfort.
But it wasn't about to let that stop it.
It was by the roadside at West End.
There was a lump of food. It was too big to eat in one go.
Of course, birds can't use knives and forks to cut it into bitesized chunks.
So the myna was bashing it and dropping it and stabbing it. There was no letting go.
It was a bit like me at a buffet ... nothing is off limits.
It was pretty untidy but I couldn't help admire it

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

April 17. Day 107. Cluedo

If I was to say "Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick" you'd immediately know what I was referring to, right?
Of course you would.
While I am a bit of a board game tragic, you don't need to be a games person to know Cluedo.
It's the type of game all the family can play ... but not like we played it tonight.
In this interactive version there were real people, real rooms and real (ish) weapons.
We got to search for clues and interview suspects.
It was the game but without the dice.
It was a jolly good time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April 16. Day 106. Puppy love

 I love this pair.
They are so funny. This is probably not their intention but they are.
They make me laugh almost every day but especially in wrestle hour.
Winkle is always the leader. I think she might be bored or feeling mischievous or perhaps both.
She waits until Rumple seems distracted and jumps on him.
He tries to ignore her. Then he tries to run and finally he gives in and plays.
At that point she is pretty much over it. The game it to get him to play.
But regardless of the motivation it's really funny to watch.
They really are the odd couple - which is why they fit in here perfectly.

Monday, April 15, 2019

April 15. Day 105. I see ... lunch

The official reason we left the Aged Care Facility today was so Margaret could visit the eye specialist.
The appointment was made a year ago.
But we all know that was fiction ... well at least a side show.
The second we get out, Margaret is counting down the seconds until she can get fish and chips. 
She loves her fish and chips and today's were good ... too good to waste.
So Margaret saved the few she couldn't eat and took them back with her. 
She ate most of them but threw some out for the birds. 
They enjoyed them.
She enjoyed them.
I'm fairly sure that chips are not on the recommended diet of either diabetics or noisy miners but there it is but try telling them that.
If I'm honest they are not on my diet either but I ate them.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 14. Day104. Carry on. Gold Coast

It's Gold Coast Film Festival time. In Broadbeach today that meant superheroes everywhere as a pop culture convention also hit town. There was a parade, vehicles and people young and old all getting into character. For many people, that probably was the festival. A bit further down the highway at the Home of the Arts, the more highbrow aspects of film were being celebrated. It was there I was heading. Oliver was involved in a Script to Screen reading - basically the first public outing for Carry On. This is a film script about a family road trip from Melbourne to the Gold Coast. Mum, Dad and two adult children in a car heading north. That's familiar territory for film. This one has a point of difference - the family includes an 18-year-old boy on the spectrum. That's the role Oliver was reading, a beautiful life meets art role for my boy. And he was perfect. I couldn't have been more proud. I hope this film gets made. I'll be in the front row with popcorn because it will be awesome.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

April 13. Day 103. Room Service

 There's something special about room service even if the food itself isn't so special.
Just opening up those covers is a joy in itself. There's also something special about an opening night party. I love a theme, free food, free drink, interesting people and discussion about theatre. That's a good time right there.
Tonight I had both. The opening night of Fantastic Mr Fox followed by a quick trip to the Gold Coast and room service.
It was a glorious thing.

Friday, April 12, 2019

April 12. Day 102. First Date

 It is, thankfully, a very long time since I went on a first date.
Sure I remember the nervous excitement but the awkwardness, the nerves, the embarrassment or the blind terror ... those things I could do without .
Still, I'm not beyond enjoying watching others going through the experience.
It's pretty funny as long as it's not happening to you.
First Date the musical captures that perfectly.
The version tonight was set in a bar ... as it should be.
It was funny, charming and a damn fine time.
It's all the good bits of a first date without any of the negatives.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

April 11. Day 101. Plastic fantastic

 And so rehearsals entered a new phase - a phase the theatrical types call blocking.
This is the bit where they work out who moves where when.
In terms of this production, this means two things ... the performers choreograph their own and spots on stage and where the chairs go.
But more specifically it means the the blow up dolls come out to play.
This was, of course, very amusing, especially for the dogs who really didn't seem to know what was going on.
Given that this was really just a blocking rehearsal moving from cue to cue it made for most interesting viewing.
If an alien had arrived in our living room at that moment, I can not even imagine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April 10. Day 100. Life imitating art

 We love Gogglebox. Indeed, it's pretty much the only reality TV show we can all agree on. That's perhaps strictly not true. We all love Masterchef but we can all watch TV. Making toast and cooking pasta from a pack wouldn't cut it on Masterchef.
Until now, applications for Gogglebox were restricted to families from Sydney and Melbourne. Now Brisbane families are invited to apply. So apply we did.
This means both photographs on the couch were we watch TV and  a video. Naturally that meant the whole family - dogs and all. We also had to fill in a survey about the things we like and don't like on TV. The dogs were exempt from that bit. And then it was submitted. So now it's over to the reality TV gods. We live in hope.