Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July 31. Day 211. Taking the stage by storm

Every Australian who grew up in the same  era as me loves Storm Boy. It's in our DNA. We loved the book. We sobbed at the movie. It is a story with heart. Actually, it is a story that left it's mark on our hearts or broke our heart or all of the above.
So Storm Boy coming to stage with the help of one of my favourite Brisbane theatre companies Dead Puppet Society well that rocks.
So I was really excited to be invited in to a behind the scenes look at the puppets and sets well let's just say I was excited.
It was awesome to get up close to those puppets with their eyes made of volcanic rock. It was wonderful to watch them move and hear their stories. Now, bring on opening night and let's see those birds soar.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July 30. Day 210. New tricks of the trade

I like to keep things fresh. By that I mean, changing it up every semester and inviting in people I want to hear from.
This is especially important in the ever changing world of digital and mobile journalism.
So I call in the help of the young hip kids who are working at the coalface to keep it so here and now.
Today it was Toby Crockford, a young bloke who I swear just graduated yesterday and now works for The Brisbane Times (Okay, I know it wasn't yesterday but it was recent history so what he has to say is especially relevant and engaging to the new breed of students).
There were plenty of tips and tricks. It was dead impressive.  couldn't help but look into the lecture theatre and wonder which of these eager young things will be back in a few years discussing what their daily routine is like.

Monday, July 29, 2019

July 29. Day 209. Run free

Mondays suck. But they come up with monotonous regularity, once every seven days in fact. There's no avoiding it so you might as well come up with some coping strategies. For me this involves dogs (I know, shocking). We went to visit Margaret. Margaret loves the dogs but the fact is so do most of the other residents. Our walk through the aged care facility inevitably means numerous stops to say hello and get a cuddle (well, I rarely get a cuddle. The dogs always do). If there's a few detours on the way in, the exit is always more direct. The dogs pull me out the front door and to the off leash area. They are bossy boots and the normally placid Rumple leads the charge. They love it. We love it. The residents love it. Win, win, win.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July 28. Day 208. Open Day

If yesterday was about fun, today was work ...well sort of.
It was QUT Open Day and that means put on your ugly corporate shirt, put on your happy face and go show off what you've got.
Today I was on facilities tours which just meant walking and talking and doing a program show and tell.
We have lots of cool toys so it's easy, peasy lemon squeezy.
I'm also pretty good at walking the walk. I think people know when you are speaking with your heart.
I'd be lying if I said this was the funnest thing I could think of doing on a Saturday but as they said in Grease "there are worse things I could do".

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 27. Day 207. Beach beauty

Taking my dogs to the beach is my treat, my present to myself, my present to them.
It doesn't matter to me that it takes an hour to get there, an hour to get back and an hour on the beach.
It might seem like a bad payoff, but not to me. This is an investment in mental health and the payoff is monumental. Today was just too nice to be inside. So out we went in search of sun, sand and surf. I was slightly annoyed to find the Moreton Bay Council has changed the dog off least area which meant a walk on lead for quite a bit until we could run free. But I refused to be put off - and nor were the dogs. We got what we came for - and a bit of wildlife thrown in.

Friday, July 26, 2019

July 26. Day 206. To market. To market

I can not even imagine who would buy it ... or why. I presume it must be a novelty gift; the sort of thing you take home as a bit of a joke or a statement. I can only imagine what customs would have to say.
I'm not sure where in the house you display a crocodile head or why you would want a cane toad purse.
But there's a market stall devoted to these things at South Bank so there must be people prepared to buy them.
It's kind of gross even if I confess to spending an inordinate amount of time looking at them

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 25. Day 205. Me and my big mouth

Holy hell, I love pelicans.
It appeals greatly that something so large and with such as obvious big appetite can be so gorgeous and graceful.
It's counterintuitive but that's what makes it so impressive.
I watched them today at The University of Queensland. Well when I say watched I probably should have said stalked. I couldn't take my eyes off them and followed them around the lakes.
And because the pelicans are so big Rumple and Winkle didn't seem to treat them like birds and showed no interest in chasing them. So we were all happy and I suspect that includes the pelicans - I reckon pelicans are show offs by nature. They seemed to enjoy all the attention.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July 24. Day 204. Feeding time

Two things happened whenever I visit Margaret. I get a report on what she's eating, generally in great detail. She likes things the way she likes things. She will give instructions on sandwich making, on the temperature of tea and how she never, ever wants brocolli or soup ("I only ever eat Campbell's)..
But there are also details on the eating pattens on the birds. The noisy miners (addressed as tweety, tweeties) like cake and biscuits. The butcher birds (butchey, butcheys) take their mince and break it up on the edge of the balcony. The magpies have families they take off to feed. The crows come early and so it goes. It is a routine that means so much to her. And the birds are clearly happy and confident. Some come into the room. They all come right up to the door and she talks to them. It really is a sight to be seen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23. Day 203. Forever blowing bubbles

West End, Brisbane. Always changing. Always surprising. In parts has some of the most aspirational properties in Brisbane. Swanky units on the river in walking distance to the city. But the hippy, alternative side of West End is still there. The Greek influence is still there and it has always been home to a large Indigenous population.  It's a melting pot of old and new; the same and evolving. West Village is new... and controversial. But the Common and the Light Garden ... it's hard to argue with that. It's a wee bit magical. I like the atmosphere and the water gardens. It's part of the changing beauty.

Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22. Day 202. Wheelie nice night

I pretty sure The Wheel of Brisbane was supposed to be temporary. 
It would seem to me it's about as temporary as my weight gain. That is, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere in a hurry. 
I'm much more fine with the wheel than I am with the thighs.
It's delightful, especially at night under lights. 
It's pretty as.
Monday nights I'm always at the ABC and I get the chance for an up close and personal. 
What strikes me is that although pretty much everyone agrees it looks great no-one seems to be in it.
Which only makes you wonder how the wheel continues to spin. I mean, it can't run on the energy stored on my thighs, more's the pity.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21. Day 201. Laugh kookaburra, laugh

The kookaburra used to spend a lot of time in our street. 
Well why wouldn't they when Margaret operated a fly in restaurant service. 
But it is approaching a year since she moved into care and in that time the laugh has been subdued somewhat. 
We hear them but they are further away than they used to be.
Not today. 
On the polls outside our house there was at one, then two and then three. 
They sat there as they used to and they laughed and laughed. 
God I love those birds. 
They are such beautiful birds, strong and majestic but happy and friendly... and that's just one. 
When there's three that's a triple threat, actually that's a triple treat.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

July 20. Day 200. Study your options

Tertiary Studies Expo. An annual call of duty.
IT was much quieter than normal in my tent this afternoon. We reckon, a certain music festival might have proven a bigger draw card than anything the combined pull of a few university stands could muster.
So my camera and I went walking. I love to see all the exciting things students these says could study should they choose.
It's a bit of a shame there weren't more students of the future to check out the options. May be next year, as they sayin the classics.

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19. Day 199. Spreading your wings

Depending on how you look at it, my dogs are either wildly optimistic or incredibly stupid - perhaps both. Either way, the dogs seem to think they are in with a chance of catching one of the many, many birds at the University of Queensland lakes. This is in spite of the fact that the dogs are always on leads and birds can fly. But they live in hope and charge about excitedly as though they are in with a chance. If they didn't seem so joyous in the hunt it would be rather tragic to watch. The truth is while they love chasing birds they also really love just being out on a walk. Dogs are not really the best photographic assistants, because my dogs love to chase birds. On the other hand sometimes they are an asset. At times their presence alerts the birds, they turn and look and spread their wings and more or less smile for the camera. So it was today. I can't say for sure if they did it for our benefit but I'll take it. And here's the evidence.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18. Day 198. Brisbane by night

 If only I'd appreciated the Story Bridge as much as I now do when I was at All Hallows.
My classroom looked over that bridge in Years 9 and 10. I would glance at it often.
Actually it's probably just as well I hadn't developed my obsession then because I may not have learned anything.
But in the years since I left All Hallows, it's not just me that has developed a fascination for the river and the bridge.
The city has grown to face it and now there's a new precinct to celebrate it.
Howard Street Wharves are now hip and happening and tonight we had our first dining experience there.
Naturally I took my camera but I didn't even buy it a drink.
I'm good like that.
But if anyone was too drink too much and projectile vomit they could probably have hit that Year 9 classroom ...
If only I'd learned some class in that classroom.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

July 17. Day 197. Balancing act

The thin blue (slack) line is getting wider.
That is, it isn't all that long ago that I first saw a long line strung between trees in a park and a person balancing on it.
It could be once you see something it can't be unseen, a kind of confirmation bias.
But I don't think so.
I think slack lining has become a very real thing and it's growing.
Today the slackliners invaded my work space ... well almost. It wasn't as if a line was attached to my door handle, more's the pity. But the action had moved to a park just by where my car was parked at work. It's relaxation, they said. We just do it for fun, once a week.
They invited me to join. The slackliners are always really friendly and always invite me to join. I love them for that, although I never take them up on the offer.
You need balance and coordination. I have neither.
But I like the look of it, just the same.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16. Day 196. Power on

Meeting night. I'm not a lover of meetings - at all. But for every rule there can be an exception.
And the Matilda's meetings are the exception.
Sitting around a table discussing theatre in Queensland is hardly a chore. In fact, it is the opposite of a chore.
We sit around a large table and eat and talk.
And the main meal is a big fat serve of theatre.
Plus it's at the Brisbane Powerhouse which is an ongoing symbol of what happens when you honour an old building rather than bulldoze it.
Winning at life.

Monday, July 15, 2019

July 15. Day 195. Arctic blast

 Crazy cold today.
A bitter wind blew and for most of the day I did what any sensible person would have done in such conditions - I did nothing that required leaving the house.
Late in the afternoon I was forced to step out into the great outdoors. Hunger and a lack of food in the house will do that to a person.
At least at one angle it looked like winter in a place other than Brisbane.
The tree across the road is deciduous and mostly bare.
Most of the trees in this part of the world retain their foliage.
The only positive in an otherwise fairly bleak day was that the sky was bright blue. Even when it's Brisbane cold the city does winter pretty well. What we don't do well is build houses that suit. At least I have dogs that behave as hot water bottles ...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

July 14. Day 194. Horsing Around

Horses are the most majestic of animals. They are glorious in full flight. It's hard to know how anyone could not be drawn to the horse.
Today my plans had zero to do with horses. At all. I was off to Redcliffe to see Chicago at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre. My plan - as much as I plan for anything - was to stop on the way home to go pelican spotting. But was we drove towards the bridge I saw horses in the water.
How could anyone see that and not stop for a closer look? Certainly I have no much willpower. I stopped the car. Got out and went for a look.
I watched as the horses frolicked and then rolled in the sand.
I watched as the splashed and played. 
I observed the obvious affection between man and horse.
We chattered (that is I spoke to the humans. There was no Mr Ed among the horses).
Turns out this was a recovery session. The horses had competed last night at Albion Park.
Clearly they were lapping up every minute of it.
Not a bad afternoon's work for all involved.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

July 13. Day 193. Cottage industry

It is well possible that I'm completely insane. Certainly I have a bad habit of agreeing to  things I could easily avoid.
Today that had me at Mayes Cottage with my camera.
Anyone who knows me knows that I really don't need a lot of convincing to be lured to a new place with the promise of getting a few good shots.
Today was no exception and to be honest it was a pretty nice day to be out in the sun once it started warming up.
And we had a crazy time playing the types of games that require no screens and no batteries (shock horror).
Naturally I took longer than I should and took far more frames than strictly necessary but they are other bad habits of mine.
But if those are the worst of my bad habits (they are not) I'm doing well.
Anyway, here is some of the evidence of the insanity of this morning.
Make of it, what you will.

Friday, July 12, 2019

June 12. Day 192. Wild ride

It's NAIDOC Week. Here in Brisbane the natural home of the annual celebrations held by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee is Musgrave Park. It's always a day of celebration and commemoration. It's about food, culture, tradition, origin and family. And it'a about fun. Given it's in walking distance, I make a point of dropping in. Today I took the dogs. I love that they are welcome as long as they are on a leash. While the dogs scoured the ground for scraps, I looked up at the smiling faces making the most of the celebrations or just having a wild ride.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

July 11. Day 191. Run along

My dogs make me happy. Surprise (not).
I love them when they sleep on my bed. I love them when they sit on my lap and watch TV. I especially love it when they get to run off leash.
Their happiness is so infectious.
For creatures who have no words, they can say so much through body language.
They throw themselves into a run by the creek with their full beings.
Winkle bounds like a lamb. Rumple has more of a happy jaunt.
They charge off but always keep a watchful eye on both each other and me.
They will chase a bird or paddle in the creek but always return happy.
I like to think that's because they love me as much as I . love them.
Perhaps they just know not to bite the hand that feeds them - literally.
My sweet little babies are born to run.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 10. Day 190. Fence sitter

Yay me. Today my Ekka photos were due and today I actually managed to drop them off. Normally, I'm begging for an extension. It's not as though I beat the deadline by much but beat it I did. Winning.
So there I was outside the old museum for my annual ritual. Every time I do this two thoughts go through my mind. 1. Is there any chance my photos will get a ribbon this year and 2. How good is the old museum?
In all honesty, I would rate the chance of winning as low. It really doesn't matter. I find the process of going through the photos, making selections and actually getting prints mounted as a win.
But the museum building is a prize, I think we all take for granted. It feels like a building that should be a museum, ironically not like the building that replaced it. That one is modern and sleek. This one is full of character, charm and mystery. It feels like it should be the set for A Night at the Museum. But the things that make it interesting as a building are the same things that made it unsuitable as a museum. It was old, a fire risk, dark, dangerous and poor for displaying exhibits. Now it is a new arts hub and I love it. It makes the journey to the Ekka precinct worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

July 9. Day 189. Sing out loud

Singing is a great gift.  But like so many gifts it's not something given to you on a platter. You have to work on it. Practice makes perfect. I have a new appreciation for singing now that I have taken up lessons. It would be a lie to suggest that I really know anything about singing but I'm getting better. I couldn't get any worse. The fact that I have been paying for lessons for more than a decade accounts for nothing mostly because it is Oliver who has been the recipient of the classes. Whenever I hear him sing it brings me joy. Tonight was one such night. It was concert night. Perhaps one night I will take to that stage. Perhaps not. It doesn't really matter. Singing lessons are my gift to myself. That's enough. At least for now.