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Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22. Day 112. These boots are made for throwing


 I don't understand the shoe throwing thing. I don't understand it because shoes are expensive. but I mostly don't understand it because I have no idea how people manage to throw shoes that high.
I have images of people standing in the middle of the street repeatedly hurling footwear skywards. I assume this happens in the middle of the night and probably after a drink or 10. I assume this because I've never seen it happen but more because Margaret, my neighbour, has never mentioned it.
Margaret is the one on whom nothing is lost. She sees everything. She makes a note of everything.
She will tell me about the times of deliveries.
She tells me about who forced the gates at the unit block or which dog in the street escaped and who chased it.
Street watching is one of her things. She is also a great list maker.
She has lists of what meals are coming from meals from Meals on Wheels on any day because it is on her list.
She knows what day every bill is paid and can chart the increases in the cost of electricity over the years.
She's quite a character and even though I visit her almost every day she never ceases to surprise me.
And of course the dogs love their visits and she loves seeing them.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21. Day 111. Bewitched



One of my fondest memories of Roald Dahl's The Witches dates back about 15 years and involves my late uncle Eric.
Eric was a nuclear physicist and had the sort of serious demeanour to match.
But we were sitting in my mother's living room and then five-year-old Oliver had Eric reading the Roald Dahl's classic.
They were both pissing themselves... In fact Eric continued to read and laugh well after Oliver had left the room. Oliver was a huge fan of The Witches. I think we might still have a laminated poster of Quentin Blake's illustrated guide of how to recognise a witch. He used it in a prop in an oral presentation in about Year 1. It proved his teacher was not a witch. I still know the signs.

  1. They always wear gloves because witches have claws not fingernails
  2. Witches have no toes
  3. Witches are bald and always wear wigs
  4. Wig rash causes a terrible itch and as a result witches scratch their heads a lot
  5. Witches have blue spit
  6. Witches have large nose holes to sniff out children.They hate children.
  7. Children smell like fresh dog droppings to witches.

There are some regional variations in witches which Dahl acknowledges in his book. This makes me wonder about Australian witches as I am reasonably sure I have encountered one or two at staff meetings over the years who don't quite fit these parameters. I digress.
So anyway, as big fans of Roald Dahl in general and The Witches in particular Oliver and I decided we needed to embrace our inner child and head to Arts Theatre this afternoon. The fact that a uni mate of O's had been cast as a witch sealed the deal.
It's not an easy task to turn a boy into a mouse on stage. It's also not easy to make an adult frizzle like a fritter but they did it. They also did it in a way that found the humour not just the stuff that would give the children in the audience nightmares. There was much laughter. My Uncle Eric would have approved.

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20. Day 110. Raining in my heart

I've decided crows are not very bright. 
Indeed, I may have just found the one true proof that puts my intelligence level about those murderous road rats.
I choose to ignore the fact that crows can lure other birds to crash into buildings to stun and eat them or rub ants on their skin for the formic acid that will ward off parasites. 
This is cherry picking facts to suit my argument like the best of them.
So anyway, there was this hideous downpour on Wednesday and the forecast was rain through to the weekend.
Like the good little girl scout I never was, I realised that would cause trouble.
I'd agreed to take Margaret to the solicitor today and her slow wheelie walker amble would be pretty much impossible in the rain. So we postponed ... and this morning was bright sunshine. But then, around appointment time, there was thunder and lightning and bucketing rain. Round one to Susan. And what did the crows do during this? They sat in possibly the most exposed spot in the street. All the other birds had found shelter but not the crows. See stupid or fans of dancing in the rain. Confirmation bias demands I accept the former.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 19. Day 109. A cut above



Is it wrong that I miss the dogs when they are out of the house getting their haircuts? Don't answer that. I know already. It's perfectly acceptable. In truth the answer is a little more complicated. Today was marking, marking and more marking. Marking does my head in. I like to voice my dissatisfaction out loud about every little misdemeanour.  I like an audience but no-one wants to hear a person rant about tenses not agreeing or an inability to punctuate quotes. So I tell the dogs. If they could speak they would be terribly knowledgeable about exactly where to position a comma in a direct quote. It drives me barking mad. So I was left telling myself. The dogs don't much like getting their haircut. They like the treats they always get from Margaret when they return. They like being back in my company. They don't even seem to mind that the discussion is about the over use of first person ...




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18. Day 108. Lacking passion






Our visitors left today. I enjoyed having them around.
We all did, even the dogs who liked the attention and increased possibilities for hunting down and stealing people's smalls.
 I enjoyed a reason to play tourist in my own town but it was time for them to leave by which I mean a massive pile of marking arrived in my virtual inbox at midnight.
As anyone who knows me knows, I hate marking. It sucks but I had steeled myself and I was ready.
And then the online submission site failed. It was down nearly all day. I seriously do not have time for this. I need to procrastinate of my own free will and not because of outside forces. I sulked. It rained.
I sulked some more and then decided the only thing for it was to nap to give me the mental fortitude to mark non stop for days as soon as BlackBoard decides to grace us with its presence. I'm pretty sure you can't front load sleep but I gave it a go in any case. Curse you technology.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17. Day 107. Best foot forward

When you holiday in a different city, you tend to spend a lot of time on foot.
So it has been for our visitors. They've covered a lot of ground in two weeks. From Byron Bay to Bribie they've visited beaches and mountains. They've fed dolphins at Tangalooma and kangaroos and rainbow lorikeets at Lone Pine. Closer to (my) home we've taken them to check out the view from Mount Coot-tha and the facilities at the University of Queensland. South Bank, the Botanic Gardens and Roma Street Station have all been ticked off.
But there was one thing  wasn't aware needed to be on an English visitors' guide to Brisbane - the nail salon. I learned today that while we may have nail salons breeding like rabbits it's not such a thing in Cornwall. Massage chairs, rows of vanishes and cheese grater style dead skin removers are not common place. They'd been told they needed a pedicure and I was happy to facilitate. After all that walking, it seemed only fair. And after that it was back on foot for a stroll with the dogs along the Kangaroo Point cliffs.


Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16. Day 106. Food for thought


When you are on a diet - as I am - everything starts to look delicious. And food becomes an obsession.
I feel like I could sniff a slice of bacon from the next suburb. But I have nothing on the birds of prey. Today we decided we needed to take our English visitors to "the" Brisbane tourist experience. We went to Lone Pine.
Naturally the kangaroos and koalas were high on the list of things to see. They did not disappoint, But the surprise packages were the birds. We arrived at lorikeet feeding time. The loris arrived on call and landed both on the feeding plates and our visitors' heads. Then it was time for the raptor show. These guys are amazing.  The right thing to do may be to look away when rodents are being demolished whole. Not happening. This is action I had no intention of missing. It was a feast for sore eyes. Everyone was impressed, except for the rodents .....