Saturday, March 17, 2018

March 17. Day 76. Dog Day Afternoon

The only thing worse than self diagnosis, is booking a consultation with Dr Google. Today, I decided I had chronic fatigue syndrome. A person should not feel this tired, this often, I reasoned. I started consulting Dr Google but it made me tired so I went back to bed. It was about noon. I'd been awake an hour. I was awoken just before 4pm by Rumple standing over me and barking. I suspect he thought I'd died or something. He may have just wanted to get out of the house. It seemed like the sensible thing for us all to do. We went to the dog park. My dogs are pretty useless as dog parks. They seem to think that the parks exist as speed dating opportunities to audition new owners or something. In any event, they find a human with no dog hanging off them - usually because the dog is off doing that the dog park is designed for - and they go up for a smooch. Because if there's one thing my dogs lack in life it's affection - not. They played chase for about 20 seconds and then went off to find a human each to get a cuddle from. If I asked Dr Google, i could probably find a name for this sort of thing. But that would take energy and I have none...

Friday, March 16, 2018

March 16. Day 75. Randy the Rooster

If Randall the Rooseter's plan when crossing the road was to get to the other side, things didn't go well.
He was struck by a truck and dragged along on the road.
Fortunately for Randall, the occupants in the car following saw what happened and picked Randy up. He was delivered to St Vincent's Vet and into the caring hands of vet extraordinaire and my friend Dr Megan. For the past four weeks Randy the Rooster has been undergoing rehabilitation, first at the surgery and then at home with the rest of the  family pets. But suburban back yards are no place for roosters - council regulations say so. Randy the rooster needed a forever farm. Megan went searching and in Beaudesert found a mum with a couple of kids and a couple of chickens prepared to take a rooster. So we agreed to go for a drive.  I gave the mission a hashtag. #RandyTheRehabilitatedRooster'sRoadTrip. I also decided Nicole Kidnam could play me when they made the road trip movie. After Randy was handed over to his new forever home we headed off to lunch at the winery just down the road.  Albert River Wines is a fine place to go for lunch even if you don't happen to have a rooster to drop off just down the road. And because it was me that wasn't the end of the day's excitement. I rounded out the Friday with a Fame concert. This was my 16th annual Opening Clubs. Bid day. Awesome outcome - especially for Randy.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

March 15. Day 74. Hush little baby

 I was at South Bank with my (fur) babies this afternoon when two women approached. The younger woman was cradling a baby swaddled in a blanket in her arms. The other asked if her friend could pat the dogs. I agreed turning to look at the soft, pink bundle. They unwrapped the blanket and explained that this lifelike but lifeless bub was a Reborn. Okay, I hadn't heard the term before but I got the idea - extremely lifelike doll.
She was called Maisey. She cost $300 and had only just been picked up today. Maisey's "mum" had a collection of similar reborn bubs at home. I was offered a nurse. Instinctively I made sure the head was protected. I had to ask "why?" By this stage it had become clear that the younger woman had some form of intellectual disability. The other woman explained that she lived alone and her babies offered her comfort and a purpose.She changed their nappies. She nurtured them. She cuddled them. It seemed to me that this was $300 well spent. So much joy and no sleepless nights

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March 14. Day 73. A hard shell to crack

According to an online quiz, my spirit animal is a deer. This, apparently involves combining a softness and gentleness with a strength and determination. That's not wildly off the mark but it's probably true in some respects of just about everyone. Deer people are also able to move quickly .... yeah no.. Who would have thought? An online quiz got it wrong. My affinity is with the turtle. Slow with a soft underbelly who likes to try and present a hard exterior to the world but really fools no-one.
I needed a hard shell today. I was at one of those meetings where you should be issued with a shield not an agenda. It was uncomfortable, unpleasant. Later I needed a lie down followed by a calming walk with dogs. It helped. A bit. But I suspect many, many more feathers will be ruffled before this one plays out. Now where's my shell again?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March 13. Day 72. We interrupt this presentation ....

 It happens a few times a year. A student I don't recognises approaches me just before the start of a lecture. He or she requests the opportunity to make a short address before we get underway. The subject falls into one of two categories. It will be about a big rally coming up to protest education cuts or it will be a short campaign speech seeking votes in the student elections. I always agree. It pleases me that student politics isn't dead although signs of life are often difficult to detect. Today's announcement was on behalf of the National Union of Students promoting a rally in King George Square next Wednesday. It is weird how little the issues have changed in the 20 years I've been doing this job. The rhetoric is almost identical.
Whether or not I managed to stop in on King George Square next week remains to be seen. But I did make it tonight. It's Brisbane Comedy Festival and it would be extremely remiss of me if I didn't make at least one event. I laughed and laughed at Celia Pacquola. She started with as many F bombs as our student protest leader - perhaps more. But then the language gave way to some really, really funny insights about her life. I enjoyed it immensely. And in a week like this a good laugh is what we all need.

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 12. Day 71. An exercise in truth

"Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you honey? Would I say something that wasn't true? I'm asking you honey, would I lie to you?" So asked The Eurythmics in their song unsurprisingly named Would I Lie to You? 
Truth and trust. They are really important in a relationship.
They are really important to a journalist. Today I took a group of really motivated final year journalism students to the ABC at South Bank for a briefing ahead of next week's World Science Festival.
These are the future protectors of the fourth estate and the defenders of truth.
After the meeting I walked through South Bank stopping at one of my favourite places the Aquativity Park.
I love the giant buckets that randomly spill their contents over anyone standing underneath.
There was a young couple, the sort of couple that radiate new relationship standing nearby. "Go on," she said. "Stand under it. I'll tell you when to move. It's a game of trust. "
So he stood under it and he got soaked.
They laughed because that's still funny when you are in a new relationship.
To be fair to her - although I'm sure he'll never believe it - it was an accident.
He was standing under one bucket and she was watching it intently waiting for the fall. It was the one next to it that dumped its load soaking him. I nearly offered to play spotter for them. I could have added: "Trust me. I'm a journalist"

Sunday, March 11, 2018

March 11. Day 70. Bridging the gap

I can't pinpoint exactly when or why Brisbane decided it was necessary to light its bridges and buildings but I approve. I rather suspect that advances in technology made it possible and then it became a case of "if you can you should".
Doubtless there are good counter arguments. It's probably not too good for the environment to light things for no reason other than aesthetics. It might even be confusing for wildlife even though the lighting levels are low.
But it makes a statement loud and clear with no volume at all. Tonight after the theatre, Oliver and I made a detour via the city for a small spot of photography. There was no-one around until one other family group pulled up. The camera revealed that their intention was the same as ours. Before the lights that would never have happened - at least not at night. It may be pointless but it's pretty and that's reason enough for me.