Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January. A summary

One month down. Only 11 to go

#Created with the Project365 app

January 31. Day 31. You've got mail

Even though I obsessively check email, update Facebook and post to Twitter, I still love getting mail. The noise of the postman's motorbike always stirs me into action and there is great joy if there's something handwritten among the envelopes with windows. Yesterday's mail included a postcard from my sister-in-law in London. It didn't say a lot but the fact that she bothered to buy it, write on it, put a stamp on it and post it says much in itself.
So I am impressed by those who actually bother to make a statement with their letterbox. Ours is functional but boring. Today's post is a tribute to those in my area who have letterboxes that stand out from the crowd.

For iphone people this was created with the 6x6 app and Diptic

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30. Day 30. I've finally cracked

For me, a large part of what this year in picture will be an exercise in keeping my eyes open. The daily walk will be an opportunity to look for new or interesting angles, shapes, colours or views on the world.
This could be shattering (bad pun intended)as it was today. This is a picture of a very large pane of glass near Brisbane State High School. I presume its aim is to provide soundproofing while letting in light. Whatever, something has shattered it and I found the result very interesting. Love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29. Day 29. Watching the water fall

You know we've all had enough of the weather when the State's Premier takes to Twitter to ask "Is everybody else sick of this rain?" Yes @TheQldPremier we are all totally over it. Rain, Rain, Go Away.
Going totally stir crazy, at lunch time when the rain seemed to ease, I decided it might be safe to go for a walk. It so wasn't. I got drenched.
At one stage, walking along the Bicentennial Bikeway between the Go Between Bridge and the Grey Street Bridge I could hear a great torrent of water. There, right in the city, was what looked like a waterfall. In reality it was actually a stormwater drain dumping water from Coronation Drive but very pretty just the same. That was worth getting wet for.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28. Day 28. Taking the gloves off

This is where I normally explain the background to today's image but today I've got nothing for you. Quite simply I don't know.
I don't know whose bike it is.
I don't know why it was left unlocked and unattended near a bike path by the river at West End.
I don't know where the owner was and I most certainly have absolutely no idea why there are pink rubber gloves on the handle bars.
What I do know is that I love it for all the reasons above. This is the sort of thing my son Mr O and I really enjoy. We have immense fun inventing a back story when we see something random. Our favourite was when we saw a guitar sticking out of a rubbish bin outside the Valley pool. Endless possibilities. All of them doubtless wrong.
If you can offer a completely implausible explanation to the pink rubber gloves I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 27. Day 27. Good friends. I'll drink to that

I love going out with school friends. To clarify, when I say school friends I don't mean those I went to school with (although I love catching up with them too) I mean the Mums I have met through my son's schooling.
My mother is still great friends with parents she met at the school gate and I hope 20 or 30 years from now I still have these bonds.
We generally get together a few times a year but always the week school goes back for the year. The gathering involves much talk, much laughter and normally at least one drink featuring an umbrella or a piece of fruit.
Tonight we ended up at a Turkish restaurant where the food was great, the belly dancing impressive and the service, well, best not spoken about. Today's pic is a light fitting at the restaurant I just loved. I'm not sure if it was true love or the kind of love you have after a drink with an umbrella, a rather excellent Western Australian sauv blanc and a belly full of Turkish banquet.
If tomorrow's blog offering seems a little out of focus you will know why. Cheers

January 26. Day 26. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

Happy Australia Day.
I had it all planned. We would celebrate Australia Day at the official Brisbane festivities at South Bank. The weather killed that plan when this week's rain forced the cancellation of the event. Ironically there's no rain in sight today and it's hot and humid in that typical Brisbane summer way.
This means Plan B. Plan B is relaxing by the pool with the Australia Day test on the telly (also keeping a watching brief on the tennis). Can't get much more Australian than that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25. Day 25. Laced with love

I wish you never grew too old for Velcro. In Velcro World I would never have to nag about shoelaces that are undone. Never. Of course Mr O can not see what all the fuss is about. "My shoelace is undone. Whatever." At least that was his position until last month when he found himself being stretchered out of the house by ambulance officers after he took an unplanned trip from the top of the stairs to the bottom courtesy of an untied shoelace. Once it was established that pride was the only thing injured I so wanted to say "Told ya" but of course I am far too mature for that.
So for now the shoelaces are (mostly) done up and I don't need to relocate to Velcro World.
Still on my walk this morning I found myself drawn to Big Sister, a sculpture by J. Seward Johnson Jr at the Eagle Street Pier. It captures a teenage girl tying up her little sister's shoelaces. It is a stunning piece of street art. Today the weather was hideous but I think the water dripping off the little girl's face adds to the impact

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24. Day 24. It's raining. It's pouring

Dorothea MacKellar could have been talking about today when she talked about the flooding rain

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

Today it rained. Serious Rain. Soaking, drenching rain. Wet season rain. And then for a bit this morning it stopped and despite having heard the forecast and lived in Brisbane most of my life I thought it would be okay to go for a walk. It wasn't.
This photo was taken outside the post office in Brisbane City.
I used the ColorSplash app to bring out the little bit of colour in what was a very bleak and dreary scene.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23. Day 23. Remember the days of the old school yard

For us school doesn't go back for 2012 until tomorrow (under the rule that the more you pay for their education, the less they actually go to school). But the school year did begin at our school for students joining the school community for the first time today.
As a member of the P&F (I'm the Treasurer a fact that can't help but amuse anyone who knows me), I was asked to help out at a morning tea for parents with students starting in Year 5 and Year 8. This picture is the Year 8s being inducted. The students seem to take it in their stride but you can see the anxiety in the faces of parents with students starting big school for the first time. It's not like Year 1, but it's there.
My advice, for what it's worth, is get involved. Join the parent community, volunteer for tuckshop if you can, go to sport days. It's easy to find reasons to leave it to someone else but like most things, the more you put in, the more you get out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22. Day 22. You have to hand it to 'em

You have to laugh. A giant rolling eye. A mouth. A hand like something from the Addams Family only much, much bigger.
In Brisbane's Queen Street Mall today the Kids Comedy Festival had small people rolling in the aisles (and at times running for Mum's skirt as a giant eyeball came their way).
Although most kids will be back in the classroom tomorrow the festival continues in the mall until January 26.
And best of all it's free

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21. Day 21. Soothing South Bank

As if taking a photo a day for a whole year wasn't enough of an aim for 2012. I also resolved to lose weight and exercise more (which shouldn't surprise anyone I know as I've made that resolution every year for the past 32 years. Actually I've been quite successful in the weight loss thing. I've lost heaps. It's just that it keeps finding me again and bringing friends).
Anyway, I am using the combined resolutions to my advantage. I'm walking. A lot. Truth is I've exercised about an hour a day for nearly two decades but now my trusty Iphone and I are trying out new routes in search of new and different things. And best of all I am walking with my eyes really open to the world around me. For now, I'm loving it. Three weeks down. 49 to go.
Today's photo come from Brisbane's South Bank. Even at 7am, it was starting to heat up but it was beautiful and cool near the lily pad pond. I love the reflections off the water.

*For those interested in iphoneography, I used the CP Pro app which I totally love

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20. Day 20. Jumping for joy

Today is the last official day of six weeks school holidays so you might as well make the most of it. I know conventional wisdom is that parents can't wait for the kids to get back to school but I love holidays (and not just because it means I don't have to pack lunches and supervise homework although that absolutely works for me).
Miss Cleo, my delightful 10-year-old niece, isn't exactly leaping for joy at the prospect of Year 6 but was happy to pose for the camera.

*yes, Iphone fans that's the Photoburst app again - I love it

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19. Day 19. Having a fowl time at the Queensland Art Gallery

Yes, those in the southern states still like to think of Brisbane as a cultural backwater. To them I say "phooey". Have a look at the audience numbers at recent exhibitions at the Gallery of Modern Art and then let's talk.
But even before GOMA, there was an excellent cultural precinct South Bank with the Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Museum right on the river.
And there's plenty to see and do for free without waiting for the blockbuster exhibitions.
The doors hadn't even opened for the day when I took this photo of the Leonard and Kathleen Shillam's Pelican sculptures in a water courtyard outside the gallery this morning.
Gotta love pelicans. How I relate to creatures that keep stuffing things in their mouths despite their stomachs having reached capacity.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18. Day 18. Airing your clean laundry in public

One of the very first things I did when we moved home at the beginning of last year was to install a clothes line at the rear of the house replacing the existing one which could be clearly seen from the street.
Superheros may wear their undies on the outside for the world to see but I prefer mine out of sight, thank-you very much.
Some friends thought I was mad - not for moving the clothes line but for hanging out the smalls at all. Their husbands' underwear might be okay outside in the big bad world but their delicates were too delicate for such exposure and were dried in the safety of the home.
My daily walk would suggest that not everyone shares my distaste for letting it all hang out. Today, after a couple of days of heavy rain, clothes lines along the walking route were heaving with the weight of washing, smalls and all.
I couldn't resist taking a pic of this one because of the angle you get from the pedestrian overpass above and because there is something really Australian about the old Hills Hoist in the back yard.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17. Day 17. Hair Today, gone tomorrow

Today I learned that the hairdresser's unborn granddaughter has only one kidney. Emerging from a salon with a look at least somewhat improved on the shaggy dog style you had when you went in is only part of the story of what the haircut experience is about.
As well as catching up on salon gossip, you are able to study the women's magazines for details of what sources close to celebrity couples have allegedly said about the state of their relationships.
And then there is the scalp massage, probably the best experience known to man (or in this case woman)
Yes, the haircut soaks up time and money. Yes, you have to put up with a barrage of inane conversation.
Yes, the road to the new look involves a couple of hours looking like something that should be basted and put in the oven (as today's self portrait reveals)
But you always emerge looking and feeling better for the experience

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16. Day 16. The sleepover

Honestly why they call it a sleep over, I have no idea. Sleep oviously has nothing to do with it at all. Perhaps it is just because there would not be many acceptances to an event called an over.
For whatever reasons kids love them. Parents, not so much. Host the event and you have a house full of non sleeping guests. For the parent doing the collecting the next day you have tired and grumpy small people to put up with.
But like wine some things improve with age and this is one of them. Yes, it was late when they finally went to sleep but as this image shows there was little action at 9am the next morning

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15. Day 15. Memories come flooding back

The first anniversary of the Brisbane floods this week has brought the horror of last year's events back to the front of our minds. Most people visiting the city would see no evidence of the physical devastation but the reminders are there and as I live near places that were seriously flooded I see them often. Today's picture comes from the base of the Eleanor Schonell bridge where I walked to watch the river at its worst a year ago. This memorial is from the 1974 flood, the flood many of us believed would be the last of the great floods to hit the city. How wrong we were.

* for those interested in spart phone camera apps, today I played with SynthCam, a app that lets you play with depth of field

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14. Day 14. The Lifeline Bookfest

I love a good book and I confess it is not enough to just read them.I like to own them. I like to have them on the book shelf. I like to categorise them by author or colour or size. The books I read fall into three categories
1) proper books by proper authors
2) beach books - those page turners that are great by the pool or on the beach. It doesn't really matter if they get wet or you don't finish them. You have little or no emotional investment in them but they are entertaining reads and don't require your undivided attention
3)Junior and teen fiction. I just love the amazing books being written for young readers perhaps spurred on by J.K. Rowling. I love reading them and I love the bond they give me and my son. He's better hurry up with those Hunger Games books. I'm growing impatient.
Given all that, I love the Lifeline Bookfest. Literally millions of second hand books at bargain basement prices. It opened in Brisbane today. I stopped by on my walk just for a look as the doors were opening. Anything I bought I'd have to carry home so today wasn't the day for buying big but I did sneak in a few John Grishams and James Pattersons (which are in my category 2) and an Ian McEwan (about the top of categort 1). I will be back before the Bookfest ends on Janaury 22.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13. Day 13. He must have been a beautiful baby....

My baby is 14 today. He's taller than I am and his foot is about two sizes bigger than mine. But he's still my baby. It was a special day for him as he was exactly where he loves to be - performing on stage with Mum, Dad and Grandma in the audience. After the show the cast all gathered and sang happy birthday and shared in a gluten free cake baked by one of them just for him. Nice. The celebrations will continue on Sunday when friends come over for a sleepover and next month when we go to Sydney to see Love Never Dies and the Harry Potter Exhibition

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12. Day 12. Suits me to a Tea

By rights I should be a tea drinker. My mother is a tea-aholic and Charles, my husband, is English and therefore treats tea as something like a religion.
But I don't drink tea, or coffee for that matter. I do love a hot chocolate and get very annoyed if it is served tepid ("If I'd wanted a luke warm chocolate that's what I would have ordered"). I also like a herbal brew. Peppermint, chamomile, lemon and today green tea with jasmine. I liked the way it was presented. Also, signs around the Patisserie prohibiting photography inside and outside the premises could only be interpreted as a challenge rather than a deterrent.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11. Day 11. Going. ..going,... gone

In summer our lives revolve around the pool and today when the mercury hit 36 degrees - the hottest day in Brisbane in two years - there was no getting the kids out of there.
Today was a real family day. My sister and her husband and kids returned home to Brisbane after a six-week world tour in the early hours of the morning and tomorrow morning my brother's wife and kids head back to Sydney after a two-week Brisbane stay. That meant today was our one big chance for a family get-together.
The pool action also gave me the opportunity to try out my new Iphone app Photoburst - it's a winner

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10. Day 10 . The Eleanor Schonell Bridge

I am a very rare beast. In Brisbane you are either a northside person or a southside person. People just don't seem to "migrate" to the other side of the river. Almost exactly a year ago, my northside family became a southside family - but only just.
We live very close to the Brisbane River. An estate agent might say we have "river glimpses". The reality, however, is although it is probably only a little over one hundred of metres away, the most you can see of the river is reflections off the water through the trees when the light is favourable. While we can't see the water we have a perfect view of the University of Queensland on the other side of the river and we can clearly see the pylons of the Eleanor Schonnel Bridge which links Dutton Park on the South and St Lucia on the north.
The bridge is very unusual in that it only carries pedestrians, cyclists and buses - no cars - but what I like is its shape and the lines of the cables that support it. Often it is where I head on my daily walk. Normally it is a fairly easy stroll but in today's oppressive humidity I thought it might be a bridge too far.I survived and here's today's resulting Project365 montage.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9. Day 9. Below the surface

Today is officially stinking hot and there are only two ways of escaping it - in air conditioning or in water. Although I love the air conditioning unit right now it is not especially photogenic. The pool on the other hand......
Given that the Iphone is allergic to water and I don't yet own a fancy pants Lifeproof case (note to those nearest and dearest - ideal birthday present. I can wait until April) today's pic comes from the cute little underwater video camera Mr Oliver was given for Christmas. My "baby" Mr O is also the boy in the photo

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8. January 8. Boggo Road Markets

My paternal grandfather, who died well before I was born, was a warder at Boggo Road gaol so it is a Brisbane landmark which has always interested me. It is also very close to where I now live. So today I decided to make the Boggo Road Markets the destination for my morning walk. The gaol is closed but just wandering around has made me very seriously consider joining the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society. The $12 membership fee would buy me the right to get into the gaol once a month to clean cells, something that sounds strangely attractive.
For the record, I did make purchases at the market - two tops for me, a T shirt and six Agatha Christie books for the lad and milk and the newspapers on the way home for Charles

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7. January 7. Brisbane Arts Theatre

Follow the trail of bread crumbs to today's performance of Hansel and Gretel at Brisbane Arts Theatre. The journey to today's photo began in mid 2001 at the Esk Races. My son was then aged three and was to spend the day with Grandma and Grandpa while we took a bus ride with friends to enjoy the annual picnic day in the Brisbane Valley. We had to leave early and it was going to be a very long day so to break it up bought tickets to take the young man to see Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves at Brisbane Arts Theatre. He loved it but over the coming days the number of thieves varied from four to about 400. I don't think it was ever 40. More than 10 years later his love of Brisbane Arts Theatre shows no sign of diminishing and he has seen every children's show at the theatre since. For the most part I have gone along too but in early 2008 he went with a school friend and his family and came home and announced he had signed up for an audition. In May that year he took to the stage as a baby sheep in Charlotte's Web. Future performances at Brisbane Arts Theatre have followed, including a thief in Ali Baba. Today it was opening day of Hansel and Gretel and the role was Vigo, a boy who gets turned into a gingerbread man by the wicked witch. The Sydney cousins were in the audience so Mr O got to sign their autograph sheets.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6. Day 6. Lifesavers at the pool

Summer equals the pool and the ice block. My adorable niece and nephew Jessie and Connor are up from Sydney and joined us for a swim. And of course if you are by the pool you need a Lifesaver.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5. Day 5. The Day Christmas finally ended

By my own rules, the Christmas tree should be taken down on January 2 but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is not just about procrastination, something I am very good at. It is more that once the tree is gone, Christmas is officially over and the room seems to have a big gap where the tree used to be. But it has to be done. Going...Going...Gone...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4. Day 4. Mount Coot-tha

Had an early morning cross from the Channel 7 studios on the mountain so decided to use this as the starting point for today's walk and photo shoot. It was very smokey and the views weren't great. I headed to the Botanic Gardens instead and while I took pics which could have made another montage I decided to overcome my love of the big close-up just for today and go with the rainbow created by a sprinker on the manicured lawn

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3. Day 3. Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley

It was back to work for my husband today so that saw me in Fortitude Valley after drop off. I decided to see what was happening in Chinatown Mall but as it was 9am there was very little action. Instead I concentrated on colour and pattern.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2. Day 2. Roma Street Parklands

Theatre Boy had to be at Brisbane Arts Theatre at 8am for bump in, a concept that means nothing to me. This put me right near the Roma Street Parklands so that's where I took my morning walk. Today's pic and montage all come via the iPhone 4

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1. Day 1. Old Woman Island at Mudjimba

Woke up on New Year's Day on the Sunshine Coast. Perfect way to start a new year. This is what I saw