Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30. Day 334. A bit of a blur

Much of today was a blur, mainly because I couldn't find my glasses. Again. Still.
I blame my family and their boy looks. I mean, I couldn't be expected to find my glasses without my glasses now could I?
The most annoying thing was that they were exactly where I thought they would and should be - by the bed where I had taken them off last night. They had lodged themselves between the bedside table and the bed and, apparently wrapped themselves in a Harry Potter style cloak of invisibility.
Finally, eight hours of near blindness later they were found when there was just enough light  to take the fur creature for an afternoon walk.
Even though I was again seeing clearly I found it hard to believe my eyes. There in Highgate Hill park was Tanzin the Bengal cat being taken for a walk on a lead by owners James and Mary.
I don't think I've ever seen a cat going off for a walk before. Then again, few people have ever seen our interpretation of dog walk before where the dog is often being carried on my shoulders. The look in Tanzin's eyes would suggest he was as surprised and amused by the sight as I was. Perhaps you need your eyes checked pussycat.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29. Day 333. Smokin' hot

 It's the most wonderful time of the year. Tonight thousands of Brisbane families packed King George Square in the CBD for the official ceremony to turn on the Christmas lights. And what a lovely night it was. I especially enjoyed the fact that the organisers were able to weave indigenous culture into what could have been a very "European" celebration. Before the solar lights on the tree were turned on, an Indigenous dance troop welcomed the crowd to their land and showed how light was made going back thousands of years in this land. The huge crowd of kids looked equally in awe either way. Yes Brisbane, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Ho, ho, ho ....

November 28. Day 332. The fog is lifting

I'm pretty sure I have never turned up to a medical appointment in a worse state than I did this morning. Unshowered, sweaty, smelly in walking boots and and an old T Shirt. It was not a good look.
a) it was not my fault and
b) my psychologist was delighted.
Operation kick Susan up the arse continues and this morning that involved walking up Mount Cooth-tha at the crack of dawn with a friend and the fur ball.
But the friend was delayed, the traffic was terrible and as a result I was running terribly late.
So I either went to the appointment straight from the mountain or not at all. I went with the former, phoning through in advance to apologise.
The sweaty but happy version of self is a vast improvement on the model who has been slumping in for recent appointments.Evidence of emerging from the fog is to be congratulated. Big gold star for seizing the day.
But frankly Brisbane, you could at least put on a better show instead of the hazy version of yourself you put on display this morning. If a girl is going to climb a mountain before breakfast, she should at least be able to enjoy the view at the top.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27. Day 331. Dipping your toe in the water

Some parents are such pains in the arse. The teachers must see them coming and try to hide in the staff room or lock themselves in the toilet or something.
Um, sorry about that. I try to keep my mouth shut but sometimes I can't help myself.
So it was at a school meeting tonight to discuss the roll out of student laptops for Year 11 next year. The school was running through the terms of use which included no social media and a wireless network that would block all social media sites. Okay, plenty of workplaces have similar bans. Okay, I have spent too much time in front of tutorials where students devote much of the class to updating their Facebook statuses not to be aware how distracting social media can be in education.
But I also know that in a classroom setting, social media can be used for good as well as evil and banning it seems crazy. Embrace it, teach responsible use, engage with it. It will be part of their world so you really should be using it rather than pretending it doesn't exist ... So when the presentation was over and parents were invited to talk to the staff one-on-one about the new program, pain-in the-arse mother puts the case for using social media in the classroom.
If there was eye rolling they did their best to hide it. And, in fact, they agreed with me. But the program is new, protocols need to be put in place and not all teachers are sufficiently well versed in the use of social media to bring it into the classroom. It is coming and training will happen. At this stage they are just dipping their toes in the water, not yet ready to dive in. So, on reflection, perhaps this little black duck isn't so bad after all. Just causing the odd ripple like this ducky moorhen at South Bank this morning.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26. Day 330. Patience grasshopper

I remember nothing of the 70s TV show Kung Fu except for the catch phrase Patience Grasshopper. Exactly why a grasshopper would want or need to be any more patient than any other creature great or small is a mystery but it obviously made sense at the time. Today, I exhibited a small amount of patience taking this photograph and a great deal more taking another snap of the Fur Friend Rumple for this year's Christmas card. For the past 15 years I have taken a photo of The Boy for the card. Every year that involves tears and tantrums (mainly from me) and far, far too many frames to get the "perfect" image. It's a ritual The Boy has long despised but put up with (usually because of a bribe). This year he decided it was time to hand over the modelling duties to the new kid on the block. He warned Rumple wouldn't have the patience for the job. Silly boy. It's me, not the dog who needs to display infinite patience and I have years of practice - 15 years to be exact.
Yes, there are challenges in working with animals not children - for one The Boy never tried to hump my arm during the photography session. On the plus side Rumple knows no rude words and Schmackos are cheaper than any "positive reinforcement" The Boy demanded as a modelling fee.
As for the image itself, it's awesome but you can't see it yet. Patience Grasshopper.

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25. Day 329. The early bird

I've been suffering from a very bad case of Could-Not-Be-Bothered-Itis. My motivation levels have been at an all-time low. For almost as long as I can remember I've got up just after dawn and exercised in one form or another for at least an hour. But recently the doona has seemed far more attractive. Most days I've managed to force myself to at least take the dog for a walk later in the day but of late even that has proved to be a struggle. Today I decided enough was enough and I gave myself a kick up the bum and got up early. Clearly it's been a while because the dog stayed on the pillow looking at me suspiciously while I got ready before deciding I was actually serious about getting up at this time of day and also springing into action. So off we went and in the cool of the morning the lakes at the University of Queensland looked most attractive. It felt great and I refuse to be deterred by the fact that I was back in bed shortly thereafter feeling hideous as a result of a medication side effect. Tomorrow is another day and I intend to embrace it early. Coming ready or not.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24. Day 328. Here we go again

Another day. Another storm. Actually two storms both of which threatened to force the Ashes cricket match being played just down the road into a fifth day - but failed. Come on Aussie. Come on.
The sky darkened almost to the point of day becoming night, the sky rumbled and moaned and then great, big fat rain drops quickly followed by wind and hail followed. Fast and furious and then it blew over - until the next one. Welcome to a Queensland summer where a hot, humid and sticky day, almost always signals an afternoon downpour. As the storm approaches there's a moment of collective breath holding as the city begs for the relief and the much-needed rain but at the same time prays to be spared the destructive power that can accompany the storm.
Today was a good day at our place. A great light and sound show, rain and relief and then it was gone. Barely time to take this photo of my neighbour's guttering before we were able to get back in the pool. One way or another we were making quite a splash.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23. Day 327. Boundless energy

I wish I had a fraction of the energy I had when I was 12. When I left my niece Cleo's birthday sleepover late last night the girls were disco dancing. In the intervening time, I had a very respectable eight hours of shut eye. They did not. Why the word sleep is included in the term sleepover remains a mystery. Granted the I was dressed and they were still in their PJs when I popped around this morning. But there's no prizes for guessing which of us had the most energy. Yep, they were up for leaping off the front verandah and given half the chance I would have been leaping back into bed. Perhaps it was the party food but more likely it's the power of being 12 that had them jumping for joy. I'm tired just looking at it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22. Day 326. Let them eat cake

The world has gone mad. This afternoon my mother called with an amusing tale of the new washing machine which came with a warning "not to be used by children under 8 or the elderly without supervision". She wondered if I would mind popping over every time she needed to put on a load of whites because clearly she could not be expected to turn a dial and push a button without help. Right. Arse protecting is now a huge business replacing what may once have been considered common sense.
This seems particularly true when it comes to kids where as a society we seem determined to wrap the little ones in cotton wool.
Many people are starting to push back and plenty of parents have reacted with horror at the notion that it is no longer okay to send one cake to school for birthdays. Blowing out the candles means blowing germs all over the cake everyone is about to eat. Individual cupcakes overcome this problem. Madness, you may well be saying. If you are saying that it's clear you were never in the room when my darling boy was a toddler. I'm pretty sure he thought the idea was to douse the candles in spit. It was either that or the amount of food colouring in the icing but something seemed to make people strangely reluctant to take a slice. Funny that. Of course, that doesn't apply to every child and most kids grow out of it after the toddler years. Certainly everyone was happy to share in the icecream cake for my niece Cleo's birthday, even after she's blown out the candles. Some greedy gutses even went back for seconds. I may or may not have been in the queue. Let's face it I have to make up for a few years when I decided to give the spit cake a miss. These days I'm happy to say "let them eat cake".

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 21. Day 325. Howzat!

I now know it's summer - whatever the calendar may say.
The first day of the first test at the Gabba is the surest sign that summer has come. As the chant starts "Broad is a wanker" you know it's cricket and it's summer.
I don't like cricket - I love it, as the song goes. It is a beautiful thing and it was awesome to be up in the stands taking in the action as the first ball was bowled. Here's Warner in the first session, when the action was still going Australia's way.
There are many who think that watching cricket is like watching grass grow or paint dry. I sort of understand that but even if you can't watch it on TV, there is something special about the atmosphere in a sports ground.
I've been a fan of Gabba cricket since those days when you could get up and personal and sit on the greyhound track right up against the outfield.
It's not like that any more. The personality of the ground has gone somewhat  and these days only the security staff sit there, looking grumpy and spending the day fetching and seizing beachballs. Party poopers. Of course, that just gives the crowd another target when it starts to feel like watching grass might be more interesting.
There was not much time for that today. And no matter what the scoreboard says, Broad is still a wanker.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20. Day 324. Stirring up a hornets' nest

I'm a strong believer in the saying "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again".
But really, there's no point in getting stupid about it. At some point you've got to admit defeat and back down gracefully. Some of the greatest problems of our time come when both sides decide to dig their heels in and refuse to budge. I could be talking about Australian/Indonesian relationships or even the Lang Hancock family trust dispute - but I'm not. The bitter, divisive feud is between Susan and the wasps. I have no real problem with the wasps - except for the fact that they seem to think that the front fence near the gate and the letterbox is a great place to hang out. Yeah, it is but it is my place and while I pay the mortgage I reckon they can buzz off.
But they won't. I've burned down their nest, I've beaten down their nest but they are back - for now.
But tomorrow is another day and I'm stockpiling ammunition. Don't say you weren't warned.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19. Day 323. Cat fight

If you've ever read Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy (and there really is no excuse for not having read this classic kids' tale) you will be familiar with Scarface Claw, the toughest Tom in town.
You will also know how Scarface Claw scared off all the dogs by hissing "EEEEEOWWWFFTZ!"
The scene is described as follows:
Off with a yowl,
a wail and a howl,
a scatter of paws
and a clatter of claws....straight back home to bed.

This scene was pretty much reenacted in our back garden today. The cat from next door decided that a chair by the pool - Rumple's chair - might be a nice place to spend the morning. Rumple rather begged to differ. The cat hissed and held its ground. He may have been in the right but like the dogs in the book, Rumple is not stupid. He barked a bit but retreated. Then when it seemed there was nothing to lose, the cat simply got up and walked off. It's no wonder I'm a dog person.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18. Day 322. Batten down the hatches

Had Chicken Little been running around West End in Brisbane this afternoon, no one would have been doubting that the sky was falling.
It was one mean looking storm brewing, dark, menacing and frankly looking like it could do with a big hug. Just another Queensland afternoon really.
What I love about this image is just how Queensland it looks. The timber and tin buildings, the trees and that afternoon storm rolling in.
Fortunately, despite how evil the sky looked, we missed out on the worst of it. Chicken Little was wrong - the sky wasn't falling. Not today anyway.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17. Day 321. Make yourself at home

Being a responsible dog owner, my dog is always on a lead when we leave the house.
Well, almost always. He's allowed to run free in designated off leash areas and I do let Rumple run ahead of me when I'm going next door to visit Margaret.
He charges out our front gate and straight between the bars of her security door and practically on to her lap. Rumple loves Margaret and the feeling is mutual.
It has to be said that Rumple isn't the only one that makes himself at home. There's a a queue of creatures lining up to take advantage of Margaret's hospitality (and her almost endless supply of free mince).
While we were there today it was the noisy miner's visiting time.
Seeing this image totally reminded me of my childhood and the Robert Louis Stephenson poem often quoted by my dad
A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon the window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
“Ain’t you ’shamed, you sleepy-head!



Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16. Day 320. The claws are out

I'm suffering from PMT which in this instance stands for Permanent Mother Tension.
The aligning of the assessment cycles around our place where Year 10 assessment and university grading has raised the temperature around our place and today the claws were out. Teen angst is feeding off middle aged mother meltdown  or perhaps it's the other way around. Either way it's a symbiotic relationship and it's not pretty.
This afternoon I was desperately over it and decided what I needed was a nap but then I listened to the voices - this time not those in my head but those coming out of my mouth. "Exercise is good for stress release. Get out of the house for a bit." And so I did. The dog and I went for walk to the University of Queensland and I must say it was most therapeutic. Then I saw these birds. I can only assume there is avian assessment approaching. The claws were out there too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15. Day 319. School's out forever

Twelve years is a very long time. And that last year of school is an absolute killer. Even so the final day of Year 12 is a bitter sweet moment. Of course there is both great relief and excitement at the end of high school.
But the excitement is tempered with sadness at the end of an era and the knowledge that life will never be the same again. And there's the saying goodbye to friends who have walked beside you on the school journey.It's not that they are going anywhere but they will no longer be beside you in the classroom five days a week (they will, however, just be a Facebook click away).
With all that going on it's no wonder school leavers need to let off a bit of steam.
So it was this afternoon for my niece Scarlett and  her fellow school leaving boyfriend Alex.
If you can't jump in the pool fully clothed on your last day of school when can you?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14. Day 318. Running around like a headless chook

I have a special skill. I have an ability to pick up a recipe book and immediately set my heart on the recipe that will take me a week to find the ingredients and actually purchasing them will require a second mortgage.
So it has taken a week of running around like a headless chook but today I finally souced Moghrabiah, a product I had never heard of before this Project Tangine began. (I never did find lamb stock. I guess I was meant to make that from scratch).
By the time I actually found the fat couscous pearls (that's what moghrabiah is in case you were wondering) I was almost over it. But with figs, saffron, dates, preserved lemon, slithered almonds, pepitas etc, etc already purchased there was no looking back. I'm rather sure my accountant husband would have his head in his hands and his eyes would have bulged a little had I not hidden the receipts but it was totally worth it.
So here's today represented in a piece of sculture in the Visual Arts studios at QUT today. It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13. Day 317. On Fire!

It wasn't me. I seem to have an uncanny knack of being one of the first on the scene at major fires in and around Musgrave Park. Further I have a camera ready to capture the action and phone through reports to ABC local radio.
I was there when the Aboriginal Tent Embassy  caught fire in October last year.
And I was there this morning when the heritage listed The  Belvedere  burnt to the ground. That sounds like the profile of an arsonist if ever I've heard one.
In my defence, I walk through that area at that time of day often, always with my camera and normally without incident.
The journalist in me can't see a big black ball of smoke and hear sirens without heading off to investigate. The social media tragic can't resist tweeting about it.
And being on the scene certainly doesn't mean organised. Fire one there was no battery in the camera (fortunately I had a spare in my bag). Fire two, camera memory card still in the computer at home (I do that so often I now carry a spare). I am also learning a little about live radio crosses from the scene. Describing a burning indigenous camp as a "big black mess" will hardly go down as a career high ....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12. Day 316. What a balls up!

Ball up: (verb) to spoil something by making a mistake or doing something stupid. 
Let me use it is a sentence. Trust me to balls up the date when all marks were due thus making my own life hell. 
The looming date for marking and submission on university results has been hovering like a big, dark, foreboding storm cloud for some time. Wednesday 10am. Wednesday 10am. Thus I feel like all I've been doing of late is marking or putting off marking (to be honest there's been more of the latter than the former but it's been there the whole time).
So today as I entered the all consuming final countdown I received a phone call from a work colleague who seemed insanely calm. Turns out this was due to the fact that while the marks are indeed due on Wednesday at 10am - it's Wednesday next week. Seriously Susan, for a so-called smart person you can be really stoopid when you want to.
Anyway having got this far I decided to finish the task come hell or high water (mostly hell).
As such taking a photo today was a matter of looking up from the spreadsheets, seeing the vase with those coloured jelly balls, grabbing the camera and going "click".
That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11. Day 315. Getting ready

A big night tonight. The sort of night that involves waxing, a haircut and the toe nails done. As any woman will tell you, the preparation is every bit as important as the event itself.
Tonight I have the rare honour of having a daughter. My sister is in Europe for a conference which leaves my delightful niece Scarlett "motherless" on the night of her Mother and Daughter school graduation evening. I was asked to stand in, something that delighted me. But then ... what the hell will I wear? I wouldn't want to blow my one mother/daughter opportunity. So like the seagull at South Bank there was much preening to be done. Hopefully it is appropriate.
And anyway, with my own teen's scheduled school finish date only two years away it doesn't hurt to have a dress run.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10. Day 314. Natural high

Young men are a worry. Their ability to do stupid risk-taking things is enough to cause sleepless nights for the mother of just about every teen male. Hormones, energy, recklessness and a body maturity with a brain that hasn't caught up can be a lethal combination. The last thing you need is to throw alcohol into the mix.
That's why I totally applaud the organisers today's Be the Influence BoarderX series which saw Albert Street in Brisbane's central business district turned into a great big skate park.
Boys (and two girls) aged from about 11 put their bodies on the line over a series of ramps, berms, humps and jumps.
The no-alcohol event featured a DJ, loud pumping music, free entry and a competition combining the best of ramp, street and skateboard skills, with riders racing against the clock for the chance at the $1000 first prize.
But the best bit about the extreme skateboarding event was the message that there are positive ways to get that high.
I didn't stick around to see who took out the first prize but the large number of competitors and spectators would suggest the event was a big winner.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9. Day 313. Lapping it up

Simple creatures really. Give them plenty of food and drink, tickle their tummies and gives them treats occasionally and there's no need to keep them on a short leash. They'll follow you everywhere. You just need to let them think they're the boss when it's obvious who's holding the lead. Well that's the theory and as the only inhabitant of our household without a Y chromosome I like to pretend I'm the one in charge.
We all know that's not true but every now and again I do get my way.
So this afternoon I "encouraged" the two legged males in the household to accompany Rumple and me on our walk. I could say they jumped at the idea but not without my fingers crossed.
However, once we got going everyone seemed pretty happy with the arrangement.
It was such a simple thing, the whole family just out for a stroll to the dog park.
As you can see, Rumple was really lapping it up. Secretly the others weren't complaining either. I didn't even have to give them Schmackos. No-one will have to sleep in the dog house tonight.

Friday, November 8, 2013

November 8. Day 312. Sun goes down on another week

Perhaps it was a reflection on my state of mind, but for a while this afternoon the sky looked like approaching Armageddon. Hours of marking will do that to a person's head. Bushfires in the region will do that to the sky.
It was all quite dramatic. The news that Bribie Island is again on fire, reminds me of a former life and another dramatic time.
The huge area of bush on the Island means that it is no stranger to bushfires. Five years of being the only reporter on the Island means that I'm no stranger to covering those fires.
It is quite a responsibility in these times of crisis to provide the vital information link between the emergency services and a anxious public (there was no such thing as Twitter in the old days). But you have to keep it in perspective. Perhaps that's what my straight-talking chief-of-staff was trying to remind me when he was shouting down the phone: "We don't want any f***ing heroes." As an asthmatic and a wimp, there's little chance of that. And for the record, if Armageddon really had been approaching this afternoon I would probably taken a photo and then gone and hidden in my room. We don't need another hero.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7. Day 311. Can't see the bike for the trees

This probably makes me a big child but I rather love those Eye Spy and Where's Wally? books.
I reckon I have spent more hours looking for Wenda and Wizard White Beard, Woof and Odlaw than I have playing either Angry Birds or Candy Crush and let me tell you that's a lot of hours.
Perhaps this is why I adore this bicycle which is perched up a tree near a bike path at Nundah.
But I think there's another reason. I love things for which there is no obvious explanation.
Without proof the contrary you can fill the gap with whatever you want. As they say in the trade "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story".
So perhaps a parent got tired of the child leaving the bike lying around and said "next time the bike is let on the ground, I'm putting it out of reach".
Perhaps someone was re-enacting ET or perhaps it is connected to Almira Gulch and the Wizard of Oz.
The truth doesn't matter. The fact is there is  a bike up a tree and that amuses me.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 6. Day 310. Don't be a Goose 2

 Journalists are often accused of only telling one side of the story.
And perhaps I owe a bit of an apology to the girls I was very quick to judge for abandoning a goose at the University of Queensland last week.
Don't get me wrong. Abandoning a family pet is never okay and a low act but perhaps the goose is not exactly the innocent party.
I was back at the lakes today when I saw the same goose and although I thought I put its side of the story more than fairly, it was having none of it.
The goose attacked my shoe lace and then my shoe and when I tried to get up and get away it went my leg.
But fortunately,
a) I had my fearless attack dog with me. Without hesitation he rushed up and smelled the goose and then jumped up on the other leg and demanded to be picked up because "he" was afraid. Good work Rumple and
b) some students rushed to my rescue where rescue is defined as grabbed my mobile phone and took photos.
The most unfortunate bit of this whole sad tale is that it was such an opportunity lost.
It is my dream that I will make a million through posting a video that goes vital on YouTube. The woman, the goose and the dog overlaid with the theme music from Benny Hill and there was the dream realised - except that I was too busy fighting off the rabid bird to think to video the action.
So instead of dreaming of the $$$$ I'll be having nightmares about being under avian attack.
So whose looking the goose now?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 5. Day 309. The meeting that stopped the nation

When I grow up I wish to be a member of the Reserve Bank Board.*
My qualifications are as follows
1) I manage the household budget (otherwise defined as I hide the credit card bills from my husband)
2) I was just re-elected as treasurer of the school's P&F. No-one else wanted the job
3) I have more experience than just about anyone else in Australia in attending meetings on the first Tuesday in November.
For reasons I will never understand, my department has an obsession with Melbourne Cup Day staff meetings. As far as I know, the Reserve Bank Board is the only other institution which shares this obsession. Normally our gathering are lunch time meetings (when the rest of the country is opening the champers). But his year is was a full half day retreat to look at strategic positioning for the future.
A little bit of self reflection is a good thing ** but is wanting to put on a silly hat once a year so unreasonable? Is there not another hole in the calendar?
I briefly considered wearing the silly hat to the meeting as a protest (but I did that one other year and there are only so many times you can bring out the hat covered in flowers and bees).
One of my colleagues did sneakily bring a house and cup to the meeting perhaps to remind us what we were missing.
Then there was nothing for it but to saddle up and enjoy the ride.
*Should there be a Reserve Bank Board vacancy please accept this as my application which I believe addresses all relevant selection criteria. I look forward to your response.
** The meeting was very productive. I'm relatively sure it would have been equally as productive at another time.

November 4. Day 308. Oh what a tangled web we weave

Two letters. That's it. Should be easy.
But I'm just a girl who can't say no ...... at least in those moments that follow the words "can I ask you a favour?"
As a believer in "what-goes-around-comes-around" I rarely refuse a reasonable request and in fact occasionally take on requests that are far from reasonable.
Just call me a yes (wo)man.
So it was today I got caught in a web, trapped like a fly in a fight that had nothing to do with me.
As a favour, I'd agreed to design a program for Remembrance Day. Seemed simple enough. But ...
Let's just say that the approval process became a tangled mess to the point that when the green light finally came to send it to the printer - the deadline was missed.
An order of service for an event at 11am on November 11, is of little use if it can't be collected until 4.08pm on the day. So, I sweet talked the printer. Used all my charm. And they agreed.
A win. And then at 7pm a phone call. Could we make a late change?
At this point, I finally found my voice. No. No, No.
Perhaps Elton was right, Sorry is the hardest word.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3. Day 307. Free as a frisbee

“When a ball dreams, it dreams it's a Frisbee.”
Stancil Johnson
No matter how old you are, or how staid you are, or how tired you are, a Frisbee pretty much demands to be thrown.
On paper, a Frisbee is a bit of a joke. A flat disc. No real distinguishing features. Nothing to write home about here and yet that piece of nondescript plastic represents hours of fun.
The thing you've gotta love about a Frisbee is its seeming refusal to behave in any predictable way.
Throw a ball and it goes straight. A Frisbee rides the wind, it hangs, it hovers, it gets carried away.
Watching Cleo, Grandma and Rumple throw the Frisbee in the yard this afternoon was a bit like watching someone trying to direct me when I'm driving. Concepts such as left and right were clearly quite arbitrary and determined on a whim at the moment. But there's the fun and how much sweet the joy when you land one as Miss Cleo did here.

November 2. Day 306. Food for thought

Anyone with a problem with multiculturalism clearly doesn't take the same delight in eating food from all over the globe as I do.
In the past week alone I have consumed cuisine from Thailand, Japan, India, Italy, Tibet, France, Mexico and Australia (yep, a Vegemite sandwich totally counts).
Much of this was prepared in my own kitchen but within walking distance of my place are restaurants from not only these countries but also Germany, Korea, Spain, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Greece, Turkey and Switzerland (and doubtless others).
So it is unsurprising that the home of  Fiesta Latina is just down the road in West End.
The sights, sounds, smells and most importantly the tastes of  Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain and Uruguay were being celebrated in the annual festival.
There was literally dancing in the streets, children's arts and crafts, music, song and lots and lots of food.
Most of the food came from central and south America the Caribbean but children such as five-year-old Alessandra found the international food of children - fairy floss - more to her taste.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1. Day 305. Don't be a goose

If you are a water fowl it is quite okay to be a goose. If you are a human, it is far less endearing. And yet, two-legged creatures have a very unfortunate habit of behaving far worse than "lesser" creatures.
I am told by a bloke feeding the birds at the University of Queensland this afternoon that until a week ago this goose was a family pet. It had lived with the same family since it was a little one.
Three girls brought the goose down to the university and simply ran away leaving a very distressed and confused bird behind.
The bloke was feeding it bread, probably not the finest of cuisine for a goose he said, but as a domesticated animal it probably did not yet have the skills to fend for itself and bread must be better than the alternative, he reasoned.
Pets are family and to quote that most authoritative of sources - Disney's Lilo and Stitch -  "Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten."
Only a real goose would be foul enough to simply abandon a pet.