Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28. Day 59. Hang on. It's the weekend

I need to be clear on this point. I do not have butter fingers. In my case the good oil fell not only on the digits of my hands but all the way up my arms. When they talk about someone who couldn't even catch a cold, I suspect they have me in mind. But even for me this week was worse than most where I felt like I dropped the ball more times than I rightfully should have. Of course, in this instance I speak not of the actual ball but my ability to keep a grasp on what was going on around me. I think we all have weeks like that. But Friday afternoon arrived and when others declared it beer o'clock I signaled the end of the working week by joining other families and their dogs in the park. There was running, jumping, ball catching (by others not me for the reasons stated above) and generally letting of steam. I might not be much of a catch but I do know that kicking about in the park on a Friday afternoon is a good way to get a grip and launch into the weekend.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 27. Day 58. Nothing to crow about

There's this crow that hangs around the street near my house and let's be honest his appearance is nothing to crow about. So mangy is this little birdie you would swear someone had taken the expression "stone the crows" just a little bit too literally. He's become a talking point. "Have you seen that crow ..." the conversation starts and no-one is in any doubt as to which crow you are talking about. Frankly, there are days I know how he feels. I could say I always leave the house impeccably groomed - but not with a straight face. If I get run over by a bus I WILL be wearing clean undies but there may not be any make-up, it's possible I went to bed with wet hair and I may have adopted the IWIWIWI (I will iron while I wear it) approach to my clothing. The crows are probably talking about me "Have you seen that human whose hair looks like a bird's nest?" And there would be a knowing flapping of wings. Oh well, birds of a feather ...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26. Day 57. Dog gone

There's a saying that visitors, like fish, start to smell after three days. And I have to admit, when I was cleaning up puppy wee and poo, there were times where I was a subscriber to that theory.
Most house guests are at least house trained. Few house guests steal your undies. Few house guests chew your toilet paper or sniff your crotch or eat their own poo. The Fed did all those things and more. He's a puppy and that's what puppies do. From the time he walked in the door, The Fed let my Fur Friend Rumple know that he would be top dog and that caused some teething pains. You can't just walk in and act like you own the place except that's exactly what The Fed did. But for the most part there was a great deal of puppy love between the two of them and a great deal of destruction  as they teamed up to execute their wicked plans. And now, after almost four weeks, it's over. My globe-trotting brother returned home today and so did The Fed. And a great peace has come over the home even though there really does feel like there's something missing. But don't get too comfortable Rumple. Apparently  Baby Bro will be back on the road next week in Adelaide. I believe the boarding kennel is again opening its doors.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 25. Day 56. Staring you down

When people say their biggest fear - even bigger than death - is speaking in public I totally get it. That feeling that you have no control over any bit of your body or your bodily functions as a room full of people stare at you is overwhelmingly terrifying. "Oh, come on" I hear you say (or words to that effect). "That's pretty rich coming from you". People who live with the fear of the gut-wrenching terror of public speaking do not lecture for a living and pontificate on live radio three times a week. This is true but I have not always been that person. I have been that person with trembling hands, dry mouth and the inability for anything sensible to come out of the mouth. And let me tell you imagining the audience in its underwear certainly does not ease the nausea, just the opposite as it happens. This is not where I tell you to go to Toastmasters or undergo hypnotherapy (even though I'm sure they could work). I can not tell you what changed me. Gradually it just happened and I am a changed person. Just how changed I am was confirmed today when a friend rang me today and begged me to give a talk on anything I like to a Men's Shed group I and I agreed even though there was one big catch. They needed a speaker in 35 minutes and that's about the time it would take me to get to the venue - and I was having a nap in my PJs at the time. "I know you can do it," he said. "You can talk under water." Thankfully that wasn't required but with no topic, no time and zero preparation I knew I could do it to. Just look them in the eye and talk honestly from the heart. Fake it if you have to. So while I doubt there was any great light bulb moment for those 100 or so men who were staring intently at me, I think they enjoyed it well enough. Either that or they didn't want to ruffle any feathers.

Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24. Day 55. On the fly

Some times you just have to wing it. All the planning may be in place and all the ground work done but then life determines that the pieces just don't fall into place and you end up doing it on the fly. Today was just a bit like that. A few of those things that contribute to a calm, measured start to the week and the semester were disturbing illusive this morning. In these circumstances all you can do is put on a happy face and fake it until you make it. Getting it done on a wing and a prayer is a great deal better than not getting it done at all. And the results can be quite pleasing. So there it is. Day one. Semester One over. And in a fine example of art imitating life, I came out to find this quite unusual installation in the visual arts studio. A giant fly, its wing structure painfully obvious. Yep, the universe is trying to tell me something.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 23. Day 54. Lapping it up

It's fair to say Rumple was lapping up the attention today, and given he's a pampered pooch at the best of time that's really saying something.
If you overlook the one night stay at the vet after the incident that involved eating Nurofen Plus, the fur friend and I have not spent a single night apart since he arrived in our lives on April 1 last year. Until last night when I travelled interstate with my two-legged child. As is the way with these things, when the parents are away Grandma is called on to mind the baby. No-one is in any doubt that the care given is up to the usual standard but that isn't the point. It's not so much what's done as who is doing it. I'm told Rumple sat by the garage door for a sizable portion of the evening believing the car would be pulling in any time and when we did come home this morning the greeting was most heartwarming and enthusiastic. That's the thing about dogs, they wear their hearts on their sleeves. So this afternoon, he led the way on the walk and determined we should go to Dutton Park Dog Park overlooking the Eleanor Schonell Bridge. We stayed far longer than we might otherwise simply because it only seemed fair.

February 22. Day 53. The camera NEVER lies (except when it does)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the camera never lies. Yeah well, that's crap.
I mean, how many times have you been somewhere really beautiful and taken a photo and it looks very, very average. And you can also make a place that is very, very average look rather nice. Such it was in my brief stay in Newcastle. Now I am sure there are some very, very nice places in the Hunter region. I just didn't see any of them in my flying stay. We were in what I shall describe as a "Bates Motel" on the highway close to the airport. If you wanted a picture that told one thousand words it would have been that on my face as I opened the motel room door. Yep, 1000 words there, not one of them printable.
On paper (well Google Maps) the location was rather nice. On a golf course, across the road from the Hunter River, a short distance from a nature reserve. So I went for a walk and discovered litter, illegal dumping and a look across the river to a highly industrial area. But without even a filter or the use of an app you can get a result that is really quite nice bu just being very selective in where the camera is pointed and which lens is used.
Anyway, we weren't in Newcastle on a sightseeing tour but to see comedian Kitty Flanagan perform - and she was awesome;. Eventually I may even look back on the rest of the stay and laugh.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21. Day 52. Life in the fast lane

If time flies when you are having fun I must be having a rip snorting good time. It is true that things seem to be a bit of a blur most of the time but I'd be okay with a slightly more leisurely, less frantic pace.
How the bloody hell did it get to the last week of February? It may be a short month but seriously it feels like we are being short changed more than a few days. I reckon this energy-sapping heat and humidity is robbing everyone of the ability to keep things including time in the proper perspective. It is certainly robbing everyone in my sphere of influence of their sense of humour. So after a day hiding in the air conditioning I decided we needed to get out of the house under the cover of darkness. And not only was it a good deal cooler than it had been all day but we actually got wet from stuff falling from the sky. It's not what the camera likes but I reckon it was awesome. The gamble paid off (and I didn't even set foot in the Casino pictured). For me, Friday in the fast lane is about the same pace as the Brisbane City Council bus blurring the foreground. When things are kind of pedestrian even a bus seems to be moving at pace.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Febraury 20. Day 51. A question of balance

It's a weird thing but when time gets tight we tend to give a priority to the things that appear "urgent" not the things that really matter. There's a lot on your plate and the first things that go are sleep, time with the people we love and fresh air and exercise (not necessarily in that order). Of course it is these very things that give us the energy, the will and the drive to do the "important" things. So I take a deep breath and sigh when my teen comes home and reports that "some teachers" are saying they should stop all extra-curricular activities and make senior school a priority. As someone who works in education I rather suspect this has got lost in translation. Yes, this is time to get serious and concentrate on school but doing it at the expense of everything else is a recipe for disaster in my humble opinion. This is the message I tried to get across to the 2014 intake of QUT journalism students at their orientation today. Balance, having fun and making friends is as an important a part of university life as what we teach. So it pleased me to see students signing up to the many and varied university clubs when the official orientation business was over. Whether it be Quiddich, cheerleading, slacklining, rock climbing, extreme Frisbee, orienteering, dance, drama, politics or religion you've got to get involved.And having given them the lecture I decided I better take some of my own advice. I gathered the family and the dogs and we went to play at Nudgee Beach. The cooling sea breeze, a paddle and a walk and the "to do" list was forgotten for a time. The car may be filled with sand and dinner may have been late on the table but in the scheme of things does that matter?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 19. Day 50. Do you know what bugs me?

Some people are just like insects. The buzz around making whiny noises in a way that can only be designed to get attention. I'm sure they think this "look-at-me" behaviour is just part of surviving in a world where everyone takes selfies and tweets what they had for lunch. Not so. We can all self publish but that doesn't mean constantly self publicising. No really, it is not all about you. The squeaky wheel might get the most oil but eventually the creepy crawly must come off second best in a fight with a fly swatter, Except they never do. I shall not go into what little flea is giving me a skin irritation today but I will say I am a slow learner. Some times you have to just walk away. An insect bite is never improved by giving it attention. You will inflame it. What started as an irritating little itch will soon be red and inflamed and probably end up getting causing a major infection. Just walk away and get yourself some calamine lotion. And eat chocolate, quickly, before the ants get it ...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 18. Day 49. Chinese water torture

I'm feeling a little sorry for the Chinese right now. It is, unfortunately and unfairly, the Chinese whose name is associated with the process in which water is slowly dripped onto a person's forehead, allegedly driving the victim insane. Queensland could also have its name on this process. Fact is just walking outside over recent days and the dripping on and from the forehead and indeed many other more intimate body bits starts. If you are not feeling the heat, then I think you must be insane or from Darwin or something. Curse you humidity you disgusting son of a evil weather god. And not only that, it rained last night and this morning. By rights that should have cleared the air and left us all feeling as fresh as a daisy. See how beautifully refreshed this bloom by my front door looked. That lasted about 20 seconds until it was as wilted as the rest of us. All we can do is hope is that this hot, humid spell is just as fleeting. I suspect that such thinking is proof thew water torture has already got to me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17. Day 48. The whites and the colours

I sometimes think a dirty clothes imp is raiding my home at night and loading the clothes hamper with soiled smalls. It simply seems inconceivable that three people (and two dogs) can generate quite the amount of washing we do. And then I start thinking of days like today. Honestly I had more changes of clothing than the average fashion model (and let's be honest there was a great deal more fabric involved given that I am not quite a size zero). It's not that I'm being precious or indecisive. Nor is it that like the Story Bridge tonight I wanted to be decked out in all the colours of the rainbow. Quite frankly it's just life. Sweaty clothes, swim clothes, white clothes that came off second best in a conflict with the tomato sauce, work clothes, school meeting clothes, walking the dog clothes. When  you wear lots of hats you have to find the frocks that match (and get a washing machine capable of dealing with the fallout). Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. As to why the Story Bridge was looking like a gay icon tonight, well I guess you'll such have to ask the lighting operator. Perhaps there was an accident in the wash. * Turns out it was indeed no acciedent but a very noble cause, - Story Bridge lights up for Summer's Day which runs until March 3. Summer's Day is a day to remember all children who have lost their lives through 'accidents'. Summer's Day in named in memory of Summer Steer who swallowed a button battery.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16. Day 47. Jumping right in

I'm relatively sure some people think I have invented a husband. There's a lot of evidence I'm a mother and a crazy dog woman but not so much a wife. Regularly I am seen at the theatre with Drama Teen or walking the streets with the dog but not all that often out in public with my husband.Truth is we are busy people with busy lives and often if there is nothing in the calendar slouching on the couch is a very attractive option.
But sometimes you got to make time. You've just got to jump right in. So today we went to a posh class movie to see The Wolf of Wall Street because nothing says date like three hours of  screen sex, drugs and general men behaving badly.
In any event I would be happy to watch Leonardo DiCaprio in just about anything and in today's unforgiving heat three hours in air conditioning beat the alternative.
And we both stayed awake which is an added bonus. Back at home and the weather still as stifling as it had been hours earlier and the day still young there was nothing else for it but to jump in the pool.
If nothing else it was a reminder that you've got to make time.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Februay 15. Day 46. Froth and bubble

A bloke on the radio today was talking about Imposter Syndrome. Apparently it's this thing where you believe you are out of your depth and conning he world and eventually you are going to be exposed. That's a syndrome? I thought that was just called life. I'm sure at one time or other everyone feels like that. Some days you just fake it until you make it. If you look the part and act the part for long enough eventually you will convince not only everyone else but yourself. Well that's my theory. And most of the time it works. Today, not so much. I had this grand plan. Armed with the tripod, a couple of lenses, the shutter release and all the gadgets in the world I marched into the city at night with a very clear vision of what I intended to photograph. I looked for all the world like I knew what I was doing except for one small thing. No camera. It was at home sitting on the kitchen bench of no use to anyone. And it was too late to go home and get it or really construct anything else meaningful. So you get the froth and bubble that mostly I think I deserve. The thing is, it might be fool's gold but I really don't mind it. Yep, I'm a great pretender

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14. Day 45. Young love

I don't believe in love at first sight; lust at first sight, sure but love no. That's something out of Disney films, if you ask me. Your spy your handsome prince, he kisses you and it's all happily ever after. Give me a break. If nothing else, a suitor should have to work a bit harder than that. Flowers, chocolate, wining and dining - and not just on Valentine's Day but any day, thank you very much.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the day Charles and I got engaged. There were were lots of flowers and chocolates to that point (and not so many afterwards). But had I gone on those first sight impressions it would never have been. In fact my mother likes to remind me of a letter I sent home describing the English lad who had taken me to the ballet as So Boring (it was actually underlined three times just to be sure she got my point). Love, like fungus, grows on you as they say.
And so it is with the two fur friends co-habitating at our place at the moment. It would be fair to say Rumple did not appreciate the arrival of his Beagle pup cousin The Fed. He ran and jumped on my lap and refused to move. But despite getting off on the wrong paw the two are now the best of buddies and are rarely more than a pace or two apart. True love will find a way

February 13. Day 44. You have to laugh

I went out on a school night. I know. Revolutionary. Reading this anyone would think I was in my 80s not in my very, very late twenties thirties. But the truth is that while I am big enough and ugly enough to go out any time I want, bitter experience had taught me that too much mid week partying and I will pay. Let's be clear here. I'm not even talking about drinking cocktails until the sun comes up. I'm talking about a night at the theatre and then straight home dodging even the after party (well almost. I did grab a rather delicious lamb pie on my way out. There's no need to be silly about this).
So I might pay but I reckon a bit of comedy and a good belly laugh is worth the risk. And Cosi was a jolly good belly laugh. At times the play at La Boite generated cackles that reminded me of the performance the kookaburra outside my home this afternoon. It's pretty infectious. You've got to laugh.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 12. Day 43. Sunsets and staff meetings

Some wise person once said "there's never been one sunrise and one sunset the same". This is true. And today I saw both of them. They were both beautiful in their own right (this is sunset from my deck). But just in case you think I've gone all misty eyed romantic on you let me give you just two words to prove that I am very well grounded in things far less mystical: "staff meeting".
Today was the first major gathering of the clan for the year for a three hour workshop on the roles and responsibilities of unit coordinators. Now doesn't that sound sexy? To be fair, what could have been a snore-fest was actually well thought out and targeted and the catering was good so as these things go nothing to whinge about.
But finally nothing spells the end of the dreamy days of summer quite like a work love-in. Yep, the sun has well and truly set on another period of annual leave.
When it comes to sunsets my thoughts can best be summed up in the fine words of Woody Allen: "Today I saw a red and yellow sunset and thought how insignificant I am. Of course I thought that yesterday too, and it rained." Funnily enough, staff meetings leave me with pretty much exactly the same feeling. One small cog in a great machine.


I have a somewhat less romantic saying of my own "same shit, different day".

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 11. Day 42. Lying down on the job

My cupboards are full of useless gadgets, Actually, that's not true. Each and every one of those gadgets has a use - often a very specific use such as cutting vegetables in floral designs - it's just that they are never put to this use. My kitchen, like the road to hell, is paved with good intentions. For the most part these labour-saving, spur-of-the-moment purchases are hidden out of sight and out of mind. But there is one that stands as a constant reminder of the gap between what I thought I would do and the reality of what happened. The treadmill. There it is. Sitting idle in the corner of the living room enjoying a prime view over the university of Queensland.  But while it is idle it is not actually useless. Apparently it makes quite an awesome dog bed - well so it ought to be awesome given how much it cost. It's not that I mind the Rumple and our temporary boarder The Fed using the treadie. It's just that the least they could do is actually have a jog on it. I'm perfectly capable of lying down on the job myself.

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10. Day 41. Swamped

Day One. No prizes for guessing how it went. Eyes bulging, nostrils flaring, submerged in it.
Yep, off to a flying start really. I'm pretty sure at some point in my past or in a former life or something I deeply offended the great god of paperwork and since they I am destined to fill my days wading through a great deluge of administrivia. There appears to be forms for everything and all the while the promise of the paperless office seems as far away as it ever was. Still I tell myself that the first day back after a couple of weeks off is always the worst. Tomorrow is another day. Breathe Susan, breathe

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 9. Day 40. Witching hour

The dictionary would have us believe the witching hour is the time of day when creatures such as  witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful and black magic to be most effective. Normally, this is thought to be midnight.
Parents of young kids know this to be crap. Witching hour is that hideous time (if you are lucky it's only an hour) in the late afternoon or early evening when kids go feral. Everyone is tired, hungry and tempers are frayed.
Of course it's a long time since I've had a toddler in the house but surprisingly it's not only human children to which this rule applies. Canines also suffer from witching hour syndrome as Rumple and our visitor The Fed clearly demonstrate. Late this afternoon, the dogs were going batshit crazy (this is a technical term) so rather than let them continue to destroy each other and the house I took them out for a walk. And guess what? We didn't have to go far before we came across the lorikeets also putting on quite a turn in an avian display of an afternoon feeding frenzy. There were plenty of seeds and flowers to go round but you'd never have guessed it the way they were carrying on. I suppose climbing the flower stalk is better than climbing the walls. It's prettier at least.

February 8. Day 39. I'm no slacker

 When The Maker was handing out my personal toolkit, I think he or she got distracted and forgot to add two pretty important instruments - balance and coordination. Seriously, if there is anyone more capable of tripping over her own feet, I have yet to meet her.
So I am always in awe at the slackliners in the park on a Saturday afternoon who manage to not only walk across the balance lines strung between trees but tumble, jump and do goodness knows what else while hovering metres from the ground. They are a friendly bunch who always offer to let me have a go. And, naturally, I always decline. Until today. For some reason I can't explain, Dan convinced me to have a go. "You can't come all this way and just watch," he said. But I like to watch and I only live a couple of minutes walk up the hill but still I agreed.
Even though I'd only just met Dan he let me use his arm for support and told me to walk as though I was in a dark room with Lego on the floor. Gently put the toe down first. Hey, I'm a mum. I know that manoeuvre. And it wasn't a complete disaster. I walked from one end of the line to the other and even managed to turn and walk back. I finished my turn and was giving myself a big pat on the back when five-year-old Sam jumped up on the line and walked unaided.
I figured he was probably a child of one of the slacklining veterans who had been doing it since birth. Nope. First time. His family just wandered down the park and the kids thought it looked fun. That's what I hate love about kids. No-one has told them they can't so they just do. They have no fear and a great sense of adventure. And for most part a truck load more balance and coordination than I do. But I will still award myself a gold star for effort.
I might have been totally outclassed by a five-year-old but at least I gave it a go.
Next time I might even try without grasping the body of a man I've never met. See, I'm no slacker after all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

February 7. Day 38. Hang in there. The weekend is on us

Friday afternoons are special. The city breathes a collective sigh of relief as the work hat comes off and the relaxation hat goes on. It's a funny thing but I feel that deep breath out even when the official Friday afternoon exhale really shouldn't apply. This week, I've been on leave so really Friday is like any other day. And there have been many a time when, as a shift worker, Friday wasn't the week's end but still the free fall Friday feeling was felt. This afternoon I joined a large number of people at the Kangaroo Point cliffs where easing oneself into the weekend was in full flight. Office workers joined families and groups of friends to don hard hats and rock climb their way up the cliff. Others were taking the easy way out and abseiling their way down from the top.
Either way it's a pretty good way to get that weekend feeling. Hang on and trust your mates - and the rope.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 6. Day 37. The thrill of the chase

Back to work on Monday and therefore I have spent much of this week searching for holiday options later in the year. Holidays rock but a great deal of fun can be had just in the planning and the anticipation. A girl needs something to look forward to, right? (It' not that I don't look forward to marking. Okay, it totally is that).
That's the thing isn't it? Sometimes the happiness is as much in the journey as what happens at the destination. There's a real thrill in the chase which often matches if not surpasses that of actually closing the deal.
I was pondering that at the dog park this afternoon with Rumple, his "cousin" The Fed and the best friend they just met Archie.
Toss the ball and the three of them would take off  like elite athletes at the sound of the starter's gun and guess what happened when they actually reached the ball? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They left it there for me to collect with a look of "well you're the one who threw it. Pick up after yourself".
Ball? What ball? In this as in so many other aspects of life, the thrill is in the chase.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 5. Day 36. As the lights come on

 If my life was a cartoon, twice today I had moments where a lightbulb would have appeared above my head signifying a great revelation. Moment one was when the haze of general anaesthetic wore off and the first thing, the very first thing, I did was reach for my phone. Jolly nice of them to leave it at arm's length. It's a shame, I am completely lacking in an ability to keep technology at arm's length. And you know what all that tweeting that I was conscious did was alert my teen to the fact. So in the recovery room I actually took a call asking where the history book was. Some people know no boundaries (And for the record that person is me).
The second light bulb moment was just as the lights came on in the city. There were very few people standing around at South Bank because it was windy and rainy and quite frankly just not that pleasant.
But no rain, no wind and no post anaesthetic hangover was going to stop me. I'd promised myself and the fur friend we would walk before dinner and it had to be. And since I was there anyway, I really had to wait for the light to be right, didn't I? Well actually no, I didn't. Seriously Susan it might be time you saw the light and tried just a little bit of moderation for a change.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4. Day 35. On reflection

You know what? Getting older totally sucks. You know what else? It beats the alternative.
When you get to my age some medical practitioner or other seems to want to have a closer look at one of your bits and pieces.
On a two-year cycle, the boobs are bashed, cold bits of metal scrape the privates and, in my case at least, the colonoscopy.
This last one is by a very long shot the most hideous of all. It supposedly tests for changes in the bowel but in fact it is a much bigger test of will power. "Voluntarily" drinking litres of drain cleaning fluid that quite frankly tastes and smells as bad as the stuff it is meant to flush is a true test of endurance. I find it is also a fine example of my inability to measure the passage of time. It is simply not possible that two years has passed since the last time I had to go through this. And yet they have. Isn't time supposed to make you forget? I pondered all this as I walked with the fur friend building up the resolve to take the first sip of the "prep". Yes, it totally sucks but it sucks even more to die of bowel cancer in your 40s. That's what happened to my Dad's sister and that, along with my own chronic bowel disease, is why I have to keep fronting for these procedures. On reflection, there are a lot of things far worse than the colonoscopy. I'll drink litres of drain cleaner to that. Bottom's up.
*Decided to go with this image on the theme of reflection and getting a closer look rather than the actuality because frankly no-one needs to see that.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3. Day 34. Delicate little petal

If I was a contestant on Survivor, I would probably look at this flower I almost stepped on in the Roma Street Parklands today and consider how well it has stored the water from the brief rain shower this morning. I might even be sipping that water, or consulting my vast knowledge of edible plants and deciding whether or not I could eat the bloom.
But the fact that I stepped over it and thought only that it was a little sad that it would wither up and die any time now says quite a lot about me. I find it hard to see the roses without imagining the thorns.
Fact is I am a delicate little petal who would survive about 20 minutes on Survivor. Actually, that's about 20 minutes more than I would survive on Big Brother where one or other of the contestants would make me want to hit him or her and I'd storm out. Spend those 20 minutes with me and you would know I was never a Girl Guide. No fire building, no rope tying, no ability to put up a tent. Actually, I have no desire to put up a tent either. That's why God invented five stars hotels. So yes, I do love the great outdoors but I have no desire to live in them. Like I said, a delicate little flower that often feels like she's been plucked.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 2. Day 33. Fabulous at fifty

I demand a recount. Somewhere, someone has got it terribly wrong. According to official figures, my (much) older sister Marie turned 50 today.
This can not be right on the following grounds
1) She does not look 50 - not even close
2) I'm second in the family and good Catholic parents squeezed out children rather quickly
3) Only last week we were on the school bus travelling to All Hallows' and desperately avoiding the smelly Terrace and St Columban's boys.
Remember when people who were 50 we SO OLD. While some days my body would think that is still true, most of the
indicators these days would have you think that 50 is not the new 40 but the new 30. Fifty really isn't that old (not that I;d ever tell Marie that).
The weird thing is that it doesn't seem to matter whether you are five, or 15 or 50 your older sister is always your older sister and that will always give her bossing rights. Some things never change and quite frankly who would want them to?
So happy birthday you dear old thing.
May you enjoy many, many more and may you start saving for a truly excellent present for my 50th. You have plenty of time (not).

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 2. Day 32. Master and servant

It's been said that dogs have masters and cats have servants.
If that's true, the fur friend in my house must be feline not canine.
Like Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music who uses a whistle to command his children, Rumple has a large number of non verbal signals to make his intentions known.
Dropping a ball at your feet - it's time to play fetch
Bringing his lead - walkies time
Sitting on his bum and begging - I'll have some of whatever you're eating
Rolling on his back with legs in the air - tickle my tummy 
Sitting in the middle of a pile of toilet paper - clean this up and we'll pretend it never happened
Hiding behind your leg when approached by a small dog - protect me
Jumping up on your leg when approached by a bigger dog - pick me up
Humping your leg - I think you get the idea.
He has a team of  servants ready to meet his requests (well most of them) and also recruits casual employees on a frequent basis.
As well as his domestic staff he has Margaret next door on a permanent retainer in a catering job.
Every time he visits Margaret - as he did this afternoon - she has a supply of treats on hand ready to meet @sir_rumple's needs.
Of course we are all servants not slaves so there is payment in return for services rendered - love, loyalty and licks. That's all the salary I need. *
*Note to QUT pay office. You still need to pay me in Australian $$$$.