Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29. Day 60. Such a drag

 Award ceremonies can be such a drag. Recipient after recipient thanking everyone from their Year 1 teacher to the person who delivered milk to their house. Having never been to a Matilda Awards ceremony, I was unsure where south-east Queensland's Theatre Awards would score on the entertainment scale. I needn't have worried. They certainly weren't a drag. For a start there were the naughty hosts: choosing fashion designer and cabaret star Leigh Buchanan in his alter ego Barbra Windsor-Woo and comedienne Carita Farrer Spencer in her gender bending role Larry Paradiseo ensured it was not going to be a dull night. And then there was awards founder Alison Cotes pretty much tipping a bucket on the awards as a parting gift as she walked out the door. Apparently the award sculptures look like something fit only for keeping the toilet door open. Ouch. Throw in performances by the singers and dancers of the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts and an unexpectedly quick and a little naughty one liner by the Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. And finally, for good measure, see Employment Minister Grace Grace take being serenaded to a spoof of Amazing Grace with, well, good grace. And as a fitting end the Gold Matilda was awarded posthumously to Carol Burns. Nope, these awards were not a drag in any man's language.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

February 28. Day 59. The things we do

There's this saying I heard last week: Try to be the person your dog thinks you are. Clearly this is aspirational rather than realistic because no mere mortal could live up to the canine impressions. Dogs are the most loyal, faithful and loving creatures to walk God's earth and they love their humans. Back at ya, fur friends. Some cynics may think it's all about not biting the hand that feeds you. Nope. They love the person, not just the meal ticket. But I know I am being played. For part of our "walk" today I ended up carrying two dogs. Sucker. And while they may adore me, they do not think I'm perfect. A person of perfection would have let them have a go at those water dragon lizards. Sorry fur friends I may carry you but I won't let you get away with murder. You'll have to love me just the way I am.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

February 27. Day 58. The price you pay

 Actions have consequences. It was a theme that kept coming up today. Yesterday we went to Nudgee Beach. Today the dogs had to pay the price. It would be fair to say that the pampered pooches don't much like a cold bath. A cold swim is good. A cold bath not so much. The whinge a lot. Too bad, so sad doggies. It's a small price to pay. Then I went to the theatre - twice as you do when you are me. SmallWar at the Brisbane Powerhouse was about the personal price people pay for war. It was an intensely moving piece about the consequences on war on those who fight and those who love and care for them. And then in the evening it was Queensland Theatre Company's The Secret River a must-see production about the consequences the arrival of white settlers had on Indigenous Australians. Never have I seen an audience leave the theatre as quietly. There were no words just a small river of tears

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 26. Day 57. Diving in to the weekend

Thank God it's Friday. All weeks are not created equal and this one being orientation week was the sign of a long semester ahead. Here we go again. It was also Winkle's half birthday which was celebrated with a trip to the vet for a heartworm injection. It was a big needle and she was a brave girl. Coming out the other side of such things deserves a reward and there is no better reward for dogs and their humans than a trip to the beach. A real beach would have involved Friday afternoon traffic something neither human nor canines would have appreciated, so Nudgee Beach it was. The fur babies were not complaining in fact we all enjoyed the experience very much.  My plan is to make a trip to a beach, any beach, as regularly as possible perhaps most if not every Friday afternoon. In a world where it's survival of the fittest, hitting the sand gives me a fighting chance.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 25. Day 56. Oh what a feeling

                   Here we go again. It's O Week which means it's time to meet this year's intake of bright young things about to start on their university journey. I love the energy of Orientation Week and the bedsheets that come out as clothing to promote the annual toga party. It actually reminds me while I do this teaching thing even though the marking totally sucks. It is because of journey that goes from Orientation Week through to graduation and beyond. It's the opportunity to use my old jokes on new people. And I also get to share photos of the dogs to people who aren't yet over them. How good is that?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 24. Day 55. Against a brick wall

What's the best thing about hitting your head against a brick wall? When you stop.
Not exactly original but one of the many sayings of my late father.
There was another wall one too. "There we were, 50 against one, backs against the wall ... so we beat the crap out of both of them".
To be honest, they were the cleaner ones. You know that line from The Man From Snowy River "the man who holds his own is good enough"? My father's version was "the man who holds his own is a wanker". But back to the brick wall. Today was a bit of a brick wall kind of day. Eventually, as a way of self defence, I left the laptop mid afternoon and went to the movies. By the time I emerged the light was fading. What you see is a noisy miner with the background created by the setting sun illuminating the brick wall of the unit block across the road. Its back is against the wall, as it was. It's a trick of the light but if it works, it works and it's better than beating your head ...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 23. Day 54. Life is a cabaret

What good is sitting alone in your room? So asked Cabaret. When you have a bad case of couldn't-give-a stuff-itis it can be incredibly difficult to muster the energy to get up and go. But history has shown that it is always better when you make the effort.  This was today. For no reason I can put my finger on, motivation has taken a holiday. Fortunately the dogs will have none of that. They decided they wanted a walk and left me with no choice to chaperone. So we went to South Bank. And South Bank delivered what it always does if not a cabaret at least a smorgasbord of activity. There were the stunt riders going through their routines and students from the Conservatorium on an orientation scavenger hunt. They had to perform a flash mob. So they were walking through the Parklands singing Tomorrow from Annie as you do. They also needed to get a photo with dogs. No prizes for guessing which dogs. And the ibis were being ibis. If you didn't know better you would think they were most interesting and even attractive birds. Then you try to eat something. At least I had the dogs to protect me. All of which improved my mood markedly. Until Tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22. Day 53. A great leap forward

Today was a landmark day. Today Drama Teen began his new full-time acting course. In a way it was a great leap forward into a brave near future. In a way it was one small step along a path he has been following since he was five, or perhaps even earlier. At five, he started Fame. For at least two years leading up to that he'd been lobbying, having been told at Fame school holiday shows that students could join the company at five. He walked through the door like he belonged there. At no time in the intervening years has he ever wavered from the idea that a career as an actor was a career of choice. The 12 years of schooling were, in his mind, only a necessary evil to unlock the door to this new future. It was a case, in the words of 70s TV show Kung Fu "patience grasshopper"And now the future is here, at long last. Jump to it young man.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21. Day 52. Flutter by

 The  Bug Catcher and the butterfly net. I loved them although in my hands both were pretty much useless. According to the ad there would be this Gotcha moment. You'd sneak up on some bug and go "aaahh gotcha". That NEVER worked for me but it didn't mean I'd stop trying. Exactly what I would have done with the critters had I caught them remains unclear. Killed them, I suspect. Probably just as well. Anyway, the child who was forever trying to sneak up on a butterfly re-emerged today in New Farm park. I saw it in the bushes and I followed it along an unofficial path I secretly suspect is used more at night. I think it was toying with me to be honest flying close and then away again, probably trying to sus out if I had a Bug Catcher in my bag. Nope, all I had was a big lens. Take only pictures as they say. I'm happy enough with that. At least nothing died.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 20. Day 51. Some nasty little bug

 It was probably something I ate and if I am honest the choices from yesterday are too numerous and the quantities to great to consider. Therefore, rather than take responsibility for my own actions, I prefer to blame someone, or indeed something, else. I believe it was some nasty little bug that's going around. Whatever it was I felt decidedly shitty today after a really, really awful night. The irony was that I should have been doing a first aid course this morning when I felt like I needed to administer first aid on myself, or shoot myself or something. As a result, I didn't get very far during the daylight hours and where I spent most of the time I would prefer not to take a camera for all our sakes. So what you get is a little critter Oliver picked up by the pool. For his sake, I hope it's the only bug he's picked up.

Friday, February 19, 2016

February 19. Day 50. Natural high

 I mean really, who doesn't want to fly? Flying represents weightlessness, defying gravity, being as free as a bird. I have no idea whether birds feel any freer than those animals that can't fly or indeed those mammals that can but certainly they give that impression. Perhaps this is why trampolines remain so popular. No electronic toy or virtual reality gizmo can match the feeling of fun of jumping on a trampoline. It makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of a trampoline fun park. It makes me wish they'd been around when I was a child. It made me happy just watching the teens at my niece Lucy's birthday party getting a natural high. Why should the birds get all the fun?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18. Day 49. Me and my big mouth

 Some times you need to know when to shut the **** up. I mean it's not rude to not engage in a conversation with every random who says "hello". This bloke at South Bank started a conversation about the ducklings and how cute they were. I remarked that I had seen them yesterday and they were indeed cute but today they had escaped me. "Over there" he said and gestured to follow. It was in the open and very public so no harm could come of it except for the ear bashing. In seconds, cute duckling conversation went to nature, Jesus, climate change, refugees who aren't, World War I and II, the bible foreseeing Japanese nuclear disaster, Syria, more about refugees who aren't, terrorism, the world being doomed, how he was a father at 16, smoking and more stuff I now can't remember or am trying to forget. I opened my mouth but there are no words for some things. The more I protested that I had to go and backed away at a million miles an hour the more views I got. He talked about the peace nature provided and then did everything he could to shatter the peace. I never did find the ducklings. I think they heard me coming. Perhaps it was my silent screams.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February 17. Day 48. Lucky duck

When you are in pain keeping a sense of humour and or perspective is pretty bloody difficult. For the past three days both my head and my temperament have been unpleasant. Feeling like cranial surgery is being undertaken without anaesthetic tends to make a person a little testy. Then this afternoon with the right pain relief and after a lot of rest in a darkened room, the pain cloud lifted and the world seemed like a brighter place. The little ducklings at South Bank made me smile and tonight I experienced a performance the likes of which I've never seen before. A heritage-listed reservoir at Spring Hill has been turned into an intimate venue six metres underground. The atmosphere and the acoustics are amazing. With a now clear head I realised that I am a lucky duck to be able to experience such things. I'll try to remember that next time the pain hits.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 16. Day 47. Blue ribbon performance

"I like a bit of length, particularly at the front, to protect the natural curl".
This was the instruction from Drama Teen to the dog groomers about to cut Winkle's hair. Now where had I heard that before? Actually, that's almost exactly what he tells the stylist about to trim his own locks. Perhaps, right there, is the reason dogs and their owners start to look alike. If so, what does it say about Rumple and myself? I believe I used phrases such as "feral after a couple of weeks at the beach", "needs a good tidy up" and "won't be able to see soon if we don't get that hair out of the eyes" again not unlike what I say to my hairdresser. I didn't see the dogs perusing old editions of Who Weekly for celebrity gossip but other than that the experience - and the cost - seems not all that different. I do, however, think the dogs have a couple of advantages. No loud blaring music and they are not expected to engage in mindless salon prattle plus they get a bow. It's a dog's life, I'm telling you.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15. Day 46. Off colour

Mondays suck. Mondays after a holiday really suck. I suspect this is why I felt off colour all day although a sneezing attack and sinus headache didn't help. It's not that I dislike my job. It's just that chasing the dogs on the beach beats chasing my tail in the office. Every. Single. Time.
Knowing this I booked tickets to see a posh class movie early this evening.
A girl needs something to look forward to that's not replying to emails.
It was rather nice of the birds to come out and play just as I arrived at the cinema.
The splash of avian colour not only brought a smile to my face it ensured my photo for today wasn't a screenshot of my email inbox because that would really suck, much like day one at work.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14. Day 45. Love is ....

I used to think Valentine's Day was a cynical Hallmark occasion. I no longer believe that, mainly because online communication technology and the price of stamps means no-one sends cards any more. Sure, it's still a cynical occasion just not a Hallmark one. Anyway why should one day a year be devoted to the ones we love? What about the other 364 (or this year 365 days)? Also, it's such a narrow definition of love and only one piece of the relationship puzzle. Luckily for me, this Valentine's Day was spent in a place that I love with most of those most important to me. Late checkout meant that until lunch time I was at the beach with my husband, my son, my mum and the dogs. And in the evening there was a gathering with my sisters and their husbands and offspring. And that's the way it should be except that tomorrow I have to go back to work. At least I think I do. There's still a Lotto ticket from Saturday's draw in my wallet. Until I check it, there's still hope it's a winner. I love that as a possibility too.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

February 13. Day 44. Lessons in life

Lessons from life confirmed by the dogs on the beach:
If you want something done properly do it yourself.
I throw the ball. The dogs fetch it. That’s how it works, until it doesn’t.  There comes a point when the dogs take off after the ball and decide that chasing each other is far more fun. Then it ball becomes about as visible as a wet towel on the floor or the dishwasher to other members of the family. If I want the ball, I have to fetch it myself.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure:
 The pockets of my backpack are well stocked with a supply of balls. The dogs love those balls BUT they are not a patch on the secret treasures Winkle collects for herself. On every trip, she comes back with come little thing she as discovered on the walk. She has brought home seed pods and bark and shells and sticks. She guards them with her life. She loves them. Heaven help anyone who tries to dispose of them.

Some people can dish it out but not take it:
Pretty much all day every day Winkle jumps all over Rumple. She pulls his ears. She steals his things. She is a little terror. Rumple takes it and takes it. On the beach he rather enjoys a rumble and Winkle doesn’t like it anywhere near as much when she’s on the receiving end. She is like the naughty child who always manages to torment when the teacher is looking away but is able to time it to look like a victim when the eyes fall on him.
Some people are slow learners:
 Earlier this week, Winkle took on a crab. She learned nothing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12. Day 43. Having a ball

I am a most excellent thrower, by which I mean I can throw a ball an awesomely long way along the beach when there is a prevailing gale. If sunbaking is your thing, the weather during this vacation has been crap. Fortunately, I have no desire to develop a melanom. I may have tried oiling myself like a turkey and rotating with the sun in my youth but in this area at least, I am older and wiser. There are other ways to enjoy the beach and for me that involves dogs. We have romped along the beach twice a day since we arrived and I have loved it. The joy of the dogs is infectious. On the beach I live in the moment and the moment is good (except when I have to pick up poo. Those moments I don't love but it's a small price to pay).