Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 8. Day 343. Mirror, mirror on the wall

 Quite possibly I am the most directionally challenged person on the face of the earth. I think I was off sick when they were handing out navigational skills.Truthfully, I don't know left from right. Unfortunately my son has inherited this "super lack-of-power". So if you were putting together teams for a maze challenge we would be the bottom of the pack. But hey, we're up for a challenge. So today we found ourselves at the House of Mirrors at the Powerhouse. It's a seemingly endless labyrinth of mirrors which is making its mainland Australia debut in Brisbane. According to the blurb it could take between five and 20 minutes to find your way out. According to the gate attendants, some people need to be rescued. I was pretty sure we'd be in the second group especially as I hadn't brought any breadcrumbs. But we were out in closer to the five than the 20 minute mark. Neither of us has any idea how we managed it but we were in agreement that it was a huge amount of fun getting there. Give it a go. But you'll have to find your way to the Powerhouse before Sunday. After that the problem won't be getting out it will be getting in as it will have found its way to another venue to challenge other unsuspecting thrill seekers. Bring breadcrumbs just in case.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7. Day 342. Getting caught in the rain

Yes I like Pina Coladas
not getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne ....
Ah. The Pina Colada song, AKA Escape or as I like to call it Sprung you cheating bastards. If, as the song says, you have half a brain you would know that there is not very much to recommend about getting caught in the rain at least if that rain is a proper Queensland storm. Tonight I led my family right into the eye of such a storm. We were heading out to the movies and I suggested a detour to the CBD to take photographs of the lights. We'd been there less than a minute when it became apparent that the only lights worth worrying about were the flashes accompanied by thunder. The skies opened and we got soaked, right through to the bone. So we left and arrived at the cinema like a family of drowned rats. Yeah, that's about as sexy as pneumonia. I'll probably be able to make a fair comparison tomorrow because of the combination of storm drenched clothing and arctic cinema air conditioning ...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6. Day 341. A rolling stone gathers no moss

I am a turtle. Now my dad, who had a wicked sense of humour, would have defined a turtle as someone who went into a trance when you out them on their back. Naturally, I am far to polite to mean such a thing. I mean the slow and steady type definition. I also mean hopelessly awkward and uncoordinated when travelling on land. Today I managed a spectacular fall over nothing in particular. It was probably the fastest I'd moved all day because gravity was doing all the hard work. That's me. A rolling stone gathers no moss. A rolling Susan gathers only a few stones in the soft flesh. I could take the approach normally associated with public farting - blame the dogs. They were with me but if I'm honest they were not to blame. I can be hideously awkward and uncoordinated all on my own, thank you very much. So I face planted by the side of the road at Dutton Park as we walked down the hill to the university. There were not that many witnesses and to the best of my knowledge the footage will not be on Australia's Funniest Home Videos any time soon. Nor will I achieve my life's goal of being the subject of a viral video just yet. But give it time. There's no end to my awkwardness. Slow and steady may yet win this race.

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5. Day 340. Take a walk on the wild side

I really need to rethink some of my definitions. Should an alien race land in my bedroom and study the sleeping arrangements, my assertions that the dogs sleep on my bed would seem somewhat dubious. The dogs take what position they want and humans work around that. I suppose I can argue that the bed is mine because I paid for it and I make it. The question of the walk becomes more of a challenge. I say "I'm going to take the dogs for a walk". The reality is that they lead, I follow. We get near South Bank and any suggestion that I might be in charge is laughable. We are going to the duck pond. No negotiations. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I suppose not having to think or make a decision has its advantages. You expend far less energy if you don't have to do the work physically or mentally. And it the dogs want to choose where the dogs go for a walk, that's not totally unreasonable is it ... except if you happen to be one of the ducks enjoying the tranquility of the pond

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4. Day 339. Quite a splash

And so I am prepared to call it.
I've scaled the mountain of the work year and now I have earned the right to start a bit of a slide down the other side into the summer holidays.
The work isn't over - indeed there will be form after form to process tomorrow.
But the weekends and nights are now my own and marking free and I intend to make the most of it. And part of that will be catching up on the friends I have sadly neglected for most of the year.
And today we did lunch with friends - the type of lunch that takes hours and the type of friends you want to spend a long lunch with.
It was refreshing - and not just because we ended up in the pool.
Roll on summer, roll on...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3. Day 338. The final curtain

Parting is such sweet sorrow (although the sweet bit might not be so evident at the time). That's where we are at tonight. Drama Teen performed with Fame Theatre Company for the very last time today ending a 14-year stint as a student. There were tears - lots of them - and not only from me! Fame has been such an integral part of our weekly routine since Mr O was just five. He's grown up with Fame. It was the stabilizing influence through the not so wonderful high school years. The skills learned at Fame will be skills for life. Next year it's a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) at QUT and who knows where that will lead (but I have already told him I want first mention in the Academy Award acceptance speech. He's told me Fame will also get a mention). Even if that doesn't work out, the confidence, the ability to perform in front of an audience and a love of theatre will be with him forever. And so will the Fame family. My boy may have left the family home but the family is the family, forever.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2. Day 337. So long and thanks for all the fish

Waking up in Brisbane will never be the same. For 11 years, the voice I have woken up to is that of Spencer Howson. But while we will never tire of him, apparently Spencer has tired of an alarm at 3.30am. (What's wrong with the man, seriously?)
Let's be honest, 11 years is a long time in any job these days and more than a decade of those hideously anti-social hours is worthy of an award. Personally it has been a pleasure and an honour to join Spencer in the studio every week for those 11 years. And our association on radio goes back more than 15 years and started with an email. The subject line was Would you take a three-and-a-half-year-old boy to the ballet? At the time I was editor of the now defunct publication Kids in Brisbane.  I had just returned from a Queensland Ballet children's performance with the individual now known as Drama Teen. It seemed to me at the time that many in the media reported children as problems - kids with obesity, kids with ADHD and so on. The bee in my bonnet was that day was that there were so many positive things happening in Brisbane for families but finding out about them was hard. Basically Spencer said "let's talk". That afternoon was my first ever visit to a radio studio. I was invited back two weeks later and weekly after that. Drama Teen is now almost 19 and, fittingly, will be studying the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) at QUT from next year. It is possible that without that email and Spencer the doors to so many theatrical productions would not have been opened for Oliver and me. I don't know. But I do know that that it has been a wonderful opportunity and it has certainly enabled me to expose both myself and my son's mind to a world of theatre and live entertainment beyond the reach of a mere mortal on a university lecturer's wage. It has been a privilege. It was also an honour to be in the studio with him when he bowed out from the breakfast spot. Who knows what next year will bring for Spencer and for my involvement with the ABC in Brisbane. Right now I'd just like to say thanks. As Douglas Adams, a man both Spencer and I are very fond of once wrote So Long and Thanks for all the Fish ...