Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 21. Day 21. For crying out loud

In aviation it's English.  In judo it's Japanese. Tennis relies on French. Esperanto never really took off but I contend there is already an international language.
If you read tone and body language, words are not really necessary.
I mean, who hasn't watched a couple in a car next to you and just known there's a full blown barney going on even if you can't hear  word (if normal people don't do this, you will have to take my word that it is true. I do like to indulge in a bit of people watching). And in the botanic gardens with the dogs this morning I knew exactly which birds were whinging at their mums for food, which were calling for their young and which were saying "back off."
You just know. The problem is not what's being said. It's more who's actually listening.

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20. Day 20. Bucket loads of fun

Smart ways to deal with the Brisbane heatwave: Air conditioning, a swimming pool, cool beverages, ice baths.
Dumb ways to deal with the Brisbane heatwave: Putting a bucket designed for fried chicken on your head, sitting beside giant exploding open flames, packing into a sell out stadium.
All of which means there are about 35,000 dumb people in Brisbane today and my family are included (although we stopped short of the fried chicken buckets).
The thing is a Twenty20 cricket match is a bucket load of fun. It's fast and furious and about as far removed from the gentleman's game as can be imagined. I like Test Match cricket but I do understand it's not everyone's cup of tea. My guess is it is not even a beverage of choice for a great number of those in the ground tonight. This version of cricket is like the game on steroids for those with ADHD. There was loud music, fireworks, dancing, kissing, bongo drum playing and a huge party atmosphere. Oh yeah and there were actually cricketers out on the pitch smashing just short of 400 runs in 40 overs. That's good entertainment in anyone's money. But here's the thing. There are some conventions of the gentleman's game I wouldn't mind seeing applied here. For instance: the bucket on your head might get you on TV but take it off during play so people behind you who want to watch the game can do so
 Also, protocol has it that you don't move from your seat during an over. A little more of that wouldn't be bad. I love the party but it's the contest between bat and ball that actually brings me to the stadium. With just a little planning everyone can have both. Still it was a great spectacle even if the home team lost.
 We all walked away happy we went and relieved no-one in our party felt the need to wear a chicken bucket.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 19. Day 19. Nocturnal activities

There are things that go bump in the night around here. Actually it's not just bump but also thump and bang and a whole pile of sound effects reminiscent of the 1966 Batman series with Adam West. Possums may be small but they are extremely noisy determined little things and they drive my dogs crazy. They employ the same tactic as the cat next door. Sit just out of reach and watch the chaos you cause. The problem is separating the barking dogs and the sheltering possums involves dragging the dogs indoors and locking all doors and windows near the deck. So face charges for noise nuisance or die of heat exhaustion in a sweltering airless hot box. And all because of a small and kind-of-cute native animal. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a one-off.  But it's like the back deck is a diner on Route 66. All the possum traffic from the street to the gully behind the house stop here for a bit of a pit stop. The dogs, like attentive wait staff, linger around the table. But no-one's getting a tip here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18. Day 18. Going under

 I had a very important date today.
It was a date I would have put off appointments with the Pope, the Prime Minister or the Premier.
I certainly would have had zero issue telling the President Elect where to go.
The air conditioning repair man was coming.
There has been a perfect sh*t storm of imbalance in supply and demand for air conditioning mechanics.
 In January just about everyone goes on holidays which equals low supply of tradespeople.
 In January it is stinking hot and people tend to be at home needing air conditioning which equals high demand.
 So you book in and swelter until your number comes up.
I've been ticking off the days as you do when some really, really big life event is about to happen.
And now I feel like a bride abandoned at the alter. He came. He left. The air conditioning is still not working.
He delivered the bad news that it is dead, buried and cremated (as I think some politician said which is why it makes no sense. Even if you wanted to, how could you cremate something that's already been buried?)
So now we wait - first for a quote for the replacement and then for the replacement itself.
If you want to find me any time between now and when the heatwave breaks, I will be in the pool or the air conditioned car or bedroom.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 17. Day 17. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil

 When it comes to an ability to ruffle a few feathers, no-one has the skills quite like our nearest and dearest. Sometimes the intent of using the power is good, even if the person on the receiving end fails to see that. But there are times when the button pushing power is delivered with the clear and deliberate intention to upset the apple cart. I would say it's human nature except I'm not sure that's true. Sure humans do it but are they alone? I watched the birds at the University of Queensland lakes today. They would be sitting there all buddy, buddy and then for no particular apparent reason one would lean across and not so gently nudge another. My dogs do it too. Most of the day they'll lie side by side content in each other's company until one - normally Winkle - will get up and jump on Rumple or steal one of his favourite toys and parade it in front of him or sit in his spot. Sure it might mean nothing but it's the sort of thing we used to do to each other as kids just for impact. There is a flip side to this coin, however. Siblings may say the meanest things to each other but watch them jump to the defence of their own should someone else say the same sort of thing. Because even if we want to kill them some of the time we love them to death. It's just one of life's great big ironies.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16. Day 16. Birds of a feather

I can not tell you how many dog off leash areas the dogs and I drove by this afternoon - but it was many, many.
Still it was worth it on many levels.
The journey was motivated by a fairly impromptu gathering of Drama Teen's acting buddies at the Wynnum home of one of the crew. This would require mum's taxi duties because of car pool availability. It was a journey I was happy to facilitate. Being with your tribe is hugely important. Birds of a feather, and all that.
Given we were going to be in the bayside suburbs, it seemed only fitting that the dogs and I also head to our happy place.
We wanted foreshore, off leash and preferably birds - the dogs like to chase them. I like to photograph them. This is not always a workable arrangement but it turned out fine today. We ended up at Cleveland. The dogs were as happy as dogs in mud, because that's exactly what you get in mangrove territory. I was a happy little snapper and we all agreed it would have been a perfect little afternoon jaunt apart from one small but very significant detail: Bitey things. While the mozzies attacked my arms, the sandflies had a go at the ankles. Had this been a planned outing I would have done what the ads of my youth drummed into me. I would have remembered the Aerogard. But it wasn't and I didn't and I have the marks to prove it. Fortunately it was getting dark and we were about ready to leave when they struck in earnest. At that point there was no hanging around. I proved once again that I would last 3.5 seconds on Survivor before I voted myself off. Mangroves mean mozzies. It's part of the ecosystem - if you happen to be a fish. My ecosystem involves aircon and a remote control. So I left them to theirs and returned to mine. That's life in balance.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 15. Day 15. It's raining. It's pouring

Most of us in Brisbane have been walking around like we've been caught in the rain all week. Dripping has been the standard attire and not in a good way. I think the official description of the weather would be putrid, although I think both the Bureau of Meteorology and all radio and television presenters have been politely using some other term. It might be polite but it's not accurate. It's been horrible. Stinking, sticky, sweaty and smelly.
And today finally relief of sorts. Instead of coming from armpits the gushing flow came from the sky. This was serious rain. Bucketing down with a sound and light show that accompanied it . So serious was the downpour that Rumple, not a dog normally skittish about storms, spent most of the storm perched on my shoulder. Through the rain I could see an Ibis in a dead tree, kind of clinging. My guess is it got that far and could not move. There would be no flying in that downpour. And then when it was over it gave itself a big shakedown. Like all of us there was relief. Finally some welcome relief for the unpleasant weather.