Monthly Archives: June 2016

Wish I’d glued carpet on my heels

Several weeks ago, feeling spontaneous and adventurous, I took myself off to the Boondall Wetlands – all 1500 hectares of it. Fifteen kilometres from Brisbane’s Central Business District the Wetlands consist of tidal flats, mangroves, grasslands, bushland and saltmarshes – if you’re flying in or out of Brisbane airport look out your window and you’ll probably see it.

Little did I realise I was also about to step into bird watching territory.

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Doing something different by looking up

‘Keep looking up…that’s the secret of life…’ ~ Snoopy

Sitting hunched over, staring at the floor swimming in a sea of emotion, I decide to stand up and look up – a technique I know will clear the foam in my head.

My eyes look towards the sky and while I first see this…

Sky shot in black and white over Brisbane 11.06.2016

The sky was a vivid blue though in black and white the image is rather moody

…colour begins to creep in and my heart lightens. I see the depth of blue and white of the sky and notice the swirling, waving, and fluffy cloud patterns, something which the ocean mirrors.

The sky, a fascinating panorama any time of day.

Coming home on the train recently, stratocumulus clouds (round and fluffy all in rows) lined the western sky in colours of crimson, red and gold. Lucky for the fellow next to me I restrained myself enough not to rip his arm off in my excitement (hey, I’m the excitable type). It’s not every day the sky puts on such a show. My mum would say it’s the angels hanging out their washing in which case I want their wardrobe.

Whenever I look up, it changes my focus, peaks my curiosity, and gives me something constructive to think about. It also allows me creative playtime with photographs such as the lone pelican below, sitting up high on a light pole.

Hornibrook Bridge

A lone pelican sits atop a light pole – a common sight near the Pelican Park just over the Hornibrook Bridge Brisbane

Some days the sky is mesmerising and photograph-worthy but I can’t stress enough that watching where you’re walking is good for your health. Earlier this year while attempting to capture a photo of a butterfly fluttering above me, something compelled me to look down. I watched in horror as a whip snake slithered past my sandaled feet. My frightened toes remain curled to this day.

Looking up gives my neck respite from reading hardcopy books, my mobile device (you’ve heard of text neck right?), and computer keyboard. The best thing is I see what’s going on in the world around me – winning!!

Have fun 🙂

Who knew a fence could mean so much?

Wilson: “My heart attack didn’t kill me, so why act like it did? See, Tim, it was the Roman philosopher Seneca who said “if we let things terrify us, then life is not worth living.”

“Home Improvement: Death Begins at Forty (#4.3)” (1994)

New side fence

No longer able to chat over the fence with my wonderful neighbours

Wilson W. Wilson Jn, PhD, was the barely visible neighbour of Tim ‘The Toolman’ Taylor in the American 90’s Home Improvements television series. Described as kindly and a 90’s style philosopher, Wilson would offer Tim snippets of wisdom through and over the high fence which blocked half of Wilson’s face. Lucky for Tim and Wilson their fence had gaps between the slats.

Fast forward to the present when the neighbourhood recently underwent a fence-lift. One by one the old fencing was pulled down, rotted palings were chopped up, churned into chipbark and thrown over the ancient garden beds.

My imagination had bubbled away with more enthusiasm than a pyroclastic flow visualising what the new fence might look like. In my mind’s eye I saw village style picket fences complete with showy flowers and shrubs to breath life into the apartment complex in which I live – a village of sorts without the arty shops or chic cafes where the cool kids hang out.

Nope, my neighbourhood is a a mixture of singles, families with no kids, and families with kids. Neighbours get along – something I suspect the community is grateful for, and when newbies move in they settle into the groove of living this side of the hill before they’ve rearranged their sofas.

A week later the new fence was up. My pyroclastic flow of excitement dried up the moment I clapped eyes on it. Apart from no space between the palings it’s a behemoth at 1.80m (okay so I might be exaggerating a little), its as interesting as watching a brick wall.

Sadly no more peeks over the fence to the rhythm and movement of the neighbourhood, no more chatting to neighbours while hanging out washing, and no more waving greetings (unless I’m on the laneway).

Some have said from a privacy and security perspective it’s great. I call it isolation from the community. The place has been safe in the past and the people friendly yet private, the tall fence now screams ‘Enter at your peril ’cause I’ll swallow you up whole!’ One neighbour who calls me ‘Wilson’ (my eyebrows arched so high they ended up on my shoulders) misses our witty repartee – we always have much to talk about and it’s lovely. And I miss it.

Who knew a fence could mean so much?

Humans are an adaptable species and with time the new fence will become the old fence, life goes on, and the neighbourhood chats will begin again somewhere outside the garage door, the laneway, down by the mailboxes, or behind the gate (below) because you can’t keep a community down for long ♥

New back gate

The only thing I can see through is the round cut out of the new back gate door