Tag Archives: life

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Did the ballot paper really have to be that long?

Australia went to the polls last Saturday, 3rd July 2016. Eight days later the (current) breaking news is Labor Party leader Bill Shorten has conceded defeat and Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull remains our leader, at least until the next election.

Politics isn’t what I want to write about though, what I was more interested in was how the local community connected with one another on the school grounds hosting the voting booths.

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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

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

On the other side of my hill and a little up the road is the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre, tucked away in the leafy Brisbane suburb The Gap. The discovery centre is only 12 kilometres from Brisbane’s Central Business District, a fabulous greenspace (part of the D’Aguilar National Park) for people to enjoy without having to travel out of town – lucky me, I live on the other side of the hill 🙂

Walking along one of the many pathways I found this lovely wedding dais overlooking the picturesque Enoggera Reservoir and made a mental note to return and explore this area further with bathers and towel (there’s a little beach along the water’s edge).

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

Heading towards the Enoggera Reservoir from Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

Lovers arch

What’s not to love

Wedding Dais

The wedding dais overlooks Enoggera Reservoir

Side of wedding dais

From the wedding dais looking down to Enoggera Reservoir

I’ve always enjoyed photography but this year I began snapping away more than usual. The four week photography course with daily assignments followed by a 7-Day Nature Challenge probably had something to do with it.

So during the course of honing my photographic skills and hunting for the perfect shot, I discovered greenspaces and things to do closer to home, something that satisfies my inner tourist and my urge to photograph things 🙂

Bunyaville Conservation Park Late Afternoon

Day Six 7-Day Nature Challenge

Day Six of the 7-Day Nature Challenge (nominated by lovely Laura from The View From My Window)

A lifelong tree hugger, nothing was finer than the discovery of these tall trees in the Bunyaville Conservation Park 7 kilometres from home, and 15 kilometres north of Brisbane’s Central Business District – lucky aren’t I?

The Bunyaville Conservation Park is perfect for hiking enthusiasts, family picnics, and romantic picnics for two.

I love city greenspaces ♥

Brisbame River City View

Day Five 7 -Day Nature Challenge

Day Five of the 7-Day Nature Challenge (nominated by lovely Laura from The View From My Window)

In between city appointments today I took the opportunity to photograph nature in Brisbane’s Central Business District.

Here in the City Botanic Gardens not far from the Margaret Street entrance I came upon this pond complete with resting water dragon.

City Botanic Gardens Brisbane

A water dragon at one with the pond

Soon after I met this friendly water dragon, his eyes following me as I cautiously circled him. I think his name is Pedro…

Water Dragon City Botanic Gardens

Nearly fell into the pond when I saw this

Margaret Street side of the gardens – such a pretty garden 🙂

Ornamental Pond City Botanic Gardens

Margaret Street end of gardens

Oh and if you’re looking for your staff, I found them running past me huffing, puffing, panting, and groaning – lunchtime fitness fun 🙂

I love greenspaces ♥

Treasured Moments

Without a treasure chest hidden in the basement, attic or a random beach somewhere, my treasure isn’t so much about:

  • squillions in the bank, although it would be lovely,
  • jewels,
  • a yacht – oh spare me the seasickness, rogue waves, sharks and the kraken!
  • the best job imaginable although this is currently debatable
  • my never-to-be-revealed secret super power

it’s more about social connection with family and friends, the sharing of special moments, support when times get tough, food, laughter and fun.

For the assignment on Treasure and close-up, it was all about Easter 🙂

Brown egg

Coloured brown egg

One such treasured gathering is the family’s annual Easter egg hunt. As in previous years it begins with the colouring of hardboiled eggs on medium heat. Patience must be your BFF because it’s time-consuming and can get messy with the dye mixture. It’s also tempting to handle eggs before they’ve dried thoroughly.

Hint 1: use white eggs to highlight colour

Hint 2: wear something other than white

Hint 3: if it’s a rainy day hide the eggs quick and hunt like it’s your last before the rain cleans the dye right off the eggs

Next year I’m reverting to colour coding the eggs, much more fun – and fair 😉