Dec 31, 2008

Rock Climbing

Smoke Over the Glass House Mountains Whilst Eloise has been at Nursery and I've been off, I've indulged in a couple of little trips.

Generally I've dropped her off and explored the other side of Mount Coot-tha which features leg-buggering descents down to pleasant paths around the Gap Creek reserve and rather gentler but longer climbs back up to the ring-road.

Then in the afternoon last Wednesday I decided to take my life in my hands and climb Mount Tibrogargan, recommended for "experienced walkers only." Well I'm experienced at walking, I've been doing it for a while.

I was good for the first couple of kilometres which were pretty steep but manageable. The problem came when I got to the first rock-face which looked a bit daunting but felt worse with my big backpack full of gear and a tripod hanging off my belt.

But all these young people (ha) kept coming down saying "it's not that bad" or "it's awful" and people kept on coming up and saying "it's not that bad" before haring up there or saying "it looks awful" and turning around and going back down.

So anyway I climbed up the damned thing for another twenty meters or so getting over the next lip to a near place to sit where I could see over the trees and I sat up there, looking at the mountain stretching up and above me and thought enough's enough now how the hell do I get down again.

Luckily there was someone there to tell me where to put my feet.

Dec 24, 2008

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas "What do you want for Christmas, Eloise?"

"A chimney"

Dec 21, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Bright Christmas

Rest Christmas is fast approaching, though with 37 degree heat the other day and otherwise temperatures pretty high and lots of sunshine it doesn't feel very Yule-ish.

Still on Monday I went out and did a spot of shopping after nearly annihilating my legs on the steep slopes of outer Mt Coot-tha. I'd like to say it was fun, but I would be lying. Bah humbug.

Nicole had days off on Tuesday and Wednesday so we walked the dogs and such-like things and did some more shopping... bah humbug.

On Tuesday we went to Music for the last time. Eloise will be going to childcare three days a week next year which only leaves room for two activities. And music is the casualty. Never mind. It was the one she enjoyed least and to be honest for an adult was always a reasonably painful experience.

On our way out on Wednesday I had the car started to get the air-con going whilst Nicole strapped Eloise into her chair. I thought Nicole had seen a scary animal or something when her screaming started and after only a short hesitation got out of the car and legged it around to find her finger trapped in the window! So I hoofed it back again to the driver's seat and opened the window for her whilst Valerie magically appeared, responding to the supersonic call to arms.

It seems that Eloise had decided to close the window on poor Nicole's fingers - well obviously she didn't know her fingers were in there - and Nicole couldn't get the window open again (as I had switched the engine off to go and see what the problem was).

She was left with a pretty good dent in her finger, but with ice and an anti-inflammatory and being left alone whilst Eloise and I went about my business all was well in the end. Though it hurt for a couple of days... but there doesn't seem to be even any bruising. Which is of course a Good Thing.

And that's the event for the week.

Other than Eloise's inauguration into the world of cinema which was achieved today in a trip to see Madagascar 2. A post mortem revealed that she didn't think much of the film but quite rated the whole Experience. I quite liked the film actually, well sort of anyway. I found it a bit difficult to get over the whole African savannah wildlife talking with American accents thing.

That was the other event of the week.

I remember my first cinema experience was Star Wars, but then they don't make them like they used to.

Dec 15, 2008

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days

Lazy, Hazy Summer Days It's getting hot hot hot and on Nicole's day off on Saturday we swannied up to the Sunshine Coast to lounge around by our favourite lagoon at Dicky Beach and swam around in the balmy waters with the dogs and each other for a few hours.

We retired when the sun went behind a cloud and it got a bit chilly.

Three salty hats to go in the wash then.

Dec 12, 2008

The Concert

Making Up Last Sunday was Eloise's big dancing concert.

Many minutes were spent in make-up. Extreme pampering was in full effect.

We arrived at the venue slightly ahead of time and quite a resplendent location it was, a theatre holding several hundred people with stall and a circle and everything. Ceilings like a cathedral. You get the gist.

And we sat through four hours of student dancing for our five minutes of parental adulation, when from our seat at the rightmost end of the rearmost row in the entire "space" we struggled to make out which of the not-really-dancing shapes in the distance was our little shape not-really-dancing to Cher's Shoop Shoop Song. "It's in his kiss, that's where it is" in case you aren't familiar.

Four hours. Five minutes. At one point Eloise said "I want to go now" but she was glad she wasn't allowed to as the wholecast of thousands assembled on stage at the denouement to receive their participants' ribbons.

Actually considering they were students it wasn't that bad really. Parts of it were actually quite enjoyable. The first act was a ballet rendition of Beauty and the Beast. They kind of slaughtered the story, but the dancing was pretty good. Not really a fan of ballet, though, me.

A Sunburnt Country

La Playa On Tuesday, with music cancelled due to imperative teacher training, Eloise's idea of a fun thing to do was to go to the Sunshine Coast. I agreed with the proviso that we take the dogs and that we not go to the Sunshine Coast. Although I offered a nearby destination, that being Bribie Island.

Equipped with picnic and beach-related paraphenalia we set off on the hour-long drive. On the final stretch it started to rain a little. How typical.

Lugging the bag full of swimming stuff and food, the boogie-board, and the other gear down there was a bit of an effort when we got there but it had stopped raining. The car park, empty, promised a similarly empty beach. And not a soul was to be seen, with the tide low and lapping gently - a cloudy but bright day with an ominous-looking cloud hovering over Moreton Island with reasonably obvious heavy rain beneath.

We found a shady spot where we got changed and headed for the sea. Eloise practiced her swimming and I wave-spotted for her. We toddled around in the waves for quite a while when I realised that my sunscreen application might not have been all that it might have been, what with me having done with my T-shirt on, and my T-shirt now being off.

So we retreated to the shade where we ate our lunch, danced, buried each others' feet and so on and so forth. The ominous cloud receded and the sun came out, not that we noticed, its strength masked by the briskening onshore breeze.

I was reasonably pink by my standards, bright luminous red by most other peoples', over my shoulders, back and torso later on. Nicole predicted a sleepless night, though this was not to be. She also predicted peeling skin, rather hopefully. This also has not occurred.

Dec 7, 2008


Storm Coming On Thursday Eloise had a dress rehearsal at the Conservatorium for her dancing concert.

I dropped Her Ladyship off with Her mother at the South Bank and toddled up to Kangaroo Point to see what was what.

A photographer for the Courier Mail was up there waiting for that day's storm to come in (we're getting a storm most days it seems at the moment) and we got chatting about this and that, his time in Afghanistan and so on.

We were keeping a weather eye, as it were, on the hills behind Mount Coot-tha where it was looking somewhat gloomy and before long we started to see the odd flash of lightning.

I had been expecting the ladies to be quite a while but it was at this point that I got the message that they were ready to be picked up so I bade my farewells and hopped into the car just as the rain arrived.

Pretty soon it was bucketing down and the traffic was at a standstill. The drive that had taken me three minutes an hour previously took the best part of an hour or more through driving rain and wind. I was glad I was indoors.

I might take up storm chasing though, it could be fun.

By the time I got to the rendez-vous point the ladies were a little bedraggled, and I sensed slightly miffed at my tardiness. And the traffic wasn't nearly so bad on the way home either.

Toddler philosophy

On the way to dancing on Friday morning Eloise was trying to get Neil to move the music along on the CD player. She told him she didn't like that song. Neil was telling Eloise that you had to be careful about telling other people you didn't like their music as they may get offended - he was speaking from personal experience. Eloise's retort was that you had to be true. I think Neil was lost for words.

Dec 5, 2008

Christmas Parties. Already.

Scary Santa We had Eloise's Christmas Party at nursery today.

There was a little concert where the teachers sang carols and the children didn't really sing along (except the choruses of course).

And a children's entertainer who was up to the usual standard of children's entertainers.

Eloise had been keyed up to Santa's presence, and overcame her disappointment at the lack of reindeer to wait patiently in line to see him only to baulk at the last moment and having taken the present, hide behind Nicole's back whilst the big scary man ho-ho-hoed at her.

Nicole has gone out to her party now, and she's promised that she doesn't want to have an all-day hangover like she had last year. But if she isn't back by 9.30 I think that's on the cards. And it's 9.28 now....

Dec 1, 2008

Down day, up day

I had a spare five minutes at work this afternoon so checked my work email. I applied for a Queensland Health Nursing Grant recently. The letter said 'Thank you for applying...' I knew what was coming. They were very good and listed two and a half pages of how to improve my application. The conclusion stated that I was obviously a novice research! Oh well, I knew when I put the application in I would be unsuccessful. The reviews said that the research was worthwhile and relevant so there is always next year. By then I will be a year wiser.

I have been checking the Griffith University website every night as it has been several weeks since we handed in our assignments. It got to the point with the assignment when I went through and did a count up to see how little I could get away with as I was very uncertain about most of my answers. I was astounded to see a HD next to Quantitative Research which stands for high distinction and means that overall I scored over 85%. Hurray for me.

Nov 28, 2008


Diva Today was dancing day and the dance school is putting on a performance.

It's Beauty and the Beast - my favourite story, obviously - and it's going to be on at the Queensland Conservatorium.

Which is nice. The slightly uncomfortable aspect is the requirements in terms of costumes and make-up and so on. It all has to be done just so, make-up lessons have been offered (and Nicole is the make-up person, not me, before you ask).

Today after getting back from dancing Nicole sat Eloise down and practised the make-up and got the costume on. And it doesn't look so bad really, not too over the top and Toddler Beauty Pageant-ish.

And of course Eloise was delighted with the lippy and eyeshadow and glitter, though not so delighted about having her picture taken.

Nov 26, 2008

A Day at the Lakes

Lake Manchester Will and I got up at the crack of dawn yesterday and set off around six o'clock to go to Lake Manchester.

I'd hoped that the construction work going on there might have finished but it was still going on, so we had to climb over a hill to get to the lake to practice our pictography.

The climb was pretty damn steep and quite high we had to stop several times to rest.

Did I mention that Will had open heart surgery a few weeks ago? Hmmm, I felt a little guilty. Not for long though. He needs exercising.

Anyway downhill was much easier and the Lake looked quite nice, though not nearly as parched around the edges as I'd hoped for what with the masses of rain that's fallen on Brisbane of late.

We retired back to the car via the construction site where we sweet-talked a security guard into not imprisoning and/or killing us. We figured that she was there to prevent people from getting in, and actually didn't seem that bothered.

We then checked out a location up by Lake Wivenhoe where Will reckoned there would be some nice dead trees reflecting in the water but when we arrived it seemed that there hadn't actually been water there for a while.

We inspected a community hall at Lake Somerset that had doors in strange places and lots of corrugated iron. Which was nice.

It was pretty warm though, it got above 30 degrees after about 9am and stayed up there for most of the day. Good job I slapped me suncream on, though I had a pink neck by the end of it.

We continued our tour of the lakes for much of the rest of the day. The Rollei got an outing. I may develop the film tomorrow.

A Sense of Balance

A Sense of Balance It took her five minutes to get from the bedroom to the kitchen.

Nov 21, 2008

Stormy Weather

Storm Over Maroochydore The storm on Sunday was the worst to hit Brisbane in 25 years, so they say, and the radio and telly were already having a screaming orgasm over the general devastation rained down upon The Gap through to Mitchelton and Ferny Grove when on Wednesday storm number two created its own little low pressure system over us for most of the night and dropped 300mm of rain around and about.

We were due to get ourselves up to the Sunshine Coast to visit Julie and Gary and ickle Jarrah in their salubrious waterfront accommodation when the Severe Weather Warnings started coming through on Thursday but that we wouldn't let the weather get in our way so we trotted on up there and had a nice afternoon with them at Underwater World.

We were in two minds as to whether to go straight home after we had finished there as the skies were looking a bit ominous but decided to stay for supper on the balcony of their holiday apartment, and munched away merrily as the clouds rolled over with fork lightning doing its thing out to sea.

Looking South we could see the skies over what we presumed was Brisbane and it looked like the place was under attack with flashes flashing over it constantly, so we thought we'd hop in the car toot sweet and get our behinds back as the dogs were outside and likely having cadenzas with the thunder.

We listened to the radio on the way back - and the local radio has been a very well run source of information - and this didn't really improve our spirits when, as we got closer, the distant lightning crackled and hissed over the transmission which even broke down completely at times, kind of like a post-apocalyptic radio transmission from the last survivors of some dreadful event. But we heard talk of hailstorms in Lutwyche and power lines down in Everton Park and floods in Bald Hills so drove down expecting if not the worst then some good entertainment and some very scared dogs, as we drove through heavy rain and the lightning continued to flash ahead of us, growing slowly closer.

Neither of which actually turned out to be the case as we missed the alleged flooding on Gympie Road which people had allegedly been aquaplaning into at 80km/h and saw no particular signs of hail or rain or wind. In fact once we were out of the rain it was an easy drive.

And everything was in one piece when we got back. Even the dogs.

Nov 16, 2008

Hot Then Not

Open Eucalypt It was as they say a scorcher today, sweaty by nine in the morning when J & G & J set off for the Sunshine Coast and a little holiday.

We tried to get out for a walk at the brook with Eloise but she wasn't really up to it... overtired... so I took the dogs out in the car instead with air-con set to stun and we trundled around the forest for a bit with the sun beating down upon us through the insubstantial mantle of eucalypt foliage high above.

We had leftovers for lunch before retiring for our nanny-naps. I oscillated ponderously in the hammock out back reading Iain Banks before drifting gently away.

I awoke to a glowering sky and before long perceived the glower to be increasing. The news reported roofs blown off at the Gold Coast and that a sever storm cell was heading north, and as the first rumbles rumbled and Nicole returned from a goat's milk sally, the rain radar showed black black rain headed towards us.

And rain it did indeed, reportedly 70mm in half an hour in Ferny Hills (not that much here) and thunder clapped aplenty. Nicole had mysterious headaches and I sensed the overcharge viscerally as the energy grounded.

100,000 homes without power so they say. Not us though ;)

Although thinking about it we were without phone for a few days last week due to a fault on the line and now we have a dangly new one running across the garden until they can come and fix it properly. As an aside.

Babyhood Revisited

Low Profile We've had a visitation this week from Julie and Gary, our friends from Sydney who Nicole went to University with, and their new baby Jarrah.

It hasn't exactly been a helter-skelter what with the little boy being nine months old and therefore in need of regular naps and feeding and having attention lavished upon him left right and - you wouldn't have it any other way - centre, but we made it down to South Bank and out to the playground and in to more than one swimming pool and off to Kelvin Grove Market in the days they have been here, and it's been entertaining for the most part.

Eloise has been most engrossed with the little tyke giving out general cuddles and games and pushing the pram and all that jazz and of course bathtimes have been shared affairs and she has enjoyed herself thoroughly.

There was a toy though that played irritating songs in a Julie Andrews style. And the parents did insist on repeating them ad nauseam even when the toy wasn't around.

And.. ha ha... the sound of Eloise's voice at five am.... "Jarrah! You woke me up and I'm not happy!!"

Nov 7, 2008

Rain Deflowers Tree And Other Stories

Jacaranda's Last Gasp The jacaranda tree outside the house was looking lovely until the other day when the heavens opened and it rained all day. After that the poor tree looked somewhat denuded.

It's been a challenging week this week child-wise too as something seems to have clicked inside her head to move her into a new, even more willful and headstrong phase of existence.

"Mercurial" said the new music teacher, "isn't she."

On Thursday things came to a bit of a head at swimming when she wouldn't hold on to her float and wouldn't wait on the table but instead decided that she was so good at swimming that she didn't need to follow instructions.

So after being complained to, and being persuaded to apologise to the teacher, we embarked on a discipline day which was painful to say the least.

Valerie reckons it's because she's got worms. I have yet to see any evidence of this, though I may get out a torch later on.

I reckon it's just sheer redheaded head-strength coupled with exponential neuronic cohesion. I may never see any evidence of this, even with a torch.

Nov 1, 2008

Impromptu Swimming

Rabbits Like Carrots Today, with Nicole working a long day, we slept in til 8 o'clock before attempting to get ourselves together.

I suggested a trip to the beach but this was flatly refused, and the brook insisted upon, so off we toddled after the suncream drama and the shoes trauma and all that had been negotiated.

Some paddling was done by the rocks but later on we climbed down to look under a footbridge at which point Eloise gleefully and not altogether accidentally tripped over and went for a swim. Which must have been quite an experience because the water was at least a few feet deep (up to her waist probably) and flowing quite fast. But she merrily blew her bubbles and kicked her little legs and did her rolly-polly arms and flatly refused to get out.

Yes, I'm noticing a lot of flat refusal going on today too.

I'm not sure, I could be wrong, but yesterday in the afternoon we went to the South Bank and had a jolly time at the Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. In the GoMA they had a new exhibition consisting of video stuff one of whose exhibits was a big room with a huge screen - ten feel tall by fifty long probably - on which a man swam up and down a pool with a stitched perspective showing the whole thing as though the swimming pool were behind the wall, with the camera underwater and the bloke swimming from one side of the screen to the other and back again in an endless loop. Anyway to cut a long telling of a short story slightly shorter but still quite long, Eloise was taking notes about his kicking action and hand motions and so on and so forth and I'm basically postulating probably without foundation that this may have inspired her little swim today. Although it could of course be the fact that she goes swimming every week, thinking about it....

In the afternoon we went shopping for Lexie's birthday which is tomorrow and Eloise chose a couple of fairy-related books which we had a lot of fun wrapping up after supper.

Oct 31, 2008

Been a While

Exubing but we've been busy what with one thing and another.

Mumsy has departed now for the snowy English climes, and things have settled down to a nice 25 degrees here.

She came back at some point - last Wednesday I think - after having been to Melbourne and Cairns and we just kind of did the daily grind thing of going to classes, falling asleep, walking the dogs.

But now it's back to the daily grind of going to classes, falling asleep, walking the dogs.

Although I've been commissioned for a photographic job, which I have completed half of, that being to photograph Angel from the Music School who has taken over operations there and requires new promotional material. So I took some portraits of her the other day and will be doing some kiddy shots, hopefully of kiddies being enthusiastic, for them to print up as posters and put on their walls.

They're offering me some exhibition space to so I will get some pictures printed up and framed over the next while to stick on their walls and who knows what might come of that.

The dogs are being a royal pain in the ass in the evenings at the moment, chasing around the garden and barking, and we have found out that it's because a couple of possums are using the shed as a hide-out. Not to mention that next-door seem to have acquired a big dog too. Happy days.

Oct 19, 2008

Back to Nudgee

Waverider Walking at Nudgee Beach without Eloise was a much more straightforward affair than we are used to.

We were able to walk for long distances without interruption or incident, and the tide being out and the sun warm, we were able to paddle and toddle our way along on the flats and through the warm water for a considerable distance before taking pity on our childminder and returning to fetch the fairy.

Free Plants

Free Plants We got a flyer the other day from the city council (or just "council" as they prefer to refer to themselves) advertising a local tree-planting effort to increase shade along the streets of Grange, and offering free plants to those who volunteered.

A few days later blue crosses mysteriously started to appear by the sides of the roads, and putting two and two together we figures that was where the trees would probably go.

And sure enough the other day one of those Caterpillar things with a big drill on was doing what you'd expect something with a big drill to do and drilling holes where the blue crosses were.

So we toddled along yesterday, late, to be greeted by our local councillor, one Fiona King, at Lanham Park where a full-scale kitchen was set up for the obligatory post-planting sausage sizzle and from where large parties of people were departing with spades in hand to plant the trees which had appeared that morning next to the holes which had been dug where the blue crosses were that we surmised were for the trees. Correctly.

And, having introduced ourselves and put ourselves down as volunteers, free plants for the procuring of, except not free of course as we expected to toil for our horticulture, we set off, escorted by Mrs King to meet up with our team leader, passing new trees all the way.

When in fact we did manage to catch up with the tree-planting spearhead, some several streets later, I helped some young whelp with the spade and we planted the tree. Eloise at the same time encountered her erstwhile Nursery buddy of last year, Hannah, and that was the rest of the day sewn up for her.

The sausages were reportedly very good. I retrieved the car to get our six plants wot we earned for our three trees planted (there were a lot of people, OK?) and after hanging around in the park for a while Eloise bagged a playtime offer and went off to Hannah's house while Nicole and I relaxed chez nous.

After a while the girls came back while Hannah's Mum went shopping and we played hide and seek with them. They weren't very good frankly either at hiding or at seeking.

Then Eloise went back to Hannah's house and we went to the beach for to walk the dogs.

When Eloise was picked up after that, it seems that Hannah had sparkoed on the couch leaving Eloise to fend for herself, and she had helped herself to Hannah's fairy dress. Perhaps on a permanent basis.

Oct 16, 2008

Homeward Bound

Boowinda Gorge Rocks The next day we hoofed it and made it to Rolleston just as we were about to run out of petrol, which was a relief.

Then we drove to Noosa, just a ten-hour drive... getting there after dark. We met up with Nicole the next day and they went to Eumundi Market while I walked the dogs at the beach then slept in the car park, totally knackered.

Then back to Brisbane and an early night.

When we dropped the camper off the next day we were quite glad we'd got the full insurance option as they merrily pointed out dent after dent. I don't know how - or frankly even if - we did half of them. In fact I only know how I did one of them.

And that was it, road trip over, back to normal.

Mum chipped off to Melbourne the other day to hang out with a chum of hers; it's cold down there she says. She'll come back sometime but she doesn't know when. She's gone up to Cairns now.

Oct 15, 2008

Boowinda Gorge

Stony Mossy Rocky At the top of Canarvon Gorge, just before the campsite you have to hike 10km to get to, is a side-gorge called Boowinda Gorge.

It's kilometres long in its own right - I assume - and the floor is covered in grey boulders which are somewhat trying to walk on. The walls alternate between rocky and mossy and not much light makes it to the floor. Sometimes around a corner a tree or small clump of bushes or ferns will grow, presumably where moisture collects.

I spent a little while here doing assignment stuff until the batteries ran out loading film and I was forced to retreat a tout vitesse to the bottom to catch the camper back to camp to get new ones.

Oct 13, 2008

Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge Here is a view from some stepping stones about half-way up the gorge.

The next day I had an assignment to do for college which involved telling the story of a day in my life, so mysteriously I elected to get up at 5am to watch sunrise then hitched a lift up to the Gorge and walked all the way up it and down it.

And yes, I hurt by the end of it.

Eloise and Mum had some quality time together playing in the creek and so on; we met up mid-afternoon and Mum took a walk while I entertained Eloise and got a new battery for my camera.

Oct 12, 2008

Carnarvon Gorge, Attempt One

Moss Garden In the evening, after a heart meal, we went to see a slideshow at the campsite given by a National Park Ranger which went into the history of Carnarvon Gorge and various bits and bobs about it.

It seems like it's a watershed which feeds rivers which flow widely across Australia and is a canyon which stretches 10km up into the tablelands of the Great Dividing Range, with imposing sandstone cliffs and side gorges which, due to their particular locations and conditions are little microclimates containing pockets of rainforest.

There were floods a couple of years ago where a year-and-a-half's worth of rain fell in less than three months, and consequently the Gorge itself was pretty much gutted by the tumultuous flash floods which ripped through it, leaving trees scattered left right and probably centre too.

It was a centre of Indigenous ceremony and there are a couple of places up it where there are great examples of Aboriginal rock art.

So armed with this the next day in the afternoon we made our first attempt at getting up it, and a magnificent place it is too. The path runs up the creek which flows down it and crosses across may many times via stepping stones, which Eloise found to be most amusing.

However the first point of high interest, the Moss Garden, is a 5km hike from the bottom and it soon became clear that Eloise wasn't really up for that, so after 3km or so I forged ahead and climbed up a steep side-gorge to find a little waterfall in a rocky niche with damp mosses draped all round. Very peaceful.

I caught up with Eloise and Mum on the way down again, and we drove the Camper back down to the campsite, stopping off on the way to book a table at the local restaurant where we ate some nice food.

Oct 10, 2008

Driving Day Number Two

Looking Down From the Bunya Mountains In the morning we got up bright and early as it was driving day number two: destination Carnarvon Gorge.

The previous night had been heavily overcast but it seemed that the clouds were bubbling up over the Bunya Mountains because we were soon out from underneath the cloud cover and looking out West where the clear air allowed a view which stretched almost exactly as far as the eye could see.

Soon we were down on the plains and Mum and I shared the drive which took us through Dalby - brief stop at Coles for provisions - then Chinchilla, Miles, Roma, Injune and up the road to Carnarvon Gorge where after a bumpy ride down an unsealed gravel road for 20km or so we arrived at the camp site at around 5 o'clock.

So just the nine hours on the road then.

More Forest Walking

Ray of Sunshine And the next day we went for a second attempt at the circuit walk, at around 5km.

And Eloise spent a pretty good portion of it on my shoulders.

In the Fig Of It

In the Fig Of It On our morning walk the path ran right through the trunk of an enormous strangler fig tree.

Oct 8, 2008

Night Sky in the Bunya Mountains

Night Sky and Bunya Pine When the sun set and you looked into the sky it was pretty impressive...

Oct 7, 2008

Bright and Early

Big plants have little plants, and so ad infinitum Having gone to bed in an unfamiliar environment, sleep was intermittent, interrupted as it was by kicking legs (Eloise's) and snoring (Mother's) and buzzing (Van fridge) and the ubiquitous bird life.

When we woke up in the morning, fuzzy-eyed, we parted the curtains to see a beautifully green campsite surrounded by forest and staked out by lots of wallabies who were wandering around, some with little joeys poking their little heads out of pouches, munching away at the grass.

So excellent chasing material then.

Eloise was making friends pretty soon but with kids who were leaving so we ate our breakfast and trundled off into the woods.

The Bunya Mountains' claim to fame, other than being the second National Park instituted, it's the single largest colony - if that's the word - or stand - which is the word that all the books use - of Bunya Pine trees in the world, and there aren't many colonies left.

And the Bunya Pine trees are pretty cool, towering into the sky on statuesque trunks with elephants' feet wrinkles at the bottom and distinctive foliage up there above the rest of the rainforest. And they brew cones that weigh 10kg and drop down a hundred feet like rocks so tread carefully in the new year.

We didn't make it very far though, before Eloise's batteries ran out and we had to hoof it home (several hours later as it happened) for coffee and chips and a sleep.

Eloise made another friend in the afternoon who she knocked about with under Grandmotherly supervision whilst I wandered off into the forest and stomped around a circuit for 5km or so.

Did I mention that the day before Mum arrived I hurt my knee inexplicably by climbing up and down steep hills? Well this day my knee was hurting like hell and I wasn't very happy about that, but grinning and bearing it anyway.

Oct 6, 2008

Bunya Mountains

Sunset at Bunya Mountains We were climbing the steep mountain road as the sun set and night fell and had to find our camping space in the dark, and reconfigure the campervan into sleeping mode, brush our teeth, and cook our tea by the light of our campervan lights, and after driving for so long sleep wasn't that far behind.

Eloise was very excited about the whole camping thing and wanted to go out into the campsite to play with the children - all of whom had luminous toys - but all I wanted to do was conk out. So I did.

Road Trip

The Royal Conveyance Mum arrived on the morning of Thursday last, I think it was, and we merrily picked her up from the airport at some ungodly hour in the morning. We were late, and found her patiently waiting for us.

We got home and unpacked, then went to the beach where we messed around some. Mum had taken some homeopathic potion for jetlag and it seemed to do the trick as she made it through to the evening.

On Friday I had a little field trip booked with my photo friends so we all trooped up to Mount Glorious for a coffee then had a walk around in the rainforest before Mum, Nicole and Eloise trooped back down the mountain to have their fun while Nicole went to work and my little threesome went frolicking around stream beds and waterfalls inspecting the roots of the rainforest gums.

Saturday was the dig day and we picked up our little campervan at midday. The plan was to get to the Bunya Mountains before sundown, but this was not to be as packing took a little longer than anticipated and the Satnav we'd hired got us comprehensivley lost around the roadworks in the city.

But once out of the city we haded out past Ipswich then up into the mountains and through Toowoomba then back down the other side and several hours later up to the Bunya Mountains.

Sep 30, 2008

Home alone

I am motivated to write this post as I am fed up of seeing that photograph of me.
Neil, Mary and Eloise are off on their travels in a camper van. They have now left Bunya Mountains where Eloise made friends on the campsite and should have arrived at Carnarvon Gerge by now. I haven't heard from them so I guess there is no mobile phone coverage way out west.
So, I am home alone. It has been a few years, atleast when I was pregnant. Those years are in dim and distant recesses of my memories. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about being alone. It is wierd that things stay in the same place and it is very quiet. I think the dogs are missing Eloise as they both ran up to a little girl at Nudgee Beach this afternoon. I am up-to-date with all my house chores. I even hoovered the bedroom this morning at 07:00 as I stroked Tiny and she malted all over the floor boards. I am eating lots of meat and fish in Neil's absence and getting lots of studying done. It is quite a responsibility being a lone parent to two dogs whilst working full-time.
I was awarded a scholarship last week from the Royal College of Nursing, Australia for $2500 to help towards the cost of studying in 2008. Which will cover my tuition fees and give me some left over for books which is great news. My first assignment for Quantitative Research is being marked. I am a little uncertain as the results time looms nearer.
I am working in Clinical Trials for the next 4 weeks to cover annual leave. So far, alright. It is very different from ward nursing but I think I am doing okay.

Sep 24, 2008

Nicole the Birthday Girl

Nicole Making Noises For Nicole's birthday yesterday she did entertaining things like go to College in the morning and in the afternoon we did entertaining things like going to take photographs of Peter in the shop in which he works for my college assignments. Work work work.

Besides that we went and partook in coffee and turkish sandwiches at West End where Nicole treated herself to a battery of anointments from Perfect Potions, then in the evening Val looked after Eloise while the grown ups went out for one of their occasional social jaunts to Tukka, where haute cuisine meets Bush Tucker. My food was unremarkable in terms of its ingredients, though very nice; I had a timbale of something or other with some other stuff and pea pie with peas on the side. Nicole's was a bit more remarkable in that she dined on steaks of crocodile and kangaroo, both of which looked quite tasty and reportedly were very nice.

We got home not too late to find Val chilled out and Eloise asleep although Squeaks had had botty problems and her poo wasn't right, so another bout of sickness is on the cards.

And indeed today I feel pretty grim with sore joints and a threat of a headache, which bodes well for Mum's arrival tomorrow doesn't it?

Sep 21, 2008

Recliffe Festival

The Arched Window I heard about Redcliffe Festival on the radio, and for some reason Eloise seemed very keen.

So we resolved to go today, while Nicole was sleeping off her night shift.

First of all to the brook to walk the dogs and arguably my first mistake of the day - which was to permit her ladyship to ride down on her bike.

It seems that she isn't quite completely over the hill as far as the old sickness thing goes, and became quite tired and emotional at the playground, so we wended our nearly-merry way back, paddling and rock-hopping accomplished, and back for twelve.

Whereupon I ate our lunch, and Eloise didn't, and upon suggestion of a little nap, the refrain "I would like to go to the Red Cliff now please" had us on our way.

Up on the bay, parking on the esplanade was a bit of a problem, but we got there in the end and got out of the car to the sounds of powerboats and helicopters.

We made our way down the ramp and onto the beach to see powerboats in the distance being chased around by choppers... presumably with cameras on board, but who knows.... and resolved between us to make our way up the esplanade to get a better view.

Of course getting from A to B isn't straightforward where Her Ladyship is concerned, what with having to brave the siren calls of playgrounds and children doing interesting things with sand, and general fatigue, but we rounded the headland about 1.45 to where the racing was apparently going on... but wasn't any more.

"They finished at 1.30" said a friendly bloke.

So we made our way further up le plage and stopped off to watch skateboarders and football kickers and basketball players at the amphitheatre before bypassing the lagoon (no swimmers) and going on the Sanctuary Cove playground.

Where a not altogether joyful time was had, what with pushy older kids pushing and little buggers with plastic swords doing what they do with plastic swords. Ending in tears. Never mind.

But an ice cream and a can of diet coke brought her back to the land of the happy and we headed home, Festival in sight, to see if Nicole had woken up yet.

Sep 19, 2008

Full Operational Status Restored

Jiggery Recovery pretty much complete, apart from the odd affected fake cough when health is mentioned, Eloise is back at nursery - and loving it - back at music, swimming etc, just in time for the school holidays.

Just a week off this time, but as Mum is coming to visit, it'll be a bit of a break from the old routine as we key up for a little road trip up to Carnarvon Gorge whilst Nicole hangs around here and looks after the dog and payrolls us.

The general plan is to go up to Bunya Mountains for a couple of days then up to Carnarvon, again for a couple of days, and then across to Noosa or Fraser or somewhere. Haven't decided yet.

Should be interesting.

Meanwhile after her recovery I'm sure that Eloise is getting heavier and we have observed that her talking is improving once more, with conjugation coming along quite well and, dare I say it, lying for profit (generally sweeties) which is of course an essential skill.

Sep 15, 2008


Eloise in the Woods On the mend now so Nicole spent the weekend writing up her first assignment for her Master's course.... and then re-doing it after I read the question for her properly.

So Eloise and I got out of her way, walking in the forest, falling asleep, going to the shops...

We managed to winkle her out of the house on Saturday to go to the beach, where we all got bitten by mosquitoes.

In the forest Eloise did quite well but decided part way round that she wouldn't be walking anymore but wanted to read Percy the Park Keeper. The dogs kind of sat around and watched as bemusedly whilst we carried out this activity.

And now we have itchy ankles.

Sep 12, 2008

Unwellness continues

Eloise ... just so you know ...

Nicole's better though. But Eloise is still not herself, except between the hours of ten am and midday when she's on pretty good form.

Still she'd better be better by Monday. I'm on holiday now don't you know.

Sep 10, 2008

Viral Oscillations

Crumbs from your table Eloise continues her downhill slope and being a responsible mother Nicole took her to the doctor whilst I was over at Coochiemudlo Island on Monday prancing about taking photographs of rocks, trees, boats, more rocks, more trees, more boats, a dead bird, then some rocks and trees and just for an encore, some boats. Then, for a change, a cliff of red muddy clay which was quite interesting to look at, what with being red, but to be filed under rocks.

Anyway the upshot is that Eloise has a flu virus and indeed 'twas a good job that we kept her off nursery as she has not been in the best of shape, although Nicole did take her to the beach, and yesterday with Nicole feeling ten times better we went to the beach again.

And the pattern seems to be that she wakes up feeling pretty rotten and miserable, takes drugs, perks up by about ten o'clock whereupon doggy duties are performed, possibly including a playground then crash and burn in time for lunch.

Today Nicole was suitably improved to return to work so I made my excuses to College and stayed home to tend my poor sickening infant. We went to the brook and did the doggy thing then to the playground where we ran into Olga, a local mum of our acquaintance, and Eloise made a new friend who she played with (and yes he was coughing already before you play the contagion card).

After lunch three hours of sleeping was done, and it was back to illness and misery but perking up again as we went to pick Nicole up from work.

I went into the darkroom this evening and processed B&W from Coochie and B&W from Val Windowlight stuff. Should see how it came out on Friday when I will go in to do another couple of films and contact sheet the backlog.

Sep 7, 2008

Uphill, Downhill

Almost Blue Nicole's on the mend and I'm feeling OK pretty much, but now Eloise is on the way downhill again. Very listless today, and a bike ride down to the brook to feed the ducks ended up with a carry-cuddle home to go to bed,

I shopped while they slept then it was an afternoon in front of the telly watching the Sunday Arts programmes and eating crunchy nut corn flakes.

I've got an early start tomorrow, a field trip to Coochiemudlo Island... Nicole should be fine with Eloise on the sofa as I don't think she will be fit enough to go to nursery.

Sep 6, 2008


Still not on top of the world. I had a flirtation with fever around tea-time yesterday, but it came to nothing.

Nicole is still spending a lot of time in bed and after visiting the doctor yesterday has cattle-antibiotics to deal with the laryngitis which has swept into her throat in the wake of the now-officially recognised real-deal flu.

Nicole took Eloise to ballet yesterday while I went to the forest to give the dogs the walk they so desperately need (it's been raining cats and dogs). I got a call just as I arrived to the effect that ballet wasn't on as they were having exams so I went and took the ladies home.

"Nicole made a mistake" opined Eloise. "Well that's OK, she's allowed" I said. "It's not OK" said Eloise.

No compassion, that one. We'll have to beat some compassion into her, I can tell.

Sep 2, 2008


Reduction We're all feeling a bit glum as the dreaded cold worsens its icy grip on Nicole's poor body, confining her to bed with fevers and chills and cramps in addition to a beyond-Bonnie-Tyler sore throat and sinuses you couldn't drain even with medical suction.

So ill is she, in fact, that she has had the past couple of days off college and work, which for her and her Protestant work ethic is saying something.

Meanwhile Eloise and I meander along with our sad excuses for colds and pretty much live life normally, if still a little short-fusedly owing to our depleted resources of emotional tolerance and patience.

I did lose my rag today when I offered Eloise a sausage roll for lunch, and after an enthusiastic welcome to my suggestion bought her one, whereupon immediately upon leaving the shop she announced she didn't want one after all, she wanted a curry pie. That was on top of music where she insisted on using her glockenspiel backwards and her quaver-paper upside down. Though to her credit she seems to be able approximately to use her fa-finger.

Aug 30, 2008

The Last of Winter

Mirror, Mirror Not much going on this week, owing to generally illness and misery.

We've had a cold with lots of coughing and sneezing and runny noses, and listlessness has been the order of the days,

So no swimming, no ballet, music was a washout, and when we have been active we've been tired afterwards with generally unpleasant emotional consequences.

Eloise had the excitement of the Teddy Bear's Picnic on Wednesday where her Nursery took her to the children's hospital for a morning tea served up by teddy bears.

And we went and saw Riverfire tonight from the top of Eildon hill where we saw a pretty cool fireworks display from afar and an F-111 searing down the river before soaring into the sky on full afterburners dumping fuel all the way, looking for all the world like a rocket climbing over the city.

Nicole would have had a better view than us, mind you, as she was down by the riverside itself attending the Riverfire Ball at the Customs House. Lucky thing. Probably sneezing over everybody though.

Aug 25, 2008

Our Friends in the Sea

Dolphin Watching Nicole had a day off yesterday, that's Sunday, so we went up to Bribie Island to check out a dog beach that she had found out about from someone at work.

It turned out that it was the top, or bottom end of the beach that we usually go to, but round the corner, facing South and a few km along from the end we generally frequent.

Less interesting from the point of view that Red Beach has lots of driftwood around to play on, but nicer in the we pretty much had the beach to ourselves and the sand was lovely and white with the gentle surf rolling its way slowly up over the footprints and tire tracks.

Nicole saw that Matilda was behaving very strangely. That damn dog is usually exploring in the undergrowth and sniffing around for things to roll in, but today she was standing at the edge of the low surf and just looking out to sea. Had she become suddenly doggishly poetic and philosophical?

She - Nicole that is - looked closely at the swell just beyond the surf and whooped when she saw a dolphin fin, and when we all had a look another appeared then another, then more.

It seemed that there were several groups (pods I believe is the correct term) of dolphins browsing just offshore for who-knows-what, just ambling along in the current. We estimated that there might have been twenty of them or more, and they just dawdled along around twenty five metres in front of us, so we settled down to watch them.

And we must have watched them for an hour or more, as they wandered first one way then another, before disappearing into the deep blue.

If an encounter however arms-length with a pod of wild dolphins doesn't call for a cup of coffee, I don't know what does.

Aug 24, 2008

A Morning at South Bank

Origin of Species Looking around for things to do I spotted the Studebaker Show at the South Bank which looked like it might be amusing so we set off in the morning yesterday to see what we could see.

No cars were obvious so we walked along the Arbour, goggling at the Ferris Wheel which was under construction for a while, and wending our way to the Suncorp Plaza from which the dubious pleasures of 2 Unlimited were bassily wafting.

When we got there, much to Eloise's delight there was a Skipping Showcase in full swing with lots of girls, and not very many boys, skipping away to your disco favourites of ten years ago. Skipping singly, in pairs, in groups, skipping on big ropes and little ropes, skipping regularly and stylishly, some dancing while skipping, some break-dancing while skipping. Some dancing while watching others dancing while skipping. The coaches were the funniest, doing their little line-dance routines whilst watching little girls dancing while watching other little girls dancing while skipping.

Anyway Eloise was enraptured and I put up with it for an hour before we went off to a couple of playgrounds and frolicked in the water at the artificial beach and the aqua park, and we spent about five hours there all in all.

No evidence of any Studebakers though which was a pity and totally inexplicable unless I've made some obvious schoolboy error.

Still... five hours of entertainment; price tag $20 including parking. Not too bad.

Aug 22, 2008


Paper Study #2 Did I mention I'd been messing around with paper?

I've been messing around with paper.

I've been busy with photo stuff - went in Wednesday evening to catch up on contact sheets, which was pretty much totally unproductive as all the chemicals were stale. Still it was interesting introduction to unsupervised chaos... and just how much acetic acid goes into the stop solution? Noone knows but me.

And I went in this morning too to catch up on the stuff I should have caught up on on Wednesday and used the chemistry I'd mixed up then to almost complete the catching up, five contact sheets done and dusted.

Other than that on Thursday swim we did again, or Eloise did anyway with flailing legs but good arms and high motivation. And singing went well, with enthusiasm and joining in going on which was a positive sign. Me, I had a back back, so no dancing from me.

Had a cold this week though. Low grade but annoying.

Aug 18, 2008


Coonowrin Here's a picture of Mount Coonowrin from our trip the other day. The sun hadn't made it onto the mountain, obscured as it was by the band of cloud in the background there, which was a pity.

But I still think it's quite an imposing little hill with an interesting profile.

Today at College we passed muster in the darkroom and are now allowed in there unsupervised on Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings. I think we all have some catching up to do as there's a big hand-in due at the start of September.

Today I've been taking pictures of pieces of paper in black and white - what fun... folded pieces of paper, creased pieces of paper, torn pieces of paper, cut-out pieces of paper, demonstrating every quality of paper you can think of. I'm thinking about how to achieve flammability at f/32 under artificial light.

Aug 17, 2008

Touring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Glass House Mountains Last week I arranged to go on a medium format photo excursion with my buddy Will from college to the Glass House Mountains.

We'd thought it would be nice to get there for sunrise, so - in retrospect, quite stupidly - decided to leave at 4 am. Yes, you read that right.

So I went to bed on Thursday night at 8pm, only shortly after Eloise, having packed up my things and prepared myself as far as I could, and when the alarm clock went off at three thirty I was out of bed like a shot and started clattering stealthily around the house brusing teeth and making coffee and sandwiches and so on and so forth.

Will was punctual and we set off up the Bruce without hindrance, deciding to watch the sun come up at the Glass House Mountains lookout, sensibly to the West of the Mountains, and turned up there in the pitch black at 4.45.

At that point, with a biting wind howling across the hills, we thought it might be a good idea to find out when the sun actually rose, then hunkered down for our forty minute wait rueing our early start.

So we sat on the lookout platform, I with my Rolleiflex, Will with his Hasselblad, swapping cable releases and watching our tripods wobble horribly in the gusty wind by the light of our little torches.

Depressingly a large band of cloud obscured half the sky keeping the sun off the mountains, but there may be some nice photos in there, who knows. Anyway the sun came up and the wind howled and we became very cold indeed, and to be honest it was a bit dissapointing so around seven we decided to go for coffee.

Out target coffee destination - and a risky one - was a one-horse town called Peachester but for giggles we decided to go cross-country. Did I mention that Will had brought his 4WD? Probably I hadn't.

So we embarked into the forest along logger's tracks and power-line maintenance tracks jiggling about like no-ones business, through muddy bogs and rutted tracks before becoming quite convincingly lost. However, steering by the sun and approximately by the power line brought us out only a couple of kilometres away from our destination.

Nicole and Eloise phoned at that point. You won't remember that Will was the man who threw stones at me at the river but Eloise certainly did and I had a strange conversation with her about that fact and reassured her that I wasn't in any immediate danger
Whilst that was happening Will decided that Peachester's one horse wasn't serving coffee and we were soon in sunny Beerwah.

The sun was getting pretty warm by now and I was feeling temporally discombobulated as it felt around midday. But we still had to wait for the cafe to open, it actually being just before 8 in the morning.

Coffee succesfully imbibed, we planned to go up to Maleny and Montville to check out the views from up there. A likely looking mountain presented itself off to our right so we identified it as Mount Mellum and cruised up there to snap off the back of Will's ute, reversed onto the concrete base of a mysteriously absent house on the south-facing slope.

Then up to Maleny, where we once again took in the views before a stroll around the forest. Picture two men, weighed down with serious cameras, tripods, lenses etc.

"Taking some photos, are you?"


In the forest we were presented with plenty of tree texture and buttress roots and dancing shadows and very nice it was too.

Time for coffee, around midday.

Fancying some waterfall action - another tall order in drought-ridden Southeast Queensland - we tried out Lake Baroon underneath Montville, which looked good from above but which was pretty grim from below, then Kondalilla Falls.

We took in the upper falls - the one before you go down the epic stony staircase - but it was a bit slack on the falling water front so we did another little walk punctuated by buttress roots before wending our increasingly weary way back to the car, then to Montville, for coffee. May a thousand virgins weep tears of happiness into my coffee.

The plan was then to go to Wild Horse Mountain and Will offered me my first cross-country opportunity which I histantly grasped with both hands, having become used to handling the ute which I'd been driving since Lake Baroon.

So we dirt-tracked it across the forest before hitting the Bruce again and down to WIld Horse Mountain.

We didn't hold out much hope for the sunset as Queensland was delivering its standard beautiful cloudless blue skies, and we weren't wrong as the spectacular panorama offered to us from that viewpoint didn't really work against the bright sunset sky, which in the absence of clouds was tremendously troublesome and boring.

Oh well.

Home again home again. Back by seven or so, in bed by nine, knackered.

Aug 13, 2008

Walks in the Woods

Zen Bushwalking The pattern continues of warm days and cold nights. As soon as the sun goes down - in fact as soon as you stray into the shade - it's distinctly chilly.

Nicole, being a temperature lightweight generally, soon rugs up, puts on some extra layers and climbs under a blanket. Eloise doesn't even feel it. I find it bracing. Except in the mornings, when it's uninviting to say the least.

Still while it's warm during the day we're trying to get out. Yesterday we went to Bunyaville and Eloise fell over many many times going down hills with loose stones on them too carelessly; then she crapped herself; then Matilda ran away, wouldn't come back, then came back, then ran away again, then wouldn't come back, then came back eventually as the sun set... and the cold set in.

Today we toddled around an easy walk at Mount Coot-tha. Eloise seemed surprisingly eager to come til we realised that she thought we meant the coffee shop.... she insisted on bringing a pram which was ditched when we persuaded her that the terrain really wasn't ideal for pram-pushing.

Other than that mostly we've been hunkering down and watching the Olympics. Or as Eloise calls it, the Limp Ticks.

Aug 11, 2008


Pony Express On Sunday we bit the bullet and went to the Ekka, that's the Queensland Show for those not familiar with it, much like the Suffolk Show from those from that part of the world, only bigger and in may ways better.

I may be going over old ground but there's a big showground in the middle of town, just opposite Nicole's hospital, which hosts the Ekka once a year. It's bisected by a railway line and in one half there's a big fair with extreme rides and all that jazz, and on the other is a large showground stadium and lots of paviliions full of various exhibitions from livestock and various animals through to crafts and art and the various agricultural industries, and streets of Fatty Food purveyors and the dreaded Showbag Pavilion.

I had a college assignment to discharge there, in which I was at best partially successful, but Eloise didn't let that get in her way and we wandered around Sideshow Alley and the various areas for hours before Eloise found a ride she could actually go on and rode a pony for the first time.

Then we took a cable car ride that went from one end of the showground to the other, which scared her witless and ruined her whole day.

Never mind eh!

Other than that we looked at cows and sheep and alpacas and chicks and horses and ate chips and all that stuff, and we were thouroughly knackered by the end of it.

Aug 9, 2008

Peripheral Party

In the Shade It's Saturday today so obviously we had to go to the beach.

We hung around in the mangroves for a while then out on the main beach - the tide was out - Eloise latched herself onto some poor girls walking their little lapdogs.

After I extricated her from that, she decided it was time to go to the chino cafe then to the playground.

At the playground there was a birthday party going on and pretty soon we were not quite inundated by little dog-petters who couldn't get enough of the hounds.

Eloise moved into matronly mode, and as befits parental behaviour ascended to the dizzying heights of hipocrisy by insisting that Harry not pull on the dogs' tails, and that Tommy not call them "doggies" as they are clearly "dogs" as everybody knows.

Still at least we managed to avoid a gatecrashing experience as I think managing the dogs, their visitors, and a curious little Squeaky might have been a tall order.

Artistic Endeavours

Handprints Today's artistic endeavours involved handprints, painting fingernails and toenails - and fingers and toes - with poster paint rather than nail varnish which I'm sure was the real objective, and drawing faces onto blown-up latex gloves.

Aug 7, 2008

Back to the Kingdom of the Blind

Hope Crosses that I've had to bear over the past week:

1) Glasses broke on Sunday provoking ocular emergency. Luckily optician able to fit lenses into new frame in twenty minutes flat; optical exam revealed possible long-time retinal dysfunction in left eye which whilst nothing to worry about requires further examination to ensure dormancy

2) Bike tyre puncture on Monday at college required lift home from kind-hearted fellow student who dropped me off at bike shop only for me to discover that it was actually closed; next morning walk to bike shop with Eloise painless and joyful but walk back after fatigue set in resulted in back back due to excessive carrying

3) Liberal interpretation on requirements on black and white assignment for college found to be excessive resulting in requirement for re-shoot

The glasses thing was quite amusing in a way since they broke in such a fashion that they required very obvious masking tape to make them in any way wearable, and were in a fragile state. Whilst they were being fixed we walked around the shopping centre reminding me of how life was thirty-odd years ago when I was deeply embarrassed about being a four-eyed git to the point of wandering round in a state of blindness rather than wear the damned things; although in my defence the damned things I was provided with in those days were appalling.

The puncture thing was deeply irritating, especially when coupled with the black and white thing, and Monday was a real bummer as a consequence. Still I now have a reinforced back tyre which in the words of the bike man "will wear out before it gets a puncture." And I had my wobbly saddle fixed too. Or rather replaced.

Today after swimming in a fit of inviting the Whys I took Eloise to a cemetery. You can imagine the questions...

"Can I climb on this?"
"Why not?"
"Why are people underneath them?"
"Why are they dead?"

And so on and so forth. All terribly existential. Existentiality went out of the window when the public toilets were locked. Time for a sharp exit.