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.