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.