May 24, 2009

After the Flood

Model Child Things have pretty much returned to normal, albeit a slightly chilly and damp version of normal where it rains from time to time and we remember that winter is on its way a lot.

We phoned the swimming pool on Thursday morning half-expecting the session to be cancelled due to too much fresh water in the pool, but they escaped the worst and so we toddled down there listening to reports on the radio about how dreadful everything was and how you shouldn't go on the roads unless necessary.

So we got there in pretty good time and Eloise had a nice time swimming. She's working on Kicking Like a Grown Up with straight legs, ankles together and kicking from the hip. And when she gets it right she rockets along. Fiona says she'll start on the front crawl next time.

Nicole got called into work on Thursday night because people couldn't get into work for whatever reason; you know, their car had been washed away, the roads were blocked or underwater, they didn't feel well.

She ended up working the night. An extra one to tag onto the front of the nights she was due to work.

On Friday Eloise got dropped off at Nursery, again in pretty good time, and I toddled up to Mount Coot-tha with the dogs to see Simpson's Falls in full effect. The circular walk involved a traverse across the falls which are normally very tame if not on the border of actual absence, so that was out of the question. So we wandered down to the bottom of the hill, stopping off to look at waterfalls on the way.

We went to the brook today for the first time since the flood to find a massive section of the bike track had actually been washed away. Nicole said that it hadn't been like that when she had a look on Thursday, so it must have subsided since then, but a good twenty metres, OK ten, was missing, with the concrete slabs tilting precariously into a new duckpond which wasn't there a few days ago.

Amazement of amazements: after we'd walked the dogs and Eloise had befriended - at length - a terrier called Meg and her owner - workmen were out fixing the bike track up and laying down a new path.

We whipped out the lights in the evening for a bit of practice. I took Eloise's picture. And Eloise took mine. Maybe that will pop up here soon.

May 21, 2009

The Deluge

Flood Apart from me having contracted Eloise's vomiting virus and having spent three days in bed after a night of relentless chundering, the main news this week is.... the flood.

It started raining on Tuesday afternoon properly. It rained all night. In the morning it was raining hgard enough for us to give Nicole a lift into work for her early shift.

Then a little later - still raining - I dropped Eloise off at nursery and drove into college. The plan was to pick up Nicole on the way back out, then we were going to on open day at a school near the hospital.

Hardly anyone turned up to college. Which was great actually as it was colour darkroom day which involved a lot of wandering around in utter darkness and contending for expert time for advice on colour balancing and filtration, which can be quite frustrating with ten people. But with only five people it was a breeze and we all got a lot done.

I got a call from Nicole about two o'clock to say that the open day was cancelled and that Enoggera creek had burst its banks, submerging good portions of Newmarket. Nicole's boss had gone to check on his car and found that only the roof was not submerged.

When I got in the car to go and pick up the girls it transpired that the main road which runs out past the hospital was underwater, and to be avoided at all costs. So the dog-leg around town brought me around the other side, and it took me an hour and a half to get the two crow's kilometres from town to hospital.

When we got home we took a walk up to see the brook and saw it swelled as never before you can see from the photo above that the normally narrow and genteel water course was now deep, wide and fast with massive amounts of water flowing down it.

Some radio stats:
In twenty-four hours, 400mm of rain fell.
In twenty-four hours, six months' worth of rain fell.
The flooding is the worst since the Great Flood of 1974.
The combined dam levels have increased by nearly 10%.
The drought is over.


Water restrictions remain in place.

May 14, 2009

Oh My God, You Pillock.

Enforced Harmonic Motion Eloise's new favourite word is "Pillock." Her phrase du jour is "You Pillock" generally followed by "Neil."

She's delighting in doing things that raise eyebrows and cause guffaws of surprise and potential embarrassment.

She says "Oh My God" a lot as well, which isn't unusual in ladies of the Australian persuasion. At least she hasn't learned to use the work "like" instead of a verbal comma.

I said "do you know what a pillock is?"

She said "It's an animal which has orange fur, a tail like a snake, sharp teeth, green eyes and feet that look like hoovers. And it eats you."

So I'm going to try to teach her to use "Twonk" instead of "Pillock" and "Oh My Goodness Gracious Me" instead of "Oh My God."

If she keeps on about God she might want to know what it means, too.

Although we came perilously close to spiritual territory when we accidentally went to a Buddhist Temple on Tuesday.

May 13, 2009

Weekend Called Off Due to Ill Health

Hoop Pine Any plans we had for a night of quiet slumber on Friday night were shattered when Eloise woke up with a tummy ache and then proceeded to chunder all over the floor without warning.

This continued all night, though we had a little warning each time.

So not much sleeping was done, what with a febrile child sleeping fitfully between us,

Not a word of complaint from the urchin mind you though her vocabulary has now expanded to include the possibilities of vomit.

So we had a very quiet day on Saturday as the sickness continued. In fact we spent the whole day in front of the telly. Several hours of kiddie entertainment were followed by several hours of rugby, followed by several hours of other stuff.

She fell asleep for a while and I took the opportunity to do some washing of dirtied items.

Imagine my displeasure when I opened the washing machine to find out that the washing machine had not worked correctly. Which is to say that shortly after opening the machine there was a flood.

Imagine my pleasure when, after having drained the machine completely and cleared the coin trap and then putting the machine on a cycle with no clothes, it worked again.

Image though, if you're not tired of imagining, my displeasure when I re-washed the previously attempted clothes to find the machine disfunctional once more.

Fine time for the bloody thing to break.

So all this was going on, punctuated by lessons in washing machine mechanics (a subject in which my expertise is absolutely paralleled) and bouts of bile-expulsion.

We tried a little water, with limited success, moving onto toast and biscuits later, which were clearly now working their way through the diminutive system as they weren't present in the up-bringing.

She was all better the next day. Thank goodness. I was up at 3.30am for another trip down the Gold Coast. That was a mixed bag too.

Perhaps not the best of weekends.

The washing machine bloke came round on Tuesday and took the machine away. The pump is siezed. We should hear back tomorrow about the score and the economical-to-repair judgement.

The view above taken from Eloise's nursery this evening as we picked her up.

Studio Photography Fun

Ashley Last Wednesday at College we had a model (a model lady that is) come in to sit in front of us, have lights pointed at her, and have photographs taken.

She was a little prone to Vogueing, in the Madonna sense of the word, positioning her hands around her face in unlikely poses, but notwithstanding that we ended up with some not-too-bad photos.

Picture if you will the scene of six excitable students all snapping away, jostling on another for prime position and trying to get this girl to look at them... all with their little flashguns triggering the big studio lights which had some difficulty in keeping up with demand.

Not a pretty sight you might think. But then you might consider the end result to be pretty. Or not. Hmmm.

May 3, 2009

Fun at Movie World

Carousel True to my word, whilst Nicole slumbered today I took Eloise to Movie World, a ghastly theme park down at the Gold Coast.

For one not particularly familiar with the whole concept of movies, it took a bit of explanation to make the difference clear between Movie World and Sea World... and I'm not sure that I really succeeded in that.

Bereft of a map, we wandered aimless as clouds. We watched the Lethal Weapon rollercoaster for a bit. That's one of those Nemesis type thingies. Eloise wanted to go but she was too short.

The first real spectacle we witnessed was a Batman show wherein some strange bloke with a sack on his head, accompanied by armoured dancing Ninjas attempted to blow up Gotham City. Batman as expected turned up in quite an impressive Batmobile and indulged in a large amount of mock violence before foiling the caper.

It was pretty awful. Eloise enjoyed it in kind of a bemused way.

Then we went and watched the log flume. Eloise thought it looked like a lot of fun but didn't want to get wet, instead insisting that we get chicken nuggets.

The nearest we could manage was a "Calamity Jane Chicken Pack" of outrageously priced junk chicken crap and chips. I ate some of the chips. Eloise sampled the chicken before declaring it inedible.

We had a look at a few rides but Eloise was too short for all of them. She still comes in at 99cm, and 100cm is the minimum for most things there.

We found the kiddies section soon thereafter and the carousel, Tweety-pie Cages and Sylvester's Lift-a-tron were popular.

We queued for another rollercoaster, mysteriously named the River Ride, which we could get on without fear of height-realted discrimination before discovering that it wasn't a rollercoaster at all but a dark indoor ride in boats. Hence the name I suppose.

For all that it was pretty tacky and all that, it was good fun. And with our Q150 pass, totally free. So that was something.

May 2, 2009

May Fair at Grange

Gipsy Dancing Today was the inaugural May Fair at Lanham Park in Grange.

Eloise and I were all set for a trip to Movie World to make use of our free pass, and out walking the dogs this morning up at Bunjerbill Forest when Val texted us to inform us that this fair was on; it hadn't previously clicked.

So after a democratic discussion we'll be going to MW tomorrow and went to this fair thingy today.

When we arrived it was just getting going and jazz music was being sung from a little stage. Eloise initially queued for face painting before impatience conquered and she went on the Jumping Castle (translation for the linguistically inadequate: Bouncing Castle); having lost her place in the painting queue pity was taken upon her to the extent that she had a couple of quick flowers painted on to let her jump the line.

Then she went and stood in front of the stage for a while on her own, inspecting the singer. "This one's for all of you that have been in Love" he announced before muttering "or have used syringes" and launching into I've Got You Under My Skin.

Back she came after a while and announced that the guy had been singing to her exclusively and that she had decided on the basis of this that he must really like her.

After that band had finished there was some entertaining flamenco dancing for a while.

Then a marginally-less-painful-than-usual children's entertainer entertained the children. With fluffy animals.

Nicole arrived around that point and soon a little Big Band started up who were very competent. Eloise and a few other kids jigged away. Some poor little boy had been trained to do the cheesy Pulp Fiction fingers-over-the-eyes move. Hmmmm.

We had to bail out before the tenors started as Nicole had to be at work and supper was in need of preparing.

Chips again.

I'm &28

Love Me Love My Food Yes last week was my &28th birthday. I was fine about it. I am fine about it. You wouldn't think that &28 was a major milestone until you converted it back to decimal now would you.

Thanks to all those who sent presents. They are appreciated.

To celebrate I went to college. We had an interesting morning setting up studio configurations with controlled lighting ratios and an afternoon of colour balancing colour negative film.

In the evening we went out and ate Tibetan. It was a trifle chilly on the al-fresco dining area. But the food was spicy hot.

The next day we toddled off to Bribie for a beach excursion. It was a lovely sunny day. Eloise decided that she was a cat.

Ironically, or maybe not, or maybe yet, Nicole had that morning been to see an immunologist about the dreaded ever-present hayfever and he had unsurprising confirmed that she is allergic to every conveivable genus of biota and particulate that exists under the sun and even in the recesses away from solar illumination. He especially forbade her from contact with cats. He told her of a case of someone dying - yes, DYING - from contact with a cat.

So no cats then. Eloise is not best pleased.

And yes she's allergic to dogs too.

The dogs seem to have turned a minor corner. Not wishing to tempt fate (run away run away) Matilda has started to become quite obedient. And Tiny has recovered the ability to jump into the boot of the car. I always thought it was a case of inches and miles.

Oh, and Eloise read her first word. It was "Otter."