Sep 24, 2009

Clear Air After the Dust Storm

Clear Air You'll all no doubt know about the dust storm that blew up out of South Australia and turned Sydney into the heartland of the apocalypse.

I was out walking the dogs on the far side of Mount Coot-tha when it blew up the coast and arrived in Brisbane, and wishing to avoid hyperbolae, it was grey rather than red at that point and resembled an overcast day.

As the day progressed though it got a bit of a reddish tinge and as I was driving home the strange thing was seeing the sun reflected on cars and seeing that it was blue... or to be pernickerty cyan.

My own pet theory on the colour of the sun is that its light was having the red part of its spectrum scattered by the reddish dust, leaving the blue+green (which together make cyan) to reach our eyes. Could be nonsense. Probably isn't.

Anyway visibility was dropping and I got the idea of tripping up to the Glass House Mountains to get some moody shots of mountains poking out of the dust and disappearing into the dusty mist.

No such luck. I looked out from Maleny to see nothing whatsoever. Visibility was down to about 300 metres at that point. The air was very dry, kind of reminiscent of floors having been sanded a couple of days ago but left unvarnished.

So I tootled back to Brisbane thinking visibility might have cleared a bit down there, but it hadn't.

So it was a bit of a washout really.

Today we woke up to find that the air was clear once again, with a light coating of dust prevalent on most surfaces. I drove up to Mount Glorious to see if the sunset would be a blinder, and maybe it was a bit redder, maybe it wasn't. It was quite pretty though.

Sep 17, 2009

Domestic Bliss

Domestic Bliss Cross words today...

Nicole had to go to the doctors for her allergen jabs. If she was lucky and she got seen in good time we might have been able to pick her up on the way to swimming. Time would have been pressing though so it would have been useful for Eloise to be in her swimming costume before we left.

Me: "Can you put your swimming costume on please Eloise because... (simplified explanation of above)"

Eloise: "No."

Me: "It would be really useful."

Eloise: "Don't want to."



Eloise has washed hands with soap, new smelly soap. Hasn't washed soap off.

Nicole: "Can you go and wash the soap off your hands please"

Eloise: "No."

Nicole: "You don't want to get soap in your eyes, it would hurt."

Eloise: "Can't be bothered."



At school where we are attending our induction interview. Eloise is watching the admin lady do photocopying.

Me: "Eloise can you come back to the waiting room please, that's where we have to wait for the lady to come and see us."

Eloise: "No."

Me: "You're saying No an awful lot today."


Getting ready to walk dogs.

Nicole: "Eloise do you want to come and walk the dogs with us?"

Eloise: "No."

Nicole: "But we have to walk the dogs and I want to go and get some fresh air."

Eloise: "No. I want to stay here and I want you to stay here with me."


At supper. Supper eaten. Need to clear dishes away. Eloise is sitting on my lap.

Me: "Eloise, please can you get off my lap and sit on your chair."

Eloise: "No."

Me: "I'm a bit tired of you saying no today. It would be nice if just once you were to say yes."

Eloise: "No."

Nicole: "No ice cream for you then."

Eloise gets off lap. Tears.


Bed-time. Tidying up time.

Me: "Eloise you need to tidy up that pile of clothes please."

Eloise: "No."

Me: raised eyebrows.

Eloise: "Sorry! Yes!"

Tidies up.

Eloise: "Can I have ice cream now?"


Overflowing Drawers

Kid's Stuff, Size 3 She's got more clothes than she can shake a bleeding stick at.

What with presents from Grandparents and bags of clothes that other kids have grown out of - and often it seems never even worn - which turn up from time to time, we have had to re-institute the Star Chart but with a new line requiring a nightly tidy-up.

All this because when she decides, as she does three of four times a day, to change into a new costume, she rifles through her drawers like a dog after a badger and they all end up on the floow.

All this because, not content with what's in her bulging clothes drawers, she insists on sampling the "top shelf" material of clothes that are still too big for her.

Sep 15, 2009

Spring Hill Baths

Spring Hill Baths Nicole is hard at work on an assignment for her Masters thingy, so to help bring the moment of proof-reading doom forward Eloise and I made ourselves scarce on Sunday with dog-walking and swimming.

Spring Hill pool is the venue of choice at the moment for Sunday afternoon swimming. Despite its inner city location, it's a quiet little oasis of Victoriana where you can swim unrestrictedly. The roof lets the sun stream in so you can swim up to the bright end to warm up in the ways if you get cold.

It's lined by little dressing rooms too with gaily coloured doors, so you enter the pool, go and grab a dressing room, get changed and hop straight into the pool.

Sep 10, 2009

Dawn in Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park As you can see dawn was a bit of a damp squib, due to us not really knowing how the sun would come up in relation to the landscape, and due to smidges of cloud out on the horizon blocking it out til it had risen fully.

The Crack of Dawn, Again

Rocks in Early Morning Light The alarm clock went off at 4.30am and Nat and I were soon working out how to use the coffee machine in order to maintain some level of consciousness while Justin "dragged his sorry ass" out of bed.

At 5.00am we were out of the door and stomping up the coast to Granite Bay. We arrived there around 5.30am, bang on schedule.

We spent around 3 hours farting about with cameras from then, as the sun slowly crept up over the horizon, albeit behind a headland.

I saw these rocks on the beach and they reminded me of a painting that we bought once in Cornwall, of rocks and flowing water.

Sep 7, 2009

Mini-Break at Noosa

Sun Goes Down at Noosa My friend Justin invited us up to Noosa for the weekend, where his parents-in-law have a holiday apartment which Justin and wife Anna sometimes use.

Situated a hundred metres or so from the National Park and around fifty metres from the beach, it's pretty big with balconies and so on and so forth and is really rather nice.

Natalie, another student on the course, caught a lift with us up there and we drove through some rain thinking that the weather might not be with us but as we set out for an evening stroll to scout out locations for our obligatory dawn excursion the dark clouds rolled away and the sun made a late appearance.

That's not Justin in the picture, by the way, it's just some guy who was sitting there looking at the sun's rays bursting through the last of the rain clouds.

Sep 3, 2009

Mist on Clear Mountain

Mist on Clear Mountain One of my current projects is to produce a panoramic image, with various ancillary requirements.

Such an undertaking is not realy a big deal, but in order to be distinctive you need to have nice light.

So I hatched a plan to get up at the crack of flaming dawn on Saturday to journey to Clear Mountain and observe the sun rising over 18 stitched frames.

Which I undertook with aplomb, only to find out that it was cloudy.

Still I went up to Clear Mountain anyway, only to discover the Clear Mountain was actually inside the clouds and therefore anything but clear.


(Strawberry) Blonde Ambition Eloise has discovered the concept of secrets.

Her secret today, which I'm not supposed to tell anyone - but hey, I'm a blabbermouth - is that she was briefly with child.

Whilst I was cooking lunch she appeared with her handbag, in her high heels and a large tummy and announced that she was going to work now.

She deferred her departure to take lunch, and very kindly offered to make drinks.

The babies didn't take long to gestate. The labour was very easy and four children were born, all of which were mysteriously made of soft plastic.

Sep 1, 2009


Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun The swimming is coming on. We've been for a couple of extra-curricular dipping jaunts, trying out the outdoor Centenary Pool and returning to the quaint and ancient (by Australian standards) Spring Hill Baths, which Nicole was introduced to for the first time.

A lot of work needs to be done on diving but the Big Arms are coming on for the front crawl and she can keep herself above water pretty reliably.

Although panic almost set in on the streets of Brisbane when she started yelling "I'm sinking! I'm sinking!" with me only about two feet away which brought the pool attendant running and almost gave the poor girl a heart attack.

Dancing and Singing

Strike a Pose Eloise is really very keen on her dancing.

And her singing - she's started bringing songs home from nursery, for instance:

Twinkle twinkle little star
My mum drives a motor car
Pull the choke and press the button
Set off in a cloud of smoke
Twinkle twinkle little star
My mum drives a motor car

She won't accept rhyming corrections under any circumstances.