Saturday, May 28, 2011

May's Something Different!

This month was most certainly something really for the record books!  And beginning with my first post, it really caught the world's attention in the biggest way.  When the world learned that Bin Laden was dead, I just had to listen to President Obama's speech... it was brilliant and amazing that this man had orchestrated this in such a way.  I've always respected this American President; and now I hold more respect for him.
I went out into the city early in May to see the replica of the Endeavour; the ship that was used to discover a good lot of the Southern Oceans by Captain James Cook, well, until his death in Hawaii.  It's not the biggest ship I've seen, but I was amazed it held 97 people in it hey day; and that didn't include livestock and visitors.  And today, it's still a bit of a squeeze with 60 people on board.  We had a storm that day and our stuff in the portable cloakrooms got drenched; which still haven't been fixed up about yet.  I've still got to get a new phone.
Mother's Day weekend was a very tiring one for me as my next door neighbours had absolutely no respect for anyone around them as they vacuumed out their car at 7am on the Saturday morning.  This took an hour.  Then, on Sunday, Mum, Dad and I went to Gabe, Kat and Riley's house for dinner.  We arrived at around 1pm and I read a little while Mum and Kat chatted about sewing and cooking. Then, Riley and Gabe arrived back and the afternoon really got going.  Gabe made a Tortilla machine and used it to flatten out the tortillas he made and then we ate dinner!  For dessert, there was a delicious baked custard and Gabe made coffee... yummo!
Around the middle of this month, I finished painting my self-portrait.  I'm rather proud of it and love how it turned out!  It took two attempts and I've got it up as my profile picture on Facebook... and most of my family and friends love it.  I'll see how my portrait looks when I do another in a few years' time.
Not long after my portrait was finished, the weather became rather cold.  So, I've been digging out my Winter Woolies lately and eating plenty of comfort foods for dinner.  And during this month, I also bought two pillows for my bed to replace the ones that were there for the last few years; and since I have, the dreadful cough I've had has vanished.
Towards the end of this month, I found that I've been taking some really fun photos lately.  So, I thought to share some of them with you all.  This is going to be a regular item in my posts.  Some of them will be collages, while others will be just regular photos I've fixed up on Picnik.  I hope you enjoy the new feature I've thought of putting up here... and yes, there's a label for it too on the sidebar in case you wish to only peruse that particular item.
We've been seeing a lot of Kookaburras lately; and they've been nice enough to stick around long enough for me to take some photos of them sitting on the fence.  I even found one sunning itself on the old parts of my clothesline... such a lovely big Kookaburra and he seemed so content that I don't think he minded me being there at all and just wished to have the sun on him that afternoon.  And as my late-Grandma always told me that when you see a Kookaburra, rain will come soon after.  Ironically, they have forecast rain tomorrow and for the rest of next week.
In this last week, I bought three books, went to a Life Drawing Class in South Brisbane, went out shopping and enjoyed the colder weather for the last few days.  Today has been a lovely day - besides the neighbours waking everyone up with their musical car swapping fiasco at 7am - for laundry and getting stuff done around the place.  I went to play the piano and found that one of the keys was out after its tuning.  So, I called Martin and asked him about it.  He's coming around either tomorrow or Monday to fix it up for me; saying it sounded like something was out of alignment.  Well, that was my month of something different... and wasn't it so?  What did you do to make your month different?  Until my next post, keep safe and warm, and remember, I'm always here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Busy, Tiring Week

We got a good taste of the Winter we're going to have this week as the temperature plummeted for Brisbane and the winds picked up.  This means there's plenty of snow down south in the Aussie Alps early this year.
On Monday, I was at Garden City to get out some money for a few things and buy some paint.  But I got side-tracked and bought three books that were dirt cheap.  One of them was 'Reading by Moonlight' by Brenda Walker which I scored at the Borders closing down sale for $11.99 down from $36.99!  What a deal!  I then bought two more books from my usual haunt:  QBD for under $10; not a bad deal, especially seeing one of those books was only $1.99.
On Tuesday, I slept in a little and made sure I was ready to go out that night.  I had the place nice and clean, the washing up done and most of my stuff put away as I was going to come home late.  I left the house to catch the bus at the Argonaut Centre down the road by 3:30pm only for it to arrive closer to 4pm.  I was meeting Geoff Treagus in at Southbank Bus Station to go to a Life Drawing Class.  Once the bus got to Garden City, the stop was packed out with school students and they barely gave us space to get off the bus and move around, let alone let us go where we needed to.  I had to be rude and shove my way out.  By the time I got to Southbank Bus Station, it was closer to 5pm and I was starving; but Geoff was waiting there for me (thankfully).  The first thing we did was take off for a good hot meal at a Japanese takeaway which was attached to a larger restaurant.  I had a Prawn Katsu; which was delicious!  And he had something else I couldn't pronounce; but our meals were lovely and hot as the sun went down as did the temperature and the icy winds began to blow.  I was thankful I had brought along the jacket my Aunt had given me from her wardrobe clean-out; it's very warm.  

We walked around Southbank, looked through the Fine Arts library at the Technical Arts department (where there's every single book you can find on any artist you wish there on the shelves; or on the net).  Then, we made our way to the Life Drawing class where we had three models and two hours of brilliant work and a warm workroom with Flamenco music filling the air to help us concentrate.  The moment I could understand the words, my mojo vanished and my worked suffered.
I got home at around 10pm and had to wait until around 11pm before Mum and Dad dropped the Pajero for me to mind while they were away on holidays for a few days.  They had a look at the work I did that night, were pleased I had a good night, asked what I had for dinner and Dad was amazed at the gold-dipped flowers I had hanging in the hall of my kitchen... he just couldn't believe the domed glass was so flawless and thought I got a great bargain. 
On Wednesday, I woke up to sore muscles and a very tired brain... I just didn't want to get out of bed.  Also it was freezing cold and a shopping day; but I did anyway.  I dressed, organised myself and left Little Miss Stevie's covers on her cage before walking out the door.  I spent most of the morning trying to keep my eyes open while I tried on jeans at the local Life Line store (where nothing fitted).  Then I spotted a gorgeous little Christian Dior handbag; but didn't know if it was a knock off or not.  So, I asked to look at it... and it was a real one from Italy!  OMG!  And yes of course I bought it!  I also scored a Paul Frank wallet too; an original one.  Two scores in one day... not bad if you ask me.
Today, I picked up the mail after doing some towels and hanging them out by 9am.  Then, I made my drink and chatted online with a friend of mine for a while from Canada until his time ran out on his library-hired computer.  After around an hour or so, I jumped offline, read a book for about an hour or so, washed up, put all my charity stuff out into the Pajero, pulled in the towels and settled Little Miss Stevie in for the night.  It was a quiet day; for once, as tomorrow, I'll be going out to the chiropractors in the afternoon.  While I'm out, I'll get a ball of red wool to finish up a scarf for a Winter Raffle on Bookcrossing I'm running.  Well, that's about all that's going on this week.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe; and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Month of Favourite Photos

I know I posted some photos in the last week.  But this time, I'll put up some really good ones from the last month I think you'll all like, think are really unusual and enjoy the artwork of.
My self-portrait I finished this month after 4 -5 months of work.
A glass pint I bought in Wales for my brother in 1997.
A photo I took while looking for the aligned planets this month.
One weird little lizard with two tails and deformed back legs.
My back neighbour's little Japanese lapdog, Louis.  Such a cutie!
A resident Kookaburra who has been hanging around lately. He looks so comfortable.
One of the most interesting people who existed and traveled on the Endeavour, Joseph Banks.
While ordering a coffee at Garden City, I noticed this in a tip container.
So, there you have it... some of the more interesting shots I've taken this month.  I hope you like these ones; as much as I do.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Weekend of Rain and Cold

I haven't done anything today except eat get the paper and some milk and coffee (that latter was for a neighbour who couldn't get to the shop) and eat breakfast and read my paper while it poured rain until around 10am.  Little Miss Stevie sat under her covers until the sun came out and I took them off.  She sunned herself a little while talking to the bird in the mirror and at her breakfast as well.
Not long after that, I jumped online and have been on here since.  I've checked my mail, uploaded a photo onto 365 Project and Facebook and am currently talking to a friend at Thorneside who's cleaning his house while he chatting to me.  
Yesterday, I cleaned up the lounge and put things away to make room for my laundry, which got wet at around midday.  I had put the towels in the dryer and pulled out the clothes horse to hang all my shirts and tops; then hung all my jeans and track pants over my dining room chairs to dry.  Anything else I couldn't fit on the clothes horse, well, I hung on hangers and have them hanging off door knobs around the house.  Yep, my place looks like a Chinese Laundry right now; with clothes around everywhere drying and me not being able to move anything anywhere until it all finishes.  
It kept on raining off and on all afternoon and into the night yesterday, making the temperature dip cooler than predicted.  I put Little Miss Stevie's covers on early and hung a towel over the front so she'd be warmer than usual after I turned off the television at 8:30pm and checked on some of the stuff online.  I ended up getting offline at around 10pm and going to bed where I heard the rain on the roof for the next two hours; unable to sleep; even though I was warm.

Today's only half over and it's not all that exciting.  I've got 'The Drew Carey Show' theme song stuck in my head - and have done for the last few days - and I've been able to update a few things on a few of my blogs lately (one of them being the main photo on this particular blog; yep, the rainbow's back).  I'm going to make my favourite photos a monthly thing; at the end of the month; seeing how many photos I do take each month.  So, when you see them, they'll be a surprise; even to me... I won't know which ones I'll pick out until the day arrives.  And I'll do it on the very last day of the month as well to make it something to look forward to. 
Well, I better be going.  I did plan to clean out a few cupboards in the kitchen today; namely the pantry.  I'll let you guys know how I get on with that.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Average Week

I've had a good week.  The weather has been up and down a little with the sun and rain; but Autumn and Winter are most certainly here in Brisbane as the chill arrives in the mid-afternoons.  I do love it when it cools down here as I love to dress up nice and warm and snuggle down with a good book and a hot thermos of green tea outside in the sun.
My week started out with finding a good book to read; as I have been reading a lot of non-fiction.  And I find that when I do this, my mind gets locked up in facts too much and I find it hard to sleep.  So, a good non-fiction is something I need to relax and help me let go of those facts and figures of things.  And the book I picked up was 'Archeron' by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  It's a tome of book; but extremely easy to get into!  I read 112 pages in one sitting; and the next day, I did it again! 
By Thursday, I had taken a break to catch up with a little bit of washing up and cleaning up around here and in the morning on Thursday, I was running from the bus stop on Jacaranda Avenue in Logan Central to the Logan Art Gallery in the rain to get to my volunteer work.  Yep, I had forgotten my umbrella!  But I had my book with me; which I didn't get to ready.  However, I had taken my knitting with me and gotten a few rows of that done during the few hours I was there.
By the time we had to leave, the temperature had dropped and it was still raining.  The lady I was volunteering with drove me home to save me getting wet; and waiting for a taxi.  I really appreciated her doing that for me.  When I settled onto the net, I heard my next door neighbour slamming her way around her kitchen and wondered what she was having a tantrum this time.
Fortunately, by yesterday, the weather cleared up - and really, I should have done some laundry - but the weather forecast said that there was going to be some rain.  By the end of the day, it was clear that there wasn't; so I wasted that day.  Just before I closed up, the back neighbours and I spotted a nice Kookaburra on the fence.  First, he sussed out their yard for something to eat, then heard me come out the back door with my camera, hopped around on the fence and looked at me and sussed out my yard while I took photos of him.  He appeared to be so happy and content just sitting there looking around at his leisure and being at peace with himself and us; that was until Zef's brother got a little too close with a piece of bread and he flew off to the boundary fence to my other neighbour's and me; where he stayed for another twenty minutes sussing out my yard and theirs patiently.  He wasn't a big Kookaburra, but he looked well-fed.
I was up late watching a movie last night after I watch 'Collectors' where there was one guy who was a huge collector of JRR Tolkien books and memorabilia.  This was amazing!  He had swords, necklaces, rings (yep, he the ring to rule them all!) and all kinds of other stuff too.  And the movie I watched was really cool; and funny as I've seen it before.  I went onto the net last night, so, when I woke to nice clear day this morning, I got out of bed and started on my laundry.  The sky is lovely and blue and there's a nice cool breeze.  And even though it'll look a bit like rain, I don't think it will; for another day or so.  Yep, it'll be another beautiful Brisbane weekend.  And even if it does begin to rain tomorrow, I still love living here in Brisbane.  it's just how it all goes. 
During this week, a few things went on that I can't really speculate with my neighbours.  One of them has been that she has had to park her white ute in the proper parking area at the back and keep parking it there; also not to speed around here.  It's really bugged the crap out of her, but if she doesn't like the way this place rolls, maybe it's time she moved on.  And that's not just me saying that... a few others have said that same thing about my neighbour and his wife.  Well, at least I have nice back neighbours for once in my life... and they're quiet and non-intrusive as well.  Until my next post, stay safe, keep warm and remember, I'm always here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some of my Favourite Pictures

There are some days where pictures are just too good to put anywhere but on here.  I mean, where else would I want them but on my blog?
 A beautiful florescent sprouting from the end of a branch of a Frangapanni tree.  This one puts out fragrant white flowers.  However this year, there's been a lot of rain, so these flowers will make it grow more in Winter.

What not to do with a few rolls of masking tape and the rear end of your car when it needs rust-proofing. 
 Another interesting addition to the same car... instead of a dash mat you can buy from Supercheap, this one is made of cardboard.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Interesting Weekend

I had the most interesting weekend; beginning on Friday.  Mum and I went out and found out that my mobile phone didn't have water damage from that day out on the Endeavour.  It was because something heavy had been leaning on the screen.  We think it was because Mum's bag had been sitting on top of mine that day when we returned from the ship that caused the damage.  If only I had taken my bag with me, none of this would have happened.
Well, we spent a little while in an op-shop for the Asthma Foundation; and the place had a really bad air-conditioning problem.  Mum could barely breath in there; and I didn't want to spend too much time in there either.  But I did find some very cute little coin purses in the place.  There was a glo-mesh bag which was pretty, but once you got it open, it wouldn't close; so I decided not to buy it.
Otherwise, we dropped in on Aunty Narelle and Uncle Iain on the way home for a cuppa and we swapped stories about things we did in New Zealand.  Aunty Narelle told us about the Shotover River Boat Ride; and her experience with it.  Then, after we finished laughing about that, I told her about how my time on that ride too and how I nearly ended up in the drink because I was swapping seats with a guy from the front and not many people were helping due to them all helping him.  And once I was at the front?  Well, then, I didn't to get off the boat!  It was so good to be able to remember that from my New Zealand trip.
Then, during the week, I couldn't get onto Blogger because it was being maintained and updated.  So, I was stuck with just reading it.  Not a very exciting way of hanging about.  Instead of feeling put off, I began working on some more stories and some more Fry Nelson stories.  And seeing I pushed myself, I'm on a bit of a roll with them again; and this makes me very happy.  I haven't been sleeping all that well lately and so, seeing I'm back into my artwork and writing, I've been exhausted when I go to bed and just going straight to sleep instead of being awake for hours on end; and this is good.
 On Saturday, I completed my first self-portrait.  It took me all of four or five months and two attempts, and it looks beautiful!  I love it!  I never knew I'd learn so much about myself, painting and colour than I have in the last four months.  And seeing most of it was finished, I had to take it outside in the sun to make sure the colours were right, the skin was even and that the hair looked as good as it was going to get.  And after around an hour and a half, I was completely happy with it, packed up my paint, water, brushes, phone and cushion and took it down to unit 16 to show Lisa and Betty as they've only seen photos of it.  Well, Lisa thought it was absolutely amazing!  Betty didn't know it was as big as it is.  But they both thought it was beautiful.  And we talked about all kinds of stuff for about an hour before it started to get cold again and we all headed inside.  I needed to sign it and put it away and start on dinner.  But instead, I pulled out another piece of Masonite and propped it up on the easel for the next day.
On Sunday, I did some housework, read the paper and put up with my noisy neighbours coming home.  Truthfully, I thought they were home the night before by the the way their house was acting; with all the knocking and bonking going on in their pipes.  I could have sworn they were washing up or doing laundry.  But they had gone out early Saturday afternoon and were away overnight.  So, when they arrived home around 7am on Sunday, I was really surprised.  Anyway, Sunday was a good day to get in and wash up, do some reading and sand down the next piece of masonite for my next painting.  I took my time with this one as it's a large piece.  And I used the rest of the reds and white and a bit of water as the background.  
Last night, before 'Castle' I started on the three flowers I've had in my head all afternoon.  As with my portrait, I got a paintbrush and some white paint and did the outlines.  Now, I've  got to get in and work on the colouring and see where it takes me.  I want to see if I can get the same effects as I did with my portrait.  If I can, well, I've found my niche.   Until my next post, take care, keep warm and remember, I'm always here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cold, Busy Week

We have had a cold snap this week; and personally, it's about time the cooler weather made a showing.  I do love it when it gets cold.  The sun is out and warming us up while the coolish wind moves the trees around and makes sure we remembered our jackets each day.
My week has been interesting and nice.  I had the joy of buying a few new things for the house and throwing out more stuff I don't need.  Isn't that great?  The shopping day was an education in itself as I walked from Triple C to Logan Central Plaza and found out that Woolworths and Coles have made their trolleys stay put with an ingenius invention attached to the front wheel of them.  After about 100 metres, the trolley you're pushing will put on the brakes and not let you take it any further.  The only people who can take the brakes off are the trolley collecting boys; and it's a well-guarded secret.  I think it's a great idea and will stop the trolleys from ending up in an unfortunate accident with cars, trucks or up to their handles in creeks and rivers.
On my way through K-Mart, I thought it was time to get a couple of new pillows for my bed.  The cough from my cold I had a few weeks ago had yet to disappear and so I thought the main reason it was sticking around was due to my pillows.  So, two new Tontine pillows were purchased for the bargain price of $22.00; not a bad buy if you ask me, especially for firm pillows.  Anyway, I dragged them around for the rest of my shopping day wishing I had a car to dump them into for a while (it's usually the only time I want a car; when I have big bulky items in my hands and nowhere to put them!). 
The shop through Coles was good and only brought me to around $100.00... not bad for a top-up shop.  And the best thing was that I didn't have to wait long for a cab home.  It was a  good day... I had $10 left in cash in my pocket and still had to have my phone looked at from the week before.
On Thursday, I couldn't get onto Blogger because it was being maintained.  So, I gave writing on here a miss and did some serious reading of a book about left-handers who changed history; and believe me, there's a lot of them!  More than you know!  I'm enjoying this particular book as I'm seeing quite a few things in these people that I see in myself; and that's always fun to find out.
On Thursday night, I had eaten a nice pasta dinner, closed up the house and covered Little Miss Stevie over for the night and prepared myself for 'The Vampire Diaries' on 'Go', but when I switched it over, there was some stupid chick flick on about two friends who were getting married on the same day... where was my vampire drama show?  Just when these vampire shows get juicy, they skip a bloody week!  I hate that.  Now, it was only 8:30pm and I didn't want to watch this stupid movie (that was - without a doubt - probably a chick-lit to start with) and so when I found nothing else on the television, I turned it off and hung about on the net for the next two hours.
Yesterday, Mum and I took off in the afternoon to her hairdresser's and then to see what happened to my phone.  The hairdresser's didn't take long; but with my phone, the lady took one look at it and said that the lines on the screen were made by something heavy being leaned on it.  When Mum and I thought back to the day on the Endeavour, we remembered that my bag was underneath hers when they put our bags in the container.  The lady said my phone didn't have a chance with a backpack on top of my nice, cool little cotton bag on top of it.  So, our best chances are to get a new phone.
Last night, I had a good night of television viewing.  I watched a final of 'Being Human' where everything that Mitchell did came to a head and - after he did away with somebody who was the bane of vampire society - he asked his best friend to help him as he new he'd never be able to stop being what he was... I liked Mitchell; and hated seeing him die.  It was sad as I've watched the whole series from the beginning; and had liked him to the very end, no matter what he did, he was still one of the good vamps.
The very dim one on the right is Mars.
Today, I was up before the sun to look at Jupiter and Venus in the sky.  Mars was supposed to be there, but it wasn't.  I got photos of them, but they're just dots in the darkness; very bright dots.  I'm happy I got up when I did as it was good to see them... but My Gods was it cold!  At 7:30am, we could still see our breath!  Yep it was quite chilly this morning.
I've still got a little bit to do on my portrait and then it'll be finished.  Then, I have to take it outside and see how the colours look before I give it a final spray of varnish to make the colours pop; then finally, I'll get it framed and hang it up on the wall ... which wall I'm not  sure.
Well, that's my week.  I feel as though not much happened, and yet it did.  Well, I hope you all had a good week.  Until next time, take care, keep warm and remember, I'm always here. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Busy Times

I've been busy lately and haven't had time to write.  But never fear, it's not because I've been lazy or not wanting to; I have, I've just had problems trying to get myself into my blogs through no fault of my own.  Actually, it was my browser that has been the problem.  I was with Mozilla until the last day or so when I had to change back to Explorer 8.  Mozilla 3.6 was  going really well.  There were no problems with uploading pages or editing blogs or printing out anything (from what I've been reading on Facebook).  Then, they brought out Mozilla 4 and all of it fell apart.  I found I couldn't get into any of my blogs to edit or upload photos; taking my editing and photo uploading programming back three years!  So, I jumped onto their Facebook and found I wasn't the only one affected.  Hundreds of people had had similar problems with other things in their cyberspace life.  Some had their printers rejected by the new Mozilla browser while others had the problem of their own computer not even taking it up and switching off on them (so they had to go and use another computer to complain to their Mozilla about it).  This small - yet big - upgrade in Mozilla had made a massive impact on so many people; including me.  So, here I am working with a browser I don't like, but have to live with until Mozilla sort out the bugs.
Otherwise, my week has been okay.  I'm reading a great book on all the great Left-Handers in history who changed our world.  It begins with Ramses II and comes into modern day with politicians, inventors, Queens and multi-millionaires.  It covers the five or so traits that left-handers have and right-handers don't and why these particular left-handers have made the impact they did.  I'm really getting through it quickly because of the people its covering.  Even Beethoven was a lefty; and so that shows where his brilliance came from.
I've been working hard on completing my portrait so it's ready for framing.  There's just the background to finish up as I've done a lot of the face and hair now; and I'm really happy with how it's turned out.  So, I can't wait until it's complete and I've signed my name in the corner of it and begun another painting... life is looking good when I can focus like this.
I went shopping today.  So, it was an early start for me at 7:30am even though there was a chill in the air.  I had a fair idea of what I wanted to wear and got ready to leave.  It was good to have my stuff ready with my list and everything.  I also got everything that was on my list - as well as a couple of things that I thought were a good idea.  I bought some new shampoo and conditioner (as the stuff I'm using now isn't doing anything for my hair right now) and I thought it would be a good idea to change over my pillows I sleep on.  It's been a long time since I last did; and so bought myself two Tontine pillows from K-Mart because they date stamp their pillows  to make sure you replace them at the right time.
I picked up a prescription and got the shopping - which ended up being a small top-up shop and then I got home via a taxi.  Yep, it was a good - yet tiring - day.  At least it didn't rain.  That's something I'm happy with.  And I'm looking forward to reading a little while the sun's out too this afternoon.  Unlike yesterday, where we had a storm at this time of the day, it's been a lovely day here.  Until my next post, take care, keep warm and remember, I'm always here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oh So Tired... This Mother's Day

I'll start with yesterday; as it's a good place to start. I was hoping to sleep in when I heard my next door neighbours start up her laundry at 6am... all three loads of it!  Then, at 7am, her and her husband thought it was would be a bright idea to clean out their car new black Holden sedan.  So, out came the vacuum cleaner and they vacuumed the whole car from boot to front foot mats for the next hour and a half.  I got up around fifteen minutes into it seeing I wasn't going to be able to sleep in that morning!  I had to get some milk anyway; so walked by and found some friends of mine who had also been woken up by their car cleaning at this ungodly hour sitting out in their car port in their pajamas drinking a coffee and having a smoke.  They were disgusted that these neighbours had no respect for the fact that others around them were hoping to sleep in on the weekend.  It's all about them and nobody else.  However, if anyone tries to approach these noisy neighbours, the woman will say it's her house, her rules and her way or the highway (and if you don't like it?  Well, you can move out!  How do I know this little bit of info?  She told me to do just this last November when I last spoke to her face to face).
Well, the day passed and I had told Dad about the problem we had that morning.  He listened and understood where I was coming from with it all.  Then, we went out at 1pm to go to Gabe and Kat's place for the afternoon and dinner later on.  It was really cool.  While the afternoon sped by - with this coolness of Autumn here and shortened days - Mum, Kat and I patted Jay, looked at some sewing and I did some reading.  Then, Riley and Gabe arrived and Mum had just pulled a Tea Cake out of the oven and we ate most of it while it was nice and hot.  
Gabe then made hand-made Tortillas with a machine he built.  They were absolutely delicious!  And these were the first time he had made them... and won't be the last.  So, we munched into those for dinner.  Then, coffee was made afterwards and Baked Custard with stewed apples for dessert by Mum; very delicious!  By the time a few games of Rummy Cub and other talking had been done, it was around midnight and time to go home.  We got back home by 1am.
At 5:45am this morning, I was just getting into some deeper sleep when the people two doors down from me decided to hook up their boat and go fishing!  It was the noisiest operation I've ever heard (and I've stayed in caravan parks where you never hear people take off in their cars and boat trailers - empty or full - during the night or early morning)!  Then, fifteen minutes later, my next door neighbour began her laundry - again! - at 6am!  I just wanted to get some decent sleep... PLEASE!... is that too much to ask?  Can't these people just shut the hell up for one weekend to let people sleep in?  At 7am, they went out in the new car - which is louder than her white ute - and annoyed everyone trying to sleep.
By 10am, they returned, moved the cars around and then did even more laundry.  I feel like I've been half asleep the whole weekend, as I haven't had anywhere near enough sleep, and yet I can't talk to my neighbours about it... I've tried without success.
I think it's an early night for me tonight in the hope for a full night's sleep.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Busy Week

A lot went on this week; and I didn't get time to write about it in my normal journal.  But here I am telling you all here; and I have some great photos to document my time in Brisbane City too.  
On Monday, we had the fencing guy show up again.  He chainsawed and hammered his way around the unit complex fixing up old, rotting fences; making the place look good.  It drove a lot of us tenants who were homebodies a little nuts, but the results are great.  And I gotta say that the places that got done look fantastic.  I can't wait until the Body Corporates of the unit complexes which neighbour each other here work together to get our boundary fences done.  then, it will look even better!  But, of course, that will take more time.
On Tuesday, I went out with Mum, Dad and Aunty Helen to see the Endeavour, which was docked at Eagle Street Pier.  And for such a historical ship, it's really tiny... smaller than I thought it would be.  It housed 97 people on board in its hey day and that didn't include visitors or livestock.  So, that made things pretty cramped!  And when you think that they have only 60 people on board today, that was a lot of people working on a small vessel... and Capt. Cook had to keep them all healthy and working too.  
While we were there, the weather didn't look great.  But we were talking into leaving our bags with some volunteers from the Maritime Museum of Australia; being told we were not allowed on board with our bags.  My bag wasn't that big and Mum's backpack wasn't that bad really.  So, we entrusted our stuff with them (after I had said no more than enough times and then was told flat out that I couldn't go on board with my bag, I handed it over).  While on board the ship, a thunderstorm passed overhead and we were below decks.  So, when we came up from the stern and Joseph Banks' and Capt. Cook's cabins, it was pouring rain... not good for anyone's cameras.  I took off my hat (which I didn't need in the first place) and stuffed my camera under my shirt.  After a little while, I (as well as others) ran along the gangplank and under the awning of a restaurant.  Dad complained he was hungry; I wanted my bag.  We fought over what was more important; and it turned out that it was his stomach... I really didn't want to leave my bag with those people (who were only volunteers after all) with my stuff.  By the time we got back to pick it all up, not only was it all still there, but our bags had been sitting in a pool of water!  That meant that my bag was soaked through, my phone was wet, my notebook, my cards, house keys, my remote control for my unit complex... everything... had been sitting in the water for about 2 hours!  I was angry!  And when I stated that my bag was wet - as was Mum's - these volunteers didn't do anything to help.  They just gave us blanks looks and ooh and ahh over it all.  I had even bought a book on Capt. Cook's Biography (an up-to-date one) for $30.00 and it had gotten wet too... but they didn't say anything about that either!  My phone now has lines all across its screen; and this is after I've pulled it apart and dried it out... now I have to buy a new phone!  This really shits me right off!
Then, on Wednesday, I could barely move because my legs were killing me from all that climbing that we had to do from that ship.  So, I just kept on stretching the muscles out and making sure I walked around a lot all day to keep them moving.
On Thursday, I was out early.  However, my day wasn't complete without a funny encounter with my back neighbour's little dog called Louis.  He's a Japanese breed of lapdog and is the cutest thing!  But you see, we have a hole in the fence which I've plugged with a disused pot.  Well, I decided that morning to changed the pot over as he was beginning to nudge it to one side with his nose.  So, while I did that, he watched on curiously.  As soon as the old pot was removed, he took full advantage of the gap and dashed through into my yard!  Well, he ran around in circles, rolled around and had a fun time avoiding me while he ran around on my lawn!  It was funny - and naughty - of him at the same time.  Eventually, I caught him and he was shaking and wiggling with happiness and joy in my arms as he washed my nose with his tongue and his tail tickled under my arm.  I slotted him straight back through into his yard and pushed the pot back into place and have his little head another pat before going back inside and scrubbing my hands to get ready to go out.  Before I left, I came back out to check on the pot and make sure it was in the right spot and found he had begun digging a hole right next to it.  So, I found the long plank of wood I have had in my carport for some years now and pushed it against the bottom of the fence to prevent him from digging there.  Poor little Louis gave me a sad look as he sat there looking at the blocked passage and I wished I could have him in my yard; but it'd be wrong to let him... as he's already got loving and wonderful owners, they were both out working hard that day.  
I got to work at the Logan Art Gallery and we had a busy shift of sending out mail before the next shift of people came in, selling a scarf (where the person who bought it short-changed us by accident) and then, just as we were changing over, a home-schooling group was arriving to start their 2 hour class for toddlers.  
When I got home, Louis was still alone; his owners still being at work.  So, I had a shower and got into my art gear to work on my self-portrait and went out to see how he had spent his day.  He hadn't dug anymore holes, but he was waiting impatiently for his owners to come home.  When he saw me, he was so pleased to find somebody to pat him; and I did to settle him down a little... tickling him on the tummy and giving him a good scratch.  He was settled after that until Zef came home and gave him a good cuddle and some food.  I thought of telling Zef about Louis' little escape job into my yard, but then thought it would be a cool little secret between their pup and me.  
Today, I hung around on here for a bit, jumped offline and had a nice hot shower to warm up.  After washing my hair, I sat outside and got my nose into a book about left-handed people in history; a very interesting book about how many left-handed people were in history and how different the world would be without them around.  So far, I've read about Ramses II, Alexander the Great and Caesar... all great lefties of their time; and all left a mark in history nobody will forget.  However, it is noticeable that left-handed people do have a rather bad temper... it's not redheads that hold that record, it's lefties with the short fuse.  Interesting info, eh?
Well, tomorrow I might be going out; I'm not sure.  It ought to be a good day out... fun and with family too.  Until my next post, I hope you all enjoy your Mother's day, keep safe, stay warm and remember, I'm always here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Wet Day Out.

Yesterday felt as though it went on forever... I mean it just kept on going on and on!  First the fencing guy came to the complex and fixed up a fence across from me; and it was very noisey.  And if that wasn't bad enough, a unit over my back fence was installing a large shed just to add to the noise!  It was amazingly loud around my place for that morning; and I would have done anything to get away.
Just when Dad came around and made sure the job was looking good, he offered me a chance to get out.  He asked me if I'd like to go and see the Endeavour - which is being moored on the Brisbane River between April and May this year - and I said I would.  So, within the hour, we were driving out to a ferry at Apollo Street and I had my Go Card with me.  Aunty Helen hadn't used her new one yet and I advised her on how to use it, get it registered and all the loopholes about it.
The trip up the river was lovely; if not a little cool.  However, it was just wonderful to see that little ship moored there at the dock... and it was amazing how tiny it really is!  I'm surprised at how this ship carried 97 people and that didn't include visitors and artists.  Also, you had to count animals too that would keep the crew fed; as well as a cat to keep the mouse and rat population down.  
Mum and I were talked into leaving our bags with the volunteers on land and they were placed in these large metal containers.  I didn't want to leave my bag with them; but they said I had to; that I had no choice.  It really bothered me as I wanted to take notes and be able to put my camera away (also I had extra batteries in that bag for when my old ones died... what was I supposed to do then?  Run off the ship and ask for the batteries and get back on board?).  I really wanted to carry my bag with me.  
Well, we walked around on board and it began to rain.  We took some very quick photos and took off down below decks (Why I brought a hat with me is beyond my understanding; I really didn't need one!) to look around.  It was quite cramped below decks; but being a person who doesn't like small spaces, I did quite well.  I got a lot of photos of all the things below decks with my little camera; and they worked out well.
This controls the anchors - very labour intensive.

We learned a lot about the crew and how they lived, what they ate, how they dealt with sickness, how Capt. James Cook treated his men (which was quite well compared to most Captains who ran ships) and what kinds of visitors stayed on board.  Also, the visitors were people who had a lot of money and worked in particular fields or needed to travel somewhere in particular and were willing to pay the expense of traveling with a crew such as this one to get where they had to go.  
Joseph Banks' desk on the Endeavour
Joseph Banks' quarters.
Joseph Banks was such a visitor who paid this kind of money and he worked hard when they visited particular places.  It was said that he had a Greyhound on board and he had his own desk with books and had his own area to work in at the stern of the ship; near Cook's cabin.  Banks' brought back samples of thousands of things from Australia and many other islands around the South Pacific and named many new species of plants (such as the Banksia).

Capt. James Cook's quarters. For such a tall man, he had a small place to sleep.
While below decks, we heard a thunderstorm pass overhead; and then it turned into a downpour.  It was lovely to hear all that rain on top... and almost none of it got in.  The ship moved just a little and was quite stable when it did move.  However, it took a bit for some people to get used to low doorways and I noticed that others forgot about how low the doors got and how steep the stair wells became.
Once we got topside again, it was pouring rain and we had to run down the deck, up some stairs, around the back of the ship, then down the next set of stairs to get off.  However, we stopped under the life boat to wait for anyone to get onto the ship.  Once the coast was clear, we ran up and off the gangway carefully and onto the pontoon.  I worried a few people by the way I ran, but was cool; I didn't mind it a bit.  
Once under cover - and with Dad and Aunty Helen - I suggested we get our bags.  But nobody wanted to.  I said that I wanted my bag; but Dad said no.  I was really pissed off that I couldn't get my bag from the storage container.  After all I was wet already; it's not as though I was going to get much more soaked.  So, I was talked into having lunch... something I didn't want to have until I had my bag with me.  It gets frustrating when nobody listens to me about what I'd like to do.  I wanted my goddamned bag and I was being treated like I child about it.
Well, while we ate lunch, we saw more rain pour from the skies over Brisbane.  It was amazing.  I had a de-caf latte and ate a vegetarian penne for lunch... very nice until I accidentally bumped some of coffee into my lunch!  How clumsy of me.  Then, I went out to get some more photos of the Endeavour and walked to the toilets when it stopped raining.  When I was returning, I found it was beginning to rain again and told Mum and Dad; and it was a signal for us to leave.  First though, we had to pick up our bags.  
Mum and I showed our ticket and the lady opened the container and pulled out our bags.  As soon as I touched mine, I found it was soaked right through!  I was angry that I had been talked into leaving it with these people - people who couldn't keep my belongings dry and safe - and yet I hadn't wanted to leave my stuff there in the first place, I had kept on saying no to them.  What is wrong with people when they can't take no for an answer?  Now, I'm a volunteer and if somebody doesn't want to leave their bags at the counter of the art gallery, we don't push them to.  But this woman told us that it was a must we leave our bags with them.  I didn't want to; and yet was talked into it.. and now I'm drying out my mobile phone - and other objects - from my bag (as well as having to hang my bag out on the clothes line to dry too) so it gets the air through it as well as the sun on it. 

My bag after we retrieved it from the storage container on 'dry' land.  Not so dry after all; so right through!
When I got home, I e-mailed the Maritime Museum of Australia and made a complaint about how it's being handled up here; and how my belongings got soaked!  Yes, the ship of the Endeavour was amazing to see; but how it has been organised here in Brisbane was dreadful.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead!

Today - right now - I'm listening to the President of the United States of America speaking on about the most important thing I've heard in a long time.  Today, Osama Bin Laden is dead.  He was shot and killed in a mansion in Pakistan.  The US has custody of Bin Laden's body and they have DNA proof that it is most certainly him.  How they did this is that his sister passed away from cancer in Boston recently and the US government got permission to cease parts of her brain in lieu of this very day.  And it's been long in coming.
What a great day in history - not only in America - but the world.  However, this country will have to be on guard for what's happened to this man.  But really, it's amazing how this has been done.