Busy weekends are usually fun weekends; and this one has had its high points and low points. Today, though is the day of rest and relaxation - most definitely - after a Saturday of running around and acting like it's the last days for Christmas Shopping!
Yesterday, was my cousin Kate's birthday. So, she invited all of us out to The Fox Hotel on Melbourne Street for a meal. I thought to meet Mum and Dad in town because I had been invited to The Gathering at the old Brisbane Museum at Bowen Hills. However, as the temperature climbed - and seeing as I couldn't afford the tickets to the event - I decided to hang about Southbank instead and peruse the markets. And it was the best thing I could have done; seeing how hot it became that afternoon.
I arrived in at the Museum bus stop on the south side of the river at around 2:45pm and didn't rush as I walked around and under the Victoria Bridge; where they had fixed up the large spiral walkway which took you down and under the bridge so you can walk along the Brisbane River and along to Southbank Parklands. I found there was a lot going on with the Brisbane Festival (this was another reason why I wanted to go into the city; as I never get to see any of this stuff normally). Then, I found the markets - with buskers along the way, playing their best in the hot Spring heat of the afternoon while people walked past. I found one lady who was playing a cello who played a piece which always makes me cry; the way she played it yesterday (which was totally different to how I've heard it in the past) still brought the tears to my eyes I was so familiar with that it did to me. So, she did the right things with the notes she had been given.
The heat of the afternoon began to get to me about an hour after I arrived; so I looked around for something to drink and wandered past Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop; which was a massive place with the aroma of the stuff just wafted out onto the street of the marketplace and drew me in! I walked into the lovely cool air-conditioning and I saw the long line and decided to find myself a bottle of water first then come back... and I did! It was another 20 minutes before I was served, but I read a book while I waited; then had to have somebody explain the decadent chocolate-based and chocolate drinks and chocolate pizzas to me... talk about a chocoholic's heaven! It was brilliant. I bought a great iced dark chocolate drink and a cupcake called "chocolate mountain" (or something like that). There's icing on the top where there were little blobs of chocolate that were crunchy! The whole cupcake was warmed up and had milk chocolate drizzled over the plate! OMG! Talk about yummo! I could barely finish it!
Well, I sat outside Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop in the shade of the tall trees as the balmy breezes of the afternoon blew gently by and people-watched. I listened to the a guitarist play the most gorgeous riffs on an electric acoustic guitar; and he made it look so easy. He played so well that his music caused people to stop and listen to him - to take in his work - and then as if waking from a dream, move on. But more often then not, they returned and purchased a cd and took it home to chill to. I didn't want to leave where I was for the rest of the day; but I had to. I had to go as it was time to get walking to my dinner destination and it was time to keep moving before I went and took an afternoon nap - because it looked like a good time to do just that.
I gathered my gear together and picked up a little notebook at a very busy newagency and walked along where I had come along, took photos and made my way to the banks of the Brisbane River to sit down on the grass. However, as I was about to, I almost scared the life out of a Water Dragon. He was off to my left and I ended up slowing right down, putting down my bags and approaching him with Tai Chi slowness and photographing him well... can't say he enjoyed the experience though! However, after I sat down on the grass, some really stupid Asian tourists (now, not all Asian tourists are dumb, just some of the odd ones are) came running up to him thinking he was tamed and he bolted onto the rocks... there was a cyclist next to me - who I was chatting to - who also saw them and we both thought they were dumb thinking they could just pat him; when really they couldn't.
Anyway, I took some lovely photos of the Brisbane City skyline at the right time of the day as the sun began to reflect off the buildings and the river. I took the best photos with the right light; and they turned out really well. Too soon, it was time for me to start back toward The Fox Hotel where I was going to meet up with my family for dinner for Mum and my cousin Kate's birthday dinner. I walked through a park area where DJ was playing some very cool music and enjoyed her pumping out some tunes on vinyl. I picked up a Brisbane Festival program - which covers the whole two weeks or so that the festival runs for - and then I wandered past a private function that B105 was putting on just for their staff in a closed-off area.
Soon, I was down the way from the Southbank Train Station and taking photos of the mural on the wall when I heard sirens blaring close by. On turning, I saw four fire engines go racing by - with a white fire station car following - and they stopped just next to the Performing Arts Complex where they were evacuating people. The firies raced inside with hoses and everything they needed and did their job as I took a closer look and took photographs as well; then I smelled the smoke as the breeze picked up. What is it about fires and emergencies that attract the public for a look into it all? It's amazing we all just stand around and watch. Well, I got some great photos of the Engines anyway before walking back up the road to The Fox and past it... then I realised I didn't want to be too tired for dinner.
Well, finding the reserved table was an absolute wild goose chase. I was sent up four flights of stairs to the top floor before they realised I was sent to the wrong party, then they pointed me across the room to the tables... did they really think I was in my 20's? Jeez, I really have to start looking my age before I do myself some horrible damage. It's probably why I was so darn tired when I sat down at the table and was there an hour and half earlier than everyone else; and froze my butt off because the air-conditioning was on arctic ice! Mum smsed me and told me they were on their way, I said to bring a jacket; that it was freezing. Well, it wasn't the only thing that was freezing... we ordered our meals and the entrées came out on time; and they were nice and hot and delicious. However, it took another hour and a half for the main meals to come out - and after everyone was ready to eat their napkins off the table - the meals turned out to be stone cold. How dreadful is that? They all complained about it and the Mater-de offered us a round of drinks on The Fox Hotel. Well, I didn't think it was good enough; but we all ordered expensive drinks; then they screwed up the bill! Jeez, they really weren't working all that great last night! The only thing that made the night great was Kate's birthday cake; which she made. It was all of her favourite things mixed into it with Maltesers; and everyone loved it! The one slight problem with the cake was that it kept me up until around 1am with a massive sugar rush. So, today, I'm half asleep and feeling like I've been out nightclubbing. Oh well, I'll catch up with it all by just relaxing, reading and hanging out here at my folk's house to mind the dog, the fish and I brought Little Miss Stevie to help me in doing it. Already, she's had a 'blonde-budgie' moment and bathed in her drinking water (which she's been doing more and more lately; silly bird!) and has been rather surprised to find a better-looking bath when I put in the chinese container in the cage was better to bathe in... and a lot more fun to jump into.
Well, I better go, I hope you enjoy the photos of Southbank Parkland, the Markets and my night out. Until my next post, take care, keep warm and safe and remember, I'm always here.