Tuesday, 30 October 2007


My mother is not yet 60 and thus is in my opinion a long way off being old, but in recent times I have begun to worry she's becoming old before her time and I find it very scary. Being the charitable and community minded type with something of a penchant for nostalgia she has often been in the company of older people, mostly ladies since men don't really seem to involve themselves in things like meal-on-wheels, the hospital guild and craft groups. Nothing wrong with that I know, but since she moved to the country I sometimes think she spends far too much of her time in those groups and not enough time with friends in her own age group and thus is becoming older faster. As a younger person my mother was the adventurous type being the only one of her siblings to escape their little country home town, travel the world and move to the 'big smoke'.
But when I lived in Europe for 6 years she didnt come to visit, yes it was largely financial, but she also said she was getting old and afraid to travel and I can't/couldn't understand it. Afterall its only Europe and I would have been there. She often tells my sister and myself how her funeral should be and whats to be done with her things once she dies.
I find myself getting very annoyed and short with her if I think she's talking as though she was old, for example yesterday she was complaining to me about people getting drunk at a party she went to. I guess I'm being unreasonable (dont we all do that when it comes to parents) and I shouldn't expect her to want to travel to the other side of the world by herself on a 20+ hour flight, or find the company of drunken 40 year-olds pleasant, but I'm afraid she's lost her sense of adventure. I feel like there's a certain extent to which we can control our 'age', my mother seems to be doing it in the wrong direction and I dont know how to encourage her to be her younger self again. I know that as soon as people start to think they're old they rapidly become older, less sturdy, less healthy and that just scares me, its way way too soon.

Monday, 29 October 2007


I'm finding my self somewhat aggravated by Mr Hank Moody. As a character I'm afraid his appeal is well beyond me. I mean a disheveled worn-out looking middle-aged man with a black-eye and a bad haircut in a very beaten up old Porsche with only one headlight pulls up next to a young and beautiful girl in a city where everyone is obsessed with looks (and fame) and she throws herself at him? really? bearing in mind at this point she has no idea about his status as a previously well-known author. really? and his name is Hank, no offense to any Hanks out there, but its hardly a name that you'd associate with an ├╝ber-cool ladies man is it?
As an aside - what is it with that haircut, surely David Duchovny can afford a decent hairdresser?
And the show itself, well aside from a few well-scripted and usually well-delivered amusing one-liners, there's nothing to it. Although much seems to be going on (from dog-nappings to vomited-on priceless art, to car theft, to nipples torn off in ill-fated threesomes) nothing ever really happens, its plain boring. I'm always left unsatisfied and annoyed. Just another disappointing episode in over-hyped commercial broadcasting. Of course the real aggravation point comes from the knowledge that despite the fact its crap, I have watched it several times, in fact possibly every episode since it started, and I will no doubt watch it again.

Thursday, 25 October 2007


after getting kinda sweaty and stinky riding my bike to work, I went off to the gym to shower, only to discover afterwards that I had neglected to bring clean undies with me, sigh (although at least I remembered the other clothes this time). So, I'm being a bit of a Britney Spears today.

Friday, 19 October 2007


I have developed a new fear, which some may consider an irrational fear but I think its perfectly rational: a fear of closed toilet lids. This situation has come about largely because of three icky facts: some of the people who use the women’s toilets on our floor of my office building (possibly on the other floors too, possibly the men’s too) are apparently quite gross; there are no toilet brushes in the toilet cubicles, or anywhere else for that matter; occasionally the toilets will not flush. I guess the fear is basically a fear of the unknown since you never know what might be lurking beneath that lid and, from experience, I can tell you it may well be very unpleasant. If the lid were open you would know what you were dealing with from a safe distance, but one must get quite close in order to open the lid which doesn’t leave much space between you and whatever is revealed.

Once whilst staying on an outback property with little open water about, I opened the toilet lid to have one of these fellows jump out at me. Disturbing as that was, its still far preferable to the above I think.

Friday, 12 October 2007

ask and ye shall receive

I must say I find the general idea that we are obliged to give people things or do things we dont want to just because someone asks us to quite annoying. Its not because I'm uncharitable or stingy, I regularly donate to worthy causes, and do volunteer work, but its just that, voluntary. I don't like the feeling of being bamboozled into doing things through guilt. This week a friend who we don't know very well, in fact I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen her, and haven't seen for months asked if we'd like to help out on a food stall a club she belongs is running at a festival this weekend. I said no I dont want to, why would I? but my boyfriend was annoyed at me (she's more his friend than mine) and said you can't just say flat out no when someone asks you something, but I just dont see why not. Firstly its going to be hot and the food will be stinky and messy and I no longer work in customer service for a good reason - it sucks. secondly its the weekend, work has been shitty and I want to relax on the weekend, go to the festival and enjoy it, not work, if I wanted to do unpaid work I would have volunteered. Thirdly, we are not members of this club and many other people are so surely its up to them to man their own stall, its got nothing to do with us. Fourthly, its not like its for a charitable cause. Fifthly, frankly I think she has a bit of a cheek asking us at all and finally, I'm not even the right nationality (its a multicultural festival with food stalls representing different countries). Is it really so unreasonable to say no?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

reasons to love brisbane part 8

the weather forecast for the weekend is 'dry and cool' but with temperatures of 26 degrees (Celsius of course in case you're still stuck in the world of weird non-metric measurements). I love that 26 is considered cool here. I remember working in a certain British city where people stayed home when it was s 26 because it was too hot to work. (OK it was one person and it might have been 28 instead of 26, but thats only a tiny tiny exaggeration)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

The Queen

a friend of mine apparently sang for HRH The British Queen in London last night. Do you ever feel like you're not doing enough exciting things in your life?


summer seems to have come early this year and with it this week a spate of very exciting electrical storms. I do love a good electrical storm once I'm undercover at home or somewhere else dry where I can watch the sky light up and feel wind whisk away the hot humid air in relative safety, that Gangajang song always playing in my head. The other night it was even more exciting, the dark clouds were quickly amassing as I walked from my office to my car and I got home and inside just before it all started up. I was watching the brilliant display from the kitchen window when with a huge clap the house, and in fact the whole street, suddenly went dark. I suppose a blackout in Australia isnt really much of a big deal, I remember many of them as a kid, but I still found it kinda cool, getting out all the candles, which really do make the house looks pretty and realising I had the perfect excuse not to do all those planned tasks like the work I'd brought home to do on the computer. Luckily we've got gas cooking and hot water so getting some food ready and a candlelit shower was still possible, and then there's nothing to do but relax. The neighbours started playing the piano and singing which was quite sweet, and I could just enjoy the light show from the well covered verandah and contemplate life.


as we were coming home from a camping weekend on Sunday I was stopped at the lights when I saw the guy in the car behind me get out of his car and come towards my window. I felt a certain amount of panic as my mind flashed back to the car park a few minutes ago when this guy had had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting me. but as it turned out he was just a good-willed citizen coming to inform me that my brake lights weren't working.
sigh. I admit I do love having my car, even if it might sound contradictory to being an Ecologist - but living in Australia you need one every now and then, especially if you ever want to go outside of the city, really you do. However, I do so hate all the little problems and costs that cars will give you. Such a little thing might require having to find a mechanic, make an appointment get the car there early then get to work, get back and get the car before they close, and worst of all having to deal with the bullshit, rip-offs and condescending spin the mechanics seemingly invariably dole out to women. So I was especially proud of myself (especially given I've got zero ideas about cars, beyond how to drive one) when I managed to open up the light casing figure out what the problem was and fix it all by myself. OK so it was only blown light globes, but still I got my hands dirty - it was amazing how much filth was inside those light casings, and felt a fair sense of accomplishment, as well as saving me some time and money. yay! once again, its the little things.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


The library these days is much less of a place of "shhh!", musty smells and stern glances, and more of a open place for communication and information sharing with lots of books where discussion is now allowed, or at least thats what it portrays itself as, and thats all good as far as I can see. but surely theres a limit. I must admit that while I very much appreciate the fact that libraries exist and I can get books, info and sometimes even DVDs for free, I dont really like to spend much time in them, they make me tense, even with their new more relaxed atmosphere. Nevertheless today I felt kinda shocked and not quite outraged but something akin to that, to see students lounging at the library computer terminals with their feet on the desk and telling someone loudly 'you can shove it up your arse' and seemingly no one else raising an eyebrow. Perhaps I'm a bit of a fuddy duddy, but surely the particular sanctity of the library still needs to be retained, at least to some degree.

reasons to love Brisbane part 7*

I am often walking or riding along the river before work or on my way to work. In the morning the water dragons come up the banks and sun themselves by the path, seemingly watching you and cheering you on as you go by.

* the other parts were on my original blog whose host decided to give up

Monday, 8 October 2007


This morning, in a reply to one of my readers' comments (possibly my only reader) I made a more or less off-handed remark about my tendency to avoid situations. I suppose I didn't really mean the comment, but after further contemplation, in a work-avoidance manner, I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't actually a larger problem for me.
This morning has been a good example: I came into work kinda late as per usual and then I try to avoid the possibility of accusing looks from my co-workers, and particularly avoid my boss observing my tardiness, so I take the lift to avoid working past as many office doors as possible. When I get to my office I am very happy to notice the door to my boss's office is closed, meaning he's not in, so I relax and, instead of getting stuck into work that really needs to be done, waste some time on the internet. Later I have to go downstairs and as I exit my office I spy one of my students at the end of the corridor talking to someone. Don't get me wrong, this girl is lovely, very nice indeed, its just that she's too nice, she gushes a lot, agrees with everything you say and thanks you incessantly and its a little hard to take. So I try to avoid her by walking down there very quickly so she'll still be in conversation with the other person and I can sneak past. It doesn't work.
On the way back to my office from the canteen I notice up ahead a colleague who I don't know very well. I start to walk slower so I wont catch him up and then have to come up with something to talk him about all the way back to the office. but he seems to be going slower and slower and I'm impatient and no good at walking slowly, plus its really hot outside. Luckily he turns aside and I can quickly go past without him noticing.
Back in my building I keep my head down as I walk and take the back stairs to my office to avoid going past the office of another colleague who if he sees me will undoubtedly engage me in a long-winded conversation largely about the weather (yes it is very hot for this time of year).
and now I avoid work by writing this post.
Of course with exception of the last point (which is likely symptomatic of bigger problems which I will avoid thinking about) this is all largely trivial and of no real consequence isnt it? Or perhaps this behaviour is a mirror to one aspect of my flawed character.