Monday, December 31, 2012

Some thoughts before another new year.

It's been years since I've gone out on New Year's Eve. I like to spend the night at home, thinking about things that have happened, should have happened, will happen or might happen.

This year, in sunny Queensland for the first time in over 10 years, I'm thinking about how much things have changed here since we left more than 20 years ago with Farouk and Jehan, in an old Ford towing a trailer with a few bags and boxes, and a lot of trepidation and uncertainty.
There was some talk about visiting our old neighbourhood. We wonder how our neighbours are. They were old when we were young. A few were sickly. We kept in touch for a while after we left, but not in the last 15 years or so. I have a feeling they might be dead. I don't want to know really because it would cause me some regret. 

I'm not sure I want to see the old house with its giant jacaranda, taking up the whole front yard. Or the 2 poincianas by the kerb. Mostly because it would make me think of Jehan and Farouk lying in dappled sunlight, on a carpet of purple and red flowers.
One of the best surprises we've had since arriving, is how friendly the people are here. They still say "G'day!" when they pass by on the wide and quiet streets in my brother's neighbourhood. 
G'day! Seriously? They smile. They nod. It's almost unsettling to be looking at someone's eyes as they walk by, rather than above their heads and into the distance.

Last week, I was taking pictures of a particularly gorgeous poinciana tree  a few roads away,
when 4 little girls walking by stopped and came up to me. "Why are you taking pictures of the tree?" they demanded loudly and without a hint of shyness or decorum. And then "Why don't you climb up to take the pictures?" When I showed them the strap around my stinky knee, one of them offered, "I can climb up and take them for you if you like!" 

Children who talk to strangers? Not so common where we live. My brother thinks they would just have run off with the camera. But I am choosing to think otherwise.

So thank you little girls. It's nice to know that somewhere, kiddies are still kiddies, and parents still feel okay to let them walk around unaccompanied. 

One morning, we took a train to Chinatown in the Valley. (Total waste of time if anyone reading this is considering a visit.) On the ride back, as the train pulled into our station, a young man pushed the button to open the doors for us. I guess he saw our shopping bags in both hands. 

Trivial? Perhaps. But it's been a long while since I've experienced a simple courtesy like this in Sydney where school children often take up seats on a bus while adults with stinky knees and grey haired nanas stand. (They're not supposed to do that by the way, but the drivers don't admonish them often enough.) 

So thank you, young man, whoever you are. You might look a little scary, but you're more than okay.

Could it just be the holidays that's making people nice? I don't know. Were they like this 20 years ago? I don't remember. I didn't think so. The years in Sydney have made me forgetful. 

But frankly, I don't care. Whatever it is, I'm going to soak it all up while I can. We leave on January 1.

That's pretty much what I'm thinking about, 1 day before another new year. What about you? 

Thank you for dropping by in 2012, and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Another year gone! I can hardly believe it.
With LoVe as always, 
The Typist X

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Postcard from Brisbane: fishing and a booboo.

By the time we came home from fishing at Nudgee beach, it was past 9.
The Typist was sure she'd catch some nice fat fish for dinner. She made Cushion buy her a new fishing rod. She checked the tide times. She made Uncle E bring the big eskee so she wouldn't run out of space for her fish.

Boy! Was she wrong! She caught a big fat nothing, and we all came home hungry and tired and had leftover curry instead. (Not me, I had beef with pumpkin, sweet potato and lentil mash.)

It was beautiful there though.

 "Is this boring or what?"

From L to R: Me, Uncle E, The Typist, Cushion

Did anyone spot the booboo? It was The Typist's fault [of course].

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Postcard from Brisbane: Nudgee beach and my 1st attempt at agility!

We went to the beach this morning. There aren't too many dog friendly beaches here in Brisbane like there are back home. We were told Nudgee was the 1st. 
Luckily, it's pretty near Uncle E's house because I'm so over being in the car.
 This is Nudgee beach reserve.
 It was very pretty but dogs aren't allowed off leash here.
Since I am the most important part of this holiday and no one cares if The Typist wants to walk around and take piccies, My Cushion bundled me back into the car to look for the dog friendly beach.


And here it is!
It was just 1 minute back up the road. There was a big field with a fence all round it and, as you can see in the picture, the beach was just on the other side of the fence. I had a good run there! It was the 1st good run I've had since coming on holiday.

There were steps, tunnels and poles in the field too! For some inexplicable reason, my humans kept trying to make me do something or other with them.

"But why do you want me to run through the concrete tunnel? Can't I just walk round it? You do realise I'm not a circus dog, right? And by the way, if...IF I do this silly thing, what's in it for me?"

Then I met Jake. My goodness! He was such a little show off!




 "Hah! What's the big deal?"
 "Out of my way, youngster! Can't you see I'm doing agility?"
"C'mon! Call this a high jump?"
"Okay, this one I don't get. You want me to do what?"


The beach was the best part of the morning. It was only very little because the tide was high. I hope my humans take me back there when the tide is low so I can walk on the sand bank.

I met Rover and Effie!
 From L to R: Rover, Effie, me and Jake.
Right next to the little beach was a mangrove swamp. The Typist thinks it's part of the Boondall Wetlands. It looked really interesting but guess who isn't allowed in there?
Oops. Please pretend you didn't see this picture.

I know, I know! We did A Very Bad Thing. Our humans started screaming at us immediately! And we all went back to the beach immediately! 
 That's me swimming! I think I'm getting better at it.
 I had a really good time at Nudgee beach. And I'm so happy I finally got to play with some Brisbane dogs!
I hope I get to go back there again before we leave.


NOTE from The Typist.
I've read that the actual name of the dog friendly park is Tuckeroo but I can't seem to confirm or locate it on the map. It's not hard to find though. You'll see the enclosure from the road. Enjoy!