Day three of the birthday festival

I had a joyful birthday lunch last year at Patina, Customs House. Unfortunately, my mood beforehand was decidedly maudlin, resulting in the following self reflective poem.

Expectations, unheard, unwritten, not agreed, lead to disappointment. Frustration from despondency could result in an outpouring or inner turmoil. Assumptions can conflict create or do secrets forge, limiting authenticity. Living as a liar may rebellion incite or self-loathing and self-destruction result.

This year, I decided to take control of myself; to celebrate the end and beginning of a new birth year with close my husband and close friends.

We turned up at GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) to see the European Masters exhibition on loan from the Met, New York on Thursday. The thought of queuing for one hour did not rock my boat so we headed for a great lunch at Julius Pizzeria followed by sundowner drinks at the Terrace Rooftop Bar.

The photograph above shows the view of the city looking northeast from the Terrace towards the city, across the Brisbane River.

On Friday our tastebuds were treated to an exquisite six course degustation lunch including, seven amuse bouches and matching wines. Next we went to Maya Mexican rooftop restaurant and bar for cocktails, gorgeous nibbles, socialising and dancing.

The picture above taken from Maya shows the city on the right and a neon looking outline of the Storey Bridge left of centre.

Today we rest. Plans will form or not, as the day progresses.

Tomorrow I will enter my 58th year.

Spring 2021

Spring has so far been a joy to experience. The suburban streetscape is budding with the promise of growth, encouraged by warmer daytime temperatures. Today’s blue sky and sunshine is forecasted to achieve 29oC.

While southeast Queensland’s Winter temperatures could not be described as harsh, we have limited our time sitting rugged up in the courtyard.

Our modest tropical resort themed outdoor area is slowly evolving. It now boasts a three person spa heated to 35oC. To the left golden cane palms, mother-in-law tongues, and agaves provide a focal point to rest our eyes. Behind stands a stylised skateboarder panel, supporting variegated jasmine. The almost daily post workday dip was well worth braving the cooler temperatures, over the last few weeks.

This moment’s easy Sunday feeling is enhanced by a powder puff aroma from lemongrass and lavender incense sticks. Pale grey smoke lazily floats around our feet and ankles before wafting up; nostril tickling.

CMW

Our Contemporary Mobile Workfore (CMW) policy allows employees to work from home five days out of ten.

One of the conditions for lockdown week two not happening, wearing of masks at work for two weeks even if one can socially distance. My role includes a reasonable amount of time on the telephone.

The CMW rules have been relaxed for two weeks. I have opted to continue to work from home. One week down, one to go.

The above picture is a memory from a lunch time walk last month. Shadows at play from the glass porch at the north eastern doorway of the gothic revival Cathedral of St. Stephen.

Not in lockdown

I awoke knowing I had to attend a local pathology lab before working from home. Google maps to confirmed an opening time of 6:30 am.

The hot shower resulted in a centrally heated glow emananating through my body. Do I need a coat? Surely I will be okay in shorts and tee. Unknowing if I needed to be fasting or not, I headed out without a coffee.

The cooling 13oC air enveloped my body on exiting. After a couple of minutes, I had to head back for my face mask.

Upon arriving at the clinic, a man was on his way out, four people were seated, and there were four chairs to spare. I sat nearest the entrance. At this point I was far from awake. Why then had I sat next to a source of blasting music? First thought was, a television, no a radio. For a fraction of a second I considered moving seat. After all it would have gone unnoticed to my peers; absorbed by their phones.

The bespectacled used head stowage and push forward methods to escape the irritation of fogged up lenses. While playing word puzzles, solitaire, and Woodoku, I chose to do the on and off, repeat motion.

I made a mental note of the people in front of me. An unnecessary waste of brain power as we all had handed over referral forms to the mufti clad nurse. She was keeping them and us in strict chronological order.

Between patients, the waiting room was treated to melodious stereo as the nurse sang along.

Eventually, I allowed myself to be pointed into the collection room. Robotically settling into the wide throne like chair with wide arm caps. The identity checking and arm choice over, I ‘scooted’ over to the left. The tourniquet attached, fist clenched, ‘you’ll feel a sharp sting’.

A few minutes passed, gaze averted, lulled by the occasional soft popping and scraping noises of the tubes being swapped over. I was jolted from trying not to think about the ache developing in my arm by the nurse. ‘Oh, are you okay? I drifted off there. A mini meditation’, she said.

Commencing the five minutes walk home, I reflected on the sparse number of cars, the sunshine delivering tepid warmth, and how fortunate we are not being in lockdown.

Embrace the kink

Two years ago, I started this post with just the title.

As a toddler, I was endowed with platinum blonde curly locks. By the time I started infant school they had morphed into straight plain brown.

When the barnet began to feather flick from my ears and extended well beyond collar length, my three years younger brother, and I were marched to a tonsorial parlour at the junction of Northfield Road and Fellows Lane, Harborne.

There in a bay windowed, cream gloss painted room, containing two adjustable chairs, upholstered in deep brown cracked leather, facing mirrors, we were shorn.

The stout balding, cleanly shaved barber, wearing a white jacket, seemed so very old. I enjoyed sitting high up on a plank across the arms of the chair while my mother reminded him, I had a double crown. I have since learned the unruliness of the left side of my head is due to a cowlick.

Each time we went, my brother and I had the same cut. I discovered today, it is called a mop top, although ours was short at the back. The style did not change until I was old enough to go to the barbers alone.

In my late teens, I admired my brother’s long wavy hair, emphasising his bikie, hard rock, and heavy metal persona. Being the eldest, my lot was one of self imposed responsibility. As previously posted, societal conformity was the order of the day. To hide in plain sight, I chose to wear mine off my face in a quasi Simon Templar fashion.

For forty years, I yearned for curly hair, although never enough to try a perm. Instead, I relied on clipped cuts, gels, mousses, waxes, and creams to achieve straight uniformity.

In 2014, hairdresser, James Burrows was the first to talk to me about my fine flyaway strands. He used sea salt spray, comb, dryer, and powder to create the tidal wave like cut in the picture above.

Brisbane or ageing, combined with inclusion of non usual humans have proved to be the catalyst for realising my dream of wavy hair. The current barber introduced me to scrunch drying, reinforced the use of hair powder, and suggested using balm left over from taming my beard to achieve separation of tresses. A day or two after washing, I am now able to embrace the kink.

humanity

encouragement and kinship; life’s gifts


passing; mortality’s reminder


laughter foretime, subsequent silence


heart-strung connections, now memories


warm reminiscing; cold light of day

Those people

My earliest memory of dining out was in a cafe in West Bromwich, UK. The treat ended with my younger brother by three years having a tantrum; screaming and kicking on the floor surrounded by chips.

My addiction to going out to eat formed while undertaking hospitality studies in Worcester and Blackpool, 1980 to 1984. Overseas travel broadened my appreciation of fabulously foreign cuisines.

As a food service employee, I would groan internally about the guests who refused to leave, so that I could clear up and head home to bed.

My husband and I have become those people who literally spend hours chatting and supping over meals in eateries. The latest trend is starting with late lunch and continuing on to dinner. All the better when Stan is able to accompany us. He enjoys the attention from the staff, greeting them like old friends.

Our current favourites for double dining are Marinara Ristorante Cafe, Hawthorne and Patina at Customs House, Brisbane. Starting earlier ensures our departure well before the end of the evening.

Quelle horreur

The thought of being deprived of Google in Australia is monstrous! Fingers crossed we will not succumb to have to Bing things.

On a local level the winds of change grew to hurricane proportions. We signed up with a realtor, booked times for staging, photographs, and the first viewing.

Then the realty of the market dowsed our spirits. Everything is on hold until we can find somewhere suitable to live.

Deciding we will rent for a while, we are well beyond dirty, pest infested, rundown garrets. Is it unreasonable to expect air conditioning, dishwasher, covered outdoor area, space from the neighbours and undercover parking?

There are suitable rental properties however, as in stories of unrequited love, our advances are spurned. Why? We have an ‘inside’ Stan.

Not fast enough

Tightened palate
Tingling teeth
Engine running

Gravity seems stronger today
Moist heat enveloping
Body consuming yawns draw tears
Rocking forward back, forward back

Skipping words, sentences, paragraphs; novel reading

Instagram

SBS, ABC, News

Facebook

Events not happening fast enough to satisfy caffeine fuelled appetite.