Ekka Day

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to learn Ekka Day was not next Wednesday but today. The news spurred me into finishing things up at work on hump day eve.

What is Ekka Day? I hear you say. It is a public holiday for Brisbane folks to be able to attend the Royal Queensland Show, organised by The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland.

In true Aussie style the word for show or ‘Exhibition’ was changed to ‘Ekka’. I don’t see this word replacing expo any time soon, keeping it as an Australianism.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen the above photo taken at Cloudland, Italian restaurant, bar and event venue. Another word anchored in the hearts and memories of Brisbanians or Brisbanites. A taste of a post to come.

Welcoming pets

Stan has been an important member of our family since 2010. We prefer for Stan to accompany us when going out for long lunches rather than leaving him alone at home.

In Australia, rules about pets attending eating establishments are created and monitored by local councils.

Being creatures of habit we have favoured venues that welcome us with Stan including, Capriccio Osteria, Leichhardt, New South Wales; Marinara Ristorante Cafe, Hawthorne, Queensland; Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane, Queensland; Patina at Customs House, Brisbane, Queensland.

Occasionally we try out a new place. Mostly we check online or call ahead to find out if our party will be welcomed.

There is a shared excitement about going for lunch. An anticipation about the potential delightful delicacies we may well devour.

Nothing pours cold water on our enthusiasm more than comments about ‘the dog’, especially when we have previously been to the eatery.

‘You will have to sit to the right of the opening (into the restaurant) in case the dog’s hairs fly in’. Mamma’s Redcliffe, Queensland.

Or a new place

‘You have to sit at a table on the footpath. The dog has to be on the ground. Please take the dog off your lap, it has to be on the ground. The council come around and check. I will get into trouble’. La Dolce Vita, Milton, Queensland.

‘You can have the table at the end. You cannot sit under the canopy’. Cafe Gioia, Norton Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales.

The pedestrianised part of Queen Street in Brisbane, a.k.a Queens Street Mall does not allow dogs even on a lead.

Similarly if we were to take Stan on public transport (buses, trains) in Brisbane he has to be in a carry case.

Fortunately, we can now sit outside on the river ferries providing Stan wears a muzzle.

And thank goodness for Uber Pets.

Bob meaning

There are times when I lose myself down an Internet browser rabbit hole. One of the most recent was when attempting to satisfy my curiosity about how the word ‘bob’ became slang for a shilling.

The above example was minted in the year of my birth. Back then there were 12 pennies in a shilling and 20 shillings to the pound, but within that were farthings (quarter of a penny), halfpennies, thrupenny bits, tanners (six pennies), half-crowns, crowns and florins (two shillings).

This system was in use for over a millennium and had its origins in Roman times, when a pound of silver would be divided into 240 denarii.

On 15 February 1971, currency in the UK was decimalised. New coinage was issued alongside the old coins. 5p and 10p were the first to appear, introduced in April 1968. They were the same size, composition and value as the old shilling and florin coins, and circulated interchangeably with them. In October 1969 a 50p coin was introduced, and as D-Day approached, the old halfpenny, half-crown, and 10 shilling notes were withdrawn from circulation.

I found the following bob meanings:

  • hairstyle
  • slang for a shilling, unit of pre-decimalised English (and other nations’) currency
  • Abbreviation of plumb-bob
  • Victorian era abbreviation of bob-stick, measure of gin
  • A call (direction) by a conductor to bell ringers
  • Up and down movement
  • Abbreviation of the name Robert

Please feel free to add others in comments.

Inner flight

I am a conflict avoiding being who is gratified by observing and sharing in the happiness and enjoyment of others. This makes me a mostly flexible, adaptable, and compromising human.

When doing or making something, it becomes an extension of myself through the time, energy, care, and consideration, I have invested.

When met with dissatisfaction, derision or causing disharmony, I find it challenging to observe and step back from the emotive facial expressions, behaviours, and vocalised response of others whose opinion I value.

With a tendency to catastrophize, I may misread visual and audible cues leading to automatic assumption of fault, guilt, blame and shame.

Words and expressions pierce my consciousness like arrows. The protruding shafts remain exposed to be flicked and kicked.

At my most vulnerable, my only recourse is to close down; repressing the emotions causing them to compress, churn, and pulsate in my chest and head.

Amidst the inner turmoil, thoughts do not combine into coherent wholes. There is an incapacity for the clarity of articulation to be able to respond, discuss or even graciously accept responsibility.

It takes time to release the pent up energy. Lingering tension throbs throughout my brain. There is a sense of unreality amidst flat feelings, lethargy, and fatigue.

Eventually my psyche absorbs the hurt, enabling me to move on.

Frolicking with friends

After state border closures and COVID lockdowns, a couple of weeks ago we enjoyed a weekend reunion with three longtime friends from Sydney.

My husband relished the process of planning logistics and implementing the three day itinerary. Food, drinks, laughter, reminiscing, and fun buoyed up the Winter weekend.

On Sunday night we all joined Brisbane based friends for dinner in a restaurant and bar converted from a American World War II aircraft hangar.

Following dinner most of us headed southwest on Ann Street from Newstead to Fortitude Valley, stopping off for roof top cocktails at Maya Mexican.

After this, we continued along Ann Street to Fluffy at Cloudland for drag shows and dancing. As can be seen in the picture above the staircase is a perfect feature for performers to access and exit the ground floor stage.

Apart from a minor hiccup with not being able to pay for ferry travel with a credit card, the sojourn in Brisbane was heralded a resounding success.

Splits

On my birthday in October 2018, I received a young monstera deliciosa plant from our family in Swindon, UK.

The scale of the beautifully shaped leaves has steadily increased. Only one of the perfectly formed leaves has been shed.

As if practicing it’s instinctive development we have been teased with a leaf with one left split, the next with a right split, followed by a leaf with three left splits.

This week we were delighted to welcome our newly unfurled leaf with three left and four right splits.

Feeling at home

We recently spent a delightful evening, dining at a new Italian restaurant, Sasso in Woolloongabba.

From arrival and being shown to our table, I instantly felt at home. The staff were attentive, friendly, approachable, funny, and cheerful.

Upon reflection, I wonder if I felt so comfortable because there were similarities in the way I’m described at work; caring, cheerful, empathetic, funny, helpful, supportive.

Heartfelt bird tributes

Caribbean flamingoes
Standing, wading, feeding
Oblong, 2020,
Kringle prezzy, cushion.

Pink and grey, tin galah,
Gaze fixedly at all.
Cherished birthday gift from
My love with love to me.

Framed lesser flamingo
Drawn in solitary stance.
Commemorating five
And twenty years as one.

Pink plastic flamingoes
Planted on long steel legs.
Christmas token of love;
Future, past, and present.

Dirty, fake, authentic

I feel slightly dirty, tainted from being drawn into binging Byron Baes on Netflix. The mostly self interested, egotistic personalities are at first cringeworthy. Skewed perspectives, judginess, assumptions about the actions and desires of each other, and much throwing of under the bus served as the catalyst to wanting to see how events play out.

One of the reality show’s stories follows musician and singer, Sarah moving across the state border from Goldie to be among fellow creatives in Byron Bay.

Sarah inadvertently causes friction while ping ponging from Nathan to Elias to Nathan. Elias confirms Nathan’s reputation of being a ‘fu#k boy’ to Sarah. Nathan is unwilling to accept this insight from one of his bros.

Elle, Nathan’s housemate, cattily describes Sarah as fake. When challenged by friends, she flatly denies the comment, changing it to not being authentic.

It appears never the twain shall meet where conformity is required to fit in with the floaty neutral set of Byron’s female upper echelon. Sadly for Sarah, the colourful, loud, figure hugging attire of the Gold Coast is seen as fake.

There I am thinking, we are evolved enough to be able to celebrate diversity, self expression, and authenticity.

Calm; not panic

There was a time when looking like a shag on a rock would have the opposite effect of self effacement. It would have instilled discomforting anxiety and a draining of self confidence, lasting for days later.

The other day, two teams congregated around the door to the meeting room. Spilling out into the breakout area, groups of twos, threes, and fours stood chatting, waiting for the occupants to vacate.

I know the majority of my colleagues by name, a few I count as more than acquaintances, having worked with them for coming up to three years.

I invested my energy in striking up a conversation with a relative newcomer, they having previously sought me out for a non work related discussions. Within seconds they walked away abandoning me to my solitude.

Maybe I had not done enough to engage with them, to deepen our relationship. When working from home they often requested my help through Teams. I am always happy to assist everyone where I can.

There was a fraction of a second of realisation, I could not escape to the contents of my mobile phone, it was on my desk downstairs. In the present moment, I calmly gazed, taking in the twenty or so people; not a hint of a blush, sweat or wish to take flight.