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.

Hedychium gardnerianum

This beauty was growing unfettered adjacent to a field in Montville, Queensland. A far cry from its native habitat in the Himalayas of India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Hedychium gardnerianum, the Kahili ginger, Kahila garland-lily or ginger lily, is a species of flowering plant in the ginger family Zingiberaceae.

It is an erect herbaceous perennial growing to 8 ft (2.4 m) tall with long, bright green leaves clasping the tall stems. The very fragrant pale yellow and red flowers are held in dense spikes above the foliage.

They appear towards the end of summer.

The above information is from Wikipedia Hedychium gardnerianum
5 Feb 2022, 9:30 a.m

Fixer upper

View north from Montville

Last Friday we drove north north east to Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A picturesque, seemingly unending string of timber buildings housing cafés, galleries, and crystal shops, nestled comfortably among trees and lush vegetation.

Estate suites building

We checked into a ground floor estate suite at Spicers Clovelly Estate Retreat. A former pineapple plantation, five minutes drive out of town.

A wet evening cleared by morning, replaced by fast moving continent sized cloud formations. Plenty of intermittent sunshine brightened the day.

Bush hut

After breakfast we ventured off to the lake lookout. Nearby, dwarfed by the surrounding trees, a seemingly ancient ramshackle bush hut stands. The timber weathered to silver grey relic is perched on poles on a cliff’s edge, commanding an uninterrupted view of Lake Baroon.

This fixer upper would make a great tiny house. An open plan single storey including a bed with a second bed in the roof space, accessed by a ladder; a little like a two storey tree house.

Lake Baroon

The one hour plus return journey took us along knee high dew laden grass filled walkways through verdant rainforest glades. At times we felt a trifle lost, following directionless signs.

The walk back

The weekend away was so relaxing, it was what we both needed.

Bauble reflections

Harrods, or H. A. Rods, Victorian-esque decaying decadence from my twenties full of naivety, hope, bon vivre, and pretensions. Sanguine to the point of oblivion.

Leather clad, muscled, merman purchased in my gay abandon forties. Discovered, I was part of the watery feelings clan with body issues; lacking self discipline to change. Hopes and dreams are mostly possible.

Rainbow bauble, bought this year. A fully formed fairy, not far off sixty; should have, could have, would have. Accepting my authentic self and life’s reality.

Happy holiday, warmest {{{HUGS}}, and a joyous 2022.