Unconscious distraction, consciousness

Through curiosity, I am drawn to people who are larger than life; gregarious, and artistic types. At the same time, I stand in an awe filled shadow of them.

Fascination with them taps and saps my energy. Withdrawal is the only way for me to be able to recharge.

My flexible and compromising nature supports them in taking the lead, providing they do and say in line with my values; altruism, authenticity, equity, integrity, and time efficiency.

The consequence of them behaving at odds with my values is a barely perceptible departure. There in body; my spirit having long since flown.

When my thirst for them is sated they drift spectrally to the periphery of my consciousness.

Occasionally, a human awakens my soul. Through love, friendship, and shared experiences they become an extension of my being. Neither time nor distance changes the heartfelt connection I feel for them. The bond remains in life and beyond.

Antipodean reflections

It has been ten years since I set up this WordPress blog.

With the exception of the photo of QEII at the end, the below pictures are from an area at the rear of buildings facing Grey Street, South Brisbane. Overhead railway lines travel between South Brisbane and Roma Street stations. The previously unused space has been transformed into Fish Lane, Town Square.

Brisbane, Brissy, Brisvegas has the reputation of being a big country town.

You need a body in Sydney and labels (darling) in Melbourne.

People who have moved to the city, between states and countries or have travelled extensively overseas are open to new friends.

During Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, Queen Elizabeth II visited Birmingham UK. I took my younger brother to see her. This is an image from local newspaper, the Birmingham Mail, Birminghammail.co.uk. Taken near the Council House and Chamberlain Memorial, on the day we saw her majesty.

Being from England, a proportion of Australians assume I am from and have lived in London. It is as though London is England.

Talk of Australia becoming a republic are renewed among lobbyists and pollies.

On the mend

On Thursday, Stan had back teeth removed and is on the mend. He was a bit wobbly and disoriented after the general anaesthetic.

He has no objection to a temporary diet of poached chicken breast and vegetables. It warmed my heart when he joined us to watch television; a rare occurrence. He promptly fell asleep on my lap.

We can’t thank Brisbane Pet Surgery enough for their care and thoughtfulness; pre and post surgery.

Fur empathy

I have no idea how Stan feels when he is suffering. Our dog whisperer friend said they deal with pain differently.

He squeaks when impatient to do something, usually as the humans are holding him up. Stan snorts when he is excited. He has no volume control when greeting people he trusts. And utters a high pitched screech when you tread on his tail; who wouldn’t!

On Thursday morning, Stan’s face was so swollen we could barely see his dark brown right eye. The vet prescribed pain killers and antibiotics to treat an abscess under his back molar.

Over the past days the swelling has gone down. Stan seems a little subdued, seeking us out to sit close to us. Even between us on the sofa. I feel double as much love for him when he is off his game.

We are going to get another opinion about the need to extract the tooth. We want to do the right thing for our twelve year-young fur kid who brings us so much joy.

Design

Open plan living dining room, French Cottage, Spicers Clovelly Retreat Montville

On Thursday, we felt fortunate to be invited to attend the Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) evening in Brisbane.

A short bus ride, cross river ferry trip and a leisurely walk transported us to the venue, Cult Design, Fortitude Valley in around 35 minutes.

Comfortably seated on Fritz Hansen designed furniture, we were entranced by shortlisted design practices delivering strictly timed ten minutes’ project presentations.

Highlights for me included the acknowledgement of the traditional owners of Australia, sustainability in design, and the positive energy of the event.

It brought back happy memories of our time in the UK and Sydney when design was a significant part of our lives.

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.