New normal breakfast dilemma

The signs in the hotel’s common areas are many and clear. Observe social distancing, sanitise your hands, wait here to be seated, use the QR code to see the menu.

My husband had already experienced four people, millimetres away from him, exchanging pleasantries, while he attempted to eat his poached eggs on smashed avocado and toast.

Almost at the end of breakfast a woman drags a chair over to join a couple behind him. Parked a hair’s breadth from his back an unspoken outrage charged the air. Members of staff engaged with the interloper. Nothing was mentioned of the infringement.

If my husband had said something he would have been the one drawing gasps and stares from onlookers. On this occasion our group of four stood up as one, escaping to the outdoors.

Australia has been largely spared the pandemic’s deathly grasp. I find the flagrant disregard of measures, put in place to protect the populace to be unconscionable, especially in the context of society’s new normal.

Cleveland, we will return

Looking towards Ormiston from Raby Boulevard Park, Cleveland

We are slowly working our way through an unwritten list of places to visit in Brisbane and its surrounds. Having a couple of hours to spare before a late Sunday lunch we headed 23 km east south-east to Cleveland and Raby Bay. A teeny Celsius temperature and gloomy skies, threatening rain were a reminder that Winter had started.

With a population of around 15k, Cleveland is the centre of Redland City, Queensland; end of the line for the train and the start of a ferry journey to North Stradbroke Island.

Stan was happy to explore the trees and grass of Raby Boulevard Park while we watched the antics of the brave on groyne protected beaches.

We will return on another day, when the sun is shining.

South Brisbane Railway Station

South Brisbane Railway Station was constructed in 1891, opening on 21 December. 

In 1930, South Brisbane also became the site of the South Brisbane Interstate Station, as it was the terminus of the standard gauge railway line from Sydney to Brisbane.

Manly, Queensland

Manly Harbour from Norfolk Point causeway

My husband let me know that the house was making him feel claustrophobic. I agreed with him, having only accomplished one ‘explore Queensland’ outing in the car since moving to Brisbane last year. We settled on making an 11km journey east, to Manly.

Don’t get me wrong, we like living in a modern house with a private courtyard. What we find challenging is that there is no view, other than looking at the walls of the neighbouring property. Also, most of the outside area is covered by a roof. Great for shade, not so great for creating a feeling of openness.

We have accomplished a lot in the last three months as noted in my previous post, Avoidance. This has taken its toll. Believing that we should be constantly busy at home winds one up so.

Masts, Manly Harbour from Sea Vibes kitchen and bar

After a short spell at Norfolk Point, we completely relaxed while sitting outside Sea Vibes kitchen and bar. Lightly gazing at the masts in the Harbour and feeling a breeze that took the heat out of a 30oC day.

A timely bath

How true the adage that you don’t know what you have until it is gone. Showering is convenient, quick, economical, eco-friendly, and healthy. It has been part of my daily routine for the last four decades.

After eight years we again live in a house with a bath. Yesterday, I took the ‘plunge’ in making use of the modern plastic tub. Lying on my back; knees bent, in water that was not deep enough to cover my ever expanding stomach and arms wedged against my sides, thoughts of childhood bath time drifted through my mind. Especially the rose tinted memory of my grandparent’s vintage 1920’s bathroom in Warley, West Midlands, UK.

The room had dark brown linoleum floor covering, cream painted walls and gleaming white fittings with chrome taps. These were no frills taps; tee shaped from the side, they were connected through the back of the square porcelain sink and the end of the claw foot iron bath. The water flowed from the bottoms, nothing as fancy as spouts. The horizontally mounted, cross headed taps with small white porcelain discs, indicating ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ resisted when they were turned, emitting satisfying grinding screeches followed by soft pops.

It seemed that water gushed with the force of fire hoses, even though it took forever to be deep enough before I could slowly lower myself into this gargantuan steaming vessel. Once inside, the bottom and sides would feel icy against my skin. Also, the enamel was a little rough from eons of scouring with Vim powder. Time scented with the fragrance from Radox salts drifted up towards the ceiling. Dreamily I would exit when my fingertips had puckered and the grey soapy liquid had become chilly.

Even with its shortcomings, the contemporary experience of fifteen or so minutes, spent splashing about in late afternoon resulted in a physical and psychological calm that lasted well into the evening.

Box mystery

A week last Sunday, we returned home from our travels. Since then our days have been filled with moving and unpacking boxes, stowing contents, hanging pictures and redecorating the guest bedroom. Somewhere along the journey we seem to have misplaced two cartons; one containing a hifi the other, precious porcelain things 😱.

Our first task after getting over the thirteen hours drive from Sydney to Brisbane, over two days, was to remove the thicket in the tiny back garden. A lack of attention over the last six years had resulted in three plants creating a bizarre intertwining twisting structure that threatened to engulf the neighbourhood.

For the past week it has rained every day. What was a couple of muddy puddles have become a quagmire; ideal housing for a colony of mosquitoes. Clearing the undergrowth has revealed a drain that sits aloft the lapping waters of ‘Lake Morningside’. The Body Corporate have let us know that as the issue is in a private courtyard it is our responsibility to fund remedial works. The joys of home ownership.

I suspect the missing caskets have been taken by a creature from below the brown sludgy waters of the swamp.

Birdsong

Before our trip to Europe we were awoken each morning by a rousing chorus of crows. A month on, jet lag has us awaking around 4:30 am and falling asleep a little after 8:00 pm.

Thankfully the nearby birdsong has changed to tweets and flute like birdsong that is much more pleasing to the ear.

The other afternoon, I found it satisfying to hear a kookaburra calling.