Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An old favourite revisited...

It's been a while since I paid this house a visit. It looks like it's been through a bit a bit since then - probably flood damage judging from its location, although the roof looks like something heavy has fallen on it. It's surprising they haven't bulldozed it and stuck a block of flats there, given that it's in a prime location close to the river and the city. 

I love how disgracefully it has been allowed to age!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ashington Street Characters

 The crumbling walls of an old house in Ashington Street are providing an interesting canvas for a spot of street art.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sign of the times?

The area I live in, West End, has been gentrified a lot over the past few years with a large amount of industrial land near the river being transformed into 8-10 storey luxury apartments. While Brisbane needs to have more housing for its expanding population, there is a the concern that the existing infastructure just wont be able to cope.

This photo is of a boarded off building site, originally announcing the construction  of "Montague"; 424 apartments where presumably, looking at this photo, you can re-live your own version of The Titanic (and had you lived there last year, you probably could have as it was several metres under water during the floods). Anyway whether it's due to objections or perhaps the whole global financial crisis I'm not sure - but it looks as if the development application has fallen through - and the guerilla stencillers have been having a field day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Abba Cadda!

I'm a bit of a tough audience when it comes to humorous tshirts but I reckon this one's pretty good!

At Boggo Road Markets.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mt Coot-tha Lookout Skywatch

It's funny - where I grew up in London, if you looked out of the window and saw this sky you'd be grabbing a coat but at this time of year in Brisbane, a break in the rain often means the humidity rises, the cicadas hiss louder and things get a little bit sticky.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And now here's Bob with the weather...

I suppose after last year we're all a bit more alert when the Bureau of Meteorology refer to rain in terms of being an "event".

So what's happening in South-East Queensland at the moment is plenty of rain. 100mm a day with no sign of it letting up over the next few days. The day before yesterday there was a dog on a surf board on a flooded street. Yesterday was a little less light hearted - there were lots of flooded roads and some cars went under in flood-prone areas like Toombul. The good news for me is that Wivenhoe Dam (the big Dam protecting the Brisbane River from drastic flooding and consequently my flat which I've just finished renovating) is only 75% full as of yesterday - the absolute capacity is 200%. Last year it got dangerously close to 200% but I am - erm - anxiously confident that this year they will have the benefit of hindsight and start releasing some of that water soon.

Everything's going to be fine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boggo Road Markets

The splendidly named Boggo Road Gaol first opened in 1883 and closed in the early 1990s. It was known for its overcrowding and poor conditions which lead inmates, during the 1980s, to riot and go on hunger strike.
Since then, the site has been redeveloped into the Boggo Road Urban Village which includes housing as well as a huge Ecosciences Precinct. They recently started up a market on the site every week which I went along to for the first time on Sunday. There was plenty of live music, kids running around, people lounging about on the grass stuffing their faces with all sorts of interesting food and drinking coffee and juices. Without those huge red brick walls, it would be easy to overlook the site's dark past.

If you haven't been and are thinking of going, I went on an overcast day and it was fine but if you plan to go when it's sunny, get there early as there's not much in the way of shade.

I just love the name Boggo Road.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back To School Contact Paper Debacle

Tomorrow marks the end of the long school summer holiday and the start of the new school year in Queensland. Every year we go through the tedious ritual of wrapping all of the new writing books (this year for us it's 19 books!) in sticky plastic contact paper to reinforce them. The plastic is very unforgiving. If you stick it on wonky, that's the way it's going to stay forever... and if you get a huge bubble in it but have already stuck the edges down it's almost impossible to un-peel it and do it again. You spend ages trying to smooth out the stupid wrinkles and suddenly, getting a book with no wrinkles becomes a very important thing and if you've got wrinkles all over the place... well you feel like a bit of a failure. And that's even before the first bell goes.

Why don't they just produce the books with reinforced covers in the first place?? I reckon there are some perverted people out there that actually ENJOY it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Traffic Stopping Art (number 58)

I really like this newly painted box on Milton Road in Milton. The artwork is really bold and eyecatching - most people looking at them are in a car so the more bright and colourful the better. Also, the box is interesting from every angle. Two thumbs up from me! The artist is Frances Rowland Wregg and as you can see she has depicted John Milton for whom the suburb we are in is named.

Here's the back:

You can look up any painted box in Brisbane on the Urban Smart Projects website. They also show information about painted boxes further afield now in other parts of Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and even London.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blooming Yellow

It's a perfect summer morning right now - blue skies, birds singing, the sun sparkling on the river. I snapped these blooms when I went for a walk this morning - I'm not sure what they are but they're putting on a bit of a show at the moment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trying to keep the Scenic Rim scenic

Coal seam gas is being promoted as clean energy but a group of protesters near Beaudesert - about an hour's drive south of Brisbane - think otherwise; they -  farmers, greenies, and other concerned folk - are currently blockading a coal seam gas exploration rig; they are very worried that the process of gas removal will affect their underground water supply as has been the case in other places.  At this stage they are asking for an independent baseline water testing study so that the company will be forced to take responsibility for any future problems.

The protesters believe that the only way to prevent the country's water being thus affected is via political intervention - and elections are nigh!!!

Thanks to Nell for her help with this post.
Photo: Innes Larkin

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Haus of Fun

This is a rather funky combined chair/table that you can sit on and have your lunch outside the State Library in South Bank. Very handy if it's raining (vertically) or the sun is beating down. It was originally part of the Unlimited Asia Pacific Design Triennial back in October 2010. The designer is Alexander Lotersztain and the piece is called Haus. His website is here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Anniversary BBQ

As this weekend passed, so did the anniversary of our flood. There were street parties around flood affected areas and I managed to catch the tail end of one on Saturday night, straight off the plane - to hell with the jet lag! Then yesterday a couple of familiar faces turned up and laid on a celebratory BBQ in the local park... so we came down for a little look.
Does anyone else smell an election?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Theme Day: Photo Of The Year


I think people in Brisbane are probably sick of hearing about the floods which is why I hesitated before posting this one. Having said that, it was the defining event of the year for my family and many others in Queensland and it is appoaching the one year anniversary so I'm giving it another airing here.

This photo was taken on January 14th at 6am  - just before we walked back into our flat to see what awaited us. The water had subsided really quickly overnight - this street had been under two metres of water 24 hours before I took this shot -  and the belongings which had been floating around in the murky water for days landed haphazardly all over the streets. Our first floor flat got about 30-40cm - not enough to be a disaster but enough to have to dismantle cupboards and floorboards and get rid of some of our larger furniture.

We were among the lucky ones - Aside from the hard work put in by countless volunteers during the immediate aftermath, we had friends with enough room to take us in and give us the phone number of a good plumber, plasterer, electrician and tiler. The son of a friend of ours painted our walls for free. We had enough money to bridge the gap before the claim money came in. We moved back into our flat with a brand new tiled floor on Valentine's Day and had a brand new kitchen fitted by about April. By that time a lot of people were still waiting for insurance money to come in before starting to rebuild.

Aside from the story behind the photo, I just like the oddness of stuff  being where it's not supposed to be.

<a href="http://www.citydailyphoto.com/portal/themes_archive.php?tid=65">Click here to view thumbnails for all participants</a>

I'm off on my holidays for a couple of weeks - back mid January!
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