Saturday, March 31, 2012

Somewhere under the rainbow

Yesterday's rainbow over Mount Coot-tha taken from the canteen window at work. People actually left their desks and went and had a look. I love that!

I think it's still Friday in some parts of the world so this one is taking part in Skywatch Friday.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Early Lunch

I made this one up today: Chilli tuna omelette with cherry tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, cheese and smoked paprika. Delish!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Swimming Carnival!

It's nearing the end of the first school term of the year. Get the bunting out - it must be time for a swimming carnival! Some of these kids are scarily good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Autumn Shadows

The clocks changed in England last night and it reminded me about how subtle the change in season is here. Queensland doesn't have daylight saving and if you are used to big seasonal changes you might not even notice the difference between summer and autumn. Generally here in the autumn months the nights get a little bit chilly so that you might need a blanket. The sun is supposed to shine a bit more than the cloudy, wet summer and the overall humidity of the past couple of months lifts. Good news for shadow shots! This one was taken in the local school playground. I like the defined leaves and the "bokeh" leaf shadows too!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Queensland Blues

Queensland voted yesterday with an astonishing swing to the right. The conservative Liberal National Party took 76 seats so far (predicted 78) leaving the ousted Labor Party with just 7! With only 4 seats going to independents, things are going to be very blue around here for a while...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Snag A Vote!

It's State Election time today in Queensland and the competition is fierce between polling stations as far as who is offering the best food. A friend of mine said that he was going to travel around South Brisbane today doing a survey to see which polling station offered the best food! My daughter's school houses our local polling station and capitalised on the opportunity for a fundraiser so we set up some BBQs and a home made cake stall. We even put some of the kids to work, selling breakfast rolls to the queue of voters while they were standing in line... It's great having a captive audience!

On the BBQ menu today...

Sausage in bread: $2
Bacon and egg roll: $5
Rocket, haloumi and roasted tomato roll: $5

Friday, March 23, 2012

She's a bit blowy

In Australia the weather is 'She'. Often a whole conversation will start with "She's a...." and then a description of the weather. Sometimes it's an understatement...  e.g. "She's a bit blowy" in a force-10 gale and "She's a warm one" in weather so hot you think you're going to faint.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Happy Shopper

It's just great when someone actually smiles for the camera!
Here ends our brief people-watching trip to Inala Civic Centre. We'll come again, I think, and next time we'll go food shopping.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chinese Chess at Inala Civic Centre

You can wander around the square in Inala Civic Centre and see several different games happening at once. There are huddles of people around each board with everyone staring intently...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Face on a wall

This one is only small - less than 10cm high, I would say. I really like it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Look. No Gears. RRrrrr.

There's a bit of a fashion for gearless bikes here in Brisbane at the moment which is odd/masochistic as there are plenty of hills in this neck of the woods.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bookshop Window

It was the yellow bike reflection I was after but I ended up getting the silver ute and a bit of me in there too. This is Bent Books in West End

Today I'm taking part in Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deb Selling The Big Issue on Boundary Street

I was originally going to post this picture with just a few basic details but after I got chatting to Deb, she asked that I include what we talked about in this post...

Deb was abused as a kid by her step father. He and her mother took off when Deb was 18. She has two boys, 7 and 14 years old who live with their father, and she doesn't know where they are. She was late with the rent once and now she can't get a place of her own because she's been black-listed. Having no parents around hasn't helped. She says that she's in the process of getting photo ID... which will make getting her life back on track a lot easier.  She's currently staying at the homeless shelter in Roma Street.

If you see her around, buy a Big Issue from her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can't Eat Coal, Can't Drink Gas

It's estimated that 1100 or 1200 people attended the Food Security Forum yesterday in Brisbane. It was a strange mix of people to say the least. There were Greenies and ultra-conservatives, farmers and conservationists, country folk and city folk.... all on the same side. (As one politician put it, if Bob Katter, Bob Brown and Bob Irwin are all singing from the same prayer book there must be something wrong!) There was a big meeting at the Convention Centre and then we marched to the city for a rally.

Unfortunately, Coal Seam Gas isn't an issue in the upcoming Queensland State election because neither of the two main parties in the race can see anything wrong with it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Rush and A Push and The Land is Ours

This is a picture of one of my favourite parts of Australia, in the Scenic Rim on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. This area of stunning natural beauty and prime farming land is under threat, along with vast areas of both Queesland and New South Wales..

It's all because of Coal Seam Gas. It is one of the most frightening things that is happening in Australia today. This is because the extraction of coal seam gas involves injecting chemicals into the ground that can possibly contaminate our water supply forever -  not only for farmland but our drinking water as well. The Scenic Rim isn't the only area affected. There are plans for up to 40 000 wells in Queensland across the state.

"Lock The Gate" is an alliance which allows farmers to band together and say "no" to mining companies who offer giant amounts of money to individual farmers for their land. As a consequence of the mess and noise that they make, the surrounding farmland becomes virtually worthless. Most landowners in the area where I took this photo have one on their gate.

Today I'm heading down to the Food Security Forum to learn more and show my concern. Tomorrow I'll post a picture from the event.

If you want to know more, the ABC have a good website here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Morning Shadows

Being from a part of the world where you learn to make the most of every drop of warm weather, I still find it a bit unnatural and wasteful to join in with the widespread glee that summer is over for another year. Having said that, autumn is a beautiful part of the year to be in Brisbane. The humidity lifts, the clouds disappear and we get glorious sunshine during the day with cool enough nights to (almost) pull a cover over you.

Today's picture was taken yesterday morning on my way to work at about 7.45. The Mount Coot-tha lookout was mobbed with cyclists who had finished their morning climb and were looking at a downhill stretch all the way home.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rise and Shine

Some serenity for your weekend.

Picture this: You are the only one around. The sun is rising over the horizon and there is a mist above the breakers. The shadows are still long and you can feel a warm breeze over your skin. The only sound is the crash and fizz of ocean as it meets beach... and the wind in your ears. You stretch up high on tiptoes with your fingers reaching for the sky and your bare toes scrunching into the wet sand ...and take you take a deep, cleansing breath.

What a way to start the day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Poof! and it's gone...

Last month I posted a photo of a once-grand old house which just seemed to be falling apart. The comments were interesting reading and Natalie from across the river mentioned that it had recently been pulled down. Yesterday I went for a wander down Avebury Street in West End to the site of the house and this is what I found.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Princess Flowers For International Women's Day

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day. It celebrates how far we have come in our efforts to gain equality with men in every day society and examines the (often long) road ahead.

 For every woman reading this, these flowers are for you! They are Princess Flowers (also known as Tibouchina urvilleana) and are blooming right now in parks and gardens all over Brisbane. They are native to Brazil but do very well here in our subtropical climate.

By the way - the International Womens Day official colours are purple, green and white.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Postal Vote

Queensland is having a state election on March 24th to determine who will be our premier. I missed out on voting in the general election of 2010 as I had only become a citizen a month beforehand and the authorities didn't have time to get me onto the electoral roll. This time I'm leaving nothing to chance and have applied for a postal vote as I'll be working on election day.

In Australia it is compulsory to vote;  if you don't, you'll get a $20 fine. If you don't pay the fine, you could be prosecuted. As a result, Australia has a very high voter turnout! And don't worry if you think every candidate is a dud: you can choose to spoil your ballot paper in protest. Personally, after being here for nearly 7 years, I'm excited to finally have my say.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Green Machine

This car was spotted on Park Road in Milton a few days ago - maybe it's all this rain!

Thanks to Sandra and Chris for the photos.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The best kind of fun

So about 18 months ago, like it seems millions of others, I picked up a ukulele habit and it has been so rewarding. I grew up playing classical piano and never got the chance to play music with anyone else - and of course when you go out to other people's houses you can't take your piano with you - so it is the best kind of fun when you can get as many people playing instruments together at the same time playing vaguely the same tune. Last night we had five ukuleles, one guitar, one banjolin (banjo body, mandolin strings), one double bass, one fiddle, tablas, bongos, drums and a shaky bell thingy (not the technical name). Not to mention a wide variety of singing voices. Some of us were kids and some were 'young at heart'. Some of the players were playing their instruments for the first time and some had been playing for 20 years. There was even an audience (of 4) and one of them got up and danced. It was brilliant!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Getting off to a flying start

Queensland has some of the best swimmers in the world and no wonder - the weather is perfect for it! From the time most kids can crawl and often before, they are chucked into a pool and taught how to save themselves... and it goes from there.

Once a week on these warm summer evenings we all hang out, cook a BBQ and watch our offspring spring off into the school pool and swim like little fishies. From aged 6 to aged 12, in races of 25m or 50m: back stroke, breast stroke, freestyle and butterfly...  And nearly all of them swim better and faster than I could now.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Here we are now, Entertain Us

Wednesday night at the Performing Arts Centre was a performance by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. 9 ukuleles varying in size and tone from a big electric bass one to a pocket-sized one, played by 8 musicians and tunes ranging from Beethoven to Nirvana...can you guess which one they were doing in this shot?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Theme day: Electricity

Today is the first of the month which means it's theme day for those of us in the City Daily Photo gang. This month's theme is Electricity. So being storm season in Brisbane, my intention was to get out there and get the classic shot of lightning over the city but I always seemed to be working or in bed, or very comfortable with a glass of vino when the electrical storms passed through this past month. So I have gone for a shot of the generator at work which is at one of the TV stations up in Mt. Coot-tha. At this time of year with the weather being so charged with electric storms, and with a giant transmitter tower sitting on top of the building, you have to factor in the possibility of being struck by lightning. In the 5 years that I have worked in the building, we have been hit several times and each time this enormous generator keeps us on the air. We run it every time a storm passes near Mt. Coot-tha. It's about 2 metres high and 5 metres long, burns 9 litres of diesel an hour and is very, very noisy.

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