2007-06-10

A Break From the Bush

We have a 3 month break from going bush, it would seem. Anne, a friend of a colleague, needed people to house-sit (and cat sit...) her place in Toowong, and I figured it would be a good fit for me, as for the next four weeks or so I'd've rented a room in Brisbane for three days a week anyhow. C was well up for a city break after 3 months in Nimbin, and the plan also cut short the time we'd have to spend half the week apart by nearly a month - a win-win. Once in Brisbane, C logically enough decided that she may as well look for a short-term contract. Her first interview was for the Queensland office of the Premier, and she decided to sign up for a 3 month contract working on their websites.
Anne is an ultrarunner, and is heading over to her native South Africa for three weeks, to compete in the annual Comrades Marathon - 90 kilometres of sunburnt craziness. Anne's place is a pleasant queenslander, set back from the road in a very quiet street in a quiet part of Taringa. You can tell she's the South African on the street - it's the only house surrounded by a bloody great wall, and with a closed, locked gate at the front. Her cats (Cleo and
Slinky) are friendly and affectionate, and at 14, too old to be any hassle - both of them live to eat, and spend their day directly in front of the heat ducts, and hunting the sunny spots in the garden - hard life. We now have a couple of tricky problems to sort out - Brisbane accomodation for July and August, and how to make time to get down to Nimbin during that eight weeks. C's job doesn't start till next week, Monday is a bank holiday in Queensland, and I work from home on Fridays, so we have six of the first 10 days to chill here and to explore this part of the city together. Toowong and Taringa themselves are your average suburbia - there are quite a few old-style queenslanders here, some in very good nick indeed, but other than that there's nothing of interest.
The state botanical gardens are a five minute drive up the Western motorway however, so we checked those out on Saturday - they'll be more impressive once they're more mature, but the range (and arrangement) is pretty impressive, and they seem to be keeping all the plants alive despite the drought, through an extensive system of tanks and reservoirs.
Monday is the Queens Birthday here - a bank holiday, and therefore a long weekend. We took advantage of being back in Brissie, and headed down to the Powerhaus - they have an exhibition of press photography from around the world. I enjoyed it, but was slightly disturbed by some of the images, such as Iraqi babies killed in the war and Lebanese residential districts blown to smithereens, and much more disturbed by the flippant attitudes to the images that several groups of Aussies displayed - I've never been to an exhibition of photoreportage before where it seemed to be the done thing to joke about the images.
The long weekend has felt like a well-deserved holiday, and made me realise that I need to schedule a proper break quite soon - I've been working for 10 months without more than 2 days off in a row, and most of those have been wrapped around weekends and pressed into service to do things that don't really fit into long weekends like fly to New Zealand and back. I'm looking forward to another 3 weeks during which I can think about all the things that need to be done to the house in Nimbin, but without the threat that I might actually be called on to do any of them.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awww, chill mate, loyfes too short man!

Jay said...

hmmmm, who could this anonymous poster be? Mr George perhaps? Anyway, read on for another couple of weeks, and all will become clear (sort of)