weekend-Lytton fort

It’s a long weekend this week, a slightly unexpected one. 

On Sunday, we went out to Fort Lytton, which is at the mouth of the Brisbane river, near the port.  It’s been there a long time, but it’s not full of buildings. It is mostly cannon emplacements, to ensure that people didn’t sneak up the river.

My stepfather is a volunteer guide there, which is why we went.  On the first Sunday of even months they fire the guns.  On this Sunday there were also a few horses parading and a historical reenactment group and a Vietnam vets bikie group, so it was pretty busy.

My phone battery was close to dead, and my husband left the camera at home (he picked me up from the gym, so all on him :-) )

The parade ground and re-enactor’s tents. The earth rise in the background is one of the fort walls.


The inlet where heavy items came off the boats

The former quarantine station buildings and the horses.


Hanging out near the big gun

The two smaller guns.  Quite a noise from these, and an even bigger noise when the bigger gun went off.

The guns were part of the protection, but the main work of othe fort was electrical mines that were placed in the river in times of heightened security fears.  The fort had an electrical generator ( late 19th century) and the mines could be monitored and detonated from the fort.  It’s mostly concrete bunkers and grass now, but they are slowly adding things- as money comes in.

The re-enactors were playing cricket on the parade ground

It was a very hot day, the sun was bright, and they were in very warm clothes.

A different activity from our usual habits 

Another Ekka-cellent day!

Because why mess with tradition.  And also I get a steady, if slightly inexplicable trickle, of visitors to this blog as a result of one silly post.

Today was People’s day at the Ekka.  For those poor unfortunate souls who are not Queenslanders, the Ekka is short for Exhibition which is what the Royal Queensland Show is called.  It’s the state fair.

Anyway, it runs for 10 days and on the Wednesday those of us who live in Brisbane get a public holiday to go.  Other local districts get different public holidays.  For some reason we generally opt to go on this day, rather than the weekend.

So we went.  We opted for 100% public transport because Translink finally got the message.  For the past few years they have eschewed return tickets on transport in favour of pushing people towards the public transport card things.  This always results in a public relations disaster at Ekka time as many people who don’t usually public transport have to wait in a stupidly long queue to buy a single ticket to leave.  This year they offered a $6 adult or $3 child round trip ticket to the show from anywhere  ( as far as I can tell) as long as you had evidence of an Ekka ticket.  Smart move. Ensured people pre-bought tickets ( because the line for those is also insane) and looked good.

At first we went to the train station.

We were waiting there for maybe 5-10 minutes, before I thought to check their nifty app.  No train due for 45 minutes! Luckily it was a train station which is next to a busway station (an unusual, if useful set up) so we went there and caught a special Ekka bus.  Which was great, except for the toddlers also on it, who had clearly not spent much time on public transport.  Side note: I am already well aware of the entertainment value of taking a small child onto public transport for a couple of hours, so I was a bit judgey.  How can that small child not be aware of the bus operation?

We arrived at the Ekka without incident, and were able to walk on in ( yay for pre bought tickets!). We entered close to the wood chop arena, so we watched a competition.  It was over pretty quickly

Before the start

About to get stuck in

The aftermath

We sat around waiting for the set up longer than the actual comp.  luckily there are lots of comps through the day, if you want to watch people chopping wood.  Apologies for the quality, there are a lot of distancing/safety measures.

The woodchop is near sideshow alley and the rides, neither of which I particularly like.  And we next found the horseshoing tent, which has been on the move the last few years as the ground are renovated.  I love watching this but there was a crowd, and there seemed to be a competition, but no announcing, or even much hurrying.

It’s hot!

we wandered around, seeing livestock


And rides from afar

Rides from a distance

Before heading to what used to be the show bag pavilion.  It’s now a convention centre and the dog/cat holdings place as well as the agricultural place.

We bought honey and then marvelled at the agriculture displays.  I miss the old agriculture hall, it was much better for these, but I think it is now an apartment building site.

Continue reading “Another Ekka-cellent day!”

daily walk

Most days I go for a lunchtime walk/run.  It started in July and I have managed to keep it going, despite the surgery, despite the pressure of work.  It really helps my frame of mind, and since most days I don’t have meetings in the afternoon, I don’t need to change out of my gear.

Some picks from my walking path.

Continue reading “daily walk”

bits and pieces

A busy weekend. Dinner at my mum’s last night to celebrate my sister and her husband’s birthdays.  That are not usually in Brisbane at this time of year, so an unusual event.  She spoke to our specialist earlier in the week, but we didn’t get much of a chance to talk as lots of family around.

When we did, one of her concerns was that we would end up with 18 frozen embryos and she was freaked out with that amount.  Oh the innocence of not knowing what will go wrong.  I reassured her that we would not let there be 18 babies out there from her eggs.  (If we do end up with spare frostiness after all of this, I would like to be able to donate, but 18!) she also wants to know if we end up using them as we are trying with my eggs as well.

Today we went to Greazefest.  It’s a festival of kustom kulture.  Those k’s predate the kardashaians.  There are a lot of old cars, lots of stalls selling funky and vintage stuff, a couple of band stalls and lots of people dress up.  Vintage fashions galore.  I took a lot of photos, but on the camera, not my phone. So no photos here. It was a lot of fun.  I have a new dress, as well as some other bits and pieces and G has a new hat.  It is interesting to see how focused on things people can see, and how much effort and enthusiasm is poured into it.  The dresses, the tattoos (many tattoos, and a vintage trailer called trailer trash tattoo…) the cars, people take it very seriously.

Tomorrow may be a little quieter. G is seeing a movie with a friend, so I will hang out at the shopping centre for a couple of hours while they do.  I have a poster to get framed, and then I will head for the library. It’s very common to put  libraries in malls in Brisbane, and it’s great!  


On Thursday I took my mum to the paint and sip studio as an early mothers day present. For some reason I thought she wasn’t in town for mothers day, and now we have a family gathering. Anyway for various reasons we have gotten in the habit of doing mothers day the week before.

We went with a friend of mine and her mother, and it turned out we were the only people there that night. The theme was sleepy poppies, and it was interesting to see the different styles.

This one is mine. I am not completely happy with it, I didn’t really get the shapes right, and the red is not quite there. But I do like the feeling of movement.

This one is my Mum’s. I like it, but I know she was frustrated with the red as well, not quite intense enough.


This is my friend’s. She wasn’t happy with it, she felt it looked too timid, too perfectionist. I like it, it is very different from my style, but I couldn’t do it. It’s very stylised, and more careful that I would be able to manage.

This is her Mum’s.

What I found interesting is how the styles emerged. Both mine and my Mum’s show the brushstrokes. We painted rapidly, and then tweaked what we wanted to change. We were moving faster than they were. But both my friend and her mum got very smooth, even backgrounds, and quotes smooth flowers. Close inspection of mine reveals blurry edges and leakage. Well, I was never great at coloring in the lines anyway. It is fascinating how differently we can all interpret the same image, and the same instructions to produce such different pictures. One of the most important things is being able to step back and take a look at it, not close up. Also taking a phot helps.

There is a metaphor for life, and for infertility, and ultimately for painting there. We all follow patterns, but we interpret them in our own way. And sometimes it is hard to see how well we are doing it, because we are too close to. It to see. We have to step back. Also what we appreciate of our lives, or of others, may not be what they appreciate.

An observation on observing

We went to the art museum today. G had brought along the video camera ( did I write about that? Not sure, so will express my thoughts on that too) and tried to get me to talk to the camera so he could make a video ( which he did).

I am not a home video person. My family are not home video people. At all. So I was reluctant/ambivalent when G expressed a desire to obtain one. Which is why ours was second hand.

When I watch videos on line ( as opposed to commercial movies and the like) the ones I am fascinated by are those that show people going about everyday life with little dialogue, and little attention to the camera. There was a really interesting one of 60s or so Tokyo I saw last week. What fascinates me is the people, not commentary on what they are doing. In the same way I love sitting on the bus or train, observing, I like watching the videos where no one is really playing it for the camera.

G wanted me to comment on the art exhibition, to engage with the camera and the viewer. I didn’t want to, and I suppose if I were videoing to do with the exhibit, I would want to set the camera up in a corner and use it to observe people’s reactions to the exhibit. There are privacy issues there, which is possibly why you don’t see many videos of street life, but its what I find fascinating.

This may explain a lot- G and I sometimes have very similar tv/movie tastes ( and really obscure ones) and then quite divergent. I have just realized I quite enjoy the ones that show me people just living, what they do to get by.


The value of relaxing

No, not that kind of relax. Friday was a public holiday in Australia, a public holiday where almost nothing is open in the morning. So I slept in, then spent a very quiet, relaxed day. Reading, stitching, watching bletchley circle and a documentary on tv shows.

It was very liberating to be so relaxed. No errands to run, no chores to do. Most of the time weekends are so busy, catching up on tasks left during the week. I suddenly saw the value in having holidays where everything shuts down. When the shopping centers are open, it’s easy to go, even of you don’t originally want them to be open. I can remember how frustrating it was that supermarkets weren’t open on Sundays. Now I realise that may have been a good thing.

This is what vacations are meant to be for, but they are often just as busy.

Today, I slept in a bit. Then we walked down to a local market we saw advertised during the week at the local bush land restoration. Place. I didn’t realise we had this place, until we saw the market sign, and it was a tiny market- about 4 stalls and a band. It’s a community organization for creek restoration, growing native plants. There were a few families just hanging out, and we got a coffee and did the same. Also a very relaxing thing. It’s something I don’t see so much here, the small community events, so a good thing.

On a slightly different note. I have been working on fitness, progressing through the first week of couch to 5k, but now, it’s my turn to have shin splints. So trying to work out the best way to balance this.