Saturday, 16 November 2013

Day 260: The waiting...

Looking ahead
Day 260 (23 August) Friday. Hospital today. I've offered to take my friend to the hospital along with her mum, and stay as long or as little as necessary. We've planned for the day. 

So it is up early, admission is around 7.00am. I've packed a few work things to do in case I end up spending the day there. Breakfast at 6.12am is the usual. We're off and into town to wait. Same hospital as another friend went to some years ago. I haven't been back there since then. 

My breakfasts are habit,
at 6.12am
Turns out, we are advised we can go home and await a call later in the day. That's what we do. I try to do some work during the day but surgeries are rarely distraction-free. There is the election campaign however...

At some point during the afternoon, I wander outside in the backyard...I have great plans to turn this backyard into a garden, proper, one day. The kookas have been around again and this one seemed quite tame. 

All's good, at 6.12pm
At 4.30 we get the call to go in and wait my friend's move from recovery to the ward. All seems to have gone well, one of those odd post-surgery moments where my friend is 'so' well, one wonders if the surgery hasn't happened yet. But it has and discharge is expected in the morning. At 6.12pm, the room was really just a mass of flowers, and what else might a photographer-type take than the nearest bouquet. It seemed like the best outcome. 

Day 259: We can just relocate the Navy...

Day 259 (22 Aug) Thursday. Nothing out of the ordinary really, a few catch up classes to make up for last Tuesday, talking International Security, one eye on the election campaign...oh, and friend goes into hospital tomorrow for a first go at surgery. Yes, it's a distraction. 

The light, again, at 6.12am
They say at times like this that it is best to keep to regular routines...they probably didn't quite mean keeping a daily blog about what you were doing at precisely two points in the day, but the habit has a kind of reassurance of sorts. 

The subtle changes in the light each morning continue to draw the photographer in me and so this morning at 6.12 the light is getting brighter. 

The Ruddster, on the trail,
at 6.12pm
By the evening, well, after class, catching up with the day's campaigning, apparently the prime minister is going to move the naval base from Sydney to Brisbane. Makes me recall when I was taken by a taxi driver to the naval base in Sydney, instead of Circular Quay...a new fellow to the job obviously, he assured me I could get the ferry to Manly from there. I reckoned with him I couldn't. 

There are creeping elements of chaos in the looks like the Ruddster is back. This is going to be interesting. 

However, there is a drive home ahead, and a day in the waiting room tomorrow, awaiting. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Day 258: Normal transmission resumes

Day 258 (21 Aug) Wednesday. And of course, it is so easy to resume normal work after a day at Fraser but resume we must and so we do. It is a normal sort of day, with the exception of pressing health matters of friends and colleagues. 

The bonsai drinks, at 6.12am
Begins well enough at 6.12am with bonsai on a fine morning and almost no leaves. Given the absence of four seasons here in Brisbane as others might know them, the bonsai is proving to be a nice reminder. *Must remember to water the twigs* becomes an imperative. The moss at the base of the trunk is a reminder that it is a living thing. 

Tutes, at 6.12pm
We remain in full election mode of course so the day involves keeping up with campaigning news. Living here in the PM's electorate adds a certain level of interest. Although quite a swing is required to unseat KRudd, his primary opponent, Bill Glasson, is running a highly visible campaign with volunteers on key intersections each morning now (or so it seems). 

By 6.12pm, we are continuing in the second tute on East Asian politics, reading the Dower text. Tonight, I have brought along some of his other books for students to gain a sense of his extended works on Japan and the United States and the Second World War. 

Home again, and I plan the rest of the week. It is going to be tension-filled, on so many levels. 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Day 257: Fraser Island plus alpha

A day on Fraser Island for a work meeting inevitably means photos for a camera person. Marvellous colours on the ground; terrific views from the air. It was all work...but not as we normally know it. 

There's a yacht out there...

A dingo comes to greet us


The horizon

Sand mining legacy

Day 257: Fraser is work, really

Without words...on the way to Fraser.

Day 257 (20 Aug) Tuesday. 

A very early start...the plane leaves the Sunshine Coast Airport at about 8am, we are to assemble a bit earlier. That means a drive to Maroochydore via the university to make it in time requires a 5.30am departure. 

The tunnel, at 6.12am
Unusually therefore, at 6.12am, we are about to enter the tunnel (again, pic by my passenger) but it is a lovely morning for small planes (did I mention that part...?).

Car park sight
Arrive at the campus in time to continue the journey on to the airport; manage to get to the airport in time, only to discover we are too early for coffee...all members of the Council arrive in time and off we go. Nice pics (see the plus alpha post following) including meeting some of the brave wildlife, one of the famous dingoes. 

It wasn't my first visit to Fraser and of course as an island and environment it is a significant part of our cultural and literary heritage. Among other things, I am reminded of one of Patrick White's novels, A Fringe of Leaves. The meeting is an important one, the Council is effectively the University's board of directors, but there is some time to make a tour of the facilities and check out some of the Island's history (the sand mining legacy remains apparent). 

At lights, at 6.12pm
Back in reasonable time to go back to the office, catch up on some matters including the outcome of a particular court case pertinent to the university and its culture. There will be some more work there for me to follow up tomorrow. 

While waiting by the car, I notice some of the flora in the car park...the sun hits it in a particular way and the colour and contrast are quite stunning. It seems a fitting end to the day. 

Day 256: Back to work, no rest for amateur musicians

Day 256 (19 Aug) Monday. It is back to work despite the concert. My professional musician friends generally get the day off after a concert until they have to turn around and start rehearsal for the next concert ... their schedule is a little more intense, just in a different way. 

Washing up, at  6.12am
Leaving work, approx 6.00pm
Another early start with meetings and car pooling today. Washing up at 6.12 am...the height of the mundane. No rehearsal tonight though means a little extra time at work to get things done I might not have otherwise done. 

One class today and then I must make arrangements for the trip tomorrow to Fraser Island for University Council... that means a day away from campus so relief teaching needs to be organised and things I would normally prepare for Wednesday will need to be reviewed. 

Down the highway, again,
at 6.12pm
I'll need to review the Council papers again before I leave since connectivity may not be available on the island so I'll need to check I have all the info ready...

Things are getting interesting politically. Day 15 of the campaign and Kevin Rudd's gamble seems to be in a bit of a tight spot...opinion polls are looking grim. Primary support is down, but I have my doubts about opinion polls and their use in campaigns. They are somewhat overemphasised. 

By about 6.00pm we are about to head home and the setting sky is looking rather remarkable with its colour and bright stars. Twelve minutes later, we're on the highway again, with the pic taken by my passenger, I insist. 

Tomorrow begins anew...

Day 255: SLO at the 'Keddie'

At the Keddie, again
 Day 255 (18 Aug) Sunday. Concert day. 

Dawn, at 6.12am
Not a lot else gets done on concert days. Although the concert itself doesn't start until 2.00pm, there is an early sound check, a 'top and tail' rehearsal as required and sometimes a little extra work on more challenging pieces. 

There's also quite a bit of idle time for some of us--some pieces we are not in, some rehearsal takes a little extra time. I tend to tweet a bit, to show the public a little of the 'behind-the-scenes' scenes. 
Waiting, waiting...

It was another lovely start at 6.12am. The 'dawn' series will end up looking quite interesting at the end of this exercise. 

Nice to turn out to the Kedron-Wavell Services Club again, and I'm looking from the stage in a slightly different way having been here a couple of weeks ago for the ABC Exhumed evening. This is our twelfth or thirteenth year playing here and it is usually one of those entertaining concerts, and a bit of a favourite since we play to an audience that wouldn't usually listen to an 'orchestra'. 

Home again, at 6.12pm
The program is not our usual for this venue, a little too 'serious' so the audience is down although those who turn up are impressed by the talent of the student musicians. 

Once we're done it's time to pack up and head home. They are intense days and usually require a bit of rest and recuperation...after fish and chips, it's into the Bertie Beetles...then bed. 

Day 254: Concerts, concerts

Centre of attention: Bella

Day 254 (17 Aug) Saturday. A concert this evening (to attend) and a concert tomorrow (to play). The August weekends continue to remain full. 

Dawn, at 6.12am
Mum's azaleas
Tonight's concert features a favourite pianist (Nikolai Demidenko) and favourite composer, Dvorak, his Symphony no. 8. In the morning I take a bit of time to catch up on the week's political events via the newspapers early on, before heading down to visit my mum. Entertainer of the moment goes to her new pup Bella who is becoming accustomed to having her photo taken. 

It is a stunningly colourful start to the morning at 6.12. These are the most stunning of skies to look at, the colour, the texture of the clouds and just watching the colour 'fade' in a very short time. 

By the time I've visited mum and had lunch and done a few other things (including purchase of a winning lotto ticket--haha) it is time to turnaround and head back for the QSO concert. 

Thinking, at 6.12pm
At 6.12pm, I'm at a friend's mother's place where she has an intriguing sculpture just near the many stories I bet, so ripe for the imagination. (So many friends now are also attuned to this 6.12 project...they sometimes remind me.)

The concert is a stunning one as anticipated, the Rach piano concerto no. 2 the highlight. Demidenko has toured here previously, he is such a joy to hear. 

Home to rest, for tomorrow is St Lucia Concert, series three, number one...

Day 253: An extra catch-up

On the highway, at 6.12pm
Day 253 (16 Aug) Friday. An unexpected day at work, but useful to get those extra things done. There might be time to get back for a seminar...or just go with the usual beer and pizza...

Breakfast reading and
working, at 6.12am
Breakfast at 6.12am is a combination of eating, reading, catching up with yesterday's news...then of to work with a colleague. 

No matter how hard one tries to hide in an office with a closed door...people find out you are there and so the day goes. 

In the end, the seminar will be bypassed to go directly to the usual beer and pizza, that's the sort of day it has been. The pic at 6.12pm, on the highway, I hasten to add, is not taken by me but by my passenger...lots of traffic heading north for the weekend. 

Tomorrow is another day. 

Day 252: Campaign day 11 but it's the little things we notice

Another #612bluesky moment
Day 252 (15 Aug) Thursday. There is just as much going on outside work as there is going on inside. Busy people can organise themselves well for any contingencies but it does just seem at the moment that I could expand my days by another 24 hours and still not accomplish all that should be done. 

Breakfast, at 6.12am
I am beginning to have serious thoughts about changes next year, brought on by the teaching-free semester and long service leave. It could mean quite a change...

We are of course, also well and truly into the election campaign.  Watching it unfold is particularly interesting for me, especially as I contemplate my writing schedule for next year. There is so much I hope to write about and the public attitudes about elections, campaigning and politicians, here and in Japan is one of them. 
End of the lecture, at 6.12pm

It doesn't stop me thinking about the small things though and today was a prime day for that with another bluesky moment and the changing colours of the leaves of the jasmine plant out the front...just spectacular colouring. 

International Security, Thursday's course, finishes relatively on time, at least in time enough for me to be heading across what equates to our 'quadrangle', back to the office, tidy up a few ends and be on my way again, more enthralled than most about the unfolding election campaign. 

Day 251: Bluestockings

Bluestocking stall
Day 251 (14 Aug) Wednesday. Today is our campus contribution to the nationwide week of celebrating women in education, Bluestocking Week. I'll fit it in around a normal day's work but we have some interesting things planned. 

Dishes, at 6.12am
It is an early start so 6.12am today saw dishes washed and briefcase packed to head out the door. There is to be a little bit of organisation for today's events, in between classes and meetings. 

Celebrating women in education
Bluestocking week celebrates and remembers the efforts of women (primarily) in the late 19th and early 20th century to obtain, fairly and equitably, opportunities for education. This in an era when it was thought, for example, that women who demonstrated too much intelligence by exercising their brain might atrophy their wombs thus compromising their reproductive purpose. 

We have planned a fundraising bake-off for a women's shelter as well as a 'Bluestocking Promenade' around the campus highlighting the history of women in education. It is unusual for the campus to have such moments, moments that were a normal part of my student experience. We encounter the expected cheers and jeers of many as we promenaded. 

Tutes, at 6.12pm
We raised a healthy sum of money, encouraged curiosity in several issues ... and then went back to work. 

The politics and security of East Asia is today's subject, and at 6.12pm, we continue to work our way through the Dower text on cultures of war. 

A bit of work back in the office and it is time to head home once more. 

Day 250: There is still much to do...

Sun rising, at 6.12am
Day 250 (13 Aug) Tuesday.  I'll be giving a colleague a lift to work over the next couple of weeks so we start a bit earlier than usual, mainly to aim to leave campus a bit earlier too. 

Much of today is taken up with meetings, including finalising the activities for bluestocking day tomorrow, a bit of fun and frolicking around the campus. 

The sky at 6.12 each morning remains a picture with that photographically fascinating colour behind the 'ink stains' of the trees and leaves. 

The office, at 6.12pm
The day disappears quite quickly, with the usual classes and student consults. The days get like this as we get into the semester...there is a certain sameness and order on the surface, while below there is the frantic paddling of the duck's webbed feet. 

I was still in the office at 6.12pm, though I wasn't at my desk, just at my table, for a change. There is still much to do, and yet, as always, it seems there is never the time to do it. 

Day 249: Just another day at the office.

Day 249 (12 Aug) Monday. Just another day at the office. And so it began with a very green start, just before the sun came up. The jacaranda is in the process of losing its leaves as the season progresses. 

Just before sun-up, at 6.12am

There's always much in the way of the unexpected at work these days; student and staff consults get tucked in and around the usual classes and meetings. 

Stopped in traffic, at 6.12pm
I need to head back to an important rehearsal tonight: the Orchestra gigs are coming up over the next two Sundays and now is the last chance to fine tune the music and the program. We are playing with six young soloists this time, showcasing their talent and giving the students an opportunity...important for their future careers. I was on he road, but stopped in traffic, at 6.12pm...running a bit late after all, but I do get there, just in time.