2 April 2019

My day started with a walk around the Queanbeyan river with my dog Pixi. It was a lovely cool 17 degrees when we started our walk this morning, we went from a bridge to bridge around the Molonglo River which was followed by a stop at the Riverside Cafe where I indulged in a hot chocolate served with a marshmallow and a chocolate drop sprinkled with hundreds and thousands. There weren’t that many people around. I guess at the 11th hour of the day what was I to expect?

Pixi not always keen crossing any bridge

We saw a man feeding the black swans with white bread.  It looked like it was something he intended on doing as he had a whole loaf of white bread with him that he unloaded to the swans.  Doesn’t he know you’re not supposed to give white bread to black swans?

From there I drove home and as always Pixi expressed her excitement by squealing her little barks at me while wagging her tale really fast as I drive into my garage. She knows this is home and always welcomes our return here with the same exuberant excitement. The familiarity of home puts her at ease because she suffers from mild anxiety, and when we’re home she feels safe and sound.

After I remove her harness, I look around and I’m bored already, and with boredom comes the urge to eat something just to fill the void, so I grab an early lunch.  I reheat last nights dinner; a piece of salmon and some veg. Now let me tell you, reheating salmon in the microwave is not a good idea. It dries up the outer edges and its succulent flavours from last nights cooking are simply gone, evaporated and dried up from the microwaves. I half ate my salmon with a look of disgust on my face and gave the rest to Pixi, because she is never one to complain when it comes to food.

So I’ve cleaned up the dishes and I take a look at the time and I’m itching to go for a drive somewhere. Where to today?

I drive off anyway, unsure of the directions I’ll take. There are only so many shopping centres around Canberra to take up a part of my day, so as I’m heading north, I’m oscillating on 3 possible destinations, there are more, but I stick with the 3 of them for today. Woden, Canberra city or Belconnen. I’m thinking of my options.  If I go to Canberra city I’ll be pay parking. If I drive to Woden or Belconnen I can get 2hrs free parking, but getting to Woden or Belconnen means the cost of fuel used will equal the cost of the car parking at the Canberra Centre, so with this logic, cough, I’m headed for town.

After I park my car, I take a walk around and enter and exit some stores around the shopping centre and I’m bored shitless already. Fuck me dead! Like really, this is shit. The lunch hour rush of public servants eager to grab a bite in a hurry has come and gone. The place feels empty now. I decide to sit down for a bit of tea and an apple pie at Cherry Bean. I scoff it down as if I’d never eaten pie before. It was sweet but so delicious!

Inside the Canberra Centre.  I had my coffee at the very bottom end of this at Cherry Bean.

I started writing this entry inside Cherry Bean and am now pausing it to continue writing some more once I get back home. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I’m home. I open the garage door and I hear Pixi squealing and barking at her excitement as she hears me come in.  I have purchased a folder and some plastic sleeves to replace a folder I’ve had since I don’t know, the early 80’s? It was barely holding onto the sleeves and the locking device in the middle was broken. So I set about replacing the old with the new and while I was at it, shredded some of my referee reports from my 20’s! Like who keeps referee reports from that long ago? I guess that would be me. Geesh.

Happy it’s all up to date now.

Just ate a bag of popcorn.  Filling the void again! Arghhh.

What do you do when you’re not employed or perhaps retired from the workforce? How do you pass your day? What do you do?

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A Sunday walk to the Canberra Yacht Club

At the Yacht Club

Photo taken by me… 26 Nov. 2017

Yesterday, after spending a fair bit of time at home, doing, I don’t know, bugger all? I decided to take my cute little dog Pixi for a walk.  It was just after lunch and before I set out for my drive, I first checked the weather app.  The clouds up there in the sky were looking kinda heavy and rain was sure to come, but when? The weather app said that rain and thunderstorms would come around 5pm.  So I thought, that’s good, this gives me plenty of time to head on out to the lake and take Pixi for a walk and not get rained upon anytime soon.

When I got to the lake, I decided to park near the National Library of Australia, and from there, as I prepped Pixi with her walking harness, I thought that instead of doing the usual bridge to bridge walk, I’d walk to the Yacht Club instead for some of their ‘Snapper – on the Lake’ which is offered each Sunday, to members and guests, with some live gigs to go with it too.  They have a selection of fresh fish and chips, lovely lake views, and it’s all very relaxing, plus I was hungry and it was way past lunch time, and I hadn’t had lunch yet! And so off we went and walked to the Yacht club, it’s an approx a 3.5km walk to get there from where I’d parked.

There were lots of people there, all enjoying a Sunday afternoon with family and friends, eating and drinking, and kids and dogs playing chasing.  My first approach was to line up and order the fish n chips I’d been dreaming and salivating over on my walk. I waited outside the kiosk for a few minutes, with hand held buzzer in hand, for my order. As I stood outside with Pixi close by, a few people; also with dogs, would comment about Pixi, about how adorable she is, but of course she is! and before I knew it, my lunch was ready.  Now the tricky bit was finding a spot to sit on and eat my lunch.  I found one.  I sat on a small retainer wall and positioned myself to eat.  All was well and good with the world.  It was a delicious as I had dreamt it.  I was so hungry and I scoffed it down like there was no tomorrow.  It was delicious.  YUM! I gave Pixi a bit of the fish n chips and to my surprise, she wasn’t interested.  ‘What? That’s not like you Pixi!’ I thought. I put some fresh water in her water bowl which I carry with me on our walks, and she had a lick and that was it.  Hmm.  Must be the crowd that’s perplexing her interest. Pixi’s a good observer in large crowds.  Just so that you know. She sees everything, lol.

So I sat there, ate my lunch, and enjoyed the soft music and watching the crowd around me, and then after I was done, I decided I’d best get back to my car before it rains.  Those clouds up there in the sky (I mean, where else are clouds supposed to be, right?) were looking ominous and I started to doubt if I’d make it to my car on time before it would bucket down and rain on us. Well…

I walked for about 500m and stopped to take a photo (see above) anchored to the lake, because I thought it was pretty sight, and why not? And no sooner had I taken that photo, the heavens opened up and it rained on us.  Oh no! I quickly ran to the nearest tree for shelter (I mean, standing under a tree when it rains, and the thunder is roaring is not a safe place to stand… but…) Pixi and I stood under a tree anyway, with it’s massive green leaves providing us with some temporary shelter, and I mean, some… It is on a car parking lot.

There were people already in their cars, getting ready to drive home etc., and they were mostly families with kids and some others were just single drivers, and do you think that anyone of them even stopped to consider to offer me and Pixi a lift somewhere? NO! Not one person flinched to even care enough to stop and ask me if I was OK, and if I needed a lift somewhere.  Shocking! I know me.  Had I been in a car and saw someone randomly standing there in the rain with a dog, looking kinda defeated, I’d stop and ask if they were OK, if they needed a lift etc.  Why wouldn’t I??? I was disappointed that people simply went about their own business and it didn’t occur to any of them to consider other people around them.  Not one! Grr.

I waited for a while, and then as the rain softened somewhat, I made my way to the Hyatt, where I found a solid spot to stand under and then I made my way to the front of the Hyatt where I found a taxi rank and hailed a taxi.  At first, the taxi driver was like, ‘I’m on my way to a booked call, I can’t take you, sorry..’ He said, and I called out again, ‘Please, it’s not far from here, just 2 km if not less… Please!’ He budged. Thank goodness.  I guess he felt sorry for me and Pixi standing there in the rain, half soaked from the rain and looking half destitute.  Bless him.

The drive to my car was interesting.  At first, he wasn’t sure how to get out from their, having missed the exit road, so he had to do a U turn and drive half way back to get onto the exit which led to the road that my car was parked on.  Yeah! What relief.  I paid the taxi driver and from there I drove on home.

Moral of the story?

Don’t tempt the weather when it looks like it will rain sooner than anticipated. An umbrella would’ve been nice, but I’d left it in my car, which was totally useless to me!

The Versailles Exhibition in Canberra

I went to watch Versailles Treasures from the Palace at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra today. My visit here today was part of an agreed meet up with some friends, and as often is the case with me, when I go to an event like this I’m never too sure about what I should expect. And so…

When I arrived at the gallery I was greeted at the parking gate with a ‘Full’ sign. I was not impressed Nelly, I thought! Then again, I wasn’t overly surprised neither. I had people waiting in line behind me, and I had to signal them to reverse back so I could get out. Luckily, reversing back out wasn’t such a drama and everyone was complaint and made room for me to get out, even though I’ve no doubt that they weren’t overly amused about it. I had the option of waiting it out at the gate though, I could’ve waited until a car exited the car park and then I’d be let in. I couldn’t be bothered waiting around for the gate to open, even though it might’ve been best had I stayed and waited a minute or two, but little Ms Impatient that I can be I just wanted to be on time to meet up with my group of friends. After I reversed out I went for a drive around the block and back; like I mentioned earlier, I should’ve been patiently waiting at the gate, and then I went and parked behind the John Gorton Building. Plenty spots there! Damn it. Paid parking. Arrghh. It’s like a sword poking my side, I’m telling you. Having access to free parking is a major thing for me! A thing of the past I know, but seriously, it’s ouch costly.

I walked into the gallery and waited for my friends at the top of the elevators. Hmm. Where are they? I was perfectly on time. I waited and waited (this seemed like forever) and then I spotted one of them, and then another and another, and before I knew it we were all together. Yeah!

Inside the Versailles exhibition I was greeted by (1) paintings, intricate tapestries, gilded furniture items, monumental statues and other objects from the royal gardens, and personal items from Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette.

It was splendid.

What can I say? I’m not a fan of crowds, they annoy me at the best of times and because of this I didn’t allow myself the time to relish in each and every item as I would otherwise, because it was hard reading some of the notes and hard to get too close to see the fine details of some of the items. Crowds of people have a way of blocking my view. It’s very annoying. So I walked through the exhibition admiring as many of the items on display as I could, and then I found myself with one of my friends close by and where were the others, where did they go? They were behind me somewhere.

At one point I took a photo of a painting with my iPhone and the flash went off alarming one of the gallery guards to come running up to me and reprimanding me for having flashed the flash, stating that the ‘flash’ was not allowed.  Ooops.  I apologised.

As it turned out, the photo I took with the flash looks awful and grainy, the flash made it look horrible and green like. So I went into the settings of my iPhone and removed the flash option and chanced another photo shoot without a flash and this time, it came out splendid.


I had a giggle though.  As I was being told off about my flash light going off, a woman close by approached me asking me if I could please help her change her settings and remove her flash from her phone.  I looked at her and at her phone and it wasn’t an iPhone.  What do I know about androids? Nothing.  (Cough, cough.  Not true, of course I can navigate through those things). So I apologised to her about not being able to help her.  I told her a white lie.  Of course I could help her, but chose not to.  I know.  Please don’t crucify me! I just didn’t want to be standing there in a semi dark room trying to figure out how to change her flash setting from her android, which would’ve taken up my time to enjoy the exhibition and taken up my time to get back to my car on time before I would get booked.  I was in a hurry (sorta).  She didn’t look impressed. Err excuse me! Did I have a sign over my head that said, ‘android technician here at your service’? No!

It wasn’t long thereafter that I walked out of there and my friend and I headed up to the cafe, a welcome reprieve let me tell you.  I sent a text message to one of the other friends and let them know I was inside the cafe with our friend.  They soon all made their way to us and we spent a lovely hour chatting until we got up and left for the day. (I know, I know! I said earlier that I was in a hurry when I chose not to help that helpless woman with her android… Priorities!) Now I feel bad.  Damn it.  I should’ve helped her. Grr. I’m so sorry lady! Drops my head down in shame.

Overall what did I think of the Versailles exhibition?

I thought it was spectacular.  It is definitely worth a visit if you can make it. I loved the grandeur of the paintings and the sculptures, the fine detail in the drawings and the intricate tapestries filled with lots of colours and the fine details which for me seemed it would take an eternity to create.  The gilded furniture items such as the Hunting table with a map of Compiègne 1737 is very reminiscent of a time long past and very regal nevertheless, and the monumental statues such as the Bust of Louis XIV 1665–66 depicted the face of a king responsible for the largest palace ever built.

Simply beautiful.