Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Day 120: I chanced upon a wing...

Day 120: ...and a dare.

Patterns in nature...we've talked about these before dear reader. Today was a bit special I think. I chanced across this moth (deceased, unfortunately) but with a spectacular pattern and colouring on its wing. 

On a wing...

...and the rest.

As I was setting up to take a pic, I was 'challenged' by this little creature with long flaring antennae-type appendages out the back...seemed to think I was intruding on its space. Kind of like a little money spider, but not. 

Back off

Just like today really, running on a bit of a wing, and a dare...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 1.40pm, 1.38pm, 1.06pm]

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Day 119: Gumnuts...

Day 119: ...nothing else really

Gumnuts. Lovely. They just fell, landed on the aloe vera. They always remind me of the May Gibbs stories of my childhood. 

Good day of research, good day of writing. The short break in the backyard was worth it. 

Gumnut babies...
Could be the origin of the philips head screwdriver...ever think of that?

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 3.27pm]

Day 118: Life is like...

Day 118: ...a rocky road

Well, if it were this kind of rocky road, I could have it every day. I don't of course, but one is obliged in this post-Easter time, to not allow the kindness of friends go to waste...right? 

Apart from a short break to attend another tai chi class (we're working our way through the 108 moves) it was mostly a day at home, continuing to write away. Of course, as the end of April fast approaches, I need to take stock and see where I'm at as far as the writing plan goes. It is something one chips away little by little each day. Overall, I guess, I've got more on the 'advancing' side of the ledger, though it is never quite as far as one would like. 

Rocky Road, close up...
This was afternoon tea, having worked my way through documents on the pearling industry in Queensland in the 1890s. I've not really looked at it close was a pause this afternoon that made me realise I am indeed fortunate if this is as rocky as my roads get...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 3.12pm]

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Day 117: Light and shade...

Day 117: ...playing with p-h-o-t-o-g-r-a-p-h-y

I spent a further day today reading and writing with occasional forays into the garden. A mostly pleasant sunny morning with clouds and a little rain later in the day. If you listened closely, there was just a touch of thunder rumbling along as well. 

The book I read was Christine Piper's After Darkness, a new novel and Vogel prize winner, it is an addition to the emerging 'genre' of Japan-Australia war stories I've read or seen lately including 'The Railway Man' (the film), and Flanagan's Narrow Road to the Deep North. Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being also sits alongside these stories, although with a North American flavour. Despite being novels (and film), they are part of my research project on Arendt's storytelling and thought. It is all related.

Storm approaching (no filter, no alteration)

Likewise, in my photography, I like to explore light and shade, colour-not's weather was just one such opportunity. Storm clouds always offer entrancing shapes and textures. During the day I also liked the way the changes in the light changed the appearance of the rogue bamboo out the back. 

Bamboo at 3.41, no alteration, pre-rain

Bamboo at 4.23, no alteration, post-rain

It reminds me I must busy myself with extracting it (again) one day...

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 2.12pm, 3.41pm, 4.23pm]

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Day 116: Yayoi's eyes...

Day 116: ...are watching...
Detail, 1

Today after clarinet rehearsal, I made my way into the city to see a movie with friends. It meant a stroll past the court buildings and another look at one of our more interesting works of public art, Kusama Yayoi's Thousands of Eyes. I have marvelled at it many times before, I recall thinking at the time it was quite a courageous installation, outside the court buildings.  

Thousands of Eyes, (Y. Kusama) in situ, partial detail

I do enjoy public art, particularly work struck for a particular place and time. I appreciate the work and effort by the artists and, if I don't 'get it' immediately, I like the fact I have to think about it. I may not always end up liking it, but it is public and it is for us. 

As it happens, I quite like Kusama's story and her work. She has been institutionalised in Japan for many years, and her polkadot-based work is quite well known. Her works have been part of the Queensland Art Gallery Asia-Pacific Triennial. Her installation I liked most was the indoor water feature filled with stainless steel mirror balls, just floating around, responding to people's pushing and touching and reflections. I still recall watching a toddler squealing with delight one day as she made the balls move around. 

Detail, 2

The other thing about public art in your own city is you can go back and see it again and again...which I often do. I'm liking this one, each eye is different and I guess the eyes have different meanings for all the people who find themselves in the forecourt of this judicial precinct. 

Oh, the movie? 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. Quirky in places, mostly quite watchable. I'd give it a reasonable star rating.

[Camera : iPhone 4S 1.20pm]

Friday, 25 April 2014

Day 115: Refocus...

Day 115: ...on the detail

Anzac Day, 25 April. Commemoration of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. The day begins with dawn services in many many places. It is a solemn day for reflection for many, and many facets are reflected. Next year will be the 100th anniversary.

I have spent the day similarly, not going far, thinking much about last night's program. 

It is days like today that I just like to stay home, look about, read, write and rest. In the resting moments, I popped outside to check the garden, yes, looking for pics, seeking out the detail. 

I'm a tad amused at present. Capsicum seedlings I planted some weeks ago are still alive...and producing. That, as you know dear reader, is quite an achievement in these parts. 

Flowering...soon-to-be... capsicum

There is also a large gum tree out the front and it is in flower. The blossoms drop everywhere and can appear to make a mess...or make intriguing patterns as they come to rest on the tomato plant leaves.


Yep, that's pretty much all today...just marvelling at nature's little details in between the thinking of bigger things. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 12.34-12.39pm]

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Day 114: I must keep at it...

Day 114: ...perpetual peace

As you will know, dear reader, I've been working away on Kant's Perpetual Peace, or Zum ewigen Frieden, to give it its German title. I've also been trying to get some insight from the Japanese translation. 

Two quite different tasks today: one was to go and continue working on the next round of bargaining issues. The second was to attend 612ABC in the evening, part of a live studio audience on a program, on the eve of ANZAC Day, on what happens to service people when they return from overseas deployments. 

So the second task found me with a little time at South Bank to do some reading. I started at the State Library coffee shop for a late lunch and coffee but was eventually crowded out by a post-wedding reception...but I was reading...

Sticking with Kant...

Just before heading to the studio, I sat at South Bank where I usually sit on a Saturday afternoon play day, and took in the city at night. I've got a night light camera workshop coming up soon...I took a practice shot...quite pretty under the cover of darkness really.

Not bad, for just after sunset...

A very interesting program, very privileged to hear the conversation and voices of returned service personnel...the staff at our ABC do a magnificent job. 

But I must keep at my vision of a Perpetual Peace, there is too much unnecessary trauma and hurt. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 4.14pm, 6.00pm]

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Day 113: Don't get in a flap...

Day 113: ...time to think and write

Well, today was a continuation of yesterday. More reading and the inevitable 'pen to paper' (or 'fingers to the keyboard' more technically) moment where the writing gets underway. It is usually the introductions to essays I find the hardest. What to say; how to say it; how to draw the reader in?

...It starts with the premise that the foundations
 for a Northeast Asian security community
 exist and that nations can
 consciously make choices
 to pursue a militarist or peaceful path... 

And my challenge, of course, is to make a long dead German philosopher sound worthy of reading again in 2014 (and beyond). Poetry slam perhaps...

At one of those 'thinking' points today, one of the more friendly loris dropped by, and walked along the handrails with more determination than an academic writing about long dead philosophers. 

It's not just left-wing thinking...[digitised and enhanced]
Later in the day, with the introduction written, I chanced upon my little local cafe...I've become the's a responsibility I shall bear for the community. Today: banana cake, very healthy. It's what Kant meant by his moral imperative, I'm sure. 

A moral imperative to taste-test...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 9.05am, 3.47pm] 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Day 112: Calm descends...

Day 112: ...of a sort

Like most people, it was back to work, which is mostly at home for me at the moment. I'm working on a paper, a rethinking of Kant's idea of a pacific federation and whether or not it might work in the Asia-Pacific region...almost quite literally. 

One of the expectations of life as an academic is the ongoing research and more importantly publishing of our work. (The only other thing bigger that publishing is bigger grants...but that's another post.) One of the issues I've had to think about is where to publish...that's a decision about which journal to send the article to once it is written. That's actually harder than it sounds...for one, there are so many journals and secondly, there is an expectation one will publish in a journal of 'quality'... I know, cue complexity. Our jobs depend on it.

Many people I know have their place or space where ideas work or crystallise or come to fruition...the 'lightbulb' moment. For me, that often happens when I'm mowing the lawn...don't ask me why. Anyway, I needed some thinking space, the grass needed mowing, I put the two together and ... problem solved!

Thereafter, it was nice to look up and see the sun on the bougainvillea and a 'partridge in a pear tree'. OK, not quite, but the silhouette of the crested pigeon, the flowers, the sunlight...all calmness and light. 

Colour, light and calm...

And that cloud...bit of a talking point today. Turns out it was a very dispersed contrail from earlier in the day, apparently, not a harbinger of meteorological intrigue.

Painting the sky...

All problems, solved.

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 3.28pm, 3.23pm]

Monday, 21 April 2014

Day 111: A little bluesky thinking...

Day 111: ...a tourist in my hometown

I mentioned last week that occasionally I like to wander around the city with my 'tourist eyes', looking at things that I would find interesting if I were a tourist...and a camera wielding tourist at that. It helped that my friend is still keen to continue exploring her new camera so...what are friends for, if not to help out in these times? 

We started out at the Brisbane Corso along the river, a quiet park with birds. I took along my film camera, aiming to capture some black and white pics. The Ekka competition deadline is approaching and I am planning some black and white photos this year (as well as colour). Of course, that's we have to wait for it to be developed...

After a little while, we ventured towards GOMA and Kurilpa Park...we didn't get too far in the hour or so strolling around--the fig tree roots, the fig trees, the river, the water dragons, the architecture, the elephant and the water much to choose from in a fairly small area. In the end, in honour of our ongoing #612bluesky project, I selected a few of my buildings and the blue sky contrast. 

Kaleidoscope building

State Library of Queensland feature

Reflection on GOMA

GOMA bluesky
Very hard to choose just one. We do have a lovely, rather photogenic, city.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D 28-55mm, 3.22pm, 3.27pm, 3.29pm, 4.21pm]

Day 110.5: A little moonlight dancing...

Day 110.5: ...with a little imagination

This is just a little add-on post from yesterday...because the koala so unexpectedly took centre stage. But part of the day was also about heading out and about with a friend as she learnt to use her new camera. That's always see things through the eyes of a beginner. Much like teaching, it's an important skill we ought not forget. Anyway, probably my favourite pic from a short sunset stroll around the City Botanic Gardens was my pic of these blossoms...if we were in Tokyo, they'd be cherry blossoms, but I'm not sure what this was doing blossoming in autumn. 

All in the timing
My other aim for the day was to capture the moonrise. The night before, the moon was a big, slightly clipped, red disc. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos there and then. So it was an adventure to Manly at around 9.30pm for a scheduled 9.40 moonrise. 

Rising above Manly Harbour

A few minutes  later...
So, not quite as spectacular as the night before, and my moon pics need work, but a bit of fun nonetheless and a spot of moonlight dancing...

Moonlight dancing

...with a little imagination. Which is what it is all about, really.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 5. 21pm, 9.56pm, 10.02pm,with cropping]

*And I've just realised my camera has been set to Tokyo time...the time on all the Canon pics need to be brought forward an actual 'der' moment.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Day 110: Serendipity finds itself...

Day 110: the old gumtree.

A cautious early call today. There is much chocolate to be had, rocky road to be photographed (I'm thinking texture...) etc and so forth. 

The backyard noises last night were a little more heavy-footed than usual, even as poss grows. A bit odd I thought. Awoke this morning to poss safely back in her box, Dylan the kooka hanging about and..., wait. This needs, as we academics are wont to say, 'context'. I've showed off poss and Dylan (the kooka whose feathers were 'blowin' in the wind one day), the loris and scaly breasted green parrots all in my backyard. I work on a campus shared with a couple of mobs of kangaroos. When I travel overseas I have to temper that foreign belief that we ride kangas down the streets and everyone has a koala in the backyard. Until today. 

Along with poss and Dylan, sat a new welcome visitor, a koala in the gum tree. Quite exciting really. Very unexpected in these parts given the rapid housing development in recent years. In fact, everyone's excited...there's just something about koalas.

You have to look...

...and look...

...and eventually go with the close crop!

So, true to the #project365 mantra, this was just one of those wondrous moments, serendipity and completely unexpected. A joy!

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 6.09am, 7.58am, 6.12am (really))

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Day 109: No tip-toeing, no ukeleles...

Day 109: ...just gorgeous tulips

Easter Saturday, a plan to head to the city at some stage to collect the neighbours' Easter gifts. I have the best neighbours and each day of celebration we usually share something over the fence. I haven't yet quite decided what to get--eggs by tradition, or a luscious chocolate basket...(it's a combo of both, as it happens).

In the end, that wasn't all I needed to think about. A good friend has decided to pursue photography as an interest...we went camera shopping! I don't mind that kind of diversion. 

Anyway, as part of an Easter gift, I received the most gorgeous tulips--what else was I to do but take pics, which I did. Tulips are my favourite, when there aren't any frangipanis with dew drops...or roses in bloom...or bromeliads...

OK, I like flowers as photographic subjects...You only get to see four...I've taken many more...

Tulip: first view

Tulip: second view (with shadow)

Tulip: third view
Tulip: fourth view (with shadow)

Perhaps some more tomorrow as they open further.

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 9.18pm, 9.48pm]

Did my friend buy a camera? Yes. 
Will there be more exciting camera excursions? Yes...

Oh, and I understand Brisbane hosted members of the Royal Family today, at South Bank.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Day 108: A day to be...

Day 108: ...anything but hot and/or cross

Good Friday today, a public holiday and one of religious significance for those so inclined. All I ensure here is that there are no choc chips in the buns. That's all. 

Today was a day of much reading (the life of this writer has no rest really) with a little garden exploration and tending later in the day to partake of the magnificent sunshine which graced us throughout the day.

Among my favourite plants are the bromeliads. Their wondrous spikes of colour are fading fast but for one. I love the way the rich red is fading to pink and as I looked a little closer, the colours seemed to be like textured brushstrokes on a canvas. I had another of my Georgia O'Keeffe moments. 

Brommie 1

Brommie 2

Brommie cascade
The pics are not altered in any way other than a bit of cropping. I like the effect of working through camera to screen to blog and the altered pixels each time, gets closer to looking like a painting. 

A pleasant day, really. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 3.33-3.36pm]

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Day 107: Larger than life...

Day 107: ...and casting a shadow

Although I'm on leave from teaching, I don't have a completely uninterrupted run with writing...which is a bit of a shame really, because following yesterday, I was already to keep going today...

foedus pacificum: a philosophical sketch...

Exciting, don't you think... (^o^)/ (even better without the typo...)

Today I had to go out to work on some uni-related matters over enterprise bargaining which always takes longer than it should. It meant catching buses but the first one was running more than ten minutes late which then made subsequent trips late etc and so forth. The return trip includes a train leg and while it wasn't late, I found a wallet so I took it to lost and found and that's never quite as straight forward as it might be. Though that is my good deed for the day.

All of which, got me back to my early morning encounter with this tiniest of tiny spiders on the table outside. No bigger than a pinhead, it was jumping all over the place and the sun was such it cast a shadow which caught my eye...I've cropped it a little which makes the background look much more textured than it really is. 

Things aren't always what they seem

Shadow plays...politics...enterprise bargaining: all is not always what it seems. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 7.07am, cropped]

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Day 106: In adversity...

Day 106: ...uncompromising (in adversis asper)

I am continuing with my community service and in the afternoon took some time out to visit  the local coffee shop. I chose to walk to the shop, about 20 minutes, partly as exercise and partly because...I could. 

Of course, camera in hand, I keep an eye out for things which catch my eye. I noticed this little flower along the way...cropped, it looks quite pretty...

Along the way...
...but in fact, when we draw back, we see it is managing to succeed in spite of its challenging is probably a weed of some sort, but as we've noted here before, the weeds shall inherit the earth and some days, it is a good thought to hang onto. the bus shelter
Meanwhile, back at my little local cafe, much thinking was done on the work front: securing  community in international relations... in adversis asper*...could become a thing. 

*amateur Latin pretension

[Camera ; iPhone 4S, 4.45pm]

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Day 105: An endless fascination...

Day 105: ...with how the garden grows

You will know, dear reader, I am not one for succeeding in the garden. Very much serendipity and good luck rather than good management in my case. And this evening, I should be waiting in anticipation for every photographer's dream shot of the lunar eclipse...

...but the clouds are hovering in just the wrong place and the timing is a little squeezy, coinciding as it does with my tai chi class (which I can't afford to miss[well, actually, I can, but I just don't want to...]). 

I get quite excited when I see new shoots on something in the is proof positive that things can and do thrive around here despite my interference. Just like this fern out in the front yard...I really like the way new fern fronds unfold...

New shoots

Nature always eclipses that which we think we can master...

And that's a good thing. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 2.53pm]

Day 104: This writerly life...

Day 104: community-building

When I learned I would have a year away from teaching this year (a combination of a number of things including long service leave), I planned to write quite a bit...I have much to catch up on. I imagined part of that would involve sitting and reading in writerly places...the back verandah, little coffee shops, a kind of faux-bohemian existence. 

Reality of course has been a little different, with constant deadlines and work matters to deal with. Nonetheless, there is some progress. A little coffee and gift shop has re-opened under new management in my local shopping strip. I was chatting with the owner the other day, telling her of my 'writerly dream' and she said that was exactly the atmosphere she was trying to create. So,...

...given that my politics is all about community-building, the least I could do is assist. So I have chosen a rather large book I must read for research purposes and I shall endeavour to read a chapter or two a day over coffee, as my schedule permits. 

Politics in the coffee shop...
Who knows, this might be the space from whence the politics book with all the answers emerges...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 1.34pm]

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Day 103: Down came the rain...

Day 103: ...and flushed the fungi out

Perhaps it has something to do with the cyclone up north, but today in Brisbane it was a wet and rainy day. Perfect day for staying indoors and reading (Hannah Arendt, of course). Until I noticed that the Gallery of Modern Art in town was showing the Orson Wells classic 'Citizen Kane'. And so I thought, why not? 

That got me outdoors when I least expected it to do so and the rain always brings out interesting additions to the lawn...these two caught my eye as I stepped out to catch the bus: the mushrooms weren't there yesterday...and I'm a little intrigued that, as I looked a little closer,  I might have caught a mushroom in the process of emerging from the I haven't seen that before. 

Fungi 1

Fungi 2
As for Citizen Kane, it is a deserved classic...with strong resonance still today with media moguls and their ilk. Glad I stepped out to see it, in the rain. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 12.02pm]

Day 102: It was writ...

Day 102: the clouds

With North Queensland on high alert for a category 5 cyclone overnight, those of us further south just had the radio and reports to listen to and hope that the cyclone wouldn't cause the destruction anticipated.

This morning's clouds then had a touch of the ominous about them on the back of cyclone warnings, even though we are quite some distance away. Without the cyclone, perhaps they would have seemed different. Nonetheless, they made for a rich and textured canvas for the emerging sun beams as we greeted the day. 

Cloud bank
Later in the day, by contrast, as I looked out over South Bank (having just seen the Scottish play) the almost full moon, and now cloudless sky, loomed over the skyline. Full moon in a few there's a photographic challenge, writ large...

South Bank
[Camera : iPhone 4S, 5.38am, 4.57pm]

Friday, 11 April 2014

Day 101: A flash of...

Day 101: ...not what I expected really...

A day on the highway, #theBruce as we affectionately know it, to attend to a couple of meetings at work. One was one of those meetings that is simply one of a series of seemingly never-ending negotiations...

The other one, well...the less said the better. I imagine when I'm 80 (and wearing much purple) and standing in a line at a shop waiting to be served, I'll be overlooked for ages...that happens with some meetings I go to...people see me, think it can't be a 'proper' meeting and talk to my interlocutor like I'm not there...sigh.

At least it meant an early departure home again where my eye caught this flash in the late afternoon sun...


It was a crystal ornament hanging on the window...I don't often get to see its effect at this time of day...just reward for being overlooked really. 

Turn the prism on its side...see things differently

Tomorrow, it's the Scottish favourite, time to be a Lady MacB...

(Camera : iPhone 4S, 3.51pm)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Day 100: What you see here...

Day 100: ...may not be what I see...

Really day 100, back on track (we hope). And so, to a couple of meetings in the city today: one in West End on the south side of the river and one at Riverside, all the way over to the other side of the CBD. I walked quite a bit today, in fact, according to Google maps, somewhere in the vicinity of four or five kilometres, on foot. 

There was just enough time in between the morning meeting and the lunchtime meeting to sit by the State Library and read....Hannah Arendt...

The weather was pleasant enough to sit outside. From where I was seated, I was struck by the roof line of the library...and the changes that came about as the clouds above changed their colour and shape too.

Face in the clouds 1

Face in the clouds 2

Face in the clouds 3

An accidental artwork. #nofilter

I walked into the city a little bit later. I always look at our city in a slightly different light (no pun intended) when I return from overseas...the sorts of objects in the urban landscape that entranced me in Chicago for example, could I see the same sort of thing in Brisbane. What does our city look like from a visitor's point of view...?

You should do it in your place one is quite fascinating. 

(Camera : iPhone 4S, 11.40am. 11.54am, 12.11pm)

Day 100 of #project365...265 days to go.