Saturday, 2 July 2022

Platypus


 


While at the zoo, I spent a while watching the platypus swimming circles after breakfast. The pond is near the foyer and kids can watch thru perspex while safely gated in the compound. 










This particular creature is quite busy so it's a delightful bonus to the stay - adding to the accessibility to viewing the animals up close. 




The other egg laying mammal is the echidna (both montremes) and both unique to Australia.



"It is one of the few species of venomous mammals, as the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom" which you can see in the above photo. The quote is from Wikipedia.

Linking with #SaturdayCritters  #WWOAT #ThruMyLens #AwwMondays #WonderfulWednesday and #NaturesNotes

Peacock

 

When I stayed at the zoo, there was a very friendly peacock pottering about the entrance near the platypus. As I was out there playing around with my camera, I nabbed a few shots of the bird so he didn't feel left out.



   Alas, no fanned tail but still a beautiful bird.   


Friday, 1 July 2022

“The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” ― H.L. Mencken

Excuse this rambling post, as the setup is long and jumbled, but it's something I'm grappling with in mild horror at the moment. I also want to apologise in advance for the ageism in the question, but it's where I'm at so there's no way to avoid it. I do want to say I am old and okay with getting old except at the idea of what I'm about to explain.

A few week's ago, I went to reply to someone on twitter with a joke, and saw I'd written such an 'Okay Boomer' thing to say, I was horrified. I deleted it before pressing send but it was too late. I took days to get over it. I couldn't believe my instant reaction was to make such a pissy comment*

Then the other night we saw some comedians, who used to be so edgy and extreme. I'd dragged along five friends and was mortified at how bad it was. It wasn't offensive, it just wasn't funny. They seemed old and out of touch - and genuinely unaware of a few things going on in the world. They seemed so conservative and entitled. It was sad and a little pathetic. Some of the audience left (presumably out of boredom) and one of my 5 whispered to my husband "This isn't funny" so it wasn't just my high exectations because I see a lot of comedians.

Returning home that night, I discover Nelson Piquet called Lewis Hamilton the N-word. On tv. Who does that?? Anyway, I felt the FIA and Mercedes statements in solidarity with Lewis weren't much better. They didn't seem to understand that Lewis being a world champion and his work in diversity were irrelevant and even if he was the unpaid intern sweeping the floors of the garage, no one deserves to be called that dehumanising term (nor should the little kid in the stand have to hear it). 

I then posed to an online group I'm in, the question (giving the above examples) and asked "Are we destined to become offensive and irrelevant as we age? Do we become conservative or do we not change and the rest of the world evolves without us?"

The default response from people saying they hate cancel culture only seemed to prove my point. I had specified the comedians didn't say anything offensive so we weren't even talking about cancel culture, unless you consider it cancelling because they were boring.

One friend, older than me pointed out that it's the problem of unwittingly living in a bubble that doesn't evolve as society changes around it and that others avoid getting caught and remain relevant.

Another stated "Offensiveness is not guaranteed, Being a bit less funny over time may be inevitable".

One said 'Our world view shrinks because at "our age" we need less validation, as we've reached the heights we have and therefore have less to try hard for' (I'm still pondering this comment, to be honest. As it's sort of it but sort of living in an antiquated bubble with some arrogance).

A female friend, the only female to answer said sometimes she hears her kids talking and realises how irrelevant any comment she made would be if she tried to join in. I did wonder if women notice this more because we have to grapple with age and our looks - we become invisible due to our appearance so we're more aware of it.  (My husband doesn't think of himself as old, and I know I'm old - but he is older than me).

I ran the whole scenario past my 26 year old Chiro (I'm sure I'm his favorite customer....ha!) and he said I should just wear my irrelevance as an amour and own it, but if I wanted to slow down the process, I should hang out with more Millenials. I pointed out I was having an existential crisis, not completely delusional and I was well aware young people didn't want to hang out with me!

I had lunch with friends who were bemoaning their daughter's nose ring. I pointed out that the world had changed on that and everyone has those now but no one was interested in that point of view. I sat feeling the gulf widen ever so slightly around me.

Is there no avoiding this? Do we just become out of step with the modern world with age? Is there something more to it? Is it living in the echo chamber? Can it be avoided? While I was horrified in myself at the tweet, I'm now terrified I've become Nelson Piquet in some way - maybe not on that slur but some other thing I'm completely oblivious to...(quite possibly in ageism ironically).

So what say you? And please, please, call me out if I ever become Nelson Piquet!


Linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare (Apparently this is MY midlife crisis. Not looks. Relevance.)

My Random Musings



*The person on twitter was saying it was only 2pm and they felt like a drink but they couldn't because they had an evening of one on one meetings with students at high school. I went to say, in jest, 'Have the drink, they're probably all drunk too' then was mortified that's where my brain went even as I typed it.

Interesting, when another friend questioned her relevance a few years back, I couldn't believe it and gave her a big pep talk. Now here I am in exactly the same boat. Perhaps I need to read my own words.


Thursday, 30 June 2022

For the love of dance


 I have written a lot about dance - it's power to heal, it's mood lifting effect, it's sense of community, the science of dance and it's many other benefits for wellbeing..  Hell, even when I do karoke, I tend to throw in a dance for good measure. I am not a good dancer. I don't even know my left from right. I'm that white person with no rhythm the trope is laughing at. And I'm old. I just love it so much, and the serotonin it gives me (dopamine? I'm also not a doctor or biology student or clearly that smart), that I just don't care. Dancing is the quickest route to joy.

Walking to the restaurant to meet my friend before Hot Potato Band the other night, I was flooded with endorphins and getting high in anticipation of dancing. I said on arrival, 'the next best thing to the high you get dancing is the feeling of anticipation that you're going dancing!' And for me, it's true.





The next morning, my husband sent me this article with the preface 'it's not for the bit about hating your body, it's for the dancing bit'. He is not a dancer. At weddings, I'm allowed one dance with him. He warns me to choose the song wisely. He prefers seated concerts, where as I prefer to stand up the front in the crowd. My widowed brother-in-law is now my main dance partner at family weddings, because he likes to dance or doesn't know how to say no. I don't really understand people don't like to dance. I realise there's a self-conscious aspect, fear of looking stupid etc but if you give yourself over to the music, you just don't care. The serotonin released (or whatever) is worth it. In fact, as I've mentioned before, I'm sure there's footage of me on youtube being mocked for the way I dance...I just hope I never stumble across it.

Back to the article, Julia Baird sums up the regret people have late in life as their body physically declines '“If I had only known,” they would say, “I would have danced more.”' and she concludes "But for now, when alive, when upright, when walking through days with purpose, without pain, they [your body] are vessels for adventure, for sleep, for song, for dance, and a place where we experience joy." (full article is worth reading here). Dance is the most immediate path to joy in my opinion.

When in lockdown, as the weeks rolled on, I would be filled with existential panic, mainly about how I only had a limited time left to travel and dance, and do all the physical things I like to do. If people were talking about lockdown, I'd tap at my wrist and say "Tick tock! I'm running out of time". They'd laugh and say that I could still do all that but I don't think they realise what's involved. You need a certain amount of agility and strength to be able to throw yourself fully into the experience. And that, I know, is running out with age as my body physically declines. (And I accept all accusations of lockdown privilege. It's a fair call. Worrying about getting old when people are dying makes me a jerk, but this post is about my love of dance - because it is something I truly love. I stuck by the rules and still mask and sanitise but I will whinge away).

If you're a little lethargic, get up and dance. If you're down in the dumps, blast some music and dance hard. If you're in a crowd, focus on the stage and tune everything else out. I promise you, there's a shift. 


I have nothing on the cards until Duke Dumont hits our shores but I am counting down the days! In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for my morning dancing while I get dressed to Daily Drive....(another post on how much I love Spotify pending).

As for you, if you don't dance, I challenge you. Give it a go. Get your dirty boots on the floor!

 "A’a i ka hula, waiho i ka maka’u i ka hale." Dare to dance, leave shame at home.


In other news, I'm getting a new phone cos this one is dying and as you can see, can barely take photos anymore. What should I get?


Linking with #InspireMeMonday to inspire you to dance! And #YourMoment

and #RubyTuesdayToo for the top photo.

loopyloulaura

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Housekeeping & #Allseasons linky

 

I'm going on holidays from the blog for the school holidays (and end of tax year...ugh). 

Will be on Instagram, as always.

And should be back around the 20th July sometime.

#Allseasons will run as usual.

Take care and have fun everyone!


People in Europe & UK, Jeremy Loops has a tour starting so go along and send me pics - he's so great (I'm sulking that we are 13 weeks into waiting for a passport!! We're not going ANYWHERE!)


Linking with RachelSwirl





All Seasons is open from Friday through Wednesday 5pm, Sydney Time. 

1. Please link one  'seasonal' post a week. 

2. Make sure you link back to this  #AllSeasons post.

3. Please comment on the post before yours and the hosts. Don't dump and run or I will delete your posts. It's rude.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Share Four Somethings - June

This is more PG rated than last month so everyone can breathe easy (or sigh in disappointment).



















Something Loved: This month saw the end of VIVID and the Biennale, both of which have added a lot of colour and festivities to my days and nights! I feel there is a lull in the next week or so but I'm sure I'll find something to take its place. Regardless, my INSTA is beautiful and I've loved every minute of what Sydney has been offering us. Not to mention the sunshine! After 6 months of rain, it might be chilly but it still feels fabulous!


Something Gleaned: Some people, who never lost their smell or taste with COVID, have lost their taste for coffee after recovering from the virus. If you know anything about this, let me know. I am most curious to start researching this (and terrified of having this happen to me). Of my poll so far, it appears to be just coffee, not other things, which is weirder still. I do feel it's my mission to get to the bottom of this.

Something Braved or Saved: I braved performing this song for karaoke. I am not a good singer but the theme was America  (in honour of our US friends visiting) and I think of Gospel when I think of American music. What I lack in talent, I make up with gusto. I also don't have to listen to myself so I guess that helps too. Anyway, I love this song because I adore the JJ Grey and Mofro version from a squillion years ago but the Lost Frequencies version hit to coincide with our first 2020 lockdown and I spent a lot of time lifting my spirits with it blasting while I watched the sunset or the world outside my bedroom window. It has a comforting feeling for me, there's an emotional reaction to feeling less isolated from the vast and distant rest of the world. I still sometimes here the song in my head if I stand at the window for a moment.

Something Achieved: I forgot to enter a NYC Midnight competition because I thought I had, only to discover I was not on the list when the tasks were sent out. I was disappointed as I'd also skipped the Furious fiction the week before because I was too busy. However, I was delighted to learn I went through to the second round in a competition I'd entered a few months ago. I ranked higher than 57 other people in the group, so while it wasn't a stellar story, it was good enough. I had 24 hours to write a Sci-Fi story but actually only had 2 hours today to write it and submit it due to a very busy weekend with too many commitments. But submitted and happy so I will celebrate that achievement.



All the photos are from a day on the Harbour, and I tried to take the Opera House from different angles that I didn't usually photograph it from. Our other attempts at boat day this year have all been washed out, so while not swimming weather, it was still pretty fabulous!  














Thursday, 16 June 2022

Writers festival reading list

 I am slowly working my way through the books by the authors I saw at the Writers Festival. I've already reviewed The Promise. I loved it so much I've picked it as my book club selection. (My other book club has picked Disgrace (coincidently another South African Booker-winning novel) which I've read and can't recommend enough, so I will continue with my Roobis tea drinking and Jeremy Loops on repeat to keep in the South African mood.







I read She is Haunted, by Paige Clark. She was very interesting at the festival and her discussion of the short stories made them seem more interesting than I found them. I liked the collection but didn't love them as much as I'd expected to after hearing her dissecting one of them at the Festival.


I am halfway through Talking About a Revolution by Yassmin Abdel-Magied. This collection of essays I am thoroughly enjoying. It's political, feminist, and charming. Amidst the more serious topics are funny anecdotes about her hobbies and passions. A brilliant love letter to the demise of the petrol car is my favourite and her attempts to get into F1 (she got remarkably close!) pepper a few of the essays. Well worth reading.








I also listened to Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower on Audible as I'm reading Under the Banner of Heaven and they cover the same people, though the Brower book covers more into the court process and rescue operations. It's eye-opening.

I also read The Maid by Nita Prose for bookclub. It's a beach read, fun crime. Not a must-read but if you're wanting something fluffy and fun, this could be it.

I'm a little slow in the reading stakes this month but enjoying what I am reading, and loving that the festival introduced me to so many authors I'd never heard of nor read.


What's on your bookshelf this month?

Linking with #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge #FriendshipFriday

#TrafficJamWeekend




Some iconic Cape Town scenery in the clip below.

bookworms monthly linky
loopyloulaura