Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A Sunday in Brisvegas

Dateline: Sunday July 4, 2010
Up early and a bit indecisive on where to go for my morning exercise walk. I eventually decided that a walk down to the opening of our newest bridge across the Brisbane River was in order.
What is it with Brisbane? Why doesn't our river have a decent name? London has the Thames, Paris the Seine even Hobart is built on the banks of the Derwent, and I can probably easily name dozens more. But no, Brisbane never got around to naming it's river. It is just the Brisbane River. Fortunately it is not a creek or a swamp, how romantic would that be? "I took a walk around the Brisbane Swamp". I sat by the side of the Brisbane Stream and had lunch swatting the mosquito's away". Eeek
Anyway I wandered down. Ooops I mean that I power walked to the river and bridge. I managed to miss the official opening ceremony. I vaguely heard words to the effect that "the Go Between Bridge" was now officially open. To celebrate I bought a coffee. I should mention that it was only open to pedestrians today. Cars, bicycles and other means of locomotion were banned. Also a series of Market stalls set up on the bridge.
The day was by this time sunny, but windy. A pleasure to be out in the sun but not too exposed to the wind. At this stage the bridge had maybe 100 genuine visitors on it, numbers outweighed by officials, security, vendors and "volunteers". I think that the opening of a letter may have brought a bigger crowd.
In fact some market stall tents were still not open.
I wandered over the bridge. Bought a German sausage in a roll. The seller asked if I would like Sauerkraut on it. "I love Sauerkraut" I said. He handed me a sausage in a dry bun. "Can I have the Sauerkraut?" I asked. He seemed put out, but eventually gave me what I wanted. Man this guy needs to learn about customer satisfaction. At my local Saturday markets I can get the same German Sausage in a similar bun, with fried onions, sauce, mustard and Sauerkraut for the same price, plus a pleasant "hello how's your day?".
Any way I wandered back over the bridge, then back again on the walkway. By now I was running low on things to do on a bridge. As far as bridges go it isn't all that exciting. It crosses the river and links the north shore to the south. It is only 200-300 meters from another bridge, the William Jolly Bridge, which serves the exact same purpose. It is an unfortunate fact of Brisbane geography that 2 bridges need to be so close to each other. The road configurations are dictated partly by history, partly by the river and partly by the surrounding terrain. In effect this new bridge will greatly streamline traffic flows, but it still seems a waste with a perfectly good bridge so close by.
As to the naming of the bridge. A little bit controversial. The "gobetween" Bridge, according to the marketing department will allow you to Go Between the North and South Shores. Gosh they must pay these people a lot of money. It also celebrates the former Brisbane based band "The Go- Betweens". They were big apparently, although I can only vaguely remember their music.
Maybe the next bridge will be called the Powderfinger Bridge in honour of another iconic Brisbane Band that I do recognise their music and actually have some in my collection. Time will tell.
Where is this blog going I am lost at the moment.
Oh right, back on the Gobetween Bridge. If you followed my footsteps I am back on the wrong side of the river and need to cross gain to get back home. So I did.
And then the Bludger went home.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Random thoughts on a plane

I recently flew from Newcastle (NSW) back to Brisbane. My mind was free to wander and these thoughts drifted through my mind.
The Beer that I bought on the flight was a Heinecken. What made it interesting was that it was fully imported. Not brewed under license in Australia, fully imported from Holland. Wow, my beer had been transported half way around the world. I appreciated it, it was a nice beer.
I need more humour in my life. My life is lacking laughter. I used to laugh a lot, listen to Comedians, watch cartoons, see comedies. Where has this gone wrong?
I have been visiting coal mining areas. Our State and Federal Governments are not very clever are they? Or maybe they are extremely clever at pulling the wool over our eyes? They talk about green credentials, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the release of CO2 into the atmosphere, environmental responsibility. Meanwhile they are investing in, or assisting in, the development of massive infrastructure in NSW and Queensland to get more coal out of the ground and onto ships and sold overseas in the quickest and most economical manner.
Our Governments are hypocrites. The equation is simple, every gram of coal brought out of the ground that is burnt, releases CO2 and adds to greenhouse gases and thus to global warming. Blind Freddy can see it. And we are the mugs that keep voting them in. I am voting green next election. On the same flight is a lady from the Country Women's Association. I know this because she featured on Masterchef recently as a guest judge. Coincidence. That morning I had also seen an article about her in the local newspaper. Coincidence, she was at the airport when I was due to fly home. Coincidence, she was on the same flight as I. Coincidence indeed.
More coincidences. The lady next to me I have seen before. I don't know her at all. But I have seen her or someone very similar. She stands out for several reasons. She has a distinctive style of clothing including a distinctive hat. I see her in profile, she has a distinctive profile, to do with the shape of the nose and the lower lip. Her skin colour and complexion is distinctive also. She wears glasses. All of this triggers memories, I have seen her before. Actually I think on a plane. Coincidence or my mind playing tricks? She is focused and looks like she needs more humour in her life also.
She is listening to an MP3 player. We are on descent and all electronic equipment is meant to be switched off (I am blogging later from hand written notes). She carefully hides the MP3 player in her jacket and the earpiece cables beneath the jacket and under her medium length hair. I hope that her use of electronic equipment doesn't kill me. But that is all bulldust. Neither MP3 players, nor phones, nor laptop computers are likely to interfere with the aircraft electronic navigation systems as they would like you to believe. Modern electronics on air planes are well shielded and electronic transmissions from portable devices are so low that the likelihood of interference is very low. I think that I need more humour in my life, I sound like a Grumpy Old Man.
Two people didn't make our flight. We were delayed while their bags were identified and removed. I am annoyed at the delay. I should be happy that a potential risk to my safety has been eliminated. I am just grumpy that I am late getting home. I need more laughter in my life. I hope that those two people get given a hard time when they pick up their bags.
I am glad to be fling north to warmer climes. I have been in the NSW Hunter Valley. It was cold at night.
I have successfully avoided colds so far this winter. I take a 70 minute flight and by the end of the day I have a sore throat and a runny nose. I dislike being ill. Next day my throat is sore, my nose running. I suspect that this will ruin my weekend.
The Bludger needs to laugh more.