When I saw the weekly photo challenge was on the theme of home, I was kicking myself for not owning a pair of red sequined shoes. Even if I did own the right pair of heels I’m not sure where it would take me when I clicked my heels together. Sometimes I feel as if I have 3 homes: Mum’s place, Andrew’s place and here – with cats at every one!
So it seemed fitting when I decided to quilt this evening (yes, I’m still working on it!) that Saffron leapt up onto the table and made herself right at home. I had my weekly photo. Not to be outdone, as I write this, Licorice has curled up next to me encroaching as best she can on the keyboard.
Home is not where the heart is… for me it’s where the cat(s) is!
How fitting that the Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Thankful’. It’s been playing on my mind all week. What I am thankful for won’t be a surprise to many of you. It’s for 2 rather expensive pieces of metal! (For anyone who is new to my blog you can find the full story here).
Of course, I love these pieces of metal not for what they are but for what they will enable Andrew to do. The first arrived a little while ago – a wheelchair that was ‘lifter friendly’. (The only lifter that suited Andrew’s present chair was $14,000 by itself, so we opted for a new chair and a different lifter which combined was slightly less expensive).
This folding chair is also in colours matching the cats. Gesso white and Pickle orange. This was not deliberate. Indeed Andrew seemed quite miffed when I pointed it out.
The second hunk of metal – a wymo wheelchair lifter – is booked for fitting to the car on Friday. After 5 long months, it can’t come a moment too soon. More and more Andrew has been struggling to leave the house without a wheelchair assistant at either end. In the afternoons when he’s used up a lot of the energy he has, it’s much tougher and by evening it’s impossible.
But I don’t want this post to be about how hard it is. Rather, it should be a ‘hats off’, ‘glasses raised’ and overwhelmingly tight hug to all of you who helped us to raise the funds for the equipment. When I think about the generosity you have shown Andrew and I, well… I still get very teary. Help came from family, friends, colleagues and strangers. You sent messages of support that made us feel like this was achievable – and achieve it we all did. For that, I will always be thankful.
I took this photo today. Andrew is my unusual subject.
For starters, this is a man who loves shopping. Male of species = likes shopping centres. Weird, right? I know what your thinking, he must be gay. Well, no, although early on, the thought crossed my mind as he seemed overly tidy for a male. However, straight he is. The only straight man I know who is disappointed when he misses out on the soft furnishings department of IKEA.
The same guy decided that if he couldn’t have a dog, he’d have a cat that was like a dog. And so it was that Pickle learned how to play fetch. Not with a ball, but with a pistachio nut.
This is a boy who has gone beyond mis-matching socks, to mis-matching shoes. He has a habit of wearing one orange and one green converse shoe. It sparks comment wherever we go.
Little do they know that the shoes are even a different size. The green pair are actually a size too big. Andrew would go into the store time and time again and swoon over these green shoes always to be told they only had a size 11. After several months, we decided that Andrew’s walking is so infrequent that we might as well just get the size 11s.
Following this, Andrew has become convinced that one foot is bigger than the other anyway. So while he wears an orange and a green one, it’s always the same orange and green one. If he ever decides to wear two matching ones again, I fear he’ll have one ‘new green’ shoe and one sun-bleached one!
Lastly, Andrew thinks he’s a whale. (See, I warned you he was unusual). For the last month or so, Andrew has been dropping little snippets of whale song into our conversation. We are driving along and all of a sudden, the whale noise comes out. (Don’t panic mum, it’s usually at a red traffic light). The worst part is that he cocks his head to one side and, with whale song voicing, pushes his head toward you with one giant eye staring at you. It’s his impersonation of what it would be like if a whale came up right next to you.
I cannot recall what started him on this very peculiar behaviour, I just know that it seems here to stay. While I managed to get the one decent shot of him today at the top of this post without him being a fool, I couldn’t achieve the same when we were out and about. The last photo is one of him at the start of the whale manoeuvre. That one eye was headed for me.
My interpretation of indulge came not in a single image but a series of pictures representing my day. I spent the morning at the Matisse Exhibition Drawing Life at GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane). Matisse I think must be the master of ‘less is more’. His drawings are often seemingly missing lines yet your mind fills them in. I said to Andrew it’s like the visual version of ‘auditory closure.’
We followed up GOMA with a trip to the Art Gallery, the Museum and a children’s illustrators exhibition at the Queensland State Library. When your morning is peppered with viewing paintings by Renoir, Rubens, Degas, Whiteley, McCubbin, Drysdale and Dobell… how can it be anything but indulgent?
Whilst photography in the Matisse exhibition was not permitted, it was allowed in other areas. Here are just a few of the treasures I got to see today.
Following on my slightly dark interpretation of ‘down’, here’s one which is along the ‘down and out’ line. I took it on Saturday morning in Enmore.
I have a feeling my take on ‘down’ is going to be fairly unique. There may be others who have, macabrely, followed the burial path. Yet, I’m sure that there won’t be others who have both the coffin and the ‘down and staying down’ sign!
For readers who are not Australian, the big red hand in the photo is part of an advertising campaign for one of Australia’s supermarkets. It is an incredibly irritating add with people singing and using giant red hands as props to emphasis the ‘tagline’ of ‘down and staying down’ (referring to the prices).
One day Andrew came home with a giant red hand. I said to him – what are you going to do with that? He couldn’t answer.
Then, a few months later, I found the ‘down and staying down’ hand had met one of Andrew’s other strange collectibles: his coffin. I laughed and laughed. When I read that the weekly photo theme was down, I knew I had to take a shot of this and post it.
Tonight, the blogging community is adrift. Many souls are pacing floors around the world waiting for the Daily Post to upload the weekly photo challenge theme. Someone’s tardiness seems to have caused quite a stir. I bet there’s someone running around the daily post office this very minute in a panic ‘white rabbit style’.
[I’ll be] executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets.
To avoid any untimely deaths, I propose the theme should be ‘late’.
This would allow everyone to spend the week trying to find rabbits in waistcoats with pocket watches. I looked briefly for one; failed; and decided I’d upload a cat photo instead.
Yesterday I read that the weekly photo challenge was ‘Hope’.
Initial response: nothing. Blank. No idea.
I told Andrew the theme and he suggested taking a photo of the cat drooling over a cat of food. Then I saw Isobel’s post of her cat hopefully pursuing a bird.
So I went about the day I had planned and had my iphone at the ready. Perhaps I would see something today that inspired me to complete the challenge.
I wondered whether there was any connection with hope here. Hopes about greater recycling in the world? Hopes that my garbage room was not going to be as disgusting as it usually is. It didn’t take me long to realise that this wasn’t my ‘hope’ photo.
I kept looking.
Photograph Two: Generation minus the G
This is a mural painted along the brickwork at Redfern station. It is clearly part of a hope; a dream for the Aboriginal community.
Yet I’m missing a G, the rail was in the way so I’m thinking it is a lousy photography and doesn’t really qualify.
The next photograph I took aroused my curiosity. Why did this guy have pointy things on the back of his helmet?
Of course, I couldn’t muster any link to hope; not even the most tenuous one. I liked the photograph though so here is: Photograph Three: Enmore Sydney.
I arrived home at my unit to read this message someone had posted in a common area.
I walked on in happy in the thought that I was a cat owner through and through.
I spent the next four and a half hours, with three helpers and two star wars films cleaning my unit for the inspection tomorrow. No one is going to tell me that the top of my cupboards are dirty or I haven’t cleaned the track in my sliding doors this time! Of course, none of this aided my quest for a ‘hope’ photo.
After all those attempts, I realised I had not a hope in hell of cracking this nut.
I look forward to next week’s theme.
My take on simple was along the lines of ‘the simple pleasures in life.’ The photo is taken with the hipstamatic app on the iPhone. The photo is so bad, that I think it’s ‘kinda good’. There’s something of a charm about it. It was something I took quickly, due to a very excitable subject (his owner had the ball!) and it is also something which got taken with a ‘surprise’. I had no idea I had changed the settings on my hipstamtic. Last I knew it was on black and white. Somehow I seem to frequently change the settings without even trying.
So there you have it. Life’s simple pleasures in Redfern park this morning.