Monday, May 6, 2013
10 days and 10 things to be grateful for in Brisbane...
FERRIES / RIVER CATS: I am obsessed with being on the river. I should be a deckhand. I can’t imagine having to go back to Sydney eventually and not be able to find peace of a day by riding the Brisbane River. I take great joy in sending pics to my family and friends when I am floating my worries away on the way to work... or on the way to nowhere in particular! A huge shout out of gratitude to all the staff who greet passengers with a smile and sometimes offer tips on where to dine at each stop. One being The Jetty and Bulimba. I’ll be checking it out shortly!
Sunday ride to nowhere ...
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: The weather and the river make Brisbane the perfect setting for year round outdoor fitness. I have been running (read: shuffling) along the waterfront and making use of the public exercise equipment. I never do this anywhere else and I am grateful that in only ten days, even with all the eating you will read about here, I have seen my fitness level increase and my waistline decrease. Now, if only I can keep it up – the training not the eating!
Perfecting setting for getting fit...
MURRIS MURRIS EVERYWHERE: I’m not kidding. On one day alone, I saw the following Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (not all Murris, some Kooris etc) around the cultural precinct: writer/director Wesley Enoch, musician / actor David Page, actor Luke Carroll, singer /actor Ursula Yovich, performance poet Steven Oliver, actor /director Wayne Blair, language experts Leonora Adidi and Des Crump. And I’ve probably left someone out. It’s fabulous to hangout at Southbank around the galleries, library and theatre because it’s where all the fab people are. No lie!
GOMA CAFE POET IN RESIDENCE: While I’m talking about the cultural precinct, it was great to see local poet and visual artist Angela Gardner doing her thing as Cafe Poet in Residence at the Lounge Bar of the Gallery of Modern Art. Coordinated by Poetry Australia Angela’s there every Friday for the next few months, so pop by and say hello, and get some advice on writing poetry if that’s your thing.
The peaceful watermall
QAG CAFE: I’m grateful for a peaceful lunch with local author and my tidda Josie Montano. We have a ‘regular’ spot at the QAG Cafe where we can feel the peace of the watermall and enjoy the presence of water dragons! And as a bonus, I received a stunning Brooke and Ridge Bold and the Beautiful coffee mug (see below!).
WEST END MARKETS: Looking to meet up with some friends for a peaceful way to start the weekend? The head to the Saturday morning markets at Davies Park, West End. It was love at first sight for me. Stalls full of fabulous local /state produce: arts, crafts, fruit, veg, cheese, yoghurt, bread – oh the bread! I bought some seaweed bread if you don’t mind. I recommend the Gypsy Caravan for a great tasting caffeine injection with friendly service. For breakfast try head to the Greek stall and order the breakfast wrap with haloumi, and for lunch, step sideways to the Eat a Pita pocket stand and order the Falafel wrap with the lot including chilli! This will be enough fuel for you for the day. Eat it in the sun while sitting on the grass listening to a local band. If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, then head to Ginevra’s Patisserie and indulge in the salted-caramel chocolate ganache tart. There are seriously too many delish things to taste there... I am going to let myself have one special treat from the markets every week end I go, and then I will waddle myself back home.
THE END: I started my Friday night out at THE END – a groovy and friendly little cocktail bar at 73 Vulture Street, West End. The service was as fun and colourful as the cocktail list and fellow-patrons also a friendly crew. I went to celebrate my friend Kara’s birthday. That’s us above, and our yummy bevies below.
THE SPAGHETTI HOUSE: A quick stroll from the The End around the corner to Boundary Street and I found possibly the best gnocchi I have ever tasted. Think I’m overrating it? Well let me tell you, the three women dining with me at The Spaghetti House each had a meal in front of them and yet couldn’t keep their forks out of mine! The service, by and large by young Italian staff, was enthusiastic if not a little chaotic – getting seated at the table we actually booked proved somewhat difficult, but after that we were treated like royalty. I’m grateful for memorable food and fun with good friends.
Me, happily beavering away in the XYZ room!
QLD WRITERS CENTRE: I am thrilled to have the next three months in the XYZ room (named after poet Emily XYZ) at the QLD Writers Centre, housed in the State Library of QLD. I’m grateful to the staff, lead by Meg Vann for their enthusiastic hospitality in welcoming me, and for making my time here as fruitful as possible. My office is also only steps away from the Black+Write team of editors Ellen van Neerven-Currie and Linda McBride. I feel like I am the luckiest writer in Brissy right now.
STATE LIBRARY OF QLD: This centre of literature, knowledge, culture, fun and great view, is in my humbled opinion, the most dynamic library in the country. I don’t say that because my friends work there, or because they have hosted book launches for me, or because they have a stunning program of events all year round. I say it because it’s simply true. And I had always joked that I would be happy to stack shelves at the SLQLD because I just wanted to work there. And now, here I am, working, but as a writer. Even better! So I’m grateful to the library for everything they offer their local and national community, especially the Indigenous Knowledge Centre kuril dhagun.