We saw an AFL game at the Gabba, and actually got to walk across the turf afterwards.
Then the evening saw us at one of the events of the Brisbane festival: Rise for the Oceans.
I’ll leave it to the official publication to explain that: “Rise for the Oceans brought together a tremendous line-up of great Australians – Bernard Fanning, Tim Winton, William Barton, Katie Noonan, Jessica Watson among them – in a multi-arts celebration of the Great Barrier Reef, the oceans that surround us, and the 50th anniversary of the Australian Marine Conservation Society.”
A mixed bag of songs, music, talks, vidoes and on stage art.
But the photo for the day? This bug was spotted at some point in the day…..but I now can’t remember where! Could have been on the way to parkrun, but could easily have been at any other point. But it doesn’t really matter.
Two things spring to mind…..
1. Is it trying to ‘hide’ on this blue grout?
2. I have no idea what it is, and indeed whether it is something to be wary of.
One thing that still messes with my mind as someone who’s moved from the UK to Australia…. seasons.
Having them reversed, and therefore associated completely differently to the labels we apply to calendar months still throws me into the occasional confusion.
It just isn’t winter in August! (In my mind at least).
And this view of Musgrave Park on my walk home from parkrun this morning did not help with the confusion, even if it did add a massive grin to my face.
It’s winter here…heading into spring. Yet this scene of trees surrounded by their dropped and browned leaves is straight out of my Autumn memories bank.
And actually, I think I really liked a UK like Autumn. Those random sun lit days with a bit of cold in the air, the changing scenery as the plants and trees starting preparing themselves for winter. The simple joy of stomping/ kicking/ walking/ running through piles of leaves.
The day started off early, when I joined some friends undertaking a parkrun trial, i.e. a trial run of the course, for a new event due to start it’s weekly Saturday free runs soon. Intended to give the new volunteers and leaders a bit of practice, and ensure they’ve marked the course appropriately with either signs or marshals, as well as testing the kit (timing and scanning), having several hundred people turn up to run does indeed provide a good test.
And why were so many people available at 7am on a random Wednesday you may ask….I think in part this was due to it being Ekka day for many.
The Ekka, is Brisbane’s big annual agricultural festival, running for several days, and different parts of the area get a different day off work to allow people to attend if they wish. Wednesday was the day the company I was working for decided to take.
So off to the Ekka we go.
First on the list of “must-do’s” I’d been given by various colleagues in the days preceding my visit, was to visit the show bag “tent” (actually a massive tin-roofed shed). As it turns out you can cough up anything between $2 and somewhere round the hundred dollar mark to buy a bag filled with tat (sorry, useful and fun things!) on pretty much any theme you can think of. Chocolate bars from all the major producers, sweets of many kinds, beach towel, mask and plastic beaker on a Star Wars, Minions, monopoly, princess….. anything theme. Glow in the dark stuff. Water jet stuff. Plastic toys of many descriptions. It was immense!
I stumped up for the Cadbury bags (I’m a bit of a fan/addict), and a Bertie Beetles bag – apparently an Ekka exclusive chocolate (having eaten it, I see why it’s not viable for general sale!).
On the way to get to the animal show areas, we passed through the fairground, many food stalls, and passed by a marching band, and this very helpful sign at the entrance to the walkway connecting separated areas.
After walking past the very serious looking people at the dog show, and the nonchalant llama, we entered what I can only describe as the random area. There were displays, all competitions, for skills and crafts for tons of stuff. Giant vegetable growing and displays, knitted and crocheted objects, jams, preserves and cakes, honey, utility company stands, photography, paintings, sculptures…..and on and on.
There were many ‘shows’ advertised throughout the day also…..and the whip cracker caught my attention……definitely worth watching.
After a wander around the food court (free samples alert – another “must-do”), a little wander around the funfair….
….just enjoying watching people smiling and squealing with delight (apart from the lad who was getting distinctly greener the longer the spinning ride continued), I found myself at the wood chop finals. A lot of fast precision cutting and trust in what look like flimsy planks held in by nothing but wishful thinking.
As it starts to get dark, we’re heading towards the finale in the parade ground…..so I grab the final “must-do” item (having grabbed the corn dog earlier in the day), the strawberry sundae.
So off to the showring, to watch all the animals parade (including the goldfish in a bowl!), flying motorbike stunts, fast cars kicking dirt into the crowds as they skid around the ring, monster trucks, and of course my favourite….. fireworks.
Overall a fascinating, bizarre and fun day for this Ekka first timer.
Oh and I mustn’t forget….the rather useful freebie I received from the fire service stand…..not sure what I came last in though?!