I’ve very much enjoyed sharing the Easter weekend with Abi et al – it has felt like a proper mini-holiday amidst my travelling stint (which I do realise is an extended holiday, to all those out there disgruntled by that statement!).
Last night we celebrated the birth of all the frolicking lambs in the UK, by eating some of their ozzie relatives on the BBQ – delicious I’m afraid. Incidentally, every Easter I am reminded of a gritty life-lesson provided by my granny when I was little:
Innocent little me: “Look granny, all the lambs are jumping and playing together.”
Life-seasoned granny: “It’s because they’ve got worms, dear. They’re just jumping to dislodge them.”
A slightly less innocent me: “Oh.”
I started today with a relaxing yoga class at the studio in town (my second home here) – I am enjoying the feeling of being a ‘regular’, being greeted by name and chatting to familiar faces. It makes me realise that, for all the perks of being unfettered by the usual constraints of life and free to let my whims alone dictate my movements (and, don’t get me wrong, there are many perks), it is impossible for me to completely lose that very human need for routine and stability, no matter how fragile.
I then did some meditation in the shade of a palm tree in the city botanic gardens. I’ve recently been trying to meditate for a short while every day. I already do yoga most days, which is a kind of moving meditation, but I still often seem to find myself planning to-do lists and musing on problems, even with my leg stuck behind my head. So I wanted to find a way to practise ‘mindfulness’; being in the present moment and not dwelling on things that have passed or worrying about things that are yet to come (I sound like Galadriel). I’ve found it incredibly helpful and would recommend it to anyone who’d like to find a reprieve from an insistently busy head, but it takes persistence and regular practice, as with any skill.
From here, I wandered along the Brisbane River to Kangaroo Point (a sheer cliff face overlooking the river; the hub of Brisbane’s outdoor adventure scene), where I had a date with Abi, Esther, their friend Ben and some rather unstable-looking kayaks. Despite some initial misgivings from Esther and Abi, we’d all decided over some drinks last night that it would be an excellent idea to kayak down the river. However, in the harsh glare of the midday sun today, all bravado had evaporated along with any remnant alcoholic residue from the night before, and misgivings were rising once more with the tide. However, we bravely set out into the murky-looking water, negotiating the turbulent wake from the steady stream of catamaran ferries and fighting against a surprisingly strong tidal current. Happily, I’m relieved to say that, apart from a rather annoying guide who it seemed felt everyone in the group would enjoy being forcibly capsized into the water (however, he met his match – one withering look from Abi and he seemed to leave us alone; if he’d had a tail it would have been firmly between his legs), a fun time was had by all (at least I think so) and the full complement survived to tell the tale. It was never going to come close to my Abel Tasman and Milford Sound wilderness experiences, but was a good way to see the city nevertheless.
We celebrated the success of our courageous endeavours by downing some welcome beers in a lively bar near the waterfront afterwards, which felt wonderful (this particular bit felt like a holiday in a holiday in a holiday).
This evening Isaac and I were both glued to a David Attenbrough DVD (the reptile series of Life on Earth) – I’m not sure which of us is the biggest wildlife geek actually – every night there are repeated requests to go out gecko and bat spotting, and not from me, surprisingly! Some glazed-eye TV slobbing felt like the missing part of the easter weekend jigsaw puzzle such that, even though I have had pangs about being with my family on this festival weekend, I nevertheless feel replete with easter celebration.
Anyway, daytime drinking always makes me burble more than usual, so probably time for bed now I think. Just a few photos below of today’s highlights.
Sadly the only pelicans I saw on the water were these mechanical chappies – still pretty cool though.
The imposing Kangaroo Point.
Brisbane city centre seen from the river.
Dancing locals full of the joys of autumn during the easter long weekend (I still can’t get my head around the topsy-turvy seasons here).
And finally, my latest yoga buddy in action: Isaac performs a downward dog with panache.