Sole Sister

Cruising in the single lane


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Lest We Forget

One has to have a good reason to set the alarm for 3am – and the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli is one of them. Despite the temptation to silence the persistent buzzing my daughter and I prevailed and headed down the hill for the train to the city. We joined an estimated 30,000 others in cordoned-off Ann Street in the Anzac Square precinct, to take part in the traditional Dawn Service at the revamped Shrine of Remembrance starting at 4.28 am, the exact moment those thousands of young soldiers waded ashore in the dawn light of Gallipoli 100 years ago. Today’s attendances at many locations around Brisbane stand in contrast to those of earlier years, particularly the fractious post-Vietnam War era, when participation in Anzac Day remembrances dwindled markedly, putting at risk the Anzac promise of Lest We Forget.  That pledge looks safe now with the younger generation comprising a healthy share of spectators and participants.  Our multi-cultural communities were also strongly represented and I overheard, as I entered the Shrine of Remembrance, a Turkish man ask if he could place his national flag on the memorial. In the true spirit of the reconciliation between our two nations the official happily welcomed the gesture.

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They shall not grow old…


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A Skip in your step

After going under in the 2011 floods my gym has been systematically remodeling and upgrading to avoid future deluge damage. The latest enhancement, a treetop-level cardio room sitting above the 2011 high water mark, offers exercisers leafy vistas across to green sporting fields as they pound, pedal and pull. And the ultimate luxury – personalised TV screens to take the mind off the pain. A bit like your individual airline entertainment screen distracts from the discomfort of long distance flights.

Gym ed

Vanessa does the early morning ABC24 weather. 

gym views ed

Exercising in comfort – personalised screens and green vistas. 

In the old set-up we had a bank of screens covering free-to-air and cable channels, an arrangement that meant the eye could be drawn inadvertently to a different shows.  Another iteration of the weather news on ABC 24? Then off to Nine to watch Richo tackle the latest political drama.  Or British house renos. Or a re-re-run of Friends, or Sienfeld. Recently I found myself watching Skippy, from way back in the ‘60s, and being surprisingly more entertained than expected because it was so – implausible!

One episode had Skippy stroking fearlessly across a bay, little paws going 19 to the dozen, to alert the park ranger of Sonny’s plight perching on an upturned boat. An unconscious scuba-diver balanced precariously on the hull while two sharks circled. Of course, Skip was able to get to land in the nick of time, alert the park ranger and return, sitting up in the front seat of the ranger’s vehicle, directing him to the scene of the emergency.  Because of Skippy’s excellent efforts a rescue helicopter was soon on the way and the day was saved.

The episode was almost as funny as the wacky Skippy episodes in the 1990s show Fast Forward, probably the best comedy series ever produced in Australia and introducing stars such as Magda Zubanski, Marg Downey, Eric Bana, Steve Vizard and Michael Veitch. After my gym reacquaintance with the amazing marsupial I looked up a few of the old episodes on YouTube and found they were still amusing. I particularly loved Skippy and the Silence of the Lambs; Skippy and the Nuclear Bomb; Skippy Does Open Heart Surgery; and Skippy Versus the Devil; and Skippy and the Drug Bust. Tchh, tchh, tchh.

Lorikeet ed

Enjoying local treetop wildlife.