Girls in Green: Irish Dance

Agility, energy, litheliness and youth. What a joy to watch these young girls perform.

I’ve only ever seeing this type of dance on TV. For some reason when I was in UK I didn’t get a chance to see any Irish dancing. I perhaps was not adventurous enough but that’s for another trip I suppose.

Calls for agility of limbs! Ouch, my aching bones...

I was so happy to run into these group of young Irish dancers on Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, Australia on 17th March which also happens to be my birthday.

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the dancing girls in green, purely by accident.

I wasn’t sure whether they were dancing to raise funds for a cause or something.

There was a sort of bucket where the girls were dancing  but I didn’t have time to read what it said.

It seems that more and more  young people these days are taking their art – either visual or performing to the streets. This augurs well for the perpertuation of the arts in any culture. 

I am sure that we have groups here in PNG such as Paluai Suksuk and the Bougainville Bamboo Band and accompanying dancers who perform at various functions around the city. 

I wish I were 10 years old again!

The dancing is energetic and footwork seems to be the epitome of good Irish dancing or probably more correctly, Irish Dance. I wondered how much practice they need to perfect their steps and at what age they started dancing.

One of the features of this group of dancers that struck me was their age. Young people keeping their traditions.

Looks easy but I bet it took ages to perfect this step. Well that's from someone with two left feet!

Some cultural dancing groups in PNG have begun to ensure that their young people get to showcase their cultural dances such as the recent Palaui Suksuk Dancers from Manus at the National Cultural Commission-sponsored corporate dinner at the Dynasty Restaurant at Vision City.

This is one of those ocassions I relish when in another country. You don’t know what you will find but but if you get out and about you may come across something like this. Mostly it would be something artistic or creative and this was one of those ocassions. I enjoyed the dancing and considered myself rather fortunate to have witnessed it.

They make it look so easy.

A very pleasant interlude to a whirlwind shopping spree at Queen Street Mall, (Brisbane, Australia).

Wokabaut Long Brisbane

The City in the background. Crossed the bridge from South Bank. It was a relaxing walk and one I really enjoyed taking in the sights over the River.

When in Brisbane, one of Australia’s  beautiful cities, it is a  must to try the City Cat, many of these boats or catamarans ply the River and are a very convenient and inexpensive way to travel (no traffic!) or drop by one of its glitzy shopping streets in the heart of the city.

The City Cat - a very convenient, fast and inexpensive way to travel up and down River. Each of the Cats has an indigenous Australia name which is interesting and they have the explanations of names on board.

Walking along Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, or  the shopping hub of the city and  for people like me – temporary visitors with a yearning to acquire something new for the wardrobe, kitchen or just taking in the sights and sounds of the City centre – can be a very pleasant after-work wokabaut.

One of the many eateries along the Queen Street Mall.

Friday afternoon after work is a good time to hang around the Mall area albeit for a short time, unless one wants to stay on for the evening and the many other attractions, especially restaurants in the vicinity which come alive in the night.

The fresh fruit juice stand. An an oasis alright.

I visited the fresh fruit juice stall. This is a real oasis for the thirsty. Walking around, window shopping or just taking in the sights on a Friday afternoon can leave you very thirsty especially on a hot and muggy afternoon.

Rock 'n Roll dancing - takes me back to the 60s - the music and all. The flaired skirts, shoes and stockings.

I watched some rock ‘n roll dancing (took me back to the 60s). The dancing was to promote a new shop that opened along the Mall. There was a long line of people enquiring about jobs etc that I decided I’d watch the dancing instead. Much more interesting I reckon.

Some views on the wokabaut before I made for my hotel in Toowong, upriver from the City.

Watching an artist at work at the start of the Queen Street Mall.
The many pieces of artwork displayed around the City.
Crossing over the bridge back to South Bank. So peaceful.
Looking back towards the City - in the foreground is the The Treasury building - and no, it is not a government building but you may run into a few public servants!
View from the walkway leading down to the jetty to catch the City Cat to Toowong.

My Friday afternoon wokabaut was too short but long enough to celebrate TGIF. 

I’ve been to Brisbane City many times in the past but on this particular trip I did a combination of things which added to my knowledge about the city and its attractions. 

Travelling up and down the river was something new. Just as walking across one of the many bridges over the Brisbane River with a camera, window-shopping around Queen Street  Mall, getting fresh fruit juice, the rock n’ roll dancing and so on. I was not in a tearing hurry to go anywhere except back to my hotel in Toowong.  

I guess armed with a DSLR digital camera puts Brisbane City in a different light for me. How many more did I miss out on this walk? Perhaps next time a night time wokabaut may be the new thing to do.

The City skyline at sunset. Breathtaking! Looking across from South Bank 2 jetty whilst waiting for the City Cat.

Birthday Breakfast At Milano’s

A full cooked breakfast on my birthday. 2 poached eggs, sausages, hashbrowns, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, bacon and a sprig of fresh parsley to complete the delicious ensemble. One word from me - yumsko!

No, I did not eat everything on the plate incase you are wondering. I really didn’t plan to have a full cooked breakfast but the idea was there. It was a lovely sunny day, not hot or muggy so a cooked breakfast at Milano’s on Queen Street, Brisbane City seemed like a natural choice that morning. 

As you can see, I was going to have a King’s breakfast. I did wait a little while for the breakfast to arrive at my table but realised that there were more people here than perhaps on a weekday. When the plate was infront of me, it was, let’s say, a breakfast worth waiting for.

The 'silver ware' and the nice fresh clean surroundings...waiting for my green tea to arrive.

 The only bit of excitement or rather the interruption of my thoughts, was when a couple sitting next to me, obviously, very much fascinated with eachother, asked me to take their photo. I quickly obliged. I tried to capture their moment so I made sure I framed the photo properly and did not disappoint them.

After a few minutes of trying to figure out the best angle, voila! click went the camera, photo taken and handed back their camera. They were quite pleased with the result and complimented me for my photographic skills obviously they may have noticed my Nikon D90 parked next to me.  Well, that is neither here nor there. The important thing for me was that their special moment was well-captured and I got a compliment for a photo well-taken. It was not bad for someone who could not remember their own birthday even if it were staring them in the face.

Green tea finally arrived to a very warm welcome from my stomach...

I tried to think of all the birthdays I’ve celebrated, well, the ones that I can remember but not chronologically, are you kidding?

I couldn’t even remember how I celebrated my birthday last year. In fact come to think of it, I celebrated it in Alotau – a quiet affair but then a few days later I was singing with my ex-Salima members – it was a great bung as we sang some of our memorable numbers for the relatives and friends who gathered to celebrate another birthday in Alotau on 19th March, 2010.

After my King’s breakfast, I took my time walking around the Mall and shopping arcades and taking  in the sights and sounds of the city and thinking about the afternoon at JKL’s place at Bellbowrie.

A Cruise Up-River At Sunset In Brisbane

The 'ferris wheel' against the sunset. Brought back memories of the London Eye.

I was recently in Brisbane on Friday evening and was so fortunate to witness what I thought was a stunning sunset over the city which has been experiencing rain on and off for a few days that week.   

Cruising up the river towards Toowong, Qld.

For me this was indeed a golden hour to take this shots. I am moved by the grandeur of nature on God’s earth everywhere I go. 

These structures reminded me of a place in London...

As we travelled upriver towards Toowong I took these shots. Had to muscle my way through the taller people who were eargerly clicking away. There was no time for timidity as I too gently ‘muscled’ my way through a whole lot of jeans and t-shirts to take these shots. But all in all everyone wanted to share these moments so as one lot stood up and swayed towards aft to take their shots the others waited patiently to move forward. The earlier muscling in was after all not necessary so I felt kind of embarrassed but hey it was a do or die situation and I just went for it.  What I lost due to size (far from size 28 days but) I more than compensated with my ‘gentle muscling’ at the many swaying midriffs I encountered to take these shots and am kind of amazed I did without being thrown overboard by some (tall giant of a) European tourist. At least I lived to tell my story.

We passed a number of bridges along the Brisbane River when not so long ago the city was under siege of massive flooding.

This shot from under one of the bridges. I caught my breath whenever we turned a corner on the river.

What a beautiful end of the day this was and I wanted to share these photos of the sunset as we cruised towards our ‘home away from home’ in Toowong.

This was the eve of my birthday as well as the planned opening of the Beyond Pacific Art Gallery the next day, 17th March, 2012 in Bellbowrie.

What a sight to behold!

Wherever we are, the setting sun has a magical aura about it. This is the time when one can find oneself in a reflective mood and I was in that zone. I just took it all in as the City Cat rolled onwards… 

The train passing through...a moving silhouette against a stunning background.

Looking back the way we came up river I thought how privileged I was to have witnessed a lovely warm sunset in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was a wonderful way to end the week and the day.