photo friday: flamingo farewell

r.i.p greater, the world's oldest flamingor.i.p greater, the world's oldest flamingo

r.i.p greater, the world's oldest flamingor.i.p greater, the world's oldest flamingo
Today's photos are in honour of some sad news from Adelaide Zoo that I read this morning...
Adelaide Zoo is celebrating the life of its most iconic and oldest resident, the Greater Flamingo, after the difficult decision was made to humanely put the flamingo to sleep this morning as its quality of life had significantly deteriorated due to complications associated with old age.

The 83-year old flamingo affectionately known as 'Greater' was a favourite amongst zoo goers for generations arriving at Adelaide Zoo in the 1930s. Greater is best known for being the world's oldest flamingo and the last Greater Flamingo to have resided in Australia.
I always liked to stop off at the flamingo pond whenever I visited the zoo to take a look at Greater and his pond-mate Chilly, so it's very sad that he's gone now. It's also a shame that there's a temporary ban on importing flamingos into Australia, so it could be a few years before we see another familiar pink face at the Adelaide Zoo, if at all.

Otherwise this week has been... actually kinda frustrating. The cast on my arm is driving me a particularly interesting shade of crazy. It's not painful in the slightest... well, except the few times that I've knocked my thumb or the cast has somehow moved into the wrong spot. And I haven't heard from the hospital regarding my appointment with Outpatient Orthopedics. And I even called them in the middle of the week to follow up. Supposedly I was going to hear by the end of this week, but clearly that ship has sailed.

I know it's a public hospital and I'm not paying anything, but seriously, what the actual fuck! I just want this fucking cast off my arm. Actually, I want this whole stupid thing to never have happened, but again, that ship has sailed, so I'm going with the things that should be attainable.

I have discovered that I can feed myself, chop vegetables (okay, so technically it's pretty much just the ability to grip utensils) and do a host of other things using just the fingers on my right hand. Opening doors is a little problematic, but that's where my left hand comes in.

It hasn't really helped that I've felt pretty cooped up this week... while it hasn't officially been a heatwave (at least I don't think so, but the media likes to beef these things up) it's been a little on the warm side... although I've been slightly approaching chilly for a lot of the week thanks to my fabulous air-con. And add that to the fact I can't drive anywhere and I can't really do all that much around the apartment (well, I possibly could, but it could just be an exercise in frustration) has left me feeling a little bit crazypants.

One of the things I finally got around to (other than putting together the shoe rack from IKEA on Sunday... which was actually surprisingly easy to put together, even with a cast on my arm) was watching the whole second season of The Newsroom... and as much as I loved the first season, the second season took it to a whole new level, with a season-wide story arc that unfolded a little more every episode.

I've also been investigating ideas for a clock in the living room... I looked at Etsy and eBay and there are a few interesting clocks out there, but they're kind of more than I want to pay... so I'm thinking I may try to make one. And at present I'm thinking I could use one of the IKEA Ribba frames I already have... specifically the one with my Lifescout pins in it.

And it just so happens that I have 12 physical Lifescout pins. So with a few minor alterations and a clock kit, I could have a one of a kind clock. I'm just not sure if there will be enough room inside the frame for the clock hands. We'll see I guess.

Not sure if it's even worth starting the project until I have the use of both hands though.

*le sigh*

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random spectacles hotness

I've been a little spotty with my Random Hotness posts since Christmas, but hopefully we're back on track with this week's effort.

These shots from Essential Homme by photographer Sabine Villiard tick many of my Hotness boxes... black and white photography, tattoos and guys wearing nothing but their spectacles.

It's like classy hipster/nerd erotica.

harvey in spectacles for essential hommezach in spectacles for essential homme

brahim in spectacles for essential hommealexander in spectacles for essential homme

brett in spectacles for essential hommejakob in spectacles for essential homme

julien in spectacles for essential hommeluis in spectacles for essential homme

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brighton sculpture saturday

glass wavesceltic fish
I'm getting to the point where I'm looking forward to Fringe, if only because it might mean we have some shorter Saturdays.

Today ended up being a very big day... even though we originally thought about curtailing our adventures due to my infirmity... I'm glad we didn't though.

Showering this morning wasn't as horrible as I thought it might be, I just put a plastic bag over my arm and tucked the bottom into the cast and I was good to go.

fish headsgolden gams
Ma got down here a little late and then we were a bit later leaving here to head out to the supermarket, and it just feels like that snowballed a little bit.

We finally got around to getting a spare set of keys cut for my new place, but even though we were very specific and I double checked with the guy after he'd cut the two keys, he still cut the wrong two... well, he cut the one we didn't need him to cut since I never bother locking that lock. Probably better that Ma has all three keys though... but we'll still go back and complain.

Shopping was pretty much the same as normal, other than the fact I couldn't do my usual trick with tying the plastic bags with a quick release, and it was a little more awkward to steer the little trolley.

We also had a wander around for a while in Target, so that always delays us a little... and I was somewhat annoyed that Target was having a 20% off Lego sale as well as a 3 for 2 toy sale two days after I stood there feeling up minifigure bags.

Although it was probably just as well since I tried to find a Panda Guy for Ma but since I was having to use my left hand, it kind of cramped up after a few tries.

And carrying the groceries upstairs was a little bit of a pain, more so because I could only carry stuff with my left hand and had to rely on Ma a little more.

glass lilypadsgreen fish
First up on the post-supermarket agenda was the Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures exhibition.

I wasn't going to take my SLR camera given my whole arm situation, but I'm glad I did... I did end up having to carry it with my other hand, but other than that I really didn't have too much trouble.

I'm not sure if there were as many pieces this year, but there were a whole lot of really nice works... and a lot that were pretty photogenic.

eclipsestone shell
Sadly there weren't as many hot guys out and about on the beach while we were there... because I always like a nice bit of beachside perving.

After we'd seen everything there was to see we stopped at Enuf Burger Bar for some lunch... I've been disappointed with regular beef burgers anywhere other than Burger Theory, so I decided on one of their chicken burgers, which was really nice.

Then we headed off to return the baking tray that I bought last week at Harbourtown that was too big for my oven... it was a simple matter of swapping it over for a smaller one, and getting $5 back to boot.

wooden wingsstone eggs
Then we headed down the road to IKEA... yes, for the nine hundredth time in recent weeks.

Mostly it was because there were a bunch of little things I keep forgetting to pick up. But I think that's our last trip to the Land of the Flatpack Swede until my arm is better.

Next up was a quick visit to Bunnings... mostly to see if they had some sort of laundry cabinet. I know I've seen exactly what I want somewhere not that long ago, but I'm buggered if I can find them now that I want one.

stone archessilver spikes
Oh and there was a quick stop off at Howard's Storage World because I was sure they had some decent perspex storage boxes, but no such luck.

By the time we got back to my place it was after 4pm... which is a pretty late day for our usual Saturday adventures.

And then it took me seemingly forever to process all the images from today.

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photo friday: balls

beach orbnot the mall, but there's balls here

wire sphereswire spheres
This week seemed to be going along swimmingly until about Wednesday when the wheels began to fall off everything.

Monday was good... I'd started sorting through the last four boxes of papers and random bedroom drawer detritus on Sunday night, and I spent the whole of the day on Monday finishing that up and throwing away two and a half recycling tubs worth of papers. I know that I'd been through it all not that long ago, but this time I was incredibly ruthless. Actually I've since done that whole "oh, did I throw that or did I keep that" about a couple of things that I think I probably ditched... but nothing I can't live without.

I also hung some more artwork on the walls... there's still one set of pieces still to hang, but there's no massive rush for those.

Then Monday night was Haircut Night at Tink's place, which is always fun... the hair he is once again short and blonde... plus we chatted a lot, mostly about my move. Turns out that not only is she moving house at the end of this month (and will actually be closer to me now, which is nice, although she'd really not that far away now) but she and her partner are expecting another baby. I almost asked her last time I was there... there was just something about her that made the think she could be pregnant. But you never want to ask that particular question and be wrong.

So now I'm on the lookout for a toy horse, since this baby will be born in the Year of the Horse, and the last baby was all rabbit themed.

Tuesday I did some tidying up and got the place looking pretty before Ma came down around lunchtime after her doctor's appointment... then we grabbed some lunch and went off to have a look around Arndale before going to the movies.

Wednesday morning the nice folks from MiniMovers came to pick up all their empty boxes... and once they were all gone the bedroom suddenly looked REALLY empty.

I'd decided that if they showed up early then I'd head into the city for a bit and run a few errands... so I got ready and headed out.

That's partly when the wheels got a little wobbly... there had been another empty apartment in the building and as I was heading out there was a moving van downstairs and someone standing in the doorway of the empty apartment. Someone from my old apartment block. C'mon, seriously... I know we all had to move out, but one of the best things about the new place was that none of my neighbours seemed annoying in these first two weeks. And out of all the people from the old building, this family was one of two who I was very glad to never have to lay eyes on again. However I will have no qualms about talking to the land agent when they start getting really annoying. Although the apartments are all owned by different owners I think, but at least I can try.

The rest of Wednesday morning and most of the afternoon was great... I wandered around the city, went to see Josh at Espionage to pick up some artwork and stood around with him for a good long while having a chat about everything and nothing.

Then I found the new minifigs from The Lego Movie at Target and because my Lego-Fu is mighty, I managed to pick out the six figs that I wanted without having to even go through a whole box.

Next up was lunch at Burger Theory which was lovely as always and I got given one of their loyalty cards, so bonus right there.

Unfortunately when I got home I busted my thumb. It was definitely one of those "if I'd done that task yesterday or if I'd hadn't been doing what I was doing and hadn't chosen to do that exact thing at that exact moment" deals... but to quote Morpheus, "what happened, happened and couldn't have happened any other way".

Although possibly there's a whole other me somewhere doing the Gwyneth Paltrow Sliding Doors thing without a cast on his arm.

Good luck Alternate Me... make sure you don't get run over or anything.

So all of Thursday morning was spent at the hospital, and the rest of the day was spent dealing with the fact I had a cast on my arm.

And today has been much of the same... it's going to be a long ten days, I know that much, not least of all because I can't drive anywhere. But also because it's not an especially comfortable cast to wear... it's kind of on at a weird angle, and it's both tight and loose at the same time. Plus it's fucking heavy.

I have, however, managed to vacuum the carpet, chop vegetables, sign my name, brush my teeth and feed myself, all with my left hand. The only thing I haven't done is take a shower... that's going to require some scheming, as I can't get the cast wet.

It really does feel like the Universe is telling me that I can't have nice things, or if I do, I have to pay for them in some unexpected and punitive way.

But it is what it is and now I just need to soldier on.

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my busted thumb

that's the inside of my hand, complete with problem area
I'm currently typing with one hand, which isn't a euphemism for anything, it's just the flat out truth.

Yesterday I went to get down on the carpet to fix something on one of the bookshelves and I had my hand steepled so my weight was resting on my fingers and, as it turns out, mostly on my thumb. There was a loud crack, and my thumb hurt quite a bit.

I wasn't really sure what I'd done to it, but it was sore for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

This morning when I got back from my walk I realised that my thumb was swollen and a bruise was starting to appear at the base of my thumb.

A quick Google search confirmed that even if I'd only sprained it, medical attention was advisable... so after breakfast and a shower I walked down to the Royal Adelaide Hospital's Emergency Room.

I took some fruit and had my phone full of things I could do given my last couple of experiences with the ER, but it turned out I was ushered into the main area fairly quickly. The "nurse practitioner" (which I didn't even know was a thing until today) had a look and a poke around my swollen thumb and then sent me off for x-rays.

I think I spent more time sitting around overall than I actually had people seeing to me, but fortunately the ER was fairly quiet the whole time I was there. I didn't have to wait all that long for the X-Ray Man to come and get me, but the x-rays themselves literally took five minutes to do.

Then when I was back in the ER, the very lovely nurse practitioner eventually came back over to see me with x-rays of my hand... and it's a slightly weird thing, seeing the inside of your hand. I've seen x-rays of my spine, my wrist and my knee I think, but never the hand. That's it at the top of the post.

And the area circled in red is where the problem is... not the bottom bit that looks like it's running loose, but the little piece above that.

Turns out I have what is called, quite poetically I thought, Gamekeeper's Thumb (or, less interestingly, Skier's Thumb or a UCL tear), where rather than actually snapping the tendon, the piece of bone the tendon is attached to snaps off.

Yeah, that was about the point in the conversation where my brain went "la la la, not listening now".

The treatment for this injury is simple but annoying.

And that's why I'm currently in a cast that goes from the middle of my palm, almost down to my elbow. It's a weird cast though... there's actually no plaster on the side of my arm opposite my thumb, but quite a lot of it around my thumb, obviously.

my very swollen thumb with my normal thumb for comparisonfreshly plastered hand
I have to keep the cast on for between ten days and two weeks, and then I'll have an appointment with the orthopaedic outpatient area and they will swap the cast for a splint, which at least I can take off to shower.

The last time I had a cast on my (other) arm I was 12 and I don't actually remember it being put on, I think I was high on painkillers at the time, so it was interesting to watch my arm being encased, especially since it wasn't being wrapped, so much as a great stack on bandage being stuck on one side of my hand.

It was also weird feeling the plaster get cold and wet and then warm and then went hard. And now my hand and arm are held in what doesn't really feel like a completely natural position, although my fingers are free, so that's a blessing. But it does stink to high heaven.

It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't my dominant hand... so suddenly I'm more than a little bit of a gimp and will be until some point at the beginning of February.

It also looks like I could be seeing some Fringe shows with my hand in a splint... fun. It may also mean there are some shorter blog posts for a while, at least until I can use my other hand again.

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movies: saving mr banks

saving mr banks - where her book ended, their story began
Saving Mr Banks is further proof that Emma Thompson can do just about anything.

She takes the character of Mary Poppins creator, P.L. Travers, who could very easily have been someone it was hard to connect with or else easily become a caricature and make her both charming and funny.

From the first moment she appears on screen and with the simple widening of her eyes, she put in an amazing performance.

Tom Hanks does a great job as Walt Disney, but it's more of an understated performance, plus he's playing a character that more people are aware of him from the TV shows he used to host (it was very often essentially Sunday night viewing when I was growing up).

The character that was both the biggest surprise and, to a certain extent, felt like the most emotionally satisfying relationship Travers has in the movie was Paul Giamatti as her chauffeur. Giamatti's role isn't a huge one, but it has the best arc, especially in relation to Thompson's character.

Only half of the movie is the story of Travers and Disney's relationship and the adaptation of her book into the movie. The other half is flashbacks to Travers childhood in rural Queensland and her relationship with her father.

And although it was nice that all of the actors in those scenes had authentic Australian accents (or were dubbed by Australian actors later), the landscape and architecture screamed "California" and "Hollywood backlot", not Australia. It did pull me out of those scenes a little to be honest.

I didn't actually realise that Colin Farrell was playing her father, and he does a really good job... but the flashback sequences do occasionally either drag slightly or seem a little unnecessary... and although the later scenes do feature the woman who would inspire Mary Poppins, the movie doesn't really show why the young Travers has such a connection to her.

I did wonder though whether the movie would have been as strong without the flashback sequences, and I'm honestly not sure. I would have liked to see even more of Thompson's performance though, as she really is excellent.

And I won't lie... I did roll more than a few tears towards the end of the movie.

yani's rating: 4 carpet bags out of 5

sunday riverbank forking

fork on the road with adelaide oval looking onfork on the road - burger theory number ones
Today had to be one of the best, if not the best Fork on the Road. There have been Forks with a better range of trucks, and Forks where I got to try more new things, but the location, just across the Torrens from Jolly's Boathouse was just about perfect.

There was a cool breeze, plenty of shade trees and spots to sit as well as being able to watch the river.

Plus Ma and I managed to snag a car park just across the parklands without much effort. After a quick circuit of the trucks, we decided on Burger Theory as our first stop. It's been a while since Ma had one, and I haven't visited the shop since the middle of December.

fork on the road - getting my taiwanese chicken nugget onfork on the road - watching popeye float on by
We also grabbed some lemonades from the Famous Lemonade Stand to go along with the burgers and found a very pleasant spot by the path I walk on every morning to eat our burgers and observe the other Forkers.

After the November edition of Fork where I tried the Gan Taiwanese Chicken Nuggets, I was very eager to head back for another go... they're just so damn tasty!

So I left Ma guarding out shady spot under the tree and headed off to the little yellow van for some nuggety goodness.

fork on the road - milk crate seatsfork on the road - giant dim sims with bike
Once we'd had our fill of people watching from the particular spot and the nuggets were all gone (the latter came much more quickly than the former) we decided to take a wander around the trucks and see what else caught our eyes.

We almost had a couple of halloumi skewers, but they'd just run out when we got there and the next batch was a little while away, so instead we ended up at The Satay Hut for a couple of the biggest steamed dim sims I've ever seen. Quite tasty though.

From there we ended up circling around and found a park bench that, oddly enough, nobody else had claimed... no idea why, it was nice and shady, although there were people quite close on all sides.

fork on the road - juice girlfork on the road - feeding the ducks
Again, there was much sitting and observing the passing Forkers... although there was one little toddler who was the most amusing... he got mesmerised by a guy in a bike helmet, and then seemed hesitant of a seagull coming his way (although to be fair, it was about a third of his height, so that's understandable).

We debated about whether or not to revisit the halloumi, but both decided that we really wanted something fresh and fruity instead. Thankfully Juicy Juice was just behind where we were sitting, so I left Ma guarding our spot and grabbed some beverages (and sneaked the photo of the young lady wearing fake flowers in her hairy who's outfit perfectly matched the truck).

I had the Pink Bliss (watermelon, strawberry and mint) and Ma had the Fruit Tingle (orange, apple, strawberry and lemon)... of the two, I think I prefer the Fruit Tingle... but I had one back at the November Fork, so I wanted to try something different.

fork on the road - shady treesfork on the road - you can't go to fork without getting a brownie
Since the beginning of Fork, there's one stall that I have to visit before we leave for a little take-home goodness... and that's Four Seeds for their brownies... so much so that Mim, the woman who runs the stall, stops to say hello when she sees me at Fork.

Her dreadlocked helper was actually running the stall, so Ma and I snapped up two of the choc mint and two of the salted caramel brownies... good lord they're good.

But they're dessert for later... we still needed dessert for right then and there...

fork on the road - loca pops for twofork on the road - happy forkers
And we went with Loca Pops!

Ma chose the Peach and Sweet Basil (on the right) while I went with the Cucumber, Lime and Mint (on the left). I have to say, a little like the juices earlier, I did have a touch of buyers remorse... my popsicle was refreshing, but not quite as strongly flavoured as Ma's was.

So, all in all, a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

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