spring hill reservoirs: the weight of light

I’ve been fascinated by the Spring Hill Reservoirs in inner-city Brisbane for some time.

The first reservoir was built in 1871, and the second just metres from the first some eleven years after. Both were built primarily of red-brick and mortar, set in-ground. Interiors feature columns and arches between walls for reinforcement. At the time of planning, Spring Hill was considered to be the ideal location for a Brisbane water source, due to its elevation above most of what is now Brisbane CBD. Water was sourced from Enoggera Dam via gravity feed. They were built in 1871 and 1882 by Henry Holmes. They serviced water to what is now Brisbane City until 1962. Currently, the reservoirs are covered by three hut-like structures above ground. For many years the reservoirs were locked and inaccessible to the public. However, since 2014, they are used occasionally for cultural events.

I’ve been waiting for a ‘cultural event’ in the reservoirs so I was lucky enough to find out about a light exhibition by artist Meagan Streader, The Weight of Light, being held in the reservoirs.

So last Thursday we picked the boys up from school and visited the reservoirs at Spring Hill. I’m not sure what I was more impressed by: exploring centuries old underground reservoirs or the neon light art exhibition within the darkness. It was a very memorable experience – particularly as we were the only people in there initially.

I can’t wait to revisit – it seems there is another art installation planned for the reservoirs as part of Brisbane Open House on October 7 – that’s definitely on the must-do list!

yerra-bin king island

Yesterday we visited Wellington Point, about 30 minutes drive from Brisbane, for a family picnic. Just north of Wellington Point sits a small island known as ‘Yerra-bin’ or King Island. During a low tide you can walk across the sand bar to the island. Fortunately the tide was low and we walked over and back in time for a play at the playground and a cup of tea using our new family sized Thermos.

 

5 things I learned living in an unrenovated 1950s house

We’ve been living in an unrenovated 1950s house since May this year. Not only do we save lots of money on rent but we’ve discovered there’s actually some really cool things about old houses 😎

  1. Open plan is overrated – being able to close the doors between rooms – particularly when you have screaming kids – is a godsend
  2. You don’t need so many mirrors – modern houses have built-ins with full length mirrors galore – these aren’t necessary – just learn to look at yourself less
  3. Hanging ceiling lights are fantastic – we have different hanging lights in every room, heaps cooler than downlights which mean you can’t even change the bulb yourself
  4. Your house should be smaller than your garden – modern houses have this the opposite way around and it’s all wrong
  5. Shower curtains and a bath tub are easier than glass shower screens – it’s a pain to clean glass shower screens when shower curtains do the job well and you can just put them through the wash.

the first day of spring

I recently finished The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (spoiler: the book’s title is a misminor: it’s actually about how to selectively give a fuck), and I found this quote particularly poignant:

“Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.
We shouldn’t seek to find the ultimate “right” answer for ourselves, but rather, we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong today so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow.”

Today is my birthday. I always thought I was born on the first day of spring. The convention in Australia is spring begins on the first day of September. But I was was wrong. Spring technically doesn’t start until we reach the September equinox. An equinox is the moment in which the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun’s disk, which occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. On an equinox, day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet.

So in this year 2017, in Australia, spring begins around 8am on the 23rd of September, not today. I was born in winter after all 🙁

walk the walk

“There are lots of things you could probably do to improve your life. You could make more money, for instance, or travel more, or write more, or be a better friend, or get one of those vacuum cleaners that cleans your house while you’re out throwing your head back laughing at after-work cocktails in a nicely ironed shirt, the sleeve of which you hitch up when your expensive watch reminds you to circulate so you can get home in time to do all the right things to be perfect again the next day.

On the other hand, you could just do this: go for a walk. Nothing quite like a nice walk to really turn things around. Okay, alright, it’s not going to fix everything. It might not fix anything. And okay, alright, if you’re crook or you can’t walk or are indisposed or it’s the middle of the night, it doesn’t even need to be an actual walk. Do the next best thing. Go to the window and look out of it.”

~ Lorin Clarke, Walk the Walk, The Big Issue #543

idleness is not just a vacation…

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

~ Tim Kreider: The ‘Busy’ Trap via What One Company Learned from Forcing Employees to Use Their Vacation Time

control your reaction

As Turia Pitt prepares to become a first-time mother in December, she recalls the life lessons her parents taught her.

“They made me realise even though I couldn’t always control what happened, or what other people said or thought, I could control my reaction,” Turia told Essential Baby.

“They also showed how I could reframe a painful or negative event, or use humour to diffuse a situation or disarm someone.”

Nothing could have prepared Turia for the Kimberley fire that left her with burns to 65 per cent of her body six years ago. But she said, it was the life lessons her parents, Célestine Vaite and Michael Pitt, imparted that helped build her fortitude.

Read more: http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/news/celebrity-parents/turia-pitt-three-things-i-will-teach-my-son-20170823-gy2ux9

i’m a human meat pie…

“You know what, I’m a meat pie. I’m a human meat pie, I’m not flash… there are no surprises. I like motorsport, I like my family, I’ve got two dogs, four kids, got chickens and some sheep. When someone says you’re the everyday man, the guy next door, or you’re the average joe, well that feels like a massive compliment. You know I’ve got a face like a dropped pie and I’m not exactly the right shape according to the magazines, but people let me on their TV screens. I’ve had some guys say, “you give me hope”.

I wouldn’t give my 16-year-old self any advice. I wouldn’t interfere with him at all, because for every broken heart and for every hard road travelled or every pothole that was hard on my emotional suspension, I’ve turned out to be who I am – and I am now with the woman of my dreams, I have four healthy beautiful children and I’m doing my dream job. Why would I risk changing any of it? I’m not going to send anything off kilter.”

~ Shane Jacobson – star of Kenny – the Australian film about a bloke that fixes busted toilets – via The Big Issue #543

the only exercise…

“Many people – and not a few companies – like to think that they can somehow stretch the cognitive limits of their minds, that doings lots of Sudoku or using programs like Brain Trainer will somehow enlarge their capacity. They’re out of luck. The only exercise that seems to nurture, or at least protect our brains is aerobic exercise. Yoga, toning and stretching may make you feel good but, in fMRI scans, only aerobic exercise seemed to have a visibly positive impact on the brain.”

~ Margaret Heffernan – Wilful Blindness

sriracha?

David Tran, who operates his family-owned Huy Fong Foods out of a 650,000-square-foot facility in Irwindale, doesn’t see his failure to secure a trademark for his Sriracha sauce as a missed opportunity. He says it’s free advertising for a company that’s never had a marketing budget.

The story of Sriracha and how its lack of trademark helps it.

→ when i’m gone

WHEN YOU BECOME A FATHER

Now you’ll understand what real love is, son. You’ll realize how much you love her, but real love is something you’ll feel for this little thing over there. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. I’m just a corpse, I’m not a fortune teller.

Have fun. It’s a great thing. Time is gonna fly now, so make sure you’ll be around. Never miss a moment, they never come back. Change diapers, bathe the baby, be a role model to this child. I think you have what it takes to be an amazing father, just like me.

From a story about a father who dies young and leaves his eight and a half old son a series of letters to open at life events.

Whilst the story reads like a true story, it’s actually fiction.

 

removed

“The joining of people to devices has been rapid and unalterable. The application of the personal device in daily life has made tasks take less time. Far away places and people feel closer than ever before. Despite the obvious benefits that these advances in technology have contributed to society, the social and physical implications are slowly revealing themselves. In similar ways that photography transformed the lived experience into the photographable, performable, and reproducible experience, personal devices are shifting behaviors while simultaneously blending into the landscape by taking form as being one with the body. This phantom limb is used as a way of signaling busyness and unapproachability to strangers while existing as an addictive force that promotes the splitting of attention between those who are physically with you and those who are not.”

Very thought provoking.

→ why you shouldn’t say ‘you’re welcome’

The script is so deeply ingrained that you don’t even need to think about it. When you do a favor, and someone says “thank you,” the automatic response is “you’re welcome.” It’s a basic rule of politeness, and it signals that you accept the expression of gratitude — or that you were happy to help.

But according to one leading psychologist, this isn’t the best choice of words. After four decades of studying persuasion, Influence author Robert Cialdini has come to see “you’re welcome” as a missed opportunity. “There is a moment of power that we are all afforded as soon as someone has said ‘thank you,’” Cialdini explains. To capitalize on this power, he recommends an unconventional reply:

“I know you’d do the same for me.”

Interesting