Cat-sitting and bike-napping

I traveled into Brisbane today to soak up some culture – museum, art gallery – but instead learned some other quirks of the natives.

Said one bogan to another as I walked past them – “I can’t , I’ve gotta go cat-sitting out West.”

Cat-sitting? I’m left wondering;

  • Will the moggies be allowed to stay up late,or will it be lights out at 9pm?
  • Whether the bed-time story will be a quick Three Blind Mice or will it be The Cat in the Hat again? Or maybe they like to be scared a little, something like The Hound of Baskervilles?
  • Will they need a bottle, or a nightcap ( catnip )?
  • Will an intercom be used?
  • Are they toilet-trained?


, and more. What are the rates for such a critical role?

I’ve often wondered how safe it is to lock a bike by securing only the frame or front wheel. I found out today when I ran across this in a large shopping centre carpark;

And in between those musings, I did manage to browse through the museum and art gallery. I have to admit, I hardly did them justice, but I did get some evidence.

The gallery and the museum are both ideally located on the “South Bank” of the river, five minutes’ walk from the centre of town. Also in the same stretch are a theatre, and more buildings dedicated to the performing and other Arts.

The gallery building itself was an impressive piece of art. Light, and spacious, predominantly white, and a very natural feel.

Perhaps the museum, a short stumble away, is even more impressive. But that’s down to its range of displays and good use of digital learning tools.

I’ll be back.

Events that the Newshawk himself could not understand

By Carl Wyant

(The following story is true. But the names, dates, places, people, and events have been changed to protect the innocent.)

The banquet hall flickered in strobe-lit confusion as Madam X checked my pass.

As I waited, nouveau wealth in every lush and lavish form jostled by … an impressionistic wash of diamonds, veils, tailcoats and sprayed-on stretch fabric. These were The Beautiful People. The shooting stars. Today’s pin-ups, tomorrow’s nobodies. My assignment? Observe, analyse…. and if possible, get totally knocked-out and loaded.

Cleopatra Baskerville looked stunning, as always. Her face, a neo­ gothic masterpiece from the hand of greasepaint genius, Henri LeCroix, was especially compelling. Moreover, it was so heavily applied that when we danced cheek-to-cheek an exact likeness of it was printed on me, leaving me the usual hardened thug on one side, and the belle of the superbunnies on the other. But I was unaware of this, and when we parted I was none the wiser.

I was downing whiskies by the piranha tank when a steaming bimbo in a leopard suit zeroed in on me.

“Cleo darling,” she gushed. “Love the man’s suit! Why didn’t I think of it?”

“Pardon me, mam” I said, “but my name’s Wyant. Carl Wyant.”

She ran a disdainful eye over me. “You mean the Carl Wyant? Nah. He wouldn’t dare show his face around here.”

“I beg your pardon?”

She studied me a moment more. “Oh! I get it! Where do you get these ideas? And the voice and everything! You’re too much, Cleo.”

She handed me a tall pink drink. “Here,” she said, “drink now, fly later,” and she was gone.

Perplexed, I drained the brew, wondering if something really unspeakably weird was going on.

I need drugs, I decided, and was moving towards the nefarious-looking activity across the hall when Max Bullhead loomed up suddenly on the port side.

“Carl you old dog. What in blazes are you doing here?”

“Well, at the moment I’m trying to get to that table over there where people seem to be snorting some kind of whiteish stuff,” I said.

“Ye gads boy! I hope you don’t throw a gasper on us. It’d be a nuisance if you had a heart attack or something.”

“Tell me,” I said, ignoring his tasteless dig at my age, “do I look anything like Mademoiselle Baskerville?”

He glared keenly down. “You’re mad,” he said, thumping me cheerfully on the back, “absolutely mad,” and he merged back into the crowd, chuckling.

Great. I’m old. I’m mad. I look like Cleopatra. And I just drank a glass of pink hallucinogens. If this doesn’t mean something, nothing does.

Two vague forms came weaving out of the f lashing lights, smiling and saying ‘Carl’ and ‘Cleopatra’ with great gusto.

I lit a camel and focussed an apprehensive gaze upon the forthcoming beautiful people. It was getting too complex. At a loss for words I took the easy way out and let Cleoptara talk for me.

“Hey kids,” she said, “it’s like, euphoric. But Carl and I must go now. Lunch tomorrow at Chan’s? Fabulous! Think happy thoughts. Bye now!”

I was driven home in a limousine and was still awake two days later when the Sunday paper knocked a panel out of the front door. Wrestling it open a bold intro caught my eye.

“Fashion freaks are freaking out after slinky mega-bucks model, Cleopatra Baskerville, was seen leaving a six-figure bash in the company of low-rent gossip weasel, Carl Wyant.

“‘They seemed very, very close’, one witness claimed.”

I fell into the chair, stricken. Holy suffering mackerel. I had been on the scene of news and missed it; but worse, I’d gone home with M’selle B and can’t remember!

Woe. But maybe there’s mileage in it yet! Yes….yes, I must reach Cleo at once .

Golden for the day

In my hosts’ ongoing quest to beguile me with the delights of Brisbane and surrounds, I was escorted to the Gold Coast on the weekend.

First, it was the Carrara markets

Among dozens of stalls, I managed to find the little old lady selling very cheap sunnies. I had to jump through some hoops – cash only – but well worth it to keep up appearances.

“Since you’ve been such a gentleman, I’ll throw in a second pair,” she says, probably wiping out her earnings for the day. I couldn’t find a polite way to decline.

We ate and meandered, and then took ourselves off to the beach.

There I managed to cook myself a nice reddish brown – rare, not well-done, no sauce thanks – in between flailing about and wallowing.

The high-rises you see are mostly apartment blocks. I have my doubts, but Roger claims these are affordable without a second mortgage.


I gone dunnit – I’m bound for Adelaide on December 14.

Putting aside the usual dithering and doubts, I’ve booked the plane trip.

The usual doubts cast a longer shadow because life here in Brisbane has been ( almost too ) easy, thanks to the continuing generosity of a friend from school-days.

Of course, it may be a huge mistake. But the plan was always to migrate south for the summer, and Brisbane is becoming too .. tropical, especially overnight. Plus, there is no beach here within sniffing distance.

And longer-term, I want to avoid becoming too flat-footed.


After a snafu with airbnb, I resorted to Facebook to find digs.

It’s possible somebody up there likes me. Someone from the group messaged me, and I have a ‘booking’ for a shared flat near Moana Sands, about 40 km south of Adelaide.

It’s “5-10 mins walk to beach, shops, railway station and library”, according to the owner.