It’s a three-day weekend, hot on the heels of last week’s five-day weekend. One wonders why fully half of all public holidays fall into April. Well, Labour Day is technically in May but only just.

Anyway… Yesterday was Shopping Day. Shopophobia of Certain People notwithstanding, we drove to what must be Brisbane’s biggest shopping centre, Westfield Chermside, on the northern fringe of the city. This unnatural acquiescence to the suggestion of shopping is explained by recently-acquired knowledge: Brisbane has an Apple Store after all. At Chermside. (In fact it has two, the other is in Robina, close to the Gold Coast. To get there one passes perilously close to the local Ikea. But I digress.)

The Apple Store in Sydney is just about the only thing we were missing up here. Finding one after all caused feelings of happiness and joy, especially in people whose current iMac is three years old. Being remarkably good, we resisted the temptation of an impulse purchase in the form of a 27-inch iMac with a terabyte of disk space and 8GB of RAM. But the seed of a thought is germinating… Let’s see how long it takes to blossom…

So, I made the most of being able to investigate a huge shopping mall, and got away with only a couple of tiny little purchases to help me through the cold winter. Evening temperatures regularly drop below 20C by now so warm clothes are a necessity.


Sunset seen from shopping centre's rooftop carpark

To balance out yesterday, today was Mountain Bike Day. Daisy Hill again. In a guide book I had spotted a trail called “Nirvana”, which was declared to be “famous”. It neglected to say what it was famous for but since it’s quite close we had a look at it. I got about 10 meters in, pushed over a log, walked through some mud, then looked at this steep drop without any kind of guide rail and said “nope, shan’t”.

Steep decline, no safety guides...?

Back we went towards the car — a one-hour ride on hilly, muddy tracks is quite enough for me anyway. I suggested a race: I would take the wide track back while less mud-averse people would take the single track that we’d discovered last week. I won! (Yes, ok, single track is harder snd at least an extra km etc.). When we met up again, this vision in mud greeted me with a huge grin. I’m rather glad I didn’t ride that trail today.

Huge grin, muddy.

Back at the car I swapped my bike for my camera while the Intrepid Mountain Biker set off to achieve Nirvana. Birds were not shy at all.

This little chap kept me company

And if you have ever wondered how muddy it is possible to get riding a mountain bike, this is the answer.

This is how muddy one can get...

I also had an opportunity to craft a picture for today’s Daily Shoot. Green is not hard to find in a forest.

Daily Shoot 531

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