Friday, October 07, 2005

High Jinks for the Holidays

It's not often I get to see my own son in the school holidays. Between his father and his grandparents, I quite often only see him for a couple of days, which is really no better than a school-term weekend. Well, this holidays I got him for the whole week, and I thought we'd have a good time. Bugger it -- if Saturday dads can spoil their kids with lollies and outings, why can't the residential parents?

So, this week we:
-- went camping (see below)
-- saw a movie
-- went to the circus (hooray! clowns!)
-- went to Questacon and did cool sciencey things and missed out by a matter of minutes on being the 6-millionth visitor (who got a free hot-air balloon ride). Bummer!

and then we visited Floriade. Ahh, Floriade, you either love it or hate it. I go through a teeth-gnashing vascillation every year. I love the concept: springtime with flowers, flowers, and more flowers and fun activities in the park, free to the public. But they never quite get it right, in my book. There's a theme every year, and this year's was 'Rock & Roll'. It was a pretty Babyboomer kind of vision, with lots of 60s titles, and a few more recent songs thrown in to make you feel included. My favorite flowerbed was 'Paint it Black', with lots of black and dark purple tulips and pansies, with a touch of red here & there. Noice.

But what about this?
Go figure
Hello? Where's the blue? How can you have a title like that stuffed full of ... daffodils?! It did get a bit flabby that way.

I was pleased to see the possum still holding court over the women's toilets.
Floriade resident possum
It's there every year, in broad daylight, just sitting and watching, sometimes delighting the tourists more than the flowers. Bumblebee thought I was having him on, thought it was a stuffed possum, but no, it moved around to see him better, and he was most impressed, as were the other camera-clickers around me.

The best thing (for me) at Floriade is the decorated gnome contest. People just go all out to make their gnomes look really cool, or very odd. The theme was, of course, Rock'n'Roll, and there were lots of different categories, such as the 'Under-6' group, whose gnomes all looked as if their cake had been left out in the rain, all the sweet green icing flowing down... and the Group section, whose contestants were Scout groups and Old Folks Home residents, etc. There were hundreds of hand-painted gnomes. It's very funny. Here are my favorites:

Bread gnomes @ Floriade
Bread! Excellent group concept. Except none of the youngies knew who they were...

Kylie Mi-gnome @ Floriade
Kylie Mi-gnome, which is about the right height, anyway...

Britney gnome @ Floriade
Britney Spears, complete with 'Golden Ticket' t-shirt over her baby bump. This was in the teenage section

Marley gnome @ Floriade
Bob Marley and the Whalers {sic}, with plastic whale underneath.

Devo gnomes @ Floriade
Devo gnomes. I love the real flowerpot hats.

Alice or Trent?
This could be Alice Cooper, Trent Reznor or a handful of other dark dudes. Take your pick.

Kiss gnome
There were LOTS of Kiss gnomes. This was my favorite, because he just looks like he's partied too hard for too many years.

Hasselhoff gnome @ Floriade
This is for Zoe and Laura. I'd forgotten his short music career...

And these next two images are my favorites, mostly because deep down I have a lot of gen X grief in my heart for the way Michael Jackson has gone off the rails. I loved him when he and I were little and for me, his degeneration has always been a metaphor for that of society generally...
MJ gnomes @ floriade

I think this last one is a real classic...
MJ2 @ Floriade

The.. the.. That's all, fffolks! Or as we say in this house, have a beautiful sleep, and wake up as happy as a lark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
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