School’s out Friday

*note: swear word within video and inappropriate ad from College Humour at the end. Just so you know.

Yes, I’m going to confess. I have an Apple Watch. (run of the mill variety, definitely not Gold)

Do I need one?


Do I feel pretentious wearing it?

Yes, a little bit.

Do I like it?

Yes, I have to admit, I do.

My family gave me a voucher on Mother’s Day this year for an Apple Watch, and I got it this week. They know how much I love new gadgets and I love them for indulging me and recognising that this is something I would enjoy. I do feel like it’s an extremely unnecessary thing to own and I do feel slightly uncomfortable wearing it. The thing is ridiculously expensive here in Australia and it seems frivolous to own one, but I have to confess that I am liking it, even if I remain pretty clueless so far as to what it can do.

I am away from home at the moment, holidaying with my gorgeous daughter in Port Douglas. I know, you don’t need to say it, I sound like someone who is just throwing money around – forgive me, but having just been paid out for long service leave and knowing that I’m never going to get to take that time off, then this was the next best thing. Anyway, back to the Apple Watch part of the story. I’m liking the activity tracker that is reminding me to get out and get moving – it’s a good prompt that I think is going to be beneficial. I can read my incoming mail, send a message using Siri, and answer and send phone calls from it. You do feel like you’re in an episode of Get Smart when you’re holding your wrist near your face and talking into it, but it has been handy in the car. I can hold the driving wheel and talk quite normally and the people on the other end have been unaware that I’m communicating via the Apple Watch.

There are a myriad of apps available and I’m really in the infancy stages of using it. For the first day, it was noticeable, but four days in and I’m starting to see it as a functional device that I think may prove really useful once I am back at work managing meetings and trying to organise myself in what is going to be a very different pattern of commuting for me.

I have to admit that I do feel a tad freakish with it on, given that wearable devices like this aren’t the norm (yet). Mind you, no-one else seems to have noticed it at all, so maybe there’s nothing big deal about it. Mind you, I’m yet to answer a call in a crowded space and I’m not sure I would. I think reaching into the bag to get the phone would probably be my course of action in shared spaces!

If I discover any noteworthy features, I’ll try and write about them. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the warmth of Port Douglas, a far cry from the depths of a Melbourne winter. My daughter and I walked along the beach at Cape Tribulation today, and I marvelled at the fact that I was treading on sand that I can pinpoint on a map of Australia. It seems so pristine there, I do wonder if the shoreline has altered much from the time James Cook and his men encountered it when they circumnavigated Australia’s East Coast. Even more significant, I wonder if our indigenous people have stories that illustrate what this coastline was like before the arrival of white settlement?

I’m going to be enjoying the sun and relaxation space this holiday is offering me. I hope you can find some space for yourself this weekend, be it in the sun, or by a warm fire. Enjoy. 🙂

School’s out Friday

It’s been awhile since I’ve included an Improv Everywhere video here for School’s out Friday. I like this recreation of an 1860’s New York bar where everyone’s in on the act other than the two unsuspecting patrons who get caught up in proceedings.

After the past couple of weeks in Borneo (see my previous post for details) I’ve been enjoying the last few days holidaying in similar tropical conditions, but this time in Port Douglas in North Queensland. Here the temperature is a very pleasant 26 degrees celcius every day rather than the 35 degrees we were dealing with daily in Borneo. It’s wonderful having time with my family and wandering along the Four Mile beach here rather than scaling a mountain!

We’re off to the Barrier Reef tomorrow and hope we encounter some migratory humpback whales who have been sighted by tour boats over the last few days. We saw them last time we made a trip up here two years ago,and it became the highlight of our holiday. Fingers crossed that history repeats itself!

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are. I hope the sun shines and you get an opportunity to share some fun times with your loved ones. Enjoy. 🙂

School’s out Friday

I’ve returned from a really wonderful holiday in Port Douglas with my family. We had the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef where we snorkeled amongst the coral and fascinating sea life. I didn’t encounter any creatures quite like those featured in the video above, but I did see a truly marvellous array of colourful sea life, all basking in their own private world and probably none too thrilled about the intrusion of human forms into that idyllic space.

At this time of year, humpback whales are migrating along the coast of Far North Queensland, and we were hoping we would have the opportunity to see one. On the boat ride out to the reef, I thought I saw a large shape in the water further out, and they stopped the boat trying to spot it. Rather embarrassingly, there was nothing there. On the way back I thought I saw another shape in the water, and once again, other passengers were fixated on the spot, until we were informed by the crew that it was a reef with waves washing over it. Yet another embarrassing moment! After this, I gave up on the whale spotting, figuring there would be no encounters for us.

Literally no more than 10 minutes later, the boat pulled up and we were in the midst of a pod of humpbacks who were rising out of the water and giving us all an opportunity to marvel at their size, especially their magnificent tails as they arced down into the depths. At one stage, we were privy to 8 or so dolphins rising in unison through the waves, and then a humpback rose alongside them right next to our boat. My son was lucky enough to capture a really clear sight of the barnacles and scratches on its skin. It was a display of nature at its finest, and it was truly humbling to be there to witness it. There was this feeling of camaraderie amongst those of us viewing these whales; I think there was a collective feeling of exuberance, but also a sense that we were privileged to be in the company of such creatures. It certainly made an already wonderful day even more memorable!

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and it’s the end of my school holiday break. I can’t complain, because I am fortunate to teach in a school that gives us a three week break at this time of the year. I feel refreshed and invigorated, ready to meet the demands of term three.

I hope you’re ready to meet the demands of your weekend, and truly hope that it brings mirth and merriment for you. Enjoy!