Tag Archives: Brisbane

The Wonderment of Life

9 Dec

How wonderful life is. One day you’re sitting in Brisbane with loved ones surrounded by familiarity. The next you’re flying for over 30 hours to get to a new experience, a new adventure, a new destination and culture to explore, seeing/hearing/smelling/tasting the most amazing (& sometimes awful smells) aspects of life.

Today it was 0 degrees when I hit the streets. Even the stall holders at el Rastro Markets were late in setting up, as I didn’t set out until around 10! The markets started at 9am!


Was a pretty cool market – but sooooo much stuff! And was soooo busy even in such cold conditions. Did buy some nice small presents for loved ones but carrying luggage is NOT going to be my friend in European train stations. And I’m finding it quite expensive – even for a country that has 30% unemployment. However, I’m not seeing it on the streets. I’m feeling totally safe, there are not many beggars, definitely no pick pockets (touch wood) and although my host in Madrid thinks I’m crazy; the streets are clean. OK cigarette butts (everyone smokes) but at least not in cafes and bars anymore, & a bit of dog faeces, but really, it’s clean.

So today my mind was set on getting to see The Prado and it’s wonderment of treasures. And what a find. There was of course Francisco de Goya, the artist most extensively represented in the collection, but also VelázquezTitianRubens and Bosch. Rafael, El Greco, Bellino, Tiziano, Giogiorne to keep naming names! I did enjoy El Greco’s collection especially after seeing his Masterpieces yesterday in Toledo, but the stand out for me was Baroque artist Velázquez. Wow. I know that his most famous is Las Meninas but my favourite was this one below that blew my mind away and totally lost my breath. I actually had to walk to the side of the picture to see if the oil wasn’t standing out from the canvas… and of course it wasn’t (but I wanted it to be as it was so surreal). Wow. I know that you can’t see it in this photo, but the two guys in the middle were fighting a most famous battle of the City of Breda back in the late 16th Century, early 17th (in The Netherlands I am told – please correct me if I’m wrong). And yes I don’t like fighting artwork, but Velazquez painted this without the despair that I saw in so many of the paintings that I spied today. What made this even more famous was that this un-loseable battle was a lesson in strategy and proved to be quite the marketing expedition as it was an early case study on ‘how to win’. However, the opposite occurred and the guy on the left was a gorgeous thaang and allowed the losing garrison to surrender and live. The Spanish generals gave the order to the vanquished who were respected and treated with dignity, without humiliation. Anyhoo – the main point is the two main guys’ jackets, shoes and everything about them were standing out from the picture. It was mid-day ok. It really was like those pictures that the eyes follow you around the room. Amaz-ing. Total awe.


This is the historic moment Velazquez chose to paint his picture without the vain, glory and blood. It was MY amazing Prado memory. My Madrid airbnb host Sonia tells me that Velázquez used to like to pop himself into his pics and painted himself on the right of the picture. He was a bit of alright by the pics I saw today I think. Although many of his pictures were of dwarves so I’m not sure if I would have been a good muse! 😛


My next find was the Plaza St Miguel markets. Oh wow. Totally different to the Boqueria Markets in Barca (unless you walk right to the back and there was my favourite seafood stall) – sigh, these are more like Boston, Adelaide or Melbourne where purveyors are selling their wares to consume now. I was in food heaven – although wanted to be alot richer!


My day has ended up drinking fabulous Spanish beer & wine, eating amazing olives, cheese and cured meats at home – I’ve got a big day tomorrow OK and I’ve been sleeping rubbish! But the best thing is my host has this: a BDO stubby cooler! More wonderment.


Well. Stay warm. It’s going to be minus 1 here tonite! And also tomorrow when I set sail on my next day of wonderment. May your day be filled with wonderment: don’t wait for things to happen – go find them.


(My) Great Adventures

5 Dec
A Qantas Boeing 747 with the kangaroo livery o...

A Qantas Boeing 747 with the kangaroo livery on display. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This will be the first of many posts of My Wonderful Adventure: so be warned!

First stop Madrid… however this will not happen for another 30 or so hours, but hey, who’s counting when you have an upgrade to Premium Economy on the BNE-SIN leg. I’ll fill you in on if I get an upgrade from SIN-LON! Fingers crossed.

But I have to weave in some marketing magic and here it is! I am sitting in the Qantas Lounge at BNE International airport sipping on a glass of lovely champagne. Cheers!

I have to say, for all of the woeful press that Qantas get (and you can see my earlier blogpost on Qantas), I do love the flying Kangaroo. The staff have been nothing but pleasant, the food, ambience: wonderful. Brands are going to help my adventure to allow me to tell stories. To share. Brands also have wonderful adventures, wonderful changes and hurdles. It’s the brands that are there through thick and thin, through disasters, that stand up and be counted, that make us share stories about them. To allow them to intertwine into our lives. Great adventures are all around.

So this is the start of my great adventures. Apprehensive but ready for the challenge. If you are having adventures over Christmas – ENJOY.

Lucky To Be Alive

2 Jun

Last weekend I went up to beautiful Mt Nebo for a gorgeous scenic drive and lunch. On the way down the mountain range, we saw motorbike skid marks on a bend, then a sole motorcycle standing on the road. No-one was nearby. We stopped and found a very lucky, young man emerging from the very steep mountain slope. He had his friend with him and a resident who had heard the screech. The young 20 something had managed to jump off his bike before he and his bike both careered down the mountain, only to have the bike land on him on the way down the slope. He emerged with cut jeans, a pretty beaten up knee, a sore shoulder and the shakes.


Last Saturday one of the coldest days that we have had in Brisbane this autumn, but after his adrenalin died down and shock took over, the poor lad was shivering like he had been in iced water. At least he could walk up to the road. He and his mate were on cruiser bikes, they weren’t being silly buggers, but yet, one of them took a corner at the wrong angle, and down the mountain he went. He was lucky to walk away from it. There are many flower bouquets along that range, signaling many others weren’t so lucky. Disaster can hit at any time. These two young lads will think themselves lucky for many years to come.

Brands need to do the same. They can’t become complacent. They need to wake up every morning and think, how can we keep our customers from leaving? How can we make things better by providing better solutions, service, value? How can we attract new prospects? Think smart and avoid disaster, and have customers loving and thanking your brand for years to come. Virgin have just undertaken a huge rebranding exercise. Have they taken a gamble? I think not. They didn’t cut corners too quickly, they thought about the route ahead and were certainly not complacent.

Brisbane Is All Grow’d Up

3 May

My how Brisbane looks like a sexy, middle aged lady. Dressed in her finery and looking glamourous.

Here I am at Southbank on the newly renovated grassy area deciding where to eat tonite. It’s a mix of people going home from work, jogging, kids playing on the grass. There’s even a private marquee with a red carpet, decked out with candelabras & flowers, waiting for a dozen people to arrive.

I’m sold. When I was going through Uni, EXPO was held in Brisbane and back then, it was a country town. Country town now more. This was the beginning of her transition to adulthood. Brisbane you are a star. So many fine restaurants. So many fine suburbs to reside. The river. And yes, the tunnel! Transport, easy.


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