If You Always Do What You've Always Done...Then You'll Always Get What You Always Got

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Outfit #85 - Studio Concert

Outfit details:

Dress: Cue (op shop).  Shirt: Hot Options.  Shoes: Lipstik Design (op shop).  I forgot to put in my earrings - they were going to be my Mombasa owl earrings.  Oh well.

This afternoon I had my studio concert at school.  For the last couple of years, another teacher and I have joined up for this event.  It's always good to have an extra person there and helping to organise things.  I was really happy with how well my kids played.  I knew most of them were really nervous, but I think they surprised themselves.  Plus the opportunity to play in front of someone other than me is always beneficial.

I do love this dress.  Except for the straps... 

And I love love love these shoes. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Movie #27 - Lantana

The last weekend of the holidays (sigh - so long ago now!) I watched 3 movies.  Anything for Her; Greenberg; and Lantana.  I really enjoyed Lantana, especially as the end of Greenberg has a character with an atrocious Australian accent (not an Australian, by the way).  So to hear, then, familiar accents and idioms, and see country that I know - wonderful. 

I think I need to explain some of my mood here.  The morning of the day I watched it, I went to church.  The collect was for married people, and the sermon was about married people and people in relationships.  I have never felt before the way I did in church that day.  To watch Lantana that evening, then, was fortuitous.  All these people in relationships, trying to navigate the minefield of living your own life but being a good partner, compromise, responsibility, honesty, deception, secrets, trust, betrayal, passion and lack of it - it reminded me that there are just as many problems in relationships as there are without.

We're presented with all these relationships, each connected to another whether they know it or not.  And this was before Facebook!  It's tempting to judge each relationship on how well they're doing - I admit it, I judged.  And so I landed a few surprises along the way.  The 'best' couple - not perfect, but they are so open with each other, no secrets - they are certainly tested when the husband is accused of being involved with the disappearance of the psychiatrist.  And tested when the newly divorced neighbour starts flirting with him.  But the wife sticks by her husband ("in good times and in bad"). 

One couple - the shrink and her man - are slightly infuriating.  So calm, so 'shrink-like' - like there's no passion, just mature adults.  But still waters run deep, and the discovery that they lost their child not so long ago explains a lot.  I still wanted to them to have a good screaming match and then make up, but that was not to be.  Their house though - wow.  If you haven't been to the Hawkesbury river, or up around Hornsby with all that lovely bushland, put it on your bucket list.  I'm slightly biased as this area of Sydney is in my blood, but I still maintain it's beautiful.

Anthony LaPaglia's character... I can't help liking him.  True, he's having an affair.  As his police partner says to him, he's got a perfectly good marriage (something which still eludes her) and he's "pissing all over it".  His mid-life crises have an element of humour as well as desperation.  His lack of anger management is starting to be a problem but (from this vantage point) I see that more as a sign of depression than bad character.  After all, we are all flawed.  There are very few among us who behave impeccably all of the time, even if we try.  Sometimes, you need to fall off the wagon a bit to help you be better again in the future.  And having to investigate the shrink's disappearance - more, when I think of it, the husband's lack of passion towards her - reminds him, shows him, how much he loves his wife, how much he cares for her, and how easily she might leave him and how dreadful that might be. 

I think that it's this Shakespearean element of flawed character that makes this movie so appealing.  We are all flawed, no one has a perfect relationship unless they are in la-la land, and we are all connected whether we know it or not. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Raw Revolution

After today's gig (in Solothurn, just past Maleny), we all needed coffee/hot chocolate.  Stat.  Not much was open in Maleny by this stage of a Sunday afternoon, but we asked a couple who told us the Marketplace was still open and really good. 

The Marketplace is one of those organic places, beautiful wooden tables and benches, organic food and coffee, eco-friendly products... Hippie heaven.  Coffee was good.  I was a tad peckish as well, so I almost bought a Byron Bay Cookie.  But then I spied the Raw Revolution bars and decided to be slightly good.  Warning: they're really good - and really expensive.  No preservatives, or artificial ingredients, or refined sugars or proteins.  Includes Omega-3 & 6, 5g fibre, 7g protein.  But the best bit is I recognise all the ingredients.  They're all actual foods!   And the product itself was delightfully yummy, chewy and chocolatey.  Win.

Today's photo:

The light fittings in this place were beautiful.  Each one was different - this was my favourite.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Prestige Music Festival

Today was a big day.  The first major event was the Prestige Music Festival.  Not only was this my first Prestige Music Festival event, but it was also the first time I've had a school group (of more than 3) perform in a competition.  I find school performances nerve-wracking enough, but this is huge. 

Well, as it turned out, it wasn't as huge as I expected.  From the masses of people - parents, kids, and siblings - in the foyer, I thought it would be a packed auditorium.  But once you had performed, you could go - so about half of the 30 or so people in the audience (when we performed) were supporting my kids.  I'm very proud of them - not only did they do their regular trick of not being able to keep it together until the last rehearsal, and then stay beautifully together in performance, but they also scored a silver (not that they came 2nd, really, as there are no 1sts etc, but more like a B).  I knew they wouldn't get a gold - because we were still trying to get from beginning to end all together, we hadn't done too much on dynamics or bowings.  Now that I have a bit more awareness of what goes on in these festivals, I feel I could do a better job with them next year. 

As it was my first year, they gave me a little present:
...which is a photo frame.  I feel all warm and fuzzy.  The whole experience was very positive, and so good for the girls.  Bonus - more quotes for my other blog!

Today's photo:

After the festival, I then had to get home, have a quick lunch, finish putting music in folders, and get to the next gig, a wedding at Glengarriff winery in Dayboro.  So pretty... Quickest wedding ceremony ever as they had to beat the storm that rolled in about 30 minutes after this photo was taken.  They made it, with about 10 minutes to spare. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Impulse Buy - Wine

There are a few events over the next few days which require wine.  After doing a few other things on my to-do list, I headed to the bottle shop.  I should add here that I am exhausted and in no fit state to be making decisions.  I'm not sure yet if the sales assistants could tell this or not.

I walked in, and there was a wine-tasting table set up.  It's very rare for me to accept a free taste of something ('very rare' in that I can't remember the last time this happened), so I surprised myself by accepting a taste.  There were 3 whites available from Taylors' Promised Land - a something blanc (I'm tired, ok?), an unwooded chardonnay, and a Moscato.  I'm a bit over the first 2 options, so went for the Moscato.  Lightly spritzed, it was rather tasty.  Oh, I should also explain my wine taste buds: I'm a bit more advanced than red wine versus white wine, but not by a lot.  I'm not one of those 'mm blackberry overtones' people. 

I often see the sign in this store indicating the cheaper price for a 6 bottle buy.  I have always resisted buying 6.  Today though I decided (again, brain-addled) to go for the 6 bottle discount.  On the upside, I saved a considerable amount of money.  Note for next time:  not such a great idea if you already have a couple of bags of shopping and are catching a train home.   And no, not a super photo but there are more important things today!

Today's photo:

One of the reasons for my lack of sleep is organising viola parts for a quartet gig tomorrow.  Add to that the music I need for my school ensemble's competition tomorrow, and the music I need for Sunday's gig, and my living room is awash with paper. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Outfit #84 - Apologies to Crispin

Outfit details:

Skirt and singlet: Hot Options.  Shoes and belt: Target.  Shirt: Miss Shop (from Jeannie).  Earrings: made by me.

Today is the feast of Crispin and Crispinian, patron saint of shoemakers.  With all the fabulous shoes in my shoe cupboard, I should have had a fabulous pair of shoes on my feet today, right?  Well, no...  I only found out about this feast day over breakfast.  I did have a bit of a look in the clothes and shoes cupboards, but couldn't piece together an outfit in time.  So, boring shoes today on this feast of shoes.  Oh how sad!  My apologies.

(Dorky smile means I was just really hungry by photo time.)

Today's photo:

Yes, I've missed a few days.  This week is intense.  Next week I'm having my studio concert, and my little grade 2 was really worried about what to play.  We decided to do a piece with the 'sun' harmonic in it.  She really wanted me to play a duet, and so I was going to take a photo of the piece and then write one over the weekend.  But then she suggested we play a canon, and she pointed to where she wanted me to begin (this kid is so great to teach!).  After one go, we decided to move the place where I began, so all our ti-tis align.   

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Outfit #83 - Mono-ish

Outfit details:

Skirt: Sunny Girl (op shop).  Shirt: Lily White (op shop).  Shoes: Pulp.  Earrings: gift.

Wearing black, silver, and grey, I felt I was doing the monochrome thing, ish.  This skirt has turned out to be a fabulous find!  Even though the shirt is striped, from not much distance it appears grey - a feature I plan to use soon in some subtle pattern mixing. 

I'm always conscious of the hem of this shirt.  The shirt looks better overall if the hem is hidden, so today I was forever tucking it in...and was reminded of a viola joke every time.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Outfit #82 - Iron Monkeys

Outfit details:

Pants: Portmans.  Top: Ambra bamboo.  Cardigan: Portmans (op shop).  Shoes: Pinet.  Earrings: from Jeannie. [For trivia, below - jeans from Jeanswest; shoes from Pulp]

Tonight was trivia.  My team name: Iron Monkeys.  Last time, we were the Ironmongers, and came in close second.  Tonight, Ironmongers was misheard by a few as Iron Monkeys... it stuck... we came in last.  But we were the only team with no baby boomers (or anyone older) and that obviously made quite a difference.  As usual, a whole lot of fun was had, as well as yummy finger food.  Ooh - and I discovered a new relative!

And I don't know if it's just that I'm tired and not wearing glasses, or if the top photos are actually a tiny bit blurry... You get the idea anyway.

These are not shoes for walking.

Can you spot the green theme for today?  I like green. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins

I am one of the thousands of people who 'Like' Clean Eating Recipes on Facebook.  With a few rather mashable bananas around, I tried my first Clean Eating recipe today.  Almost.

2 cups almond meal
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup Natvia (my first time using this)
1 vanilla pod, seeds only (I didn't have any so used a teaspoon of vanilla essence)
1 heaped tablespoon protein powder - they used white chocolate (this recipe is originally White Choc Banana muffins - obviously mine became just chocolate banana muffins)
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1/8 cup olive oil
slivered almonds to top

Preheat oven to 180C, line muffin tin with cupcake/muffin cases (I had to improvise with ripped bits of baking paper).
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Spoon about 1/4 - 1/3 cup mixture into each muffin case, top with slivered almonds, and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

So easy!  They do taste a bit healthy - I'm going to count this as a good thing though, as it will stop me eating the whole batch before freezing any for later. 

For the zone diet thing, I'm going to count each muffin as 2 lots of fat, 1 carb and 1 protein, at least until I find some nutritional information from the Clean Eating team.  So morning tea this week will be a healthy muffin, a small piece of fruit, and some cheese or an egg.  Unless I make some more protein balls which worked so well!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Running Over Bridges

It's been a while since I've changed my running route.  Last term was not my greatest for fitness, and I generally kept to my river runs.  I have a new running route in mind - but, with the heat, and my parents staying, today was not the day for this new route.  Instead, I added some bridges.  Brisbane is not short on bridges.

My plan was to run to the Go Between, cross the Go Between, run along to the Kurilpa Bridge, cross the Kurilpa, and come back along the bike path.  All was going well, until I realised (about halfway across the Kurilpa) that I couldn't envisage how to get from the end of that bridge back down to the bike path.  Instead, I retraced my steps, making the whole run a little longer (about 10.5km).

Leaving as the sun was nearing the horizon, a blazing ball of fire in a smoky sky, the jacarandas bright in the fading light, the river smooth; seeing the river from above, stretching out in both directions; returning as the sky is nearing indigo and the air cooling - I love running.

Also, as I haven't been able to do longer runs recently, I have been trying to run faster.  I'm not sure it's actually been faster running, but I feel like I'm doing more work.  And it's still having the mental health benefits, so that's a plus.  On my way back (not great signage around that part between GBB and Kurilpa), I also realised that bridges are great for incorporating a bit more inclined running.  Short of running up a mountain (which I intend to do quite a few more times), bridges have that extra bit of upward-ness that make your legs work a bit harder (with a great view to boot), and break up the monotony.  And as my next running goal is rather hilly, this is a good start. 

Today's photo:

The gig today was in the Roma St Parklands.  It took forever to find the Sunset Glade (no maps handy - thanks, Roma St).  In the process of wandering the gardens, I came across a Star Wars party.  My first thought was that this was a wedding party gone to extremes.  Then I found a whole lawn full of costumed people.  If it was a wedding, it wasn't the wedding at which I was playing!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Movie #26 - Greenberg

At the end of the holidays, I borrowed 3 movies - 2 dramas, and a comedy.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very funny comedy. 

Starring Ben Stiller, it was billed as his best work or something.  Romantic comedy and all that.  It had a few funny bits, some insightful comments, but... About three quarters of the way through, I was thinking this has gone on long enough.  Thankfully my mum called, we had a nice long chat, and then I had to get back into it. 

My main problem with this movie (apart from its inordinate length) was the unexplained attraction between Roger (Ben Stiller) and Florence (Greta Gerwig).  He’s an obnoxious twat still living in the past, and she’s 15 years younger than him and still trying to work out what her life is to be.  The only thing I can work out is that she’s attracted to his wounded older man persona, and (to be blunt) he’s attracted to her boobs.  And her eagerness to be with him. 

There were some interesting ‘former shrink’ comments, but mostly I felt like I lived on a different planet.  Not that this is an unusual feeling for me, but it was even more pronounced watching this movie. 

More interesting (but still, not comedy) was the interaction between Roger and his former friends.  They’d been in a band, and Roger had dreamed bigger than the rest... which had caused a lost opportunity and a whole lot of bitterness between the friends.  Not really friends anymore.  The rest of them have done the 'grown up' things, getting married and having kids.  Roger comes back (from years in New York) and expects everyone else to be where they were so many years ago.  The sentence that really struck me was from his closest friend Ivan (Rhys Ifans - yes, all I could see was him waving to the paparazzi  in off-coloured Y-fronts): It’s huge, to finally embrace the life you’ve never planned on. 

And this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.  This statement has remained with me.  For everything else though - thumbs down.

Today's photo:

A bit blah.  The bottlebrushes have been enjoyed by the local parrots, leaving far less bushy flowers behind.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Movie #25 - Anything for Her

I have a list of prerequisites to be used with any man to whom I am attracted.  (Nearly always, whenever I tell someone this they laugh uproariously.  But when I tell them what the prerequisites are, and why, they agree these are all good points.  Vindicated.)  This list has five items, and not one of them is anything like “Will do anything for me, including breaking the law, breaking me out of prison, or dying”.  But recently, I watched Pour Elle (Anything for Her) and I thought, why not?  Well, a few reasons.  Let’s start with the fact that I could never ask anyone to do any of these things.  But neither did the woman in question.

Anything for Her is the story of a woman wrongfully imprisoned, Lisa (played by Diane Kruger), her husband Julien (Vincent Lindon) and son Oscar (Lancelot Roche).  In prison, with no chance of appeal or release, Lisa is effectively suiciding by not taking medication.  Julien cannot bear to see his wife fading away, and determines to rescue her.  He turns from a mild high school teacher, who looks like your average hot dad, into a brutal thug, who even looks scary.  And all the time I was watching, I was totally on his side.  There are various bits of the bible, and the Book of Common Prayer marriage vows, which indicate a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church - ie, he should die for her (if necessary).  I wonder - frequently, not just from watching this movie - how many people can truly say they would. 

On the other hand, Lisa doesn’t know of his plans until they are underway, mostly because he knows she won’t want to go through with it.  So I’m not sure if he really is being a decent husband or not.  Is allowing your loved one to die, to give up hope, to give up their child, just because they don’t want to cause a fuss, or break the law, any worse than breaking the law and going against their wishes?  Any better? 

Some thoughts, aside from the moral and relationship issues.  The small things can trip you up or save you.  He puts his garbage in a different bin on the morning of the escape - but is seen by the building manager, so the police still find it and all those clues to his plans.  But the escapees pick up hitch-hikers to get to the airport, so are not stopped as they are not a couple with one child.  Julien’s dad finds out what is about to happen, but as he is a man of few words anyway, it is not too hard for him to keep it to himself.  I really feel for the brother, knowing that he is going to lose a member of his family, but can’t do anything about it. 

Children.  They can be so resilient, but also so affected.  Oscar seems to adjust to life without his mum.  But then he starts to shut her out, it becomes just him and his dad.  It takes a long time for him to accept his mother back into his life, back into his circle of family. 

Forensics.  I love watching and reading mysteries.  I’m pretty sure that forensics could have provided some ‘reasonable doubt’ in the mind of a judge or jury in the matter of Lisa’s guilt or innocence.  Blood splatter, and the location of blood on her jacket, would surely indicate that Lisa didn’t murder her boss.  It was so frustrating just watching this, knowing that she was innocent, knowing it was very hard to prove otherwise - and wondering, how would I be in a similar situation?  How far would I be able to go to prove my innocence, and what would I be like if I couldn’t?  And how would those close to me react? 

Today's photo:

My first petunia flower. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Outfit #81 - Groovy Shoes & Pigtails

Outfit details:

Skirt: Katies.  Top: Ambra.  Shoes: Tiffany (from Jeannie).  Earrings: gift (also from Jeannie!).

This was the first outing for the shoes.  Although I like them, and they received compliments left right and centre (mostly along the lines of "They're such groovy shoes!"), my feet are complaining and my legs are really not happy.  It also took a few retyings to get them to stay put!

The pigtails today were also a talking point.  Of course, that could have been due in part to the sugar consumed by most of my ensemble (thanks, whoever was responsible for that one).  The rather muted expressions in today's photos are partly a result of wanting to tear out my hair from the ensemble rehearsal, and partly because taking photos of outfits when there are people watching is still intimidating.  Apologies if it's too taciturn ;)

Today's photo:

More jacarandas.  Every time I walk past these they catch my eye, they're at just the right height and catch the sun - and also the breeze, hence the blurriness at the centre...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Outfit #80 - Hello Arms

Outfit details:

Skirt: Jeanswest.  Top: Ambra.  Shoes: Target.  Earrings: ??? Necklace: Mombasa (I think).

I noticed today that a few students were staring at me when I played.  Not at my fingers or bow or anything useful, but at my arms.  I guess they haven't seen them for quite a while.

Today was also my first 'hair out' day for a long long time.  After the weekend in Melbourne (much drier weather, much less exercise, so not as frequent washing), my hair seems to have settled a bit.  Most of the time recently (as in, last month or so), it's looked really goofy if not pulled back.

Today's photo:

When I arrived at school this morning, a gardener was working, and most of the rose garden was in shadow except for this dark pink rose at the front.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Outfit #79 - With a Bow

Outfit details:

Skirt: Sunny Girl (op shop).  Singlet: Hot Options.  Top: Sportsgirl (op shop).  Ribbon: from a skirt from Katies, I think.  Shoes: Zoe & Zac (from Jeannie).  Earrings: made by me.

I feel this outfit could have benefited from a necklace of some description.  I felt rather bare between my top and my neck. Oh, and that's bow as in tie a bow, not bow as in take a bow.

Today, I nearly had to resort to a mirror photo.  I had 2 minutes before leaving this morning, and thought I'd try for a photo.  Tripod all set up, but I couldn't find my camera.  Grr.  After work, I had a few minutes (thankfully) to find my camera (hiding in my room) and take photos before the after school students arrived.

These shoes are perfect, they go with so many outfits of all varieties.  The only problem is, I can't walk very far in them.  Cue big sad face.  Next time - pre-emptive Bandaids.

Today's photo:

More jacarandas.  I love seeing so much purple all across the city.  This one is by the station near work.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Melbourne Pre-Race

Yesterday, I ran the Melbourne half marathon.  I flew down on Friday afternoon and did some more New Things in Melbourne.

Friday:  I met Jeannie at Flinders St station, where they now have storage facilities (until 9:45pm).  We had dinner at ... um... a pub nearby with a fancy restaurant bit attached, but I can't remember the name.  Although it was a Friday, I didn't have fish and chips but the Atlantic salmon salad instead.  Then we were going to go to a Melbourne Fringe Festival show in which a friend of mine was acting.  The venue was in South Melbourne.  We put it into Apple maps.  There was a station nearby, named North Melbourne Station.  We got there and discovered we were on the wrong side of Melbourne.  We went home.

Saturday:  Breakfast at Las Chicas on Chapel St.  Wow.  One of those super feel-good places, as organic and local and sustainable as possible.  I felt really bad for not being able to finish.  Admittedly, my breakfast included a whole crop of spinach...  Very friendly service, too - we were wished a great day by about 4 staff as we left.

Chapel St shopping.  Flying down and back with only carry-on meant I was not inclined to shop.  But some of those stores were so tempting!  I did try on a dress but I resisted buying anything.  Except undies from the Bonds outlet store but that was more a necessity than anything else.  We also passed (and then went in) San Churro's Chocolateria.  This was on my list of things to do. 

I had my first Spanish hot chocolate (like an Italian hot chocolate but not as thick) - I went Azteca, with added chilli.  I love chilli in my chocolate, have been doing hot chocolate that way for years, and at Easter I make a chilli chocolate cashew mousse, but this was the first Spanish hot chocolate with chilli.  So good!  I thought about buying chocolates.  I did not.  A new thing (for this year, anyway) - not taking photos of all meals and coffees while eating out.  I hope you appreciate the absence of 'oh look, another coffee photo' photos.

Tram to Lygon St - with the trees all decked out in their fresh new leaves, this was so pretty!  I didn't get a photo though.  We had a late lunch (still not all that hungry after the very filling breakfast) at Papa Gino's, then had a few hours before the next thing on my list, so we went to the movies.  Cinema Nova was showing Searching for Sugar Man within about 15 minutes, and it was described as 'heartwarming' so we went for that.  After the second sentence we turned to each other and said, "This isn't heartwarming" - but it turned out to be true.  A documentary rather than a movie, it was the tale of Rodriguez - an amazing story.  I won't be able to do it justice here, so find it and watch it!

The next thing on my list was to see the sunset at St Kilda.  After the movie, we were both pretty tired...and my legs were starting to feel it... and it was overcast and rainy... and I could see us getting home close to 9 after dinner... As the primary purpose of this visit was the half marathon, I decided to abort the sunset/penguins mission.  We walked along South Bank (the Melbourne version) and back to Flinders St.

Rice pasta for dinner - a new experience for me - I'm tempted to buy some as it was rather yummy.  Another new experience was feeling like I could fall asleep at 8pm daylight saving time.  I held out until about 9:30, but still!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Melbourne Half Marathon

Today, I completed my 3rd official half marathon.  It had its ups and downs (literally). 


When I signed up for this (dragging Jeannie along with me), I figured that Melbourne is flat, so this should be a fairly flat marathon.  Wrong.  Straight after the start line - rather significant rise for a bridge over the river.  Everyone was still in the "I'm going to smash this race" zone, and kept running.  Another longish (but, in my Brisbane opinion, fairly gentle) incline was met with groans by most around me, and several people started walking.  Nothing else was that horrible, until we got to near the end.  Horrible.  Quite a steep, extended rise into the MCG.  Most people started walking - understandably! - and because the path was narrower, it was more difficult to overtake.


I didn't walk for any, except when hydrating.  There were times when a small part of me thought, maybe just a little bit of a walk... but the rest of me would then shout KEEP RUNNING!!!  Thank you brain.


Having to think.  Part of the course was shared with the full marathon, so there were times when I only noticed there was a difference by chance, looking up and seeing a sign for half marathon go left, that sort of thing.  I'd much rather just run and look at the view.  The other thing about the course was the twisty nature of it.  I would look ahead, see the crowd veering right, move to the right side - only to discover it was veering right and then turning left.  A bit annoying.


Seeing a new(ish) city a whole new way.  Running along the middle of major roads is always exciting; running along tram tracks - how novel!  Seeing, all in the one morning, a whole array of Melbourne landmarks is a great way to see Melbourne.


Hydration organisation.  So, Melbourne, hydration is super important in long running events.  I had worked out beforehand which points I would use for water, and which for Powerade, and those I would just run right past.  The first 2 went to plan.  Then there was one (about 8km) that we were told, water on both sides.  I didn't need water, so I ran down the middle (such a good feeling).  I knew that I'd need water at the next one though.  The next one had no cups with fluid available.  I gritted my teeth and kept running.  The next one also had no cups with fluid available.  I nearly cried.  I could have stopped and waited; some people were picking up cups from the ground that had already been used and holding them out to be filled (really); neither of these were appealing options.  I actually had to tell my brain, Think Happy Thoughts.  Not good.  The next one, I sprinted past the people in front of me (I didn't want anyone getting water before me!) but there was such a bottleneck, volunteers holding out cups but that was forcing us to stop if we wanted anything. 


Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous.  The last few days had been rather un-spring-like, quite cold and miserable and wintry.  Today was warm but not hot, clear skies, the sort of day that makes you happy to be alive and healthy and able to run a half marathon.


Okay, most people probably didn't have this problem - once inside the MCG, there were 3 arches.  The middle (and largest) was for the full marathon; to the right was the 10km; to the left, half marathon.  So reminiscent were they of the finish line, I thought this was the finish.  Everyone else kept running, so I did too, all the time thinking "Why is everyone still running?  Surely we can stop now?" - until I saw the actual finish line. 


Black swans!  In one of the lakeside areas, I saw one of those wildlife signs with a black swan - so I looked further afield, and saw a group of 3, long necks curving into the ground as they hunted for food.  Looking to the other side, another group of about 5 - keep going, and I must have seen about 30 of them all up.  Incredible.


So many people.  9, 115 entrants in the half marathon, which is (from what I overheard) capacity.  However, if that's your upper limit, I feel you should be able to deal with that number.  The hydration problems, the narrowing paths, and the exit strategy all needed improvement to deal with that many people.  Getting off the field at the end was poorly organised, the post-race hydration was minimal and brusque (and so crowded), and there was a single escalator to get us all up to the warm clothes drop-off point.  Also, that many people meant we didn't spread out at all (well, not much) so there were no good points to speed up.


So many people.  Yes.  I get the same kind of feeling from singing in a choir, or playing in an orchestra.  A situation in which there are many of you, and you might not interact with many, or even any, other people, but you are all engaging in the same activity.  This I find heartening.


I feel my brain is getting used to the whole half marathon thing.  I was very excited, but in no way stressed about this.  I am hesitant to try for a full marathon just yet though!


My flight home was the fittest ever.  I saw maybe a dozen people who had obviously run this morning, so no doubt there were quite a few more of us.


Um, Melbourne - where were you?  I know it felt like most of Melbourne was running, but I know there are more people out there... I really missed the spectators and cheering squads along most of the route.  There were a couple of pockets of supporters, but there would not have been more than about 50 people for the whole route until we got close to the MCG.  This was disappointing.


Recovery Food.  Oh yeah.  We had a quick breakfast at Grindhouse on Carlisle St (very yummy, great coffee, and mercifully quick service); and I had Indian for dinner.  I love recovery food.  And I'm looking forward to eating normally again!

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Asylum Seeker Welcome Pack

On Sunday, I picked up a copy of the church community newsletter (this in itself is a New Thing).  In part of my effort to avoid overheating, I read it cover to cover on the sofa.  I found an article/advertisement about welcome packs for asylum seekers and thought it was something I could do quite easily.  The group (Multicultural Development Association) recommended putting together a toiletries pack, including items like soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, combs, toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, washing powder, tissues, shaving cream and razor.  I'd actually found some of these items (as well as some similar items, like body lotions) in my recent clean up of various parts of my house, and it was quite easy to start putting together some of the other items.  The ad also has suggestions of other items you could include, like a Go-card, Coles card, t-shirts etc.  I haven't got all suggested items yet, or many optional extras, but I'm on my way.  Next step is to contact the lady mentioned. 

Today's photos:

Yes, today there are two - I just couldn't choose.  Both my tomato plants have little tomatoes growing, and with the sunlight, yesterday's rain, and windy conditions, I like the result of both photographs.

The top is a Black Russian, the bottom one is a mystery - some sort of cherry tomato, anyway.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Outfit #78 - Until Midday

Outfit details:

Dress (as skirt): Jeanswest (op shop).  Top: Ambra.  Shoes: Target.  Earrings: Sportsgirl (I think).

Until midday, I was congratulating myself on such a great outfit choice.  Although today was not too hot - unlike the last couple of days - it was very humid.  This outfit is breathable (a big tick).  It's not very warm, though, so when a storm hit just before midday, I turned from a comfortable temperature into a purple-limbed shivering wimp.  The dilemma of getting a cup of tea versus needing to go outside in the rain resulted in no tea.  It was a pretty super teaching day, but it was one of those in which I had morning tea at 11:55 and lunch when I got home at 5:15.  So, very quick photos. 

This was my 2nd attempt at the dress-as-skirt layering (the first you can see here).  The dress itself is strapless which meant I was still feeling like I was wearing a strapless dress, adjusting the top all day.  I have some other ideas for this dress though so stay tuned!

Today's photo:

It's jacaranda season - I'm surprised this has been my first jacaranda photo.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Outfit #77 - Black Spring

Outfit details:

Dress: Jeanswest (op shop).  Shoes: Target.  Earrings: from Jeannie.

I had a couple of necklaces set to wear today as well, which looked fine when everything was on the hanger - but this morning, they looked all weird with the earrings.  The earrings won.  And they even received compliments at lunch!

Another hot day today - and another comfortable clothing choice, thankfully.  However, I got home with 10 minutes before my first student, and the first thing I did was change into more relaxed clothes.  About half-way through his lesson, I realised I was yet to take photos.  D'oh!  So (this is how dedicated I am) I changed back after he'd left as I have a bit of a break now.  I didn't really check the photos much though, just made sure head and feet were present and I wasn't looking too odd.  I hope that explains the disappearing elbow.

Today's photo:

This morning I was watering my plants (an exercise now taking up 11 minutes of every morning) when I noticed the reason something looked a bit different... Something has had a good meal out of 2 of my eggplant seedlings.  And some coriander.  Grr.  I suspect a possum, but the birds are still under suspicion as well.  Any suggestions for deterring such scavengers (not involving sprays or chemicals, of course) welcome.