Saturday, March 31, 2007


Quite possibly insane.

We rode 75km this morning before 9.30am. Got up at 5am, left at 5.40 to ride into town down the highway (23.5 km) on our road tandem. Got there just in time for Community Ride 6.30am departure. Did 30km with that (easier pace though). Had a coffee, bite to eat, and a bit of chit chat with the other loonies bike riders, and then rode home. (Then I raced out 20 mins later to netball with the girls.. and only got home at 3.30.)

Guess what! I'm tired! And quite possibly insane.

But if I keep this up I will look 'effing' good in lycra.

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Friday, March 30, 2007


The Good, the Bad, and the Just Annoying...

When you think about it a lot of what seems 'Bad' as you catapult your way through another day is really, in the scheme of things, Just Annoying - with acknowledgements for the concept to Andy Griffith and one of his classic kids' books.. (The kids have the book, but once borrowed it out on cd, and so are able to recite chapters from it, verbatim. Which is, frankly, Just Annoying!)

But first. What would I rate as Bad these past couple of days?

** The cemetery stuff up. That's so Not Good. And it rates as more than Just Annoying. Will try to ring my mother in law again shortly to see how she is coping.

** Accidents! So many on the news lately... it's doing my head in. Boat 'crash' on Sydney Harbour under the harbour bridge claims a few lives, horrific injurires, plus a 14 year old girl 'missing' (presumed drowned). Some cyclist last week killed in a fire in a tunnel crash in Melbourne. Another dead and more injured in suburban Sydney when a 42 yr old learner driver lost control of her car and ploughed into a group of people standing on the kerb waiting to cross the road or something. Car crashes, too many... and many you don't hear about...

** Much much more I could talk about worldwide. Just watching 'Foreign Correspondent' each week is enough to remind you about the atrocities on humanity committed in too many places throughout the world. All Bad, Bad, Bad.

On a daily basis, though, you'd go insane wallowing in all the sad, bad things that happen. Some days you get by if you just try to concentrate on the minutiae of it all. Today for some reason it seemed like a good idea to try to highlight the good, and relegate the rest to Just Annoying.

The Good:

** I mowed the front yard earlier, so the house, from the front, doesn't look quite so derelict. And the mower started first go, each time. Huzzah. That's good. You've no idea the issues I have had with starting mowers in the past.

** The scales were nice to me this morning. They worked again! And they showed me a number I wanted to see! The lowest I've been in a while. (Wonder when my post-ride slackness of this week will have an impact?) At any rate, it has given me the push I needed to get back happening with the exercise. We were talking getting up Early, him and me, and going in to the community ride tomorrow morning on our road tandem. AND talking about riding in from here! (20 km in the pre-dawn light.. yes we have a light, apparently... then about a 30km ride, then the 20 km back up the highway with more traffic.. hmmmm.. but we are fast on the road tandem...) I had a restless night last night, tossing and turning over not wanting to get up at 5 am again so soon already... But somehow the scales this morning have tipped me back over into the irrationality of a cycling/exercise addict. I guess we will do it. I then have to be at netball with the kids from 10am till I drop Cait off in town around 2.30. Maybe I can have a nap after that!

The Just Annoying:

** The Zoester is home from school - with impetigo on her scalp, bugger it. Took her to the doctor yesterday. The non-existent lice (from the lice check before going away) made a reappearance during the ride it seems, (hot, humid, helmet head, ideal conditions...) and somehow she's scratched, caused an infection, and a bump which turns out to be a swollen lymph gland/node/whatever... and has blistery sores on one side of her head. And because impetigo is contagious, it means no school for her. A bummer after missing last week. Plus she loves school.

** Yesterday I wasted an hour doing a blog post for our Coffs BUG blog and lost it. Bloody Blogger.

** The president of the netball club that I do the website for (and am secretary of) has email problems... every time she tries to send me an email with an attachment it goes haywire... I get several versions of the email, in various forms of gobbledegook, (got 33 emails for 3 emails with a photo attachment she tried to send yesterday) The attachments don't ever work. I am the only person it does this to, and it doesn't help to send it to a web-based email address of mine either. Yet, I have no problems with receiving attachments from anyone else. I use Outlook, she uses Outlook Express. They have made changes to their computer set up preceding this debacle; I have not. But they don't understand enough about how it works to change anything. I have had her send stuff to Marc's work email but still the same problem. Only common denominator there is that he has all his work email forwarded to a personal email with our ISP. Is it possible our ISP doesn't like her emails? It's bloody annoying!

** I have spent far too long on the computer today.

Not so good: (MOre than Just Annoying.)

** He is hating being back at work. Huge problems with the job in KL... and not things that he has control over. It has been a bad week to come back from holidays to. I was always concerned that the stresses of this job would impact on his health. Seems the mental health is more the issue than the physical health. I feel guilty being at home. All we can do at the moment is for him to hang in there till his long service leave comes up in August. Maybe I should suggest again him taking more annual leave. I personally think they owe him stress leave, but convincing him to fight for that would not be something I could talk him into.

** So much is better with "us", but the issues are going to keep haunting me. I don't know about counselling. Taking that first step to making appointments is the hardest.

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Grave ineptitude

When my father-in-law died last August he was buried in the small local cemetery of the small coastal town to which they had just moved. They had just bought into a retirement village/resort in this town, essentially as a place where my mother-in-law would be able to live independently (but with support.) He had been diagnosed with leukemia, and in his inimitable way, was totally pragmatic about the fact that he would die (pretty soon) and that as much as possible should be organised beforehand. Behind the pragmatism was their religious beliefs (fairly staunch Catholic), and their final resting place was important to them. They had no previous ties to this town, but at least they could organise to both, in the end, be laid to rest together.

They bought a double plot in the cemetery... My mother-in-law has been up and down, health-wise, and so finally got down to the cemetery just recently, both to visit, and to organise a proper headstone. To her dismay she discovered that there was a new grave right next to my father-in-law's. It turns out that someone died over Christmas, when the council offices were closed, so this person was just buried, expediently, in what appeared to be the next available plot.

"Oops, Sorry" was the response.

As you can imagine she is in a bit of a state about it. She has consulted her solicitor, but there doesn't seem to be a lot that can be done. Obviously her first choice would be to move the 'interloper', but that would seem to be impossible. There is also some law about there having to wait 5 years before 'disturbing' or moving a grave.

We agreed that something should be done, and asked her a couple more questions about it:

"If they agree to a new double plot and to move Dad at the time of my death, then that will be OK after five years I gather. If I drop off the perch before then, I suppose they will still wait the five years before they move Dad."

Thankfully in there, somehow, she is managing to retain some sense of humour. She is an amazing woman like that.

"They wanted to meet me at the cemetery, but I imagine that is just to tell me there is room between the two graves to 'slot' me in. I'll have to lose a lot more weight!"

The terribly, terribly sad thing about this outrageous bureaucratic bungle is that purchasing of double plots in cemeteries are done essentially for the partner who dies second. Peace of mind etc. And for the children left behind? Usually, but in this case all three of their children, and grandchildren, live hundreds of kilometres away (and so visiting the graves on a regular basis is not an option)..

So either way, no peace of mind for my mother in law eiither way. If she dies in the next five years we just have to promise to make sure that they will be 'together' eventually. If she lives longer, she presumably will have to go through the emotional turmoil of seeing her husband's grave disturbed and moved. How do you weigh up those options? It just isn't good enough to day 'oh well, never mind'.

And for my husband and his sisters as well? What peace of mind does it give any of them to know that to honour their father's wishes, and their mother's peace of mind, five years down the track their father's grave will be dug up to be moved? And what, then, is there left to move anyway?

When I go, cremate me, and scatter my ashes somewhere that meant something to me, or means something to my family.

* My father-in-law's grave is the one with the white cross on the left in the background.

Edited to add: After talking to MIL on the phone this afternoon (and getting the feeling that her city solicitor wasn't really making any waves) I hit on the idea of ringing a friend of ours who happens to work in a law firm in the same local council area. As he pointed out, there are areas of specialty in the law.. Some are good at dealing with wills, conveyancing etc. And some specialise in kicking arse, so to speak. One of his colleagues who is good at that will be back in the office next week and will ring my MIL. Feels like with him she might have a better chance of getting a more satisfactory outcome. Not that there probably is one for this story... but the best possible in the circumstances.


Thursday, March 29, 2007


Battle of the Bulge

"I don't ever want to hear you whine about your weight ever again. You look MAHVELOUS, Dahling! Not everyone can wear spandex with that kind of flair!" (Rootietoot in the comments section of my last post)

No, I'm not whining!! Or whingeing!! (which is how we whine in Australia...)... I have in fact been admiring my slightly slimmer body this week. "Look! Look!" I say to anyone in the family who will listen, and showing them the space between my waist and my waist band. "My pants are looser! I've lost weight! Haven't I?!!"
Truth is, though, that some photos are more flattering than others! Me and the camera don't have a good relationship, usually. Somehow that one in the last post got me at a 'good' angle!!! This, for instance, is not so flattering! (I guess it was earlier on in the week!) I guess I am just vain enough not to want to see any bulges.

My battle has been (and still is) to lose a mere 10kg... Which compared to many is chicken feed, I know, yet still I have a need to lose it to bring me back within my healthy weight range. (And carrying 10kg less in any exercise you do has got to be easier! - try lugging around a 10kg weight in a backpack and you'll tire pretty easily!)

Trying on clothes in a shop fitting room is usually a pretty good way to cause many women to get into a funk about their weight. And, peversely, buying bike clothes is as well. Despite compliments to the contrary (like Rootie's above), it's actually been bloody hard for me to buy "spandex" to fit so that I am not self conscious. Many of the styles are very close fitting and have elastic in the waist, which definitely accentuate the bulges.

I just fit into a size 16 (the largest size) nix from Netti (in Women's, it is their largest size). And with shirts, again, I can only fit in the largest size that is a 'looser fit' style. I got all keen a few months ago to buy me some cool jerseys online from Team Estrogen. This was a company that sourced bike clothes specifically for women, so I thought they'd surely cater to all shapes and sizes. I measured myself, and perused the size charts for all the jerseys I liked. It was an exercise destined to reduce me to tears as I found that in many brands, the largest size would not go anywhere near fitting me.

In a pms-induced funk, I emailed them giving them a serve about how it doesn't encourage women to get out and cycling! The President and founder of the company wrote me back a sympathetic email (which to my shame I haven't answered yet).. acknowledging the difficulties she has getting stuff from companies (it's a supply/demand thing)... (and pointing out that her measurements were quite similar to mine) but directing me to suggestions of jerseys she thought would fit. Some of these were in the 'plus' sizes section!! Plus sizes! I don't even need to shop for PLUS sizes for my normal clothes!

Now, while I appreciated the effort- and even by trying to ignore the size labelling as just irrelevant numbers/letters - the upshot was that the selection I had for my size wasn't very wide, and I didn't really like any of them. They just don't make the cool styles in plus sizes. (Not cool enough to warrant the overseas postage.) Simple as that. Lucky for Netti (Oz company) and their 'looser' fit styles. Though I lashed out at the end of the Big Ride and bought an elastic waisted Big Ride 2007 jersey which seemed just 'ok' because I think I'd lost some weight (or toned some muscle - or both.) I have yet to wear it on the bike, or be photographed in it, so the jury is still out.

So it is very hard not to whinge or whine, or feel bad about the little bit of extra weight I am carrying when I struggle to find appropriate bike clothing to fit me. And, seriously, I know that I am really not THAT big. I feel sorry for women who are bigger, but who want to get out and seriously exercise. It is not made easy for us at all.

And before you roll your eyes and question the need for lycra on a bike, it's not just an image thing. It's a bike-riding comfort thing, and certainly I couldn't stand to go back to riding a bike in normal shorts, or indeed a normal t-shirt.

In a way it all relates to the fashion image thing. I have always managed to ignore it with normal fashion, simply because I dress for comfort. (I know what shops to avoid, and I buy most of my clothes these days in one shop where they have sensible sizing and very helpful assistants.) But when the fashion/sizing thing encroaches into my sport, then it's very difficult not to let your "bit of a weight issue" get to you.

So the only thing to really do about it is to keep riding (and exercising!) and keep losing. Only then will I really be a winner! (And not a whiner!)

I'll still take any compliments I can get. Sometimes a woman needs a good support network, and I seem to have found mine here in cyberspace. Just don't build me up too much, because when people tell me I'm 'looking good' I tend to eat as some sort of celebration. The battle of the bulge is, in many ways, the battle of what you put in your mouth!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Really really back to reality...

He is back to work today, and I guess I am too. (You know, the sort of work that the average working mum does on top of the paid work - so really, I don't know what the hell I am on about!) Even though there was all that laundry to do, yesterday wasn't too hard to take - a massage for me (and it did make a difference).. then we wandered up to the local pub/bistro for lunch.. and made the most of the short time left before the kids were home from school :) BBQ for dinner - always the easier dinner option when the Daddy (aka Chief BBQer) is home because there is less preparation or cooking for me to do in the kitchen, thank you very much.

One tent dry, and packed away. Lots of clothes clean and dry. Back to some semblance of normality - or as normal as the debacle that is our house can be.

I'm facing up to the reality that is a big supermarket shop today... though why I think I will remember everything we need just by having made mental notes, I don't know. A shopping list might have been a good idea, but why make things easy? Pffft. I don't tend to mind the supermarket shop when I can wander around by myself. I have never understood the people that insist on doing the supermarket shop as a family... or even as a couple .. but then maybe that just reflects on some sort of selfishness, impatience, or uber-independence on my part. (Like.. let me spend money!) I like to wander.. and stand and check out ingredient labels to find stuff with the least amount of additives, and the least fat content. And look for ideas for meals without someone pressuring me. I like to take the time to do the mental arithmetic in my head to compare prices. I like to buy what I want without the Husband Handbrake questioning whether we really need that. And I like to NOT buy what I don't want without the nagging children going 'Puhleeeeaaase'.

The weather has returned to 'nice' today - it even feels a bit warm out! It was a bit wild and woolly on Sunday, and the past few days I've pulled out the trackie dacks in the evening. I guess this time of year can be a bit like that, but it has been magnified for me because of the Ride. I felt like we had started riding in high summer (I nearly got heatstroke on the first day - it was 34 degrees - we started out at 1pm - and 10 km from the start I was feeling dizzy and nauseous, my arms were feeling clammy, and I thought I might faint! - Luckily tipping several bottles of water over my head, and then a bit of cloud cover fortuitiously coming in just at the right time set me right again.) Several of the days mid-week were around the 30 degree mark (although I handled them much better) - we're talking 90-100 F here) . And then, *wham*... we finished up on Sunday jumping suddenly into severe autumn-type weather - 20 degrees and riding in driving rain! A bit of a shock to the system.

This morning I put a t-shirt on that I'd half-discarded because it had (for ages)felt too tight and uncomfortable. And pants that I used to have to use a safety pin to do up because using the button was too tight. There is a bit of room in them now! Go me! I keep the safety pin there to remind myself that I need to continue the 'good work'. I guess I need to make an effort to get back on the bike again soonish. And maybe get back to my trainer sessions - because I think they have helped a heck of a lot. Just maybe not today. I've got shopping to do!

(Here's a couple of photos of us riding! - taken by another tandem Dad as first the triplet, then Cait and I whizzed past as he had stopped to take a photo of his son. That's a wave from me - rather than ideal bike riding posture!)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Shut down, turn off..

I must have been running on adrenalin. Sunday I wasn't too bad, even after the morning's rain and mud fest. I took a stint driving on the way home while Marc took a power nap, and wasn't feeling overly weary. When we got home I had no energy issues with unpacking the car, starting on some washing, making up a pasta for dinner (even if I sent Marc and Cait to the shops for provisions), and busily pulling out the sleeping bags and sleeping mats to dry out. Marc crashed for a while on the lounge, rattling the windows with his snoring, till I woke him with the gentle reminder that the bikes were still on the roof of the car (so we went out in the dark and rain again and heaved them off.)

Even yesterday morning I was ok. There I was blogging (which is important! because I've missed everyone's blogs, and I am overwhelmed by all these lovely people who missed me!) And uploading photos to a tandem groups site to share with the other tandem families on the ride. And soaking and scrubbing clothes, hanging clothes out, and helping put the sodden tent up in the backyard. And then I went to my swimming class.. and my body said "Nup, woman... this is just too much. I kept your legs going for the whole week.. (ok, so there were issues with your feet after walking down that bush track on the rest day in your cycling shoes...) but I got you through all the cycling.. all the hills. 450km without a struggle. I think the legs deserve a break, don't you? So kicking hard up and down a 25m pool for an hour? Today? No way, José."

Shut down, turn off. Rather than cry in frustration (which I felt on the verge of) I didn't finish the class. I got out early and came home. And then the tiredness hit me like a tsunami. I somehow made it through dinner and the clearing up, chased the kids to bed, and crashed in bed by 9.30. I am feeling a bit better this morning, but I could have happily slept for much longer.

I am also reeling a bit from all the netball commitments for the girls this coming week. They both had 2 hours of rep training yesterday afternoon. Cait has an extra late rep game on Wednesday night - finishing at 9.30. Then this weekend she is off on Saturday afternoon for an overnight rep trip to Cessnock (down near Newcastle) for a Sunday carnival. And Ali has her first rep carnival on Sunday at Port Macquarie. All this after several games of netball between them on Saturday. I would like to go to Ali's first rep carnival, but I would really like a day at home on Sunday. Not surprisingly! Back to reality indeed, and even if it's them doing all the exercise, the support work involved is doing my head in at the moment.

On a positive note, I have a massage booked for 11.00 today, and I am SO looking forward to it. I feel suddenly sore and tight all over, despite doing ok with it all during the ride. Marc also has today off as well - I didn't realise he'd given himself 2 days off after the ride - so that is good news as well - and a good sign in regard to work/life balance. He has been known to race back to work after being away, so giving himself an extra day off is all good.

I should ring my trainer (doesn't that sound a bit.. wanky..?)... and let her know how I did on the ride. (And give her some credit!) Somehow, though, I don't think I'm ready for a session this week. Maybe I should give myself a week off.

One thing I have to watch this week is to cut back on the food intake. For 9 days we ate what we could - hi carb anything. (That bowl of beer battered chips in the cafe at Port Macquarie went down a treat!) I hate to think how much soft drink and gatorade we consumed- plus all the cakes bought at morning teas along the route. (Yes, one of the perks of doing insane things like this bike ride, is that you basically feel entitled to eat whatever you want. Guilt free.) I did hope to have lost some weight as a result of it all, but conversely, while feeling more 'toned', and clothes feeling a bit looser, I'm about a kilo heavier than before I left! I am telling myself that muscle weighs more than fat, and also that our scales may well be playing up after carrying them downstairs to weigh bags before the ride. (In fact they are playing up - they have now stopped working!) But even yesterday my body was demanding food. (Bad food!) Time now to wean it back to sensible eating, especially if I give myself a break from the exercise this week.

Time to face that washing pile again! It is diminishing, but there's still a lot of it! The socks seem to have come through ok.. not quite as white, but wearable. A dozen pairs of bike knicks, and a dozen cycling jerseys between us (and some of the light jerseys are showing the sweat and dirt stains, thus requiring special soaking and scrubbing attention.) Still have muddy bike shoes to clean as well, plus a range of cycling/camping related detritus currently lying about the carport. And, inconveniently, the family is already generating more washing of the everyday variety. Thank goodness for washing machines is all I can say!

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Monday, March 26, 2007


Back to reality

We are back! We did good! Certainly I did way better than last year, so I am feeling very chuffed with myself. The girls were awesome - no complaints whatsoever with the riding, nor with getting up. (Occasional irrational spits in the heat of some afternoons once we got into camp, but we were all prone to that!) With me, it was probably a combination of better fitness and training (my bum came through with flying colours), my stoker (Cait was three years older than what Ali was last year, so a much stronger rider )... and my new 'cluster' - with a lower gear - meant we rode up every hill, and thus were never far behind the others. (In fact some times Marc struggled to reel us in, which I think he was slightly surprised about.)

The kids had a ball with the other kids that were there - as with last year we struggled to drag them away from their after-dinner dodge ball games. On our way home yesterday I suggested that maybe next year just Dad and I could go on it, and they were most affronted. Rose coloured glasses already - even with waking up on the last morning to rain and a sodden, muddy oval to slog through and a 30 km ride in driving rain to Taree.

It is a strange feeling to be back to reality. For nine days we were in this isolated little world, focusing only on getting up (at 5 am), packing up our tents and gear, and getting the five of us on the road by around 7.30am. When we got into camp, we were focused on getting our luggage, getting the tent up, and (most days) getting cooler by finding the local pool, even if it meant getting back on the bikes and riding 3 km into town. Then dinner, bed, and up and doing it all again the next day. In between all that, my main 'Mum' priority was getting bike knicks and jerseys for 5 washed out - which hit a few hitches this year with washing facilities not being set up in time. (We used a laundry service a couple of times which was a wonderful, wonderful thing!) Next time I would make sure the girls had three sets (instead of two) as well to take the pressure off.

Back to basics, really.

Today we have a truckload of washing (and dirty socks from the couple of rainy - hence muddy- days that may never be white again.) And two sodden tents to put up in the back yard! And sleeping bags and inflated sleeping mats lying all round the lounge room (drying out).

As with last year, I was still obsessed a bit much with riding and I didn't take many photos. (I plan to buy one of those slim line cameras to use for next year.) Added to that, the family camera drowned in a puddle of water the first night (it rained and the vestibule of the tent leaked - it had been hiding in a bum bag, and left on the 'floor' of the tent... bye bye camera. (I wanted a new one, but this was rather inconvenient...) Cait took some with Marc's work camera, and then we couldn't find the charger for it for a few days... So, not the most photographic of adventures. We will, however, gradually collect photos that others took - like the one above, and I will write it all up on a website.

Back to the washing!


Friday, March 16, 2007


Still calm..

I was driven to a second beer last night.. but today we are pottering around getting stuff packed, and wondering why we aren't in a tizzy. That will come again once the children are home! They are more or less packed though... so theoretically it should be possible to complete packing without having a coronary. Hmmm, maybe not, once Himself starts packing the car...

I solved the 'off-bike' footwear problem last night by finding thongs to satisfy the two youngest at the local supermarket. Go me, I think. Then they are packing thermal (polypropolene) gear, and #2 can't find hers. It's a wonder as they are bright rainbow stripes. Hard to miss, even in the diabolical mess their drawers are in. I find an extra one in 3#'s drawer (yet she has packed a top already - which I think was #2's). This other one is tiny! Uh-oh, she must have grown. Since the last time she wore it. Um.. Sydney to Gong ride in October last year? Oh boy... Do the hand-me-down swap, and write 'thermal top for #1' on the last minute shopping list this afternoon.

#2 also had me on a wild goose chase for a discarded, worn, school uniform top from Tuesday, which supposedly had her Student Council badge on it. All my children have the very bad habit of going up to the Disaster Zone (our bedroom floor) to search for clean, but yet-to-be-sorted laundry, and then step out of what they are wearing, and simply walk away with the new item. They do this especially when they are in a hurry (like she was on Tuesday), and are too lazy to walk 4 steps to dump the dirty clothes in the washing pile. (We may do 'cool' stuff with our kids, but I can't get them to do the basics!)

I was going demented looking for it - it had to be in the house somewhere.. surely. Last night after she went to bed I spotted said badge on a shelf downstairs. Not still attached to a shirt at all. Grrrr.

In half an hour I pick up two of them to drop at swimming lessons, but I will come back and potter round some more until I go to mine. And then we will have spag bol for dinner, and very calmly add the last bits and pieces to the bags... get a good night's sleep... and be up early to leave by hopefully 7-ish. We are detouring via Comboyne to drop off a box of food for our Wednesday evening sojourn. This is a link to the place we are staying at - top one - A Country Affair. The owners have been just amazing, all the help they are offering for just a $120, one night stay.. they have given us their mobiles to collect us if we run into trouble on the bikes... they are picking up the box of food from the general store and leaving it at the house for us.True country hospitality. I already feel like booking in for a week another time just because they have been so great. (Not sure what we'd do up there..)

So picture us, Wednesday evening, kicking back in this farmhouse in the countryside!!
We have cameras sorted (just hope they have a charging station set up at the campgrounds for us...)...with an OTG (on the go) bridge thingy that means we can dump photos direct from our camera across to a USB stick thingy, which will hold 1 Gig. No longer the latest thing, but handy nonetheless. (Next major purchase in this house (after the cycling sunglasses with interchangeable coloured lenses that we are (hopefully) picking up at a bike shop in Taree tomorrow - go the last minute purchases huh!) is a new digital camera. NOT a Sony cybershot. (And naturally better than 2.1 megapixels)....


We have friends who live in Forster to meet up with tomorrow, and we know so many people going on the ride this time... it's quite awesome.. and comforting to know that there are others just as nutty as we are!

Will say cheerio till Monday week... If I was really committed I'd go find an internet cafe somewhere and put in a post... but somehow I think the break from being so addicted to the internet will do me good. Not that I won't miss everyone's blogs! Going to have a lot of catching up to do week after next! Be good!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


The calm before the panic.

I feel like I am on top of things.. Hah - famous last words. More things ticked off the list... and I even found a missing netball bib when I was sorting through my 'washed linen' pile! Sometimes it's good to go away just so you have to sort things. (What sort of a house does this woman have anyway?! Answer.. you really don't want to know.)

I am actually looking forward to being on the damn bike.. which I suppose makes sense, because otherwise why am I doing it? But isn't it always the way before any sort of trip or holiday. You can get yourself so worked up over packing, that by the time you get away on your trip you are exhausted. Not the right way to approach a 500km bike riding trip though is it?

Kids' packing list looks easy. Till they go to do it of course. There will be sudden dramas over trivials like socks, or something major league. Like "I don't have any shorts that fit me", or something. For sure. Actually, I've already had #2 point out (yesterday after we were in town but the shops were closing) that her thongs (flip flop variety, guys....) were falling apart. Not that she needs them to ride, but around the campsite they'll want to get out of shoes. *le sigh* "And you didn't think to tell me this last week?"

I begged my trainer to spare me yesterday - "a maintenance session" I suggested. Nup. She upped some of the weights and the muscles in my thighs in particular are sore! Dammit! I hope by Saturday that they are suitably recuperated. Saturday's ride is actually only 33km, so it will be a good 'warm up' ride. Just as well.

This is the list of km we'll be doing... (sorry I don't have time to convert for you people still working in that quaint old imperial system...!!)

Saturday - 33km.

Sunday - 70 km.

Monday 90km !!!

Tuesday 66km.

Wednesday is theoretically rest day, but stupid us, we're riding because we don't want to put our bikes (expensive triplet in particular) on a truck. 60 something km, a fair bit on dirt, and riding 'up'. The 'carrot' is we'll sleep in a bed in this wonderful looking/sounding holiday cottage. And have a marvellous sleep in. And then meander along to do a mere 34 km the next day when we rejoin the Ride where the rest of them have been conned out of their full 500km! Wusses!

Friday 44km.

Saturday 83 km (and a total of 13km dirt.)

Sunday - it's all academic.. just 30km to the Finish, which is also where we started.
It's all at for anyone who is remotely interested.

Anyway, before we get there, we have to pack gear. Marc is "playing" with bike tubes. (His department.) I need to maybe type up a packing list each for the girls, collect all the nice, dry washing off the line and sort it.. and pack it... and... hey... we still have tomorrow!! And I am not going to panic. !!!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Some things rate big in the list ticking department.

A few more things to tick off the "Before Big Ride" list:

Netball handbook nearly finished. Massage. (Am spoiling myself.) Packing list written. Nit check on youngest and NO NITS!!!

But most importantly, today, period arrived 'on time' and you have no idea what a relief that is. Not often I am going 'YESSS!! It's started!!'. But it is not what you want when you are riding a bike for many kilometres. (And camping!). And I was just a bit anxious when recently it has been particularly erratic. Sometimes every 3 weeks. Then 5 and a half weeks. (Welcome to premenopause?) Last time and this time bang on 4 weeks, which is much easier to handle, thank you very much, body. Seriously. (Male readers who haven't run away by now.. you have NO IDEA!) I'd counted up the weeks from that last time and then just hoped against hope because I was really dreading it happening on the ride. One day is always really heavy, and so I was dreading the thought.

I had the worst period cramps I have ever experienced today, for around just one hour, so I was doubly thankful I had them today and not next week- and to an extent that made it easier to cope with. (Lesson for the month - take the damn Ponstan capsules 3 times a day like the dr said - before the cramping takes a hold.) Didn't stop me sooking out and getting pizza for dinner, but I am feeling like I deserved a break. ( I am actually feeling like milking a lot of things... but I'm trying to resist the temptation.)

Tomorrow? Last personal trainer session before ride. Chiropractor. Pre-poll voting for state election. And some shopping for food, and last minute ideas like decent raincoats for the girls in case this bloody rain continues. One way to guarantee it won't rain, anyway! And then another trip to town to take eldest to netball training. (Netball, netball, netball.. there has been netball something on for someone every day since Saturday... and will be tomorrow and Thursday after school.)

I was going to go to bed earlier, but now it's 11.00. Pfft.

I've been keeping on top of the kitchen benches and sink for a few days now. Something of a miracle in this house. Shows change is possible, doesn't it. Also have cut out coffee after dinner for about 4 nights running now. And I've eaten less. (Sshhh about the pizza.) And scales rewarded me this morning. Downward trend. Not feeling particularly trim with the bloated belly... but hopefully that won't last beyond another day, and I'll be rip roaring ready to go by Saturday. And after 500km of riding, you won't recognise me!!

Wish me luck with the packing. What's the panic? Still got three days!


Monday, March 12, 2007



The 'glue that binds us together'. So it seems it was deteriorating. With age - after all, it was over twenty years old. And with stress - particularly the stress of so much separation in the past 10 years. It looked fine. It felt fine. (It was being taken for granted.) Suddenly - *rip*.

When you think about it, it needs to be a pretty special kind of glue to be able to be able to keep sticking two parts together when you keep, physically, pulling them apart over and over again - with one part being sent away to work for days or weeks at a time. What glue does that? Actually, there is one - something like the glue on Post-it notes! Although even that doesn't keep sticking forever. It gets dust and dirt and fluff in it, and it basically fatigues, and one day it just doesn't stick anymore... Or it gets accidentally stuck to something else, and you have to rip it off that and put it back where it belongs, and hope to make it stick again.

Sorry, my mind is running rampant with glue analogies... I started off thinking about this amazing glue we discovered just before we went rafting on the Franklin River oh so many years ago. (Which is why it seems like an apt glue analogy for me to use) It was a glue you could use to patch the rafts - but it wasn't just any glue you could buy at a hardware store. He sourced it directly from 3M... I can't remember why it was so damned good now, but it was flexible, dried quickly, and possibly even worked if the rubber was wet. From that discovery, he always held the company 3M in high esteem, and probably rightly so - I think it was them that invented the post-it note glue as well. Apparently that company encouraged individuality and uniqeness, and allowed its workers to experiment beyond the usual accepted standard practices.

So, this special glue we seemed to have looked to be holding up well. Well enough for me to expound on its virtues only a few weeks ago. Then, my god, there is this sudden rip - this failure. By some miracle I discover it before irretrievable damage is done - although at first that was hard to gauge. Somehow over the weekend we seem to have come up with a new improved glue. It is basically the same as the old one - a recognition of how frigging good that old glue really is. But we have had to add (and urgently) more of a particular, important compound. We have improved that compound - communication - and added more. To activate it, it had to have forgiveness.. and, while I was unsure if it was wise to add it almost immediately, I think it was critical. There is an almighty dose of fear mixed up in it too - the sort of heart pounding fear of realising that what you were doing without thinking of the consequences just about sent you hurtling over a precipice, dragging everyone else that matters with you, even though they weren't involved in the stupid thing you were doing.

Last night, after working with the communication compound, I added some empathy, I suppose you might call it. An 'actually...I don't know that I wouldn't have made the same mistake in a similar situation'.

And he has made the ultimatum to his work that the separations just cannot happen any more, forthwith, and the response has come back that it should be possible.

So it seems very, very strong, this new improved glue, especially with the promise of no further separations. I am a bit wary. It hardly seems possible that we could come up with the 'fix' so quickly, and without any help. But the urgency was there to do something, fast. It would be just so stupid to throw it all away if it can be repaired, and even come back better than ever.

There are the scars of course. I'm a bit concerned about them. I don't know that the glue has miracle healing qualities as well - although it seems to have some sort of soothing balm, particularly when you apply more of the communication compound. It is not possible that a gash like that can heal that quickly so we will have to keep a close eye on potential infection, or the tears opening up again.

I think we will be ok. Ironically, this week, there is no time to go and get some counselling compound to add to it. Ironically? Because we only have a few days now to be ready for the Bike Ride on Saturday, and it is us doing that sort of thing together that usually always kept the glue working so well. Afterwards, though, I'm sure it won't help to test out further compounds... It is worth pretty much anything to make sure that our glue doesn't fail ever, ever again.

In terms of me, personally, coping with the shock of it all, I've needed to unload somewhere, however uncomfortable that must make him. I don't know whether I've done the right thing... and by not telling all, some might imagine even worse scenarios that the reality... but I have to draw a line somewhere, finding the happy medium between spilling my guts, and keeping some things sacred. It seems weird that this semi-anonymous cyber-network of other women around the world can give me so much support and care just by the words you all write, but believe me, it's amazing. Thank you.


Saturday, March 10, 2007


What doesn't kill you...

Two minutes after signing off on my last post, and closing down here, my world fell apart. I have spent the last 15 hours or so (bar maybe 2 hours that I managed to sleep) questioning everything I thought I knew about us (particularly stuff I'd only recently written about us - if I could have ripped up a blog post, I would have..) and alternately crying, raging, saying the bitchiest things I could think of, feeling numb, rocking back and forth, and wishing I could just have a nervous breakdown and be done with it. (Unfortunately the daily realities of kid stuff have kept intruding - why does it never ever cease?) I am not prepared to give more detail- but I have to say something here, because I've expounded so much on 'the glue that binds us together' that we sound like we have the perfect marriage or something. We do not.

He's made the biggest cock up* of his life (though in terms of the type of cock up, it could have been worse.) Can I forgive? I'm not sure. Do I want to forgive? Oh god, yes I do, because we have so, so much that is good. And the part that isn't so good... that's been a vicious cycle of various things on both our parts (since before we were married even) that has led to it being not so good. Including really really really bad communication. And if it takes a catastrophe to sort things out and change things for the better, then maybe that is fate.

[* his description]

A couple of hours ago I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day - let alone the week - and let alone the Big Ride. The only way I know I will get through all the challenges that will throw at us is if our bond is strong - and not if I am telling him to f### off telling me about f###ing willpower.

I started talking marriage counselling.. but we have since managed to talk (and cry) and talk (and cry) and talk ... and talk... about stuff we haven't talked about in so many years. And I gave him a choice. If he wants "us" to continue, he has to leave that job. Take stress leave, sick leave, annual leave... I don't care what. In August he is due 3 months long service leave. And leave the job. If he goes back to KL again, our marriage is over. He agreed, and it was like a huge wave of relief swept over him at the thought that he could leave it. I don't know what he will do; I don't know what I will do... he won't have a chance in hell of earning the same amount of money (to which we have become accustomed) but if I have to work as a checkout chick to supplement things, then I will. (Something more stimulating though would be nice.) He has suggested that he will try to swing a 9-5 office job there (at reduced pay) till August. It would be really stupid to get this close to the long service leave and then lose it. But what price your 'world' - your 18 year marriage?

He finally told me that I've been right all along about how it would have been insane for me to have had a job with his working hours and time away. Said he had realised some time ago and not 'hassled' me for ages. But you never told me! I said. And, till today, he has never really told me that he thinks I have done a f***ing brilliant job almost singlehandedly bringing up our girls, who have turned out pretty awesome. He never really told me that before.

So perhaps I will spend less time on here. And he will spend more time doing the sort of stuff he is doing right now - taking Middle Daughter to buy her new netball shoes. (I am calling that one penance.) And we will spend more time communicating. And praise be to [the deity of your choice] that we can get through this and be stronger for it.


Friday, March 09, 2007


What a pig sty!

Marc informs the office manager at his work that he is ducking out to the doctors to see about the infection he has just under his eye.

"Ah, yes, I noticed that... so is it a pig sty?"


No, he wasn't joking. Just one more "W****-ism" as they now refer to them as in the office. Like

"Could you write a bit of a spool on that topic."


"Could you be more pacific."

Kath and Kim eat your heart out.

And, no, it's not a stye. It isn't quite up on the eyelid, but the dr said it could be a staph infection like impetigo. Or shingles. And the results from the swab won't be back till about Wednesday, so he has to treat for both. $50 worth of medication, thankyouverymuch. But, really that's neither here nor there. I have fingers crossed it's the bacterial infection and not shingles. Shingles would be bad news at any time, but especially so just a week out from the Big Ride.

But while we're on the topic of pig sties, I've managed in the past 2 days to get a bit on top of the kitchen. Not much else, but I feel slightly more in control. Of my benches at least. Exhibit A - missing one day of posting on here! Must have been doing something!

I got one 'monkey' off my back, by getting our tax info collated and to the accountant. Only about 4 months late, but because you can do that when you use an accountant, you fall into a very bad habit of putting it off and off until an apparent deadline of around mid-March. (That particular monkey had been clinging there since about October!)

I have taken over the ongoing updating of a website for the BUG (Bicycle User Group) that we joined, and promptly ran into problems with it. Of course. The web designer told me how to fix an anomaly between versions, but then, somehow I stuffed something else up. At least I figured it out myself in the end. Pat on the back. I'm also setting up a Blog for the BUG (and naturally calling it a BUG Blog, what else?).. so that has consumed some time as well.

I have a netball handbook to finish, and have to wait on people promising information and logos, and not being forthcoming with them. It has to be finished in time to be printed and collated during the week. It will be one other 'monkey' I'll be glad to have ditched before the 17th.

We should be riding this weekend as our last ditch training before The Ride starting next weekend, but we have a lot of kids' netball commitments. Grrrr. Maybe we'll squeeze in a short ride somewhere, and we'll just have to hope we've done enough. "More than last year", as Cait keeps saying. Let's hope there aren't too many more hills than last year! I haven't been on a bike since Sunday, but I kind of felt like a break. I've done two swimming fitness squads, a one-hour weight training session with the trainer, and a brisk 3/4 hour walk up the beach and back. Hope it's enough.

And that's about it. We're not getting up for the early community ride. Thank heavens. I'll have enough 5am wake ups on the Ride to last me for quite a while methinks. If you knew how much of a morning person I am. NOT. you would shake your head and laugh.

Avagoodweekend, all.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007



You'd think with, currently, 3 cars* in our household this would be an unlikely scenario, but as I went to race out to my trainer class just before 10am, I realised that Marc had accidentally gone to work with 'my' car key to one of the cars in his pocket. That car is parked in front of the remaining car (which I do have keys to), so I can't get out!

[* - our 'third' car is one we need to sell, a little Ford Laser hatchback, but it has a leak, and after constantly getting puddles in the front floor well after it rains, the carpet has been pulled out of it awaiting Marc finding the time to diagnose the source of the leak and fix it before we can sell it. Funnily enough, between bike riding and all his work trips, there hasn't been the time to attend to that, so we are embarrassingly, at the moment, a 3 car family, with only 2 drivers.]

So we've been 'playing' musical cars over the past few weeks, and this is how it has panned out:

He usually drives the Laser to work - and he left it there while he was overseas. Twice in that time I have had to take our Commodore station wagon (which is the car we use to carry our tandems on specially designed roof racks) into town to get the air conditioning fixed - and on Thursday last week I left the Commodore at the workshop, walked to his office, and drove home in the Laser. He always leaves his Laser key near his desk in case anyone in the office needs to move it. I didn't think ahead, though, and just used mine, which resides all the time on my key ring. I like to carry all my keys all the time.. something he harasses me about, but I find it more convenient that way. Hmmm. Till today. (I can feel some more hassling coming on.. though I will forever defend my right to my 'clump' - which is a whole other storyline!!)


He got home on Friday, and picked the Commodore up and drove it home.

He drove the Commodore into work on Monday because he took the triplet into the bike shop to have something fixed on it.

Yesterday he drove the Laser, but because I'd not picked up his key, he took the key off my keyring. However he went to the airport for a one-day work return trip to Sydney, so didn't get to retrieve his key from the office.

This morning he started putting his gear in the laser to go to the office, but then decided he should take the commodore in case he needed to bring the triplet home. So he transferred his stuff back into the commodore. And took off. With, as it turns out, the laser key in his pocket.


So, despite having a key to the third car - the Landcruiser - I can't get out because the Laser is blocking it. A fact I realised 10 minutes before my trainer session was due to start.

"On yer bike!" I hear you say. Yes, I would, if it only took me 10 minutes to ride the distance I was going to drive, never mind the fact that the dirt back road would be mud after the bucketloads of rain we've had in the past 24 hours. I've rescheduled my training session to another day - so I really should do something physical now. Like ride my bike somewhere? Although rain is still threatening.

Marc will have to drive home with the key because I have to take Cait to Touch this afternoon. Of course, if he does so, it will most likely rain and touch will be cancelled.. fate and karma are like that, are they not? Besides which, don't you think he should take some time off today after having to get up at 4.50 am!! yesterday to catch a 6.30am flight... and getting home around 9pm.! That's a stupidly long working day in anyone's language... and the poor guy doesn't really need to throw in an unnecessary 40km!! Says me.

[Ed. later: Says me? *snorts*. He drove home at around 3.30, gave me the key, and drove back into work - because ... "I've promised stuff to clients!". See, he is taking tomorrow off to take Ms 11 to a swimming carnival.. so, ohmigod, couldn't take more hours off just before that. Nup. Never mind the fact that we just went about 20 days straight without seeing him at all. (I would also put money on him taking work calls during the carnival... and taking his bloody laptop to try and get some other 'urgent' stuff done in between races!)

He left with me making very pointed remarks like "Work-life balance, darling.... work-life balance..."]

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Monday Melee on a Tuesday

Maybe time I did another one of these? (You didn't expect me to be on time, did you fracas?)

THE MONDAY MELEE (on a Tuesday... well.. as I type this it's about 11.15 pm in L.A. so maybe it still counts!):

1. The Misanthtropic: Name something (about humanity) you absolutely hate.
Mean Girls. Like in the movie. I've seen them in my daughters' peer groups since the eldest started school! Now that she's almost 14, it seems that half the girls she has to deal with are just like the 'Plastics'. (And I tend to have to drive them places in my car, knowing that they are little cows to other girls who aren't the same as them.) More often than not, their parents think they are lovely too. And they are going to grow into adults. *sighs* I suppose that's where they get it from. So the cycle continues....

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.

This will mean nothing to non-Australians, but seriously, this is as phony as it gets. Our PM, frantic that he might finally get beaten at the next election, is indulging in muck raking and mud throwing at his opponent to ridiculous degrees.

Here's how it goes:
Oh no, Kevin Rudd (Opposition Leader) is beating me in the polls.. let's find some dirt on himOh this is a beauty... He was at some functions with a former disgraced state premier... great.. let's let it rip, and smear his character. .... .... Oh bugger..... seems one of my cabinet ministers has also had lunch with said ex-premier. What to do now?... This had better look good.. um.... Let's sack him from his ministry... (but it's ok mate, after this has blown over, and we're in government again, we'll give you a good job back...)


(Don't answer that... they've already bought a whole lot of other lies.. including the reason we went to war in Iraq)

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
The lack of safe bike riding opportunities around here.. and consequently having to mix it with IDIOTS driving cars who think that slowing down for 5 seconds (to wait for an oncoming car before safely overtaking) will end their life or something. These same IDIOTS think that it's OK to squeeze past a bike in a narrow lane, or even a roundabout!! These same sorts of drivers have no concept of the fact that bikes can actually travel reasonably quickly (particularly when going downhill), so they think it's ok to cut in front of them, or pull out in front of them. I think it should be compulsory for every car driver to get on a bike and ride somewhere, and maybe THEN they will gain an understanding of how to respect cyclists as other road users. And they might do their health some good as well!!

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.

Our kids. Even though some of them are grumbling about training for this Big Ride, once we are riding, they do so well. Not that many kids would get on the back of a tandem with their parents and ride nearly 60 km on a bloody hot day without complaining during it. They were awesome on the Big Ride last year, and I am sure they will be awesome again this year. They're awesome.. (when they are not driving me nuts!)

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.

Loose pants! I must have lost a centimetre or so round my waist. I've been working hard on the bike riding. It's got to pay off...!! (It would work quicker if I was more careful with what I put in my mouth!!)

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.

A sudden ability to be able to attack the household domestics with fervour. I am in SUCH a mess.


Monday, March 05, 2007



The old "where are my sunglasses? - duh - they're on your head" trick - with a twist:

After a 5 am start on Saturday morning to do the community bike ride, noone was particularly enthusiastic about getting up to ride some more on Sunday morning for more "training" - least of all Ms Likes To Sleep In. We had to literally drag her out of bed (and so she lay on the floor and went back to sleep.) So we had to keep going back upstairs to make sure she was up. And she then tried to tell us she didn't know we were getting up to do it, when we know we had said we would because she had made the comment on Saturday that it was 'too late now to make arrangements to do something with her friend on Sunday afternoon.' *shrugs*. It wasn't fun. It's hard enough dealing with your own inner demons.

We were riding to meet up with a Sunday morning BUG ride, so needed to leave about 8.15 to meet up with them before the 9.00 start. Finally we are about to walk out of the house, and Marc can't find his sunglasses. Both of us are going demented looking for them... going over when he last had them (when he took the kids down for a swim the previous afternoon.) Him going up the two flights of stairs to our bedroom. I even check whether the ones I have perched on my head are mine. After about 10 mins I find an old pair for him to use, and then go out to put my helmet on. Hang on. One pair of sunnies on my head. One pair of sunnies with the arm tucked down the front of my shirt. OOPS. (Or rather... 'Oh shit.. you're... going... to.... kill.... me.....')

The old "We won't be out in the sun for long" trick:

We broke off from the BUG ride (something we had planned to do) and rode on further with some other riders who also wanted to get some more kilometres down in training for the Big Ride. [Think we might have broken away anyway - the ride leader went overboard in an attempt to ride at a 'beginners' pace for all the newbie bike riders -this was designated an Easy Breakfast Ride - to the point that we were all struggling to ride that slowly - especially on tandems! And bunched up in a group, riding slowly, would actually be harder on the novice riders... but anyway...that's another story...]

We took swimmers and a couple of towels in the panniers.. but decided 'we won't be in the water for long - just a dip' and didn't take rashies. And didn't plaster on the sunscreen. OOPS. How to feel like an irresponsible parent.

The 'do what I say, not what I do' trick:

Our destination was this place - a tidal creek just near the ocean. This photo was actually taken when we were there late afternoon a few weeks ago. Yesterday the tide was running out, so you could jump in upstream, and float down, and then make sure you get yourself over so you can get out near the steps...

...amongst some rocks.. some of which have oyster shells on them. So I ... 'duh' .. realise as I touch one. "Don't touch the rocks, they're sharp!" I say to Alison. OOPS -too late for me... with a sharp cut to the pad of my right index finger. (And both of us managed to get little nicks on our toes too....)

The old "Maybe you should do as HE suggests" trick:

After a very ordinary take-away lunch of hamburger and chips (that took 45 mins, and where they burnt the hamburger buns, and the chips were undercooked), we all had a go of swimming across the current to the sandflats, walking upstream and floating down again. We had to deal with our Ms Cautious (Zoe) having a freak-out about swimming across the flow to the sandbank (wouldn't put her head down to swim - because it was salt water and she didn't have goggles and she needs to see where she is going, don't you know! ).. and then freaking out some more about floating back down in the current. [Zoe is like this.. if we hadn't actively encouraged her in a lot of things, all she would do all day is sit on the lounge reading a book.. and she always surprises herself when she realises how capable she is once she faces down her inner demons.]

So I am dealing with her panic, and don't stop at the first set of steps that Mr Sensible recommends, but float on down to the next set, with the oyster rocks.. and.. realise then that there's actually a line of people fishing. All bar one have pulled their lines in because of us coming down. Except one kid. And I can't manoevre me AND Zoe away, so I end up hooking myself in his line. Fortunately when I pointed my toes, it slid off. "Sorry...!!"... But he was undoubtedly cursing me. OOPS. (I really should do what I'm told in future.)

So any more OOPSES?

The triplet got a puncture as we were heading down the highway. More a 'bugger!' than an OOPS.

We started, as I said, with the Community Ride on Saturday morning. I decided Cait and I should ride 'up' in B group, as I could ride at the head of C group on my MTB. We had to ride hard at the back, but were keeping up. Till I decided to be a hero and get Cait to jump off and pick up something that fluttered out of the pocket of someone in front. After we'd committed to that, we realise she's coming back for it anyway. We exchange 'thankyou' and 'no worries', and then we look up, and the rest of the group has disappeared! Just before a fork in the road too. We keep going straight ahead instead of taking the right turn (oops). Fortunately I know where we are headed (ie. back to town)... so we lead this other girl - it turns out that this is her first time coming to the ride.

We reach the start of the bike path that heads back to Coffs. We ride through C group who are stopped. They say B group has gone through. We see a group ahead. But, wait.. they are slow... that's D group. Did C group think we said D not B? I pass the mobile phone to Cait, who calls through to Marc, and the call is taken by his Stoker Secretary, Alison. Yes, they are ahead, just passing the uni. We charge our way through D group. "Coming through!!".

Cait christens the rest of B-group as "Bloody Pirates", and extends the PoTC analogy. "It's the Pirates code" she snorts. "Whoever falls behind gets left behind." We are a bit miffed, because when we ride C group we are forever stopping to wait for the slower riders in the group. Seems once you hit B, then the 'community' part of the ride falls apart. We do catch them in the end, by not taking a small detour off the cycle path that they normally do.. Oh well, at least we rode hard! Marc reckoned we were silly for stopping; it is easier to stop and start a single bike. Guess I am just overly helpful sometimes. "And just as well we did" I say. "She didn't know which way to go." "Yes, but you could have just ridden slowly, and been the link between the group and her.." OOPS. Yes, rightio.. but gee it must be great being so damned logical all the time!

The rest of Saturday was more netball for both the older two. Ali had 'selections' and made the Woopi rep team. (Get the chequebook ready, Mum and Dad.) And in the afternoon, it was another trip into Coffs for Cait to play a club grading game in there.

And after 57km on the bike yesterday, at around 30 degrees C, (and possibly riding too hard in the afternoon to make up for the excruciatingly slow pace first up) I was bloody exhausted when we got home. It was hot. Damned hot. We all stood under the garden shower in our bike gear. Then flopped. It took extreme will to make myself follow the rest of them down to the surf for a late afternoon dip. The ocean at the moment is really cold!! (funny how it can vary so much).. but I will never again need convincing that cold/ice water therapy is good for sore muscles. Couldn't believe how much better I felt.

We made it to bed by about 10.30.. but I would have welcomed more sleep, and I am wondering if my legs will have anything in them at swimming this arvo. And to think we are planning to do this sort of riding 9 days in a row. Just call me Crazy. Trace.

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Friday, March 02, 2007


Bullet points.

Today I am jumping on the bandwagon..Recently I've read a few 'stream of consciousness' posts using point form.. and this is all I'm good for today. After all, it is Friday.

Around 9.30 am:

9.30 pm:

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