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Category Archives: Cycling

deep gratitude

Leisure enough to observe and enjoy the mesembryanthemum

After a busy weekend – plus lots of laundry, of course – I was less than bright and bubbly come Monday morning. It was fabulous to know that I could either roll over and go back to sleep if I wanted to, or simply take a few extra minutes then grab my coffee after everyone else had finished. Some sort of mix generally has more appeal and I don’t wand to miss out every morning on having coffee with the menfolk.

The days are sunnier and warmer (I say optimistically, though we’re also enduring low temperatures and torrential rain – but the ground isn’t as chilly as it has been and the daylight hours are definitely longer). The airborne nasties are making their presence felt and pollen levels are now indicated on the official weather site. Our noses are sufficiently sensitive to know that antihistamine ingestion would not be out of place. Sneezing inside a full-face motorbike helmet is yukky and dangerous. That happened to YoungB a few years ago and, as much all of us laughed when he told us, there’s no doubt it’s best avoided.

I can head out to long lunches or afternoon tea dates with friends and other family members, and casually spend the afternoon walking around a new housing development before hopping on a train to come home. All during working hours. And I can have late nights on the weekend after social outings that I was able to accept very last minute, because I don’t have to worry about being at my best the following morning for work.

I’ve resigned my union membership, which feels rather strange after so many years of solidarity. Without that ongoing financial commitment, I can take out a subscription to an e-book platform. I know that some of the lighthearted titles I have on my – lengthy! – book recommendation list won’t be available through the local library and I wouldn’t buy them myself as p-books. Some platforms have certain titles available free with a monthly subscription, making that cheaper than buying and therefore a cost-effective option. I just have to remember not to stay up all night reading, simply because I know that I don’t have to be up early next day. It’s probably not good for my blood pressure.

I have yet to start any Christmas crafting. The pageant is looming and, although I’m not there to see it from the office window, I’m sure the tree is going up in Vic Square. Another year is drawing to a close. We’ve had highs and lows and the pandemic is not over, but we’re all still here. I’m grateful for that, too.

And, you know, sunshine or storm – some days both! – we’re warm and secure.

 
 

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tantalising teaser

Sunshine helps the agapanthus flourish

It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures will do for overall wellbeing. It’s also helpful with reducing the “have to wash” laundry backlog. Of course, the “have to put away” laundry backlog has increased commensurately. I note only that, while I remain a finite energy machine, I appreciate the glimpse, the promise, of the hot summer days that are surely just around the corner.

On a day that was sufficiently sunny and almost-warm, YoungB hopped on his treadley for his daily commute. He wanted to trial a different route and to put the new – to him – end-of-trip facilities to the test, but he might have been less keen had there been a torrential downpour or killer winds.

He reported that the facilities are infinitely better than those in the previous job, which didn’t have any, and on a par with those available in other parts of the precinct. Not unexpectedly, like most places with large workforces, the shift-based honour system for lockers isn’t always as honourable as you might hope.

Bike storage and showers are secure, but getting a locker? Not going to happen. YoungB half-joked that he’d be prepared to perpetuate the injustice if he were ever fortunate enough to find an open locker. In general, however, lack of a locker won’t deter him from riding his bike more frequently once the weather is more consistently agreeable.

In the meantime, the wind and rain remind us that spring is only just here, and it’s foolish to expect much nice weather this early in the season. Taking that into consideration, and rather than having to battle the elements as well as the lack of locker, YoungB is happy to use public transport.

The sunshine will return. I hope you’re getting some sunshine, too.

 
 

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mature. or maybe not

Not that he wouldn’t, but that the bike couldn’t 😉

YoungB recently admitted to being partly at fault in a near-miss when he was coming home on his motorbike. This surely can’t be the same man who once said, when commended for NOT doing a mono at the traffic lights, not that he wouldn’t do that. Oh, no. He instantly replied that you couldn’t do a mono with the learner-legal bike he was riding because it didn’t have enough torque. Not that he wouldn’t do it. Dear me, no. Most improperly, I laughed.

So, on that recent occasion, I looked carefully at this adult admitting to his own poor behaviour and less than sound judgment. I suddenly understood my Dad once commenting, “You’re nearer 30 than 20 now.” O-kay. I’d come home from night duty and was simply enjoying a morning cuppa with him before I turned in. I could imagine him thinking how it wasn’t so long ago that I was a tiny baby – as indeed I was – and now here I was, this responsible, grown woman with a house, a car, and a couple of cats. Quite the credibility gap. I laughed at that, too.

Happens to most of us. We do it. We grow up. But I still laugh at things I shouldn’t 🙂

 

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hunting gremlins in the harness

Demolition progress, sans gremlins I think

The simplest things are often the most mystifying. What the Bs were up to on Saturday wasn’t earth-shatteringly difficult or blokes-only motorcyclist business, although I loved YoungB’s description of it. They were fault-finding a longstanding ignition problem on one of the motorbikes. While they were doing that, I was working back along the enclosing of row 15 of the temperature blanket. They found their fault, to whoops of joy, and I finished the enclosing PLUS made the first square of row 16. While finishing those ends, I also finished ends on two centres I’d made during my cityward commute on Friday.

Yes, I had a day at the office last Friday, in my role as First Aid Officer! We have to ensure cover if there’s anyone physically at the CBD site and the roster reached me. The office was practically empty and, therefore, weirdly quiet. I’m back again next Friday in the same capacity, but otherwise continuing to WFH. The real benefit of the commute, however, was that it enabled me to produce another couple of centres for the ever-lengthening temperature blanket.

Oh, and being right there in the CBD with that high-rise-view gave me a chance to check the demolition progress. Impressive!

I hope your views are all equally impressive 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2022 in Crochet, Motorcycling

 

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not lunchtime crochet

The few bumpy bits disappeared into the next row

Very last-minute, the Bs decided to indulge in some retail therapy at a city motorbike shop. I wasn’t interested in being part of that. However, they suggested lunch together at the Market afterwards. That sounded much more interesting! I found a nearby pub and sat in a sunny corner with a coffee while they shopped to their heart’s content.

Did I not crochet while I sipped? Do I think that blanket is going to make itself? I didn’t and I don’t. I looked at grabbing a ball of yarn with the aim of making a bunch of centres, but decided against it. Too much danger of things being spilt while I worked.

Once home, I made a pile of centres. I couldn’t think how to store them, but came up with the idea of using an old DPN. There are only 3 that size, and they are much too fragile to use for knitting. I poked one end in a tab that had broken off a blocking mat and decided that, all in all, that wasn’t a bad way to do the job. Those centres have been joined to their middles and are all now part of the blanket.

I have almost finished working back along the joining of row 8. The first square with an Indian blue centre, which was that very cold day back in May, is now fully incorporated. I think this is not bad progress, given that I work full-time.

I hope you’re catching up on any craft projects that are keeping you busy 🙂

 
 

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from the other bank

There was no danger of getting tangled in the reeds

We’ve spent many years cheering rowers from the southern side of the River Torrens, and watching the occasional boat find those reeds rather than clear water. This morning’s Winter Duathlon started from the northern bank. It took place on nearby running paths and roads closed to other traffic. The morning was chilly but bright.

YoungB has what many would describe as rower’s thighs. More kindly, you might say that his genetic makeup is such that he would be better suited to track cycling. His chunkiness was out of place among the svelte outlines of the other competitors. Unsurprisingly, those beefy thighs and his years of endurance and commuter cycling paid off on the ride leg.

Because he knows his limitations as a runner, today he competed in the short course duathlon: shorter distances for both run and ride legs. He didn’t do badly in the first run leg, but made up a lot of time and lifted his overall place significantly by zooming along once he hopped on his bike. He was slow transitioning onto the bike, although he transitioned off in good time. He looked tired at the end of the second run leg, heavy-footing it up the last rise to the finish line.

Tired or not, he came second in his course/gender/age category. That was a good result for his first competition and he knows what he needs to work on so that he can do even better next time. There we’ll be: same time, same place in about four weeks from now.

May all your transitions be as smooth and speedy as you could wish 🙂

 

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their view of the weekend

There might even be fish! Photo by Gianluca D. Pompili

Aside from yesterday’s cousin catch-up, my weekend view has been mostly about laundry – I could hardly believe the number of SOCKS in YoungB’s basket! – interspersed with large amounts of cleaning and tidying, updating genealogical info, and some crochet.

The Bs’ weekend? A motorbike road trip that end up with them camping overnight in a national park. Yeah. Life’s tough. Like Dr B’s recent previous overnight camping trip, this had been postponed a few times and the decision to seize the opportunity was somewhat last minute. I’m led to believe it was worth the wait.

I hope you’ve been able to seize a few opportunities lately?

 

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salubrious is the word

All of 10 minutes away, at the bottom of the road and around the corner. With pelicans.

Yesterday, Dr B came home from his latest pushbike outing and suggested we go out for coffee. The sun was shining, the laundry was already hanging out in the sunshine, and – because it was a public holiday – there were no other calls on my time. No-brainer, really. I grabbed my sunnies, locked the house, and away we went. Dr B always intends to park right out the front and usually does. Sure enough, he did it again today.

Gawd, it’s tough, slumming it there by the non-potable (but also non-odorous) waterways and the bound-to-belong-to-a-millionaire mansions! The cafe was doing such a roaring trade that we had to wait for an outside table; any table, really, because they were already beginning to limit their service to takeaway only in readiness for the early close dictated by public holiday demand: busy all day, but everyone fleeing for home at about 3 o’clock because “Tomorrow is a school day.”

We were ahead of the home-going crowd so we came back up the hill in next to no time. We’re very lucky to have such delightful facilities so close to us.

Do you have anything similar near where you live?

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2021 in Cycling, Food, Health

 

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squaring up

Eggs Benedict for YoungB – not our photo, but one from the cafe

Dr B recently had a dental procedure and, being allergic only to kryptonite as he is, was cracking fairly hardy – ie, being foolish – about taking adequate pain relief. I lent him my venerable (but still potent) bottle of clove essential oil to assist with topical treatment. He loved its efficacy and – bonus – the house smelt nice. He then went off for a long-planned (and several times postponed) overnight motorcycle jaunt with his group of old codgers. Obviously, the clove oil went with him. It did not, however, make the return trip. He lost it. I don’t want to know how. He probably doesn’t know how!

Back home, YoungB and I were out enjoying a mother-and-son breakfast before going our separate ways for a busy day. Having decided against a couple of popular eateries whose coffee doesn’t impress either of us enough to make the food attractive, we’d elected to patronise a nearby cafe where we know the food and coffee are both good. We were sitting outside in the sunshine, shivering only a bit, when the message came from Dr B: please buy some replacement clove oil. Righto then.

Luckily, there was a warehouse-style pharmaceutical outlet at the shopping centre. I was able to grab the last two bottles they had: one for Dr B to do with as he will, the other for me. I would have paid whatever was necessary as I don’t like being without clove oil and Dr B plainly needed it. But here’s where having a Seniors Card is useful: I got a discount!

Let’s call that all square, shall we?

 
 

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not that right

I spotted these colourful hollyhocks in a neighbourhood garden

The other day, the Bs were out on a motorcycle jaunt. I decided to go for a walk. I know I’ve written at length about the walking options in our neighbourhood. That day, I decided I’d do the right-hand loop. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, straight uphill haul that would be my halfway point. I put a load of laundry to do its stuff – see what I did there?! – grabbed my water bottle and off I went.

And that was sort of that, because I wasn’t paying attention to anything much and turned left, not right. It makes no difference at all to the distance travelled, merely puts the ups and downs in reverse order. Perhaps it was my subconscious telling me that going the other way made for a warmer start, and that the shaded part of the path would be less shady if I left it till later; all of which was and is quite true.

I’ve been out walking a few mornings lately – the energy of it, all before work! – because it’s a time of day that, dislike it as I might, seems to fit in better with a working day that exhausts me. There’s less traffic about, so the air is crisp and not yet filled with exhaust fumes, and sometimes I do stop to look at the flowers. I don’t feel virtuous, but it must be doing me good.

I hope all your exercise makes you feel virtuous and does you good 😀

 
 

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