Category Archives: Travel

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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lots of rosemary

Chrysanthemums because they’re traditional

On Mother’s Day, my mother sometimes visited the cemetery where her own mother was buried, and put a bunch of white chrysanthemums on the grave. I’ve not had the opportunity these past couple of years to do the same for her. So, it having been Mother’s Day last Sunday, I bought some flowers from a local seller just down the road. I’d have been happy to add coloured flowers, too, but their bunches weren’t particularly well mixed. One coloured flower, lots of white ones and half a bush of rosemary was the sum of my endeavours. The rosemary came from our garden.

The Bs were out on with their motorcycles, so I made the northward journey alone. Traffic was moderate in the suburban fringe but, as ever, once you turn off the Sturt Highway, there are few other vehicles to worry about.

I scrubbed and polished the granite and swept up the leaves. If Dr B and YoungB had been with me, we might have sung a chorus or two. I hummed as I worked. That’s legit enough.

If you celebrate Mother’s Day, I hope yours was enjoyable.


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new directions

Ready to brave the carpark that main roads become at peak hour

YoungB’s contract finished and he’s now in another job. It’s with a different organisation but in a related field. The physical location is not at all convenient for public transport. Hence, he’s hopped in his car until he sorts out the end-of-trip facilities available for his treadley.

At least, that’s what he’s saying and I don’t for a moment suggest that the distinctly unfriendly morning temperatures could be a factor. Not. At. All!

I hope your morning temperatures aren’t too unfriendly?


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greater love hath no woman…

…than to sacrifice her Saturday to catch up with friends. Photo © Mayfair Hotel

It’s a warm weekend day and on Monday – two days from now – I return to actually working at the CBD office. My preferred Saturday occupation would be taking things easy and making sure my trousers aren’t too crumpled from having hung in the wardrobe for such a long time. But, no, I hopped out of bed early and made myself far more presentable than I would for work so that I could help a friend celebrate a significant birthday.

Four of us who have been friends for a long time enjoyed a sumptuous High Tea and a lot of chatter about how flexible we’ve had to be in terms of rethinking plans for whatever last year was and this year is turning out to be. Travel? Yeah, maybe, but certainly not overseas and perhaps not even interstate. There’s plenty to see close to home and we have some of the finest beaches in the world if that’s more your style. Terminology also came under discussion. One friend is embracing the “R” word but another feels strangely reluctant to describe herself as retired, so she is embracing the notion of “the next stage”.

All I can say is that, after this morning’s efforts, my next stage is probably going to be plonking myself near the aircon and catching a few ZZZZzzz’s. I’m not much fussed about what terminology we use to describe that.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, and whatever terminology you to describe that, I hope it’s treating you well.

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Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Food, Health, Travel


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one of his little haunts

Recently, Dr B and I undertook a quick trip to the Barossa Valley. It wasn’t strictly planned. There came a point where I said, “Left or right?” and he said, “Left.” So, left we went up the road, under the Jacob’s Creek arch, and found ourselves in Tanunda.
Perhaps now best known as an iconic part of the Tour Down Under but also part of the Heysen Trail and the broader Barossa Trails network

By then it was coffee time for sure, and brunch time almost as surely. We found a park, then found ourselves at a cafe well known to Dr B from both pushbike and motorbike ride pit stops, and not unknown to me from a couple of family catch-ups in the days when such things were still possible.

Of course it’s different now, with about half the number of tables and fewer chairs per table. The good part about that is that there’s considerably less noise than before, so Dr B and I were able to converse quite easily. Even allowing for sparser occupancy, there was a cosy enough atmosphere and we enjoyed our brunch-time break.

I hope any unexpected outings that come your way prove equally as pleasant 🙂


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that certain sound


Last week was cold but not wet. It’s a different story today.

Yesterday was wet. The rain has taken on that “I’m here for winter” sound, the one where it just falls steadily onto the rooftops and it’s not a downpour but it’s constant, except for the moments when the wind whips it up and you can hear the eddies because of the changed sound pattern. Then the wind drops and the rain settles back into a steady rhythm.

For us, winter started today, meaning that yesterday felt like good practice for the vicissitudes of returning to work in cold, wet weather. But I wasn’t. My team isn’t slated to return until Wednesday, anyway, and Dr B’s at-risk status means I’m likely to continue WFH for a few more weeks. I say that as a statement of fact, but am mightily pleased that that is the case. I’m never fond of commuting when it’s cold, wet and windy because there’s entirely too much of the trip that means you’re in the weather. Yeah, nah.

YoungB was planning to cycle to work, as he did four days last week, but I persuaded him that a forecast of not only heavy rain but also likely hail was perhaps a time to consider discretion the better part of valour and catch the bus. It wasn’t simply a matter of him being cold and wet by the time he reached work – there are hot showers and good change-room facilities at the other end – but because visibility will be reduced and other road users less readily able to see him, despite any hi-vis gear.

One of my long-ago bosses once remarked, with depressing accuracy, that people drive faster in the rain, so much so that you’d think they’re getting wet inside their cars. Of course they’re not, but their increased speed means longer stopping time plus the added danger of sliding if tyres don’t grip. You want to go up against that? You don’t. Cycling in the rain carries higher risk and it’s prudent rather than wimpy to avoid that escalated risk. Even Dr B decided that he wouldn’t go out for his weekly group ride, but stoked up the trainer for another long session.

Me? Well, I was working, continuing to shelter in place while bringing home the bread. I hope you are, too.


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high maintenance?!


I think they’re much higher maintenance!

Recently, I casually mentioned to the Bs that I would need a suitcase for a couple of days away that involved an overnight stay. I didn’t mean a large one, just carry-on size. YoungB demanded to know when I’d suddenly become high maintenance? You what? Me? Yeah, not likely.

In principle they’re right, but I no longer have a backpack that’s large enough. So I ended up taking a small backpack, a shopping bag with my shoes in it, another with my swimming clobber, another with my craftwork – a small bag of crochet, because I thought that might be easier to pick up and put down than any knitting I have on the go – and yet another with food. R-i-g-h-t. That would have all fitted into the suitcase I had in mind, and been a lot easier to carry.

May all your suitcases be ideal for their intended purposes 🙂

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Posted by on December 11, 2019 in Crochet, Health, Knitting, Travel


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oh, I think that was another week

1986-06-13 Aalholm Automobile Museum, Denmark - 2

There was no Bugatti, so I thought I’d share this one, an exhibit at the Aalholm Automobile Museum in Denmark. Photo with my Dad in 1986. There’s a better photo at the link, which discusses the sale of the museum’s collection.

My work has been mind-numbingly busy, in a mind-numbing way. Allergies are still wreaking havoc all round. Whatever last week was about, I played bocce at lunchtime on Friday and made it to Saturday. Today we attended an Italian motor show. Dr B showed off his motorbike, and YoungB showed off his car. Both were much admired by fellow aficionados.

As well as lots of Alfas, Abarths and Fiats, of varying ages, shapes and sizes, there were low-slung Lamborghinis (although I’m not sure they actually come in anything but low slung, to be fair), muscular Maseratis and an astonishing number of fabulous Ferraris, including this one, which was truly amazing. My other favourite was what the organisers described as a Fiat 500 on steroids! It was gorgeous and I would certainly like one of those under the Christmas tree this year, thank you, Santa. Surprisingly, there was only one other motorbike, and one all-but obligatory scooter.

There was excellent pizza, there were cakes and gelati, and a raffle. YoungB won a prize! I think the bucket of cleaning gear will provide much long-term usefulness although it’s certainly less exciting than the prize he missed out on by one ticket, namely being able to drive one of the exhibited new Alfas for a weekend, courtesy one of the main sponsors 🙂

All up, it was a lovely day. We’re all exhausted and a bit sunburnt, but will undoubtedly be back at the grindstone again tomorrow.

May your Sunday have been as enjoyable as ours, whether or not it involved a car show of any sort 🙂


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collegial catch-ups


Eating up big while catching up on big changes.

In the restructure, many lives were shaken almost as savagely as the organisation. Recently, I caught up on the “who’s doing what” status of the full workforce over a long lunch at what is deservedly a favourite place for business breakfasts and long weekend lunches. It would appear that almost all who wanted work have found it and a few have retired perhaps a little earlier than originally planned. The several who originally had travel planned will do that prior to job-hunting, so their long-term status is still uncertain.

YoungB is also finalising travel plans for the coming year. He was doing that with mates while simultaneously introducing them to the delights of an Asian eatery hitherto unknown to them. Over a long brunch elsewhere he commiserated with another friend about the after-effects of their recent vaccinations: both are feeling somewhat sore.

Although the temperatures are still too low for comfort and certainly for eating outside, the sunshine does help to make everything a little less gloomy and dismal. And when your brunch is so big it’s genuinely enough to feed a hungry rower, then all you need is another mug of coffee to help wash it all down.

May your coffee always be plentiful and at precisely the right temperature 🙂


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Posted by on August 27, 2019 in Food, Rowing, Travel


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but I have been doing stuff


Since this photo, I’ve begun shaping the crown.

I don’t want you to think that I’ve stopped knitting. I haven’t. True, I have been busy crocheting my table runner while watching TV. But I have also been knitting, sometimes while watching TV and sometimes while battling insomnia. Neither is particularly wise when you have trouble counting.

I have also been dedicating time to the 3-Legged Challenge, a world-first fundraiser whose aim is to support unpaid carers. As I work for one of the charities involved, my signing up was a no-brainer. I cajoled YoungB into participating, which has, I think, well and truly exhausted my annual quota of filial goodwill from him! Never mind.

Yesterday, he and I did a truncated version of our original idea. Between travel to and fro, a special soccer match and his work commitments, we were never going to get as much 3-legged silliness as we’d originally planned. This photo of him being not too rude to me is the best I could have expected.


“I will kill you later, Mum.”

Today, Dr B and I joined a group of staff in a 2-Km walk along part of the Hallett Cove boardwalk. We were promised no steps in the out-and-back loop. Yes, well, not quite true! But only half a dozen or so either way, and we managed those reasonably well. Let me put it this way: nobody fell over, or down, or caused anybody else to do either of those things. Win-win. Right? Lots of laughs and, no doubt, some excellent photos from our fundraising and marketing manager in due course.

The nice thing about travelling from our north-eastern suburb to the suburban far south was the amount of knitting time it afforded me. My beanie has now reached the stage where the rows are noticeably shorter and the end in sight.


I am not enamoured of the brown. But it works with the rest of the colours and it’s not yellow, so it’s staying 😉

I’m on schedule to finish the beanie by the knitting store’s CAL/KAL deadline. Let’s hope I haven’t just hexed myself!

What have you been up to?

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Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Knitting, Travel


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