Sunday, August 31, 2008


It has arrived, with a flick of the switch, it is Spring in the tropics and it isn't cold anymore. If Spring had been this reliable in Canada I might have stuck it out. So now I can get up and head out in my pretty cycling clothes instead of my warm ones. A plea to manufacturers of cycling wear, please make winter clothes in colours other than black. I do have a lilac winter jacket, but I am sick of wearing it all the time.

I had a pretty good week. Back at work after a 3 week absence, the previous week was difficult. I thought “thank God you are here” was a comedy sketch show. Friday was so fraught with system failure that I literally turned my back. It was supposed to be my day off, but I was at work as usual. Universities are a labour of love after all. But when it all went terribly wrong I put on my kit, filled up my water bottle, and headed out to the dam. Damn! I FLEW out to the dam. I thought I was something, record speeds falling at every milestone. Then I turned around to head back. Ahhh… the mother of all tailwinds was now a headwind. Well you get that.

But Saturdays ride was a fast one, and I stayed at the head of the group. So with the road race season officially over today I now think I am fast enough to consider racing. Keen timing.

The good news is I have til March to train my guts out. I am starting with a personal trainer tomorrow. A Uni perk is the need for volunteers to act as clients to Sports Medicine students, and this will be my second year. It is great fun and I advanced by leaps and bounds last year, so I have high hopes for this year. I am feeling keen and motivated, so I hope to get a big step up this time too.

I had a need to bond with my home today, so I didn’t do a wee ride and am at 276 for the week. Shameful really, but geeze are my drawers tidy! Women find contentment in strange places.
A note, I couldn't resist taking a shot of my Fat Cyclist jersey against the pink of spring. I don't know Susan Nelson personally, but she is in my thoughts often as I celebrate the strength with which I ride. WIN Susan.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

stopping by the river on a winters evening

Winter will soon give way to spring, the signs are all there. I won’t miss cold rides, especially cold early starts. But winter has a great beauty here. The sky is much bluer, and the dry season gives us the kaki and rust that I love. Corellas gather in big flocks near the river in the evenings, and it is impossible not to stop and admire their antics.

We had one day where the winds went soft and warm last week, then the direction changed and the breeze returned to fresh and cool. But the soft hand of summer will return.

Friday, August 15, 2008

playing catch up

To my legions of fans, sorry I have been away. I got back from Cairns and got some good rides in over the weekend, but I realize now that I was utterly spent. Lucky for me my sister from Nova Scotia arrived on Sunday for the final leg of her visit, and I was forced to do some down time. I really needed it.

We did therapeutic shopping. I don’t usually find shopping anything but horrible, but it is great fun in the right company. And it was the sort of shopping I have been putting off for years, the final bits of furniture and rugs. So that is all sorted – hopefully for decades.

Then we bought a few plants, and had a couple of days of just puttering in the garden. Making things tidy, and artfully arranging plants and pots and stones. I planted flower seeds and repotted some things. Fertilised shrubs. A bit of pruning. Lots of tea breaks.

My only regret is that our time together doing nothing much was so short. It is the best kind of catch up you can have, and I would have loved another week of it, but we have busy lives and we have both taken a chunk of time off work and need to get back. And that is sad because we really get along fabulously and should get together more often.

I’ll be heading to NS next summer, and I hope we get some downtime in her garden. It is the best place to rest, recover and catch up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

i'm away

I want to go home. I want to go for a ride. I want to sleep in my own bed with my spouse.

Luckily I am doing what I love. Detail. Niggling, fine, fiddly cartographic detail. Thousands of elements on tens of layers, all woven into thematic meaning. A power pole at every change of direction of the line. Symbols precisely placed. Annotation sitting free of encumbrance from lines. Tiny stuff that matters if you want perfect, and perfect is the only option. I finish the day with my eyeballs scratchy from concentration. That groove between my eyebrows is now a furrow. I love my work.

2 days til home, I want to go for a ride. *sigh*