Monday, April 30, 2012

life eternal

I guess if I wanted immortality coming back as a bougainvillea could be an option. A dull existence,  but the possibility of a few laughs as you send out big thorny water shoots. I haven't the heart to kill this plant now, it looks so hopeful. The other one is doing the same thing. *sigh*

Had a fabulous Cat 6 race on the way home. It is windy and I was just soldiering on when a kid on an old 10 speed caught me, yelled "Whoo Hoo! Victory!" and threw his arms in the air. Then we both laughed our guts out. I need a mirror so I can see the enemy sneaking up on me, then we'll see who gets to yell Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

things change

I woke up thinking about the garden instead of cycling.
two years ago we had serious jungle. Cyclone Yasi took out some of it. 
today we took out much more. I have gardeners elbow competing with my cyclists quads for attention, and as usual it was Scott who did the heavy lifting. More room for food now, can't wait to get papaya and more pineapples in the ground.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

last crit in the series

It would seem my last post about the pump was number 501 of my posts, making this 502. I am humbled by my own verbosity. This is my (rather boring) life, and thanks for looking in. I do it because I can, and because my Mother reads my posts. Love you Mom!
Scott racing gingerly in cold (!) wet conditions, and I was glad to see careful being more important than winning.

 It was 18 degrees Celsius this morning, and we were all wearing jackets and socks and generally feeling sorry for ourselves. Cracks me up  how hot house flowers wilt at such a high temperature. Yes I had a wind jacket on over my kit. We are suffering here!!
Cozy blankets! Hilarious! It is going to be a very long winter.

Friday, April 27, 2012

product review

 I recently bought a new pump to live on my bike because is was cuter and smaller than my old pump. And it matched my 'colourway' and everything! It is a Specialized mini 19cc air tool.
Then this morning when I had a flat I had spend regret, as I doubted it would be as good as the larger pump I had, which also had folding bits that allowed me to stand on the base and use it like a floor pump. Since it was starting to rain and I was only a km or so from the uni I walked to my office, made a coffee and patched the tube. Then I had a go with my new wee pump. 
I found it way easier to clamp on the stem than my old one, and I was amazed at how quickly it inflated the tire considering how short the pumping action is. I managed to get my tire as firm as I wanted for the ride home with surprising ease. No more spend regret, I am very happy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


another day, another near death experience as a motorist comes shooting around this corner at warp speed, shielded from my view by the new sign at the University entrance. *sigh* I suppose I will have to lobby, and gather evidence, and all that. Or we could just wait for a gruesome outcome and take it from there (may be less work, but then, I could be the victim). Why are the folks at my Uni so friggin' stupid?

Nice black and blank sign as you leave. No "thanks for coming" or "have a nice life". Maybe I should plaster it with a giant "Share the Road" billboard... now there is an idea!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I always feel very much the outsider on this national holiday. The Aussies take it all very seriously but it is a foreign land for me. I am schooled in cold November remembrances of the war in the Atlantic, and only learned about war outside of Europe when I came here.  So we cycled instead. Then we went to the usual coffee spot thinking it would be all over (the service is at dawn) but it was all still in full swing with more memorial services and a ton of people on the move.

Still, a nice day for a decent 70km ride, followed by lunch and a kip over the kindle. I do love a holiday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

banana season

We will be sick of bananas in a month, but right now I am excited. 

Monday, April 23, 2012


doh i forgot to take a photo yesterday. The "project 365" police will be knocking on the door. Here is a photo I just took of my Cooktown orchid, which gets no horticultural love, but is covered in buds for the annual winter blooming.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Scott racing. (look for the maple leaf!) I rode a 30 km hammerfest by myself. Won 2 cat 6 sprints. Got to the track in time for the start of the race. Love this time of year. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dress # 16

I got a squeezy parcel in the internal mail today!

Ok, it needs a touch up with the iron, and a nice tan leather belt and proper shoes, but the fit is perfect and I will wear it to bits over the next many winters. Thanks a million big Sister! I looked for a winter shirt dress in Brisbane, but as usual, what we want isn't available in stores.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

the good stuff

I am home, phew. Silence, except for the screech of the lorikeets and the occasional car going by. Open up the house and the wind blows through with instant cooling. The sea breeze is always fresh from 4-6 pm.

But I do like the big city (Brisbane this time) as an art installation. Hold still and the people swarm past you in an endless stream. The sun glints off tall buildings. Buses move in pods of 4, 6, more! There are weird foods, the coffee is excellent, wine is for poseurs (apparently, if the price and size of a glass is anything to go by). Traffic is insane but it moves along stop and go, hundreds of cars giving way to thousands of pedestrians.

I like high speed sushi trains 

 I like looking above the modern shop fronts to the beauty of architectural heritage. I see the rough hands of the men who carved these stones and made this great city what it is.
 I am delighted by pockets of horticultural delights
 I turn a corner and a busker is singing opera with such perfection that I actually weep. Rich contralto, I wanted so much to grab my phone and record her, but I couldn't do it. My favorite movie is Diva (1982?). I was thrilled to put some dollars in her hat after drinking in her performance.
This morning I chatted up the city bike maintenance dude, who rides around to all the stations cleaning and tinkering. He has an electric assist bike to help him haul the wagon. I was charmed, he was a really nice young man. There is lots of good stuff in the big city.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

more big smoke

a fine day in the big city. I figured out how to use my phone as a wifi hotspot to do this, so I am feeling chuffed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

big smoke

Cities are interesting I guess, but I don't want to live in one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

mixed blessings

Must be a Council election in a couple of weeks, they are sweeping the bikeway. I am grateful, really, but do they really need to do this during peak commuting hour? Needless to say I exited stage left and hit the streets.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday bikes

Out with my boys for a gelato by the beach
 Beautiful bikes! I am a bike watcher everywhere I go.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

tropical exotica

My first tamarind blossom! 
Cool. This is a fairly common street tree, I really must gather more tamarinds this year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

light reading

I am giving up cycling advocacy, really. It is soul destroying and stressful and... Oh look, new book! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

dust to dust

or maybe spores mean more....
 we lost a big umbrella tree to cyclone Yasi last year, but it is still a presence in the garden. 
Lots of creepy fungi is feasting on the roots
The stump remains and is rotting fast. I was watering a plant and it burst forth a brown cloud of spores. Like having a Dementor fly past (if you are a Harry Potter movie fan). Glad it was windy and I could stand away.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

achtung baby

Am I just unobservant or is this new? What is really thrilling is that you go past the croc warning, under a bridge (mangroves! mud!) and a fence panel is missing. Cool! If I see a crocodile I am taking a photo!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

do your thing

I had a day to do whatever I wanted, so I had 2 cups of coffee and a piece of toast and I rode. I rode a favorite circuit which is finally back from road construction, and that was so nice I rode it again. Then I went home and had a bowl of cereal and changed into dry kit and I rode some more. I wanted to ride til I was finished, not til the end of a ride, so I went to the V8 track and did lap after lap. Big wind - tail wind - fast - slow and over and over til I had enough.

3 hours 25 minutes
93 km

blissed. out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

how to unwind

I love being home, so a 4 day weekend makes me want to chill out in my lovely house. There is so much to catch up on here, I have been way to busy with work. So time for some gourmet cooking...
 A fabulous stirfry of prawns and green beans that was almost perfect. Based on this favorite recipe, which I always do with less sugar and the juice of one lime, because my limes are huge. It will be perfect next time because I will use a lighter Japanese soy sauce. The dark sauce I usually favour is great for beef, but not seafood. 

Time for some extreme gardening. Tropical gardens need an annual reboot. Ours got the full defrag. My shoulder and upper arm muscles are killing me. Who needs gym when you are wielding big loppers and garden shears all day. Ratchet garden tools, the true emancipation of women, well gardening women anyway. Took us 3 days to fill this huge skip, but full it is. We can see a big difference in the garden, but most probably wouldn't!!

Quality couch time with the loaner dogs and Paris-Roubais. Fabby. And the previous night we actually celebrated the season with oven frites and home made garlic mayonnaise (as we watched the track cycling worlds). OMG what a culinary revelation that was!

And then there was flower cutting, and salvage of prunings that were too good for the skip. Now the dogs have gone home : (   but I booked an extra day of leave so I get another day of riding, pottering around and cooking, and I may finally get a run in as well.

I am nearly unwound.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday ride

Early morning at Pallarenda beach, Sunday easy ride of 53 kms, coffee with friends. Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Scottie's bane

Before we get to the bane, Saturday races.
 Full moon setting over the track at registration.
 D grade at first light. No I am not racing with them, I wimped out and rode with the new recreationals, which was way more fun. I lapped little kids and everything.

 Home to Mitzi lying with his nose sticking out under the gate, and Pearl right behind him. Awww. If you don't love dogs you are just not my sort of people. Sorry. And now to Scottie's bane.
 When we bought this house in 1999 it had large, well pruned bougainvillea shrubs flanking the driveway. We felt sort of obliged to keep these bright landmarks going as a duty to the neighbourhood. I always called them Scottie's bane because he is the one who gets up on a step ladder and keeps them tidy, month after month, year after long year. Well enough is enough. 

We are muscle sore, and poked full of holes from the thorns, but never again, AMEN, it was indeed a religious experience suitable for the Easter weekend. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

dog spa

Running a doggy holiday spa is a great idea.
I already engage in much loved activities such as river walks anyway.

I speak 'dog' fluently
I appreciate help in the garden and am very admiring of a well dug hole. Luckily we are at the "major destruction" part of the gardening cycle, where there is much ripping out and cutting back to be done.
Some clients do find it all a bit full on though. I am hoping to take care of another friends dog soon. It fills the house with happiness (and a bit of dog hair).

Thursday, April 5, 2012


We have house guests this weekend, caring for friends dogs.

This is Pearl, a Whippet. She is a calm and mature dog.
 This is Mitzi. I am not a small breed fancier so identification is difficult, I think he is a Shitzu. He has a schnauzer disguise on though with a convincing haircut. Mitzi is neither calm or mature, but he is settling in nicely.
Easter is traditionally a big gardening weekend, and it will be a pleasure to have dogs under foot. I really miss my two dogs, and there will be others someday. I did look at a few sites today (including YAPS in Cairns, the greyhound rescue folk and my own RSPCA), but I am just looking at this stage.