Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photo February - Day Thirteen

Little Audrey, Victoria Street

When I think about endurance, I think about Little Audrey, the Skipping Girl Vinegar lass who skips rope through the night down my end of Richmond.

The first animated neon sign in Australia, Audrey lights up at dusk every evening and she skips her way until dawn, watching over Victoria Street like a young, hyperactive angel. You can hear her chant, "Salt, vinegar, mustard, pepper, if I dare, I can do better..." as the rope, which would go around faster if she were a normal kid, remains at a steady bea..

(Do kids still jump rope? And play marbles and knucklebones and elastics? I loved my skipping rope as a child. Now it's more an instrument of torture used by boxing instructors - jumping rope when you are endowed with a set of DD breasts can be painful if you don't have the correct support on.)

The fact that Skipping Girl Vinegar went out of business long before I was born is not the point. Little Audrey has been a part of Melbourne for decades - long may she remain. According to Wikipedia, she's financed until the end of 2014 - after that - who knows?

The Skipping Girl has also been a part of popular culture. Other than being the name of an indie rock band, she's mentioned in the song, "All in the Way" by a band called My Friend the Chocolate Cake. The lyrics are apt.

The skipping girl vinegar she skips all through the night
Everything is effortless and out of control
And I don't want it to change, at least not for awhile

So poignant. So true.

Not all Melbourne legacy items have remained - case in point, the much loved Nylex clock which gave the time and temperature to beleaguered travellers coming out of Richmond Station until it broke in 2006 never to return to the Melbourne skyline. It's a pity. Many still look to the top of the silos just off Punt Road as they pass, looking for the familiar flashing time and temperature, not to find it there any more. I'm not sure if Nylex are still making garden hoses any more either, but that clock was wonderful.

Still, I go back to Little Audrey's endurance and I take heart. This not particularly good shot was taken last night as I left the gym around 9.30 pm. I'd just done a slowish five km run/walk.

Finally, after a back injury and a few months of serious CBFs  (Can't Be F#*&eds) on the running front, I've signed myself up for the 15 kilometre Run for the Kids at the end of March and I'm in training.

After five years of running I've found that my body goes back to it easily after time off. I'm not going at any cut-throat speeds at the moment - I'm run/walking intervals and this is good. Seven to eight kilometres over an hour - after a stretch when I finish all is well. My joints feel fine, my back, strained by Blarney's toddler a few months ago, cannot be felt. Just a bit of tingling in my right foot that comes and goes resulting for a trapping nerve. It's fine - I'm seeing my massage therapist on the weekend.

I love being back on the road and on the treadmill, no matter how much I complain about it.

On arriving home after the gym I found an email from Gloria and Gaynor. Did I want to do the great Ocean Road Half Marathon? 23 kilometres along some of the most glorious coastline in Australia (with koalas watching you along the way) Mid-May. Last year was a hoot.

I've not committed to the race yet, not that it will be a race where I either run all the way or break any personal best records. I pinged Gaynor an email and asked if she was serious. Her reply, "We can do what we did last year and just run the downhills and half the flats."

Sounds like I'm about to pay my entry fee and find another pair of ASICS Kayanos on eBay.

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

Good on you for getting back into the running again. Just as you recover, my neck/shoulder/arm goes into spasms. A week and counting...

Loved the Nylex clock. Even Paul Kelly sings about it in 'Leaps and Bounds': "High on the hill, the clock on the silo says eleven degrees, I rememberrrrrrr...."