Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just like riding a bike

A couple of years ago I entered a short course triathlon, more for the experience than anything else. The thing that freaked me out the most was the cycling leg - mainly because I hadn't been on a bike since I was a kid. Needless to say, getting back on a bike is really one of those things that you don't forget.

After a minute or so you get your balance back and you're back into it. Getting your confidence on the road or bike track is another matter, but riding a bike is one of those things that you never forget.

It was like when I got behind the wheel of a car after four years of living in London without one. It comes back in an instance.

I'm in between jobs at the moment so I'm doing a few things that I don't normally get to do at the moment. I've been going into these situations with some trepidation, but it appears that there are some things you just don't forget.

Here's a few of the things I've worked out I can still do quite happily.

Use a sewing machine:

I've been blessed with a chest which requires industrial scaffolding to allow me to walk, let alone run comfortably. As you can imagine, industrial scaffolding doesn't come cheap. Another thing about industrial scaffolding is that two parts of the bra will go quickly - the underwires and the hooks and eyes that keep them strapped to your body.

In the weeks before I went to Bali, two of my favourite and most comfortable bras went at the back. To replace them would cost a lot. Having some time being between jobs, I contacted a friend of mine, Effie, who has a mending and embroidery store out in the suburbs. After scouting around a couple of sewing stores (never let me back into Lincraft or Spotlight again, seriously, I'll buy the place out)  I found some new fasteners, drove out to Effie's shop and she fixed them for me for a nominal fee, a coffee and a chat. I was thrilled with the result.

 (One of my bras - image courtesy of www.coloribus.com)

The next day I found another bra, a rather sorry looking sports bra, also gone at the hooks and eyes. A new back panel would give them a few more months of ware.

Rather than take them down to Effie, I traipsed back to Spotlight and found another panel and called Jonella. Could I borrow her sewing machine for ten minutes or so.

That night, I dropped around to Jonella's after the gym. I'd got everything ready, pinned on the new hooks and eyes ready to sew them on.

It was then I realised that the last time I used a sewing machine was at university.

Like riding a bike, it all came back easily. I used to make a lot of my own clothes at high school, it amazing how much muscle memory using a sewing machine uses.

The bras were fixed in five minutes, and I'm thinking about making things once again.


How often do you really look at the stars? In Bali I'd fallen into the habit floating in my private pool at the end of the holiday to check out the stars while skinny dipping at night. It was a fantastic thing to do.

On Sunday I was round at Blarney and Barney's. Blarney is back in Ireland at the moment after the passing of her mother, so I offered Barney to come round on Sunday night and make dinner for him and the boys. Ended he had a few friends over for a barbeque.

At the end of the night, after everybody had gone home I was talking to Barney, his mum (who's over helping him keep Chance and Lance in line) when something came up about stars. It was twilight by now.

"Hey, Lance, want to see if we can see some stars?"
"Okay." His chubby hand grabbed mine and we went out into the front yard."
We looked about and I spotted Venus over the roofs of Spotswood and pointed it out to him.
"Wow! Where are the rest of them?" he asked.
"Ah, it's a bit early. When it gets early they will come out. But there are clouds about, that hides them."
"I want to see more stars!"

By this time, a few more came out. Mars, Jupiter, Alpha Centauri came into view as the evening deepened. These were pointed out as well.

"Come on, inside. It's time for you two to have a bath and go to bed."
"We want to see more stars!"
"Not tonight, They're hiding behind the clouds."
"Why?" they asked in unison.
"Because there are clouds. When you go down to Grandpa's next, have a look at the stars down there. The stars are great down at Grandpa's." Grandpa live in Tasmania where the nights are darker than the Melbourne CBD. How can you explain a light leakage to a three-year-old?
"Where do the stars go in the day?" Asked one of them.
"They're always there. It's just too light to see them.
"But we saw stars tonight?"
"Actually, we saw Venus. Venus is a planet." I told them.

Happy with this, they went inside to tell Barney and his mum what they saw.

I've always been fascinated with astronomy (and astrology) It was so lovely to show the boys the night sky. It's one of those cute little moments that I treasure.

 (Van Gogh - Starry Night)

A few other things I've been doing now I'm off.

Spin class - or 45 minutes of sweaty torture on a stationary bike. I always think I can't do a class. Turns out I can. I'm fitter than Allan in this clip - thank goodness. I can walk afterwards without issue.


The girls at Sparks and Ladders used to call me Lady Lunchalot. I've been out to a lot of lunches with friends in the last two weeks. Thank goodness. I've missed being in the city, feeling alienated because I didn't have access to my friends.

(Image courtesy of www.paintersoflouisville.com)


Seven hours of sleep each night is doing me the world of good. I normally manage on six when I'm working. It's been a long time.

Working on Losing Weight

It's time to bite the bullet. Watching what I eat and exercising at the moment. After working out that I'm going to have to get myself into a French Maid's costume for a celebratory Rocky Horror performance I've been very, very good with my food.

Okay, I was born to be Magenta. Still, Magenta has never had back fat and bingo wings.

I have some work to do.

It's still to be decided if I turn up to Rocky Horror as I used to back in the mid-nineties. It's not the same if you don't throw rice at the wedding....

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