We had an opportunity to have a lie in this morning and we took full advantage of that opportunity. It was glorious
Another lizard has taken residence in the garden. He is larger than Stumpy Larry. I’ve decided that he is called Barry Blue Tongue. I know that he is different as Stumpy Larry was around the corner. All this wild life is very exciting if somewhat immobile.
We had two people visit to give us quotes for a fitted wardrobe. We went through the same conversations with both of the sales people and they quoted us for basically the same thing. The quote from the harsh looking one that smelt of cigarette smoke was substantially higher that from the personable chatty one. This made the choice between the two much easier.
We felt we needed more flowers in the garden so we went to visit garden centres in order to become proud owners of yet more daisies, some herbs and some tomatoes.
We went to swim training tonight as we felt we should. The set involved a lot of kicking and that is not my favourite activity. This was followed by a lot of fast one hundred-meter efforts. This was made harder than it should be by the man in the white hat. He seemed to be doing something completely different. He was doing it a lot slower and he was wearing fins all the way through. He always seemed to be in the wrong place. I knew it was a problem when I was timing my swims so that I wouldn’t get held up by him. He didn’t endear himself to me when he said that the set was mainly “boring front crawl”. I don’t find front crawl boring.
We went to bed early, we were tired
The sea was very different this morning. The wind had made it a lot lumpier. Some people would consider the conditions challenging, others would view it as fun. In my view this was sea swimming. When the sea is calm I may as well be in a salt water pool. I waded in with a big grin on my face. It was great jumping through the waves. Right up to the time a wave ripped my goggles from my head. I tried to swim without the googles but it wasn’t happening. I headed to the beach. Luckily, one of the other swimmers had given up and let me borrow his goggles. I then spent a happy half an hour swimming up and down on the waves.
As usual we had breakfast with the swimmers in the club. There were more people today as we had a visit channel swimmer who just happened to be a member of the club. She was renowned for being late and today was no exception. We happily listened to tales from the English and Catalina Channel and the round Manhattan swim. It was all very entertaining and made me stronger in my resolve to never attempt the English Channel
We decided that we needed to visit the Oval to see the final of the local football league. The bus into town was free with the entry ticket. The problem with this is that everyone then uses the bus and the busses pass our stop as they are full. Eventually a bus stopped and picked us up but that wasn’t before a few people decided to drive into town.
We found some seats and settled down to a beer and some chips whilst people ran around on the pitch. I tried very hard to work out what was going on but in the end I just followed the mood of the crowd. Someone behind me kept yelling “BALL!” for some reason. The rest of the crowd didn’t agree. I was just clueless.
I had a meat pie at half time as I’m told it was traditional. It wasn’t a very good meat pie, but at least it was better that the sausage roll that Loved One had.
Although the winners never looked like they were going to lose the losers started to look like they were going to win. There was only one point in it by the end of the match. For once one side had not run away with the match.
Neither of us could be bothered to cook this evening and we had a half price voucher for the noodle house around the corner. It made having noodles for tea an easy decision.
After slowly entering the waking world we headed to the beach for a swim. The water was calm and it was slightly warmer than last week. This made the whole thing quite pleasant. The tide was on the turn so the current was running down the beach. This made the return journey a lot quicker.
We met up with the other swimmers over breakfast in the surf club. Someone tried to explain to me why the strength of the wind is much more important that the tide in determining the sea conditions. She explained it was something to do with being in a shallow gulf. I didn’t really understand it.
We went to see some friends to pick up a case of beer. This was the result of a conversation a month ago in which it transpired that their son worked in a brewery.
A storm front came in bringing with it high winds. We stood on the banks of the Murray and watched the waves splash against the bridges. A few people commented that they have rarely seen it this choppy
We had come to Murray Bridge to watch the Pedal Prix, a race for fared recumbent bicycles. We had expected that the race would have started by the time we got there but the track was eerily quiet. It didn’t take long to work out that the start had been delayed due to the high wind.
We ended up on a house boat, drinking tea, eating cake and talking to the chief scrutineer. That was a really interesting conversation. We went through some of the history of the event but mainly we covered the technical aspects of the bikes. I spent a happy time leafing through the technical specification manual.
The wind died down so that they could start the race. The organisers decided to reduce the length of the race to twenty hours. We watched on in awe as two hundred plus of these human powered vehicles lined up on the grid. There were all shapes and sizes made by different groups: schools, colleges and other groups. After a rendition of the national anthem from an opera singer the cars were set off on a parade lap. The next time we saw them they were released from behind the pace car and allowed to go full bore. The race was on.
We watched from near the start line for a while and then moved onto the last corner of the track. Things where a lot more exciting here. The gusting wind and driver inexperience combined to produce a lot of falling off the track moments. This was similar to Gran Prix, no one claims to want to see the cars crash but everyone enjoys a spectacular crash. The main error was taking the corner too wide and ending up on the grass, usually the wrong way up. The marshals in this area were kept very busy.
We had the remains of the curry for dinner when we got back. Since putting it in the fridge the spice fairy had visited and made it a lot warmer than either of us remembered.
I started the day slowly with my normal stretches. I was preparing myself for a todays cycle ride. I was a little disappointed that the increase cycling had had no discernible effect on my weight.
I’d done the first part of the ride before. I took the riverside path down to the coast. This time I tried to stay on the other side of the river to my recent trips. I’m sure that it was because I now knew the way I got to the sea a lot faster than last time. Last time I turned left, this time I turned right and followed the cycle path along the coast. The sea looked very inviting but I didn’t have my swimming stuff with me. It took me a while to realise that Jetty Road was where the jetty was but once I found it I was happy. The next part of the journey was to follow the bike path back to the city. I’d looked it up the evening before and knew that it basically followed the tram way. In theory, it would be very hard to get lost
Things went well until the path split. Both signs suggested that the path would go to the city so I took the right hand one. I felt safe in the knowledge that it didn’t matter as both went to the city. I was quite surprised when I returned back to the point where the route split. I have no idea how that happened. I took the left-hand path and that was more successful.
I got to the corner of the parklands. I thought that Loved One worked just up the road and the idea of popping in for a glass of water seemed a good one. I cycled up the road watching the numbers slowly rise. There was no sign of the black building. The numbers got too high. I had to admit that I was a little lost. I suddenly had the feeling I was on the wrong side of the city. Luckily, I got to the corner and recognised the road name. This time the black building was in the right place and I was rewarded with a glass of water.
I visited the criterium track that was just up the road, it was the place that I’d seen the pedal prix cars a few weeks ago. I did a few loops before succumbing to the lure of a blueberry muffin at the café. It was a lovely café with a bike theme. I was told that it was owned by an ex professional cyclist but he wasn’t there.
I decided to drop in on Loved Ones Mother to make up for yesterday’s failure. This time she was in. She recognised my need for a cup of tea but I had to sit on a towel to make sure that I didn’t stain the sofa
Tonight was the football semi-final. We had tried to get tickets, just like the rest of the city. We failed, so we decided that it would be better to see the game on a big screen, in a pub, with a beer or two. The home side never looked like they were going to lose and in the end, ran away with the win. This made the whole evening very satisfying.
Yet again, neither of us were too keen on getting out of bed. The radio was on for quite a while before I reluctantly got out of bed to make a cup of tea. Loved One was asleep when I returned.
After my 25-minute stretching routine, I went for my twelve-minute run/walk and then followed that with an eight-minute stretching routine. When I go for a run I actually run for 8 minutes, walk for 4 minutes and stretch for just over 30 minutes. I don’t go running, I go stretching. I wouldn’t mind this if my achilles didn’t hurt whilst I was running.
Loved One suggested that I might like to pop round to her mother’s today. This seemed like a a good excuse to go out for a ride. Getting there was relatively straight forward, I’ve been this way before. I stood on the doorstep and knocked on the door; I waited; I knocked again; I waited. I rang the bell; I waited; I got the key out of the box and opened the door; I yelled hello; I waited; I yelled again; I waited. There was no way that I was going uninvited into the house. I locked the door and cycled round the block. I thought that she might have been on the loo. I came back and repeated the whole performance. There was still no response. I stood there and wondered what to do. I decided politeness wins and went on my way.
Started heading home and then wondered if I could find the swimming pool. I had a rough idea of where it was and where I was. I tried guessing the route between to two. It seemed to take a very long time to get there. This was due to my sense of direction failing whilst trying to navigate a grid system with very few points of reference. It took me about thirty minutes to do a journey that should have taken ten. At least I now have a better knowledge of that area of the city.
I cooked a Thai Red Curry for dinner tonight. All the spices where contained in a packet in a box. The box claimed four easy steps. I did it in 5 steps as I prefer to brown off the meat before adding it to the spices. I’m a little wary of undercooked meat. I’ve had food poisoning before and I really don’t want it again. It was a very unpleasant few days. The curry tasted good. There was enough for another serving so I will be tasting it again.
I was tired this evening. I sat in front of the television and slowly fell asleep. I was in bed very early.
Loved One made a cup of tea this morning and then came back to bed. Normally I would drink the tea and be in my morning semi stupor. This morning however I just fell asleep. I woke up again when the radio turned its self off. The problem was that Loved One fell asleep as well. We now had two problems. Firstly, Loved One was meant to be leaving for work right now and secondly, I was meant to be driving. The next fifteen minutes were a little frantic.
I returned to the house for stretches, breakfast and a little more of my morning stupor. I sat on the sofa and fast-forwarded time a little. Time was getting on and I felt I should do something that didn’t involve having my eyes closed.
I’ve been meaning to cycle down to the coast via the riverside path and I felt that today was the day. I’d done the section down to the city a few days before so I was happy with that part of the route. Everything beyond there would be new. I got to the corner of massive reconstruction that marked the limit of my recent exploration. I took the option of pushing my bike across the pedestrian crossing and was looked down upon by a road biker. On the other side of the road, just past the grave yard there were even more road works that blocked the path. I needed to navigate back and get on the lovely car free paths where I was the fastest thing in all directions. Once beyond the city the route became a lot more pleasant. By the time I saw the pelicans I knew that I was near the end of the trail. My plan had been to have a cup of hot chocolate by the sea side but once I got there I realised that drinking hot chocolate by myself is a little dull. I stopped briefly to look at the sea before turning around and heading home.
Loved One rang in the middle of the afternoon, she didn’t feel like going to swim training tonight. I wasn’t opposed to the idea of not training either. The cycle ride had taken more out of me than I expected.
There was some snapper in the freezer that needed to be used so we paired in with some stir fried vegetables and spinach to make a lovely dinner. We spent the rest of the evening watching rubbish television and avoiding doing trivial things.
I woke up and found that I was still a deaf in one ear. There was no pain but It was annoying. At least I didn’t smell of garlic
Stumpy was still in the same place but he was alive. I found this by stocking his back. He looked at me and hissed. I made him a little warm next to rest in. I assume that lizards need to be warm.
After completing my new extended stretching session, I went on my usual 12-minute run. I reached the bridge this time and managed to go further than I ever have before. I’m not sure that this slight increase in speed is a good thing.
I got a little disheartened looking for jobs. All of the “suggestions” were for things that required a lot of work to apply and were worded such that it looked like they had one person in mind. This was particularly prominent in the adverts from the universities, all was fine until I encountered the words “active post-graduate interests”. They lurked in the small print.
Things needed to be done in the garden and they were more interesting than things I was doing on the computer. I started with preparing a flower bed and planting some daisies. It was very satisfying to see the daisies actually sitting in the bed rather than being randomly moved around the garden. Once that was done I decided that the irrigation system needed testing. Loved One had mentioned that it wasn’t working properly. I spent the next half an hour getting very wet whilst cleaning out nozzles and replacing broken parts. I felt that the was a job well done. I celebrated with a cup of tea.
It was Loved Ones Chatty Friend’s birthday today so we took her out to a Lebanese restaurant in town. We had a selection of Lebanese street food whilst being bombarded by the stream of consciousness that issued from Chatty Friend. It was massively exhausting, by the end of the evening I felt I’d done twelve rounds with a heavyweight in the ring.
I needed sofa time before going to bed. I sat there and mindlessly watched television until it was far too late.
I still smell of garlic. I have no idea how to get rid of the smell, this is getting really annoying now.
We needed food so we spent the morning doing the dull but necessary shopping so that we can be fully nourished for another week.
Stumpy had returned to the garden this morning, he must spend the weekends at his weekend garden.
Loved One wants a fitted wardrobe in the bedroom so that I have a home for my belongings when they finally arrive. We visited a couple of places to look at a variety of doors and ask for people to come around and measure up. It looks like I will have a busy Monday next week.
I visited a physio today to get some advice about my continuing problems with my achilles tendon. It started with the usual telling of the story of interventions to make everything better. We then talked about stretches. We came to the conclusion that I had to increase the time I held a stretch, do my heel raises first, add an extra stretch and do the set of stretches twice a day. We then went onto a deep tissue massage. I was told it might hurt a bit but I felt nothing as I fell asleep. Finally, there was some dry needling. I may have mentioned before how much I hate the thought of needles being stuck into me. Nothing had changed. At least the physio didn’t say “you’ll feel a small prick”.
We had a late lunch at a café around the corner. I had a curried beef pie and Loved One had an egg flan and mushroom thing. We sat in the window seat and watched the sea. It was very splashy today. The wind was driving the waves onto the shore. I was very tempted to go for a swim. If it wasn’t for the fact that my leg felt that it had been kicked by a horse after the physio and more importantly that I didn’t have my towel and trunks with me I may have had a dip
We went for a training session with the masters swimming club this evening. There were a lot of strokes that I couldn’t do in the session so I had to apply a few modifications. Even so if was quite fun to be doing a structured session again. The coach noted that I wasn’t pushing back as far as I could. This is something that every coach notices.
Even though I was wearing ear plugs I managed to get water in my ear. I think it was when I took the ear plug out to listen to what the coach was telling me. I hoped that the water would empty out soon. It didn’t.
Stumpy was still in the garden, even though it was raining. Loved one was worried that he was ill. We put some rags over him to keep him warm.
The second thing that Loved One said to me this morning was “you still smell of garlic”. I was starting to get a little paranoid about the smell of garlic. I cleaned my teeth extremely carefully and thoroughly in the hope of diminishing the smell.
The sea was a lot flatter this morning and I could almost see to the tips of my fingers. The sun was out as well. That made the cold water a lot more tolerable. It was a lovely swim; the current was running up the beach which made going up a lot faster than the return. There were no sea monsters today
Over breakfast we were regaled with tales of petty misdemeanours and evading the law in the style of Hollywood films. It was all very amusing and most unbecoming of the person telling the tales.
The weather was spectacular this afternoon and we took any excuse to get into the garden. We started in the right-hand bed. The intention was to sieve the soil to get rid of the weed roots. It became quickly apparent that the sieve I’d bought during the week was a little too fine. We had to make a trip to the garden centre
From my point of view the bin was far too close to the curb. From Loved Ones point of view, I was too close to the bin. The end result was the bin being knocked over and a cracked wing mirror cover. It was loved one’s car. I felt very bad about that. Very, very bad.
We couldn’t find a courser sieve so we bought some chicken wire instead so that we could make our own. Using a few bits of wood, some staples and a couple of bits of wood we had something that did the job. After a few hours of work, we had a lovely bed of finely tilled, weed free soil. It was all very satisfying.
Dinner was a lamb chop with yesterday’s left overs vegetables. It was really good after a very satisfying day.
The second thing that Loved One said to me this morning was “you smell of garlic”. I made a mental not of only to eat garlic squid if Loved One does.
The sea was a little bit splashy this morning. The recent rains had dropped a lot of sediment into the sea as well so visibility in the water was limited. I couldn’t see my elbow when my arm was extended. Swimming up against the waves was fun. This is what differentiates sea swimming from pool swimming. We turned around and headed back to the jetty. Out to my right some seagulls were swooping onto the sea. It was nice to watch but it didn’t me much to me. A hundred meters further on I felt something brush against my foot. It could have been seaweed, it could have been my imagination or it could have been a multitoothed and hideous sea monster. Whatever it was I swam a bit faster towards the jetty.
We got to the jetty and bobbed around waiting for the others to finish. I saw a fin just the other side of the jetty, it was grey so I was not too worried. A few seconds later it was just a few meters away gracefully arching into the sea.
We went to the surf club for breakfast, I went for the bacon and egg roll as I have no imagination and Loved One had the stack of pancakes. I reminded myself that I wasn’t too fond of maple syrup. The faster swimmers at the table told us that they had watched the dolphin follow us up the beach and back again.
We had things to do in the afternoon but we had to ignore them and make some visits instead
We made a small roast for dinner, we made far too much, there was a lot left over. The left overs went in the fridge, we would be having those tomorrow