Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zen and the art of ignoring jellyfish

RACE REPORT: Big Bay Swim (Port Melbourne - Williamstown 3.2km).
Let me make this quite clear. I. HATE. JELLYFISH. Jellyfish the size of my thigh (you've seen the photos. Not. Small). Large, yucky, sting-y BASTARD JELLYFISH. Eeeeeeewwwwwwwww. And owwwwwwwwww. And "F#$% the f%#$ off you motherf#$%ing f#$%bastard f#$%s!" and *high pitched girly fright voice* "get away get away ew ew ew".
But the thing is, swimming is such a meditative, repetitive, mindlessly soothing activity for me that it only took a few strokes after each HORRID INCIDENT to get back into my groove. I did think at one point (after the third sting), well LBTEPA, you can either get out now, or you can keep swimming with the BJF, which are hurting you a bit but are not affecting your swimming or making you panic. There was no excuse to give up. Bugger.
BTW stings on your face hurt more than stings on your arms. They fade in hours.
Now that's enough out-of-order faffing on.
- got to the beach and was horrified to discover a stiff onshore southerly creating a sizeable chop
- didn't whine, throw up or rush to DNS (as 6 people did, ha!)
- water was warm, yay!
- remembered vaseline to prevent chafing, yay!
- remembered to anti-fog my goggles, yay! FYI: rub a bit of dishwashing liquid into the inside of your goggles. Let it dry. Rub it off. Voila!
- chop was tiresome, but not beyond my capabilites
- only went off-course once, in the section with the 3-foot swell so I couldn't see the bouys!
- my sighting was magnificent, especially compared to the bloke who crossed my path - that is, swam on a path perpendicular to mine - on more than 5 occasions in the last km, hotly pursued by the lifesavers calling, "mate, maate, go that way!" He was either extremely short-sighted, very very tired or totally shite at sighting (I'm punting on C).
- "The Elephant Wobbles from Side to Side" is both soothing and annoying as an earworm. If you know that song you will realise the slowness of my stroke cadence LOL.
- reeled in a swimmer over the last 300m, thereby moving to 140th/155. Yay!
- detected no evidence of sharks whatsoever at any time.
- the t-shirt was nice and the right size.
- vinegar helps with stings.
- my sherpas, the Spousal Unit and Noddie, are the BEST!!
- it IS possible to fall asleep sitting on a trolley next to the playground at Bunnings
- if you've swum a big event in the morning, you can't get away with bleating "but I have a cold" in the afternoon. And a mere couple of sherbets make you all giggly!
- the bravest thing I did was to not DNS when I felt sick with fear. Once I started, there was nothing to do but keep going. It was quite fun in an exhilarating, BJF way.

Time: 1.05.15. Rating: Thrilled.

More anon, adventurers

Friday, February 23, 2007


(as in 'coming down with a...')
If you like, you can click here and see what I did on my holidays (you can slow it down by moving the slider).

Now I have a terrible cold, a mountain of articles to read, an extra kilo and 3.2 km to swim across Port Philip Bay on Sunday morning. My strategy (you knew I'd have one) is to Not Think About It, and hope for a still day.

I can't think about it - it makes me feel a bit sick about how hard it will be with this stupid cold. I think it would be a cop-out to not swim, because I'll pretty certainly finish. It will just be *insert whiny tone* haaaaaaaard. Do I only like difficult things after I've finished them (and can show off about them)? I dunno. Sigh. Ocean swimming isn't like running - there are no conversations, no landmarks, no spectators. It's just me, the water and my whingeing sooky la-la self (who is clearly writing this post). Probably my major task on Sunday will be telling my WSLL self to shut the f#$% up and keep swimming!

If the Spousal Unit was here, he would point out that I do this terror-stricken bleat thing every single time I face a challenge - and then I usually enjoy myself! And I always reply, no, this time it's different.....this is REALLY hard....
So repeat after me:
I love swimming in the ocean.
I won't drown.
I won't be eaten by a shark.
If I DNF the sky won't fall.
It will only take a bit more than an hour.
I've paid for it so I'm bloody doing it.

I think I'll go and dry my dishes with my Vanuatu tea towel now, and maybe look at my newly-tidy bookshelves, or the pinboard where I've hung all my necklaces - now I can see them, I might even wear them! Small things make us happy, my friends....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Yesterday we travelled on a bus (to the ferry), two ferries - to the island for a last swim, and back - another bus to the airport, a plane, a train (to the domestic terminal), another plane and a taxi home. We learned that if your child bolts through passport control you can go and get her if a guard goes with you. It was our 7th wedding anniversary and we both had a great day. I am very fortunate to have the Spousal Unit as my husband. He is very lucky too of course!!

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BTW Vanuatu was WONDERFUL and you must all go there as soon as possible.
More anon, globetrotters :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Brilliant :)

It was all brilliant :)
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My family and friends make me the luckiest girl in the world.
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See you when we get back :)
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Friday, February 09, 2007

Flat out like a lizard drinking*

I have a bit to do today
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as we are having a little party tonight so Noddie can help blow out the candles. She is having a sleepover at Nanny's tomorrow, woo hoo!
When we get back on Sunday I will try and post all the fascinating details of the surfing-and-party etc, for which you will naturally be agog, but since we have to be at the airport at 04.00 on Monday (aarrgghh) I may not get a chance, especially if I am still a bit, um, delicate (not unlikely).

More anon, adventurers!

*moving extremely fast; very busy

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

In a last-minute burst of enthusiasm I have decided to do the Sunset Series Zoo Run tonight. Running through the zoo at twilight is great fun! Even better, I will be catching up with a long-time-no-see coolrunning friend who is coming back from injury, which may slow her to somewhere near my pace LOL.

I am offically getting Over Excited about the BWSNBN* weekend, especially since this t-shirt arrived yesterday from the US. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I saw it on Anita's blog and Had To Have One. (BTW Huge kudos to Threadless for uber-swift service ). It is to be worn at all times, except when I am in my new dress *squeals and does girly hand-flap*

Holiday-related Over-Excitedness is also reaching critical levels, but I will spare you. For the moment....(mwahahahahaha)
More anon, zoo dudes! Roarrrrr!

*UPDATE: Zoo run was BRILLIANT - many friends to chat to and run with - thanks SlowJo :) Watch time 54.14. Happy with that.

*Birthday Which Shall Not Be Named. Do try and keep up.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Thoughts on the F-word #3

I know there were only going to be two posts on this, but gosh my BWSNBN neuroses are just sooooooooooo interesting I can’t stop myself......
A quick countdown – sleeps to go until
- BWSNBN (surfing lesson and birthday dinner) = 5
- we leave for Vanuatu (possibly still tragically hungover) = 7
- bags must be packed and house cleaned (see above) = 4
- Port Melbourne to Williamstown swim = 21. An idea: do some training. Hmmmm.

The most important thing I have learned since I was 30 (apart from how to apply red nail polish without looking as though I've just ripped someone's heart out) is that I accept and value myself the way I am. Greedy, prickly, opinionated, competitive and tactless, and funny, smart, passionate, determined, and adventurous. Accepting all these traits as just there, neither good nor bad, means I can work on ways to prevent the less adaptive ones from hampering my life. I rarely do self-destructive any more. I don’t play emotional games. I can pick my battles and stick to my guns when I believe that my cause is right. I pretty much like myself, and I finally realise that I am good enough. What a relief (mind you, sometimes none of the above applies, like when I drink too much, gain 2kg in a day, miss training, and Noddie runs away in the supermarket causing me to abandon a full trolley). But it’s mostly true.
It’s just that forty sounds so ollllddddd.....
but still…..(sings) any day above ground is a good day.... Maybe I’ll just be 41 for two years, it has a much perkier ring to it :)

I had a wonderful bike ride yesterday, out to a small town about 30km from our place. I know it’s the drought, but I do love the colours and smells of the paddocks at this time of year. My hydration/nutrition strategy worked perfectly - water whenever, Gatorade every 20 minutes, a muesli bar after an hour, and a picnic lunch at the end with the Spousal Unit and Noddie, who drove out to give me a lift home, bless them. My chain came off about 6 times (grrrrrr) - BUT when I got home I found the manual and fixed the problem All By Myself :) Life IS all about small triumphs.

Now I promise there will be no more faffing on about unmentionable subjects! Really.
More anon, keensters!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thoughts on the F-word #2

So.....I wrote all this maundering navel-gazing shite about how I’ve changed since I was 30, have become a better person (most of the time) and like myself a lot more and really feel "good enough" now etc etc bla bla bla
Then my computer ate it. This was obviously the universe telling me to stop being such a half-back flanker, time to let it go now....
So give thanks to the five elephants holding up the world that you are spared more faux-ironic pretending-not-to-be-wallowing-in-self-pity-but-actually-seeking-"it's ok you're not really so old "-type-sympathy rabbiting on.
Then I realised that life is not complete without something making me feel faintly ill with trepidation, so I am doing this swim on Feb 25th.
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I will do pretty much anything for fish and chips LOL.

Has there been nothing but tilting at windmills and lamenting lost youth at chez LBTEPA? Not at all!
I have a VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL WOMEN who wish that a personal stylist would just bring them clothes that look good so that they, that is, we, if you follow me, don't have to go shopping and feel confused and sad about spending money on something that looks awful, or at least not as good as we'd hoped.(Short pause while LBTEPA is dragged away by the grammar police for a beating)
Since I read Trinny and Susannah’s book What You Wear Can Change Your Life and worked out what colours and shapes actually suit me I have thrown out a third of my clothes and bought about three tops and suddenly everything goes together! I have had compliments from the fashion mavens at work, as well as from people who actually like me! It's the best fun I've had for ages! The Spousal Unit is also extremely pleased *wink*
More anon, fashionistas!