Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Old Year!

Hi there sports fans! How the heck art thou? Have you been keeping well? Did Santa do the right thing? We here at Chateau LBTEPA have had a splendid Christmas, thanks very much *beams* Definitely one of the best.
We had our traditional Christmas eve fish and chip picnic, on the living room floor becuase it was bucketing down outside, then watched theMuppet Christmas Carol movie. Noddie slept in until 7.30am, God bless her, so we were woken to the strains of "oh, wow! Mummy! Daddy! Look what Santa brought me!" The good Saint somehow knew her shoe size and tastes; to my knowledge she hasn't taken off her sequinned slippers except to go to bed. After church my brother came over and we went to the park for a not-very-grand-but scrumptious lunch of barbecued tiger prawns and warm roast pork and caramelised veges spread on crusty rolls.
Brother had to go to work becuase the big sweety had swapped his morning shift with a divorced colleague so he (the colleague) could see his kids). We each - Noddie under the strongest possible protest - had a nanna nap before my other brothers and sisters and the inlaws arrived for dinner. Everyone brought something so I just provided dessert (Christmas pudding and white christmas, mmmm instant hyperglycaemia) and a festive tree for the annual present madness. We were sad that my dad wasn't well enough to travel so we were missing him and Mum, but it was lovely to see my aunt and uncle who haven't joined us for the last couple of years. We talked and laughed and ate and opened presents and ate and laughed some more.
I wasn't going to mention my present from Noddie here, but I thought it might make Emma laugh. Father Christmas was also good enough to bring me a very good quality print of one of my favourite paintings. I'll get it framed for my birthday in February.
Apart from that
- I'm unemployed! I finished up at work on Christmas Eve. I felt really sad about leaving and on and off still do. There was no card, no cake, no nothing , way to value your staff, eh? - but I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to connect with those thousands of callers, and of course for my massively skilled, funny and compassionate colleagues.
- I'm sleeping like a brick for at least an hour each afternoon and then perfectly well at night! If this keeps up I'm getting my iron and thyroid tested, this is ridiculous.
- I'm really really disappointed to not be racing the Olympic distance tri I hoped to do in two weeks. Three or four forty minute training sessions a week for the last couple of months won't cut it, and we may be moving house around that time as well. We hope. Don't ask.
- As the magnificent Kathryn pointed out, that b#$%* the Motivation Fairy never ever shows up when you need her, i.e. after an extended scoff-fest and exercise layoff. YOU have to do it yourself, damnit. YOU have to say, well, I've put the demands of family ahead of my health and exercise needs for a few weeks, and that was the right thing to do. But now I need to climb Mt Too Busy, Mt Too Hard and Mt I've Got So Lardy This Feels Yucky and fly the twin banners I Can and I Will.
- We gave J a GPS for his birthday yesterday. He loves it.
- I got home all sticky and sweaty and grinning like an idiot from my run today that I just took the time for even though there were 10000 things I could have been doing, and it wasn't just because our friends were forcing, er, helping the Spousal Unit to clean up the back yard and fix the gutters.
- I'm going into the city tomorrow for breakfast with Debi! Social anxiety be damned (I've already planned what to wear) - I love meeting blog friends! And it'll be a beautiful hot day.
- Do you make resolutions? Do you have any goals for 2010? I have some in mind but am a bit scared of the Failure Monster.
More anon, revellers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ding dong merrily on high

I love Christmas. It's a bit mental this year what with the Spousal Unit being away during the week and having to move 300km in a week or so - probably why I completely forgot two lots of interstate guests, good thing I haven't put the spare room bed on the nature strip yet, eh? - but Good King Wenceslas didn't whinge about chilblains and Caspar, Balthazar and Melchior weren't grizzling about camel chafing! Joy to the world, my lovelies!
I was getting a bit overwhelmed by it all but then my Tiresome Cheery Friend popped by to share some holiday bonhomie, and I decided to just enjoy it all. Key word: DECIDED. As I say to Noddie all the time (poor child), you decide what you think about things. You decide whether you see all the good things around you or only the bad stuff. YOU DECIDE.
So I am having a splendid time going through my cupboards, chucking stuff out, ok ok mostly J's stuff and putting things in boxes. Tonight I'll be thoroughly enjoying myself packing the quite startling number of ornaments in my house, recalling all the stories attached to each object - oh, and watching Hogfather and eating mince pies! I have to make my Christmas pudding too - I was going to use my usual recipe but I've packed my cookbooks, oops.
You know how sometimes your brain turns on you and tries to convince you that since you've put on a bit of weight lately you're so utterly lazy/hopeless/completely lacking in any sort of /charm/moral fibre/personal worth that you'd best eschew the glam frock and shroud yourself in baggy dowdy black? Oh, you don't? Well anyway, that was where I was on Friday night -almost hyperventilating with anxiety about what to wear to my work party (flash CBD bar) and CR bash (Y&Js). I had to channel my wonderful friend Mary Sunshine who wears whatever she jolly well pleases and always looks AWESOME. I took a few deep breaths and prepared to pretend to be my fabulous self. I didn't have to fake it for long - I had a brilliant time at both parties in my short blue dress and heels and caught the last train home. What a high-stepper! I was a bit sad when I thought someone had stolen my sunglasses at the CR party, but my friend found them! Another win!
Next morning J and I did a power shop (all Noddie's presents in 45 minutes) then had a family outing into the city. J hadn't been to the Hari Krsna restaurant so Noddie and I took him there for lunch and then a trip up the Eureka Tower, which was really fun. On our way we came across the AC/DC exhibition at the Arts Centre. Three words: Too Much Fun! More words: Go And See It! Oh my but I was weary after all that and my large Friday night, so it was nap time for LBTEPA before we trotted off to friends' for dinner. Let's just say it wasn't Noddie who fell asleep on the way home.
Sunday was another lovely day; Sunday school in the morning so Noddie could get her prize, then friends over for dinner before the church carol service. I love singing carols - it's like breathing joy! And I've been practicing in the car on the way to work so I could do all the high parts, such fun! Noel! Noel! Born is the King of Israel!
In health and exercise news.... ummmmmmm........I'm working out almost every day but feeling aimless without a specific race goal. Snacking like the offspring of a pacman and a combine harvester isn't helping either. I'm feeling uncomfrotable and bloated and cross with myself. The time has come, people, to Reverse The Slide.
My interim goal weight is 75kg. Now the Plan Is This. I nicked it from the mighty Duane, who is living by the credo WWAID? - What Would An Ironman Do? My Plan is WWASKPD? What Would A Seventy-Five Kg Person Do? She'd eat toast at home for breakfast rather than getting a coffee scroll on the way, and would eat her homemade soup for lunch instead of a focaccia. She'd exercise daily and drink a lot of water. She'd enjoy Christmas food and drink, but in moderation. As shall I!
Now, all I have to do in the next couple of days is finish up at work, make the pudding and Christmas biscuits with Noddie, buy the Spousal Unit's present and wrap the last two left undone, and do the bare minimum of housework to render the place habitable when the rellies roll in on Christmas afternoon. We'll start the day with NODDIE'S PRESENTS FROM SANTA (don't think she doesn't know how many sleeps there are to go), then church, an elaborate picnic, including a mountain of prawns mmmmmmmm in the park with my brother and finally the family talk-, eat- and present-fest.
And you? How do you celebrate? Do tell!
Have yourselves a merry little Christmas, my friends.
Peace on earth and goodwill to men.

Monday, December 14, 2009

As simple as that

*waves at new commenter* you are SO RIGHT - swimming in the sea IS bliss. Cold, salty, rough, tiring BLISS.
I hadn't been looking forward to the Brighton swim because I've done perhaps 8km in training since April. Also it had got mixed up in the feeling-sorry-for-myself miasma through which I have lately been stumbling. You know the drill... I've put on heaps of weight and lost all my fitness since the marathon, I'm not racing triathlon this summer, poor me AND I feel like a blob. Silly! Silly! I know! I know!
From that pity-party I segued to a cunningly disguised bit of FIGJAM, a la "well I don't really feel like it, but since I can do it and I know lots of people who'd love to be able to do it, I should do it, it's almost my duty!" Can anyone say watch out LBTEPA, you'll put your back out carrying around all that EGO?
Luckily I must have tripped over it and fallen back through the wormhole to reality at some stage. What was really happening ? I got to swim the Brighton 4km, that's what! I love that swim! I look forward to it for weeks, training or no training. Simple as that!
I didn't sleep well on Friday night, the old wake-up-every-hour-so-as-not-to-miss-the-alarm thing, but in the morning I felt happy and excited. Sleep schmeep. My bag was packed, my nails were red, and the swim didn't start until 9am so I didn't have to leave until 7. Too good!
The swim course at Brighton is a bit tricky. The beach runs north/south. You head out diagonally from the start to the first marker buoy, then turn left (north). This is the shoreward side of a long narrow rectangle, which you do twice before swimming back in. The weather at Brighton is always rubbish. The last two years it's been windy and pouring rain - which actually flattens out the swell a bit, and it's a beautiful feeling floating in a white world of rain and sky. This year we were handed a six-to-eight-foot swell and a strong southerly current. It was mad! I was literally swimming diagonally the whole time just to stay on course. The swell was so high I had to wait until I was carried to the top to see the next buoy, or even my horizon marker, and in the time it took to sight I'd be carried off course again. I was constantly correcting - riiiiide to the top, check, veer back, do it again. The waves just rolled and rolled and rolled, uuuuuuuuuuup and doooown, uuuuuuuuup and dowwwwwn. Depending on the direction you were swimming it felt as though you were falling or swimming uphill. People were vomiting and DNFing from motion sickness.
Chugging along at the back, of course, I was oblivious and having THE BEST TIME EVER. It was glorious. I got pretty tired pretty early (see "amount of training since April") but that was a blessing in a way becuase once it was clear that There Would Be No Speed, I just melted into a rhythm that I could keep going forever. Life became the water and my thoughts. My mantras. Catch, catch, (reminding me to concentrate on the front of my stroke) touch, touch (= touch my thumb on my thigh, reminding me to keep my stroke long), kick, kick....up and down and on and on.
At the 2km mark I sucked down the gel I'd stashed in my wetsuit leg. Mine is knee-length so no contortions were required - but may I say, even vanilla gel + seawater = major bleh! The wind was picking up and so were the waves. It became more difficult to stay on course. The most important thing was not to fight the water. Just roll with it, slide off it, let it do its thing, and keep correcting.
I was so happy out there, just swimming. That was what life was all about. At one stage the sun came out and the water glittered like diamonds. It was so beautiful my eyes filled with tears. I found myself murmuring, thank you, God, that I should have such a life and get to do these things. It felt as though I was floating in infinity, just me and the waves and the glittering sunlight.
I almost didn't want to go in - but only partly becuase then my favourite swim would be over. There was also the absolute bitch of a southerly side-sweep to contend with. I felt as though I was inching toward my sight markers; first the lifesaving club roof, then the bathing boxes. They were pretty but I could have cared less. Finally I could see the finish banner. The current kept trying to pull me away from it but I kept on reaching and rolling and catching and kicking until my hand touched the sand. Done.
As simple as that.
More anon, blessing-counters!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I get to swim 4km in the sea this morning :)
I CANNOT TELL YOU how much I have been looking forward to this.
Training schmaining, prepared schmepared. I won't swim my best time, but I'll HAVE the BEST TIME.
*grins like an idiot*
In other news, things - house settlement, moving plans/progress, J's work, end-of-year school/church stuff - are just MENTAL. But in a good way.
More anon, aquanauts

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday thirteen (shamelessly swiped from Iron Misty)

1.What do I want for Christmas? Normally when the spousal Unit says why don't you get yourself something? I snarl put in some b**** effort (or words to that effect), but this year he's so very overwhelmed by the new job, not to mention being 300km away, that I have relented and actually made the offer to be my own Santa. But I can't think of anything! I'm attracted to this, as I hear it's very dark in the country, but I dunno...maybe something frivolous? Help!
2. I want to run another marathon next year. There, I've said it. Alas, however, my sacroiliac joint didn't take all that kindly to the last one - although we've reached an understanding of sorts, I might not have it rehabbed in time to build up for the run I want to do in April (and that's if it's actually on). Ever the optimist, my Plan (of course I have one) is to press gamely on with the standing-on-one-leg/rubber band thing and hope for the best.
3. Chips are evil. Especially when J is stress-eating.
4. Noddie's dance concert was last night. It was wonderful and adorable and now I want to learn to tap dance.
5. This Friday night everything in our house that stays still long enough will be covered in tinsel. It's going to be pretty and sparkly and Christmassy to look at instead of the messy half-packed disorganisation that is starting to mess with my head.
6. A bloke at my work, who is about my age, was really surprised that I recognised his Dead Kennedys t-shirt. I clearly need a de-frumping makeover. Why don't I look as though I have an interesting life? Or maybe surprising people is good?......I dunno
7. I really really do need to stop eating. It won't pack anything.
8. The reason all my Christmas presents are bought, wrapped and labelled already is not because I'm organised. It's because I'll do pretty much anything to avoid shopping in December. I forgot I was doing prayers at church last week (see? Not organised); while I was winging it in the pulpit I believe something resembling the phrase "if I'm bad in this life, I'll end up somewhere like Northland when I die" may have passed my lips.
9. I'm going to write our Christmas letter tonight, always good fun. S0 many exciting things have happened this year!
10. I FOUND MY ADDRESS BOOK!! It's been missing for weeks! It was in the passenger side door pocket of my car - I hardly ever sit there so it didn't occur to me to look. Yay!
11. Stupid vendors' stupid solicitor is taking FOREVER to get the stupid paperwork for the stupid new house organised, so it looks as though settlement won't be until FOREVER. Thank goodness for mince pies
12. I have a job interview for J's new shop next Monday. DON'T LAUGH. I'll be driving up and back (700km round trip) for the group interview. Nervous? Moi? Why can't they just give me the job? Whatever happened to nepotism?
13. If you don't like Christmas carols, don't get into my car. Ding dong merrily on high, people!

More anon, mince pie fans...........mmmmmmm.........mince pies..........