Canberra Day 69

[Saturday November 19th] A hot dry day with cool to warm morning for riding

I’ve had two early mornings in a row after late nights, like 5am wide awake after midnight bedtimes, so it’s time to be alert but not alarmed as needing less sleep can be the first sign of a “high” or manic episode coming on. It’s nice to have a little more energy though, get a bit more done, drag my feet less, enjoy life that bit more; hopefully it’s just a PMS thing, cos that can happen, or just an oddity. So at 8am, after going back to sleep for a bit, I decided hubby’s suggestion of a morning bike ride was actually a good one. Usually I’m not with it enough to get up until hubby is nearly or actually back home from his ride, so I don’t really get to thinking about what to do while he’s out. But seize the day! Let’s change that up. So off I go exploring, finding my way down to Lake Burley Griffin via some lovely back streets, then around the middle and wetlands loop and a bit of the hilly loop to get there. You never know what you might find in the backstreets; check out the awesome bird street art. I have to say I felt a bit disorientated riding around the lake! It was 8.30am, but what with the second sleep earlier and people’s activities I felt like it was at least lunchtime. I mean who picnics on the edge of the lake at 8.30am in the morning? Who races dragon boats and attends a full boating carnival at 8.30am in the morning? What’s with people, do they hate sleeping in on the weekend? I can understand the people bird watching maybe, because I dropped off at the Jerrabomberra wetlands for a quick peek at the bird hide where a group of elderly were yapping at the top of their voices!! Hello, its a bird hide! Silence is required at all times otherwise what bird in its right mind is going to come close so that we get great views? I asked them to be quiet, one lady paid attention. I asked again and one oldie told me I could come back later! I told him it wasn’t for my convenience, it was the rule of bird hides; they left not long after. It stuck in my craw though!! I also stopped off at the site where they built trenches for soldiers to train in; that was pretty fascinating. Anyway, it was just incredible to see the masses of walkers, joggers, dogs, cyclists all out and about so early. Then home to hang out with hubby. We were planning on going out together but I was fading after all that exercise and emotion, so off for a nap and hubby put his feet up on the couch to chill out for a while.

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If I could design my own wall, I don’t think I could have chosen better!

Our plan was to go to Sparrow hill in Kowen Park which is out off the Bungendore Road past Queanbeyan. It’s a dead end road that I think is a leftover from when they built the current road, and its beautiful with gorgeous green English trees mixed in with the eucalypts and otherwise sandy, rocky, dry bush. They’ve built 40 kilometres of mountain bike paths with linking trails and man alive, are they well used on the weekend compared to when I dropped by the other week! There was a single other car there that day and today I can easily count 20 without hesitating! As the afternoon wore on more and more cars with picnics and bikes and rugs and crates of stuff arrived…turns out there was a juniors 3 hour mountain bike enduro race so all the families were piling in for a nice night in the bush from 4 to 7pm. Meanwhile I wasn’t enjoying the 30 degree heat (yep I know its not that hot but I was dripping!) so I wasn’t budging far at all, and sticking to the shade (which gum trees aren’t really great for), and basically doing as little as possible while trying to watch for birds as much as possible. I didn’t get a great long list, but I was well entertained by a family of Rufous Whistlers that were chasing each other all around me, and challenging me to grab whatever photos I could as they fleetingly touched down then flitted off again to harass each other. Half at least of the satisfaction of bird photography is grabbing a decent photo despite the best efforts of the birds being flighty, the situation (directly over head into the blazing sun!), the weather (overcast, raining), and whatever else comes up (low battery, full memory card, dust on the lens, la di la di la)! Getting home and seeing that the photo turned out as well as I hoped is always a huge thrill! Anyway, an hour mountain bike (MTN) bike ride for hubby, an hour bird watching for me; everyone’s happy! Then a nice fresh dinner of Vietnamese, some groceries and home to chillax as the evening breeze comes drifting in the bedroom door and lounge room floor and makes for a gorgeous evening inside, as much as outside. Delish!

And to top it all off, I problem solved the reason my photo software wasn’t uploading almost by myself, not much hubby input. This is impressive because ever since I started dating hubby and he was studying software, I’ve pretty much left anything technology to him. I have learnt a few things too, but more or less anything out of my immediate knowledge goes to hubby. And he gives me the phrase made famous by the IT crowd: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”. I’m trying to put my brain to learning a bit more, before the medications kill my memory retention altogether. Let’s see how I go. In typical style, I got my afternoon/evening burst of energy and got stuck into getting my blog up to date and managed to get 2 blogs written. I know I should be writing much less, but my memory being what it is, I’m trying to keep the details in so I can remember it later. I haven’t really been able to convey the sense of the day always, the mood, the weather, but hopefully remembering the things will bring back the feeling of the day. We’ll see.

Canberra Day 66

[Wednesday November 16th]

After such a great, but late, night last night I had a bit of a slow start but in a good way. Not because I was feeling depressed, but just because I took my tablets late and am still a bit bombed out. I was excited for this morning. Music at midday with the Royal Military College Duntroon band was on at Canberra Theatre Centre (or so I thought) so that got me out of the house and on my bike at 10.40am for an 11am start. Unfortunately when I put it in my diary I put November instead of December so that was a big let down, and now what to do next? I think I might have gone home and sulked but the Canberra Museum and Gallery happened to be right across the square so…why not? It’s been on my list, here I am right in front with my bike locked up and nothing else on my ticket, so here we go. And actually I’m really glad that I went.

It’s a really interesting place, as museums always are. This one is about the size of 3 exhibition rooms at the Melbourne museum but they pack the content in. The first exhibition was Canberra stories, lots of old tales from the foundation, the war, the building of the city, and all kinds of bits and pieces. Then the UNESCO documents exhibition: famous documents of all kinds, like the Mabo case and diaries, war documents, environmental and historical documents of all kinds! Lots indecipherable to me in the old fashioned joined writing, but fascinating just to see documents so old and to think that back then absolutely everything was written by hand! Then an Australian record in the Guiness book of records for the largest collection of Doctor Who memorabilia! I’ve never watched the show so it was all a bit lost on me, but the amount of stuff the guy had collected was impressive by itself: DVDs, books, Tshirts, posters, mugs…the list goes on! And finally a delightful collection of Sydney Nolan paintings. I’ve never really paid them much attention before, but that guy had the best sense of humour in his paintings! They were all Kelly era paintings but so much comical cheekiness comes across, like the police whose diary page says he had to hide out in a wombat hole, but is actually shown diving into it head first with legs way up in the air and totally visible! If I had one of Sydney Nolan’s paintings in my house I believe it would make me smile every day! Of course if I could afford one of his paintings…

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A terrible photo of a great painting…might have to go back for a better one!

The afternoon was a bunch of jobs: trying to find out where our mail is going goes it ain’t coming here, it’s not in Melbourne, it’s not going to our last address, and I don’t believe they’ve received anymore at the office here. Australia Post! Then insurance forms for my next monthly payment, some blogging (not that you’d believe it with how behind I am!), a load of dishes, a load of washing, having a look at some new bird photos and that was all she wrote. I’m pleased with today. I’m glad I got out, even if it was a false start. I still made something of the day and I can be proud of that. Something to remember when I’m feeling like I do nothing and am no one. I found one more thing that makes me smile and that is worth a thousand other things in this world, in my world. 

I’m sort of feeling like I’m crawling out from under a rock in some ways, like I’ve been checked out of life for a while with my head in my own problems and not seeing anything else. But just now I caught my husband’s eye over dinner at our tiny 2 person table and realised that while eating on the couch is easy in our place it just isn’t the same as sitting across from my love and having a conversation. I need to pick myself up out of my own dribble and pay attention before life passes by!