Canberra Day Thirty Eight

[Tuesday 18th October]

Beautiful day again, ah spring! Blue skies, warm temperatures (well, by the time I got up anyway!) but that jolly wind is still persisting. It’s what I remember most from spring when I was growing up, wind, but man it does get old blowing your hair into your eyes and drying your eyes out. Especially when I’m thinking of going for a ride; it really does make me rethink. Today I had planned to do something that hubby has been keen for me to do for a while: ride from home. I’m a big lover of the safe ride: fully prepared, drive to the start of the ride which is on a lovely paved/concrete trail, ride the trail, pack up and drive home. Riding from home on unknown roads or pedestrian pavements makes me a bit nervous. I’m sure I have the skills, but its the unknown and I was getting palpitations about heading out today. It’s not like I haven’t done it before, but I was always with my Wheel Women group and they had the way mapped out. Because it was a shortish ride, I had decided to wear regular clothes, skirt and top; I wasn’t sure how I would go with that as I’m used to riding in proper cycling clothes. My destination was Parliament House; wasn’t sure if full Lycra would go down!! Although after sitting in on Question Time in the House of Reps on the whole gun shenanigans, a monkey suit would have fitted in well, let alone Lycra! I sat in for an hour and heard the same question rephrased (or not!) asked by Bill Shorten of either Malcolm Turnbull or the Defense Minister at least 5 times! Apparently they continued in that vein for 5 hours!! It got a bit tedious, but it was fascinating to see the process live with the staff running around getting water and running messages, and lots of shouting and disrespect of each other. 5 Labor ministers got tossed out in that first hour after each one was warned once, and they’d started a long process of trying to forcibly prevent each other from speaking, ringing the bells, counting votes, seconding motions, wow, no wonder nothing ever gets done!

I would have liked to sit in on the committee about costing, but wasn’t there at the right time. So I checked out the view from the roof, the magna carta that’s currently on display, the new $5 note display, Queen Victoria’s desk which she gave as a momento to Australia, the impressive Great Hall with that gorgeous enormous tapestry and the entry hall; marble much? Quite an amazing visit really. I might go back and watch the Senate when its sitting, and check out the committee sittings, and I missed the free 45 minute tour by that much because I got distracted by all the Noisy Friarbirds outside! I’d seen one briefly in Victorian bush ever, one in the bush at Goorooyarroo reserve the other day that I got quite excited about, and now a conservative guess at 11 right outside Parliament house!! But if I never get back I’m happy with that visit. If only I could be as happy about the school yard that was the House of Reps!! “I said you did, so you did, no return”. “No, thats final, can’t hear you, lah lah lah lah!”. “I know you are, you said you are, so what am I?”.Argh! Glad to get back on my bike and head home even though it was blowing a gale; I’m really glad that I got that bracket for my phone, follow that GPS! Even so I took what I thought was an alternative way and ended up quite a way off! The roads just aren’t parallel like I expect; they are all at angles to each other!


The enormous detailed tapestry in the Great Hall based on a painting by the famous artist Arthur Boyd, so thick and I have no idea how they made it!

So a day out, and 12 bonus kilometres in my legs. I’ve been caught a bit behind by taking such a break off my bike. Next week (yes next week!) we head to New Zealand for our bike tour. The stages are 20km (with a bonus 20km option), 35km and 50km! Gotta get some more kms in my legs before that!! It’s all flat but that’s even more reason that I don’t want to be flagging. And I want it to be fun for hubby, given that the low distances, trail style and wine and dine type of itinerary aren’t really up his ally. But it’s just going to be a fun time regardless we’ve agreed. And hey, its free! So what better to do after a day out and a bike ride? Nap. Then wake up to cooked dinner by hubby, absolutely delicious! A successful day.