Canberra Day 64

[Monday 14th November]

A friend of mine from my Wheel Women cycling group in Melbourne has a gorgeous rain coat that she wears on a lot of rides. Anytime I ride behind her when she’s wearing it, the slogan printed on the back catches my eye: shower’s pass. How about that? Shower’s pass. They don’t last. I’m sure it’s intended as merely a marketing slogan but each time I read it again it resonates with me on a deeper level about life. Shower’s pass. Bad things won’t last. This not so nice phase you’re in? Just wait, it’ll blow through. In the meantime wrap yourself up in something to protect you from the wet and the cold, and don’t despair; there’s hope. Maybe it’s silly of me to think so much into a jacket, but it makes me feel more optimistic and hopeful which can only be a good thing, so I’m sticking with it. Shower’s pass.

Like the much less metaphorical shower that I’m waiting out right now on a bench seat in a bus shelter sized space at the zoo. Medium chance of showers in the morning and afternoon, said the forecast. Well we had morning showers, we had lunchtime showers so I thought I’d push on and do something with the day, pick up the momentum again after last week’s slow slog. And I nearly got it right. I’ve had sunshine and a nice breeze most of the time, it’s been lovely and cool after the rain, perfect weather for walking around the zoo! There was one light shower when I arrived so I ate lunch under shelter watching the capuchins get up to mischief, and then it was time to meet the boa constrictor inside the reptile house so it didn’t bother me; it was over by the time I came out. I’m nearly done at the zoo actually, but the rain set in. It’s been 10 minutes now; hope it clears soon cos me making a dash for it on slippery paths is nobody’s fantasy! I was so pleased that in stead of sitting home waiting for showers that may or may not come, I got myself out of the house and resumed ticking off my list again. I was thrilled that I’d got around the whole zoo and aquarium except one new section without any rain…bum bah, spoke too soon! It occurs to me now that at some stage this morning I did plan to bring my own new raincoat and this would have been the perfect use for it! Oh well, I remembered everything else: house keys, car keys, under shorts, tablets…you know, the things I typically forget!

And what do you know? The sun is coming out again! The drips are getting further apart in time and space, the dark clouds have passed, and it’s onwards and upwards! Off to see that new section then home for a nap. 3.5 hours of walking around is enough for one day.

Here’s my new favorite creature. I don’t know if the photo really shows what appealed to me but the otter is on its back, twisting and turning and rubbing it’s back on the floor with all 4 feet in the air just loving a good old scratch and stretch on its blanky. It looks like bliss!

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Could you just die of love looking at this adorable otter rolling around on its back in its bed, totally carefree and just luxuriating in the feeling of its rug rubbing on its body?

In other events, the moon being the closest to earth that it will be for another 20 years or so event was saved from being a wash out due to an overcast sky by the wind pushing the cloud cover on. So at 11pm when I couldn’t sleep because it was too bright outside, I got up  and found that the moon was clear in the sky and took a few shots. I don’t think they’re anything special, it was just being part of the event. I hadn’t done any research about the best place to be, what time to view it etc so my shots probably aren’t anything different to usual…but I can say I was there when, isn’t that what people go for?

In other news we had our annual interview by Living In Australia study tonight. I’ve been doing this for 13 years now so it’s fairly straight forward. If you haven’t heard of them check it out online; they’re always recruiting and you do get a cash payment for your time. The questions are abut your health, finances, future plans, how satisfied you are with the different aspects of your life and this year some fun number and word games. All the data is kept anonymous and presented as a summary at the end and used by different organisations for statistics. Anyway, hubby went first and I went second and I tell you by the time it got to me there were nail marks imprinted on my palms and  my stomach was churning and I was stressed! What am I going to say for occupation? How do I explain what I’m doing now? How do you explain why I changed jobs? Or why I don’t have a job? Or about my health? Or about where on a scale of 1 to 10 I think lies the likelihood of us having kids? Or or or…??? Argh!! AARRGGHH!! And right then and there, like a cornered wild animal, I got defensive fast and furiously!! I mean I didn’t attack the interviewer or anything, it was defensive inside myself, reacting internally to every question and justifying myself and defending myself and fighting fighting fighting with myself about why I am where I am and where I “should” be and yada yada. Oy!! Just a bit exhausting and is it really necessary? It feels necessary, but I’m not an impartial judge so…still some work to go there. Have I mentioned that I’m thinking of going back to my psychologist? Might be time. We ran out of things to talk about before, but they’re stacking up again, wouldn’t you say?

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!

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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.