Monday, 30 November 2009

An education about boys . . .

It has been a very busy few months, but I have taken in a couple of movies. Here's a quick rundown:

The Boys are Back: Saw a preview screening of this Australian film some weeks before it was released. Clive Owen plays a man whose wife tragically dies, leaving him to raise and re-connect with their young son, somewhere in Adelaide. Matters are complicated when his other son from a previous marriage travels out from England to stay. It's a raw and well-acted film about boys and men (brother/brother relationships and father/son relationships) -- an interesting insight for women. It's definitely a character drama, with not a huge amount of action, although there was enough tension to get me onto the edge of my seat a couple of times.

An Education: Another free ticket! Set in the 1960s, this is about a 16-yr old English school girl, highly intelligent, who catches the eye of a socialite man in his 30s. She is wined and dined and exposed to an intoxicating world that makes her question the worth of her staid private education, where the only end-game for women seems to be a secretary, nurse or teacher. It's not a romance, more a coming of age story. I certainly enjoyed it, although it lacked the rawness, tension and emotion of The Boys are Back.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Orion rising


This evening I was walking home from the train station at around 11pm (roughly half an hour ago) and I saw the constellation of Orion for the first time this Summer.

Everytime this happens -- my first Summer glimpse of Orion, or my first Winter glimpse of Scorpio -- a thrill rushes through me. These two constellations mark the seasons as surely as anything. One day you look up and there they are, celestial signals, timeless, ageless.

It is of course not the first evening this year Orion has been visible rising in the eastern sky, but it is the first time I have seen it. I wasn't looking for it, but there it was.

Summer is finally here.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Week log: one up, one down

It seems like my life is one big checklist at the moment -- whether training, writing, housework, fundraising, blogging, or marcoms stuff for Aussiecon 4. Too many things to do and not enough time. It has come to the point where I am considering taking a day off work to actually get some things done!

Anyway, the point of this post is to provide a training and writing log for the week:

Writing: zero (Will have to reverse that this week with some morning stints, I think!)

Training: Walked to work & back three times, went to the gym three times, plus conquered the 1000 steps twice in the Dandenongs on Saturday morning. This last was fabulous. It felt great to get out early and achieve something before 9am! See our Footsloggers post here. I also discovered the merits of 'sports water' (mizone) on Friday afternoon. I'd had a couple of minor cramps during my gym workout after work, so decided I needed some electrolytes for the walk home . . . what I hadn't counted on was the sugar rush. Instead of dragging my weary self home, I fairly bounced all the way. I am still in awe at the difference in my energy levels. Will definitely do some more experimentation with other brands and formulas -- if possible, I would like to consume somewhat LESS than 28g of sugar per 700ml!

So a good training week, despite the lack of long walk, but a lousy writing week. Somehow it's always the writing that gets shafted.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Phillip Island Footsloggers


Our trailwalker team -- both walkers and support crew -- enjoyed a rather warm sojourn down at Philip Island this weekend. We congregated at my parents' beach house on Friday night/Saturday morning, before being dropped off at Rhyll, which marked the start of our walk. This is one of the benefits of having our support crew in attendance -- no car shuffling!

We walked along the beautiful Rhyll estuary, then down through Koala woodland, after which we traipsed along various roads on the island. One of the problems with Phillip Island as a trailwalker training destination is that all the pretty walks are short and disconnected. So although the first part of the walk was extremely picturesque, most of it was fairly dusty and dull. We joked that these long dusty roads were good practice for the notorious Warburton trail . . . In total, we walked around 17km, our longest walk to-date, and by the end felt we had well and truly earned the G&Ts (or chilled white wine) we were hankering for.

The rest of the weekend was spent in a far more leisurely fashion. We indulged in said G&Ts over lunch, then spent some time discussing our training schedule leading up to the event. We marked off dates and determined which sections of the trail we intend to tackle when, and discussed some of our training strategies. Importantly, we also planned the next phase of our fundraising schedule, identifying several events both before and after Christmas. Certainly there was also much eating and drinking too.

Today we had a relaxed day, walking in along the beach to Cowes for breakie -- my latest favourite is Cafe Laguna, where the coffee is marvellous. We sat out on the pavement, mostly in the shade, and secretly laughed at the poor suckers in the flashy-but-awful cafe across the road.

Then we cleaned up the house and dispersed early to mid afternoon. But not before mixing up our 12 boxes of fundraising chocolates: giant freddos & caramelo koalas, strawberry freddos and boost bars.

In all, it was a lovely weekend, and great that our two support crew team members could come along as well. We are all getting along really well, and now that we have our fundraising and training planned, it's just a matter of forging ahead and making it all happen.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Island Idyll


Another four days down at the island and I'm feeling nice and relaxed. The great revelation has been my new Dodo mobile broadband, enabling me to go online while I'm away. So here I am, sitting in our beach house, feeling connected.

The main purpose of this long weekend away was to get some writing and walking done, as well as general relaxing. It's been a nice mix of cosy chats, companionable walks, targeted writing time. We've practised using the cappuccino maker too -- a good holiday activity.

Yesterday I took a drive around the island to work out a good 'long walk' route for when the Trailwalker team comes down here next weekend. Phillip Island is not really set up for 20km walks! Most of the picturesque walks are 3-5km in length, so I'm trying to figure out the best way of linking them up.

On the writing front it's been moderately productive. I've actually had a better week in general, getting up early Mon-Wed to write before breakfast, so to cap this off with some more output this weekend has been good. I feel as though I'm getting back into the swing of it, although am still facing an enormous number of distractions. Will try to keep up the pre-breakfast sessions.

I've been doing a fair degree of reading as well (or, rather, listening). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is getting better as at goes on. And I've been very much enjoying the audio of The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. Will blog on this properly when I've finished it.