Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Decisions...



Since I canned the whole figure competition thing, I really need a new goal or two. At the moment, I'm toying with the idea of doing one of the Around the Bay events in October. Not the 200km+ events, which only crazy people will be doing. Er.... and Bike Boy. Me, I'm thinking about perhaps a less taxing 50km ride.

Which of course means that I need to get out and TRAIN. My bike is probably sporting spiderwebs again by now, since I haven't been on it in ages. It's not nice outside!

Edit: Just in reply to those who apparently think I'm being a sook, I offer the following clarification:

a) I am extremely sensitive to the cold and have very poor circulation in my hands and feet. Thanks Mum, for that piece of genetic inheritance! Going around with numb, yet strangely painful fingers and toes isn't my idea of fun.

b) cycling isn't like walking - you can't head off on your bike in a parka, beanie, scarf and woolly gloves. It just doesn't work. At some point you have to start stripping off layers, and then what do you do with them? And no, I'm not adding a dinky little basket with plastic daisies to my handlebars. So you have to just start off freezing your arse off, which - see point a)

c) It wasn't just the temperature I was referring to - this week we've been subjected to winds averaging between 70-100kmh. Hands up who can cycle in those kind of conditions? I can barely keep my car on the road at times!

d) I have a spin bike, so indoor training is not an issue. BUT, if you want to train for an outdoor ride, you have to... like... do at least some of your training outdoors. On an actual bike that goes places.

So, not sooking, just trying to psych myself up to endure a pretty unpleasant experience once a week or so. :(

Have I mentioned my hatred of winter?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Heaven scent


Here's something I actually love about winter. Apart from the fantastic perfume, Daphne was my paternal grandmother's name, and she was the most loving, doting, spoil-you-rotten kind of Grandma you could ever wish for.

It's right by the front porch, perfectly positioned so that I catch a nose full of the scent every time I go in or out of the house.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Choices


Great blogging advice

I came across Schmutzie's blog a few months ago, and she quickly became one of my favourite bloggers. She's smart, funny, writes really well, updates her blog content regularly and takes great photos. There's a lot more to her, but if you want to know the full story, you'll have to go find out for yourself.

Her entry today: What I've Learned About Keeping a Personal Weblog So Far should be compulsory reading for all bloggers. See? Smart.

*Snore*


Apparently, the 73 cups of coffee I drank yesterday weren't enough to keep me awake for Stage 19 of Le Tour. I managed to see Cadel start the time trial, but was snoring on the couch by the time he finished in 2nd place.

The big question now is: will tonight's stage be the traditional ride of honour, with Contador the undisputed winner, or will they race to the finish? Cadel is only 23 seconds off the lead. Could be exciting!

Perhaps I'd better up my coffee quota a little more....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Advice?


I'm looking for recommendations for accommodation in Fiji..... we've been before, and stayed at a little, family owned 3-star piece of slow-paced paradise on the Coral Coast. That was fabulous, but the resort has since been demolished, rebuilt and expanded into a huge 5-star place owned by one of the big chains. Which might be nice, but I'm looking for other ideas.

I love the idea of somewhere a bit more remote and less touristy, but additional long flights or boat trips with kids don't really appeal. The 5-and-a-half hour flight to Nadi was a big enough trial last time. Thankfully, The Baby is no longer a 2-year old in nappies.

So...my requirements are:

Gorgeous beaches
Comfortable accommodation. Luxurious would be nice.
Good food
A pool - preferably with a bar nearby :)
Plenty of quiet spots for reading (or snoozing)
No hordes of drunken backpackers
Obviously, not a honeymooner's retreat....they might not take too kindly to our kids
Coral reefs close to shore for snorkelling

Any suggestions welcome!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Size matters!

Apparently, Macca's in the US is trialling (wait for it) a 1.24 litre soft drink. No, not in a bottle, in a single cup. Maybe it's intended for a family and they give out 5 or 6 straws with it.

Can anyone actually drink that much fizz? I can't even manage a standard 375ml can.

That's just nuts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Travel advice

In a book shop in my lunch break, buying a Lonely Planet guide to Fiji

Book shop lady: Ooh, Fiji! I've always wanted to go there.

Me: Yes, I've been before - it's lovely.

Book shop lady: So when's the best time of year to go?

Me: In between coups, I believe.

Well, colour me happy!


I spent most of last weekend freaking out about choosing colours and design details for our house. I thought it would be fun until I realised that there were approximately 7893 things we had to choose. Well, make that I had to choose, since Bike Boy abdicated all responsibility, claiming to have no taste at all. Which is true. Except when it comes to choosing wives.

After sitting in a corner rocking and wailing and pulling out handfuls of hair for several hours, I remembered that I know someone who is actually qualified when it comes to interior decorating. HOORAY! I went to see her first thing Monday and grovelled and pleaded for help. I needn't have worried though; she clapped her hands and squealed "I LOVE doing this stuff!".

So today we spent a couple of hours surrounded by colour chips, magazine pictures, colour samples and brochures from window, garage door, laminate and brick manufacturers. It was a bit like a school assignment. Choose possible colours, eliminate the icky ones, pick a main colour and a feature colour, then highlights and trims. For every part of the house. Eesh. Then choose window frames, kitchen cupboards and benches, bathroom vanities, and on and on.....

Then I was given homework - I had to go get some large colour chips in the shades we'd decided on, plus some sample paint pots. I also have to get some brick samples and find a picture or sample of the benchtop material, which is one of those stone aggregate jobs, plus some other bits and pieces. Then I have to deliver it all on Monday, so my friend can put together a presentation board thingie. THEN we can finally go see the builder's interior people and tell them what we want.

I did find some handy tools on the net though - there's a feature on the B & D site where you can upload a photo of your house and experiment with different styles and colours of garage doors. Then the Dulux site has a fun thing where you can decorate a whole series of rooms in colour schemes of your choosing. And the funnest thing of all? I found a downloadable excel file that lists all 3000+ Dulux colours AND their equivalent RGB values, so now I can go nuts with the paintbucket tool in Photoshop.

Yeah, I know - it's a nerd thing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Procrastinator

I meant to go out and buy a copy of the latest Harry Potter book yesterday, but I just didn't get a chance. I worked in the morning, did some washing and other Mum stuff *yawn* and then Bike Boy and I spent the entire afternoon driving around the western suburbs, visiting the builder's interior design showroom and display homes, to begin to decide on paint colours, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, door handles, tapware, roof tiles, windows and about a billion other things (now that's a whole other post...)

So today I had to go buy a birthday present for my God-daughter, who just turned 16 ....hey, I may be a heathen, but I was perfectly willing to stand up and renounce the devil and all his works for this little sweetie. And the church roof didn't fall in on me or anything. ANYWAY.... while I was out shopping, I picked up the new HP book. I still haven't started it, but tonight when I go to bed, I plan to read a chapter or two.

I'm a bit of an obsessive reader - I cannot go to sleep without reading at least a few pages of something first, no matter how tired I am. And if the book is any good, I'm likely to be awake till 3:00am or something ridiculous. I was shopping with The Middle Child and The Baby, and as I grabbed a copy, I yelled "I'm first!!" To which The Middle Child shrugged and replied: "It'll take me weeks to read it anyway" and The Baby just looked at me like I had two heads or something and asked when we might go see the latest movie.....

Methinks it's time to retire my copy of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, which I've been re-reading for the umpteenth time - the pages are falling out of it. :( OK, so I got it for nix from my boyfriend at the time, who worked at a book shop, but GEEZ.... 28 years and approximately 17 reads is a pretty poor lifespan.


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I also bought some new bling-bling while I was out. A cute belly adornment - a dangly chain of 3 sparkly hearts, the first since I was brave enough to endure the whole piercing experience. Bike Boy was impressed. :)


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In other consumerist news, our coffee maker is on the fritz. I bought Bike Boy a Krups espresso machine for Christmas in 1994, and it appears to have reached the end of its life, which makes him VERY sad. So I spent some time researching coffee machines. I discovered that, if I want to equal the quality of the machine we have (and don't want to go down the pods road - pfft!), we need to spend - oh....about $1000. WTF??? I paid around $250 for our original gadget.

Hmm, some further research is required.

Ooh la la!

I've always had a "thing" for TV chef Gabriel Gate, ever since I was about 20. *sigh* He's cute, charming, he can cook up a storm, but honestly, the thing that makes me want to run away wiz 'im is zat French accent of heez.

So, it's always a huge bonus for me that SBS include a segment featuring my favourite Frenchman in their broadcast of Le Tour every night. Oh, AND the fact that it's early in the program is helpful, since I'm usually asleep half an hour into the actual event.


Add to all that the fact that it's a COOKING segment, featuring recipes from whatever region Le Tour is currently passing through, and for about 5 minutes each night, I am in HEAVEN.

These Liege Waffles from Stage 3 look absolutely divine....and I'm sure they'd be excellent for a post-workout recovery meal. Well, maybe if you're a Tour de France cyclist, anyway.

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That big scoop of ice cream reminds me of the time that Sara and I had waffles with ice cream for breakfast in Darling Harbour.... we ordered them with banana, which was at least a concession to healthy eating. The teenager behind the counter decided (without consulting us) that since she was out of bananas, ice cream with a vile-looking artificially coloured yellow syrup would be a good substitute. Um, yeah.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Developments....at last

We met with our builder this morning for the first in a series of appointments to customise our new house to our requirements.

So things are finally moving, and apart from some small annoyances...... such as the bank being apparently unable to deal with a simple request to fax an important document to our conveyancer..... the builders not being able to get access to the land to do soil tests.... the developer keeping us in the dark about whether or not they're moving our driveway to the other side of the block as requested.... and what looks like a significant delay in the settlement of the land..... yeah, apart from that, well, everything is going fine.

I'm not stressing out about it though. I can't do anything about this stuff (except maybe the bank... can you say O.M.B.U.D.S.M.A.N?), so there's no point getting my knickers in a twist.

Meanwhile, we're off to check out the interior design showroom on the weekend. Paint colours, floor and wall tiles and so on - that should be fun! And I have all these lovely photos to keep me happy in the meantime:







Edit: After two phone calls this afternoon, two minor dramas have been sorted - the driveway location is all OK, and the bank were finally able to find the piece of paper we needed (it helps to have some old contacts from my former life as a bank manager) and have faxed it to our conveyancing lady. Settlement for the land is still likely to be a month later than we were originally told,but in the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad...

And Livy asked if the new house has a gym. Hell, yeah! The rumpus room (see below) will be my personal training studio. Now I just have to be patient. Because that's one of my virtues. *snort*

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bored with your pushups?

Then how about trying some of these?



Ha! And you thought T-pushups were tough! Try a Spiderman instead....

Food, ahoy!

Got a new recipe over on my other blog.

'Tis yummy.

Question

Why is it that, as soon as we're told not to do something, we have this overwhelming urge to do exactly the thing we've been told not to?

I was just thinking about CT scans (don't ask why - I have no idea either), and the little warning label on the machine right above your face that says "DO NOT LOOK AT THE LASER", and how I really have to battle to think about other stuff, because otherwise my eyes are drawn to that damn laser!!

So I lay there thinking "la, la, la....what shall I have for breakfast once this is over? Coffee, of course, what else? ....Must. Not. Look. At. Laser. ....Hmm, wonder how many Black Eyed Peas songs I can think of? ....Bloody disobedient eyes. Don't LOOK! ....Gee, thank goodness I remembered to wear a sports crop top - I hate having to get all undressed and put on a backless gown because I was stupid and forgetful and wore an underwire bra. ....GAH! Don't look at that thing!!"

Food's a bit the same for me: Mmm, chocolate. No! Don't think about chocolate! Uh-oh. Now you've done it, gonna think about nothing BUT chocolate.

Mind control, that's what I need.

Hand me those ear plugs!


We have lived in our current house for 21 years, 2 months and 9 days (but who's counting?). When we first moved in, it was a new subdivision, and we put up with the constant noise of construction around us for several months, then spasmodically for probably a couple of years as the odd vacant block was built on. But the two blocks directly opposite us remained undeveloped all this time.....

What's the chances that anything would happen now, when we only have a matter of weeks left living here?

Of course, Murphy's Law dictated that this week, men with big yellow construction vehicles would arrive, and they have been digging, and thumping, and reversing (beep-beep-BEEP!!!) and did I mention BANGING AND CRASHING??? The racket starts at 7:15 or thereabouts every day. It's not like we get woken up or anything (ha! 7:15 would be a sleep-in!) - it's just that I'm trying to work here, and there is this CONSTANT. EFFING. NOISE. GOING. ON.

It's only been just over an hour this morning, but I'm about ready to scream. I have two programs to write today, emails to answer, some research to get stuck into, and a whole heap of admin work....and I cannot think! I swear I can actually feel my blood pressure rising and I'm beginning to feel homicidal....

I think a coffee break will be in order shortly. Somewhere that is not here. A place where the rattle of dishes, the chatter of customers and the hiss of the coffee machine sounds like a whispered lullaby.

Excuse me while I curl up on the floor and sob uncontrollably for a while....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The adventures of Skippy

Bike Boy pulls the 500g pack of kangaroo mince out of the fridge and holds it up to his ear.

BB: What's that, Skip? You feel like heading down to Los Alamos, for some chilli?

Me: You are a fool.

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By the way, the roo chilli wasn't a huge success. I quite liked it, but cooking kangaroo meat is kind of stinky. A bit off-putting, really. Bike Boy couldn't eat his.....and this is the man who sees anything odd on a restaurant menu (crocodile, snails, chicken feet.....no, seriously, chicken feet!) as a personal challenge!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Training

Yesterday marked the beginning of my Afterburn 16-week program. Today's workout included T-pushups. Talk about a humbling experience.... I feel as though I'm back to beginner status in the gym. I actually found myself hiding down the back where nobody could see me while I fumbled through them.

In case you're wondering, these are T-pushups, only I don't use a band. Uh, yeah - thank goodness:



I'm feeling my way with some new moves this week, but plan to get serious and crank things up a notch or three next week.

Tomorrow it's bike intervals again!

I take it all back!


It wasn't freezing on the weekend at all. Today is officially freezing: it's snowing in the hills!

Monday, July 16, 2007

No, not an eskimo....


...it's just Selina, on a cold Melbourne winter's day in the Kinglake National Park. We had time to kill yesterday, so went for a drive into the hills and took a short walk to Mason's Falls. Nice, but freezing! Brrr!

Oh, and we saw not one, but two lyrebirds on the way back to the car. That just about made it worth freezing our butts off - those critters are usually pretty shy.

A few more pics


Yes, I want glutes like those girls...... but I'm so not wearing a G!! The waxing, the tanning, the training and dieting don't freak me out. But hanging my bare arse out onstage? Now, THAT is the definition of fear!

And I also won't be doing this:


Those fitness girls are amazing with their bendiness and flexiness and all the standing on their hands and one-armed pushups and backflips.... Just posing in 6-inch heels without falling over will be enough of a challenge for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Inspiring!

Last night was a lot of fun, although the competition was disappointing in terms of the number of girls who entered - last year there were a LOT more. On the plus side, we didn't have to sit through an endless parade of 17 year old sports model wannabes in skanky outfits. *yawn*

In spite of the small numbers, the quality was definitely high, and I'm feeling all inspired. Last year's winner, Lucy Hermans, took out the overall title again, and it's not hard to see why:

Here are a few more pics:


Ms Turquoise Bikini in the pic below trains at my gym (she came second in her division):
Physique winner:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quickie

I feel like the White Rabbit today, so no time for lengthy posts.

This is what I'm up to tonight:




Gotta run!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yummy food alert!

I just posted a new recipe on my food blog. Sorry, not chocolate this time, but still yummy.

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My copy of Afterburn arrived!! :) That was unbelievably fast!

New books are so exciting. Now if only I had time to read it......

Vive le Tour!


It's that time of year again - Le Tour de France is on once again, and at a VERY inconsiderate time, I must say. Bike Boy has been very restrained, and has only stayed up watching to the bitter end for one out of the 3 stages that have been run so far. At least it was worthwhile - he did get to see Robbie McEwen come back from a bad crash to take out the green jersey.

Me, I have to be satisfied with the highlights on the net the next morning - I need my beauty sleep!

So, last night's effort featured a crash so spectacular, that I'm sure even Debstar would be satisfied. It must have taken out half the peloton, and blocked most of the rest, only a couple of kms from the finish line. Exciting stuff! Makes my worst bike crashes look like a tumble onto a pile of feather-filled mattresses.


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In other news, Bike Boy thought he'd have a go at my Spinervals workout the other day. He found it challenging. I asked him afterwards if he'd enjoyed it and he just muttered "enjoy might be a bit strong...."

He got through the whole thing, and at a far greater intensity than I managed, so I didn't laugh at him too much. Even when he was sweating all over the floor and swearing through gritted teeth. You gotta love a workout that makes you curse!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Who needs spin classes?


Today's workout was a killer! I picked up one of the Spinervals fitness series, thought it sounded good when I read the description on the net. it was only when I had my new purchase in my hot little hand that I spotted the "difficulty rating" on the cover. On a scale of 1-10, it rates 9.1. Errr...

But, in spite of my trepidation, I pulled on my new capri-length bike knicks and my Lorna Jane Never, never, never give up tank top, fired up the DVD player and jumped on the spin bike.

Speed intervals, resistance intervals and sprints, interspersed with short active recovery periods - those I expected. But the 4 sets of 30 squats in 30 seconds, finishing up each set with iso-squats held for 30, 45, 60 and 45 seconds respectively...... Man! My legs were shaking, I was puffing like a steam train, and I guarantee that I did NOT look pretty! The whole thing lasted for 57 minutes. My quads were so pumped they felt like they were made of rock! And the burning, the burniiiiiinnngggg!!

My legs feel like jelly now, and I can't WAIT to do it again! Next time I'm wearing shorts though. And I'll have TWO water bottles handy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Help!


Today I had a meeting with someone who's going to help me with my online training business. At times I have more clients wanting to sign on than I can really handle, and one of two things happens: Either I have to reluctantly say "sorry, can't help you" and turn them away, which makes me feel all sad and guilty. Or (more likely) I take them on anyway, and then find myself trying to be all things to all people, and guess whose needs end up being ignored? Yep, yours truly.

So, the time has come to put away my superwoman costume and ask for help. I have the right person all lined up - I just need to finalise a few things, then I'll be making an announcement. And maybe updating my website at last.

Funny thing, I went to the doctor today to get the results of my 6-monthly blood tests and get my liver poked (she calls it an examination. I call it poking), and her first words were "you look tired". I laughed and explained exactly WHY I'm tired and she gave me some advice, which was: Learn to push the "no" button.

She's a smart lady.

And by the way, my haemoglobin has hit an all-time high of 12.7. I knew that hysterectomy was a good idea.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Oh yeah!

Got the new spin bike yesterday and I even managed to assemble it myself. (It wasn't actually that hard, just the stand, seat, handlebars, pedals and the little computer thingie to attach). The hard part was wrestling the 40kg box from the car to inside the house. I had to get the Middle Child to help me - he was the biggest person around at the time, and he's a long way from big. We got the job done, anyway.

So this morning I got up, strolled the 6 or 7 metres from my bed to the lounge, pulled on shoes and socks and did a short interval session.....in my pyjamas.

I'm going to enjoy cardio this winter!

:)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Special treats

Just posted a new recipe on my Good Food blog. It's chocolate.......

Hey, where did everyone go?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Clucky? Nuh-uh!!

Today I got to hold a weeny, little, oh-so-cute baby. Two months old and only 8 pounds (he had a rough start, poor little mite). He's the son of a colleague who popped in to visit and to show off her little darling. The pram was immediately surrounded by women...and a couple of men...but I elbowed them all aside and grabbed me some baby to cuddle. I am a baby HOG.

I love to smell their heads and marvel at their tiny fingers and little rosebud lips and so on. And I'll hold them for ever...or at least until they cry. So of course somebody always feels bound to say with a smirk: "Aww, bet it makes you want another one". To which I respond thus:

Another? Are you nuts? My first child may have been an angel. But my second didn't sleep till he was three years old. And that was 3 weeks before his baby brother was born. When I was so huge with pregnancy that sleep was simply not an option anyway. And then baby number three ALSO didn't sleep till he was three years old. Listen, Buster, I spent 6 YEARS WITHOUT SLEEP. Do you have any idea what that's like? Another? ANOTHER? Hahahahahaha!!

I think it's the wild look in my eyes that causes them to back away ve-e-ery slowly.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Things to get excited about

1. Le Tour de France starts on the 7th July.

2. The INBA All Female Classic is coming up on the 14th July. And Selina is coming all the way from Mackay especially to see it. And to visit with moi, of course.

3. My spin bike should be ready to pick up this coming Tuesday. :D