Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Reading Challenge

At the end of last year when I started my new library-related job, I joined Goodreads, and this year for the first time I kept track of the books I was reading as I went. I have read 61 books so far (and if you think that is a lot, I will just say that one of those books was Roald Dahl's The Twits which probably took me about 20 minutes to read). Since we are shortly going away to a beach shack where I only plan eat, sleep, swim and read for four days, this may not be the final list, but as of right now, here are the books I read in 2014:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Running update - Rose of Tralee and City to Bay 2014

If nothing else, I feel like I should use this space as a way to record my running endeavours.

I ran a 10k in Ireland. (Ireland! How cool is that!) I had not trained in the lead up, and in the three weeks immediately prior I was travelling around Europe, mostly on a diet of gelato, pasta, and wine. I may not have quite been in my peak physical condition, although I had done quite a bit of walking around (which, spoiler, is not the same as running ten kilometers).

This is me, at the start, being extremely apprehensive about just what I had gotten myself into.

That guy definitely finished before me.

The race started at the wetlands, and went uphill (luckily not terribly steeply) to the top of the town, and then slightly downhill into Tralee (as in Rose of Tralee) to finish.
There were kilometer markers - sometimes. It was a fun game. Surely we must have done one kilometer by now - oh hey I just did two! Surely we must have done two by now, nope you had barely done half of one when you thought that!
I gave myself walk breaks after each song, but kept them short. I played leapfrog with a few people who were jogging steadily. I kind of wish I had stopped to take photos along the way, but I didn't really want to drag it out any longer than I had to. But it was a nice day, and there was nice scenery, and running people are so encouraging.
There was one water break, which was situated in such a way that you turned off the main road, DOWNHILL YAY to the WATER YAY, and then realised that oh shit, now there is a steep hill to get back into the race. Of course I "sprinted" up it, the quicker to get it over with, and I am pretty sure that is why my legs were so sore the next day.
And oh my god, were my legs sore. To get into our hotel for the next few days you had to go up several steps, in the door, and down several steps. It was extremely painful, as was sitting down, standing up, walking, etc.

Anyway, here is me running, courtesy of my excellent running photographer (dad), who managed to be in three different places along the route.

And here is me with my big-ass medal!

And with my scientifically proven recovery aid.

My time was about 1:11 I think, which was about my time from City to Bay last year, which you might recall is a 12k. Then I came home from Europe and ran City to Bay again, fairly slowly but with an impressive lack of letting myself take walk breaks. 1:19 I think. I would like to do sub-60 one year.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


You learn so much about yourself when you travel.

The first thing you should know is that I am apparently a TOTAL PACKING BAD-ASS. The Fiance left over a week ago for his part of our him alone-us together-me alone holiday. He packed in about 20 minutes with no prior preparation and his bag weighed 10 kilograms. There was no way I was going to match that. For a start, I am a girl, with hair-straightening and facial product needs. And he is a fairly basic traveller, and while I would like to be, I just can't.

I started packing (if you can call it that since nothing actually went into my bag until today) about a week ago, when I dumped all the clothes that could be considered summer weather-appropriate onto the spare room bed. A few days later I culled a bunch of them. And then today when I actually started packing I dumped even more of them. And all this time I was randomly tossing other holiday-items into the spare room.

I was worried that my bag would be considered overweight by either the airlines or my body, since it is a travel backpack and - as I was assured on a recent frisbee trip when we saw a fellow teammate carrying his wife's bag as well as his own - even when we are married, The Fiance will not be carrying it for me. So yeah. Packed it, weighed it. THIRTEEN KILOS, BOOYAH, HOW BOUT THEM APPLES, ETC.

To be fair, I realised after I'd weighed it that I hadn't yet included my hair straightener, but I doubt that is going to account for the extra seven kilos I was expecting.

Other things I have discovered recently:
While every single packing advice thing you will read demands you roll your clothes, rolling clothes is actually really tiring.
I own way too many navy blue tops. I actually packed colourful tops over navy tops I like more, just so I had some extra colour variation.
My tablet can really not handle having more than one filed copied to it at a time, but hopefully I have enough sports- and Europe-related movies to get me through.
Life is super boring when you live by yourself, there is no organised frisbee, and it gets dark about thirty seconds after you get time leaving you no motivation to go for a run. Evenings are so long!

I am really not looking forward to one bajillion hours on various planes and trains. I think I am getting old and cranky. I want to BE places, and I don't even mind interesting journeys, but Europe is such a long way from Australia. I don't know if you knew that but it's true.

I have a stopover in Singapore that is just long enough and perfectly timed so as to enable me to jump on a free two-hour tour. And despite all that perfection, I don't know. I really hope I can overcome my don't-want-to-miss-my-plane urge to sit by my departure gate for seven hours.

See you when I get back!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Otherwise engaged

I realised I forgot a few parts of the original engagement announcement, so let's keep talking about it!

We watched some of a country footy game on the Saturday which was really fun.
And that's the end of that part of the update.

We went to The Fiance's parents' house on the way home from our weekend away and told them. I Skyped with my parents when we got home. They all already knew it was happening! I was the only one in the dark.

I had a great time showing the ring off at work on Monday and frisbee on Wednesday. I got an especially great reaction at frisbee (and by great I mean incredibly loud and high-pitched). I've pretty much got the story down. I just alter the amount of shit I give him for being nervous, depending on my audience.

I had to give it back to get resized on Thursday, and I immediately regretted not being more sympathetic to friends who have been in the same situation. I miss it! It will be back in 5-7 days, and yes I am absolutely counting down.

Okay so he bought the ring and I think they put some of his details into their computer at the time. But then they got more details when we took it back in, so it wasn't like they couldn't have put in someone else's details instead. And then HE signed for it, and they are going to call HIM when HIS ring is ready to pick up. Is that weird? I get that it's probably just how the computer system works, but there was no acknowledgement of this at all.

We have dinner with his extended family this week, and I won't have the ring to show them. But I had to give it back at some point and I definitely need it the week after to show people. Some people at work still haven't seen it because they weren't around til I gave it back!

We get back from our trip at the end of August and I figure it will take a couple months to plan the engagement party. Which would put us at the end of October, which is our four year anniversary! It's nice when things work out. (Obviously they haven't worked out yet, because I haven't done a thing past look at pretty dresses and see if I can hire a Gumdrop car in Adelaide, but it appears as if the timing might work out and then I will be very happy.)

We put it up on Facebook today, after spending the week notifying the people we wanted to notify by some other method than stupid social media taking over our lives. I made up a newspaper article so it wouldn't seem so damn internety and put up a photo of the two of us which exemplfies us as a couple - Jony saying/doing something that I disapprove of but can't help laughing about as I tell him off.

Monday, May 26, 2014


I have exciting news - the most exciting news that this blog has ever seen... Jonathon and I are engaged!

(That was the TL;DR version - the rest might be too much me recording the minute details for posterity to be of any interest to anyone else.)

We have been together for just over three and a half years and we are both nearly 30. That is more than enough time for people to start asking when we will be getting married. To those people I can now say with utmost confidence: Um yeah definitely sometime.

We had been planning to take a weekend away together for a long time. I think it was January when we said, we are too busy, we need to find a free weekend. And we did. In May! So in that way this was not that suspicious - we had decided on the date together. He had said he would plan it, but one or the other of us has booked trips in the past, so still no big deal.

This picture does not belong here, but I just really like it.
On the morning of, he let me get McDonalds for breakfast (a road trip tradition) and we drove south. Which narrowed down my guessing options by about half. We stopped for morning tea at the Mount Compass bakery. Our food was delicious, as food is that comes from a country town bakery.

We then went on to Wirra Wirra winery for some wine tasting and a lovely picnic. We met an adorable puppy named Dilbert, and I think we shall name our first child after him. (No, we won't.)

After the picnic, we did another wine tasting in McLaren Vale, before heading off to our accommodation for the night.

As you can see, it was kind of okay. Our room had a fireplace and a four-poster bed!

Then came the most exciting part of the weekend (almost). High Society was on TV so we started it watching before we left for dinner. What a good movie! Go watch it.

We had dinner at a lovely restaurant, and we discovered what Rillettes is. Kind of like pate, just so you know. Ours was duck, and quite delicious! I had ocean trout, he had kangaroo. We decided we didn't need dessert so headed off back to our fireplace.

Here's where we get to the good part! We got the fire going, and as we were about to sit down in front of it with a glass of wine, he tells me he has something for me and sits me down on a couch. He makes me close my eyes while he goes to his bag, then comes back and he pulls me so I am standing and he is holding my hand. He tells me he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me (awww) and he kneels down and asks me to marry him!!!

I say yes (of course) (repeatedly) and am kissing and hugging him while he's still on the floor. He manages to stand up and I realise I barely saw the ring. He takes it out and puts it on my finger - while his hands were shaking so much!

It's very sparkly.
 And then we were engaged! Like grown-up people do!

And oh god, I am so happy. My cheeks are still sore from smiling, and I was fairly useless at work today what with all the daydreaming I was doing, and I sent him a mushy text message the likes of which I have never sent to anyone. We are extremely coupley in the worst/best way, and take every opportunity to drop the word fiance/e into a sentence.

The wedding I imagine will be in a year from when we start planning it - and that won't be til well after we get back from our trip (oh yeah, forgot to tell you that we're going to Europe for five weeks soon). As I currently have multiple travel spreadsheets going and many guidebooks covering our kitchen table, I am not in the mood to plan anything else right now - but that didn't stop me from joining Pintrest and googling wedding dresses.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

A bunch of things that shouldn't be in the same post

I am doing footy tipping at work. I thought this might help me get more invested in games, which I inevitably have to watch should I like to spend a Friday or Saturday night with the boyfriend. The problem is I handed in my tips and promptly forgot who I had chosen, so um yeah.


I wrote an "I'm sorry your mum died and I can't be there" email this week, which sucked. We are not even thirty years old. I didn't give anyone permission to be doing that. Cancer can suck it.


I am going travelling later this year. We have been booking things over the past month or so and it's all coming together: a day in London, a week each in Spain and Germany, time in Venice and Lake Como and Milan, and two weeks in Ireland.


I have not been feeling well for the past few weeks, mentally I mean. Which makes no sense - employed, house, boyfriend, upcoming holiday. But the urge to crawl under the blankets and never speak to another human person was pretty strong. Thankfully Disney was there for me.


Have you seen Frozen? I love Frozen. Two princesses! Strong independent women! Awesome songs! Kristen Bell!


The Veronica Mars movie came out. I downloaded itunes so I could watch it. This is a really interesting time in media/fan history. The movie was funded by fans, written for fans, and released to fans in cinemas and online on the same day. It's exciting.


Did I tell you about the Lizzie Bennett Diaries when it happened? Online videoblogs posted biweekly, telling the story of Pride and Prejudice? It ended a year ago, and it is also an exciting piece of media history. I am not as excited about Emma Approved or The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, but I watch them regularly.


Television Without Pity is a website that provides recaps of tv shows, and forums, and other content. I have read recaps there for many years. I don't read the recaps for all the shows I watch, only the ones that I find are enhanced by the recaps. For those shows, I allow myself an hour to watch a show - 40 minutes for the actual watching, and 20 minutes to read. And now it's closing. And not just not adding new articles, but disappearing from the internet. It sounds trivial, but I am really interested to see the way this impacts my tv watching. For example - how many shows do I stick with just because I enjoy the recaps?


Got any random trivia you would like to share with the interwebs?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Triathlon Complete


Triathlon complete: 400m swim, 16.8k cycle, 4k run in a total time of 1:22:27, which makes me 7th in my age group.

The swim: In case you were unaware, salt water tastes disgusting. And once you have swallowed it once or twice or a hundred times, it will take you the rest of the race to get the taste out of your throat.
I did not do the swim properly at all. I'm not really sure what happened, I didn't panic, I just didn't feel like looking somewhat professional, I guess. So I did every stroke you can think of – proper freestyle, freestyle with my head out of the water, breast-stroke, side-stroke for a minute til I felt like an idiot. But I didn't drown, and I only finished two minutes behind Running Buddy in the swim. Happy with the result, but not the execution.
According to moderately reliably sources, I had a Thank god that's over look on my face when I emerged. Sounds plausible.
I peeled off my goggles and swim cap feeling like a pro, and headed off to my first transition.

The bike: I realised later (much later) that I somehow put my shirt on inside out, but that affected nothing. The transitions are both a bit of a blur, but somehow I was dressed, helmeted, and headed out on the bike.
Let the record show that I overtook one (1) other competitor on the bike. If the record feels like it, it may show that I was overtaken by approximately a million other riders, but that's neither here nor there. I would like to say cheers to the guy in the Australia tri-suit who overtook both myself and Running Buddy and said that we were looking good. Thanks Aussie Tri-suit Guy!
My bike (which was noticeably less, shall we say, expensive than many others there) did just fine. I hadn't really worked out how fast I could go for how long and not fall off my bike at the end of it, but I think I held a pretty good pace. Only 2:15 behind RB in the bike, so that is very good. Okay, the bike did start making a slightly worrisome clicking/clunking noise midway through the second lap, but I just had a chat to it (and didn't make it do anything alarming like change gears) and we were all good.
I had no problems with the marshal, I had one leg over the bike, and was ready to put my foot down right before the line, so all went smoothly into the second transition.

The run: My secret weapon is that I don't have clip-in shoes for my bike, so my bike-run transition was super quick.
I'd decided socks were for chumps, but they probably also should have been for people who have shoes that haven't been tested running without them. I don't think the constant rubbing actually slowed me down any, but it certainly hurt in the post-race shower.
I really really wish they had kilometre markers for the run course – or that I knew the course better. I let myself have way too many walk breaks, although in my defence, they were all super short ones. Turns out RB and I both had a sneaky one right before the final turn – which allowed me to “sprint” to the finish line.

Obviously, we should know by now that I am unable to look joyful while exercising – unlike RB who looks cheerful in every single one of her photos. Photos, by the way, are courtesy of my new camera – and the Boyfriend, who did a great job capturing every moment of our Triumph.

Then we had a chocolate milkshake. My favourite part of frisbee tournaments, 10k runs, and triathlons.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tri your hardest

As soon as I started packing up my things at the end of the day today, I freaked out. I should be blissfully happy about the prospect of a long weekend, but as soon as work was over for the day, I couldn't pretend that the triathlon was off somewhere in the future. Friday afternoon means the weekend is here, which means oh crap, my triathlon is here.

I am really really not looking forward to the swim. I had a bad session last week, when we timed ourselves for the first time, although I had a better session this week. I just freak out and pull my head out of the water (sometimes for no reason that even I know), which stops any momentum I might have going. But I have decided that I have to take ten breaths before I am allowed to stop and look up, which should be about 25 metres. So I should be done with the swim by the time everyone else is done with the bike.

The bike is practically guaranteed to be my favourite event. No idea if I'll be any good at it (probably not), but I won't be in danger of drowning or feeling like I'm dying after doing two and a bit events, so I am going to love it.

I will just plod away at the run. We haven't practiced too much distance running, so I do not think I will be enjoying myself by this stage. But there will be the added incentive of, you know, being able to stop and never do this again, so that might propel me forwards somewhat.

Basically, my goals are as follows:
  • Look competent enough in the water that the lifeguard guys don't ask me if I need help.
  • Finish the swim before the next wave does. Or at least too many of the next wave.
  • Don't get told off by the transition marshals.
  • Remember to put my shirt on before my helmet.
  • Have no trouble putting up my bike.
  • Finish.
Race report to come, which will no doubt be much more cheerful than this post. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Giving it a tri

As I mentioned, I am doing my first triathlon in two weeks. It is the medium-sized one of the three that will be run on the day, with a 400m swim, 16.8km cycle, and 4km run.

The run I am not too worried about, but maybe I should be, as I haven't run that distance properly since November.

The swim and the ride I am slightly worried about.

I spent a lot of time in the pool as a kid, but almost none of that was spent swimming laps. I have so far done two pool sessions, and will aim for another two or three swims before the race, and while I can swim that distance, I'm not sure if I can do it all in one go, without any breaks to rest on the wall. Also there is no wall in a triathlon.

I am also worried I will panic in the water when there are lots of people around me, and/or if I am last by a lot (not an completely unreasonable assumption).

Since we went for our first long training ride, I am no longer as worried about the ride. I am worried I won't know where to go, as there might not be enough other riders around me to follow. I am worried I will do something wrong in transition and the marshal will yell at me. I am worried I won't be able to find my bike spot. I am only a little bit worried about being completely dead last, because it won't be as obvious by this stage, what with all the different races and waves.

Today we went to watch the triathlon that is before ours in a series of races. The distances were quite similar and I imagine the set-up will be almost identical. It hasn't convinced me that this is the greatest idea ever, but I do feel more comfortable now that I know what to expect.

As a result, we have the following list of things to do before the race:
  • buy a race belt that the pro-looking people use to hold their numbers - done
  • buy elastic shoelaces (no-one had non-elastic laces today) - done
  • buy a swim cap, discover you don't need it on the day as they are provided - done
  • rethink your outfit based on what everyone else was wearing. Refrain from buying new clothes - done and done for now (pending the results of our dress rehearsal)
  • consider riding and running with no socks. Reject the idea of testing it out, based on how much it would suck to get ridiculous blisters at this point - done
  • test out watch in water (it does say thirty meters)
  • try an open-water swim
  • try a swim-then-ride dress rehearsal, with transition
  • try a ride-then-run, with transition
  • Running Buddy needs to figure out to start riding with her shoes already clipped into pedals AND how to un-velcro her shoes and dismount without unclipping. Have fun with that!
And become a super champion swimmer, cyclist, and runner. Ready, go!

Friday, January 03, 2014


I have never been too much into New Years Resolutions, although I do love the idea of a brand new year full of possibilities, and the actual clean slate of a pretty new diary.

I have this diary, and I absolutely love it and highly recommend it. (And if OTI want to send me a year's supply of diaries, that would be just lovely.) It has everything I need - space! columns! post its! - and things I don't - travel booking section! entertaining hostess section! etc.

I didn't use a paper diary last year, and relied completely on my phone calendar. I am not confident this year is going to go any differently, but I'm trying to get back in the paper habit.

I went through Facebook and added birthdays in, according to an extremely random system consisting of very erratic criteria. People whose birthdays I had in my first school diaries, regardless of whether I still see them - in. People whose birthdays fall a day after a birthday I've already added - in. People whose birthday falls symmetrically with a birthday I've already added - in. People whose birthdays are in the first week of January - in twice! And so forth. You should probably let me know your birthday, I probably missed adding it.

I did take the opportunity to begin a couple of new exercise programs on the 1st of January, as follows:
30 Day Ab Challenge: This might sound familiar.
30 Day Push Up Challenge: Mostly made up. 10 pushups a day for a week, then 20 a day for a week, and so on. Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Throwing Challenge: Frisbee season has ostensibly started, although I've yet to hear anything about it. But that's cool since I'm now just a player and it's no longer my job to worry about such things. I'm a woman of leisure! Anyway, 100 throws a day? 100 throws some days? Some kind of unspecified but regular throwing amount.
Triathlon Challenge: UM WHAT NOW?

So my Running Buddy suggested that we do a mini triathlon (400m swim, 16.8km cycle, 4km run). I politely suggested she was crazy. Then we were at a event at which there was also plenty of wine, and I believe I may have said yes to this ridiculousness. The race is the 27th of January. 2014.

So that's a thing. January is therefore pretty busy, what with training for four events and all, but I think it's a good way to start the year. After this I can take 11 months off, right? (Wrong: doing nothing in December + eating all the food = January exercise so far sucks.)

Despite all the exercise that appears to be in it, I am really looking forward to 2014!

Week 1 - considerably easier than Week 4.
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