Thursday, January 31, 2013

End of January

It's nearly the end of January... nothing much to talk or post about really but I just wanted to stick something in here so the blog doesn't go completely stagnant.

I've been off work for most of the School holidays in an attempt to keep the kids entertained and the wife a little saner than she otherwise would be at this time of year. I'm not sure having me pinned down at home has been the relief she'd hoped it would be! Sorry about that darling... I'm hopeless at being housebound!


Pedaling Revolution by Jeff Mapes. Read it! A great bicycle advocacy book which, although a few years old and written from an American perspective, was quite relevant to Australian conditions. There were heaps of references to blogs I read regularly and to incidents I'd read about at the time they happened. Although a book that focuses on policy, infrastructure and town planning might be boring I found it interesting enough to knock it over in about 3 days!

The Last Navigator by Steve Thomas.  Am 3/4 through this. The author of this book had a very unique opportunity to meet and be taught by true navigators from another age! Sadly the art of navigation and the traditional culture of the Caroline Islands have probably given way under the weight of western culture, technology and all that. Some of the magic of the ancient guild of navigators from that region is alluded to through the book along with many reflections on the terrible fate their culture faces as young people loose their respect for the ancient knowledge having been exposed to all the stuff that is offered by a contemporary consumer society... or something like that. Many of the reviews I read about this book appeared to have been written by people from an anthropological background rather than sailing buffs. There is so much that I am finding familiar with what I am seeing happening to Yolngu culture. It's quite frightening to see how generic the destruction of traditional cultures can be.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien: I started reading this with my eldest child this week. As a pretty crappy reader I this is the first book I've ever attempted to read a second time.. (Excluding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I chose to read twice at school!) We're reading a chapter a night and are really getting into it! We've just met Gollum in the cave, I love those riddles and the way he talks to himself.

I have really missed my daily 20km commute to work and back! Seriously! I loose my mind when I can't ride my bike once a day! The time I spend riding to and from work each day is my great escape! This is my mellow time, my undisturbed meditation space and my only exercise. Since I've only been working two days a week over the past month I have noticed I am more easily agitated, I'm also noticing that the gut I grew over Christmas has settled in with me getting no exercise!
I was able to ride to work on Tuesday, (The day that the monsoonal trough arrived in Darwin). There was so much rain on Tuesday, we had flood warnings. There was no way I was going to let that stop me from riding. I happily cycled home in the rain. I was in a state of bliss! Riding in tropical rain is quite a pleasure actually. I even had music! I discovered an old bum bag with a headphone socket that I'd squirreled away ages ago. It worked beautifully with the mp3 player safely inside and the headphone jack plugged into a waterproof socket. Cool! As I rolled over the bridge at Rapid Creek a whole bunch of micro bats came swarming out of the tunnel under the road, some of them flew straight into me... or I rode into them, not sure who had right of way when it comes to bats in the rain. It was quite a funny thing to happen. One of them hit pretty hard but I noticed he straightened up and kept flying so I assume he/she's OK.

There have been other short rides closer to home with the family. Most afternoon's the kids and I take the cart out and accompany Sam while she walks the dog.

My only longish ride over the past two months has been the ride out to Howard Springs.


Ummm Mulch Pit for gardening, (only occasionally), Litchfield Park, Wildlife Park and today Fog Dam.

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