Monday, February 24, 2014

Pedalled furiously but didn't podium

Here is what I did (didn't even get a photo, let alone a video - oh well)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  Are we having a good time?

Shall we limber up with a little audience interaction – a getting to know you better session.

Hands up, everybody here, who procrastinates?
Take your time…

Okay – all of you who are passive aggressive, keep your hands down by your sides and mutter “get stuffed” under your breath.

Those of you who are cyclists, please raise a hand.  Both hands?  No hands?  That would be right, frigging show offs!

It’s good to see cyclists with senses of humour. 

I mean, statistically there have to be some cyclists with funny bones...

I hold nothing against cyclists – well, not since they took out intervention orders. 

Please don’t get me wrong – its not that I have an overwhelming dislike of all humans who partake of the riding of such beasties.
However, I do have an irrational reaction to cycle related matters.  I have had therapy, but the nightmares do continue.
It is a recurring theme of my life is the connection of bicycle related misadventures and the moments of despair.

Take, for example, the REAL reason that I am in your fair city on this specific weekend - is because I had to go to a dentist.
“Hey”, I hear you think (because that is my particular superpower) “where does an approaching middle-aged – don’t fool yourself darling – biddy get off associating the final chapters of her dontic disaster ride with a lifestyle of wide smiles and the up/down thrust of the pedalators of this world?”

You are rather floral with your thought processes, I must say, and I do not appreciate the dig at my age!

It goes a little something like this…

Once upon a time, when I (and the world) was young, I had a bicycling milestone and a grandfather with pony promises arriving – or due to arrive - on the same day.

How frigging exciting is that to a seven-year-old girl?

The whole bike without trainer-wheels concept was cracked with years of tears and slavish endeavour.

Grandpa was set to arrive in his Golden Chrysler Valiant sedan at some point during the afternoon.

Knowing the way that Grandpa drove, it was bound to be later rather than sooner – but hope and pony promises had my insides doing somersaults.

My anticipation of showing Grandpa the newfound ability to truly bi-cycle across the gravel was bound to ensure that the oft-promised pony – his stated bribe for any feat - would materialise out of the boot.

All afternoon, I alternated peering up the road for plumes of dust - and practicing my perculiar combination of balance, beat, bounce and blessings from a merciful god to achieve the upright glide of a seasoned professional.

Right on dusk, a ray of sun glinted off a distant windscreen and gave cheer…

I ran for my bike.  Grandpa tooted the horn and the Golden Golden Chrysler Valiant glid towards the back gate.
I hopped on my bike and started my short journey to greet him.  
Grandpa got out of the car.  He and the rest of the family looked toward me.  
I sped up.  Now was the moment.  Now was the moment.  Now was the moment.
My foot slipped from a pedal – I hit some loose gravel – I forgot how to brake – the bike steered to the left –the wheel hit a rut - I sailed forward over the handlebars – the road came up to meet me – and connected with a tooth.

I am not saying it is the fault of the bike.  By extrapolation, it is not the fault of all of those good men and women who pedal across the country that I have had every profession with a dontic term in their names in my oral orifice at some point - nor can they  be blamed for the therapy required to get here tonight.

But they are such good targets. 

And I still hold hope for that pony.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

So gee whiz, Olympics, Modern Technology and a good dose of paranoia for fun...

in a completely localised sense, of course.

Television viewing has not so much been a "political decision" in this household for a while now as it has been a "weighing up whether we could be bothered against if we are receiving any transmission in viewable format".

I do believe I have blogged previously about the trials and - well, trials - of our great leap forward in in-house entertainment options, (here, here, here, and here)  but, on the whole, Sochi has been a GREAT disappointment here in Paradise.

For a start, it has been on what - about a month and a half now?  (Settle Pedants, I was using exaggeration for effect there)

You know how you watch the Winter Olympics because you secretly wish to see some spectacular - but safe - crashes? *

Well, thanks to the miracle that is Digital Television, it sort of looks like that most of the time. 

You know that the Nanny State has won, when they enforce a technology onto the masses that can create digitalised disasters during this quadrennial banquet of possibility just for me.

Because we know that I wield that sort of power - it may be called paranoia, but that doesn't mean it isn't real...

Anyhow, as I was saying, upon having an internal slugfest in my ethical minefield, I had managed to contort myself to consider it a supportive gesture of those who I wished to support in the whole legalisation of sexuality choices and my personal wintery sportslust by yelling loudly at officials from my living room and "tish"ing when it was mentioned.   I even contemplated (seriously) sharing the positive mentions.

Also, given some of the actions by governments around the world of late, I had been doing far too much "tish"ing,  and even muttering frowny faces under my breath.

Therefore, I had logiced** that I chose to celebrate participation by sporting lunatics of all genders and persuasions undertaking these events by exercising my right to remote control access.

Unfortunately, my technological overlords had a few dissenting thoughts about my political stance, and invoked the "not while a Northerly is blowing" clause with our television reception.

It still must amaze the bewildered out there that there is occasion when Paradise gets a bit - um - breezy - who would have gambled on THAT on the coast?

So some bureaucratic ba'tard in the bowels of Digital Television Intelligence is taking great delight, I am sure, in ensuring that the majority of my viewing becomes a complete screen of witness protection.

We have had approximately four days of trouble free Sochi viewing - and you can't count one of them, because I didn't realise it was on.

This meant we got to see a few first rounds of the flying downhill on skis, doing twirly things up to three stories high and landing jumps.  That was fun.  

No way in the world I would ever do that, though. For a start, look at those hills!  The only way I would get from the top to the bottom of any of these hills is very cautiously on my bottom, or as a snowball.

And am I ever glad that it is on too late for Paris to transfix for too long on the "Snow Show" - because if there is one guarantee in her life, and that is her mother will NEVER allow her to catapult herself several stories of Terra Firma, so it is a dream that is best never planted.

We also got a bit of Skeleton and Curling.  I understand neither, and one very wicked part of me wonders if any madmen had ever contemplated the entertainment potential of a hybrid sport.  There is probably a game app out there already...  ***

However - however Mr Northerly came a blowing, thus we will NEVER know what happened in the USA - Russia Ice Hockey match (although V did valiantly attempt to decifer frames of it).

V was an Ice Hockey player in his youth (in Southern California - go figure).  Let us such let the blanks speak for themselves in regards to his current view of the successive governments in this forsaken land and their media enhancement choices.

Still, what else is there to do in a small town...

*  (Personally, I am still amazed at the fact of snow, so I can look at the idiot box like a guppy usually during such an opportunity.)

** Logicked?  Logic-ed?  Logericked?  Past tense of the verb "to logic" - or have I verbalised a noun here?  Help!!

***Games developers - feel free to run with this idea.  I am imagining a sort of downhill pinball type situation (add in an element of the Slalom) , is that what is going on in your head?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Sometimes, the Universe really plays a great rally, doesn't it?

You bounce the metaphorical ball a few times.  Test the weight and the bounce.  Might even toss it up to see if the wind is a factor.

Then, if you are a tennis star, you thwack it - or if you are me, you tap it with your metaphorical racquet in the hope that it will make it across the net.

Last week, I thwacked one - metaphorically - and I got a return.

This week, I started organising this:
and the response has been phenomenal - can't wait until Sunday!

In just over 2 weeks, I will be doing this:

When I was at University, I had a Marketing Lecturer who once advised that there were always two reasons for anything, the RIGHT reason and the REAL reason.

In just over 2 weeks, I will also actually be going to a dentist while down in Brisbane.

I have Dental ISSHEWS.

I have just been over at Pearl's and her latest post is "Another Way We’ve Failed Our Children; or Cavi-Tease" - I will wait while you go and have a cackle.  I certainly did.

Anyhow, I commented:

I am a veteran of Fillings, Plates, Mouthguards, Root Canals, Wisdom Teeth, Braces, Prosthodontists, Orthodontists, Maxillo-Facial Surgeons (well, only one of them), Ceramists, Periodontists, Hygienists and Money-Hungry Barbarians.

I never get offered Gas. Just Needles.


I am willing to go down to Georgia to contemplate a life without such ordeals.

Youth. It is wasted on the Young.

I have everything crossed (and a few prayers chucked in for good measure) that the Universe has got a handy return awaiting for me in the Dental Realm.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Sunday Stand

If a girl is going to get up in front of a mob of strangers in a far off town and make a fool of herself (like this one is on the 23rd of February in Brisbane), it pays to have a test drive by getting up in front of a mob of semi-strangers in a nearby town to see if anyone has views on the fool status that should be contemplated.

So if anyone is in Bundaberg on Sunday and either wish to view a fool or join in the foolery:

Kountdown Kafe is at 37 Targo Street, Bundaberg.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

White Dunlop Volleys

(This is part of a yarn I am working on... and surprise, surprise, its a SHOE post.)

When I was a child – last century, before cordless telephones, vehicular air-conditioning, VCRs and the internet – I went to the toughest school in Central Queensland.  Sandfly Flats.

In those days, we never wore shoes to school.  At all. 

Sure, our mother – and probably one or two of the other mothers of our classmates – ensured we were shod when we left the house at the beginning of the day. But when I first started at Sandfly Flats, not one student foot was impeded with footwear while actually at the school.

Did I mention we were the toughest school in Central Queensland?

We prided ourselves on how resilient our soles were.  We would walk across midday bitumen during summer without flinching.  We would run across patches of bindiis – you know, those really old patches that have several generations of dried prickles just waiting for the brush of a new host? – we would run across with complete disregard to any pain or suffering.  We would skid on the cement basketball court and laugh at the chalk-marks our heels left behind.

THAT is the Sandfly Flats level of toughness.

Sports Day was always a big thing – then even more than now.

Sport was a socialising factor in our sparsley populated region.  And as Sandfly Flats had the joy of being equidistant to two larger centres, it was afforded the opportunity to participate in twice as many Sports Days.   Twice as much fun. 

We truly lived in a magical place in a magical time.

On Sports Day, the rule was that shoes were to be worn - at least for the March Past.  And that rule went even further to say that these shoes were to be sandshoes, and the sandshoes were to be White Dunlop Volleys.  And that meant WHITE DUNLOP VOLLEYS - none of your new-fangled high-faluting fancy coloured stripes think-you-can-get-away-with-it-missy shoes either.

Before Sports Day, it was YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to clean them.   This could mean anything from whitening them through to the full scrub and cycle of the washing machine - generally dependent on the time since the last Sports Day and whether it had rained.  But to at least freshen up the whitening - this was the mandatory duty of every child.

The product that we were required to use was a jar of white liquid with a sponge on a stick rubber-banded to the side. (If anyone can give me the name of that product, you get bonus points this round)

As you painted it on to your White Dunlop Volleys, you had to ensure that you didn’t paint yourself.  The stuff was impossible to remove without taking off some skin. 

Once that was done, you had to pray like crazy that it wouldn’t rain and there would be enough time for it to dry before going to the Sports Day, as there is nothing worse than standing in the pre-dawn light in mid-Winter waiting for March Past to begin - with damp feet in soggy shoes and a parent lecturing you on planning and preparation.

Now, you have to note that rumour was a device with irrational logic in Sandfly Flats.

 And rumour had it that none of the Wheeler boys ever had White Dunlop Volleys.  Rumour has it that the Wheeler boys stood in line with painted feet to undertake the March Past.

I often wonder how this could be so, given that later in the day each of those boys undertook athletic feats in bare feet that had no line of demarcation - or indeed recent scrubbing - at all.