Sunday, September 28, 2008

Melbourne - Run Of The Mill(s)

Cynics may believe that a Fun Run has prompted this new post. Correctimundo. I have been tempted to post partly in Italian for the benefit of a small segment of the non official-commenting readership, but decided that lethargy wins out every time. So it's Australian English. No Wucks.
Incredibly, 120k in 12 runs since last post - sometimes I think I must subconsciously plan runs around likely posting days just to keep the average at 10k.

Some decent training, and a recent return to MORNING running.
Last week saw two days in Melbourne on business, so fitted in 2 x 12k runs: the Tan, and Yarra Trail. First major CR encounter of the third kind: contact! I ran a couple of k's with CR DiJ; very pleasant company, proving it's a small world in both running and business.

Today was the St Mary's 6.2k fun run, and one I had heard good things of but had never tried. It was great Gordon. Well run, flat, friendly officials, personalised certificates, two water stations, oranges/water bottles at the finish. And only $10 on the day or $7 pre-entry. A run just like the old days. A pity they couldn't organise the weather a bit better: hot, 28 and windy. Still, I managed 29:23, so happy to average 4:45/k for this one.
I pre-registered for the St Mary's South Fun Run 26/10, week after SMC #1 10k, so it's two races in October and summer is lookin' goood!

Hoping to be able to post a comment or two about catching up with Tesso, and - separately, GCR. BTW, soon Tesso will find it that bit easier to win her category. At least I'm away from Jamie Harrison now. He seems to be running as fast as he did twenty years ago. Perhaps he has a picture of Dorian Gray on his wall.

On the cultural side, I can only say that "Sparks Of Ancient Light" is superb, and I have commenced reading Steven Saylor's latest Gordianus novel " The Triumph Of Caesar".

La Dolce Vita

"Exit, stage left"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Flea In The Ear from the Book-Keepers

If you look up "unpredictable weather" in the dictionary, you'll probably see a photo of Sydney. Last week we had 13 degrees, rain and cold. This Saturday we managed 31 degree heat.
In contrast, my running has been consistent. 69k in 7 outings, with a long 13k run Friday lunchtime, and today's 8k Orange Blossom Fun Run.
Last year's run was great, and a few of us planned to have another crack, although the course changed to two loops of 4k within Fred Caterson Reserve. I managed 41:50, which was under my plan, but I was cheered by the knowledge that it was - in my fellow runners' minds - a tough course. I think my time was probably a 39 min flat course result, as GoGirl did 39 and Joe 34:40, both about 2 minutes over normal. Talk about keen trainers: GoGirl ran there, did the 4k then 8k, then ran home - all up around 25k. Martin Dugdale likewise started the day at 5am and did Quarry Rd 13k hilly track then backed up for the Fun Run. I guess they'll both do well at Fitzroy Falls Marathon in a fortnight.

This last week has really been retro: Mrs BB and I had dinner with a Uni mate and his wife - prior to three weeks ago, I hadn't seen him since my 21st. So pretty recent really. Then Saturday I took Son to Macquarie Uni for the Open Day, hoping to inspire him to outrageous heights of HSC performance. He was suitably impressed. Wandering past the stalls, I enrolled in the Dunmore Lang College Alumni (where previously-mentioned Mate also lived). Today's run saw me catch up with Uni Girlfriend's sister, who looks as fit and healthy as when I saw her at 2007 St Mary's 8k run.

Finished "People Of The Book', and am now ploughing through "Justinian's Fleas" by William Rosen, a fascinating, ambitious and wide-ranging exploration of the world's first recorded plague, in 542AD Constantinople. Rosen covers so much ground, at times it seems like a history of Justinian, at others a mixture of Yersinia Pestis, science, religion, politics, military planning and social history. The only problem I had was getting the book renewed again. I'm afraid I generally borrow heaps of books, get through most of them after renewal and try to renew some again. Well, this latest attempt saw the librarians explain what relationship morality had to flagrantly breaking library policy: " a fair go for all". I felt like I was trying to re-book on Jetstar. Anyway, their common sense prevailed when they realised I would simply go online, reserve it and have them drag it out for me. Lethargy won out over bloody-mindedness.

Politics? I thought after last week, NSW might settle down. No. Reba Meagher and Matt Brown have gone. Just between us bloggers, she infuriated me, and that's from a 36 year-long Labor Party supporter. She makes Amanda Vanstone look caring, even when she's giving the Nursing Home inmates their kero baths. Interesting standards: Matt "pants down" Brown was sacked not for unacceptable behaviour at his office shindig, but for not 'fessing up to Nathan Lees, three months later when someone with a blunt axe dobbed him in to the ex-Government Gazette..

.. and only one week until Al Stewart's new CD "Sparks Of Ancient Light" arrives.

Musica Donum Dei.

"Exit, stage left"

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Too Weak Not To Post

Blogging within a fortnight of last post perhaps indicates a new enthusiasm, or alternatively news to discuss. Or both.

112k in 11 runs, with a big 20k last Saturday. In Melbourne on business Tuesday/Wednesday - Bongiorno to a new facebook colleague - with two decent runs around the Tan. Surprisingly, the weather was better than here: Wednesday especially, with sunshine galore. Heading back to windy and wet Sydneytown was a shock.

The plan has been to move back to 6am runs, but that's conditional upon the weather improving. For example, today's 10k run was completed in wet and cold conditions: at 11am it was 11 degrees (applied temperature 7 degrees). Please don't tell me it's character-building to run in these conditions. My character is fully developed.

Next Sunday is the Orange Blossom 8k Fun Run, organised by Hills Athletics, notable Steve Whelan. It's a good off-road course, slightly different from last year. Should be quite a few CR's attending.

In only a few weeks it's off to the Gold Coast for hols, with the abbreviated family: me, Mrs BB and YD. ED is much too old OF COURSE and Son is doing HSC. We are hoping to catch up with Tesso somewhere between GC and Brissie, maybe for a run (depending on her hammy) or possibly a coffee and chatting over old Brady Bunch times.

Reading has been pretty solid recently. There's nothing quite like having library books due soon to inspire a solid burst. Currently finishing "People Of The Book" by Zachary Karabell: a fascinating history of the interactions between Islam and the West since the mid Eighth Century. Once this is complete, I'm toying with the novel idea of reading one of the eleven store-purchased books quietly awaiting my pleasure before borrowing more from the library.

In full retro mode, I have had my 4 CD Monkees compilation in the car. Some wonderful songs, so much pure pop and a reminder that many famous artists wrote hits for the Monkees: Neil Diamond, David Gates, John Stewart and of course Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart. I think I prefer Papa Nez's songs the most: mostly not singles, but superb tracks which helped him to success with the Second National Band and then solo with "Rio". His wry style always appeals.

What a day in NSW politics! We now have the leadership team of Nathan Rees (Premier) and Carmel Tebbutt (Deputy Premier). You'd be justified in asking "who is Nathan Rees". Apparently 25% polled thought he played AFL, mistaking him for Nathan Buckley. Well, his speaking style would fit in well there, talking about having a "red hot go". I wonder if he realizes he has committed his first error?
He loudly told his adoring public that he would work every waking hour between now and the next election (March 2011) to deliver what was best for NSW. Possibly he feels we are keen for him to be married, as he plans this event to occur later this year.
I hope his major goal is NOT to pass as many laws as possible. Tacitus wrote about this:
corruptisima republica plurimae leges

Good luck to Labor in WA today. I think you're out. See if I'm correct.

"Exit, stage left"