Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Random Thursday Evening

It's Thursday evening around 9:30,  I am half-watching a French film on SBS, am pointedly ignoring the stack of laundry beside me begging to be folded, and hoping that the black cherry candle I just lit will mask the smell of fried fish left over from our fish tacos tonight.

Jus and Chelsea are sleeping after working a long day, J is sleeping after an evening playing Nintendo with Jus, Murphy is snoring after a long play in Central Park keeping her tennis ball safe from a group of Labrador puppies. 

C2, as he has been often of late, is in Perth.

We've all been on a slightly new schedule of late.  Jus and Chelsea are now working.  I work Mondays and Wednesdays, and Chelsea and I have committed to an AMAZING yoga class on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.  We're doing Ashtanga yoga which has been helping with a chronic lower back problem that has been plaguing me.

Making those 7:00pm classes though means sprinting home after the school run to prepare dinner, complete homework, and get the kitchen cleaned before our 6:40 sprint out the door.  J is loving his alone time with Jus; it's a frantic win-win!

My exercise regimen has been impacted by this nagging back issue in that I've had to take a sabbatical from running...and just when I bought my new bright pink Adidas.  Unfortunately, those extra  5-10kgs I've been carrying around for 18 months, since I first discovered Tim Tams, aren't going to lose themselves.  So...Justin has put together a program for Chelsea and I that involves yoga, swimming, and some viciously mean circuit training.  That's all ok but he's also dictated that we must drink 2 litres of water a day, eat at least 8 vegetables a day, and cannot eat a morsel after 8:00pm.  NOT A CRUMB!!

I've been finding myself desperately hunting public loos for the last week, and finding that by 8:01pm, I'm starving....    He might be on to something though, I'm down almost 2kgs in the first week.  I haven't seen the arrow move in that direction in quite a while.

It's now 10:28, Justin, Chelsea, and J are still sleeping.  The French film is still droning on, but I've lost the plot, Murphy is now staring at me, waiting for her last walk and bedtime meal.  Me?  I'm starving!   How was your evening?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Olympic Junkie

I am and not ashamed to admit it!  I have followed the Olympics avidly since the 1976 Montreal Games.  They were held in my home town and I remember vividly the exploits of Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci and Alberto Juantareno.  The Hungarian swim team trained at my swim club, and I remember rising early every morning for a week to get to the pool and watch in awe as they went through their laps.

Every two years I wonder if it's too late to take up Biathlon, Rowing, Cross-country Skiing, or Field Hockey.  Every two years I watch in wonder, in admiration, and cry at every high drama moment where life-time ambitions are achieved or dashed in a heartbeat.

This year, we've all cheered Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, the amazing results of Team GB.  I've alternated between rooting for Team Canada and Team Australia finding my loyalties swinging equally between the two.

I've seen the following advertisement from Australian telecommunications giant Telstra about a thousand times in the last two weeks, and all five of us in the Hendricks household are humming it constantly, perpetually setting each other off.   I swallow a lump in my throat everytime!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Winter Wine and Beaches

C2 is in a period of extended business travel - bummer!  Seeking to avoid another weekend as a single parent and under the guise of showing the newly extended family some of the region surrounding Melbourne, Justin, Chelsea, J, Murphy and I headed an hour south into the beach and wine region of the Mornington Peninsula.

We based ourselves out of a cottage in Merricks with easy access to the broad beaches of the region and the many, many vineyards in Merricks and Red Hill.  We were surrounded by rambling gum forests teaming with King Louis parrets, Cockatoos, and Galahs.  Kookaburras serenaded us early in the morning and we were greeted by a haughty but curious pair of Alpacas in our back field.

Jus and Chelsea at the Stonier Vineyard a few meters from our cottage

Our Alpacas!

Given that it has been a wet and chilly winter thus far, we were delighted to welcome a weekend of warm sun and blue skies.   Over three days, we fit in visits to five wineries.  Wine tastings carried on to more "tastings" back at the cottage followed by cozy dinners and relaxing movies curled up in front of a fire.  Lots of beach walking helped exorcise and exercise the energies of boys (young and older) and dogs.

 Point Leo Beach, Merricks

On Saturday afternoon, we joined a group on horseback for a trailride out to wild Gunnamatta Beach on the Bass Strait.  It was J's first real horse experience and pushed him hard outside his comfort zone but he did it and by the time it was over, he'd loved the experience and his sweet horse Chewie, and was very proud of himself.  Truth be told, it pushed me somewhat out of my comfort zone too as we trotted through narrow ditches ducking under low branches, trying somewhat in vain to convince our mounts not to chew on the tempting tidbits growing on either side, and making our way through the crashing surf and roaring tide at Gunnamatta.  My back is not thrilled a day later but wow what an amazing experience!

Heath, Porka, Gus, and Chewie

Gunnamatta Beach

Chelsea on Heath, Jus on Gus
J on Chewie

J is loving having his big cousin to play with, to roughhouse with, and to learn from.  Justin is an awesome role model who cuts J no slack with rudeness or entitlement.  He makes him finish his dinner, excuse his burps, and remember to say please and thank-you.  J takes it all with good humour, good effort, and (for the most part) good manners.