When I was young, I think it must have been when I was around five, we were on holidays in Bright. I’ve been told that one day we were at the shops, or maybe getting fish and chips, and a man walked in and he was covered in tattoos. This was the early 70s so a sight like that was like seeing a Martian appear before me. Apparently I turned to mum in awe and said “One day I’m going to be like him!”.
That story never got old, re-told so many times that to this day I can hear mum’s voice and the laugh that would come after its telling.
I was never a fan of tattoos, never quite ‘got’ them. Rae had a tattoo when I met her and now has the most glorious art work on her back and shoulder but I was still not sold on the idea.
One night we were out to dinner together talking about Rae wanting a new tattoo. I’m pretty sure it was me who came up with the idea for the Freddie Mercury that is now on her forearm and then talk turned to what I would have on mine if I was to get one. Rae came up with the idea of band logos. The New Order from Low Life, Billy Bragg’s ‘BB’ symbol, Pet Shop Boys was too tricky and Frank Turner’s F/T/H/C logo were the go and then it was forgotten about.
But a seed has been planted and the damn thing grew.
Then Frank Turner went and released a new album and the first song, Get Better, had a lyrics video.
I loved the lyrics and ‘things can get better, because we’re not dead yet’ seemed to stick in my mind. It wouldn’t budge and the appeal of no matter what’s going on, things can get better became a motivating mantra for me. Injured? Not dead yet. Too much work to get done? Not dead yet. Still 1k to run? Not dead yet.
So I decided to get a tattoo.
Lucy perfectly copied the text in his hand writing from a video grab and one rainy Saturday morning I got my first tattoo.
So mum, it’s only a start, but, I told ya so.
When we first moved in to our house it was in the middle of a drought. You weren’t allowed to water so we didn’t do much in the front. Planted some shrubs, threw down some lawn seed and hoped. This worked for a little while but for the past couple of years we’ve been saying we really have to do something to make our house look presentable again.
Over the past couple of months this reached tipping point. There were weeds everywhere, one shrub had died, others had grown unchecked and, to put it bluntly, our house was looking like an embarrassment. So on Sunday we began. Out came all but two shrubs, and those were trimmed right back. Weeds were pulled, others poisoned and we came up with a firm plan of what we are going to do.
Tonight we started on the plan. Rae saw a guy offering yukka plants for free and we’ve planted six of them. We have some sleepers left over from when we did the back yard and they are going to be turned in to a flower bed for out the front of window. Stones are being moved to under the yukkas and we’ll be turning over the lawn to start again.
It feels great to have begun this after such procrastination. Hopefully it won’t be long until once more we have a front yard we can be proud of.
The limes of hope have returned.
A couple of weeks ago I was running with Robin down along St Kilda beach. Right on the 5k mark I felt this ping in my leg and that was it, I hobbled on for 20 metres but couldn’t run any more. Back at the car I couldn’t raise my leg to get in. Hmmm, that couldn’t be good.
The next day I felt fine, but I thought I’d take the week off just to be on the safe side and didn’t run until last Tuesday night, which is Point Cook Community Running Group. The 3k warm up was fine but 5k in to the speed work something wasn’t right. Not painful as such, but definitely not right. I finished my sprint and opted out of the cool down jog.
I decided that I probably should see someone about it, maybe get a massage and all would be fine. Hmmmm. As it turns out there’s a specialist sports physio attached to my our gp’s practice so I rocked up there on Saturday morning, all ready to be given the all clear. That’s not quite how it turned out.
After one legged squats, some balancing, measuring, bending and poking the news was not good.
I have a pretty good strain of the iliopsoas, the hip flexor muscles, and if all goes well it will be 3 months until I can run again. Hopefully I’ll be back to in December so I can get some kilometers in while the weather is still good but this timing really sucks. Good news is I can cycle at the gym, as this uses different muscles, so I won’t lose any fitness but I’m going to miss City 2 Sea and a couple of other spring races I had planned. There’s lots of gentle stretches and pretty uncomfortable manipulation ahead before I start on a gym program designed to build up my left side.
Not quite the spring fitness campaign I had planned, but if I do everything right I should be back on the track, better than before.
I ran my second Run Melbourne yesterday and looking at the results I’m pretty happy.
My official time was 25:21.8 (down from 28:07, 2:46 faster than last year)
I was 215th overall, last year I was 544th.
33rd in my age group (40-49).
162nd male, up from 344 last year.
Still room for improvement and, despite my best efforts, I was still caught behind slow runners at the start. It’s frustrating that I couldn’t actually get a clear run until the 800m point by which stage a quarter of the race is almost done. I guesstimate this cost me about 20 seconds on my time.
Any way, results are motivating enough to have me aiming for 24:00 next year.
Here we are, driving across the Westgate in 18 seconds.
The most popular post I have written in terms of page views would have to be my rant against disappearing Oddfellow peppermints. It still gets hits to this day.
I love these mints, they are just perfect and they serve another purpose now; they remind me of my mum who fell in love them too when I introduced her them to her. To this day Peter still keeps a bag on top of the microwave so you can imagine my horror when I woke up this morning to the news that Allen’s were stopping production of a large range of their lollies – including finally killing off my Oddfellow mints.
Of course the first thing I did was jump on to Twitter and complain, which appeared on my Facebook page. There’s not much else I could do.
Just over an hour later I received a comment from Allen’s – Oddfellow mints are safe, despite the reporting on web sites. Now the ABC are reporting it too – Sherbies and Oddfellows safe. Just goes to show that Oddfellow mints are still at thing of great importance.
Today’s Park Run was my 23rd
I was 23rd across the line.
I was the 23rd male to finish.
Sadly I didn’t run it in 23 minutes.
Thanks to a birthday gift from Rae I’ve stated to drink tea. I’ve actually grown to look forward to an afternoon cuppa, something I never thought I’d say.
But it seems I’ve inherited a trait from my mother.
I never finish the cup. I always leave a mouthful or two in the bottom.
So, mum, here’s to you. And dad, I berate myself every time I realise what I’ve done, just for you.
Last night I got to meet an idol of mine.
In fourteen years of being together Rae and I had never been to a gig together. A One Day On The Green but never a good old fashioned pub gig. Last night we put that to rest and went to see Frank Turner at the Corner, Frank being one of the very few artists we both agree on.
We went out to dinner before hand wandered up to the Corner a little after doors were open, only they hadn’t yet so we walked around corner and joined the end of the queue. Right at the spot Frank Turner was standing having a smoke. All by himself. Two metres away from people lining up to see him. I wasn’t sure if was cool to whip out the phone and take a snap but someone else broke ranks and went up to him, and he was more than cool about that.
Now I’m normally an incredibly shy type but this opportunity was too good to miss so, as the queue suddenly moved forward, I grabbed Rae and went the other way.
He is a genuinely a nice guy. I got to shake his hand, have a quick chat and then told him about Rae’s new Freddy Mercury ink, knowing that Freddy is one of his idols. He loved the tattoo, told Rae it was ‘f***kn awesome’ and that he had been planning on getting one the same. He then reached out and gave her a hug!. Man, I’m still buzzing the next day.
The gig, of course, was amazing and I’m so happy I bought tickets for his Geelong show. He’s coming back next year, and we’ll be front and centre again.