Update on the first week

Right for those who’ve just tuned in here is my plan:

  1. Cycle to rowing 1-2 times a week
  2. Row 3 or 4 times a week
  3. Do ten minute youtube exercise video on other days

So in the interest in engaging the interweb gods… here’s this week’s exercise:

  1. Sunday – race at Mettam Head Race (5 k race and about 5 k paddling – we came 3rd)
  2. Monday – SLACKED OFF – things weren’t looking good for The Plan
  3. Tuesday – rowing training
  4. Wednesday – 2×10-minute video (arms and yoga) Partly to make up for Monday
  5. Thursday – 1×10 minute video (legs)
  6. Friday – rowing training
  7. Saturday – rowing cancelled but I cycled to Nedlands and back for bridge game.

Overall – thank you.

Putting it out there working so far.

Also new bike (newer bike loaned to me by kind friends) with better gears working out well. Did I tell you I changed the inner tube by myself? Just me, an inner tube, a spoon and this video.

And tip from cyclist at work to ride down Princess Road rather than Stirling Hwy is great. No traffic lights, and fewer cars.

Still waiting for my fit and cut body.

Must stop eating chocolate peanuts.

Sorry? Is that the pizza arriving? Gotta go!

Economic squeeze

20130422-083245.jpg

A couple of months ago I noticed a 20 cent coin had been glued to the steps leading to Cottesloe Train Station.

Watching people stoop to pick it up no doubt provided endless enjoyment for the folk working in the overlooking offices, and possibly for the observant on the platform as well.

Today it is gone.

20130422-083550.jpg

Times are tight.

Gee it’s getting dark early…

Sunset from East Perth

It should be expected right?

So why am I always surprised when the sun sets earlier in winter?

I think it must be that it seems to happen so quickly.

One minute it’s light til 7.30, the next, missing just one train has me walking home in the dark.

Still.

I no complain.

I like winter.

That’s Perth – a journey of connections

No blisters from these babies.

Today on the Fremantle line, we got to City West when the train driver said  “A fire alarm has activated in the Perth station and you need to de-train here and walk into the city.”

We all got off the train and watched as our driver bravely took off into the inferno that wasn’t the train station.

Four carriage loads of people then started walking.

Now, it’s only one stop from the city, and it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t raining, and frankly having slept in, I could do with the walk.

But I was wearing my new “comfortable enough to walk to work boots” on their first outing.

They were being road tested indeed rather than the gentle breaking in I had envisaged.

I started chatting to a fellow commuter – dragging a little black suitcase – the accessory of choice for barristers in this fair town.

“Not a day for wearing brand new shoes…” I mutter.

She was astounded I had noticed… “Yes” she says, “I bought these for a wedding next week and was wearing them in to stretch them…”

Um.

We feel instantly connected with our new shoes – hers are MUCH more stylish, and it turns out she is a barrister and knows a couple of friends of mine who work at her chambers.

And, as well,  the wedding she is going to wear her new shoes to is of a former colleague of mine.  Her husband is my colleague’s Godfather.

Now in many cities so many connections might be unusual.

But friends.  That’s Perth.

Where we seek for links between us in every conversation – and usually find them.

For a Perthling if you don’t find a connection somewhere, it is something to be remarked upon.

But the new shoes coincidence?

Well that was special.

Stand to the left Perth – and make our city better!

Warning: Rant alert

Perth Train Station at 8 in the morning

A foggy morning.

The rain splattered against the skylight in my bathroom so I knew it was raining.

Raining!

Deep happiness.

I walk into my bedroom to get changed and I can hear this weird rushing sound.

I check to see if the overhead fan is on… or maybe the reverse cycle air-conditioning.

No.

What is that weird sound?

It’s coming from outside.

I check through the blind.

Oh.

It’s the rain.

The pouring rain.

I’d forgotten what pouring rain sounded like.

Later…

The train was packed at a quarter to eight.

Standing room only.

And when we got to Perth Station the train disgorged its damp and steaming passengers into a mass of humanity.

It swelled at the bottleneck of the escalator.

Does this happen anywhere else in the world?

I have only seen it in Perth.

In London, in Washington DC, in New York, in Paris – much larger populations – the commuters flow like a river, a babbling brook.

But in Perth no – every morning – a huge swell of people trying to get on the escalator.

And here’s why.

No-one stands to the left.

There is no fast moving lane to the right.

Crazy town.

It’s the same on the roads, but don’t get me started.

I would love it if someone could stand there – some official in a high viz vest and just educate my fellow commuters.

Stand to left, walk to the right.

It’s a simple message.

And couldn’t we have some posters in the trains or something?

We have posters for everything else.

C’mon Perth – it’s not that hard.

You can do it.

Seriously.

You CAN do it.

Please?

A Vespa and me, an inner-city moment

Oh yeah baby!

btw... short skirt + Vespa = a lot of leg = judiciously cropped photo

That’s me on the back of a Vespa about to scoot through the streets of Perth with TFB.

You don’t know TFB?

Let me just say that the T stands for The and the F stands for Fabulous.

’nuff said.

We are co-training a course and after today’s sessions we decamped with participants of said sessions for a quiet Sav Blanc (the only kind to have on a Wednesday evening) to the Grosvenor on Hay St.

A surprisingly full bar on a Wednesday night we discovered!

Anyhoo, said Sav Blancs consumed, TFB offered me a lift to the station on the back of her little green Vespa – Gecko.

How could I refuse?

An invitation is issued and turns out... I'm just a girl who can't say no... to a Vespa.

The city is different on the back of a scooter.

It smells different.

Less inside of manky, not cleaned often enough, car… and more… cement dust, exhaust fumes, still night air.

It looks different.

You notice the inside of restaurants, the people on the pavement, the hotels and the parks.

TFB drives me down to City West train station.

I swing my leg over the seat, flashing the control tops of my 50 denier tights, and slide off the helmet.

“You’re a pretty good pillion”, says TFB.

Yeah.

I still got it.

The legacy of a mis-spent youth… well… a boyfriend with a motorbike anyway.

I walk up to the platform feeling good and resolve to buy an apartment in the city… and a lime green Vespa.

Or… maybe a red one.

They go faster… right?

Why I catch the train

I know it's not London but it is still traffic

I had to drive my car into work the other day and on the way home got stuck in traffic.

I’ve been stuck in much worse traffic.

But it was just so irritating.

Especially because I hadn’t wanted to drive in case I got stuck in traffic.

Probably need to drive tomorrow… unless…

Groover?  Are you busy?

Perth Airport does something right

Perth Airport
Perth Airport
Photo thanks to M Munns

I’ve been known to slag off Perth Airport from time to time but on arrival last Monday I felt so welcomed that I have only praise.

I know.

I can’t quite believe it either.

I only took carry-on – which in itself is quite impressive for a four day weekend, plus conference, plus dinner dance – so I was able to waltz straight past the baggage retrieval thingys – what is the proper term for them anyway? – past the growing taxi rank – which is always ridiculous – and out to the general vicinity of where the shuttle collects you for the long term parking.

Except the shuttle was just leaving.

I made eye-contact with the driver and did that little moue of disappointment crossed with hopeful smile and gestures of where I need to stand to get a ride – you’ve seen me do it before I’m sure…it’s similar to the look I give at the bar when I finally get enough of your attention to order a crisp Sav Blanc or cheeky Pinot Noir… that look.

Anyway, instead of driving past me and off to the long term carpark, instead of pointing behind him, instead of ignoring me, the driver smiles… I kid you not… smiles, and pulls across the lane into the drop off zone and opens the door.

Off to the long term carpark love?

Thank you so much, I gush.

I turn on my phone to tweet my appreciation – still having a post-conference lovefest with twitter – and before I know it we are pulling into carpark A and I get out to pay the $62 bucks I owe for four days parking (short term would have cost $140 – which is outrageous) and I don’t have a credit card because I’ve had to cancel it again due to the number being on my daughters’ mobile that got lost over the weekend so I have to pay with wads of cash which fortunately I remember to get out of the bank while I was in Sydney.

Thank you I say sweetly to the kind driver and I make my way to the pay machine where a young girl in a high viz vest is smiling at me.

Hello, can I help you?

I’m struggling to find the ticket which I’m sure I’ve put somewhere safe in my wallet/mini-bag but of course it’s been four days and anything could have happened to it but eventually I find it and she puts it in the machine for me, and even though I’m perfectly capable of managing a pay machine as I am a grown up and tall enough to reach, it’s nice to be looked after.

Then she points to the bit where the money goes, and that’s good because I’m used to paying with credit cards which are SO much easier, and I only have a $100 bill because that’s what the bank gave me, but she assures me that the machine will accept such a big note and that I will get notes in change, which is also nice.

I get a cheery farewell and I’m off to my car patiently waiting in S row.

Now I didn’t really need a person helping me with the pay machine but I walked off feeling a bit special – it doesn’t take much.

I felt looked after.

And I’m sure it must be a pretty boring job but the girl was so cheery and sweet and made you feel as if it was her pleasure to be standing around a pay machine at 7.30 on a Monday night, as if there was nothing better she would want to be doing.

And that’s a skill.

So, Perth Airport people, please go and give the driver and the pay-machine girl at carpark A a pat on the back from me, they were great, and you can feel good about yourself too for employing them.

Well done.

Through the glass

So much grafitti

The late afternoon sun came through the graffiti on the way home yesterday and I really noticed it.

This morning, as I write this on my way to work the glass is gleaming and clear.

The clear glass

What a  difference.

It makes me wonder whether they put some sort of covering on the glass that they can replace occasionally to bring the windows… excuse the pun… up to scratch.

And if not, maybe that would be a solution to a problem all those security guards and cameras don’t seem to be able to solve.

What do they do in Washington DC? They would have the best kept metro I’ve been on.

Train etiquette: grooming

You will agree that polish removal was in order though I suspect.

So the other day I was about to leave for class when I noticed that my toe nail polish was, really, unacceptably chipped.

It was too late to do anything about it so instead I popped my swisspers (premoistened nail polish removal pads) into my bag and left.

On the train with no book to occupy my time and with my unkempt toes shouting “look at me” at me I thought well I may as well clean them off.

So I did.

Half way through the first big toe I realised that I might have been crossing an undefined but known train etiquette rule.

But by then my polish looked even worse and as I was already across the socially correct line I figured I may as well stay there and at least end up with more socially acceptable toes.

Luckily, or at least to my knowledge, noone I knew was on the train so I was spared that embarrassment.

I don’t think the same rules apply to finger nails.

I think you could definitely get away with cleaning your nails on the train.

Filing them is okay too.

And of course applying nail polish would also be okay if a trifle tricky giving the moving nature of the train.

There’s just something icky about toes.

The train is a No Toe Zone.