Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Now I've never really been one for gardening. It's hot, it's dirty and I've always found it a bit difficult. I'd look around the yard and think - well it's green and it's growing - I'll leave it be. Not quite sure what to do. Lately though, with this wondrous monsoonal weather, cool breezes and SO MUCH RAIN I've been tempted. Inspired I suppose.
Several of my good friends are gardeners. I admire them so for their  motivation in getting into the yard work on any given day, regardless of whats on tv, or what demands their children are hurling toward them. I want to be a gardener - it's such an appropriate hobby and I need more of them.
So my dear friend Leisa got us over to her Dads place, who has this amazing garden full of tropical splendour. His wife walked me through the garden, cutting off branches from many a tree/plant/bush/foliage and placing them in my arms with love. She said over the past 10 years they have given their friends cuttings from the same plants - many of whom have blooming gardens based on the produce they received the same way I was now receiving.
So we took it all home. Surprisingly 3 weeks earlier I had mulched our yard, because I thought it was about time. We have only lived here for 5 years. 3 hours and one trailer load of dirt scattered through the garden, I was exhausted but pretty bloody pleased with myself.
Heres what I know now, one week into this gardening hobby. It turns out you can cut branches of plants off, stick them in the ground and they grow. Especially during the wet season. Why do people even go to the plant shop? We now have a delicious array of crotons with leaves of deep green scattered with spots of orange and pink, stuck in a row along our fence line. Big luscious bromeliads with juicy branchlike leaves. Hibiscus and bougainvillaea in buckets waiting to be transplanted. Elephant Ears (possibly not the scientific name) looking all Jurassic Park in our delicious garden.
I am in the process of weeding out a plague of purple flowered devils, who have slowly overtaken our front garden. They won't be pulled out by hand - it's a trowel and glove job - I have the blisters to prove it. Terrifically there are about a thousand worms per square metre so the kids are completely onboard with gardening, as it seems worms are awesome. The fatter and juicier the better.
We dig in the rain, the wind, the heat. I find it strangely meditative, the sweat dripping off me, the pile of dug up weeds growing larger, the arranging of plants in a line. I've committed myself to doing 10 minutes a day, which is so easy I end up doing 2-3 times more. It's exercise, it's outside, it's rewarding. It's even free!
So. My ode to gardening in the wet season. Mild case of chafing and several (what I would consider) severe blisters, but dammit I'm sticking with it! Open Garden 2016 here we come!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Every (2-3) days I'm shuffling

I've started running again.
To clarify that - I've started shuffling again. I am beyond slow. It's possible I walk faster than I run.
Nevertheless it's definitely classified as running. And I'm doing it, regularly.
I've hooked up runkeeper, who cheers me on via my iphone & keeps sending me emails telling me what personal records I've broken. I love it. So supportive.

I've several playlists to choose from, all fast, dancey, motivating tracks. I've taken to wearing a headband so the earbuds stay in my ears, as it seems my entire body is capable of sweating, including my inner ear. I like to think I look pretty cool with that headband on, in fact I'm sure of it. Without it my hair is frizzy, several shades of brown/blond/grey and messy. Always messy. Even when I 'do' my hair it still looks messy. The humidity in Darwin only adds to my windswept appearance. Doesn't bother me most of the time, unless I catch a surprise glimpse of myself in a window and I wonder who is that strange looking person and why doesn't she brush her hair?

My feet have been troubling me for over 18 months now. Heel spurs, plantar fascitis, whatever it's called they hurt. Like crushed glass beneath the skin on the sole of my foot. Being overweight doesn't help matters. In fact, according to that rude and slightly offensive BMI chart I am now considered obese. My poor feet. What a load they must carry. I thought I would never run again, considering how hard it often was to walk. Then I found out about orthodics. Inserts for your shoes. You can have special ones fitted by a podiatrist, but that costs a lot. I went with middle of the range one size fits all from the physio and hello! My feet don't hate me anymore. I'm even feeling quite fond of them again.

Anyway, the running. The first few minutes it hurts, I reassure myself I will only keep going for another minute or two, then I'll walk for a bit. The next few minutes hurt more but I suck it up. Breathe and plod. Breathe and plod. Breathe and plod. Then miraculously that's what I'm doing, my mind is wandering but focussed. Breathe and plod. Breathe and plod.

I'm not going far, or for long periods. Averaging about 3k, running/shuffling/plodding for most of it.
I'm stretching like a yogi afterward (the trick is to keep my headphones in & let the music keep me moving), drinking heaps of water and feeling....shit hot. I love it.

Yesterday I took the dog to the beach and mostly we walked, but we are in the middle of a glorious monsoon and soon enough we were in the midst of some serious rainfall. So I ran, over the sand, laughing, puffing, running back to the car. It was a magnificent feeling, free as a bird and completely willing and able to run. The dog loves it. I love it. That's pretty good.