Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweat Lodge

Hot. I am trying to resist the call of the air conditioner. Going solar has made me a bit more careful about using electricity from the grid. Perhaps too careful about using electricity from the grid. And the aircon chews heaps of power.
It's going to reach 38 today, and is tipped to be 37 tomorrow. Only 34 for the rest of the week though, so I'll be searching for my thermals.
I've tried to fight it today, but these brick houses are really just large ovens, and once they heat up they stay hot. The fans have done half a job, but not enough. It will be the air conditioning tomorrow, for sure.
This was a well-intentioned, but awfully sweaty, mistake...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Ginger Prince

Paul Scholes, he scores goals.

Welcome back.

Monday, January 16, 2012

One (almost) perfect day...

Yesterday, Sunday, was about as good a day as I've experienced in a long, long time. Most days fall somewhere within the 'satisfactory' and 'quite good, really' range but yesterday was just that little bit better.
I enjoyed a sleep in, rising around 7.30. Once I was cleaned, scrubbed and fed, I sat down to watch Manchester United beat Bolton without the usual levels of anguish and frustration. It made for a pleasant and easygoing start to my day. Long live cable...
As the morning wore on, it became apparent that most of my neighbourhood friends had gone away for the day. Certainly the noise-making elements were refreshingly absent. The locale was devoid of yapping dogs, screaming and yelling, power tools, doors slamming and the like. Just me and the birds, and the soothing sound of someone mowing their lawn, away in the distance.
As it was deadline day, I completed an article that is destined to appear in Australian Cyclist. I mowed my lawns (very quietly and quickly, of course) and cleaned out the fridges. I played some of my old Jimmy Reed vinyl as I attended to my chores. There's no-one quite like Jimmy. I did some cooking, and prepared some bruschetta with home grown tomato, basil and garlic. I watched a few episodes of Dexter while I enjoyed a bottle of home-brewed bitter beer.
The sun was out, the sky was blue, and a beautiful breeze blew through the open house. Every time I entered the hallway, I was met with swirling summer air coming from all directions. Beautiful.
I watered the lawn in the evening, and had a chat with the neighbours before spending some time sitting out the front with a glass of wine and the "new" Jack Kerouac novel, The Sea is my Brother. It's the first Kerouac I've read since revisiting Desolation Angels a few years back, and it was a great way to greet the dusk.
I finished my Sunday watching the Martin Scorsese documentary Living in the Material World, telling the tale of George Harrison's life. I saw more new footage/photos of George and The Beatles in two hours than I have in the last 20 years.

Peace and quiet on a Sunday. Please Sir, I want some more...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back in the saddle

After a month of music, madness and merriment, I thought it might be a good idea to get back on the mountain bike. I was feeling doughy, slow, and old.
Yesterday, I rose at dawn, prepared myself, and left the house at seven. I didn't fancy climbing all the way up to Mount Lofty, not after the weeks of divine laziness, so I decided that Eagle on the Hill was a big enough climb for my comeback ride.
Two of us made the trip and, as expected, it felt a little more of a push than usual. I spent much of the climb sweating and panting. I could almost feel the mince pies working themselves out of my pores...
I was breathing pretty hard, but we made it to the top without too much pain or embarrassment. In fact, I felt better than I thought I would.
The downhill was an entirely different matter. I felt like I was flying.
By nine o'clock I was sitting in Luna Rosso on King William Street, having a coffee. Erm, no cake for me thanks...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last gig of the year

Last night I saw off 2011 by playing an early show at The Dan. It was a stinking hot evening and, although the pub was air conditioned, it was hot and sweaty up on the stage...
I'd not been feeling 100% in the lead up to the show. I'd pinged my back on Boxing Day morning and had been relying on pain-killers for a few days. Whether it was the tablets, the Christmas excesses, or the heat, I don't know, but in the days leading up to Hogmanay I felt about as energetic as Jabba the Hut. Rehearsing wasn't easy, and I couldn't decide on songs or instrument(s). I was concerned that I might resemble a shambles come showtime.
As it turned out, I strapped on the trusty 12-string and harmonica, played a complete one-hour set of originals, and seemed to go down pretty well; especially with my friends who had braved the scorched-earth conditions and ventured out.
I enjoyed a few ice cold pints of Guinness afterwards, watching and listening to the other acts, happy that the job was done, and done to my satisfaction.

Bye bye, 2011. It's been real.