I will start this week’s post with a little self- indulgent literary wandering. Recently, I read a book by Bill Bryson. (William McGuire “Bill” Bryson, born December 8, 1951), is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on science. Born an American, he was a resident of Britain for most of his adult life before returning to the U.S. in 1995. In 2003 Bryson moved back to Britain, living in the old rectory of Wramplingham, Norfolk.) The book, called, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, is all about returning to the US after 20 years in the UK. The book was a series of articles he had written, published in various newspapers and pulled together as a best-selling volume. Although I enjoyed the first half of the book, the humour was beginning to wane in the second half and I was waiting for the end to arrive. So it was, with a little trepidation and a hint of curiosity I have begun another of his many books. This one has a local flavour and is called In a Sunburned Country and according to the author, the title is a bit of a play of words on our favourite poem by Dorethea MacKellar, I Love a Sunburnt Country. OK Bill, apart from your irreverent look at the Ozzie lifestyle and idiosyncrasies, which I can forgive, I cannot forgive your lack of research and poor spelling of place names. That said, I am enjoying his trip through “the outback” and errors aside, I feel is a better book than the I’m a Stranger Here Myself. If you get a chance to get your hands on a copy, do so.
While reading the book I was taken by his comments about historical sites in Australia. Generally speaking and it seems in real life, Bill is generally speaking, In Oz unless a historical site is popular it tends to get sort of, well, forgotten. Therefore there are no signs, safety railings, posters, billboards, ranger station etc etc etc to show where the site is located. Ya hafta get out there and find it for yaself! Or words to that effect. He compares sites in OZ to sites in US of A. In the US there are usually flags and marching bands and a whole commercial industry backing their historical sites. I mentioned much the same thing when I visited the site of Captain Thunderbolts Cave when based in the New England district late in 2012. My comments can be read at post number 282.
Friday 26th July
Knowledgeable, astute and memoried readers may have noticed the little numbers which occasionally start a daily post. So, what are the little numbers all about?
Somewhere in late May this year ( and I regret not marking the date on the calendar) I started a diet. My little pot belly which has been a constant companion for over thirty years has increased in recent years and I decided it was time to get the little paunch back to comfortable proportions.
So I weighed myself and lo the scales read 81Kg… exactly.
Gasp Shock Horror Dismay!!!
Hmmm! I would really like to get back to somewhere around 65Kg which was my weight when I was discharged from the Army 1,000 years ago.
I planned to lose weight slowly in which case there would not be much difference day to day.
I also planned to start my daily walks again and a bit more physical activity. Something which I have not done on a regular basis since starting our travels in September 2010.
I also introduced some mild yoga type exercises especially for my back.
The way I would reduce my weight would be via what I put in my mouth.
Reduce alcohol intake. No beer or spirits at 5pm. No wine with dinner.
No snacks, salted peanuts, chips, cheese and crackers at 5pm. This would also be a blessing to reduce my hypertension.
Reduce meal sizes.
No chocolates, jelly babies, cakes, puddings, ice cream, desserts.
Reduce carbohydrate intake. Such as no potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, pasta, rice, cous cous, bread (oh sob sob no more rye sourdough bread) and all other carb type foods. I still eat some carbs as it should be a part of a regular healthy diet but not to the amounts we used to have included with each meal and between meal snacks.
No meat pies (more sobbing)
Increase vegetables to compensate or preferably more salads.
Those little numbers are my weight at the beginning of that day.
So, 72.8 was my weight in kilograms this morning.
I made several dietary intake blunders today.
While shopping, I decided, on a whim, to celebrate by buying a meat pie and three potato scallops for lunch. After all, Donnis was working at St,Vincents Hospital at Kangaroo Point and she was not here to slap me on the wrist.
For those who do not know, a potato scallop is a thick slice of potato, dipped in batter and deep fried.
I managed to eat two greasy scallops, both dripping with oil, (actually I was hesitant about starting the second) and threw out the third. I felt terrible with all that greasy food clinging to my mouth and teeth and sliding around in my stomach. It felt like I had consumed enough oil to lubricate the car for the next 12 months.
For dinner I had two Lamb Short Loin Chops with lots of salad of course. For those who are not aware, Lamb is probably the fattiest, greasiest meat and lamb loin chops are the worst.
I weighed myself before going to bed.
That little dietary forgetfulness increased my weight by 1.1Kg. In one day.
After lunch I went to Kangaroo Point to collect the CO-PILOT after her shift. Kangaroo Point is one of our favourite spots in Brisbane.
Today I visited the park on the topmost cliffs to take a fresh look at the area and to wander around St.Mary’s Anglican (Church of England) Church at Kangaroo Point.
http://www.saintmarys.org.au/ This delightfully designed and preserved church is built from rock known as Brisbane Tuff which externally appears to be sandstone. It was built in 1873. The views across the river to the city are spectacular and especially the view from the rectory could not be rivalled anywhere. The unused rectory sits on land which would be valued in the millions of dollars. For good reason too.
In the Kangaroo Point cliff-top gardens I found two healthy juvenile Wollemi Pines.
These trees were once thought to be extinct as only 200 million year old fossils had been found. In 1994 a stand of trees was found in Wollemi National Park in NSW and through steps of seed propagation are now being planted to save it from extinction. In fact it has been sent overseas to USA, Japan and Scotland to name a few. The seeds have become collector’s item and often when the trees are in seed a protective fence has been built around them. Access to the Wollemi National Park site is also restricted. The story is a good read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wollemia
Saturday 27th July
Donnis has enrolled in a 2 day course at the University of Queensland so I dropped her there early this morning. Wow! The Uni is a worthwhile destination and we have bookmarked it for a future visit together.
I drove 25 Klms to the coast at Manly.
When I was a young boy, our family made occasional visits to Manly on the north shore of Sydney. Our favourite trip was via the Manly Ferry and I loved the beach and surf. As I grew older and could catch buses and ferries alone I continued visiting Manly. Later as a hormonally inspired teenager I visited Manly with my rowdy friends. This time as surfers to ride the specialist waves at Fairy Bower at the end of Manly Beach. https://www.google.com.au/search?q=fairy+bower+surf&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ZsP0UbHrO43VkwWToYEo&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=643 My memories of Manly therefore, are fond recollections of clear water and breaking surf. Manly, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly,_Queensland a suburb of Brisbane is another matter altogether. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreton_Bay Brisbane and its southern and northern bayside suburbs are within Moreton Bay. The bay is protected by a handful of islands, notably Stradbroke and North Stradbroke. For that reason what Brisbane calls “seaside suburbs” have no surf and therefore the water does not have that same appeal as Manly in Sydney. I visited the Manly Boat harbour Marina and admired its impressive size. Apart from the marina there was nothing to keep my interest.
One part of the marina caught my attention. Runabout type boats are stored in multi story racks.
After my visit to the “coast” today I have to revise comments we have made over the years where we describe ourselves as coastal people. We are coastal people, provided there is surf nearby.
Late in the afternoon sister Enid arrived so the three of us caught a bus to West End and had dinner at a Thai Restaurant.
Sunday 28th July
In the morning I drove Donnis to Dutton Park then walked her across the Eleanora Schonnel bridge to the University of Queensland
then back to the car and then home where I had morning coffee with Enid. After that we went back to Dutton Park, parked TERIOS and walked across the bridge, (AGAIN) then around lakes
and the perimeter of the Uni then around the grounds, including walking the entire cloisters surrounding the Great Court
and back to the car. We walked about 6 Klms.
Late in the afternoon after Enid went home I drove back to Dutton Park and crossed the bridge once more to collect Donnis. In all, I have probably walked more than 12 klms today.