Monday, February 18, 2013

Brrm Brrm Brrrm

Imagine my surprise when plumbing boy rocked into the office one day in December & announced he'd just bought me a new car!!!  He'd been talking about it for close to two years, so I really wasn't believing him.  We'd just had the air-con fixed in the old car after it not working for 12 months.  Fixed is probably a bit of an overstatement, as it depends upon what bump you've driven over as to how well it works.  

1 bump renders it not working at all, another bump will make it work on your feet only, another on the dash only, then another miraculous bump makes the whole lot work.  Yes, I know there is some sort of wiring issue going on.  So long as the windows still go up & down I can cope.  It's when the heating fails I get rather cranky.

True to his word, it arrived 13 days before Boxing Day.  You might think this is an odd number of days & day to remember this by: reason being, on the 14th day, I broke the new car.  

I had the family on board & we were in 1st gear slowly attempting to drive up my aunts driveway (they have a Pajero which fits).  Our car has 6 gears.  I was in first.  It stalls in second if you go too slow.  This hopefully gives you an idea of how slow I was going.  On my right hand side is a low brick fence & a massive hedge going up the driveway.  On the left, a garden bed & the letter box.

I can see the fence & hedge on my side, but all I can see is the top of the letter box on the passenger side.  Slowly I inch up till I feel some resistance.  Hang on I say to Dad, I think I'm in the garden bed on the left.  Dad sticks his head out the window & says yes, you're hard up against it.  I try to roll back, then reverse back but seem to be turning closer & closer towards the brick wall on my right.  Everything feels wrong.

I stop & ask Dad to get out & have a look as the steering wheel feels like not matter which way I turn it, the wheels are not following.  This in fact was true.  The tie rod arm to the steering had snapped underneath the car & the left wheel was pointing one way, the right pointing the other (both outwards).

I just felt sick.  How could this happen!  Plumbing Boy is gonna KILL ME!!!!!  First thing I do is call him.  He's not a happy camper, but keeps his temper in check.  We take photo's under the car of the damage (thanks Sis - my hands were too shaky to take clear pictures!) & email them to PB, who sends them on to the dealer who was actually open as they were having a boxing day sale.  

I didn't realize but the car comes with road side assist for the warranty period.  A tow truck arrived & with (far too much) help from all of us (traffic control & explaining to the driver he had to jack up the car & straighten up the busted wheel before attempting to winch it onto the tow truck) it was gone.  14 days.

2 weeks later we got it back.  It was fixed under warranty.  I'm still a little nervous about what else will break now & do not want to take it 4 wheel driving.  We are slowly making friends.  I've put on a few stickers on it & have started to make it feel like my car, you know, with all the assorted crap you usually have in your car, so hopefully it will kind to me from now on.

Now, you may be asking, where are the pictures!!!!  You'll have to wait until Ute publishes them which I'd imagine will be sometime soon :0)

But I can show you the rock & the broken bit!!!

The broken bit above & the rock below 
(it wasn't cemented in - my uncle has already taken out the front spoiler of his commodore on it)

without rock

Spoiler of car below.  If you look carefully on the outer top of the tyre as it disappears into the shade, you can see the mark the rock made, turn the wheel back 100 - 110 degrees & that was the position that I nudged the rock with on the outside of my tyre - I guess you could say I side swiped it.

Now, I just need to take some decent photo's of it & email them to Ute!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Port Douglas 2013

Plumbing boy & I snuck off to Port Douglas Jan 26th for a week once all our staff were back from annual leave.  We went to visit my cuz who qualified last year as a personal trainer.  My holiday was very physical!  She also has a 2 & a 4 year old who kept us busy & therefore were in bed before 9pm every night bar our last one!

Her hubby collected us from the airport in Cairns & chauffeured us up to Port.  Within a couple of hours my cuz had confiscated me to hike the Bump Track with her.  It would have been 30 degrees at least when we set out & I was looking like a right tomato head a 1/3 of the way up!  The first 3rd is very steep uphill, the 2nd third a little up & down, the last third slightly undulating.  I'm not sure exactly how much of it we walked (we started at the hard end & it took us 2.5 hours but there were a few tree's down & we had to navigate some nasty prickly vines) so imagine at least 5 of the 6kms + return.  I certainly earned my dinner that night!

Sunday PB & I got up early & took Buddy (dog) for a run on the beach.  PB struggled massively with the heat & didn't quite make the 6km.  I had to stop & take off my shoes to cross a storm water channel as the tide was too far in & the channel too wide for me to jump (without falling it!!).  Trying to get my feet dry & socks back on with out sand was challenging!!!

After breakfast we went for a drive to the Mossman river & tried some stand up paddle boarding.  Stand up paddle boards are pretty self explanatory: like surf boards except you have a paddle.  Here is my cousin & her 2 year old at the first rest stop.

Ty had fallen asleep by the time we got where we were going (about 4.5kms up river)!  She can paddle with both the 2 & 4 year olds or one of them & the dog on her board!!!

Plumbing boy cooling off in the rapids

It was much cooler here than back in Port.  The beautiful rain forest & the crisp cool water was much needed relief.  They had their hottest day in 40 odd years while we were up there & the hottest week on record according to one of the locals!

Once we'd paddled upstream & had a rest (I swear I was paddling on the spot for ages not going anywhere!!!!) we got to float back to our starting point.  A 1 hour paddle upstream took us less than 10 minutes to get back!

 The cutest puppies in the world were keen to go paddling too, but weren't quite strong enough swimmers.  My cousin's dog had sired not one but two litters by the time we left!  The first was planned with another pure bred Kelpie.  There were 9 in the litter, 1 died in the first couple of weeks & 4 were sold before we arrived.  By the time we took this picture (on our second Mossman river paddle) darling Leo had been sold leaving these three cuties.  I swear I would have taken one home had we been driving!!!

The second litter was not planned & was with a Blue Healer who's owner is a little remiss in keeping his dog at home.  The first attempt was when the she dog backed herself up to the front gate & they tried to do the deed with the gate between them!!!  Luckily my cousin saw what was happening before they were locked together & pulled them apart, but she wasn't so quick a couple of days later when  she dog snuck in the gate while she was strapping Ty into his car seat & by the time she realized, they were locked together & nothing could be done but wait til they'd finished.  6 more puppies arrived while we were there.

Monday my cuz usually runs a boot camp (abs), but due to the lack of Telstra coverage on mobile/internet/land line she couldn't let anyone know it was on, plus it was a public holiday.  We went anyway & I had my own personal session at sunrise on the main beach of Port Douglas.  It was beautiful!!!  Besides the ahhh sweat, sand & pain LOL.

Tuesday was spin class; Wednesday was boot camp again (legs this time); then we hired a boat & went out to the Lowe Isles about a 30 minute boat ride from Port for some snorkling.

Saw lots of fish, turtles, a small ray, a baby shark, giant clams & lots of coral.  After lunch we unpacked the stand up paddle boards & paddled over to & into the mangroves to check out the juvenile fish.  It was very calm so not a lot hard than paddling up the river.  We had one last snorkle then headed back to Port.

Thursday was rest day because I could barely get out of bed.  Everything between knee's & shoulders hurt!!!!  Time for a massage!!!  And it was bloody good!

Friday morning PB came to boot camp with us - this time it was stand up paddle board boot camp, but as there was only one paying participant besides us, we just went for a paddle.  Although I felt more stable I was still getting left behind!!!  Saw a couple of little rays & few fish & of course another beautiful sunrise!  Later that morning we took the paddle boards back to the Mossman river as my cuz helps out her mate who hires them out & he had 3 hires for a river paddle.  While I still felt like I was paddling on the spot I was most surprised to find we'd arrived at the turn around point!!  I must have been getting better!!!

That night we had a few of my cuz's friends over for BBQ dinner as it was our last night.  There were kids running around everywhere splashing in the pool & a fine time was had by all!  We managed to stay up after 9pm this night!!!

PB & I are god parents to both the kids so we filled in most days just hanging out with them (& cooling off in the pool).  The 4 year old only just remembered us from our visit 2 years ago & the 2 year old didn't remember us at all.  I had a permanent attachment to my leg for half the trip via Ty.  My cuz sent me a text on Monday letting me know Ty had spent the entire day saying "where cat, where cat".  He was struggling with the concept we'd gone home to Melbourne!  Awwwwww.  Too cute.

We made our way home to a much cooler Melbourne & rather enjoyed having a doona to snuggle under without aircon!  While it wasn't exactly a relaxing holiday, it was great to get out of the office & into the outdoors.  Kind of the perfect kick start to our next trip: The Black Cat Track hike in May.  Stay tuned!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Phase 2 Complete

OK I have been a totally slack blogger I know. I have a queue of posts in my head that I never seem to have time to write.  They are usually created while running or while nodding off to sleep.  Neither times are very convenient for conversion.

I finally caught up with PT 2 & had my first session last week.  After stalking the gym for a couple of weeks (PT 1 was full time on reception which made it a little awkward to tee up a meeting with PT 2 through PT 1), PT 2 was nowhere to be seen!!!  I figured he must have been on holidays; then I had a week of leave but ran into him the first night back at gym from holidays & asked him if he was interested in taking on any more PT clients.  

After joking that if the client was me he wasn't interested, he asked me to give him 5 minutes while he finished off with a client then came & had a chat with me.  He'll be together a weight program to do on days I'm not doing PT after he puts me through my paces (should get that this week) plus giving me homework to do each week.

He also wanted me to bring in a weeks worth of food consumption for him to have a look at which I've done.  First thing he said was to cut my OJ first thing (giving me a sugar spike) followed by coffee (dehydrating me), have a glass of water 1st thing out of bed & at least half of my regular breakfast within 1 hour of getting up.

My old routine was 5am alarm, 6am Juice, 6.30am coffee, 8am cereal fruit & yogurt.

New routine 5am alarm 5.10am water 5.45am - 6am 1/2 breakfast with the balance eaten by 8am.

The other thing he wanted to change was insert 10am & 4pm snacks.  I'm usually not hungry at 10am & have a cup of green tea.  I've reduced my cereal a little & am having a hard boiled egg or a handful of nuts.  Lunch  is usually at 12 & then I often don't eat until 8pm (forget or by the time I'm hungry it's too late as I'm on my way to gym!).  4pm snack is now a banana or handful of nuts.  This is supposed to keep my metabolism working which will burn fat & the protein feeds the muscles.  I'm already 1/2kg down!!

I had to set some goals:
Leaner: no more muffin top / clothes fit better
Stronger: improve upper body strength / better form & number of push ups / better posture & less issues with sitting at a desk all day at work
Fitter: better lung capacity for scuba / better running form/increase running speed &/or distance / better overall health
Calmer: improve stress & anxiety levels.

He said he can help with the first 3, wasn't sure about the 4th, but we are hoping that the first 3 will flow on & make me less anxious.  A good example would be scuba diving.  I get anxious when we dive in current that I'm not strong enough & will get left behind/carried away in the current.  Being physically stronger & improving my breathing should eliminate that.

The first session was good & reasonably challenging; it was designed to see at what point various muscles fatigue so he can see what my weak points are.  The guy has a degree in Bio-mechanic's & seems to know his shit & I feel really good about what I am doing.  This week I have 2 sessions so am sure I will be in a little more pain by Thursday; wish me luck!!!!!