Thursday, 26 April 2018
Anyway- with the kids finally loaded into the car we drove around to the National Park main entrance and took the kids for a hike on essentially the same loop we had just run - just a slightly shorter version. It was pretty hot and my legs were really tired by this stage, but it was nice to walk at a leisurely pace and really take in all the views.
Afterwards we hit the beach for an hour to cool off which was great, then headed home for a very late lunch.
After a bit of a rest, Zali and I drove down to Maroochydore to go to the large shopping centre with aim of buying some things to replace some of the more weathered and outdated nick-necks at Paul’s apartment. We had good success at the shops (more on this later) but the real excitement was on the way home, when we got a flat tyre. I was able to find a side street so we could change it safely - and I was also able to teach Zali how to do it which was actually really cool - whilst a flat tyre is never convenient I’m really glad I got this opportunity to show Zali how to deal with it.
The funny thing was that just 20 minutes earlier I had impulse bought some wet-wipes from Target, so not only were we able to change the tyres like pros (ok, more like competent amateurs), but we were able to get our hands nice and clean afterwards!
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Jon still has some injury problems so I went out by myself at abut 7am for a run in Noosa National Park.
Although I know the route pretty well from my previous visit I’d completely forgotten how lovely the forest and views are.
The only bit I don’t love is the bit near main beach, where even at 7.30 *maybe especially at 7.30am*, there are hundreds of people and surfers with surfboards and prams walking the trail. The rest of the run is pretty quiet though.
Back at the apartment it took until 11am to get everyone out the door and off to the beach. We fluked a parking spot near Main Beach (it’s soooo busy there) then spent a couple of hours body boarding.
After that we did some window shopping on Hastings Street (while the kids waited for their ice-cream order) then went home for a late lunch.
Unfortunately it's been a bit hard to pry the children away from the comfy apartment - it seems like a bit of a waste for them to be here! Hopefully tomorrow we can get them out of the house for a bit longer.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
This morning Jon and I got up especially early (but not earlier than the majority of Gold Coast joggers I have noticed), and drove about 10 minutes to Seaworld. Not because I wanted to break in and free all the seals but because I wanted to investigate the 7.5km Federation Walk which starts opposite the park (and even has its own website). It was a nice change from running on the bike-paths and it was good to get more of an insight into the geography of the place. It’s just amazing that more people live on the Gold Coast than in the whole of Tasmania.
Back at home we packed up and headed north to Ikea for breakfast The kids had their traditional breakfast jelly and Jon and I enjoyed the breakfast refillable soft drink (good thing we went for that run!).
After that we continued north past Brisbane to the Glass House Mountains where we forced the by now quite grumbly kids to do a 6k circuit loop walk.
Jon and I really enjoyed it (not the grumbly kids, but the hike). We came across a metre long procession of caterpillars which was cool, and we also got great views of these crazy Glasshouse mountains.
Monday, 23 April 2018
Today started much like day 1, except this time I got up and ran/walked (mostly walked actually) without Jon as he has a niggling injury. I headed north from our apartment for a few kilometres - the views weren't that much different to yesterday, but still pleasant!
We made it to the gates of Dreamworld at the crack of 10:30 - which despite only being half an hour after opening caused us to have one of the longest (and hottest) waits of the day as we queued up for tickets. Once we got to the front I was pretty happy to discover that they had a special which meant if we purchased a season pass for 1 child, one adult got in for free, consequently we saved around 80 bucks compared to yesterday which was eye-wateringly expensive as Zali is too old (14!) to pass as a child.
Anyway - once in we had a good day. It wasn't a super busy day for Dreamworld, so we didn't have to wait much more than 20 minutes for any ride, and once we'd exhausted our interest in the dry rides we went into the water park section of it and had a lot of fun on the waterslides there. We left as the park closed at 5.
So it's been fun but I'm glad we're not going to any more worlds this trip - there's only so much queuing (ad spending!) I can cope with! Dreamworld was fun because it was big and had the waterpark, and Movie World was fun because the 'thrill' rides were awesome. It wasn't the most cost effective pair of worlds to visit but I'm glad we did.
The first full day of our Queensland holiday started with a nice run along the waterfront from our somewhat..um.. well-worn apartment on Marina Esplanade. We ran right past a whole lot of Commonwealth Games infrastructure including the swimming arena - it seems like there is still a lot of packing up to do.
After breakfast we headed off to Movie World, one of the two worlds we've planned to visit here on the Gold Coast. It was lots of fun - Jon and I did most of the big rides, while the kids had lots of fun on the less 'thrill' rides.
Being Movie World there were also heaps of shows, including a stunt car driving which was pretty impressive..it certainly looked dangerous!! (not represented in this photo though)
There were also plenty of performances on the 'main street' - such as Catwoman beating up two baddies, and Batman coming along later to do the same. Marilyn Monroe also performed on the main street -she bore a striking resemblance to whoever the lead actress in The Great Gatsby is who came out to sing later. The crowds weren't too bad - as expected the queues for rides were much shorter at the start of the day, and reached their peak around 12. We had a few waits of about 20 minutes to half an hour but it wasn't too bad.
We left Movie World and headed to Surfers Paradise for a look at the beach, It was pretty wind swept and also shaded by the apartment buildings at 4pm. Maybe that's a welcome relief in the height of summer. Our apartment is about a 5 minute drive north of Surfers Paradise and we look across the water to Sea World and the back of Main Beach.
Saturday, 21 April 2018
On Thursday Zali decided to make a Milo cake. Complete with the bogus 4.5 health star rating and Zali's suggested serving size of 5 heaped teaspoons. I was also pleased to see it had the normal amount of milo mess that I often see on the bench when I get home from work!
While she did that, Jett amused himself with the icing scraps..
The other day Jon and I went to Taroona High School for the parent teacher interview thingies. Sitting outside my old maths classroom on the top floor of A-block was pretty weird! Most of the classrooms look the same but I noticed that the old lino has been replaced by carpet -that's funny as I remember that the switch from carpeted floors everywhere to noisy & cold lino flooring was one of the things I really noticed I when I moved over from Fahan in grade eight. I'm glad Taroona has carpet now!
It's also funny that I don't remember a single parent teacher night while I was a student there, although perhaps they existed but I certainly don't remember mum and dad attending any! Nowadays they are so well patronised by parents that there are strict time limits and procedures so the teachers aren't booked up until midnight.
I think I've mentioned it before, but there's a hotel in Launceston which gives its customers a complimentary glass bottle of water each time they stay. We have a friend who stays at this hotel for work quite often, so I asked him if he could save a few of them for me. So armed with three of these bottles my original intention was to turn them into drinking glasses but once I cut them down I realised they were too large to be practical even for the biggest drinker.
So instead, Zali and I made some cool succulent pots for the windowsill. Getting the plants and rocks into the glass was quite tricky - it took a few attempts and a fair bit of mess before we worked out a suitable technique..
The plants look so perfect they look plastic - but they are real! (Unless Bunnings pulled a swiftie on me!)
Monday, 9 April 2018
A year ago we were in NZ. Those were the days..
Sunday, 8 April 2018
It's rare that we get a day in St Helens when we aren't heading straight off to an orienteering event, but with nothing on today we were able to have a relaxed morning before we headed home. I woke up early (as usual in post-end-of-daylight-savings era), and went for a nice walk along the foreshore where the black swans were gliding silently around and the early morning fisherpeople were catching fish from the jetties.
When we left a few hours later we stopped at the little reserve just south of Scamander that we've been driving past for 10 years. It was great to finally get a chance to check it out!
It was really lovely and I'd like to come back and go for a run sometime. We limited ourselves to about 20 minutes walking as Zali was waiting for us in the car as she has a jack-jumper bite on her foot which she has had a bad reaction to.
Saturday, 7 April 2018
While everyone else was either packing up yesterday's event or resting after packing up yesterday's event Clare and I snuck out for a nice walk at Binalong Bay..
Amusingly, I had a ding-dong battle with Clare today out in the forest, although it wasn't really a battle, it was more of a scrub-survivors-support-group.. let me explain...
Clare and I both started early so that we could get back ahead of the regular finishers. Clare left first and I started just over 2 minutes behind her. The first leg on our course required us to crash through some horrible thick tea tree scrub which I really didn't enjoy. Clare had intended to take the same route but made a bit of an error, so I actually caught her up as she made a further error at the third control. The next few legs were short, so it was hard for either of us to get away, but then we both made a mistake on a fairly simple leg, and I followed that up with a 2 minute mistake near the next control. This meant Clare was out of sight ahead of me (which I was quite relieved about) so I went about the next 3 controls on my own. The next leg involved another thick scrubby gully crossing. There was supposed to be a taped route through it, but I couldn't find the tapes I just bashed through it, fighting and pushing through the bushes - it was nasty. When I got to the other side I swore rather loudly with annoyance and relief. I am not normally incited to swear while I am orienteering so it is evidence of how frustrated I was at not being able to find the marked crossing point, and instead having to bash through the cutting grass and scrub.
What I didn't realise was that Clare had attempted to cross the same gully just ahead of me. She had found, but then lost the crossing tapes, thus managing to get herself completely disoriented and stuck in the thick green scrub. When she heard me swear she yelled out 'where are you I've got no f**king idea where I am'!
'I'm here!!' I yelled. 'Come to my voice!' - I stopped and waited for Clare to battle her way out of the scrub. It was clear she was totally disoriented as she immediately wanted to head straight back into it - she had no idea that we'd actually crossed over, she thought she'd just emerged on the same side she went in! I set her straight on where we were and we headed off together to the next control, united in our dislike for that particular aspect of the course.
The rest of the race was relatively uneventful. Clare pulled away a bit as we took different route choices and I was a bit slower. Funnily enough we both ended up being amongst the fastest on the course for the day - I was 5th and Clare was 7th of the 65 competitors who ran course 4. It was a tough day out but ultimately satisfying and it was nice to stand on the podium with Clare at the end of the 3-day competition (Clare 1st, me 2nd).
The third major job I had for this carnival was the preparation of all the maps. Basically this meant liasing with each day's event organiser, then framing every course of every event within a nice template containing all the event logos and other bits and pieces like the north arrows, scale and safety information. It was both fun and tedious. And the funny thing is that when Jon originally asked if I wanted to do it, I said 'no way!' Then Clare was approached to do the job by her dad - she said yes but then had to assist her dad do a zillion other tasks as he was both official event controller, and building a fence. So after a quick Adobe Indesign tutorial from Clare I offered to take over.
And I'm glad I did. I liked the challenge of finding a consistent look for the event that used the colour schemes and fonts we were already using, and also finding the best fit for each of the 93 courses in the carnival - a3, a4, landscape or portrait. I learnt a lot doing this - after taking 6 hours to do the courses for the first day, I got the other days down to just a few hours each. It certainly helped that I was only working part time and was able to come home from work and spend the rest of the afternoon at my computer.
Friday, 6 April 2018
This is a lovely photo of Zali, running to the finish on the aptly named Lovely Banks map.. (thanks to Warwick Moore for allowing me to use his photos)
Zali had a great 3-day event, She was 2nd on the first day, 4th on the second day, then she came from 11 seconds behind overall on the last day to take a strong victory by a few minutes. She excels when it gets tricky.
Jett also ran really well, improving every day then having a really good run when the going got technical on the last day.
Aside from dealing with prizes I’ve had two other big jobs in the Tasmanian Orienteering carnival. The most important was organising the first event - called the Prologue' I was officially “controller” for Clare which meant my job was to make sure everything was correct and fair with the courses and starts and control placement and everything else like that. Clare set the courses and together we basically organised the whole thing. To add some pressure the event was classed as a World Ranking Event for the elite athletes which meant we had an extra set of rules to follow and standards to apply.
Ultimately (and with much releif), the event was a success. We got lots of great feedback and after a year of planning it was great to see photos of people actually out on the courses enjoying our event.
Paul lent us his tigers for the last control.