Monday, September 27, 2010

Training by the Murray.

Sunday morning was one of those Sunraysia mornings that makes you glad you are alive. Started off a little overcast, a bit chilly but half an hour into our ride, sunny and gorgeous with a light breeze. Perfect cycling weather. We can only hope we have weather like this on our big ride.

We have been stepping up our cycling distances as we only have 8 weeks to the Great Victorian Bike Ride. My fitness has improved heaps, mainly due to the spin classes and the extra distances we have been completing on the bike.

Mildura doesn't have many hills but the ones that were bothering me months ago I can tackle confidently now. I am sure that I will struggle through the Strathbogie ranges though.

This morning we have ridden through the bike tracks between Johnsons Bend and Apex Park then onto the Mildura Marina and back through the streets to the must have coffee, before going home.

The Murray River looked magnificent this morning. The sun was shining off it, and due to flood waters upstream it is quite high and flowing strongly. The Sandbar at Apex Park has disappeared completely and a lot of boat owners have moved the position of their boats. There seemed to be a lot more paddle boats moored this morning and they are a lovely site.

Apparently we are in no danger of a big flood, but it is a long time since the Murray has had that much water in it, due to the prolonged drought. It is lovely sight to see.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blank Canvas to Green Garden

We have recently moved into a new home ( actually it was the same week as we moved the retail store to online only) so the past weekend has been the only opportunity so start gardening. I love to garden but when you are starting from nothing there is lots of infrastructure and groundwork to do before the fun part of planting starts.

The past few weeks have been sorting out a design, of which I have enlisted help from Margot Mills Garden Design. Margot has come up with a lovely plan that includes all the things I love. In particular I love Paul Bangay's formal gardens, with clipped hedges,straight lines and pleached trees. I do love colour in the garden and I do love my roses, so many have been included in the plan.

In Mildura we also have to be very conscious of our long hot summers and minimum water usage, so plants are being chosen with this in mind. But first we have to tackle the ground work. That's where my poor long suffering husband comes in. He really is quite handy though! He has already started laying paved paths and his next chore is to put in a small retaining wall and watering system and stepping stone paths surrounded with stones.

We are starting in the front garden and working our way around the house and it will certainly be a work in progress for a long time. But isn't that what gardening is all about? Of course our gorgeous dog Diesel has to be amongst the action and I only hope he keeps out of the newly created garden beds.

Monday, September 20, 2010

From Cross Stitch Class to Sewing Bee

Six weeks ago I started teaching a group of girls to cross stitch. The classes have finished now and the girls have enjoyed it so much, that we have turned it into a sewing bee. Over the course of the classes the girls have been stitching Christmas stocking, several are onto their second stocking, but now we can all please ourselves what we stitch. For me I won't be in the teaching role, and I can sit and stitch along with the others. My stitching love is reproduction samplers ( sampler = reproduction of daily life stemming back to the 1400's) of which I have stitched many over the years, and I have them displayed on the walls in my hallway. My next prioty though is a wedding sampler for my son and future daughter in law. The wedding is in March 2011 so I need to get working on it... but that one will certainly be stitched with love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Still Cycling ...

With only approx 10 weeks to the RACV Great Vic bike ride it is now time to up the training. I have increased my spin classes to two a week and one class of pilates. I am also cycling on the mountain bike two to three times a week, trying to increase the distance with each ride. Friday and Sunday we rode over 20 kms. I think my fitness is improving, but then I ride up a steep incline ( not too many hills around Mildura ) and I know I need a lot more training. We are going to encounter some large hills through the Strathbogie ranges but I am not trying to think about that too much. I am thinking if I can't ride up the hill, I will walk up the hill. The weather has improved greatly over the past week, and it has been very pleasant cycling around the district.