Well its been a while since I decided to make some changes in my life and start to take care of myself. if I was honest I’d have to admit the motivation to start to take care of my health was more a fear of getting sick rather than any real ego about my appearance. Still it was a good idea and so it was last Thursday morning that I found myself in the local gym taking my place in a spin class that had been advertised as being for beginners. As I looked around it became obvious that there weren’t many beginners in sight, they all had the latest gym clothes and looked like the last thing they needed was to lose weight or tone up. in fact most of them looked like they lived at the gym and seemed to know the instructor by first name and exactly what equipment to use. In my case I had to ask the instructor how to use the laid back bike because it seemed completely unnatural compared to the normal push bikes I’d been used too in my youth. The class finally started and suddenly I found I had five minutes on each machine before a buzzer would go off and I’d have to move onto the next machine. Each time we got to the three minute mark the instructor made us speed up until I was pedalling like a maniac as if I was chasing somebody up the road. in fact it brought back lots of memories as a kid pedalling through the suburbs without a care in the world. Finally the class ended and I stumbled into the next room where there was some sedate music being played and what looked like a lot of very peaceful people sitting in weird poses. Turns out it was a meditation class with a hippy looking instructor sitting on a very attractive printed yoga mat quietly singing a chant along with a silver gong. I thought this was a much better way to spend time in the Gym and made a mental note that in the future I would sign up for this meditation course before I did another spin class. The instructor asked me if I’d made a booking to come back tomorrow but I explained that I felt I needed some time out before I could manage that much exertion again. He looked a bit disappointed because I think he thought I was likely new member. In all fairness I doubt if I’d go back again, next time I think I’ll just go for a long walk instead.
This weekend I got to spend the whole time alone as my wife and son had gone to visit his grandmother over in Everton Park. I suddenly realised I hadn’t spent a night alone in my own home for probably four or five years and was quite excited at the idea of all the things I could do which my wife wouldn’t normally like. I had my evening planned, it started with a few beers with my mates on the back deck, then progressed to me lounging around on our large comfortable sofa eating a home-made selection of fish and chips without any salad. I wouldn’t even put the towel down on the couch before I ate which normally would infuriate my wife and get me sent to the dining table in disgrace. The first part of the evening went well and my mates and I enjoyed a few cold beers while watching the football on the TV I had rolled out onto the deck. Once the game was finished and they all wandered back home I settled in to make my fish and chips. Luckily my wife had bought me a very special men’s retro apron to wear whenever I cooked because I made such a mess of all my clothes. Unfortunately things didn’t go fully to plan because the fish which I had liberally covered in my own special recipe batter decided to virtually explode when I put it into the deep oil pan which I had clearly overheated too much. This meant the batter splattered all over the back wall, down the sides of the kitchen cabinets, across the back of the stove and worst of all all over me. Luckily I was wearing the apron because the batter was scalding hot and it protected me from getting badly burnt. As it was I got some of the batter on my arms and its stung like hell. I spent the next few hours cleaning the kitchen trying to make it look like nothing had ever happened, and then I rang for a pizza to be delivered so that I could at least enjoy the rest of my evening. Funnily enough when it arrived it turned out to be the wrong order so I just accepted that my night was write-off and went to bed.
After a number of successful antique hunts for things to take our daughter on a regular visits down South, my wife has decided that we need to renovate our `ready in time for summer and all the grilling we will do with our neighbours. Now I’m not against the grilling idea, but I suspect the renovation is more about giving my wife the opportunity to go to the local markets and buy all sorts of interesting knickknacks more than it is to just entertain our friends. I confronted her with this idea, but she simply smiled and said she was just getting in the mood of creating a nice community in our area. Anyway a few days later she took off to the markets down near the beach where we live to see if she could find something to hang from the beams across the top of our pergola. I had suggested perhaps some nice hanging plants as well as some pretty pictures of scantily clad young girls, but she simply gave me a deep frown and told me to be a good old man. A few hours later she came home with a brown paper package and a big smile on her face which told me she had found something that she thought was going to do the job. She opened it excitedly in front of me and took out this beautiful large dream catcher with felt binding and jewels and stones stuck in the webbing. It was wonderful and I told her I thought she had found the perfect thing for our deck. I immediately took it outside and hung it from the beam over the back stairs where it swung in the breeze and would greet anybody who was coming over for a visit. My eldest son came home a little bit later that night and banged his head on the dreamcatcher as he came in in the dark. I told him it was to keep bad dreams away and it seemed to be trying.
After finding an amazing candelabra in an antique shop my wife was keen to get to buy Bay to see her daughter and the grandkids as soon as possible so she could show off her new prize. We took only about an hour to get from Sunshine Bay all the way to Byron Bay because my wife was continually encouraging me to go faster and not stop for any food along the way. When we got to my daughter’s house up in the hinterland of the Bay Area she was waiting for us at the gate with a big smile on her face clearly happy that we have arrived. We went straight inside to have a cup of tea where my wife showed her the rusty candelabra and then my daughter surprised us both by bringing out a pair of old wind chimes that she had bought at a local market only the day before. Both my daughter and wife preened themselves over their purchases and told their stories of how they had handled the price down and gotten such good bargains. It must run in the DNA of my family to go looking for bargains at garage sales and junk markets. My son-in-law took me out to the outside shed to show me all the objects my daughter had bought over the last few years at the local markets with the intention of cleaning them up and restoring them so she could sell them for a profit. He said the new windchimes would undoubtably end up in the shed by the end of the week and he would be given the task of cleaning them up, removing any rust, fixing the string and giving them a coat of paint. He didn’t seem particularly pleased with the idea, so I just chuckled and told him that it was part of the price for marrying my daughter.
So we finally took off to visit our daughter in Byron Bay again last weekend, it’s been a few weeks since we were last there and my wife had found those amazing antique rosary beads which caused such a stir. My wife was determined to try to find something that my daughter would like just as much and she planned to stop at a number of antique shops along the way. I told her that it was extremely unlikely that she would find something as good again but she was determined to better her last outing and bring home the goods. Even my daughter was excited at the thought of our visit because she knew her mother was desperately out shopping to find something special to bring her and the kids. I wasn’t as excited because in my mind I would rather just get there and relax, rather than drag myself through a heap of antique shops looking for that special something. First stop was a quirky antique shop in sunshine bay that specialised in Korean war antiques and collectables. Unfortunately with objects of this age they can often be very expensive so I warned my wife not to get too excited about anything in particular until I had a chance to check out the price. As luck would have it my wife immediately found in the back of the shop a wonderful old candelabra which had clearly seen better days but with a little bit of elbow grease would polish to a beautiful silver colour. It was pre-20th-century and had rust all on the top bar as well as some sort of silver worm in the base. It was less than $100 so my wife swooped on it like the great shopper she is and haggled with the owner until she got a giant discount.
It was a beautiful day last Sunday and my wife and I decided it was time to make our annual trip down to Byron Bay where our daughter lives with her new husband and two children. They usually come to us but recently the weather had been so bad that they had stayed at home for more than a few months. This time then we decided to go visit them up in the mountains surrounding Byron Bay. My wife was very excited as we hadn’t seen our daughter in over three months and of course she couldn’t wait to spoil the grandchildren. The drive usually takes about three hours from where we live but we had bought a new car recently and I expected to make the trip into a half hours less. My wife usually likes to stop along the way at some of the more interesting shops in the hills in regional New South Wales. Her favourite place is the Crystal Palace but she usually find some out of the way Tea house or curiosity shop to have a rummage around in as well. The last time we went she found some beautiful antique rosary beads that I was sure were at least 100 years old but the shopkeeper insisted were from the Second World War as they had the Anzac Day insignia stamped on the back. Anyway they were beautiful and my wife bought them and gave them to my daughter when we arrived at her home. She was clearly impressed because the last time we were there they were hanging on the wall in a prominent part of the lounge room so she obviously liked them. My wife was as pleased as punch at seeing them on display so ever since all she’s talked about is finding another nice thing to give her daughter next trip. Anyway today’s the day we make the trip and I must admit I’m pretty excited as well.