Running, reading, classes about to start

February 27, 2011

I had quite a chilled weekend. We didn’t do too much. Today Paul swam laps at Centenary Pool, while I waded in the baby pool with the bubba. She seemed to enjoy it. We spent some time this afternoon with the inlaws as it was Paul’s mum’s birthday. When we go there the bubba has Nanna, Grandad and Auntie all fussing over her which is lovely (and it’s a nice break for me). She also gets to look at their little dog which she likes.

Classes start tomorrow which I’m excited about (but slightly nervous as I’m sure I haven’t done enough reading over the summer in preparation). The bubba has an infection on her tummy so she may not be able to go to childcare this week which is annoying but luckily my mother-in-law is able to help out.

I ran 8.14 km this morning which I’m quite proud of. I am totally on track for the ten kilometre race I’m doing in three weeks. Last week my training ramped up from four sessions per week to five and I really felt the difference! So this week I only did three of the five sessions (I wish I’d done four!) but I still ran 22.3km and I’m going to try to do all five this week and see how I go. If I’m finding I’m too sore, I’ll miss out one of the sessions for a couple of weeks. I really like running and it really helps my physical AND mental health (especially with the sleep deprivation I have from my breastfeeding baby!).

I haven’t been reading a lot recently, but what I have been reading has been for my Honours course (books like Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire, edited by Merri Lisa Johnson, and The Porn Report by Alan McKee, Katherine Albury and Catharine Lumby and also more academic stuff). I know I’m going to find it hard to read for pleasure while I’m studying and having to get through a mountain of reading for my course. I’m thinking of making Saturday a day off from uni where I get to read other stuff for pleasure. Non-study-related books/magazines I’d like to read are Tim Ferris’ the Four Hour Body, Lawrence J Cohen’s Playful Parenting and Runner’s World and Bitch magazines.

What a day

February 15, 2011

My run this morning was the first time in about a month I’d been running while pushing the bubba in the pram – boy, it really slowed my pace. My iMapMyRun App (which usually works really well for me) lost my GPS position halfway through my run so only recorded half my run. When I got home my key wouldn’t work in the front door and I realised I couldn’t find my phone! So I retraced my steps and luckily found the phone lying in the grass, quite a few blocks from home. Thankfully my sister-in-law came and picked us up, drove us to get Paul’s set of keys, which also did not work, and she hung around while we waited an hour and a half for the locksmith to show up and then the next hour while he worked on removing the lock! The poor bubba didn’t have her morning sleep, her morning tea or lunch (luckily there’s still plenty of breastmilk for her). She did, however, have a great time getting dirty, playing outside our apartment block on the stairs and out in the rain, until she was so tired and hungry, she fed to sleep on my lap, on the stairs, with the locksmith’s power drill going at the lock! What a day – and the lock replacement was quite expensive (locksmith said the previous lock hadn’t been installed properly).

Bubba starts childcare next week (as I’m returning to study). We went in to the centre yesterday and she had a play and had a great time. We were supposed to go in today but that didn’t happen. We’ll go tomorrow for a bit. I think she’ll be fine. I’ve got her booked in for three days a week but I think we might actually change it to two days. I am studying fulltime though, so I’m going to need quite a bit of time to spend on it (maybe not the best time to take up blogging again?).

As my previous blog post is from a year and a half ago, maybe some fill-in is needed? After we left London, we stayed in Hong Kong with Sam for a few nights which was really great. She showed us around Hong Kong which was awesome. A total bummer that her partner was away for work so we didn’t get to see him. And Sam recently had a little boy, which is pretty cool. After we got back to Brisbane, we lived with Paul’s parents for four months while we got ourselves sorted. We were living there when we got married. Paul got a job and we moved to a really nice (rented) flat in New Farm and in early 2010 our bubba was born. She has recently turned 1 and is close to walking and saying a few words and is just gorgeous. I started running when bubba was 5 months old and I’ve kept it up and am signed up to do a 10km run at the end of March. We recently bought a place so have moved out of New Farm (I’ll miss you!) and I’m gearing up for a busy year – study (doing Honours in Cultural Studies for Arts degree I finished years ago) and I’m also really wanting to do the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July (that will require a huge commitment of time for the training but I really want to do it). So, yeah, I think I might try to get back into this blogging thing.

Farewell London, eating in the dark, what I am reading…

July 31, 2009

Last weekend Paul and I had our farewell party at a local pub. Heaps of people came and we were there from 3pm until 10pm! I drank a LOT of juice. Unfortunately most of Paul’s photos are dark and blurry.
North star
Above, heaps of the peops at our farewell do. Below, with some friends (Cheryl, Charlotte, Kara) at the nightclub Cargo last Friday night. We saw a very cool band, Yacht, but as the music was blaring and the base was vibrating our bodies, I wondered: ‘Is my baby being totally vibrated right now?’
Last night Paul and Cheryl and I went to the restaurant Dans Le Noir? and ate food in pitch blackness. It was quite a strange experience. I did enjoy it but was not very impressed with the food (and the two courses cost £32).

Our boxes of stuff were picked up yesterday to be shipped back to Australia. Now we have lots of cleaning to do and lots of stuff to get rid of. I can’t believe we are leaving in three days. It doesn’t seem real. I would like to go to the White Cube galleries on the weekend to see the current Gilbert and George exhibition and maybe the Hayward to see the Walking in My Mind exhibition.

I also think I’d like to do some wandering around central London to say goodbye. I have really loved London. I am however very excited about seeing my friend Sam and spending three days with her looking around Hong Kong (she informed me yesterday that rain is forecast for next week!) and I am starting to get very excited about being back in Brisbane and seeing family and friends. I am really excited about discovering Brisbane again. People often bag it out for being small (and very spread out) but I always felt there was a lot of stuff going on when I lived there and I really like it. I’m planning on going to the Gallery of Modern Art on my second day back (there is an exhibition of photography by young people from Palm Island that ends that day).

It’s been a while since I did a rundown of the books I’ve been reading, but that might be because I haven’t read many books this year.

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre
I have wanted to read this book for a while. It is really very good! I have seen/heard Ben Goldacre talk a few times and he is really intelligent, informative and funny. You’ll learn a lot about the scientific method and how science works, and how science is abused and also about bad journalism when it comes to science. A very informative book. He is an NHS (National Health Service) doctor and a regular columnist in the Guardian. You can read his columns and other stuff at his website.

59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman
A popular psychology book by a professor of psychology, this is an interesting book and the difference between it and other self-help books is that it is actually based on psychological research. It does have a tendency to simplify things and be contradictory sometimes but I am enjoying it. Richard Wiseman has a blog too.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
This book of three novels is the first of three books in Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I have finished the first novel, Quicksilver and I enjoyed it a lot although I had to do a lot of looking up European history. The book is set around the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century in England and focuses on lots of historical figures (philosophers, scientists, politicians and other people). I plan to finish the other two novels in book one one day.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I’m a third of the way in and so far, am not impressed. Some of my friends really love this book but I really don’t understand how. It’s quite annoying and has such a tone of ‘isn’t religion so amazing and wonderful and mysterious’ so I’ve spent most of my time reading it thinking, ‘actually no, I don’t think so.’ I wonder if I’ll finish it.

T minus 11 days and counting

July 23, 2009

I cannot believe I only have 11 days left in London! I feel like I should be out doing last-minute site-seeing before I leave but instead I’m home most days packing and organising.

Still on the to-do list:
– get mail forwarded
– organise boxes for the TV and monitor
– give books back to people
– get my books back from people
– give away all our excess stuff
– go to Dans Le Noir and eat in the dark
– go to Ministry of Sound (probably not going to happen now – if I couldn’t get around to it in the last three years, I’m probably not going to in the next 11 days)

Moon trailer

July 20, 2009

This is a great sci-fi film that I saw on the weekend. Sam Rockwell was really good but I couldn’t quite work out how I knew him (he was the main guy in Choke and Zaphod Beeblebrox in the newish Hitchhikers Guide). Check it out.


Serpentine Gallery, books and films

July 19, 2009

Yesterday Paul and I went to the Serpentine Gallery to check out their temporary summer pavillion and to look at their latest art exhibition. The current pavilion is by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Japanese architecture practice SANAA. I liked it. If I wasn’t pregnant I probably would have had a coffee at the cafe there!
Serpentine Gallery and 2009 Summer Pavillion
Above, the Serpentine Gallery is on the right and the reflective Summer pavillion is on the left (The pavillion photos are by Paul).
The Serpentine Gallery's 2009 Summer Pavillion
The Serpentine Gallery's 2009 Summer Pavillion
Serpentine Gallery's Summer Pavillion 2009
The current exhibition inside the Serpentine is Jeff Koons: Popeye Series. I enjoyed the exhibition but am still undecided on what I think of Jeff Koons. I do like some of his stuff and this exhibition had a lot of objects that looked like inflatable plastic swimming toys (like rings and dolphins, etc) but they were hanging from the ceiling with heavy things hanging off them – they were actually made of aluminium and painted bright colours.
Jeff Koons: Popeye Series, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2009
Jeff Koons: Popeye Series, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2009
Jeff Koons: Popeye Series, Serpentine Gallery, London, 2009
After our sojourn in Hyde Park we headed up to Borders in Oxford Street where all the books are 50% off as they’re closing down. Even though I think most of the good stuff was gone (I couldn’t find any sci-fi or fantasy books!) we still bought ten books between us – and I know, I know, we just have to pack them now to send back to Australia but books are so much cheaper here than in Australia we couldn’t resist.

So lugging our books through Soho we headed to Leicester Square to watch the new (and sixth) Harry Potter but of course it was sold out (well, we could have bought tickets for the front row, which we weren’t so keen on) so we saw the sci-fi film Moon which was very good -I would recommend it highly. We also bought tickets to see Harry Potter today – two movies in one weekend, how decadent! I’m quite excited about seeing HP6 but Paul is less so at it goes for two and a half hours. We’re having lunch with some friends and then going to the film. I’m wondering if we should try to fit in some other London activity before lunch.

Yesterday we finally bought our flights home, so our families can stop asking us ‘When do you arrive back? Have you bought your tickets yet?’ We’re spending three days in Hong Kong with my friend Sam on the way home which is exciting. I still can’t believe I only have two weeks left in London. I feel like I need to be out going places, saying goodbye. I will miss it a lot.

Nice bookshop and new haircut

July 13, 2009

Here are some pictures from the gorgeous bookshop on Marylebone High Street, Daunt Books (photos by Paul’s mum).
Awesome bookshop, Daunt Books, London
Daunt Books, London
Daunt Books, London
And today I got a haircut – in preparation for being a yummy mummy (only six months to go – until I’m a mummy)!
Haircut, July 2009